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Rule 3. Language of joy, mirth, or other pleasurable emotions, should be read on a key a little above the middle pitch, with a smooth, flowing voice, moderate stress, quick movement, and varied inflections.
A VISIT TO THE COUNTRY. —H. W. Beecher.
1. Here, in this quiet, hill-top town, is the profoundest peace. The clouds in the air are hardly more alone than we are. We have the plenitude of Nature in some of her loveliest aspects.
2. A man may sink down within himself in the profoundest meditation. Nobody calls to see you; nobody knows that you are here. You float, like a mote in the sunbeams, where you4 will, — up or down, hither or thither, without contact and in silence.
3. The whole air is marvelous by its stillness. It is still in the morning, at noon, at sunset, at dark, and still all night. Indeed, this is quite a wonder of a village to all who love quiet and a beautiful prospect.
4. Its like I do not know anywhere. It -is a miniature Mount Holyoke *; and its prospect, the Connecticut Valley in miniature. It is placidly spread upon a hill-top, so high up that dust, sound, and insects have forsaken it, or never found their way thither.
5. It is marvelous how a village can exist without any apparent trades. But, as far as I can perceive, there are no occupations here of any sort. There is a blacksmith's shop,
* Mount Hol'yoke, a mountain In Hampshire County, Mass., about three miles east of Northampton. The summit is 830 feet above the Connecticut River which flows at its base, affording a magnificent and extensive prospect of the truly beautiful and fertile " Connecticut Valley," and of the surrounding country.
which never makes a noise; and that is all. No carpenter's shop, nor cabinet-maker's, nor turner's; no hatters, saddlers, - watchmaker, or shoemaker, that I can see.
6. No houses are building; we hear no trowel clinking, or muffled hammer-stroke; there is no mortar-making; no piles of brick or lumber. The town was finished long ago; and all workmen of every sort seem to have gone off, and left this dear old village all to itself.
7. Even travelers leave our solitude unbroken. There is no tavern on the street; and the two little tranquil stores might plant corn up to their very door-steps, without much fear of its being trodden down.
8. Once in a while, toward evening, a farmer's wagon skirts along the edge of the green. Such a sight brings us to the windows. But it is a short and headlong drive; as if the rider felt guilty for disturbing the peace, or raising the dust, even for a moment.
9. And there is a little lake down yonder, where I occasionally go with great possessions of various fishing-tackle. But the perch are small, pickerel scarce, and pout only go out at dusk; so that one forgets Ins line, and falls off into a dream, or rows about the tranquil river, — along the fringe of bushes, among the lilies, or along the shaded edge where deep, dark pine woods forever murmur.
10. Now and then, a fish leaps up, and falls back with a splash. Or your oar, poised for a secoifd, sheds musical pearls into the pure lake; or the cracking of sticks tells you that a cow breaks through the thicket to drink, two cows ev-. idently in the water, one drinking upward and the other downward, lip to lip!
11. By the way, those white pond-lilies! Is there another flower, its adjuncts also considered,'so exquisitely beautiful? The rare form of its elongated cup, the interior coronet of stamens and pistils, delicately gold-colored, its delicious fra-' grance, make it a very queen. .
Tl2. It chooses some nook or bay along the lake's edge.
spreads out its large, shield-like leaf, and floats its snow-whita blossom on the surface. Flowers growing from the soil are fully beautiful; but flowers growing out of crystal water are beyond all words of beauty.
13. In the morning, look out eastward. A vale with every conceivable undulation stretches full thirty miles, from north to south. It lies almost under you. It is so near that you see the farm-houses, the orchards, the groups of trees, the corn-fields, the yellow rye, and the now half-ripe pats..
14. It is not an even, level valley, but a collection of wide swells or rolls of land setting in on the north, and but half commingling when they reach the lake, right over opposite to us. Indeed, so broken and stony are the features, that it would not be called a valley at all, if it were not for the hills that shut it in on each side; and these hills are made up of multitudes of little hills, piled together, in every way that is beautiful.
15. The little stream, that finds its course through the valley among mounds and hillocks, seems, uncertain of its way, and sets trees and bushes along its banks, for fear of forgetting where to flow. The brook has fairly reflected itself in the air; for, see that film of silver mist, thin as gauze, hanging above the stream, clear down to the lake!
16. O see the lake! or rather see the robes of mist that hide it. The sun is at them. They are wreathing, moving, lifting up, and moving off, sun-colored in the depths, but silveredged!
17. Now the water reflects the morning. . At noon, it will be breezy, and whitish or steel-gray. At night, it will be black as ink. In the early part of day, the lakelet speaks of life; but at twilight, it seems to speak of death.
18. "But what do you do for amusement?" Why, sir, we do not receive company, or make calls, or ride about among a caravan of dandy vehicles; we do nothing that implies excitement or company. Be it known, however, that we have a select few here to whom quiet is enjoyment . v
19. We l«fk at the picture-gallery of G*d in the heavens, with n« tw» days' pictures alike. We sit d«wn with our books »n the brw of the breezy hill, under an old chestnuttree, and read sometimes the book, sometimes the landscape, and sometimes the highland clouds.
20. We wait till the evening sun begins to emit rose-colored light, and then we take rides along the edges of woods, upon unfrequented roads, across suspicious bridges, along for est-paths leading no one knows where, and coming out just at the very spot we did not expect.
21. In this perilous journeying, we often breathe our horse while we collect flowers, leaves, mosses, and grasses; and we get home at the most urgent moment of sunset, just in time to go up into the observatory, and, for a moment, to see the wide and wonderful glory, and utter the exclamations: "Look at that islet of fire!" "And that deep crimson bank!" "And that exquisite blue between those rifts of fire!" "And that dove-colored cloud with a bronze-colored molding and fringe!" But words are foolish! And we sink away to silence, and only gaze and think!
Questions What is the rule for the language of joy, mirth, or other pleasurable
emotions? What is the general character of this exercise? Point out some passages that particularly illustrate the rule, &c.j.&c. WuU,and vjhen,is Afoun* Holyoke?
Rule 4. Language which is grand or sublime, should generally be read on the middk pitch, with a distinct and impressive utterance, moderate movement, and slight inflections.
A THUNDER-STOKM IN MEXICO.* —T. Fust. Grandeur and Sublimity. 1. The thunder, which had been rolling at a distance in
* Mex'i-co, a country of great extent in the southern part of North America. If was formerly called New Spain. •
the mountains, approached nearer. The peals were more frequent, and the echoes more loud and awful. The brassyedges of the clouds rolled together, and, sweeping forward Jike the smoldering pillars of smoke from some mighty conflagration, were seen looming from the heights and beginning to cover the sun. .;
2. The thunder-storms of the more northern regions seldom give an idea of the assemblage of terrific accompaniments belonging to a severe one in the tropics. A thick njist fills all the distance between the clouds and the earth. A dim and yellowish twilight throws a frightful yellow upon the verdure of the trees.
3. The storm was tremendous. The commencement was in the stillness of death; and the burst of the winds was as instantaneous as the crash of the thunder. The rain did.not descend in drops or in sheets; but the terrible phenomenon of the bursting of the clouds upon the mountains took place.
4. The roar of the new-formed torrents and cascades, pouring from the mountains, mingled with that of the rain, the thunder, and the winds. The atmosphere was a continued and lurid glare of lightning, which threw a portentous brilliancy through the descending waters and the darkness. Many an aged tree, which had remained unscathed for ages, was stripped from its summits to its roots by the descending fires.
5. The sick man, aroused from his sleep, rested his head upon his hand; and his pains seemed to be suspended, while he contemplated the uproar and apparent conflagration of the elements.
6. A blaze of lightning filled the room; and the thunderbolt fell upon a vast cypress but a few feet from the house. The shock was so violent that each one was thrown from his seat..
7. As we recovered from the blow, we saw how naturally in such moments each one flies to the object in which he has the most confidence. The widowed mother sprung to the . Wins'of her son; and Martha at the same time clung to me.