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(Concluded from page 162.)

Ir is plain, that the task of reading or reciting the choice works of literature must be undertaken by those who specially study how to do it with best effect. Few great poets or authors can read their own works respectably. Could Shakspere read his best passages half so well as every third-rate actor in London? There may be exceptions, as in the case of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Professor Wilson: but, as a general rule, it seems indisputable, that high mental superiority is seldom united with that happy physical conformationwhere the elements are so kindly mixed, and that wonderful alchemy of the eye, the voice, the features, takes place, which makes the success of the elocutiorist and actor.

But if the good effects which would attend the more extensive practice of public elocution be so decided, from the unimited circle of the people who would be attracted and improved by it, the consequences to the individuals, who should actually devote themselves to the study, are not less beneficial. The first obvious advantage is, that it leads the student to select the finest pasages of literature-to study and mike himself acquainted with their sprit and meaning. He thus becomes posessed of the finest thoughts of the gratest minds, which cannot fail to set hs own mind a thinking. A thing of bauty is a joy for ever.' When the memory is stored with lofty thoughts, tlese are constantly recurring in the itervals of business-in the eddying orners of the great tide. Like golden treads, they become inwoven with the tssue of every day life, and thus apparl our poverty in costly colours, or, like te visits of welcome guests, always lave us better than they found us.

But the greatest excellence of elocubn is, that it teaches us to study our wn peculiarities and capabilitiesatural and artificial, and thus leads us, y easy stages, to a still higher selfhowledge, which is the aim of existence, ad a triumph transcending the spoils i principalities and powers. When we

first begin to reflect upon the qualities which go to make up the most effective style of elocution, we have two things to consider, the first of which is, what would be the best style abstractedly? This inquiry leads us to form an ideal standard, embodying the genius of expression, and we imagine for ourselves some personage, in whom are united all the graces of fine features, a flexible voice, and impressive action. This process of constructing a model we set about in the same way as the poet, the painter, or the sculptor. It may be that no single individual, whom we ever saw or heard of, combined in his own person all the qualifications; but no one who has traced the workings of imagination need be told how that faculty ransacks the world of experience for its materials, and culls and secretes the finest essences wherever they are found. The voice of one, the eye of another, the mouth, the gestures, the tremulous cadences, the vehemence, the pent-up passion of the countenance, all the best points in the actings of the best actors who have even stirred the soul, are fused down, and a new form of imagination all compact' emerges from the mint. This we set up as our Dagon, to which we do homage on every high hill and under every green tree. We first make our image, and then our image makes us. It becomes our familiar, and, like 'Raphael, that sociable spirit that deigned to travel with Tobias,' or, like the good demon of Socrates, it is always whispering encouragement or caution, as we study the plastic art of living speech.

But there is a second question which the elocutionist must learn to look in the face, and study wisely and well, namely, what his own physical qualifications are really worth. Is he made of bullion and convertible? Every one may, and does form to himself an ideal standard equally immaculate; but on coming down from the radiant mount, where his imagination has been feeding on perfection, he may find but a golden calf at the bottom. When he comes out of the region of abstraction, and takes an inventory of his own actual and realised accomplishments--the endowments of nature, and the conquests. of a cunning self-knowledge, he may

well exclaim-'Oh, Hamlet, what a falling off was there.' It is plain that nature must contribute the raw material; art can only fashion, develope, and modify within a limited margin. As elocution has more, or at least as much to do with the body as the mind, it is obvious, that the gifts of nature, in the former case, are less flexible than those in the latter. One may cultivate his mental faculties to an almost unlimited extent, but no amount of industry in posture-making, balancing, twisting of the bodily features, can ever materially alter their original set. wry mouth, saucer eyes, a pug-nose, are, unfortunately, permanent investments, which no elixir can transfigure into those of a Venus and Adonis.


The study of his idiosyncrasy lies, therefore, at the threshold of the elocutionist's progress. Has he a captivating exterior? Is he born to threaten and command? Is he shrill-tongued or low an excellent thing in woman!' Has he the eyes, the voice, the nose, mouth, shoulders, gait, that can bear looking at? Does he 'sit amongst men as a descended god?'

