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Emphasis always implies antithesis: when this antithesis is agreeable to the sense of the author, the emphasis is proper; but where there is no antithesis in the thought, there ought to be none on the words; because, whenever an emphasis is placed upon an improper word, it will suggest an antithesis, which either does not exist, or is not agreeable to the sense and intention of the writer.
The best method to find the emphasis in these sentences, is to take the word we suppose to be emphatical, and try if it will admit of these words being supplied which an emphasis on it would suggest: if, when these words are supplied, we find them not only agreeable to the meaning of the writer, but an improvement of his meaning, we may pronounce the word emphatical; but if these words we supply are not agreeable to the meaning of the words expressed, or else give them an affected and fanciful meaning, we ought by no means to lay the emphasis upon them.
3. A man of a polite imagination is led into a great many pleasures that the vulgar are not capable of receiving; he can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a
In this sentence an emphasis on the word picture is not only an advantage to the thought, but is in some measure necessary to it: for it hints to the mind, that a polite imagination does not only find pleasure in conversing with those objects which give pleasure to all, but with those which give pleasure to such only as can converse with them.
All emphasis has an antithesis either expressed or understood: if the emphasis excludes the antithesis, the emphatic word has the falling inflection; if the emphasis does not exclude the antithesis, the emphatic word has the rising inflection. The distinction between the two emphatic inflections is this: The falling inflection affirms something in the emphasis, and denies, what is opposed to it in the antithesis, while the emphasis with the rising inflection affirms something in the emphasis without denying what is opposed to it in the antithesis: the former, therefore, from its affirming and denying absolutely, may be called the strong emphasis; and the latter, from its affirming only, and not denying, may be called the weak emphasis. We have an instance of the strong emphasis and falling inflection on the words despite and fear, in the following sentence, where Richard the Third rejects the proposal of the Duke of Norfolk to pardon the rebels.
4. Why that, indeed, was our sixth Harry's way,
The paraphrase of these words, when thus emphatical, would be, I'll be, not in men's favour, but in their despite, a monarch-and let not me who am fearless, but kings that fear, forgive. The weak emphasis,
with the rising inflection, takes place on the word man in the following example from the FAIR PENITENT, where Horatio, taxing Lothario with forgery, says,
5. "Twas base and poor, unworthy of a man',
If this emphasis were paraphrased, it would run thus: 'Twas base and poor, unworthy of a man, though not unworthy of a brute.
The first of the following examples is an instance of the single emphasis implied; the second, of the single emphasis expressed; the third, of the double emphasis; and the fourth, of the treble emphasis.
1. Exercise and temperance strengthen even an indifferent' constitution.
2. You were paid to fight against Alexander, and not to rail' at him.
3. The pleasures of the imagination are not so gross as those of sense', nor so refined' as those of the understanding'. 4. He raised a mortal to the skies', She' drew an angel' down'.
RULE.-When a sentence is composed of a positive and negative part, the positive must have the falling, and the negative the rising inflection.
1. We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 2. None more impatiently suffer' injuries, than they who are most forward in doing' them.
3. You were paid to fight against Alexander, and not to rail' at him.
4. Hunting (and men', not beasts'), shall be his game.
In these examples of emphasis the emphatic word alone is printed in italics; the marks above them denote the inflections.
+ When two emphatic words in antithesis with each other are either expressed or implied, the emphasis is said to be single.
To this rule, however, there are some exceptions, not only in poetry, but also in prose.
5. Cæsar, who would not wait the conclusion of the consul's speech, generously replied, that he came into Italy not to injure the liberties of Rome and its citizens, but to restore them.
6. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours' only, but also for the sins of the whole world'.
7. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God! therefore the world knoweth us' not, because it knew him` not.
