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CALM AT SEA.
p"The Ancient Mariner” of that gifted "old man eloquent" has always been a choice piece for recitation. The following extract is full of animated description, grandeur, and power of language.]
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, ,
'Twas sad as sad coul be:
The silence of the sea !
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun, at noon,
No bigger than the moon.
We stuck; no breath nor motion;
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink:
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot: alas!
That ever this should be !
Upon the slimy sea.
The death-fires danced at night;
Burnt green, and blue, and white.
And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so :
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
How glazed each weary eye,
A something in the sky.
And then it seemed a mist;
A certain shape, I wist.
And still it neared and neared :
It plunged, and tacked, and veered.
We could nor laugh nor wail ;
And cried, A sail! a sail !
(This bold Border Ballad is the most spirited recitation ovor writton. It's all ablaze with the fire of wild daring and adventurous lovo. It should be given with spirit and vivacity. Where the description of the escape of the young and dashing wooer is rocited the words should be full of vim and vigor.)
Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west !
He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,
But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
So boldly he enter'd the Netherby Hall,
near, So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, So light to the saddle before her he sprung! “She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur ; They'll have fleet steeds that follow !" quoth young Loch
There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan; Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode
and they ran ; There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lea, But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see ! So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar!
THE TRIAL SCENE.
From SHAKSPEARE's play of the MERCHANT OF VENICE.
DUKE, of Venice,
[The Merchant of Venice is justly considered one of the best productions of the Bard of Avon. The plot of the piece is mainly taken up with the misfortunes of Antonio, a real “merchant prince,” of great wealth and liberality. Being suddenly straitened for money, he borrows from Shylock to meet pressing wants, giving as security a bond in which it was the whim of the surer to have a clause that Autonio, tailing to repay the borrowed money. should forfeit to the Jew a pound of flesh. Antonio, smilingly signs the bond. When he is unable to pay the sum. Shylock demands that the forfeit sbould be paid, and summons Antonio before thise“ strict constructionists" the Coun. sellors of Venice How he fares in his suit appears from our extract.
Shylock's character is a strange inixture of fawning sycophancy and overbearing hanteur, as the scales incline for or against him ; Antonio is a right noble character, and his words and actions should bo characterised by serene dignity: Gratiano is a merry jester, but gentlemanly withal ; Portia's speeches are full of mellow wisdom and abound in eloquent passages,
COSTUMES - Antonio, and his friends niay be dressed in any of the garbs worn by tho individnals portrayed by Titian or Raphael-viz, a rich Italian dress. Antonio in rather sober colors-the Duke some. what more gorgeously. Shylock should wear a long brown robe, of coarse material and simple form, Portia and Nerissa wear black stuff gowns 1.ke English lawyırs.]
SCENE.— Vonice. A Court of Justice. Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes ; ANTONIO, BASSANIO,
GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and others.
DUKE. What, is Antonio here?
DUKE. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to answer
ANT. I have heard,
DUKE. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
Shy. I have possess'd your grace of whau - purpose ,