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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 24 of 38)
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ful and romantic country, till curiosity began to give way
to weariness ; and I sat down on the fragment of a rock
overgrown with moss, where the rustling of the falling
leaves, the dashing of waters, and the hum of the distant

10 city, soothed my mind into a most perfect tranquillity;
and sleep insensibly stole upon me, as I was indulging the
agreeable reveries which the objects around me naturally
inspired.

I immediately found myself in a vast extended plain, in

15 the middle of which arose a mountain higher than I had
before any conception of. It was covered with a multi-
tude of people, chiefly youth ; many of whom pressed for-
ward with the liveliest expression of ardor in their coun-
tenance, though the way was in many places steep and

20 diflicult.

I observed that those who had but just begun to climb
the hill thought themselves not far from the top ; but as
they proceeded, new hills were continually rising to their
view ; and the summit of the highest they could before

25 discern seemed but the foot of another, till the mountain
at length appeared to lose itself in the clouds.

As I was gazing on these things with astonishment, a
friendly instructor suddenly appeared: "The m.ountain
before thee," said he, " is the Hill of Science. On the top

30 is the temple of Truth, whose head is above the clouds,
and a veil of pure light covers her face. Observe the pro-
gress of her votaries ; be silent and attentive."

After I had noticed a variety of objects, I turned my
eye towards the multitudes who were climbing the steep

35 ascent ; and observed amongst them a youth of a lively
look, a piercing eye, and something fiery and irregular in
all his motions. His name was Genius. He darted like
an eagle up the mountain, and left his companions gazing
after him with envy and admiration ; but his progress was

40 unequal, and interrupted by a thousand caprices.

When Pleasure warbled in the valley, he mingled in her



272 Parker's exercises in [ex. xlvit.

train. When Pride beckoned towards the precipice, he
ventured to the tottering edge. He delighted in devious
and untried paths, and made so many excursions from the
road, that his feebler companions often outstripped him.
5 I observed that the Muses beheld him with partiality; but
Truth often frowned, and turned aside her face.

While Genius was thus wasting his strength in eccentric
flights, I saw a person of very different appearance, named
Application. He crept along with a slow and unremitting

10 pace, his eyes fixed on the top of the mountain, patiently
removing every stone that obstructed his way, till he saw
most of those below him who had at first derided his slow
and toilsome progress.

Indeed, there were few who ascended the hill with equal

15 and uninterrupted steadiness ; for, besides the difficulties
of the way, they were continually solicited to turn aside,
by a numerous crowd of appetites, passions and pleasures,
whose importunity, when once complied with, they became
less and less able to resist : and though they often returned

20 to the path, the asperities of the road were more severely
felt ; the hill appeared more steep and rugged ; the fruits,
which were wholesome and refreshing, seemed harsh and
ill-tasted; their sight grew dim, and their feet tript at
every little obstruction.

25 I saw with some surprise that the Muses, whose busi-
ness was to cheer and encourage those who were toiling
up the ascent, would often sing in the bowers of Pleasure,
and accompany those who were enticed away at the call
of the Passions. They accompanied them, however, but

30 a little way; and always forsook them when they lost
sight of the hill. The tyrants then doubled their chains
upon the unhappy captives, and led them away, without
resistance, to the cells of Ignorance, or the mansions of
Misery.

35 Amongst the innumerable seducers who were endeav-
oring to draw away the votaries of Truth from the path
of Science, there was one, so little formidable in her ap-
pearance, and so gentle and languid in her attempts, that
I should scarcely have taken notice of her, but for the

40 numbers she had imperceptibly loaded with her chains.
Indolence, (for so she was called,) far from proceeding to
open hostilities, did not attempt to turn their feet out of
the path, but contented herself with retarding their pro-
gress ; and the purpose she could not force them to aban-

45 don, she persuaded them to delay.



EX. XLVII.] RHETORICAL READING. 273

Her touch had a power like tliat of the torpedo, which
withered the strength of those who came within its influ-
ence. Her unhappy captives still turned their faces tow-
ards the temple, and always hoped to arrive there ; but the

5 ground seemed to slide from beneath their feet, and they
found themselves at the bottom before they suspected
they had changed their place.

•> The placid serenity which at first appeared in their
countenance changed by degrees into a melancholy lan-

10 guor, which was tinged with deeper and deeper gloom as
they glided down the stream of Insignificance ; a dark and
sluggish water, which is curled by no breeze, and enlight-
ened by no murmur, till it falls into a dead sea, where
startled passengers are awakened by the shock, and the

15 next moment buried in the gulf of Oblivion.

