Imágenes de páginas

and the Esquiline, the majestic ruin in all its solitary grandeur "swelled vast to heaven." - LONGFELLOw: Outre-Mer.

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4. The Bay of Monterey has been compared by no less a person than General Sherman to a bent fishing-hook; and the comparison, if less important than the march through Georgia, still shows the eye of a soldier for topography. Santa Cruz sits exposed at the shank; the mouth of the Salinas River is at the middle of the bend; and Monterey itself is cosily ensconced beside the barb. Thus the ancient capital of California faces across the bay, while the Pacific Ocean, though hidden by low hills and forest, bombards her left flank and rear with never-dying surf. In front of the town, the long line of sea-beach trends north and northwest, and then westward to enclose the bay.

- STEVENSON: Across the Plains.

5. As we drove into the great gateway of the inn, I saw on one side the light of a rousing kitchen fire beaming through a window. I entered and admired, for the hundredth time, that picture of convenience, neatness, and broad honest enjoyment, the kitchen of an English inn. It was of spacious dimensions, hung round with copper and tin vessels highly polished, and decorated here and there with a Christmas green. Hams, tongues, and flitches of bacon were suspended from the ceiling; a smokejack made its ceaseless clanking beside the fireplace, and a clock ticked in one corner. A well-scoured deal table extended along one side of the kitchen, with a cold round of beef and other hearty viands upon it, over which two foaming tankards of ale seemed mounting guard. Travellers of inferior order were preparing to attack this stout repast, while others sat smoking and gossiping over their ale.

- IRVING: Sketch Book.


6. The cottage was a quaint place of many rough-cast gables and gray roofs. It had something the air of a rambling infinitesimal cathedral, the body of it rising in the midst two stories high, with a steep-pitched roof, and sending out upon all hands (as it were chapter-houses, chapels, and transepts) one-storied and dwarfish projections. To add to this appearance, it was grotesquely decorated with crockets and gargoyles, ravished from some medieval church. The place seemed hidden away, being not only concealed in the trees of the garden, but, on the side on which I approached it, buried as high as the eaves by the rising of the ground. About the walls of the garden there went a line of well-grown elms and beeches, the first entirely bare, the last still pretty well covered with red leaves, and the centre was occupied with a thicket of laurel and holly, in which I could see arches cut and paths winding. R. L. STEVENSON: St. Ives.

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B. What indication of effects upon the beholder do you notice in the following?

1. She glanced at the New Englander against whom she had been in strange rebellion since she had first seen him. His face, thinned by the summer in town, was of the sternness of the Puritan. Stephen's features were sharply marked for his age. The will to conquer was there. Yet justice was in the mouth, and greatness of heart. Conscience was graven on the broad forehead. The eyes were the blue gray of the flint, kindly yet imperturbable. The face was not handsome.

Struggling, then yielding to the impulse, Virginia let herself be led on into the years. Sanity was the word that best described him. She saw him trusted of men, honored of women, feared by the false. She saw him in high places, simple, reserved, poised evenly as he was now.

- CHURCHILL: The Crisis.

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2. I was coming home from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock of a black winter morning, and my way lay through a part of town where there was literally nothing to be seen but lamps. Street after street, and all the folks asleep-street after street, all lighted up as if for a procession and all as empty as a church-till at last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of may be eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground. . . . I gave a view halloa, took to my heels, collared my gentleman, and brought him back to where there was already quite a group about the screaming child. He was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but gave me one look, so ugly that it brought


out the sweat on me like running. The people who had turned out were the girl's own family; and pretty soon, the doctor, for whom she had been sent, put in an appearance. Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened, according to the Sawbones; and there you might have supposed would be an end to it. But there was one curious circumstance. I had taken a loathing to my gentleman at first sight. So had the child's family, which was only natural. But the doctor's case was what struck me. He was the usual cut-and-dry apothecary, of no particular age and color, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every time he looked at my prisoner I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with the desire to kill him.

STEVENSON: Jekyll and Hyde.

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C. What geometrical figure best expresses the fundamental image of (1) a certain church interior that you have in mind? (2) a baseball field? (3) a face? (4) a room? (5) a picnic ground? (6) a gymnasium floor? (7) a park? (8) a skating rink? (9) a Mexican hat? (10) a swimming pool?

D. How is the effect of distance conveyed in the following? (Gloster is blind.)

Edgar. Come on, sir; here's the place. Stand still.
How fearful

And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!

The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
The fishermen that walk upon the beach

Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark
Diminish'd to her cock; her cock a buoy
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more,
Lest my
brain turn and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.


Set me where you stand. Edgar. Give me your hand. You are now within a foot

For all beneath the moon

Of the extreme verge.
Would I not leap upright.

- King Lear, Act IV, Scene 6.

E. Try to express by some comparison the fundamental image for (1) the peculiar way in which a certain person walks, (2) the peculiar manner of speaking that you have noticed in some person, (3) the way in which a heavy coach climbs a hill, (4) the movements of a very large, clumsy person, (5) the way in which a winning automobile, runner, or race-horse comes down the home stretch,

(6) the way in which a person picks his way across a muddy street, (7) the way in which a crowd enter a hall when the doors are first opened, (8) the approach of a thunder-storm, (9) the rising of the full moon, (10) the handwriting of some friend of yours, (11) the way in which a blue jay looks at you.

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Number and Selection of Details.

63. Evidently the number of details admitted to a description depends upon the purpose of the description.

(1) If the purpose is to give the reader complete information, as when a geographer describes a continent, a scientist a rare plant or animal, a traveller a strange country, we expect a long inventory of details, both distinctive of the object and common to the class to which the object belongs.


(2) If the purpose is to make it possible for the reader to identify with certainty the object described, as when a lost article is described to the finder that ownership may be proved, a street to a stranger trying to find a certain house in a large city, a fugitive from justice to an officer of the law, a house to an architect. that he may make plans for another like it, pect only details that are distinctive, or peculiar to the object described.

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(3) In most descriptions, however, the purpose is not to give information more or less complete, nor to insure accurate identification; it is simply to convey the writer's impression of the object, to let the reader know what feelings and moods were aroused in the presence of the object, and what, in a general way, the thing described was like. With this purpose in mind the writer does

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