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Richard Green Parker.

Exercises in rhetorical reading : with a series of introductory lessons, particularly designed to familiarize readers with the pauses and other marks in general use, and lead them to the practice of modulation and inflection of the voice online

. (page 17 of 38)
Online LibraryRichard Green ParkerExercises in rhetorical reading : with a series of introductory lessons, particularly designed to familiarize readers with the pauses and other marks in general use, and lead them to the practice of modulation and inflection of the voice → online text (page 17 of 38)
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yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past.
While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was
overspread with clouds ; the day vanished from before him,

6 and a sudden tempest gathered round his head.

He was now roused by his danger to a quick and pain-
ful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happiness
is lost when ease is consulted ; he lamented the unmanly
impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove.

10 and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle
to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew
blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.

He now resolved to do what yet remained in his power —
to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to

15 find some issue where the wood might open into the plain.
He prostrated himself on the ground, and recommended
his life to the Lord of Nature. He rose with confidence
and tranquillity, and pressed on with resolution.

The beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every

20 hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and
ravage and expiration. All the horrors of darkness and
solitude surrounded him; the winds roared in the woods,
and the torrents tumbled from the hills.

Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the

25 wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether
he was every moment drawing nearer to safety, or to de-
struction. At length, not fear, but labor, began to over-
come him ; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled,
and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to

30 his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glim-
mer of a taper.

He advanced towards the light, and finding that it pro-
ceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at
the door, and obtained admission. The old man set be-

35 fore him such provisions as he had collected for himself,
on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude.

When the repast was over, " Tell me," said the hermit,
"by what chance thou hast been brought hither? I have
been now twenty years an inhabitant of the wilderness, in

40 which I never saw a man before." Obidah then related
the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment
or palliation.

" Son," said the hermit, "let the errors and follies, the
dangers and escape, of this day, sink deep into thy heart.



EX. XIII.] RHETORICAL READING. 191

Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a
day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigor, and
full of expectation ; we set forward with spirit and hope,
with gayety and with diligence, and travel on a while in

5 the direct road of piety towards the mansions of rest. In
a short time, we remit our fervor, and endeavor to find
some mitigation of our duty, and some more easy means
of obtaining the same end.

" We then relax our vigor, and resolve no longer to be

10 terrified with crimes at a distance ; but rely upon our own
constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never
to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose
in the shades of security. Here the heart softens, and
vigilance subsides ; we are then willing to inquire whether

15 another advance cannot be made, and whether we may

not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure.

" We approach them with scruple and hesitation ; we enter

them, but enter timorous and trembling; and always hope

to pass through them without losing the road of virtue,

20 which, for a while, we keep in our sight, and to which we
purpose to return.

" But temptation succeeds temptation, and one compli-
ance prepares us for another ; we in time lose the happi-
ness of innocence, and solace our disquiet with sensual

25 gratifications. By degrees, we let fall the remembrance
of our original intention, and quit the only adequate ob-
ject of rational desire. We entangle ourselves in busi-
ness, immerge ourselves in luxury, and rove through the
labyrinths of inconstancy; till the darkness of old age

30 begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our
way.

" We then look back upon our lives with horror, with
sorrow, with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly
wish, that we had not forsaken the ways of virtue. Happy

35 are they, my son, who shall learn from thy example not
to despair ; but shall remember, that, though the day is
past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one
eflbrt to be made ; that reformation is never hopeless, nor
sincere endeavors ever unassisted; that the wanderer may

40 at length return after all his errors, and that he who im-
plores strength and courage from above shall find danger
and difficulty give way before him.

"Go now, my son, to thy repose ; -commit thyself to the
care of Omnipotence ; and when the morning calls again

45 to toil, begin anew thy journey and thy life." — Dr. Johnsoji.



192 Parker's exercises in [ex. xrv

EXERCISE XIY

A Summer Morning.

From brightening fields of ether fair disclosed,
Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes,
In pride of youth, and felt through Nature's depth.
He comes attended by the sultry Hours,
5 And ever-fanning breezes on his way ;

While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring
Averts her blushful face ; and earth and skies,
All smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.

