Imagini ale paginilor






[In reading the following beautiful specimen of rhetorical dialogue the reader must personate four characters; the chief, boatman, lady, and lord; and vary his voice so as to express the emotions, which prompted the language of the several speakers. See Personation, Plain and Rhetorical Dialogue, p. 62.]

A CHIEFTAIN to the Highlands bound,
Cries, "Boatman, do not tarry!
And I'll give thee a silver pound,
To row us o'er the ferry."

2. "Now who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,
This dark and stormy water?"

Oh, I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,
And this, Lord Ullin's daughter.

3. "And fast before her father's men
Three days we 've fled together,
For should he find us in the glen,
My blood would stain the heather."

4. "His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover,
Then who would cheer my bonny" bride
When they have slain her lover?'

5. Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,
"I'll go, my chief; I'm ready;

It is not for your silver bright,
But for your winsomed lady.

a Lochgyle, (lok-gile';) à lake in the Highlands, or north part of Scotland. b Heather (Scotch phrase ;) a shrub of many species. Bonny, (Scotch phrase ;) pretty, handsome. #Win'some, (Scotch phrase ;) cheerful, merry.

6. "And by my word! the bonny bird In danger shall not tarry ;



So, though the waves are raging white,
I'll row you o'er the ferry."

8. But still as wilder blew the wind,

And as the night grew drearer,
Adown the glen rode armed men,
Their trampling sounded nearer.


By this the storm grew loud apace,
The water wraitha was shrieking,
And in the scowl of heaven each face
Grew dark as they were speaking.

9. "O, haste thee, haste!" the lady cries,
"Though tempests round us gather,
I'll meet the raging of the skies,
But not an angry father."

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

12. For sore dismayed, through storm and shade, His child he did discover;

One lovely hand she stretched for aid,
And one was round her lover.

13. "Come back! come back!" he cried in grief,
Across the stormy water:
"And I'll forgive your Highland chief,
My daughter! O my daughter!"

a Wraith, (Scotch phrase ;) the evil spirit of the waters.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

14. 'T was vain: the loud waves lashed the shore,

Return or aid preventing;

The waters wild went o'er his child,
And he was left lamenting.




1. We first came to the verge of the precipice, from which the water takes its leap upon a platform that projects with the rock many feet over the chasm. Here we gazed into the dell and the basin into which the stream pours itself from the beetling cliff. But the prospect from this point is far less thrilling than from below; and we accordingly began our descent.

2. Winding round the crags, and following a foot-path between the overhanging trees, we gradually, and with some difficulty, descended so far as to have a fine view of the station which we had just left. The scene here is magnificent beyond description. Far under the blackened canopy of everlasting rock, that shoots above to an alarming extent over the abyss, the eye glances round a vast and regular amphitheater, which seems to be the wild assembling-place of all the spirits of the storms; so rugged, so deep, so secluded, and yet so threatening does it appear!

3., Down from the midst of the cliff that over-arches this wonderful excavation, and dividing in the midst of the gloom that seems to settle within it, comes the foaming torrent, splendidly relieved upon the black surface of the enduring walls, and throwing its wreaths of mist along the frowning ceiling. Following the guide that had brought us thus far down the chasm, we passed into the amphitheater, and moving

a Catskill mountains; a range of mountains in New York, extending along the Hud. son, 3804 feet above the sea.

under the terrific projection, stood in the center of this sublime and stupendous work; the black, iron-bound rocks behind us and the snowy cataract springing between us and the boiling basin, which still lay under our feet.

4. Here the scene was unparalleled. Here seemed to be the theater for a people to stand in, and behold the prodigies and fearful wonders of the Almighty, and feel their own insignificance. Here admiration and astonishment come unbidden over the soul, and the most obdurate heart feels that there is something to be grateful for. Indeed, the scene from this spot is so sublime, and so well calculated to impress the feelings with a sense of the power and grandeur of nature, that, apart from all other considerations, it is worthy of long journeying and extreme toil to behold it.

5. Having taken refreshment, we descended to the extreme depth of the ravine, and, with certain heroic ladies, who somehow dared the perils of the path, we gazed from this place upon the sheet of water, falling from a height of more than two hundred and fifty feet. This is a matter of which Niagara would not speak lightly; and there is wanting only a heavy fall of water to make this spot not only magnificent, for that it is now, but terribly sublime.

6. Mountains ascend and overshadow it; crags and precipices project themselves in menacing assemblages all about, as though frowning over a ruin which they are only waiting some fiat to make yet more appalling. Nature has hewed out a resting place for man, where he may linger, and gaze, and admire! Below him she awakens her thunder, and darts her lightning; above him she lifts still loftier summits, and round him she flings her spray and her rainbows!




1. THE highest eulogy we can pronounce upon this book of all books, is, to take it for the man of our counsel, and the

polar star of our lives; not merely to admit and laud its superior excellency, and let it remain on the shelf, until anathema maranatha,* can be written in the dust upon its lids, and criminally neglecting to aid in giving it to the millions who are groping in heathen darkness.

2. Divine in its origin, written by the pen of inspiration, dipped in the burning indignation of God against the wicked, on the one hand; and in the melting fountain of his love, for the good, on the other; the sublimity of its language caps the climax of Rhetoric. As a history of that grand epoch,' when God said, "Let there be light; and there was light," it stands alone, clothed in the majesty of Divinity.

3. As a chronicle of the creation of man, after the moral image of Deity, of his ruinous fall, and of his subsequent mad career, it must remain unrivaled. As a chart of human nature, and of human rights and wrongs, and of the character of the great Jehovah, its delineations, in precision, fullness, and force of description, far exceed the boldest strokes and finest touches, of the master spirits of every age and clime.

4. As a system of morals and religion, every effort of man, to add to its transcendent beauty, or omnipotent strength, is presumption, and as vain as an attempt to bind the wind, or imprison the ocean. As a book of poetry and eloquence, it stands, in lofty grandeur, towering above the noblest productions of the most brilliant talents, that have illuminated and enraptured the classic world.

5. As a book of revelation,' it shed a flood of light upon the wilderness of mind, that added fresh luster and refulgence to those of reason, philosophy and science, which had guided mankind to that auspicious, glorious era, when it burst upon. the astonished world. As a book of coun unsel, its wisdom is profound, boundless, infinite. It meets every case in time, and is the golden chain that reaches from earth to heaven.

a A-nath'-e-ma măr-a-năth'-a; let him be cursed at the coming of the Lord. b The epoch of the creation of the world. We have no other true history of the creation and fall of man except the Bible. d See the Psalms which were originally written in Hebrew poetry. • See Paul's speech before Agrippa, Christ's sermon on the mount, &c. f Revelation of the immortality of the soul, of a future state of existence, &c.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »