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may also be observed that Pronouns, though important parts of speech, should be classed, with regard to their pronunciation in a sentence, with the less important words, as Articles, Prepositions, and Conjunctions. The reason is obvious : no new idea is introduced by a Pronoun. It stands for, or represents, a word which has been mentioned before, and which is consequently already before the mind of the person addressed. Pronouns, therefore, should be always pronounced without emphasis, unless when some contrast or opposition is intended.* We shall illustrate this by a familiar sentence or two:
If John is there, I will thank you to give him this bookthough, perhaps, I should give it to you, and not to him. You are right; it is to me you should give it. You think so, but I think differently ; and so, † am sure, does he.
In the foregoing sentences, the pronouns printed in italic are emphatical, because they are antithetical, or opposed to each other; while the other pronouns, in the same sentence, should be pronounced without emphasis, because no contrast or opposition is intended.
In the same way, any of the less important parts of speech may become emphatical; asI told you to bring me the book, not a book.
You were told to put the book on the table—not under it. It was and I said- not or.
From what has been said with regard to emphasis, it is evident that all antithetic or contrasted words are emphatic ; and in fact, it is usual to consider such words only as emphatic. Mr. Walker, and his followers, for example, hold that in every case of emphasis there is an antithesis expressed or implied ; and that it never can be proper to give emphatic force to a word unless it stands opposed in sense to some other word expressed or understood.* But this is to take too narrow a view of emphasis. There are other sources of it besides contrast or antithetic relation. There
* Pronouns used as antecedents, and also relatives when their antecedents are not expressed, should obviously be pronounced with a certain degree of emphatic force; as, “ He that runs may read." 66 Who seeks for glory often finds a grave. " What man has done, man can do."
be absolute, as
* The following is Mr. J. Sheridan Knowles's account of emphasis :“EMPHASIS is of two kinds, absolute and relative. Relative emphasis has always an antithesis expressed or implied: absolute emphasis takes place when the peculiar eminence of the thought is solely-singly considered.
'Twas base and poor, unworthy of a peasant,
And mark it with a noble lady's name. Here we have an example of relative emphasis ; for, if the thought were expressed at full, it would stand thus :-Unworthy not only of a yentleman, but even of a peasant.
'Twas base and poor, unworthy of a man,
And mark it with a noble lady's name. Here we have an example of absolute emphasis ; for, if the thought were expressed at full, it would stand thus :-Unworthy a being composed of such perfections as constitute a man." Mr. Knowles adds : “I apprehend, that, notwithstanding all that has been written upon the subject, the true definition of emphasis remains still to be discovered."
The following are Dr. Porter's observations on the subject :“Walker, and others who have been implicitly guided by his authority, without examination, lay down the broad position, that emphasis always implies antithesis ; and that it can never be proper to give emphatic stress to a word, unless it stands opposed to something in sense. theory which supposes this is too narrow to correspond with the philosophy of elocution. Emphasis is the soul of delivery, because it is the most discriminating mark of emotion. Contrast is among the sources of emotion : and the kind of contrast really intended by Walker and others, namely, that of affirmation and negation, it is peculiarly the province of emphasis to designate. But this is not the whole of its province. There are other sources besides antithetic relation, from which the mind receives strong and vivid impressions, which it is the office of vocal language to express. Thus exclamation, apostrophe, and bold figures in general, denoting high emotion, demand a correspondent force in pronunciation; and that, too, in many cases where the emphatic force laid on a word is absolute, because the thought expressed by that word is forcible in itself, without any aid from contrast. Thus :
“ Up! comrades—up !
