Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

faculties, by which to exert itself hereafter in the pure suit of that prosperity and happiness.

10. Other misfortunes may be borno, or their effects overcome. If disastrous war sweep our commerce from the ocean, another generation may renew it; if it exhaust our treasury, future industry may replenish it; if it desolate and lay waste our fields, still, under a new cultivation, they will grow green again, and ripen to future harvests. It were but a-trifle even if the walls of yonder Capitol were to crumble, if its lofty pillars should fall, and its gorgeous decorations be all covered by the dust of the valley. All these might be rebuilt. But who shall reconstruct the fabric of demolished government?

11. Who shall rear again the well-proportioned columns of constitutional liberty ? Who shall frame together the skillful architecture which unites nătional sovereignty with State rights, individual security, and public prosperity ? No, if these columns fall, they will be raised not again. Like the Colosseum and the Par'thenon, they will be destined to a mournful, a melancholy immortality. Bitterer tears, however, will flow over them, than were ever shed over the monuments of Roman or Grecian art; for they will be the remnants of a more glorious edifice than Greece or Rome ever saw, the edifice of constitutional American liberty.

12. But let us hope for better things. Let us trust in that gracious Being who has hitherto held our country as in the hollow of his hand. Let us trust to the virtue and the intelligence of the people, and to the efficacy of religious obligation. · Let us trust to the influence of Washington's example. Let us hope that that fear of Heaven which expels all other fear, and that regard to duty which transcends all other regard, may influence public men and private citizens, and lead our country still onward in her happy career. Full of these gratifying anticipations and hopes, let us look.

back to the end of that century which is now commenced.

13. A hundred years hence, other disciples of Washington will celebrate his birth, with no less of sincere admiration than we now commemorate it. When they shall meet, as we now meet, to do themselves and him that honor, so surely as they shall see the blue summits of his native mountains rise in the horizon, so surely as they shall behold the river on whose banks he lived, and on whose banks he rests, still flowing on toward the ocean, so surely may they see, as we now see, the flag of the Union floating on the top of the Capitol ; and then, as now, may the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!

XLIV. - WAR SUMMONS OF THE CLAN.

SIR WALTER SCOTT.

For DANCE, LAST, MORASS, PASS, see § 22. Pronounce E'ER, air, LOCH KATRINE, lök kåt'rin, MALISE, mål'liz, Vich ALPINE, vik ålpin.

See in Index, FALCONER, HENCHMAN, PLow or PLOUGH, SCAR, SWARTHY, SWATH, WARRIOR, WOUND, SCOTT.

Delivery. The following extract is from " The Lady of the Lake.” The first stanza comprises the anathema of Brian, the hermit monk, upon such clansmen as shall fail to heed the summons to war signified in the fiery cross. Something of the guttural quality should be imparted to the tone here. The rate of utterance in other parts of the poem, especially in the language of Roderick, should be fast, the quality pure, and the pitch middle, though in the last two lines it may be high.

1.
6 WHEN flits this cross from man to man, —
Vich-Alpine's summons to his clan, —
Burst be the ear that fails to heed !
Palsied the foot that shuns to speed !
May ravens tear the careless eyes,
Wolves make the coward heart their prize!

And be the grace to him denied,
Bought by this sign to all beside !"

II. Then Roderick, with impatient look, From Brian's hand the symbol took : “ Speed, Mălise, speed !” he said, and gave The crosslet to his henchman brave. “ The muster-place be Lanrick mead, Instant the time — speed, Malise, speed!”

III.

Like heath-bird, when the hawks pursue,
A barge across Loch-Katrine flew;
High stood the henchman on the prow.
So rapidly the barge-men row,
The bubbles, where they launched the boat,
Were all unbroken and afloat,
Dancing in foam and ripple still,
When it had neared the mainland hill: -
And from the silver beach's side
Still was the prow three fathom wide,
When lightly bounded to the land
The messenger of blood and brand.

[ocr errors]

Speed, Malise, speed! the dun deer's hide On fleeter foot was never tied. Speed, Malise, speed ! such cause of haste Thine active sinews never braced. Bend 'gainst the steepy hill thy breast; Burst down like torrent from its crest; With short and springing footstep pass The trembling bog and false morass ; Across the brook like roe-buck bound, And thread the brake like questing hound.

The crag is high, the scar is deep;
Yet shrink not from the desperate leap:
Parched are thy burning lips and brow,
Yet by the fountain pause not now;

Herald of battle, fate, and fear,
Stretch onward in thy fleet career!
The wounded hind thou track'st not now,
Pursuest not maid through greenwood bough,
Nor pliest thou now thy flying pace.
With rivals in the mountain race;
But danger, death, and warrior deed,
Are in thy course, — speed, Malise, speed I

VI.

Fast as the fatal symbol flies,
In arms the huts and hamlets rise ;
From winding glen, from upland brown,
They poured each hardy tenant down. .
Nor slacked the messenger his pace ;
He showed the sign, he named the place,
And, pressing forward like the wind,
Left clamor and surprise behind.

VII.
The fisherman forsook the strand,
The swarthy smith took dirk and brand ;
With changëd cheer, the mower blithe
Left in the half-cut swath his scythe;
The herds without a keeper strayed,
The plow was in mid-furrow staid,
The falc'ner tossed his hawk away,
The hunter left the stag at bay ;
Prompt at the signal of alarms,
Each son of Alpine rushed to arms.

VIII.

So swept the tumult and affray
Along the margin of Achray.
Alas! thou lovely lake! that e'er
Thy banks should echo sounds of fear!
The rocks, the bosky thickets, sleep
So stilly on thy bosom deep,
The lark's blithe carol from the cloud
Seems for the scene too gayly loud !

ix.
Speed, Malise, speed! the lake is past,
Duncraggan's huts appear at last,
And peep, like moss-grown rocks, half seen,
Half hidden, in the copse so green;
There may'st thou rest, thy labor done,
Their lord shall speed the signal on. —
“ The muster-place is Lanrick mead;
Speed forth the signal ! Clansmen, speed ! ”

XLV. THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

HENRY BROOKE.

This admirable reading exercise is from “The Fool of Quality," a work much admired a century ago, and still in the bookstores. The incidents upon which the following narrative is founded are historical; they occurred in the year 1347, and may be found in Hume's History of England.

Pronounce MATURITY, ma-ture'i-ty; Calais, kal'is or (as in French) -lay'; VIENNE, ve-ěn' ; Sr. PIERRE, saint-peer) or (as in French) săng-peer'; WISSANT, wis-sänt'.

See in Index, BURGHER, DEFENSE or DEFENCE, BROOKE. The style is narrative and dramatic. See $ $ 48, 53.

1. EDWARD THE THIRD, after the battle of Cressy, laid siege to Calais. He had fortified his camp in so impregnable a manner that all the efforts of France proved ineffectual to raise the siege, or throw succors into the city. The citizens, under Count Vienne, their gallant governor, made an admirable defense. France had now put the sickle into her second harvest since Edward, with his victorious army, sat down before the town. The eyes of all Europe were intent on the issue.

2. At length famine did more for Edward than arms. After suffering unheard-of calamities, the citizens resolved to attempt the enemy's camp. They boldly sallied forth; the English joined battle ; and after a long

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »