Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

ness.

On the 28th of October he had partially recovered from this attack, and was able to walk with his wife. Shortly after this time the same fit seized him again, and he lingered on in partial conscious-ness for several days, and finally, on the 4th of November, he breathed his last, Seldom have expressions of public sorrow been so marked at the death of any artist in ancient or modern times. The general feeling might be compared to that on the occasion of the death of Raphael. As a man he was loved and esteemed by all, and it is not too much to say that he had not an enemy in the world.

FALSE EMPHASIS.

A!

LL know how great a difference there is between written and

spoken eloquence, between the poetry of the printed page and the same poetry when kindled into life by the melodious voice, the eloquent eye, and the impressive gesture. The one is the marble statue, pure, beautiful, but lifeless; the other is a living and breathing form, full of vitality and grace. The rapturous harmonies of a Handel or Beethoven may be turned to jarring discord in the hands of a bungling performer; so may the most sublime composition of the talented writer.

An improper emphasis or a vulgar pronunciation is often the single step which leads from the sublime to the ridiculous; and Ariosto is not the only one who has discovered this melancholy fact to his shame and sorrow. This Italian poet, we are told, used to recite his own poems with so sweet a voice, that his friends were enraptured to hear him. He possessed so delicate an ear, and so sensitive and choleric a temper, that once, on overhearing a potter reading some of his verses with a faulty accent, be became so enraged that he entered his shop, and proceeded to demolish the wares exposed for sale. In vain did the astonished tradesman expostulate at the violence of the stranger.

“I have not sufficiently revenged myself on thee,” exclaimed the enraged poet, “ I have only broken a few pots, and you have spoiled the most beautiful of compositions to my face.” What poet, whom the world acknowledges as such, has not endured a thousand similar misinterpretations ?

Mozart once wrote a composition entitled a “Musical Joke,” some portions of which were underscored precisely as a poor performer

[blocks in formation]

would play them. The effort is of course highly ludicrous, but not more so than would be a page of Everett or Longfellow, if printed as an indifferent reader would render them. There are few really good readers among us, and even those who are most accustomed to public speaking are often sadly deficient in this accomplishment.

There are many queer examples of false emphasis, as well as those showing the power of emphasis—and the reader should learn to appreciate this power—that we hear almost daily. The following will illustrate this subject :

“Do you imagine me to be a scoundrel, sir ?" demanded one man indignantly of another. "No," was the reply, "I do not imagine you to be one."

A careless reader once gave this passage from the Bible, with the following emphasis and pauses.

" And the old man said unto his sons, saddle

me, the ass; and they saddled him.A clergyman once told his congregation that they had not fol. . lowed a cunningly devised fable.” The natural inference from his remark would be that he did not deny the fable, but only that it was not a cunning fable.

Another clergyman, noted for reading hymns with an abrupt emphasis, once uttered the word bears in the following lines so that it seemed to his congregation a noun instead of a verb.

“He takes young children in his arms,

And in his bosom bears-" Many more examples of this kind might be given, but these will illustrate the subject, and we hope induce some attention on the part of those who read them on the importance of emphasis. These, of course, are extreme cases, but they will make a more permanent impression than would less striking ones.

[ocr errors]

THOUGHTS.—Thoughts are the aliment upon which the mind feeds. If they are kept pure, and in constant exercise, they impart health and vigor, and are like fertilizing currents running through the soul. There is one view respecting them which should awaken the greatest anxiety to have them under proper control. A simple thought, whether good or evil, will introduce other trains of reflection of a kindred nature.

[blocks in formation]

THE flowers drink at the streamlet's brink,

And the oak leaves drink the dew,
And the songsters sing of the sparkling spring
As they soar in the azure blue.

Oh, the water cold, with its wealth untold,

From the earth outgushing free,
As it bubbles and sings from a thousand springs,

Is the drink, the drink for me.

The sunlight sleeps where the rain king keeps

His treasures uplaid in the sky;
Or it bids a bow in its beauty glow,
When the storm-sprite passes by.

Oh, the water cold, with its wealth untold, etc.

We'll point to the spring as we join to sing,

And repeat our pledge again,
“All things we hate that intoxicate,”
Is the burden of our strain.
Oh, the water cold, with its wealth untold, etc.

Prairie Land.

A RUM-DRINKER CAUGHT.

THE

IHE Dew Drop tells an amusing story of a red-nosed man who

entered a village store where rum was sold, and inquired for cheese. “ Walk into the other room and select one for yourself,” replied the accommodating shop-keeper. The man passed on, selected his cheese, put it into his bag, returned into the front shop, and laid it on the counter.