^ 4A, 4/, 4£^ «u.

T?* n^ 'TV' •VV" -T^

With what an awful, world-revolving power

10 Were first the unwieldly planets launched along
The illimitable void ! thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years.
That oft has swept the toiling race of men
And all their labored monuments away,

15 Firm, unremitting, matchless, in their course ;
To the kind-tempered change of night and day,
And of the seasons ever stealing round.
Minutely faithful ; such the All-perfect Hand,
That poised, impels, and rules the steady whole !

20 When now no more the alternate Twins are fired.
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night ;
And soon, observant of approaching day,
The meek-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews,

25 At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east :
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow ;
And, from before the lustre of her face,
White break the clouds away. With quickened step,
Brown Night retires : young Day pours in apace,

30 And opens all the lawny prospect wide.

The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top.
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.

Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine ;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare

35 Limps, awkward; while along the forest glade
The wild deer trip, and, often turning, gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy,
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.

40 Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves



EX. XIV.] RHETORICAL READING. 193

His mossy cottage, where with peace he dwells ;

And from the crowded fold, in order, drives

His flock, to taste the verdure of the mom.
Falsely luxurious ! will not Man awake,
5 And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy

The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,

To meditation due and sacred song ?

For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise ?

To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
10 The fleeting moments of too short a life ;

Total extinction of the enlightened soul !

Or else, to feverish vanity alive,

Wildered, and tossing through distempered dreams ?
Who would in such a gloomy state remain
15 Longer than Nature craves, when every Muse

And every blooming pleasure wait without,

To bless the wildly-devious morning walk ?
But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,

Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud,
20 The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow

Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach

Betoken glad.

Lo ! now, apparent all,

Aslant the dew-bright earth and colored air,
25 He looks in boundless majesty abroad ;

And sheds the shining day, that burnished plays

On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,

High gleaming from afar.

Prime cheerer, Light !
30 Of all material beings first and best !

Efflux divine ! Nature's resplendent robe !

Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapped

In unessential gloom I and thou, O Sun !

Soul of surrounding worlds ! in whom, best seen,
35 Shines out thy Maker ! may I sing of thee ?
'T is by thy secret, strong, attractive force.

As with a chain indissoluble bound.

Thy system rolls entire : from the far bourn

Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round
40 Of thirty years, to Mercury, whose disk

Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye,

Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze.
Informer of the planetary train !

Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orba
17



194 Parker's exercises ln [ex. xv.

Were brute, unlovely mass, inert and dead,
And not, as now, the green abodes of life !
How many forms of being wait on thee !
Inhaling spirit; from the unfettered mind,
5 By thee sublimed, down to the daily race,
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam.

The vegetable world is also thine,
Parent of seasons ! who the pomp precede
That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain,

10 Annual, along the bright ecliptic road,
In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime.

Meantime the expecting nations, circled gay
With all the various tribes of foodful earth.
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up

J5 A common hymn ; while, round thy beaming car,
High seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance
Harmonious knit, — the rosy-fingered Hours, —
The Zephyrs floating loose, — the timely Rains,
Of bloom ethereal, — the light-footed Dews, —

20 And softened into joy the surly Storms.

These, in successive turn, with lavish hand.
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower.
Herbs, flowers and fruits ; till, kindling at thy touch,
From land to land is flushed the vernal year.=^

Thomson,



EXERCISE XV.

The Parable of the Eive Lamh.

From the Second Book of Samuel, Chapter xii.

25 And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came
unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one
city ; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had
exceeding many flocks and herds : but the poor man had
nothing save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought

30 and nourished up : and it grew up together with him, and
with his children ; it did eat of his own meat, and drank
of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him
as a daughter.

* The student who is in search of poetical beauties will probably look in
vain, among ancient or modern authors, for a more remarkable instance of the
union of beauty and sublimity in imagery, than is presented in the con-
cluding portion of this extract.



EX. XVI.J RHETORICAL READING. MB

And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he

spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to

dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him ;

but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man

5 that was come to him.

And David's anger was greatly kindled against tne man ;
and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that
hath done this thing shall surely die. And he shall re-
store the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and

10 because he had no pity.

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus
saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over
Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul. And
I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives

15 into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of
Judah ; and if that had been too little, I would moreover
have given unto thee such and such things.

Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the
Lord, to do evil in his sight ? thou hast killed Uriah the

20 Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy
wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of
Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from
thine house ; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken
the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith

25 the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of
thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine
eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor.

'tP- 'Jr "7? •«? v^ TT

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the
Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath
30 put away thy sin ; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because
by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies
of the Lord to blaspheme, t-he child also that is born unto
thee shall surely die.

And Nathan departed unto his house.



EXERCISE XVI.

Meditation.

35 These are the haunts of Meditation, these

The scenes where ancient bards the inspiring breath,
Ecstatic, felt ; and, from this world retired.



196 Parker's exercises in [ex. xvi.

Conversed with angels and immortal forms,

On gracious errands bent : to save the fall

Of virtue struggling on the brink of vice ;

In waking whispers, and repeated dreams,
5 To hint pure thought, and warn the favored soul

For future trials fated to prepare ;

To prompt the poet, who, devoted, gives

His muse to better themes ; to soothe the pangs

Of dying worth, and from the patriot's breast
10 (Backward to mingle in detested war.

And foremost when engaged) to turn the death ;

An(J, numberless such offices of love.

Daily and nightly, zealous to perform.

Shook sudden from the bosom of the sky,
15 A thousand shapes or glide athwart the dust.

Or stalk majestic on. Deep roused, I feel

A sacred terror, a severe delight.

Creep through my mortal frame ; and thus, methinks

A voice, than human more, the abstracted ear
20 Of fancy strikes : — "Be not of us afraid,

Poor kindred man ! thy fellow-creatures, we

From the same parent power our beings drew,

The same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit.

Once some of us, like thee, through stormy life
25 Toiled, tempest-beaten, ere we could attain

This holy calm, this harmony of mind,
I Where purity and peace immingle charms.

Then fear not us ; but with responsive song,

Amid these dim recesses, undisturbed
30 By noisy folly and discordant vice,

Of Nature sing with us, and Nature's God.

Here frequent, at the visionary hour

When musing midnight reigns, or silent noon.

Angelic harps are in full concert heard,
35 And voices chanting from the wood-crowned hill,

The deepening dale, or inmost sylvan glade ;

A privilege bestowed by us, alone,

On Contemplation, or the hallowed ear

Of poet, swelling to seraphic strain. Thoms&n.



™i



EX. XVn.] RHETORICAL READING. 197

EXERCISE XVII.

The Planetary arid Terrestrial Worlds comparatively
coiisidered.

To us, who dwell on its surface, the earth is by far the'
most extensive orb that our eyes can anywhere behold : it
is also clothed with verdure, distinguished by trees, and
adorned with a variety of beautiful decorations ; whereas,
5 to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it wears a uni-
form aspect; looks all luminous; and no larger than a
spot.

To beings who dwell at still greater distances it entirely
disappears. That which we call alternately the morning

10 and the evening star (as in one part of the orbit she rides
foremost in the procession of night, in the other ushers in
and anticipates the dawn) is a planetary world. This
planet, and the four others that so wonderfully vary their
mystic dance, are in themselves dark bodies, and shine

15 only by reflection ; have fields and seas and skies of their
own ; are furnished with all accommodations for animal
subsistence, and are supposed to be the abodes of intellect-
ual life ; all which, together with our earthly habitations,
are dependent on that grand dispenser of divine munifi-

20 cence, the sun ; receive their light from the distribution
of his rays, and derive their comfort from his benign
agency.

The sun, which seems to perform its daily stages through
the sky, is in this respect fixed and immovable ; it is the

25 great axle of heaven, about which the globe we inhabit,
and other more spacious orbs, wheel their stated courses.
The sun, though seemingly smaller than the dial it illumi-
nates, is abundantly larger than this whole earth, on which
so many lofty mountains rise, and such vast oceans roll.

30 A line extending from side to side, through the centre of
that resplendent orb, would measure more than eight hun-
dred thousand miles ; a girdle formed to go round its cir-
cumference would require a length of millions. Were its
solid contents to be estimated, the account would overwhelm

35 our understanding, and be almost beyond the power of
language to express. Are we startled at these reports of
philosophy ?

Are we ready to cry out, in a transport of surprise,
"How mighty is the Being who kindled so prodigious a

40 fire, and keeps alive, from age to age, so enormous a mass
18*



198 Parker's exercises in [ex. xveu

of flame ? " Let us attend our philosophical guides, and
we shall be brought acquainted with speculations more
enlarged and more inflaming.

This sun, with all its attendant planets, is but a very

5 little part of the grand machine of the universe ; every
star, though in appearance no bigger than the diamond
that glitters upon a lady's ring, is really a vast globe, like
the sun in size and in glory ; no less spacious, no less
luminous, than the radiant source of day. So that every

10 star is not barely a world, but the centre of a magnificent
system ; has a retinue of worlds, irradiated by its beams,
and revolving round its attractive influence, all which are
lost to our sight in unmeasurable wilds of ether.

That the stars appear like so many diminutive and

15 scarcely distinguishable points, is owing to their immense
and inconceivable distance. Immense and inconceivable
indeed it is, since a ball shot from the loaded cannon, and
flying with unabated rapidity, must travel, at this impetu-
ous rate, almost seven hundred thousand years, before it

20 could reach the nearest of these twinkling luminaries.

While, beholding this vast expanse, I learn my ovsm ex-
treme meanness, I would also discover the abject littleness
of all terrestrial things. What is the earth, with all her
ostentatious scenes, compared with this astonishing grand

25 furniture of the skies ? what, but a dim speck, hardly per-
ceivable in the map of the universe ?

It is observed by a very judicious writer, that if the sun
himself, which enlightens this part of the creation, were
extinguished, and all the host of planetary worlds, which

80 move about him, were annihilated, they would not be
missed by an eye that can take in the whole compass of
nature, any more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore.
The bulk of which they consist, and the space which they
occupy, are so exceedingly little in comparison of the

35 whole, that their loss would scarcely leave a blank in the
immensity of God's works.

If, then, not our globe only, but this whole system, be
so very diminutive, what is a kingdom, or a country?
What are a few lordships, or the so much admired patri-

40 monies of those who are st3ded wealthy ? When I meas-
ure them with my own little pittance, they swell into
proud and bloated dimensions : but when I take the uni-
verse for my standard, how scanty is their size, how
contemptible their figure! They shrink into pompous

45 nothings. — Addison.



EX. XVm.] RHETORICAL READING. 199

EXERCISE XVIII.
Quarrel between Roderick Dhu aiid Fitz-James,

The shades of eve come slowly down,

The woods are wrapped in deeper brown,

The owl awakens from her dell,

The fox is heard upon the fell ;
5 Enough remains of glimmering light

To guide the wanderer's steps aright,

Yet not enough from far to show

His figure to the watchful foe.

With cautious step, and ear awake,
10 He climbs the crag and threads the brake ;

And not the summer solstice there

Tempered the midnight mountain air.

But every breeze that swept the wold

Benumbed his drenched limbs with cold.
15 In dread, in danger, and alone.

Famished and chilled, through ways unknown,

Tangled and steep, he"^ journeyed on ;

Till, as a rock's huge point he turned,

A watch-fire close before him burned.
20 Beside its embers red and clear.

Basked, in his plaid, a mountaineer ;

And up he sprung, with sword in hand, —

" Thy name and purpose ! Saxon, stand ! " —

" A stranger." — " What dost thou require ? " —
25 " Rest and a guide, and food and fire.

My life 's beset, my path is lost.

