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to come out of that place, make an end of themselves, they desired him to let them go.

NOTE. If you really like this simple Saxon, whether you care for the story is another matter, — you will find it worth while to read several pages of "The Pilgrim's Progress" merely for the style.

427. Take from one of the six sources mentioned by Mr. Collyer an interesting page, and study the choice of words. Give an oral report.

428. Write a notice to be read to the pupils, urging them to subscribe to the school paper.

429. Write a notice for the bulletin board, urging pupils to try.for positions on the school orchestra.

132. Specific Words. We have words that are general and words that are specific. A general word names a class of ideas or objects; a specific word names one idea or object. It is interesting, as far as it goes, to know that you have heard a bird singing, but one who cares for birds would know more definitely what you had in mind if you used the word thrush, still more definitely if you spoke of the robin or of the wood thrush.

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On many occasions it serves our purpose to use the words man, woman, child, book, paper, but we oftener wish to know the particular name that distinguishes an individual from the rest of his class. If I say, 66 I met an animal this morning," the word animal names something, although with considerable vagueness. The substitution of dog would give my hearers information more definite. If I say, "I met a collie," I share with them much more of my experience. And if I say, "I met Jack," provided they know Jack, they appreciate to some extent the feelings of delight with which I saw my pet bounding toward me. Now dog

names the idea I have to communicate; but I have an announcement less tame and prosaic than the meeting of a dog. I wish them to share with me the emotions that were mine as I met my dog. Therefore I use a word that arouses in them some such feelings. This word Jack not only points out the idea, but in addition it gives the suggestions I wish to put into the picture.

In calling a piece of writing good, we may cover a multitude of excellent qualities. If we choose to be more definite, we may use some such words as the following: clear, suggestive, vigorous, careful, earnest, humorous, to the point, specific, smooth, comprehensive, easy, compact, coherent, straightforward, simple, direct, timely. Instead of the general terms bad or poor or uninteresting, we can use such words as these abrupt, dry, general, careless, confusing, vague, incoherent, wordy, tame, weak, bookish.


430. Study the choice of words in the following extracts. Are the most suggestive words general or specific? Comment on the following: picturesque, morning, strolled, venders, trinkets, tackeys ("bony nags "), steeds.

1. The old city of St. Augustine had never been more picturesque and full of color than it was that morning. Its narrow thoroughfares, with the wide, overhanging upper balconies that shaded them, were busy and gay. Strangers strolled along, stopping in groups before the open fronts of the fruit shops, or were detained by eager venders of flowers and orange-wood walking sticks. There were shining shop windows full of photographs and trinkets of pink shell work and palmetto. There were pink feather fans, and birds in cages, and strange shapes and colors of flowers and fruits, and stuffed alligators. The narrow street was full of laughter and the sound of voices. Lumbering carriages clattered along the palmetto pavement, and boys and men rode by on quick, wild little horses as if for dear life, and

to the frequent peril of persons on foot. Sometimes these small dun cream-colored marsh tackeys needed only a cropped mane to prove their suspected descent from the little steeds of the Northmen, or their cousinship to those of the Greek friezes; they were, indeed, a part of the picturesqueness of the city.

2. The ship was talking, as the sailors say, loudly, treading the innumerable ripples with an incessant weltering splash.

3. Down I sat to wait for darkness, and made a hearty meal of biscuit. It was a night out of ten thousand for my purpose. The fog had now buried all heaven. As the last rays of daylight dwindled and disappeared, absolute blackness settled down on Treasure Island. And when, at last, I shouldered the coracle and groped my way stumblingly out of the hollow where I had supped, there were but two points visible on the whole anchorage.

431. Be prepared to substitute less specific words for these: buried, dwindled, blackness, shouldered, coracle, groped, stumblingly, hollow, anchorage.

432. In the first extract, substitute general words for specific and rewrite the paragraph.

Your study of these few passages leads you to conclude, does it not, that the specific word has great power of suggestion? Since it is often your purpose to suggest more than you say, you will frequently feel the need of specific words. General words will come to you; for specific words you should always be on the hunt.

133. Figurative Words. In talking to a companion, you would be more likely to speak of " the red sun" and "the hot sky," than to use such language as Coleridge's:

All in a hot and copper sky

The bloody sun at noon

Right up above the mast did stand
No bigger than the moon.

Again, we oftener say, "The sun was shining bright upon the mountain tops," than "The early sunshine was already

pouring its gold upon the mountain tops." Yet Haw

thorne's expression is beautiful.

Now what have these words done? Hot is literal; we all understand it. Copper tells us what the sky looked like. Everybody has seen the sun look red, but it is striking to call it as red as blood. Again, we generally think of the sun as yellow, but to say it is so much gold is to remind us sharply of the metal it resembles. These writers have not used copper, blood, and gold to say precisely what they meant, but to suggest resemblances. Words used for what they suggest, in a sense not exactly literal, we call figurative. 134. Similes and Metaphors. We are continually making comparisons between objects of the same kind; for example.

The library is more beautiful than the church.

This stone is like granite.

Lincoln may have been as great a man as Washington.

But these are mere comparisons. Perhaps nearly as often we allude to similarities between objects of different kinds. We do this in two ways. Sometimes we say that one thing is like another; for example:

The army stood like a wall.

For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Holmes has been likened to a fountain, constantly bubbling over with sweet feeling and bright thought. Such figures of speech are called similes.

Sometimes we do not express resemblance; we imply it. We call one thing by the name of another; for example:

Bread is the staff of life.

The general was a tower of strength.

He is a dynamo in breeches.
Adversity is the grindstone of life.

These figures are called metaphors, a Greek word which means carrying over. A metaphor carries over the name of one thing to another.


433. Study carefully the following examples of simile:

I. How far that little candle throws its beams!

So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

2. Good nature is the most precious gift of Heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.

3. Men whose lives glided on, like rivers that water the woodlands,

Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven. 434. Make a careful study of the following examples of metaphor:

1. Antony is but a limb of Cæsar.

2. And the tongue is a fire.

3. Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear

For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here

He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops


And hung them thickly with diamond-drops,

That crystaled the beams of moon and sun,
And made a star of every one.

4. Sir Launfal's raiment thin and spare Was idle mail 'gainst the barbèd air.

5. Nor would I fight with iron laws, in the end Found golden.

When clocks

Throbb'd thunder thro' the palace floors, or call'd
On flying Time from all their silver tongues.

7. Tubal. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, in one night

fourscore ducats.

Shylock. Thou stickest a dagger in me.

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