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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998
Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1862,
L. BRANSON, A. M.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Confederate States, for the Eastern
District of North Carolina.
A.M. GORMAN, PRINTER.
No subject is more difficult to the mind of the Pupil, than that of Composition; and yet, strange as it may seem, he is usually expected to compose without any assistance whatever from books. -- Teachers have sometimes objected to the use of works on Composition, lest the mind of the pupil should be cramped, or the style should become artificial, but these are groundless objections. Every student's style is compelled to be more or less artificial in acquirement and yet it may be perfectly natural in its disposition.
To acquire a love of the subject, is a great point gained in the acquisition of any science. This work is designed to make the art of composing both easy and agreeable.
As soon as the student can read intelligibly, he may commence the study of this Book. The exercises found, will naturally lead him to the habit of writing, and gradually draw out the mind to the practice of thinking, and finally to that of independent composition.
This Book if studied before English Grammar will greatly aid the pupil in the acquisition of that science, while the more advanced student may find it altogether profitable.
In the hope that it may be useful to the young of our great rising Confederacy, the work is respectfully offered to the public.
What is a letter?
A letter represents a sound.
How many letters are used in the English Language?
A, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.
What are the letters called, when taken all together?
How are these letters classified?
Into two distinct classes.
What are these classes called?
Vowels and consonants.
Which represent the heavier tones?
The Tonics--a, e, i, o, u, and w and y, not commencing a syllable.
What are Tonic sounds?
Sounds made with the mouth open and the tongue not raised.
Which letters represent the next heavier sounds?
The Subtonics--c, d, g, j, l, m, ng, r, v, w, y, z, wh, th, and w and y beginning a syllable.
What are Sub-Tonic sounds?
Sounds made farther down the throat, and less distinct than the Tonic.
Which letters represent the aspirations or breathings?
The At-Tonics, f, h, k, p, q, s, t, th.
What are At-Tonic sounds?
Sounds without any tone, simply breathings.
Of how many sounds is the word goodness composed?
Two, good and ness.
What are small words, when used to compose larger ones, called?
What is a syllable?
One of the natural divisions of a word.
How many syllables does a word generally have?
One for each distinct vowel sound; el-e-phant.
Are all words of more than one syllable really compound words?
When is a syllable compound?
When it is composed of more than one letter, as, a-word.
What do letters compose?
What do syllables compose?
What do words compose?
Members or clauses.
What do members compose?
What do sentences compose?
How do you convey your thoughts?
What does a word indicate when spoken?
Through what medium does it convey an idea to the mind?
What does a word indicate when written?
Through what medium?
NOTE. We hear spoken words, and see those which are written.
How are words divided?
Into parts of speech.
Why are they thus divided?
How many parts of speech and what are they called?
Nine: viz., Article, Noun, Pronoun, Adjective, Verb, Adverb, Conjunction, Preposition, and Interjection.
Which is the simplest part of speech?
What is an Article?
An Article is a word placed before another word to limit its meaning.
How many Articles are there?
Two; A and The.
When we say the man, what do we mean?
Some particular man.
When we say a man, what is meant?
What is the called?
A definite Article.
Because it points out some person or thing definitely.
What is a called?
An indefinite Article.
Because it points out some person or thing indefinitely.
Why is n used after a frequently, as an enemy?
To prevent two tonic sounds from coming together.
Where is a used?
A is used before words commencing with sub-tonic sounds, as, a cat, a goat, a man, a unit, a eulogy. Where is n used after the a?
Before words commencing with a tonic sound; as, an enemy, an hour.
What is the next part of speech in order?
What are the names of all persons and things?
What is North Carolina?
How do you define a Noun?
A Noun is the name of any person, place, or thing; as, John, Raleigh, Book.
How many classes of nouns are there?
Two; Common and Proper.
What is a common noun?
A common noun is a common name; as, town, city, tree, cow.
Define a Proper noun.
A Proper noun is a proper or particular name; as, Charles Fisher, Newbern, Yadkin.
How do proper nouns always commence?
With a capital letter.
Is Tennessee a common or proper noun?
A Proper noun, because it is a particular name. What kind of a noun is State?
A common noun, because it is a name given to all States.
Fill up the following sentences by inserting in place of the dash
(--) a common or a proper noun, as may be needed.
Fill up the following sentences by inserting in place of the dash (--) a common or a proper noun, as may be needed.
EXAMPLE.--is planted in April.
FILLED. Cotton is planted in April.
1.--is a Confederate State.
2. Gen.--reduced Fort Sumter.
3. South Carolina is the greatest--country in the Confederate States.
4. Louisiana raises more--than any other State in the Confederacy.
5. The mountains of North Carolina are a great--of resort for--and pleasure.
6. The Sea--are pleasant and healthy.
7. Nearly all the--of America is raised in--and--.
What is the word Pronoun composed of?
Pro, which means for, and noun, a name.
In the sentence, "William learns his lesson," what does his stand for?
The Name William.
Could we dispense with the word his?
Yes; by saying William learns William's lesson.
Then why do we use the word his?
Because it is shorter than the noun William, and answers the same purpose.
What do we call all words standing for nouns?
Define a Pronoun.
Pronouns are used instead of nouns.
Are they always used instead of nouns?
No; sometimes they only relate to nouns, and sometimes merely point them out.
Mention the Pronouns that stand for persons and things.
I, thou, he, she, it.
What are these called?
Mention those relating to nouns.
Who, which, that, and what.
Give an example.
He is the man, who captured the flag.
Mention the Pronouns that simply point out nouns.
This, that, any, one, all, such, some, both, another, none, each, every, either, neither.
Give an example.
That man is sober; both boys were to blame.
What are these called?
You should take sufficient notice of these pronouns to know them wherever you see them, since they are used very often in all books.
In following sentences insert pronouns to fill the dashes.
EXAMPLE. The hail has broken--corn.
FILLED. The hail has broken my corn.
1. Abraham. Lincoln led--people into war.
2. I will obey--parents.
3. The South is--native land.
4. Give me--pencil. I will return--.
5. People love the land of--birth.
6. Are--going to learn--lesson?
7. I gave the beggar--hat, and--thanked me very politely.
8. Jefferson Davis defended--country bravely, and deserves great applause for--patriotism.
9. Napoleon desired to render--name immortal by conquering Empires and extending--rule over all the world.
10. The climate of--country is soft and balmy; no-- land is more highly favored.
11. Those people--live in North Carolina hhealthy alech and delightful climate.
12. Washington, in--youth, and throughout--whole life, adhered strictly to the truth, and thus set an example, which --ought to follow.
13. The works of creation invite--to contemplate the greatness and goodness of--Creator.
14. If--think--never do wrong--deceive-- for almost every moment--are guilty of sin.
15. General Andrew Jackson, at the battle of New Orleans, showed --valor by bravely commanding--own men, and entirely routing--of the enemy, and killing many of--on the field.
What is the next part of speech called?
In the sentence, "Apples are good fruit," which word is a noun?
Fruit is a noun, because it is a name.
Which word describes fruit?
What part of speech is good?
An Adjective is a word used to describe or limit a noun or pronoun.
Give one or two examples.
A bad boy. A large tree. A great ox. Samuel is disobedient.
In the examples given, which words are adjectives?
Bad, large, great, and disobedient.
What other kind of adjectives do we have?
Give a few examples.
Three, seven, eight, third, seventh, eighth.
What do these words express?
NUMBER. All numeral adjectives express number.
Complete the following sentences by inserting an adjective in place of each dash. Do not use the same adjective more than once.
EXAMPLE. A--day. Putting in an adjective, a rainy day; a pleasant day; an unfortunate day.
1. In New England it is very--during winter; and-- deaths occur from the rigors of the climate.
2. Winter in the West Indies is--and the climate is delightful for--persons.
3. Columbus was the-- man that crossed the--Ocean. He--landed on one of the West Indie islands, and performed worship to the--Creator.
4. The whale is a--animal; he often does--damage with a--stroke of his tail.
5. We live in a--mansion, which has--chimneys.
6. In the woods we may--flowers; the--rose, the--dandelion, and the--lilly.
7. Be a--boy while at school, and you may make a-- man when you are old.
8. John has studied the--lesson and deserves a--grade.
9. Remember to be--to your teachers and--to your parents.
10. William has a--book, a--slate, and a--uniform.
What is the fifth part of speech called?
In the sentence "Sarah reads Latin," which word tells what Sarah does?
In the sentence, "Mary sleeps," which word tells us the state Mary is in?
What do we call reads and sleeps?
What is a verb?
A verb is word that expresses action, or a state of being.
In the sentence "William is industrious," what part of speech is William, and why? What is is, and why? What is good, and why?
Where a dash occurs insert a verb that will complete the sense.
EXAMPLE. The trees--large roots, so as to--the winter winds.
COMPLETED. The trees have large roots so as to resist the winter winds.
1. In autumn the farmer--his harvest, and--it away in barns. The leaves--from the trees, and the wind-- through the branches.
2. Whatever you--to do,--it quickly; never-- till to-morrow what--to-day.
3. Let us--early, and--much work.
4. Cows--milk, which we--into butter and cheese.
5. Richard--to the concert, and--Dixie's Land sung.
6. A farmer--a snake, almost frozen to death, under a hedge; moved with compassion, he--it to his house, and--it near the fire. No sooner did the heat--to revive it, than the snake--upon his wife,--one of his children, and-- the whole family into terror and confusion. "Ungrateful wretch!" --the farmer; "I find it--useless to--favors on the undeserving." With these words he--a hatchet, and-- the snake into pieces.
7. Indian tribes--in the forest. They sometimes--the white man as he--on his journey, and--goods from him.
8. The horse--a noble animal. He can--, or--, and at the same time--a man on his back, or--a wagon behind him.
What is the sixth part of speech called?
What is the meaning of the word Adverb?
Joined to a verb.
Why are adverbs joined to verbs?
To modify them.
In the sentence "Beauregard fought bravely," what word tells how he fought?
Then bravely is joined to, or modifies what word?
The verb fought.
What part of speech then, is bravely?
Are adverbs ever joined to any other words besides verbs?
Yes; adverbs modify verbs, participles, adjectives, and other adverbs.
In the sentence, "Beauregard fought very bravely," what word tells how bravely Beauregard fought?
Then very is joined to bravely; what part of speech is bravely?
Then since very is joined to the adverb bravely, what part of speech is it?
In the sentence, "John is very diligent," to what is very joined?
To the adjective diligent.
What part of speech is it, then?
What is an adverb?
An Adverb is a word used to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
Select the adverbs in the following sentences, and tell what words they modify.
1. James talks sensibly.
2. He studies very hard, and stands well in his class.
3. I like him very much.
Mention some of the principal classes of adverbs.
1. Adverbs of manner, which end for the most part in ly; as swiftly, boldly, quickly, slowly, handsomely, & c.
2. Adverbs of time; as, now, then, yesterday, to-day, to-morrow, immediately, often, always, never, ever, again, soon, seldom, hitherto, & c.
3. Adverbs of place; as, here, there, hither, thither, whither, hence, thence, where, and its compounds nowhere, elsewhere, anywhere & c.
4. Adverbs of quality; as, much, little, enough, & c.
5. Adverbs of degree; as, very, almost, nearly, & c.
What other words express manner and are liable to be confounded with adverbs of manner?
What is the difference between them?
An adjective is a word used to describe a noun; an adverb, to describe or modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
How can you tell them apart?
When a word expressing manner is joined to a noun or pronoun, it is an adjective; when it is joined to a verb, adjective, or adverb, it is an adverb.
Make a list, in order, of the adjectives that occur in the following sentences.
Make a separate list of the adverbs, in order.
1. The early hours of sleep are the most sweet and refreshing.
2. The Bedouin Arabs are, for the most part, small, meagre, and tawny.
3. Quicksilver is a valuable metal; it has hitherto been imported chiefly from Spain, Germany, and Peru.
4. I will assist you most cheerfully if you will be careful and attentive.
5. Those who are virtuous may not always be happy here, but they will certainly receive their reward hereafter.
6. Large armies generally march slowly.
7. He who forms conclusions too quickly, often forms them incorrectly.
8. If you are attentive you will learn grammar very fast.
9. The Portugese were once the most enterprising navigators of Europe; they founded colonies in many parts of the world, before totally unknown.
10. I have heard better singing to-day than I ever heard before.
11. He who tries hard, seldom fails to succeed.
Where a dash occurs insert an adverb that will complete the sense.
EXAMPLE. I labored--.
COMPLETED. I labored faithfully.
1. Josephine sings--, and dances--.
2. The house is--tall, and is--built.
3. We are--going to the grave.
4. I saw him--; he was running--down the hill side.
5. Listen--, and you will--be able to understand the subject.
6. General Stuart--started in pursuit; he--overtook the enemy,--led on the attack in person, and gained a complete victory.
7. Time past--returns; improve the moments, therefore, as --as you can.
8. The horse trotted--. John ate--.
9. The lion roars--. The kitten plays--.
10. The rain began to fall--, and they were--wet.
11. The poor boy was--hurt.
12. This room will hold twenty persons very--.
13. He--gave the poor man his purse.
14. When are you going?--.
15. Do you see him? Yes he is--.
What is the seventh part of speech called?
When I say "Mary learns her lesson," what is the expression called?
What is a sentence?
Such an assemblage of words as makes complete senes.
Would "Kate to the fair," be a sentence?
No; because it would not make complete sense.
Make a complete sentence of it.
"Kate has gone to the fair."
In the sentence "James got up early and went to market," how many parts are there, and what are they?
Two; "James got up early" is one, "went to market" is the other.
What are such parts of a sentence called?
What word connects the two clauses in the above sentence?
What does the word conjunction mean?
A connecting together.
What, then, may and, and all such words as connect clauses, be called?
Do conjunctions ever connect any thing else besides clauses?
Yes; conjunctions connect words also.
Give me a sentence in which there is a conjunction connecting words.
"Mary turned and wept;" here the conjunction and connects the verbs turned and wept.
Give me another.
"George and Henry have gone to Raleigh;" here the conjunction and connects the nouns George and Henry.
Now tell me, what is a conjunction?
A conjunction is a word used to connect other words and clauses.
Mention some of the principal conjunctions.
And, because, if, that, or, nor, either, neither, but, lest, notwithstanding, therefore, though, unless, than, as.
What is a sentence?
What is a clause?
What is a conjunction?
Where a dash occurs, insert a conjunction that will complete the sense.
EXAMPLE. He went to the ball,--he was ordered to remain.
COMPLETED. He went to the ball, although he was ordered to remain.
1. Either you must go,--I. John--Mary are here.
2. Neither the wagon,--the carriage has arrived.
3. We will not go fishing,--it rains.
4. Hannibal took an oath--he would conquer the Romans.
5. He did not get a premium,--he did not deserve it.
6. Mary has excellent parents,--she is a bad girl.
7. Do not buy the book--you can get it for a shilling.
8. I like to see a hard shower,--I never walk out in one.
9. My father--mother are going to Raleigh to-morrow-- it be clear.
10. Let those who stand, beware--they fall.
11. The happy often forget--others are miserable.
12. General Lee defeated the Yankees,--his army was much smaller--theirs.
13. None will deny--the hawk flies more swiftly--the pigeon.
14.--you do your duty you will not be blamed.
