صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

XIII.-THE DEATH OF LE FEVRE.

1. My Uncle Toby went to his bureau, put his purse into his breeches pocket, and, having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician, he went to bed and fell asleep.

2. The sun looked bright, the morning after, to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's. The hand of death pressed heavy upon his eyelids; and hardly could the wheel of the cistern turn round its circle, when my Uncle Toby, who had rose up at an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and without preface or apology sat himself down upon the chair at the bedside, and, independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain, in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked how he did, how he had rested in the night, what was his complaint, where was his pain, and what he could do to help him; and without giving time to answer any one of the inquiries, he went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal, the night before, for him.

3. “You shall go home directly, Le Fevre,” said my Uncle Toby,“ to my house; and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter; and we'll have an apothecary; and the corporal shall be your nurse; and I'll be your servant, Le Fevre.”

4. There was a frankness in my Uncle Toby, not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it, which let you at once into his soul and showed you the goodness of his nature; to this, there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner, superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that before my Uncle Toby had half-finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it toward him.

5. The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart, rallied back; the film forsook his eyes for a moment; he looked up wistfully in my Uncle Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy; and that ligament, fine as it was, was never broken.

6. Nature instantly ebbed again; the film returned to its place; the pulse fluttered, stopped, went on, throbbed, stopped again, moved, stopped-shall I go on? No.

Laurence Sterne.

FOR PREPARATION.—I. Tell enough of the life of this author to explain the circumstances under which he wrote “The Sentimental Journey."

II. Indicate (i. e., with diacritical marks, hyphens, and accents) and explain (i. e., classify the unusual combinations of letters according to form given in the treatise on Spelling, in the Appendix): bū'-reau (bū'-rő-eau for õ; oa, ou, ow, oe, oo being more frequently used for 7, and ew, eo, and au, less so), eğe'-lid (i'-), eûr'tain (-tin), in-quir'-iēs, a-poth'-e-ea-ry, fa-mil-lăr'-i-ty (-văr'-), knees (neez), çit'-a-del, lieu-těn'-ant's (lū-).

III. Explain effect of 's in son's (§ 2-son's what? What should we say instead of “had rose” (2)? Effect of super in superadded ? Men. tion some other words in which super has the same meaning.

IV. Use synonymous expressions for wonted, preface, apology, ebbed, concerting, corporal, beckoned, insensibly, wistfully.

V. “Wheel of the cistern” (see Eccl. xii. 6). Notice the concise style in 8 6. What is personified there? Who questions ? Who answers “No”? Describe in your own words the character of Uncle Toby from the glimpse of him given in this piece.

XIV.-MATTER-OF-FACT AND EARNEST IDEAS.

FIRST CLASS: MATTER-OF-FACT IDEAS.

(Merely Intellectual, and without Feeling.) All such unemotional ideas, whether narrative, descriptive, or didactic, whether in prose or verse, require, in reading, the same “moderatedegree of "forceand “time" and "slide" of voice. The general force should be just loud enough for every word to be easily heard, with just enough additional force and quantity and slide on the emphatic words, for the sense to be clearly understood.

EXAMPLE.

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the towncrier spoke my lines.”

(Hamlet to the First Player," Shakespeare.) Analysis.—These are the words of Shakespeare (not of some other author), spoken by Hamlet (not by some one else), and to a particular person (the first player). These, then, are three important distinctive ideas, and must be emphasized in introducing the reading-lesson.

The first distinctive point in Hamlet's request is not the general idea—“Speak the speech, I pray you”—for. this is not new to either party, but is understood. Hamlet has asked the player, before, if he could study the speech, and he has consented.

It must be, then, the manner of speaking it. It cannot be in the word " pronounced,for that is not a point of difference—“pronounced” and “speak” having the same meaning “Speak the speech as I spoke it to you, or, “ Pronounce the speech as I pronounced it to you,”

make no distinctive point of sense whatever. But “speak it as I” (as Hamlet') “spoke it to you,” is the distinctive point of the request. And this manner is made still more definite by the explanatory word which follows, viz., "trippingly' on the tongue. “Tongue" must not be emphasized, because it does not express a differential idea. Whatever the manner, it must be spoken “on the tongue," of course. “Mouthstands out in sharp contrast to trippingly, and so is most emphatic; and the comparison of the "town-crierl” presents a very distinct picture of the most monotonous and senseless elocution, and therefore must be emphasized accordingly.

The example, marked in accordance with the analysis given :

“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth' it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.”

SECOND CLASS : EARNEST IDEAS.

All such as are spoken with more or less mental excitement and fervor, as in the warmth of debate, yet not characterized by any specific emotion.

To be read with louder force(the degree increasing with the growing earnestness), and with “longeremphatic "quantity" and "slide,than matter-of-fact ideas require.

EXAMPLE.

“When public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake, and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speech farther than it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments.

“Clearness, force, and earnestness, are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion.”

(From "True Eloquence,by Daniel Webster.)

Analysis.-Webster has been speaking of the great eloquence of John Adams, and, to justify this praise, he gives his own ideas of true eloquence, in this famous passage, a part of which we quote.

Look, then, for the points of difference between this highest eloquence and that which is ordinary. First, the circumstances. It is on “momentous(not ordinary) occasions, when “great" (not small) interests are at stake, and “strong" passions (not weak ones) are excited. These, then, are distinctive points, and must be emphasized as the important conditions of the positive assertion that follows.

And what is the distinctive part of this assertion ? Not that “nothing is valuable in speech," or even that “nothing is valuable in speech farther than it is connected with high endowments”: for all eloquence depends on high endowments of some kind. On ordinary occasions, the high endowments of the scholar or the actor may be valuable in speech; but on momentous occasions, when such great interests as independence and nationality are at stake, then the speaker, like Adams, must have the intellectual power to see what is right and best, and the moral courage to contend for it at all hazards; then nothing is valuable in speech farther than it is connected with “high INTELLECTUAL' and MORAL' endowments."

To make sure of not emphasizing the common idea, in the last word “endowments," and of giving the positive falling slide to the distinctive words “intellectual”

« السابقةمتابعة »