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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.
ARRANGED FOR PROGRESSIVE READING AND
(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;
Whispered under their breath;
Seeing my Nell at play,
And kissed her and turned away.
His name was among the dead-
And the enemy, beaten, fled.
And found him among the slain;
We were never to meet again!
I couldn't believe that be,
Would never come back to me.
I had passed long nights on my knees
Back to me over the seas
I could hear the band as it played
When the regiment marched to the station,
And the noise that the people made
And gave them three ringing cheers,
Walked by the side in tears.
And Nellie was quite elate
My Nellie was only eight.
He had tried to make her gay,
He wouldn't be long away.
Lifted her up to kiss,
Said to her, softly, this:
for me. “I shall think of you in the twilight,
When the stars come out above,
full of love, Breathing my name to Heaven.
And if, as the good folks say,
He'll guard me while I'm away.”
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.
Alone in my little room,
Into the twilight gloom.
I had seen his name on the list;
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,
While my tears ran down like rain.
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?"
I listened, but God knows how.
Safe and sound and well,
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,
Just as she promised her father
When the last good-bye he bade.
To me as I sat and heard,
With every childish word.
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
And shock the faith of a child.
Broke from my knee and fled
Kneeling beside her bed.
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,
To mother and little Nell.
The door was opened wide,
My darling who had died !
And Nell ran down at the cry:
She told him by and by.
We knew what the miracle meant,
And the news to the wrong wife sent. There were two of his name in the regiment,
The other was killed, and when