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9. I would gladly have ended my öratórical career then and there forever, but was often placed in a similar or worse position, and compelled to meet it as I best might: for this was one of the necessities of an office which I had voluntarily taken on my shoulders, and benēath which I might be crushed by no moral delinquency on my own part, but could not shirk without cowardice and shame. My subsequent fortune was various.
10. Once, though I felt it to be a kind of imposture, I got a speech by heart, and doubtless it might have been a věry pretty' one, only I forgot. every syllable at the moment of need, and had to improvise o another as well as I could. I found it a better method to pre-arrange a few points in my mind, and trust to the spur of the occasion, and the kind aid of Providence for enabling me to bring them to bear.
11. The presence of any considerable proportion of personal friends generally dumbfounded me. I would rather have talked with an enemy in the gate. Invariably, too, I was much embarrassed by a small audience, and succeeded better with a large one,—the sympathy of a multitude possessing a buoyant effect, which lifts the speaker a little way out of his individuality and tosses him toward a perhaps better range of sentiment than his private one.
12. Again, if I rose carelessly and confidently, with an expectation of going through the business entirely at my ease, I often found that I had little or nothing to say; whereas, if I came to the scratch in perfect despair, and at a crisis when failure would have been horrible, it once or twice happened that the frightful emergency concentrated 'my poor faculties, and enabled me to give definite and vigorous expression to sentiments which an instant before looked as vague and far-off as the clouds in the atmosphere.
13. On the whole, poor as my own success may have been, I apprehend that any intelligent man with a tongue possesses the chief requisite of oratorical power, and may develop many of the others, if he deems it worth while to bestow a great amount of labor and pains on an object which the most accomplished õrators, I suspect, have not found altogether satisfactory to their highest impulses. At any rate, it must be a remarkably 1 Pretty (prit't!).
raneously, or off-hand, without pre• Im' pro vise', to speak extempo vious preparation.
true man who can keep his own elevated conception of truth when the lower feeling of a multitude is assailing his natural sympathies, and who can speak out frankly the best that there is in him, when by adulterating it a little, or a good deal, he knows that he may make it ten times as acceptable to the audience.
HAWTHORNE. NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, an American novelist and essayist, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, July 4th, 1804. Owing to ill health, at the age of ten years, he left home to try the effects of farm-life, going to a farm owned by the family, and located on the shores of Sebago Lake, Maine. He returned to Salem, resumed his studies, and graduated at Bowdoin College in 1825. In 1837 he collected his early contributions to magazines, and published them under the title of “Twice-told Tales.” The work was highly lauded by the N. A. Review. It was republished, with a second series, in 1842. Probably his most popular romances are the “Scarlet Letter,” “The House of the Seven Gables,” and the “Marble Faun.” During the administration of President Pierce, he was U. S. Consul at Liverpool. This office he resigned in 1857. He died suddenly, while on a journey to the White Mountains for his health, at Plymouth, New Hampshire, May 19, 1864. Mr. Hawthorne's literary reputation was not confined to the United States. His most important works have been republished and widely read in England, and, in the form of translations, in Germany
144. A FOREST NOOK.
NOOK within the forest; overhead
The branches arch, and shape a pleasant bower,
Here the spruce thrusts in
As though to hoard it for the haunting elves
Has dropped its dark, lõng cone. 3.
The scorching glare Without, makes this green nest a grateful haunt Fór summer's radiant things; the butterfly Fluttering within and resting on some flower, Fans his rich velvet form ; the toiling bee Shoots by, with sounding hum and mist-like wings; The robin perches on the bending spray With shrill, quick chirp; and like a flake of fire The redbird seeks the shelter of the leaves. And now and then a flutter overhead In the thick green, betrays some wandering wing Coming and going, yet concealed from sight. A shrill, loud outcry-on yon highest bough Sits the gray squirrel, in his burlesque wrath Stamping and chattering fiercely: now he drops A hoarded nut, then at my smiling gaze
Buries himself within the foliage.
With its white burden ; in its netted web
ö. Such nooks as this are common in the woods :
And all these sights and sounds the commonèst
*A. B. STREET.
145. FOREST TREES.
HAVE paused more than once in the wilderness of América,
to contem'plate the traces of some blast of wind, which seemed to have rushed down from the clouds, and ripped its way through the bosom of the woodlands ; rooting up, shivering, and splintering the stoutest trees, and leaving a long track of desolation. There is something awful in the vast havoc made among these gigantic plants; and in considering their magnificent remains, so rudely torn and mangled, hurled down to perish prematurely on their native soil, I was conscious of a strong movement of sympathy with the wood-nymphs, grieving to be dispossessed of their ancient habitations.
2. I recollect also hearing a traveler of poëtical temperament, expressing the kind of horror which he felt in beholding, on the banks of the Missouri, an oak of prodigious size, which had been in a manner overpowered by an enormous wild grape-vine. The vine had clasped its huge folds round the trunk, and from thence had wound about every branch and twig, until the mighty tree had withered in its embrace. It seemed like Laöc'oönstruggling ineffectually in the hideous coils of the monster Python.' It was the liön of trees perishing in the embraces of a vegetable Boä.
3. I am fond of listening to the conversation of English gentlemen on rural concerns, and of noticing with what taste and discrimination, and what strong, unaffected interest, they will discuss topics, which, in other countries, are abandoned to mere woodmen or rustic cultivators. I have heard a noble earl descant on park and forest scenery, with the science and feeling of a painter. He dwelt on the shape and beauty of particular trees on his estate with as much pride and technical precision as though he had been discussing the merits of statues in his collection. I found that he had gone considerable distances to examine trees which were celebrated among rural amateurs'; for it seems that trees, like horses, have their established points of excellence, and that there are some in England which enjoy very extensive celebrity from being perfect in their kind.
4. There is something nobly simple and pure in such a taste. It argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature, to have this strong relish for the beauties of vegetation, and this friendship for the hardy and glorious sons of the forest. There is a grandeur of thought connected with this part of rural economy. It is, if I may be allowed the figure, the heroic line of husbandry. It is worthy of liberal, and free-born, and aspiring men. He who plants an oak looks forward to future ages, and plants for posterity. Nothing can be less selfish than this. He can not expect to sit in its shade nor enjoy its shelter ; but he exults in the idea that the acorn which he has buried in the earth shall grow up into a lofty pile, and shall keep on flourishing, and increas
* La dc' o on, a Trojan, and a priest and his two sons entwined by the of Apollo, who tried to dissuade his two serpents, is still extant, and precountrymen from drawing into the served in the Vatican, at Rome. city the wooden horse of the Greeks, · Pỹ thon, a celebrated serpent which finally caused the overthrow that lived in the caves of Mount of Troy. When preparing to sacri- Parnassus, but was slain by Apollo, fice a bull to Neptune, two fearful who founded the Pythian games in serpents suddenly rushed upon him commemoration of his victory, and and his two sons, and strangled them. received, in consequence, the sur. His death formed the subject of many name Pythius. This, however, was ancient works of art; and a magnifi. not one of the serpents that destroy. cent group, representing the father ed Laocoon.