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have been in vain for me to stand up before you, or to think of looking round for assistance.”
ERSKINE FOR TOOK, ON TRIAL BY JURY.
"O Desdemona, dead, dead, dead."
- With thee conversing I forget all time,
All seasons, and their change ; all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds : pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers, and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these, the gems of heaven, her starry train;
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun
On this delightful land : nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glistering with dew; ner fragrance after show'rs,
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star light---without thee is sweet."
MILTON'S PARADISE LOST.
Personation is the representation by a single reader or speaker of the words, manner, and actions of one person, or of many individuals, as if he or they were themselves reading or speaking; in effect “ giving form to fancy, and embodying thought.”
This power is capable of producing an effect nearly equal to scenic representation, in which each part is individually performed. Indeed, if the reader or reciter be adequate to the task, he may elicit an approbation far surpassing that received
many, for he seems to concentrate all their powers within himself. The person so gifted must be a consummate reader or speaker. This figure is more materially connected with dramatic than any
other style of composition, although it is sometimes resorted to in all oratorical subjects. It depends upon a perfect conception of the author's meaning, a facility of imitation, and a variety of expression in voice and manner, which can only be acquired, even where the capability eminently exists, by. much labour and continual practice.
In the exercise of this figure, especial care should be taken not to outrage the rule laid down by the greatest master and depicter of human nature that ever wrote upon its subject : i. e. " not to o'erstep the modesty of nature; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness; hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure,
“ Not far advanced was morning day,
When Marmion did his troop array,
To Surrey's camp to ride
He had safe conduct for his band,
Beneath the royal seal and hand,
And Douglas gave a guide :
The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
Would Clara on her palfrey place,
And whisper'd in an under tone,
“Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown.”
The train from out the castle drew,
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu :
Though something I might plain," he said,
“ Of cold respect to stranger quest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I staid, Part we in friendship from your land, And,
My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still
Be open at my Sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe’er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer,
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation stone,
The hand of Douglas is his own;
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp.”
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire;
And “This to me!” he said ;
« An 'twere not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marinion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!
And first, I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He, who does England's message here,
Although the meanest of her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate:
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
E'en in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy hold, thy vassalo ncar,
Nay, never look upon thy lord,
And lay thy hand upon thy sword,
I tell thee, thou’rt defied!
And if thou said'st I am not peer,
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied!”
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O’ercame the ashen hue of age :
Fierce he broke forth: “ And darest thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall ?
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?
No, by Saint Bryde of Bothwell, no!
Up drawbridge, grooms-what, Warder, ho!
Let the port cullis fall.”
Lord Marmion turned, well was his need,
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
Like arrow through the arch way sprung,
The pond'rous grate behind him rung:
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise ;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim.
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
« I do remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin new reap'd,
Show'd like a stubble land at harvest home,
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb, he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose and took’t away again;
"O then I see queen Mab has been with you,
She is the fairies' midwife ; and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the fore finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep :
Her. wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers ;
The traces of the smallest spider's web;
The collars of the moonshine's watery beams ;
Her whip of cricket’s bone; the lash of film:
Her wagoner a small grey-coated goat,
Not half so big as a round little worm,
Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the faries' coach makers,
And in this state she gallops, night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love :
D'er courtier's knees that dream on court’sies strait :
O’er lawyer's fingers, who strait dream on fees :
O'er ladies lips, who strait on kisses dream ;
Sometimes she gallops o'er a lawyer's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
'Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts and wakes ;
And being thus affrighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again.