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16. And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,
With death, so like a gentle sluinber, on thee; And thy dark sin! O, I could drink the cup,
If from this woe its bitterness had won thee. May God have called thee, like a wanderer home, My erring Absalom !
NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS.
LXXXVIII.-MACARONI AND VERMICELLI.
1. Not far from Naples are a large number of establishments where macaroni is manufactured. I visited some of these manufactories one day, to see how this article, so abundant in Italy, is made; for I confess that Egyptian darkness had previously pervaded my mind in relation to this matter.
2. I could as easily have solved the vexed problem how milk gets into the cocoanut, as I could have told you how the little cylinder called macaroni came into existence. Well, some beams of light were that day thrown into the dark chamber of my understanding touching the whole subject of macaroni, and you shall have the benefit of them.
3. It is to be presumed that you are not quite as ignorant of the origin of this article as the fine lady in Paris was, who asked a gentleman of her acquaintance, recently returned from a visit to Italy, “ On what sort of trees macaroni grew?” still, it would not be strange if your knowledge of the subject were as limited as mine; so I will begin with the alphabet of the science of macaroni.
4. The article so called is made from a peculiar kind of wheat called grano duro, or hard grain. It was formerly imported at great cost from the Russian territories on the Black Sea; but now the farmers in southern Italy raise this kind of wheat themselves.
5. The kernel, in its outward appearance, is much like that which is common among us, except that it is much smaller. While the Italians make most of their maca
. roni from this kind of wheat, I understand they are sometimes tempted to mix with it the common soft wheat; and that they do not always muster sufficient principle to combat the temptation.
6. “But how do they spin out the long threads of macaroni?” you ask. O, that is one of the simplest processes in the world, when you come to see it, and understand it. We will suppose the grain is ground; with the addition of water alone a paste is formed. This paste is kneaded for a long time by a very lazy sort of process, which would make some of my brevet-making friends laugh, I fancy, until their faces were as red as a beet.
7. When this paste has been sufficiently kneaded, it is forced, by simple pressure, through a number of small circular holes, the sizes of which, respectively, determine the name to be given to its substance. The paste which is pressed through the largest holes is called macaroni; that which goes through smaller holes, takes the name of vermicelli.
8. The macaroni, as you know, is hollow throughout; and, until my visit to this establishment, I was not a little puzzled to know how it was thus made. I will let you into this secret, too. On the side of the trough, over each of the larger holes, (those intended for macaroni,) a small copper bridge is placed. This is sufficiently high to allow the paste to pass under it into the hole. From this bridge is suspended a copper wire, which goes right through the hole, and of course leaves hollow the paste passing through that hole.
9. When the paste has thus been formed through these holes, like wire through the steel plate of the wire drawer, a workman takes up the macaroni or vermicelli, as the case may be, and lays it across a line, in strings of two or three yards in length, to dry. The substance, from the kneading which it has received, hangs together very closely.
LXXXIX.-ORATORY AS AN ART.
1. One cause of our not excelling in oratory is our neglecting to cultivate the art of speaking - of speaking our own language. We acquire the power of expressing our ideas almost insensibly; we consider it as a thing natural to us. We do not regard it as an art; but it is an art, a difficult art, an intricate art; and our ignorance of that circumstance, or our omitting to give it due consideration, is the cause of our deficiency.
2. In the infant, just beginning to articulate, you will observe every inflection that is recognized in the most accurate treatise on elocution. You will observe, further, an exact proportion in its several cadences, and a speaking expression in its tones. I say, you will observe these things in almost every infant. Select a dozen men men of education, erudition : ask them to read a piece of animated composition. You will be very fortunate indeed if
find one in the dozen that can raise or depress his voice, inflect or modulate it, as the variety of the subject requires.
3. What have become of the inflections, the cadences, and the modulation of the infant? They have not been exercised; they have been neglected; they have never been put into the hands of the artist, that he might
apply them to his proper use. They have been laid aside, spoiled, abused; and ten to one they will never be good for any thing.
4. If we consider the very early period at which we begin to exercise the faculty of speech, and the frequency with which we exercise it, it must be a subject of surprise that so few excel in oratory. In any enlightened community, you will find numbers skilled in some particular science or art, to the study of which they did not apply themselves till they had almost arrived at the stage of manhood.
5. Yet with regard to the powers of speech — those powers which the very second year of our existence generally calls into action, the exercise of which goes on at our sports, our studies, our walks, our very meals, and which is never long suspended, except at the hour of refreshing sleep,— with regard to those powers, how few surpass their fellow-creatures of common information and moderate attainments! how very few desire distinction ! how rarely does one attain eminence!
6. In common conversation, observe the advantage which the fluent speaker enjoys over the man that hesitates and stumbles in discourse. With half his information, he has twice his importance; he commands the respect of his auditors; he instructs and gratifies them. In the general transaction of business, the same superiority attends him.
7. He communicates his views with clearness, precision and effect; he carries his point by his mere readiness; he concludes his treatise before another man has set about it. Does he plead the cause of friendship?— how happy is his friend. Of charity?.— how fortunate the distressed. Should he enter the legislature of his country, he proves himself the people's bulwark.
THE FOURTH READER.
HERS' LIC... SATTCLARA COM
1. Was it the chime of a tiny bell,
That came so sweet to my dreaming ear, Like the silvery tones of a fairy's shell,
That he winds on the beach so mellow and clear,
And he his notes as silvery quite –
Hark! the notes on my ear that play,
“Passing away! — passing away!”
2. But, no! It is not a fairy's shell,
Blown on the beach, so mellow and clear;
Striking the hours, that fell on my ear
(As you've sometimes seen, in a little ring
“Passing away! - passing away!”
3. O, how bright were the wheels, that told
Of the lapse of time, as they moved 'round slow!
Seemed to point to the girl below.