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ELOCution, as an art, is imitative; it copies, it mimics—as it were—the inflections, tones and variations of the voice in ordinary unrestrained speech. As a science, its rules—which are drawn from observation of these natural tones, inflections and variations-teach us to invest the language of others, or our own pre-meditated and pre-written effusions, with the same variations of voice, inflection and tone, as we should use, were they the spontaneous and extempore outpourings of our immediate thoughts and feelings. And, as in rhetoric we acquire a good habit or style of composition, by a study and analysis of the styles and compositions of others ;—so, in Elocution, we acquire an easy habit or style of delivery, by exercising ourselves in giving voice and expression to the language and sentiments of others ;-till, from practice, what we have done continually by rule and art, in set and studied speech, we execute at last easily and naturally, in spontaneous and original effusions. After mere distinctness of articulation, and correctness of pronunciation, this is the first object of Elocution,—to read and speak easily and naturally.
And this we acquire by the following
1. PAUSE.-2. INFLECTION.-3. EMPHASIS.
The grammatical pauses which are addressed to the eye of the reader are insufficient for the speaker; who addresses himself to the understanding “through the porches of the ear." He requires more frequent stopping-places, at more equal intervals, and of better regulated proportionate duration ; both for his own ease and relief, to enable him to acquire fresh impetus on his journey; and for the convenience of those who follow his steps, that they may be able with facility to keep in his track.
We have, therefore, rhetorical pauses, which are independent of, (though consistent with, and assistant to,) the grammatical pauses. It is essential that the doctrine of rhetorical pause should be distinctly understood; as it not only marks the proper division of thought, and the condition and relation of one part of the sense to another, but its practice is indispensable to the perfect effect of the orator : without it, he must totter and stumble through every long and intricate sentence with pain to himself and his auditory : with its aid, his movements become regular, certain, and easy.
To prove this, let the student read aloud the two following sentences according to the grammatical pauses marked in the punctuation.
1. Nothing is more prejudicial to the great interests of a nation than unsettled and varying policy.
Observe that in this sentence there is no grammat
2. The people of the United States have justly supposed that the policy of protecting their industry against foreign legislation and foreign industry was fully settled, not by a single act, but by repeated and deliberate acts of government, performed at distant and frequent intervals.
If in the reading of this sentence, we adopt the grammatical pauses only, our delivery (especially of the opening part of the sentence up to the first comma) will be embarrassed, uncertain, and indistinct. We shall presently see how easy it will become by the introduction of the rhetorical pauses, in addition to, and in aid of the common ones. I adopt four rhetorical
viz. 1. The short Pause, thus marked, equal, in duration of time, to the Quaver-Rest in music.
2. The middle Pause, %, double the time of the short pause. 3. The Rest, -, or full pause, double the middle
and equal to the Minim Rest in music.
4. The long Pause, I, double that of the rest, and equal to the Bar Rest in music.
Of all these, the first, or short pause, is of the
greatest importance, on account of its continual use, and its great assistance and relief to the orator,being rather in the nature of a suspension of the breath, than an absolute pause.
RULES FOR PAUSE.
1. SHORT PAUSE.
The short Pause, or quaver-rest“, is used generally
1. T'he nominative phrase ; that is, several words
composing one phrase, and standing as the
nominative to some verb. After 2. The objective phrase, in an inverted sentence.
3. The emphatic word of force; and the subject
of a sentence.
6. Prepositions (except when part of one phrase.) Before
7. Relative Pronouns.
1. The passions of mankind frequently blind them.
It is prudent in every man" to make early provision 6. / against the wants of age and the chances of accident. 7. Nations like meno fail in nothing which they boldly 8. attempto when sustained" by virtuous purpose and firm 9. resolution. 10. A people once enslaved may groan ages in bondage.
Nore.—Never pause between the verb and its objective case, in a direct sentence, unless other words intervene; except for the sake of emphasis.
2. MIDDLE PAUSE, (crotchet-rest.)
Frequently occurs in the middle of the sentence, which it serves to divide, by separating the opening, or what may be called the incomplete or hypothetical part, from the closing or winding up of the sentence, - where the sense is perfected.
If the world is not the work of chance
it must have had an intelligent Maker. Although you see not many possessed of a good taste
yet the generality of mankind are capable of it. Nations, like men, fail in nothing which they boldly undertake,
when sustained by virtuous purpose and firm resolution.
The middle pause (therefore) precedes and marks the commencement of the climax of the sense of a sentence.
And now, applying all the preceding rules for