Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

THE BOY'S RECITER. *

INTRODUCTION.

limity, is well adapted to our present intellecN the introcluction of the following and

tual progress." other standard specimens of poetry, the 1. INVOCATION OF LIGHT. (Milton.) compiler, if questioned on the propriety of pre

The immediate effects on manner, in the senting extracts so generally familiar, would answer that, according to the best of his ob- recitation of the following extract, are entire servation, during many years' attention to the absorption in the theme, the majesty of perfect teaching of elocution, it is impossible to pro

and noble repose, the deep, calm tone of reduce the finish of a cultivated style of speak- verence, the fervour of intense and almost ing, without extensive practice on the highest adoring admiration, the inspiration of the models of language. These are comparatively loftiest sublimity, the softness of the tenderest rare; and the few specimens of them which and profoundest pathos, and the grandeur of are accessible, are, in this respect, like the the most devout aspiration. These qualities precious relics of ancient art. The habitual become perceptible in the low-pitched but firm contemplation and study of them must be, voice, the slow utterance, the level and prolonged for every successive race of students, the great tones, the swelling musical utterance, and the business of the hour. We become weary of grandeur of the sustained “orotund“ quality, them only when they are misrepresented by in all its sonorous power. The attitude is that the errors of false style in the rendering of repose; the action subdued and quiet, but Rightly spoken, they transcend all the other uniformly sustained and noble. productions of poetic inspiration; and the Hall, holy Light! offspring of Heaven firststyle of speaking which they create bears al- born, ways the stamp of finished excellence.

Or of the Eternal co-eternal beam. Recitation, as a discipline introductory to May I express thee unblamed ? since God is eloquent speaking, furnishes the inspiring in- light, fluence of vivid emotion and high-wrought And never but in unapproached light imagination. It breathes into the young Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, speaker's soul a life and a fire which spring Bright effluence of bright essence increate. spontaneously into eloquent utterance in the Or hear'st thou, rather, pure ethereal streim, tones, the looks, the action of fervour and Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun, force—the prime elements of all true elo- Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice quence. To the young speaker poetry is the Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest live coal from the altar, which unseals the The rising world of waters dark and deep, lips and opens the flood-gates of the heart. Won from the void and formless infinite. The general effects of recitation, as an elocu- Thee I revisit now with bolder wing, tionary exercise, are most truly and eloquently Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained described in the following paragraph from In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Channing, whose own high attainments in Through utter and through middle darkness eloquence constituted him so eminent an au- borne, thority on this branch of æsthetic culture. With other notes than to the Orphéan lyre,

“Is there not an amusement, having an I sung of Chaos and eternal Night; affinity with the drama, which might be use- Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down fully introduced among us? I mean Recita- The dark"descent, and up to reascend, tion. A work of genius recited by a man of Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe, refined taste, enthusiasm, and powers of elocu- And feel thy sov'ran vital lamp; but thou tion, is a very pure and high gratification. Revisit'st not these eyes that roll in vain

Tere this art cultivated and encouraged, great To find thy piercing rav, and find no dawn; numbers, now insensible to the most beautiful So thick a drop serene had quenched their orbs, compositions, might be waked up to their ex- Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more cellence and power. It is not easy to conceive Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt

a more effectual way of spreading a refined Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, taste through a community. The drama un- Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief doubtedly appeals more strongly to the pas- Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, sions, than recitation; but the latter brings That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling out the meaning of the author more. Shak- flow, speare, worthily recited, would be better un- Nightly I visit; nor sometimes forget derstood than on the stage. Recitation suffi- Those other two, equalled with me in fate, ciently varied, so as to include pieces of chaste So were I equalled with them in renown, wit, as well as of pathos, beauty, and sub- Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides, * The term “recitation” is technically employed, Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move

And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old : in elocution, to designate distinctively the speaking Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird of poetry; as the term “declamation” is used for the appropriate speaking of passages of prose. Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid

[ocr errors]

of

them go.

Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
Seasons return; but not to me returns

While birds of calm sit brooding on the Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,

charméd wave. Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Or flucks, or herils, or human face divine;

The stars, with deep amaze, But cloud, instead, and ever-during dark

Stand fixed in steadfast gaze, Surrounds me, froin the cheerful ways of men

Bending one way their precious influence; Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair,

And will not take their flight,
Presented with a universal blank

For all the morning light,
Of Nature's works, to me expunged and rased, But in their glimmering orbs did glow,

Or Lucifer, that often warned them thence;
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.-
So much the rather Thou, celestial Light,

Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid Shine inward, and the mind through all her

powers Irradiate; there plant eyes; all mists from And, though the shady gloom

Had given day her room thence

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell

And hid his head for shame, Of things invisible to mortal sight!

