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INTRODUCTION.

THE BOY'S RECITER.*

the introduction of the following and

In other standard specimens of poetry, the

limity, is well adapted to our present intellectual progress."

1. INVOCATION OF LIGHT. (Milton.) The immediate effects on manner, in the recitation of the following extract, are entire absorption in the theme, the majesty of perfect and noble repose, the deep, calm tone of re

compiler, if questioned on the propriety of presenting extracts so generally familiar, would answer that, according to the best of his observation, during many years' attention to the teaching of elocution, it is impossible to produce the finish of a cultivated style of speak-verence, the fervour of intense and almost ing, without extensive practice on the highest models of language. These are comparatively rare; and the few specimens of them which are accessible, are, in this respect, like the precious relics of ancient art. The habitual contemplation and study of them must be, for every successive race of students, the great business of the hour. We become weary of them only when they are misrepresented by the errors of false style in the rendering. Rightly spoken, they transcend all the other productions of poetic inspiration; and the style of speaking which they create bears always the stamp of finished excellence.

Recitation, as a discipline introductory to eloquent speaking, furnishes the inspiring influence of vivid emotion and high-wrought imagination. It breathes into the young speaker's soul a life and a fire which spring spontaneously into eloquent utterance in the tones, the looks, the action of fervour and force the prime elements of all true eloquence. To the young speaker poetry is the live coal from the altar, which unseals the lips and opens the flood-gates of the heart. The general effects of recitation, as an elocutionary exercise, are most truly and eloquently described in the following paragraph from Channing, whose own high attainments in eloquence constituted him so eminent an authority on this branch of æsthetic culture.

"Is there not an amusement, having an affinity with the drama, which might be usefully introduced among us? I mean Recitation. A work of genius recited by a man of refined taste, enthusiasm, and powers of elocution, is a very pure and high gratification. Were this art cultivated and encouraged, great numbers, now insensible to the most beautiful Compositions, might be waked up to their excellence and power. It is not easy to conceive of a more effectual way of spreading a refined taste through a community. The drama undoubtedly appeals more strongly to the passions, than recitation; but the latter brings out the meaning of the author more. speare, worthily recited, would be better understood than on the stage. Recitation sufficiently varied, so as to include pieces of chaste wit, as well as of pathos, beauty, and sub

Shak

* The term "recitation" is technically employed, in elocution, to designate distinctively the speaking of poetry; as the term "declamation" is used for the appropriate speaking of passages of prose.

adoring admiration, the inspiration of the loftiest sublimity, the softness of the tenderest and profoundest pathos, and the grandeur of the most devout aspiration. These qualities become perceptible in the low-pitched but firm voice, the slow utterance, the level and prolonged tones, the swelling musical utterance, and the grandeur of the sustained "orotund" quality, in all its sonorous power. The attitude is that of repose; the action subdued and quiet, but uniformly sustained and noble.

HAIL, holy Light! offspring of Heaven first-
born,

Or of the Eternal co-eternal beam.
May I express thee unblamed? since God is
light,

And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou, rather, pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun,
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness
borne,

With other notes than to the Orphéan lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night;
Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sov'ran vital lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene had quenched their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling
flow,

Nightly I visit; nor sometimes forget
Those other two, equalled with me in fate,
So were I equalled with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides,
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old:
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid

Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud, instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair,
Presented with a universal blank

Of Nature's works, to me expunged and rased,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.-
So much the rather Thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her
powers

Irradiate; there plant eyes; all mists from

thence

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight!

2. HYMN ON THE NATIVITY. (Milton.) This transcendent example of lyric recitation is more dependent than many others on a perfectly melodious flow of voice, true to the exquisite movement of the metre, yet not obtruding it. The transitions of "expression' are, in all lyric pieces, more frequent and more sudden than in epic poetry. The whole manner, accordingly, is intensely vivid both in voice and action. A deep-toned solemnity, however, pervades the recitation, as it does the subject, and subdues the vehemence of intense emotion to a triumphant repose.

IT was the winter wild,
While the heaven-born Child

All meanly wrapped in the rude manger lies.
Nature, in awe to him,

Had doffed her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathise.

But He, her fears to cease,

Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;

Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the
charméd wave.

The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer, that often warned them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid
them go.

And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new-enlightened world no more should
need;

He saw a greater sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree,
could bear.

The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they then,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below:
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy
keep.

When such music sweet

Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal fingers strook;
Divinely warbled voice

Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took: The air, such pleasure loath to lose,

With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.

She, crowned with olive-green, came softly Nature that heard such sound,

sliding

Down through the turning sphere,

His ready harbinger,

Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling, Now was almost won

With turtle wing the amorous clouds To think her part was done,

dividing!

And, waving with her myrtle wand,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling;

She strikes an universal peace through sea and She knew such harmony alone land.

