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Thus with the year,
Surround me Another example may be seen in the beautiful little poem of Cowper, on the receipt of his mother's picture :
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast déad,
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adièu. In both these examples the voice preserves the rising slide, till, in the former we come to the last member, beginning with the disjunctive but,—where it takes the falling slide on cloud and dark. In the latter the slide does not change till the cadence requires it, on the last word, adieu.
11] Rule VI. The rising slide is commonly used at the last pause but one in a sentence. The reason is, that the ear expects the voice to fall when the sense is finished; and therefore it should rise for the sake of variety and harmony, on the pause that precedes the cadence. -Ex.
" The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of businèss, then to make up an estàte, then to arrive at honórs, then to retire." “Our lives, (says Seneca,) are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we oùght to do."
The general principle suggested under Rule V, is to be borne in mind here. In the various classes of examples under the falling inflection, the reader will perceive the prevailing characteristic of decision and force. So instinctively does bold and strong passion express itself by this turn of voice, that, just so far as the falling slide becomes intensive, it denotes emphatic force. The VIII. IX. and X. rules will illustrate this remark.
12] RULE VII. The indirect question, or that which is not answered by yes or no, has the falling inflection; and its answer has the same.
This sort of question begins with interrogative pronouns and adverbs. Thus Cicero bears down his adversary by the combined force of interrogation and emphatic series.
This is an open, honourable challenge to you. Why are you silent? Why do you prevaricate ? I insist upon this point; I ùrge you to it; prèss it; require it; náy, I demand it of you.
So in his oration for Ligarius;
What, Tubero, did that naked sword of yours mean, in the battle of Pharsalia ? At whose breast was its point aimed? What was the meaning of your arms, your spìrit, your eyes, your hands, your ardour of soul?
In conversation there are a few cases where the indirect question has the rising slide; as when one partially hears some remark, and familiarly asks; What is thát ? Who is that 2
The answer to the indirect question, according to the
general rule, has the falling slide; though at the expense of harmony; as,
Who say the people that I àm? They answering said, John the Bàptist ; but some say, Elias ; and others say that one of the old pròphets is risen again.-- Where is bòasting then? It is excluded.Who first sedùc'd them to that foul revolt? The infernal sèrpent.
The want of distinction in elementary books, between that sort of question which turns the voice upward, and that which turns it downward, must have been felt by every teacher even of children. This distinction is scarcely noticed by the ancients. Augustin, in remarking on the false sense sometimes given to a passage of Scripture by false pronunciation, says, The ancients called that question interrogation, which is answered by yes or no; and that percontation, which admits of other answers.* Quinctilian, however, says the two terms were used in differently.
13] RULE VIII. The language of authority and of surprise, is commonly uttered with the falling inflection. Bold and strong passion so much inclines the voice to this slide, that in most of the cases hereafter to be specified, emphatic force is denoted by it.
1. The imperative mood, as used to express the commands of a superior, denotes that energy of thought which usually requires the falling slide. Thus Milton supposes Gabriel to speak, at the head of his radiant files :
* He gires an example from Paul, with the pronunciation which he proposes :~" post percontationem, Quis accusabit adversus elec-. tos Dei ? illud quod sequitur sono interrogantis enuntietur, Deus qui justificat ? ut tacitè respondeatur, Non. Et item percontemur, Quis est qui condemnat ? rursus interrogemus, Christus Jesus, qui mortuus est ? etc. ut ubique tacitè respondeatur, Non.”
De Doctrina Christiana, Lib. III. Cap. 3.
Uzziel ! half these draw off and coast the south,
Such where ye find, seize fàst, and hither bring.
Thus in the battle of Rokeby, young Redmond addressed his soldiers ;
Up, comrades ! ùp !-in Rokeby's halls
Ne'er be it said our courage falls.
No language surpasses the English, in the spirit and vivacity of its imperative mode, and vocative case. These often are found together in the same address; and when combined with emphasis, separately or united, they have the falling slide, and great strength.
2. Denunciation and reprehension, on the same principle, commonly require the falling inflection ; as,
Wo unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues. Wò unto you, làwyers ! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge. But God said unto him, thou fòol !-this nigbt thy soul shall be required of thee. But Jesus said, Why tèmpt ye me, ye hypocrites! Paul said to Elymas, O full of all subtlety, and all mischief! Thou child of the Devil, -thou enemy of all righteousness!
In the beginning of Shakspeare's Julius Cæsar, Marullus, a patriotic Roman, finding in the streets some peasants, who were keeping holiday, for Cæsar's triumph over the liberties of his country, accosted thein in this indignant strain;
Hènce ! hòme, you idle creatures, get you hòme.
This would be tame indeed, should we place the unemphatic, rising slide on these terms of reproach, thus :
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things !
The strong reprehension of our Saviour, addressed to the tempter, would lose much of its meaning, if uttered with the gentle, rising slide, thus; Get thee behind me, Sátan. But it becomes very significant, with the emphatic downward inflection ; Get thee behind me,- Sàtạn.
3. Exclamation, when it does not express tender emotion, nor ask a question, inclines to adopt the falling slide.
Terror expresses itself in this way. Thus the appearance of the ghost in Hamlet produces the exclama
'Angels! and ministers of grace,-defend 'us.* Exclamation, denoting surprise, or reverence, or distress, or a combination of these different emotions, generally adopts the falling slide, modified indeed by the degree of emotion. For this reason I
For this reason I suppose that Mary, weeping at the sepulchre, when she perceived that the person whom she had mistaken for the gardener, was the risen Saviour himself, exclaimed with the tone of reverence and surprise,-Rabbòni! And the same inflection probably was used by the leprous men when they cried Jèsus, Màster! have mercy on us ; instead of the collo
* The city watch is startled, not so much by the words of distress that echo through the stillness of midnight, as by the tones that denote the reality of that distress ; "help!--murder !--help!" The man whose own house is in flames, cries, “fìre !--fìre !” it is only from the truant boy in the streets that we hear the careless exclamation, “ fíre, fire."