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connection of the sense, with the next, and perhaps with several succeeding periods. In such cases, the punctum or full-stop which marks the grammatical close of a sentence, should be rejected in reading; the middle pause should be used in its stead; and the rest or full pause should not be introduced till the actual winding up of all the sentences which have a close relation to each other in continuing or carrying out the sense to its climax or perfect close.
Take the following sentences, with their grammatical punctuation as an
Logicians may reason about abstractions, but the great mass of mankind can never feel an interest in them. They must have images.
Now here the second short sentence is intimately connected with, and in its relation to the sense, forms part of the first; in fact, it completes and closes the proposition which the first sentence opened and began. Yet it is divided from that first sentence, (with which, in its relation to the sense, it is so intimately connected) by the grammatical full-stop or period; and yet, the close of the whole proposition contained in these two sentences admits, in grammatical punctuation, of no greater division from what may follow, in support and illustration of that proposition, than the same period or full-stop, which has been already used to separate the two parts of the whole proposition. This is illogical. The two sentences should thus be relatively marked and read with rhetorical pause:
Logicians may reason about abstractions, but the great mass of mankind can never feel an interest in them They must have images.
For further illustration, I give the following sentences, mark
ed both grammatically and rhetorically, by which it will be seen that the period or full-stop is frequently used when the middle pause is sufficient, and indeed absolutely necessary, to keep up the connection of the sense; and that, at the full close of the relation between the sentences so divided by the middle pause, and not till then,-the full pause should have place.
Soon after Christianity achieved its triumph, the principles that had assisted it began to corrupt. It became a new paganism. Patron saints assumed the offices of household gods. St. George took the place of Mars. St. Elmo consoled the mariner for the loss of Castor and Pollux. The Virgin Mother and Cecilia succeeded to Venus and the Muses. The fascination of sex and loveliness was again joined to that of celestial dignity; and the homage of chivalry was blended with that of religion.
Now all these sentences are intimately allied to each other; they form parts of the same proposition, and serve only to complete and carry it out. They cannot therefore logically admit of a greater separation by pause than that which I have marked above: their final close alone can be marked with the full pause.
4. LONG PAUSE I (bar-rest)
Marks the close of a subject, or of an important division of it.
The change from one division of a discourse to another;
A return from a digression, or from excited declamation to calm statement and logical discussion.
This pause affords an opportunity to correct the tone or pitch
of voice, which may have reached a high range in the excitement of earnest argument or intense feeling. In this latter regard the long pause is of great use and assistance to the reader and the orator. Its application must be illustrated and acquired by practical exercise.
The system of Rhetorical Pause deserves the student's best attention; for its proper application will contribute greatly to the clearness, flow, and effect of his discourse, as well as to his own ease and delivery. Let him now read aloud the following marked
EXERCISE ON PAUSE.
SENSE TASTE AND GENIUS. —
The human genius with the best assistance breaks forth but slowly and the greatest men have but gradually acquired a just taste and chaste simple conceptions of beauty- At an immature age the sense of beauty is weak and confused and requires an excess of coloring to catch the attention It then prefers extravagance and rant to justness a gross false wit to the engaging light of nature and the shewy rich and glaring to the fine and amiable- This is the childhood of taste but as the human genius strengthens and grows to maturity if it be assisted by a happy education the sense of universal beauty awakes it begins to be disgusted with the false and mis-shapen deceptionsTM that pleased before and rests with delight" on ele
gant simplicity" on pictures of easy beauty and unaffected grandeur |
The progress of the fine arts in the human mind may be fixed at three remarkable degrees"- from their foundation to the loftiest height- The basis is a sense of beauty and of the sublime the second step we may call taste and the last genius |
A sense of the beautiful" and of the great is universal which appears from the uniformity thereof in the most distant ages and nations- What was engaging and sublime" in ancient Greece and Rome is so at this day and as I observed before there is not the least necessity of improvement or science to discover the charms of a graceful or noble deportment There is a fine but an ineffectual light in the breast of man- After nightfall we have admired the planet Venus the beauty and vivacity of her lustre the immense distance from which we judged her beams issued and the silence of the night- all concurred to strike us with an agreeable amazement But she shone in distinguished beauty" without giving sufficient light to direct our steps or show us the objects around- Thus in unimproved nature the light of the mind is bright and useless- In utter barbarity our prospect of it is still less fixed it appears and then again seems wholly to vanish in the savage breastlike the same planet Venus-when she has but just raised her orient beams to mariners above the waves and is now descried now lost through the swelling billows |
The next step is taste the subject of our inquiry which consists in a distinct unconfused knowledge of the great and beautiful- Although you see not many possessed of good taste- yet the generality of mankind are capable of it- The very populace of Athens had acquired a good taste" by habit and fine examples so that a delicacy of judgment seemed natural to all who breathed the air of that elegant city We find a manly and elevated sense distinguish the common people of Rome and of all the cities of Greece while the level of mankind was preserved in those cities while the plebeians had a share in the government" and an utter separation was not made between them and the nobles by wealth and luxury But when once the common people are rent asunder" wholly from the great and opulent and made subservient to the luxury of the latter then the taste of nature infallibly takes her flight from both parties The poor by a sordid habit and an attention wholly confined to mean views and the rich by an attention to the changeable modes of fancy and a vitiated preference for the rich and costly- lose the view of simple beauty and grandeur
It may seem a paradox" and yet I am firmly persuaded that it would be easier at this day to give a good taste to the young savages of America to the noble youth of Europe |
Genius the pride of man" as man is of the creation has been possessed but by few brightest ages Men of superior genius
even in the while they