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For this would be to tranfgress the fundamental laws of accent (the nature of which Thall presently be explained) by separating syllables from words to which they belong, and transferring them to the next. Yet, in cases of emotion, for the sake of expression, this rule

may be tranfgreffed. As, O bāl-my breath! Go bar-barous man! Būz-zing and bõõ-ming round my wretched head.

3. Neither consonant, nor vowel, are to be dwelt upon beyond their common quantity, when they close a sentence. Thus in this line,

And if I lose thy love-1 lose my allThe sound of the word love may be prolonged, as the sense is not completed; but that of all, though equally emphatical, must not be continued beyond its common time, as it closes the sense. If we transH2

pose

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pose the members of the line, the thing
will be reversed; as thus-
I lose

my āll—if I should lose thy love.
Here the time is increased in the word all,
and that of love reduced to its common
quantity. This rule is also very necessary
to be attended to by the natives of Scot-
land, as the dwelling upon the last words
of sentences constitutes one material diffe-
rence between the English speech and
theirs.

4. When consonants begin a word, or a syllable, they must be founded short; and great care must be taken that before their union with the following letter, they be not preceded by any confused sound of their own. This is very disagreeable to the ear, and is destructive of all proportion of quantity in syllables, and yet is no uncommon fault. The not attending to this in pronouncing the letter s, has been the chief

cause

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S,

cause of our language. being called by foreigners the Hifling Language, though, in reality, it does not abound so much in that letter as either the Greek or Roman; the final

with

us, having, for the most part, the found of z. But if care be not taken early in forming the pronunciation, people are apt to contract a habit of hissing before they utter the sound of s, at the beginning of syllables, as well as of continuing it at the end. As-y have I 'feen - softly a while — Some men there

are

Was it for this I 'fent thee to the pass

That the disagreeableness of this letter arises wholly from the continuation of its found will

appear from repeating properly the following lines, which contain a great number of them, and yet are certainly of a fine melody :

[blocks in formation]

sweet remembrance fooths With Virtue's kindeft looks his aching breast, And swells his soul to rapture.

This confused found at the beginning of words is equally disagreeable in all the sea mivowels ; as, l-ove, l-oyal, m-ighty, n-ever, r-ight, th-in, those f-ayour, v-oice, &c. — Upon the whole, after observing these rules, whenever the power of the consonants is particularly suited to the expression, their found should be enforced ; when otherwise, softened.

Having examined all the component parts of words, I shall now enter upon a difcuffion of that article, which constitutes the very essence of words, as distinguished from their component letters or fyllables.

As words may be formed of yarious numbers of syllables, from one up to eight or nine, it was neceffary that there should be fome peculiar mark to distinguish words from mere fyllables, otherwife fpeech would be nothing but a continued succession of fyllables, without conveying ideas: for, as words are the marks of ideas, any confusion in the marks, myft cause the fame in the ideas for which they stand. It was, therefore, necessary, that the mind fhould at once perceive, what number of fyllables belong to each word, in utterance. This might be done by a perceptible pause at the end of each word in speaking, in the fame manner as we make a certain distance between them in writing and printing. But this would make discourse disgustingly tediQus; and though it might render words distinct, would make the meaning of fentences confused. They might also be sufficiently distinguished by a certain elevation, or depression of the voice upon one fyllable of each word, which was the pracţice of some nations, as shall prefently be

from

H 4

explained.

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