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That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
-Hamlet, i., 2.
TONE OF SARCASM.
(See Tone Drill No. 182.) [The tone of Sarcasm denotes a keen disrespect, bordering sometimes on cruelty. The speaker seems to snarl and bite, and, at times, to enjoy his verbal torture of the victim.]
Reply to Mr. Corry.
Has the gentleman done? Has he completely done? He was unparliamentary from the beginning to the end of his
speech. There was scarce a word that he uttered that was not a violation of the privileges of the House. But I did not call him to order. Why? Because the limited talents
. of some men render it impossible for them to be severe without being unparliamentary. But before I sit down I shall show him how to be severe and parliamentary at the same time. On any other occasion, I should think myself justifiable in treating with silent contempt anything which might fall from that honorable member; but there are times when the insignificance of the accuser is lost in the magnitude of the accusation. I know the difficulty the honorable gentleman labored under when he attacked me, conscious that, on a comparative view of our characters, public and private, there is nothing he could say which would injure me. The public would not believe the charge. I despise the falsehood. If such a charge were made by an honest man, I would answer it in the manner I shall do before I sit down. But I shall first reply to it when not made by an honest man.
Reply to Mr. Walpole.
The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of those who continue ignorant in spite of age and experience.
Whether youth can be attributed to any man as a reproach, I will not, Sir, assume the province of determining; but surely, age may justly become contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appear to prevail when the passions have subsided. The wretch who, after having seen the consequences of a thousand errors, continues still to blunder, and in whom age has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object either of abhorrence or contempt; and deserves not that his gray head should secure him from insults. Much more, Sir, is he to be abhorred who, as he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and become more wicked with less temptation; who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remainder of his life in the ruin of his country.
Shylock to Antonio.
You come to me, and you say,
-Merchant of Venice, i., 3.
TONE OF JOY.
(See Tone Drill No. 128.) [The tone of Joy manifests brightness and happiness. It has less abandon than Gayety, being sweeter and richer.]
The Enjoyments of Spring.
This is truly the glad season of the year. Wherever we turn our eyes, Nature wears a smile of joy, as if, freed from the storms and the cold of winter, she revelled in the well enhanced luxury of spring. The lengthening day, the increasing warmth of the air, and the gradually deepening green of the awakened earth, excite in every breast a lively sense of gratitude, and pleasingly affect the imagination. A walk among the woods or fields, in a calm spring day, when the trees are bursting forth into beauty, and all the land is echoing with song, may well soothe the stormiest passions, and inspire that ‘vernal delight,' which is able to drive away all sadness but despair.' The mind sympathizes with the joy of inanimate Nature, and rejoices to behold the reviving beauty of the earth, as if itself had escaped from a period of gloom, to bask in the sunshine of hope and enjoyment.
There is something in the flowery sweetness and genial warmth of spring that kindles in the rudest bosom feelings of gratitude and pleasure. The contrast to the cold and desolation of winter is so striking and agreeable, that every heart, unless it be hardened by the direst ignorance and crime, is melted to love and pious emotion; and breathings of deepfelt adoration escape from the most untutored lips. The carols of the ploughman, as he traverses the field, the livelong day, and turns up the fresh soil, seem to bespeak a lightsome heart, and evince the joyousness of labor. The shepherd, as he sits upon the hill-side and surveys his quiet flock with its sportive companies of lambs,—those sweetest emblems of
innocent mirth,—feels a joy and calm satisfaction, that is heightened by the recollection of the vanished snowstorms of recent winter, and of all the anxieties and toils attending his peculiar charge.
Even the hard-working mechanic of the village or town, shares the general gladness of the season. As he strolls in sweet relaxation into the glittering fields, or along the blossoming hedgerows and lanes, haply supporting with his hand the tottering footsteps of his child, or carrying the tender infant in his arms, he breathes the freshning air, treads the reviving turf beneath his feet, and inhales the first faint perfumes, and listens to the first melodies of the year, with an enjoyment that his untaught powers of expression cannot describe.
Voice of Spring.
I come, I come! ye have called me long,
I have passed o'er the hills of the stormy north,
I have sent through the wood-paths a gentle sigh,