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Gò-says he, one day at dinner, to an overgrown one which had buzzed about his nose, and tormented him cruelly all dinner time, and which, after infinite attempts, he had caught at lást as it flew bỳ him—I'll nót hùrt thee—says my uncle Toby, rīsing from his chair and going across the room with the flý in his hànd-I'll not hurt a háir of thy head: Gò-says he, lifting up the sash, and opening his hand as he spoke, to let it escàpe―gò, poōr creāture; gét thee gòne; why should I hurt thèe?—This world surely is wide enough to hold both thèe and mé.
This lesson of universal good-will, taught by my uncle Toby, may serve instead of a whole vòlume upon the subject.-Sterne.
A poor monk, of the order of St Francis, came into the room to beg something for his convent. The moment I cast my eyes upon him, I was determined not to give him a single sous; and accordingly I put my purse into my pocket-buttoned it up—set myself a little more upon my centre, and advanced up gravely to him. There was something, I fear, forbidding in my look; I have his figure this moment before my eyes, and think there was that in it which deserved better.
The monk, as I judged from the break in his tonsure, a few scattered white hairs upon his temples being all that remained of it, might be about seventy-but from his eyes, and that sort of fire which was in them, which seemed more tempered by courtesy than years, could be no more than sixty-truth might lie between.He was certainly sixty-five; and the general air of his countenance, notwithstanding something seemed to have been planting wrinkles in it before their time, agreed to the account.
It was one of those heads which Guido has often paintedmild, pale, penetrating: free from all commonplace ideas of fat contented ignorance, looking downwards upon the earth-it looked forwards; but looked as if it looked at something beyond this world. How one of his order came by it, Heaven above, who let it fall upon a monk's shoulders, best knows: but it would have suited a Bramin; and bad I met it upon the plains of Hindostan, I had reverenced it.
The rest of his outline may be given in a few strokes; one
might put it into the hands of any one to design; for it was neither elegant nor otherwise, but as character and expression made it so. It was a thin, spare form, something above the common size, if it lost not the distinction by a bend forwards in the figure -but it was the attitude of entreaty; and, as it now stands present in my imagination, it gained more than it lost by it.
When he had entered the room three paces, he stood still; and, laying his left hand upon his breast (a slender white staff with which he journeyed being in his right)—when I had got close up o him, he introduced himself with the little story of the wants of his convent, and the poverty of his order-and did it with so simple a grace—and such an air of deprecation was there in the whole cast of his look and figure-I was bewitched not to have been struck with it
-A better reason was, I had predetermined not to give him a single sous.
'Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his address-'tis very true-and Heaven be their resource who have no other than the charity of the world; the stock of which, I fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which are hourly made upon it.
As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eyes downwards upon the sleeve of his tunic-I felt the full force of the appeal-I acknowledge it, said I—a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with meagre diet, are no great matters: but the true point of pity is, as they can be earned in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund, which is the property of the lame, the blind, the aged, and the infirm: the captive, who lies down counting over and over again the days of his afflictions, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of mercy, instead of the order of St Francis, poor as I am (continued I, pointing to my portmanteau), full cheerfully should it have been opened to you for the ransom of the unfortunate. The monk made me a bow-But, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country surely have the first right; and I have left thousands in distress upon the English shore. The monk gave a cordial wave with his hand as much as to say; No doubt there is misery enough in every corner of the world, as well as within our convent. But we distinguish, said I-laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunic,
in return for his appeal-we distinguish, my good father, betwixt those who wish to eat only the bread of their own labour, and those who eat the bread of other people, and have no other plan in life but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.
The poor Franciscan made no reply: a hectic of a moment passed across his cheek, but could not tarry-Nature seemed to have done with her resentments in him; he showed none-but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation upon his breast, and retired.
