stammering accents, “Who are you?” He received no reply. He repeated his demand in a still more agitated voice. Still there was no answer. Once more he cudgelled the sides of the inflexible Gunpowder, and, shutting his eyes, broke forth with involuntary fervor into a psalm tune. Just then the shadowy object of alarm put itself in motion, and with a scramble and a bound stood at once in the middle of the road. Though the night was dark and dismal, yet the form of the unknown might now in some degree be ascertained. He appeared to be a horseman of large dimensions, and mounted on a black horse of powerful frame. He made no offer of molestation or sociability, but kept aloof on one side of the road, jogging along on the blind side of old Gunpowder, who had now got over his fright and waywardness.

Ichabod, who had no relish for this strange midnight companion, and bethought himself of the adventure of Brom Bones with the Galloping Hessian, now quickened his steed in hopes of leaving him behind. The stranger, however, quickened his horse to an equal pace. Ichabod pulled up, and fell into a walk, thinking to lag behind, - the other did the same. His heart began to sink within him; he endeavored to resume his psalm tune, but his parched tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, and he could not utter a stave. There was something in the moody and dogged silence of this pertinacious companion that was mysterious and appalling. It was soon fearfully accounted for. On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless ! but his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle ! His terror rose to desperation; he rained a shower of kicks and blows upon Gunpowder, hoping by a sudden movement to give his companion the slip; but the spectre started full jump with him. Away, then, they dashed through thick and thin; stones flying and sparks flashing at every bound. Ichabod's flimsy garments fluttered in the air, as he stretched his long lank body away over his horse's head, in the eagerness of his flight.

They had now reached the road which turns off to Sleepy Hollow; but Gunpowder, who seemed possessed with a demon, in

stead of keeping up it, made an opposite turn, and plunged headlong down hill to the left. This road leads through a sandy hollow, shaded by trees for about a quarter of a mile, where it crosses the bridge famous in goblin story; and just beyond swells the green knoll on which stands the whitewashed church.

As yet the panic of the steed had given his unskilful rider an apparent advantage in the chase; but just as he had got half way through the hollow, the girths of the saddle gave way, and he felt it slipping from under him. He seized it by the pommel, and endeavored to hold it firm, but in vain ; and had just time to save himself by clasping old Gunpowder round the neck, when the saddle fell to the earth, and he heard it trampled under foot by his pursuer. For a moment the terror of Hans Van Ripper's wrath passed across his mind, — for it was his Sunday saddle; but this was no time for petty fears; the goblin was hard on his haunches; and (unskilful rider that he was !) he had much ado to maintain his seat; sometimes slipping on one side, sometimes on another, and sometimes jolted on the high ridge of his horse's backbone, with a violence that he verily feared would cleave him asunder.

An opening in the trees now cheered him with the hopes that the church bridge was at hand. The wavering reflection of a silver star in the bosom of the brook told him that he was not mistaken. He saw the walls of the church dimly glaring under the trees beyond. He recollected the place where Brom Bones' ghostly competitor had disappeared. “If I can but reach that bridge,” thought Ichabod, “I am safe.” Just then he heard the black steed panting and blowing close behind him ; he even fancied that he felt his hot breath. Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge ; he thundered over the resounding planks; be gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him. Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile, but too late. It encountered his cranium with a tremendous crash, — he was tumbled headlong into the dust, and Gunpowder, the black steed, and the goblin rider, passed by like a whirlwind.

The next morning the old horse was found without his saddle,

and with the bridle under his feet, soberly cropping the grass at his master's gate. Ichabod did not make his appearance at breakfast; dinner-hour came, but no Ichabod. The boys assembled at the schoolhouse, and strolled idly about the banks of the brook; but no schoolmaster. Hans Van Ripper now began to feel some uneasiness about the fate of poor Ichabod, and his saddle. An inquiry was set on foot, and after diligent investigation they came upon his traces. In one part of the road leading to the church was found the saddle trampled in the dirt; the tracks of horses' hoofs deeply dented in the road, and evidently at furious speed, were traced to the bridge, beyond which, on the bank of a broad part of the brook, where the water ran deep and black, was found the hat of the unfortunate Ichabod, and close beside it a shattered pumpkin.

The mysterious event caused much speculation at the church on the following Sunday. Knots of gazers and gossips were collected in the churchyard, at the bridge, and at the spot where the hat and pumpkin had been found. The stories of Brouwer, of Bones, and a whole budget of others were called to mind; and when they had diligently considered them all, and compared them with the symptoms of the present case, they shook their heads, and came to the conclusion that Ichabod had been carried off by the Galloping Hessian. As he was a bachelor, and in nobody's debt, nobody troubled his head any more about him ; the school was removed to a different quarter of the Hollow, and another pedagogue reigned in his stead.

It is true, an old farmer, who had been down to New York on a visit several years after, and from whom this account of the ghostly adventure was received, brought home the intelligence that Ichabod Crane was still alive ; that he had changed his quarters to a distant part of the country; had kept school and studied law at the same time; had been admitted to the bar; turned politician; electioneered ; written for the newspapers; and finally had been made a justice of the ten pound court. Brom Bones, too, who, shortly after his rival's disappearance conducted the blooming Katrina in triumph to the altar, was observed to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related, and always burst into a hearty laugh at the mention of the pumpkin; which led some to suspect that he knew more about the matter than he chose to tell.



28. The modulation of vocal energy in speech ONE of the characteristics of expressive utterance is variation in vocal energy, or force. Read aloud the following lines and note the difference in the use of vocal energy between the narrative portion and the words spoken by Berkley.

A moment there was awful pause
When Berkley cried, “Cease, traitor! Cease!
God's temple is the house of peace!”

T. B. Read: The Rising. Let the reader put himself in imagination in the place of Berkley and utter his speech as a sharp, vigorous protest, and he will find that the words are set out by increased volume of tone and stronger stroke of the voice on the vowels. An indifferent, unimaginative reading of the lines, with a consequent uniformity of vocal force, would convey to the listener no very strong impression of their spirit, for the auditor is not apt to get more meaning out of words than the speaker finds in them and expresses through them. Unvaried vocal force, like monotone, indicates lack of understanding and interest on the part of the speaker, or failure to discriminate between ideas and to respond to their meaning and spirit. Or, to state the matter in a positive way, significant variety in the use of vocal energy is evidence of concentration of mental and emotional energy.

The degree and modulation of vocal energy, varying from the whisper of secrecy, alarm, or fear, to the shout of warning, joy, or triumph, are manifold as are the thoughts,


purposes, feelings, and circumstances that prompt speech. According to the motives of the speaker and the conditions | under which he speaks, the energy of speech varies in (1) intensity, (2) duration, and (3) stress.

1. Intensity of tone. A certain intensity of tone per-y vades all earnest speech. This is true, whether the utterance be loud or soft, excited or calm. It is a common error to associate loudness with strength. It cannot be denied that strong feeling often finds expression in loud tones, but vocal noise is no sure indication of mental or emotional

power. More often it gives evidence of lack of self-control. The subdued intense tone is sometimes more potent and effective than a loud one. The whispered “Hark!” of alarm is more impressive than the shouted word would be. “ A soft answer turneth away wrath,” because the man who can control his spirit in the presence of anger shows superior strength. In the well-known quarrel scene between Cassius and Brutus (Julius Cæsar, iv, iii) Brutus replies to the sharp and violent outbursts and threats of Cassius in a quiet, steady voice. Though not loud or vehement, the speech of Brutus is no less intense than that of Cassius. To him there is no terror in the rash and noisy threats of Cassius, but the firm controlled spirit and voice of Brutus brings Cassius to his knees. Intensity and impressiveness of tone, whatever degree of loudness it may have, depend on the clearness and definiteness of the speaker's thought, his motives in speaking, his interest, zeal, enthusiasm, and his self-control.

This aspect of vocal expression is influenced to such an extent by shades of thought and meaning, by kinds and degrees of feeling, by the temperament and speech-habits of the reader, and the particular situation and occasion under which he speaks, that it is not possible to formulate detailed classifications. Nor is it necessary here. But for

« 前へ次へ »