Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

III. - COME, SUNSHINE, COME!

FROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES VINCENT.

Give th in BENEATH its vocal sound, as in breathe ; and ew in RENEW the diphthongal sound of u.

See in Index, HERB, NATURE, PRAIRIE, VERMEIL, YEARN, VINCENT.

1.

COME, sunshine, come ! thee Nature calls !

Give to the grape its vermeil hue,
Dispel the frost, the cloud, the storm, -
Come, sunshine, come! the year renew!

II.
The grain lies dormant in the soil,

The bird sings from the withered tree,
The ice-bound brook, the buried flowers,
Tarry, and watch, and long for thee.

III.
Come, sunshine, come! the torpid Earth

Beneath thy kisses will awake;
Her blush, her bloom, shall truly tell —
She loves thee, for thy own love's sake.

IV.
Lo, at the opened sash, the Poor!

Waiting for thee, their being's sum !
Cold their abode and scant their store —
Come and relieve them, sunshine, come!

v.
Mountain, and vale, and desert waste,

Prairie, and wood, and sea-bound isle,
Herb, tree, and insect, roof and spire,
Kindle to life beneath thy smile.

VI.
Pleasure and love thy coming wait,

Poets and birds thy coming sing;
Thy quickening kiss Creation needs ; —

Come, sunshine, come: we yearn for Spring!

IV. THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

WEBSTER.

Pronounce ABSOLVE abzolv ; Exist, egzist ; DOES, duz ; NOTHING, nuthing. For ORATORY see § 29; BURSTING, VALUABLE, INTELLECTUAL, $§ 16, 23.

See in Index, GENIUS, MARSHALED or MARSHALLED, ADAMS, JEFFERSON, WEBSTER.

Delivery. A clear and measured orotund quality of voice will be appropriate in the reading of these extracts. They occur in an address originally delivered in Faneuil Hall, Boston, in commemoration of Adams and Jefferson.

1. It has sometimes been said, as if it were a derogation from the merits of the American Declaration of Independence, that this paper contains nothing new; that it only states grounds of proceedings, and presses topics of argument, which had often been stated and pressed before. But it was not the object of the Declaration to produce anything new. It was not to invent reasons for independence, but to state those which governed the Congress.

2. The Declaration having been reported to Congress by the Committee, the resolution itself was taken up and debated on the first day of July, 1776, and again on the second, on which last day it was agreed to and adopted, in these words: - “ Resolved, that these united Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” .

3. Having thus passed the main resolution, Congress proceeded to consider the reported draught of the Declaration. It was discussed on the second and third and FOURTH days of the month, in committee of the whole; and on the last of those days, being reported from that committee, it received the final approbation and sanction of Congress. It was ordered, at the same

time, that copies be sent to the several States, and that it be proclaimed at the head of the army.

4. The Congress of the Revolution, fellow-citizens, sat with closed doors, and no report of its debates was ever made. The discussion, therefore, which accompanied this great measure has never been preserved, except in memory and by tradition. But it is, I believe, doing no injustice to others to say, that the general opinion was, and uniformly has been, that in debate, on the side of independence, John Adams had no equal.

5. The great author of the Declaration himself, Thomas Jefferson, has expressed that opinion uniformly and strongly. “John Adams,” said he, in the hearing of him who has now the honor to address you, — "John Adams was our Colossus on the floor. Not graceful, not elegant, not always fluent, in his public addresses, he yet came out with a power, both of thought and of expression, which moved us from our seats.”

6. For the part which he was here to perform, Mr. Adams doubtless was eminently fitted. He possessed a bold spirit which disregarded danger, and a sanguine reliance on the goodness of the cause and the virtues of the people, which led him to overlook all obstacles. The eloquence of Mr. Adams resembled his general character, and formed, indeed, a part of it. It was bold, manly, and energetic; and such the crisis required.

7. When public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speech, further than it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it, but they will toil in vain. Words and phrases

may be marshaled in every way, but they cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion.

8. Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire to it: they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, — with spontaneous, original, native force. The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country, hang on the decision of the hour. Then, words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible.

9. Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdūed, as in the presence of higher qualities. Then, pātriotism is eloquent; then, self-devotion is eloquent. The clear conception, outrunning the deductions of logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward, to his object, — this, this is eloquence; or, răther, it is something greater and higher than all eloquence, - it is action, noble, sublime, godlike action.

V. - HOW TO LIVE.

H. BONAR.

For LAST, MASTER, PAST, see remarks on “intermediate " a, $ 22. Tho style of the piece is didactic. See directions, page 29, 51. See in Index, CONSCIENCE, HEAVEN, BONAR.

I.,
He liveth long who liveth well!

All other life is short and vain :
He liveth longest who can tell

Of living most for heavenly gain.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Sow truth, if thou the true wouldst reap;

Who sows the false shall reap the vain; Erect and sound thy conscience keep;

From hollow words and deeds refrain.

VII.

Sow love, and taste its fruitage pure;

Sow peace, and reap its harvests bright; Sow sunbeams on the rock and moor,

And find a harvest-home of light.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »