« ZurückWeiter »
2. When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty mountain pant,
3. Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.
Through devious, lonely wilds, I stray,
FOR PREPARATION.—I. A paraphrase, rather than a “translation,” of the Twenty-third Psalm. The 1st verse corresponds to the first as numbered in King James's version of the Bible; the 2d to the second and third ; the 3d to the fourth; the 4th to the fifth and sixth. Is the im. agery of this psalm suggestive of the city, or of the country? What employment and surroundings ?
II. Shịp'-herd (-erd), guärd (gärd), guide (sid).
III. Mark off into feet the lines of the 1st stanza, showing the syllables where the accent falls.
IV. Glebe, meads, crook, beguile, sultry, “sudden greens," "the barren wilderness shall smile."
V. Compare this translation with King James's version, and make note of the expressions wherein the latter is stronger or more vivid than the former; also wherein the former is more systematic. Contrast the force of expression in “Though in the paths of death I tread” and “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” What thoughts in either version are not expressed at all in the other? A distinguished preacher says of this psalm : “David has left no sweeter psalm than the short Twenty-third. It is but a moment's opening of his soul ; but, as when one, walking the winter street, sees the door opened for some one to enter, and the red light stream's a moment forth, and the forms of gay children are running to greet the comer, and genial music sounds, though the door shuts and leaves night black, yet it cannot shut back again all that the eye, the ear, the heart, and the imagination have seen; so in this psalm, though it is but a moment's opening of the soul, are emitted truths of peace and consolation that will never be absent from the world. It has charmed more griefs to rest than all the philosophy of the world. It has remanded to their dungeon more felon thoughts, more black doubts, more thieving sorrows, than there are sands on the sea-shore. It has comforted the noble host of the poor. It has sung courage to the army of the disappointed. It has poured balm and consolation into the hearts of the sick, of captives in dungeons, of widows in their pinching griefs, of orphans in their loneliness. Dying soldiers have died easier as it was read to them ; ghastly hospitals have been illuminated; it has visited the prisoner and broken his chains, and, like Peter's angel, led him forth in imagination, and sung him back to his home again.”
Our earlier * lessons in Elocution have been mainly devoted to the analysis and expression of the sense.
We have thus tried to secure, first of all, intelligent reading, as something of foremost importance in itself considered, and as the sensible foundation of emotional expression and poetic reading.
All good elocution must be founded on good thinking. This leads to appreciation—that is, to right feeling; and right thinking and feeling lead to the best vocal expression.
Now, we begin to observe and to think definitely only when we begin to distinguish one thing from another; and our thinking improves in the same ratio as this power of differentiating (seeing the differences of things) becomes more accurate and complete.
* The lessons given in the Third and Fourth Readers.
For example: to the unthinking, all the books in a library seem much alike; but the observing reader soon learns that each individual book differs from every other; and, if he would give a clear description of any given book, he must call our attention not to what is common to all books, but to the points wherein this given book differs from the other books.
Or, in giving a clear idea of any character in history, the writer speaks not of such common traits and deeds as were shared with the many, but of those peculiar attributes and acts which distinguish him from all othersthose things which characterize him as an individual.
And so, to give a clear picture of any kind on any subject, the author must seize on the special points which individuate it.
A favorite means of making an idea more vivid and distinct (especially in poetry and eloquence), is by comparing it with something similar, but more familiar and striking. But the most distinctive way of expressing an idea is by contrasting it with its opposite.
THESE DISTINCTIVE POINTS
But these ideas are innumerable; and how can we ever learn to read well the hundredth part of them?
By grouping similar ideas into one class; so that, when we learn to read understandingly a few representative ideas of any given class, we learn essentially how to read all ideas of that general kind.
This classification must be purely elocutionary. By “similar ideas," we mean such as have naturally similar vocal expression.
1. To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Turns with his share and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. 4. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Of the great tomb of man. 5.
The golden sun,
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. 6. So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend