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EXERCISES ON DETERMINATE INFLEXIONS.
179. ROLE I.–Whenever the sense of a sentence, or clause of a sentence, is incomplete, dependent or suspended, a rising inflexion must be used.*
As no man is alike unfit for ev'ery employment, so, there is not any man unfit for all.
Not an eminent orator has lived",t who is not an example of the power of industry.
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.
A man never detects a pleasing error, till reflection operates.
Adver'sity is the parent of piety.
Music is certainly a very agreeable entertainment; but it must not take the entire possession of our ears. I
Painting, poetry, eloquence, and every other art, may be abused", and may prove dangerous in the hands of bad" men; but it were ridiculous to contend that, upon this account, they ought to be abolished.
Gratian recommends fine taste", as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man.
180. A series of members forming imperfect sense should be read with a progressively increasing rising inflexion. The determinate inflexion of the penultimate member may be superseded by a modulative falling inflexion, to prepare for the agreeable termination of the series.
To advise the ig'norant, relieve the nee'dy, and comfort the afflicted, are duties that fall in our way every day of our lives.
The verdant lawn", the shady grove". the variegated land"scape, the boundless o'cean, and the starry firmament, are contemplated with pleasure by every beholder.
* Any sentence may be made appellative by a predominant rising inflexion. All sentences, therefore, which convey appeal, should be read with the suspended inflexion.
+ The grammatical sense of the first part is modified by the second, and therefore requires the rising inflexion.
I A statement to which a condition is appended is incomplete until the condition is stated; and it therefore should be terminated with the suspensive inflexion.
Human"ity, jus"tice, generos'ity, and public spir'"it, are the qualities that chiefly recommend man to man.
When the gay and smiling aspect of things has begun to leave the passages to a man's heart unguard"ed; when kind and caressing looks of every object without that can flatter his senses, have conspired with the enemy within, to betray him and put him off his defence"; when Music likewise hath lent her aid, and tried her power upon the passions; when the voice of singing men, and the voice of singing women, with the sound of the viol and the lute, have broken in upon his soul, and, in some tender notes, have touched the secret springs of rap''ture,—that moment, if we dissect and look into his heart, we shall see how vain, how weak, how empty a thing it is.
The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown"d; The cork-trees hoar, that clothe the shaggy steep";
The mountain-moss, by scorching skies imbrown'"d;
The tender azure of the unruffled deep";
The torrents, that from cliff to valley leap";
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow. 181. In sentences composed of several clauses conveying imperfect sense, and independent of each other's meaning, although dependent in construction, the distinctness of each portion is frequently best preserved by a falling inflexion; provided that there is no climax, or regular rhetorical gradation, either in the thought or the expression.
It was before De'ity, embodied in a hu'man form, walking among men", partaking of their infirmities, leaning on their bo'soms, weeping over their graves'', slumbering in the man"ger, bleeding on the cross", that the prejudices of the syn'agogue, and the doubts of the acad"emy, and the pride of the portico, and the fasces of the lic'tor, and the swords of thirty le"gions, were humbled in the dust.
To acquire a thorough knowledge of our own hearts and char'acters; to restrain every irregular inclina'tion; to subdue every rebellious pas'sion; to purify the motives of our con'duct; to form ourselves to that tem"perance, which no pleasure can seduce"; to that meek''ness, which no provocation can ruffle; to that pa'tience, which no affliction can overwhelm"; and to that integrity, which no interest can shake": this is the task which is assigned to usa task, which cannot be performed without the utmost diligence and care.
The distribution of oceans, seas and riv'ers; the variety of
fields, meadows, and groves"; the luxuriance of fruits, herbs, and flow''ers; the return of spring, summer, autumn, and win'ter; the pleasant vicissitudes of day and night”; all have a voice, which, by telling man that he is constantly receiving favours, reminds him that he should be equally ready to bestow them.
I conjure you,-
To what I ask you. To play with important truths", to disturb the repose of established ten'ets, to subtilize objections, and to elude proofs”, are too often the sport of youthful vanity; of which maturer age commonly repents.
182. When any word is introduced that causes an oblique or a referential meaning to be conveyed, such word must be pronounced with emphatic force, and with a circumflexed inflexion.-Sec. 174. If the oblique word is absolute in its signification, the falling circumflex should be employed ; if negative or relative, the rising.
