The Speaker, or, Miscellaneous pieces: selected from the best English writers, and disposed under proper heads, for the improvement of youth in reading and speaking : to which is prefixed, an essay on elocution
John Bioren & Thomas DeSilver, 1808 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 400 pages
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O momentary grace of mortal men, Which we more hunt for than the grace of God
!- Who builds his hope in th' air of men's fair looks ; Lives like a drunken sailor on
a mast, Ready with every nod4o tumble down Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
And indeed what wonder ? Is it probable that such a mortal as an eastern
monarch ; such a pampered, flattered, idle mortal, should have attention or
capacity for a subject so delicate ? A subject, enough to exercise the subtlest and
most acute ...
But not alike to every mortal eye Is this great scene unveil'd. For since the claims
Of social life to different labours urge - The active pow'rs of man ; with wise intent
The hand of nature on peculiar minds Imprints a different bias, and to each ...
Now amaz'd she v-iews Th'empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold, Beyond
this concave heav'n, their calm abode ; And fields of radience, whose unfading
light Has travell'd the profound six thousand years, Nor yet arrives in sfght of
For within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a King, Keeps
Death his court ; and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state, and grinning at his
pomp; Allowing him a breath, a little scene To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with
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This reader was initially published as a British reader, and then imported to America. According to Henry W. Simon, it was first published in America in Philadelphia in 1799. He was unaware of this second American printing. There is also another printing -- from New York in 1812 -- of which he too was unaware. Thus far, these are the only three American printings of which I am aware. In a visit to the Harvard archives, I noticed in their records that the Institute of 1770, an early literary society there, often read aloud from Enfield in their meetings in the 1770s and 1780s (though this would have been a British version of the text, not the American one depicted here).