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CHOSEN FOR THEIR VALUE AS
STUDIES IN DOMINANT TONES
This section of selections is intended to furnish, on a more sustained scale, further drill upon the phases of feeling. To this end each selection is classified under its dominant tone.
This does not mean that there is but one tone in the selection but that the tone given predominates. Thus, in “The Field of Waterloo,” the phrase "Wellington had the favorable side” partakes of Conviction, but the dominant tone of the entire selection is Explanation, under which head it is classified.
Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a distinctly marked evolution in the expression of phases of feeling. A child, by the time he can read, will be able to express joy, affection, anger, admiration, impatience, assertion, gayety equally well, if the phrasing in which the feeling is couched is identical with his own experience. A few forms of feeling such as horror and remorse may be considered as later stages because of their comparative rarity in experience, but on the whole the power to express varieties of feeling cannot be considered as being a steady growth, each month or year opening up new fields of emotion. The difficulty of expression lies not so much in the kind of feeling as in the lack of vividness with which it appeals to experience. Order of sequence, therefore, will depend upon the relative frequency with which a given
kind of feeling has come vividly into our lives. But, the experience of no two lives being identical, the determining factor is individuality, and no order can be said to be applicable universally.
Broadly speaking the Dominant Tones may be arranged for a course of study in three different ways:
First-In the order set forth in the book, which aims to combine the law of proceeding from the familiar to the unfamiliar (so far as that law applies to kinds of emotion), with the law of variety.
Second-By a close adherence to the principle of Contrast, following Joy with Solemnity, Geniality with Indignation and
Third-By grouping kindred emotions, and arranging them from the mild to the intense, as Calmness, Solemnity, Sublimity; Geniality, Gayety, Joy, Exultation; Gloom, Awe, Horror; Indifference, Belittling, Ridicule, Contempt; Admiration, Aspiration, Affection, Love, Adoration.
It will be noted that under the majority of tones there are two or three selections, one from the field of oratory, one from lyric or narrative poetry, and sometimes one from dramatic literature, usually Shakespeare. This permits a teacher or student to choose selections adapted either to a public speaker's course or to a course in reading. Power in either field, however, is best attained by the study of selections from both fields.
It will be seen that of the selections under a particular tone, frequently one selection is more difficult than another. This fact will suggest, at once, a rational sequence of study.
While the selections under this head are intended, primarily, as studies in dominant tones, they afford opportunity for the study and application of all the principles and rules of ural expression.
TONE OF EXPLANATION.
(See Tone Drill No. 94.) [The tone of Explanation in its purest form indicates simply a desire to make plain, to tell what the thing is or how it happened. It is akin to Frankness. Usually there is a tinge of Geniality.]
The Battlefield of Waterloo.
Those who would get a clear idea of the battle of Waterloo have only to lay down upon the ground in their mind a capital A. The left stroke of the A is the road from Nivelles, the right stroke is the road from Genappe, the cross of the A is the sunken road from Ohan to Braine-l'Alleud. The top of the A is Mount Saint Jean, Wellington is there; the lefthand lower point is Hougomont, Reille is there with Jerome Bonaparte; the right-hand lower point is La Belle Alliance, Napoleon is there. A little below the point where the cross of the A meets and cuts the right stroke, is La Haie Sainte. At the middle of this cross is the precise point where the final battle-word was spoken. There the lion is placed, the involuntary symbol of the supreme heroism of the Imperial Guard. The triangle contained at the top of the A, between the two strokes and the cross, is the plateau of Mount Saint Jean. The struggle for this plateau was the whole of the battle. The wings of the two armies extended to the right and left of the two roads from Genappe and from Nivelles; D’Erlon being opposite Picton, Reille opposite Hill. Behind the point of the A, behind the plateau of Mount Saint Jean, is the forest of Soignes. As to the plain itself, we must imagine a vast undulating country; each wave commanding the next, and these undulations rising toward Mount Saint Jean are there bounded by the forest.
Both generals had carefully studied the plain of Mount Saint Jean, now called the plain of Waterloo. Already in the
preceding year, Wellington, with the sagacity of prescience, had examined it as a possible site for a great battle. On this ground and for this contest Wellington had the favorable side, Napoleon the unfavorable. The English army was above, the French army below.
The Bashful Man,
I labor under a species of distress, which, I fear, will at length drive me utterly from refined society. This distress is an extreme bashfulness and awkwardness. However, having determined to conquer these disadvantages, three days ago I accepted an invitation to dine with Sir Thomas Friendly. He has two small sons and five tall daughters, all grown-up, and living at Friendly Hall.
As I approached the house, a dinner bell alarmed my fears, lest I had spoiled the dinner by want of punctuality. At my first entrance I summoned all my fortitude, and made my rehearsed bow to Lady Friendly; but, unfortunately, bringing back my left foot into the third position, I trod upon the gouty toe of poor Sir Thomas, who had followed close at my heels. The confusion this accident occasioned in me is hardly to be conceived.
The cheerfulness of her ladyship, and the familiar chat of the young ladies, insensibly led me to throw off my reserve and sheepishness, till, at length, I ventured to join in the conversation, and even to start fresh subjects. The library being richly furnished with books in elegant bindings, I conceived Sir Thomas to be a man of literature; and ventured to give my opinion concerning the several editions of the Greek classics—in which the Baronet's ideas exactly coincided with my own! To this subject I was led by observing an edition of Xenophon, in sixteen volumes; which (as I had never before heard of such a thing) greatly excited my
curiosity, and I approached to examine what it could be. Sir Thomas saw what I was about, and (as I supposed) willing to save me trouble, rose to take down the book, which made me more eager to prevent him; and, hastily laying my hand on the first volume, I pulled it forcibly—when, lo! instead of books, a board, which, by leather and gilding, had been made to look like sixteen volumes, came tumbling down, and, unluckily, pitched upon a Wedgewood inkstand on the table under it. In vain did Sir Thomas assure me there was no harm done. I saw the ink streaming from an inlaid table on the Turkey carpet; and, scarce knowing what I did, attempted to stop its progress with my cambric handkerchief. In the height of this confusion, we were informed that dinner was
In walking through the hall and suite of apartments to the dining-room, I had time to collect my scattered senses, till I was desired to take my seat at table, betwixt Lady Friendly and her eldest daughter. I will not relate the several blunders which I made during the first course, or the distresses occasioned by my being desired to carve a fowl, or help to various dishes that stood near me, spilling a sauceboat, and knocking down a salt-cellar; rather let me hasten to the second course, where fresh disasters quite overwhelmed
I had a piece of rich sweet pudding on my fork, when Miss Louisa Friendly begged to trouble me for part of a pigeon that stood near me. In my haste, scarce knowing what I did, I whipped the pudding into my mouth-hot as a burning coal! It was impossible to conceal my agony; my eyes were starting from their sockets! At last, in spite of shame and resolution, I was obliged to-drop the cause of torment on my plate. Sir Thomas and the ladies all compassionated my misfortune, and each advised a different application. One recommended oil, another water, but all agreed that wine