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his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should !”
“Uncle !” pleaded the nephew.
“Nephew!" returned the uncle sternly,"keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
"Keep it !” repeated Scrooge's nephew. “But you don't keep it.”
“Let me leave it alone, then,” said Scrooge. “Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!”
“There are many things from which I might have derived good by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew, “ Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round, apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that,
- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open
their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them ac if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good ; and I say, God bless it!”
The clerk in the tank involuntarily applauded. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety, he poked the fire, and extinguished the last frail spark forever.
“Let me hear another sound from you,” said Scrooge, “and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation ! You ’re quite a powerful speaker, sir,” he added, turning to his nephew. “I wonder you don't go into Parliament.”
“ Don't be angry, uncle. Come! dine with us to-morrow."
Scrooge said that he would see him - Yes, indeed, he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity first. “But why?” cried Scrooge's nephew. “Why?"
Why did you get married ? ” said Scrooge. “ Because I fell in love." "Because you fell in love!” growled Scrooge, as if that
were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas.“ Good-afternoon!”
Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?"
"Good-afternoon," said Scrooge.
"I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you ; why cannot we be friends ?”
“Good-afternoon!” said Scrooge.
“I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle ! ”
“Good-afternoon,” said Scrooge.
His nephew left the room without an angry word, notwithstanding. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk, who, cold as he was, was warmer than Scrooge, for he returned them cordially.
“There's another fellow,” muttered Scrooge, who overheard him; “my clerk, with fifteen shillings a week, and a wife and family, talking about a merry Christmas. I 'll retire to Bedlam.”
Dickens : A Christmas Carol.
There is no escape by the river,
The tale of their hosts is countless,
Give a cheer!
God has said, “ Ye shall fail and perish;
Now shame on the craven truckler
Richard Hovey: At the End of the Day. 1 From More Songs from Vagabondia. Used with the kind permission of the publishers, Small, Maynard & Company.
29. Rhythm in speech BROADLY speaking, all earnest and purposeful utterance is rhythmical. In reading poetry or prose aloud, or in speaking your own thoughts, you will observe that the progress of your thought and feeling is expressed in vocal beats, or pulsations, recurring with more or less regularity in time.
30. The function of rhythm The peculiar function of rhythm is the expression of emotion, though all well ordered thought and action is, in a sense, rhythmical. There is rhythm in the multiplication table, rhythm in one's walk, rhythm in the alternation of day and night, and in the sequence of the seasons of the year. But in vocal and written expression, sustained and strongly marked rhythm is the result of sustained, strong, and controlled feeling. “The deeper the feeling,” said John Stuart Mill, “ the more characteristic and decided the rhythm.” Poetry, the most perfectly rhythmic form of language, is essentially emotional. When read merely for its ideas, and without regard to its rhythm, or its emotion and spirit, it is no longer poetry, and its power, as poetry, is lost. When speech becomes strongly emotional, as in highly-wrought passages of oratory, or narrative and descriptive prose, it tends to drop into regular rhythmic order of equal, metrical time intervals.
31. The rhythm of prose (1) In the thoughtful and earnest utterance of prose, one feels the undulation of vocal energy adjusting itself in intervals of time to the demands of thought and feeling. Read aloud the following examples, and observe how the feeling they carry finds expression in sustained and decided rhythm of utterance.
Let us resolve to crown the miracle of the past with the spectacle of a republic
, compact, united, indissoluble in the bonds of love - loving from the Lakes to the Gulf — the wounds of war healed in every heart as on every
hill serene and resplendent at the summit of human achievement and earthly glory — blazing out the path and making clear the way up which all nations of the earth must come in God's appointed time!
Grady: The New South. The little voice, familiar and dearly loved, awakened some show of consciousness, éven at that ebb. For a moment the closed eyelids trembled, and the nóstrils quívered, and the familiar shadow of a smile was seen. The Doctor gently brushed the scattered ringlets of the child aside from the face and mouth of the mother. Alás, how calm they lay there, how little breath there was to stir them! Thus clinging fast to that slight spar within her arms, the mother drifted out upon the dark and unknown sea that rolls round all the world.
Dickens: Dombey and Son, chap. I. (2) Though prose of pronounced emotional significance, such as the above, tends to somewhat regular rhythmic form, the rhythm of ordinary prose is determined largely