The details of this self-discipline each must carry on for him or herself; and howsoever it may be executed, the insight it gives, and the self-command one attains, leaves a wholesome effect on the mind. It is a study also, which never fails to develope some hidden characteristic. It is certain, that nature in her infinite variety of gifts, has lodged in every individual at least some one secret power, which gives him, in that one respect, an advantage over every body else. The elements of our being are susceptible of numberless combinations, which prevent the possibility of identity in form or character between any two persons; and in these differential qualities, each is so far superior to the other. Every man, woman, and child, however ugly or contemptible at first sight in mind or body, has some solitary forte or other, even though it should be, in many instances, but a strength in weakness. Thus, of what variety is the voice capable in its com. pass, its cadences, its bursts, its falls, its noble rage, from the manly bass to the childish treble-capable of expressing every impulse of soul and sense-tre

mulous with passion, thrilling the frame, and piercing to the heart. So of the eye, from the spiritual blue to the inscrutable double-reflecting black: and the mouth opens up a fund of character and disposition in its outlines, and the setting of the lips. We say, then, that each individual is capable of expressing some one passion, feeling, sentiment, or mood, better than every other, whether this superiority lie in the tones of his voice, the trick of his frown, or the very awkwardness and twist of his limbs.

The usefulness of a mental accomplishment, like elocution, may thus be estimated from the wide circle of those who may cultivate it with advantage. There is a hope for every one: Some may be fitted to express the rapid pas sion of the drama, some, the declamatory, others the plaintive and meancholy, the comic, the pointed, and antithetic, the historic, the dogmatic and argumentative. It is seldom an individual can excel in many styles, yet there is such variety within each, that, while there may be emulation in the perfor mances, the marked line of distinction, which nature has drawn between dl, prevents this emulation from being perverted into a jealous contention. In all literary institutions, the practice of elocution ought to be a leading b ject, since it is thus doubly improving to those who listen and those who at. When ladies are permitted to take part in the proceedings, of course additional life is infused; and here, as the position of woman in the social scab, her rights, duties, and destinies, are now so much canvassed, we may glance, fore concluding, at the phase which tle present subject assumes towards he Many men shake their heads and retreat, when they see a woman, however accor plished, stand and deliver an argumertative lecture in public: but there is n danger of over-stepping the modesty if nature,' by her taking up a short reaing in elocution. By the present moe of society, there is little or no opport nity for a lady out of the family circl, or out of a two-handed dialogue, t show what manner of woman she is, e what spirit she is of. All display f feeling is frowned down, and so long this is the case, her peculiar chara


teristics must be dormant and seldom suspected. What comes to the surface in artificial society, contains very little of the genuine character. Men have their opportunities, however, elsewhere or in public; but women have nonethey have nothing but liberty to sigh or sit in a corner and cry-" Heigh ho!" They need some intermediate platform between the glare of the publie eye and the darkness visible of drawing-room life. For many of them to speak in the first person or display any individual feeling, goes quite against the grain; and to do it in presence of comparative strangers, is crucifixion. Most of those who possess the very highest order of mind those of the most delicate sensibility, who feel this smart of sharp constraint, are driven, like Beatrice, to hide under mocks and gibes, the most subtle and airy spirits. Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in their eyes.' Their wit and feeling their motley fancies and sentimental pathos-their exquisite 'quips, and cranks, and wreathed smiles,' might, therefore, find some vent, if spoken under a fictitious disguise. Let them put on the mask of some kindred soul, pourtrayed on the page of Shakspere and the poets, and revelations of character and disposition will be made such as are not dreamt of in the present philosophy. As Coloridge says in Genevieve

"The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sung another's love
Interpreted my own."

Elocution might thus furnish an index
to those better qualities that form the
pith and core of woman's heart.

It would be needless to lay down any directions as to the details of conducting elocution classes, these being best left to the discretion of those who cooperate together. But without depreciating the advantages to be derived from other modes of self-culture, it may be safely said, that there is none so capable of imparting varied information and entertainment to both members and audience, of diffusing its usefulness over a wider circle, or so flexible in adapting itself to the varieties of character, and so little likely to be attended with disagreeable results, as the study and practice of elocution. 'QUI PENSE.'



There is a place in Brussels
Once red with many a stain
Of Belgium's best, and noblest blood,
When heaped with Belgium's slain.
'Twas there when in its fury raged
That memorable strife,

An alien soldier from afar

For glory lost his life.

The fight was done, they bore him off,
And laid him in his grave;
And who were near to mourn his fate
So young and yet so brave?
To the dark dust without a tear
Unfeelingly consign'd?

Oh! yes there was one mourner there,
But not of human-kind.

Thrice waned the day and still that friend
His wakeful vigils kept

In silent grief for 'twas a grief

That eyes have never wept;
There is a sorrow that becomes
Extinguished in its tears,

And there is that which mocks the power
And passes not with years.
Reluctantly he moved away

And sought the fatal scene,
Where every harrowing sight and sound
So recently had been;

Approach not near that hallow'd spot
'Tis perilous, beware-
There is an incorruptible,

A faithful guardian there.
What better sentinel to watch
At morn, or even-tide;
For there his bleeding master fell,
And 'mid the dying died;
He died-his home was far away,
No whisper reach'd the ear
Of those by heart-ties closely bound
Whom love had render'd dear;
But one that was far, far below

Man's Heaven-predestined race,
Stood gazing long and anxiously
Upon that dying face.

When the sad tidings came at length
To the sunny hills of France,
Where underneath the trell s'd vine

He had led the moonlight dance,
On young warm hearts that faster throbb'd
A fearful shadow fell,
And on their pale and lovely brows
A change was visible.
But like the shadow which the cloud
Throws on the emerald grass,
It pass'd away as that is seen

Even as you gaze, to pass;
The soldier's dog was faithful still,
His eyes with age grew dim,
Still there was no forgetfulness,
No chilling change in him.
The soldier's dog would never leave
Though basely spurn'd aside;
In shame oh! man before the brute
Thy head inglorious hide;
Well may thy human charity

The glorious standard miss;
And vaunted friendship blush before
Fidelity like this.


Controversial Page.

[The Editor is not responsible for the opinions uttered in the Controversial Department.]


To the EDITOR of the PUBLIC GOOD. SIR,-It is astonishing what faith some persons have in "Acts of Parliament." They seem to think that legislative enactments can do miracles; that people can be made virtuous by them; that they are in fact the fulcrum which is to lift the world to a higher state of morals. Men have been found who appeared to think that the people could be forced to be religious by law; and notwithstanding history and reason declare it cannot be, individuals are still frequently heard calling upon governments to do that which the people alone can accomplish for themselves. Thus, many zealous advocates of the Temperance Movement are endeavouring to destroy the drinking customs by passing laws to restrict the number of public-houses, instead of concentrating all their efforts to accomplish their object in the only legitimate way, viz.-that of persuading individuals to abandon their drinking practices. And I imagine that your correspondent B., whose remarks on "How to close Shops early," appeared in the PUBLIC GOOD for June, must be of this class. "What more easy,' "" says he, "than to pass a legislative enactment that at such an hour all shops should be closed?" May I ask, in return, what more difficult or more tyrannical than to enforce such a law? I deprecate as sincerely as any one the system of keeping shops open till a late hour; but I believe that to pass laws for the removal of the evil would lead to endless litigation, and the remedy would thereby be worse than the disease; and, moreover, I repudiate the idea that governments have a right to interfere in such matters. I hold, it would be an infringement of the liberties of the subject for the state to compel an individual to close his shop when he had business to attend to, or a customer to serve. But if it be deemed wrong, as undoubtedly it is, physically, mentally, and morally, to keep persous shut up in a shop for sixteen or eighteen hours per day, then go and ask those for whose supposed convenience such evils exist, to change the system; ask them for the sake of the health and the morals of vast numbers of young men who are cut off from every source of rational enjoyment and mental improvement, by the "late shopping systein," to say it shall have an end, to sign its death warrant. This evil, as well as every other with which this country is afflicted, exists simply because the people will it should exist, and the moment they change their views, a better state of things will spring up. Let the people-it isthe people themselves who must bring about every reform-determine not to make any purchases for the future, say after six o'clock in the evening, and the desideratum is at once obtained. I believe with your correspondent that a change is most assuredly highly important, and the character of the age demands it, but I also think it quite opposed to the spirit of the times to seek for parliamentary interference in bringing it about.

I am, Sir, most truly yours, T. V.

THE SPELLING REFORM. To the EDITOR of THE PUBLIC GOOD. SIR,-Will you allow me a portion of your Controversial Page for a brief reply to an article in your last number against the Spelling Reform? Your correspondent, HOLDFAST, falls into the too common error of supposing that the Phonetic Reformers wish to "disturb the language as it is at present constructed." No such thing, Mr. Editor. If I doffed my present suit of black, and dressed myself in a more becoming attire, should I alter the mechanism of my frame? Would my heart cease to beat, or beat imperfectly? Would my bones, veins and arteries change their form and nature, and cease to perform, as heretofore, their proper functions? It is idle to say that the orthography of our language, which is an artificial thing, is the language itself: it is simply its dress, and this alone we seek to change. Your correspondent speaks eloquently of the beauties of our language and the excellency of the literature which it enshrines; and yet advocates its representation in the most fantastic and inconsistent method imaginable. A language which is beautiful and simple in its construction, should surely have a simple written representation. "Many of the best thoughts of many of our best authors," says HOLDFAST, "Would be marred if expressed in any other way than those in which they were originally uttered or penned." Indeed! A certain Dr. Wilson, no longer ago than the middle of the sixteenth century, wrote as follows:

"The tonge geueth a certayne grace to euerye matter, and beautifieth the cause in like maner as a swete soundynge lute muchesetteth forthe a meanne devised ballade. Or as the sounde of a good instrumente styrreth the hearers, and moueth much delite, so a clear soundynge voice comfortheth muche our deintie eares with muche swete melodie."

Now, will HOLDFAST say that, if this passage be rendered into the Romanic orthography of the present day, it will lose its meaning, or the sentiment be in the least degree altered? Let us see :

"The tongue giveth a certain grace to every matter, and beautifieth the cause in like manner as a sweet sounding lute much setteth forth a mean devised ballad. Or as the sound of a good instrument stirreth the hearers, and moveth much delight, as a clear sounding voice comforteth much our dainty ears with much sweet melody."

The passage is scarcely more altered when spelled phonetically, thus:--

de tun givet a serten gras tu everi mater and butifjet de cez in ljc maner az a swet sandin lut mug setet fort a men devizd balad. Or az de sand ov a guad instrument steret de hererz, and muvet mug delit, so a cler sandin vos cumfurtet mug sr danti erz wid mug swet melodi.

How should we like to see Shakspere written in the antiquated spelling in use in the bard's time? We have altered his orthography, yet his sentences lose none of their original freshness, but come to us with as much force and meaning as ever. The words are those which the bard himself penned; it is their

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am glad at any time to have an opportunity of surveying two sides of a question; and, secondly, I may take a part in some of your controversies. I really think, Mr. Editor, that "Holdfast" in the June number gave the disciples of Isaac Pitman such a drubbing that they will not soon forget-I think he demolished the system and its pretensions. As for B.; who wishes to close shops early by Act of Parliament, I think he ought to go to school again. I am tired of those men who are everlastingly going to government to ask it to do their own work. Why really, by and by, they will be wanting Government to cook their own vegetables, and especially if they are Vegetarians, or if they are snuff-takers, they will be asking Governments to wipe their noses. How can't men do their own work without always hopping about on crutches to ask others to do it for them?

mode of representation, only that has been altered; and this is the only kind of alteration contemplated by the Phonetic Reformers. The difference between the Phonetic system and the present orthography, is not so great as that between the latter, and the orthography of Wickliffe, in his immortal work, the first translation of the whole Bible into English. The alteration indeed is so slight, that any one who can read in the present style may learn to read by the new system in less than half an hour. This is a sufficient reply to the assertion that we should have to become children again, and pass through another course of educational training. "The Phonetic innovators" have "measured the magnitude of the work to which they have committed themselves;" and, having measured it, they are determined, by the aid of Divine Providence. to prosecute their dearly cherished under taking with all the earnestness of which they are capable. More sweeping reforms than this have been accomplished in times past; and what is there in the Spelling Reform to render it more impracticable than others? If the immense value of the new system were taken into considerationthe amount of time saved to the learner in acquiring the art of reading-the facility with which all the words in our language may be accurately pronounced by any one who understauds the Phonetic alphabet-the impetus which he Spelling Reform must necessarily give to the advancement of popular education -if these and the other advantages of the Phonetic system were duly considered, I think HOLDFAST himself would be willing to let go a system of orthography, which has been confessedly, and is still so great a barrier to the acquisition of knowledge. "Our orthography," says Walker, in the introduction of his Rhyming Dictionary, "Is not only an insuperable difficulty to foreigners, but an eternal source of dispute and perplexity to ourselves." We do not admit the validity of any objec-getarians, as they call themselves,-wiser than tion to Phonetic Spelling the etymological grounds. Some of the best linguists and philologists of the day have declared that all such objections are absurd and worthless; worthless," says Dr. Latham, "as ever they could be thought to be." It is true, as your correspondent says, that the present method "has come down to us with the sanction of ages;" but I cannot believe that he is serious in urging this as an objection to the Spelling Reform. Will he be good enough to look at the Prospectus of the PUBLIC GOOD, and see which of the reforms there mentioned (some of which, he no doubt, advocates) does not interfere with the established usage of ages. Some of them, he will find, combat the practices and sentiments of ages long before our language had a written representation at all.




Mr. EDITOR,-I have been a subscriber to the
Public Good from the commencement of its

career, and I have no hesitation in saying that
it is really for the good of the public. I have
'been surprised at the variety that you manage
to put into each number, and I am much
pleased at the idea of your controversial de-
partment-and that for two reasons. First, I

Very likely that precious class of new Reformers, who have recently, it appears, organized themselves into a society-the Vegetarians-will by and by be asking the Government to prevent by force of arms, the people eating mutton chops, and compelling them to eat carrots and cabbages. Now, Sir, I am inclined to ask the Government to prevent the organization of such societies. But that perhaps would be lifting them into undue notice, and very likely it would be best left alonegive such people rope enough and they will hang themselves. Was there ever anything heard so ridiculous as giving over eating anímal food. What was it sent for, Mr. Editor, but to be eaten? Are Vegetarians wiser than God? Why was animal food made so nutritious? And why were our teeth made to tear like the teeth of the carnivorous animals? Independent of Scripture sanctioning and commanding the use of animal food, the almost universal experience of nations teaches it. And are the promoters of this new-fangled system,-the Ve

the dictates of Scripture and teachings of his-
tory and experience? I have recently seen
two journals, the Vegetarian Messenger and
the Vegetarian Advocate, and I must say, I
never saw so much nonsense crammed into
two magazines before. They are advocates,
with a vengeance. They would advocate our
abstaining from good wholesome meat, and tell
us, I suppose, to be second editions of Nebu-
chadnezzar, by becoming feeders on grass.
They would advocate our leaving off salt, I sup-
pose, and tea, and coffee, these good old na-
tional beverages. What next shall we hear?
If there were a few more of these Vegetarians,
I should think the world was getting into its
dotage. Let me ask these "dietetic reformers,"
as they call themselves, what they would then
do with all the animals? What would they
make shoes with? Where would they get
their grease from to make candles and their
wool to make clothing? I hope, Mr. Editor,
that you do not in any way sanction such ab-
surd and unreasonable practices. In fact, judg-
am sure you possess
ing from your Journal,
too much common sense to do so. No doubt
that one of these potato eaters will be trying
to answer this letter; if so, Mr. Editor, you
will hear from me again.

I am yours, fraternally, ANTI-CABBAGE.

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