As his inferior flame 2. HYMN ON THE Nativity. (Milton.)

The new-enlightened world no more should

need; This transcendent example of lyric recita- He saw a greater sun appear tion is inore dependent than many others on a Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, perfectly melodious flow of voice, true to the could bear. exquisite movement of the metré, yet not obtruding it. The transitions of “expression

The shepherds on the lawn, are, in all lyric pieces, more frequent and

Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row; more sudden than in epic poetry. The whole manner, accordingly, is intensely vivid both Full little thought they then, in voice and action. A deep-toned solemnity, That the mighty Pan however, pervades the recitation, as it does the

Was kindly come to live with them below: subject, and subdues the vehemence of intense Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy

Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep, emotion to a triumphant repose.

keep. It was the winter wild,

When such music sweet While the heaven-born Child

Their hearts and ears did greet,
All meanly wrapped in the rude manger lies.

As never was by mortal fingers strook;
Nature, in awe to him,
Had doffed her gaudy trim,

Divinely warbled voice
With her great Master so to sympathise.

Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took :

The air, such pleasure loath to lose, But He, her fears to cease,

With thousand echoes still prolongs each heaSent down the meek-eyed Peace;

venly close. She, crowned with olive-green, came softly Nature that heard such sound, sliding

Beneath the hollow round Down through the turning sphere,

Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling, His ready harbinger,

Now was almost won With turtle wing the amorous clouds To think her part was done, dividing!

And that her reign had here its last fulAnd, waving with her myrtle wand,

filling; She strikes an universal peace through sea and She knew such harmony alone land.

Could hold all heaven and earth in happier

union. No war or battle's sound Was heard the world around:

At last surrounds their sight The idle spear and shield were high uphung: A globe of circular light, The hooked chariot stood

That with long beams the shame-faced night Unstained with hostile blood;

arrayed; The trumpet spake not to the armed throng; The helmed Cherubim, And kings sat still with awful eye,

And sworded Seraphim, As if they surely knew their soy'ran Lord was Are seen in glittering ranks with wings disby.

played,

Harping in loud and solemn quire,
But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light

With unexpressive notes to Heaven's new-born

Heir.
His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,

Such music (as 'tis said),
Smoothly the waters kissed,

Before was never made, Whispering new joys to the wild ocean, But when of old the sons of morning sung, While the Creator great

[graphic]

The oracles are dumb; His constellations set,

No voice or hideous hum And the well-balanced world on hinges Runs through the arched roof in words hung;

deceiving And cast the dark foundations deep,

Apollo from his shrine And bid the weltering waves their oozy chan-Can no more divine, nel keep.

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos

leaving Ring out, ye crystal spheres : Once bless our human ears,

No nightly trance, or breathed spell,

Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the proIf ye have power to touch our senses so;

phetic cell. And let your silver chime Move in melodious time;

The lonely mountains o’er, And let the bass of Heaven's deep organ | And the prophetic shore, blow;

A voice of weeping heard, and loud !ament: And, with your ninefold harmony,

From haunted spring and dale, Make up full consort to the angelio symphony! Edged with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent; For, if such holy song

With flower-inwoven tresses torn, Inwrap our fancy long,

The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled Time will run back, and fetch the age of thickets mourn.

gold; And speckled Vanity

In consecrated earth, Will sicken soon and die;

And on the holy hearth, And leprous Sin will melt from earthly The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight mould ;

plaint: And hell itself will pass away,

In urns and altars round, And leave her dolorous mansions to the peer- A drear and dying sound ing day.

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;

And the chill marble seems to sweat, Yea, Truth and Justice then

While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted Will down return to men;

seat. Orbed in a rainbow, and, like glories weaving, Mercy will sit between,

Peor and Baalim Throned in celestial sheen,

Forsake their temples dim, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down With that twice-battered god of Palestine; steering,

And mooned Ashtaroth, And Heaven, as at some festival,

Heaven's queen and mother both, Will open wide the gates of her high palace Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shrine; hall.