8. It is not the business of virtue to extirpate' the affections of the mind, but to regulate them:
9. It may moderate and restrain', but was not designed to banish' gladness from the heart of man.
10. Those governments which curb' not evils, cause'! And a rich knave's a libel on our laws.
11. For if you pronounce, that, as my public conduct hath not been right, Ctesiphon must stand condemned, it must be thought that yourselves' have acted wrong, not that you owe your present state to the caprice of fortune. But it cannot be. No, my countrymen! it cannot be you have acted wrong, in encountering danger bravely, for the liberty and safety of Greece'. No! by those generous souls of ancient times, who were exposed at Marathon! by those who stood arrayed at Plataa! by those who encountered the Persian fleet at Salamis'! who fought at Artemisium! By all those illustrious sons of Athens, whose remains lie deposited in the public monuments'! All of whom received the same honourable interment from their country: Not those only who prevailed', not those only who were victorious'. And with reason. What was the part of gallant men they all performed; their success was such as the Supreme Director of the world dispensed to each.
Note. When two objects are compared, the comparative word has the strong emphasis and falling inflection, and the word compared has the weak emphasis and rising inflection.*
It is a custom
More honoured in the breach' than the observance'.
2. I would die' sooner than mention it.
This is the case when it is the intention of the speaker to declare with emphasis, the priority or preferableness of one thing to another,
RULE.-The falling inflection takes place on the first emphatic word, the rising on the second and third, and the falling on the fourth.+
1. To err' is human'; to forgive' divine.
2. Custom is the plague' of wise' men, and the idol' of fools'. 3. The prodigal' robs his heir', the miser' robs himself“. 4. We' are weak', and ye are strong'.
5. Without' were fightings', within' were fears'.
6. Business' sweetens pleasure', as labour' sweetens rest`. 7. Prosperity gains' friends, and adversity' tries' them. 8. The wise man considers what he wants', and the fool' what he abounds' in.
9. One' sun by day'—by night' ten thousand' shine.
10. Justice appropriates honours' to virtue', and rewards' to merit.
11. Justice' seems most agreeable to the nature of God', and mercy' to that of man'.
12. It is as great a point of wisdom to hide' ignorance', as to discover' knowledge'.
13. As it is the part of justice' never to do violence', it is of modesty' never to commit offence'.
14. If men of eminence are exposed to censure on one hand, they are as much liable to flattery' on the other`.
15. The wise man is happy when he gains his own' approbation, and the fool' when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him.
16. We make provision for this' life as though it were never to have an end', and for the other life as though it were never to have a beginning`.
17. Alfred seemed born not only to defend his bleeding country', but even to adorn' humanity`:
18. His care was to polish' the country by arts', as he had protected' it by arms'.
* When two words are opposed to each other, and contrasted with two other words, the emphasis on these four words may be called double.
+ The pause after the second emphatic word must be considerably longer than that after the first or third.
19. Yielding to immoral pleasure corrupts' the mind, living to animal and trifling' ones debases' it.
20. Grief is the counter passion of joy. The one' arises from agreeable, and the other from dis'agreeable events,-the one from pleasure, and the other from pain',-the one from good', and the other' from evil'.
21. Fools' anger show', which politicians' hide'.
22. The foulest stain and scandal of our nature Became its boast. One' murder makes a villain', Millions' a Hero'. War' its thousands' slays, Peace' its ten' thousands.
RULE. The rising inflection takes place on the first and third, and the falling on the second of the first three emphatical words; the first and third of the other three have the falling, and the second has the rising inflection.
1. A friend' cannot be known' in prosperity'; and an enemy' cannot be hidden' in adversity'.
2. Flowers of rhetoric in sermons or serious discourses are like the blue and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amusement', but prejudicial' to him' who would reap the profit.
3. Man is a creature designed for two different states of being, or, rather, for two different lives. The first' life is short and transient'; his second', permanent' and lasting.
4. The difference between a madman and a fool is, that the former' reasons justly`, from false' data; and the latter' erroneously', from just data.
Though some of the examples under the head of emphasis are not strictly emphatical, yet the words marked as such will show how similarly constructed sentences may be read.
+ When three emphatic words are opposed to three other emphatic words in the same sentence, the emphasis is called treble,