15. I saw my cousin--I was turning the corner.
What is the eighth part of speech called?
In the sentence, "William walked to Charleston," what word shows the relation between William's walking and Charleston?
How is this word to placed?
Before the noun Charleston.
What does the word preposition mean?
A placing before.
What then may we call to, and all similar words?
What is a Preposition?
A Preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun, to show the relation between it, and some other word or words in the sentence.
Mention the principal prepositions.*
Wherever a dash occurs, insert a preposition that will complete the sense.
EXAMPLE. Nothing can be accomplished--an effort.
COMPLETED. Nothing can be accomplished without an effort.
1. In Greenland, the people live-- wretched huts.
2. Steamboats run--Vicksburg--Memphis.
3. --the summer, the cattle love to lie--shady trees.
4. The camel has a hump--his back.
5. --patience and perseverance you may attain the highest station --society.
6. He gave the book--me, and I placed it--the table.
7. You must perform examples--the rule.
8. It is dark--sunset.
9. She lives--Piedmont, twenty-five miles--Salem.
10. A large rock hangs--the path.
11. The sailor likes to get--port.
12. Always keep virtue and duty--your eyes.
13. I live--my father.
14. A farmer was bitten--a snake, while he was standing -- the weeds.
15. The ferry-boat will take us--the river.
What is the ninth and last part of speech?
In the sentence "Alas! I am undone!" what word is thrown in to express the sorrow of the speaker?
What does the word interjection mean?
A throwing in.
What, then, may alas! and similar words be called?
What is an Interjection?
An Interjection is a word used to express some sudden feeling of the speaker.
What are the principal feelings which are expressed by interjections?
Sorrow, triumph, disgust, wonder; there are also interjections of calling, of attention, of saluting, of taking leave.
Mention the principal interjections of sorrow.
Oh! ah! alas! alack!
Mention those expressing triumph.
Hurrah! huzza! bravo! aha!
Mention those expressing disgust.
Indeed! fudge! pshaw! tush! away! begone!
Mention those expressing wonder.
Indeed! strange! what!
Mention those of calling.
Mention those of attention.
Behold! lo! hark! listen! see! hush! hist!
Mention those of saluting.
O! (O is always used with a pronoun, or the name of an object addressed; as, O thou! O James!) welcome! hail!
Mention those of taking leave.
Adieu! farewell! good b'ye!
What mark is that (!) which you see placed after each of the above interjections?
An Exclamation Point.
When you write an interjection, what must you place after it?
An exclamation point.
In the exercise that follows, how will you know which of the above interjections to insert in place of the dash?
I will read the whole sentence, and put in an interjection that is appropriate; thus, if the sentence express sorrow, I will insert an interjection of sorrow; if wonder, I will insert one of wonder, & c.
Where a dash occurs, insert a suitable interjection.
EXAMPLE. --! the victory is ours!
COMPLETED. Hurrah! the victory is ours!
1. --! I am surprised at this.
2. My house is on fire; --! I am undone.
3. --! what strange figure is this that is approaching?
4. --! my friend; I am glad to see you.
5. --! the cannon are booming; the battle has begun.
6. --!dishonest wretch; I despise thee!
7. --! our friend has conquered.
8. --! stranger; will you tell a traveller where he is?
9. --! no one can tell how much the poor suffer.
10.--! is it thus you behave?
11. I hope you may have a pleasant journey.--!
12. --! what noise was that?
13. --! poor fellow! I am sorry for him.
14. --! John, where are you going?
15. Who is that?--! he is descending the hill.
16. --! is it really so! impossible!
17. --! thou blessed sun, that spreadest gladness over the earth.
18. --! I am at the head of my class.
[The pupil has answered all the questions given below, as they occurred the preceding lessons; but as he may have forgotten some of them, he must look back for the answers, and learn them carefully.]
What is a letter?
What is a vowel? Name the vowels.
What is a consonant? Name the consonants.
What two letters are sometimes vowels, and at other times consonants?
When are they vowels, and when consonants?
What is a syllable?
What is a word?
How many parts of speech are there? Mention them.
What is an article? Mention the articles.
What is a noun? Give an example.
How many kinds of nouns are there? What is a proper noun? What is a common noun?
What is a pronoun? Mention the principal pronouns.
What is an adjective? Give an example.
What is a verb? Give an example.
What is an adverb? Give an example. Mention the different kinds of adverbs, and give an example of each.
What is a sentence?
What are distinct members or parts of sentences called?
What is a conjunction? Mention some of the principal conjunctions.
What is a preposition? Mention some of the principal propositions.
What is an interjection? What are the principal classes of interjections?
Mention one of each class.
In this lesson and the next, the pupil, wherever a blank occurs, must insert whatever part of speech is required to complete the sense. Following the spelling and punctuation of the book.
Martins [gap] a kind of swallows. They feed [gap] flies, [gap] and other insects, and skim swiftly through [gap] air, in pursuit of their prey. In the morning [gap] are up by day-break, and twitter about your window, while [gap] are asleep [gap] bed. They a e [gap] harmless, and, as people do not molest them, they [gap] build their [gap] in towns [gap] villages. They are small birds, but [gap] a great deal. I will [gap] a couple of stories, illustrating their sagacity.
A pair of martins, who [gap] their nest in a [gap] porch, had some young ones; and [gap] happened that one of them, in [gap] to climb [gap] the side, fell out, and striking [gap] the stones, was [gap] killed. The old [gap] , seeing this accident, went and [gap] strong pieces of straw, and fastened them [gap] mud all around the [gap] , in order to keep the [gap] from meeting a similar [gap] .
Here is another [gap] about them. While a martin was absent from his nest one day, a [gap] cock-sparrow took possession [gap] it; when the owner [gap] and [gap] to enter, he put out [gap] bill, and commenced pecking at him. The martin, not [gap] pleased with this invasion of his [gap] , flew away, and [gap] a number of his companions. They all came [gap] the nest, with bits of clay in their [gap] , with which [gap] plastered up the [gap] to the nest; so [gap] the sparrow, unable to [gap] food and air, [gap] died.
The King of Spain once gave [gap] to [gap] Duke of Ossuna to release such of the galley-slaves as [gap] might think proper. The Duke, as he [gap] among the slaves who were at the oars, asked them in succession of what crime they had [gap] guilty. They all protested innocence, and [gap] him that they had been unjustly [gap] . One attributed his condemnation to the [gap] of an enemy, another to the [gap] of his judge. At last, however, he [gap] one who admitted that, to save his [gap] from starving, he had robbed a man of [gap] , on [gap] highway. The Duke, [gap] he heard this, gave him a stroke [gap] the back [gap] his hand, and said, " Get you gone, you rogue, from the [gap] of honest men." So [gap] who confessed [gap] fault was released, while the [gap] , for their want of [gap] were compelled to [gap] at their labors.
Thus we see [gap] we are not likely to lose any thing by a [gap] admission of [gap] faults.
When I say, "Charles walks," who is it that I speak about?
In the sentence, "The oak has been cut down," what is it that I speak about?
What do we call Charles, oak, and all words respecting which an action or state is affirmed?
What is the subject of a verb?
The subject of a verb is that respecting which the action or state expressed by the verb is affirmed.
How may you always find the subject of a verb?
Put the word who or what before the verb, and the answer to the question will be the subject.
Give me an example. In the sentence, "John went to market," what is the subject?
Put who before the verb, and the answer to the question will be the subject; thus, "Who went to market?" Answer, John.
John, therefore, is the subject.
In the sentence, "Virtue is a source of happiness," find the subject in the ame manner as above.
Put what before the verb; "What is a source of happiness?'
Answer, Virtue. Virtue is the subject.
In the same manner select the subjects in the following sentences:
Bees make honey. Virginia is a large state.
Quarrels are unpleasant. Charles was late at school.
The flute makes fine music. We are tired of walking.
The machine was invented in England. You are wrong.
Gratitude is a noble feeling. Science enlarges the mind.
They are very sick. We were disappointed.
In last two sentences, what are the subjects?
They and we.
What part of speech are they and we?
May pronouns, then, be subjects of a verb?
In the sentence, "To steal is base," find the subject as above.
Put what before the verb; "What is base! Answer, to steal.
To steal is the subject.
What part of speech is steal?
A verb, because it expresses action.
When a verb has to before it, we say it is in the infinitive mood; may a verb in the infinitive mood, then, be the subject of another verb?
What mood is a verb in, when it has to before it?
A verb is in the infinitive mood when it has to before it.
How may we know when a verb is in the infinitive mood?
By seeing whether it has to before it.
Is to play in the infinitive mood? to jump? to walk? Mention six more verbs in the infinitive mood.
May a verb in the infinitive mood be the subject of another verb?
Give me several examples, and mention the subject.
To lie is dishonorable: here, to lie is the subject. To travel is pleasant: to travel is the subject.
Make three short sentences of your own, like the above, in which a verb in the infinitive mood will be the subject of another verb, and mention the subject in each sentence.
In the sentence, "Whether we shall go to Columbia is uncertain," find the subject in the manner described above.
Put what before the verb: "What is uncertain? Answer, whether we shall go to Columbia. These words, therefore, whether we shall go to Columbia, are the subject.
These words form part of a sentence; may, then, part of a sentence be the subject of a verb?
Find, as above, the subjects in the following sentences:
1. To fall from the top of a church-steeple, is certain death.
2. For a weak nation to provoke a strong one, is bad policy.
3. That even the best men commit sin, is proved by daily experience.
Now, let us see, what have we found that a verb may have for its subject?
A verb may have for its subject,
I. A noun; as, John walks;
II. A pronoun; as, they are gone;
III. A verb in the infinitive mood; as, to dig is hard work;
IV. Part of a sentence; as, doing one's duty secures happiness.
Select the subject in each of the sentences just given as examples.
Select and write out the subject in each of the following sentences;
if you are in any doubt, put who or what before the verb, as directed
Select and write out the subject in each of the following sentences; if you are in any doubt, put who or what before the verb, as directed above.
EXAMPLE. Working in quicksilver mines is very injurious to the health.
Subject. Working in quicksilver mines.
1. We should improve our time.
2. Digging potatoes is hard work.
3. To reveal a friend's secrets is dishonorable.
4. Cicero was a celebrated orator.
5. Wealth does not always procure esteem.
6. Temperance and exercise preserve health.
7. Time and tide wait for no man.
8. For an ignorant person to profess to teach philosophy, only exposes him to ridicule.
9. Whether it will rain is uncertain.
10. John and I will start in the morning
11. Where are the women going?
12. To be wise in his own eyes, is the mark of a fool.
Where a blank occurs, insert a subject, either a noun, a pronoun, or a verb in the infinitive mode, or part of a sentence, as may be required to complete the sense.
EXAMPLE. [gap] and [gap] lead to wealth.
Completed. Industry and frugality lead to wealth.
1. [gap] and [gap] gnaw holes in the floor.
2. [gap] , [gap] , and [gap] , are used for drawing loads.
3. [gap] *is dishonorable.
4. [gap] am going to school.
5. [gap] is a useful study.
6. Has the [gap] arrived?
7. [gap] attends carefully to his lessons.
8. Have [gap] written your exercise?
9. [gap] and [gap] are made from milk.
10. [gap] *is a proof of dishonesty.
11. [gap] *is the practice of a bad boy.
12. [gap] *is unpleasant work.
13. [gap] *is the business of the baker.
14. [gap] marched by with a fine band of music.
In the sentence, "Charles killed a fly," what word expresses the object that receives the action expressed by the verb?
The word fly.
What do we call fly, in this sentence?
Fly is the OBJ ECT of the verb killed.
In the sentence, "Children love milk," what is the object of the verb love?
What is the object of a verb?
The object of a verb is that which receives the action expressed by the verb.
What is the object in each of the following sentences?
In the last two sentences what are the objects?
Me and him.
What part of speech are me and him?
May a pronoun, then, be the object of a verb?
In the sentence, "John sleeps," it there any object?
There is not.
Does the verb sleep admit an object after it?
It does not.
Into how many classes, then, may verbs be divided?
Into two classes;
I. TRANSITIVE verbs, or verbs that express an act that may be done to an object.
II. INTRANSITIVE verbs, or verbs that do not express an act that may be doue to an object.
Are verbs that express simply a state of being, transitive or intransitive?
Verbs that express a state of being are intransitive.
Because they do not express any action at all.
Is strike transitive or intransitive and why?
Strike is a transitive verb, because it admits an object after it. Thus we may say, "I strike a man;" in this sentence, man would be the object, and hence we find that strike is transitive.
Is live a transitive or intransitive verb?
Live is an intransitive verb, because it expresses simply a state of being, and does not admit an object after it.
Is sleep transitive or intransitive? jump? hurt? eat? dream? love? see? be? walk? run?
May any other put of speech besides a verb, have an object?
Yes; a preposition may have an object.
In the sentence, "John is lying on the grass," what is the object of the preposition on?
Make three short sentences similar to the one last given, in which there will be a preposition and its object.
How may you always find the object of a verb, or preposition?
By putting what or whom after it; the answer to the question will be the object.
Give me an example. Tell me the object of the verb and preposition in this sentence, "The butcher killed a pig with a knife."
Put what after the verb--"The butcher killed what?" Answer, a pig; pig is the object of the verb killed. Put what after the preposition--"With what?" Answer, a knife; knife is the object of the preposition with.
Complete the following sentences by inserting an object where a blank occurs; either a noun or pronoun, as the sense may require.
1. In Egypt the Nile overflows the [gap] , and renders the [gap] fertile.
2. Boys can buy [gap] with their money.
3. I have found in the street a [gap] and a [gap] .
4. A man by honesty and [gap] will always gain the [gap] of his companions.
5. Henry's father bought him a [gap] for a Christmas [gap] .
6. When danger is nigh, a hen gathers her [gap] under her [gap] .
7. The fisherman is preparing to go to [gap] in a [gap] .
8. In building houses, they use [gap] , [gap] , and [gap] .
9. The mice have gnawed [gap] in this old [gap] .
10. The American Indians are very skilful with the bow and arrow; they can hit a very small [gap] at a great [gap] . With these weapons they often kill [gap] , [gap] , and other wild [gap] .
11. With your spare [gap] purchase books; read [gap] , profit by [gap] , and take good care of [gap] .
12. My brother loves me, and I love [gap] .
13. After we die, the grave will contain [gap] ; but our friends will remember [gap] , and shed [gap] on account of our departure.
14. Birds gather [gap] for their young, and teach [gap] how to fly.
15. The milk of the cow furnishes us [gap] and [gap] .
16. In church we see many [gap] , but should listen to the [gap] .
What is a pronoun? (See Lesson IV., if you do not remember.)
