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ANALYTICAL FIFTH READER.
EXERCISES FOR ELOCUTIONARY DRILL
1.–POLISH WAR SONG.
JAMES G. PERCIVAL.
Poland was, for a time, one of the most powerful kingdoms in Europe. By a combination of forces, Russia, Austria, and Prussia succeeded in utterly overthrowing the kingdom, and in dividing its territory among themselves. The Poles defended their nationality with great heroism, though unsuccessfully, and the American poet Percival gives expression to their courage and patriotism in the following spirited lines. They require great force, with clear, ringing, pure tones :
Freedom calls you! Quick, be ready,
ye in the name of God;
Freedom calls ! ye brave !
Grasp the sword !-its edge is keen;
Onward, onward ! Freedom cries,
By the souls of patriots gone,
Rise, and front the despot czar;
Freedom calls you ! Quick, be ready ;
On, and let the watchwords be,
OLIVER W. HOLMES.
The following brief poem was written by Dr. O. W. Holmes, when it was proposed to dismantle the celebrated United States War Ship, “The Constitution.” On account of her remarkable success in escaping from the attacks of hostile fleets, she was popularly called “Old Ironsides.” Most of the lines require full, round, pure, ringing tones :
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down !
Long has it waved on high,
That banner in the sky;
And burst the cannon's roar ;
Shall sweep the clouds no more !
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
And waves were white below,
Or know the conquered knee ;
The eagle of the sea !
O, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave!
And there should be her grave !
Set every threadbare sail,
The lightning and the gale!
A South Carolina member of the United States Senate, Mr. Ham. mond, had spoken contemptuously of the laboring classes in the Northern States. Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, replied to him, using the following vigorous expressions. The majority in the Senate at that time sympathized with Mr. Hammond. The extract requires great force, with medium speed and pitch:
Sir : Should the Senator and his agitators and lecturers come to Massachusetts, on a mission to teach our "hireling class of manual laborers,” our “slaves," the “tremendous secret of the ballot-box," and to help “combine and lead them,” these stigmatized “hirelings” would reply to the Senator and his associates : “We are freemen ; we are the peers of the gifted and the wealthy; we know the tremendous secret of the ballot-box'; and we mold and fashion these institutions that bless and adorn our free Commonwealth! These public schools are ours, for the education of our children; these libraries, with their accumulated treasures, are ours; these multitudinous and varied pursuits of life, where intelligence and skill find their reward, are ours. Labor is here honored and respected, and great examples incite us to action.
“Our eyes glisten and our hearts throb over the radiant pages of our history, that record the deeds of patriotism of the sons of New England who sprang from our ranks and wore the badges of toil. While the names of Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Nathaniel Greene, and Paul Revere live on the brightest pages of our history, the mechanics of Massachusetts and New England will never want illustrious examples to incite us to noble aspirations and noble deeds."
IV.—THE PARTICIPATORS IN THE BOSTON
JOHN HANCOCK. In the following spirited extract, John Hancock denounces the British soldiery and their leaders in Boston, Mass., for their participation in the “Boston Massacre.” This conflict between the citizens and British troops occurred March 5th, 1770, and was one of the occasions that hastened forward the enterprise of American Independence. The extract requires great force, with the explosive radical stress. In the most intense parts, the quality becomes impure :
Tell me, ye bloody butchers ! ye villains high and low! ye wretches who contrived, as well as you who executed, the inhuman deed ! do you not feel the goads and stings of conscious guilt pierce through your savage bosoms? Though some of you may think yourselves exalted to a height that bids defiance to the arms of human justice, and others shroud yourselves beneath the mask of hypocrisy, and build your hopes of safety on the low arts of cunning, chicanery, and falsehood; yet do you not sometimes feel the gnawings of that worm which never dies ? Do not the injured shades of Maverick, Gray, Caldwell, Attucks, and Carr attend you in your solitary walks, arrest you even in the midst of your debaucheries, and fill even your dreams with terror?
Ye dark, designing knaves ! ye murderers ! parricides! how dare you tread upon the earth which has drunk in the blood of slaughtered innocents, shed by your wicked hands? How dare you breathe that air which wafted to the ear of Heaven the groans of those who fell a sacrifice to your accursed ambition ? But, if the laboring earth does not expand her jaws; if the air you breathe is not commissioned to be the minister of death; yet hear it, and tremble ! the eye of Heaven penetrates the darkest chambers of the soul ; traces the leading clew through all the labyrinths which your industrious folly has devised ; and you, however you may have screened yourselves from human eyes, must be arraigned, must lift your hands, red with the blood of those whose deaths you have procured, at the tremendous bar of God.
V.–OUR HEROES SHALL LIVE.
HENRY W. BEECHER.
In the following touching extract, Henry Ward Beecher suggests to the friends of those who fell in the War for the Union, during the years from 1861 to 1865, the high consolations that arise from the sacredness of the cause in which their dear ones died. The extract requires full, pure tones, moderately high pitch, slow utterance, and median stress :
Oh, tell me not that they are dead—that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language ? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism?
Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. Before, he was yours : he is
He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten or neglected : and it shall by and by be confessed of our modern heroes, as it is of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life.
VI.-GIVE ME THREE GRAINS OF CORN,
MISS EDWARDS. The following is given as the prayer of a young Irish lad, dying with hunger during the famine in that country. The tones should be soft, and expressive of bodily weakness, the pitch high, and the rate of speed slow. If faithfully drilled upon, it will be found very useful in giving softness and purity to the voice;
Give me three grains of corn, mother,
Only three grains of corn ;
Till the coming of the morn.