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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 23 of 38)
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the road ; so that she was placed considerably higher than
5 EUangowan, even though he was on horseback ; and her
tall figure, relieved against the clear blue sky, seemed
almost of supernatural height. We have noticed that
there was in her general attire, or rather in her mode of
adjusting it, somewhat of a foreign costume, artfully adopt-

10 ed, perhaps, for the purpose of adding to the effect of her
spells and predictions, or perhaps from some traditional
notions respecting the dress of her ancestors. On this
occasion, she had a large piece of red cotton cloth rolled
about her head in the form of a turban, from beneath which

15 her dark eyes flashed with uncommon lustre.

Her long and tangled black hair fell in elf locks from
the folds of this singular head gear. Her attitude was that
of a sybil in frenzy, as she stretched out, in her right hand,
a sapling bough which seemed just pulled. " I '11 be sworn,"

20 said the groom, " she has been cutting the young ashes in
the Dukit Park." The laird made no answer, but contin-
ued to look at the figure which was thus perched above his
path.

" Ride your ways," said the gypsy, " ride your ways,

25 Laird of EUangowan — ride your ways, Godfrey Bertram !
This da}'' have ye quenched seven smoaking hearths ; —
see if the fire in your ain parlor burn the blyther for that !
Ye have riven the thack off seven cottar houses ; — look
if your ain roof-tree stand the faster ! Ye may stable your

30 stirks in the shealings at Derncleugh ; — see that the hare
does not couch on the hearthstane at EUangowan ! Ride
your ways, Godfrey Bertram ! — what do ye glowr after
our folk for ? There 's thirty hearts there, that wad hae
wanted bread ere ye had wanted sunkets, and spent their

35 life-blood ere ye had scratched your finger, — yes, there 's
thirty yonder, from the auld wife of an hundred to the
babe that was born last week, that ye hae turned out o'
their bits o' bields, to sleep with the toad and the black-
cock in the muirs ! Ride your ways, EUangowan ! Our

40 bairns are hinging at our weary backs ; — look that your
braw cradle at hame be the fairer spread up ! — Not that I
am wishing ill to little Harry, or to the babe that 's yet to be
born — God forbid, and make them kind to the poor, and
better folk than their father ! — And now, ride e'en your



EX. XLU.] RHETORICAL READING. 261

ways, for these are the last words ye '11 ever hear Meg
Merrilies speak, and this is the last reise that I '11 ever cut
in the bonny woods of Ellangowan."

So saying, she broke the sapling she held in her hand,
5 and flung it into the road. Margaret of Anjou, bestowing
on her triumphant foes her keen-edged malediction, could
not have turned from them with a gesture more proudly
contemptuous. The laird was clearing his voice to speak,
and thrusting his hand in his pocket to find half a crown ;

10 the gypsy waited neither for his reply nor his donation,
but strode down the hill to overtake the caravan.

Ellangowan rode pensively home ; and it was remarka-
ble that he did not mention this interview to any of his
family. The groom was not so reserved : he told the story

15 at great length to a full audience in the kitchen, and con-
cluded by swearing, that " if ever the devil spoke by the
mouth of a woman, he had spoken by that of Meg Merri-
lies that blessed day." — Sir Walter Scott.



EXERCISE XLII.
Spring.

Come, gentle Spring, ethereal Mildness, come,

20 And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veiled in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.

O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain

25 With innocence and meditation joined
In soft assemblage, listen to my song.
Which thy own Season paints ; when Nature all
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
And see where surly Winter passes off,

30 Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts :
His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill.
The shattered forest, and the ravaged vale ;
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,

35 The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
As yet the trembling year is unconfirmed,
And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze.
Chills the pale mom, and bids his driving sleets



262 Parker's exercises in [ex. xlii.

Deform the day delightless . so that scarce
The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulfed,
To shake the sounding marsh ; or from the shore
The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath,
5 And sing their wild notes to the listening waste.
At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun.
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more
The expansive atmosphere is cramped with cold ;
But, full of life and vivifying soul,

10 Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
Fleecy and white, o'er all-surrounding heaven.

