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122. Do you expect to be as high in your class as your brother ? Did you recite your lessons as well as he did ? Lazy boy! Careless child! You have been playing these two hours. You have paid no attention to your lessons. You cannot say a word of them. How foolish you have been! What a waste of time and talents you have made !
The Comma is a mark like this. When you come to a comma in reading, you must generally make a short pause. Sometimes you must use the falling inflection of the voice when you come to a comma; and sometimes you must keep your voice suspended as if some one had stopped you before you had read all that you intended. The general rule when you come to a comma is, to stop just long enough to count one. In this lesson you must keep your voice suspended when you come to a comma.
EXAMPLES 123. Diligence, industry, and proper improvement of time, are material duties of the young
124. He is generous, just, charitable, and humane.
125. By wisdom, by art, by the united strength of a civil community, men have been enabled to subdue the whole race of lions, bears, and serpents.
126. The genuine glory, the proper distinction of the rational species, arises from the perfection of the mental powers.
127. Courage is apt to be fierce, and strength is often exerted in acts of oppression. Wisdom is the associate of justice. It assists her to form equal laws, to pursue right measures, to correct power, to protect weakness, and to unite individuals in a common interest and general welfare. Heroes may kill tyrants, but it is wisdom and laws that prevent tyranny and oppression.
[Sometimes a comma must be read like a question.]
128.* Do you pretend to sit as high in school as Anthony? Did you read as correctly, speak as loudly, or behave as well as he ?
129. Do you pretend to sit as high on Olympus as Hercules ? Did you kill the Nemean lion, the Erymanthian boar, the Lernean serpent, or Stymphalian birds ?
129. Are you the boy, of whose good conduct I have heard so much ?
120. Art thou the Thracian robber, of whose exploits I have heard so much?
130. Have you not misemployed your time, wasted your talents, and passed your life in idleness and vice?
130. Hast thou not set at defiance my authority, violated the public peace, and passed thy life in injuring the persons and properties of thy fellow-subjects ?
131. Who is that standing up in his place, with his hat on, and his books under his arm?
131. Whom are they ushering from the world, with all this pageantry and long parade of death ?
132. Did he recite his lesson correctly, read audibly, and appear to understand what he read?
132. Was his copy written neatly, his letters made handsomely, and no blot seen on his book ?
132. Was his wealth stored fraudfully, the spoil of orphans wronged, and widows who had none to plead their rights?
132. Have not you, too, gone about the earth like an evil genius, blasting the fair fruits of peace and industry ?
133. Is that a map which you have before you, with the leaves blotted with ink?
133. Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand ?
133. Will you say that your time is your own, and that you have a right to employ it in the manner you please?
[Sometimes the comma is to be read like a period, with the falling inflection of the voice.]
134. The teacher directed him to take his seat, to study his lesson, and to pass no more time in idleness.
• Some of the sentences which follow will be marked with the same number; and such sentences are to be read in the same manner, and with the same inflection of the voice, &c.
134. It is said by unbelievers that religion is dull, unsocial, uncharitable, enthusiastic, a damper of human joy, a morose intruder upon human pleasure.
134. Charles has brought his pen instead of his pencil, his
paper instead of his slate, his grammar instead of his arithmetic.
134. Perhaps you have mistaken sobriety for dulness, equanimity for moroseness, disinclination to bad company for aversion to society, abhorrence of vice for uncharitableness, and piety for enthusiasm.
135. Henry was careless, thoughtless, heedless, and inattentive.
135. This is partial, unjust, uncharitable, iniquitous.
135. The history of religion is ransacked for instances of persecution, of austerities, and enthusiastic irregularities.
135. Religion is often supposed to be something which must be practised apart from every thing else, a distinct profession, a peculiar occupation.
135. Dryden's mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science. Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention.