How many different classes of pronouns are there, and what are their names?
There are four classes of pronouns--Personal, Relative, Interrogative, and Adjective.
In the sentence,"I am tired," for what does the pronoun I stand? For the name of the person speaking.
What kind of a pronoun is I?
A personal pronoun.
What is a personal pronoun?
A personal pronoun is a word, which, being used in a sentence without the noun for which it stands, merely represents it, without introducing any additional idea respecting it.
Mention the personal pronouns.
The personal pronouns are as follows: I, my, mine, me, we, our, ours, us, thou, thy, thine, thee, you, your, yours, he, his, him, she, her, hers, it, its, they, their, theirs, them.
In the sentence, "The Romans, who were victorious, lost only fifty men,' to what word does the pronoun who relate; or, in other words, who are said to have been victorious?
Then, since the pronoun who relates to Romans, what kind of a pronoun shall we call it?
A relative pronoun.
What is a relative pronoun?
A relative pronoun is a word that relates to a noun or pronoun before it.
What is this noun or pronoun going before, to which the relative relates called?
In the sentence, "The boy who is idle will be unhappy,' what is the relative, and what its antecedent?
Who is the relative, and boy is its antecedent.
Mention the relative pronouns.
The relative pronouns are who, whose, whom, which, that.
Is who always a relative pronoun?
No; sometimes it does not relate to an antecedent, but is used to ask a question, as, "Who is there?"
What kind of a pronoun is it then called?
An interrogative pronoun.
What is an interrogative pronoun?
An interrogative pronoun is one that is used to ask a question.
Mention the interrogative pronouns?
The interrogative pronouns are who, whose, whom, which and what.
What mark always follows a sentence that contains an interrogative pronoun?
The Interrogation Point (?) which ought to be placed after every question.
How, then, can you tell when who is relative pronoun, and when an interrogative?
By looking at the end of the sentence; if the interrogation point is there, it is for the most part an interrogative pronoun if not, it is a relative.
What are adjective pronouns?
Adjective Pronouns are words that are sometimes used instead of nouns, but are more frequently followed by their nouns, which they limit, or, qualify, after the manner of adjectives.
Give me one or two sentences containing adjective pronouns.
"Hand me that book." "I have some apples." "Have you any paper?" That, some, and any are adjective pronouns.
Mention some of the principal adjective pronouns?
This, that, these, those, some, no, none, any, all, each, every, either, neither.
How can you tell adjective pronouns?
By their being followed by a noun; as, these pens, some money, each breath, either side.
Make lists of the personal, relative, interrogative, and adjective pronouns, in order, as they occur in the following sentences. The pupil will do well to make his lists according to the following.
EXAMPLE. Jane, I told you to hand me that book which is lying on the table, but you have not done it. What is the reason?
1. You say that* I am charged with a great crime. Who are my accusers? Let them stand forth, that I may see the authors of this base slander.
2. If every man would do his duty, none would have cause for complaint.
3. Can we stand patiently by, and see our property torn from us? No; each generous emotion of our hearts forbids it. Let this tyrant tremble, and all his satelites beware!
4. The men whom I saw had each a musket.
5. Wherever she went, every one seemed disposed to do her honor.
6. Look on this picture and on that.
What is a Relative Pronoun?
A Relative Pronoun is one that relates to a noun or pronoun going before, called the antecedent.
What is the antecedent?
The antecedent is a noun or pronoun before the relative to which it relates.
In the sentence, "He that does right will be rewarded," what is the relative and what the antecedent?
That is the relative, and he is the antecedent.
What service does the relative perform in a sentence?
The relative is used to introduce a clause for the purpose of limiting, explaining, or adding something further to what is being said.
What is a clause thus introduced by a relative, called?
A RELATIVE CLAUSE.
What is the relative clause in the sentence, "He that does right will be rewarded?"
That does right is the relative clause, because it is introduced by the relative that.
Select the relative, the antecedent, and the relative clause, in the following sentences.
1. The friends that we gain in childhood, often forget us in old age.
2. The wind, which had been shifting all day from point to point, now began to blow steadily from the south.
3. Those who are the most industrious are the most happy.
4. James, whose work was the best, received the premium.
5. I have seen the man that lives in the cave.
The sentences given in this exercise contain a relative and its
antecedent; the pupil must complete them by inserting the relative
clause, where the blank occurs. Before attempting to insert the
clause, read the whole sentence, and then think of something that
will be appropriate. EXAMPLE. The study that [gap] is History. Completed. The study that I like best is History. Or, The study that I dislike most is History. Or, The study that I find most difficult is History. Each sentence may be completed in a variety of ways.
The sentences given in this exercise contain a relative and its antecedent; the pupil must complete them by inserting the relative clause, where the blank occurs. Before attempting to insert the clause, read the whole sentence, and then think of something that will be appropriate.
EXAMPLE. The study that [gap] is History.
Completed. The study that I like best is History.
Or, The study that I dislike most is History.
Or, The study that I find most difficult is History.
Each sentence may be completed in a variety of ways.
1. I have broken my watch, which [gap] .
2. The tree that [gap] , was blown down last night.
3. My father, who [gap] , has got well.
4. Those who [gap] will be happy in this world, and still happier in the next.
5. Horses are very useful to those who [gap] .
6. In every school there are boys who [gap] .
7. Thomas found the knife which [gap] .
8. There is a boy whose [gap] .
9. Mary is the most dilligent girl that [gap] .
10. The good boy will apply himself vigorously to the lesson which [gap] .
11. The carriage which [gap] has been mended.
12. Columbus was the first man that [gap] .
13. The butterflies which [gap] ,will all perish in winter.
14. The dog that [gap] has run away.
In the sentence, "I saw John feeding his chickens," which word implies action, and at the same time qualifies John?
Which part of speech implies action, and which qualifies nouns?
The verb implies action, and the adjective qualifies nouns.
The word feeding, then, partakes of the nature of what two parts of speech?
The verb and the adjective.
What name is given to feeding and similar words?
What is a participle?
A participle is a word that describes a noun or pronoun, by assigning to it a certain action or state.
Does the participle form a distinct part of speech?
No; participles are now classed as parts of verbs.
How many participles has every transitive verb?
Mention the five participles of the verb love.
Loving, loved, having loved, being loved, having been loved.
How many participles has every intransitive verb?
Mention the two participles of the intransitive verb walk.
Walking, having walked.
Give me two or three sentences containing participles, and select the participle in each.
James, while walking by the shore, saw large bass attacked by a shark.
Having been deceived once, I never trusted him again.
He died, loved and respected by all that knew him.
In the last sentence, what clause is introduced by the participles, loved and respected?
"Loved and respected by all that knew him."
What is a clause introduced by, or containing a participle, called?
A PARTICIPIAL CLAUSE.
Select the participial clause in each of the three sentences given above.
Complete the following sentences by inserting a participle in place of the blank.
EXAMPLE. The day [gap] fair, we started on our journey.
Completed. The day being fair, we started on our journey.
1. Moses, [gap] his lessons, recited them well.
2. We saw a boy [gap] in the river.
3. Dinner [gap] , the party sat down.
4. The carriage [gap] , Robert has taken it to the blacksmith's, to get it [gap] .
5. My dog [gap] sick, I could not go a hunting.
6. I have just seen a man killed by [gap] from the top of a house.
7. My friend, while [gap] out on horseback, was thrown and seriously injured.
8. I saw the Confederate flag [gap] from the City Hall.
9. You may often see bad boys [gap] in the street.
10. Our house [gap] , we are about to move into it.
11. The merchant spends his time in [gap] and [gap] goods.
12. Gas is useful for [gap] streets and houses.
13. Oxen are used for [gap] wagons.
14. Ships, while [gap] on the ocean, often encounter violent storms.
15. The weather [gap] we must have a fire [gap] .
16. From this eminence [gap] my eyes upon the vast plain that lay before me, I saw a herd of buffaloes [gap] amid the long prairie-grass, and a group of wild horses [gap] away in the far distance.
17. He was a bad man, and died, [gap] and [gap] by all that knew him.
[For the answers to the following questions, see Chapters XV., XVII., XVIII., XIX., and XX.]
What is the subject of a verb?
How may you find the subject of a verb?
What may a verb have for its subject?
What is the object of a verb?
What other parts of speech, besides transitive verbs, may have an object?
How may you find the object of a verb or proposition?
What is a pronoun?
Name the classes of pronouns.
What is a personal pronoun? Mention the personal pronouns.
What is a relative pronoun? Mention the relative pronouns.
What is an interrogative pronoun? Mention the interrogative pronouns.
What is an adjective pronoun? Mention some of the principal adjective pronouns.
What is a relative clause?
What is the antecedent of a relative pronoun?
What is a participle?
How many participles has a transitive verb? an intransitive verb?
Mention the participles of the verb ask. Mention those of the verb dream.
What is a participial clause?
Where a dash occurs, put its one or more words, as may be required to complete the sense.
Hans Christian Anderson, the German writer, tells us the following--story of a tame bear, which broke loose while the man --exhibiting him was--dinner. He made his way to --public house,--, and went straight--where there was three children, the eldest--whom was no more than six or eight--old. "The door sprang open, and in walked--. The children were much frightened--, and crept--corners. The bear followed--, and rubbed them with--nose, but he did not--. When the children--, they thought it was a big dog, and they patted,--, and--. The eldest boy now--his drum, and began to--loud noise. No sooner did the bear--, than he raised himself on--and began to dance. This was charming.
The boys had been playing at soldiers before--, and now each -- his gun and--. They gave the bear a gun, too, and he-- like a regular militia-man. Then they marched; what a fine comrade--!
Presently, however, the door--again. It was the children's
mother. You should have seen her; and her face was white as-- and she trembled with fear when saw the--. Then the smallest -- ran up to her, and shouted, 'Mamma, mamma, we have had such--, playing soldier!'"
What is a sentence?
A sentence is such an assemblage of words as makes complete sense.
How many kinds of sentences are there, and what are they?
Four kinds; declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory.
What is a declarative sentence?
A declarative sentence is one in which something is declared; as, "It rains."
What is an imperative sentence?
An imperative sentence is one in which permission is given, or a command, an exhortation, or an entreaty uttered; as, "Let it rain."
What is an interrogative sentence?
An interrogative sentence is one in which a question is asked; as, "Does it rain?"
What is an exclamatory sentence?
An exclamatory sentence is one that contains an exclamation; as, "How it rains!"
Make two declarative sentences; two imperative; two interrogative; two exclamatory.
What is a phrase?
A phrase is a combination of words which separately have no connection, either in construction, or sense, with other words in the sentence, but which, when taken together, convey a single idea, and may be construed as a single word. Thus; "James, in short, has become a hermit," -- in this sentence, in short is a phrase.
What is a clause?
A clause is a combination of words which separately may or may not be connected in construction with other words in the sentence: if so connected, they assert some additional circumstance respecting the leading proposition; as, "James, who had been on the watch, espied a sail:" if not so connected, they assert an entirely independent proposition; as, Stephen sailed for Florida, but he was wrecked on the voyage. In these sentences the words in italics are clauses.
What is a relative clause?
A clause containing a relative pronoun; as, "James, for whom I felt so much anxiety, has arrived."
What is a participial clause?
A clause containing a participle; as "The rest of the company having arrived, went to dinner."
What is an adverbial clause?
A clause that performs the office of an adverb, and generally expresses time, place, or manner; as, "A thousand years hence, all these things will have passed away."
What a vocative clause?
A clause containing the name of an object addressed,
with its adjuncts; as, "My dear friend, I hope to meet you soon."
When is one noun said to be in apposition with another? When it refers to the same object, and is in the same construction; as, "Paul, the Apostle"--Apostle is in apposition with Paul.
May more than one of the clauses enumerated above, occur in the same sentence?
Does every sentence contain one of these clauses?
No; there are some simple sentences that do not contain any of these clauses; as, "I love my mother."
Tell to what class each of the following sentences belong. When a clause occurs, tell what kind of a clause it is.
1. Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness!
2. There are men in the world, who are dead to every generous impulse.
3. Have you heard the news that has just been received by the steamer?
4. Rising from his seat, the monarch gazed around; and, darting a look of scorn on his humbled courtiers, bade them leave his presence till they should become honest men.
5. My son, do you indulge in anger?
6. O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
7. Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot, or herding together in turbulent mobs?
8. It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds.
9. The ship being now under sail, the shore began to recede rapidly from our sight.
10. Lord Hastings, who had bore himself most bravely throughout the whole battle, escaped with a slight wound.
11. James, whom I sent to the river an hour ago, has not yet returned.
12. What an accident! Did you ever witness a scene like this?
13. Where Freedom rears her banner, a new empire has arisen.
What is the term "Composition" derived from?
It is derived from two Latin words, which signify "to put together."
What is "composition" then?
It is a "putting together."
Can we speak of the "composition" of a substance, like paste or varnish?
What do we mean by it?
We mean "the putting together" of the material of which the substance is made up.
When we speak of the "composition" of a picture, what do we mean?
We mean "the putting together" of the different objects which make up the picture; as, a mountain, trees, a river, & c.When we speak of a "composition" on any subject, what do we mean?
We mean "a putting together" of the thoughts which belong to the subject.
Suppose you were to write "Grass is green;" "Birds sing;" "John is blind;" would that be composition?"
It would not.
Because the thoughts are not connected with each other, nor with a subject.
Suppose you take for your subject, "A blind boy;" and write, "John is blind; he cannot see that the grass is green, but he can hear the birds sing:" is that "composition?"
Because the three thoughts, "John is blind," "Grass is green," "Birds sing," are connected with each other, and with the subject, "A blind boy."
How, then, can thoughts which are independent of each other, often be united?
By introducing another thought which will connect them.
Give an example.
In the example, "John is blind; he cannot see that the grass is green, but he can hear the birds sing,"--the two thoughts, "he cannot see," "but can hear," connect the three independent thoughts, "John is blind," "Grass is green," "Birds sing."
Are there not many thoughts belonging to every subject?
How should these be "put together?"
They should be so "put together," that they will appear to follow each other in a natural order.
In what, then, does "composition" consist?
It consists in "putting together," in a natural order, thoughts belonging to a subject.
What has "Composition" been defined to be?
Composition has been defined to be "a putting together" of thoughts under a subject.
Are there not many kinds of composition?
What is the first kind of composition?
"Descriptive" is the first principal kind of composition. What is "description?"
It is "a putting together" of our impression of any object or scene.
Why is this called the first kind of composition?
Because it relates to that which we see, and that which we see, lies at the beginning of Thought.
How, only, can we learn to describe well?
By studying attentively, the object or scene which we wish to describe.
What is necessary to a good description?
That those particulars be given, in which the object or scene differs from other objects or scenes.
If I were to ask you to describe your kitten, and you should say, "It has whiskers, four legs, and a tail," would that be a good description?
It would not.
Because it mentions only things which are common to all kittens, and does not describe any particular one.
Suppose you were to say instead, "It has a glossy black fur, a white diamond between its eyes, and one white whisher," would that be a good description?
It would be.
Because it describes particulars which distinguish the kitten from other kittens?
Do not such particulars enable us to distinguish objects of the same kind from each other?
Could not a dog be distinguished among a hundred others, by one who was familiar with it?
What, then, is a good rule for describing an object?
To give those particulars by which we know it from other objects of the same kind.
What is a scene?
A scene is a combination of objects.
How, then, should a scene be described?
By giving those particulars, in the objects and their arrangement; by which it is distinguished from other scenes.
You may take the subject which you will find upon the following page, and write your own answers to the questions.
Take each question by itself, and do your best to answer it fully; using the same language as in speaking. When you have done this, join these answers together in correct sentences.
Your composition will then be done, all except copying. In copying, the principal things to remember are these:
TO WRITE NEATLY.
TO SPELL CORRECTLY, AND
TO BEGIN EVERY NEW SENTENCE WITH A CAPITAL LETTER.
If you attend to these directions your composition will then be ready to hand to your teacher.
1. Is not the strawberry season always anticipated with great pleasure by the children?
2. How early does the plant begin to show its blossoms?
3. What kind of flowers are they?
4. When the flower disappears, what does it leave?
5. How long are these green clusters in ripening?
6. As soon as they begin to turn red, what do children do?
7. Where do they hunt for them?
8. Where do they find the largest ones?
9. Do not the bright red clusters look delicious?
10. Do not more berries go into mouths, than into baskets, generally?
11. Are not strawberries a favorite fruit with almost every one?
12. Are they not much cultivated in gardens?
13. Do they not sometimes grow to a large size?
14. How large have you seen them?
Strawberries are the earliest of all the berries in summer. On this account, as well as because they are the most delicious of all, every one looks forward with great pleasure to the time when they will be ripe. You can mention how early children begin to watch the buds and blossoms of this little plant in the field and by the wayside. You can describe the clusters of white blossoms, and their gradual change into ripe, red berries; then the joy of the children; the plans they form for their holiday afternoons; their pleasant excursions in parties, with baskets
and tin pails, to hunt for the red treasures; in what kind of places they look for them; where they find the largest, and how many they sometimes bring home: also, how you like best to eat them.
You can describe, too, the manner in which this fruit is cultivated in gardens, and the size to which it sometimes grows.
1. Do not ants seem to be about as busy creatures as bees?
2. Are they as useful to us as bees?
3. What do bees furnish us with?
4. May we not, however, learn something from the ant?
5. How do they show industry and perseverance?
6. What kind of houses do they live in?
7. Do they build these themselves?
8. If any accident happens to their dwelling, what do they do?
9. Are they ever out of patience or discouraged?
10. Are not such accidents very frequent?
11. How do they provide for the future?
12. What may we learn from them in this?
13. Are they not enterprising little creatures?
14. Have you ever seen one carrying a burden much larger than himself?
15. How did he manage?
16. What other facts do you know about these little insects?
Solomon, who you know was the wisest of men, says, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise;" which shows that he himself had learned lessons of industry from this little insect.
You must observe: he says, "Consider her ways;" which means, we must study the movements of the little creatures, watch their going-in and their coming out, and find out, if we can, the purpose of each movement; for you will learn, by watching them, that each purpose has a purpose. All this you must do; and in addition to your own observations, you should find out from books, or by asking questions, as much as possible about the habits of this little insect, and any interesting facts or anecdotes concerning them. In this way, you will find more than enough material for one composition. If you choose, you may divide the questions, and write twice upon this subject.
1. What kind of looking creatures are frogs?
2. What sort of places do they live in?
3. What do they live upon?
4. What kind of a noise do they make?
5. Is it not one of the first sounds in spring?
6. Is it a pleasant sound?
7. Does it not express contentment as much as the singing of birds?
8. Is it not easy to see how birds can be happy, hopping about in the trees?
9. Are not frogs just as happy in dirty marshes and pools?
10. Has not God made every creature for some particular place?
11. Would a frog enjoy himself if he were to change places with a bird?
12. What lesson can we learn from this thought?
The peeping of these strange creatures is one of the earliest indications of the approach of summer. On this account, it is a delightful sound to every one. You can describe the feeling of pleasure with which you always hear it for the first time, after winter has departed, and all the pleasant visions it brings to your mind of the coming summer; of blue skies, and soft, warm air; of walks in the woods, wild flowers, and green moss. You can describe the haunts of these creatures,-- some of them in
pleasant places; their queer noises and sudden jumps,-- what these mean. You can compare their life with that of a bird. If you choose, instead of writing answers to the questions, you may write a story of a discontented frog who thought he would try a bird's life, his adventures, and how at last he became a contented frog.
1. Are not flies the most common of insects?
2. Do they sting like musquitoes?
3. Are they not, however, sometimes very troublesome?
4. How are they troublesome?
5. What do they like best to eat?
6. Are they not most abundant in very warm weather?
7. Is it easy to drive one away when he makes up his mind to attack you?
8. What kind of traps do people set for them?
9. How does the fly get caught?
10. Are not great numbers often destroyed in this way?
11. What is the greatest enemy of the fly?
12. How does the spider catch it?
13. How do flies manage to walk on the ceiling?
14. Could a bird walk so?
15. Do flies like cold weather?
16. What becomes of them in winter?
You can speak particularly of the troublesome character of this insect,--the annoying way in which it will return, again and again, after being driven off. You can describe one of these attacks upon yourself, and mention which at last gained the victory, you or the fly. You can also give a full description of the manner in which the spider constructs his web, and manages to catch the fly.
If you will consider a moment, it will seem quite wonderful to you that a fly can walk upon the ceiling: you know a bird could not walk so. If you cannot give the reason yourself, you should ask some one to explain it to you; and when you have obtained a clear idea of all these particulars, you should try to describe them accurately in your composition.
1. Where do birds generally build their nests?
2. Why do they build them so high?
3. What is the outside of the nest made of?
4. What is the inside lined with?
5. Where do birds get the materials for their nests?
6. Do they collect it together, and carry it in one load in their claws?
7. How do they manage it?
8. Is not a bird's-nest full of young birds, or of little blue eggs, a pretty sight?
9. Is it not cruel to rob a bird's nests?
10. How does the old bird feel when any one is near her nest?
11. How does she show her distress?
12. Do the birds leave their nests when they fly off to the south, or do they take them?
14. Will they not build other nests when they return in the spring?
Have you ever found in the Fall, after the cold winds had come, or in winter, half full of snow, a little bird's nest; and examined how neatly it was woven together,-- the outside of rough sticks and leaves, and the inside lined so delicately with soft hair? If you have, you can describe all this in your own way, and mention where and how you found the nest, and to what bird it probably belonged.
You can describe, also, under the questions, the process of building a nest; the appearance of a nest full of eggs, or of little birds; the actions of the young birds while you were near the nest; the movements and cries of distress of the mother, the manner in which the old bird
feeds the young ones; what she gives them to eat; and what becomes of the nest when the little birds have learned to fly.
1. What tree do these nuts grow upon?
2. What kind of a bur are they inclosed in?
3. When do these burs open?
4. What becomes of the nut when the bur opens?
5. Is not this time eagerly watched for?
6. Are not nutting excursions then all the fashion?
7. Are these not delightful?
8. Is it always easy to find the nuts?
9. What sometimes covers them up?
10. Do not the nuts sometimes stick in the burs?
11. Is it not great work for boys to shake them down?
12. Is it not pleasant to take home a good basket full of nuts?
13. What is done with them in the evening, sometimes?
14. Are not these nutting excursions the pleasantest things in autumn?
15. Are they not the last of the season?
16. How do the woods begin to look?
In mentioning the chesnut-tree, you can compare it with the oak, and speak of the difference between the two trees, in their general appearance and the manner in which their branches grow, shape of the leaf, & c. You can describe the appearance of the chesnut-tree when in blossom, the kind of flower it bears, and the clusters of green burs which succeed the flower. Also, the effect of the frost upon these burs, and the eagerness with which children watch for the dropping of the nuts; the excursions into the woods which take place; the shuffling and poking among the dry leaves; the gathering of the nuts; the pleasure of bringing them home; then of boiling them and sharing them with friends.
You can speak of these excursions into the wood as being the last of the season, and describe the signs of the coming winter,--cold winds, bare trees, & c.
1. What do Katy-dids look like?
2. What color are they?
3. Is not their note very peculiar?
4. What does it sound like?
5. How do they make it?
6. When do we first begin to hear them in summer?
7. Do they not seem always to be contradicting each other?
8. What does one side say?
9. What do the others reply?
10. Do they ever seem to come to any agreement about Katy?
11. Do they not take up the same old tune every summer?
12. Has any one ever found out yet what Katy did?
13. Do you suppose any one ever will find out?
14. Is it likely the Katy-dids and Katy-didn'ts ever will agree?
15. Does not this show how hard it is for people to stop when they once begin to contradict?
16. Should it not be a warning every one to be very careful about beginning a dispute?
You can describe, very particularly, the appearance of this curious insect, and the manner in which it produces the peculiar sound from which it takes its name.
You can speak of the time in the summer when this note begins to be heard, and describe a concert of summer evening sounds; the various notes which mingle with those of the Katy-did; and the peculiar effect, like that of perpetual contradiction, produced by this insect.
You can, if you please, write an imaginary story of the manner in which this quarrel originated, and add any reflections which may occur to you upon the habit of contradiction, and the determination to have the last word in a dispute.
1. Are apple trees graceful?
2. Are they not generally low and crooked?
3. Are they not easy trees to climb?
4. If they were lofty, like the elm, would it not be difficult to gather the fruit?
5. Are not all associations with this tree very pleasant?
6. Are they not beautiful when they are laden with the blossoms?
7. What color are their blossoms?
8. Have they not a delicious fragrance?
9. When the flowers disappear, what succeeds?
10. How long does it take for the little green apples to ripen?
11. How does the tree look when laden with ripe fruit?
12. When the red and golden apples begin to drop, is it not pleasant to gather them?
13. What is the first thing to be done every morning?
14. If there has been a high wind, is not the ground strewn with them?
15. What is done with the apples?
You can speak of the ease with which this tree is climbed, and of other reasons why it is a favorite with children; and describe its appearance in the different seasons: beginning with spring, when it is covered with its beautiful pink and white blossoms; then, when these blossoms begin to fall, the showers of white leaves and the delightful odors which fill the air; the curious little green things which the flowers leave behind them; the slow growth of these into rich, ripe apples; the appearance of the tree when the fruit is ripe, sometimes bending under its red and golden burden; and the way it which the branches are prevented from breaking off, when they are too heavily laden. Describe, also, the gathering of the fruit, and mention what is done with the different kinds of apples and all the various uses of this fruit.
1. Where does rain come from?
2. How doos it get into the clouds?
3. If it were not for rain, would not every thing upon the earth die?
4. In summer, do not many weeks often pass away without any?
5. How does every thing look then?
6. Does not rain always come at last?
7. Is it not delightful to see the clouds roll up, and the drops begin to fall?
8. Does not the grass begin to grow green again immediately?
9. How does the air feel, and every thing look, after the shower?
10. Do not children always like rain when it does not spoil their plans?
11. If they are planning an excursion, do they like to see the clouds?
12. Do they not always try to think it will not rain?
13. If the rain does come, ought they to complain?
14. Is it not always good for the earth?
You will be able to answer the first question; but perhaps you may not know how the rain gets into the clouds. This you must learn by asking your Teacher.
You can describe the appearance of every thing in summer,
when several weeks have passed without rain,--so dried up; the grass scorched and withered; and the air filled with dust, and every body uncomfortable; then the shower, which always comes at last; the delight of every one, when the clouds are seen rolling up; the falling of the rain; the overflowing of the streets; then the bursting forth of the sun; the freshened air, and the altered appearance of the landscape. You can speak, also, of the manner in which children sometimes complain of the rain, when it interferes with their plains; and give the reasons why this is wrong.
1. When does frost first come?
2. Does it not make sad work with the beautiful summer flowers?
3. Before it comes, how do they look?
4. After it, is not everything changed?
5. What becomes of the grass and flowers?
6. Are not the trees the only thing which the frost does not spoil?
7. What does it do to them?
8. Do their bright colors last long?
9. What do they gradually turn into?
10. What becomes of the leaves finally?
11. Are not the trees left bare?
12. Do not the cold winds begin to whistle through them then?
13. Is not this a sign that winter is coming?
14. Is it not pleasant, then, to gather round the bright fire in the house?
15. Do not the evenings begin to grow long then?
16. How is it pleasant to spend them?
You can describe the gradual signs of Jack Frost's approach in the chill September nights, growing colder and colder, till finally he makes his appearance; then the change which comes over every thing; the desolation of the gardens, as frost after frost passes over them; every thing a dull, dead brown except the trees; the beautiful colors with which these are adorned; the gradual fading of these bright leaves, till finally they drop off; then the bare appearance of the trees; the darkened, chilly skies; the whistling of November winds, and the freezing temperature.
You can describe the gathering round bright fires in the house, the lengthening evenings, and the various ways in which these may be pleasantly spent.
1. What comes next after frost?
2. Are not children always delighted to see the snow, when it first comes?
3. Do they not get tired of the dead grass and leaves?
4. Are they not glad to have them covered up?
5. Do these not like to watch the snow-flakes as they fall?
6. Do these make any noise in falling?
7. Does it not often snow all night, without any one finding it out?
8. Is it not a great surprise in the morning, to see every thing white with snow?
9. How do the trees and roofs look?
10. Is it not pleasant to hear the sleigh-bells begin to jingle?
11. How do boys play with the snow?
12. Do they not like it all the better, the deeper it is?
13. Does it not seem strange, that such a cold thing as snow can keep any thing warm?
14. Does it not keep the earth warmer than it would be without it?
15. Would not a great many plants die in winter, if it were not for the snow?
You can speak of the pleasant change from the dreary, frozen earth, to the clear, white snow; the delight of children, when they see the first white flakes floating in the air; how they like to catch these as they fall, and see them melt in their hands; and the various beautiful forms of these snow-flakes. You can speak of the stillness of a snow-storm, and describe the changed appearance of every thing after one has taken place in the night; the beautiful effect of the morning sun upon the pure white landscape; then the jingling of sleigh-bells, the shoveling of paths, and all the sports which snow brings with it for children; snow-balling, forts, coasting, & c.: all these you will find no difficulty in describing.
You can mention, also, the reasons why the earth is warmer with its snow covering than it would be without it.
