Слике страница

§64. Exercises in Quality of Voice. (See § 39.)

The Quality appropriate in the first five Exercises which follow is for the most part aspirate and guttural, with loud Force and middle Pitch; but the reader must not suppose that when a passage is characterized as adapted to any particular Quality, Pitch, or Force, the characterization applies to every word and syllable. Much must be left to individual taste and feeling. As in describing a complicate painting all that we can well do is to designate the predominant tint, so in these Exercises any attempt to do more than to note the prevailing tone would convey but a confused impression. The reader must learn first to understand and feel, and then nature will supply the right intonations.


Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward,
Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou fortune's champion, that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by

[ocr errors]

To teach thee safety! thou art perjured, too,
And smooth'st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
A ramping fool; to brag, and stamp, and swear
Upon my party! thou cold-blooded slave,
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?
Been sworn my soldier? bidding me depend
Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength?
And dost thou now fall over to my foes?
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.


"Whence, and what art thou, execrable shape!
That darest, though grim and terrible, advance
Thy miscreated front athwart my way

To yonder gates? Through them I mean to pass,
That be assured, without leave asked of thee:
Retire, or taste thy folly; and learn by proof,
Hellborn! not to contend with spirits of heaven!"
To whom the goblin, full of wrath, replied:—

"Art thou that traitor angel, art thou he,

Who first broke peace in heaven, and faith, till then
Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms
Drew after him the third part of heaven's sons,
Conjured' against the Highest; for which both thou
And they, outcast from God, are here condemned
To waste eternal days in woe and pain?
And reckon'st thou thyself with spirits of heaven,
Hell-doomed! and breathest defiance here and scorn,
Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more,
Thy king and lord? Back to thy punishment,
False fugitive! and to thy speed add wings;
Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue
Thy lingering, or, with one stroke of this dart,
Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before."


O that the slave had forty thousand lives!
One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
Now do. I see 't is true.. Look here, Iago,

All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven! - 't is gone!
Arise, black Vengeance, from thy hollow cell;

Yield up, O Love, thy crown and hearted throne,

To tyrannous Hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
For 't is of aspic's tongues.

[ocr errors]

O blood, Iago, blood!

Like to the Pontic sea
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont, -
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up.

4. REPLY TO CORRY. Henry Grattan.

The right honorable gentleman has called me peached traitor." I ask, why not traitor unqualified by any


an unim

epithet? I will tell him: it was because he... dare not. It was the act of a... coward who raises his arm to strike, but has not courage to give the blow. I will not call him... villain; because it would be unparliamentary, and he is a privy councilor. I will not call him... fool; because he happens to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I say he is one who has abused the privilege of Parliament and the freedom of debate, to the uttering language, which, if spoken out of the House, I should answer . . . only with a blow! I care not how high his situation, how low his character, how contemptible his speech; whether a privy councilor or a parasite, . . . my answer would be... a blow!



Creation sleeps: 't is as the general pulse
Of life stood still; and Nature made a pause,
An awful pause, prophetic of her end.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6. THE UNION. Daniel Webster.

Middle Pitch. Quality Orotund. - Force gentle and afterwards loud. Intonations profoundly emotional, but changing with the sentiment.

[ocr errors]

While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise! God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind! When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States severed, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance, rather, behold the gorgeous ensign of the Republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing, for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as, What is all this worth? nor those other words of delusion and folly, Liberty first and Union afterwards;— but

everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart, Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!

7. THE RAVEN. - Poe.

Quality aspirated.

Pitch middle, inclining to low. -Force moderate.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious . . . volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door;
""T is some visitor," I muttered, tapping at my chamber door;
Only this and nothing more."


Ah! distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor;
Eagerly I wished the morrow: vainly I had tried to borrow,
From my books, surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here for evermore.

[ocr errors]

And the silken, sad, uncertain . . . rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me, filled me with fantastic. . . terrors, never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
""T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is and nothing more."



Bold Orotund Quality. — Middle Pitch. Time moderate.. Movement stately and grand.

[ocr errors]

We will not strike for private wrongs alone:
Such are for selfish passions and rash men,
But are unworthy a tyrannicide.

We must forget all feelings save the one;
We must resign all passions save our purpose;
We must behold no object save our country, -
And only look on death as beautiful,


So that the sacrifice ascend to Heaven,
And draw down freedom on her evermore.

"But if we fail -?" They never fail who die
In a great cause: the block may soak their gore;
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls,
But still their spirit walks abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others, and conduct
The world at last to freedom.

[ocr errors]



Orotund Quality. - Middle Pitch. - Closing with High Pitch and Loud Force.

Once more unto the breach', dear friends, once more`;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!


peace there's nothing so becomes a man,
As modest stillness and humility`:

But when the blast of war' blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger`;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard favored rage`;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;

Let it pry through the portage of the head',
Like the brass cannon`;

[ocr errors]

Now set the teeth', and stretch the nostril wide';
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height`! On, on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fetched from fathers of war proof!
Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts, from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument`;
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start; the 's afoot';
Follow your spirit`: and, upon this charge,
Cry, God for Harry'! England', and St. George`!


« ПретходнаНастави »