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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 25 of 38)
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asked them, saying. Is this your son, whom ye say was

30 born blind? How then doth he now see ? His parents
answered them and said. We know that this is our son,
and that he was born blind : but by what means he now
seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we
know not : he is of age, ask him : he shall speak for

35 himself.

These words spake his parents, because they feared the
Jews : for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man
did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the
synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age;

40 ask him.

Then again called they the man that was blind, and
said unto him. Give God the praise ; we know that this
man is a sinner. He answered and said. Whether he be
a sinner or no, I know not : one thing I know, that, where-

45 as I was blind, now I see.



EX. Ln.] RHETORICAL READING. 283

Then said they to him again, What did he to thee ?
How opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have
told you already, and ye did not hear : wherefore would
ye hear it again ? will ye also be his disciples ? Then
5 they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple ; but we
are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto
Moses ; as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
The man answered and said unto them. Why, herein is
a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is,

10 and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that
God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper
of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the
world began was it not heard that any man opened the
eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not

15 of God, he could do nothing.

They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogeth-
er born in sins, and dost thou teach us ? And they cast
him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out : and
when he had found him, he said unto him. Dost thou be-

20 lieve on the Son of God ? He answered and said, Who
is he, Lord, that I might believe on him ? And Jesus said
unto him. Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that
talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And
he worshipped him.

25 And- Jesus said. For judgment I am come into this
world ; that they which see not might see, and that they
which see might be made blind. And some of the Phar-
isees which were with him heard these words, and said
unto him. Are we blind also ? Jesus said unto them, If

30 ye were blind, ye should have no sin : but now ye say,
We see ; therefore your sin remaineth.



EXERCISE Ln.
Picture of a Distinguished Poet.

Admire the goodness of Almighty God !
He riches gave. He intellectual strength
To few, and therefore none commands to be
35 Or rich, or learned ; nor promises reward
Of peace to these. On all He moral worth
Bestowed ; and moral tribute asked from all.

And who that could not pay ? who born so poor,



284 Parker's lessons in [ex. lii

Of intellect so mean, as not to know

What seemed the best ; and, knowing, might not do ?

As not to know what God and conscience bade,

And what they bade not able to obey ?
5 And he who acted thus fulfilled the law

Eternal, and its promise reaped of peace ;

Found peace this way alone : who sought it else,

Sought mellow grapes beneath .the icy pole ;

Sought blooming roses on the cheek of death ;
10 Sought substance in a world of fleeting shades.
Take one example ; to our purpose quite.

A man of rank, and of capacious soul ;

Who riches had, and fame beyond desire ;

An heir of flattery, to titles born,
15 And reputation, and luxurious life.

Yet, not content with ancestorial name,

Or to be known because his fathers were,

He on this height hereditary stood,

And gazing higher, purposed in his heart
20 To take another step.

Above him seemed

Alone the mount of song — the lofty seat

Of canonized bards ; and thitherward.

By nature taught, and inward melody,
25 In prime of youth he bent his eagle eye.

No cost was spared. What books he wished, he read

What sage to hear, he heard ; what scenes to see,

He saw. And first, in rambling school-boy days,

Britannia's mountain -walks, and heath-girt lakes,
30 And story-telling glens, and founts, and brooks ;

And maids, as dew-drops pure and fair, his soul

With grandeur filled, and melody and love.

Then travel came, and took him where he wished ;

He cities saw, and courts, and princely pomp ;
35 And mused alone on ancient mountain brows ;

And mused on battle-fields, where valor fought

In other days ; and mused on ruins gray

With years ; and drank from old and fabulous wells.

And plucked the vine that first-born prophets plucked,
40 And mused on famous tombs ; and on the wave

Of ocean mused ; and on the desert waste.

The heavens and earth of every country saw :

Where'er the old inspiring Genii dwelt.

Aught that could rouse, expand, refine the soul,
45 Thither he went, and meditated there.



EX. LSI.] RHETORICAL READING. 285

He touched his harp, and nations heard, entranced.
As some vast river of unfailing source.
Rapid, exhaustless, deep, his numbers flowed,
And oped new fountains in the human heart.
5 Where fancy halted, weary in her flight.
In other men, his fresh as morning rose.
And sgared untrodden heights, and seemed at home,
Where angels bashful looked.

Others, though great,

10 Beneath their argument seemed struggling ; whiles
He, from above descending, stooped to touch
The loftiest thought ; and proudly stooped, as though
It scarce deserved his verse.

With Nature's self

15 He seemed an old acquaintance, free to jest
At will with all her glorious majesty.
He laid his hand upon " the ocean's mane,"=^
And played familiar with his hoary locks.
Stood on the Alps, stood on the Appenines,

20 And with the thunder talked, as friend to friend ;
And wove his garland of the lightning's wing,
In sportive twist — the lightning's fier^'^ wing,
Which as the footsteps of the dreadful God,
Marching upon the storm in vengeance seemed —

25 Then turned, and with the grasshopper, who sung
His evening song beneath his feet, conversed.

Suns, moons and stars, and clouds, his sisters were ;
Rocks, mountains, meteors, seas, and winds and storms.
His brothers — younger brothers, whom he scarce

30 As equals deemed.

All passions of all men —
The wild and tame, the gentle and severe ;
All thoughts, all maxims, sacred and profane ;
All creeds; all seasons. Time, Eternity;

35 All that was hated, and all that was dear;

All that was hoped, all that was feared by man, —
He tossed about, as tempest-withered leaves,
Then smiling, looked upon the wreck he made.
With terror now he froze the cowering blood ;

40 And now dissolved the heart in tenderness :

Yet would not tremble, would not weep, himself;

This allusion to a line of Lord Byron's Apostrophe to the Ocean plainly
indicates that the poet had him clearly in view, in this description. The sub-
sequent lines also allude to passages in "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage."



286 Parker's lessons in [ex. lh

But back into his soul retired, alone,

Dark, sullen, proud : gazing contemptuously

On hearts and passions prostrate at his feet.

So Ocean from the "plains, his waves had late
5 To desolation swept, retired in pride,

Exulting in the glory of his might,

And seemed to mock the ruin he had wrought. ^
As some fierce comet of tremendous size.

To which the stars did reverence as it passed,
10 So he through learning, and through fancy, took

His flight sublime ; and on the loftiest top

Of Fame's dread mountain sat : not soiled and worn,

As if he from the earth had labored up —

But as some bird of heavenly plumage fair
15 He looked, which down from higher regions came,

And perched it there, to see what lay beneath.

The nations gazed, and wondered much, and praised.

Critics before him fell in humble plight ;

Confounded fell, and made debasing signs
20 To catch his eye ; and stretched and swelled themselves

To bursting nigh, to utter bulky words

Of admiration vast : and many too.

Many that aimed to imitate his flight,

With weaker wing, unearthly fluttering made,
25 And gave abundant sport to after days.

Great man ! the nations gazed, and wondered much

And praised : and many called his evil good.

Wits wrote in favor of his wickedness ;

And kings to do him honor took delight.
30 Thus, full of titles, flattery, honor, fame, —

Beyond desire, beyond ambition, full, —

He died — he died of what ? Of wretchedness !

Drank every cup of joy, heard every trump

Of fame ; drank early, deeply drank; drank draughts
35 That common millions might have quenched — then died

Of thirst, because there was no more to drink.

His goddess, Nature — wooed, embraced, enjoyed —

Fell from his arms abhorred ; his passions died ;

Died all but dreary, solitary pride :
40 And all his sympathies in being died.

As some ill-guided bark, well built and tall,

Which angry tides cast out on desert shore.

And then, retiring, left it there to rot

And moulder in the winds and rains of heaven :



EX. LIII.] RHETORICAL REAjju^j 287

So he, cut from the sympathies of life,

And cas^t ashore from Pleasure's boisterous surge —

A wandering, weary, worn, and wretched thing;

Scorched and desolate, and blasted soul ;
5 A gloomy wilderness of dying thought —

Repined, and groaned, and withered from the earth.

His groanings filled the land his numbers filled:

And yet he seemed ashamed to groan. Poor man !

Ashamed to ask, and yet he needed help.
10 Proof this, beyond all lingering of doubt,

That not with natural or mental wealth

Was God delighted, or his peace secured :

That not in natural or mental wealth

Was human happiness or grandeur found.
15 Attempt how monstrous ! and how surely vain !

With things of earthly sort, with aught but God,

With aught but moral excellence, truth and love,

To satisfy and fill the immortal soul !

Attempt, vain inconceivably ! attempt
20 To satisfy the ocean with a drop ;

To marry Immortality to Death ;

And with the unsubstantial shade of Time

To fill the embrace of all Eternity !

Pollock's Course of Ttme,



EXERCISE Lni.

The CrTotto of Antiparos.

Of all the subterraneous caverns now known, the grotto
25 of Antiparos is the most remarkable, as well for its extent
as for the beauty of its sparry incrustations. This cele-
brated cavern was first explored by one Magni, an Italian
traveller, about one hundred years ago, at Antiparos, an
inconsiderable island of the Archipelago.
30 " Having been informed," says he, " by the natives of
Paros, that, in the little island of Antiparos, which lies
about two miles from the former, a gigantic statue was to
be seen at the mouth of a cavern in that place, it was re-
solved that we (the French consul and himself) should
35 pay it a visit.

"In pursuance of this resolution, after we had landed



288 Parker's lessons in [ex. liii.

on the island, and walked about four miles through the
midst of beautiful plains, and sloping woodlands, we at
length came to a little hill, on the side of which yawned a
most horrid cavern, which, by its gloom, at first struck us
5 with terror, and almost repressed curiosity. Eecovering
the first surprise, however, we entered boldly, and had not
proceeded above twenty paces, when the supposed statue
of the giant presented itself to our view.

" We quickly perceived that what the ignorant natives

10 had been terrified at as a giant was nothing more than a
sparry concretion, formed by the water dropping from the
roof of the cave, and by degrees hardening into a figure,
which their fears had formed into a monster. Incited by
this extraordinary appearance, we were induced to proceed

15 still further, in quest of new adventures, in this subterra-
nean abode.

" As we proceeded, new wonders offered themselves ; the
spars, formed into trees and shrubs, presented a kind of
petrified grove ; some white, some green ; and all reced-

20 ing in due perspective. They struck us with the more
amazement, as we knew them to be mere productions of
nature, who, hitherto in solitude, had, in her playful mo-
ments, dressed the scene as if for her own amusement.
" We had as yet seen but a few of the wonders of the

25 place ; and we were introduced only into the portico of
this amazing temple. In one corner of this half-illumin-
ated recess, there appeared an opening of about three feet
wide, which seemed to lead to a place totally dark, and
which one of the natives assured us contained nothing

30 more than a reservoir of water.

" Upon this information, we made an experiment, by
throwing down some stones, which rumbling along the
sides of the descent for some time, the sound seemed at
last quashed in a bed of water. In order, however, to be

35 more certain, we sent in a Levantine mariner, who, by
the promise of a good reward, ventured, with a flambeau
in his hand, into this narrow aperture.

" After continuing within it for about a quarter of an
hour, he returned, bearing in his hand some beautiful pieces

40 of white spar, which art could neither equal nor imitate.
Upon being informed by him that the place was full of
these beautiful incrustations, I ventured in with him, about
fifty paces, anxiously and cautiously descending, by a steep
and dangerous way.



EX. Lin.J RHETORICAL READING. 289

"Finding, however, that we came to a precipice which
led into a spacious amphitheatre, (if I may so call it,) still
deeper than any other part, we returned, and b^ing pro-
vided with a ladder, flambeau, and other things to expedite

5 our descent, our whole company, man by man, ventured
into the same opening ; and, descending one after another,
we at last saw ourselves all together in the most magnifi-
cent part of the cavern.

"Our candles being now all lighted up, and the whole

10 place completely illuminated, never could the eye be pre-
sented with a more glittering or a more magnificent scene.
The whole roof hung with solid icicles, transparent as
glass, yet solid as marble.

" The eye could scarcely reach the lofty and noble ceil-

15 ing ; the sides were regularly formed with spars ; and the
whole presented the idea of a magnificent theatre, illum-
inated with an immense profusion of lights. The floor
consisted of solid marble ; and, in several places, magnifi-
cent columns, thrones, altars, and other objects, appeared,

20 as if nature had designed to mock the curiosities of art.

