ページの画像
PDF
ePub

3. A speaker is in the mood called Emotion, when the way something affects him, the way he feels, is more noticeable than the thing he is thinking or doing. The feelings (joy, grief, sternness, gentleness, fear, friendliness, etc.) show themselves by the quality of tone used; whether it is pure, breathy, agitated, tense, etc. Quality of tone is sometimes called texture of tone, or tone color.

The “fire-drill” is common in most Western schools. The children are drilled frequently; at a given signal every child is taught to take his place in the line, and moving in precise step and keeping time to a drum, they leave the schoolhouse without confusion. Principal Allen was proud of the fact that his five hundred children could be marched out of the big building in about two minutes. - One day a teacher dashed into the principal's room with the cry that the building was on fire. The principal rang his gong, and there was an immediate stampede of children from the rooms. No one remembered the firedrill or the drum, except the drummer. Without a word to any one, and without waiting for an order, he ran down two flights of stairs into the principal's room, seized the drum from its hook, slung the strap Over his shoulder, and made his way to his post at the foot of the Stairs. The smoke was dense in the hall, and up-stairs the teachers were shouting to the children, trying to calm the panic. The fire-engines were at work outside. Just as the five hundred pupils appeared at the top of the stairs ready to rush down, to the certain death of many in such a crush, the first notes of the drum, pounded with all the drummer's might, were heard above the confusion. The Sound acted like a Spell. The principal, pulling from under the feet of the rushing children some of the small ones who had already fallen, shouted for them to keep step to the music. Instantly the force of long habit asserted itself; the feet fell in orderly succession, and the entire mob of children came down the stairs as calmly and evenly as if on parade, as they had done a thousand times before. The smoke was pouring about them, but in less time than it takes to tell it, the last child had passed safely out, keeping time to the music of the drum. The drummer remained at his post until informed by Mr. Allen that every one was safe. . He had saved the lives of many children and teachers by his coolness and bravery, and when he came down the steps he was greeted by a storm of cheers from the crowd outside.

Mr. Ingersoll was once thrown, incidentally into the society of Henry Ward Beecher. . There were four or five prominent gentlemen present, and various topics were dis– cussed, with decided brilliancy, but no allusion to religion. Mr. Ingersoll was, of course, too polite to introduce the subject himself, but one of the party, finally desiring to See a tilt between Beecher and Ingersoll, made a remark about Colonel Bob's idiosyncracy, as he termed it. The colonel at once defended his views, with his usual apt rhetoric, and * replied to by several gentlemen in very effective repartee. Contrary to the expectation of all, Mr. Beecher said not a word. The gentleman who introduced the topic with the hope that Mr. Beecher would answer Col. Ingersoll, at last remarked: “Mr. Beecher, have you nothing to say in regard to the question?” The old man slowly lifted himself from his attitude, and replied: “Nothing; in fact, if you will excuse me for changing the conversation, I will say that while you gentlemen were talking, my mind . bent on a most deplorable spectacle which I witnessed Oday.” “What was it?” at once inquired Colonel Ingersoll. “‘Why," said Mr. Beecher, as I was was king down town today, I saw a poor cripple slowly and carefully picking his way through a cesspool of mud, in the endeavor to cross the Street. He had just reached the middle of the filth when a big bully, himself all bespattered with mud, rushed up to him, jerked the crutches from under the unfortunate man, and left him sprawling and quite helpless in the pool of liquid dirt, which almost engulfed him.” “‘What a brute he was 1” said the colonel. “What a brute he was '' they all echoed. “‘Yes, said Mr. Beecher, rising from his chair, and brushing back his long, white hair, while his eyes glit— tered with their old-time fire; ‘yes, Colonel Ingersol, and you are the man. The human Soul is lame, but Christianity gives crutches to it to pass the highway of life. It is your teaching that knocks the crutches from under it, and leaves a helpless and rudderless wreck in the slough of despond. If robbing the human Soul of its only support on this earth—religion—be your profession, why, ply it to your heart's content. It requires an architect to erect a building; an incendiary may reduce it to ashes.’”

4. The mood of utterance we call “Volition,” is expressed by pressure of tone, sometimes called stress. Notice how this pressure makes the tone more vibrant and determined in some parts of the following passages:

While President Faure of France Was On a visit to Russia he heard a number of stories of Peter the Great. On his return he told this: “Once in the imperial palace Peter was at table with a great many princes and noblemen, and soldiers were posted within the hall. The czar was in a joyous mood, and rising, called out to the company: “Listen, princes and boyars; is there among you one who will wrestle with me, to pass the time and amuse the Czar 2'' There was no reply, and the czar repeated his challenge. No prince or nobleman dared wrestle with his Sovereign. But all at once a young dragoon stepped out from the ranks of the soldiers on guard. h Listen, orthodox czar,” he said, “I will wrestle with thee!” “Well, young dragoon,” said Peter, “I will wrestle with thee, but on these conditions: if thou throwest me, I will pardon thee: but if thou art thrown, thou shalt be beheaded. Wilt thou wrestle on these conditions?” “I will, great czar!” said the soldier. They closed, and presently the soldier, with his left arm, threw the czar, and with his right he prevented him !." falling to the ground. The sovereign was clearly (>8.ten. The czar offered the soldier whatever reward he should claim, and the soldier ignobly claimed the privilege of drinking free, as long as he lived, in all the inns belonging to the crown. What became of him history does not say, but, no doubt it would have been hetter for him if the czar had thrown him.

Patrick Sweeny, the faithful watchman on the New York Central Railroad, a man eighty-five years old, six feet tall and over, and of wonderful strength and vigor, was the only man who did not strike in the recent trouble among the yardmen and switchmen on the line. But the thing he is best remembered for is his conduct at Stuyvesant, where he was switchman, away back in 1862. Fifteen carloads of Federal troops on a special train for New York were held up by Sweeny because the train which preceded if had carried no signal to give warning of the special just behind it. The commander leaned from the car and ordered the switch unlocked, enforcing his orders at the point of his sword, Sweeny refused, and they hustled him into his shanty, and, with half a dozen muskets with– in three inches of his head, he was given one minute to give up his key and let the train go on. “Not wan step does this train move!” said Sweeny. The officer's answer was interrupted by a loud whistle, and the train from Albany came flying by, and there were no more threats or angry words for Sweeny. His faithfulness and courage had saved the lives of a whole train-load of soldiers.

A young, Yorkshire skipper who had left a wife, two young children, and a happy home on the land—himself pledged not to touch the liquor—had weakly visited the grog vessel to get tobacco. He was at once asked to drink, but refused. He was dared. He refused. He was dared to take “von leetle drop.” In a fatal moment he mistook what real courage meant, and tossed off a glass of aniSeeded brandy. Alas, it didn't end there! At night, as he had not returned, and the wind was rising, his mate came for him, and the crew of the grog vessel dumped the now unconscious skipper into the small boat. With great difficulty the crew dragged his inSensate body on to his own vessel and laid him in the lee scupper to cool off, while they reefed the ship down to meet the threatening Storm. A little later the spray driving over the ship, roused the skipper, and, staggering to his feet, he came aft to the tiller. “Give us the tiller, Ben,” he said. “No,” no, skipper, you are not well enough to steer. Go down and turn in; we'll look after the ship.” “Give us the tiller," roared the skipper: “I’ll steer the old ship to hell if I like.” He had scarcely seized the helm when a sea struck the rudder, she kicked, and the tiller, catching him in the belly, flung him over the Side. He was lost in the darkness, without a sound. Sadly, with flag half-mast, the craft picked her way homewards, and the mate had the duty of telling the wife that her children were fatherless and that her fine young husband had found a drunkard's grave at sea.

Give each of the incidents in these two lessons as vividly as if you had been present.

LESSON XIX

By gesture we mean every movement and attitude of the body by which a person expresses his thought and feeling. Gesture includes (1) bearing (the carriage and attitude of the whole body), (2) gesticulation (of the hand and arm), and (3) facial expression. Gesture has been called a universal language, because it expresses thought and feeling in such a way that even a foreigner can get the general meaning. Represent to the class, without using words, a man buying (a) a collar in a foreign store; (b) a pocket-knife; (c) a cake of soap. One cannot express through gesture alone any thought that is not simple, and it is generally used more in the expressing of feelings than of thoughts. But gestures are not something vague and intangible. They have definite significance. The same words with different gestures convey very different meanings. Take the sentence, “I shall come tomorrow.”

1. Express in these words a child's joy at the thought of going to his grandfather's. 2. Give the same words in such a way as to express a hired man's question. 3. Give them to express the fierce threat of an enemy. 4. Give them as the threat of a powerful king.

As you put yourself in the place of these four different persons you use different gestures of body, hand, and face to express the four different meanings. Perhaps you were unconscious of your different attitudes and movements, but the purpose, or significance, was there whether conscious or not. Indeed most of Our purposes become unconscious, Or to Speak more correctly, sub-conscious, through habit. When a child is learning to walk he is painfully conscious of his purpose to place his feet properly and maintain his balance. When he grows up he has the same purpose but he is not conscious if it, it has become a habit. So with riding a bicycle, you intend to steer clear

« 前へ次へ »