1. How is ice formed?
2. Does not water sometimes freeze in falling from the roof of a house?
3. What does it form then?
4. What shape are these icicles?
5. Do we not often see great numbers of them hanging from houses and trees?
6. How do they look when the sun shines upon them?
7. When the weather is very cold, what happens to the ponds and rivers?
8. Do not the boys have merry times then, sledding and skating?
9. Is not ice very slippery?
10. If you do not step carefully, will you not certainly fall?
11. Even then, will you not sometimes be over before you know it?
12. Do not children like to find a smooth strip by the roadside?
13. Do they not always stop to try it?
14. And sometimes, by doing so, do they not get late to school?
You can describe the various forms which ice takes in freezing; the beautiful, delicate crystals which are sometimes found on the top of water; the long, sharp-pointed icicles hanging in stiff fringes from the roofs of houses and branches of trees; the silver coating of boughs and twigs; and the beauty of all this, when the sun shines upon it.
You can describe, too, the freezing of the ponds and rivers; then the skating parties which cover them; the
coasting down steep hill-sides; the caution one is obliged to observe in walking upon ice, and various tumbles one gets in spite of it.
You can speak of the pleasure it gives children to find a long, smooth strip of ice by the roadside; the manner of sliding upon it; and also of getting late to school, and its consequences.
1. Do not all things go to sleep at night?
2. How do flowers go to sleep?
3. What do chickens do at night?
4. What do children do?
5. Could any one live without sleep?
6. Does it not sometimes seem a pity to lose the beauty of the night?
7. Are not the moon and the troops of bright stars beautiful?
8. Is not their light pleasanter in summer than the glaring sun at noon?
9. Is it not pleasant to listen to the crickets and the katy-dids?
10. Do they not seem as glad as people are to have the sun go down?
11. Are not winter nights beautiful, too?
12. Are not the stars brighter then than in summer?
13. What bright light do we often see then, in the north?
14. Does not the snow upon the ground help make it very light?
15. At night, does it not almost seem as if we could see heaven between the stars?
16. Does not God seem nearer to us at night than by day?
There are many thoughts suggested by these questions, upon which you can dwell at almost any length. Among these are,--the uses of the night to plants, to animals, and to human beings; the thought, also, of what would become of them without this period of repose. Then there are descriptions of the beauty of night; the glory of the moon and stars, and all the host of heaven; the quiet of summer evenings; and the song of the katy-did and cricket, rejoicing at the going down of the sun; then the winter night; the clear, frosty air; the brilliant aurora borealis; the brightness of the stars; the light of the snow: all these you may describe as vividly as possible,-- then how, at night, we can look up into the sky, without being blinded by the light; and the longer we look, the
farther we seem to see into the deep blue heaven. You can speak of the glory of God, as written upon the heavens, and of his nearness to us in the still hours of the night.
1. Is not early morning the most delightful part of the day?
2. Is it not a pity to waste it in sleeping?
3. What do the birds begin to do before daylight in summer?
4. How do the roosters try to wake up lazy people?
5. Is not the air pure and cool in the morning?
6. Do not the flowers look fresh, with the dew upon them?
7. Is it not pleasant to take walks before breakfast and gather flowers?
8. Is it not best to wear things which will not be spoiled by the dew?
9. Cannot a great deal of time be saved by early rising?
10. Ought not every one to form the habit of it?
11. Have not almost all great men been early risers?
12. Have they not been able to study more than other people?
13. By this means have they not become distinguished for their learning, or in some other way?
14. Can you mention any of these by name?
15. For what were they distinguished?
Every one knows, or ought to know, that the early morning is the most beautiful part of the day. You can mention the various reasons why it is so; the fresh appearance of every thing; the coolness of the air; the beauty of the sunrise: and you can speak of the foolishness of losing all this beauty by sleeping late; and of the wisdom of the little birds, and of Roosters, in comparison with lazy children; how the Roosters begin long before sunrise to crow, and the birds to chirp and, twitter, as if trying to make sleepy people wake up and enjoy the beauty of the sense.
You can speak, also, of the time that is saved by early rising, and estimate how much half an hour saved would be at the end of a year; and you can mention, also, any great men who have been early risers, and for what they became distinguished.
1. Would there be any beauty in the earth, if it were not for trees?
2. Do they not cover the mountains and fill the valleys?
3. In spring, what is the appearance of their foliage?
4. How does it look in summer?
5. How does it change in autumn?
6. In winter, is it not pleasant to look through the leafless twigs into the deep blue sky?
7. When the trees are covered with ice, how do they look in the sunlight?
8. Do we not love trees best in summer?
9. Are they not of more use to us then?
10. Could we endure the heat of summer without their cool shade?
11. After a hot walk in the sun, is it not delightful to come to a shady grove?
12. Do not people sometimes get up pic-nics, and take dinner under the trees?
13. Is not a grove of trees the most pleasant dining-room in the world?
14. What is its furniture?
Trees clothe the whole earth with beauty, and without them it would be barren and desolate enough. You can dwell upon this latter idea, and write, if you chose, an imaginary description of the earth without trees, in contrast to the earth as it now is, adorned with its beautiful plumage of green.
You can describe the varied appearance of trees, in spring, in summer, in autumn, and in winter.
You can speak of the scorching heat of the summer sun; how impossible it would be to endure this without the shade of trees to relieve it; and the pleasure, in a summer walk, of taking refuge in a shady grove.
You can describe a pic-nic dinner under the trees; the kind of dining-room which these form; with what it is carpeted, and how it is furnished in other respects.
1. Could not God have made the world without flowers?
2. Could we not have houses to live in, and enough to eat, if there were no flowers?
3. Might not God have made flowers all of one kind and one color?
4. Has he not given us a wonderful and beautiful variety?
5. Has he not scattered them in profusion everywhere?
6. Do flowers seem to have been made for any thing except to give us pleasure?
7. Is not the grass by the roadside often sprinkled with little flowers?
8. When we see them, ought we not to be thankful to God?
9. Should it not teach us to try to make others happy?
10. Cannot we make others happy by kind words and acts, as God makes us happy with flowers?
11. Ought we not to give these as freely as he gives us flowers?
12. Do we not often trample upon flowers and throw them away?
13. When we do so, does God stop giving us flowers?
14. When people are unkind to us, then, should we stop being kind to them?
15. If we do, is that being like God?
Answer these questions in the order in which they stand; and try to make a composition out of the thoughts suggested, which shall show the love of God in giving us flowers.
You must remember then, that it is the question, "Why does God give us flowers?"--that you are to answer, in
your composition; and you are to show that it is because he loves us, and wishes us to be happy, that he scatters these beautiful things along the wayside and in the woods; and that we ought to try to scatter kind words and acts along the pathway of others, in order to make them happy, so that we may be like God; and also that, as he never stops giving us good things on account of our ingratitude, so we ought never to become discouraged or weary in well-doing by the unkindness of others.
WHAT is Punctuation?
Punctuation is the art of dividing written language by points, in order that the meaning may be readily understood.
What are the characters used in Punctuation?
Learn these characters perfectly, so that you can make them on the black-board. Turn to the oral exercise at the end of the last lesson, and mention the names of the points as they occur.
Where should the period be used?
A period should be placed after every declaration and imperative sentence; as, "The child is asleep." The period is also used to denote an abbreviation; thus, when we write Dr for Doctor, or Geo for George, we must use a period--Dr., Geo.
Where should the interrogation point be used?
An interrogation point should be placed after every interrogative sentence; as, "Have you been to Ohio?"
Where should the exclamation point be used?
An exclamation point should be placed after ever exclamatory sentence, and every interjection except O; as, "Alas! woe is me!"
Write the following sentences, and insert periods, interrogation points, and exclamation points, in their proper places.
EXAMPLE. Alas true friendship has departed from earth Punctuated. Alas! true friendship has departed from earth.
1. Hark the bee winds her small but mellow horn
2. What art thou doing Is revenge so sweet
3. Ha at the gates what grisly forms appear
4. Farewell ye gilded follies welcome ye silent groves
5. What would I have you do I'll tell you kinsman learn to be wise.
6. Canst thou not sing Send forth a hymn of praise
7. No more I'll hear no more Begone
8. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies
9. The village dogs bark at the early pilgrim
10. Can you recall time that is gone Why then do you not improve the passing moments
11. A brave man knows no fear
12. Both stars and sun will fade away but can the soul of man die
13. Oh horrible thought Ah woe is me
14. Dr Johnson was a learned man
15. New Holland contains many singular species of birds
Make a colon on the black-board.
Where should the colon be placed?
The colon should be placed between clauses that have very little connection; and after the words, thus, following, or as follows, when reference is made by them to something coming after; as, "The Squire next ascended the platform, and spoke as follows:'Gentlemen and ladies,'" & c.
Make a semicolon on the black-board.
For what is the semicolon used?
The semicolon is used to separate long clauses, such as are not very closely connected; as, "I perceive the difference; it is very obvious."
Rule I. When several long clauses follow each other all having common dependence on some other clause, they are separated by semicolons; as, "I love to wander through the fields; to see the vegetable world spring into life; to gaze upon the beauties which God has so lavishly diffused; and through the creature to commune with the Creator.
Rule II. When examples are introduced by the word as, a semicolon is placed before as; for an example, see the preceding rule.
Write the following sentences, and insert periods, interrogation points, exclamation points, colons, and semicolons, where they are required.
EXAMPLE. He has arrived he sounds his bugle at the gates Shall we admit him
Punctuated. He has arrived; he sounds his bugle at the gates. Shall we admit him?
1. The warrior spoke as follows "O man heavy with wine why dost thou keep prattling"
2. Do not insult a poor man his misery entitles him to pity.
3. Some books are to be read others are to be studied while many may be entirely neglected with positive advantage
4. His last words were as follows "Farewell may Heaven prosper thee in thy perilous enterprise"
5. If the sacred writers will take up their abode under my roof if Milton will cross my threshold, to sing to me of Paradise if Shakespeare will open to me the fields of imagination I shall not pine for want of company
6. Beauty is an all-pervading presence It unfolds in the flowers of spring it waves to the branches of the trees it haunts the depths of the earth and sea.
7. Gentle reader, have you ever sailed on the sparkling waters of the Mississippi
MAKE a comma on the black-board.
For what is the comma used?
The comma is used to separate short clauses, or such as are closely connected, but, in consequence of the construction or arrangement, must be separated by some point.
SPECIAL RULES. What is the rule for placing the comma before and after clauses and phrases?
Rule I. When a clause or phrase is introduced into a
sentence without a conjunction, particularly if an inversion occurs, so that it does not occupy its natural position, a comma should be placed before and after it; or, if such clause stands at the commencement of a sentence, a comma should be placed after it.
The principal clauses and phrases that fall under this rule are as follows:
I. A relative clause; as, "Ellen, who was up early, finished her lesson." But if the relative clause restricts the antecedent, or the connection between the two is very close, there is no comma before the relative; "Those who are good, are happy."
II. A participial clause when it does not qualify the object of a verb; as, "The Captain, seeing his danger, avoided it."
III. An adverbial clause; as, "By the time we reached shelter, we were completely wet."
IV. A vocative clause; as, "Here I am, my beloved son."
V. The phrase, in short, in truth, on the contrary, & c. also, the words, besides, moreover, namely, nay, firstly, secondly, & c. The conjunctions, also and however, which should not commence a sentence, have a comma before and after them; as, "Your cousin, in short, has become a lovely woman." "James, however, is here."
What is the rule that relates to the subject of a verb?
Rule II. When the subject of a verb, consists of a number of words, a comma should be placed after it; as "Close and undivided attention to any object, insures success."
What is the rule that relates to certain conjunctions?
Rule III. When, to avoid repetition, a verb, or a conjunction that connects words of the same part of speech, is omitted, a comma should be put in its place to denote the omission; as, "Conversation makes a ready man; writing, an exact man." In the last clause the verb, makes is omitted, and the comma is put in its place. "Solomon was a wise, prudent, and powerful monarch." The conjunction and is omitted between wise and prudent, and a comma is put in its place.
What is the rule that relates to certain conjunctions?
Rule IV. A comma should be placed before and, or, if, but, and that, when they connect short clauses; and before and, or, and nor, when they connect the last two of a series of words that are of the same part of speech; as, "You must come with me, or I will go with you." "Neither Ellen, Sarah, nor Jane was there."
What is the rule that relates to nouns in apposition?
Rule V. When a clause of more than two words occurs, containing a noun in apposition with some preceding noun, a comma should be placed before and after the clause; as "Columbus, the discoverer of America, was born in Genoa."
Rule VI. Words used in pairs take a comma after each pair; as, "Poverty and distress, desolation and ruin, are the consequences of civil war."
Copy the following sentences, and insert commas in the proper places. The rule under which the examples are given, will direct you; refer to it, if you do not remember it.
Examples under Rule I. The Romans who conquered the world could not conquer themselves. Those who fled were killed. Philip whose wife you have seen has gone to Albany. We saw a man walking on the rails. A man while imprudently walking on the rails was run over by the cars. Where we stood we could not hear a word. Wait a moment my friend. Vice is alluring, and has many votaries; virtue on the contrary has but few.
Under Rule II. That this man has basely deceived those who have trusted him cannot be doubted. A long life of good works and sincere repentance can hardly atone for such misdeeds. The author of these profound and learned philosophical essays was a poor blacksmith.
Under Rule III. Diligence is the mother of success; laziness of
failure. The wife was a tall lean cadaverous personage; the husband was a fine good looking sturdy fellow. Men women and children cry out and run.
Under Rule IV. No one will respect you if you are dishonest. Stephen saw his cousin coming and ran to meet her. My horse is not handsome but he trots well. He will be here on Wednesday Thursday or Friday. Be virtuous that you may be esteemed by your companions.
Under Rule V. Bunyan the author of "The Pilgrim's Progress" was a tinker. Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles wrote many epistles. I have been in Ireland ill-fated country. Cicero the orator, is one of the most distinguished of the ancient Romans.
Under Rule VI. Industry and virtue idleness and vice go hand in hand. Summer and winter seed time and harvest are the gifts of an all-wise Providence. Painting and sculpture poetry and music will always have enthusiastic admirers.
Copy the following extract, inserting the punctuation points that have been described.
Swans in a wild state are found in the eastern part of Europe but they are most abundant in Siberia and the countries that surround the Caspian Sea Under ordinary circumstances they are perfectly harmless but when driven to act on the defensive have proved themselves formidable enemies They have great strength in their wings an old swan using these as his weapons has been known to break a man's leg with a single stroke When their young are in danger they do not hesitate to engage with large animals and not unfrequently come off victorious from the struggle A female swan was
once seen to attack and drown a fox which was swimming towards her nest for the purpose of feeding upon her young
When sailing upon the water which is its favorite element the swan is a beautiful bird and its motions are graceful when on land however it presents a very different appearance its gait being awkward and all its movements exceedingly clumsy
It has been said by some authors that the swan which during its life never sings a note sends forth when it is dying a most beautiful strain This is no doubt a mere fable at all events we have not sufficient evidence to establish it as a fact
Swans were formerly held in such esteem in England that by an act of Edward IV no one but the king's son was permitted to keep a swan unless he had an income of five marks a year. By a subsequent act those who took their eggs were punished by imprisonment for a year and a day and fined according to the king's pleasure At the present day swans are little valued for the delicacy of their flesh though many are still preserved for their beauty.
MAKE a dash.
For what is the dash used?
The dash is used,
I. To denote that a sentence is unfinished; as, "I cannot believe that he--."
II. To denote a sudden transition either in the form of a sentence, or in the sentiment expressed, as, "It was a sight--that child in the agony of death--that would have moved a heart of stone."He had no malice in his mind-- No ruffles on his shirt.
Make a parenthesis. Make a bracket.
For what are parenthesis and brackets used?
Parentheses and brackets are used to inclose words and clauses, that are not connected in construction with other words in the sentence, but are suggested by them, or explanatory of their meaning; as,Know, then, this truth, (enough for man to know,) Virtue alone is happiness below.
Are parentheses and brackets much used by authors of the present day?
No; commas are generally used, instead of them.
Copy and punctuate the following sentences.
1. A crimson handkerchief adorned his head
His face was cheerful and his nose was red
2. Some and they were not a few knelt down
3. His eyes how they twinkled his dimples how merry
4. They poisoned my very soul hot burning poisons
5. Away ungrateful wretch. A father's curse rest Alas what am I doing I cannot curse my son
6. The friend of our infancy has she gone forever
7. Thou merry laughing sprite
With spirits feather light
Untouched by sorrow and unsoiled by sin
Good Heavens the child is swallowing a pin
Thou imp of mirth and joy
In love's dear chain so strong and bright a link
Thou idol of thy parents drat the boy
There goes my ink
8. Let us then for we cannot flee without disgrace boldly meet the foe.
9. Mr. Morton every old citizen knows him well died last week of apoplexy.
Are any other marks used in writing besides those which have been described?
Make an apostrophe. For what is the apostrophe used?
The apostrophe is used,
I. To denote the omission of one or more letters; as, tho' for though; 'neath for beneath.
II. When s is placed after a noun, making it denote possession, an apostrophe is inserted before the s; as, John's book. But when the noun ends in s, and signifies more than one, an apostrophe alone placed after it, makes it denote possession as, "The ladies' seats."
Make quotation Marks. For what are quotation marks used?
Quotation marks are used to inclose a passage quoted from an author or speaker, in his words; as,To err is human; to forgive, divine.
Are single quotation marks (' ' )ever used?
Yes; single quotation marks are used to inclose quotations that occur within quotations, or that are slightly altered
from the words of the author or speaker; as, "The Scripture saith,'Watch and pray.' "
Make a hyphen. For what is the hyphen used?
The hyphen is used,
I. To connect two simple words that unite to form a compound word; as, "A spirit-moving strain."
II. At the end of a line, where there is not room for the whole of a word, the hyphen is placed after one of its syllables, to show that the remainder may be found at the beginning of the next line; * as, "He strove manfully."
Make a caret. For what is the caret used?
When some word that has been omitted is interlined, the caret is used to show where it should be introduced; as, "Study this⁁ lesson carefully."
Copy and punctuate the following sentences:
Apostrophe. I ll neer forget your kindness. They sat neath a spreading willow. Tho Milton was blind yet was his mind well stored with knowledge. Hark tis the signal gun. Where is my fathers hat? Zenos school was one of the most celebrated in Greece. Romes greatness has passed away. I saw the citys gates. I saw the cities gates. Where is Janes fan.
Quotation marks. Pope says The proper study of mankind is man. When Socrates was asked what man approached the nearest to perfect happiness he answered, That man who has the fewest wants. The philosopher hath truly said Anxiety is the poison of human life. The quality of mercy says Shakespeare is not strained. How much truth there is in Franklin's maxim. One to-day is worth two tomorrows.
Hyphen. Away thou earth polluting miscreant! He is a mischief maker. The laborer enjoys his well earned feast. The air is full of snow flakes. Where is your eye glass? Near the shore was a grove of spice wood. The river glides on in its serpent like course.
Caret. (In each of the following sentences, one or more words are omitted. Introduce the omitted word or words by means of a caret; is as, Dark⁁the path.)
Labor gives a relish pleasure. Hope, the balm life, soothes under every misfortune. Charity is one of the virtues. Always show to the aged. Honor your father mother. Do not your time.
COPY and punctuate the following extracts:
1. PHOCION. Phocion one of the most illustrious of the ancient Greeks was condemned to death by his ungrateful countrymen When about to drink the fatal hemlock he was asked if he had any thing to say to his son Bring him before me cried he My dear son said this magnanimous patriot I entreat you to serve your country as faithfully as I have done and to forget that she rewarded my services by an unjust death.
2. THE SYBARITIES. We have heard many stories of lazy people but what Athenæus tells us of the Sybarites a nation of antiquity exceeds them all They would not allow any mechanical trade to be carried on in their city because the noise was unpleasant and disturbed their slumbers for the same reason to keep a rooster was a grave offence punishable by law A Sybarite on one occasion it is said wandering out into the country saw some men digging whereupon the sight gave him a violent strain in the back while a friend to whom he described what he had seen caught a severe pain in the side One of them having visited Lacedæmon was introduced to the
public table where the principal dish was black broth. Ah cried he no longer do I wonder at the bravery of the Spartans for rather would I die than to live on such wretched diet.
3. THE FORM OF THE EARTH. Heraclitus supposed that the earth had the form of a canoe. Aristotle that it was shaped like a timbrel while Anaximander proved to his own satisfaction that it was a vast cylinder It was reserved for a later age to discover its real shape
COPY and punctuate the following extract.
THE LEPROSY IN AFRICA. Leprosy that awful disease which covers the body with scales still exists in Africa Whether it is the same leprosy as that mentioned in the Bible is not known but it is regarded as perfectly incurable and so infectious that no one dares to come near the leper. In the south of Africa there is a large lazar house for the victims of this terrible malady It consists of an immense space inclosed by a very high wall and containing fields which the lepers cultivate. There is only one entrance and it is strictly guarded When any one is found with the marks of leprosy upon him he is brought to this gate and enters never to return Within this abode of misery there are multitudes of lepers in all stages of the disease Dr Helbeck a missionary of the Church of England from the top of a neighboring hill saw them at work He noticed two particularly sowing peas in the field The one had no hands the other no feet those members having been wasted away by the disease The one who wanted the hands was carrying the other who wanted the feet on his back and he again bore in his hands the bag of seed and dropped a pea every now and then which the other pressed into the ground with his foot and so they managed the work of one man between the two
Such is the prison house of disease. Ah how little do we realize the misery that is in the world How unthankful are we for the blessings which God bestows upon us while he denies them to others.
WHAT usage formerly prevailed with regard to capital letters?
To begin every noun, both in writing and printing, with a capital. This is still the practice in the German language.
What are the rules that are to guide us at the present day?
Begin with a capital letter:
1. The first word of every sentence.
2. All proper nouns, and titles of office or honor; as, Rome, Spain, President Davis, General Washington, Henry Street.
3. Adjectives formed from proper nouns; as, Roman, Spanish.
4. Common nouns when spoken to, or spoken of, as persons; "Come, gentle Spring."
5. The first word of every line of poetry.
6. The appellations of the Deity, and personal pronouns standing for His name; as "God is the Lord; He ruleth in His might."
7. The first word of a quotation that forms a complete sentence by itself and is not introduced by that, or other words which would connect it in construction with what precedes; as, "Remember the old maxim:'Honesty is the best policy.'"
8. Every important word in the titles of books, or headings of chapters; as "Locke's Essay on Human Understanding."
9. Words that are the leading subjects of discourse.
10. The pronoun I, and the interjection O, must be written in capitals.
Copy the following sentences, applying the rules given above, and observing that where there is no rule for using a capital you must substitute a small letter.
1. Under Rule I. Know Thyself. honesty is the best policy. Follow virtue. It Rains. envy is a Dishonorable emotion. avoid the appearance of evil. Improve every Moment.
2. Under Rules II. and III. Alexander the great overran syria, persia, lydia, and hyrcania, pushing his Conquests as far as the river indus. napoleon kept all europe at bay, until the Fatal Field of Waterloo consigned him to st. helena. President adams received the congratulations of the french and spanish ministers.
3. Under Rule IV. Hail, winter, seated on thine icy Throne! Fierce war has sounded his trumpet, And Called the peasant from the field. bland Goddess peace now smiles upon the plain. here I and sorrow sit. Grim darkness furls his leaden Shroud.
4. Under Rules V. and VI.
in every leaf that trembles to the breeze,
i hear the Voice of god among the trees.
Trust in the lord; hath he Spoken, And shall he not do it?
these, as they change, almighty father, these
are but the varied god.
5. Under Rule VII. This was our saviour's command: "watch and pray." Virgil says, "labor conquers all things." "merry christmas," cried the delighted villagers.
6. Under Rule VIII. milton's "paradise lost" only brought him five Pounds. Have you read dickens' Account of his visit to america, which he entitles "american notes for general circulation?" I have read with delight hervey's "meditations among the tombs.'
7. Under Rule X. i love thee not as once i loved, o false friend, o cruel traitor. O Heaven! i am undone! O wretched youth! i thought i hated thee; but thy misfortune hath turned My Hate to Pity.
What is a phrase? What is a clause? What is a relative clause? a participial clause? an adverbial clause? a vocative clause?
When is one noun said to be in apposition with another?
What is punctuation? Name the characters used in punctuation. Where is the period placed? What is the period also used to denote? Where is the interrogation point used? the exclamation point? Where should the colon be placed? What is the semicolon used to separate? Repeat the rule for the use of the semicolon between dependent clauses; the rule that relates to examples.
For what is the comma used? What is the rule that relates to the use of the comma in the case of clauses and phrases? What are the four principal clauses that fall under this rule? Mention some of the phrases that fall under it. What is the rule that relates to the subject of a verb? to the omission of words? to certain conjunctions? to nouns in apposition? to words used in pairs?
Copy the following extracts, inserting as may be required, capital letters, punctuation points, and the other marks used in writing, described in Lesson XXVIII.
1. The Bushman and the missionary. the bushmen are a very degraded and ignorant race who live in southern africa not far from the cape of good hope A missionary who for some time had been laboring to introduce christianity among them took occasion one day to speak of the great objects of creation and the duties of man at last he asked, what is the chief end of man The bushmen were silent for several moments apparently reflecting what answer they should give to this difficult question At length one of them who seemed inspired by a sudden idea replied, to steal oxen.
2. The bravery of Horatius cocles. when porsenna king of the
etrurians was endeavoring to re-establish tarquinius superbus on the throne he attacked rome and had the good fortune to take the janiculum at the first assault At this crisis, horatius cocles a common sentinel but a man of the greatest courage posted himself at the extremity of the Sublician bridge and alone withstood the whole force of the enemy till the bridge was broken down behind him. he then threw himself into the tiber and swam over to his friends unhurt by either his fall or the darts the enemy
by wisdom tutored poetry exalts
her voice to ages and informs the page
with music image sentiment and thought
FOR what is the dash used? For what are parentheses and brackets used? For what is the apostrophe used? quotation marks? the hyphen? the caret?
Repeat the ten rules for the use of the capital letters.
Copy the following extracts, inserting as may be required, capital letters, punctuation points, and the other marks used in writing.
LIARS. aristides among athenians and epaminondas among the thebans are said to have been such lovers of truth that they never told a lie even in joke. atticus likewise with whom cicero was very intimate neither told a lie himself nor could bear it in others i hate that man achilles used to say as much as i do the gates of pluto who says one thing and thinks another. Aristotle bears his testimony as follows liars are not believed even when they speak the truth. Sincerity is one of the most important virtues that man can possess.
2. THE AFFECTIONATE DOLPHIN. during the reign of [gap]
augustus a dolphin formed an attachment to the son of a poor man who used to feed him with bits of bread. every day the dolphin when called by the boy swam to the surface of the water and after having received his usual meal carried the boy on his back from baiæ to a school in puteoli, and brought him back in the same manner The boy after a time died and the dolphin coming to the usual place and missing his kind master is said to have died of grief
The student now, having been carried through punctuation, should be required to punctuate every sentence as it written: thus he will readily learn to use all the points as he progresses with the art of composition. By faithfully pointing out his mistakes, and referring him to the rule violated, the pupil will soon become as familiar with punctuation as with the alphabet.
While the student is writing the following exercises, he would do well to review the first twenty-four chapters; and also the eleven chapters on Punctuation.
1. When do the trees begin to put on their bright, warm colors?
2. Does the first frost change them much?
3. How do the woods appear after the first frost?
4. How after the second or third?
5. On the hills, and in the valleys, and by the roadside, what is seen?
6. What are the different colors, in this bright array?
7. What tree, or shrub, or vine puts on the most brilliant attire?
8. What color does the maple choose?
9. What, the oak?
10. What, the chesnut?
11. What trees retain their green dress?
12. Are not these brilliant colors often seen in beautiful contrasts?
13. How does a group of trees appear, in which all these colors are mingled?
14. What change passes over these bright leaves?
15. What does the November wind do with them?
16. Where do they all at last lie?
17. What trees alone retain their foliage, to shield them in winter?
You can describe how the first breath of frost is seen in the changing colors of the leaves, and how these brilliant hues gradually spread over the hill-sides and fill the valleys; and also the different colors assumed by the different trees. You will find, by observing them, that these are not entirely accidental; but that each tree, from year to year, wears nearly the same autumn dress. The maple assumes the greatest variety of colors, while the oak and chesnut are more uniform, and present only different hues of the same color. You can describe the effect of these colors contrasted with one another in a group of trees-- from the dark, unchanging evergreen, to the gayest maple-- and all the intervening shades of the other trees, and the effect of sunlight upon these autumn colors.
In studying the wondrous changes wrought by touches of light upon this autumn scenery, a new world of pleasure
will be opened to you, and you will be furnished with abundant material for description.
You can mention the gradual fading of these bright leaves, till they lie scattered by November winds upon the ground; then the sombre, desolate appearance of the forests, as they stand waiting for the winter snow.
1. Are there not many kinds of moss?
2. What kinds are found upon fences, old trees, and roofs of houses?
3. Are not the most beautiful moss found in the woods?
4. What kind do you like best?
5. How does it grow?
6. Do you not often find many kinds growing together?
7. Do they not then make a beautiful carpet?
8. What kind of berries creep over this carpet?
9. What flowers blossom upon it?
10. What trees wave over it?
11. What lights and shadows dance upon it?
12. What little birds hop over it?
13. What little forest animals dine upon it?
14. What nuts do they find hiding away in it?
15. Is it not often spread out by the side of a brook or spring?
16. Is it not then the most delightful retreat in a warm summer day?
You have seen, probably, many kinds of moss, creeping over rocks and stones, hanging from fences, and growing upon the roofs of old houses, and upon old trees. You can dwell upon this fondness of moss for old things, and speak of the beautiful effect it gives to every thing it clings to. You can describe the various kinds you remember, particularly those which grow in the woods, and which form such a beautiful carpet by the side of a brook or spring. Nothing can be more beautiful than this, when it is fresh and green, interlaced with running vines, and dotted with wild flowers and bright scarlet berries. No wonder that the little birds like to hop round upon it, or if the squirrel chooses it for a dining-room: all this you describe in your own words, and make as pretty a picture of it as you can.
