Page images
PDF

RULE VIII. At the end of every line in poetry must be a pause proportioned to the intimate or remote connexion subsisting between the two lines.

A simile in poetry ought always to be read in a lower tone of voice than that part of the passage which precedes it.

Sublime, grand, and magnificent description in poetry, frequently requires a lower tone of voice, and a sameness nearly approaching to a monotone.

In contradistinction to the recorded opinion of a clever Elocutionist on the subject of Rhetorical Punctuation, the Editor of the “Rhetorical Reader" ventures to say, that one of the great secrets, as well as charms, in the art of reading and speaking (as in SINGING) is to know " when, and where, and how to breathe ; and that judicious rhetorical pausing constitutes an important, indispensable portion of the science. The remaining pauses-neither few in number, nor minor in importance-will appear in the course of the work as foot-notes.

THE

RHETORICAL READER.

THE DEAD ASS.

STERNE. And thi's, said he', (putting the remains of a cru'st/ into his wallet)—and thi's should have been thy' portion (said he'), ha'dst thou been ali've/ to have shared it with me. I thought, by the ac'cent, it had been an apostrophe to his child'; but it was to his A^ss ;* and to the very ass/ we had seen dead in the road', which had occasioned La Fleur's misadventure. The man/ seemed to laʼment it much'; and, it instantly brought into my min'd/ Sâncho's-lamentation for hi's ; but h'è did it) with more true touches of na'ture.

The m'ourner/ was sitting upon a stone bench') at the door, with the ass's pan'nel and its bri'dlel on one side', which he took u'p/ from time to time then', laid them down-look'ed at them, and sh'ook his head'. He then took his crust of bread out of his wal'let again', as if to eat' it; held it some ti'me in his ha'nd—theʼn/ laid it upon the bit of his ass's bri'dlelooked wist'fully/ at the little arra'ngement/ he had ma'de—and then', gave a sigh'.

The simplicity of his grie'f/ drew numbers abo'ut him, and La Fleur', among the rest', while the horses were getting ready': as I continued sitting in the postchaise', I could see and hear') over their heads'.

He s'aid/ he had come last from Spain', where he had been from the farthest borders of Franco'nia ; and had got so far' on his return home, when the ass died. Every oneseemed desi'rous to know', what business could have taken so old and poor a man', so far a jou’rney/ from his own home'.

* “ Ass” requires the falling circumflex. See foot note, p. 5, "Introductory Outline."

It had pleased Hea'ven, he said', to bless him with three sons', the finest la'ds/ in all Ge’rmany; but, having in one week lost two of them by the small' pox, and the young“est/ falling ill of the same distem'per, he was afraid of being bereft of them a'll, and made a vow, if Heaven would not take him from him also, he would go') in gra'titude to St. Ia'go/ in Spa'in.

When the mourner got thus far in his stoʻry, he stopped, to pay nature her tribute—and wept bitterly.

He said/ Heaven had ac'cepted the conditions; and that he had set out from his cot'tage/ with this poor creature, who had been a patient partner of his joʻurney—that it had eaten the same bread with him all the way', and was unto him', as a friend'.

Every body/ who stood about heard the poor* fellow with concern La Fleur' offered him money - The mourner said he di'd not wan't it-it was not the va'lue of the ass—but the losst of him—The ass, he said', he was assur'ed lov'ed him-and, upon this', told them a long story of a mischance' upon their pas'sage, over the Pyrenean mountains, which had separated them from each other three days ; during which tim'e the ass had sought him as much as he had sought the a'ss, and that neither/ had scarce eaten/ norf dru'nk/ till they met'.

Thou hast ône comfort, friend, said I, at least', in the loss of thy poor beast' ; I am sure thou hast been a merciful mas'ter to him.- Alas ! (said the mo'urner,) I thought' so, when he was alive'), but no'w he is dead, I think' other'wise I fear the wei'ght of myself and my afflictions toge'ther, have been too mu'ch for him—they have shortened the poor creature's days', and I fear/ I have them to an'swer for. – Shame on the world! (said I to my'self)—Did we but love e'ach other'/ as this poor soul/ loved his ass''twould be some'thing.

* It may be laid down as a general rule respecting the pronunciation of adjectives, that they ought never to receive a more than ordinary stress of voice-never superior to the substantive, unless they are obviously antithetic.

t“ Loss," and " one," are both marked with the falling circumflex, thus A.

# The legitimate correspondent of neither is nor.-IRVING.

MARIA.

FIRST PART.

STERNE. -They were the sweetest notes/ I ever heard'; and I instantly let down the for'e-glass/ to hear them mor'e distinctly - 'Tis Mari'a, said the postil'lion, (observing I was list'ening) -Poor Maria', continued he', (leaning his body on one side to let me se'e her, for/ he was in a line between us) is sitting upon a bank/ playing her vespers upon her pipe', with her little go‘at/ besi'de her.

The young fellow/ uttered thi's/ with an ac'cent and a look/ so perfectly in tune/ to a feeling heart', that I instantly made a vow, I would give him a four-and-twenty sous pie'ce) when I got to Moulines'.

-And who is poor Maria ? said I.

The love and pity of all the villages aro'und us, said the postillion : it is but three years ag'o, that the sun did not shine upon so fair', so quick-witted, and a'miable-a-maid, * and better fate/ did Maria deserve, than to have her ban'ns forbi'd/ by the intrigues of the curate of the pa'rish/ who pu'blished them

He was going o'n, when Mari'a (who had made a short pause') put the pipe to her mouth', and began the air again they were the sa'me n'otes—yet were ten times sweet'er. It is the evening service to the Vir'gin, said the young man'buť| who has taught her to play itmor, ho'w she came by her pipe', no one knows': we think that Heaven has assisted her in both'; for' e'ver since she has been unsettled in her mind', it seems her only consola'tion-she has never once had the pipe out of her hand', but plays that ser'vice upon it, a'lmost nighť and day.'

The postillion delivered this with so much discre'tion and natural e'loquence, that I could not help deciphering something in his face abo've his condi'tion, and should have sifted out his his'tory, had not poor Mar'ia/ taken such full possession of me.

* “ Amiable-a-maid” may be regarded as one rhetorical word. '

[ocr errors]

* When two or more adjectives come together, it is necessary to pause between them ;-care being taken to give the last the most accentual force.

† Our duty at "and” and “but,"' in nine cases out of ten, is to take a breath, and keep the voice up.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »