« PreviousContinue »
"I can't come down,- go to the parlor, John, And say I'm supping with the heavenly bodics.”
6. “The heavenly bodies !” echoed John, “ahem!”
His mind still full of famishing alarms, “Zounds! if your honor sups with them,
In helping, somebody must make long arms!” He thought his master's stomach was in danger,
But still in the same tone replied the knight,
“Go down, John, go, I have no appetite, Say I'm engaged with a celestial stranger.” Quoth John, not much au fait in such affairs, “Would n't the stranger take a bit down stairs ?”
7. "No," said the master, smiling—and no wonder,
He has a mouth,
Behold him ! there he is, John, in the south.”
Each rolling like a marble in its socket.
"A rare good rocket!”
8. “A what? A rocket, John! Far from it!
That in all ages
Have puzzled sages And frightened kings :
With fear of change, that flaming meteor, John,
Perplexes sovereigns throughout its range.”
ANALYSIS OF THE COMET. What kind of poetry is this? Give the reason for calling it poetry. See Gray Old Man of the Mountain. 7 With what tone of voice should it be read ? [Humorous pieces require a lively and brisk utterance, a comparatively high pitch, rapid rate, quick turns, numerous circumflexes, and varying force or loudness.]
. First and Second Stanzas. What are professors of astronomy”? What is "the celestial economy”? What is it to be an “adept”? What is it to be s cited”? Who was "Herschel”? What is it to be “hand and glove”? How came this phrase to be used in this sense? Meaning of "every bright intelligence”? [In this selection the pun is occasionally used. This is an expression in which two different applications of a word present an odd or ludicrous idea.” Now, many of the heavenly bodies are called by the names of the ancient heathen deities, and hence the poet calls them intelligences. Thus he is enabled more easily to introduce the idea of intercourse between them and the astronomer. “Bright” is applicable to both ideas, that of shining stars and planets, and that of minds; hence, in this word we have a pun. The pupil should detect all these double senses, else much of the inimitable wit of the piece will escape him.] Is there any jest in the word “benighted”? At what time can observations best be made upon the stars? Would the peculiarity shown here in punctuation be admissible in grave composition ? What is an “observatory"? What has he called it before? Give the two meanings of " Venus." To which would the idea of "coquetting” be applicable? The two meanings of “Juno”? What are “sublunary matters”? Double meaning of "winking”? of " acting the spy”? Why “upon Mars”? Why “a new Andre”? Give the story of Andre. Under what circumstances were spies employed ? Who was “ Tom of Coventry”? Give the story about him. [See Webster's Dictionary, illustrated edition, page 1581, “Peeping Tom."] Who was “Dian”? Is any one of the heavenly bodies so called? What two meanings suggested by the word "glass”? Meaning of “ ogling from his glass,” as usually understood ? Point out the jest in the line,“ Tripping with pails, &c.” Who was “ Charles the Martyr"? What word rhymes with “ Martyr's”? What is his “wain ?” Double meaning of the word 'stars”? Why are “ garters” spoken of? What line in the sixth stanza suggests the explanation ?
Etymology and meaning of professors ? astronomy? adepts ? celestial ? economy? cited ? justly? intelligence ? custom? observatory? coquetting? sublunary? forgetting? matters? flirtations? ogling? flame ? exclaim ? stress?
On what word should the first falling inflection be? On the word “Herschel,” - the culminating word of the first positive statement. The word “glove" in the second statement requires the same inflection, and for the same reason. “Above" should have the rising, because the line ending with it is a limitation upon the assertion, “He is hand and glove." The words “stop” and “top” are at the ends of conditional clauses, and the main positive affirmation is expressed by “benighted.” The inflections should be more strongly marked than in grave composition.] In the second stanza, the inflections are mostly falling, because it is chiefly an enumeration of positive particulars. Show the exceptions to this statement. “What word requires the rising circumflex ?
