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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 20 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 20 of 38)
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And if an angel should have come to me,
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
5 1 would not have believed no tongue but Hubert's.

Hub. Come forth. [Stamps.

Reenter Attendants^ with cord^ irons, ^c.
Do as I bid you do.

Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me ! My eyes are out,
10 Even with the fierce looks of the bloody men.

Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas ! what need you be so boisterous-rough ?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound !
15 Nay, hear me, Hubert ! drive these men away,
And 1 will sit as quiet as a lamb ;
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the irons angerly ;
Thrust but these men away, and I '11 forgive you,
20 Whatever torments you do put me to.

Huh. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him.
1 Atten. I am best pleased to be from such a deed.

[Exeunt Attendants
Arth. Alas, I then have chid away my friend :
25 He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart : —
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to yours.

Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.

Arth. Is there no remedy ?
30 Hub. None, but to lose your eyes.

Arth. O heaven ! that there were but a mote in yours,
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense !
Then feeling what small things are boisterous there,
35 Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.

Hub. Is this your promise ? Go to ; hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes :
Let me not hold my tongue ; let me not, Hubert '
40 Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue.

So I may keep mine eyes ; O, spare mine eyes ;
Though to no use, but still to look on you !
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold.
And would not harm me.



228 Parker's exercises in [ex. Tnx,

Hub. I can heat it, boy.

Arth. No, in good sooth, the fire is dead with grief, —
Being create for comfort — to be used
In undeserved extremes : see else yourself:
5 There is no malice in this burning coal ;

The breath of heaven hath blown its spirit out,
And strewed repentant ashes on his head.

Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.

Artk. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
10 And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert;
Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes,
And like a dog that is compelled to fight,
Snatch at his master that does tarre him on.^
All things that you should use to do me wrong
15 Deny their office ; only you do lack

That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends, —
Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses.

Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine eyes,
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes;t
20 Yet I am sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.

Artk. O, now you look like Hubert ! all this while
You were disguised.

Hub. Peace: no more : adieu! —

25 Your uncle must not know but you are dead :
1 '11 fill these dogged spies with false reports.
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world.
Will not offend thee.
30 Artk. heaven ! — I thank you, Hubert.

Hub. Silence : no more. Go closely in with me :
Much danger do I undergo for thee. [ExcutU.



EXERCISE XXIX.

Dialogue from King John, after tke supposed assassination of
Prince Arthur.

Hubert. My lord, they say five moons were seen to-
night :
35 Four fixed ; and the fifth did whirl about
The other four, in wondrous motion.

* Set him on. t Owns.



EX. XXIX.] RHETORICAL READING. 229

K. John. Five moons ?

Hub. Old men, and beldams, in the streets

Do prophesy upon it dangerously :

Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths:
5 And when they talk of him, they shake their heads,

And whisper one another in the ear ;

And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist ;

Whilst he that hears makes fearful action,

With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
10 I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,

The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool.

With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news ; '

Who, with his shears and measure in his hand,

Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste
15 Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,)

Told of many thousand warlike French,

That were embatteled and ranked in Kent :

Another lean, unwashed artificer

Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
20 K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these
fears ?

Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death ?

Thy hand hath murdered him : I had a mighty cause

To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
25 Hub. Had none, my lord ! Why, did not you pro-
voke me ?
K. John. It is the curse of kings to be attended

By slaves, that take their humors for a warrant

To break within the bloody house of life :
30 And, on the winking of authority,

To understand a law ; to know the meaning

Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns

More upon humor than advised respect.

Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
35 K. John. Oh, when the last account 'twixt heaven and
earth

Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal

Witness against us to damnation !

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
40 Makes deeds ill done ! Hadst not thou been by,

A fellow by the hand of nature marked.

Quoted, and signed, to do a deed of shame,

This murder had not come into my mind :

But, taking note of thy abhorred aspect,
20



230 Parker's exercises in [ex. zxix.

Finding thee fit for bloody villany,

Apt, liable to be employed in danger,

I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death :

And thou, to be endeared to a king,
5 Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.

Hub. My lord

K, John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a

When I spake darkly what I purposed ; [pause,

Or turned an eye of doubt upon my face,
10 As bid me tell my tale in express words ;

Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off.

And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me :

But thou didst understand me by my signs.

And didst in signs again parley with sin ;
15 Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,

And, consequently, thy rude hand to act

The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.

Out of my sight, and never see me more !

My nobles leave me ; and my state is braved,
20 Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers :

Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,

This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,

Hostility and civil tumult reigns

Between my conscience and my cousin's death.
25 Hub. Arm you against your other enemies ;

I '11 make a peace between your soul and you.

Young Arthur is alive. This hand of mine

Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand.

Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
30 Within this bosom never entered yet

The dreadful motion of a murderous thought,

And you have slandered nature in my form ;

Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,

Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
35 Than to be butcher of an innocent child.

K. John. Doth Arthur live ? O, haste thee to the peers.

Throw this report on their incensed rage,

And make them tame to their obedience !

Forgive the comment that my passion made
40 Upon thy features ; for my rage was blind.

And foul imaginary eyes of blood

Presented thee more hideous than thou art.

O, answer not ; but to my closet bring

The angry lords, with all expedient haste :
45 I conjure thee but slowly ; run more fast. Shakspeare,



EX. XXX.] RHETORICAL READING. 231

EXERCISE XXX.

Character of Addison as a Writer.

As a describe! of life and manners, Mr. Addison must
be allowed to stand perhaps the first in the first rank.
His humor is peculiar to himself; and is so happily dif-
fused, as to give the grace of novelty to domestic scenes

5 and daily occurrences. He never oversteps the modesty
of nature, nor raises merriment or wonder by the violation
of truth. His figures neither divert by distortion, nor
amaze by aggravation. He copies life with so much fidel-
ity, that he can hardly be said to invent ; yet his exhi-

10 bitions have an air so much original, that it is difficult to
suppose them not merely the product of imagination.

As a teacher of wisdom, he may be confidently followed.
His religion has nothing in it enthusiastic or superstitious ;
he appears neither weakly credulous nor wantonly scepti-

15 cal ; his morality is neither dangerously lax nor implaca-
bly rigid. All the enchantments of fancy, and all the
cogency of argument, are employed to recommend to the
reader his real interest, the care of pleasing the Author
of his being. Truth is shown sometimes as the phantom

20 of a vision, sometimes appears half-veiled in an allegory,
sometimes attracts regard in robes of fancy, and some-
times steps forth in the confidence of reason. She wears
a thousand dresses, and in all is pleasing.

His prose is the model of the middle style ; on grave

25 subjects not formal, on light occasions not grovelling;
pure without scrupulosity, and exact without apparent
elaboration ; always equable, and always easy, without
glowing words or pointed sentences. His page is always
luminous, but never blazes in unexpected splendor.

30 It seems to have been his principal endeavor to avoid
all harshness and severity of diction ; he is therefore some-
times verbose in his transitions and connexions, and some-
times descends too much to the language of conversation ;
yet if his language had been less idiomatical, it might

35 have lost somewhat of its genuine Anglicism.

What he attempted he performed : he is never feeble,
and he did not wish to be energetic ; he is never rapid,
and he never stagnates. His sentences have neither
studied amplitude nor affected brevity ; his periods, though

40 not diligently rounded, are voluble and easy. Whoever
wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse,



232 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxxi.

and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and
nights to the volumes of Addison. — Dr. Johnson.



EXERCISE XXXI.
Elegy nrritten in a Country Church-yard.

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day ;

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea ;
5 The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds ;

Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
10 And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain

Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,

Molest her ancient solitary reign.
15 Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap.

Each in his narrow cell forever laid.

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
20 The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,

The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Nor busy housewife ply her evening care ;
25 No children run to lisp their sire's return.

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield;

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ;

How jocund did they drive their team afield !

30 How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke !

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil.

Their homely joys and destiny obscure ;

Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

The short and simple annals of the poor.
35 The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth, e'er gave.

Await, alike, the inevitable hour; —

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.



EX. XXXI.] RHETORICAL READING.



233



Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise.
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
5 Can storied urn, or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ?

Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death ?

Perhaps, in this neglected spot, is laid
10 Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;

Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre :

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll ;
15 Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem, of purest ray serene.
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
20 And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest ;
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
25 The applause of listening senates to command.
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade : nor circumscribed alone
30 Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; —
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne.
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;

The struggling pangs of conscious Truth to hide.
To quench the blushes of ingenuous Shame ;
35 Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife.
Their sober wishes never learned to stray :
Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
40 They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet even these bones from insult to protect.
Some frail memorial, still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
20*



234 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxxi.

