If we confine ourselves to spoken words, a word has two aspects, according as we regard it from the point of view of the speaker or from that of the hearer. From the point of view of the speaker, a single instance of the use of a word consists of a certain set of movements in the throat and mouth, combined with breath.
A word is used "correctly" when the average hearer will be affected by it in the way intended.
The Epic has here an advantage, and one that conduces to grandeur of effect, to diverting the mind of the hearer
, and relieving the story with varying episodes.
A reader of words of wind-demons might have been able to see the portions of a dialogue pass to and fro between the exhorter and his hearers
“When we consider the great diversity of the human character, influenced as it is by education, by opportunity, and by the physical and moral conditions of the creature, my dear hearers
,” he earnestly concluded “it can excite no surprise that creeds so very different in their tendencies should grow out of a religion revealed, it is true, but whose revelations are obscured by the lapse of ages, and whose doctrines were, after the fashion of the countries in which they were first promulgated, frequently delivered in parables, and in a language abounding in metaphors and loaded with figures.
Here the curate went on to relate briefly his brother's adventure with Zoraida; to all which the Judge gave such an attentive hearing that he never before had been so much of a hearer
. The curate, however, only went so far as to describe how the Frenchmen plundered those who were in the boat, and the poverty and distress in which his comrade and the fair Moor were left, of whom he said he had not been able to learn what became of them, or whether they had reached Spain, or been carried to France by the Frenchmen.
Thus, when he applied his text to the first assemblage of his hearers
, and pictured the wonder of the church at their presumption in forming a congregation among themselves, he stopped short with his Bible under his arm in the manner I have described, and pursued his discourse after this manner:
At last it seemed as if, in her yearning desire to reclaim the lost sheep, she could not be satisfied by addressing her hearers
as a body.
He spoke with such self-confidence that his hearers
could not be sure whether what he said was very witty or very stupid.
"Even so," replied the stranger, making diligent use of his triangular castor, to produce a circulation in the close air of the woods, and leaving his hearers
in doubt to which of the young man's questions he responded; when, however, he had cooled his face, and recovered his breath, he continued, "I hear you are riding to William Henry; as I am journeying thitherward myself, I concluded good company would seem consistent to the wishes of both parties."
There is a more eager, inquiring look in her eyes than there was last June, and a smile is hovering about her lips, as if some playful speech were awaiting the right hearer
. The hearer
was not long in appearing.
What It thinks, that It utters; and what It utters, that It hears; and It itself is Thinker, Utterer, Hearer
, Thought, Word, Audition; it is the One, and yet the All in All.