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sight. This may be exemplified in the following pas sage of Cicero's Third Philippic.
Octavious Cæsar, though but a youth, nay rather a boy, inspired with an incredible and divine spirit and courage, at that very time when the fury of Antony was at its height, and when his cruel and pernicious return was so much dreaded, when we neither solicited nor imagined nor desired it, because it seemed utterly impracticable, raised a most powerful army of invincible veterans; for which service he threw away his own esa tate; but I have used an improper word—he did not throw it away, he bestowed it for the salvation of the commonwealth.
A pause at but and word, in the latter part of the sentence, will mark the correction more strongly. It may be remarked also, that though this figure must be pronounced in a lower tone of voice than the former part of the sentence, it ought to have much more force and dignity.
Anastrophe, or Inversion, is a figure by which we place last, and perhaps at a great distance from the beginning of the sentence, what, according to the common order, should have been placed first.
Milton begins his Paradise Lost by a beautiful example of this figure.
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning how the heav'ns and earth
Rose out of chaos.
The natural order of the words in this passage would have been, Heav'nly muse, sing of man's first disobedience, &c.-and in this arrangement of the
words no pause is necessary between the verb sing and its object, of man's first disobedience, &c. ; but when the object of the verb, with all its concomitants, are placed before the verb, as in the example, we then find the pause preceding the verb sing increase in proportion to its distance from the beginning of its object, of man's first disobedience, &c.
It may be laid down as a good general rule, that, whenever the natural order of the words is changed, there must be a pause between those portions that are disarranged, though no pause would be necessary, if the words were in their natural order. Thus in the following passage from the same author:
Th' angelic blast
Par. Lost, b. xi. v. 76.
The natural order of the words would be, The sons of light hasted from their blissful bow'rs, &c. where we may observe that a very small pause, if any, would be admitted at hasted in this order of the words, but that, as they stand in Milton, a considerable pause is required at this word, and a still greater at joy, as it is here the inversion ends and the natural order begins.
We have in Lowth's Grammar another instance of the necessity of pausing when the order of the words is inverted, which is as worthy of being quoted for the good sense it contains as for the opportunity it affords of exemplifying the present rule.
The connective parts of sentences are the most important of all, and require the greatest care and attention; for it is by these chiefly that the train of thought, the course of reasoning, and the whole progress of
the mind in continued discourse of all kinds is laid open; and on the right use of these the perspicuity, that is, the first and greatest beauty, of style, principally depends. Lowth's Grammar, p. 128.
The adverbial phrases, by these chiefly, and on the right use of these, are classes of words which would require a pause, even if they came in their natural order after the verbs laid open and depends; but, as they come before these verbs, and are separated from them by many other words, a long pause after each is indispensably necessary; though in no edition of this grammar that I have seen is there any pause marked.
Apostrophe, or Occasional Address, is a figure in which we interrupt the current of our discourse, and turn to another person, or to some other object different from that to which our address was at first directed. This figure is seldom used; but when, in a violent commotion, the speaker turns himself on all sides, and appeals to the living and the dead, to angels and to men, to rocks, groves, and rivers, for the justice of his cause, or calls upon them to sympathize with his joy, grief, or resentment.
The tone of voice to be employed in pronouncing this figure is as various as the passions it assumes; but as these passions are generally very vehement, a higher and louder tone of voice is generally necessary in the apostrophe than in that part of the oration that precedes it. When we address inanimate things, especially if they are supposed to be distant, the voice must rise in height and loudness, as if the speaker were resolved to make them hear him. In this man
ner we may presume Cicero pronounced that fine apostrophe in his Oration for Milo, when, speaking of the death of Clodius, he says:
O ye judges! it was not by human counsel, nor by any thing less than the immediate care of the immortal gods, that this event has taken place. The very divinities themselves, who beheld that monster fall, seemed to be moved, and to have inflicted their veng, ance upon him. I appeal to, I call to witness, you, O ye hills and groves of Alba! you, the demolished Alban altars! ever accounted holy by the Romans, and coëval with our religion, but which Clodius, in his mad fury, having first cut down and levelled the most sacred groves, had sunk under heaps of common buildings; I appeal to you, I call you to witness, whether your altars, your divinities, your powers, which he had polluted with all kinds of wickedness, did not avenge themselves when this wretch was extirpated? And thou, O holy Jupiter! from the height of thy sacred mount, whose lakes, groves, and boundaries, he had se often contaminated with his detestable impurities ;—and you, the other deities, whom he had insulted, at length opened your eyes to punish this enormous offender. By you, by you, and in your sight, was the slow, but the righteous and merited vengeance executed upon hin.
In pronouncing this passage, it is evident that the speaker must raise his voice at I appeal, &c. and, with a force and rapidity bordering on enthusiasm, continue the voice in this pitch till the invocation of Jupiter, who, as the supreme being, is supposed to be present, and to be too sacred to be addressed with the same violence as inanimate objects; for which reason the speaker must lower his voice into a solemn monotone, and continue in his lower tone with increasing force to the end.
Asyndeton and Polysy'ndeton.
Asyndeton and Polysyndeton, or Omission and Redundance of Copulatives, are figures by which the thought and language are strengthened and invigorated either by leaving out or repeating the conjunctive particles. The learned Dr. Ward says, that "the
asyndeton leaves out the connecting particles, to represent either the celerity of an action, or the haste and eagerness of the speaker; and that the polysyndeton adds a weight and gravity to an expression, and makes what is said to appear with an air of solemnity, and, by retarding the course of the sentence, gives the mind an opportunity to consider and reflect upon every part distinctly."
System of Oratory, vol. ii. pp. 50, 51. That these figures are very properly employed to signify swiftness or slowness of thought or action, it cannot be denied; but that they are not always so employed is evident from a thousand examples. But though we frequently omit the particles, for the sake of a greater variety and compactness of style, and to avoid a too tedious repetition, yet we ought never to introduce them but where the thought requires it, and where they seem to accumulate force and emphasis to a subject.
There is an example of both these figures in a passage of Demosthenes, which may serve to explain these observations.
For as to naval power, and the number of forces, and revenues, and a plenty of martial preparations, and in a word, as to other things that may be esteemed the strength of a state, these are all both more and greater than in former times; but all these things are rendered useless, inefficacious, abortive, through the power of corruption. Philippic. iii.
In the first part of this sentence, the repetition of the conjunction and seems to add to the strength of the particulars it enumerates, and each particular demands a deliberate and emphatic pronunciation in the rising inflection; but the last part of the sentence, without the particles, being expressive of the impa