My heart smote me the moment he shut the door-Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times-But it would not do; every ungracious syllable I had uttered crowded back into my imagination. I reflected I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him; and that the punishment of that was enough to the disappointed, without the addition of unkind language-I considered his grey hairs—his courteous figure seemed to re-enter, and gently ask me what injury he had done me, and why I could use him thus ?—I would have given twenty livres for an advocate-I have behaved very ill, said I within myself; but I have only just set out on my travels, and shall learn better manners as I get along.-Sterne.
THE SERIES, CLIMAX, OR ENUMERATION.
RULE. The Commencing Series, each successive clause of which is introductory, takes the rising modulation on its ultimate particular; the preceding particulars receiving the modulation which the general sense of the passage suggests, as being of a negative, concessive, or interrogative character— whereas the Concluding Series, each successive clause being conclusive, takes the falling inflection on its ultimate particular, the previous particulars receiving the inflection suggested by the general sense. The preceding particulars of the
Commencing Series generally admit the rising modulation on account of their introductory character; whereas those of the Concluding Series will in most instances require the falling, from their affirmative character. The Commencing Series is that which begins a sentence without concluding it; the Concluding Series, that which terminates a sentence whether it commences it or not.
The Series has long been treated as one of the most intricate principles in the Art of Reading, and has certainly become sufficiently perplexing by the rules hitherto in use. Some elocutionists have insisted that every successive member in the enumeration should receive a different modulation from the preceding; while others contend that there should be a gradual progression upwards until the scale of four or five particulars be reached, that the voice should then return to the commencing tone, and ascend in the same gradation as before until it reaches the penultimate. It seems much simpler and equally efficient to deliver the entire series in one uniform modulation, with the exception of the penultimate and ultimate members, the modulation of which must depend upon their relationship to the general sense. By adopting a scale of fours or fives, or any fixed scale whatever, the reader necessarily inflicts an intolerable stiffness upon the passage, and is seldom prepared, at first sight, to preserve the integrity of the rule, so difficult is it to enumerate the particulars as he proceeds. Nor is the sentence likely to suffer by an adherence to one prevailing inflection, provided it be delivered naturally, with an occasional shifting of the voice from one monotone to another as the taste of the reader directs. Should he think otherwise, however, he can easily introduce an occasional rising or falling slide for the sake of change, without recognising any fixed scale of particulars, the very consideration of which is calculated to produce a most prejudicial tameness. Let him adopt the modu
lation suggested by the spirit of the passage as being negative, concessive, or affirmative, introductory or conclusive, and let any occasional deviation be at the suggestion of the moment, and not the previously concerted effect of a principle he is bound to recognise and vindicate on every new particular. The reader's chief design is impressiveness, which will always be best secured when nature is consulted -but nature is simple in all her operations, the reverse of man's inventions, which are frequently too complicated to serve any useful purpose.
EXAMPLE of the Commencing Series with the rising modulation, from the introductory character of its members.— "The présence, knówledge, power, wisdom, hóliness, and goodness of the Deity, are áll unbounded." Or, with an occasional deviation for the sake of variety-" The présence, knówledge, pòwer, wisdom, hòliness, and goodness of the Deity, are áll unbounded."
EXAMPLE of the Commencing with an occasional falling modulation, on account of the antithesis involved.—“ I am persuaded that neither death nor lífe; nor ángels, nor principálities, nor powers; nor things prèsent nor things to cóme; nor height nor dépth; nor any other creature, shall be able to separate ūs from the love of God which is in Christ Jésus our Lòrd." In this sentence, it will be observed, the rising modulation prevails from the negative character of the clauses.
EXAMPLE of the Concluding Series with the falling modulation, each member being affirmative. "The goòd man is approved by his own mind; loved by his friends; esteémed by his acquaintance; honoured by his country; revéred by postèrity."
EXAMPLE of the Concluding with an occasional rising inflection, in consequence of the concession implied in some particulars." The sòul can exért herself in many different wàys; she can understánd, will, imágine; sèe and héar;