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Examples of Monotone, and of the rising and falling
"Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought !”
Examples of the falling and rising Inflections.
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier,
An excursion on the highway may as clearly as any other way, point out the five inflections of the voice. Monotone being the first, we will suppose the smooth, level way, and as we cannot always have smooth level ways, we will suppose our next change to be an acclivity, which we will call the rising inflection. When we shall have reached the summit, we will suppose that we shall have to descend, which we will call the falling inflection. At the foot of the hill, we meet a level spot, which as above, we will call monotone. After travelling some distance on this level, we arrive at a descent which we will term the falling inflection; at the foot of which we have a hill, which we will call the fifth or rising inflection, and these straight forward, and up and down, down and up, and continual equalities and inequalities, form our road through life, and afford a species of elucidation of the five inflections of the human voice.
Suspension, which may be considered of two kinds, the protracted and the slight, is when properly managed, one of the most effective things in eloquence; it impresses the auditor, elicits his attention, and calls forth his applause. A good orator may hold an audience almost breathless under its influence. But care should be taken not to use the protracted suspensive pause, but
when the subject is of sufficient magnitude to bear the speaker out in its adoption; for if it be recurred to frequently, and upon trivial occasions, censure will be the result. The effect is to be produced by stopping and suspending the voice immediately before the passage, or part of a sentence, by which you mean to make what is in oratory called your point. When you stop, let it be with an elevation of voice, which will leave the sense broken and incomplete, then your hearers, being in expectation of something superlative, will, when it comes, amply reward you for the excitement and gratification of their expectations. There are two ways of reading the protracted suspensive pause. The one is, when you suspend in a loud tone, you should terminate in a subdued tone; and the reverse. Independently of the particular power above attributed to suspension in the protracted sense, there is another and a slighter kind of suspension, which has a general power over eloquence, for by that keeping up of the voice, while the necessary breathing time is taking, a disjunction of the sense, and a stop to the harmony of the subject, which would otherwise continually occur, is prevented, some sentences being so long that a speaker could not have sufficient breath to go through them, even rapidly, much less to give them force and harmony, unless he were to have recourse to suspension, which carries him and the meaning evenly along until it set both down safely at the period. Its power is such, that the speaker may stop when and where he pleases, without injury to the sense, if he be a perfect master of its use.
Examples of the protracted Suspensive Pause.
"And Nathan said to David-thou art the man."
Parenthesis, says Dr. Johnson, is a sentence so included in another sentence, as that it may be taken out without injuring the sense of that which encloses it. This figure, rather used to impart variety than elegance to composition, should be read or spoken in a quicker and a lower tone of voice than the general subject. The reader or speaker, should slightly suspend his voice immediately before the parenthesis, and take up the same tone at its close.
"This moon, which rose last night, (round as my shield,)
A band of fierce barbarians," &c.
"Beneath a mountain's brow, (the most remote
In a deep cave, (dug by no mortal hand,)
An hermit liv'd," &c.
TRAGEDY OF DOUGLAS.
"If there's a power above us,
(And that there is all nature cries aloud
TRAGEDY OF CATO.
"Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness!
Antithesis arises in a sentence or line where words
are opposed to each other. This figure gives force to meaning, and variety to utterance, and should be read or spoken with a particular stress on the words in opposition.
"Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen ?"
TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CESAR.
"Is it credible that when he declined putting Clodius to death with the consent of all, that he would choose to do it with the disapprobation of many? Can you believe that the person whom he scrupled to slay, when he might have done so with full justice-in a convenient place-at a proper time-with secure impunity, he made no scruple to murder-against justice-in an unfavourable place at an unseasonable time—and at the risk of capital condemnation?"
CICERO FOR MILO.
"So, also, is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body."
1 COR. XV. CHAP. 42nd VERSE.
X. MONOTONY, OR MONOTONE.
Monotone occurs in those parts of a subject where several words follow each other, without requiring any variation of voice, or particular stress upon one word more than another. This figure often imparts sublimity, and from its own want of variety, bestows variety upon that to which it is attached. It should be read or spoken with unvarying sameness.
"For who would bear the whips and scorns o' the time,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
High on a throne of royal state, which far
"In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep fal leth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: it stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth. They are destroyed from morning to evening; they perish forever without any regarding it."
JOB, 4th CHAP. 13-20th VERSES.
"As autumn's dark storms pour from two echoing hills, so towards each other approached the heroes. As two dark streams from high rocks meet and mix, and roar on the plain; loud, rough and dark in battle, met Laughlin and Innisfail : Chief mixed his strokes with chief, and man with man. Steel clanging sounded on steel. Helmets are cleft on high; blood bursts and smokes around. As the troubled noise of the ocean when roll the waves on high; as the last peal of the thunder of heaven; such is the noise of battle."
"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him.