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And gathers his gun closer up to his side,
As if to keep down the heart-swelling.
The footstep is lagging and weary,
His life-blood is ebbing and dashing !
No sound save the rush of the river ;
EXERCISE.-37. MEANINGS OF WORDS, ETC. 1. Give the meaning of the following :-picket, sentry, thicket, truckle, serenely, welling, ebbing, tremulous, pledged.
2. Distinguish between:sentry, century; more, mower ; seems, seams ; night, knight; side, sighed; dew, due.
3. Úlustrate the different meanings of :-truckle, low, slack, moon. 4. What is the Potomac ?
5. In what war is the episode related in this poem supposed to have taken place ?
THE POWER OF ELOQUENCE. or-a-tor (L, oro, to pray or plead), a pleader, a public speaker. ad. vant-age [F. avantage, from avant, before), benefit, superiority. com-mand (L. con, with ; manus, the hand; do, to give], to control, to govern. dic-tion (L. dico, to say], speech, words, language. po-ten-cy [L. potens, powerful, from possuin, to be able), power. ELOQUENCE, in this empire, is power. Give a man nerve, a presence, sway over language, and above all, enthusiasm, or intellectual skill to simulate it; start him in the public arena with these requisites, and, ere many years, perhaps many months, have passed, you will either see him in high station or in a fair way of rising to it. Party politics, social grievances, and the like, are to him so many new-discovered
worlds wherein he may, with the orator's sword—his tongue -carve out his fortune and his fame.
Station—the prior possession, by rank or wealth, of the public ear—is, no doubt, a great advantage. It is much for a man to be asked as a favour to speak to a cause, for that his rank and name will influence the people ; or to have secured to him by his birth a seat in the senate : these things, doubtless, give one man a start before another in the race. But, without the gift of eloquence, all these special favours of Fortune are of no avail in securing you influence over your countrymen. Unless you have the art of clothing your ideas in clear and captivating diction, of identifying yourself with the feelings of your hearers, and uttering them in language more forcible, or terse, or brilliant than they can themselves command; or unless you have the power, still more rare, of originating—of commanding their intellects, their hearts—of drawing them in your train by the irresistible magic of sympathy-of making their thoughts your thoughts, or your thoughts theirs ; unless
you have stumbled on the shell that shall make you the possessor of this lyre,-never hope to rule your fellowmen in these modern days. Publicly and ostensibly powerful you never will be, unless you have mastered the art of oratory.
We are so accustomed to the influence of this talking power in the State, that we have ceased to wonder at its
Yet the triumphs of the tongue have in our own days almost equalled those of the sword. England is generally accounted an aristocratic country, and her aristocracy have the credit of being peculiarly tenacious of their privileges,-jealous of the intrusion of adventurers into their ranks. The career of one man amongst our contemporaries, however, has shown that eloquence has a potency as great as parchment pedigrees; that the owner of that talisman may storm the very stronghold of the exclusives ; appropriate their rank, titles, dignities, and turn their power against themselves; while, by the agency of their own legalized formularies, he sways the supreme, and even rules the rulers.
Emerging from the comparative obscurity of a provincial
capital, as an advocate, he talks himself into the distinction of being talked about; thence he talks himself into the popular branch of the legislature, where again he talks to such purpose as to become the mouthpiece of the most exclusive section of an exclusive aristocracy : arrived at this point, he reappears on his old scene of action, and talks to the people with the new sanctions and powers which his parliamentary talking has obtained for him ; he talks at meetings, he talks at dinners, he talks at mechanics' institutes; he talks to the men of the south, he talks to the men of the north; he talks to every one of everything, till the whole land is filled with the echo of his voice,-till, with all England, nay, with all the world, for his listeners, men wonder where next he will find an audience ; when lo! suddenly, incomprehensibly, as if by magical power, at a few more waggings of that ever-vibrating organ of his, the doors of the senate itself fly open, and peers of ancient lineage crowd down to welcome him to this sanctuary of noble blood, to usher him up even to the judgment-seat itself, to make him lord paramount over themselves and their proceedings, the licenser of their thoughts, and the originator of their laws !
Could the greatest triumphs in arms achieve much more ? The hero who has served and saved his country in the field secures a higher and more lasting fame, and a reward in the gratitude of his countrymen; but in all the external and ostensible marks of honour, such as constituted authorities can bestow, the heaped titles of the victorious warrior exceed the simple nobility of the successful orator only in degree ; while the influence of the one culminates where that of the other declines—with the ascendancy of peace.
EXERCISE.-38. COMPOSITION. 1. What is meant by the art of oratory ?
2. Name several of the advantages that are possessed by an eloquent speaker.
3. Describe the steps by which a gifted speaker rises from obscurity, following the order of the last paragraph but one.
4. Compare the victorious warrior and the successful orator, and state which, in your estimation, is the greatest benefactor to his country, with your reasons for thinking so.
5. Give the phrases used in this lesson, for aristocracy and House of Lords.
[For Biographical Notice see next page.] ru-ral [L. rus, the country), rustic, belonging to the country. fru. gal (L. frugalis, temperate; from frux, fruit), thrifty, sparing. me. chan-ic [Gk. mēchănē, a machine or contrivance], an artisan.
How still the morning of the hallowed day!
The ploughboy's whistle, and the milkmaid's song.
With dove-like wings, Peace o'er yon village broods :
But chiefly man the day of rest enjoys.
The Rev. JAMES GRAHAME was born in Glasgow, in 1765, and died September 14, 1811. He practised at the Scottish bar for several years, but ultimately took orders in the Church of England. He resembles Cowper in his minute and careful description of scenery and country life, as well as in the deep religious feeling that characterizes his writings. The best of his poetical works is the “ Sabbath,” from which the above extract is taken.