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Sound His stupendous praise, whose greater voice,
Or bìds you róar, or bíds your roarings fàll.
Soft roll your incense, hérbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Hím, whose sùn exálts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil pàints.
Ye forests, bènd : ye hárvests, wave to Him,
Brēathe your still song into the reaper's héart,
As hòme he goes beneath the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious líes, effuse your mildest beams,
Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled ský, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! best image hére below
Of thy Creátor, ever poūring wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On Nature write with èvery béam His pràise.
The thunder rolls; be hùsh'd the prostrate world,
While cloùd to cloud returns the solemn hòmn.
Bleat out afrèsh, ye hills : ye mdssy rocks,
Retain the sound : the broad responsive low,
Ye valleys, raise,-for the great Shèpherd réigns,
And His unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands áll, awake; a boundless song
Búrst from the groves ; and when the restless dáy,
Expiring, lays the wàrbling world asléep,
Sweetest of bírds ! sweet Philoméla, charm
The listening shades, and téach the nīght His pràise.
Yè chíef, for whom the whole creātion smiles ;
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of áll;
Crówn the great hŷmn: in swārming cīties vást,
Assēmbled mēn, to the deep órgan join
The long-resoūnding vòice, oft breāking clēar,
At sòlemn páuses, through the swelling bàss ;
And, as ēach mingling flame increases éach,
In óne united árdour rise to heaven.
Or, if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fàne in every sacred gróve;
Thére let the shèpherd's flúte, the vìrgin’s láy,
The prompting séraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of Seasons as they roll.

For mé, when I forget the darling théme,
Whether the blossom blóws, the Sūmmer rāy
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gléams,
Or Winter rises in the blackening éast;
Be my tongue mute, may fáncy paint no more,
And, dèad to joy, forgét my hēart to beat.
Should fáte command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant bàrbarons clímes,
Rívers unkndwn to sóng ; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or bis sétting bèam
Flames on Atlantic ísles; 'tis noùght to mé;
Since Gód is ever présent, èver félt,
In the vdid waste as in the city full :
And where Hé vital breathes, there must be jdy.
When even at lást the sõlemn hour shall come,
And wing my mýstic flight to fùture worlds,
I cheerful will obèy : thére with nèw pówers,
Will rising wonders sing : I cannot gò,
Where Univērsal Lõve not smiles around,
Sustàiving all yon órbs, and all their súns:
From seeming evil still educing good,
And bétter thènce again, and better still,
In infinite progrèssion.- -But I lose
Mysēlf in Him, in Light Ineffable !
Come, thén, expressive Silence, mùse His prāise.

-Thomson.

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RHETORICAL ACTION.

Gesture, in order to be impressive, must be natural. That which is natural is generally both graceful in quality and appropriate in kind. If rhetorical action is either awkward in itself or unsuitable to the language, feeling, or circumstances which accompany it, it is alike objectionable. Better never raise the arm, than raise it unseasonably; better never appear in earnest, if not actually so. The action that is not the ebullition of feeling, will always seem out of

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a

place, and therefore extravagant. It should be the legitimate expression of earnestness ; an earnestness not assumed, however, merely because it may be thought desirable, but genuine because felt, and felt so intuitively that the speaker is, at the moment, perhaps unconscious of its existence. When otherwise, the action becomes cold and formalthe result of a moral reason rather than a physical spontaneity. The speaker is thereby forced into a false position with his audience, and pays the forfeit of his misconception in a laboured indulgence of strut and rant, that land him the deeper into discontent with himself and his subject. Hisaudience seek it not, for it offends them—the subject requires it not, for he has not yet felt his subject—and he flounders about from one false tack to another, seeking some touch of nature to guide him, and finding none. We know nothing more melancholy than the exhibition of him who gesticulates simply because he has seen another do so in similar circumstances, and

supposes

he should do the same. That other may have been received with rapture, because he felt his author; while this fails, simply because he does not. In the former, the action was acceptable, because the natural and necessary reflex of the intensity felt—in the latter, the character is never seen, only the reciter. He had observed the other throw up his arms, stamp and fume, and be applauded in doing so, and he does the same; but why he should fail while the other succeeded, is to him all a mystery.

The safest rule, then, obviously is to follow the impulse of nature. Any attempt to guide the speaker must be in accordance with this, and should be viewed not so much as indicating when gesture should be used, as how it is to be regulated when the springs of action have been so awakened as to make gesture indispensable. Principles of gesture do not communicate feeling, any more than principles of modulation. The orator gesticulates when nature promptswhen he feels that for the body to be any longer silent

would be impossible. Nature will manifest herself. He then feels he may as soon cease to speak as cease to act. The action that has its origin in the mere will and caprice of the speaker, and its object in the mere desire of pleasing, is seldom successful. It may raise a laugh when it is meant to woo a tear. Some speakers are seldom passivenot knowing how to dispose of their arms, their feet, their eye.

With them it is a fault ever to be at rest—they see no grace, no propriety, no expression, in a pause or in inaction; and simply because they do not follow nature. They will not wait till they are warmed with their subject, but set out, ab initio, with the professed purpose of making an impression, forgetting that there is no impressiveness without corresponding earnestness. Others, again, err on the score of tameness. They have contracted such a dislike, it may be, to all that borders on extravagance, that they will not lift a finger during their whole harangue. If they feel their subject, they show it only in the rapidity of their utterance. Action they avoid, forgetting that action ceases to be extravagant the moment it flows from intensity. It is then proper, nay, necessary, if they have any regard for themselves, their subject, or their audience. These suffer by false modesty—the others, by their own false notions of earnestness. What is a vice in the former, would become a virtue in the latter. The fear of offending constrains the one—the thirst of applause moves the others, who think themselves so much the better speakers that they can bellow and gesticulate as few ever did before them.

If nature, then, is to constitute the basis of rhetorical action—to be both the principle and test of propriety-how may the student be so schooled into the perception of what is natural, as to discover it where he had never seen it before, and detect the absence of it in those who hitherto seemed to possess it?

In the first place, natural action will harmonise with the

a

subject. Is the subject moving--admitting the higher flights of oratory?—so will be the action. The head will be uplifted, the eye open, the arm extended, the whole figure drawn

up to a more than ordinary height, as if the orator felt he could not tower sufficiently above his audience. Is the subject commonplace, conventional, prosaic?—the action will be proportionally subdued, less elevated, and less exciting. And why? Because nature wills it. To be excited without reason, is just as unnatural as to be calm and unconcerned under the strongest excitement. In the true orator, him who consults nature, and is willing to be led by it, every gesture, weak or violent, will harmonise with the emotion that calls it forth ; seeming rather to form part of the emotion than to be suggested by it. Action, in such a speaker, is the language of the body, and is always in-harmony

with that of the tongue. In the second place, action, when the offspring of emotion, will be instantaneous. There will be no drawling-no sawing of the air—the emphatic stroke of the arm, the quiver of the lip, the start of the limb,

will accompany phasis of the voice, thereby telling powerfully on the feelings that are addressed. The reverse of this is that tediousness of gesture, that long sweep of the arm, which falls tamely on the eye, and resolves itself into a most tiresome and drivelling monotony. The gesture of an impassioned orator may not be always the most polished, but it will always be more or less impressive, because always in season with the excitement that gave it birth. Who that has heard Dr Chalmers or Gavazzi, in the excitement of their delivery, ever failed to be struck with this ! How amazingly impressive by the very instantaneousness of their action ! the flash of the eye, the elevation of the arm, the clenching of the hand, united so simultaneously with the emphasis of voice and language, as to form a combination of forces altogether irresistible if not terrific. Not so where there is a

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