« PreviousContinue »
No definite rule can be given with reference to the length of the rhetorical, or grammatical pause. The correct taste of the reader or speaker must determine it. For the voice should sometimes be suspended much longer at the same pause in one situation than in another; as in the two following
Pause a moment. I heard a footstep.
Listen now. I heard it
again; but it is going from us. It sounds fainter,-still fainter.
It is gone.
John, be quick.
Get some water. Throw the powder overboard.
"It can not be reached."
goes the powder. Thank Heaven. We are safe.
REMARKS TO TEACHERS.
It is of the utmost importance, in order to secure an easy and elegant style in reading, to refer the pupil often to the more important principles involved in a just elocution. To this end, it will be found very advantageous, occasionally to review the rules and directions given in the preceding pages, and thus early accustom him to apply them in the subsequent reading lessons. For a wider range of examples and illustrations, it is only necessary to refer to the numerous and various exercises which form the body of this book. They have been selected, in many cases, with a special view to this object.
1. I shall never forget a lesson which I received when quite a young lad, while attending an Academy. Among my schoolmates were Hartly and Vincent. They were both older than myself, and Vincent was looked up to, as a sort of leader in matters of opinion, and in directing our sports.
2. He was not, at heart, a malicious boy; but he had a foolish ambition of being thought witty and sarcastic; and he made himself feared by a habit of turning things into ridicule. He seemed to be constantly looking out for something to occur, which he could turn into derision.
3. Hartly was a new scholar, and little was known of him among the boys. One morning, as we were on our way to school, he was seen driving a cow along the road toward the pasture. A group of boys, among whom was Vincent,
met him as he was passing.
4. "Now," said Vincent, "let us have a little sport with our country rustic." So saying, he exclaimed: "Halloo,
Jonathan!* what is the price of milk?
her on? What will you take for all the gold on her horns? Boys, if you want to see the latest Paris style, look at those boots!"
5. Hartly waved his hand at us with a pleasant smile, and, driving the cow to the field, took down the bars of a rail-fence, saw her safely in the pasture, and then, putting up the bars, came and entered the school with the rest of After school, in the afternoon, he let out the cow, and drove her away, none of us knew where. Every day, for two or three weeks, he went through the same task.
6. The boys who attended the Academy, were nearly all the sons of wealthy parents, and some of them were foolish enough to look down, with a sort of disdain, upon a scholar who had to drive a cow to pasture; and the sneers and jeers of Vincent were often repeated.
7. One day, he refused to sit next to Hartly in school, on a pretense that he did not like the odor of the barn. Sometimes he would inquire of Hartly after the cow's health, pronouncing the word "ke-ow," after the manner of some people.
8. Hartly bore all these silly attempts to wound his feelings and annoy him, with the utmost good nature. never once returned an angry look or word. One time, Vincent said: "Hartly, I suppose your father intends to make a milkman of you."
Oh, nothing," said Vinwater in the cans after
9. "Why not?" said Hartly. cent; only do not leave much rinsing them--that's all!" The boys laughed, and Hartly, not in the least mortified, replied: "Never fear; if I ever rise to be a milkman, I will give good measure and good milk too."
10. A few days after this conversation, there was a pub
* A title frequently applied to the Yankees by the English.
lic exhibition, at which a number of ladies and gentlemen from the city, was present. Prizes were awarded by the Principal of the Academy, and Hartly and Vincent each received one; for, in respect to scholarship, they were about equal.
11. After the prizes were distributed, the Principal remarked that there was one prize, consisting of a medal, which was rarely awarded, not so much on account of its great value, as because the instances are rare that merit it. It is THE PRIZE FOR HEROISM. The last boy on whom it was conferred, was Master Manners, who, three years ago, rescued the blind girl from drowning.
12. The Principal then said, "With the permission of the company, I will relate a short story. Not long since, some boys were flying a kite in the street, just as a poor boy on horseback rode by, on his way to mill. The horse took fright, and threw the boy, injuring him so badly that he was carried home, and confined for some weeks to his bed.
13. "None of the boys who had caused the disaster, followed to learn the fate of the wounded boy. There was one, however, who witnessed the accident from a distance, and went to render what service he could. He soon learned that the wounded boy was the grandson of a poor widow, whose only support consisted in selling the milk of a fine cow, of which she was the owner.
14. "Alas! what could she now do? She was old and lame, and her grandson, on whom she depended to drive the cow to pasture, was now sick and helpless. Never mind, good woman,' said the boy, 'I can drive your cow.' With thanks, the poor widow accepted his offer.
15. "But the boy's kindness did not stop here. Money was wanted to purchase medicine. 'I have money that my mother sent me to buy a pair of boots,' said the boy; 'but I can do without them for the present.'
'Oh, no!' said the old lady, 'I can not consent to
that; but here is a pair of cowhide boots that I bought for Henry, who can not wear them. If you will buy them, giving me what they cost, I can get along very well.' The boy bought the boots, clumsy as they were, and has worn them up to this time.
17. "When the other boys of the Academy saw this scholar driving a cow to the pasture, he was assailed with laughter and ridicule. His thick cowhide boots, in particular, were made matters of mirth. But he kept on cheerfully and bravely, day after day, driving the widow's cow to the pasture, and wearing his thick boots, contented in the thought that he was doing right, not caring for all the jeers and sneers that could be uttered.
18. "He never undertook to explain why he drove the cow; for he was not inclined to display his charitable motives, and besides, in heart, he had no sympathy with the false pride that looks with ridicule on any useful employment. It was by mere accident that his course of conduct and self-denial, was yesterday discovered by his teacher.
19. "And now, ladies and gentlemen, I appeal to you. Was there not true heroism in this boy's conduct'? Nay, Master Hartly, do not steal out of sight behind the blackboard! You were not ashamed of ridicule-you must not shun praise. Come forth, come forth, Master Edward James Hartly, and let us see your honest face!"
20. As Hartly, with blushing cheeks, made his appearance, the whole company greeted him with a round of applause for his heroic conduct. The ladies stood upon benches, and waved their handkerchiefs. The old men clapped their hands, and wiped the moisture from the corners of their eyes. Those clumsy boots on Hartly's feet seemed prouder ornaments, than a crown would have been on his head. The medal was bestowed on him, amid the applause of the whole company.