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The Horizontal Line
The Rising Slide
The Falling Slide
The Curve

-) denotes the Monotone.
() denotes the Rising Inflection.
(\) denotes the Falling Inflection.
denotes the Circumflex.

The MONOTONE is that sameness of sound, which arises from repeating the several words or syllables of a passage in one and the same general tone.

REMARK.-The Monotone is employed with admirable effect in the delivery of a passage that is solemn or sublime.


1. O thōu that rōllēst ābōve, round as the shield of my fathers: whence are thỹ bēāms, O sūn, thỹ ēvērlāsting light?



'Tis midnight's hōly hōur, and silence now
Is brōōding, like ā gēntlē spīrīt, ō'ēr

Thē still and pūlselēss wōrld. Hark! ōn the winds
The bells' deep tōnes are swelling; 'tis the knell
Of the departed yēār.


3. God came from Tēmān, and the Holy One from Mount Pāran. Sēlāh. His glory cōvēred thē heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.


4. Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet. He stood and measured the earth: Hē bēhēld, and drōve āsūndēr thē nātīons; and thē ēvērlāstīng mōūntains were scattered, the pērpētūāl hills did bow: His ways āre ēvērlāsting.

5. The heavens dēclāre thē glōry ōf Gōd, and thē firmāmēnt shōwēth His handy work. Day untō day ūttērēth spēēch, and night untō night shōwēth knowledge. There is no spēēch nōr language, where their voice is not heard.



How brief is life! how passing brief!
Hōw brief its jōys and cāres !

It seems to be în league with time,
And leaves us ūnāwāres.


The thunder rolls: be hushed the prostrate world,
While cloud to clōūd rētūrns thē sōlēmn hymn.


REMARK.-The inappropriate use of the monotone,—a fault into which young people naturally fall,-is a very grave and obstinate error. It is always tedious, and often even ridiculous. It should be studiously avoided.

The RISING INFLECTION is an upward turn, or slide of the voice, used in reading or speaking; as, Are you


prepared to recite your

The FALLING INFLECTION is a downward turn, or slide of the voice, used in reading or speaking; as, What are



In the falling inflection, the voice should not sink below the general pitch; but in the rising inflection, it is raised above it. The two inflections may be illustrated by the following diagrams:

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Is honor's lofty soul forever filed'?
Is virtue lost? Is martial ardor dead/?
Is there no heart where worth and valor dwell'?
No patriot WALLACE? No undaunted TELL' ?
Yes', Freedom, yes! thy sons, a noble band,
Around thy banner, firm, exulting stand'.

REMARK.-The same degree of inflection is not, at all times, used, or indicated by the notation. The due degree to be employed, depends on the nature of what is to be expressed. For example; if a person, under great excitement, asks another:

Are you in


the degree of inflection would be much

greater, than if he playfully asks: Are former inflection may be called intensive, the latter, common.

you in





Direct questions, or those which may be answered by yes or no, usually take the rising inflection; but their answers, generally, the falling.


1. Will you meet me at the depot'? Yes'; or, I will'.
2. Did you intend to visit Boston'? No'; or, I did not.

8. Can you explain this difficult sentence? Yes'; I can.

4. Are they willing to remain at home? They are'.

5. Is this a time for imbecility and inaction'? By no means".

6. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets'? I know that thou believest'.

7. Were the tribes of this country, when first discovered, making any progress in arts and civilization'? By no means'.

To purchase heaven has gold the power/?
Can gold remove the mortal hour/?
In life, can love be bought with gold/?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold'?
No'; all that's worth a wish, a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought.

9. What would content you? Talents'? No. Enterprise? No. Courage/? No'. Reputation/? No'. Virtue'? No'. The man whom you would select, should possess not one, but all of these'.

NOTE I.—When the direct question becomes an appeal, and the reply to it is anticipated, it takes the intense falling inflection.


1. Is he not a bold and eloquent speaker'?

2. Can such inconsistent measures be adopted'? 3. Did you ever hear of such cruel barbarities'? 4. Is this reason? Is it law? Is it humanity'?

5. Was not the gentleman's argument conclusive'?


Indirect questions, or those which can not be answered by yes or no, usually take the falling inflection, and their answers the same.


1. How far did you travel yesterday? Forty miles'.

2. Which of you brought this beautiful bouquet'? Julia'.

3. Where do you intend to spend the summer? At Saratoga'.

4. When will Charles graduate at college'? Next year'.

5. What is one of the most delightful emotions of the heart`? Gratitude'.

NOTE I. When the indirect question is one asking a repetition of what was not, at first, understood, it takes the rising inflection.


1. When do you expect to return? Next week.

When did you say? Next week.

2. Where did you say William had gone? To New York.

NOTE II.-Answers to questions, whether direct or indirect, when expressive of indifference, take the rising inflection, or the circumflex.


1. Did you admire his discourse? Not much'.

2. Which way shall we walk? I am not particular.

3. Can Henry go with us? If he chooses'.

4. What color do you prefer? I have no particular choice?

NOTE III.-In some instances, direct questions become indirect by a change of the inflection from the rising to the falling.


1. Will you come to-morrow or next day'? Yes.

2. Will you come to-morrow, or next day? I will come to-morrow.

REMARK.-The first question asks if the person addressed will come within the two days, and may be answered by yes or no; but the second asks on which of the two days he will come, and it can not be thus answered.


When questions are connected by the conjunction or, the first requires the rising, and the second, the falling inflection.


1. Does he study for amusement', or improvement?

2. Was he esteemed for his wealth', or for his wisdom'?

3. Sink' or swim', live or die', survive or perish', I give my hand and heart to this vote.


4. Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath-days', or to do evil? to save life', or to kill?


5. Was it an act of moral courage', or cowardice', for Cato to fall on his sword?

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