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Tones are different both from emphasis and pauses; consisting in the notes or variations of sound which we employ, in the expression of our sentiments. Emphasis affects particular words and phrases, with a de. gree of tone or inflexion of voice; but tones, peculiarly so called, affect sentences, paragraphs, and sometimes even the whole of a discourse.
To show the use and necessity of tones, we need only observe, that the mind, in communicatiaz its ideas, is in a constant state of activity, emotion, or agitation, from the different effects which those ideas produce in the speaker. Now the end of such communication being, not merely to lay open the ideas, but also the different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must be other signs than words, to manifest those feelings; as words uttered in a monotonous manner can represent only a similar state of inind, perfectly free from all activity and emotion. As the communication of these internal feelings was of much more consequence in our social intercourse, than the mere conveyance of ideas, the Author of our being did not, as in that conveyance, leave the invention of the language of emotion to man; but impressed it himself upon our nature, in the same manner as he was done willi regard to the rest of the animal world; all of whichexpress their various feelings, hy various tones. Ours, indeed, from the superior rank that we hold, are in a high degree more comprehensive; as there is not an act of the mind, an exertion of the fancy, or an emotion of the heart, wbich lias noi its peculiartone, or note of the voice, by which it is to be expressed; and which is suited exactly to the degree of internal feeling. It is chiefly in the proper use of these tones, that the life, spirit, beauty, and harinony of delivery consist.
The limits of this Introduction do not admit of examples, to illustrate the variety of tones belonging to the different passions and emotions. We shall, however, select one, which is extracted froin the beautiful lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan, and which will, in some degree, elucidate what has been said on this subject.“The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places; how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Cath ; publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice; lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumphı. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew norrain upon you, nor fields of oiferings; for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast a way; the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.” The first of these divisions expresses sorrow and lamentation. therefore the mote is low. The next contains a spirited command, and should be pronounced much higher. The other sentence, in which he makes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends had been slain, must be expressed in a nole quite different from the two furmer; not so low as the first, nor so high as the second, in a manly, firin, and yet plaintive tone.
The correct and natural language of the emotions is not so difficult to be attained, as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the auihor's sentimients, as well as into the meaning of his words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied tones. For there are few people, who speak English without a provincial note, that have not an accurate use of tones, when they utter their sentiments in earnest discourse. And the reason that they have not the same use of them, in reading aloud the sentiments of others, may be traced to the very defective and erronesas method, in which the art of reading is taught; whereby ah
the various, natural, expressive tones of speech, are suppressed ; and a few artificial, unmeaning reading notes, are substituted for them.
But when we recommend to readers, an attention to the tone and lan. guage of emotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Moderation is necessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when reading becomes strictly imitative, it assumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper, as well, as give otience to the laearers; because it is inconsistent with that delicacy and modesty, which are indispensable on such occasions. The speaker who delivers his own emotions must be supposed to be more vivid and animated, than would be proper in the person who relates them at second hand.
We shall conclude this section with the following role, for the tones that indicate the passions and emotions. “In reading, let all your tones of expression be borrowed from those of common speech, but, in some degree, more faintly characterised. Let those tones which signify any disagreeable passion of the mind be still more faint than those which indicate agreeable emotions; and, on all occasions, preserve yourselves from being so far affected with the subject, as to be able to proceed through it, with that easy and masterly manner, which has its good effects in this, as well as in every other art. "
Pauses. Pauses or rests, in speaking or reading, are a total cessation of the voice, during a perceptible, and in many cases, a measurable space of time. Pauses are equally necessary to the speaker, and the bearer. To the speaker, that he may take breath, without which he cannot proceed far in delivery; and that he may, by these temporary rests, relieve the organs of speech; which otherwise would be soon tired by continued action : to the hearer, that the ear also may be relieved from the fa. tigue, which it would otherwise endure from a continuity of sound; and that the understanding may have sufficient time to mark the distinction of sentences, and their several members.
There are two kinds of pauses: first, emphatical pauses; and next such as mark the distinctions of sense. An'emphatical pause is generally made afier something has been said of peculiar moment, and on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes, before such a thing is said, we usher it in with a pause of this nature. Such panses have the same effect as a strong emphasis; and are subject to the same rules; especially to the caution, of not repeating them too frequently. For as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise expectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully answerable to such expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust.
But the most frequent and the principal use of pauses, is to mark the divisions of the sense, and at the same time to allow the reader to draw his breath ; and the proper and delicate adjustment of such pauses is one of the most nice and difficult articles of delivery. In all reading, the management of the breath requires a good deal of care, so as not to oblige us to divide words from one another, which have so intimate a connexion, that they ought to be pronounced with the same breath, and without the least separation. Many a sentence is miserably mangled, and the force of the emphasis totally lost, by divisions being made in the wrong place. To avoid this, every one, while be is reading, should be very careful to provide a full supply of breath for
what he is to utter. It is a great mistake to imagine, that the breath must be drawn only at the end of a period, when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at the intervals of the period, when the voice is suspended only for a moment; and, by this management, one may always have a sufficient stock for carrying on the longest sentence, without improper interruptions.
Pauses in reading must generally be formed upon the manner in which we utter ourselves in ordinary, sensible conversation ; and not upon the stiff artificial manner, which is acquired from reading books according to the common punctuation. It will by no means be suicient to attend to the points used in printing; for these are far from marking all the pauses, which ought to be made in reading. A medhanical attention to these resting places, has perhaps been one cause of monotony, by leading the reader to a similar tone at every stor, and a uniform cadence at every period. The primary use of points, is to as. sist the reader in discerning the grammatical construction; and it is only as a secondary object, that they regulate his pronunciation. On this head, the following direction may be of use : « Though in reading great attention should be paid to the stops, yet a greater should be given to the sense ; and their correspondent times occasionally lengthened beyond what is usual in common speech.
To render pauses pleasing and expressive, they must not only be made in the right place, but also accompanied with a proper tone of voice, by which the nature of these pauses is intimated ; much more than by the length of them, which can seldom be exactly measured. Sometimes it is only a slight and simple suspension of voice that is preper ; sometimes a degree of cadence in the voice is required ; and sometimes that peculiar tone and cadence which denote the sentence to be finished. In all these cases, we are to regulate ourselves by attending to the manner in which nature teaches us to speak, when engaged in real and earnest discourse with others. The following sentence exemplities the suspending and the closing panses : “ Hope, the balm of life, sooths us under every misfortune.” The first and second pauses are accompanied by an inflection of voice, that gives the bearer an expectation of something further to complete the sense : the inflection attending the third pause signities that the sense is completed.
The preceding example is an illustration of the suspending pause, in its simple state : the following instance exhibits that parise with a degree of cadence in the voice; “li content cannot remove the disquietudes of mankind, it will at least alleviate them."
The suspending pause is oiten, in the same sentence, attended with both the rising and the falling inflection of voice; as will be seen in this example : « Moderate exercise', and habitual temperance', strengthen the constitution."
As the suspending pause may be thus attended with both the rising and the falling inflection, it is the same with regard to the closing pause: it admits of both. The falling intlection generally accompanies it ; but it is not unfrequently connected with the rising inilection. Interrogative sentences, for instance, are oftto terminated in this manner: as, “ Am I ungrateful' ?” « Is he in earnest'?"
But where a sentence is begun by an interrogative pronoun or adverb, it is commonly terminated by the falling inflection: as, “ What has he gained by his folly“ ?" “ Who will assist him?" " Where is the messenger" ?"" When did he arrive'?"
* The rising inflection is denoted by the acute; the falling, by the grave accent.
When two questions are united in one sentence, and connected by the coujunction or, the first takes the rising, the second the falling inflection : as, “Does his conduct support discipline', or destroy it."
The rising and falling inflections must not be confounded with emphasis. Though they may often coincide, they are, in their nature, perfectly distinct. Emphasis sometimes controls those inflections.
The regular application of the rising and falling inflections, confers so much beauty on expression, and is so necessáry to be studied by the young reader, that we shall insert a few more examples to induce bim to pay greater attention to the subject. In these instances, all the inflections are not inarked. Such only are distinguished, as are most striking, and will best serve to show the reader their utility and importanee.
