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that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes.
We saw the very
faces of the Jews : the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet: my soul kindled with a flame of indignation; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clinched.
But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgive ing meekness of our Savior; when he drew, to the life, his blessed eyes streaming in tears to heaven; his voice breathing to God, a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on his enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”—the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter, and fainter, until, his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect is inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.
It was some time before the tumult had subsided, so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, but fallacious standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher. For I could not conceive, how he would be able to let his audience down from the height to which he had wound them, without impairing the solemnity and dignity of his subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of the fall. Butno: the descent was as beautiful and sublime, as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastic.
The first sentence, with which he broke the awful silence, was a quotation from Rousseau : “ Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ, like a God!"
I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in the discourse. Never before, did I completely understand what Demosthenes meant by laying such stress on delivery. You are to bring before you the venerable figure of the preacher : his blindness, constantly recalling to your recolsection old Homer, Ossian, and Milton, and associating with his performance, the melancholy grandeur of their geniuses; you are to imagine that you hear his slow, solemn, well-accented enunciation, and his voice of affecting, trembling melody: you are to remember the pitch of passion and enthusiasm to which the congregation were raised ; and then,
the few minutes of portentous, deathlike silence which reigned throughout the house: the preacher, removing his white handkerchief from his aged face, (even yet wet from the recent torrent of his tears) and slowly stretching forth the palsied hand which holds it, begins the sentence: “Socrates died like a philosopher"-then pausing, raising his other band, pressing them both, clasped together, with warmth and energy to his breast, lifting his “sightless balls" to heaven, and pouring his whole soul into his tremulous voice_“but Jesus Christ-like a God!" If he had been indeed and in truth an angel of light, the effect could scarcely have been more divine.
Scene from the Tragedy of King John.-SHAKSPEARE.
Prince ARTHUR, HUBERT, and ATTENDANTS.
Scene.-A room in the castle, Northampton.
Enter HUBERT and two ATTENDANTS.
Hubert. Heat me these irons hot; and, look thou stand Within the arras : when I strike
1 Attendant. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you : look to't.
[Exeunt Attendants. Young lad, come forth ; I have to
Good morrow, little prince.
—You are sad.
Mercy on me :
I should be merry as the day is long ;
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
[Aside. Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? You look pale to-day. In sooth, I would you were a little sick ; That I might sit all night, and watch with you. I warrant, I love you more than you
Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom . Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] How now foolish rheum !
[Aside. Turning dispiteous torture out the door! I must be brief; lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect :
? Hub. Young boy, I must. Arth.
And will you ? Hub.
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache, I knit my handkerchief about
sick service had a prince.
I have sworn to do it;
Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age would do it:
[Stamps. Re-enter Attendants, with cord, irons, doc. Do as I bid
do. Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes are out, Even with the fierce looks of the bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas! what need you be so boisterous-rough?
Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. O heaven! that there were but a mote in yours,
* The two negatives in this line do not amount to an affirmative: they are used to strengthen the negation :-a solecism, tolerated in the age, and often found in the writings, of Shakspeare.
Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there,
Hub. Is this your promise ? Go to, hold your tongue..
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
I can heat it boy.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine eyes
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while
Peace : no more : Adieu !
[Exeunt. * Set him on.