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tence, as, for example, in the last of the following quota tions: "Shakespeare, V ought not to have made Othello black."
says Rhymer, “ It was v legitimate political warfare.”
as the world goes
however strong they may be “Monopolies and corporations 1 cannot enslave such a people."
It often happens that the principal idea or clause is interrupted by a modifying subordinate phrase. In such cases the relation of the parts of the broken phrase may be made clear by speaking them with the same inflections and changes of pitch as would obtain were there no interruption of the thought. To illustrate: Read the following sentence, omitting the phrase "in his saint-like beauty, and note the inflections used in speaking " fell” and “asleep.” Then read the line entire, preserving the same inflections as in the former reading. Observe that “ He” did not • fall,' but that “ He fell asleep.”
He fell, in his saint-like beauty,
Alice Cary : Pictures of Memory. Here are some other illustrations :
Well, we, in our poetical application of this, say, that money does n't mean money.
Ruskin: Use and Abuse of Wealth.
Tennyson : Lancelot and Elaine.
Cromwell was evidently laying, though in an irregular manner, the foundation of an admirable system.
That art itself is nature, Shakespeare, who
14. Contrast and Comparison When two or more ideas are compared or contrasted, the inflections and changes of pitch are determined by the principle governing completeness or incompleteness of thought. (See section 12, pages 55-56.) Antithetic phrases may be roughly divided into two classes, namely:-
1. Those in which any member of the antithesis is conditional and dependent upon another for completeness and clearness of meaning. In these the trend of the voice is naturally upward.
If you ride, I must walk.
2. Those in which any member of the antithesis is complete in itself, or is of sufficient importance to justify the falling inflection.
It is a matter of measures, not men.
Antithetic ideas are often centered in one word. In such instances a little scrutiny will show that the word implies two ideas which may be expanded into antithetic phrases. For example, the statement “He did it somehow," may be stated in full thus: “He did the thing; but does he know how he did it?" If the latter sentence is read with due emphasis on the thought of both its parts, it will be observed that the voice has a tendency downward on the first phrase and upward on the last. So, also, the complex thought carried in “ somehow" is expressed vocally by the falling and rising inflection in speaking the word, thus:
The turn of the voice, or circumflex inflection, by which antithetic ideas are expressed, indicates a turn in the thought. It is especially marked in equivocal speech, or when the mind wavers between two opinions.1
Rules have been given for the management of the voice in rendering antitheses, but, here again, the secret of natural speech is found, not in rules, but in thinking. When the mind is uncertain, the voice will make it evident; when thought is definite and certain, speech will also be certain. “I know” implies no doubt.
1 Circumflexes are common in everyday life, but usually indicate abnormal mental attitudes, lack of dignity in character, or are merely colloquial without earnestness. Inflection should be as straight and direct as possible. Crooked inflections imply undignified conditions, lack of sincerity, playful, sarcastic, or negative attitudes of mind towards truth or towards persons. They are sometimes necessary, but should be rare in dignified discourse. (S. S. Curry: Foundations of Expression, p. 56.)
15. Monotony The most common fault in reading aloud and formas speaking is monotony. Thoughtlessness and monotony go together. The most effective remedy for the fault is clear thinking. Take, for example, the first line from Julius Cæsar, spoken by an officer, Flavius, to a group of citizens gathered in a street in Rome. The reader, whose mind and imagination are active, will be apt to speak the line somewhat as follows:
Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home. But the thoughtless reader, indifferent to situation, citizens, officer, and what he says, will utter the words in a monotone, thus : Hence - home - y
get — you — home. Likely the “idle creatures” would not be moved by this sort of talk, though no doubt the active listener would be quite willing to betake himself hence without more urging. Such a habit of reading will not be improved much by working primarily on the manner of speaking the sentence. When the meaning of the words is understood and when they are spoken with the purpose of conveying their meaning to others, utterance will be like that of living speech.
PROBLEMS IN PITCH VARIATION 1. Emphasis by change of pitch and inflection 1. God give thee the spirit of persuasion and him the ears
of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed.
Shakespeare: Henry IV, 1, ii. 2. The right honorable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests and to his imagination for his facts.
What in me is dark
Milton: Paradise Lost, I.
Words pass away but actions remain.
'Tis not what man Does which exalts him,
Browning : Saul.
6. Thurio. How likes she
discourse? Proteus. Ill, when you speak of war. Thurio. But well, when I discourse of love and peace ?
Julia (aside). But better, indeed, when you hold your peace. Thurio. What
Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, v, ii.
7. Talking is like playing on the harp; there is as much in
laying the hand on the strings to stop a vibration as in twanging them to bring out the music.
Holmes : Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs xxv, 11.
Polonius. How does my good Lord Hamlet ?
you know me, my lord ?
Hamlet. Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. Polonius. That's very true, my
lord. Shakespeare: Hamlet, 11, ii.