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0! I have pass’d a miserable night, So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights, That, as I am a Christian faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, Though 't were to buy a world of happy days, So full of dismal terror was the time. Methought, that I had broken from the Tower, And was embark’d to cross to Burgundy; And, in my company, my brother Gloster, Who from my cabin tempted me to walk Upon the hatches: thence we look'd toward England, And cited up a thousand heavy times, During the wars of York and Lancaster, That had befall'n us. As we pac'd along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, Methought, that Gloster stumbled; and, in falling, Struck me (that thought to stay him) over-board, Into the tumbling billows of the main. O Lord ! methought what pain it was to drown! What dreadful noise of water in mine ears! What sights of ugly death within mine eyes! Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks; A thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea : Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in the holes Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept (As 't were in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems, That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep, And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by. My dream was lengthen'd after life.
0! then began the tempest to my soul!
-Richard III, i., 4.
TONE OF BELITTLING.
(See Tone Drill No. 29.) [The tone of Belittling indicates a mild form of Contempt. It says to the listener, “I set little value on this."']
The Lake School of Poetry.
WILLIAM HAZLITT. The Lake school of poetry had its origin in the French Revolution, or rather in those sentiments and opinions which produced that revolution. According to the prevailing notions, all was to be natural and new. Nothing that was established was to be tolerated. All the commonplace figures of poetry, tropes, allegories, personifications, with the whole heathen mythology, were instantly discarded; a classical allusion was considered as a piece of antiquated foppery; capital letters were no more allowed in print than letters-patent of nobility were permitted in real life; kings and queens were dethroned from their rank and station in legitimate tragedy or epic poetry, as they were decapitated elsewhere; rhyme was looked upon as a relic of the feudal system, and regular metre was abolished, along with regular government. Authority and fashion, elegance or arrangement, were hooted out of countenance as pedantry and prejudice. Everyone did that which was good in his own eyes. The object was to reduce all things to an absolute level; and a singularly affected and outrageous simplicity prevailed in dress and manners, in style and sentiment.
A thorough adept in this school of poetry and philanthropy is jealous of all excellence but his own. He sees nothing but himself and the universe. He hates all greatness and all pretentions to it, whether well or ill-founded. His egotism is in some respects a madness; for he scorns even the admiration of himself, thinking it a presumption in anyone to suppose that he has taste or sense enough to understand him. He hates all science and all art; he hates chemistry; he hates conchology; he hates Voltaire; he hates Sir Isaac Newton; he hates wisdom; he hates wit; he hates metaphysics, which he says are unintelligible, and yet he would be thought to understand them; he hates prose; he hates all poetry but his own; he hates the dialogues in Shakespeare; he hates music, dancing and painting; he hates Reubens; he hates Rembrandt; he hates Raphael; he hates Titian; he hates Vandyke; he hates the antique; he hates the Apollo Belvidere; he hates the Venus of Medicis. This is the reason that so few people take an interest in his writings, because he takes an interest in nothing that others do!
Richard on the Vanity of State.
Of comfort no man speak: Let 's talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs ; Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let 's choose executors and talk of wills: And yet not so, for what can we bequeath Save our deposed bodies to the ground? Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's, And nothing can we call our own but death, And that small model of the barren earth Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings: How some have been deposed; some slain in war; Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poison'd by their wives; some sleeping kill'd; All murder’d: for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp, Allowing him a breath, a little scene, To monarchize, be feard and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit, As if this flesh which walls about our life Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus Comes at the last and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king! Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood With solemn reverence: throw away respect, Tradition, form and ceremonious duty, For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
-Richard II, iii., 2.
THE TONE OF ADORATION.
(See Tone Drill No. 3.) [The tone of Adoration indicates a deep love, mingled with rev. erence. While human beings may inspire this feeling, it arises more often from the contemplation of Divinity.)
O thou eternal One! whose presence bright
Thou only God—there is no God beside!
Whom none can comprehend and none explore,
Embracing all, supporting, ruling o’er;
Creator, yes. Thy wisdom and thy word
Created me. Thou source of life and good.
Thy light, thy love, in their bright plenitude
Over the abyss of death, and bade it wear
Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere,
O thoughts ineffable! O visions blest!
Though worthless our conceptions all of thee.