« ZurückWeiter »
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
By those who in their turn shall follow them. 7. So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
William Cullen Bryant.
For PREPARATION.-I. Written when the poet was at the age of nineteen. Point out on the map that part of the Great Desert that extends into Barca ;-the Oregon River (now called the Columbia). “Thanatopsis" (thanatos = death ; opsis = seeing: contemplation of death).
II. Pā'-tri-ärchs, ěl'-o-quence, sep’-ŭl-eher, an'-çient (ān’shent), tomb (toom), dũn-geon (dùnojun), wrips (rằps), phăn’-tom (fintom), měad'-ows, bo'-şóm.
III. All-beholding, rock-ribbed, quarry-slave, gray-headed. Explain the use of the hyphen in each of these words.
IV. Pensive, melancholy waste, summons, drapery, unfaltering, decorations.
V. “Various language -a variety of languages, or a language varying only in its tone of sentiment ? Surrendering up thine individual being ". is the individuality in the body, or in the mind ? “Complaining brooks ”. why called complaining? “Still lapse of ages” (silent flight of time). Make a list of expressions used in this piece to denote death, and to describe its accompaniments (e. g., “last bitter hour,"
," "stern agony,” etc.).
V.-CONFESSIONS OF A BASHFUL MAN.
1. You must know that in my person I am tall and thin, with a fair complexion and light flaxen hair; but of such extreme sensibility to shame, that on the smallest subject of confusion my blood all rushes into my cheeks. Having been sent to the university, the consciousness of my unhappy failing made me avoid society, and I became enamored of a college life. But from that peaceful retreat I was called by the death of my father and of a rich uncle, who left me a fortune of thirty thousand pounds.
2. I now purchased an estate in the country, and my company was much courted by the surrounding families, especially by such as had marriageable daughters. Though I wished to accept their offered friendship, I was forced repeatedly to excuse myself, under the pretense of not being quite settled. Often when I have ridden or walked with full intention of returning their visits, my heart has failed me as I approached their gates, and I have returned homeward, resolving to try again the next day. Determined, however, at length to conquer my timidity, I accepted of an invitation to dine with one, whose open, easy manner left me no room to doubt a cordial welcome.
3. Sir Thomas Friendly, who lives about two miles distant, is a baronet, with an estate joining to that I purchased. He had two sons and five daughters, all grown
up, and living with their mother and a maiden sister of Sir Thomas's at Friendly Hall.
4. Conscious of my unpolished gait, I have, for some time past, taken private lessons of a professor, who teaches “grown gentlemen to dance"; and though I at first found wondrous difficulty in the art he taught, my knowledge of mathematics was of prodigious use in teaching me the equilibrium of my body, and the due adjustment of the center of gravity to the five positions.
5. Having acquired the art of walking without tottering, and learned to make a bow, I boldly ventured to obey the baronet's invitation to a family dinner, not doubting but my new acquirements would enable me to see the ladies with tolerable intrepidity; but, alas ! how vain are all the hopes of theory when unsupported by habitual practice !
6. As I approached the house, a dinner-bell alarmed my fears, lest I had spoiled the dinner by want of punctuality. Impressed with this idea, I blushed the deepest crimson, as my name was repeatedly announced by the several livery-servants who ushered me into the library, hardly knowing what or whom I saw. At my first entrance, I summoned up all my fortitude, and made my new-learned bow to Lady Friendly; but, unfortunately, in bringing my left foot to the third position, I trod upon the gouty toe of poor Sir Thomas, who had followed close at my heels, to be the nomenclator of the family.
7. The confusion this occasioned in me is hardly to be conceived, since none but bashful men can judge of my distress. The baronet's politeness by degrees dissipated my concern; and I was astonished to see how far good-breeding could enable him to suppress his feelings, and appear with perfect ease after so painful an accident.
8. The cheerfulness of her ladyship and the familiar chat of the young ladies insensibly led me to throw off my reserve and sheepishness, till, at length, I ventured to join the conversation, and even to start fresh subjects. The library being richly furnished with books in elegant bindings, I conceived Sir Thomas to be a man of literature, and ventured to give my opinion concerning the several editions of the Greek classics, in which the baronet's opinion exactly coincided with my own.
9. To this subject I was led by observing an edition of Xenophon, in sixteen volumes, which (as I never before had heard of such a thing) greatly excited my curiosity, and I rose up to examine what it could be. Sir Thomas saw what I was about, and, as I supposed, willing to save me trouble, rose to take the book, which made me more eager to prevent him, and hastily laying my hand on the first volume, I pulled it forcibly; but, lo! instead of books, a board, which, by leather and gilding, had been made to look like sixteen volumes, came tumbling down, and, unluckily, pitched upon a Wedgwood inkstand on the table under it.
10. In vain did Sir Thomas assure me there was ne harm. I saw the ink streaming from an inlaid table on the Turkey carpet, and, scarcely knowing what I did, attempted to stop its progress with my cambric handkerchief. In the height of this confusion, we were informed that dinner was served up; and I, with joy, perceived that the bell, which at first had so alarmed my fears, was only the half-hour dinner-bell.
11. I will not relate the several blunders which I made during the first course, or the distress occasioned by my being desired to carve a fowl, or help to various dishes that stood near me—spilling a sauce-boat, and knocking down a salt-cellar; rather let me hasten to the second course, when fresh disasters overwhelmed me quite.
12. I had a piece of rich, sweet pudding on my fork, when Miss Louisa Friendly begged to trouble me for a pigeon that stood near me. In my haste, scarce knowing what I did, I whipped the pudding into my mouth, hot as a burning coal. It was impossible to conceal my agony; my eyes were starting from their sockets. At last, in spite of shame and resolution, I was obliged to drop the cause of torment on my plate.
13. Sir Thomas and the ladies all compassionated my
misfortune, and each advised a different application. One recommended oil, another water, but all agreed that wine was the best, for drawing out fire; and a glass of sherry was brought me from the side-board, which I snatched up with eagerness; but, oh! how shall I tell the sequel ?
14. Whether the butler by accident mistook or purposely designed to drive me mad, he gave me the strongest brandy, with which I filled my mouth, already flayed and blistered. Totally unused to every kind of ardent spirits, with my tongue, throat, and palate as raw as beef, what could I do? I could not swallow; and, clapping my hands upon my mouth, the liquor spurted through my fingers like a fountain, over all the dishes, and I was crushed by bursts of laughter from all quarters. In vain did Sir Thomas reprimand the servants, and Lady Friendly chide her daughters; for the measure of my shame and their diversion was not yet complete.