You should describe any given kind of moss, as you would do if you wanted some for a particular purpose, and were sending for it by a person who had never seen any. In such a case you would endeavor to distinguish it from all other kinds, in such a way that he would be sure to bring you the right kind of moss. This would be a very good test by which to try your descriptions. You can speak, too, of the ornamental uses of moss, if you know of any.
1. Are not these flowers to be found from early in the spring till late in autumn?
2. Are they not most beautiful in spring?
3. Is it not delightful, after the tedious cold and snow, to see the liverworts, and the anemones, the blue violets, and trailing arbutus and columbines blossom one by one?
4. What kind of flower is the liverwort, and where does it grow?
5. The anemone?
6. The columbine?
7. The trailing arbutus or Mayflower?
8. The honeysuckle, too, what kind of a flower is it, and where does it grow?
9. Later in the summer, what comes?
10. Are not the laurel bushes covered with their magnificent blossoms ?
11. What color are they, and how do they grow?
12. What kind of flower is the wild geranium?
13. The cardinal flower?
14. What about the golden-rod ?
15. The fringed gentian, too, is it not one of the last flowers before frost?
16. When do these beautiful summer visitants finally disappear?
You can mention by name the various flowers, as they appear from early spring till late in the autumn, and the reasons why spring flowers seem the sweetest. These you may describe, one by one, as you remember them, mentioning the time of their appearance, and the places where they are found; then in the same way the flowers of summer and of autumn, ending with those which disappear on the arrival of frost.
In speaking of these various flowers, you should endeavor to use descriptive terms which express the most striking quality of the flower; this may be color, as in the cardinal flower or golden-rod; or fragrance, as in the Mayflower; or profusion of blossoms, as in the laurel; or it may be the manner in which it grows--in clusters, or otherwise. To seize upon this quality and express it, may often require careful study; but in no other way can excellence in description be attained.
Very few of these beautiful wild-flowers have, as they all ought to have, beautiful names. If you please, you can exercise your fancy in suggesting new names for the flowers whose old ones you do not like. Liverworts, for instance, you might call "Spring's blue eyes," or "May's blue eyes," or simply "blue eyes," or you can suggest any other name which may occur to you.
1. What is the rose sometimes called?
2. Why is it called "Queen of Flowers?
3. Does it not grow in greater profusion and variety than any other flower?
4. Is it not more fragrant than any other?
5. Is it not found in every region where flowers grow?
6. How many varieties have you ever seen?
7. Which do you think most beautiful?
8. How many kinds of white roses?
9. How many of pink and red roses?
10. Are there yellow roses?
11. Are there not many kinds of climbing roses?
12. Which is the most beautiful of these?
13. What kind of a flower is the wild rose?
14. Is not the "sweet-brier" a species of rose?
15. How does this grow?
16. In what countries are roses most beautiful and abundant?
17. Are they not more fragrant, also, in southern regions?
18. What delicious perfume is obtained from them?
19. Why is this very highly esteemed?
Every one has seen more than one kind of rose; for there is no flower of which there are so many varieties as this. You may give the reasons why it is called "Queen of Flowers," and also name and describe the various kinds you have seen, speaking particularly of the differences of color and fragrance in these, and giving the reasons for their names.
You must not forget the moss-rose, and the beautiful variety of climbing roses. You can speak of the luxuriant growth of these latter, the profusion of their blossoms, and the appearance of a house or porch covered by one in full blossom. The "wild rose," too, and especially the "sweet-brier," you may describe, and compare them with the garden rose.
In describing any given rose, you should endeavor to apply the rule given in the preceding instructions, and speak of those qualities in color, size, fragrance, or manner of growth, or whatever it may be, by which it is distinguished from other roses.
You can mention, also, the superior size and fragrance of the roses of southern regions, and the kind of perfume obtained from them.
1. Are not these blossoms among the loveliest objects in the world?
2. Do they not grow in beautiful places?
3. How does a lake or pond look when covered with them?
4. What color is the flower, and what kind of a centre has it?
5. Do not these blossoms appear to float upon the water?
6. What kind of leaves are they surrounded by?
7. Where are the roots of the plant?
8. How are the blossoms and leaves connected with the root?
9. Is not this stem very long and flexible?
10. At night, does this flower close up?
11. How does it appear then?
12. How are these flowers gathered?
13. Is it not delightful to go in a boat to gather them?
14. How can the long stems be secured?
15. In reaching over for them, must one not be careful about upsetting the boat?
16. Is not a fresh bunch of these lilies a splendid bouquet?
17. Have they not a fresh, delicious fragrance?
No one can see these beautiful flowers floating upon the water, without a feeling of delight and admiration. You can describe the appearance of a lake or pond covered
with them; the freshness and purity of the white blossoms; the manner in which they rest upon the water; the color of the outside petals, and the appearance of the flower when closed: the pointed green buds; the shape and texture of the leaves, and the peculiarly flat manner in which they lie upon the water: also, the kind of stem which connects the flowers and leaves with the roots of the plant.
You can describe the life of these flowers in the lovely places which are their favorite haunts; the banks of the ponds and streams in which they grow; the shadows and breezes which play over them; the little fishes which dart about among them, under the shelter of their broad flat leaves and the little bays or coves which they cover with their blossoms.
You can speak, too, of the way in which these flowers are gathered; how they must be pulled in order to secure long stems; the danger, in reaching too far, of upsetting the boat; the pleasure of drawing in the lilies, one after another; the beauty of a fresh buoquet of them; and their delicious fragrance.
1. Is not this always the delight of all schools?
2. At what hour does it generally come?
3. Is not the last half hour before recess a time of anxious watching?
5. When the bell at last rings, what happens?
6. Is it not a scene of confusion?
7. If it is summer, what does every one do?
8. How is your school-room situated?
9. What kind of a play-ground have you?
10. What games do you play in it?
11. In winter, how is the recess spent?
12. What do older pupils do?
13. What do the younger ones do?
14. What games are then most popular?
15. Does not recess appear to fly by very quickly?
16. What happens when the bell ring for study-hours again?
17. In a few minutes, is not every thing changed?
18. What is every one doing?
This is a subject upon which every one can write without difficulty; for recess is the delight of every pupil. You can describe the impatience with which it is looked forward to by all; how slowly the minutes seem to go by, before the welcome sound of the bell for recess; then the scene which follows: if summer, the rush which is made out of doors, and the various amusements entered into by different groups, or by the whole together. You can describe the situation of your school-room, and the
pleasant places around it, which are the resort of the pupils at this time. If there are any trees near it, you can give a description of these, and of the scenes which take place under them. If there is a brook, describe that and the sports connected with it; or, if you have only a play-ground, the groups which cover it, and the games which are played upon it: then, as the cold weather comes on, the changes which take place in the sports entered into: the various in-door games which are introduced. You can mention the most popular ones, and describe the manner in which they are played. You can speak, too, of the swiftness with which the moments of recess fly by; the ringing of the bell for study-hours to recommence: and the change which then takes place in the appearance of the school.
1. Is not this one of the most exciting games that can be played?
2. Is any one too old, or too young to play it?
3. What is the first step to be taken in playing?
4. How is the person to be blindfolded selected?
5. Must not the blindfolding be done fairly?
6. How do the others satisfy themselves about this?
7. What then takes place?
8. What is the objection of the person blindfolded?
9. What is the object of the others?
10. Is it not very difficult to catch any one who is fairly blindfolded?
11. Is it not necessary to move about cautiously?
12. What is the danger?
13. Does not the blindfolded person sometimes become quite bewildered?
14. If he succeeds in catching any one, what follows?
15. If he does not succeed, and gives up, how does the game proceed?
16. Why is it almost impossible to play this game out of doors?
This game is a great favorite with every one, especially on Thanksgiving, or similar occasions. You may describe the zeal with which it is entered into at such times; the curious string of words with which the one to be blindfolded is chosen, and the meaning of these words, if you can suggest any. You may describe, also, the various ways which are tried to prove that the blindfolding has been fairly done: then, when this point has been ascertained, the general running and dodging, and shouting and screaming which takes place: the cautious groping of the blindfolded person, and the bewildered manner in which he runs about; the devices of the others to confuse
him, and to get out of the way when he approaches them: also what takes place when he succeeds in catching one; the struggles of the person caught to get free; the endeavors of the catcher to guess whom he has caught, and if he is successful in this, the manner in which the game proceeds.
You can mention the antiquity of this game, and give an account of its origin, if you can learn anything about it. You can speak, also, of the reasons why it is an especial favorite with children.
1. Was the Pic-nic much talked of beforehand?
2. What was the place fixed upon for it?
3. What kind of a place was it said to be?
4. What was the time fixed upon for going?
5. What preparations were made?
6. What were the baskets filled with?
7. When the day came, was it clear or doubtful weather?
8. Did you ride or walk?
9. Was the road a pleasant one?
10. At what time did you arrive at the Pic-nic ground?
11. How was it situated?
12. What took place upon arriving?
13. What preparations were made for the dinner?
14. How was the table arranged?
15. Was not the dinner scene a merry one?
16. What followed after dinner?
17. How late in the afternoon did you stay?
18. Was the ride home a pleasant one?
19. Was there a brilliant sunset to be seen?
20. What changes did it pass through?
Very few Pic-nics are got up and carried through without a great deal of talking and planning; sometimes the plan is proposed several weeks before it is carried into execution.
You can mention how long beforehand the Pic-nic you describe was talked about; the discussions with respect to the preparations; the packing of the baskets; the doubts, hopes, and fears with regard to the weather; the arrival of the day; the assembling of the party; and the manner in which you rode or walked. You can describe, also, your adventures by the way, or any amusing circumstance which may have happened; the dispersing of the party in various groups on arrival at the Pic-nic ground; the search for a pleasant dining-room; the different places proposed; the one finally decided upon; its advantages over the other places; the scene which ensued; the unpacking of the baskets; the arrangement of the table;
and the various preparations for the dinner: then the assembling of the party at dinner, and how the afternoon was spent. You can give a description also, of the ride home, and of a beautiful sunset seen upon the way.
1. Under what circumstances was the ride taken?
2. Who were your companions?
3. Was the sleighing fine?
4. What kind of a day was it?
5. What precautions did you take against the cold?
6. What kind of a sleigh was it?
7. Did you fly along rapidly?
8. What road did you take?
9. Was there much snow to be seen?
10. How did the mountains and hills appear?
11. The trees and bushes?
12. The ponds and streams?
13. How would these have appeared if it had been summer?
14. Was it not exciting to feel yourself going along so fast?
15. Did you meet many sleighs?
16. Did not fingers and toes begin to freeze at last?
17. In spite of the cold, however, did you not enjoy the ride?
18. Was it not pleasant to get back again by the warm fire at home?
In describing a sleigh-ride, you can speak of the exhilarating effect of the bracing air; the clear blue sky; the bright sun; the swiftness of the motion, and the sound of the sleigh-bells. You can contrast, also, the scenery which you saw, with the same in its summer dress; the bleakness of the mountains and hills; the clear, distinct outlines, so different from the soft warm haze of summer: then the trees, with their thousand leafless twigs, with their appearance in summer; the ponds and streams, stiff in their icy covering, with their summer life and beauty.
By calling up vividly before your mind the landscape as it is in summer, you will be better able to describe the changes wrought by Winter, with its frost and snow, in every part of it, for you will feel more keenly what he has taken from it,--from the fields, from the brooks, from the trees, the hills, the skies, and the air.
You can describe, also, the beauties of a winter landscape; the pure white snow; the sparkling of ice in the sunbeams; the evergreens loaded with snow, and the deep blue sky above it all; also the gradual freezing up of all ideas, and the pleasure of being again by the warm fireside.
1. What was the arrival of the Menagerie preceded by?
2. What did the handbills announce?
3. Did it not awaken a great deal of expectation and curiosity?
4. Was not the entrance of the Menagerie a time of great excitement?
5. Did not everybody turn out to witness it?
6. What headed the procession?
7. What were the musicians seated in?
8. What followed?
9. What did these cages contain?
10. In what kind of a place was the Menagerie exhibited?
11. How were the cages arranged in this tent?
12. Was there not a great crowd in attendance?
13. What animals interested you most?
14. Did the keeper enter the lion's cage?
15. How did he manage it?
16. What performances took place with the monkeys?
17. What with the elephants?
18. Was not the exhibition fatiguing?
19. Were you not glad when it was over?
You can describe the handbills or advertisements which generally precede the arrival of a menagerie in a place; the wonderful attractions they always offer, and the excitement which this creates among the children: then the triumphal entry of the caravan on the day appointed; the music; the magnificence of the musician's car; the trappings of the horses and the elephants; the singular effect produced by those of the elephants; the number of wagons or cages which follow, and the crowd which this sight attracts: then the opening of the exhibition; the various animals and their performances, particularly the elephant: the manner in which he eats an apple, or anything else which is given him. You can describe the character of the elephant, and relate any anecdotes you may have read in illustration of any of his traits. You can speak also, of the habits of this animal in his wild state; of the countries in which he is found; what he lives upon; the size to which he sometimes grows; and the manner in which he is caught and tamed. You can mention, also, the animals with which you were most pleased, and describe them; also, the wonderful feats of the monkeys, and the way the keeper managed the lion when he entered the cage or any thing else which interested you.
1. Are there not many kinds of Fairs?
2. For what different purposes are they held?
3. What is the object of a Horticultural Fair?
4. What does the display consist of then?
5. What is the object of an Agricultural Fair?
6. What takes place then?
7. Are not Fairs often held for the purpose of raising money?
8. What does the exhibition generally consist of?
9. How is it conducted?
10. Did you ever attend such a Fair?
11. Did you ever assist in getting up one?
12. How was the room decorated?
13. How were the tables arranged?
14. What kind of articles were for sale upon them?
15. By whom were these sold?
16. Was there a post-office in the Fair?
17. How was this conducted?
18. Were there many visitors?
19. Were most of the articles sold?
20. How long did the Fair last?
21. How did it end?
You can speak of the different objects for which Fairs are held, and mention those which are most common, and what each of these is called. You can describe the display of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, at a Horticultural Fair, and the manner in which this is generally conducted; also, an Agricultural Fair, in which a cattle show is the most prominent feature: both these afford great scop for description, particularly the latter in the variety of animals exhibited, and the various ways in which superiority among them is tested. If you prefer to describe this kind of fair, you can give an account of the preparations made for it by the farmers for weeks beforehand. You can describe also, the place where the exhibition was held, then the morning of the fair; the trains of animals; bands of music and crowds of wagons; the different kinds of noises; then the various parts of the exhibition, and the distribution of prizes.
