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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

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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 19 of 38)
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power of flattering themselves.

'* That man is surely the most wretched of the sons of
wretchedness who lives with his own faults and follies

10 always before him, and who has none to reconcile him to
himself by praise and veneration. I have long sought con-
tent, and have not found it; I will from this moment
endeavor to be rich."

Full of this new resolution, he shut himself in his cham-

15 ber for six months, to deliberate how he should grow rich.
He sometimes purposed to offer himself as a counsellor to
one of the kings in India, and sometimes resolved to dig
for diamonds in the mines of Golconda.

One day, after some hours passed in violent fluctuation

20 of opinion, sleep insensibly seized him in his chair. He
dreamed that he was ranging a desert country, in search
of some one that might teach him to grow rich ; and as he
stood on the top of a hill, shaded with cypress, in doubt
whither to direct his steps, his father appeared on a sudden

25 standing before him.

" Ortogrul," said the old man, " I know thy perplexity ;
listen to thy father. Turn thine eye on the opposite moun-
tain." Ortogrul looked, and saw a torrent tumbling down
the rocks, roaring with the noise of thunder, and scattering

30 its foam on the impending woods. " Now," said his father,
" behold the valley that lies between the hills." Ortogrul
looked, and espied a little well, out of which issued a small
rivulet. " Tell me, now," said his father, " dost thou wish
for sudden affluence, that may pour upon thee like the

35 mountain torrent ; or for a slow and gradual increase, re-
sembling the rill gliding from the well ? "

" Let me be quickly rich," said Ortogrul ; " let the gold-
en stream be quick and violent." " Look around thee,"
said his father, " once again." Ortogrul looked, and per-

40 ceived the channel of the torrent dry and dusty ; but fol-
lowing the rivulet from the well, he traced it to a wide
lake, which the supply, slow and constant, kept always
full. He awoke, and determined to §row rich by silent
profit, and persevering industry.



216 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxn.

Having- sold his patrimony, he engaged in merchandise ;
and in twenty years purchased lands, on which he raised
a house equal in sumptuousness to that of the vizier ; to
this mansion he invited all the ministers of pleasure, ex-
5 pecting to enjoy all the felicity which he had imagined
riches able to afford. Leisure soon made him weary of
himself, and he longed to be persuaded that he was great
and happy. He was courteous and liberal ; he gave all
that approached him hopes of pleasing him, and all who

10 should please him hopes of being rewarded. Every art
of praise was tried, and every source of adulatory fiction
was exhausted.

Ortogrul heard, his flatterers without delight, because he
found himself unable to believe them. His own heart told

15 him its frailties ; his own understanding reproached him
with his faults. " How long," said he, with a deep sigh,
" have I been laboring in vain to amass wealth, which at
last is useless ! Let no man hereafter wish to be rich,
who is already too wise to be flattered." — Br. Johnson.



EXERCISE XXn.
Summer Heat.

20 All-conquering Heat, oh, intermit thy wrath !
And on my throbbing temples potent thus
Beam not so fierce ! incessant still you flow,
And still another fervent flood succeeds.
Poured on the head profuse. In vain I sigh,

25 And restless turn, and look around for night ;
Night is far off; and hotter hours approach.
Thrice happy he, who, on the sunless side
Of a romantic mountain, forest-crowned.
Beneath the whole-collected shade reclines ;

30 Or in the gelid caverns, woodbine-wrought.

And fresh bedewed with ever-spouting streams,
Sits coolly calm ; while all the world without,
Unsatisfied, and sick, tosses in noon.
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man,

35 Who keeps his tempered mind serene and pure,
And every passion aptly harmonized.
Amid a jarring world with vice inflamed.

Welcome, ye shades ! ye bowery thickets, hail



EX. XXIII. J RHETORICAL READING. 217

Ye lofty pines ! ye venerable oaks !

Ye ashes wild, resounding o'er the steep!