" Our voices, upon speaking or singing, were redoubled
to an astonishing loudness; and upon the firing of a gun,
the noise and reverberations were almost deafening. In
the midst of this grand amphitheatre rose a concretion of

25 about fifteen feet high, that, in some measure, resembled
an altar ; from which, taking the hint, we caused mass to
be celebrated there. The beautiful columns that shot up
round the altar appeared like candlesticks; and many
other natural objects represented the customary ornaments

30 of this rite.

" Below even this spacious grotto, there seemed another
cavern ; down which I ventured, with my former mariner,
and descended about fifty paces, by means of a rope. I at
last arrived at a small spot of level ground, where the bot-

35 torn appeared diflJerent from that of the amphitheatre, be-
ing composed of soft clay, yielding to the pressure, and in
which I thrust a stick to the depth of six feet.

"In this, however, as above, numbers of the most beau-
tiful crystals were formed ; one of which, particularly,

40 resembled a table. Upon our egress from this amazing
cavern, we perceived a Greek inscription upon a rock at
the mouth, but so obliterated by time that we could not
read it distinctly. It seemed to impprt that one Antipater,
in the time of Alexander, had come hither ; but whether
25



290 Parker's exercises in [ex. liv.

he penetrated into the depths of the cavern, he does not
think fit to inform us." This account of so beautiful and
striking a scene may serve to give us some idea of the
subterraneous wonders of nature. — Goldsmith.



EXERCISE LIV.

The Past.

5 Thou unrelenting Past !

Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,
And fetters sure and fast
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.
Far in thy realm withdrawn,
10 Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom, ^
And glorious ages gone
Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.

Childhood, with all its mirth.
Youth, manhood, age, that draws us to the ground
15 And last, man's life on earth,

Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.

Thou hast my better years.
Thou hast my earlier friends — the good, the kind.
Yielded to thee with tears —
20 The venerable form, the exalted mind.
My spirit yearns to bring
The lost ones back — yearns with desire intense.
And struggles hard to wring
Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence.
25 In vain ; — thy gates deny

All passage, save to those who hence depart ;
Nor to the streaming eye

Thou giv'st them back — nor to the broken heart.
In thy abysses hide
30 Beauty and excellence unknown — to thee
Earth's wonder and her pride
Are gathered, as the waters to the sea ;

Labors of good to man,
Unpublished charity, unbroken faith, —
35 Love, that 'midst grief began,

And grew with years and faltered not in death.

Full many a mighty name
Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered ;



EX. LV.] RHETORICAL READING. 291

With thee are silent fame,

Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared.

Thine for a space are they —
Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last ;
5 Thy gates shall yet give way.

Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past!

All that of good and fair
Has gone into thy womb from earliest time
Shall then come forth to wear
10 The glory and the beauty of its prime.
They have not perished — no !
Kind words, remembered voices, once so sweet,
Smiles, radiant long ago.
And features, the great soul's apparent seat.
15 All shall come back ; each tie

Of pure affection shall be knit again ;
Alone shall Evil die.

And Sorrow dwell a prisoner, in thy reign.
And then shall I behold
20 Him by whose kind paternal side I sprung,
And her, who, still and cold.
Fills the next grave — the beautiful and yoimg.

Bryant,



LESSON LV.

Extract from an Oration pronounced by the Speaker of the
House of Representatives of the United States ^ July ^th,
1848, on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the
National Monument to the mevK/ry of Washington.

Fellow-citizens : — While we thus commend the char-
acter and example of Washington to others, let us not

25 forget to imitate it ourselves. I have spoken of the pre-
cise period which we have reached in our own history, as
well as in that of the world at large, as giving something
of peculiar interest to the proceedings in which we are
engaged.

30 I may not, I will not, disturb the harmony of the scene
before me by the slightest allusion of a party character.
The circumstances of the occasion forbid it ; the associa-
tions of the day forbid it ; the character of him in whose
honor we are assembled forbids it ; my own feelings revolt

35 from it. But I may say, I must say, and every one within



292 Parker's exercises in [ex. lv.

the sound of my voice will sustain me in saying, that
there has been no moment since Washington himself was
among us, when it was more important than at this mo-
ment, that the two great leading principles of his policy
5 should be remembered and cherished.

Those principles were, first, the most complete, cordial,
and indissoluble union of the states ; and, second, the most
entire separation and disentanglement of our own country
from all other countries. Perfect union among ourselves,

10 perfect neutrality towards others, and peace, peace, domes-
tic peace and foreign peace, as the result ; this was the
chosen and consummate policy of the father of his country.
But above all, and before all, in the heart of Wash-
ington, was the union of the states ; and no opportunity

15 was ever omitted by him to impress upon his fellow-
citizens the profound sense which he entertained of its
vital importance at once to their prosperity and their
liberty.

In that incomparable address in which he bade farewell

20 to his countrymen at the close of his presidential service,
he touched upon many other topics with the earnestness
of a sincere conviction. He called upon them, in solemn
terms, to "cherish public credit;" to "observe good faith
and justice towards all nations," avoiding both " inveterate

25 antipathies and passionate attachments " towards any ; to
mitigate and assuage the unquenchable fire of party spirit,
" lest, instead of warming, it should consume ;" to abstain
from "characterizing parties by geographical distinc-
tions ;" " to promote institutions for the general diflfusion

30 of knowledge ;" to respect and uphold " religion and mo-
rality; those great pillars of human happiness, those
firmest props of the duties of men and of citizens."

But what can exceed, what can equal, the accumulated
intensity of thought and of expression with which he calls

35 upon them to cling to the union of the states. " It is of
infinite moment," says he, in language which we ought
never to be weary of hearing or of repeating, " that you
should properly estimate the immense value of your Na-
tional Union to your collective and individual happiness ;

40 that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, immovable
attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and
speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and
prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous
anxiety ; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a



EX. LY. RHETORICAL READING. 293

suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned; and
indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every
attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the
rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together
5 the various parts."

The Union, the Union in any event, was thus the senti-
ment of Washington. The Union, the Union in any
event, — let it be our sentiment this day !

Yes, to-day, fellow-citizens, at the very moment when

10 the extension of our boundaries and the multiplication of
our territories are producing, directly and indirectly, among
the different members of our political system, so many
marked and mourned centrifugal tendencies, let us seize
this occasion to renew to each other our vows of alle-

15 giance and devotion to the American Union, and let us
recognize in our common title to the name and the fame
of Washington, and in our common veneration for his
example and his advice, the all-sufficient centripetal power,
which shall hold the thick clustering stars of our confed-

20 eracy in one glorious constellation forever! Let the
column which we are about to construct be at once a
pledge and an emblem of perpetual union ! Let the found-
ations be laid, let the superstructure be built up and
cemented, let each stone be raised and riveted, in a spirit

25 of national brotherhood! And may the earliest ray of
the rising sun — till that sun shall set to rise no more —
draw forth from it daily, as from the fabled statue of
antiquity, a strain of national harmony, which shall
strike a responsive chord in every heart throughout the

30 republic!

Proceed, then, fellow-citizens, with the work for which
you have assembled ! Lay the comer-stone of a monu-
ment which shall adequately bespeak the gratitude of the
whole American people to the illustrious father of his

35 country ! Build it to the skies ; you cannot outreach the
loftiness of his principles ! Found it upon the massive
and eternal rock ; you cannot make it more enduring than
his fame ! Construct it of the peerless Parian marble ;
you cannot make it purer than his life ! Exhaust upon it

40 the rules and principles of ancient and of modern art;

you cannot make it more proportionate than his character !

But let not your homage to his memory end here.

Think not to transfer to a tablet or a column the tribute

which is due from yourselves. Just honor to Washing-

25*



294 tarker's exercises in [ex. lvi.

ton can only be rendered by observing his precepts and
imitating his example. Similitudine decoremus. He has
built his own monument. We, and those who come after
us in successive generations, are its appointed, its privi-
5 leged guardians. This wide-spread republic is the true
monument to Washington. Maintain its independence.
Uphold its constitution. Preserve its Union. Defend its
liberty. Let it stand before the world in all its original
strength and beauty, securing peace, order, equality and



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 25 of 38)