The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn; But wisest Fate says no,

In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded

Thammuz mourn. This must not yet be so:

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy, And sullen Moloch, fled, That on the bitter cross,

Hath left in shadows dread Must redeem our loss;

His burning idol all of blackest hue: So both himself and us to glorify;

In vain with cymbals' ring Yet, first, to those ychained in sleep,

They call the grisly king The wakeful trump of doom must thunder In dismal dance about the furnace blue : through the deep,

The brutish gods of Nile as fast,

Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.
With such a horrid clang,
As on Mount Sinai rang,

Nor is Osiris seen
While the red fire and smouldering clouds In Memphian grove or green,
outbrake:

Trampling the unshowered grass with lowThe aged Earth aghast

ings loud; With terror of that blast,

Nor can he be at rest Shall from the surface to the centre shake; Within his sacred chest; When, at the world's last session,

Nought but profoundest hell can be his The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread

shroud; his throne.

In vain with timbrelled anthems dark

The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipped And then at last our bliss

ark. Full and perfect is,

But now begins; for, from this happy day, He feels from Judah's land The old Dragon, under ground,

The dreaded Infant's hand; In straiter limits bound,

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Not half so far casts his usurped sway; Nor all the gods beside
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,

Longer dare abide;
Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail. Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine;

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the

damned crew.
So, where the sun in bed,
Curtained with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail;

Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave;
And the yellow-skirted Fayes,
Fly after the night steeds, leaving their moon-

loved maze. But

see, the Virgin blest Hath laid her Babe to rest; Time is our tedious song should here have

ending: Heaven's youngest-teemed star Hath fixed her polished car, Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp

attending; And all about the courtly stable, Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.

3. THE ART OF BOOK-KEEPING. As exercises in elocution which abound in puns serve as a useful discipline in discriminating emphasis, all the words which exemplify this kind of wit should be very distinctly marked. How hard when those who do not wish

To lend (that's lose) their books
Are snared by anglers—folks that fish

With literary hooks ;
Who call and take some favourite tome,

But never read it through ;
They thus complete their set at home

By making one of you.
1, of my “Spenser," quite bereft,

Last winter sore was shaken;
Of “ Lamb," I've but a quarter left,
Nor could I save my

Bacon.”
And then I saw my “Crabbe" at last,

Like Hamlet's backward go;
And as my tide was ebbing fast,

Of course I lost my “Rowe."
My “Mallet” served to knock me down,

Which makes me thus a talker ;
And once, while I was out of town,

My“ Johnson” proved a “Walker.”
While studying o'er the fire one day,

My“ Hobbes” amidst the smoke,
They bore my“ Colman” clean away,

And carried off my “Coke."
They picked my “Locke,” to me far more

Than Bramah's patent worth;

And now my losses I deplore

Without a “ Home” on earth. If once a book you let them lift,

Another they conceal ;
For though I caught them stealing “Swift,

As swiftly went my “Steele."
Hope” is not now upon my shelf,

Where late he stood elated;
But what is strange, my

Pope"

” himself
Is excommunicated.
My little “Suckling." in the grave

Is sunk, to swell the ravage;
And what 'twas Crusoe's fate to save,

'Twas mine to lose-a“ Savage.” Even “ Glover's” works I cannot put

My frozen hands upon;
Though ever since I lost my “Foote,”

My “Bunyan” has been gonė.
My “Hoyle” with “Cotton” went;-op-

pressed,
My “Taylor,” too, must fail ;
To save my “Goldsmith” from arrest,

In vain I offered “ Bayle.”
I “Prior” sought, but could not see

The “ Hood” so late in front;
And when I turned to hunt for “ Lee,"

Oh! where was my“ Leigh Hunt?”
I tried to laugh, old Care to tickle,

Yet could not “ Tickel” touch; And then, alack! I missed my “Mickle;”—

And surely Mickle's much.
"Tis quite enough my griefs to feed,

My sorrows to excuse,
To think I cannot read my “Reid,”

Nor even use my Hughes ;'
My classics would not quiet lie,-

A thing so fondly hoped; Like Dr. Primrose, I may cry

“My 'Livy' has eloped !' My life is wasting fast away,

I suffer from these shocks;
And though I fixed a lock on “Gray,

There's gray upon my locks.
I'm far from “Young," —am growing pale,-

I see my“ Butler" fly;
And when they ask about my ail,

“ 'Tis · Burton,'” I reply.
They still have made me slight returns,

And thus my griefs divide ; For, oh! they've cured me of my “Burns,"

And eased my “ Akenside:”
But all I think I shall not say,

Nor let my anger burn;
For as they never found me Gay,"

They have not left me “Sterne."

OUR SPHINX.

DECAPITATIONS.

"Jewel," to what kind of brilliant might she think

he referred ? 1. Entire-I am an article of furniture: behead

33. What favourite Scotch sport should hairme, and I am of great use to the carpenter; be- dressers excel in ? head me again, and transpose me, and I am a game 34. Or what kind of material are French compliof cards.

ments made ? 2. Complete-I am a bird: behead me, and I 35. What kind of flower does Albert Edward signify a kind of rolling motion; behead me again, always wear in his hat? and I mean “to permit; ” behead me twice, and

36. Why is the church-steeple like flattery? I make the noise of a cow; transpose me, and I

37. Which are the most warlike divines in the am a bird

Church?

38. And which the most constant and enduring? CHARADE.

39. What part of speech is a prior ?

40. Why is the Governor of Turkey like Dover My first is the name of a plant, my second is an

harbour? English pronoun, and my whole is a name with 41. What sort of flowers are country belles ? which we are all well acquainted.

42. What mineral can see in the dark ?
43. Which is the wisest of plants ?

44. And which is the coldest ? MORE CONUNDRUMS FOR CHRISTMAS.

45. What vegetable has sunk many a great ship?

46. What is the pleasant kind of church to preach 1. What wine resembles an affected complaint ? in ?

2. If water was scarce in England, to what fashion- 47. What British isle names the philanthropist's able place in Kent would people go for a supply ? motto?

3. When does a young lady walk abroad with a 48. When does & dressmaker resemble a mad bird on her head ?

bull ? 4. When does a lamp-wick resemble a drunkard ? 49. What part of a lady's dress resembles a

6. What favourite beverage can you spell with locomotive? one letter?

60. Of all garden implements, which should a 6. Why should the Irish be great sporting cha- young lady most carefully avoid ? racters ?

51. What would be the proper vegetables to feed 7. When does a young lady resemble a deer. poultry on ? stalker ?

62. What kind of vegetables compose the young 8. And when does she become an incendiary? folks of Brussels ?

9. What makes a farmer & most diabolical cha- 53. What place in the Archipelago is directly racter ?

opposed to the capital of France ? 10. Which is the most lugubrious character in a 64. What crime costs England thousands of law court?

pounds ? 11. What imp enters into all hasty people ?

55. When does a nautical man make an astound. 12. In what street in London should money- / ing noise ? lenders dweli?

56. What country in Europe is always needy and 13. What animal is named after that which covers empty ? most others ?

67. Which are the gayest of all nautical com14. Of what material are fast young ladies made ? manders?

15. What kind of pleasure reigns supreme in 58. Where do you think those commanders come Tartary?

from? 16. If you were sick, what kind of clergyman 59. Supposing you were hungry and tired, what would you like to send for?

kind of gale would refresh you at once ? 17. To what order do all eccentric men belong ? 60. What elegant artistic employment do har

18. What Grecian god is still adored by the bour-masters pursue ? French ?

61. Why is London a most paradoxical place ? 19. What law document can you never travel 62. Why is an exbibition-hall like a mean, dewithout ?

ceitful character ? 20. Why should girls who wish to be married 63. If at sea on a wild, tempestuous night, what always sit, when travelling by rail, in a carriage wine would you long for? facing the engine ?

64. Which was the jolliest looking of all the 21. When does a woman steel herself against popes? advice?

66. What great public gallery in London encour22. Which is the most unsatisfactory kind of ages a direct breach of good manners ? smoking-pipe ?

66. What would be the proper drink for a dapper 23. Whom do you think was the wife of the little man ? Venerable Bede?

67. Why is a blacksmith like a swindler ? 24. What is the worst feminine and fashionable 68. In what place in the British Channel would thing connected with the Church?

you like to be in a cold winter's night? 25. Which is the most courtly nobleman in the 69. What good old judge could never be ill? kingdom?

70. What fish lights all our public streets and 26. What part of an Irishman's dress resembles

squares ? his speech ?

71. Of what religion are oyster men ? 27. Which is the most warlike of flowers ?

72. Which is the tardiest tree that grows ? 28. What sex-officer resembles the noon ?

73. What do we put round our houses to keep us 29. Which is the most polished city in the world? dry, which yet drowns thousands at sea ?

30. Why is going on an excursion to an exhibi. tion hall like a voyage to the North Pole ? 31. What flower is the soul of attraction in the

ANSWERS TO QUERIES. Christmas pantomimes ?

In reply to William Fingland, Hugh Wyatt sends 32. If an Irishman called his sweetheart an excellent drawing of the Great Seal of Henry

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »