Ebenezer Porter.

Analysis of the principles of rhetorical delivery as applied in reading and ... online

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Your hope to please him vain on every plan,
Himself should work that wonder, if he can —
Alas ! his efforts double his distress,
20 He likes yours little, and his own still less.
Thus always teasing others, always teased^
His only pleasure is — to be displ^sed.

I pity bashful men, who feel the pain
Of fancied scorn and undeserved disdain,
515 And bear the marks upon a blushing face
Of needless shame, and self-imposed disgrace.
Our sensibilities are so acute.
The fear of being silent makes us mute.
We sometimes think we could a speech produce
30 Much to the purpose, if our tongues were loose ;
But being tried, it dies upon the lip.
Faint as a chicken's note that has -the pip :
Our wasted oil unprofitably burns,
Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns.
35 The circle formcKcl, we sit in silent state.
Like figures drawn upon a dial plate ;
Yes ma'am, and no ma'am, uttered softly, show
Every five minutes how the minutes go ;
Each individual, suffering a constraint,
40 Poetry may, but colors cannot paint ;
As if jn close committee on the sky.
Reports it hot or cold, or wet or dry ;
And finds a changing clime a happy source
Of wise reflection and well timed discourse.
45 We fie](t inquire, but softly and by stealth.



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^Bk. 41.] FAMILIAR PIECES. It^i

. — '— ■ "- 1" ■'■■-' ill. i. I ■ ■ ■ ■ ^1 . I .

Like conservators of the public health,

Of epidemic throats, if such there are,

And coughs, and rheums, and phthisic, and catarrh.

That theme exhausted, a wide chasm ensues, .

50 Filled up at last with interesting news,

Who danced with whom, and who are like to wed,
And who is hanged, and who is brought to bed :
But fear to call a more important cause.
As if 'twere, treason against English laws.

55 The visit paid, with ecstasy we come,

As from a seven jears' transportation, home,
And there resume an unembarrassed brow,
Recovering what we lost we know not how,
The faculties,' that seemed reduced to nought,

60 Expression and the privilege of thought.

Cowpcr,

41. Ladtf Percy to her husband.

Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thiee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep t
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth ;
And start so often when thou sit'st alone t
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks ;
5 And given my treasures, and ray rights of thee,
To thick-ey'd musing, and curs'd melancholy f
In thy faint slumbers, I by thee have watch'd,
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars';
Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed ;

10 Cry, Courage !^to the field! And thou hast talk'd
Of sallies, and retires ; of trenches, tents,
Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets ;
Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin ;
Of prisoner's ransom, and of soldiers slain,

15 And all the currents of a heady fight.

Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late disturbed stream ,

20 And in thy face strange motions have appeared,
Such as we see when men restrain their breath
24»



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Mi BXMCI8Et» [El. 4%.'

On some great sudden haste. O, wbat portepU are

these 1
Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
85 And I must know it, else he loves pne not.

SkiJ^speare.

42. The exercise of the Memorif in learning not sufficient, ^

To learn, seems with many, to imply no more than
a bare exercise of memory. To read, and to remember
is, they imagine, all they have to do. I affirm on the
contrary that a great deal more is necessary, as to exer-
5 cise the judgment and the discursive faculty. 1 shall
put the case, that one were employed to teach you alge-
bra ; and instead of instructing you in the manner of
stating and resolving algebraic equations, he should
think it incumbent on him, only To inform you of all the

10 principal problems, that had at any time exercised the
art of the most famous algebraists, and the solutions
they had given ; and being possessed of a retentive n^em-
ory, I shall suppose, you have a distinct remembrance
both of the questions and the answers ; could ye for

15 this, be said to have learnt algebra? No, surely. To
teach you that ingenious and useful art, is to instruct
you in those principles, by the proper Application of
which, you shall be enabled to solve the questions for
yourselves. In like manner, to teach you to understand

80 the scriptures, is to initiate you into those general prin-
ciples, which will gradually enable you of yourselves,
to enter into their sense and spirit. It is not to make
you repeat by rote the judgment of others, but to
bring you to form judgments of your own ; to see with

85 your own eyes, and not with other people's. I shall
conclude this prelection with the translation of a short
passage from the Persian letters^ which falls in entirely
with my present subject. Rica having been to visit
the library of a French convent, writes thus to his friend
- 36 in Persia concerning what had passed. Father, saijd i
to the librarian, what are these huge volumes which fill
the whole side of the library t Thes^, said he,^ are the
Interpreters of the scriptures. There is a prodigious



