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None but a mother, - none but one like tnee,
Whose bloom has faded in the midnight watch,
Whose form has felt disease's mildew touch.
Yes, thou hast lighted me to health and life,
By the bright lustre of thy youthful bloom, —
That woe hath traced thy brow with marks of gloom.
Oh! then, to thee, this rude and simple song,
Which breathes of thankfulness and love for thee,
[Descriptive style, of serious and sublime character, as in the following
passage, requires a firm and distinct utterance, “grave" tone, slow “ movement," and long pauses. The closing part is in “orotund quality,” owing to the increased force and depth of feeling.)
JUPITER is the largest of all the planets of our system; it surpasses the Earth in superficies more than 120 times. This immense body revolves about its axis in the short period of not quite ten hours; and this rapid rotation, common to the three greater planets, Jupiter, Saturn, and U’rănus, seems to be one of the means by which nature calls forth in their atmospheres, processes conducive to the generation of light and heat by the solar rays, which operate in these planets with less force, owing to the increased distance. The day of these three planets, is, accordingly, far shorter than our day; for instance, Jupiter's day is not half so long as ours; but the splendid illumination of Jupiter's nights by four moons, to which subject I shall advert presently, seems to do away, to a certain degree, with the difference between day and night.
The plane of the equator of this planet, forms with the plane of its orbit an angle which the most careful observations have determined to be only three degrees; and the trop
ics are nearly coincident with the equator. Hence it follows that the state of the atmosphere, in Jupiter, must constantly resemble that which takes place on the Earth, at the time of the equinox, when the sun enters the equator. The climate, therefore, must be uniformly mild, as with us in spring or autumn. On our Earth, the torrid zone extends twenty-three degrees on each side of the equator; and the two frigid zones occupy the like number of degrees; whereas, in Jupiter, according to the above data, the torrid zone comprehends altogether only six degrees; and the two frigid zones embrace, between them, but the same space; so that nearly the whole of the surface of this remarkable planet belongs to the temperate zones. Its vegetation consequently enjoys uninterruptedly that equinoctial temperature which authorizes us to attribute to it the equally uninterrupted production of flowers and fruit. In short, this planet must be covered with everlasting verdure, and enjoy a mild climate, all the year round.
This invariable state of the atmosphere, at least in an astronomical sense, combined with the almost constant equality of day and night, must impart a similar character of equality to the affairs of life; and it thus announces something more constant, more permanent, and more nearly perfect. We must likewise take into account the length of Jupiter's year, which is nearly twelve times as long as ours; from which circumstance Schubert draws the conclusion, that life in Jupiter must be very different from life upon the Earth. “There,” says he, "a girl of sixteen has the experience of nearly two centuries; and whoever has seen eighty revolutions of the sun, has attained the age of Methuselah.”
If Jupiter appears to us, from what has been already stated, in a very agreeable light, the four moons attached to this planet, contribute greatly to its further embellishment; and there are arrangements connected with them, which leave no room for doubt respecting the beneficent intentions of Providence for the uninterrupted illumination of Jupiter's nights. By the most sublime analysis, Laplace has incontestably demonstrated that these moons can never be dark, or new, at one and the same time, and that, consequently, the inhabitants of Jupiter are always sure of the light of at least one of these luminaries.
This provision of Supreme Intelligence furnishes an additional ground for our conjecture of an increased perfection of things in Jupiter; and, as far as we can form any conception of the physical constitution of this planet, and the econ
omy of life resulting from it, we are forced to admit that at least many of its arrangements are on a larger and grander scale. Jupiter, as we have already intimated, forms the commencement of a totally different planetary existence; and science cannot forbear-deploring those barriers which oppose its progress, and confine it to conjecture, when, urged by awakened curiosity, it would fain penetrate, with all its attributes of sense, into the magic scenes, into the delicious plains, of this vast and beautiful planet, lighted by four moons, and shaded by a luxuriant and ever-flourishing vegetation.
[In historical narration, and, particularly, in the description of scenes
of military achievement, or of warlike character, the style of reading demands an utterance varying from the grave ” and “ serious ” to the “animated” and the powerfully expressive, as the natural language of intense excitement.]
In the revolutionary struggle which terminated in the independence of modern Greece, the garrison of * Missolonghi, - after having been disappointed in all their hopes of aid, feeling their ramparts crumbling under their feet, seeing their fathers, their wives, and their children perishing by famine, — sent a communication to the only corps able to give them any succour, that of 4 Kairaskaki, requesting it to attack the rear of the enemy, on a certain day, and to announce its arrival by a general discharge of musketry; at which moment the garrison would make a sortie, and endeavour to cut their way through the besieging army. On the appointed day, the population of Missolonghi was assembled. There remained three thousand soldiers, including those who, although sick or wounded, were capable of marching with the assistance of their comrades, a thousand artificers, or other men unused to fighting, and about five thousand women and children.
The Grecian women, who fancied themselves strong enough to brave the fatigue and danger of the sortie, dressed themselves in men's clothes, in order that if they were unable
* Pronounced, Missolonghea
to escape the enemy, they might be mistaken for soldiers, and put to death instantly. Many of them hung round their necks, and round the necks of their children, as a protecting talisman, the revered relics of their ancestors; and wore concealed daggers, with which either to strike the enemy, or to secure their not being taken alive. — Those whose weakness forbade them to follow the troops, joined the desperately wounded, the sick, the aged, and the infants, and resolved to bury themselves in the ruins of the town. - It was a terrible moment.
Almost all the families of Missolonghi were divided into two parts ; — those who remained in expectation of death, and those who were on the point of rushing forth to vengeance and to new dangers. The hardiest warriors were subdued to tears; and the bravest hearts quailed at the approaching separation. All these preparations were, however, rendered abortive by the infamous treachery of a Bulgarian soldier, who had deserted to Ibrahim, the Turkish commander, and disclosed the whole plan. The Turks suddenly attacked the town, and bathed themselves in Christian blood. The scene that followed was hideous. “But one voice was heard among the despairing women,” says an eye-witness :—“To the sea! to the sea!” Many precipitated themselves into the wells, into which they first threw their children. But the wells at length became full; and it was a long way from the ramparts to that part of the harbour which was sufficiently deep for the purpose of death. The conquerors, anxious for slaves, followed close on their victims. Several women, and even several children, had the address and the good fortune to free themselves by throwing themselves on the naked swords of the Arabs; others plunged into the flames of the burning houses; twelve thousand, who could discover no way of destroying themselves, fell into the hands of the enemy.
The attention of the conquerors was soon drawn to the powder magazine. The size and the solidity of the building induced them to believe that the wealth of the inhabitants had been there deposited. It contained, however, only women and children, and * Capsalis, one of the primates of the town, who, having obstinately refused to accompany the garrison in their projected sortie, conducted to the powder magazine a crowd of women and children, saying, “ Come, and be still; I will myself set fire to it.” They wept not:
* Pronounced, Cap'sălis.
they had no parting to apprehend; the grave was about to unite them forever. The mothers tranquilly pressed their infants to their breasts, relying on Capsalis. In the meantime, the enemy crowded round their asylum; some attempted to break open the doors; some to enter by the windows : - some climb to the roof, and endeavour to demolish it. At length, Capsalis, perceiving that a number had assembled, uttered a brief prayer, familiar to the Greeks, — “Lord, remember me!” – and applied the match. — The explosion was so violent, that the neighbouring houses were thrown down ; large chasms were produced in the earth; and the sea, mored from its bed, inundated one part of the town. Two thousand barbarians were blown up with Capsalis. Such was the catastrophe of this terrible drama.
[The style of familiar dialogue requires attention, principally, to easy,
natural change of voice, accommodated to the appropriate style of each speaker. In the following instance, the tone of the male speaker is “grave” and “ tranquil,” – that of the female, feeble and plainlive. The prevalent error in the reading of dialogue, is monotony; while the great use of such exercises, is, to aid the reader in complying with the primary condition of good reading, - that of throwing one's self into the situation of the supposed speaker, - and thus to insure natural and appropriate “expression.”]
Whither are you bound?