Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

for the speaker, if he would be clearly understood by the listener, is :-increase the length of the pause in proportion to the irrelation of the words, and, obversely, decrease the length of the pause in proportion to their relation.

This variation in the length of pauses, it is apparent, marks off words into groups, and the task of determining this relation of words is usually called "grouping.” This grouping has been discussed and illustrated in a preceding section.

Besides manifesting the relationship of words, pause is one of the means by which the listener is enabled to grasp the full significance of each group in itself, and of the whole, both with regard to the thought and to the feeling. The speaker, appreciating this, will adjust his delivery accordingly. In respect to the thought, the speaker will increase the pause in proportion to the importance of the idea, the difficulty of apprehension or the difficulty of belief. In respect to the feeling the pause will be increased in proportion to the height or intensity of the emotion. The various aspects of these pauses are illustrated in this section of selections.

PAUSE AND THE INFREQUENT. [A word or group of words, while known to the listener, may be so rarely heard or used by him that additional time must be allowed in which to be fully comprehended. Ex. (Lord Beaconsfield's humorous description of W. E. Gladstone): “A sophisticated rhetorician inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.'']

Universal Adaptation.

JAMES McCosh.

The mind is suited to the position in which it is placed in the world, and the world is adapted to the minds which are to observe and use it. There is order in the world, and man is so constituted as to discover and to admire it. There is reason in the works of God, and reason in man's mind to appreciate it. "If the laws of our reason," says Oersted, "did not exist in nature, we would vainly attempt to force them upon her; if the laws of nature did not exist in our reason, we should not be able to comprehend them.” The forms which minerals assume when they crystallize; the elliptic orbits of the planets; the hyperbolic curves of the comets; the spiral conformations of the nebular groups of the heavens, of the appendages of plants around their axes, and of the whorls of the shells of molluscs; the conical shape of the fruit of pines and firs with the rhomboids on their surface, are all constructed according to mathematical laws which have their seat in the intelligence and can be evolved by pure thought. When we ascend to the higher manifestations of life, in particular, when we rise to the human form, we do not find the same rigid lines as in crystals, nor are the invariable curves of the nebulæ and plants so observable; but I believe they are still there blended in innumerable ways, so as to give an infinite sweep and variety to the graceful forms on which the eye ever delights to rest, and which the mind never wearies to contemplate, and unconsciously follows now the one and now the other till it is lost in a perfect wilderness of beauty.

PAUSE AND INVOLVED CONSTRUCTION. [Some sentences are so unusual or involved in their construction that increased pause must be made to enable the listener to grasp the proper relation of each to the whole, as, “Deep in human natiire, he thus demonstrates, and obligatory upon individuals, has been planted one great law.”']

Introduction, Paradise Lost.

JOHN MILTON.

Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

or for obey t will, b upon morial disunit

overt

endeav assent,

for all

Brought death into the vold, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till on xreater Man
Restore us, and regain the bliss seat,
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the sect top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen sd,
In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings out-spread,
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss
And mad’st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine; what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to man.

[blocks in formation]

PAUSE AND LONG SENTENCE.

souro

do t1

[Frequently a sentence may be of such length that the pauses must be longer than the normal in order to give the listener time to adequately comprehend the complete thought. Ex. (Lord Erskine): “If indeed he writes what he does not think; if, contemplating the misery of others, he wickedly condemns what his own understanding approves; or even, admitting his real disgust against the government or the corruptions, if he calumniates living magistrates or holds out to individuals that they have a right to run before the public mind in their conduct; that they may oppose by contumacy

thus

sume

least but

US 0

or force what private reason only disapproves; that they may disobey the law, because their judgment condemns it, or resist the public will, because they honestly wish to change it—he is then a criminal upon every principle of rational policy, as well as upon the immemorial precedents of English justice; because such a person seeks to disunite individuals from their duty to the whole, and excites to overt acts of misconduct in a part of the community, instead of endeavoring to change, by the impulse of reason, that universal assent, which, in this and in every country, constitutes the law for all..'']

The Field of Religion.

ALEXANDER DUFF.

[ocr errors]

The field of divine appointment is not Scotland or England, but “the world”—the world of "all nations." The prayer of divine inspiration is, “God bless and pity us,” not that thy way may be known in all Britain, and thy saving health among all its destitute families, but that thy way may be known on all the earth, and thy saving health among all nations.” The command of divine obligation is not, “Go to the people of Scotland or of England," but, “Go unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” And if we take our counsel from those blind and deluded guides that would, in spite of the Almighty's appointment, and in derision of our own prayers, persuade us, altogether, or for an indefinite period onward, to abandon the real proper Bible field, and direct the whole of our time, and strength and resources to home; if, at their antiscriptural suggestions, we do thus dislocate the divine order of proportion; if we do thus invert the divine order of magnitude, if we daringly pre

me to put that last which God hath put first; to reckon that least which God hath pronounced greatest, what can we expect but that he shall be provoked, in some displeasure, to deprive us of the precious deposit of misappropriated grace, and inscribe "Ichabod” on all our towers, bulwarks and palaces.

t

And if he do, then, like beings smitten with judicial blindness, we may hold hundreds of meetings, deliver thousands of speeches, and publish tens of thousands of tracts and pamphlets and volumes in defense of our chartered rights and birthright liberties; and all this we may hail as religious zeal, and applaud as patriotic spirit; but if such prodigious activities be designed solely, or even chiefly, to concentrate all hearts, affections, and energies on the limited interests of our own land; if such prodigious activities recognize and aim at no higher terminating object than the simple maintenance and extension of our home institutions, and that, too, for the exclusive benefit of our own people, while, in contempt of the counsels of the Eternal, the hundreds of millions of a guilty world are cruelly abandoned to perish, oh! how can all this appear in the sight of heaven as anything better than a national outburst of monopolizing selfishness ?

PAUSE AND THE PICTURE. [Some descriptions are essentiaily suggestive, and their charm lies in the listener filling in the details from his own imagination. In other cases, the details, while concrete and arbitrary (as shape or dimension), may require time to enable the listener to put them together. Both processes take time, and an increase of the normal pause should be made just in the degree that the picture is hard to reconstruct or vast in its sweep. ]

Prologue of Act III, Henry V.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

Suppose that you have seen
The well-appointed king at Hampton pier
Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet
With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning:
Play with your fancies, and in them behold
Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;

« VorigeDoorgaan »