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May lay the burden down, and sink in slumbers Of peace eternal. Death, grim death will fold Me in his leaden arms, and press me close To his cold claj ic breast. My father then Will cease his tyranny, and Garcia too Will fly my pale deformity with loathing. My soul enlarged from its vile bonds will mount And range the starry orbs, and milky ways, Of that refulgent world where I shall swim In liquid light, and float on seas of bliss To my Alphonso's soul. O Joy too great!O Ecstasy of thought! help me, Anselmo, Help me Alphonso! take me, reach thy hand; To thee, to thee I call, to thee, Alphonso,
Enter Otmyn ascending from tlic tomb.
Speak to it quickly, quickly; speak to me, Comfort me, help me, hold me, hide me, hide me, Leonora, in thy bosom, from the light And from my eyes.
Rivet and nail me where I stand, ye pow'rs! That motionless I may be still deceived. Let me not stir, nor breathe, lest I dissolve That tender lovely form of painted air, So like Almeria. Ha! it sinks! it falls!I'll catch it ere it goes, and grasp her shade. Tis life! 'tis warm! 'tis she ! 'tis she herself! Nor dead, nor shade; but breathing and alive!It is Almeria! 'tis, it is my wife."
Soliloquy is a species of composition which requires peculiar attention and expression in the reading or recitation of it. 'Tis the language of a man talking to himself; or rather, answering some question, or revolving and reasoning upon some proposition which has been presented to his mind. It must therefore be pronounced
in a lower tone than colloquial language generally requires; with an appcarence of profound reflection, and of insensibility to surrounding objects. 'Tis often confounded by compilers of extracts, with the figure called Apostrophe or Address. Thus Antony's address to Csesar's dead body,
O pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth, &c. Satan's address to the sun, in Milton's Paradise Lost, O thou that with surpassing glory crown'd, &.c.
are generally call'd Soliloquies; whereas the term is, critically speaking, applicable only to a person lost in thought and conversing with himself. Of this description are Hamlet's soliloquy on death,
To be, or not to be, &.c.
O that this too, too solid flesh would melt, &c.
Oh! my offence is rank, it smells to heav'n! &c. Cato's soliloquy on the immortality of the soul,
It must be so! Plato, thou reas'nest well, &c. Cardinal Wolscy's soliloquy on the instability of human greatness,
Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness! &c.
These, and similar effusions, under the definition already given, may properly be styled Soliloquy ; but every expression of thought or sentiment produced by a solitary individual is certainly not a soliloquy. An address though made by such,perhaps to an inanimate object, not requiring that expression of countenance and depression of voice which is necessary in real soliloquy.
The tone and manner in which Addresses are to be delivered, mustbe accommodated to the nature of the subject, the time, place, and circumstances. The address of Norval, for instance, to Lord Randolph,
My name is Norval, &c. being the simple address of a shepherd's boy, must be pronounced in a very different manner from the polished and impassioned address of Sempronius in the Roman Senate,
My voice is still for war, &c.
With respect to works of Sentiment and Imagination, the subject matter,the language, and the species of composition, must altogether direct the degree of expression to be imparted both in tone and gesture.
A periodical Essay in the Spectator, Rambler, or Guardian, would certainly not be communicated by a judicious reader with the same expression and force, as one of the pathetic effusions of Sterne, or the glowing and florid delineations of an Eastern tale.
To exemplify this, I solicit your attention to an extract from No. 626 of the Spectator, declared by Dr. Johnson to be one of the finest essays in the English Language. It is on the power, use, and advantage, of novelty, and was written by Mr. Grove, a dissenting preacher. With this celebrated piece, I will contrast as justly celebrated a passage in the writings of Sterne, with which I shall conclude my present address.
