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Here the words in Italic take no visible pause after them, without violence to grammatical relation. But the ear demands a pause after each of these words, which no good reader will fail to observe.
The same principle extends to the length of pauses The comma, when it simply marks grammatical relation, is very short, as “He took with him Peter, and James, and John, his disciples.” But when the comma is used in language of emotion, though it is the same pause to the eye, it may suspend the voice much longer than in the former case; as in the solemn and deliberate call to attention;"Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken." *
This leads me to the chief point, which I had in view under this head, the emphatic pause. It occurs sometimes before, but commonly after a striking thought is uttered, which the speaker thus presents to his hearers, as worthy to command assent, and be fixed in the memory, by a moment of uninterrupted reflection.
There is still another pause, so important in delivery, as to deserve a brief notice; I mean that with which a good speaker or reader marks the close of a paragraph, or division of a discourse. When he has finished one topic, he will enter on a new one, with a more familiar tone of voice, and after such a pause, as prepares the hearers to accompany him with renewed satisfaction.
When the voice has outrun itself, and reached too high
* The rhetorical pause is as appropriate in music as in elocution. In this respect a skilful composer always conforms to sentiment, in a set piece. In metrical psalmody, though this adaptation cannot be made by the writer of the tune, it ought to be made in some good degree, by the performers. Instead of a tame subserviency to arbitrary quantily, they may often, with powerful effect, insert or omit a pause, as sentiment demands. I have scarcely ever felt the influence of music more, than in one or two cases where the stanzas, being highly rhetorical, were divided only by a comma, and the choir spontaneously rushed over the musical pause at the end of the tune, and began it anew, from the impulse of emotion. See example, Watts, Book I. Hymn 3, 6 and 7-8 and 9 stanzas.
a pitch, one of these paragraph-rests affords the best oppor tunity to resume the proper key..
By this I mean those sudden changes of voice which often occur in delivery.
To designate these changes, besides the rhetorical marks already employed to denote inflections, it will be necessary to adopt several new ones; and the following may answer the purpose; signifying that the voice is to be modified, in reading what follows the marks respectively, thus:(° ) high.
(D) rhetorical pause.
(<) increase. In respect to these marks, except the last, I observe that, when one of them occurs, it must be left to the reader's taste to determine how far its influence extends in what follows. In respect to this mark ( - ) it may be used to signify a considerable protraction of sound on that syllable, which precedes it, and then it will be inserted in the course of the line, without brackets; As,
-Heaven and earth will witness,
FALL .. that we are innocent. When the same mark is designed to signify that a passage, is to be uttered with a slow rate, it will be inserted thus (..) where the passage begins,—the extent of its influence being left to the reader's taste; or it may be combined with another mark, thus, (ö) which would signify low and slow, as () would high and quick, or (2) high und plaintive.
(ö) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened.
-Gabriel to his next in power thus spake :
Was moving tow'rd the shère ;-
In the following example, we see Satan lamenting his loss of heaven, and then in the dignity of a fell despair, invoking the infernal world. In reading this, when the apostrophe changes, the voice should drop from the tones of lamentation, which are high and soft, to those which are deep and strong, on the words, “Hail, horrors," &c. () Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
Said then the lost archangel, this the seat,
Farewell, happy fields,
This term I use, in rather a limited sense, to denote the proper influence of reverential and pathetic sentiment on the voice.
There is a modification of voice, which accompanies awakened sensibility of soul, that is more easily felt than described; and this constitutes the unction of delivery. Without this, thoughts that should impress, attract, or soothe the mind, often become repulsive.
The fact cannot have escaped common observation, that sorrow, and its kindred passions, when carried to a high pitch, suspend the voice entirely. In a lower degree, they give it a slender and tremulous utterance. Thus Aaron, when informed that his two sons were smitten dead, by a stroke of divine vengeance, " held his peace.” The emotions of his heart were too deep to find utterance in words. The highest passion of this sort, is expressed by 'silence; and when so far moderated, as to admit of words, it speaks only in abrupt fragments of sentences. Hence it is, that all artificial imitation, in this case, is commonly so unlike the reality. It leads to metaphors, to amplification and embellishment, in language, and to either vociferation or whining in utterance. Whereas the real passion intended to be imitated, if it speaks at all, speaks without ornament, in few words, and in tones that are a perfect contrast to those of declamation. This distinction arises from those laws of the human mind, by which internal emotion is connected with its external signs.
The heart, that is bursting with grief, feels the sympathy that speaks in a silent grasp of the hand, in tears, or in gentle tones of voice : while it is shocked at the cold commiseration that utters itself in many words, firmly and formally pronounced.
Passion has its own appropriate language ; and this, so far as the voice is concerned, is what I mean by expression. That this may be cultivated by the efforts of art, to some extent, is evident from the skill which actors have sometimes attained, in dramatic exhibition; a skill to which one of the fraternity alluded, in his remark to a dignitary of the church, the cutting severity of which consists in the truth it contains ; “We speak of fictions as if they were realities; you speak of realities as if they were fictions."
The fact however, is, that the indescribable power communicated to the voice by a delicate sensibility, especially a Christian sensibility, it is quite beyond the reach of art to imitate.
Sect. 9.-Rhetorical Dialogue.
This takes place when one voice personates two individuals or more.
It seems necessary to dwell a little on this branch of modulation, which has scarcely been noticed by writers on oratory. Every one must have observed how much more interesting is an exhibition of men, as living agents, than of things in the abstract. Now when the orator introduces another man as speaking, he either informs us what that man said, in the third person, or presents him to us as spoken to, in the second person, and as speaking himself, in the first.
A thousand examples are at hand, to show the difference between telling us what was said by another man, and introducing that man to speak to us himself. " Jesus told Peter that he should deny him thrice,” is narrative.
“ Jesus said, Peter, thou shalt deny me thrice,” is representation. The difference between these two modes of communication it is the province of taste to feel, but of criticism to explain. Let us then analyze a simple thought, as expressed in these two forms; “ Jesus inquired of Simon, the son of Jonas, whether he loved him.” “Jesus said, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" The difference in point of vivacity is in? stantly perceived, but in what does this difference consistIn two things. The first manner throws verbs into past time, and pronouns into the third person, producing, in the latter especially, an indefiniteness of grammatical relation, which is unfriendly to the clearness and vivacity of language. At the same time, the energy arising from the vocative case, from the figure of tense, and of interrogation, is sacrificed. As a principle of composition, though commonly overlooked, this goes far to explain the difference between the tame and the vivid in style.
But the same difference is still more striking, when analyzed by the principles of delivery. Transform an animated question into a mere statement of th : fact, that such a question was asked, and all the intonations of voice are changed, so that you do not seem to hear a real person speaking, but are only told that he did speak. This change in expression of voice will be apparent in repeating the two forms of the example last quoted.