« ForrigeFortsett »
Also determine the emphases as heretofore directed.
[This stanza has more of the sublime in its utterances than the preceding. Hence, in reading it, the voice swells into greater fullness, and moves more slowly and with greater stateliness. The pitch becomes low.]
What are "curious travelers”? Meaning of " descried "? Is it certain that the face looks like Franklin's? Meaning of " trace"? "
physiognomy as here used ? What “ face' is meant in the third line? Why “grave”? Why “philosophic”? Why is Franklin called “ sage"? Why should the Old Man be a “philosopher, wise and staid”? Why is the allusion made to the lightning, in the last line? How many syllables has the word “learned” here? How many has it usually when used as an adjective?
Determine inflections and emphases as before.
II.-ADVENTURE WITH A BUFFALO.
W. J. SNELLING.
1. I wandered far into the bare prairie, which was spread around me like an ocean of snow, the gentle undulations here and there having no small resemblance to the groundswell. When the sun took off his night-cap of mist (for the morning was cloudy), the glare of the landscape, or rather snowscape, was absolutely painful to my eyes; but a small veil of green crape obviated that difficulty. Toward noon I was aware of a buffalo, at a long distance, turning up the snow with his nose and feet, and cropping the withered grass bene:th. I always thought it a deed of mercy to slay such an old fellow, he looks so miserable, and discontented with himself. As to the individual in question, I determined to put an end to his long, turbulent, and evil life.
2. To this effect, I approached him, as a Chinese male. factor approaches a mandarin,—that is to say, prone, like a serpent. But the parity only exists with respect to the posture; for the aforesaid malefactor expects to receive pain, whereas I intended to inflict it. He was a grim-looking barbarian,-and, if a beard be a mark of wisdom, Peter the Hermit was a fool to him. So, when I had attained a suitable proximity, I appealed to his feelings with a bullet. He - and I
and I had the best reason to run,- for he ran after me, and I thought that a pair of horns might destroy my usual equanimity and equilibrium. In truth, I did not fly any too fast; for the old bashaw was close behind me, and I could hear him breathe. I threw away my gun; and, as there was no tree at hand, I gained the center of a pond of a few yards area, such as are found all over the prairies in February
3. Here I stood secure, as though in a magic circle, well knowing that neither pigs nor buffaloes can walk upon ice. My pursuer was advised of this fact also, and did not venture to trust himself on so slippery a footing. Yet it seemed that he was no gentleman; at least he did not practice forgiveness of injuries. He perambulated the periphery of the pond till I was nearly as cold as the ice under me. It was worse than the stone jug, or the black-bole at Calcutta. Ah! thought I, if I only had my gun, I would soon relieve you from your post.
4. But discontent was all in vain. Thus I remained, and thus he remained, for at least four hours. In the mean time I thought of the land of steady habits; of baked beans and pumpkins, and codfish on Saturdays. “There,” said I to myself, “my neighbor's proceeding would be reckoned unlawful, I guess; for no one can be held in custody without a warrant and sufficient reason. If ever I gnt back, I won't be caught in such a scrape again."
5. Grief does not last forever, neither does anger; and
my janitor, either forgetting his resentment, which, to say the truth, was not altogether groundless, or thinking it was useless, or tired of his self-imposed duty, or for some reason or other, bid me farewell with a loud bellow, and walked away to a little oasis that was just in sight, and left me to my meditations. I picked up my gun and followed. He entered the wood, -and so did I, just in time to see him fall and expire.
6. The sun was setting; and the weather was getting colder and colder. I could hear the ground crack and the trees split, with its intensity. I was at least twenty miles from home; and it behoved me, if I did not wish to “wake in the morning and find myself dead,” to make a fire as speedily as possible. I now first perceived that, in my very natural hurry to escape from my shaggy foe, I had lost the martenskin wherein I carried my flint, steel, and tinder. This was of little consequence; I had often made a fire by the aid of my gun before, and I drew my knife and began to pick the flint. Death to my hopes,--at the very first blow, I struck it ten yards from the lock, and it was lost forever in the snow.
7. “Well,” said I to myself, “I have cooked a pretty kettle of fish, and brought my calf's head to a fine market. Shall I furnish those dissectors, the wolves, with a subject, or shall cold work the same effect on me that grief did upon
Niobe ? Would that I had a skin like a buffalo !”
8. Necessity is the spur, as well as the mother, of invention; and, at these last words, a new idea flashed through my brain like lightning. I verily believe that I took off the skin of my victim in fewer than ten strokes of knife. hide entire is no trifle; it takes a strong man to lift it; but I rolled the one in question about me, with the hair inward, and lay down to sleep, tolerably sure that neither Jack Frost
« Croak on,
nor the wolves could get at me, through an armor thicker and tougher than the seven-fold shield of Ajax.
9. Darkness closed in ; and a raven began to sound his note of evil omen, from a neighboring branch. black angel,” said I;"I have heard croaking before now, and am not to be frightened by any of your color.” Suddenly a herd of wolves struck up at a distance, probably excited by the scent of the slain buffalo. “Howl on,” said I; “and, being among wolves, I will howl too, for I like to be in the fashion ; but that shall be the extent of our intimacy." Accordingly, I uplifted my voice, like a pelican in the wilderness, and
gave them back their noise, with interest. Then I lay down again, and moralized. This, thought I, is life. What would my poor mother say, if she were alive now? I have read books of adventures, but never read anything like this. I fell asleep without further ado.
What is the “groundswell” referred to in the first paragraph? Why should the sun be spoken of as “ taking off his night-cap”? What is a “mandarin”? “bashaw”? What would be a “suitable proximity”? What is a “magic circle”?
stone jug”? What is meant by “the land of steady habits”? Why are the wolves called “dissectors”? Where is the phrase, "like a pelican in the wilderness," found ? Does this story have the appearance of being a true one ?
What kind of composition is this? With what tone of voice ought it to be read ? with what degree of force? of speed ? of pitch ? of volume? Is the style of reading to be monotonous or varied ? dignified or colloquial ?
III.—THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.
H. W. LONGFELLOW. 1. Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day's occupations
That is known as the Children's Hour.
2. I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
And voices soft and sweet.
3. From my study, I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair, Grave Alice and laughing Allegra,
And Edith, with golden hair. 4. A whisper, and then a silence;
Yet I know by their merry eyes, They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise. 5. A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall ! By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall !” 6. They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair; If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.
Their arms about me entwine,
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine !