« ElőzőTovább »
In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack All that France saved from the fight whence England
bore the bell. Go to Paris : rank on rank
Search the heroes flung pell-mell On the Louvre, face and flank!
You shall look long enough ere you come to Hervé Riel. So, for better and for worse, Hervé Riel, accept my verse! In my verse, Hervé Riel, do thou once more Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife the
The Hogue (õõg): a cape off the French coast.
Rance (räns): French river emptying into the channel at St. Malo.
Greve (grāv): shallows in the neighborhood of St. Malo.
Questions for Study
1. Is it evident anywhere that Browning was of the nation that was baffled? Why was his sympathy, as it should have been, more with Hervé Riel than with either France or England?
2. Are the facts sufficiently clear without reference to either history or geography? Draw a rough map of the scene of the poem, using only the details that Browning gives. You will probably be unable to find any atlas with a map so large as to show all the details of the place; so a test of your success is to see if your map shows how the incidents of the poem were possible.
3. Show how the inevitableness of disaster is emphasized. Why is it?
4. Notice all the means by which Browning makes Hervé Riel prominent in the story. What are your impressions of the man incident by incident? Find at least three reasons that might have deterred him from piloting the fleet to safety. Do these reasons modify your feeling toward the man and his deed ? Why, do you think, did Hervé Riel save the squadron?
5. Can you explain why Hervé Riel chose the reward that he did? What change in your opinion of the man would there have been had he chosen or accepted wealth as his reward ?
A SEA FIGHT
Would you hear of an old-time sea fight?
stars? List to the yarn as my grandmother's father, the sailor,
told it to me.
Our foe was no skulk in his ship, I tell you (said he); His was the surly English pluck, and there is no tougher
or truer, and never was, and never will be; Along the lower'd eve he came horribly raking us.
We closed with him, the yards entangled, the cannon
touch'd, My captain lash'd fast with his own hands.
We had receiv'd some eighteen pound shots under the
water, On our lower-gun-deck two large pieces had burst at the
first fire, killing all around and blowing up overhead.
Fighting at sun-down, fighting at dark,
the gain, and five feet of water reported, The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the
afterhold to give them a chance for themselves.
The transit to and from the magazine is now stopt by the
sentinels, They see so many strange faces they do not know whom
Our frigate takes fire,
Now I laugh content, for I hear the voice of my little cap
tain, “We have not struck,” he composedly cried; "we have just begun our part of the fighting.”
Only three guns are in use:
enemy's mainmast; Two well serv'd with grape and canister silence his mus
ketry and clear his decks.
The tops alone second the fire of this little battery, espe
cially the main-top; They hold out bravely during the whole of the action.
Not a moment's cease,
One of the pumps has been shot away; it is generally
thought we are sinking.
Serene stands the little captain;
Toward twelve there in the beams of the moon they sur. render to us.
- From "Song of Myself."
Questions for Study
1. What peculiarities are there in this form of poetry? Which of them do you like?
2. Notice how briefly and yet how picturesquely the story is told. What details make the action seem most exciting?
3. What about the captain makes you admire him? 4. Why is the simple last sentence so satisfactory?
A MARRIAGE IN EARLY CALIFORNIA
RICHARD H. DANA, JR.
Sunday, January 10, 1836.—Great preparations were making on shore for the marriage of our agent, who was to marry Doña Anita de la Guerra de Noriego y Corillo, youngest daughter of Don Antonio Noriego, the grandee of the place, and the head of the first family in California. Our steward was ashore three days, making pastry and cake, and some of the best of our stores were sent off with him. On the day appointed for the wedding, we took the captain ashore in the gig, and had orders to come for him at night, with leave to go up to the house and see the fandango. Returning on board, we found preparations making for a salute. Our guns were loaded and run out, men appointed to each, cartridges served out, matches lighted, and all the flags ready to be run up. I took my place at the starboard after gun, and we all waited for the signal from on shore. At ten o'clock the bride went up with her sister to the confessional, dressed in deep black. Nearly an hour intervened, when the great doors of the Mission church opened, the bells rang out a loud, discordant peal, the private signal for us was run up by the captain ashore, the bride, dressed in complete white, came out of the church with the bridegroom,