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avoiding stiffness in bearing, and also levity, haughtiness, or superciliousness in look.

(138.) Pause a moderate length, and take a quiet and respectful survey of

your auditory before beginning. (139.) Avoid sidelong attitudes. (140.) Let the body rest on the left foot drawn back. (141.) Be easy, but avoid every tendency to sway to and fro.

(142.) Fix the eyes gently and moderately on your audience seated at the furthest end of the hall, and regulate your tone (and, if possible, your ideas) as if speaking to one individual. Speaking, as it were, to the mass serves only to distract the speaker's thoughts.

(143.) Avoid angularity.

(144.) All motion must proceed from the shoulder, and every action must be changed on the principle of a curve.

(145.) Let the arms be loose, the elbows inclining outwards in a state of repose, the wrist pliant, the hand and fingers gracefully bent, the middle finger lightly pressing the index or first finger, tlie other two gently inclining towards the palm.

(146.) Strength of emotion will generally suggest the required posture.

(147.) Use the left hand occasionally for variety ; both hands when addressing or alluding to large assemblies.

(148.) To give force, the action should precede the word and the expression should prepare for the gesture.

(149.) Let the action also be sustained, changing it only witli change of subject.

(150.) In conclusion, I would simply state that all theory with respect as to when and where the hands should be raised, dropped, extended, &c., is worse than useless. The gesture that may suit me in certain situations is no more likely to fit you than my garments

Each orator has his own individuality, and, providing he has acquired by practice grace of action, his own feeling will be the most reliable prompter. The speaker should, however, bear in mind that redundancy of movement weakens force of utterance, and that one expressive look is better than a volume of action.

(151.) Note.No advance can possibly be made in gesture without committing the words to memory, and all attempts at an effective delivery are useless unless the reciter feels what he utters.

are.

SELECTIONS

ARRANGED FOR PROGRESSIVE READING AND

RECITING.

(152.) NELLIE'S PRAYER. By the kind permission of the Editor of the keferee, and Mr. G R. Sims. G.R. Sims, b. 1845, a dramatist and poet, contributor to The Theatre and The Referee

under the nom de plume of “Dagonet.” His dramas are now amongst the most popular of the present day. They show admirable construction, strong effects, and clear and incisive dialogue.

It's a month to-day sivce they brought me

The news of my darling's death;
I knew what it meant when the neighbours

Whispered under their breath;
And one good motherly creature,

Seeing my Nell at play,
Stooped down, with her eyelids streaming,

And kissed her and turned away.
It was there in the evening paper,

His name was among the dead-
. We had won a glorious battle,

And the enemy, beaten, fled.
Then they counted the dead and wounded,

And found him among the slain;
O God! had I known when we parted

We were never to meet again!
I couldn't believe the story-

I couldn't believe that be,
My darling—my soldier husband-

Would never come back to me.
I had thought of him night and morning;

I had passed long nights on my knees
Praying that God would bring him

Back to me over the seas
It all came back like a vision;

I could hear the band as it played

When the regiment marched to the station,

And the noise that the people made
As they shouted “Good luck” to the soldiers,

And gave them three ringing cheers,
While the women, with ashen faces,

Walked by the side in tears.
We walked by his side that morning,

And Nellie was quite elate
With the band and the crowd and the cheering-

My Nellie was only eight.
She never thought of the danger;

He had tried to make her gay,
And told her to take care of mother-

He wouldn't be long away.
He held her up at the station,

Lifted her up to kiss,
And then, with her arms flung round him.

Said to her, softly, this:
“Nellie, my pet, at bed-time,
When

you
kneel at your

mother's knee
To pray to the God who loves us,
Say a wee prayer

for me. “I shall think of you in the twilight,

When the stars come out above,
And fancy I see you kneeling
With your

blue
eye

full of love, Breathing my name to Heaven.

And if, as the good folks say,
God hears the prayers of the children,

He'll guard me while I'm away.”
“ You needn't have asked me, daddy,

I always do that!” she said; “Don't I pray for you and for mammy

At night when I go to bed? God loves the little children,

And answers their prayers, they say: I'm sure that you'll come back safely,

I'll ask in my prayers that you may.” It's only a month since they started.

We thought when the regiment went

That long ere the troops were landed

The force of the war would be spent. And so I had taken courage,

And looked on the bright side first, Though now and again I fretted,

And sometimes feared the worst.
I was left alone with my sorrow-

Alone in my little room,
Where the evening shadows deepened

Into the twilight gloom.
I had heard the words they uttered,

I had seen his name on the list;
But I sat and peered through the darkness

As a sailor peers through the mist. I sat like a sleeper doubting

If she dreams or is wide awake, Till the truth came on me fiercely,

And I thought that my heart would break. As I sat in the deepening gloaming

The child came back again,
And I picked her up and kissed her

While my tears ran down like rain.
Why are you crying, mammy?

I only shook my head. “It's nothing, Nellie,” I whispered;

“Kiss me and go to bed.” “Let me say my prayers, mammy

Will you hear me say them now?"
She prayed for her absent father;

I listened, but God knows how.
She prayed to the Lord to bring him,

Safe and sound and well,
Back from the far-off country

To mother and little NellPrayed that, with her father lying

In that far-off country dead ! “Now, father's safe till to-morrow,"

She whispered, and went to bed. I hadn't the heart to tell her,

So night after night she prayed,

a

Just as she promised her father

When the last good-bye he bade.
But the prayer was a cruel dagger

To me as I sat and heard,
And my heart was stabbed to bleeding

With every childish word.
So a weary month went over,

Till at last my nerves gave way, And told her to stop one evening,

As she came to my kuee to pray. My brain was turned with sorrow,

I was wicked and weak and wild
To speak as I spoke that evening,

And shock the faith of a child.
She heard what I said; then, sobbing,

Broke from my knee and fled
Up to her room, and I heard her,

Kneeling beside her bed.
She prayed in her childish fashion,

But her words were choked with tears... I had told her it wasn't always

God the prayer of the children hears. She prayed that her absent father

Might come back safe and well,
From the perils of war and battle,

To mother and little Nell.
And, ere ever her prayer was finished,

The door was opened wide,
And my darling rushed towards me-

My darling who had died !
I gave one cry and I fainted,

And Nell ran down at the cry:
“They said God wouldn't hear me,”

She told him by and by.
When the shock of surprise was over

We knew what the miracle meant,
There'd been a mistake in the bodies,

And the news to the wrong wife sent. There were two of his name in the regiment,

The other was killed, and when

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