Delicious is your shelter to the soul,

As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,

5 Or stream full flowing, that his swelling sides
Laves, as he floats along the herbaged brink.
Cool, through the nerves, your pleasing comfort glides ,
The heart beats glad ; the fresh-expanded eye
And ear resume their watch ; the sinews knit ;

10 And life shoots swift through all the lightened limbs.

Thomson.



EXERCISE XXIII.

Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity, the Smcrce of
Consolation to Good Men.

I WAS yesterday, about sunset, ^^'alking in the open
fields, till the night insensibly fell upon me. I at first
amused myself with all the richness and variety of colors
which appeared in the western parts of heaven. In pro-

15 portion as they faded away and went out, several stars
and planets appeared, one after another, till the whole
firmament was in a glow.

The blueness of the ether was exceedingly heightened
and enlivened by the season of the year, and the rays of

20 all those luminaries that passed through it. The galaxy
appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the
scene, the full moon rose, at length, in that clouded majes-
ty which Milton takes notice of; and opened to the eye a
new picture of nature, which was more finely shaded, and

25 disposed among softer lights, than that which the sun had
before discovered to me.

As 1 was surveying the moon walking in her brightness,
and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought
arose in me, which I believe very often perplexes and dis-

30 turbs men of serious and contemplative natures. David
himself fell into it in that reflection: "When I consider
the heavens, the work of thy fingers ; the moon and the
stars which thou hast ordained ; what is man, that thou
art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou rcgard-

35 est him ! "

In the same manner, when I considered that infinite host
of stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of suns, which
19



218 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxni.

were then shining upon me ; with those innumerable sets
of planets or worlds, which were moving round their re-
spective suns ; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed
.another heaven of suns and worlds, rising still above this

5 which I discovered ; and these still enlightened by a supe-
rior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so
great a distance that they may appear to the inhabitants
of the former as the stars do to me : in short, while I pur-
sued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little in-

10 significant figure which I myself bore amidst the immen-
sity of God's works.

Were the sun which enlightens this part of the crea-
tion, with all the host of planetary worlds that move about
him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not

15 be missed, more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore.
The space they possess is so exceeding little in compari-
son of the whole, it would scarcely make a blank in the
creation. The chasm would be imperceptible to an eye
that could take in the whole compass of nature, and pass

20 from one end of the creation to the other ; as it is possible
there may be such a sense in ourselves hereafter, or in
creatures which are at present more exalted than our-
selves.

By the help of glasses, we see many stars which we do

25 not discover with our naked eyes ; and the finer our tele-
scopes are, the greater still are our discoveries.

Huygenius carries this thought so far, that he does not
think it impossible there may be stars, whose light has not
yet travelled down to us since their first creation. There

30 is no question that the universe has certain bounds set to
it ; but when we consider that it is the work of Infinite
Power, prompted by Infinite Goodness, with an infinite
space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any
bounds to it ?

35 To return, therefore, to my first thought — I could not
but look upon myself with secret horror, as a being that
was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so
great a work under his care and superintendency. I was
afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature,

40 and lost among that infinite variety of creatures, which,
in all probability, swarm through all these immeasumble
regions of matter.

In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought,
I considered that it took its rise from those narrow con-



EX. XXIIl.J nilETORICAL READING. 219

ceptions which we are apt to entertain of the Divine
Nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different
objects at the same time. If we are careful to inspect
some things, we must of course neglect others. This im-

5 perfection which we observe in ourselves is an imperfec-
tion that cleaves, in some degree, to creatures of the
highest capacities, as they are creatures ; that is, beings
of finite and limited natures.

The presence of every created being is confined to a

10 certain measure of space ; and, consequently, his observa-
tion is stinted to a certain number of objects. The sphere
in which we move^ and act, and understand, is of a wider
circumference to one creature than another, according as
we rise one above another in the scale of existence. But

15 the widest of these our spheres has its circumference.

When, therefore, we reflect on the Divine Nature, we
are so used and accustomed to this imperfection in our-
selves, that we cannot forbear, in some measure, ascribing
it to Him in whom there is no shadow of imperfection.

20 Our reason, indeed, assures us that his attributes are infi-
nite ; but the poorness of our conceptions is such, that it
cannot forbear setting bounds to everything it contem-
plates, till our reason comes again to our succor, and
throws down all those little prejudices which rise in us

25 unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.

We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy
thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker, in the
multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects
among which he seems to be incessantly employed, if we

30 consider, in the first place, that he is omnipresent ; and,
in the second, that he is omniscient.

If we consider him in his omnipresence, his being passes
through, actuates, and supports, the whole frame of nature.
His creation, in every part of it, is full of him. There is

35 nothing he has made, which is either so distant, so little,
or so inconsiderable, that he does not essentially reside in
it. His substance is within the substance of every being,
whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present
to it as that being is to itself.

40 It would be an imperfection in him, were he able to
move out of one place into another ; or to withdraw him-
self from anything he has created, or from any part of
that space which he diffused and spread abroad to infinity.
In short, to speak of him in the language of the old phi-



220 Parker's exexcises in [ex. xxiv.

losophers, he is a Being whose centre is everywhere, and
his circumference nowhere.

In the second place, he is omniscient as well as omni-
present. His omniscience, indeed, necessarily and natu-

5 rally flows from his omnipresence. He cannot but be
conscious of every motion that arises in the whole mate-
rial world, which he thus essentially pervades; and of
every thought that is stirring in the intellectual world, to
every part of which he is thus intimately united.

10 Were the soul separated from the body, and should it
with one glance of thought start beyond the bounds of the
creation, — should it for millions of years continue its pro-
gress through infinite space, with the same activity, — it
would still find itself within the embrace of its Creator,

15 and encompassed by the immensity of the Godhead.

In this consideration of the Almighty's omnipresence
and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanishes.
He cannot but regard everything that has being, especial-
ly such of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by

20 him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxie-
ty of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on
this occasion ; for, as it is impossible he should overlook
any of his creatures, so we may be confident that he re-
gards with an eye of mercy those who endeavor to r.ecom-

25 mend themselves to his notice, and, in an unfeigned hu-
mility of heart, think themselves unworthy that he should
be mindful of them. — Addison.



EXERCISE XXIV.

Summer Bathing.

Cheered by the milder beam, the sprightly youth
Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth

30 A sandy bottom shows. A while he stands
Gazing the inverted landscape, half afraid
To meditate the blue profound below ;
Then plunges headlong down the circling flood.
His ebon tresses and his rosy cheek

35 Instant emerge ; and, through the obedient wave,
At each short breathing by his lip repelled.
With arms and legs according well, he makes,
As humor leads, an easy-winding path •



EX. XXV.] RHETORICAL READING. 221

While, from his polished sides, a dewy light

Effuses on the pleased spectators round.
This is the purest exercise of health.

The kind refresher of the summer heats ;
5 Nor when cold Winter keens the brightening flood,

Would I weak-shivering linger on the brink.

Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserved,

By the bold swimmer, in the swift elapse

Of accident disastrous.
10 Hence the limbs

Knit into force ; and the same Roman arm,

That rose victorious o'er the conquered earth,

First learned, while tender, to subdue the wave.

Even from the body's purity the mind
15 Receives a secret, sympathetic aid. Thomson.



EXERCISE XXV.

Scene after a Thunder Shower.

As from the face of heaven the shattered clouds
Tumultuous rove, the interminable sky
Sublimer swells, and o'er the world expands
A purer azure. Through the lightened air

20 A higher lustre and a clearer calm.

Diffusive, tremble ; while, as if in sign
Of danger past, a glittering robe of joy,
Set off abundant by the yellow ray,
Invests the fields ; and nature smiles revived.

25 'T is beauty all, and grateful song around,
Joined to the low of kine, and numerous bleat
Of flocks thick-nibbling through the clovered vale.
And shall the hymn be marred by thankless Man.
Most favored! who with voice articulate

30 Should lead the chorus of this lower world;
Shall he, so soon forgetful of the Hand
That hushed the thunder, and serenes the sky,
Extinguished feel that spark the tempest waked,
That sense of powers exceeding far his own,

35 Ere yet his feeble heart has lost its fears? Thomson,
19*



222 Parker's exercises in [ex. xrvT,

EXERCISE XXVI.

Domestic Employinent.

Since Industry is the aliment of contentment and hap-
piness, the female sex are privileged in the variety of
employments that solicit their attention. These are so
diversified in their combinations of amusement with utili-

5 ty, that no room need be left for the melancholy of a vacant
and listless mind.

Needle-w^ork, in all its forms of use, elegance and orna-
ment, has ever been the appropriate occupation of woman.
From the shades of Eden, when its humble process was

10 but to unite the fig-leaf, to the days when the mother of
Sisera looked from her window, in expectation of a " prey
of divers colors of needle-work on both sides, meet for the
necks of those that take the spoil," down to modern times,
when nature's pencil is rivalled by the most exquisite tis-

15 sues of embroidery, it has been both their duty and their
resource. While the more delicate efforts of the needle
rank high among accomplishments, its necessary depart-
ments are not beneath the notice of the most refined
young lady.

20 To keep her own wardrobe perfectly in order, to pay
just regard to economy, and to add to the comfort of the
poor, it will be necessary to obtain a knowledge of those
inventions by which the various articles of apparel are re-
paired, modified and renovated. True satisfaction, and

25 cheerfulness of spirits, are connected with these quiet and
congenial pursuits.

This has been simply and fortunately expressed by one
of our sweetest poets : —

•' It rains. — What lady loves a rainy day?
She loves a rainy day, who sweeps the hearth,
And threads the busy needle, or applies
The scissors to the torn or thread- bare «leeve ;
Who blesses God that she has friends and home ;
Who, in the pelting of the storm, will think
Of some poor neighbor that she can befriend ;
Who trims the lamp at night, and reads aloud,
To a young brother, tales he loves to hear ;
Such are not sad even on a rainy day."

The queen of Louis XL of France was a pattern of
40 industry to her sex. Surrounding herself with the daugh-
ters of the nobility, whom she called her daughters, she
was both their teacher and companion, in elegant works



EX. XXVn.] RHETORICAL READING. 223

of embroidery and tapestry. The churches were adorned
with these proofs of their diligence and ingenuity. She
considered industry a remedy for a disordered imagina-
tion, and a shield against the temptations of a fashionable
5 life.

Hence prudence and modesty marked the manners of
that court, where their opposites had once prevailed, and
the blooming and elegant train by whom she was attended
" bore in their hearts the honor and virtue which she

10 planted there."

It has been sometimes urged as an objection against the
modern system of female education, that the wide range
of science which it comprises turns the attention of the
young from household duty, and renders them impatient

15 of its details and labors. This argument seems to address
itself to mothers. It might be in their power to refute it,
and to associate in the minds of their daughters, with a love
of study, a knowledge of the unpretending pursuits of
their own future province.

20 Maternal affection would naturally prompt the wish to
save them from the mistakes and perplexities to which
ignorance might in future expose them. Though perhaps
little native affinity exists between intellectual pursuits
and household cares, they may doubtless be so united as

25 to relieve each other; and she will give strong proof of the
best education and the best regulated mind, who neglects
the fewest duties, and despises none.

Mrs. L. H. Sigourney.



EXERCISE XXVII.
Dialogue from the Tragedy of King John.

[King John instigates Hubert to assassinate Artliur Plantagenet, nephew of King John
and rightful lieir of the crown of England, usurped by John.]

K. John. Come hither, Hubert.

O, my gentle Hubert,



30 We owe thee much ; within this wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor.
And with advantage means to pay thy love :
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.

35 Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say —

But I will fit it with some better time.



224 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxvn.

By heaven, Hubert, I am almost ashamed
To say what good respect 1 have of thee.

