Page images
PDF
EPUB

Terror.

Awake! awake!
Ring the alarm-bell: - Murder, and treason !
Banquo, * and Donalbain ! Malcolm ! † awake!
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself! – Up! up! and see
The great doom's image! — Malcolm! Banqno!
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites
To countenance this horror !

Suspicion, Apprehension, and Suppressed Fear.
Alas! I am afraid they have awaked,
And 't is not done; the attempt, and not the deed,
Confounds us. Hark!—I laid the daggers ready;
He could not miss them. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done it.

EXERCISE XV. RULE 12. The language of authority, reproof, affirmation, denial, and defiance, generally requires a strong, full, energetic voice, with strong emphasis, varied movement, and falling inflection.

Authority.
Silence ! obstreperous traitors!
Your throats offend the quiet of the city;

QUESTION. What is the rule for the language of authority, reproof, affirmation, wnial, and defiance.

Ban’quo, a general of the king of Scotland's army, and progenitor of the royal house of Stuart. He was murdered by Macbeth, a usurper of the Scottish crown, about 1046.

+ Don-albain and Malcolm, song of Duncan, the king of Scotland whom Macbeth also assassinated in order to obtain the crown.

And thou who standest foremost of these kvares,
Stand back, and answer me a senator:
What have you done? Do you hear me?
Back, on your lives ! treacherous cowards !
Do you know me? look on me ; do you know
This honest sword I brandish? Back! back! I say.

CÆSAR PASSING THE RUBICON.*- KNOWLES.

Reproof and Censure. 1. How long did Cæsar pause upon the brink of the Rubicon? How came he to the brink of that river? How dared he cross it? Shall a private man respect the boundaries of private property, and shall a man pay no respect to the boundaries of his country's rights? How dared he cross that river? - Oh! but he paused upon the brink. He should have perished on the brink, ere he had crossed it! Why did he pause ? - Why does a man's heart palpitate when he is on the point of committing an unlawful deed? Because of compassion, you say. What compassion ? The compassion of an assassin, that feels a momentary shudder, as his weapon begins to cut!

2. Cæsar paused upon the banks of the Rubicon! What was the Rubicon? The boundary of Cæsar's province. From what did it separate his province ? From his country. Was that country a desert? No; it was cultivated and fertile ; rich and populous ! Its sons were men of genius, spirit, and generosity! Its daughters were lovely and cbaste! Friendship was its inhabitant! Love was its inhabitant! Domestic affection was its inhabitant! Lib

Ra bi-con, a small river which separated Italy from Cisalpine Gaul, the prov. Ince allotted to Cæsar.

Knowles, (James Sheridan,) a successful dramatic writer, and an actor, bora ID Ireland in 1784.

erty was its inhabitant ! -all bounded by the stream of the Rubicon !

3. What was Cæsar, that stood upon the bank of the Rubicon? A traitor, bringing war and pestilence into the heart of that country! No wonder that he paused; no wonder if, his imagination wrought upon by his conscience, he had beheld blood instead of water; and heard groans instead of murmurs ! No wonder if some gorgon horror had turned him into stone upon the spot! But no!- he cried, “The die is cast!” He plunged — he crossed !-- and Rome was free no more !!

Strong Affirmation. No one venerates the peerage more than I do; but, my lords, I must say, that the peerage solicited me; not I, the peerage. Nay, more, I can say, and will say, that, as a peer of Parliament; as speaker of this right honorable house ; as keeper of the great seal; as guardian of his majesty's conscience; as lord high chancellor of England; nay, even in that character alone, in which the noble duke would think it an affront to be considered, but which character none can deny me as a man, I am at this time, as much respected as the proudest peer I now look down upon.

REPLY TO CORRY.-GRATTAN.

Affirmation, Denial, and Defiance. 1. The right honorable gentleman says I fled from the country after exciting a rebellion; and that I have returned to raise another. No such thing. The charge is false! The civil war had not commenced when I left the kingdom, and I could not have returned without taking part. On the one side, there was the camp of the rebel; on the other side, the

camp of the minister, a greater traitor than the rebel.

* Corry, a member of Parliament.

1 Grattan, an eminent Irish orator and statesman, born in Dublin about 1750, and died in 1820.

2. The strong-hold of the constitution was nowhere to be found. I agree that the rebel who rises against the government should have suffered ; but I missed, on the scaffold, the right honorable gentleman. Two desperate parties were in arms against the constitution. The right honorable gentleman belonged to one of these parties, and deserved death. I could not join the rebel; I could not join the government; I could not join torture; I could not join half-hanging ; I could not join free quarter. I could take part with neither. I was therefore absent from a scene where I could not be active without self-reproach, nor indifferent with safety.

3. Many honorable gentlemen thought differently from me: I respect their opinions, but I keep my own; and I think now, as I thought then, that the treason of the minister against the liberties of the people, was infinitely worse than the rebellion of the people against the minister.

4. I have returned, not, as the right honorable member has said, to raise another storm, - I have returned to discharge an honorable debt of gratitude to my country, that conferred a great reward for my past services. I have returned to protect that constitution of which I was the parent and the founder, from the assassination of such men as the right honorable gentleman and his unworthy associates. They are corrupt, they are seditious, - and they, at this very moment, are in a conspiracy against their country. I have returned to refute a libel as false as it is malicious, given to the public under the appellation of a report of a committee of the lords. Here I stand, ready for impeachment or trial! I dare accusation! I defy the honorable gentleman! I defy the government! I defy their whole phalanx !— let them come forth. I tell the ministers I will neither give them quarter, nor take it! I am here to lay the shattered remains of my constitution on the floor of this house, in defense of the liberties of my country!

SECTION II.

TRANSITION.

TRANSITION means those sudden changes of voice that are made in reading or speaking, prompted by the emotions which the sentiment of the language inspires.

The general principles upon which transition depends, may be learned by carefully studying the preceding rules for expression. But in order to aid the pupil in deciding when and where to make these changes in the following exercise, we have introduced the necessary directions in small type.

[blocks in formation]

’T was at the royal feast, for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son,

Slow and dignified.
Aloft, in awful state,
The godlike hero sat
On his imperial throne.

Narrative.

His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows, with roses and with myrtle, bound.

QUESTIONS. What is transition ! How may the general principles of transition be learned? How are the changes of voice in transition indicated in this exer. ('se?

* Al-ex-an'der, (the Great,) the son of Philip, king of Macedon. He subverted the great Persian empire, in 334, B. C., and wept because he found nothing more to tonquer. See note, page 110.

# Dry'den, (John,) an illustrious Eaglish poet, boro about 1631, and died in 1700.

« PreviousContinue »