"It may not be a useless inquiry, how far the love of novelty is the unavoidable growth of nature, and in what respects it is peculiarly adapted to the present state. To me it seems impossible that a reasonable creature should rest absolutely satisfied in any acquisitions whatever, without endeavouring farther; for, after its highest improvements, the mind hath an idea of an infinity of things still behind worth knowing, to the knowledge of which therefore it cannot be indifferent; as by climbing up a hill in the midst of a wide plain, a man hath his prospect enlarged, and together with that, the bounds of his desires. Upon this account, I cannot think he detracts from the state of the blessed, who conceives them to be perpetually employed in fresh researches into nature, and to eternity advancing into the fathomless depths of the divine perfections. In this thought there is nothing but what doth honour to these glorified spirits, provided still it be remembered, that their desire of more, proceeds not from rfneir disrelishing what they possess: and the pleasure of a new enjoyment is not with them measured by its novelty (which is a thing merely foreign and accidental) but by its real intrinsic value. After an acquaintance of many thousand years with the works of God, the beauty and magnificence of the creation fills them with the same pleasing wonder and profound awe, which Adam felt when he first opened his eyes upon this glorious scene. Truth captivates with unborrowed charms, and whatever hath once given satisfaction will always do it; in all which they have manifestly the advantage of us, who are so much governed by sickly and changeable appetites, that we can with VOL. III. 3 R
the greatest coldness behold the stupendous displays of omnipotence, and be in transports at the puny essay of human skill; throw aside speculations of the sublimest nature, and vastest importance into some obscure corner of the mind, to make room for new notions of no consequence at all; are even tired of health because not enlivened with alternate pain; and prefer the first reading of an indifferent author, to the second or third perusal of one whose merit and reputation are established.
"Our being thus formed serves many useful purposes in the present state. It contributes not a little to the advancement of learning. It is with knowledge as with wealth; the pleasure of which lies more in making endless additions, than in taking a review of our old store."
In this composition there is Sentiment, Imagination, and even Sublimity of thought; yet, from its simplicity of style, and want of pathos, the reading of it in an expressive, energetic manner, would be as absurd as the reading of the following extract from Sterne's Tristram Shandy would be without it.
—" Tread lightly on his ashes, ye men of genius—for he was your kinsman:—weed his grave clean, ye men of goodness—for he was your brother.—Oh!corporal had I thee but now,—now that I am able to give thee a dinner and protection,—how would I cherish thee! thou shouldst wear thy Montero cap every hour of the day, and every day of the week, and when it was worn out I would purchase thee a couple like it.—But, alas! alas! alas! now that I can do this,—the occasion is lost—for thou art gone;—thy genius fled up to the stars from whence it came;—and that warm heart of thine with all its generous and open vessels compressed into a clod of the valley.
—" But what—what is this to that future and dreaded page, where I look towards the velvet pall, decorated with the military ensigns of thy master* the
first—the foremost of created beings: where I shall see thee, faithful servant, laying his sword and scabbard, with a trembling hand, across,his coffin, and then returning, pale as ashes to the door, to take his mourning horse by the bridle to follow his hearse as he directed thee;—where—all my father's systems shall be baffled by his sorrows; and, in spite of his philosophy, I shall behold him as he inspects the lacquered plate, twice taking his spectacles from off his nose to wipe away the dew which nature has shed upon them—when I see him cast in the rosemary with an air of disconsolation, which cries through my cars,—O Toby! in what corner of the world shall I find thy fellow?
—"Gracious powers! which erst have opened the lips of the dumb in his du^^ress, and made the tongue of the stammerer speak plain—when I shall arrive Bit tins dreaded page, deal not with me then, with a stinted hand."
He who would read this extract in the same manner as he would the preceding, must be altogether void of sentiment and sensibility.
My next lecture will relate to the different figures of speech, and the peculiar method of justly communicating to each its proper expression both in reading and recitation.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Since the departure of our friend The American Ornithologist on his western expedition, inquiries have been made respecting him, which, by their frequency and earnestness evince a solicitude for his welfare, highly creditable to him, and indeed not a little to those who made them. It was natural for the public who have been delighted and instructed by liis labours, and for his friends who know his personal worth, to be anxious for him while employed in an enterprize of much hardship, and considerable danger. Partaking largely in that anxiety, our pleasure is greater than we can well express in being able to announce, that intelligence has been received of his arrival in safety and improved health at Lexington in Kentucky.
While wandering through the desolation of our remote western territories in pursuit of the means further to enrich the natural history of this country; our Ornithologist's heart untravelled fondly turned to the friends he left behind him, and in his unaccommodated condition, he wrote a letter, from which we have taken the following extract. The perusal of it will no doubt afford our readers that satisfaction which all who have the slightest pretensions to taste must feel in contemplating a picture recommended by strength and correctness of outline, and by a truth in the colouring which none but an artist who had taken a close and accurate survey of Nature, in her minutest details, could possibly bestow.
Lexington, Afiril 4, 1810.
My Dear Sir,
Having now reached the second stage of my bird-catching expedition, I willingly sit down to give you some account of my adventures and remarks since leaving Pittsburg; by the aid of a good map and your usual stock of patience you will be able to listen to my story, and trace all my wanderings. Though generally