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11. Poetic Lines.
It trod the hall of revelry, | where thronged !!
Now, o'er the mount || the radiant legions hung,
To guard the shores || its beauty graced;
See towers of strength || and domes of taste.
INFLECTION denotes the slides of the voice from its general level in pronouncing a sentence.
The upward slide is called the rising inflection; and the downward slide, the falling inflection.
The inflection, whether rising or falling, begins at the accented syllable of the emphatic word. Its extent depends upon the intensity of the prompting emotion, and upon the length of the clause or sentence to which it belongs. The longer the expression, the more marked will generally be the height of the rising, or the depth of the falling inflection.
The circumflex or wave is the union of both slides upon the same syllable or word, producing a sort of undulation or wave of the voice; and this, when it begins with the falling and ends with the rising slide, is called the rising circumflex; and when it begins with the rising and ends with the falling slide, it is called the falling circumflex.
When the tone of the voice neither rises nor falls, but is kept with a comparative sameness of sound on a succession of words, it is called the monotone.
What is meant by inflection? What is the upward slide called? What the downward slide? Where does the inflection commence? Upon what does its extent depend? What is the circumflex? What is the monotone ?
*In the last two lines, a division of the cæsura, commonly called the demicæsura, is denoted. The more perfect melody of verse sometimes requires this.
In consequence of faulty early instruction, many persons uniformly apply the rising inflection, or "keep the voice up," at every comma and semicolon, and the falling inflection, or “let the voice fall," at every period. This mechanical sameness of inflection is a very great error. The kind of inflection at any pause, whether at the close of a sentence, or elsewhere, should be ever strictly in accordance with the general nature of the discourse, and the peculiar construction or significance of the clause or sentence.
Sometimes the circumflex is improperly substituted for the rising or falling inflection. This error is particularly apt to occur in pronouncing sentences containing antithetic and contrasted parts.
A feeble and listless utterance of the monotone is another common fault. It may be avoided by uniting with the comparatively level tone of the monotone, depth and fulness of voice, with its sound increasing somewhat in volume as it proceeds.
RULES FOR INFLECTION.
1. Sentiment expressive of tender and gentle emotions, also that expressive of what is unimportant, inadequate, or trifling, inclines to the rising inflection.
2. A pause denoting that the sense is incomplete* (unless attended with strong emphasis) generally requires the rising inflection.
3. A concession takes the rising inflection.
4. The last inflection but one, for sake of harmony, is usually the rising.
5. Exclamations of wonder, surprise, and indignation, for the most part, take the rising inflection.
6. A question that can be answered by yes or not usually requires the rising inflection.
7. A question that can be answered by yes or no, when attended with strong emphasis, and the reply anticipated, takes the falling inflection.
8. A question that cannot be answered by yes or not usually requires the falling inflection.
9. Questions stated, or repeated because not understood, have their usual inflections reversed.
10. Answers to all questions take the falling inflection, excepting those expressive of indifference, which take the opposite inflection.
What mechanical sameness of inflection is mentioned? How is the circumflex sometimes improperly used? What error in the use of the monotone? What is rule first? Rule second? Rule third? Rule fourth? Rule fifth? Rule sixth? Rule seventh? Rule eighth? Rule ninth? Rule tenth?
*Or pause of suspension.
+ Or the direct question.
11. A clause or sentence making complete sense, independently of what follows, generally ends with the falling inflection. 12. Language of command, remonstrance, denunciation, reproach, and of any vehement emotion, requires the falling inflection.
13. Sentences containing antithetic words or clauses, when the contrast is equally balanced, receive the rising inflection on the first part, and the falling on the last; but when the contrast is unequally balanced, the part having the greater emphasis receives the falling inflection.
14. When negation is opposed to affirmation, the former takes the rising and the latter the falling inflection; the reverse, however, may be required, should the negative part happen to be emphatic.
15. A parenthesis generally ends with the same inflection as that which next precedes.
16. Supposition, irony, sarcasm, scorn, derision, and all peculiarly significant expressions, require the use of the circumflex or wave.
17. Language peculiarly solemn, grave, or sublime, also that expressive of awe, extreme amazement and horror, require the monotone.
1. Tender and Gentle Emotion.
Poor boy! he is very síck, observed the father.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
We spoke not a word of sorrow;
But steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
2. Inadequate or Trifling Matter.
A mere apology, uttered apparently in the spirit of indifference, can hardly satisfy his injured friend.
3. Pause of Suspension.
Beauty, strength, youth, and old áge, lie undistinguished in the same promiscuous heap of matter.
Of the ten thousand battles which have been foúght; of all the fields fertilized with carnage; of the banners which have been bathed in blood; of the warriors who have hoped that
What is rule eleventh? Rule twelfth ? Rule thirteenth? Rule fourteenth? Rule fifteenth? Rule sixteenth? Rule seventeenth?
they had risen from the field of conquest to a glory as bright and as durable as the stárs, few continue long to interest mankind.
Painting, poetry, éloquence, and every other art on which the genius of mankind has exercised itself, may be abúsed, and prove dangerous in the hands of bad mén; but it were ridiculous to conténd, that on this account, they ought to be abòlished.
5. Last Inflection but One.
Be pèrfect, be of good còmfort, be of one mind, live in peace.
There is no national debt; the community is òpulent; the government económical; and the public treasury fùll.
6. Wonder, Surprise, and Indignation.
Há! com'st thou now so late to móck?
Whát! am I braved in my own house?
7. Direct Question and Answer.
Does the gentleman belong in Waterville? Yes.
Could talent content you? Nò! Enterprise? No! Coúrage? No! Reputation? No! Virtue? No!
8. Direct Question attended with Strong Emphasis.
Was not Washington a genuine pàtriot?
Will you deny the certainty of the mathematics?
9. Indirect Question and Answer. you visit Melrose ? Last summer. Where did you find him? At the academy.
10. Questions Stated or Repeated.
The question before the meeting is, - Shall we admit strangers?
What did you àsk? -I asked, was it you?
Did you cáre for it?
Expressive of Indifference.
Have you réad the poems ? I have looked them over.
What is the definition of concession? How does the direct question differ from the indirect? What is meant by a clause ?
12. Clauses making Complete Sense.
The wind and rain are òver; calm is the noon of dày; the clouds are divided in heaven ;* over the green hill flies the inconstant sùn.
13. Command, Remonstrance, Denunciation, and Reproach. Strike for your homes and liberty,
And the Heaven you worship o'er you!
Spare him, as thou wouldst be spared!
Wòe unto thee, wicked city, wòe unto thee!
Thou slàve, thou wrètch, thou còward!
14. Equal Contrast.
The style of Demosthenes is nérvous; that of Cicero, flowing and graceful. The latter kindles the fancy, while the former seizes the understanding.
15. Unequal Contrast.
He is more a cold blooded murderer, than a poor deluded enthusiast.
Such a man is more deserving of pùnishment, than commíseration.
16. Negation and Affirmation.
This is no time for a tribunal of jústice, but for showing mèrcy; not for accusátion, but for philanthropy; not for trial, but for pardon; not for sentence and execútion, but for compassion and kindness.
You were paid to fight against Alexander, and not to ráil at him.
We are surrounded by a multitude of temptations, yet not overwhelmed.t
If there's a power above, (and that there is,
He must delight in virtue.
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the láw,) that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
What is the definition of remonstrance? Of denunciation? Of reproach? Of contrast? Of negation? Of affirmation? What is a parenthesis?
*See Rule Fourth.
+ Inflections reversed by emphasis.