* President of the Theological Seminary, Andover, United States.
well as antithetic emphasis. For example, if the idea to be communicated is of peculiar or paramount importance in itself, the word expressing it should be pronounced with a corresponding degree of emphatic force; and this a person speaking his own sentiments will naturally do, particularly if he is under the influence of passion or emotion. It is evident, too, that this kind of emphasis may extend to several words in succession, and even to whole clauses of sentences. This kind of emphasis Mr. Walker himself admits under the head of “General Emphasis." The following are examples
What men could do
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. There was a time then, my fellow-citizens, when the Lacedæmonians were sovereign masters both by sea and land; when their troops and forts surrounded the entire circuit of Attica; when they possessed Eubea, Tanagra, the whole Bæotian district, Megara, Ægina, Cleone, and the other islands; while this state had not one ship-no, not-one-wall.
Or shall I—who was born I might almost say, but certainly brought up, in the tent of my father—that most excellent general_shall I, the conqueror of Spain and Gaul, and not only of the Alpine nations, but what is greater yet, of the Alps themselves shall I compare myself with this half-yearcaptain,-a captain-before whom, should one place the two armies without their ensigns, I am persuaded he would not know to which of them he is consul.
It is usual to subdivide Antithetic Emphasis into Single, Double, and Treble Emphasis;* and to give rules for the proper pronunciation of the emphatic words in each case. But the simple principles we have adopted render all such rules superfluous; for in all cases of antithesis the antithetic terms must be either expressed or understood : if they are expressed, which is usually the case, there can be no difficulty with regard to emphasis; for when the words which are opposed to each other in the
* Single emphasis is, when there is one pair of words opposed to each other in a sentence; Double emphasis, when there are two pairs; and Treble, when there are three.
sentence are expressed in it, the mind instantly perceives the opposition between them, and the voice instinctively marks it in the pronunciation. The following are examples
Study not so much to show knowledge as to acquire it.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
The pleasures of the imagination are not so gross as those of sense, nor so refined as those of the understanding.
Grief is the counter passion of joy. The one arises from agreeable, and the other from disagreeable events—the one from pleasure, and the other from pain—the one from good, and the other from evil.
One sun by day-by night ten thousand shine.
She drew an angel down. A friend cannot be known in prosperily; and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.
The difference between a madman and a fool is, that the former reasons justly from false data; and the latter erroneously from just data.
Flowers of rhetoric in sermons or serious discourses are like the blue and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit.
Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves,
Than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen? In such cases as the preceding, it is obvious that there can be no difficulty with regard to EMPHASIS; because the words which are opposed to each other in the sentence are expressed. But when only one of the contrasted terms is expressed, as in the following examples, the
careless or injudicious reader is apt to overlook its antithetic import, and will consequently fail to give it the emphatic pronunciation which is necessary to bring out the full meaning of the sentence.
A child might understand it. [The antithesis implied or suggested in this sentence is obviously-not merely a man or a person of mature judgment, but even a child.]
Exercise and temperance will strengthen even an indifferent constitution. [That is, not merely an ordinary or good constitution, but even an indifferent one.]
He that runs may read. [That is, not merely a person who walks, and who has therefore leisure to observe, but even he that runs.]
We know the passions of men: we know how dangerous it is to trust the best of men with too much power. [That is, not merely bad or ordinary men, but even the best of men.]
Tubal. One of them showed me a ring which he had of your daughter for a monkey.
Shylock. Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal; it was my turquoise, -I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys. [That is, so far from giving it for one monkey, I would not have given it for a whole wilderness of monkeys.]
Can a Roman senate long debate Which of the two to choose, slavery or death! [That is, other senates may, but can a Roman one?]
Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought. [That is, not merely in words or audibly, but even in thy thought.]
And think not to say among yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. [That is, not merely from the seed or descendants of Abraham, but even from these stones.]
By the faculty of a lively and picturesque imagination, a man in a dungeon is capable of entertaining himself with scenes and landscapes, more beautiful than any that can be found in the whole compass of nature. [That is, not only when he is absent from beautiful scenes, but even in a dungeon.]
A man of a polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures that the vulgar are not capable of receiving; he can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue. [That is, he can converse even with a picture, and find an agreeable companion even in a statue, which are pleasures unknown to the vulgar or uneducated.]
It is obvious, that in each of the preceding examples there is an antithesis implied or understood; and the