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UNITED STATES READER.
GENERAL RULES FOR READING.
§ 2. 1. THERE are four modulations of the voice in reading; viz. monotone, rising and falling inflection, and circumflex.
2. Monotone means sameness of sound, and is used in pagsages of dignity, where the strain of sentiment is uniform.
3. The rising inflection, or elevating the voice, is noticed in the direct question; as, “ Will you go with me ?"
4. The falling inflection, or lowering the voice, is noticed in the answer to a question ; as, “ Did you see him ? No; I saw John."
5. The circumflex is chiefly used in doubt, or irony; as, They tell us to be moderate, but they revel in profusion.
§ 3. 1. Words or clauses connected by or, require that the one before it shall have the rising inflection, and the one after it the falling.
“ Is this book yours, or mine ?"
2. Any question, that admits the answer yes or no, requires the rising inflection; as, “ Did you speak to him? Did he travel for health ? Is this book
yours ?" 3. Whenever negation is opposed to affirmation, the former has the rising, and the latter the falling inflection; as, “He will not come to-day, but to-morrow. He did not call me, but you."
4. In reading, where the sense is not completed, but there is only a pause of suspension, we must use the rising inflection; as, A negative sentence, or member, commonly ends with the rising ; as,
66 God is not the author of sin." 5. Grief, compassion, delicate affection, &c., generally requires the rising inflection ; as, Mary, come and see me.” " William, have you learned your lesson ?"
6. The indirect question requires the falling inflection.
7. Denunciation, surprise, authority, and exclamation, when not expressing tender emotion, have generally the falling inflection; as, “What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties ! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a God !!
8. Be very careful that every word be correctly pronounced.
9. In reading, be careful that your voice is neither too high nor too low.
10. In reading dialogues, remember that, when several persons speak, they do not use the same tone.
11. Watch all the pauses, and be careful not to pass one, without giving it its proper time.
12. In reading, adapt your voice and looks to the subject. 13. Try to understand every thing you read.
14. Always have a Dictionary before you, and examine the meaning of every word.
Note. I would advise all to obtain Oswald's Etymological Dictionary, and some spelling book. The Teacher, by Webster, is valuable.
15. In all elevated poetry, the voice must have nearly a monotone. If the sentiment is delicate and gentle, you must give the rising inflection. You must read the end of each line in such a manner that it will be perceptible to the ear, yet so make the pauses as most fully to exhibit the sense.
$ 4. Accent is a stress laid on a particular syllable, to promote harmony and distinctness of articulation.
We must learn the accented syllable by practice.
$ 5. Emphasis is the pronouncing of a particular word, or part of a sentence, in such a manner as to draw the special attention of the hearer.
06. The following rules for punctuation, are taken from Dr. Webster's Grammar, a work which is worthy of an extensive circulation.
07. Punctuation is the marking of the several pauses which are to be observed, in reading or speaking a sentence, or continued discourse. By means of pauses, a discourse is divided into periods or complete sentences, and these into phrases.
$ 8. A period is a sentence complete, making perfect sense, and not connected in construction with what follows. The pause after the period is marked by a point [.] and in speaking, is distinguished by a cadence, or fall of the voice.
1. The members of a period, or clauses and phrases, are all more or less connected in sense, and according to the nearness of the connection, are marked by a comma, [,] a semicolon, [;] or a colon [:]
2. The comma is the shortest pause, and is often used to mark the construction, where very little interruption of voice is allowable.
§ 9. A simple sentence or clause contains an affirmation, a command, or a question, that is, one personal verb, with its nominative and adjuncts. By adjunct, is meant any phrase or number of words added by way of modifying or qualifying the primary words. Thus when it is said, “Cicero was an orator of a diffuse style,” the latter words, of a diffuse style, are the adjunct of orator, and the whole forms a complete simple sentence, with one verb or affirmation.
§ 10. A phrase contains no assertion, or does not amount to a proposition.
