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The manner of deep grief, pervades the twentyeighth line; and the change of voice is to low and slow, yet forcible expression. The same general style characterizes the next three lines.
In the thirty-second line, the language commences a strain of poetic and beautiful description, associated with circumstances of pathos. Force is repressed in the tone; the voice rises to the middle pitch; and the rate of utterance is still slow. This style continues till the close of the thirty-seventh line.
Joy, mingling with pathos, is the succeeding class of emotions. The tone increases in force, and takes a livelier and quicker utterance. In the thirty-ninth and fortieth lines, however, the tone of tenderness predominates ;-diminishing the vivacity, and consequently reducing the force, but raising the note, and rendering the movement more slow. Through the next three lines, the same tones prevail, but marked still more strikingly by the characteristics of tenderness, on the one hand, and joy on the other.
The forty-fourth line commences with a sudden and abrupt change to the tone of terror,--producing the deepest notes, and the rnost forcible and rapid utterance combined. The tone of horror succeeds in the next line, which is comparatively slow, but deep and energetic. The tone of amazement follows, which runs on higher notes, and a quicker rate, and rather less forcible utterance. The high and hurried tone of agitation and confusion, pervades the forty-seventh line. The tone becomes somewhat slower in the next line, and falls a few notes; as the previous agitation is displaced, for a moment, by the tone of sublimity and awe, arising from the contemplation of the pending catastrophe, as connected with the number of victims.
In the forty-ninth line, the tone changes to that of deep grief in strong expression: the utterance is on middle notes, but loud and slow. In the next line, the tone of amazement and confusion, is introduced. The utterance assumes a quicker rate, a more abrupt force, and a lower note. The tone of utter horror succeeds, in the next line; and the voice falls to its lowest notes, but acquires the utmost force with a rate much slower. The language of the piece returns, in the fiftysecond line, to the style of calm description, but blended with the tone of awe, from the nature of the circumstances that have preceded. The voice rises to the middle pitch nearly; the degree of force is slight; and the rate of utterance is very slow. The same general tone pervades the three succeeding lines; becoming somewhat slower, lower, and more forcible, as the description advances to circumstances of awe. ** The slow and distinct manner of solemnity, prevails in the fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh lines.
The mood of gloom and melancholy commences in the fifty-eighth line, and runs through the fifty-ninth, but moderated by the tone of beautiful description. The voice sinks to a low and slow strain, but sustained by a moderate force.
In the sixtieth line, the preceding tone becomes very deep, and peculiarly slow; the force diminishing as the emotions of gloom and melancholy are deepened by those of awe and grief ; the poetic beauty of description, however, still softening, to some extent, the whole character of the tone, and preventing any approach to harshness or abruptness.*
To cultivate rightly the powers of expression in young learners, exercises in the above manner of explanatory analysis, should be practised, with the aid of the teacher, on every piece which is read as a lesson on tones. Nor will this prove a difficult task to pupils of the age supposed to have been attained by those who make use of this volume, if the exercise is never attempted on pieces not adapted to the taste and feelings of youth. Generally, however, it would be advisable that the teacher should allow his pupils the benefit of full illustration, by his performing this exercise frequently, in the way of example, before it is made a regular lesson for classes or individuals,
* The limits prescribed to an elementary book, render it impossible to extend the analysis to further examples. The specimen, however, which has been given, may perhaps be sufficient to suge gest the kind of exercise intended.
The great object of such practice is to draw the atten. tion of learners to the various states of mind, or moods of feeling, which produce modulation and other changes of tone; that these mental circumstances may, on any occasion, be readily and distinctly recognised; and that their appropriate tones may be inseparably associated with them. Reading may thus be made a matter of understanding and true feeling, instead of being, as it now too generally is, a matter of mere mechanical routine; and elocution may become what it should be an intellectual accomplishment, and not an artificial acquirement.
