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their appearance, therefore, the reader should stop as long as the sense requires, and no longer.
But pauses are often to be made where none are indicated by artificial marks, and where the sense and judgment alone must govern. These are required for convenience of utterance, for greater harmony of the voice, and for giving distinctness to the meaning; and they are always most discernible in the reading and speaking of those who excel in their elocution. Without them, it is almost impossible, at times, for a hearer to understand distinctly the true meaning of what is uttered. Beginners, and those who are rapid in their manner, are very prone to omit these pauses : so are any who do not themselves take pains to understand well what they read. All who would acquit themselves well should be attentive to this matter, avoiding that hurried, strait-onward manner which confounds all meaning, harmony, and convenience. A few short examples will serve to illustrate what is intended by this sort of pauses, which are usually denominated rhetorical.
“ Without a friend' the world is but a wilderness.” " It is wiser to prevent a quarrel beforehand' than to revenge it afterwards.” No one can fail to observe that correct reading would require a short pause to be made after the word friend in the first example, and after the word beforehand in the second. So obvious, indeed, is the pause, that many writers would place a comma after those words, although the grammatical construction of the sentences would not require them to be put there, but would rather forbid it; and it may be proper here to remark that commas are often put in, especially in long sentences, or where the nominative to a verb has several appendages to it, when the connection of the words would demand none. This seems to be done for the regulation of the voice, rather than to point out the sense to the eye.
What a piece of work is man Show noble in reason'! how infinite in faculties'! in form and moving' how express and admirable'! in action how like an angel? in apprehension' how like a God'!
In this example the rhetorical pause is quite apparent after the words moving, -action, and apprehension. An accurate reader would also make a slight pause, but sufficient to be noticed, after the words work, noble, infinite, and express, in order to give more distinctness to the ideas, and a greater harmony of expression.
“If to dò were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes!
palaces." Here the like pause is discernible after the word do, where it is first used, and a very slight one after cottages. So evident is the first pause that some would insert a comma to denote it, as in the preceding example, although the verb to do serves as a nominative to the verb which follows, without the intervention of any other word. In this case, however, a comma would be improper, as unnecessary to mark either the sense or the pause.
“ Thankfulness and happiness imply each other : we must be than'kful to be happy', and hàppy' to be thankful.” Here quite a short pause is required after happiness, and a more distinct one after thankful and the second happy.
It is a general rule that the rhetorical pause should be made where one or more words are omitted in a sentence to avoid repetition. Example: “He who tells a lié is not sensible how great a task he undertakes ; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one." A pause is made after more, his being omitted : twenty more lies is the meaning. Example : “ Newton was one of the best and wisest philosophers.” A pause is made after best : the meaning is, that Newton was one of the best of philosophers, and one of the wisest philosophers. Again :
Some place the bliss in action', some in eàse :
Thos'e call it pleasure, and conten’tmént thesel. A pause will be noticed after some in the first line, and after contentment in the second. The omission, in the first instance, is that of the words, place the bliss. When supplied, the line would read thus: Some place the bliss in action, some place the bliss in easè, or some place it in ease. In the second instance, by supplying the omitted words, the passage would read : Those call it pleasure, and these call it contentment.
Note.- In the example beginning with, "What a piece of work is man!” it may be observed that semicolons would take the place of the exclamation marks were the latter to be omitted and other ones substituted for them.
INTERROGATIVE SENTENCES. Who has not felt a difficulty in reading interrogative sentences with propriety? Who has not felt himself embarrassed in deciding with what manner of voice he should close them? And who has ever found himself greatly assisted by the instruction which he has derived on this point from teachers or
from books ? Very few, it is believed, can say that they have not felt this difficulty and embarrassment, or that they have found this assistance. Yet no difficulty of the kind is experienced in conversation, or any sort of extemporaneous speaking, when the instinctive feelings of men are their only guides. Every body knows how to ask a question when he asks it for himself; but as soon as he meets with one in a book, all his natural instincts, and all his natural sense of propriety, seem to forsake him. Every interrogative sentence is read with nearly the same up or the same down of the voice, in a manner which is both formal and mechanical.
It would seem that there must be some general principles, which deserve consideration, in regard to the manner in which these sentences are to be read ; and nature itself would seem to dictate that they should be sufficiently comprehensive to meet the various purposes which the asking of a question has in view. The late Dr. Porter, in his analysis of the principles of rhetorical delivery, and in his Rhetorical Reader, has laid down iwo general rules, to which he has made no exceptions, for the reading and speaking of interrogative sentences. Valuable as those two treatises are in most respects, the author has misconceived the principles by which we are governed in asking questions, and made his rules relating to them so defective that it is entirely impossible to put them in general practice without doing violence to our natural feelings of propriety. The distinction which he has made between direct and indirect questions, by the former of which he intends those which admit of the answer yes or no, and by the latter those which do not admit of such an answer, has no foundation in nature, and is inconsistent with correct usage. The very first examples which he has given under the former rule for its illustration ought not to be read in the manner which the rule itself seems intended to point out, but should be classed rather with the examples which are produced under the latter. If an author of his acuteness and ability has erred on this point, it cannot be a wonder that teachers at large should be liable to mistakes, and should give instructions on this head, which, to say the least, will be found imperfect.
