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Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus'd
-Henry V, iii., 3.
TONE OF SUBLIMITY.
(See Tone Drill No. 194.) [The tone of Sublimity manifests an extreme admiration which almost overwhelms. The speaker seems uplifted by the majesty and the grandeur. While akin to Awe, Sublimity has in it less of Fear and more of Joy.]
The Avalanches of the Jungfrau.
G. B. CHEEVER.
Figure to yourself a cataract like that of Niagara, poured in foaming grandeur, not merely over one great precipice of two hundred feet, but over the successive ridgy precipices of two or three thousand, in the face of a mountain eleven thousand feet high, and tumbling, crashing, thundering down with a continuous din of far greater sublimity than the sound of the grandest cataract. The roar of the falling mass begins to be heard the moment it is loosened from the mountain; it pours on with the sound of a vast body of rushing water; then comes the first great concussion, a booming crash of thunders, breaking on the still air in mid-heaven; your breath is suspended, and you listen and look; the mighty glittering mass shoots headlong over the main precipice, and the fall is so great that it produces to the eye that impression of dread majestic slowness of which I have spoken, though it is doubtless more rapid than Niagara.
But if you should see the catarảct of Niagara itself coming down five thousand feet above you in the air, there would be the same impression. The image remains in the mind, and can never fade from it; it is as if
had seen an alabaster cataract from heaven. The sound is far more sublime than that of Niagara, because of the preceding stillness in those Alpine solitudes. In the midst of such silence and solemnity, from out the bosom of those glorious, glittering forms of nature, comes that rushing, crashing thunderburst of sound! If it were not that your soul, through the eye, is as filled and fixed with the sublimity of the vision as, through the sense of hearing, with that of the audible report, methinks you would wish to bury your face in your hands, and fall prostrate, as at the voice of the Eternal.
TONE OF BITTERNESS.
(See Tone Drill No. 31.) [The tone of Bitterness has in it the note of grievance, but manifests a deeper resentment.]
The American War.
CHARLES JAMES FOX.
Who is he who arraigns gentlemen on this side of the House with causing, by their inflammatory speeches, the misfortunes of their country? The accusation comes from one whose inflammatory harangues have led the Nation, step by step, from violence to violence, in that inhuman, unfeeling system of blood and massacre, which every honest man must detest, which every good man must abhor, and every wise man condemn! And this man imputes the guilt of such measures to those who had all along foretold the consequences; who had prayed, entreated and supplicated, not only for America, but for the credit of the Nation and its eventual welfare, to arrest the hand of Power, meditating slaughter, and directed by injustice!
What was the consequence of the sanguinary measures recommended in those bloody, inflammatory speeches? Though
Boston was to be starved, though Hancock and Adams were proscribed, yet at the feet of these very men the Parliament of Great Britain was obliged to kneel, flatter, and cringe; and, as it had the cruelty at one time to denounce vengeance against these men, so it had the meanness afterwards to implore their forgiveness. Shall he who called the American “Hancock and his crew,”—shall he presume to reprehend any set of men for inflammatory speeches?
It is this accursed American war that has led us, step by step, into all our present misfortunes and national disgraces. What was the cause of our wasting forty millions of money, and sixty thousand lives? The American war! What was it that produced the French rescript and a French war? The American war! What was it that produced the Spanish manifesto and Spanish war? The American war! What was it that armed forty-two thousand men in Ireland with the arguments carried on the points of forty thousand bayonets ? The American war! For what are we about to incur an additional debt of twelve or fourteen millions ? This accursed, cruel, diabolical American war!
It was roses, roses, all the way,
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
The air broke into a mist with bells,
The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries.
But give me your sun from yonder skies!”
Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun
To give it my loving friends to keep!
And you see my harvest, what I reap
There's nobody on the house-tops now
Just a palsied few at the windows set;
At the Shambles' Gateor, better yet,
I go in the rain, and, more than needs,
A rope cuts both my wrists behind;
For they fling, whoever has a mind,
Thus I entered, and thus I go!
In triumphs, people have dropped down dead. "Paid by the world, what dost thou owe
Me?”—God might question; now instead, 'Tis God shall repay: I am safer so.
TONE OF SOLEMN CONDEMNATION.
(See Tone Drill No. 48.) [The tone of Solemn Condemnation implies that the judgment has weighed and considered before passing sentence.]
Impeachment of Warren Hastings.
EDMUND BURKE. I impeach Warren Hastings, Esquire, of high crimes and misdemeanors,
I impeach him in the name of the Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has betrayed.
I impeach him in the name of all the Commons of Great Britain, whose national character he has dishonored.
I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose laws, rights, and liberties he has subverted, whose property he has destroyed, whose country he has laid waste and desolate.
I impeach him in the name, and by virtue, of those eternal laws of justice which he has violated.
I impeach him in the name of human nature itself, which he has cruelly outraged, injured, and oppressed, in both sexes, in every age, rank, situation, and condition of life.
Henry V's Sentence on the Conspirators.
Hear your sentence.
-Henry V, ii., 2.