No war or battle's sound

Was heard the world around:

Could hold all heaven and earth in happier union.

At last surrounds their sight

The idle spear and shield were high uphung: A globe of circular light, The hooked chariot stood

Unstained with hostile blood;

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng; And kings sat still with awful eye,

As if they surely knew their sov'ran Lord was
by.

But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kissed,

Whispering new joys to the wild ocean,

That with long beams the shame-faced night arrayed;

The helmed Cherubim,

And sworded Seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed,

Harping in loud and solemn quire,

With unexpressive notes to Heaven's new-born
Heir.

Such music (as 'tis said),
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,

While the Creator great

His constellations set,

And the well-balanced world on hinges hung;

And cast the dark foundations deep,

The oracles are dumb;

No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.

Apollo from his shrine

And bid the weltering waves their oozy chan- Can no more divine,

nel keep.

Ring out, ye crystal spheres:

Once bless our human ears,

If ye have power to touch our senses so;

And let your silver chime

Move in melodious time;

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos
leaving.

No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the pro-
phetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er,

And let the bass of Heaven's deep organ And the prophetic shore,

blow;

And, with your ninefold harmony,

Make up full consort to the angelic symphony!

For, if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of
gold;

And speckled Vanity

Will sicken soon and die;

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;

And hell itself will pass away,

And leave her dolorous mansions to the peer-
ing day.

Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men ;

Orbed in a rainbow, and, like glories weaving,
Mercy will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen,

With radiant feet the tissued clouds down
steering,

And Heaven, as at some festival,

Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

But wisest Fate says no,

This must not yet be so:

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy, That on the bitter cross,

Must redeem our loss;

So both himself and us to glorify; Yet, first, to those ychained in sleep,

The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep,

With such a horrid clang,

As on Mount Sinai rang,

A voice of weeping heard, and loud!ament: From haunted spring and dale,

Edged with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent; With flower-inwoven tresses torn,

The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

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Peor and Baalim

Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-battered god of Palestine; And mooned Ashtaroth,

Heaven's queen and mother both,

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shrine;
The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn;
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded
Thammuz mourn.

And sullen Moloch, fled,

Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue:
In vain with cymbals' ring

They call the grisly king

In dismal dance about the furnace blue:
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,

Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.
Nor is Osiris seen

While the red fire and smouldering clouds In Memphian grove or green,

outbrake:

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Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud;

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How hard when those who do not wish
To lend (that's lose) their books
Are snared by anglers-folks that fish
With literary hooks;

Who call and take some favourite tome,
But never read it through;

They thus complete their set at home
By making one of you.

I, of my "Spenser," quite bereft,
Last winter sore was shaken;
Of "Lamb," I've but a quarter left,
Nor could I save my
"Bacon."

And then I saw my "Crabbe" at last,
Like Hamlet's backward go;
And as my tide was ebbing fast,

Of course I lost my "Rowe."

My "Mallet" served to knock me down,
Which makes me thus a talker;
And once, while I was out of town,

My "Johnson" proved a "Walker."
While studying o'er the fire one day,
My "Hobbes" amidst the smoke,
They bore my "Colman " clean away,
And carried off my "Coke."

They picked my "Locke," to me far more Than Bramah's patent worth;

And now my losses I deplore
Without a "Home" on earth.
If once a book you let them lift,
Another they conceal;

For though I caught them stealing "Swift,"
As swiftly went my "Steele."

"Hope" is not now upon my shelf,

Where late he stood elated;

But what is strange, my "Pope" himself
Is excommunicated.

My little "Suckling" in the grave
Is sunk, to swell the ravage;
And what 'twas Crusoe's fate to save,
'Twas mine to lose-a "Savage."

Even "Glover's" works I cannot put
My frozen hands upon;

Though ever since I lost my "Foote,"
My "Bunyan" has been gone.
My "Hoyle" with "Cotton" went;-op-
pressed,

My "Taylor," too, must fail;
To save my "Goldsmith" from arrest
In vain I offered "Bayle."

I "Prior" sought, but could not see
The "Hood" so late in front;
And when I turned to hunt for "Lee,"
Oh! where was my "Leigh Hunt?"
I tried to laugh, old Care to tickle,

Yet could not "Tickel" touch;
And then, alack! I missed my "Mickle;"-
And surely Mickle's much.

"Tis quite enough my griefs to feed,

My sorrows to excuse,

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To think I cannot read my "Reid,"
Nor even use my "Hughes;"
My classics would not quiet lie,—
A thing so fondly hoped;
Like Dr. Primrose, I may cry

66

'My 'Livy' has eloped!'

My life is wasting fast away

I suffer from these shocks;
And though I fixed a lock on "Gray,"
There's gray upon my locks.

