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 5 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 5 of 38)
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only a specimen of insect life, with which, by reason of the
animal being half domesticated, we happen to be better ac-

222. 'Tis a picture in memory distinctly defined, with
the strong and unperishing colors of mind : a part of my
being beyond my control, beheld on that cloud, and tran-
scribed on my soul.

223. Bare trees and shrubs but ill you know could shelter
them from rain or snow : stepping into their nests they pad-
dled : themselves were chilled, their eggs were addled : soon
every father bird and mother grew quarrelsome and pecked
each other.

224. Yet such is the destiny of all on earth : so flour-
ishes and fades majestic man.

225. Let those deplore their doom whose hopes still
grovel in this dark sojourn : but lofty souls, who look be-
yond the tomb, can smile at fate, and wonder why they

226. If for my faded brow thy hand prepare some fu-
ture wreath, let me the gift resign : transfer the rosy gar-
land : let it bloom around the temples of that friend be-
loved, on whose maternal bosom, even now, I lay my aching

227. We do not understand these things: we are told
that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has
been handed down from father to son. We also have a
religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been


handed down to us : it teaches us to be thankful for all
favors received, to love each other, and to be united: we
never quarrel about religion.


THE COLON, — continued.

In this lesson the passages ending with a colon are to
be read with the voice suspended. [See Lesson 9th.)

228. Do not flatter yourselves with the hope of perfect
happiness : there is no such thing in the world.

229. He was often heard to say : I have done with the
world ; and I am willing to leave it.

229. Be not a niggard of your speech : how goes it ?

229. Those will be bad days to acquire and cultivate the
spirit of devotion : but the spirit of devotion, acquired, and
cultivated, and confirmed before, will convert those bad days
into good ones.

230. But, when old age has on your temples shed her
silver frost, there's no returning sun : swift flies our summer,
swift our autumn's fled, when youth, and spring, and golden
joys, are gone.

231. A divine legislator, uttering his voice from heaven;
an almighty governor, stretching forth his arm to punish or
reward ; informing us of perpetual rest prepared hereafter
for the righteous, and of indignation and wrath awaiting the
wicked : these are the considerations which overawe the
world, which support integrity, and check guilt.

232. Not to the rosy maid, whom former hours beheld
me fondly covet, tune I now the melancholy lyre : but 'tis
to thee, O Sickness ! 'tis to thee I wake the silent strings.

233.* A boy at school is by no means at liberty to read
what books he pleases : he must give attention to those
which contain his lessons; so that when he is called upon
to recite, he may be ready, fluent, and accurate in repeating
the portion assigned him.

233. A poet is by no means at liberty to invent what
system of the marvellous he pleases : he must avail himself

* See note on page 33.


either of the religious faith, or the superstitious credulity
of the country wherein he lives ; so as to give an air of
probability to events which are most contrary to the com-
mon course of nature.

234.* It is not only in the school-room, that attention
should be given to your books : there is a place, one not
like a school-room ; I mean your owa chamber : where you
can find many opportunities of acquiring knowledge.

234. It is not only in the sacred fane that homage should
be paid to the Most High : there is a temple, one not made
with hands; the vaulted firmament: far in the woods, almost
beyond the sound of city-chime, at intervals heard through
the breezeless air.

235. As we perceive the shadow to have moved along
the dial, but did not perceive its moving; and it appears
that the grass has grown, though nobody ever saw it grow :
so the advances we make in knowledge, as they consist of
such minute steps, are perceivable only by the distance
gone over.

236. When the proud steed shall know why man restrains
his fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains; when the dull
ox, why now he breaks the clod, is now a victim, and now
Egypt's god : then shall man's pride and dulness compre-
hend his actions', passions', being's use and end.

237. Jehovah, God of hosts, hath sworn, saying: Surely
as I have devised, so shall it be ; and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand.

238. That day he wore a riding coat, but not a whit the
warmer he : another was on Thursday brought, and ere the
Sabbath he had three.

239. George, you must not laugh at me; I will not bear
It. You forget what you are about when you ridicule me :
I know more than you do about the lessons.

239. Brutus, bay not me; I'll not endure it. You for-
get yourself, to hedge me in : I am a soldier, older in prac-
tice, abler than yourself to make conditions.

240. I never heard a word about it before, said George,
yesterday: who told you about it, Charles?

240. I never heard one word of it before, said my uncle
Toby, hastily : how came he there. Trim ?

241. Thou shalt pronounce this parable upon the king
of Babylon; and shalt say: How hath the oppressor ceased?

* See note on pap^e 33.




A Parenthesis is a sentence, or part of a sentence, en-
closed between two curved lines like these ( )

The curved lines in which the parenthesis is enclosed are
called Crotchets.

The parenthesis, with the crotchets jchich enclose it, is
generally inserted hetioeen the words of another sentence,
and may he omitted without injuring the sense.

The parenthesis should generally he read in a quicker and
lower tone of voice than the other parts of the sentence in
which it stands.

Sometimes a sentence is enclosed in marks like these [ ]
which are called Brackets*

Sentences which are included within crotchets or brackets,
should generally be read in a quicker and lower tone of voice.


242. I asked my eldest son (a boy who never was guilty
of a falsehood) to give me a correct account of the matter.

243. The master told me that the lesson (which was a
very difficult one) was recited correctly by every pupil in
the class.

244. When they were both turned of forty, (an age in
which, according to Mr. Cowley, there is no dallying with
life,) they determined to retire, and pass the remainder of
their days in the country.

245. Notwithstanding all this care of Cicero, history
informs us, that Marcus proved a mere blockhead ; and
that nature (who, it seems, was even with the son for her

* Although the crotchet and the bracket are sometimes indiscriminately
used, the following difference in their use may generally be noticed : Crotchets
are used to enclose a sentence, or part of a sentence, which is inserted between
the parts of another sentence : brackets are generally used to separate two
subjects, or to enclose an explanation, note, or observation, standing b)' itself.
When a parenthesis occurs within another parenthesis, brackets enclose the
former, and crotchets enclose the latter. See No. 263.
Fox's Grammar, Part III., page 30.


prodigality to the father) rendered him incapable of im-
proving, by all the rules of eloquence, the precepts of phi-
losophy, his own endeavors, and tiie most refined conversa-
tion in Athens.

246. Natural historians observe (for whilst 1 am in the
country I must fetch my allusions from thence) that only
the male birds have voices; that their songs begin a little
before breeding-time, and end a little after.

247. Dr. Clark has observed, that Homer is more per-
spicuous than any other author; but if he is so, (which yet
may be questioned,) the perspicuity arises from his subject,
and not from the language itself in which he writes.

248. The many letters which come to me from persons
of the best sense of both sexes (for I may pronounce their
characters from their way of writing) do not a little en-
courage me in the prosecution of this my undertaking.

249. It is this sense which furnishes the imagination with
its ideas; so that by the pleasures of the imagination, or
fancy, (terms which I shall use promiscuously,) 1 here mean
such as arise from visible objects.

250. The stomach (cramm'd from every dish, a tomb of
boiled and roast, and flesh and fish, where bile, and wind,
and phlegm, and acid, jar, and all the man is one intestine
war) remembers oft the school-boy's simple fare, the tem-
perate sleeps, and spirits light as air.

251. William Penn was distinguished from his com-
panions by wearing a blue sash of silk network, (which it
seems is still preserved by Mr. Kett of Seething-hall, near
Norwich,) and by having in his hand a roll of parchment,
on which was engrossed the confirmation of the treaty of
purchase and amity.

252. Again, would your worship a moment suppose, ('tis
a case that has happened, and may be again,) that the visage
or countenance had not a nose, pray who would, or who
could, wear spectacles then ?

253. Upon this the dial-plate (if we may credit the fable)
changed countenance with alarm.

254. To speak of nothing else, the arrival of the Eng-
lish in her father's dominions must have appeared (as indeed
it turned out to be) a most portentous phenomenon.

255. Surely, in this age of invention something may be
struck out to obviate the necessity (if such necessity exists)
of so tasking the human intellect.

