Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

1

CALM AT SEA.

COLERIDGE.

p"The Ancient Mariner” of that gifted "old man eloquent" has always been a choice piece for recitation. The following extract is full of animated description, grandeur, and power of language.]

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, ,

'Twas sad as sad coul be:
And we did speak only to break

The silence of the sea !

a

All in a hot and copper sky,

The bloody sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,

No bigger than the moon.
Day after day, day after day,

We stuck; no breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink:
Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: alas!

That ever this should be !
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout

The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,

Burnt green, and blue, and white.

And some in dreams assured were

Of the spirit that plagued us so :
Nine fathom deep he had followed us

From the land of mist and snow.

And every tongue, through utter drought

Was withered at the root;

We could not speak, no more than if

We had been choked with soot.

There passed a weary time. Each throat

Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!

How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, i beheld

A something in the sky.
At first it seemed a little speck,

And then it seemed a mist;
It moved, and moved, and took at last

A certain shape, I wist.
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist !

And still it neared and neared :
As if it dodged a water sprite,

It plunged, and tacked, and veered.
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,

We could nor laugh nor wail ;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood;
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood

And cried, A sail! a sail !

1

YOUNG LOCHINVAR.

SCOTT.

(This bold Border Ballad is the most spirited recitation ovor writton. It's all ablaze with the fire of wild daring and adventurous lovo. It should be given with spirit and vivacity. Where the description of the escape of the young and dashing wooer is rocited the words should be full of vim and vigor.)

Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west !
Through all the wide border his steed was the best;
And save his good broad-sword he weapon had none,
He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone!
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar!

He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,
He swam the Eske river where ford there was nono

But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late :
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar!

So boldly he enter'd the Netherby Hall,
'Mong bride's men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all!
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword-
For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word-
“O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war ?
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar ?"
" I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied :
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide,
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine !
There be maidens in Scotland, more lovely by far,
Who would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar!"
The bride kiss'd the goblet; the knight took it up,
He quaff?d off the wine, and he threw down the cup!
She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,
“ Now tread we a measure !" said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form, and so lovely her face
That never a hall such a galliard did grace!
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume
And the bride-maidens whisper'd, Twere better by far,
To have match'd our fair cousin with young Lochinyar !"
One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reach'd the hall door, and the charger stood

near, So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung, So light to the saddle before her he sprung! “She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur ; They'll have fleet steeds that follow !" quoth young Loch

invar.

There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan; Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode

and they ran ; There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lea, But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see ! So daring in love, and so dauntless in war, Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar!

THE TRIAL SCENE.

From SHAKSPEARE's play of the MERCHANT OF VENICE.

CHARACTERS:

DUKE, of Venice,
ANTONIO, the Merchant,
BASSANO,
GRATIANO, Shis Friends,
SALARINO,
Portia, a Noble Lady,
NERISsa, her Friend.

a

[The Merchant of Venice is justly considered one of the best productions of the Bard of Avon. The plot of the piece is mainly taken up with the misfortunes of Antonio, a real “merchant prince,” of great wealth and liberality. Being suddenly straitened for money, he borrows from Shylock to meet pressing wants, giving as security a bond in which it was the whim of the surer to have a clause that Autonio, tailing to repay the borrowed money. should forfeit to the Jew a pound of flesh. Antonio, smilingly signs the bond. When he is unable to pay the sum. Shylock demands that the forfeit sbould be paid, and summons Antonio before thise“ strict constructionists" the Coun. sellors of Venice How he fares in his suit appears from our extract.

Shylock's character is a strange inixture of fawning sycophancy and overbearing hanteur, as the scales incline for or against him ; Antonio is a right noble character, and his words and actions should bo characterised by serene dignity: Gratiano is a merry jester, but gentlemanly withal ; Portia's speeches are full of mellow wisdom and abound in eloquent passages,

COSTUMES - Antonio, and his friends niay be dressed in any of the garbs worn by tho individnals portrayed by Titian or Raphael-viz, a rich Italian dress. Antonio in rather sober colors-the Duke some. what more gorgeously. Shylock should wear a long brown robe, of coarse material and simple form, Portia and Nerissa wear black stuff gowns 1.ke English lawyırs.]

[ocr errors]

SCENE.— Vonice. A Court of Justice. Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes ; ANTONIO, BASSANIO,

GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and others.

DUKE. What, is Antonio here?
ANT. Really, so please your grace.

DUKE. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

ANT. I have heard,
Your grace hath ta'en great pains wo qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.
DUKE. Go one, and call the Jew into the court.
SALAN. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.

Enter SHYLOCK.

DUKE. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so to,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice.
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt shew thy mercy, and remorse, more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty ;
And where thou now exact'st the penalty,
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,)
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love, .
Forgive a moiety of the principal ;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back,
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.
We will expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Shy. I have possess'd your grace of whau - purpose ,
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forteit of my bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that;
But, say, it is my humour; Is it answer'd ?
What if my house is troubled with a rat,
And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats
To have it baned ? What, are you answer'd yet?

1

« VorigeDoorgaan »