Who speaks in this stanza? To whom is he speaking? What is a “comet”? What is meant by “Halley's"? [See “ Halley”, in any good biographical dictionary or work on astronomy.] What is meant by its being “due ?” Whose -i fiery trail”? Meaning of the expression, "'Tis a pity"? his coming "unreckoned ”? What animals are spoken of as caught in the manner here referred to? What is meant then by his being “caught with scientific salt upon his tail”?
Etymology and meaning of comet? noble ? sure? view ? due ? magnificent ? zounds ? pity ? unsought ? scientific ? last?
Inflection apon“unsought”? [Repeat carefully this passage of two lines, ending with “ thought," several times, and with different inflections,— falling, rising, and the falling and rising circumflex.]
Fourth Stanza. Is it meant that he looked no more for it than he looked for the Great Bear, or than the Great Bear looked for it? What is the Great Bear? Why does he refer to “ Tycho Brahe"? What "is as sure as Tycho Brahe is dead”? What jest in the expression, “It really entered in my head”? What is “Berenice's Hair”? Who was “ Heaven's grand inquisitor"? What two meanings in this expression? Meaning of “thus musing”? What was the "uninvited visitor"? Meaning of "upper regions”? What names have been previously applied to the same thing? Meaning of “honor” in this case?
Etymology and meaning of declare? really ? entered ? musing? grand ? inquisitor ? uninvited ? visitor ? gazing ? regions ? please ? honor ? supper?
Fifth Stanza. What is a “phenomenon”? What is it to “ think with consternation"? Was this body properly a "star"? What is it to “batten"? What are signes fatui”? Why does the poet mention ignes fatui ? What is the singular of this word ? What is the jest in the word “fatten”? Whose " visage seemed to say"? What is a “visage"? What is “ very odd ”? What is meant by “the same tune ran on”? What does the master mean by saying that he is “supping with the heavenly bodies" ?
Etymology and meaning of except? phenomenon ? consternation ? starvation ? batten? Tignes fatui ? visage ? master ? parlor ? heavenly?
Inflection on the word “supper"? Does it contain a positive statement or direction ? Inflection on “sup”? “phenomenon”? [" Except on that phenomenon” is clearly conditional or limiting.] Inflection on “starvation”? [It is the emphatic word in a positive statement.] On "ignes fatui”? “fatten”? [The former is emphatic in a positive statement; the latter is conditional.]
withib. der in
liroog onim and then illundert that bale of good taste
166 ret EDWARDS's sixtı READER.) 2
Sixth Stanza. Why is it said that “ John echoed”? What is implied in the expression, “ahem”? Meaning of « zounds ? Why must "somebody make long arms”? Who was the “knight'? Where has this been previously alluded to? What is a - celestial stranger”? In what sense does John take the word “stranger"? Meaning of "au fait”? In what " affairs "? Meaning of the word “bit” ?
Etymology and meaning of echoed ? famishing ? alarms ? zounds ? master ? stomach ? replied ? knight ? appetite ? engaged ? celestial ? stranger ? affairs ? tone ?
Seventh Stanza. What was the blunder at which the master “smiled” ? Where may it be said that the comet's “ head and tail are joined together"? What are “portentous eyes”? What is called a “fiery tadpole”? Why so called ? Meaning of “spies"? Why not "sces" ? Meaning of “ Vauxhall reminiscence”? What and where is “ Vauxhall”? [See Lippincott's Gazetteer.] What is a “rocket”?
Etymology and meaning of wonder ? reasonably? joined ? portentous ? marble ? tadpole? reminiscence ? rocket ?
Eighth Stanza. What two meanings suggested by the word “eccentric”? Who are “sages”? Meaning of “perplexes sovereigns”? of "meteor”? What is meant by “its range”? In what sense does John use the word sovereigns ? What other word is here used in different senses by the two speakers ?
Etymology and meaning of eccentric ? meteor ? perplexes ? sovereigns ? puzzled ? change? flaming ?
XXIX. — PROVIDENCE IN WAR.
S. D. BURCHARD. 1. War is at all times to be deprecated ; but civil war, internecine strife, is the most relentless when the cause is least. History has revealed to us that an entire generation has passed away since the inception of the idea of secession.