Page images
PDF
EPUB

CELEBRATED IMAGINARY ADDRESSES AND SOLILOQUIES

489

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

formed he is, that it would have been more decent in him, more becoming, in better judgment, and in better taste, if he had stopped away. Let me tell him, gentlemen, that any gestures of dissent or disapprobation in which he may indulge in this court will not go down with you ; that you will know how to value and how to appreciate them; and let me tell him further, as my lord will tell you, gentlemen, that a counsel, in his discharge of his duty to his client, is neither to be intimidated, nor bullied, nor put down; and that any attempt to do either the one or the other, or the first or the last, will recoil on the head of the attempter, be he plaintiff, or be he defendant, be his name Pickwick, or Noakes, or Stoakes, or Stiles, or Brown, or Thompson.

I shall show you, gentlemen, that for two years Pickwick continued to reside constantly, and without interruption or intermission, at Mrs. Bardell's house. I shall show you that Mrs. Bardell, during the whole of that time, waited on him, attended to his comforts, cooked his meals, looked out his linen for the washerwoman when it went abroad, darned, aired, and prepared it for wear when it came home, and, in short, enjoyed his fullest trust and confidence. I shall show you that, on many occasions, he gave half-pence, and on some occasions even sixpences, to her little boy; and I shall prove to you, by a witness whose testimony it will be impossible for my learned friend to weaken or controvert, that on one occasion he patted the boy on the head, and, after inquiring whether he had won any alley-tors or commoneys lately (both of which I understand to be particular species of marbles much prized by the youth of this town), made use of this remarkable expression : «How should you like to have another father ? »

Two letters bave passed between these parties, letters which are admitted to be in the handwriting of the defendant, and which speak volumes indeed. These letters, too, bespeak the character of the man They are not open, fervid, eloquent epistles, breathing nothing but the language of affectionate attachment. They are covert, sly, underhanded communications, but, fortunately, far more conclusive than if couched in the most glowing language and the most poetic imagery, letters that must be viewed with a cautious and suspicious eye — letters that were evidently intended at the time, by Pickwick, to mislead and delude any third parties into whose hands they might fall. Let me read the first :- Garraway's, – twelve o'clock.- Dear Mrs. B.- Chops and tomato sauce. Yours, Pickwick." Gentlemen, what does this mean? Chops and tomato sauce. Yours, Pickwick! Chops! Gracious heavens! and tomato saucel Gentlemen, is the happiness of a sensitive and confiding female to be trified away by such

shallow artifices as these? The next has no date whatever, which is in itself suspicious,-* Dear Mrs. B.- I shall not be at home to-morrow., Slow coach.. And then follows this very remarkable expression,-' Don't trouble yourself about the warming pan ! » The warming pan! Why, gentlemen, who does trouble bimself about a warming pan? When was the peace of mind of man or woman broken or disturbed about a warming pan, which is in itself a harmless, a useful, and I will add, gentlemen, a comforting article of domestic furniture? Why is Mrs. Bardell so earnestly entreated not to agitate herself about this warming pan, unless (as is no doubt the case) it is a mere cover for hidden fire,- a mere substitute for some endearing word or promise, agreeable to some preconcerted system of correspondence, artfully contrived by Pickwick with a view to his contemplated desertion, and which I am not in a condition to explain? And what does this allusion to the slow coach mean? For aught I know, it may be a refer. ence to Pickwick himself, who has most unques tionably been a criminally slow coach during the whole of this transaction, but whose speed will now be very unexpectedly accelerated, and whose wheels, gentlemen, as he will find to his cost, will very soon be greased by you !

But enough of this, gentlemen: it is difficult to smile with an aching heart; it is ill jesting when our deepest sympathies are awakened. My client's hopes and prospects are ruined, and it is no figure of speech to say that her occupation is gone indeed. The bill is down — but there is no tenant. Eligible single gentlemen pass and repass - but there is no invitation for them to inquire within, or without. All is gloom and silence in the house ; even the voice of the child is hushed; his infant sports are disregarded when his mother weeps ; his «alley-tors and his “commoneysare alike neglected; he forgets the long familiar cry of • knuckle down," and at tip-chesse, or odd-andeven, his hand is out. But Pickwick, gentlemen, Pickwick, the ruthless destroyer of this domestic oasis in the desert of Goswell Street, - Pickwick, who has choked up the well, and thrown ashes on the sward - Pickwick, who comes before you to day with his heartless tomato sauce and warm. ing pans – Pickwick still

rears his head witb unblushing effrontery, and gazes without a sigb on the ruin he has made. Damages, gentlemen heavy damages, is the only punishment with which you can visit him; the only recompense you can award to my client. And for those dam. ages she now appeals to an enlightened, a highminded, a right-feeling, a conscientious, a dis passionate, a sympathizing, a contemplative jury of her civilized countrymen.

