« ElőzőTovább »
lik'e-familiarity of to'ne, and mend the lan'guage/ as they go on', cr'ying, instead of par`doneth and abs'olveth, par'dons and absolves. The'se/ are often pretty class'ical-scholars, and would think it an unpardonable offence/ to read Virgil or Mar`tial/ with so little taʼste/ as they d'o div'ine-service.
If those who e'rr/ in these parti'culars/ would please to recollect the many pleasantries/ they have read upon tho'se/ who recite good-things/ with an ill-g -grace, they would go on to think tha't/ what in th`at case is only ridi'culous, in themsel ves/ is im'pious.
But leaving this to their own refle'ctions, I shall conclude with what Cæsar said/ upon the irregularity-of-tone/ in on'e/ who read before him, "Do you read or sing? if you sing, you sing very ill.”
ON PUBLIC SPEAKING.
MOST foreign wri'ters/ who have given any character of the English n'ation, (whatever vic^es they ascrib'e-to-it,) allo'w, in general, that the pe'ople/ are naturally mo'dest. It proceeds, perhaps, from th'is/ our na'tional-virtue/, that our orators/ are observed to make use of less gesture or ac'tion, than tho ́se of o'ther-countries. Ou'r preachers stand stock-s'till/ in the pu'lpit, and will not so much as move a finger/ to set off the be'st-sermons/ in the world. We meet with the same speaking statues at our bar's, and in all public places of debate. O'ur words flow from us/ in a smooth/ continued-stream, without those strai'nings of the voice, motions of the body, and majesty of the ha'nd, which are so much celebrated in the orators of Gr'eece and Ro'me. We can talk of life and death in cold-blood, and keep our temper in a discourse/ which turns upon every-thing/ that is de'ar-to-us. Though our zeal bre'aks-out/ in the finest tro'pes and figures, it is not able to stir a limb ab'out us.
It is certain/ that proper gestures and exertions of the voi'ce/ cannot be too much stu'died/ by a public-orator. They are a kind of com'ment to what he u'tters, and enforce e'verything he say's, better than the strongest-argument/ he can
make use of. They keep the audience awa^ke, and fix their attention to what is delivered to them; at the same time/ that they shew the speaker/ is in earn'est, affected himself/ with what he so passionately re'commends to others.
We are told that the great L'atin-orator (Ci'cero) very much impaired his he'alth/ by the vehemence of a'ction/ with which he used to deliv'er-himself. The Greek-orator (Demosthenes) was likewise so very famous/ for this particular in rh'etoric, that one of his antagonists (E'schines), whom he had banished from Athens, reading over the ora`tion/ which had procured his ban'ishment, and seeing his friends adm'ireit, could not forbe'ar excl'aiming, "If you are so charmed with the bare rehe`arsal of this or'ation, how wo^uld you have been affected, had you heard him deliver it himself, with all his fir'e and force!
How cold and de`ad a fi'gure, (in comparison with these two great m'en,) does an o`rator often make at a British-bar, holding up his head/ with the most insipid serenity, and stroking the sides of a long w'ig/ that reaches down to his middle! Nothing can be more rid'iculous/ than the gestures of most of our English-speakers. You see some-of-them/ running their hands into their po`ckets/ as far as ever they can thru'stthem, and others/ looking with great attention on a piece of pa'per/ that has nothing writ'ten-on-it: you may see many a smart rhetorician/ turning his ha't/ in his han'ds, mould'ing-it/ into several/ di'fferent-cocks, exam'ining/ sometimes the lin'ingof-it, and sometimes the button, during the whole course of his haran'gue. A deaf man/ would think he was chea'pening a beaver, wh'en/perh'aps/ he is talking of the fate of the British-nation. I remember, when I was a young ma'n, and used to frequent Westminster-H'all, there was a counsellor/ who never pleaded without a piece of pack-thread/ in his ha'nd, which he used to twist about a thu'mb or fin'ger all the wh'ile he was spe'aking; the wags of tho'se-days/ used to call it the thread of his disco'urse, for/ he was not able to u'tter a w'ord/ with`out it. One of his clients, (who was more me'rry than wi'se,) sto'le it from him one d'ay/ in the midst of his pleading; but he had better have let it alo'ne, f'or/ he los't his cau'se/ by the j'est.
THE PASSIONS.-AN ODE.
WHEN Mu'sic, (he'avenly-maid,*) was you'ng,
Next An'ger, rush'ed, his e'yes on fire:
In light`nings/ owned his secret sting's.
And sw'ept, (with hurried ha'nds,) the strings.
Words, as well as phrases, in apposition, whatever may be their grammatical character, will be much improved if read parenthetically. Examples:
1st. "When Music (heavenly maid) was young."
2d. "Hope (the balm of life) is our greatest friend."
3rd. "The present life (which is the first stage of the immortal mind) abounds in materials of poetry."
4th. "As we perceive the shadow to have moved along the dial, but did not perceive its moving; so the advances we make in knowledge (consisting of insensible steps) are only perceived by the distance gone over,' They would have thought (who heard the strain) They saw, in Tempe's Vale, her native maids."
With wof'ul-measures, wan Desp'air
'Twas sa'd, by fi'ts-by starts, 'twas wi^ld.
Still would her touch the strain prolo'ng,
A sof't, respon`sive-voice was heard/ at every cl'ose; And Hope, (ench'anted,) sm'iled, and wav'ed her go`lden-hair:
And longer had she su'ng — but, with a fro'wn,
He threw his blood-stained sw`ord/ in thunder d'own;
The war'-denouncing trumpet to'ok,
And blew a blas't, so lo'ud and dre ́ad,
Were ne'er prophetic-sounds/ so fu'll of w`o:
The doubling dru`m, with furious h'eat;
Her sou'l-subduing voice/ applied,
Yet still he kept his wi'ld/ unaltered-mi ́en ;
While each strained ball of sight-seemed bur'sting/ from his head.
They numbers, (Jealousy,) to nought were fix'ed; (Sad proof of th y/ distressful-state :)
Of differing the mes/ the veering song was mixed/
And, no'w, it courted L'ove: n'ow, (ra'ving,) ca ́lled-on H^ate.
With eyes-upra'ised, (as one inspired,)
Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And/ from her wild/ sequestered se'at,
(In not'es by dis'tance/ made more sweet,)
Poured through the mellow ho'rn/ her pensive soul:
And, dashing so'ft, from rocks around,
Bubbling run'nels/ joined the sound:
Through gla'des, and gloo'ms, the mingled me'asure st'ole;
Lo've of peace and lonely m'using)
In ho'llow mu'rmurs/ di'ed away.
But, O', how altered was its sprightlier toʻne
Her bus'kins/ gemmed with morning de'w,
Pee'ping from for'th/ their a'lleys gre'en :
Brown Exercise/ rejoiced to hear;
And Spo'rt leap'ed-up, and seized his be'echen sp`ear.
La'st, came Joy's ecstatic trial:
H'e, (with viny crown adv'ancing,)
First to the lively pi'pe/ his hand addressed;
Whose sweet entrancing voice/ he loved the best.
To so'me, unwe'aried min'strel dan'cing;
Wh'ile, (as his flying fingers kis'sed the str'ings,)
As if he would the charming air reˇpay,)
Shook thousand o'dours/ from his dew'y-wings.
MONODY TO THE MEMORY OF MR. GARRICK.
R. B. SHERIDAN.
IF d'ying-excellence/ deserves a te`ar,
If fond remembrance/ still is cherished he're ;