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CHOSEN FOR THEIR VALUE AS
STUDIES IN PROMINENCE
Prominence is the symbol of proportion. It proclaims to the listener the relative value of words, groups, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and parts. Its judicious use results in the harmony of the whole.
Prominence is secured mainly by what has been called emphasis, that is, by increasing the force or intensity upon a word or group of words. Sometimes Prominence is attained by increase of pause, or again, by a combination of both pause and emphasis, or by pause, emphasis and tone.
Prominence is governed by one's judgment as to what the author intended. That which we believe is vital will receive such prominence as to show that it is vital, that which, comparatively, is unimportant, will receive such relative unimportance in delivery as to make it so valued by the listener.
Analysis of our daily conversation will reveal that those ideas which, to a greater or less extent, are repetitions, are not given prominence, while those which are presented to the listener for the first time are made to stand out. With rare exceptions, we seek prominence for the new thought. (See discussion and example in a preceding section.) Prominence necessarily is associated with tone. This will
be perceived in the study of the selections that follow and of those under the Dominant Tones.
[Prominence frequently manifests itself by emphasis upon individual words. In these single terms the speaker finds the main force of his idea, and, therefore, gives them a corresponding importance in delivery. Ex.: “Your government is a government of manhood.'']
N. DWIGHT HILLIS. Society's greatest peril today is the demagogues who teach and the ignorant classes who believe that there is such a thing as liberty. The planets have no liberty; they follow their sun. The seas know no liberty; they follow the moon in tidal waves. When the river refuses to keep within its banks, it becomes a curse and a destruction. It is the stream that is restrained by its banks that turns mill-wheels for men. The clouds, too, have their beauty, in that they are led forth in ranks and columns, generaled by the night winds. And in proportion as things pass from littleness towards largeness, they go toward obedience to law. Because the dead leaf obeys nothing, it flutters down from its bough, giving but tardy recognition to the law of gravity; while our great earth, covered with cities and civilization, is instantly responsive to gravity's law. Indeed, he who disobeys any law of nature flings himself athwart her wheels, to be crushed to powder.
And if disobedience is destruction, obedience is liberty. Obeying the law of steam, man has an engine. Obeying the law of fire, he has warmth. Obeying the law of speech, he has eloquence. Obeying the law of sound thinking, he has leadership. Obeying the law of Christ, he has character. The stone obeys one law, gravity, and is without motion. The worm obeys two laws, and has movement. The bird obeys
, three laws, and can fly as well as stand or walk. And as man increases the number of laws he obeys, he increases in richness of nature, in wealth, in strength, in influence. Nature loves paradoxes, and this is her chiefest paradox—he who stoops to wear the yoke of law becomes the child of liberty, while he who will be free from God's laws wears a ball and chain through all his years. Philosophy reaches its highest fruition in Christ's principle: “Love is the fulfilment of the law."
On the American War.
I cannot, my Lords, I will not, join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This, my Lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment. It is not a time for adulation; the smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and darkness which envelop it; and display, in its full danger and genuine colors, the ruin which is brought to our doors. Can ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation? Can parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty as to give its support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon it? Measures, my Lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to scorn and contempt! "But yesterday and Britain might have stood against the world; now, none so poor as do her reverence !" The people, whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against us, supplied with every military store, have their interests consulted, and their ambassadors entertained, by our inveterate enemy; and ministers do not-and dare not—interpose with dignity or effect.
The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honors the British troops than I do; I know their virtues and their valor; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of British America is an impossibility. You cannot, my Lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense, accumulate every assistance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot; your attempts will be forever vain and impotent-doubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your adversaries, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms; never, never, never !
RECURRENT PROMINENCE. [At times a speaker seeks again and again to focus the mind of the listener upon a given idea; frequently, in such cases, the speaker uses the same word or group of words at each repetition. Prominence, then, falls upon the repeated word or phrase. Ex. (Adolph Monod): “God is love. Love is his essense, his substance, his life. Love sums up all his works and explains all his ways. Love inspired him to creation of a holy, and to the redemption of a fallen ráce. Love prevailed over nothingness to give us existence, and triumphed over sin to give us glory. Love is the object of the admiration of the angels, and will be ours in eternity.'']
JOHN M. THURSTON.
There are those who say that the affairs of Cuba are not the affairs of the United States; who insist that we can stand idly by and see that island devastated and depopulated, its