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and fall ineffectual to the ground, through mere sluggishness in the delivery!
QUESTIONS-1. What erroneous opinion is quite universally entertained? 2. How do they acquire any other art, as singing or playing on an instrument? 3. What is said in regard to Cicero and Demosthenes? 4. To whom does their example give encouragement? 5. How did Demosthenes become a great orator! (See School Reader Third Book Les. LXXXIX.) 6. Can we expect to become correct speakers, or readers without pains and labor? 7. Who were Cicero and Demosthenes? Ans. The former was the greatest Roman orator; the latter, the greatest Grecian orator.
For what does it stand in the phrase. "He comes to it," &c., fourth verse? What Rule for the inflections as marked at the end of the fourth verse?
SPELL AND DEFINE-1. CON SUMMATE, perfect; complete. 2. CABLE, a strong rope, used to retain a ship at anchor. 3 MASSIVE. very heavy. 4. THREADS, passes through as a narrow channel. 5. TOR TE OUS, winding. 6. MON'E TA RY. relating to money. 7. FA CE'TIOUS full of pleasantry; merry; sportive. 8. REP AR TEE', a ready and witty reply. 9. COMEDIAN, an actor or writer of comedy. 10. VOCIFEROUSNESS, loudness of voice. 11. HULK. the boly of a vessel of any kind. 12. EMERGING, coming out. 13. ABSTRACTION; absence of mind; inat
REFLECTIONS ON THE BURNING OF THE LEXINGTON. WM. C. BROWN.
[This steamboat took fire while making its passage from New York to Providence, R. I., in Jan. 1840. The weather was intensely cold, and of about 150 passengers on board, but three or four escaped.]
1. A FIRE on the water is always terrific. The ribs of oak will stand against the roaring winds and dashing waters, and the hardy mariner can sleep soundly amid the storms of heavThe storm is the season not of great dánger, ordinarily, but of great exertion, and of the exercise of the consummate skill of seamanship, and having passed it safely, it is remembered rather as an exploit than a péril.
2. Not so with a fire at sea. No securing of hatches, clearing of decks, lashing of boats, or double-reefing of sails, can prepare for a fire. Strong cables and massive anchors are of no use, for the most terrible of elements, when uncontrolled, has broken loose from the power which governed it, and has asserted its supremacy in the work of death.
3. Let the reader fancy himself looking down upon the Lexington, as she wheels away from the pier at New York,
and gallantly threads her way up the East River, and through the tortuous channel of Hurl Gate. The Sound opens before her, as the last gray of the twilight is fading over the waters, and the chill night-wind, penetrating every nook on deck, drives all to the cabins. Let us look in upon them. The passions and purposes of the human bosom are at work, and even in this thoroughfare, we may read something of human character.
4. Gathered in groups here and there, are the merchants who chance to meet acquaintances, reviewing the condition of monetary and mercantile affairs, and gathering from mutual hints the elements of future commercial enterprises. At the tables are seated several parties of card players, spending the energies of deathless minds, in the efforts to use skillfully certain pieces of figured paste-board, and ever and anon some triumphant exclamation tells the crowd, which has gathered around, that a crisis in the game has passed, and victory has decided upon her favorites.
5. a more social attitude around the stoves, are several old sea-captains, who have been long absent, and are now returning to their tenderly remembered fire-sides, and the affections of the delighted group, which awaits their coming. You may see their weather-beaten faces lighted up with smiles, as they talk of their past adventures, and remember that having passed their perils, they are almost home. If any man is worthy of a warm greeting, when he turns his footsteps homeward, it is a magnanimous and upright seaman.
6. Yonder is the scholar, pacing up and down in deep abstraction, and farther on, a company, apparently bound in the bonds of some common sorrow, and only now and then uttering some word of condolence, and sadly thinking of their mutual sorrows. A merry and facetious band are amusing themselves by calling forth, and listening to the lively sallies and witty repartees of a much-admired comedian.
7. In another apartment, may be seen the widow in her weeds, sadly reflecting that he, who had often passed along the same route with her in health and hope, was now a corpse on board, borne toward his last resting place. There are also mothers who have called their children around them, and are watching them with all a mother's anxiety and a mother's hope. On deck, busy in the duties of their charge, or lounging wearily around the engines, are to be seen the hands of the boat, listless as ever,-thoughtless alike of the future and the present.
8. A world in miniature is here. The hopes and fears, the love and hate, the ambition and despair, the mirth and sorrow of the millions of our race, have their representatives here.-An hour has passed. Some are beginning to prepare for a night's repose, and others are entering with more interest into the amusements of the evening.
9. But hark! What cry is that from the deck, which starts every passenger to his feet, and hurries up the gangway all who are near it? It is, " Fire! fire!” "The boat is
on fire," is echoed from every lip, and the whole company rushes confusedly from the cabin. Where? where?" is asked by scores of voices, and the vociferousness of the question, and the fierceness of the struggle for a sight of it, prevent the answer being given.