The gale has chilled my limbs with frost." —
" Art thou a friend to Roderick ? " — " No." —

" Thou darest not call thyself a foe ? " —
30 " I dare ! to him and all the band

He brings to aid his murderous hand." —

" Bold words ! — but though the beast of game

The privilege of chase may claim.

Though space and law the stag we lend,
35 Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend,

Who ever recked, where, how, or when.

The prowling fox. was trapped or slain ?

Thus treacherous scouts, — yet sure they lie,

Who say thou cam'st a secret spy ! " —

Fitz-James.



200 Parker's exercises in [ex. xvm.

" They do, by heaven ! — C'^me Roderick Dhu,

And of his clan the boldest two,

And let me but till morning rest,

I write the falsehood on their crest." —
5 " 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." —
" Enough, enough ; sit down and share
10 A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare."

He gave him of his highland cheer,

The hardened flesh of mountain deer ;

Dry fuel on the fire he laid.

And bade the Saxon share his plaid ;
15 He tended him like welcome guest,

Then thus his further speech addressed :
*' Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu

A clansman born, a kinsman true ;

Each word against his honor spoke
20 Demands of me avenging stroke ;

Yet more, — upon thy fate, 't is said,

A mighty augury is laid.

It rests with me to wind my horn, —

Thou art with numbers overborne ;
25 It rests with me, here, brand to brand,

Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand ;

But, nor for clan nor kindred's cause.

Will I depart from honor's laws :

To assail a wearied man were shame,
30 And stranger is a holy name ;

Guidance and rest, and food and fire,

In vain he never must require.

Then rest thee here till dawn of day.

Myself will guide thee on the way,
35 O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward,

Till past Clan-Alpin's outmost guard.

As far as Coilantogle's ford ;

From thence thy warrant is thy sword." —
" I take thy courtesy, by heaven,
40 As freely as 't is nobly given ! " —

" Well, rest thee ; for the bittern's cry

Sings us the lake's wild lullaby."

With that he shook the gathered heath.

And spread his plaid upon the wreath ;



BX. XVIII.] RHETORICAL READING. 201

And the brave foemen, side by sije,
Lay peaceful down, like broth eWtried,
And slept until the dawning beam
Purpled the mountain and the stream.

# # :^ # # #
5 That early beam, so fair and sheen,

Was twinkling through the hazel screen,

When, rousing at its glimmer red,

The warriors left their lowly bed,

Looked out upon the dappled sky,
10 Muttered their soldier matins by,

And then awaked their fire, to steal,

As short and rude, their soldier meal.
That o'er, the Gael=^ around him threw

His graceful plaid of varied hue,
15 And, true to promise, led the way,

By thicket green and mountain gray.

A wildering path ! — they winded now

Along the precipice's brow.

Commanding the rich scenes beneath, —
20 The windings of the Forth and Teith,

And all the vales between that lie, \

Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky;

Thence, sunk in copse, their farthest glance

Gained not the length of horseman's lance.
25 'T was oft so steep, the foot was fain

Assistance from the hand to gain :

So tangled oft, that, bursting through.

Each hawthorn shed her showers of dew, —

That diamond dew, so pure and clear.

It rivals all but Beauty's tear !
30 At length they came where, stem and steep,

The hill sinks down upon the deep ;

# # # :i^ * #
So toilsome was the road to trace.

The guide, abating of his pace,
35 Led slowly through the pass's jaws.

And asked Fitz-James by what strange cause

He sought these wilds ; traversed by few.

Without a pass from Roderick Dhu ?
" Brave Gael, my pass, in danger tried,
40 Hangs in my belt, and by my side ;

* The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gael, or Gaul, and terms tha
Lowlander, Sassenach^ or Saxon.



202 Parker's exercises in [ex.

Yet, sooth to tell," the Saxon said,

" I dreamed not now to claim its aid ;

When here, but three days' since, I came,



Online LibraryRichard Green ParkerExercises in rhetorical reading : with a series of introductory lessons, particularly designed to familiarize readers with the pauses and other marks in general use, and lead them to the practice of modulation and inflection of the voice → online text (page 17 of 38)