256. I compassionate the unfortunates now, (at this very



moment, perhaps,) screwed up perpendicularly in the seat
of torture, having in the right hand a fresh-nibbed patent
pen, dipped ever and anon into the ink-bottle, as if to hook
up ideas, and under the outspread palm of the left hand a
fair sheet of best Bath post, (ready to receive thoughts yet
unhatched,) on which their eyes are rivetted with a stare of
disconsolate perplexity, infinitely touching to a feeling mind.

257. Oh the unspeakable relief (could such a machine
be invented) of having only to grind tm answer to one of
one's dear five hundred friends!

25S. Have I not groaned under similar horrors, from the
hour when I was first shut up (under lock and key, I believe)
to indite a dutiful epistle to an honored aunt 1

259. To such unhappy persons, then, I would fain offer a
few hints, (the fruit of long experience,) which may prove
serviceable in the hour of emergency.

260. If ever you should come to Modena, (where, among
other relics, you may see Tassoni's bucket,) stop at a palace
near the Reggio gate, dwelt in of old by one of the Donati.

261. My father and my uncle Toby (clever soul) were
sitting by the fire with Dr. Slop ; and Corporal Trim (a
brave and honest fellow) was reading a sermon to them. — As
the sermon contains many parentheses, and affords an op-
portunity also of showing you a sentence in brackets, (you
will observe that all the previous parentheses in this lesson
are enclosed in crotchets,) I shall insert some parts of it in
the following numbers. [See No. 262, 263, &/C.]

262. To have the fear of God before our eyes, and in our
mutual dealings with each other, to govern our actions by
the eternal measures of right and wrong : the first of these
will comprehend the duties of religion ; the second those of
morality, which are so inseparably connected together, that
you cannot divide these two tables, even in imagination,
(though the attempt is often made in pr;ictice,) without
breaking and mutually destroying them both. [Here my
father observed that Dr. Slop was fast asleep.] 1 said the
attempt is often made; and so it is; there being nothing
more common than to see a man who has no sense at all of
religion, and, indeed, has so much honesty as to pretend to
none, who would take it as the bitterest affront, should you
but hint at a suspicion of his moral character, or imagine he
was not conscientiously just and scrupulous to the uttermost


263. I know the banker I deal witli, or the physician I
usually call in, [There is no need, cried Dr. Slop (waking)
to call in any physician in this case,] to be neither of them
men of much religion.

264. For a general proof of this, examine the history of
the Romish Church: [Well, what can you make of that?
cried Dr. Slop:] see what scenes of cruelty, murder, rapine,
bloodshed, [They may thank their own obstinacy, cried
Dr. Slop,] have all been sanctified by religion not strictly
governed by morality.

26.5. Experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a
grammar of boys' natures, and reduce them all (saving
some few exceptions) to certain general rules.

266. Ingenious boys, who are idle, think, with the hare
in the fable, that, running with snails, (so they count the
rest of their school-fellows,) they shall come soon enough
to the post; though sleeping a good while before their



The Dash is a straight mark like this —

The dash is sometimes used to express a sudden stop, or
change in the subject.

Sometimes the dash requires a pause no longer than a
comfna, and sometimes a longer pause than a period.

The dash is frequently used instead of crotchets or brackets^
and a parenthesis is thus placed between two dashes. [See
Number 2S\.]

The dash is sometimes used to precede something unex-
pected ; as when a sentence beginning seriously ends hu-
morously. [See Numbers 311 to 318.]

In the following sentences the dash expresses a sudden stop,
or change of the subject.


, 267. If you will give me your attention, I will show you —
but stop, I do not know that you wish to see.


268. Alas ! that folly and falsehood should be so hard
to grapple with — but he that hopes to make mankind the
wiser for his labors, must not be soon tired.

269. I stood to hear — I love it well — the rain's con-
tinuous sound ; small drops, but thick and fast they fell,
down straight into the ground.

270. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that
fear ever uttered — I may well term them dreadful, for they
haunted my sleep for years afterwards.

271. Each zone obeys thee — thou goest forth dread,
fathomless, alone.

272. Please your honors, quoth Trim, the inquisition is

the vilest . Prithee spare thy description, Trim. I

hate the very name of it, said my father.

273. The fierce wolf prowls around thee — there he
stands listening — not fearful, for he nothing fears.

274. The wild stag hears thy falling waters' sound, and
tremblingly flies forward — o'er his back he bends his state-
ly horns — the noiseless ground his hurried feet impress not
— and his track is lost amidst the tumult of the breeze, and
the leaves falling from the rustlinor trees.

275. The wild horse thee approaches in his turn. His
mane stands up erect — his nostrils burn — he snorts — he
pricks his ears — and starts aside.

276. The music ceased, and Hamish Fraser, on coming
back into the shealing, (or shed,) said, I see two men on
horseback coming up the glen — one is on a white horse.
Ay — blessed be God, that is the good priest — now will I
die in peace. My last earthly thoughts are gone by — he
will show me the salvation of Christ — the road that leadeth
to eternal life.

277. There was silence — not a word was said — their
meal was before them — God had been thanked, and they
began to eat.

277. They hear not — see not — know not — for their
eyes are covered with thick mists — they will not see.

278. The God of gods stood up — stood up to try the
assembled gods of earth.

279. And ye like fading autumn leaves will fall; your
throne but dust — your empire but a grave — your martial
pomp a black funereal pall — your palace trampled by your
meanest slave.

280. To-day is thine — improve to-day, nor trust to-
morrow's distant ray.



2S1. And thus, in silent waiting, stood the piles of stone
and piles of wood ; till Death, who, in his vast affairs, never
puts things off — as men in theirs — and thus, if 1 the truth
must tell, does his worV Jinally and well — winked at our
hero as he passed, — Your house is finished, sir, at last;
a narrower house — a house of clay — your palace for
another day.

282. For some time the struggle was most amusing — the
fish pulling, and the bird screaming with all its might — the
one attempting to fly, and the other to swim from its invisi-
ble enemy — the gander at one moment losing and the next
regaining his centre of gravity.

The dash is sometimes to he read as a period, with the falling
inflection of the voice.

283. The favored child of nature, who combines in her-
self these united perfections, may justly be considered as the
masterpiece of creation — as the most perfect image of the
Divinity here below.

284. Now launch the boat upon the wave — the wind is
blowing off the shore — I will not live a cowering slave, in
these polluted islands more.

285. The wind is blowing off the shore, and out to sea
the streamers fly — my music is the dashing roar, my canopy
the stainless sky — it bends above, so fair a blue, that heaven
seems opening to my view.

286. He had stopped sAon after beginning the tale — he
had laid the fragment away among his papers, and had never
looked at it again.

287. The exaltation of his soul left him — he sunk down
— and his misery went over him like a flood.

2H8. May their fate be a mock-word — may men of all
lands laugh out with a scorn that shall ring to tlie poles.

289. You speak like a boy — like a boy who thinks the
old gnarled oak can be twisted as easily as the young

29f). 1 am vexed for the bairns — I am vexed when I
think of Robert and Hamish living their father's life — But
let us say no more of this.

291. He hears a noise — he is all awake — again he
hears a noise — on tiptoe down the hill he softly creeps —
'Tis Goody Blake ! She is at the hedge of Harry Gill.

292. Mr. Playfair was too indulgent, in truth, and favora-



ble to his friends — and made a kind of liberal allowance for
the faults of all mankind — except only faults of baseness or
of cruelty ; against which he never failed to manifest the
most open scorn and detestation.

293. Towards women he had the most chivalrous feelings
of regard and attention, and was, beyond almost all men,
acceptable and agreeable in their society — though with-
out the least levity or pretension unbecoming his age or

The clash is sometimes to be read like a comma, with the

voice suspended. [See Lesson 9th.]

294. Vain men, whose brains are dizzy with ambition,
bright your swords — your garments flowery, like a plain in
the spring-time — if truth be your delight, and virtue your
devotion, let your sword be bared alone at wisdom's sacred

295. I have always felt that I could meet death with com-
posure ;*but I did not know, she said, with a tremulous voice,
her lips quivering — I did not know how hard a thing it
would be to leave my children, till now that the hour is

296. The mountain — thy pall and thy prison — may
keep thee.

297. And Babylon shall become — she that was the
beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the pride of the Chal-
deans — as the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah by the
hand of God.

298. Our land — the first garden of liberty's tree — it has
been, and shall yet be, the land of the free.

299. Earth may hide — waves ingulf — fire consume us,
but they shall not to slavery doom us.

300. They shall find that the name which they have
dared to proscribe — that the name of Mac Gregor is a spell.

301. You must think hardly of us — and it is not natural
that it should be otherwise.

302. Delightful in his manners — inflexible in his prin-
ciples — and generous in his affections, he had all that could
charm in society, or attach in private.

303. The joys of life in hurried exile go — till hope's fair
smile, and beauty's ray of light, are shrouded in the griefs
and storms of night.

304. Day after day prepares the funeral ohroud ; tb'*


world is gray with age : — the striking hour is but an eclio
of death's summons loud — the jarring of the dark grave's
prison door. Into its deep abyss — devouring all — kings
and the friends of kings alike must fall.

305. No persuasion could induce little Flora to leave the
shealing — and Hamish Fraser was left to sit with her all
night beside the bed.

306. One large star arose in heaven — and a wide white
glimmer over a breaking mass of clouds told that the moon
was struggling through, and in another hour, if the upper
current of air flowed on, would be apparent.

307. He was too weak, however, to talk — he could only
look his tiianks.

308. She made an effort to put on something like mourn-
ing for her son ; and nothing could be more touching than
this struijgle between pious affection and utter poverty : a
black ribbon or so — a faded black handkerchief, and one
or tw -^Tore such humble attempts to express by outward
sigii< :rief that passeth siiow.

309. v^.ie great clime, whose vigorous offspring by di-
viding ocean are kept apart, and nursed in the devotion of
freedom which their fathers fought for and bequeathed — a
heritage of heart and hand, and proud distinction from each
other land, whose sons must bow them at a monarch's mo-
tion, as if his senseless sceptre were a wand full of the
magic of exploded science — still one great clime, in full
and free defiance, yet rears her crest, unconquered and sub-
lime, above the far Atlantic.

The dash sometimes precedes something unexpected f as
when a sentence beginning seriously ends humorously.

310. Good people all, with one accord, lament for Madam
Blaize ; who never wanted a good word — from those who
spoke her praise.

311. The needy seldom passed her door, and always found
her kind; she freely lent to all the poor — who left a pledge

312. She strove the neighborhood to please, with manner
wondrous winning; and never followed wicked ways — ex-
cept when she was sinning.

313. At church, in silks and satin new, with hoop of
monstrous size, she never slumbered in her pew — but when
she shut her eyes.


314. Her love was sought, I do aver, by twenty beaux,
and more ; the king himself has followed her — when she
has walked before.

315. But now, her wealth and finery fled, her hangers-on
cut short all; her doctors found, when she was dead — her
last disorder mortal.

316. Let us lament, in sorrow sore; for Kent Street well
may say, that, had she lived a twelve-month more — she had
not died to-day.

The dash is sometimes used with other pauses to lengthen

317. That God whom you see me daily worship, whom
I daily call upon to bless both you and me and all mankind;
whose wondrous acts are recorded in those Scriptures which
you constantly read, — that God who created the heavens
and the earth ; who appointed his Son Jesus Christ to re-
deem mankind: — this God, who has done all these great
things, who has created so many millions of men, with whom
the spirits of the good will live and be happy forever; —
this great God, the Creator of worlds of angels, and of men,
is your Father and Friend.

318. It is not, therefore, the use of the innocent amuse-
ments of life which is dangerous, but the abuse of them; —
it is not when they are occasionally, but when they are con-
stantly pursued ; when the love of amusement degenerates
into a passion, and when, from being an occasional indul-
gence, it becomes an habitual desire.

319. In every pursuit, whatever gives strength and energy
to the mind of man, experience teaches to be favorable to
the interests of piety, of knowledge, and of virtue; — in
every pursuit, on the contrary, whatever enfeebles or limits
the powers of the mind, the same experience ever shows to
be hostile to the best interests of human nature.

320. From the first hour of existence to the last, — from
the cradle of the infant, beside which the mother watches
with unslumbering eye, to the grave of the aged, where the son
pours his last tears upon the bier of his father, — ;- in all that
intermediate time, every day calls for exertion and activity,

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 5 of 38)