“ Manufactures", trade', and agriculture', certainly employ more than nineteen parts in twenty of the human species.”
“ He who resigns the world has no temptation to envy', hatred', malice', anger; but is in constant possession of a serene mind: he who follows the pleasures of it, which are in their very nature disappointing, is in constant search of care', solicitude', remorse', and confusion;"
“To advise the ignorant', vr lieve the needy', comfort the afflicted', are duties that fall in our way almost every day of our lives."
“ Those evil spirits, who, by long custom, have contracted in the body habits of Inst' and sensuality; inalice', and revenge ; an aversion to every thing that is good', just', and laudable', are naturaliy seasoned and prepared for pain and misery.".
“I am persuaded, that neither death', por life ; nor angels', nor principalities', nor powers'; nor things present', nor things to come nor height', vor depth'; nor any other creature', shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”
The reader who would wish to see a minute and ingenious investigation of the nature of these inflections, and the roles by which they are governed, may consult Walkers Elements of Llocution.
Winner of reading l’erse. When we are reading verse, there is a peculiar difficulty in making the pauses justly. The difficulty arises from the melody of verse, which dictates to the ear pases or rests of its own: and to adjust and compound these properly with the pauses of the sense, so is neither to hurt the ear, nor offend the understanding, is so very nice a maiter, that it is no wonder we so sridom meet with good readers of poetry. There are two kinds of pauses that belong to the meiody of verse : one is, the pause at the end of the line; and the other, the casural pause in or near the middle of it. With regard to the pouse at the end of the line, which marks that strain or verse to be finished, rhyme renders this always sensible; and in some measure compels us to observe it in our pronunciation. In respect to blank verse, we ought also to read it so as to make every line sensible to the ear: for, what is the use of melody, or for what end has the poet composed in verse, if, in reading bis lines, we suppress his numbers, by omitting the tinal pause ; and degrade them, by our pronunciation, into mere prose? At the sanie time tliat we attend to this pause, every appearance of sing-song and tore must be carefully guariled against. The close of the line where it makes no pause in the meaning, ought not io be marked by such a
tone as is used in finishing a sentence; but, without either fall or ele. vation of the voice, it should be denoted only by so slight a suspen. sion of sound, as may distinguish the passage from one line to another, without injuring the meaning.
The other kind of melodious pause, is that which falls somewhere about the middle of the verse, and divides it into two hemistichs; a pause, not so great as that which belongs to the close of the line, but still sensible to an ordinary ear. This, which is called the cæsural pause, may fall, in English heroic verse, after the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th syllable in the line. Where the verse is so constructed, that this cirsural pause coincides with the slightest pause or division in the sense, the line can be read easily; as in the two first verses of Pope's Messialı
“ Ye nymphs of Solyma"! begin the song ;
“ To heav'nly themes", sublimer strains belong." But if it should happen that words which have so strict and intimate a connexion, as not to bear even a momentary separation, are divided from one another by this cæsural pause, we thieu leel a sort of struggle between the sense and the sound, which renders it difticult to read such lines harmoniously. The rule of proper pronunciation in such cases, is to regard only the pause which the sense forms; and to read the line accordingly. The neglect of the cæsural pause may make the line sound somewhat unlarmoniously; but the effect would be mucii worse, if the sense were sacrificed to the sound. For instance, in the following line of Milton,
256 What in me is dark,
the sense clearly dictates the pause after illumine, at the end of the third syllable, which, in reading, ought to be made accordingly; though, if the melody only were to be regarded, illumine should be connected with what follows, and the pause not made till the fourth or sixth syllable. So in the following line of Pope's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot,
“ I sit, with sad civility I read." the ear plainly points out the cæsural pause as falling after sal, the fourth syllable. But it would be very bad reading to make any pause there, so as to separate sad and civilily. The sense admits of no other pause than after the second syllable sil, which therefore inust be the Only pause made in reading this part of the sentence.
There is another mode of dividing some verses, by introducing what may be called demi-cæsuras, wliich require very slight panses ; arid which the reader should manage with judgment, or lie will be apt to fall into an affected sing-song mode of pronouncing verses of this kind. The following lines exemplify the demi-cisura.
“ Warms' in the sun", retreshes' in the breeze,