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This speech of King Richard is, in the author's opinion, not merely one of the most difficult pieces to read or recite in our language, but the most difficult. It was made on Bosworth field, when Shakspeare's spectral illusions of King Richard's murdered victims, called ghosts, appeared to him, the shade of each of whom, pointed towards him, with a clay-cold, but unerring hand, and cried, in a voice which harrowed up his soul: “Thou art my murderer, despair and die.” When the ghost vanished, he started out of his dream, and made the above speech, in which he acknowledges himself to have been a villain and a murderer. His name is, as Queen Anne predicted it would be, "a by-word for tyranny."
His speech should be commenced abruptly, and on a high key. The voice should fall to a low note on the second line. The fifth line, “ Cold, fearful drops," &c. requires slow time and quantity. The questions which he puts to himself, require rising inflections; the answers he makes, falling inflections. Those portions of his speech in which he speaks of his crimes, require a high key, and great energy.
65. THERE'S NOTHING TRUE BUT HEAVEN.— Thomas Moore.
1. This world is all a fleeting show,
For man's illusion given;
There's nothing true but Heaven.
As fading hues of even;
There's nothing bright but Heaven,
3. Poor wanderers of a stormy day,
From wave to wave we're driven;
There's nothing calm but Heaven. The writer has only to say to the reader in reference to these two pieces—65 66%" look first on this” beautiful poem, "and then on that," and read or recite them both on a low
key, with quantity, and with pauses after uttering each of the six italicised words.
1. This world's not “all a fleeting show,
For man's illusion given—"
There's something here of Heaven.
2. And he that walks life's thorny way
With feelings calm and even,
Hath something felt of Heaven.
3. He that the Christian's course hath run,
And all his foes forgiven,
On earth hath tasted Heaven.
67. RELIGION.—Rcv. Alva Wood.
1. While we are disposed to allow, to their full extent, the pleasures of literary pursuit, and the important advantages of intellectual illumination, it must be confessed, that man has wants which nothing can supply, and woes which nothing can relieve, but the sanative influence of religion.
2. What can moderate anger, resentment, malice, or revenge, like the thought, that we may ask God to forgive our trespasses, only as we forgive the trespasses of others? What can quiet murmurings at our lot, like the deep sense of moral de merit, which the gospel presses on the conscience? What can cool the burnings of envy, or allay the passion for renown, like a remembrance of the transitory nature of all human glory.
3. What can produce resignation to the loss of friends, like a confident hope of meeting them soon in a brighter world? What can prompt to deeds of benevolence, like the example of Him, who, though he was rich, for our sakes, became poor? Is there any thing which can give steadiness to purpose, or stability to character
, like an unwavering regard to the will of God?
4. Considerations of mere worldly policy, or interest, furnish no steady magnetic influence to give one uniform direction to all the plans and actions of life. Patriotism may fire the spirit with valor, to sustain the onset of an invading foe, and bare the breast to the rushing tide of war ;—but who can meet with unruffled temper, the thousand petty ills that life is heir to, like him whose aim is heaven?
5. What sublimity, like moral sublimity, whether we regard the grandeur, or permanency of its effects ?
What more sublime than the triumph of a dying Christian when, in the midst of its decaying and crumbling habitation, the spirit plumes itself for its lofty flight, and departs in the buoyancy of hope, for the regions of eternal day? These are the gifts of Christianity.
6. But it is on man, in his social capacities, and political relations, that moral principle is destined to exert its most important influence. It is in society that man has power. It is in society, that virtue developes its benevolent tendencies, and that vice scatters fire-brands, arrows, and death. Has the example of vice wrought powerfully? so has that of virtue. Ilave many been beguiled to their destruction by the enticings of the sinful? multitudes have been allured by the persuasions of the good, to fairer worlds on high.
This extract is from the Rev. Mr. Wood's discourse at his inauguration, as president of the Transylvania University, October 13, 1828. He succeeded Dr. Holley.
68. God's INCOMPREHENSIBILITY. Dr. Chalmers.
1. While the spirituality of God's nature places him beyond the reach of our direct cognizance, there are certain other essential properties of his nature, which place him beyond the reach of our possible comprehension. Let me instance the past eternity of the Godhead. One might figure a füturity that never ceases to flow, and which has no termination ; but who can climb his ascending way, among the obscurities of that infinite which is behind him?
2. Who can travel in thought, along the track of generations gone by, till he has overtaken the eternity, which lies in that direction? Who can look across the millions of ages which have elapsed, and from an ulterior post of observation, look again to another, and another succession of centuries; and from each further extremity in this series of retrospector stretch backward his regards on an antiquity, as remote and indefinite as ever? Could we, by any number of successivs strides over these mighty intervals, at length, reach the fountairhead of duration, our spirits might be at rest.
3. But to think of duration, as having no fountain-head; to think of time, with no beginning; to uplift the imagination along the heights of an antiquity, which hath positively no summit; to soar these upward steeps, till, dizzied by the altitude, we can keep no longer on the wing; for the mind to make these repeated flights from one pinnacle to another, and instead of scaling the mysterious elevation, to lie baffled at its foot, or lose itself among the far, the long-withdrawing recesses of that primeval distance, which at length, merges away
into a fathomless unknown; this is an exercise, utterly discomfiting to the puny faculties of man.
This extract is from the works of Rev. Thomas Chalmers, LL. D., of Edinburgh, on “Natural Theology."
Thaigh every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile?
The gifts of God are strown,
Bows down to wood and stone.
3. Shall we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high;
The lamp of life deny?
The joyful sound proclaim,
Has learnt Messiah's name.
4. Waft, waft, ye winds, his story;
And you, ye waters, roll,
It spreads from pole to pole;
The Lamb, for sinners slain,
In bliss returns to reign. This popular hymn was written by the bishop, just before he left England for India. Like all other solemn pieces of poetry, it requires long quantity, and rather a low key. The voice should, however, be somewhat clevated on the words in italic, and yet not enough to be disagreeable to
70. SOLILOQUY ON THE PRINCESS THIEKLA.—Frederic Schiller
1. It is his spirit calls me! 'Tis the host
Of faithful souls that sacrificed themselves