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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 32 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 32 of 38)
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movement, all struggling to get forward, and where, though
many go adrift in their wild spirit of adventure, and a
temporary check may be sometimes felt by all, the great
mass still advances. He is landed on a hemisphere where

30 fortunes are to be made, and men are employed in getting,
not in spending — a diifference which explains so many of
the discrepancies between the structure of our own society
and habits and those of the old world. To know how to
spend is itself a science ; and the science of spending and

35 that of getting are rarely held by the same hand.

In such a state of things, the whole arrangement of soci-
ety, notwithstanding the apparent resemblance to that in
his own country, and its real resemblance in minor points,
is reversed. The rich proprietor, who does nothing but

40 fatten on his rents, is no longer at the head of the scale, as
in the old world. The man of enterprise takes the lead
in a bustling community, where action and progress, or at
least change, are the very conditions of existence. The
upper classes — if the term can be used in a complete



EX. LXXXlX.j RHETORICAL READING. 363

democracy — have not the luxurious finish and accommo-
dations to be found in the other hemisphere. The hum-
bler classes have not the poverty-stricken, cringing spirit
of hopeless inferiority. The pillar of society, if it want
5 the Corinthian capital, wants also the heavy and superflu-
ous base. Every man not only professes to be, but is
practically, on a footing of equality with his neighbor. The
traveller must not expect to meet here the deference, or
even the courtesies, which grow out of distinction of castes.

10 This is an awkward dilemma for one whose nerves
have never been jarred by contact with the profane ; who
has never been tossed about in the rough and tumble of
humanity. It is little to him that the poorest child in the
community learns how to read and write ; that the poorest

15 man can have ; — what Henry the Fourth so good-naturedly
wished for the humblest of his subjects — a fowl in his
pot every day for his dinner ; that no one is so low but
that he may aspire to all the rights of his fellow-men, and
find an open theatre on which to display his own peculiar

20 talents.

As the tourist strikes into the interior, difficulties of all
sorts multiply, incident to a raw and unformed country.
The comparison with the high civilization at home becomes
more and more unfavorable, as he is made to feel that in

25 this land of promise it must be long before promise can
become the performance of the old world. And yet, if he
would look beyond the surface, he would see that much
here too has been performed, however much may be
wanting. He would see lands over which the wild Indian

SO roamed as a hunting-ground teeming with harvests for the
consumption of millions at home and abroad; forests,
which have shot up, ripened and decayed, on the same
spot ever since the creation, now swept away to make
room for towns and villages, thronged with an industrious

35 population; rivers, which rolled on in their solitudes,
undisturbed except by the wandering bark of the savage,
now broken and dimpled by hundreds of steamboats,
freighted with the rich tribute of a country rescued from
the wilderness.

40 He would not expect to meet the careful courtesies of
polished society in the pioneers of civilization, whose mis-
sion has been to recover the great continent from the bear
and the buffalo. He would have some charity for theii
ignorance of the latest fashions of Bond-street, and their



864 Parker's exercises in [ex. lxxxix.

departure, sometimes, even from what, in the old country, is
considered as the decorum, and, it may be, decencies of
life. But not so ; his heart turns back to his own land,
and closes against the rude scenes around him ; for he
5 finds here none of the soft graces of cultivation, or the hal-
lowed memorials of an early civilization ; no gray, weather-
beaten cathedrals, telling of the Normans; no Gothic
churches in their groves of venerable oaks ; no moss-cov-
ered cemeteries, in which the dus|_ of his fathers has been

10 gathered since the time of the Plantagenets ; no rural
cottages, half smothered with roses and honeysuckles, inti-
mating that even in the most humble abodes the taste for
the beautiful has found its way ; no trim gardens, and
fields blossoming with hawthorn hedges and miniature

15 culture; no ring fences, enclosing well-shaven lawns,
woods so disposed as to form a picture of themselves,
bright threads of silvery water, and sparkling fountains.

All these are wanting, and his eyes turn with disgust
from the wild and rugged features of nature, and all her

20 rough accompaniments — from man almost as wild ; and
his heart sickens as he thinks of his own land, and all its
scenes of beauty. He thinks not of the poor, who leave
that land for want of bread, and find in this a kindly
welcome, and the means of independence and advancement

25 which their own denies them.

He goes on, if he be a splenetic Sinbad, discharging his
sour bile on everybody that he comes in contact with, thus
producing an amiable ripple in the current as he proceeds,
that adds marvellously, no doubt, to his own quiet and

80 personal comfort. If he have a true merry vein and
hearty good nature, he gets on, laughing sometimes in his
sleeve at others, and cracking his jokes on the unlucky
pate of Brother Jonathan, who, if he is not very silly —
which he very often is — laughs too, and joins in the jest,

35 though it may be somewhat at his own expense.

It matters little whether the tourist be Whig or Tory in
his own land ; if the latter, he returns, probably, ten times
the conservative that he was when he left it. If Whig, or
even Radical, it matters not ; his loyalty waxes warmer

40 and warmer with every step of his progress among the
republicans ; and he finds that practical democracy, shoul-
dering and elbowing its neighbors as it "goes ahead,"
is no more like the democracy which he has been accus-
tomed to admire in theory, than the real machinery, with

45 its smell, smoke, and clatter, under full operation, is like



EX. XC.J RHETORICAL READING. 365

the pretty toy which he sees as a model in the Patent
Office at Washington. — W. H. Prescott.



EXERCISE XC.

Speak Gently.

Speak gently ! it is better far
To rule by love than fear ;
5 Speak gently ! let not harsh words mar

The good we might do here.

Speak gently ! Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind,
And gently Friendship's accents flow,
10 Affection's voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child, —
Its love be sure to gain, —
Teach it in accents soft and mild, —
It may not long remain.
16 Speak gently to the aged one,

Grieve not the care-worn heart ;
The sands of life are nearly run —
Let such in peace depart.

Speak gently to the young, for they
20 Will have enough to bear ;

Pass through this life as best they may,
'T is full of anxious care.

Speak gently, kindly, to the poor.
Let no harsh tones be heard ;
25 They have enough they must endure

Without an unkincj word.

Speak gently to the erring ; know
They may have toiled in vain ;
Perchance unkindness made them so, —
30 Oh ! win them back again ; —

Speak gently ! He who gave his life
To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife
Said to them, " Peace, be still ! "
35 Speak gently ! 't is a little thing

Dropped in the heart's deep well,
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.
3i#



366 Parker's exercises in [ex. xci.

EXERCISE XCI.

Extract of a Speech in the Senate of the United States, dis-
avowing a NatioTial Hostility to Great Britain.

Mr. President, we must distinguish a little. That
there exists in this country an intense sentiment of nation-
ality ; a cherished energetic feeling and consciousness of
our independent and separate national existence ; a feeling
5 that we have a transcendent destiny to fulfil, which we
mean to fulfil ; a great work to do, which we know how
to do, and are able to do ; a career to run, up which we
hope to ascend, till we stand on the steadfast and glittering
summits of the world ; a feeling, that we are surrounded

10 and attended by a noble historical group of competitors
and rivals, the other nations of the earth, all of whom we
hope to overtake, and even to distance; — such a senti-
ment as this exists, perhaps, in the character of this
people.

15 And this I do not discourage ; I do not condemn. It is
easy to ridicule it. But, "grand, swelling sentiments"
of patriotism, no wise man will despise. They have their
uses. They help to give a great heart to a nation ; to
animate it for the various conflicts of its lot ; to assist it

20 to work out for itself a more exceeding weight, and to fill
a larger measure of glory. But, sir, that among these
useful and beautiful sentiments, predominant among them,
there exists a temper of hostility towards this one particu-
lar nation, to such a degree as to amount to a habit, a

25 trait, a national passion — to amount to a state of feeling
which " is to be regretted," and which really threatens
another war — this I earnestly and confidently deny. I
would not hear your enemy say this.

Sir, the indulgence of such a sentiment by the people

SO supposes them to have forgotten one of the counsels of
Washington. Call to mind the ever seasonable wisdom
of the Farewell Address : " The nation which indulges
towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fond-
ness, is, in some degree, a slave. It is a slave to its ani-

35 mosity, or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to
lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

No, sir! no, sir! We are above all this. Let the
Highland clansman, half naked, half civilized, half blinded
by the peat-smoke of his cavern, have his hereditary enemy

40 and his hereditary enmity, and keep the keen, deep, and



EX. XCI.] RHETORICAL READING. 367

precious hatred, set on fire of hell, alive if he can ; let the
North American Indian have his, and hand it dow^n from
father to son, by Heaven knows what symbols of alligators,
and rattle-snakes, and war-clubs, smeared with vermilion
5 and entwined with scarlet ; let such a country as Poland,
— cloven to the earth, the armed heel on the radiant fore-
head, her body dead, her soul incapable to die, — let her
remember the "wrongs of days long past;" let the lost
and wandering tribes of Israel remember theirs — the man-

10 liness and the sympathy of the world may allow or pardon
this to them ; — but shall America, young, free, prosperous,
just setting out on the highway of heaven, " decorating
and cheering the elevated sphere she just begins to move
in, glittering like the morning star, full of life and joy,"

15 shall she be supposed to be polluting and corroding her
noble and happy heart, by moping over old stories of stamp
act, and tea tax, and the firing of the Leopard upon the
Chesapeake in a time of peace ?

No, sir ! no, sir I a thousand times no ! Why, I pro-

20 test I thought all that had been settled. I thought two
wars had settled it all. What else was so much good
blood shed for, on so many more than classical fields of
revolutionary glory ? For what was so much good blood
more lately shed, at Lundy's Lane, at Fort Erie, before

25 and behind the lines at New Orleans, on the deck of the
Constitution, on the deck of the Java, on the lakes, on
the sea, but to settle exactly these "wrongs of past
days ? "

And have we come back sulky and sullen from the

30 very field of honor ? For my country, I deny it. The
senator^^ says that our people still remember these " former
scenes of wrong, with, perhaps, too deep" a sensibility;
and that, as I interpret him, they nourish a " too exten-
sive" national enmity. How so? If the feeling he

35 attributes to them is moral, manly, creditable, how comes
it to be too deep? and if it is immoral, unmanly, and
unworthy, why is it charged on them at all ?

Is there a member of this body, who would stand up in
any educated, in any intelligent and right-minded circle

40 which he respected, and avow that, for his part, he must
acknowledge, that, looking back through the glories and
the atonement of two wars, his views were full of ill blood
to England ; that in peace he could not help being her

Mr. Buchanan, of Pennsylvania.



368 Parker's exercises in [ex. xcii.

enemy; that he could not pluck out the deep-wrought
convictions and "the immortal hate" of the old times?
Certainly, not one. And then, sir, that which we feel
would do no honor for ourselves shall we confess for our
5 country ?

Mr. President, let me say, that in my judgment this
notion of a national enmity of feeling towards Great Brit-
ain, belongs to a past age of our history. My younger
countrymen are unconscious of it. They disavow it.
10 That generation, in whose opinions and feelings the
actions and the destiny of the next are unfolded, as the
tree in the germ, do not at all comprehend your meaning,
nor your fears, nor your regrets.

We are born to happier feelings. We look to England
15 as we look to France. We look to them, from our new
world, — not unrenowned, yet a new world still, — and
the blood mounts to our cheeks; our eyes swim; our
voices are stifled with emulousness of so much glory ; their
trophies will not let us sleep : but there is no hatred at all ;
20 no hatred — no barbarian memory of wrongs, for which
brave men have made the last expiation to the brave.

Hon. Rufus Choate.
#

EXERCISE XCn.
The Bird let loose in Eastern Skies.

The bird, let loose in eastern skies,^

When hastening fondly home.

Ne'er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
25 Where idle warblers roam.

But high she shoots through air and light,

Above all low delay.

Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,

Nor shadow dims her way.
30 So grant me, God, from every care

And stain of passion free.

Aloft, through virtue's purer air,

To hold my course to thee !

No sin to cloud — no lure to stay
35 My soul, as home she springs : —

Thy sunshine on her joyful way,

Thy freedom in her wings ! T. Moore.

* The carrier pigeon, it is well known, flies at an elevated pitch, in onU'i
to gurmount every obstacle between her and the place to which she is destined.



EI. XCm.] RHETORICAL READING. 369

EXERCISE XCni.
The Prodigal Son.

From The Gospel According to St. Luke, Chapter XV.

Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners
for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes mur-
mured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth
with them.
5 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What
man of you having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them,
doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and
go after that which he has lost, until he find it? And
when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders,

10 rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth to-
gether his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Re-
joice with me ; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over
one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine

15 just persons which need no repentance.

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she
lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the
house, and seek diligently till she find it ? And when she
hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors

20 together, saying, Rejoice with me ; for I have found the
piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you. There
is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner
that repenteth.

And he said, A certain man had two sons : and the

25 younger of them said to his father. Father, give me the
portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto
them his living. And not many days after, the younger
son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far
country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

30 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine
in that land ; and he began to be in want.

And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that
country ; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks

35 that the swine did eat ; and no man gave unto him.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired
servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare,
and I perish with hunger ! I will arise and go to my
father, and will say unto him. Father, I have sinned

40 against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy



370 Parker's exercises in [ex. xcrv.

to be called thy son : make me as one of thy hired ser-
vants.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he
was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had com-
5 passion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against
heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be
called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best

10 robe, and put it on him ; and put a ring on his hand, and
shoes on his feet : and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill
it ; and let us eat, and be merry : for this my son was dead,
and is alive again ; he was lost, and is found. And they
began to be merry.

15 Now his elder son was in the field : and as he came and
drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And
he called one of the servants and asked what these things
meant. And he said unto him. Thy brother is come ; and
thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath re-

20 ceived him safe and sound.

And he was angry, and would not go in ; therefore came
his father out, and entreated him. And he answering,
said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee,
neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment ; and

25 yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry
with my friends : but as soon as this thy son wa^ come,
which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast
killed for him the fatted calf.

