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it didn't squeal like his rubber doll. He shook it; it didn't jingle like his bells. Evidently there must be some further mystery about this last prize. He stuck one red tip into his mouth, but took it out very quickly, making a wry face. He stuck in the other, too, but it tasted just exactly as bad. He threw them down in disgust, and babbled some earnest babyland prattle to them.
Then mamma came to the assistance of the tiny puzzler. She drew baby's two mysteries on over his ten little toes. Baby sat very quiet and looked very thoughtfully at his newly shod feet. They had never been housed before. Baby rather doubtfully wriggled his toes in their pens. But, oh, how bewitching that red was! He leaned over, caught hold of one little foot with each little hand, rolled over on his back, and kicked those red shoes back and forth, up and down, "everywhich-way," watching the flashes of red come and go, and cooing in a baby's own happy way.
When mamma came later to find him, baby was cuddled down in a little heap fast asleep, with one little red shoe clasped tightly in each chubby hand.
41. From the following ten titles make a list of those on which you have something to say, and add to these other subjects suggested by them on which you have more to say:
1. The Wrong Car.
3. A Skating Party.
4. A Disappointing Telegram.
5. A Queer Playmate.
6. A Christmas Tree.
7. My Brother's First Letter.
8. My New Year's Resolution.
9. A Recent Discovery.
10. A Witch's Grave.
42. Plan a one-minute talk on some subject in your list. Be prepared to give the talk to the class.1
1 It is recommended that in the first set of talks the pupils confine their criticism of one another's work almost entirely to encouragement. Each speaker should be made to feel that he is addressing a friendly audience.
43. Write out and bring to class the substance of your talk, taking advantage of whatever criticisms you have received from the teacher and the class.
44. Watch carefully for several minutes some familiar animal or insect. Write in detail everything you have seen it do. Be prepared to read your theme aloud, with the twofold purpose of interesting your classmates and getting the benefit of their suggestions.
45. Select from the following list of subjects those on which you could write. Add to these other similar subjects on which you would prefer to write.
1. A Robin singing at Sunrise.
5. A Letter from a Friend.
6. A Pocket Knife.
7. Muzzling an Alarm Clock.
8. Finishing the Last Example in Algebra.
9. Washing Dishes.
10. An Easy History Lesson.
11. Finger Exercises on the Piano.
12. A Disagreeable Chore.
46. Write on a subject taken from the list just prepared, being careful to make your composition a unit.
47. Consider the following subjects for compositions and mention others that occur to you. Write on one of the subjects.
1. A Lively Horse.
4. A Row on the River.
5. An Old Pin Cushion.
7. Views of California.
8. Dredging the Harbor.
9. A Visit to a State Quarry. 10. A Landslide.
II. A Bad Boy.
13. Our Club.
14. A Visit to the Beach.
48. After writing a composition of considerable length (see sect. 24) upon one of the following subjects, compare your work with that of some great writer on the same subject. Write a short criticism of your composition, based on the comparisons just made.
1. The Town Pump. ("Twice Told Tales," by Hawthorne.) 2. Christmas. ("The Sketch-Book," by Irving.)
3. A Sunday in the Country. (The Spectator, by Addison.)
4. A Great Snow Fall. ("Lorna Doone," chaps. xli-xlii, by Blackmore.)
5. A Great Storm.
6. A Night in a Camp.
("David Copperfield," chap. lv, by Dickens.)
7. Canoeing. ("An Inland Voyage," by Stevenson.)
8. A Winter Evening. ("The Task," by Cooper; "Snow-Bound," by Whittier.)
9. A Pond. ("Walden," by Thoreau.)
49. Write on a subject taken from one of the foregoing lists. Make an outline in order to secure unity, and read the composition aloud before coming to class to see whether it sounds well.
See the list
50. Write a composition based on imagination. in Exercise 14.
51. Make an outline of a one-minute talk on what you look for in your favorite newspaper. Get all the help you can from the following outline, noting not only the choice of topics, but the order in which they are arranged.
Reading a Newspaper
I. News section.
III. Amusement section.
IV. Editorial section.
1. Choice of subjects.
52. Be prepared to give your talk.
53. Write the substance of your talk. Bring to the classroom the first copy of your work, even if it is full of revisions. After you have given your talk, read from your notes the opening and closing sentences in order that the class may test the unity of your composition.
Bring to class the rewritten copy of your theme.1
54. Write the story of your life. This will introduce you to your English teacher, and is not to be read by your classmates. It should open in an attractive way, and should give a straightforward account of what you like to do both in school and outside.
55. Bring to class (1) a composition you have written in connection with some study other than English; (2) a plan of the composition; (3) a criticism of the composition under the eight headings given in Exercise 30.
56. Examine the following plan, which hundreds of pupils have found helpful in writing reports of experiments in science. How many paragraphs does it call for?
I. The purpose of the experiment.
II. The equipment (apparatus and materials used).
IV. The results.
V. The inference.
1 See footnote on page 24.
THE PARAGRAPH AS A UNIT
23. Independent Paragraphs. We have thought of the paragraph as a group of sentences that refer to one topic, or to one division of the subject. It often happens that a short composition on a limited subject forms a single paragraph. Practice with several independent paragraphs will aid us in managing the paragraphs in longer themes, and it should correct once for all the prevailing tendency among young writers to indent every second or third sentence.
24. Length of the Paragraph. A paragraph of a hundred words is short; one of two hundred and fifty words is not very long. If you discover more than two paragraphs on a page of your manuscript, ask yourself whether you can give a good reason for the division.
25. Unity. It is not enough that all the sentences in the paragraph shall refer to a single topic; they must also present a central thought. For example, the topic of the following paragraph is the voyage from America to Europe. The sentences composing the paragraph might all have a bearing on that topic, and yet the paragraph might by no means be a unit. One sentence might speak of the storms, another of the boat, another of the passengers, another of the crew, etc., with a most confusing result. But Irving's paragraph presents one view of the subject. We are told that the inactivity of the voyage is an excellent preparation for