10. The boat is headed for the shore, while first the fitful bursts of smoke, and then the frightful flames denote that she is doomed. A boat is thrown over, and is instantly loaded, but the steamer in her watery path, plays the tempest's part, and the frail boat is ingulfed in the waves, which she heaves from her quivering sides! Another fares the same fate. The life-boat, the last resort, is let down, but is
caught in the wheel and lost!
11. At last, as the frightful company begin to hope they may reach the shore, a crash is heard, and all is still. The wheels cease to move, and the hulk sways heavily amid the roaring flames. Now comes the scene of terror! Listen to the shrieks which pierce the very heavens; the horrid groans of some in their feverish agony, and the plaintive exclamations of others who think of the home and friends they can never see again; while now and then, at intervals of these, may be heard, as on board the fated Kent, or the wrecked Home, the solemn prayer, commending the soul of the supplicator to God, and even, if the ear mistakes not, the song of triumph, like that sung by an apostle in the dungeon of Nero.
12. The flames rush on, licking up the water which continues to be thrown, as if in mockery. One after another has fled to the remotest part of the boat, that he may preserve life a little longer, or has crawled over, and is clinging to the guard-braces, while over head the fire crackles and hisses, triumphing in their subjugation. Some have thrown over bales of cotton, or other articles of freight, and are floating upon them; while others, maddened by the intolerable heat which is every moment growing more and more ter
rible, have cast themselves into the sea, and are struggling as desperately with the waves, as if there was a chance of life! Can a moment of more horrible, agonizing suspense be imagined?
13. But amid this raging destruction, the Christian stands as the sun among the flying clouds of heaven, calm and serene; one moment lost in the confusion, the next emerging from it to utter words of comfort, or raise a prayer to God for the pardon of the guilty and horror-stricken. Moment of terror! It chills the blood to think of it! But that moment passes. The burned mass begins to settle. Each end of the boat sways for a moment in the yielding waters, and the eddying of the troubled waves, tells that the Lexington, with her unfortunate passengers and crew, rests where the sea sings for ever the dirge of the lost!
QUESTIONS.-1. What is said of a storm on the water? 2. What, of a fire? 3. How is the course of the Lexington described? 4. What is said of the merchants? 5. The card-players? 6. The sea-captains? 7. How is the scholar described? 8. The facetious band? 9. The widow 10. What is said of the boat hands? 11. What, of the small boats? 12. Describe the conclusion of the scene. 13. Do you know of any other boat, since the burning of the Lexington, that has met with a similar fate?
What Rule can you give for the inflections as marked, first verse? What causes peril to have the rising, and exploit, the falling inflection, first verse? (Les. VIII. Note III.) What inflection at the exclamations, ninth verse? (Rule VII.) With what different modulations of voice should the ninth and last verses be read? Why does the direct question, ending the twelfth verse, take the falling inflection? (Rule I. Note I.)
SPELL AND DEFINE-1. VERSED, skilled. 2. ABSTRUSE, difficult to be understood; concealed. 3. ALCHEMY, the pretended science of changing all metals into gold, and finding a remedy for all diseases. 4. INEVITABLE, not to be avoided. 5. IRKSOME, tiresome. 6. TEMPORARY, existing for a short time. 7. ACQUISITION, any thing gained. 8. FRONTISPIECE, an ornamental figure fronting the first page of a book. 9. CEM'ENT, a sticky substance for joining bodies closely together. 10. VOLATILE, light and trifling; fickle.
THE ART OF MEMORY.
Desiderius. How do you advance in your studies, my
Erasmus. But very indifferently. In this respect, it would be of great advantage, if I could prevail in a requèst which I have to make of you.
D. You may easily prevail in any thing that concerns your bènefit.
E. I know that you are well versed in the most abstruse parts of learning.
D. I should rejoice to be so.
E. I am informed that there is a certain "art of memory,” which is attended with this advantage, that it will enable a man with little labor to acquire all the liberal sciences.
D. Astonishing! have you seen the book?
E. I have; but I have not had an opportunity of studying it sufficiently.
D. What does it contain?
E. The figures of a great variety of animals, as dragons, lions, leopards; various circles also, in which are written words, some in Latin, some in Greek, some in Hebrew, and some in other languages.
D. In how short a time is this wonderful attainment to be made?
E. In a fortnight.
D. A splendid pròmise, truly! And can you name any one that has acquired all this learning in this manner?
E. No, indeed.
You will meet
D. Nor is it likely that you will soon. with a man deeply learned by this art, and one rich by the practice of alchemy in about the same period.
E. I should rejoice to find the art real.
D. Perhaps you deem it too much troùble to purchase learning at the cost of so much toil, as it usually requíres. E. I had rather get it easily.
D. Yet the toil is inevitable, if you would get the prize. Gold, silver, and jewels, palaces, and kingdoms, are often dealt out to the slothful and worthless: but rìches, more noble than thése, and those which are peculiarly our own, are obtained only by diligence. But the exertions, by which so great an advantage is acquired, should not be considered irksome, when we see multitudes encountering the most appalling hazards, regardless of the toil, to obtain mean and tem porary advantages, and often without success. The labors of the student are sweet, and the more so the farther he proceeds. It is by no means difficult to remove all the weariness of study.