Imágenes de páginas

The editorials of a school paper should be brief and to the point. They should not try to compete with the editorials of the general press. The subjects should, for the most part, be of local interest. They should be intended to promote or to oppose some definite project or tendency of school life.

621. Make a list of the subjects discussed in one day in the editorial columns of a prominent newspaper.

622. From the newspaper files in the public library, or elsewhere, make a list of twenty topics as subjects for editorials.

623. Make an original list of ten subjects that you consider suitable for editorials at the present time.

624. Write an editorial of about two hundred words on a subject chosen from your list in Exercise 623.

625. Make a list of six subjects suitable for editorials in your school paper, and write a brief editorial on one of the subjects.

626. Be ready to indicate briefly how each of the news items in section 157 might be made the subject of an editorial in a school paper.

627. Write a brief editorial on one of the subjects upon which you wrote a news item (see sect. 157).

180. Character Sketches. If you will examine many character sketches, you will find that it is often impossible to say that a certain one is a description or that it is an exposition. The two kinds of composition blend. In our study of characters in literature, however, and of persons we know, it is sometimes convenient to remember that we are influenced by three considerations, the last two of which belong to exposition.

I. Personal appearance.

II. Mental qualities.

We may ask, for example, whether the character is practical,

shrewd, humorous, sensible, philosophical; whether, on
whole, intellect predominates.

III. Moral qualities.

Such questions as these might be pertinent: Is the person good, generous, affectionate, sincère, frank, unaffected, honest, proud, energetic, demonstrative, vain, silly, truthful?


628. What does the following paragraph tell us about (1) Portia's mental qualities? (2) her moral qualities?

In Portia, Shakespeare seems to have aimed at a perfect scheme of an amiable, intelligent, and accomplished woman. The result is a fine specimen of beautiful nature enhanced by beautiful art. Eminently practical in her tastes and turn of mind, full of native, homebred sense and virtue, Portia unites therewith something of the ripeness and dignity of a sage, a mellow eloquence, and a large, noble discourse; the whole being tempered with the best grace and sensibility of womanhood. As intelligent as the strongest, she is at the same time as feminine as the weakest of her sex: she talks like a poet and a philosopher, and she talks, for all the world, just like a woman! She is as full of pleasantry, too, and as merry "within the limit of becoming mirth," as she is womanly and wise; and her arch sportiveness always has a special flavor as the free outcome of perfect moral health. Nothing indeed can be more fitting and well placed than her demeanor, now bracing her speech with grave maxims of practical wisdom, now unbending her mind in sallies of wit, or of innocent, roguish banter. -The New Hudson Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice," p. xxx.

629. Write a theme "setting forth" the main characteristics of the hero of a story, or of one of the principal persons in the story.

630. Refer to the character sketch of an Indian on page 289, and write a similar description of some pioneer, not an Indian; or, refer to the sketch of the mammy on pages 316-317 and write a similar account of some one you know; or describe some one of Shakespeare's characters in whom you are much interested.

181. Letters. Both business letters and general correspondence frequently take the expository form. Manufacturing concerns of every kind are sending from their offices each month a stream of letters, some of which are argumentative and many of which are expository. The man or woman in any business establishment who has charge of answering letters of inquiry and complaint is a highsalaried person, whose value lies in the ability to write clever expositions. It is undoubtedly the ambition of most young persons who take up stenography as a means of earning a livelihood to become a private secretary to some business or professional man. To secure or to fill properly such a position, one must excel in the art of letter writing and this means much more than being able to put material into correct form.


631. After reading the following expository letter, write a similar letter to a semi-invalid, who has been inquiring about room and board for the summer.

Mrs. E. L. Matthews,

16 Sacramento St.,

Cambridge, Mass.

My dear Mrs. Matthews:

The Highlands, Vermont.
May 1, 1912.

I have just received your letter of inquiry about room and board for the summer at our farm, and will try to give you all the information about ourselves and our place that you will need in coming to a decision.

Our two-hundred-acre farm is five miles from the village. We have rural free delivery (one delivery each day) and a telephone for both local and long distance purposes. From the railroad to our house is a continuous ascent, so that when you have reached your destination, you find yourself on the slope of a mountain overlooking a picturesque valley. The view from the house extends in one direction

down the valley of our little river for more than twenty miles, and in the other to the highest range of Green Mountains. Both the front piazza and the sitting-room face the west, and the sunsets in this section are wonderfully beautiful.

The house is an old rambling one, with low ceilings, old-fashioned windows, and fireplaces. Two of the sleeping rooms have fireplaces, and since we have our own wood lot, there is always wood at hand for a cheerful blaze. The beds are modern, with good springs and mattresses. We of course do not have running hot and cold water, but expect twice each day to provide large pitchers of hot water. My son, who is working his way through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shares with me the work and profit of our summer boarders, and in a modest way is our "bell boy." He makes the fires, carries the water, and attends to the general errands of our boarders.

We have wire screens for all the windows, sleeping rooms, living rooms, and kitchen, and this means that the house is practically free from flies. Mosquitoes.never bother in the daytime, and at night only out-of-doors.

We charge eight dollars a week for each person. This is more than some similar places charge, I know, but I furnish only the best of everything and must get what these things are worth. I use no canned vegetables or preserves except what we have canned ourselves. I serve chicken at least three times a week and always have good beef. Cream, milk, and eggs are always to be had in abundance.

Of course our roosters crow early in the morning, and occasionally a dog barks in the night. These things cannot be helped and must be expected.

I shall be glad to answer any definite questions which you may wish to ask.

Very truly yours,

(Mrs.) Grace E. Simpson.

632. Write a letter to your father, explaining why you wish to spend your summer vacation in a certain town.

633. Write a short business letter which shall be wholly expository in character. Follow closely the form of one of the models in Chapter VIII.


634. At this point in the study and practice of English composition it will be stimulating if a backward glance is taken. Write out therefore, with the utmost care, an exposition of the year's work in English. Study carefully the following account written by a pupil, and try to make yours as natural and as interesting. Pay due attention to proportion.


This year's study of English has been an interesting one to me. Franklin, Irving, Holmes, Macaulay, Longfellow, Bryant, and many others have all done their part in giving me a glimpse of the great world of literature. Never before have I appreciated the art of composition as I now do. Never before have I been able to distinguish so clearly true poetry from that which is simply a collection of words expressed in rhyme.

"The Sketch-Book," by Washington Irving, was our first glimpse of literature and we found it highly satisfactory. Irving's manner of writing is pleasing, for the words are well chosen and present no jarring sound to the ear. The flow of language is unusual, and is well adapted to the thought of the "father of American literature."

In the "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" we learned the successes and failures of this great man, who, from a humble printing office, rose to one of the most important positions in the government of the colonies. The story is told in a simple, unaffected manner that produces a much better effect than lofty phrases or high-sounding words.

The witty Holmes next accompanied us on our journey, and although he sometimes seems to reach the very height of the ridiculous, many of his poems contain true pathos and meaning.

Leaving our merry friend by the wayside, we turned our thoughts away from the busy strife of the present world, and wandered with Macaulay in ancient Rome. We saw Virginia stabbed by her loving father, and heard the waters splash as Horatius leaped into the Tiber's boiling tide. We were present at the Battle of Lake Regillus, and watched in breathless wonder the swift-footed horse, as he galloped along the line, heeding neither friend nor foe. Macaulay's ballads

« AnteriorContinuar »