CADENCE. General Observations. The completion of a thought is expressed, not only by the long pause which takes place at the end of a sentence, but, usually, by a falling of the voice, on the closing words, to a lower pitch than that which prevailed in the body of the sentence. This closing descent in the tone, is termed cadence. Its use is to prevent the abruptness and irregularity of sound which would be produced by continuing the prevailing pitch to the close of the sentence,-a tone which would have the effect of exciting expectation of farther expression, and would therefore be at variance both with harmony and sense.
The cadence, when appropriately used, produces to the ear the effect of the full formation or completion of sentiment. It is among the chief sources of harmony and variety in speech, and forms a true and chaste ornament in reading. The absence of it, in circumstances where it is required, gives an indefinite and wandering tone to the termination of a sentence; while, on the other hand, a uniform and mechanical use of it, gives to reading that unmeaning, formal, and tedious style, which distinguishes its tones from the natural, animated, and varied expression of the voice in conversation.
DEFINITION. Cadence is the closing tone of a sentence.
Note. The etymology of this word has led to a false notion which is very current in regard to reading,—that every sentence has a falling close. Hence the common direction, Let the voice fall at a period. This rule would be a just one for the reading of a single sentence which required the downward slide. It is quite the reverse, however, for a sentence which happens to terminate with the rising inflection; as may be perceived by the following example:
“Lady, you utter madness and not sorrow." Nor will such a rule apply when one sentence is merely introductory to another, or when a negative sentence is followed by an affirmative one. For example: “Your enemies may be formidable by their numbers and their power. But He who is with you is mightier than they.” “True politeness is not a mere compliance with arbitrary cústom. It is the expression of a refined benevolence.”
The word cadence, as used by the ancient rhetoricians, was applied to the close of a period, or sentence embracing a complete sentiment, with all its modifications. But in modern style, a sentence is often completed in the compass of a few words; and the full stop is no security that a whole idea is expressed. The frequency of the period, or full stop, is a matter of taste and custom, and dependent on no uniform rule of thought or of language. Thus, at the time when the Spectator appeared, it was customary to write a succession of single sentences connected by a conjunction, as component parts merely of a long compound sentence, and to point them with a semicolon. * In
* “ The strange and absurd variety that is so apparent in men's actions shows plainly they can never proceed immediately from reason ; so pure a fountain emits no such troubled waters; they must necessarily arise from the passions, which are to the mind as the winds to a ship, they only can move it, and they too often destroy it; if fair and gentle, they guide it into the harbour; if contrary and furious, they overset it in the waves : in the same manner is the mind assisted or endangered by the passions ; reason must then take the place of the pilot, and can never fail of securing her
our own day, the tendency of custom is to use, in such cases, the full stop at each single sentence. But, in all cases, we must seek for a rule less fluctuating than that of fashion or temporary taste, to guide the voice in the expression of sentiment; and this we can find only in the meaning. The appropriate tone of thought and feeling, must be left to decide whether the voice shall fall or rise.
Cadence, then, if we do use the word, should be understood, arbitrarily, to signify the closing tone of a sentence, as expressive of meaning preceding or following.
The unmeaning and mechanical style of reading, which is too generally exemplified at school, and in professional performances, is chiefly characterized by à continually returning fall of voice at the end of every sentence,-so uniform that it might be used as a guide by which to count the exact number of sentences read. A whole paragraph is read as so many detached and independent sentences, forming distinct and unconnected propositions or maxims. Animated, natural, and appropriate reading, on the contrary, avoids this frequent fall, and keeps up that perpetual variety which the changes of sense require. This effect it produces by modifying the close of every sentence, according to its meaning in connexion with the rest. A reader who uses this style, gives every sentence as a dependent part of a connected whole, and thus gives unity and harmony to a train of thought. This effect he attains by disregarding the arbitrary rule for a fall of voice at every period, and seeking his guidance from the sense of what he utters, as he does in his habits of common conversation,-making no. difference whatever in the two cases, but what arises, of necessity, from the more regular form of written sentences.
RULE I. Every complete and independent sentence
charge, if she be not wanting to herself; the strength of the passions will never be accepted as an excuse for complying with them; they were designed for subjection, and if a man suffers them to get the upper hand, he then betrays the liberty of his own soul." Spectator, No. 408.