-From Pickwick Papers, " 1837.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ELIJAH KELLOGG

(American, 1813-)

SPARTACUS TO THE GLADIATORS at CAPUA

IT HAD been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus, returning with victorious eagles, had amused the populace with the sports of the amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown even in that luxurious city. The shouts of revelry had died away; the roar of the lion had ceased; the last loiterer had retired from the banquet ; and the lights in the palace of the victor were extinguished. The moon, piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, silvered the dewdrops on the corslet of the Roman sentinel, and tipped the dark waters of the Vulturnus with a wavy, tremulous light. No sound was heard, save the last sob of some retiring wave, telling its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach, and then all was still as the breast when the spirit has departed. In the deep recesses of the amphitheatre a band of gladiators were assembled; their muscles still knotted with the agony of conflict, the foam upon their lips, the scowl of battle yet lingering on their brows; when Spartacus, starting forth from amid the throng, thus addressed them :

« Ye call me chief; and ye do well to call him chief who, for twelve long years, has met upon the arena every shape of man or beast the broad em. pire of Rome could furnish, and who never yet lowered his arm. If there be one among you who can say that ever, in public fight or private brawl, my actions did belie my tongue, let him stand forth and say it. If there be three in all your company dare face me on the bloody sands, let them come on. And yet I was not always thus, a hired butcher, a savage chief of still more savage men! My ancestors came from old Sparta, and settled among the vine-clad rocks and citron groves of Syrasella. My early life ran quiet as the brooks by which I sported; and when, at noon, I gathered the sheep beneath the shade, and played upon the shepherd's flute, there was a friend, the son of a neighbor, to join me in the pastime. We led our flocks to the same pasture, and partook together our rustic meal.

One evening, after the sheep were folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle which shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man, was telling of Marathon and Leuctra ; and how, in ancient times, a little band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, had withstood a whole army. I did not then know what war was; but my cheeks burned, I knew not why, and I clasped the knees of that venerable man, until my mother, parting the hair from off my forehead, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars. That very night the Romans landed on our coast. I saw the breast

that had nourished me trampled by the hoof of the war horse; the bleeding body of my father fung amidst the blazing rafters of our dwelling!

• To-day I killed a man in the arena ; and when I broke his helmet-clasps, behold! he was my friend. He knew me, smiled faintly, gasped, and died; - the same sweet smile upon his lips that I had marked, when, in adventurous boyhood, we scaled the lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes, and bear them home in childish triumph. I told the pretor that the dead man had been my friend, generous and brave; and I begged that I might bear away the body, to burn it on a funeral pile, and mourn over its ashes, Ay! upon my knees, amid the dust and blood of the arena, I begged that poor boon, while all the assembled maids and matrons, and the holy virgins they call Vestals, and the rabble, shouted in derision, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladia. tor turn pale and tremble at sight of that piece of bleeding clay! And the pretor drew back as I were pollution, and sternly said, -'Let the car. rion rot; there are no noble men but Romans ! And so, fellow-gladiators, must you, and so must I, die like dogs. O, Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me. Ay! thou hast given to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd lad, who never knew a harsher tone than a flute note, muscles of iron and a heart of fint ; taught him to drive the sword through plaited mail and links of rugged brass, and warm it in the marrow of his foe;-to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of the fierce Numidian lion, even as a boy upon a laughing girl! And he shall pay thee back, until the yellow Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy lifeblood lies curdled!

« Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are. The strength of brass is in your toughened sinews; but to-morrow some Roman Adonis, breathing sweet perfume from his curly locks, shall with his lily fingers pat your red brawn, and bet his sesterces upon your blood. Hark! hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? 'Tis three days since he tasted flesh; but to-morrow he shall break his fast upon yours, – and a dainty meal for him ye will be! If ye are beasts, then stand here like fat oxen, waiting for the butcher's knife! If ye are men, - follow me! Strike down yon guard, gain the mountain passes, and there do bloody work, as did your sires at Old Thermopylæ! Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that you do crouch and cower like a bela bored hound beneath his master's lash? O, comrades ! warriors ! Thracians !-- if we must fight, let us fight for ourselves! If we must slaughter, let us slaughter our oppressors! If we must die, let it be under the clear sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle!"

OFTENEST

CELEBRATED PASSAGES FROM POETS

QUOTED IN ORATORY

SELECTING

verse

the celebrated passages of

which the experience of orators has shown to be most useful in public speaking, the rule

has been one of exclusion. The collections of Bohn, Bartlett, Edwards, Watson, and others, which were consulted and utilized in various ways, embrace collectively so many thousands of quotations, nearly all valuable for general purposes of illustration, that it was a task of considerable difficulty to select those most likely to be useful to the public speaker. It is hoped that this has been done, however, to such an extent that the number of extracts not likely to be pertinent in public speaking has been minimized, without sacrificing any very considerable number of such as will be found convenient for illustration. The needs of speakers in the courts and the pulpit, on the platform and in public life have been considered in making the selections, which, as they reinforce the celebrated passages » from the best orations, offer what it is hoped will prove a very great and hitherto unattainable convenience not only in the study of oratory, but in the preparation of speeches, sermons, and addresses.

The attempt was made to include especially those quotations from Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, and other great poets which have been favorites with the great English and American orators of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

As the arrangement by authors' names is most useful only where more attention is being devoted to the study of the author's style than to the thought, the arrangement adopted is by subject, and alphabetical to the third and fourth letters.

It has been assumed that as a rule the reader who has failed to find detraction» indexed will not need to be told to look for "calumny” and “slander,” but cross references have been given wherever they seemed more likely to promote convenience.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

CELEBRATED PASSAGES FROM THE POETS

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« EelmineJätka »