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bellishments of art. The pomegranate, the almond, and floweis, were selected, even in the wilderness, by Divine appointment, to give form to the sacred utensils; the reward of merit, the wreath of the victor, were arboraceous; in later periods, the acanthus, the ivy, the lotus, the vine, the palm, and the oak, flourished under the chisel, or in the room of the artist; and in modern days, the vegetable world affords the alınost exclusive decorations of ingenuity and art.
The cultivation of flowers, is, of all the amusements of mankind, the one to be selected and approved, as the most innocent in itself, and perfectly devoid of injury or annoyance to others. The employment is not only conducive to health and peace of mind ; but probably more good-will has arisen, and more friendships have been founded on the intercourse and communication connected with this pursuit, than from any other. The pleasures, the ecstasies of a horticulturist, are harmless and pure: a streak, – a tint, - a shade, - becomes his triumph, which, though often obtained by chance, is secured alone by morning cire, by evening caution, and the vigilance of days : - an employment, which, in its various grades, excludes neither the opulent nor the indigent, and, teeming with boundless variety, affords an unceasing excitement to emulation, without contempt or ill-will.
FLOWERS, THE GIFT OF DIVINE BENIGNITY.
(Joy, gratitude, and reverence, are the ernotions to be expressed in the
reading of this genuine effusion of the heart. The prevailing tone is that of fervent emotion, subdued by solemnity. The "quality" of voice passes from “orotund," in the energetic and elevated, to 5 pure tone,” in the softened and tender strains. The "pitch” varies to “high” notes, for the joyous emotions, and to "middle" and "low," for grateful and reverential feeling. The “force” shifts from the full utterance of joy to the “ moderate” and the “subdued,” in gratitude and reverence. The movement” corresponds, by changes from “lively” to “ moderate” and “slow." The pauses are proportioned in length to each class of emotions, — from animation to devotion.
When the “Reader" is used in classes, the teacher will render a val
uable assistance to the pupils, by questioning them on the nature of the emotion which characterizes every sentence, successively. The emotion is, universally, the key to the reading, in every particular; and, to become fully aware of the emotion, is the first step towards true style in elocution. Young readers, generally, are prone to commence their exercise without previous reflection, and, consequently, without the preparation and adaptation of feeling, which alone can produce appropriate expression in the voice.]
Yes, there shall still be joy, Where God hath poured forth beauty; and the voice Of human love shall still be heard in praise Over His glorious gifts !- O Father, Lord ! The All-Beneficent! I bless Thy name, That Thou hast mantled the green earth with flowers, Linking our hearts to nature! By the love Of their wild blossoms, o'ir young footsteps first Into her deep recesses are beguiled, Her minster cells, - dark glen and forest bower:Where, thrilling with its earliest sense of Thee, Amidst the low religious whisperings, And shivery leaf-sounds of the solitude, The spirit wakes to worship, and is made Thy living temple. By the breath of flowers, Thou callest us from city throngs and cares, Back to the woods, the birds, the mountain streams, That sing of Thee!- back to free childhood's heart, Fresh with the dews of tenderness !— Thou bidd'st The lilies of the field with placid smile Reprove man's feverish heart-strings, and infuse Through his worn soul a more unworldly life, With their soft holy breath. Thou hast not left His purer nature, with its fine desires, Uncared for in this universe of Thine!The glowing rose attests it, the beloved Of poet hearts, — touched by their fervent dreams With spiritual light, and made a source Of heaven-ascending thoughts. E'en to faint age Thou lend'st the vernal bliss :— The old man's eye Falls on the kindling blossoms; and his soul Remembers youth and love, and hopefully Turns unto Thee, who call'st earth's buried germs From dust to splendour; as the mortal seed
Shall, at Thy summons, from the grave spring up
FLOWERS SENT ME DURING ILLNESS.
Richard H. Dana.
[The change from pensive to joyous “expression," and its reverse, and
the transition to the firm tone of “serious” and grateful sentiinent, are the chief objects of attention, in the reading of this chaste and touching production. The modifications of voice required in the predominating emotions of this piece, have been pointed out in the introductory remarks prefixed to other exercises.]
I LOVED you ever, gentle Flowers,
The while your spirit stole
In secret to my soul,
And now, when weariness and pain
With each a smiling face,
In all your simple grace,
Kind visitants ! through my sick room
And with your looks of joy
To wake again the boy,
And whence ye came, by brimming stream,
Again I musing tread,
Forgot my restless bed
But time nor pain shall ever steal
And blessings on ye, Flowers !
Though few with me your hours,
HINTS TO MOTHERS, ON EARLY HABITS.
[An example of " serious," didactic style, sustained by energy and“ animation.” Didactic “ expression” differs from that of earnest conversation, on topics of opinion, or sentiment, chiefly in a more distinct articulation, more marked “ inflection,” more energetic emphasis, and more deliberate pauses, than are usually heard in talking. The “ movement,” also, is slower ; and a firmer 6 radical stress” prevails, throughout. Every didactic piece, when read in a hall, or large school-room, necessarily assumes a “ moderate” degree of the “erpulsive” « orotund” utterance, which belongs to all exercises in the form of public reading. To this style of utterance all young persons should be trained, for its invigorating effect on the voice and on the health of the readers, as well as for the facility which it im
parts, in the command of the voice for private reading in the · parlour.]
LET your first care be to give your girls a good physical education. Let their early years be passed, if possible, in the country, gathering flowers in the fields, and partaking of all the free exercises in which they delight. When they grow older, do not condemn them to sit eight listless hours of the day over their books, their work, their maps, and their music. Be assured that half the number of hours passed in real attention to well-ordered studies, will make them more accomplished and more agreeable companions, than those commonly
are, who have been most elaborately “finished,” in the modern acceptation of the term.
The systems by which young ladies are taught to move their limbs according to the rules of art, — to come into a room with studied diffidence, and to step into a carriage with measured action and premeditated grace, — are only calculated to keep the degrading idea perpetually present, that they are preparing for the great market of the world. Real elegance of demeanour springs from the mind : fashionable schools do but teach its imitation, whilst their rules forbid to be ingenuous.
Philosophers never conceived the idea of so perfect a vacuum as is found to exist in the minds of young women supposed to have finished their education in such establishments. If they marry husbands as uninformed as themselves, they fall into habits of insignificance, without much pain : if they marry persons more accomplished, they can retain no hold of their affections. Hence many matrimonial miseries, in the midst of which the wife finds it a consolation to be always complaining of her health and ruined nerves.
In the education of young women, we would say, — let them be secured from all the trappings and manacles of such a system; let them partake of every active exercise not absolutely unfeminine, and trust to their being able to get into or out of a carriage with a light and graceful step, which no drilling can accomplish. Let them rise early and retire early to rest, and trust that their beauty will not need to be coined into artificial smiles in order to secure a welcome, whatever room they enter. Let them ride, walk, run, dance, in the open air. Encourage the merry and innocent diversions in which the young delight: let them, under proper guidance, explore every hill and valley : let them plant and cultivate the garden, and make hay when the summer sun shines, and surmount all dread of a shower of rain or the boisterous wind.
The demons of hysteria and melancholy might hover over a group of young ladies so brought up: but they would not find one of them upon whom they could exercise any power,