Imatges de pÓgina
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that thought and images arise in it as naturally as flowers spring from the ground. These, of course, are the most brilliant and gifted talkers: these are they "who set tables in a roar; " who charm and fascinate the listening ear; who condense into minutes the pleasures of hours, and yet make hours pass away with the rapidity of minutes. Others, too, can afford an entertainment as gratifying, though not as stimulating, from the acquired treasures gained by extensive and well-digested reading, or by long and sharp observation of men and manners. But there must be a moving power from within, or, however much the operating instrument be cultivated, it will not work to any purpose.

Another essential requisite for a good talker is a delicate tact in discovering the tastes and habits of thought in others, and the power of adapting his conversation to them. The perfection of this quality consists in that rare gift, the art of drawing out the ability to make others, unconsciously to themselves, display, in a natural manner, their faculties and acquirements. Nothing is more delightful than to witness its exercise, when it arises from a benevolent motive; to see a young and timid spirit gently enforced to draw aside the veil of reserve which shrouds its individuality, to put forth its free and natural movements, and to glow with a warmth which is partly caught and partly spontaneous. One such mind acts upon another as fire upon figures traced in sympathetic ink — bringing out, every moment, warm tints of feeling, lights and shadows of character, and bold, original strokes of shaping imagination, which had before slumbered in the gloom of diffidence and distrust. This is a faculty as rare as it is beautiful; and it confers upon its possessor an almost unbounded power in social intercourse, for he is by far the most agreeable man who can make others agreeable. Many of those who possess it, abuse it to the gratification of a malicious wit, or a restless vanity.

T

The charm of conversation, like that of letter-writing, consists in its being the natural expression of natural thoughts.

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It is difficult, in this as in all other things, to find the proper medium between two extremes. Some men, aiming at correctness and precision, cultivate a grandiloquence and pomp of expression which are quite ludicrous, especially if the thoughts bear no proportion to the cumbrous vehicle in which they are transported. Others, seeing the folly of this, affect a careless, slipshod style of talk, which nothing but great originality and raciness of thought will render tolerable. The language of conversation should be plain, but not homely; idiomatic, but not vulgar. Other things being alike, he who has written most will talk best; for a writer's ideas naturally form themselves into harmonious periods, and he will be most apt to avoid a redundancy of words.

If my observations be true, it follows that conversational powers are, in some measure, natural, and in some, acquired. There is certainly some scope for education here. Every one may be taught to speak grammatically, to enunciate distinctly, and to look in the face of the person he addresses. These are trifles, to be sure; but for that very reason they are as easily observed as neglected.

LESSON III.

EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.

i:-time, mine, mind, buy, eye, high; - buyer, dyer, china; apply, ally, benign, oblige; - satiety, sobriety, maniacal.

To a Robin. N. E. MAGAZINE.

YOUNG warbler of the spring!

Scarce hath the earth put on her robe of green,
And the glad breeze swept o'er the vernal scene,
Ere thou dost sweetly sing.

How many years thy song

Hath poured its music on my slumbering hours, When morn's first breath is seen to stir the flowers, Bearing the sweets along!

Ah! now thy strain I hear,

Among thy mates, poured from thy warbling throat, Filling each grove with thy gay, cheerful note, Spring's feathered pioneer.

I love to hear thee sing,

When summer groves are glistening in the dew,
And see, in morning's mingling gray and blue,
Thy brown and glossy wing.

Thou callest to thy mate

To perch upon thy favorite, breezy tree,
To pour to heaven thy grateful minstrelsy,
With happy heart elate.

And when the crimson glows,
Gayly, along the soft and mellow west,
Thou teachest to thy young, within their nest,
Thy song at evening's close.

Ah! it were vain to search

Where thou from winter's cold wilt find a home;
But glad I see thee to my elm-tree come,
And near my window perch.

There is that to thee given,

That teaches me to hymn my Maker's praise,
And my faint soul from cares of earth to raise,
To the pure joys of heaven.

LESSON IV.

EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.

0:- no, dome, home, rogue, roll, gold, sew, beau; - notion, motion, motive, yeoman; - depose, withhold, encroach; poetry, frowardly.

GEMS OF POETRY.

Memory.

HAIL, Memory, hail! In thy exhaustless mine,
From age to age unnumbered treasures shine!
Thought, and her shadowy brood, thy call obey,
And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!
Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone,
The only pleasures we can call our own.
Lighter than air, Hope's summer-visions die
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky;
If but a beam of sober reason play,
Lo, Fancy's fairy frost-work melts away!
But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power,
Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour?
These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight,
Pour round her path a stream of living light,
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest,
Where Virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest.

ROGERS.

Books. CRABBE.

BLEST be the gracious Power, who taught mankind
To stamp a lasting image of the mind.

Beasts may convey, and tuneful birds may sing,
Their mutual feelings in the opening spring:

notion

roach

But man alone has skill and power to send
The heart's warm dictates to the distant friend.
'Tis his alone to please, instruct, advise
Ages remote, and nations yet to rise.

An Emblem.

A CLOUD lay cradled near the setting sun;
A gleam of crimson tinged its braided snow:
Long had I watched the glory moving on

O'er the still radiance of the lake below:
Tranquil its spirit seemed, and floated slow;
E'en in its very motion there was rest;

While every breath of eve, that chanced to blow,
Wafted the traveller to the beauteous west
Emblem, methought, of the departed soul,

To whose white robe the gleam of bliss is given,
And by the breath of mercy made to roll

Right onward to the golden gates of heaven,
Where to the eye of faith it peaceful lies,
And tells to man his glorious destinies.

WILSON.

The Comforter.

MOORE.

O THOU, who dry'st the mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be,

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If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to thee!

The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes, are flown;
And he who has but tears to give
Must weep those tears alone.

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