Before proceeding to suggest rules which may be applied to the reading of interrogative sentences, it will be proper to inquire into the character and object of interrogations in general.
Questions are sometimes put directly for the express purpose of having somebody answer them, and with the wish and" expectation that somebody will answer them; as if a traveller should inquire of one whom he meets, “ How many miles are
there to Hartford ?" It is furthermore evident that the wish, desire, or expectation of receiving an answer may vary greatly in degree, producing a correspondent earnestness and urgency in putting a question, and that all this will be intimated by the modulation of the voice. Again, a question is sometimes asked without any wish or intention of having it answered in words, but in thought; yet the intention clearly is that it will be answered thus, and it is put with that design. A man is addressing an audience, all of whom are silent listeners; he for the time is the only speaker; still he puts questions to them which it is just as important that they should individually answer in thought or in mind, as in other cases it would be that a person should do it in words. The manner of such questions will require the same modifications evidently as were suited to the case first supposed. Brutus is represented as saying, in his speech to the Romans on the death of Cæsar, “ Who is here so rude that he would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him have I offended.” Brutus could not have intended that any one should speak out in words to answer his question, even though he says “ Speak, for him have I offended.” It was enough if his hearers replied mentally. When he proceeds and inquires, “ Who is here so vile that he will not love his country ?-If any, speak, for him have I offended,” and then adds “I pause for a reply,” he still is not supposed to expect an audible answer. But allowing that an audible answer had been expected, there would have been, in either case, the same tones, the same modulation of voice.
To give force and emphasis to what he says, a speaker sometimes puts a question, and answers it himself. In this case,
he expects, of course, that his question will be answered. It is what he intends, and what he had in view. His manner of speaking, therefore, must and will imply such an expectation, as in the former cases, and may admit of different degrees of earnestness.
But questions are by no means always put for the purpose of being answered, either in words or silently, directly or indirectly. Especially is this true as we meet with them in books, and in set, oral speeches. Much the greater part of them are introduced for other purposes; yet they have the form and construction of interrogations, and might be answered were there occasion. If the mere form and structure of sentences denote that they are interrogative, there should surely be something in the management of the living voice to indicate the same. This, indeed, the latter is capable of doing by itself alone, and often does independently of any collocation of words.
An example of the kind may be seen in the quotation from the dialogue between Hamlet and Horatio, page 33.
Among questions of the latter class are those which are asked for the purpose of strongly affirming some truth which the speaker himself takes care not to assert, but virtually compels the hearer to do it by intimating the answer which must be given, if one be given at all. It is an implied challenge to the hearer to give an answer which would not establish the point at which the question aims; or, in other words, the answer which must be given compels him to perceive and admit the truth which the propounder of the question meant to establish. Sometimes this mode of questioning amounts only to an indirect way of calling some truth to mind. Sometimes it barely intimates what he who uses it does not choose roundly to assert. “Canst thou by searching find out God? or canst thou know the Almighty unto perfection?” is equivalent to affirming with emphasis that one cannot so find out God, nor know him to perfection. The point, too, is so clear, that the putter of the question does not care to wait for an answer.
The thirtyseventh chapter of the Book of Job, and the four which follow it, contain a multitude of questions which he is challenged to answer in any way which will not exalt the
and majesty of God and abase himself; yet in all of them silence is imposed on Job to whom they are addressed, and any answer to them would have been impertinent. “ Are you Christians ? and by upholding duellists will you deluge the land with blood, and fill it with widows and orphans ? Here the speaker reminds his hearers that they were Christians, or ought to be, and, if they were, that they ought not, as they themselves must acknowledge, to be instrumental in deluging the land with blood, and filling it with widows and orphans.
Questioning is much used in argumentation, and when so employed it may be exhibited in all the ways which have been pointed out. Expostulation is a kind of address which employs questions to a great extent, and with much effect. Entreaty also very frequently admits them. In both, however, it is not commonly expected that a reply will be made in return. “Turn ye, turn ye, from
ways, for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” may be taken as a specimen of either, according as the passage may be associated with different considerations. “Now, therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide, instead of the lad, a bondman to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brethren; for how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest, peradventure, I see the evil that shall come on my father.”