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every day, and a short exercise upon the principles: and as we reach the lessons which include pieces adapted to recitation, we commit and recite them.
Dr. A.-That must be a very severe task!
Julia. No, Sir, it is usually a very light task: for we are always careful, the day before, to divide the lesson among the whole class; each marking off her own proper share but, before we get through with the reading and the recitations, a pretty good number of us can say the whole, nearly as well as our own part.
Dr. A.-And do you do all this every day?
Julia.-Not daily we read the same lesson two or three times, with a new portion to each of us, every time; and on Friday we omit the reading, and attend only to reciting, and the principles.
Dr. A.-And when you recite, do you come out on the stage, and express every thing with appropriate gestures, as our young gentlemen do ?
Julia.-O no, Sir! far from it. We have no stage. We keep our seats; and all that is required of us is, to preserve a natural, easy and graceful posture, with an occasional, but gentle movement of the head and hands; but little attention, however, is paid to this, or the expression of the countenance, unless to correct a bad habit, any farther than feeling naturally prompts: sometimes we stand up to recite, and then we are taught to shift our position with ease and grace, and to use our hands with some degree of confidence, in cases where it would seem to be a real constraint not to do it.-I think they have aimed to follow out Dr. Abbot's method in all but oratorical attitudes and gestures, such as are practised by gentlemen.
Dr. A.—And very complimentary truly to Dr. Abbot. Miss Julia, I thank you for your prompt, polite and very intelligent answers. Mrs. Gordon, I am happy to say, all which your daughter has stated I heartily approve; and I feel gratified to learn there is such growing attention to this hitherto much neglected accomplishment. Let it have a tithe of the time and care bestowed upon music-an acquisition I would be the last to discourage-and every one endowed with the requisite faculties, may possess it: and where means are wanting to acquire both, give me rather the one which enables me to talk, to read, and to speak, in an easy and becoming style; and supplies a constant source of enjoyment to myself and my friends.
Perhaps you might be interested with a short sketch of my early experience. More than twenty years ago, before I came to New York, I taught the academy in a beautiful country village. It was customary then, as I believe it is still, to have a large proportion of misses; often occupying a separate part of the same room, and sitting in the same classes at recitations, and taking rank among the young gentlemen according to merit. Many instances of this kind occurred in my classes in English, and in Latin and Greek: French, we did not study so much then. I took great pains to teach all to read and speak well; and I ever succeeded the best with the young ladies; and I had the most pleasure and satisfaction in teaching them. I was as particular to direct them in their manners, and how to make a graceful courtesy, as I was to direct the young gentlemen in theirs, and how to make a good bow and at our public
examinations, those were prepared to step forward, and speak their pieces of poetry, as these were their orations : and to do it, too, with all the accompaniments of appropriate gesture; and it was beautiful. was beautiful. At the close of the year, before I left, we had a grand exhibition in the public hall; and it concluded with the enactment of an entire play, in which the young ladies took a part, and acquitted themselves to admiration. And that was the last play I ever had any agency in getting up.
Mrs. G. And do you approve of bringing young ladies upon the stage to speak, the same as young gentlemen ?
Dr. A.-No, certainly not: I have no pleasure in seeing them upon the stage, either as speakers or actresses. Such displays seem rather to detract from that delicacy and refinement, which, to my mind, give to the sex their crowning charm. The wise saying of Agesilaus often comes to mind: when asked what things he thought most proper for boys to learn, he answered, "Those which they ought to practise when they come to be men." And so I would say of young ladies; let them be carefully instructed in whatever, it is certain, they will be required to practise; especially, in all that will most contribute to render them agreeable, useful and happy. And what can contribute more than a well cultivated, colloquial utterance; so that it may be said of her voice, she "discourseth sweet music," as well as, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Of course, her education, to make her agreeable, useful and happy, must be adapted to private, not to public life.
BEHAVIOR IN COMPANY-CONVERSATION-MANNERS.
1. CONVERSATION does not consist in merely talking, though ever so well; but in so talking as to admit a regular interchange of thoughts and feelings. All can talk: few know how to converse. A person may have the faculty to talk learnedly, elegantly and even eloquently; and yet be a complete bore in a social circle. Wherever he comes, the life-spring of conversation is broken up it is no longer dialogue, but monologue: he takes it all to himself: of course it ceases to be conversation. If any one starts an idea, he instantly gives chase, and pursues it through all its windings to the very death.
2. Many years since, I heard a lady facetiously re mark of the truly great and learned head of a literary institution, who was widely distinguished for his eloquence, that one could not even mention milk in his presence, but out would come a learned dissertation on the different properties of milk-goat's milk, cow's milk, mare's and ass's—and would never end till he had described all the different breeds of cattle-the short horn, broad horn, no horn; the Devonshire and the Durhamand traced the history of each all the way back to the great bull of Bashan.
3. There are some who disturb the pleasant flow of conversation by a disagreeable habit of opposing every thing that another happens to say: not by a flat contradiction-for that would be a rudeness to be found only among the lowest vulgar-but by undertaking to prove it could not be; that it was so, or so: this they often do, not so much to correct an error, and to show their love of truth and right, as to show off their knowledge and importance; or to indulge a naturally unamiable disposition. But if, in any instance, one should have just occasion to oppose another's statement or opinion, he should do it in the most gentle and courteous manner, and with great modesty.
4. No one may obtrude upon a social party his liar notions and sentiments, and indeed any thing likely to provoke discussion: his chief aim should be to please; not himself, but others: and, in the clash of argument, little pleasure is ever felt, except by those immediately engaged in it. All narratives-what sailors call long yarns and even anecdotes, unless very short, and used for illustration, should be carefully avoided. When persons come into mixed assemblies, every thing, if possible, pertaining to their professions and occupations, should be left at home: even the clergy may not be ranked as entire exceptions.
5. It was said in the first lesson of the present work, that "children, and all persons while engaged in earnest conversation, or telling an interesting story, generally speak in such tones, and with such a degree of animation and force, as are best suited to give a clear expression of their thoughts and feelings." Still a person is