Forth fly the tepid airs : and unconfined,
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous, the impatient husbandman perceives

15 Kelenting Nature, and his lusty steers

Drives from their stalls to where the well-used plough
Lies in the furrow, loosened from the frost.
There unrefusing, to the harnessed yoke
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil

20 Cheered by the simple song and soaring lark.
Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share
The master leans, removes the obstructing clay,
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
While through the neighboring fields the sower stalks,

25 With measured step ; and liberal throws the grain
Into the faithful bosom of the ground : ""

The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.
Be gracious, Heaven ! for now laborious man
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow !

30 Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend !
And temper all, thou world-reviving sun.
Into the perfect year ! Nor ye who live
In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride.
Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear :

35 Such themes as these the rural Maro sung
To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height
Of elegance and taste, by Greece refined.
In ancient times, the sacred plough employed
The kings and awful fathers of mankind :

40 And some, with whom compared your insect tribes
Are but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm
Of mighty war ; then, with unwearied hand,
Disdaining little delicacies, seized

45 The plough, and greatly independent lived. Thomson.



EX. XLIIl.] RHETORICAL KEADIXG. 263

EXERCISE XLIII.

Address oj the Massachusetts Legislature^ Feb. 1797, to
George Washington^ President of the United States^ on
his retiring from office.

Sm, — As you have announced to the people of the
United States your intention to retire from the cares and
decline the honors of public life, the Legislature of Mas-
sachusetts deem it a becoming duty, to express their sen-
5 timents, and those of their constituents, on this interesting
event.

It is not an opinion that our public testimony of your
merits can be necessary to the lustre of your reputation,
or the serenity of your repose, which prompts us to join

10 the general voice of America in applauding your great
and glorious services ; but we are excited to this measure
by a wish to exhibit a powerful inducement to the love of
our country, and to transmit to future times a record of the
gratitude of our republic.

15 As the able and heroic general, who led our armies to
victory and our country to independence, or as an enlight-
ened and patriotic magistrate, under whose administration
the United States have enjoyed peace and prosperity, your
conduct has furnished a great and brilliant example of in-

20 tegrity, fortitude, and wisdom.

We trust that the pacific system which you have pur-
sued with regard to the foreign relations of the country
will be as completely justified by its eventual success, as
it is by the maxims of equity and prudence ; and we in-

25 dulge the hope, that this system will not be discontinued,
and that its beneficial effects will not be confined to Amer-
ica, but will tend to discredit, among the nations of the
world, that false and barbarous policy which sacrifices the
public good at the shrine of resentment and ambition.

JO When this effect shall take place, the cause of human-
ity will have derived a precious advantage from the exam-
ple you have given, that moderation is the basis of true
dignity, and that those laurels which are reared in sun-
shine and peace are beyond comparison fairer than those

35 which are fertilized by the tears and blood of a people.

We receive your address to your fellow-citizens, upon
the occasion of your intended retirement from your civil
situation, with the same sentiments of respect and emo-
tions of gratitude which were inspired by that which



264 Parker's exercises in [ex. xliii.

terminated your military career ; sensible that it discloses
an intelligent view of their political interests, and discov-
ers that affectionate zeal for their future welfare which
marks the character of their common friend.
5 Whilst, in behalf of our country, we lament the neces-
sity which deprives her of your services in public life, we
cannot deny that so many years of anxious toil for her
interests give you the best title to that repose which you
have long so ardently wished to enjoy.

10 You will retire, covered with glory and followed with
the blessings of your fellow-citizens ; — whose honor and
happiness it will be, that whilst you have deserved well of
your country, that country has never ceased to cherish a
grateful and admiring sense of your worth.

15 Our fervent prayers for your health and enjoyment will
go with you into the retreats of private life ; may you live
to be full of years, and satisfied with beholding the pros-
perity of your country ; and when you shall be called from
the present scene, may that beneficent Being, who has

20 made you the happy instrument of so much good to man-
kind, admit you to those rewards, in a future state, which
this world cannot bestow.

Boston Centinel, March 8th, 1797.



EXERCISE XLni. — Continued.
President Washington's Reply to the Senators representing
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hi the Congress of
the United States.

Gentlemen, — The sentiments expressed in the address
you have delivered to me, from the Senate and House of

25 Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, —
sentiments as honorable to them as to me, — have excited
the most grateful emotions. Whatever services I have
rendered to my country, in its general approbation I have
received an ample reward. Having nothing in view but

30 to vindicate its rights, secure its liberty, and promote its
happiness., I might expect the most efficient aid and sup-
port in the exertions of able and upright men, and in the
general spirit of my fellow-citizens. All this I have ex-
perienced, and our united efforts have resulted in our

35 independence, peace, and prosperity. And I entertain tha



EX. XLIV.J RHETORICAL READING. 265

pleasing hope, that the intelligence and superior informa-
tion of my fellow-citizens, enabling them to discern their
true interests, will lead them to the successive choice of
wise and virtuous men to watch over, protect and promote

5 them, who, while they pursue those maxims of modera-
tion, equity and prudence, which will entitle our country
to perpetual peace, will cultivate that fortitude and dignity
of sentiment which are essential to the maintenance of
our liberty and independence.

10 Should it please God, according to the prayers of your
constituents, to grant me health and long life, my greatest
enjoyment will be to behold the prosperity of my country;
and the affection and attachment of my fellow-citizens,
through the whole period of my public employments, will

15 be the subject of my most agreeable recollections : — while
a belief, which the affecting sentiments of the people of
Massachusetts, expressed by their Senate and House of
Representatives, with those of my fellow-citizens in gen-
eral, have inspired, that I have been the happy instrument

20 of much good to my country and to mankind, will be a
source of unceasing gratitude to Heaven.

Feb. 24, 1797. G. Washington.



EXERCISE XLIV.

Trout Fishiyig.

Now when the first foul torrent of the brooks,
Swelled with the vernal rains, is ebbed away,
25 And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctured stream
Descends the billowy foam : now is the time,
While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile,
To tempt the trout. The well-dissembled fly,
The rod fine-tapering with elastic spring,
30 Snatched from the hoary steed the floating line,
And all thy slender watery stores prepare.

But let not on thy hook the tortured worm
Convulsive twist in agonizing folds ;^
Which, by rapacious hunger swallowed deep,
35 Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast
Of the weak, helpless, uncomplaining wretch,
Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand.

When with his lively ray the potent sun
Has pierced the streams, and roused the finny race,
23



266 Parker's exercises in [ex. xliv.

Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair ;
Chief should the western breezes curling play,
And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds.
High to their fount, this day, amid the hills,
5 And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brook.
The next, pursue their rocky-channeled maze
Down to the river, in whose ample wave
Their little naiads love to sport at large.

Just in the dubious point, where with the pool

10 Is mixed the trembling stream, or where it boils
Around the stone, or from the hollowed bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow.
There throw, nice judging, the delusive fly;
And, as you lead it round in artful curve,

15 With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Straight as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or, urged by hunger, leap,
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook ;
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,

20 And to the shelving shore slow dragging some,
With various hand proportioned to their force.

If yet too young, and easily deceived,
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod,
Him, piteous of his youth and the short space

25 He has enjoyed the vital light of heaven.
Soft disengage, and back into the stream
The speckled captive throw. But should you lure
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
Of pendant trees, the monarch of the brook,

30 Behoves you then to ply your finest art.

Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly;
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled \vater speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun

35 Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along,
Deep struck, and runs out all the lengthened line
Then seeks the furthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
The caverned bank, his old secure abode ;

40 And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile.

With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now



BX. XLV.] RHETORICAL READING. 267

Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage :

Till, floating broad upon his breathless side,

And to his fate abandoned, to the shore

You gayly drag your unresisting prize. Thomson.



EXERCISE XLV.

On CoTitentment.

5 Contentment produces, in some measure, all those ef-
fects which the alchemist usually ascribes to what he calls
the philosopher's stone; and if it does not bring riches, it
does the same thing, by banishing the desire of them. If
it cannot remove the disquietudes arising out of a man's

10 mind, body, or fortune, it makes him easy under them.
It has, indeed, a kindly influence on the soul of man, in
respect of every being to whom he stands related.

It extinguishes all murmur, repining and ingratitude,
towards that Being who has allotted him his part to act

15 in this world. It destroys all inordinate ambition, and
every tendency to corruption, with regard to the commu-
nity wherein he is placed. It gives sweetness to his con-
versation, and a perpetual serenity to all his thoughts.
Among the many methods which might be made use of

20 for the acquiring of this virtue, I shall only mention the
two following. First of all, a man should always consid-
er how much he has more than he wants ; and secondly,
how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.
First of all, a man should always consider how much

25 he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully pleased
with the reply which Aristippus made to one who con-
doled with him upon the loss of a farm : " Why," said
he, " I have three farms still, and you have but one ; so
that I ought rather to be afllicted for you than you for

30 me." On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to con-
sider what they have lost than what they possess; and
to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than them-
selves, rather than on those who are under greater diffi-
culties.

35 All the real pleasures and conveniences of life lie in a
narrow compass; but it is the humor of mankind to be
always looking forward, and straining after one who has
got the start of them in wealth and honor. For this



268 Parker's exercises in [ex. xlv.

reason, as none can be properly called rich who have not
more than they want, there are few rich men, in any of
the politer nations, but among the middle sort of people,
who keep their wishes within their fortunes, and have
5 more wealth than they know how to enjoy. Persons of
a higher rank live in a kind of splendid poverty ; and are
perpetually wanting, because, instead of acquiescing in the
solid pleasures of life, they endeavor to outvie one another
in shadows and appearances.

10 Men of sense have at all times beheld with a great
deal of mirth this silly game that is playing over their
heads; and, by contracting their desires, they enjoy all
that secret satisfaction which others are always in quest
of. The truth is, this ridiculous chase after imaginary

15 pleasures cannot be sufficiently exposed, as it is the great
source of those evils which generally undo a nation. Let
a man's estate be what it may, he is a poor man if he
does not live within it ; and naturally sets himself to sale
to any one who can give him his price.

20 When Pittacus, after the death of his brother, who had
left him a good estate, was offered a great sum of money
by the King of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness,
but told him he had already more by half than he knew
what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth,

25 and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more
agreeable turn, " Content is natural wealth," says Socrates ;
to which I shall add. Luxury is artificial poverty.

I shall therefore recommend to the consideration of
those who are always aiming at superfluous and imagin-

30 ary enjoyments, and who will not be at the trouble of con-
tracting their desires, an excellent saying of Bion the phi-
losopher, namely, " That no man has so much care as he
who endeavors after the most happiness."

In the second place, every one ought to reflect how

35 much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The
former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently
provided with the means to make themselves easy ; this
regards such as actually lie under some pressure or mis-
fortune. These may receive great alleviation from such a

40 comparison as the unhappy person may make between
himself and others : or between the misfortune which he
suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befallen
him.

I like the story of the honest Dutchman, who, upon



KX. XLV.] RHETORICAL READING. 269

breaking his leg by a fall from the mainmast, told the
standers by it was a great mercy that it was not his neck.
To which, since I am got into quotations, give me leave to
add the saying of an old philosopher, who, after having
5 invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled
by a person that came into the room in a passion, and
threw down the table that stood before them : " Every
one," says he, " has his calamity ; and he is a happy man
that has no greater than this."

10 We find an instance to the same purpose in the life of
Doctor Hammond, written by Bishop Fell. As this good
man was troubled with a complication of distempers, when
he had the gout upon him, he used to thank God that it
was not the stone ; and when he had the stone, that he had

15 not both these distempers on him at the same time.

I cannot conclude this essay without observing, that
there never was any system, besides that of Christianity,
which could effectually produce in the mind of man the
virtue I have been hitherto speaking of.

20 In order to make us contented with our condition, many
of the present philosophers tell us that our discontent only
hurts ourselves, without being able to make any alteration
in our circumstances ; others, that whatever evil befalls us
is derived to us by a fatal necessity, to which superior

25 beings themselves are subject ; while others very gravely
tell the man who is miserable that it is necessary he
should be so, to keep up the harmony of the universe ; and
that the scheme of Providence would be troubled and per-
verted were he otherwise.

30 These, and the like considerations, rather silence than
satisfy a man. They may show him that his discontent
is unreasonable, but they are by no means sufficient to
relieve it. They rather give despair than consolation. In
a word, a man might reply to one of these comforters, as

35 Augustus did to his friend who advised him not to grieve
for the death of a person whom he loved, because his grief
could not fetch him again : " It is for that very reason,"
said the emperor, *' that I grieve."

On the contrary, religion bears a more tender regard to

40 human nature. It prescribes to every miserable man the
means of bettering his condition ; nay, it shows him that
the bearing of his afflictions as he ought to do will natu-
rally end in the removal of them. It makes him easy
here, because it can make him happy hereafter. — Addison,
23*



270 Parker's exercises in [ex. xlvi.

EXERCISE XLVI.

Farewell.

Farewell — farewell to thee, Araby's daughter !
(Thus warbled a Peri beneath the dark sea;)
No pearl ever lay under Oman's green water
More pure in its shell than thy spirit in thee.
5 Oh ! fair as the sea-flower close to thee growing,

How light was thy heart till love's witchery came,
Like the wind of the south o'er a summer lute blowing,
And hushed all its music and withered its frame !
But long, upon Araby's green sunny highlands,
10 Shall maids and their lovers remember the doom
Of her who lies sleeping among the pearl islands,
With nought but the sea-star to light up her tomb.

And still, when the merry date season is burning,
And calls to the palm-groves the young and the old,
15 The happiest there, from their pastime returning.
At sunset, will weep when thy story is told.

The young village maid, when with flowers she dresses
Her dark flowing hair for some festival day,
Will think of thy fate, till, neglecting her tresses,
20 She mournfully turns from the mirror away.

Nor shall Iran, beloved of her hero ! forget thee, —
Though tyrants watch over her tears as they start.
Close, close by the side of that hero she '11 set thee,
Embalmed in the innerrnost shrine of her heart.
25 Farewell — be it ours to embellish thy pillow

With everything beauteous that grows in the deep ;
Each flower of the rock, and each gem of the billow.
Shall sweeten thy bed, and illumine thy sleep.
Around thee shall glisten the loveliest amber
30 That ever the sorrowing sea-bird has wept ;

With many a shell, in whose hollow-wreathed chamber
We, Peris of ocean, by moonlight have slept.

We '11 dive where the gardens of coral lie darkling,
And plant all the rosiest stems at thy head ;
85 Will seek where the sands of the Caspian are sparkling,
And gather their gold to strew o'er thy bed.

Farewell — farewell — until pity's sweet fountain
Is lost in the hearts of the fair and the brave,
They '11 weep for the chieftain who died on that mountain,
40 They '11 weep for the maiden who sleeps in this wave.

T. Mocyre.



EX. XLVn.] RHETORICAL READING. 271

EXERCISE XLVII.

The Hill of Science.

In that season of the year, when the serenity of the sky,
the various fruits which cover the ground, the discolored
foliage of the trees, and all the sweet but fading graces
of inspiring autumn, open the mind to benevolence, and
5 dispose it for contemplation, I was wandering in a beauti-



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 23 of 38)