Of all the unhappy deserters from the paths of Science,
none seemed less able to return than the followers of Indo-
lence. The captives of Appetite and Passion would often
seize the moment when their tyrants were languid or

20 asleep, to escape from their enchantment ; but the domin-
ion of Indolence was constant and unremitted, and seldom
resisted, till resistance was in vain.

After contemplating these things, I turned my eyes tow-
ards the top of the mountain, where the air was always

25 pure and exhilarating, the path shaded with laurels and

evergreens, and the eflfulgence which beamed from the

face of Science seemed to shed a glory round her votaries.

Happy, said I, are they who are permitted to ascend the

mountain ! But while I was pronouncing this exclama-

30 tion with uncommon ardor, I saw, standing beside me, a
form of diviner features, and a more benign radiance.
" Happier," said she, " are they whom Virtue conducts to
the mansions of Content ! "

" What ! " said I, " does Virtue then reside in the vale ?"

35 " I am found," said she, " in the vale, and I illuminate the
mountain. I cheer the cottager at his toil, and inspire the
sage at his meditation. I mingle in the crowd of cities,
and bless the hermit in his cell. I have a temple in every
heart that owns my influence, and to him that wishes for

40 me I am already present. Science may raise thee to emi-
nence ; but I alone can guide thee to felicity ! "

While Virtue was thus speaking, I stretched out my
arms towards her, with a vehemence which broke my slum-
ber. The chill dews were falling around me, and the



274 Parker's exercises in [ex. xlvhi.

shades of evening stretched over the landscape. I hastened
homeward, and resigned the night to silence and medita-
tion. — Aikin.



EXERCISE XLYin.

The Passions. — An Ode.

When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
6 While yet in early Greece she sung,

The passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting.

10 By turns they felt the glowing mind

Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ;

Till once, 't is said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired.
From the supporting myrtles round

15 They snatched her instruments of sound,

And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each (for madness ruled the hour)
Would prove his own expressive power.

20 First Fear, his hand, its skill to try,

Amid the chords bewildered laid ;
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
Even at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rushed : his eyes on fire.

25 In lightnings owned his secret stings :

In one rude clash he struck the lyre.
And swept, with hurried hands, the strings.

With woful measures, wan Despair —
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled :

30 A solemn, strange and mingled air ;

'Twas sad by fits — by starts 'twas wild.

But thou, Hope ! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?
Still it whispered promised pleasure,

35 And bade the lovely scene at distance hail !

Still would her touch the strain prolong.
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still through all her song



BX. XLVIU.] RHETORICAL READING. 275

And where her sweetest theme she chose,

A soft, responsive voice was heard at every close :

And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair.
And longer had she sung — but, with a frown,
5 Revenge impatient rose.

He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down ;

And, with a withering look.

The war-denouncing trumpet took.

And blew a blast so loud and dread,
10 Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe :
And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum, with furious heat ;

And though, sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity, at his side,
15 Her soul-subduing voice applied.

Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien ;

While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting Irom
his head.
Thy numbers. Jealousy, to nought were fixed ;
20 Sad proofs of thy distressful state.

Of different themes the veering song was mixed :

And now, it courted Love ; now, raving, called on Hate.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,

Pale Melancholy sat retired;
25 And from her wild sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made. more sweet,

Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul.
And dashing soft, from rocks around.

Bubbling runnels joined the sound ;
30 Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,

Or o'er some haunted streams, with fond delay,

(Round a holy calm diffusing.

Love of peace and lonely musing,)

In hollow murmurs died away.
35 But, 0, how altered was its sprightlier tone,

When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder slung.

Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,

Blew an inspiring air that dale and thicket rung.
40 The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known.

The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,

Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen.

Peeping from forth their alleys green :

Brown Exercise rejoiced to Lear ;
45 And Sport leapt up and seized his beechen spear.



276 Parker's exercises in [ex. xldc.

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial ;
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed;
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
6 Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.

They would have thought who heard the strain
They saw in Tempo's vale her native maids,
Amid the festal-sounding shades.
To some unwearied minstrel dancing ;
10 While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings.

Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round,
(Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,)
And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
15 Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.

Collins.



EXERCISE XLIX.

Adaptation of Christiaiiity to the Intellect^ial Wants of Man.

Christianity is adapted to the intellect, because it puts
it in possession of a higher kind of knowledge than nature
can give. It solves questions of a different order, and
those, too, which man, as an intellectual being, most needs

20 to have solved.

There are plainly two classes of questions which we
may ask concerning the works of God ; and concerning
one of these philosophy is profoundly silent. One class
respects the relation of the different parts of a constituted

25 whole to each other and to that whole. * The other respects
the ultimate design of the whole itself.

In the present state of science, questions of the first class
can generally be answered with a good degree of satisfac-
tion. Man existing, the philosopher can tell the number

30 of bones, and muscles, and blood-vessels, and nerves, in
his body, and the uses of all these. He may, perhaps, tell
how the stomach digests, and the heart beats, and the
glands secrete ; but of the great purpose for which man
himself was made he can know nothing.

35 But this knowledge Christianity gives. It attributes to
God a purpose worthy of him ; one that satisfies the
intellect and the heart ; and the knowledge of this must
modify our views of all history, and of the whole drama



BX. XLIX.] RHETORICAL READING. 277

of human life. It gives us a new stand-point, from which
we see everything in different relations and proportions.
We had seen the river before on which we were sailing;
now we see the ocean.
5 Entirely different must be the relation of man to God,
both as an intellectual and a practical being, when he
knows his plans and can intelligently cooperate with him.
He now comes, in the language of our Saviour, into the
relation of a friend. Surely no one can think lightly of

10 the influence of this on the intellect.

From the arguments now stated we infer that Chris-
tianity is adapted to the intellect; and these arguments are
confirmed by fact. No book, not nature itself, has ever
waked up intellectual activity like the Bible. On the bat-

15 tie-field of truth, it has ever been around this that the con-
flict has raged. What book besides ever caused the writing
of so many other books ? Take from the libraries of Chris-
tendom all those which have sprung, I will not say indi-
rectly, but directly, from it, — those written to oppose, or

20 defend, or elucidate it, — and how would they be dimin-
ished I

The very multitude of infidel books is a witness to the
power with which the Bible stimulates the intellect. Why
do we not see the same amount of active intellect coming up

25 and dashing and roaring around the Koran ? And the result
of this activity is such as we might anticipate. The gen-
eral intellectual, as well as moral, superiority of Christian
nations, and that, too, in proportion as they have had a
pure Christianity, stands out in too broad a sunlight to be

30 questioned or obscured.

Wherever the word of God has really entered, it has
given light — light to individuals, light to communities.
It has favored literature ; and by means of it alone has
society been brought up to that point at which it has been

35 able to construct the apparatus of physical science, and to
carry its investigations to the point which they have now
reached.

The instruments of a well-furnished astronomical observ-
atory presuppose accumulations of wealth, and the exist-

40 ence of a class of arts, and of men, that could be the prod-
uct only of Christian civilization. Accordingly, we find,
whatever may be said of literature, that physical science,
except in Christian countries, has after a time either be-
come stationary, or begun to recede ; and there is no rea-
24



278 Parker's exercises ln [ex. l.

son for supposing that the path of indefinite progress
which now }ies before it could have been opened except in
connection with Christianity.

Individual men, who reject Christianity, and yet live

5 within the general sphere of its influence, may distinguish

themselves in science ; they have done so ; but it has been

on grounds and conditions furnished by that very religion

which they have rejected.

Christianity furnishes no new faculties, no direct power

10 to the intellect, but a general condition of society favorable
to its cultivation ; and it is not to be wondered at, if, in
such a state of things, men who seek intellectual distinc-
tion solely, rejecting the moral restraints of Christianity,
should distinguish themselves by intellectual effort.

15 But if there is this adaptation of Christianity to the in-
tellect, ought not they who are truly Christians to distin-
guish themselves above others in literature and science ?
This does not follow. Up to a certain point, Christianity
in the heart will certainly give clearness and strength to

20 the intellect ; and cases are not wanting in which the in-
tellectual powers have been surprisingly roused through
the action of the moral nature, and of the affections,
awakened by the religion of Christ.

But when we consider that the change produced by

25 Christianity is a moral change ; that the objects it presents
are moral objects ; that it presents this world as needing
not so much to be enlightened in the more abstract sci-
ences, or to be delighted with the refinements of literature,
as to be rescued from moral pollution, and to be won back

30 to God ; — perhaps we ought not to be surprised if it has
caused many to be absorbed in labors of an entirely dif-
ferent kind, who would otherwise have trodden the high-
est walks of science. — Preside7it Hopkins.