I'm far from "Young," -am growing pale,-
I see my "Butler" fly;

And when they ask about my ail,

""Tis "Burton,'" I reply.

They still have made me slight returns,
And thus my griefs divide;

For, oh! they've cured me of my "Burns,"
And eased my "Akenside:"
But all I think I shall not say,

"Gay,"

Nor let my anger burn; For as they never found me They have not left me "Sterne."

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1. Entire

DECAPITATIONS.

OUR SPHINX.

I am an article of furniture: behead me, and I am of great use to the carpenter; behead me again, and transpose me, and I am a game of cards.

2. Complete-I am a bird: behead me, and I signify a kind of rolling motion; behead me again, and I mean "to permit; " behead me twice, and I make the noise of a cow; transpose me, and I am a bird.

CHARADE.

My first is the name of a plant, my second is an English pronoun, and my whole is a name with which we are al! well acquainted.

MORE CONUNDRUMS FOR CHRISTMAS.

1. What wine resembles an affected complaint? 2. If water was scarce in England, to what fashionable place in Kent would people go for a supply? 3. When does a young lady walk abroad with a bird on her head?

4. When does a lamp-wick resemble a drunkard? 5. What favourite beverage can you spell with one letter?

6. Why should the Irish be great sporting characters?

7. When does a young lady resemble a deerstalker ?

8. And when does she become an incendiary? 9. What makes a farmer a most diabolical character ?

10. Which is the most lugubrious character in a law court?

11. What imp enters into all hasty people? 12. In what street in London should moneylenders dwell?

13. What animal is named after that which covers most others ?

14. Of what material are fast young ladies made? 15. What kind of pleasure reigns supreme in Tartary?

16. If you were sick, what kind of clergyman would you like to send for?

17. To what order do all eccentric men belong? 18. What Grecian god is still adored by the French?

19. What law document can you never travel without?

20. Why should girls who wish to be married always sit, when travelling by rail, in a carriage facing the engine?

21. When does a woman steel herself against advice?

22. Which is the most unsatisfactory kind of smoking-pipe?

23. Whom do you think was the wife of the Venerable Bede?

24. What is the worst feminine and fashionable thing connected with the Church?

25. Which is the most courtly nobleman in the kingdom?

26. What part of an Irishman's dress resembles his speech?

27. Which is the most warlike of flowers? 28. What sea-officer resembles the noon? 29. Which is the most polished city in the world? 30. Why is going on an excursion to an exhibition hall like a voyage to the North Pole?

31. What flower is the soul of attraction in the Christmas pantomimes?

32. If an Irishman called his sweetheart &

"Jewel," to what kind of brilliant might she think he referred ?

33. What favourite Scotch sport should hairdressers excel in?

34. Of what kind of material are French compliments made?

35. What kind of flower does Albert Edward always wear in his hat?

36. Why is the church-steeple like flattery? 37. Which are the most warlike divines in the Church?

38. And which the most constant and enduring? 39. What part of speech is a prior?

40. Why is the Governor of Turkey like Dover harbour?

41. What sort of flowers are country belles?
42. What mineral can see in the dark?
43. Which is the wisest of plants?

44. And which is the coldest?

45. What vegetable has sunk many a great ship? 46. What is the pleasant kind of church to preach in ?

47. What British isle names the philanthropist's

motto ?

48. When does a dressmaker resemble a mad bull?

49. What part of a lady's dress resembles a locomotive?

50. Of all garden implements, which should a young lady most carefully avoid?

51. What would be the proper vegetables to feed poultry on?

52. What kind of vegetables compose the young folks of Brussels ?

53. What place in the Archipelago is directly opposed to the capital of France ?

54. What crime costs England thousands of pounds?

55. When does a nautical man make an astounding noise?

56. What country in Europe is always needy and empty?

57. Which are the gayest of all nautical commanders?

58. Where do you think those commanders come from?

59. Supposing you were hungry and tired, what kind of gale would refresh you at once?

60. What elegant artistic employment do harbour-masters pursue?

61. Why is London a most paradoxical place? 62. Why is an exhibition-hall like a mean, deceitful character?

63. If at sea on a wild, tempestuous night, what wine would you long for?

64. Which was the jolliest looking of all the popes?

66. What great public gallery in London encourages a direct breach of good manners?

66. What would be the proper drink for a dapper little man?

67. Why is a blacksmith like a swindler ? 68. In what place in the British Channel would you like to be in a cold winter's night?

69. What good old judge could never be ill? 70. What fish lights all our public streets and squares?

71. Of what religion are oyster men?

72. Which is the tardiest tree that grows? 73. What do we put round our houses to keep us dry, which yet drowns thousands at sea?

ANSWERS TO QUERIES.

In reply to William Fingland, Hugh Wyatt sends an excellent drawing of the Great Seal of Henry

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