« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Remarkable Faults of bad Speakers.
LUDOVICUS Cresolljus, a Jesuit of Brittany, who wrote a treatise upon the perfect action and pronunciation of an orator, published at Paris in 1620, gives the following discription of the delivery of a public speaker, whose style was polished and whose composition was learned.
"When he turned himself to the left, he spoke a few words accompanied by a moderate gesture of the hand, then bending to the right, he acted the same part over again; then back again to the left, and presently to the right, almost at an equal and measured interval of time, he worked himself up to his usual gesture, and his one kind of movement; you could compare him only to the blindfolded Babylonian oxen going forward and returning back by the same path.” The Jesuit was so disgusted, that he shut his eyes, but even so he could not get over the disagreeable impression of the speaker's manner. He concludes, "I therefore give judgement against, and renounce all such kind of orators. In another place he has made an enumeration of the most remarkable faults of bad speakers, it is peculiarly spirited and characteristic.
"Some hold their heads immoveable, and turned. to one side, as if they were made of horn; others stare with their eyes as horribly, as if they intended to frighten every one; some are continually twisting their mouths and working their chins, while they are speaking, as if, all the time, they were cracking nuts; some like the apostate Julian, breathe insult, express in their countenance contempt and impudence. Others as if
they personated the fictitious heroes in a tragedy, gape enormously, and extend their jaws as widely as if they were going to swallow up every body; above all, when they bellow with fury, they scatter their foam about, and threaten with contracted brow, and eyes like Saturn.
These, as if they were playing some game are con tinually making motions with their fingers, and by the extraordinary working of their hands, endeavour to form in the air, I may almost say, all the figures of the mathematics. Those, on the contrary, have hands so ponderous and so fastened down by terror, that they could more easily move beams of timber; others labour so with their elbows, that it is evident, either that they had been formerly shomakers themselves, or had lived in no other society but that of coblers. Some are so unsteady in the motions of their bodies, that they seem to be speaking out of a cock-boat; others again are so unwieldy and uncouth in their motions that you would think them to be sacks of tow painted to look like men. I have seen some who jumped on the platform, and capered nearly in measure; men that exhibited the fullers dance, and as the old poet says, expressed their wit with their feet. But who in a short compass is able to enumerate all the faults of gesture, and all the absurdities of bad delivery."
On Female Attractions.
FLAVELLA has a multitude of charms. sible, affable, modest, and good humoured. without being awkward, and as straight as an arrow. She has a clear complexion, lively eyes, a pretty mouth, and white even teeth; and will answer the description which any rhyming lover can give of the mistressof his affections, after having ransacked heaven and
She is sen--
earth for similies; yet I cannot admire her. She wants in my opinion, that nameless something, which is far more attractive than beauty. It is, in short, a peculiar manner of saying the most insignificant things, and doing the most trifling actions, which captivates us, and takes our hearts by surprise.
Though I am a strenuous advocate for a modest, decent, and unaffected deportment in the fair sex, I would, however, have a fine woman altogether insensible of her personal charms, for she would then be as insipid as Flavella. I would only have her conscious enough of them, to behave with modest freedom, and to converse with fluency and spirit.— When a woman stalks majestically into a room, with the haughty air of a first-rate beauty, and expects every one who sees her to admire her, my indignation rises, and I get away as fast as I can, in order to enjoy the conversation of an easy, good-humoured creature, who is neither beautiful nor conceited enough to be troublesome, and who is as willing to give pleasure, as desirous to receive it.
Flirtilla and Amelia.
FLIRTILLA is a gay, lively, giddy girl; she is what the world calls handsome; she dances and sings admirably, has something to say upon every fashion, person, play, opera, masquerade, or public exhibition, and has an easy flow of words, that pass upon the multitude for wit. In short, the whole end of her existence seems to be centered in a love of company and the fashion. No wonder it is, that she is noticed only by the less worthless part of the world.
Amelia, the lovely Amelia, makes home her greatest happiness. Nature has not been so lavish of her
charms, as to her sister; but she has a soft pleasing countenance, that plainly indicates the goodness of her heart. Her person is not striking at first, but as it becomes familiar to the beholder, is more so than that of her sister. For her modest deportinent, and her sweet disposition, will daily gain ground on any person who has the happiness of conversing with her. She reads much and digests what she reads. Her sesenity of mind is not to be disturbed by the disappointment of a party of pleasure, nor her spirit agitated by the shape of a cap, or the colour of a ribbon. She speaks but little when in company, but when she does, every one is hush, and attends to her as an oracle; and she has one true friend with whom she passes her days in tranquility. The reader may easily judge, which of these too sisters are the most amiable...
Character of a Young Lady.
SOPHIA is not a beauty, but in her presence beau ties are discontented with themselves. At first, she scarcely appears pretty ; but the more she is beheld, the more agreeable she appears. She gains where others lose, and what she gains she never loses. She is equalled by none in a sweet expression of countenance, and without dazzling beholders, she interests them. She loves dress, and is a good judge of it; despises. finery, but dresses with peculiar grace, mixing simplicity with elegance. Ignorant she is of what colours. are in fashion; but knows well what suits her complexion. She covers her beauties; but so slightly, or rather artfully, as to give play to the imagination. She prepares herself for managing a family of her own, by managing that of her father. Cookery is familiar to her, with the price and quality of provisions ; and
she is a ready accountant. Her chief view, however, is to serve her mother and lighten her cares. She holds cleanness and neatness to be indispensible in a woman; and that a slattern is disgusting, especially if beautiful.
The attention given to externals, does not make her overlook her more material duties. Sophia's understanding is solid, without being profound. Her sensibility is too great for a perfect equality of temper; but her sweetness renders that inequality harmless. A harsh word does not make her angry; but her heart swells, and she retires to disburden it by weeping. Recalled by her father and mother, she comes at the instant, wiping her eyes and appearing cheerful. She suffers with patience any wrong she has done, and does it so cordially as to make it appear meritorious. If she happen to disoblige a companion, her joy and her caresses when restored to favour, show the burden that lay upon her heart.
The love of virtue is Sophia's ruling passion. She loves it because no other thing is so lovely: she loves it, because it is the glory of the female sex: she loves it as the only road to happiness, misery being the sure attendant of a woman without virtue; she loves it, as dear to her respectable father and mother. These sentiments inspire her with a degree of enthusiasm, that elevates her soul, and subdues every irregular appetite.
Of the absent she never talks but with circumspection, her female acquaintance especially. She has remarked, that what renders women prone to detraction, is talking of their own sex; and that they are more equitable with respect to the men. Sophia never talks of women, but to express the good she knows of them: of others she says nothing.
Without much knowledge of the world, she is attentive, obliging, and graceful in all she does. A good disposition does more for her, than art does for others. She possesses a degree of politeness, which, void of ceremony, proceeds from a desire to please, and which consequently never fails to please.