EXERCISE L.

Hymn on the Seasons.

These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
35 Are but the varied God. The rolling year

Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks. Thy tenderness, and love.
Wide flush the fields ; the softening air is balm ;



EX. L.] RHETORICAL READING. 279

Echo the mountains round : the forest smiles ;

And every sense and every heart is joy.

Then comes Thy glory in the Summer months,

With light and heat refulgent. Then Thy sun
5 Shoots full perfection through the swelling year :

And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks ;

And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,

By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering gales,

Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
10 And spreads a common feast for all that live.

In Winter awful Thou, with clouds and storms

Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled.

Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing,

Riding sublime, Thou bidst the world adore,
15 And humblest Nature with Thy northern blast.

Mysterious round ! what skill, what force divine,

Deep felt, in these appear ! a simple train,

Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art,

Such beauty and beneficence combined ;
20 Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade ;

And all so forming an harmonious whole.

That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.

But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,

Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand,
25 That, ever busy, wheels the silent sphere ;

Works in the secret deep : shoots, steaming, thence

The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring ;

Flings from the sun direct the flaming day ;

Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempest forth ;
30 And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,

With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend ! join, every living soul

Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,

In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise
35 One general song ! To Him, ye vocal gales.

Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes

O, talk of Him in solitary glooms !

Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine

Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
40 And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,

Who shake the astonished world, lift high to heaven

The impetuous song, and say from whom you rage.

His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills ;

And let me catch it as I muse along.



280 Parker's exercises in [ex. i

Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound ;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale ; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself, —
5 Sound His stupendous praise : whose greater voice
Or bids you roar or bids your roarings fall.

Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him ; whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints.

10 Ye forests, bend ; ye harvests, wave to Him ;
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon.

• Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, eflTuse your mildest beams,

15 Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.

Great source of day! best image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide.
From world to world, the vital ocean round,

20 On Nature write with every beam His praise.

The thunder rolls : be hushed the prostrate world
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills ; ye mossy rocks.
Retain the sound : the broad responsive lowe,

25 Ye valleys, raise ; for the Great Shepherd reigns.
And his unsuflfering kingdom yet will come.

Ye woodlands all, awake : a boundless song
Bursts from the groves ! and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,

30 Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm

The listening shades, and teach the night His praise.

Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles.
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn ; in swarming cities vast,

35 Assembled men, to the deep organ join

The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, through the swelling base;
And, as each mingling flame increases each.
In one united ardor rise to heaven.

40 Or, if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in every sacred grove,
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay.
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre.
Still sing the God of Seasons as they roll.



EX. LI.] RHETORICAL READING. 281

For me, when I forget the darling theme, —
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams,
Or Winter rises in the blackening east, —
5 Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat !

Should fate command me to the furthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song ; where first the sun

10 Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam

Flames on the Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to me;

Since God is ever present, ever felt,

In the void waste as in the city full :

And where He vital breathes there must be joy.

15 When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey ; there, with new powers.
Will rising wonders sing. I cannot go
Where Universal Love not smiles around,

20 Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns ;
From seeming Evil still educing Good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in Him, in Light ineflfable !

25 Come then, expressive Silence, muse His praise.

Thomson.



EXERCISE LI.
The Blind Ma7i restored to Sight.

[From the Gospel of St. John, Chap. 9.]

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind
from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying,
Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was
bom blind ?
30 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his
parents : but that the works of God should be made man-
ifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent
me, while it is day : the night cometh when no man can
work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of
35 the world.

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and
made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the
2^*



2S2 Parker's exercises in [ex. li.

blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in
the pool of Siloam, (which is, by interpretation, Sent.)
He went his way, therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbors, therefore, and they which before had
5 seen him that he was blind, said. Is not this he that sat
and begged ? Some said, This is he : others said. He is
like him : but he said, I am he.

Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes
opened? He answered and said, A man that is called

10 Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto
me. Go te the pool of Siloam, and wash : and I went and
washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him,
Where is he ? He said, I know not.

They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was

15 blind. And it was the Sabbath-day when Jesus made the
clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees
also asked him how he had received his sight. He said
unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed,
and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This

20 man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath-
day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do
such miracles ?

And there was a division among them. They say unto
the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he

25 hath opened thine eyes ? He said, He is a prophet.

But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he
had been blind, and received his sight, until they called
the parents of him that had received his sight. And they



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 24 of 38)