11. And Portia again welcomed Antonio, and gave him letters which by some chance had fallen into her hands, containing an account of Antonio's ships, that were supposed lost, being safely arrived in the harbour. So these tragical beginnings of this rich merchant's story were all forgotten in the unexpected good-fortune which ensued, and there was leisure to laugh at the comical adventure of the rings, and the husbands that did not know their own wives; Gratiano merrily declaring, in a sort of rhyming speech, that

While he lived, he'd fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.

[blocks in formation]

EXERCISES.-1. The Greek prefix syn- (which has also the forms syl-, sym-) means together, with; as sympathy, a feeling with; synthesis, a placing together; syllable, letters pronounced together; synod (literally), in the way together, a meeting.

2. Analyse and parse the following: 'Portia, who meant to return to Belmont before her husband, replied: "I humbly thank your Grace, but I must away directly."'

3. Make sentences of your own, and use in each one or more of the following words: Release, ingratitude, acquit, ingenuity.


[In this noble poem by Thomas Gray, we have a series of reflections suggested by a visit paid to a country churchyard. The churchyard the poet had in view is believed to be that of Stoke Poges, near Slough, Buckinghamshire.]

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain


Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,


The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.


For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

[blocks in formation]

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,



Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,


Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid


Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, Or waked to ecstacy the living lyre:

But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,

Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;


Chill penury repressed their noble rage,

And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear :

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.


Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;

Some mute inglorious Milton, here may rest,

Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.


The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,

[blocks in formation]

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride

With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

[blocks in formation]

cur'-few, a bell rung in England in Norman times, at eight o'clock every night, to warn the people to cover up their fires and retire to rest.

knell, the sound of a bell which is sometimes rung at a death. Here the day is supposed to be dying. lea, grassy field.

plods, walks steadily and slowly. land'-scape, scenery, or appearance of the country.

drow'-sy tink'-lings, sleepy sound of distant bells.

folds, inclosures where sheep are penned.

mo-lest', disturb.

in'-cense-breath'-ing, full of freshness and sweetness.

clar'-i-on, a kind of trumpet, the

notes of which are clear and shrill. Here the crowing of the cock.

glebe, the earth; soil.

team, two or more horses.

am-bi'-tion, desire for power, fame,



and honour.



ne-glect'-ed ap-plause'

Here used for

the ambitious, an instance of the figure called personification.

ob-scure', humble; unknown by the world.

her'-ald-ry, the study of family history and coats of arms. in-ev'-it-a-ble, that cannot be


tro'-phies, monuments; memorials. aisle, side passage of a church. an'-them, sacred song.

an'-i-mat-ed bust, life-like portrait carved in stone. preg'-nant, filled. ce-les'-tial fire, heavenly or highminded thoughts or desires. ec'-sta-cy, fine, lively music. pen'-u-ry, poverty.

cir-cum-scribed', inclosed within certain limits.

in-gen'-u-ous, frank and without guile.

se-ques'-tered, quiet and retired. ten'-or, a holding on; continued


EXERCISES.-1. The affixes -an, -ar, -ard, -eer, -er, -ist, -or, -ster, denote the agent or doer, the person that; as history, historian (the person that writes history); lie, liar (one that tells lies); drunk, drunkard; mountain, mountaineer; build, builder; botany, botanist; govern, governor; song, songster.

« VorigeDoorgaan »