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The reader will observe that no rhetorical notation is applied in the following Exercises.
Hamlet's instruction to Players.
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke
my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your 5 hand, thus: but use all gently : for in the very torrent,
tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear
a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tat10 ters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who,
for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod.
Pray you, avoid it. -Be not too tame neither ; but let 15 your own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the
word, the word to the action ; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature : for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing ;
whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to 20 hold as 'twere the mirror up to nature; to show virtue
her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age
and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskil
ful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the 25 censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'er
weigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, -and heard others praise, and that highly,--not to speak it profanely, that, neither having
the accent of christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, 30 nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have
thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Shakspeare. 30. The dead Mother. F. Touch not thy mother, boy—Thou canst not
wake her. C. Why, father? She still wakens at this hour.
F. Your mother's dead, my child. 5 C. And what is dead ?
If she be dead, why then 'tis only sleeping,
F. Her heart is cold.
C. If she would waken, she would soon be warm.
F. No-not like her :
C. If I could wake her, She would smile on me, as she always does, 20 And kiss me. Mother! you have slept too long
Her face is pale--and it would frighten me,
F. Come, my child.
C. Once, when I sat upon her lap, I felt 25 A beating at her side, and then she said
It was her heart that beat, and bade me feel
Only mine was the quickest--And I feel
My own heart yet—but her's—I cannot feel-30 F. Child ! child !--you drive me mad--Come hence,
C. Nay, father, be not angry! let me stay here Till my mother wakens.
F. I have told you,
But in another she will wake for us.
C. Would it were night then !
F. No, unhappy child !
That last, long sleep.--Thy father soon shall sleep it ;
That thou hadst natural ties,-an orphan lone,
C. Father! Father !
You will not hurt me?
Has sorrow's violence so much of anger,
C. You are not angry then ?
F. Too well I love you.
Nor what is meant-you terrified me so.
31. The Temptation. Gen. iii.-1 Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made : and he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst
of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened ; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou ? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden : and I was afraid, because I was naked ; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told, thee that thou wast naked ? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
32. Partiality of Authors. “ Have you read my Key to the Romans ?”—said Dr. Taylor, of Norwich, to Mr. Newton.—" I have turned it over."-" You have turned it over ! And is
this the treatment a book must meet with, which has 5 cost me many years of hard study? Must I be told, at
last, that you have turned it over,' and then thrown it aside ? You ought to have read it carefully and weighed deliberately what comes forward on so serious a sub
ject.” “ Hold! You have cut me out full employment, 10 if my life were to be as long as Methuselah's. I have
somewhat else to do in the short day allotted me, than to read whatever any one may think it his duty to write, When I read, I wish to read to good purpose ; and
there are some books, which contradict on the very face 15 of them what appear to me to be first principles. You
surely will not say I am bound to read such books. If a man tells me he has a very elaborate argument to prove that two and two make five, I have something else to do than to attend to this argument. If I find
20 the first mouthful of meat which I take from a fine.
looking joint on my table is tainted, I need not eat through it to be convinced I ought to send it away.”
I asked an aged man, a man of cares, Wrinkled, and curved, and white with hoary hairs'; “ Time is the warp of life,” he said, “Oh, tell The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well !" 5 I asked the ancient, venerable dead,
Sages who wrote, and warriours who bled ;
I asked a dying sinner, ere the tide
" I've lost it !” Ah, the treasure ! and he died.
They answered, “ Time is but a meteor glare !" 15 And bade us for eternity prepare.
I asked the Seasons, in their annual round,
" "Tis Folly's blank, and Wisdom's highest prize !" 20 I asked a spirit lost ; but oh, the shriek
That pierced my soul ! I shudder while I speak !
Of things inanimate, my dial, I
“ Time is the season fair of living well,
“ Time is the present hour,-the past is filed ; 30 Live ! live to-day! to-morrow never yet
On any human being rose or set."
His chariot was a cloud, the viewless wind