Their names, their years, spelled by the unlettered Muse,

The place of fame and elegy supply ;

And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die.
5 For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned ; —

Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, —

Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies;
10 Some pious drops the closing eye requires :

Even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries ;

Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who, mindful of the unhonored dead,

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate,
15 If, chance, by lonely contemplation led.

Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply, some hoary -headed swain may say,

" Oft have we seen him, at the peep of dawn.

Brushing, with hasty steps, the dews away,
20 To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

" There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,

That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high.

His listless length at noontide would he stretch,

And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
25 " Hard by yon wood, now smiling, as in scorn.

Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove ;

Now drooping, woful wan, like one forlorn.

Or crazed with care, or crossed with hopeless love.
" One morn I missed him on the accustomed hill,
30 Along the heath, and near his favorite tree ;

Another came ; nor yet beside the rill.

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood, was he :
" The next, with dirges due, in sad array.

Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.
35 Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay.

Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

epitaph.

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown :
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
40 And Melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere ;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send : —



EX. XXXII.] RHETORICAt READING. 235

He gave to misery all he had, — a tear ;

He gained from Heaven — 'twas all he wished — a friend.

No further seek his merit to disclose,
Nor draw his frailties from their dread abode, —
5 (There they, alike, in trembling hope, repose,)
The bosom of his father and his God. Gray.



EXERCISE XXXn.

Filial Reverence.

The present state of manners, though not the best pos-
sible, has one advantage over that which preceded it : — it
is more favorable to a confidential intercourse between chil-

10 dren and parents than was the starched demeanor of our
forefathers ; but there might be a much greater infusion
of respect, without any diminution of confidence.

Filial love, indeed, can never exist in perfection, unless
it be founded on a deep sentiment of reverence ; and where

15 that has not been well cultivated in childhood, it is soon
frittered entirely away, by habitual indulgence in disre-
" spect, flippancy, or rude familiarity.

The sentiment of reverence is one of the noblest attri-
butes of the human mind : to its exercise God has affixed

20 an exquisite sense of enjoyment ; it operates, in a thou-
sand ways, to elevate and embellish the character. Its
first development is in the feelings of a child for its pa-
rents ; and this is the natural preparation of the mind for
its rise to a higher object, even to the Father in heaven.

25 As the understanding ripens, and this sentiment is cul-
tivated, it embraces all that is great and good among men,
all that is vast and magnificent in nature and in art ; shed-
ding over the character of its possessor an indescribable
grace, softening the very tones of the voice, and rendering

30 it impossible for the manners to be wanting in deference
and courtesy towards parents, or teachers, or the aged of
any description.

Where the sentiment of reverence is deficient, a found-
ation is wanting for many graceful superstructures ; and

35 the defect shows itself in various ways, of which the ir-
reverent are little aware ; or they would endeavor to sup-
ply the deficiency, as a mere matter of taste, if not of
principle. Such persons will have unpleasant manners,



236 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxxn.

which no rules of good-breeding will correct ; and as the
irreverent state of feeling grows by indulgence in disre-
spectful demeanor, they are in danger of becoming bold,
reckless, and even impious.

5 You whom I address are yet young; whatever may
have been your education, you are yet young enough to
reeducate yourselves ; you have hearts capable of being
touched by the beautiful, the true, the sublime. You feel
reverence for God and the things that belong to religion ;

10 but you have not, perhaps, considered how the same sen-
timent is connected with other relations in life.

In all the great moral authors whom you have read,
you have found filial piety, and reverence for the aged,
treated as indispensable qualities in a virtuous character,

15 whether heathen or Christian ; but you may never have
reflected on the indications which you give of the want
of it in your own. If, then, your conscience tells you
that you are guilty of those faults of manner which I
have described as but too common in our society, you may

20 be sure that your feelings of reverence need quickening
and cultivating ; and if you would escape becoming the
harsh, ungraceful character, which grows out of such dp
linquency, you must reform your manners.

It is to be feared that some young ladies think them-

25 selves excused from the duty of filial reverence, because
they are more highly educated than their parents ; they
have more knowledge, more refinement; and therefore
they may dictate, contradict, and set up their judgments
in opposition to their fathers' and mothers' ! But this is a

30 great mistake : no superiority of culture can change the
relation of child and parent, or annul the duties that grow
out of it.

