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in the eternal frame of the universe, out of which we cannot stir.


The result here is not reached until we come to the final phrase "out of which we cannot stir," and although this is a negative phrase, so far as the construction goes, it requires the falling inflection because it closes the thought and is positive in its nature.

Commands. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

St. John, XV., 17 This is a commandment given by Jesus to His disciples, and both phrases require the falling inflection. It makes no difference whether the command is to do or not to do a certain thing, all commandments, of whatsoever nature, require falling inflection; as,

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

- EXODUS, XX., 4 Also, Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

EXODUS, XX., 12 Positive. To the cant about the pharisaism of reform there is one short and final answer. The man who tells the truth is a holier man than the liar. The man who does not steal is a better man than the thief.

- GEORGE W. CURTIS All positive words, phrases, and sentences require, as a rule, the falling inflection, the only exception being when the words or phrases are arranged in the form of a


series. This point is fully brought out and developed in the treatment of series in another part of this chapter.

Qualified Positives. The words “only,” “alone,” merely,” etc., when not qualified by the negative word “not,” generally qualify some other word or phrase; as,

Every thing around was wrapped in darkness, and hushed in silence, broken only by what seemed, at that hour, the unearthly clank and rush of the train.

- EDWARD EVERETT Here “only” qualifies what the silence was broken by. The meaning being that it was broken by but one thing, and that was "the unearthly clank and rush of the train." “Only,” in this example, requires the falling inflection because it is positive.

Apposition. By means of the addition of words or phrases of like natures, we illustrate and explain; as,

The hardest chemist, the severest analyzer, scornful of all but the dryest fact, is forced to keep the poetic curve of nature, and his result is like a myth of Theocritus.*

- EMERSON "The severest analyzer” is employed to explain what “the hardest chemist" is, therefore the two phrases are in apposition. This form of construction is often used in explaining who persons are; as,

I, Henry V, King of England, etc. All these terms are in apposition and should receive the same inflection, because identity of inflection conveys

*A Grecian pastoral poet who lived in the third century.

similarity of thought. Here is another good example of apposition:

Identity of law, perfect order in physics, perfect parallelism between the laws of nature and the laws of thought exist.



What is emphasis? Any impressive utterance that arrests the attention of the listener.

Is it placed merely on single words? No. It may be placed on individual words, phrases, or sentences.

Does it consist of force alone? No. Emphasis consists of time, pitch, force, quality, and location.

Time. By time is meant the rapidity of utterance; as,

With noiseless foot he paces the lonely hall, half lighted by the moon - he winds up the ascent of stairs, and reaches the door of the chamber.


The idea is here brought out by means of the slow, measured manner in which the murderer is described noiselessly passing through the lonely hall and winding up the stairway. If this passage were quickly and violently spoken, a mis-interpretation would be given it. Time, in this instance, gives emphasis to the thought.

The light of the newly kindled sun, indeed, was glorious. It struck upon all the planets, and waked into existence their myriad capacities of life and joy. As it rebounded from them, and showed their vast orbs all wheeling, circle beyond circle in their stupendous courses, the sons of God shouted for joy.


This passage is also made emphatic by the time employed. It requires rapidity of utterance in order to express the ideas of the awakening of life and the joy of man.

Pitch. By pitch is meant the tone of voice employed its height or depth; as,

With simple resignation, he [Garfield] bowed to the divine decree.

– JAMES G. BLAINE The words “With simple resignation” require simplicity of voice, but the phrase "he bowed to the divine decree” should be spoken in a low, impressive tone, the better to express the feeling of reverence. The idea is here conveyed as much by the pitch of the voice as by the words themselves.

People of Hungary! will you die under the exterminating sword of the savage Russians? If not, defend yourselves ! Will you look on while the Cossacks of the far North tread under foot the bodies of your fathers, mothers, wives, and children? If not, defend yourselves! Will you see a part of your fellow citizens sent to the wilds of Siberia, made to serve in the wars of tyrants, or bleed under the murderous knout? If not, defend yourselves! Will you behold your villages in flames, and your harvests destroyed? Will you die of hunger on the land which your sweat has made fertile ? If not, defend yourselves !

LOUIS KOSSUTH This example must be spoken in an inspiring tone; the oft-repeated phrase, “If not, defend yourselves," should be given a gradual rise in pitch on each repetition until the final one is spoken almost in a shout. It is this gradual change in pitch that increases the emphasis on this important phrase each time it is spoken.

Force. By force is meant the loudness of voice; as,

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

- PATRICK HENRY By means of the force placed upon the words "whole,”

worst," and "provide,” the thought is driven home with earnestness, and as the words grow in importance the force of the voice should increase. It is mainly by means of this gradual increase in the force of the voice that an ascending series is marked; as,

Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne !

- PATRICK HENRY The earnestness and force of the speaker's delivery should grow with each succeeding phrase, until it bursts out with its greatest power and expression on the final one. Care should be exercised to go from one phrase to another by a gradual increase of force, culminating on the concluding phrase.

All important or significant words require emphasis by means of force; as,

It must be confessed, it will be confessed; there is no refuge from confession but suicide, and suicide is confession.

- DANIEL WEBSTER Quality. By quality is meant the kind of voice whether it is smooth or rough, rich or poor, large or small, expressive or non-expressive of the many emotions

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