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RISING AND FALLING INFLECTIONS.
RULE 1. Direct questions, or those that can be answered by yes or no, generally require the rising inflection, and their answers, the falling.
2. Does the moon shine with her ówn light? Nò.
3. Are the fixed stars plánets? They are not.
4. Is astronomy a pleasing stúdy? It is.
5. Has the earth an orbital motion around the sún? Yès.
6. Does the moon revolve around the earth?
7. Has any one sailed around the earth? Cook?
8. Do you think the planets are inhábited? Yes, I dò. 9. Was it for this that you exchanged masters? It was not. 10. Am I reduced to the necessity of proving this point? Most certainly.
EXCEPTION 1. The direct question, when it becomes an appeal, and is uttered with earnestness and strong emphasis, the answer being anticipated, inclines the voice to the falling inflection.
1. Is it possible for a man to save himself?
2. Are we not naturally inclined to evil?
3. Will any one who knows his own heart, trust himself?
4. Are not good reading and speaking very rare attais ments?
5. Arè gold and silver mines, on the whole, beneficial?
7. Can you despise your own dear father?
8. Can you ever forget the kindness of your mother?
QUESTIONS. What is the rule for direct questions? Give an example. When the direct question becomes an appeal, how should it be read? Give an example.
9. Will you thus abandon an affectionate sister?
10. Will your conscience justify such conduct?
11. Will not the slow, unmoving finger of scorn point at you, and may not you expect the cold contempt, both of friends and neighbors ?
EXCEPTION 2. When a direct question is not at first understood, and is repeated with earnestness and emphasis, the repetition takes the falling inflection.
1. Will you loan me your réading book? I did not understand you. Will you loan me your reading book?
2. Was your father a native of Germany? What did you say, sir? Was your father a native of Germany?
3. Was your brother of áge, at the time of the Revolution? What, sir? Was your brother of age, at the time of the Revolùtion?
4. Will you accompany me to Niagara Falls? What was your question, sir? Will you accompany me to Niagara Fàlls?
NOTE 1. In a short series of direct questions, closely connected in the same paragraph, the rising slide usually increases in intensity on each succeeding question, in proportion to the importance of the thought and emotions of the speaker; but, in some instances, the last question may be rendered more impressive, by giving it the falling slide.
1. What must the king do now? Must he submit? Must he be depósed? Must he lose the name of KÍNG?
2. Must I búdge? Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch under YOUR testy humor?
3. And now that he has practiced upon the gentleman's own precepts, he is assailed for it. Is there any fairness in this? Is there consistency in it? Is there STATESMANSHIP in it? Is there, I ask, good COMMON SENSE in it? Neither, sir;
QUESTIONS. When a direct question is repeated, what slide does the repetition require? Give an example. How is a short series of direct questions usually required to be read? What slide may the last question of the series sometimes take
It is important that the reader should learn to distinguish the direct question from the indirect; and this he may readily do, by observing that all sentences involving direct questions, like those under this rule, very uniformly commence with verbs; while those involving indirect questions as uniformly commence with relative pronouns or adverbs. Let these characteristics of the direct and indirect questions be well understood, and there need be no misapplication of the inflections in either case.
Direct Questions without their Answers.
1. Will the Lord cast off foréver? and will he be favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? doth his promise fail forevermore? Hath God forgotten to be grácious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mércies?
2. Is not this the carpenter's són ? is not his mother called Máry? and his brethren, Jámes, and Jóses, and Símon, and Júdas? and his sisters, are they not all with us?
3. Can we believe a thinking being, that is in a perpetual progress of improvement, and traveling on from perfection to perfection, after having just looked abroad into the works of his Creátor, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodness, wisdom, and power, must pérish at his first setting out, and at the very beginning of his inquiries?
4. Wast thou displeased with the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the seá, that thou didst ride upon thy horses and thy chariots of salvation?
5. Shall dust and ashes stand in the presence of that uncreated glory, before which principalities and powers bow down, tremble, and adóre? Shall guilty and condemned creatures appear in the presence of Him, in whose sight the
QUESTION. How may the direct question be distinguished from the indirect?
heavens are not clean, and who chargeth his angels with fólly?
6. What is the happiness that this world can give? Can it defend us from disásters? Can it preserve our hearts from griéf, our eyes from téars, or our feet from falling? Can it prolong our cómforts? Can it multiply our days? Can it redeem ourselves or our friends from déath? Can it soothe the king of térrors, or mitigate the agonies of the dying?
7. Are our being and happiness confined to this life alóne? Does our happiness consist in pampering these bodies, on which the earth-worm so soon shall rével? Is it to be gained by hoarding up treasures, which our children shall squander in thoughtless extravagance? Is it to be consummated by building habitations, which the men who shall come after us will level with the dúst?
8. Was it winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women and children? Was it hard labor and spare meals? Was it disease? Was it the tomahawk? Was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined enterprise, and a broken heart, aching, in its last moments, at the recollection of the loved and the left, beyond the sea? Was it some, or all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate? None of these deterred the pilgrim fathers.
9. And, sir, has it come to this? Are we so humble, so low, so despicable, that we dare not express our sympathies for suffering Greece? that we dare not express our horror, articulate our detestation of the most brutal and atrocious war that ever stained earth, or shocked high heaven?
10. But what then? Is it come to this? Shall an inferior magistrate, a governor, who holds the whole power of the Roman people, in a Roman province, within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red-hot plates of iron, and, at last, put to the infamous death of the cross, a
Roman citizen? Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, restrain the licentious and wanton cruelty of a monster, who, in confidence of his riches, strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance?
Direct Questions without their Answers.
1. And now, let me ask you solemnly, Will you persist in your attachment to these guilty men? Will you any longer, either deliberately or thoughtlessly, vote for them? Will you renounce allegiance to your Maker, and cast the Bible behind your back? Will you confide in men void of the fear of God, and destitute of moral principle? Will you intrust life to murderers, and liberty to despots ?
2. Are you patriots, and will you constitute those, legislators, who despise you, and despise equal laws, and wage war with the eternal principles of jústice? Are you Christians, and by upholding duelists, will you deluge the land with blood, and fill it with widows and orphans?
3. Will you aid in the prostration of justice; in the escape of criminals; in the extinction of liberty? Will you place in the chair of State, in the senate, on the bench of justice, or in the assembly, men, who, if able, would murder you for speaking the truth? Shall your elections turn on expert shooting, and your deliberative bodies become a host of armed men?
4. Will you destroy public morality by tolerating, yea, re
The remainder of this piece is left unmarked, and the inflections may be va ried according to the judgment of the teacher or reader. See note, page 28.