§ 11. 1. In general, the parts of a simple sentence, or clause, are not to be separated by any point whatever; as, “ Hope is necessary in every condition of life.” But when
simple sentence is long, or contains a distinct phrase or phrases, modifying the affirmation, it may be divided by a comma; as, “To be very active in laudable pursuits, is the distinguishing characteristic of a man of merit.” By revenging an injury, a man is but even with his enemy.' In most cases, where a short pause will give distinctness to
ideas, a comma is well placed after an important word: “To mourn without measure, is folly ; not to mourn at all, insensi
The pause after measure, in this sentence, is essential to the strength of the expression. “ The idea of beauty is vague and undefined, different in different minds, and diversified by time or place.”-Rambler.
2. When a connective is omitted between two or more words, whether names, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, or modifiers, the place is supplied by a comma; as, “ Love, joy, peace, and blessedness are reserved for the good.”
"'The miseries of poverty, of sickness, of captivity, would, without hope, be insupportable."-Rambler. "We hear nothing of causing the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the lepers to be cleansed."--Paley. “ He who loves, serves, and obeys his Maker, is a pious man.” Industry, steadily, prudently, and vigorously pursued, leads to wealth." " David was a brave, martial, and enterprising prince.” “ The most innocent pleasures are the most rational, the most delightful, and the most durable."
3. Two or more simple sentences, closely connected in sense, or dependent on each other, are separated by a comma only, as, “ When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves we leave them." “The temperate man's pleasures are durable, because they are regular.” “That all the duties of morality ought to be practised, is without difficulty discoverable, because ignorance or uncertainty would immediately involve the world in confusion and distress.”—Rambler, 81.
4. The sentence independent or case absolute, detached affirmations or phrases involved in sentences, and other important clauses, must be separated from the other parts of a sentence, by a comma; as, “ The envoy has returned, his business being accomplished.” “The envoy having accomplished his business, has returned.” “ Providence has, I think, displayed a tenderness for mankind.”-Rambler. “The decision of patronage, who was but half a goddess, has been sometimes erroneous." —Rambler. “The sciences, after a thousand indignities, retired from the palace of patronage.”Ibm. “ It is, in many cases, apparent.”-Ibm.
-5. A comma is often required to mark contrast, antithesis, or remarkable points in a sentence, and sometimes very properly separates words closely dependent in construction; as, “A good man will love himself too well to lose, and his neighbor too well to win, an estate by gaming." "Prosperity gains friends, and adversity tries them." “ It is harder to avoid censure, than to gain applause."
“ Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull.”
6. A single name in apposition is not separated by a comma; as, " the Apostle Peter”—but when such name is accompanied with an adjunct, it should be separated; as, “Parmenio, a friend of Alexander's, hearing the great offers that Darius had made, said, Were I Alexander, I would accept them.”” “So would I, (replied Alexander,) were I Parmenio.”
7. Terms of address, and words of others repeated, but not introduced as a quotation, are separated by a comma; as, “ Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer.” “My son, hear the counsel of thy father.” “ Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”—Exodus.
8. Modifying words and phrases, as, however, nay, hence, besides, in short, finally, formerly, &c., are usually separated by a comma; as, “ It is, however, the task of criticism to establish principles.”—Rambler.
$ 12. 1. The semicolon is placed between the clauses of a period, which are less closely connected than such as are separated by a comma.
2. When the first division of a sentence completes a proposition, so as to have no dependence on what follows, but the following clause has a dependence on the preceding, the two parts are separated generally by a semicolon; as, laid down as a maxim, that it is more easy to take away superfluities than to supply defects; and therefore he that is culpable, because he has passed the middle point of virtue, is always accounted a fairer object of hope, than he who fails by falling short.”—Rambler.
R. 1. In this sentence, the part of the sentence preceding the semicolon, is a perfect period in itself, and might have been closed with a full point; but the author has added another division, by way of inference, and this is dependent on the first division. The author proceeds—" The one has all that perfection requires, and more, but the excess may be easily retrenched; the other wants the qualities requisite to excellence.” R. 2. Here the first division makes a complete proposition ;