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Gx. 43.} FAMILtilR PltGBS. 3M

number of tbem, replied I ; the scriptures must have

35 been very dark formerly, and very clear at present.
Do there remnin slitl any doubts! Are there now any
points contested ? Are there, answered he, with sur-
prise, Are there 1 There are almost as many as there
are lines. You astonish me, said J : what then have all

40 these authors been doing 1 These authors, returned
he, never searched the scriptures, for what ought to be
believed, but for what they did believe themselves.
They did not consider them as a book, wherein were
contained the doctrines which they ought to receive,

45 but as a work which might be made to authorize their
own ideas. For this reason, they have corrupted all
the meanings, and have put every passage to the tor-
ture, to make it speak their own sense. 'Tis a country
whereon people of all sects make invasions, and go for

50 pillage ; it is a field of batUe, where, whes hostile na-
tions meet, they engage, attack and skirmish in a thou-
sand different ways. Camphdi

43. Casabianca,*

J Thc boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but him had fled ;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck.
Shone round him o'er the dead.

2 The flames rolFd on — he would not go,

Without his father's word ;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.

3 He call'd aloud—" Say, father, say

If yet my task is done?"
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.



* Youn^ Caiabianca, « boy about thirteen years old, son t» tk«
admiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the battle of lira Nile,)
-aAer the ship had taken fire, and all tne s°n> had been ablladoned ;
and perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames Uu4
reached the pctwder.



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W4 rausoisBs. [Xz.^.

4 ** Speak, Father V* once again he cried,

'* If I may yet be gone !
And" — but the booming ahou replied,
And fiMt the flames rolled on.

5 They wrapt the ship in splendor wild,

They caught the flag on high.
And stream^ aboTe the gallant child.
Like banners in the sky.

6 There came a burst of thunder sound —

The boy— oh! where was he?
—Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea ;

7 With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,

That well had borne their part —
But the noblest thing that perish'd there.
Was that young faithful heart.

Mrs, Htmans,

44. Fitz James and Roderick Dhu,

With cautious step, and ear awake,

He climbs the crag, and threads the brake ; ,

And not the summer solstice, there,

Tempered the midnight mountain air,
5 But every breeze that swept the wold,

Benumb'd his drenched limbs with cold.

In dread, in danger, and alone,

Famish'd and chill'd, through ways unknown.

Tangled and steep, he journey'd on ;
10 Till, as a rock's huge point he turn'd,

A watch-fire close l^fbre him burn'd,

Beside its embers red and clear.

Basked, in his plaid, a mountaineer ;

And up he sprung with sword in hand, —
15 " Thy name and purpose ! Saxon, stand !"

" A stranger."*-*' What dost thou require t"

** Rest and a guide, and food and fire.

My lifers beset, my path is lost,

The gale has chilPd my limbs with frost." —



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6x.:^. FAMILIAR PlSeES. 986

550 ** Art thoa a frieod to Roderick V'—'* No."

** Thou darest not call thyself a foe V*

" I dare I to him and all the band

He brings to aid his niarderous hand." —

*' Bold words! — but, though the beast of game
25 The privilege of chase may claim,

Though space and law the stag we lend.

Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend,

Who ever reck'd, where, how, or when.

The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain ?
30 Thus treacherous scouts, — yet sure they lie,

Who say thou cam'st a secret spy !"

They do, by heaven? — Come Roderick Dhu,

And of his clan the boldest two,

And let me but till morning rest,
35 I write the falsehood on their crest." —

** If by the blaze I mark aright.

Thou bear'st the belt and spur of Knight."

** Then, by these tokens may'st thou know

Each proud oppressor's mortal foe." —
40 '* Enough, enough ; sit down and share

A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare." Scott,

45* Address to the Mummy,

1 And thou hast walk'd about (how strange a story !)

In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
When the Memnonium was in all its glory^

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.

2 Speak! for thou long enough hast acted Dummy,

Thou hast a tongue — come, let us hear its tune :
Thou'rt standing on thy legs, above ground. Mummy !

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon.
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures.
But with thy lK>nes and flesh, and limbs and features.

3 Tell us — for doubtless thou canst recollect.

To whom should we assign the sphinx's fame 7
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect



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Bxtmcneft. [Ex. 4&r



or either Pyramid that bears his name t
Is Pompej's pillar really a misnomer !
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer !

4 Perhaps thou wert a Mason, and forbidden
By oath to tell the mysteries of thy trade ;
Then say what secret melody was hidden

In Memnon's statue wbich at sunrise played?
Perhaps thou wert a Priest — if so, my struggles
Are vain ; — Egyptian priests ne'er owned their juggles.

6 Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat.
Has hob-a-nobb'd with Pharaoh glass to glass :
Or dropp'd a halfpenny in Homer's hat.

Or doffd thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication.

6 I need not ask thee if that hand, when arra'd,

Has any Roman soldier maul'd and knuckled,
Eor thou wert dead, and buried, and embalm'd,

Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled : —
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after thy primeval race was run.

7 Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have above ground seen some strange mutations ;
The Roman empire has begun and ended ;

New worlds have risen — we have lost old nations,
And countless kings have into dust been humbled,
While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.

8 Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head.

When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,
March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,

O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
And shook the Pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder ?

9 If the tomb's secrets may not be confess'd,

The nature of thy private life unfold : —
A heart has throbb'd beneath that leathern breast,
And tears adown that dusky cheek have roll'd ; —



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£^. 46,] FAMILIAR BtKCES. 987

Have childrer dimb'd those knees, and kiss'd that Cace!
What was thy name and station, age, and race 7

10 Statue of flesh— immortal of the dead !

Imperishable type of evanescence !
Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,

And standest undecayed within our presence,
Thou wilt hear nothing tiJl the Judgment morning,
When the great trump shaJI thrill thee with its warning.

1 ] Why should this worthless tegument endure.
If its undying guest be lost forever ?
O let us keep the soul embalmed and pure

In living virtue ; that when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
Th' immortal spirit in the skies may bloom.

46. Othello and lago.

logo. My noble lord

Oth, What dost thou say, lago?
lago. Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady,
Know of your love?
5 Oth. He did, from first to last. Why dost thou ask !

logo. But for a satisfaction of my thought ;
No further harm.

Oik. Why of thy thought, lago?
lago.l did not think, he had been acquainted with hen
JO Oth. O yes ; and went between us very oil.
logo. Indeed ?

Oth. Indeed ! ay, indeed : — Discern'st thou aught
in that ?
Is he not honest ?
16 logo. Honest, my lord ?
Oth, Ay, honest.
logo. My lord, for aught I know.
Oth. What dost thou think ?
lago. Think, my lord ?
20 Oth. Think, my lord ? Why, thou dost echo me,
As if there were some monster in thy thought
Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something ;



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S88 EXERCISES. [Ex. 46.

I beard thee say but now, •* Thou lik'dRt not that,"

When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like ?
25 And when I told thee, he was of my counsel

In my whole course of wooing, thou criedst, ** Indeed V*
And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
As if tbou then hadst shut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
90 Show me thy thought.

logo. My lord, you know I lore you.
Oth, 1 think, thou dost :
And, for I know thou art full of love and honesty,
And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them breath,
35 Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more :
For such things, in a false, disloyal knave,
Are tricks of custom ; but in a man that's just,
They are close denotements, working from the heart,
That passion cannot rule.
40 logo. For Michael Cassio,

I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.
Oth. 1 think so too.
logo. Men should be what they seem ;
Or, those that be not, 'would they might seem none 1
45 Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem.

logo. Why then, I think that Cassio 's an honest man.
Oth, Nay, yet there's more in this ;
I pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings.
As thou dost ruminate : and give thy worst of thoughts
50 The worst of words.

lage. Good my lord, pardon me ;
Though I am bound to every act of duty,
I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts ? — Why, say, they are vile and false ?
55 And Where's that palace, whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not ? Who has a breast so pure,
But somb uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets, and law-days, and in sessions sit
With meditations lawful ? Shakspeare,



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&, 4f •] PAMlUAll ^IBGES. 28t^

47. Macduff,

Macd. See, who comes here ?
Jfa/« My countryman ; but yet I know him not.
Macd, My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither*
Mai T know him now. Pray heaven, betimes remove
5 The means that makes us strangers I
Rosse, Sir, Amen.

Macd, Stands Scotland where it did ?
Rosse. Alas, poor country !
Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot
10 Be called our mother, but our grave ; where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile ;
' Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rend the air,
Are made, not marked : where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy : the dead man's knell
15 Is there scarce asked, for whom ; and good men's lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps.
Dying, or e'er they sicken.

Macd, O, relation.
Too nice, and yet too true !
20 Mai. What is the newest grief?

Rosse. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker.
Each minute teems a new one.
Macd, How does my wife 1
Rosse. Why, well.
^ Macd. And all my children ?
Rosse, Well too.

Macd, The tyrant has not battered at their peace ?
Rosse, No ; they were well at peace, when I did

leave them.
Macd, Be not a niggard of your speech ; how goes it t

30 Rosse, 1 have words,

That would be howled out in the desert air.
Where hearing should not latch them.

Macd. What concern they 7
The general cause 7 or is it a fee-grief,
35 Due to some single breast ?

Rosse, No mind, that's honest,
But in it shares some woe ; though the main part
Pertains to you alone.
25



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290 BUB0I8B8. [El. 46.

Macd, If it be mine,
40 Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it

Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue forever.
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.
Macd, Ah ! I guess at it.
45 Rosse, Your castle is surprised ; your wife and babes
Savagely slaughtered : to relate the manner,
Were, on the quarry of these murdered deer.
To add the death of you.
Mai. Merciful heaven !
50 What, man ! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows ;
Give sorrow words : the grief, that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.
Macd, My children too 1 —
Rosse, Wife, children, servants, all that could be
found.
55 Macd, And I must be from thence 1 my wife killed
toot
Rosse. I have said.
Mai, Be comforted.
Let's make us medicines of our great revenge.
To cure this deadly grief.
60 Macd. I shall do so ;

But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on.
And would not take their part 1 Sinful Macduff,
65 They were all struck for thee I naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now !

Shaksptare.

48. Wiaiam Tell.

Gealer, the tyrant, Sarnem, his officer, and William Tell, a Swiia peasant.

8ar, Down, slave, upon thy knees before the governor,
And beg for mercy.

Ges. Does he hear ?

Sar, He does, but braves thy power. [To Tell']
Down^ slave.
And ^osk for life.



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Ex. 48.] FAMILIAR PIECES. 291

6 Ges, [To TelL] Why spcafcest thou not ?
Tell. For wonder.
Gts. Wonder ?

TdL Yes, that thou shouldst seem a man.
Ges. What should I seem ?
10 Tell. A monster.

Ges. Ha ! Beware ! — ^think on thy chains.
Tell. Though they were doubled, and did weigh me
down
Prostrate to earth, methinks I could rise up
Erect with nothing but the honest pride
15 Of telling thee, usurper, to thy teeth^

Thou art a monster. — Think on my chains 1
How came they on me ?

Ges. Darest thou question me ?
TelL Darest thou answer ?
^ Ges. Beware my vengeance.
TelL Can it more than kill ?
Ges. And is not that enough ?
TeiL No, not enough : —
li cannot take away the grace of life —
25 The comeliness of look that virtue shes —
Its port erect, with consciousness of truth —
Its rich attire of honorable deeds —
Its fair report that's rife on good men's tongues : —
It cannot lay its hand on these, no more«
20 Than it can pluck his brightness from the sun.
Or with polluted finger tarnish k.
Ges. But it may make thee writhe.
Tell. It may, and I may say.
Go on, though it should make me groan again.
35 Ges, Whence comest thou ?
Tell. From the mountains.
Ges. Canst tell me any news from them ?
TelL Ay ; — they watch no more the avalanche.
Ges. Why so?
40 Tell. Because they look for thee. . The hurricane
Comes unawares upon them : from its bed
The torrent breaks, and finds them in its track,
Ges. What then?



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293 BZBRCI8B8. [Ex. 48.

45 Tell. They thank kind ProTidence it is not thoo.

Thoa has perverted nature in them. The earth
Presents her fruits to them, and is not thanked.
The harvest sun is constant, and they scarce
Return his smile. Their flocks and herds increase,
50 And they look on as men who count a k)ss.

There's not a blessing Heaven voochsafes thero^ but
The thought of thee doth wither to a curse,
As something they must lose, and had fa better
Lack.
55 Ges, 'Tis well. I'd have them as their hills
That never smile, though wanton summer tempt
Them e'er so much.

Tell. But they do sometimes smite.
Ges. Ah 1 — when is that ?
60 Tell. When they do pray for vengeance.
Ges. Dare they pray for that 1
Tell. They dare, and they expect it, too.
Ges. From whence t

Tell. From Heaven, and their true hearts.
65 Ges. [To Samem.] I^ead in his son. Now will I take
Exquisite vengeance. [To Tell, as the bay eslers,] I

have destined him
To die along with thee.

