« 前へ次へ »
STUDY HINTS When Prospero heard Ariel's song, he said: “Why, that's my dainty Ariel : I shall miss thee.” He was the daintiest of Shakespeare's creations, a spirit that thrilled with joy as he sang of his companionship with the beautiful things in nature. We know that Shakespeare loved Ariel and the things in nature that Ariel enjoyed. Note the airiness of this song. What natural objects are mentioned? Is this song as simple as the average of those in the preceding group of nature lyrics (p. 91)?
Can you find the secret of the magic in Wordsworth's Daffodils ? Note that he calls them a "jocund company.” How does the poet convey to you the joyousness of the flowers? Which do you think would be the most quoted of these four stanzas? How many times may one enjoy the same pleasurable experience? Is this poem easily understood ?
Note that the poem of Keats is a sonnet. The sonnet is the most artificial of all verse forms, and contains exactly fourteen lines. England's four greatest writers of sonnets are Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, and Keats. What terms does Keats use to describe summer ? Under what circumstances does the cricket sing? How does the poet introduce a compliment to the grasshopper in the cricket's part of the poem?
Tennyson is here describing imaginary pictures in his fanciful Palace of Art. Do you think that a great artist could paint three pictures from the suggestions in these three stanzas? Which one of the pictures would you prefer? Have you read any other poem where the pictures are as clear-cut and vivid? Try embodying a picture in four lines of your own verse.
Note the simplicity of the first and third stanzas of The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Try to feel the beauty of the second stanza, which is quite famous. Does the poem make you wish to visit this isle? Would many people be content with the simple things which satisfy the poet? How many of the objects of sense appeal to the eye? To the ear?
Which of this group of five poems pleases you most? Memorize that one. After reading them at least twice aloud to yourself and studying them as directed above, read them to some of your friends and get their opinions. Which of the two groups of nature poems do you prefer as a whole, this one or the one beginning on page 91? Is there a single obscure poem in either group? Are the poems simple because their authors were not deep thinkers? Can a great poet present thoughts easy to understand?
SUGGESTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL READINGS
To the Daisy. William Wordsworth.
Sweet and Low.
Home They Brought her Warrior, Dead.
Tennyson's Sir Galahad; Selections from Lancelot and Elaine and from Gareth and Lynette.
LOVE IS STRONGER THAN HATE 1
Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Portsmouth, England. At the age of eleven, he helped to support his family. His boyhood was spent in a hard struggle with poverty, but from this struggle he learned to sympathize with other poor children. No one has done more to improve the condition of children in every walk of life. His Little Nell, Paul Dombey, Sam Weller, and David Copperfield are characters known to most English-speaking people. One of his most dramatic novels is A Tale of Two Cities, which is a thrilling story of the French Revolution. See also:
Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 495-503, 582, 583.
[The French Revolution occurred in the latter part of the eighteenth century (1789-1795). The peasants of France, after centuries of oppression from the nobility, threw off the yoke, executed their king, Louis XVI, and his queen, Marie Antoinette, and set up a republic. Madame Defarge represents the type of woman who took an active part in the atrocities which gave to the latter part of this period the name of the “Reign of Terror.”
Madame Defarge has threatened to bring the Evrémondes to the guillotine. Through the aid of Jerry Cruncher, a faithful adherent, and Miss Pross, who has served Evrémonde's wife with lifelong fidelity, they have just escaped from Paris and have started for London.]
THERE were many women during the French Revolution upon whom the time laid a dreadfully disfiguring hand; but there was not one among them more to be dreaded than that ruthless woman, Madame Defarge, now taking her way
1 From A Tale of Two Cities.
along the streets. She was absolutely without pity. To appeal to her, was made hopeless by her having no sense of pity, even for herself.
Such a heart Madame Defarge carried under her rough robe. Carelessly worn, it was a becoming robe enough, in a certain weird way, and her dark hair looked rich under her coarse red cap. Lying hidden in her bosom was a loaded pistol. Lying hidden at her waist was a sharpened dagger. Thus accoutered, and walking with the confident tread of such a character, and with the supple freedom of a woman who had habitually walked in her girlhood, barefoot and barelegged, on the brown sea sand, Madame Defarge took her way along the streets.
Now, when the journey of the traveling coach, at that very moment waiting for the completion of its load, had been planned out last night, the difficulty of taking Miss Pross in it was a serious consideration. Finally, it was settled that Miss Pross and Jerry, who were at liberty to leave the city, should leave it at three o'clock in the lightest-wheeled conveyance known to that period.
Seeing in this arrangement the hope of rendering real service in that pressing emergency, Miss Pross hailed it with joy. She and Jerry had beheld the coach start, had passed some ten minutes in tortures of suspense, and were now concluding their arrangements to follow the coach, even as Madame Defarge, taking her way through the streets, now drew nearer and nearer to the else-deserted lodging in which they held their consultation.
“Now, what do you think, Mr. Cruncher,” said Miss Pross, whose agitation was so great that she could hardly speak, or stand, or move, or live. “What do you think of our not starting from this courtyard ? Another carriage having gone from here to-day, it might awaken suspicion.”
“My opinion, miss,” returned Mr. Cruncher, “is as you're right. Likewise, wot I'll stand by you, right or wrong.”
“I am so distracted with fear and hope for our precious creatures, that I am incapable of forming any plan. Are you capable of forming any plan, my dear, good Mr. Cruncher ?”
“Respectin' a future spear o'life, miss,” returned Mr. Cruncher, “I hope so. Respectin' any present use o' this here blessed head o' mine, I think not. Would you do me the favor, miss, to take notice o' two promises and wows wot it is my wishes fur to record in this here crisis ?”
“Oh, for gracious sake! record them at once, and get them out of the way, like an excellent man.”
“First,” said Mr. Cruncher, who was all in a tremble, and who spoke with an ashy and solemn visage, “them poor things well out o' this, never no more will I do it, never no more!”
"I am quite sure, Mr. Cruncher,” returned Miss Pross, “that you never will do it again, whatever it is, and I beg you not to think it necessary to mention more particularly what it is.”
“No, miss,” returned Jerry, "it shall not be named to you. Second: them poor things well out o' this, and never no more will I interfere with Mrs. Cruncher's flopping, never no more!”
“Whatever housekeeping arrangement that may be,” said Miss Pross, striving to dry her eyes and compose herself, “I have no doubt it is best that Mrs. Cruncher should have it entirely under her own superintendence — O my poor darlings !”
"I go so far as to say, miss, morehover, and let my words be took down and took to Mrs. Cruncher through yourself — that wot my opinions respectin' flopping has undergone a change, and that wot I only hope with all my