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Let the pupil utter each of these, increasing in fulness of sound to the middle, and then decreasing, but on the same note. To aid him in doing this, let him observe that the sound of a ends in e; e ends in e; i ends in e; o ends in 00; and that u ends with its own sound, but begins with e.

SEMITONE. The slide of a half note or semitone is indicative of pity, sadness, sorrow, or a pleasing melancholy.

Pity the sorrows of a poor
My mother, when I heard that thou wast dead.

old man.


Emphasis is giving peculiar utterance to some word or phrase, to develop more fully the sentiment of the author.

When both parts of an antithesis are expressed, the pupil will easily place the emphasis aright; but when one part is implied, great care must be taken to place the emphasis on the principal word, or the true idea will not be developed.

The functions of the voice only are now under consideration; therefore it is no part of our present plan to show how to find the idea, but how to express it when known.

To illustrate the importance of ascertaining from the context the antithesis implied, in order to give the true meaning, the following old examples will suffice.

O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written concerning me.

Place the emphasis on "prophets,” and the antithesis would be other writers. This would imply that though others might be believed, the prophets could not.

Place the emphasis on all," and the antithesis would be some ; implying that they might believe some things that the prophets said, but it would be foolish to believe all.

Place the emphasis on believe," and the meaning would be that they were fools for believing.


Place the emphasis on “slow," or rather on the phrase, “slow of heart,” and the true meaning comes out — that they are slow ör backward in believing, &c.; hence their folly.

Observe the difference between the rising and falling slide on the emphatic word in the following sentence :

Charles would not harm a fly'' Meaning that Charles would not hurt so small an insect, nor one so harmless, as a fly, at least, though he might be capable of injuring other animals not so gentle and innocent. The antithesis then is, noxious animals.

Charles would not harm a fly'! Charles is here said to have great humanity and benevolence, because he would surely hurt no other animal, since he would not hurt so insignificant a creature as a fly — not even a fly. The antithesis is any aniinal saperior to a fly.

A bòy could do it.

Antithesis, man. That is, not only a man, but even a boy could do it.

How beautiful is nature in her wildest scenes ! Antithesis, placid. Not only in her calm, mild, gentle scenes, but even in her wildest scenes.

Our safety - our lives depend on your fidelity.
Meaning not our safety alone, but our very lives.
I would not lose it for a lòad of dollars.

Antithesis, one dollar. That is, not for one dollar merely, but a load of dollars.


Clausal emphasis is giving peculiarity of utterance to the leading clause or clauses of a compound sentence, to make prominent the principal idea over the subordinate ones contained in the dependent clauses.

The leading clause should be uttered on a higher pitch, at a slower rate, with greater force, and stronger verbal emphasis than the subordinate clauses and phrases. This is very important in giving significance to reading. Take the following example:

To believe, for example, that there once were witches who made a cockle shell serve the purpose of a ship, and substituted a broomstick for a balloon, or that there still are fairies who hold their gambols at midnight among the romantic glens of Scotland, is quite a harmless superstition.

Here follows the leading clause by itself, that the pupil may observe it alone, without the subordinate clauses and phrases that modify it.

To believe that there once were witches, or that there still are fairies, is quite a harmless superstition.

Here again is the clause restored to its original place in the sentence, and printed in Italics.

To believe, for example, that there once were witches, who made a cockle shell serve the purpose of a ship, and substituted a broomstick for a balloon, or that there still are fairies who hold their gambols at midnight among the romantic.glens of Scotland, is quite a harmless superstition.

Let the pupil, according to the above directions, utter the words “to believewith a higher pitch, slowly and forcibly; then the words " for exampleon a lower pitch, at a more rapid rate, and with less force; then the words that are the object of the verb “to believe," viz. : that there once were witches,with the same force, rate, and pitch as he used on “ to believe ;” then increase the rate, diminish the force, lower the pitch on “ who made balloon ;” then restore the voice to its former pitch, rate, and force on “or that there still are fairies ;" then lessen the force, lower the pitch, and increase the rate on

who hold

Scotland;" then utter the rest of the sentence with the same force, pitch, and rate used on the preceding part of the leading clause. Due regard must be paid to verbal emphasis in the individual clauses, whether dependent or independent.

PARENTHESIS. A parenthesis should be pronounced on a lower pitch, more rapidly, and with less force than the rest of the sentence.

Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die,
('Twas even to thee,) yet, the dread path once trod,
Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high,

And bids “the pure in heart” behold their God. “ Poor Maria,” said the postilion, (leaning his body on one side to let me see her, for he was on a line between us,) “ is sitting upon a bank, playing her vespers on her pipe, with her little goat beside her.”


One great cause of blundering over words, missing and miscalling them, getting out of breath, and thereby confused and embarrassed, to the utter ruin of sense, is ignorance of suitable pauses or resting. places in a sentence.

Point out the places for pauses, and any reader will go through a sentence so that the hearer will lose no word of it. The best general direction I can give, is always

when it can be done without injury to the thought of the author, grouping together such words as it will not do to separate, and separating all that you can.

For instance:" Encouraged by this magnificent invitation, the inhabitants of the globe considered labor as their only friend, and hasted to his command.”

Make pauses for breath indicated by the dashes, and it will be read with ease :

to pause



“ Encouraged by this magnificent invitation the inhabitants of the globe considered labor as their only friend — and hasted — to his command.”

If the pupil will place these pauses differently, as after this, or magnificent, instead of after encouraged, and so on through the sentence, he will see that it is at least awkward, if not unintelligible.

If no pauses be made except at the marks of punctuation, the young pupil, in his haste to arrive at the resting-place to get breath, will be very likely to trip over words, to miscall them, to utter them indistinctly, or, having his breath fail entirely in the midst of a word, to catch his breath, leaving the word incomplete, and thus to be compelled to begin again upon the word.

Whenever a pupil has that slipshod, stumbling way of reading, making two or three attempts before he can utter a word, the best cure will be to mark off sentences for him into as many restingplaces as possible, grouping only the words that are inseparable.

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