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or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! 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, 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!
§ 69. The Argumentative Style. (See $ 49.)
1. Effects of IRRELIGION. — Channing. Once let men thoroughly believe that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator; that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no unfailing friend ; that this brief life is everything to us, and that death is total, everlasting extinction: once let men thoroughly abandon religion, and who can conceive or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow! We hope, perhaps, that human laws and natural sympathy would hold society together. As reasonably might we believe that, were the sun quenched in the heavens, our torches would illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertil. ize, the creation! What is there in human nature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man be the unprotected insect of & day? And what is he more, if atheism be true?
The gentleman has spoken of “the laboring poor.” Sir, the laboring people are poor only because they are numerous. Numbers, in their nature, imply poverty. In a fair distribus tion among a vast multitude, none can have much. That class called the rich is so extremely small, that if all their throats were cut, and a distribution made of all that they consume in a year, it would not give a bit of bread and cheese for one night's supper to those who labor.
Sir, it is the common doom of man, that he must eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, that is, by the sweat of his body, or the sweat of his mind. If this toil was inflicted as a curse, it is, -as might be expected from the Father of all blessing3, — it is tempered with many alleviations, many comforts. Every attempt to fly from it, and to refuse the very terms of our existence, becomes much more truly a curse; and heavier pains and penalties fall upon those who would elude the tasks which are put upon them by the great Master of the world.
§ 70. The Meditative Style. (See $ 50.)
FROM THE ODE ON IMMORTALITY.
These lines should be delivered in a pitch between middle and low. The time should be slow, the force gentle, the tones pure, having a quality of pathos, and the inflections varied, though the falling slide is chiefly appropriate.
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
To me did seem
By night or day,
The rainbow comes and goes,
The Moon doth with delight
Waters on a starry night
But yet I know, where'er I go,
$ 71. Personation. (See $ 40.)
1. HOTSPUR READING A LETTER.
Remember that Hotspur is a choleric, passionate, easily roused character, blunt, impulsive, courageous, fiery. The passages in quotation-marks are supposed to be parts of the letter he is reading.
“ But for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your house.”. He could be contented! Why is he not then? In respect of the love he bears our house! Let me see some more. (Reads.) “ The purpose you undertake is dangerous.” — Why, that's certain ; 't is dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink: but I tell you, my lord . fool, out of this nettle, danger, we'll · pluck the flower, safety. (Reads.) “ The purpose you undertake is dangerous ; the friends you have named, uncertain; the time itself unsorted; and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an opposition.” Say you so ? say you
I say unto you again, You are a shallow, cowardly hind, and you lie! What a lack-brain is this ! Our plot is a good plot as ever was laid ; our friends true and constant; a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is this! Why, my Lord of York commends the plot, and the general course of the action. 'Zounds! an I were now by this rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myself? Lord Edmund Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not, besides, the Douglas ? Have I not all their letters, to meet me in arms by the ninth of next month ? And are they not, some of them, set forward already? What a pagan rascal is this ! An infidel! Ha! you shall see now, in very sincerity of fear and cold heart, will he to the king, and lay open all our proceedings. Oh! I could divide myself, and go to buffets, for moving such a dish of skimmed milk with so honorable an action! Hang him! let him tell the king: we are prepared : I will set forward tonight.
2. SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE.
Sir Anthony is angry with his son, who, before consenting to marry, has modestly expressed a wish to see the lady his father has selected for him.
Can't you be cool, like me? What good can passion do? - passion is of no service, you impudent, insolent, overbearing reprobate ! There, you sneer again! don't provoke me! but you rely upon the mildness of my temper ; you do, you dog! you play upon the meekness of my disposition! Yet, take care, the patience of a saint may be overcome at last. But mark! I give you six hours and a half to consider this; if you then agree, without any condition, to do everything on earth that I choose, why – confound you! I may in time for
If not, zounds! don't enter into the same hemisphere with me! don't dare to breathe the same air, or use the same light with me; but get an atmosphere and a sun of your own! I'll strip you of your commission ; I'll lodge a five and threepence in the hands of trustees, and you shall live upon the interest. I'll disown you, I'll disinherit you !
3. CROAKER AND HONEYWOOD.
Croaker must preserve throughout a tone of exaggerated lamentation ; Honeywood must be cheerful in manner, till the melancholy of his fellow dialogist partially affects him, though hy starts he must still show his habitual cheerfulness.
Cro. A pleasant morning to you, Mr. Honeywood, and many of them. How is this? You look shockingly to-day, my dear friend. I hope this weather does not affect your spirits. To be sure if this weather continues
I say nothing; but Heaven send we be all better this day three months.
Hon. I heartily concur in the wish, Mr. Croaker, though I own, not in your apprehension.
Cro. May be not. Indeed, what signifies what weather we have in a country going to ruin like ours ? Taxes rising, trade falling; money flying out of the kingdom, and Frenchmen swarming into it to eat us up, and pervert our morals and religion.
Hon. They will scarcely pervert you or me, I should hope.
little of my
Cro. May be not. Indeed, what signifies whom they pervert in a country that has scarce any religion to lose? I am only afraid for our wives and daughters.
Hon. I have no apprehension for the ladies, I assure you.
Cro. May be not. Indeed, what signifies whether they be perverted or not? The women in my time' were good for something. I have seen a lady dressed from top to toe in her own manufacture formerly ; but now-a-days, they have little about them of their own manufacture, except their faces.
Hon. But however these faults may be practiced abroad, you don't find them at home: there, at least, a due respect for your authority prevents them.
Cro. Ah, my dear friend, you know but very authority at home. - People think, indeed, because they see me come out in a morning thus, with a pleasant face, and to make my
that all’s well within. But I have cares that would break a heart of stone. My wife has so encroached on every one of my privileges, that I am now no more than a mere lodger in my own house.
Hon. But a little spirit exerted on your side might, perhaps, restore your authority.
Cro. No, though I had the spirit of a lion. I do rouse sometimes : but what then? always haggling, haggling. A man is tired of getting the better, before his wife is tired of losing the victory.
Hon. It is a melancholy consideration indeed, that our chief comforts often produce our greatest anxieties, and that an increase of our possessions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.
Cro. Ah, my dear friend, those were the very words of poor Dick Doleful to me not a week before he made away with himself. Indeed, Mr. Honeywood, I never see you but you put me in mind of poor Dick. Ab, there was merit neglected for you! And so true a friend: we loved each other for thirty years, he never asked me to lend him a single farthing.
Hon. Pray what could induce him to commit so rash an action at last ?
Cro. I don't know; some people were malicious enough to say it was keeping company with me : because we used to meet now and then, and open our hearts to each other. To be sure, I loved to hear him talk, and he loved to hear me talk ;