135. Oh! you might deem the spot the spacious cavern of some virgin mine, deep in the womb of earth, where the gems grow, and diamonds put forth radiant rods, and bud with amethyst and topaz, [Sometimes the comma is to be read like an exclamation.*]
136. Oh how can you destroy those beautiful things which your father procured for you ! that beautiful top, those polished marbles, that excellent ball, and that beautifully painted kite, oh how can you destroy them, and expect that he will buy you new ones!
136. Oh how canst thou renounce the boundless store of charms that nature to her votary yields ! the warbling woodland, the resounding shore, the pomp of groves, the garniture of fields, all that the genial ray of morning gilds, and all that echoes to the song of even, all that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, and all the dread magnificence of heaven, oh how canst thou renounce and hope to be forgiven!
* The pupil will notice that some sentences which contain a question, to which no answer is given or expected, are marked with an exclamation point instead of an interrogation point; but such sentences generally express surprise or astonishment, &c. The sentences numbered 136 are of this kind.
137. Oh winter! ruler of the inverted year! thy scattered hair with sleetlike ashes filled, thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks fringed with a beard made white with other snows than those of age, thy forehead wrapped in clouds, a leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne a sliding car, indebted to no wheels, but urged by storms along its slippery way, I love thee, all unlovely as thou seemest, and dreaded as thou art !
138. Lovely art thou, O Peace! and lovely are thy children, and lovely are the prints of thy footsteps in the green valleys.
[Sometimes the comma and other marks are to be read without any pause or inflection of the voice.]
138. You see, boys, what a fine school-room we hare, in which you can pursue your studies.
138. You see, my son, this wide and large firmament over our heads, where the sun and moon, and all the stars, appear in their turns.
138. Therefore, my child, fear, and worship, and love
138. He, that can read as well as you can, James, need not be ashamed to read loud.
138. He, that can make the multitude laugh and weep as you can, Mr. Shakspeare, need not fear scholars.
139. I consider it my duty, at this time, to tell you, that you have done something of which you ought to be ashamed.
139. I deem it my duty, on this occasion, to suggest, that the land is not yet wholly free from the contamination of a traffic, at which every feeling of humanity must revolt.
140. The Spaniards, while thus employed, were surrounded by many of the natives, who gazed in silent admiration upon actions which they could not comprehend, and of which they did not foresee the consequences.
The dress of the Spaniards, the whiteness of their skins, their beards, their arms, appeared strange and surprising.
141. Yet, fair as thou art, thou shunnest to glide, beau
tiful stream ! by the village side, but windest away from the haunts of men, to silent valley and shaded glen.
142. But it is not for man, either solely or principally, that night is made.
143. We imagine, that, in a world of our own creation, there would always be a blessing in the air, and flowers and fruits on the earth.
144. Share with you, said his father! so the industrious must lose his labour to feed the idle. 144. His brother, Moses, did not imitate his example.
LESSON X. [Sometimes the pause of a comma must be made where there is no pause in your book. Spaces are left in the following sentences where the pause is proper.]
145. James was very much delighted with the picture which he saw. 145. The Europeans were hardly less amazed
at the scene now before them.
146. The inhabitants were entirely naked. Their black hair, long and curled, floated upon their shoulders, or was bound in tresses around their head.
147. Persons of reflection and sensibility contem. plate with interest the scenes of nature.
148. The succession and contrast of the seasons give scope to that care and foresight, diligence and industry, which are essential to the dignity
and enjoyment of human beings.
149. The eye is sweetly delayed on every object to which it turns. It is grateful to perceive how widely, yet chastely nature hath mixed her colours and painted her robe.
150. Winter 'compensates for the want of attractions abroad by fireside delights and homefelt joys. In all this interchange and variety we find reason to acknowledge the wise and benevolent care of the God of seasons.
[T'he pupil may read the following sentences; but before reading them he may tell after what word the pause should be made. The pause is not printed in the sentences, but it must be made when reading them. And here it may be observed, that the comma is more frequently used to point out the grammatical divisions of a sentence, than to indicate a rest or cessation of the voice. Good reading depends much upon skill