Hubert. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet :
5 But thou shalt have ; and creep time ne'er so slow,

Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.

I had a thing to say ; but, let it go :

The sun is in the heaven; and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,

10 Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds.

To give me audience : If the midnight bell

Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,

Sound on unto the drowsy race of night :

If this same were a church-yard where we stand,

15 And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs ;

Or, if that surly spirit, melancholy.
Had baked thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins.
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,

20 And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,

(A passion hateful to my purposes,)

Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,

25 Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words ;
Then, in despite of broad-eyed watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts



But ah, I will not : — yet I love thee well;



And, by my troth, I think thou lov'st me well.
30 Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act.
By heaven, I would do it.

K. John. Do not I know thou wouldst ?

Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine

85 eye

On yon young boy : I '11 tell thee what, my friend,

He is a very serpent in my way ;

And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread.

He lies before me : Dost thou understand me ?

40 Thou art his keeper.

Hub. And I '11 keep him so,

That he shall not offend your majesty.

K. John. Death !

Hub, My lord?



BX. XXVIII.] RHETORICAL READING. 225

J^. John. A grave !
Hub. He shall not live.
K. John. Enough.

I could be merry, now : Hubert, I love thee

5 Well. 1 '11 not say what I intend for thee :

Remember ! Shakspeare.



EXERCISE XXVIII.
Scene from the Tragedy of King John.

Ilnterview of Hubert with Arthur, in which Hiitert purposes to fulfil the murderous
commission described in the precedirjg exercise, on which he was sent by King John.]

Hubert. Heat me these irons hot ; and look thou stand
Within the arras : when I strike my foot
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
15 And bind the boy, which you shall find with me,
Fast to the chair : be heedful : hence, and watch.

1 Attendant. I hope your w^arrant will bear out the

deed.
Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you : look to 't.

[Exeunt Attendatits.
20 Young lad, come forth ; I have to say with you.
Enter Arthur.
Arthur. Good morrow, Hubert.
Hub. Good morrow, little prince.

Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
25 To be more prince) as may be. — You are sad.
Huh. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Arth. Mercy on me !

Methinks nobody should be sad but I :
Yet I remember, when I was in France,
30 Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my Christendom,
So i were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be merry as the day is long ;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
35 My uncle practises more harm to me ;
He is afraid of me, and I of him ;
Is it my fault that I were Geoffrey's son ?
No, indeed, is 't not ; and I would to heaven
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
40 Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate



226 Parker's exercises in [Ex.xxvm.

He will awake my mercy, which lies dead :

Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [Aside.

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? You look pale to-day.
In sooth, I would you were a little sick ;
5 That I might sit all night, and watch with you.
I warrant, I love you more than you do me.

Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom. —
Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper. ^ How
now, foolish rheum ! [Aside.

10 Turning dispiteous torture out the door !
I must be brief, lest resolution drop
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.
Can you not read it ? Is it not fair writ ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect :
15 Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ^
Hub. Young boy, I must.
Arth. And will you ?

Hub. And I will.

Arth. Have you the heart ? When your head did but
20 I knit my handkerchief about your brows, [ache

(The best I had — a princess wrought it me,)
And I did never ask it you again :
And with my hand at midnight held your head ;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
25 Still and anon cheered up the heavy time ;

Saying, What lack you ? and. Where lies your grief?
Or, What good love may I perform for you ?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ;
30 But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning : do, an if you will :
If heaven be pleased that you should use me ill,
Why, then you must. — Will you put out mine eyes?
35 These eyes that never did, nor never shall,
So much as frown on you ?

Hub. I have sworn to do it ;

And with hot irons must I burn them out.

Ai-th. Ah, none but in this iron age would do it :
40 The iron, of itself, though heat red-hot.

Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears,
And quench its fiery indignation.
Even in the matter of mine innocence :
Nay, after that, consume away in rust.



EX. XXVm.] RHETORICAL READING. 227

But for containing fire to harm mine eyes.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron ?



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 19 of 38)