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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One day, as she sat musing by the waters of Helicon, her tears by chance fell into
the fountain, and ever since, the Muse's spring has retained a strong taste of the
infusion. Pity was commanded by Jupiter to follow the steps of bermother ...
Oh ! it offends me to the soul, to hear a robusteous periwig-pated fellow tear a
passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings ; who (for the
most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shew and noise : I could
Ask the faithful youth, Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd So often fills his
arms ; so often draws His lonely footsteps at the silent hour, To pay the mournful
tribute of his tears ? O ! he will tell tfiee, that the wealth of world* Should ne'er ...
... and the big round tears Cours'd one another down his innocent nose In piteous
chase ! and thus the hairy fool. Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, Stood on
th' extremest verge of the swift brook, Augmenting it with tears. "*} Duke.
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear Pieas'd thy pale ghost or grac'd thy
mournful bier: By foreign hands ... thy grave with rising flo t'rs be drest, And tile
green turf lie lightly ont'iy breast : There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow.
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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).