And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me ; and

30 all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make
merry, and be glad : for this thy brother was dead, and is
alive again ; and was lost, and is found.



EXERCISE XCIV.

Go where Glory waits Thee.

Go where glory waits thee,
But while fame elates thee,
35 Oh, still remember me.

When the praise thou meetest
To thine ear is sweetest.
Oh, then remember me.



EX. XCV.] RHETORICAL READING. 3?!

Other arms may press thee,

Dearer friends caress thee, —

All the joys that bless thee

Sweeter far may be ;
5 But when friends are nearest,

And when joys are dearest,

Oh, then remember me.
When at eve thou rovest,

By the star thou lovest,
10 Oh, then renrember me.

Think, when home returning.

Bright we 've seen it burning ;

Oh, thus remember me.

Oft as summer closes,

15 When thine eye reposes

On its lingering roses,

Once so loved by thee.

Think of her who wove them,

Her who made thee love them ;
20 Oh, then remember me.

When around thee, dying.

Autumn leaves are lying,

Oh, then remember me.

And, at night, when gazing
25 On the gay hearth blazing.

Oh, still remember me.

Then, should music, stealing

All the soul of feeling.

To thy heart appealing,
30 Draw one tear from thee ;

Then let memory bring thee

Strains I used to sing thee ; —

Oh, then remember me. T. Moore,



EXERCISE XCV.

Hamlefs Advice to the Players.

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you ;

35 trippingly, on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many

of the players do, I had as lief the town-crier had spoke

my lines. And do not saw the air too much with your

hand ; but use all gently ; for in the very torrent, tempest,



372 Parker's exercises in [ex. xcvl

and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must
acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smooth-
ness. Oh ! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robusteous,
periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags,

5 to split the ears of the groundlings ; who, for the most part,
are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and
noise. Pray, you avoid it.

Be not too tame neither : but let your own discretion be
your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the

10 action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not
the modesty of nature : for anything so overdone is from
the purpose of playing, whose end is — to hold, as it were,
the mirror up to nature ; to show virtue her own feature,
scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the

15 time his form and pressure.

Now, this overdone, or come tardy of, though it makes
the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve ;
the censure of one of which must, in your allowance, o'er-
weigh a whole theatre of others. Oh I there be players

20 that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that
highly, that, neither having the accent of Christian, nor
the gait of Christian, pagan nor man, have so strutted and
bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journey-
men had made men, and not made them well ; they imi-

25 tated humanity so abominably. — Shakspeare.



EXERCISE XCVL
Milton's Lamentation for the Loss of his Sight.

Hail, holy light ! offspring of heaven first-born !

Or, of the eternal, coeternal beam !

May I express thee unblamed ? Since God is light,

And never but in unapproached light
30 Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee.

Bright effluence of bright essence increate.

Or, hear'st thou, rather, pure ethereal stream,

Whose fountain who shall tell ?

Before the sun,
35 Before the heavens, thou wert, and at the voice

Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest

The rising world of waters dark and deep.

Won from the void and formless infinite.



EX. XCVI.] RHETORICAL READING. 373

Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained
In that obscure sojourn ; while in my flight,
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
5 With other notes than to the Orphean lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night ;
Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reiiscend,
Though hard and rare.

10 Thee I revisit safe,

And feel thy sovereign vital lamp ; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn ;
So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs,

15 Or dim suffusion veiled.

Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the muses haunt.
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief

20 Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,

That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit : nor sometimes forget
Those other two, equalled with me in fate.
So were I equalled with them in renown !

"26 Blind Thamaris, and blind Maeonides ;

And Tyresias, and Phyneus, prophets old : —
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers ; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and, in shadiest covert hid,

30 Tunes her nocturnal note.

Thus with the year
Seasons return ; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,

35 Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine :
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark.
Surrounds me : from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair.
Presented with an universal blank

40 Of nature's works, to me expunged and razed,
And wisdom, at one entrance, quite shut out.

So much the rather, thou, celestial light.
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate ; there plant eyes ; all mist from thence
32



374 Parker's exercises in [ex. xcvn

Purge and disperse ; that I may see and tell

Of things invisible to mortal sight. Milton.



EXERCISE xcvn.

Intellectual Improvement.

The great mass of mankind consider the intellectual
powers as susceptible of a certain degree of development
5 in childhood, to prepare the individual for the active duties
of life. This degree of progress they suppose to be made
before the age of twenty is attained, and hence they talk
of an education being finished !

Now, if a parent wishes to convey the idea that his

10 daughter has closed her studies at school, or that his son
has finished his preparatory professional course, and is
ready to commence practice, there is perhaps no strong
objection to his using of the common phrase, that the
education is finished ; but in any general or proper use of



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 32 of 38)