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Quid. I can't hear you, I have not time. [Attempts to pass. ]
Cod. I say, sir, it is held in the books,
Quid. I care for no books; I want the Gazette. (Stamping with impatience.]
Cod. Throughout all the books,-[Quid. rushes out.] Bo! the man's non compos; and his friends, instead of a commission of bankruptcy, should take out a commission of lunacy.
EXERCISE XLI.-SONNET TO AN AGED BEGGAR.—Coleridge. (An example of the softened tone of tenderness and compassion, pitch high; rate slow.) Sweet Mercy! how my very heart has bled To see thee, poor old man ! and thy gray hairs, Hoar with the snowy blast: while no one cares To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and palsied head. My father! throw away this tattered vest, That mocks thee shivering! Take my garment,—use A young man's arm. I'll melt these frozen dews, That hang from thy white beard, and numb thy breast. My Sara too shall tend thee, like a child: And thou shalt talk, in our fireside's recess, Of purple pride, that scouts on wretchedness.
-He did not so, the Galilean mild, Who met the lazars turned from rich men's doors, And called them friends, and healed their noisome sores !
EXERCISE XLII.-SONNET TO LAFAYETTE IN THE DUNGEON OP
OLMUTZ. - Coleridge. (An example, in the first part, of pathos and softened tone,-in the latter part, of gratulation and joy, requiring a full and swelling tone, as in exultation.] As when, far off, the warbled strains are heard, That soar on morning's wing the vales among, Within his cage, the imprisoned matin bird Swells the full chorus with a generous song, He bathes no pinion in the dewy light, No father's joy, no lover's bliss he shares,Yet still the rising radiance cheers his sight,His fellows' freedom soothes the captive's cares ;Thou, Fayette ! who didst wake, with startling voice, Life's better sun from that long wintry night,
Thus in thy country's triumphs shalt rejoice,
EXERCISE XLIII.--NATIONAL GREATNESS.—Channing. [Grave and earnest declamation, -as in the following impressive example,--preserves a low pitch, a firm and forcible tone, a deliberate slowness, with dignity of expression, in voice and action.]
I feel, as I doubt not many feel, that the great distinction of a nation, the only one worth possessing, and which brings after it all other blessings,—is the prevalence of pure principle among the citizens. I wish to belong to a state, in the character and institutions of which, I may find a spring of improvement, which I can speak of with an honest pride; in whose records I may meet great and honoured names, and which is fast making the world its debtor by its discoveries of truth, and by an example of virtuous freedom.
Oh! save me from a country which worships wealth, and cares not for true glory; in which intrigue bears rule; in which patriotism borrows its zeal from the prospect of office; in which hungry sycophants throng with supplication all the departments of state; in which public men bear the brand of private vice, and the seat of government is a noisome sink of private licentiousness and public corruption.
Tell me not of the honour of belonging to a free country. I ask, does our liberty bear generous fruits ? Does it exalt us in manly spirit, in public virtue, above countries trodden under foot by despotism ?- Tell me not of the extent of our country. I care not how large it is, if it multiply degenerate men. Speak not of our prosperity.
Better be one of a poor people, plain in manners, reverencing God, and respecting themselves, than belong to a rich country, which knows no higher good than riches.
Earnestly do I desire for this country, that, instead of copying Europe, with an undiscerning servility, it may have a character of its own, corresponding to the freedom and equality
of our institutions. One Europe is enough. One Paris is enough. How much to be desired is it, that separated, as we are, from the eastern continent, by an ocean, we should be still more widely separated by simplicity of manners, by domestic purity, by inward piety, by reverence for human nature, by moral independence, by withstanding the subjection to fashion, and that
debilitating sensuality which characterize the most civilized portions of the old world.-Of this country, I may say with peculiar emphasis, that its happiness is bound up in its virtue.
EXERCISE XLIV.--MANUFACTURES AND COMMERCE, CONTRASTED
WITH CHIVALRY.— St. Leger. (An example of narrative interspersed with sentiment. The change of tone, in passing from the former to the latter is the chief object in view, in the following extract, as furnishing scope for well marked modulation. The narrative tone is higher, lighter, and livelier,—the didactic, grave, firm, and deliberate.]
In the middle ages, the Levant and the Netherlands were indisputably the two great marts of natural and created riches; and whether the spices came from Bruges, or the cloths from Damascus, was a matter of sovereign indifference to the baron of those times, provided always that they passed within reachable distance for him either to seize or ransom. I have often wondered how commerce could continue to exist while so little security was afforded to the merchant. But it would seem that there was a general feeling, even in those rude times, that it would not do to annihilate traffic altogether; from which sprang, I doubt not, that system of ransom which the trader placed to his general account, if not of outlay, at least of risk, and advanced the price of his goods accordingly.
The Flemish towns of the middle ages gave rise and dignity, among the Transalpines, to the commercial spirit. The northern parts of Europe owe to them, even surrounded as they were by all the rapine and ignorance of the feudal barons, the existence of the useful arts, and the cultivation of a free spirit. Bruges, and Ghent, and Brussels, and other towns of the Low Countries, were the most advanced of any portion of Europe north of the Alps.
While England and France were spreading and enjoying the advantages of those monstrous mummeries of the middle ages,' chivalry, and the feudal system, the trading towns of the Low Countries and of Italy, were advancing in all the arts of cultivated life,-of intellectual superiority,—of physical comfort. Had it not been for them, we might still have been wrapped in our own untanned skins, with rushes and filth struggling for predominance on our floors, and the diseases incident upon dirt and rude living paying us a visit almost every year. Let it never be forgotten that to the
burghers of these towns we owe the art of printing,—the revival of painting,—the discovery of the mariner's compass, with all its attendant train of benefits,-a New World, and the passage, by sea, to the East. These we owe to the traders of Flanders, and of the Italian cities.
For what are we to thank the feudal barons of France and England ? Ignorance, craft, cruelty, and superstition, were all the seed they sowed; and the crop was proportionably barren. They produced, however, a great number of very respectable robbers and pyllers,' fellows whose merit consisted in the bullying bravery of highwaymen, combined with something less than the honesty of a modern pickpocket. Ignorant and barbarous themselves, they seized routes of mules,' laden with the produce of other people's skill and industry ; and these are the sort of men whom we are told to admire, duly despising the race who did no more for humanity than to confer on it all that we at this day consider as giving to it value, and refinement, and beauty. It is not too much to say that we owe all these to the merchants of Bruges and Venice, of Ghent and of Genoa, of Brussels and of Florence. As for the knights and barons, they could neither read nor write; they could only give and receive dry blows, and foul language.
EXERCISE XLV.-ANIMAL HAPPINESS.--Cowper. [Description, interspersed with reflection, requires—as in the following example,-attention to change of tone, as the reader passes from the one to the other; the former marked by the moderate force, middle pitch, and lively rate,—the latter, by softer, but graver, and slower utterance.]
Here,* unmolested,—through whatever sign
* Referring to a shady walk, a favourite resort of the poet.
Scarce shuns me; and the stockdove, unalarm'd,
The heart is hard in nature, and unfit