When people are determined to quarrel, a straw will furnish the occasion.
The labour of years is often insufficient for a complete reformation.
A man of a polite imagination can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue.
The bounties of Providence are so manifold, that a grateful heart is overpowered when it calls them to remembrance.
We shudder at the very thought of dissolution.
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of order, sins against the Eternal Cause.
183. RULE II. Whenever the sense of a sentence, or clause of a sentence, is complete or independent, a Falling Inflexion should be used.--Sections 146, 154.
The gradations of art are always laborious: no man can attain excellence at once'.
Behold the emblem of thy state,
In flowers—which bloom and die! It is of the utmost importance to season the passions of a child with devotion,* which seldom dies in a mind that has received an ear'ly tincture of it.
If we hope for what we are not likely to possess, we act and think in vain"; and make life a greater dream and shadow than it really is'.
Man is seldom willing to let fall the opinion of his own dignity: he is better content to want diligence than pow'er; he sooner confesses the depravity of his will, than the imbecility of his na'ture.
184. A series of members forming perfect sense should be read with a Falling Inflexion, progressively increasing in height and loudness of tone.—Sections 146, 154. A modulative Rising Inflexion may be introduced on the penultimate member.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind"; charity en"vieth not; charity vaunteth not itself“, is not puffed up', doth not behave itself unseem'ly, seeketh not her own", is not easily provoked", think"eth no e'vil; rejoiceth not in iniq'uity, but rejoiceth in the truth"; bear'eth all things, believ'eth all things, ho'peth all things, endur''eth all things'.
The chief security against the fruitless anguish of impatience must arise from frequent reflection on the wisdom, and goodness of the God of Nature, in whose hands are riches and po"verty, honour and disgrace", pleasure and pain", and life' and death'.
Complaisance renders a superior a'miable, an equal agree"able, and an inferior accep'table.
The society of a discreet and virtuous friend eases and unloads the mind", clears and improves the understand"ing, engenders thoughts and knowl'edge, animates virtue and good resolu'tions, and finds employment for the vacant hours of life'.
Life is constantly ravaged by inva"ders: one steals away
* When the relative pronoun limits its antecedent, a Rising Inflexion is required to note the incompletion of the rhetorical sentence; but, in all sentences where it merely echoes it, (as in the above,) it leaves the sense unchanged, and conforms to the rule.
an hour, another a day"; one conceals the robbery by hurrying us into business, another by lulling us with amusement: the depredation is continued through a thousand vicissitudes of tumult and tranquillity, till, having lost all, we can lose po more'.
Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
185. Frequently the members of a series admit of classification; and then the idea of the separate distinctness of the parts may be best preserved by a Falling Inflexion at the termination of each group, except the last, which, in imperfect sense, requires a Rising Inflexion.
For I am persuaded that neither death', nor life", -nor an'gels, nor principal'ities, nor pow''ers,—nor things pres'ent, nor things to come",—nor height', nor depth', nor any other crea"ture, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.
Neither blind'ness, nor gout', nor age', nor pen"ury,-nor domestic afflictions, nor political disappointments,-nor abuse', nor proscription, nor neglect",—had power to disturb the serene and majestic patience of Milton.
186. In Climax there is a regular rhetorical gradation of meaning, which must be pronounced with a correspondent increase or swell of the voice. The Inflexions are the same as in sentences of a similar grammatical construction.
Consult your whole nature: consider yourselves not only as sen"sitive, but as ra'tional be'ings; not only as ra'tional, but social; not only as social, but immor!''tal.
From law', arises secu“rity; from secu"rity, inqui"ry; from inqui"ry, knowl'edge; and from knowl'edge, pow''er.
He causes the ban"ner to be erected, the charge" to be soun'ded, the soldiers at a distance recalled". He runs from place to place", his whole frame is in ac'tion; his words', his looks', his mo'tion, his gestures, exhort his men to remember their for'mer valour. He draws them up, and causes the sig'nal to be given. Two of his legions are entirely surroup"ded: he seizes a buckler from one of his private men"; puts himself at the head of his broken troops'; darts into the thick of the battle; rescues his le"gions, and overthrows" the en'emy!