The better your education has been, the more cause for
gratitude to those who have procured for you this blessing ;

35 the higher the culture, the more you are bound to perform
well all the duties of life ; the greater your refinement,
the more perfect should be your manners towards your
parents ; the more your influence is needed in the family,
the more important it is that you should not impair it, by

40 such faults as the uneducated can judge of, as well as the
most cultivated. There is, besides, a great meanness in
turning against your parents the weapons which their
kindness has put into your hands.

The acquirements of their children often make parents



BX. XXXni.] RHETORICAL READIiNG. 237

feel their own deficiencies very painfully ; and nothing but
the most respectful behavior, on the part of the offspring,
can lessen the mortification, and convince them that, apart
from all such adventitious circumstances, they have unde-

5 niable claims to the love and reverence of their children.

Nothing can justify the want of respect, in the manners

of children to parents, of pupils to teachers, of the young

to the aged ; not even faults of character in the individuals

claiming such deference and regard. It is due to yourself

10 to treat the relation with respect ; and the more perfectly
proper your manners are, the greater will be your influence.
There is nothing, in the whole circle of domestic rela-
tions, so lovely, so pure, so honorable to both parties, as
the respectful, affectionate, and confidential intercourse of

15 some young women with their parents. — Mrs. Farrar.



EXERCISE XXXm.
Autu7nn.

When the bright Virgin gives the beauteous days,
• And Libra weighs in equal scales the year ;

From heaven's high cope the fierce effulgence shook
Of parting Summer, a serener blue,

20 With golden light enlivened, wide invests
The happy world. Attempered suns arise,
Sweet-beamed, and shedding oft through lucid clouds
A pleasing calm ; while broad, and brown, below
Extensive harvests hang the heavy head.

25 Rich, silent, deep, they stand ; for not a gale
Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain ;
A calm of plenty ! till the ruffled air
Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow.
Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky ;

30 The clouds fly different ; and the sudden sun
By fits effulgent gilds the illumined field.
And black by fits the shadows sweep along.
A gayly-checkered, heart-expanding view,
Far as the circling eye can shoot around,

35 Unbounded tossing in a flood of corn.

These are thy blessings. Industry! rough power!
Whom labor still attends, and sweat, and pain ;
Vet the kind source of every gentle art,



238 Parker's exercises in [ex. xxxm.

And all the soft civility of life ;

Raiser of human kind ! by Nature cast,

Naked and helpless, out amid the woods

And wilds, to rude, inclement elements ;
5 With various seeds of art deep in the mind

Implanted, and profusely poured around

Materials infinite ; but idle all.

Still unexerted, in the unconscious breast,

Slept the lethargic powers ; corruption still,
10 Voracious, swallowed what the liberal hand

Of bounty scattered o'er the savage year *

And still the sad barbarian, roving, mixed

With beasts of prey ; or for his acorn-meal

Fought the fierce tusky boar ; a shivering wretch !
15 Aghast and comfortless, when the bleak north,

With Winter charged, let the mixed tempest fly,

Hail, rain and snow, and bitter-breathing frost :

Then to the shelter of the hut he fled ;

And the wild season, sordid, pined away.
20 For home he had not ; home is the resort

Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty; where

Supporting and supported, polished friends

And dear relations mingle into bliss.
Bi^* this the rugged savage never felt,
25 E'en desolate in crowds ; and thus his days

Rolled heavy, dark, and unenjoyed along :

A waste of time ! till Industry approached,

And roused him from his miserable sloth ;

His faculties unfolded ; pointed out
30 Where lavish Nature the directing hand

Of Art demanded ; showed him how to raise

His feeble force by the mechanic powers,

To dig the mineral from the vaulted earth ;
On what to turn the piercing rage of fire ;
35 On what the torrent, and the gathered blast ;

Gave the tall ancient forest to his axe ;

Taught him to chip the wood, and hew the stone.

Till by degrees the finished fabric rose ;

Tore from his limbs the blood-polluted fur,
40 And wrapped them in the woolly vestment warm,

Or bright in glossy silk and flowing lawn ;

With wholesome viands filled his table ; poured

The generous glass around, inspired to wake

The life-refining soul of decent wit ;



EX. XXXrV.] RHETORICAL READING. 239

Nor stopped at barren bare necessity ;
But still advancing bolder, led him on
To pomp, to pleasure, elegance and grace ;
And, breathing high ambition through his soul,



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 20 of 38)