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BEFORE attempting to read the examples on inflections, a thorougt knowledge of the two slides, or inflections of voice, (page 17,) must be obtained. Without a very accurate knowledge of these two slides of the voice, no graceful progress in reading can possibly be made.

The Table of Inflections contains thirty lines. After being able to exemplify the slides in the first column, proceed to acquire a like knowledge of the second. This being done, endeavour to read the table backward; that is, read the 16th line, and then the 1st; the 17th, and then the 2d; the 18th, and then the 3d, &c.; in the last place, read the ⚫ table across; that is, read the 1st line, and then the 16th; the 2d, and then the 17th; the 3d, and then the 18th, &c.

Under the heads of Inflections, Accent, Emphasis, and Pauses, the Rules are printed in Italics: these, it is understood, will be either attentively studied, or committed to memory by the pupil, according to circumstances. A single rule may be given out each day as an exercise; the examples under which being read the day following.

The Notes and Examples under them may be read by the student immediately after the rules to which they belong; but, by those less advanced, they may be entirely passed over, and not read till a perfect knowledge has been attained of what is of more importance.

In reading the Lessons, the principles should be gradually reduced to practice. Words that require the rising inflection, may, by the pupil, be marked with a pencil with the acute accent; and such as require the falling inflection, with the grave accent. Emphatical words may be marked by drawing a straight line over them; and where a rhetorical pause is admissible, a mark, such as a comma, may be in serted after the word.

If this process should be thought too tedious, the pupil may be requested to mark (while the teacher is reading the lesson) only the principal inflections: it being always understood, however, that the pupil has acquired a knowledge of the different slides, and degrees of force of the voice.

The following Rule, to which, though there are many exceptions, may perhaps be of some advantage; the knowledge of it, at least, is easily acquired.

The falling inflection almost always takes place at a period, very often at a colon, and frequently at a semicolon; at the comma immediately preceding either of these points, the rising inflection commonly takes place. When this rule does not hold good, the teacher can easily point out the exceptions to it.

It must be carefully observed, that every falling, or every rising in flection, does not necessarily terminate upon the same key, or on the same note of that key; neither is every emphatic word pronounced with the same degree of force: for, as various as inflections and emphases are in number, almost as varied should be the manner of pronouncing them.


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In these, however, and in many other circumstances, whereon the beauty of reading and speaking chiefly depends, the import of the su nature of the audience, and the place the speaker occupies, must all judiciously considered, in order properly to regulate his pronuncia and delivery.


1. Give the letters their proper sounds.

2. Pronounce the vowels, a, e, i, o, u, clearly, giving to each its proper quantity.

3. The liquids, l, m, n, should be pronounced with a considerable degree of force.

4. Distinguish every accented letter or syllable by a peculiar stress of the voice.

5. Read audibly and distinctly, with a degree of deliberation suited to

the subject.

6. Pause at the points a sufficient length of time; but not so long as to break that connexion which one part of a sentence has with another.

7. The meaning of a sentence is often considerably elucidated by pausing where none of the usual marks could properly be inserted.

8. Give every sentence, and member of a sentence, that inflection of voice which tends to improve either the sound or the sense. 9. Monotones, judiciously introduced, have a wonderful effect in diversifying delivery.

10. Every emphatical word must be marked with a force corresponding with the importance of the subject.

11. At the beginning of a subject or discourse, the pitch of the voice should, in general, be low: to this rule, however, there are some exceptions in poetry, and even in prose.

12. As the speaker proceeds, the tones of his voice should swell, and his animation increase with the increasing importance of his subject.

13. At the commencement of a new paragraph, division, or subdivision of a discourse, the voice may be lowered, and again allowed gradually to swell.

14. The tones of the voice must, in every instance, be regulated entirely by the nature of the subject.

15. In recitation, the speaker must adopt those tones, looks, and gestures, which are most agreeable to the nature of whatever he delivers he must "suit the action to the word, and the word to the action:" always remembering, that "rightly to seem, is transiently to be."



1. Did they act prop'erly, or im'properly? 2. Did he speak distinct'ly, or in'distinctly?

3. Must we act accord'ing to the law, or con`trary to it?

4. Did he go wil'lingly, or un'willingly?

5. Was it done correctly, or in'correctly?
6. Did he say cau'tion, or cau`tion?
7. Did he say wise'ly, or wisely?
8. Did he say val'ue, or val`ue?
9. Did he say wis'dom, or wis`dom?
10. Did he say fame', or fame`?
11. You must not say fa'tal, but fa`tal.
12. You must not say e'qual, but e`qual.
13. You must not say i'dol, but i`dol.
14. You must not say o'pen, but o`pen.
15. You must not say du'bious, but dubious.

16. They acted properly, not im'properly.
17. He spoke distinctly, not in'distinctly.
18. We must act according to the law, not
con'trary to it.

19. He went willingly, not un'willingly.
20. It was done correctly, not in'correctly.
21. He said cau'tion, not cau'tion.
22. He said wisely, not wise'ly.
23. He said val`ue, not val'ue.
24. He said wis'dom, not wis'dom.
25. He said fame', not fame'.
26. You must say fa'tal, not fa'tal.
27. You must say e'qual, not e'qual.
28. You must say i'dol, not i'dol.
29. You must say o'pen, not o'pen.
30. You must say dubious, not du'bious

The acute accent (') denotes the rising, and the grave accent (') the falling inflection.


Besides the pauses, which indicate a greater or less separation of the parts of a sentence and a conclusion of the whole, there are certain inflections of voice, accompanying these pauses, which are as necessary to the sense of the sentence as the pauses themselves; for, however exactly we may pause between those parts which are separable, if we do not pause with such an inflection of the voice as is suited to the sense, the composition we read will not only want its true meaning, but will have a meaning very different from that intended by the writer.

Whether words are pronounced in a high or low, in a loud or soft tone; whether they are pronounced swiftly or slowly, forcibly or feebly, with the tone of passion or without it; they must necessarily be pronounced either sliding upward or downward, or else go into a monotone or song.

By the rising or falling inflection, is not meant the pitch of the voice in which the whole word is pronounced, or that loudness or softness which may accompany any pitch; but that upward or downward slide which the voice makes when the pronunciation of a word is finishing, and which may, therefore, not improperly, be called the rising and falling inflection.

We must carefully guard against mistaking the low tone at the beginning of the rising inflection for the falling inflection, and the high tone at the beginning of the falling inflection for the rising inflection, as they are not denominated rising or falling from the high or low tone in which they are pronounced, but from the upward or downward slide in which they terminate, whether pronounced in a high or low key.


RULE I.-The falling inflection takes place at a period.


1. That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona`.

2. The pleasures of the imagination, the pleasure arising from science, from the fine arts, and from the principle of curiosity, are peculiar to the human' species.

When a sentence concludes an antithesis, the first branch of which, being emphatic, requires the falling inflection; the second branch requires the weak emphasis, and rising inflection.

Note. When there is a succession of periods or loose members in a sentence, though they may all have the falling inflection, yet every one of them ought to be pronounced in a somewhat different pitch of the voice from the other.


1. If we have no regard for our own' character, we ought to have gome regard for the character of others'.

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