2\ll. To die! for what? he's but a ohiM.
70 Ges. He's thine, however.

TeU. He is an only child.
Ges. So much the easier to crush the race.
Tell. He may have a mother.
Ges. So the viper hath —
75 And yet who spares it for the mother's sake ?

TeU. I talk to stone. V\\ take to it no more.
Come, my boy, I taught thee how to live^ —
I'll teach thee how to die.

Ges. But first, I'd see thee make
80 A trial of thy skill with that same bow.
Thy arrows never miss, 'tis said.
Tell. What is the trial t

Ges. Thou look'st upon thy boy as though thou guess-
est it.
85 TeU. Look upon my boy ! What mean you t



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Look upon my boy as though I guess'd it ! —
Guess'd the trial thou'dst have me make !
Guess'd it instinctively ! Thou dost not mean —
No, no— Thou wouldst not have me make
"90 A trial of my skill upon my child !

Impossible I I do not guess thy meaning.

Ges, Vd see thee hit an apple on his head,
Three hundred paces off.
Tell Great Heaven !
95 Ges. On this condition only will I spare
His life and thine.

Tell Ferocious monster ! make a father
Murder his own child !
Ges, Dost thou consent ?
100 Tell With his own hand J—

The hand I've led him when an infant by !
My hands are iree from blood, and have no gust
For it, that they should drink my child's,
ril not murder my boy for Gesler.
105 Boy, You will not hit me, father. You'll be sure
To hit the apple. Will you not save me, father ?
Tell Lead me forth — I'll make the trial.

Boy, Father

Tell Speak not to me ;—
110 Let me not hear thy voice — Thou must be dumb,
And so should all things be — Earth should be dumb,
And Heaven, unless its thunder muttered at
The deed, and sent a bolt to stop it. —
Give roe my bow and quiver.
115 Ges, When all is ready. Sarnem, measure hence
The distance — three hundred paces.
Tell Will he do it fairly !
Ges, What is't to thee, fairly or not ?
Tell [sarcastically,] O, nothing, a little thing,
120 A very little thing ; I only shoot
At my child 1

X Sarnem prepares to measure,]
Tell. Villain, stop ! You measure against the sun.
Ges, And what of that ?
125 What matter whether to or from the sun ?
25*



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S94 EXERCISES. [Ex. 48.

Tell Vd have it at my back. The sun should shine
Upon the mark, and not on him that shoots —
I will not shoot against the sun.

Ges. Give him his way [Samem paces and goes oii/.]
130 Tell. I should like to see the apple I must hit.

Ges. [Picks out the smallest one.] There, take that.
TeU, You've picked the smallest one.
Ges, I know I have. Thy skill will be
The greater if thou hittest it.
135 TeU. [sarcastically.] True!— True 1 I did not think
of that.
I wonder I did not think of that. A larger one
Had given me a chance to save my boy. —
Give me my bow. Let me see my quiver.
140 Ges. Give him a single arrow. [To an attendant.]
[ Tell looks at it and breaks it.]
Tell Let me see my quiver. It is not
One arrow in a dozen I would use
To shoot with at a dove, much less a dove
145 Like that.

Ges. Show him the quiver.
[8arnem returns and takes the apple and the boy to
place them. While this is doings Tell conceals an
arrow under his garment. He then selects another
ISO arrow, and says,]

Tell Is the boy ready 1 Keep silence now
For Heaven's sake, and be my witnesses.
That if his life's in peril from my hand,
'Tis only for the chance of saving it.
155 For mercy's sake keep motionless and silent.

[He aims and shoots in the direction of the boy. In a
moment Samem enters with the apple on the arrow's

Samem. The boy is safe,
160 Tell [Raising /Us arms.] Thank Heaven !

[As he reuses his arm the concealed arrow falls.
Ges. [Picking it up.] Unequalled archer ! why was

this concealed 1
Tell To kill thee, tyrant, had 1 slain my boy.]



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Ex. 49^ 50.] PAMILIAR PIBCBS. 395

49. Nathan's Parable.

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David ; and he
went unto him and said unto him,

" There were two men in one city ; the one rich,



Online LibraryEbenezer PorterAnalysis of the principles of rhetorical delivery as applied in reading and ... → online text (page 20 of 30)