“Some cold-water men who were present, however, becoming rather suspicious, determined to know what kind of cheese the man kept. Accordingly one of them managed so to move the bag that it fell to the floor, when lo! the cheese broke and the glass rattled. The red-nosed man looked white, the white shop-keeper looked red. The cold-water men looked on for a moment to witness their confusion, and then departed, leaving the cheese dealer and his customer alone in their glory.

“We would advise those who patronize such cheese shops in future, to take something better than a glass bottle to get their cheese

Youth's Department.

WHICH IS THE BETTER WAY?

BY ANNE P. ADAMS.

I , "

[ocr errors]

Charles Duncan to his friend, Robert Rose, as they walked leisurely home from school.

Why so, Charles ? Don't you like Mr. Willard ?” “ Yes, I like him well enough. For some reasons I like him better than Mr. Newman. But we don't get along half so fast with our studies under Mr. Willard."

“How can you think so, Charles ? It seems to me I have learned more in one month since Mr. Willard has been our teacher, than in any two months I was ever at school before. He makes us go over the same ground so many times, that we can't help remembering it.”

“ That is the very thing I object to, Robert. I hate to be drilled on the same thing forever. I believe in progress, and I don't think we make much in school at present. If Mr. Newman had stayed, we should have finished Arithmetic and begun Algebra before this time. But under the present administration we stand a fair chance to remain in Cube Root till doomsday.”

“ And I for one am willing to remain there till that time, if I can not conquer all the difficulties I meet sooner,” said Robert. “I tell you, Charles, the only true way to make progress, is not to go over a great deal of ground, but to learn thoroughly what you do go over."

Why, Robert, I thought you were ambitious.” “I am quite as ambitious as you are, Charles, and quite as anxious to advance rapidly in my studies. You will not be more glad than I shall be when we have finished Arithmetic and begun Algebra.”

Well, I suppose you will be glad, Robert; but don't you get tired of reviewing so much, and feel impatient to go-ahead ?"

"Sometimes I do wish we could go on a little faster, but I know Mr. Willard's

way

is the best. I used to feel just as you do, Charles, I wanted to go ahead.' I thought if I could go through a book,' as we call it, and get a smattering of its contents, it was all that was necessary. The more studies I had, the better I was pleased, I thought I was accomplishing so much. But the truth is, as I after

66

66

WHICH IS THE BETTER WAY?

89

ward discovered, I was gaining but a very superficial knowledge of any thing. It was just the same with my reading. I read every thing that came in my way, and prided myself upon the number of books I read through in a given time. Now I do not read so much, but I remember more, for I make it a point to pass over nothing that I can not understand, and never to lay down a book until I have pretty fairly mastered its contents."

Why, Robert, you will never know any thing at that rate.” “I think I shall know something, Charles, if I persevere. have the example of some very learned men to encourage me.

I remember two of whom I read last winter. One was Eugene Aram, a Yorkshireman. He was sent to school only long enough to learn to read a little English, and after that had no more instruction. But he educated himself, and so thoroughly, that it is said there was scarcely any part of literature with which he was not well acquainted.

He mastered a great many languages, and the way in which he did it was this : He first took a Latin grammar, and committed it to memory from beginning to end. He then divided it into portions, so that three times every week he repeated the whole of it, and this he continued for years. Next he took a Greek grammar, which he learned in the same way. Then he began to read the Latin classics, and once spent a whole day in rendering five lines. He made it a rule never to leave a passage till he thought he fully comprehended it. After reading every one of the Latin classics, historians, and poets, he took up the Greek Testament, and parsed every word he read. Only think, Charles, what tedious labor this !

“ The other learned man was a native of Switzerland. He pursued a similar course. He never read a section without re-reading the one before it, nor a chapter or book without studying the preceding chapter and book a second time. After finishing the book in this way he read the whole again in course. Sometimes he spent three months on a single book. What do you say to that, Master Charles ?”

say

that my patience would never hold out to do so.” “ It would be rather tedious at first, but if you should try it, you would soon be repaid by the benefit you would derive. I have to thank my cousin William for teaching me this more excellent way. I thought I knew more than he because I had studied more books. But the accurate knowledge he has of every thing he has learned made me thoroughly ashamed of the smattering I had acquired. I resolved that henceforth whatever I pretended to know I would know well, and that whatever I undertook to do I would do well.”

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »