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who gave strange starts and uttered strange growls, who dressed like a scarecrow and ate like a cormorant. During some time Johnson continued to call on his patron, but, after being repeatedly told by the porter that his lordship was not at home, took the hint, and ceased to present himself at the inhospitable door.
MACAULAY, "Life of Samuel Johnson."
445. With this list before you, see how closely you can reproduce the paragraph orally.
446. In a similar way reproduce the passage from Bunyan (pp. 243-244).
447. In a letter to a friend (see Chap. VIII for help in making your letter correct in form), describe "forcibly" some street scene that you have witnessed recently.
448. Which of the three following selections do you like best? Which is your second choice? Point out the excellencies of each, and make a list of subjects which call for the use of words as specific and vivid as these. Use one of your subjects in writing a theme of considerable length.
I. I could see nothing but a cloud of dust before me, but I knew that it concealed a band of many hundreds of buffalo. In a moment I was in the midst of the cloud, half suffocated by the dust and stunned by the trampling of the flying herd; but I was drunk with the chase and cared for nothing but the buffalo. Very soon a long dark mass became visible, looming through the dust; then I could distinguish each bulky carcass, the hoofs flying out beneath, the short tails held rigidly erect. In a moment I was so close that I could have touched them with my gun. Suddenly, to my amazement, the hoofs were jerked upwards, the tails flourished in the air, and amid a cloud of dust the buffalo seemed to sink into the earth before me. We had run unawares upon a ravine.
PARKMAN, "The Oregon Trail," chap. xxiv.
2. Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
And desolation saddens all thy green:
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;
GOLDSMITH, "The Deserted Village."
3. Without warning or preparation I looked into a gulf seventeen hundred feet deep, with eagles and fish-hawks circling far below. And the sides of that gulf were one wild welter of color crimson, emerald, cobalt, ochre, amber, honey splashed with port wine, snow-white, vermilion, lemon, and silver gray, in wide washes. The sides did not fall sheer, but were graven by time and water and air into monstrous heads of kings, dead chiefs, men and women of the old time. So far below that no sound of its strife could reach us, the Yellowstone River a finger-wide strip of jade-green. The sunlight took those wondrous walls and gave fresh hues to those that nature had already laid there. Once I saw the dawn break over a lake in Rajputana and the sun set over the Oodey Sagar amid a circle of Holman Hunt hills. This time I was watching both performances going on below me upside down you understand and the colors were real! The cañon was burning like Troy town; but it would burn forever, and, thank goodness, neither pen nor brush could ever portray its splendors adequately. - KIPLING, "American Notes."
LITERATURE AND THE LONGER COMPOSITION
"A skeleton is not a thing of beauty; but it is the thing which, more than any other, makes the body erect and strong and swift.”
- AUSTIN PHELPS.
140. Forms of Literature. Although we ourselves may never write anything that will be worthy of the name literature," we shall wish to become familiar with many of the best writings of men and women of genius. Now and then we shall undertake work similar to theirs, not because we expect to produce anything noteworthy, but in order that we may by this means quicken our appreciation of masterpieces. A good deal of the best literature may be classed under the following divisions: epic, lyric, essay, novel, and drama.
141. The Epic. An epic is a long poem narrating the deeds of heroic persons. The story is largely one of action, and the subject is of world-wide or racial or national importance. Three famous epics are the Iliad, written many hundreds of years ago in Greece; "Beowulf," the oldest epic in the English language; and Milton's "Paradise Lost."
142. The Lyric. A lyric is the expression in poetical language of the thoughts and feelings of one person or of the thoughts and feelings that are the common property
of a generation or a people or a class. It is, perhaps, the highest form of poetic expression. Most of us may never attempt to express ourselves in lyrics, but we shall miss much that is great and good in literature if we fail to study the lyric poems of Tennyson, Wordsworth, Burns, Longfellow, and many others. The following extract is an excellent example of this form of literature:
Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me;
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.
Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west
Under the silver moon:
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.
TENNYSON, "The Princess."
143. The Essay. The essay is a form of prose composition which may discuss almost any subject. When a writer wishes to explain to us his ideas on such subjects as Riches, Self-Reliance, and Heroism, or to entertain us with an account of his Observations from College Windows, or his Reflections upon the Origin of Roast Pig, he uses the essay form of literature more often than any other. The prime purpose of the true essayist is to comment upon life. Emer
son, Macaulay, and Addison are good writers for us to study.
144. The Novel. A novel is a fictitious prose story of considerable length, which aims to depict real life at some particular time, but whose interest lies chiefly in the portrayal of the working of strong passions, particularly love and hate. The style of the novel is largely narrative, proceeding often by conversation alone, but description and exposition are also freely employed. It is unsatisfactory to attempt a classification of novels, but we may find it convenient sometimes to speak of novels of incident, in which the interest centers not in the characters but in the action; novels of character, in which the story depends for its interest on the study of character; and thus we might continue our classification. "A Tale of Two Cities " might be called a romance, "Silas Marner" a character study, "The Abbot" a historical novel, "David Copperfield" an autobiographical novel.
145. The Drama. A drama may be written in either prose or poetry, or it may be a combination of both. The chief object of the drama is to present characters in action usually upon the stage.
There are many points of similarity between the novel and the drama, and many of the best novels have been rewritten in dramatic form. A strict classification of the drama seems impossible, but a rough division into tragedy, comedy, history, and romance has often been made. "Macbeth" is a tragedy, " As You Like It " is a comedy, “King John " is a history, and "The Tempest " is a romance.