Fairs are also often held, in order to raise money for benevolent purposes. You can speak of the manner in which these are generally got up; how the various articles to be sold are furnished; the decorations of the rooms; the arrangement of the different tables; the company present, & c.: also, who presided at the tables; how long the Fair continued; and the amount raised by the sale of the articles.
1. What is Thanksgiving?
2. By whom was this festival first celebrated?
3. Under what circumstances?
4. Was it not at first celebrated only in New England?
5. Is it not now observed by many other States?
6. How long beforehand do children begin to count the days and weeks to Thanksgiving?
7. What preparations sre made for it in the kitchen?
8. How many kinds of pies and puddings?
9. What kind of pie figures most prominently?
10. What does the farmer bring to market?
11. What is the principal thing to be secured?
12. Are the poor forgotten in these preparations?
13. How is the morning of Thanksgiving day occupied?
14. After church what takes place?
15. How does the table look?
16. How does the dinner go off?
17. How are the afternoon and evening spent?
18. Is not this a great day for family meetings?
19. Does not every one try to be at home then?
20. Ought not this festival always to be observed?
Every one knows that Thanksgiving is a religious festival of rejoicing and giving thanks. In writing upon this subject, you may mention the circumstances in which it originated, and the manner of its first observance. You can describe, also, the present mode of observing the day; the pleasure with which it is anticipated by every one; the divers kinds of pies and puddings concocted for the occasion; the dreadful slaughter of turkeys, geese, and chickens--the articles which the farmer brings to market, the fat turkey which every one looks out for: then the manner in which Thanksgiving day is spent; the various games which occupy the afternoon and evening. You can describe a family party gathered on Thanksgiving evening; the different ages of the persons who are brought together, and who all share alike in these games. You can speak of some one occasion of this kind which you may have enjoyed very much, and give an account of the amusements entered into, and all the pleasant things which occurred. You can speak, also, of the manner in which the poor are remembered on this occasion; also of the pleasant family gatherings which always takes place at this time, and of the various beneficial effects resulting from the observance of this festival.
1. What is the origin of this celebration?
2. What is the date of the event it commemorates?
3. Is it a religious festival, like Thanksgiving?
4. Is it observed all over the country?
5. What preparations are made for it?
6. Do not boys begin weeks beforehand to save their money for it?
7. What do they spend it in?
8. How does the day open?
9. How many cannons are fired?
10. What is this followed by?
11. What sounds are heard incessantly?
12. Are there not great crowds to be seen everywhere?
13. What is seen at every corner?
14. What is sold at these stalls?
15. Is there not a great deal of molasses candy sold by small boys?
16. How do they carry it about?
17. How does the day end?
18. What sometimes take place in the evening?
19. Does not this day commemorate the greatest event in history?
20. Ought not its observance to be perpetuated?
The mention of this subject brings up to every one memories of scenes which are repeated on every return of the day; of cannons, soldiers, parades, drunken men,
fighting men, crowds of men, women and children, horses and carriages, fire-crackers incessantly sounding, boys with molasses candy, stalls of apples and gingerbread: from early morning, when one is wakened by the roar of the cannons, till late at night, after the last cracker has been fired and the last skyrocket sent up, there is no peace for eyes or ears. All these various sights and sounds you may describe in any order you please; or you may give an account of a Fourth of July which was celebrated in some particular manner--by a pic-nic, or some kind of procession and describe the arrangements for the occasion; the manner in which it passed off; the speeches which were made, & c.
You may precede your description of the celebration of this day, if you choose, with a brief history of the War of the Revolution, the success of our struggles, the Declaration of Independence and the manner in which this was drawn up and signed. You will find all these particulars in any history of the United States.
1. Is this an American festival, like Fourth of July or Thanksgiving?
2. How did it originate?
3. What did it first commemorate?
4. How is it observed in this country?
5. What do children do the night before Christmas?
6. What do they expect to find in the morning?
7. Who are they told filled their stockings?
8. What sort of a person is Santa-Claus said to be?
9. How is he dressed?
10. How does he get about?
11. What does he carry in his sleigh?
12. How does he enter the house in the night?
13. What does he leave in naughty children's stockings?
14. What takes place on Christmas morning?
15. Are the children not up before daylight?
16. What greetings are heard all over the house?
17. Does not Santa-Claus sometimes get up a Christmas tree?
18. How does he manage this?
19. Is not this day observed religiously by many?
20. How are the churches decorated for the occasion?
21. Do they not present a beautiful appearance?
This festival is not, like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, of American origin, but it has been celebrated for many hundred years as the anniversary of the most important event in the world's history--the birth of Christ-- and because this event brought joy to the world, it was celebrated as a day of rejoicing; at first religiously, and it is so observed by many persons at this day: many churches are beautifully decorated with evergreens, and opened for religious services.
With children, however, this has become a great day for receiving gifts: they find their stockings full of all sorts of good things on Christmas morning, and they are told that a certain Santa-Claus, whose name was originally St. Nicholas, a little old man, queerly dressed in furs, and driving a sleigh drawn by six little reindeer, enters the house by coming down the chimney, and fills their stockings.
Almost every one has some fancy about this Santa-Claus and his visits. You can give a description of him as you imagine him to be; of all the particulars of his dress; of the presents he carries; of the size and shape of his sleigh, and the trappings of the reindeer; or any impression you may have concerning him. You can speak also, of the manner in which you are accustomed to observe this day.
1. What is the highest mountain or rock you have ever visited?
2. Where is it?
3. What is its name, and why was it so named?
4. How high is it?
5. How high is its shape?
6. Is it covered with trees, or is it bare rock?
7. Is it connected with other hills, or does it stand alone?
8. What is the appearance of the range to which it belongs?
9. Is the ascent to the mountain difficult?
10. Is the view from the top fine?
11. At what season did you see it?
12. At what time in the day?
13. Was the atmosphere clear or hazy?
14. What lay at the foot of the mountain--a river or meadows?
15. Beyond, what was seen--villages, lakes, or a town?
16. What bounded the view in the horizon?
17. How does this view compare with others you have seen?
You may describe some mountain you have visited or seen, placing its name at the head of your composition as your subject; or, better still, you may visit some elevation in your vicinity from which a fine prospect may be seen, and answer these questions from the point of view itself.
If you describe things as you actually see them before you, your description will be life-like--that is, it will portray objects as they really are, at a given time; but if you trust to your memory, you will be apt to use only
general terms, which are not capable of conveying definite images to the mind.
Remember that, in all descriptions of nature, it is not so much the objects themselves about which you are to concern yourself, as these objects seen under some particular light--for what is true of them at one time may be false at another: the spire of a church, for, instance, under a cloudy sky, is one uniform color, whatever it may be; while, in the rays of the setting or the rising sun, one half will be in dazzling light, and the other half in deep shadow, and so all objects are being continually transformed by changing lights and shadows.
1. Is there a brook near where you live?
2. Does it run fast or slow?
3. Is its bed stony or clear?
4. Is its bed noisy or still?
5. Does it wind about much?
6. Does it pass through woods and meadows?
7. What kind of trees shade it in the woods?
8. What grows on its banks?
9. What fringes its side in the meadows?
10. What kind of bushes mark its course?
11. Are there any fishes in the brook?
12. What kind are they?
13. Did you ever catch any?
14. How did you manage this?
15. Did you ever launch any little boats in it?
16. What became of them?
17. Did you ever tumble in the brook?
18. How did it happen?
19. Did you ever wade about in the brook?
20. Is it not pleasant to do this in a warm summer day.
You may put the name of the brook you describe at the head of your composition, as your subject; or, if it has no name, you can invent one for it, which will have an agreeable sound and at the same time be descriptive of some of its qualities--such a "Winding Brook," "Stony Brook," or "Merry Brook," or whatever it may be; also, in your descriptions of the scenes through which it passes, remember to individualize as much as possible: that is, instead of using general terms, such as "flower "bush," "tree," which conveys only general ideas to the mind, name an individual flower, bush, or tree, which calls up some particular image. It is this individualizing which gives vividness to a description. For example, the particular terms, "blue meadow-lily," "golden buttercup," "red barberry bush," "dark hemlock," each convey a
distinct image to the mind, and give it a peculiar feeling of pleasure, which it does not receive from the general terms "flower," "bush," "tree."
Remember, also, that an object must be described, not only by some striking quality, but also by some particular aspect: thus, if you were describing a barberry-bush, in blossom, you would not speak of it as red; and so with all other objects.
1. Did you ever visit any waterfall?
2. Where was it?
3. What was it called?
4. Why was it so called?
5. Under what circumstances did you visit it?
6. Was the approach to the fall easy or difficult?
7. Was it through a ravine?
8. What kind of a ravine was it?
9. Was the bed of the brook rocky?
10. Did you hear the fall before you saw it?
11. Did you first see it from above or below?
12. What was the scenery around the fall?
13. Over what kind of rocks did the water fall?
14. How high was the fall?
15. Did it fall in one sheet, or was it broken up?
16. How was it broken up?
17. What was the sound of the falling water?
18. How did the stream below appear?
19. Were there any falls below this one?
20. What was the course of the stream?
21. Did it come out into quiet meadows at last?
Under this subject you can describe a visit to some waterfall, taking its name as the subject of your composition.
The approach to a waterfall is almost always wild and picturesque, and is therefore a good subject for description. By the term "picturesque," is meant "that which would be beautiful in a picture;" and in the turnings and windings of a ravine there are often a succession of little views which would make beautiful pictures if they were painted. This succession of picturesque views you should endeavor to bring before the mind in language. In order to do this, you should try to imagine in what way an artist would represent the scene you wish to describe--the lights, shadows, and colors he would use, and how he would arrange these; and remember, that whatever can be represented in a picture, can be expressed in language.
You should have in your mind, not merely a general, confused idea of rocks, stones, running water, wild places, and a great deal of scrambling to be done, but a distinct
impression of each successive view in the approach to the fall, and finally of the fall itself, and describe each as if it were a picture by itself. In this way you will succeed in conveying to the mind of another, the impression which the visit to the fall made upon yourself.
1. What is a spring?
1. Where does water in springs come from?
3. What becomes of it when it flows out of the spring?
4. What do the brooks flow into?
5. What becomes of the rivers?
6. Did you ever see a spring?
7. Where was it?
8. Was it shaded by trees?
9. Were there any flowers, or mosses, or ferns around it?
10. Did you drink from it?
11. Was the water pure and cold?
12. How deep was it?
13. What became of the water that flowed from it?
14. Is not a spring always a stopping place for children in their rambles?
15. How do they contrive to drink from it?
16. Is the water in all springs cold?
17. What do you know about the famous Hot Springs?
18. How can they be accounted for?
19. What other kinds of springs are there?
The name of the spring you describe you can take for the subject of your composition: or, if it has no name, you should give it one which is descriptive of some of its qualities, or of something in its situation.
In describing it you should bring together all that is delightful about the spring, and in the scenery around it, so as to form an agreeable picture. You can speak of the manner in which it is kept filled, and give an imaginary description of the sources, deep in the earth, from which the water wells up, or trickles down into its basin; and then of its outflowing, and the beauty and verdure which gather around its borders. You should try to imagine that the spring itself has life, and feels as you would, in its place; and that the trees, mosses, ferns, and flowers which grow around it, have feeling also: this will give you a keener perception of all that is pleasant about the places in which they live.
You can describe, also, the scenes which take place around the spring; the merry companies of children that stop by its side; their expedients for drinking from it; the kind of cups they make out of leaves, and the success of their experiments, and any incident connected with these visits.
1. Was it in summer or in winter?
2. Was the moon just rising, or was it high in the heavens?
3. Were there any clouds in the sky?
4. Were they touched by the moon's light?
5. Were there any flying clouds to be seen?
6. How did this affect the light?
7. What were the most distant points seen?
8. How did the light strike upon them?
9. Nearer, what was seen?
10. Close at hand, what appeared?
11. How would the same scene have looked in broad day-light?
12. Were not its common-place features invisible in the moonlight?
13. Was not all that was fine seen in shadowy outlines?
14. Were the colors of the landscape visible?
15. Was there any thing seen but silvery lights and dark shadows?
16. How were these distributed over the scene?
17. What was the effect produced?
18. How did it compare with a sunset scene?
You may take any season you please for this description, either summer, when the effect of moonlight streaming
with such brilliancy, and the moon and stars are so gloriously beautiful. You should, however, describe, a real scene and not an imaginary one?
The first thing to be noticed in descriptions of moonlight scenery is, absence of color--the sun is the great painter of the world, the first touch of his rays upon a landscape brings out a multitude of colors, all fresh and glowing; but the moon is like an artist who uses only black crayons; nothing is seen in her landscapes but silvery lights and shadows; these, however, she distributes with wondrous effect over the scene. In your descriptions, therefore, you should be guided by the great artist herself--the moon--and bring out in language the points which she touches with her rays, and describe also the sombre effect produced by those features of the scene over which she casts a dark drapery of shadows.
You can speak of the effect upon the mind, of these deep shadows; the vague terrors of the imagination which they inspire. You can compare, also, with respect to beauty, a moonlight with a sunset scene.
1. What kind of day was it?
2. In what month?
3. Were there any signs of a coming storm?
4. What was the first indication in the sky?
5. How did the clouds roll together?
6. Did it grow very dark?
7. Was there a sound of rising wind?
8. Was there distant thunder?
9. Were there flashes of lightning?
10. As the storm drew nearer, did these increase?
11. Did the wind begin to roar among the trees?
12. Did it toss their branches?
13. How did the rain begin to fall?
14. Did it increase rapidly?
15. Did it fall in torrents?
16. Did it flood the roads?
17. Was any living creature to be seen?
18. How long did the storm last?
19. Did it clear away suddenly?
20. How did everything appear after the storm?
21. Was there a rainbow to be seen?
Under this subject you may first give a picture of a drought which preceded the storm, and describe the feeling of the atmosphere and the appearance of the earth.
You may mention individual plants and animals, and the manner in which they were affected the want of rain: then the gathering of the storm, the rumbling thunder, the rising wind, flashes of lightning, the rolling togetherr of the clouds.
You can describe the forms of the clouds, and the changes that took place in them till they overcast the heavens, and poured their deluge of rain upon the earth: also, the manner in which the wind twisted and tossed the branches of the trees; the terrific claps of thunder and flashes of lightning in the midst of the pouring rain: then, after the storm, the refreshed appearance of the plants you had noticed as drooping under the drought. Also, in describing the rainbow, you can speak of the extent of the arch, the breadth of its belt of colors, the order of their arrangement, its brilliancy, and its fading away.
You can speak of the cause of this appearance in the heavens, and give the reasons why it does not follow every thunder-storm. You can also allude to the promise which was once given in connection with the rainbow, and the occasion of that promise.
1. Had the storm been long in gathering?
2. What was the appearance of the sky?
3. How did the air feel?
4. Was the ground hard and frozen?
5. Was the landscape dreary?
6. How did the flakes begin to fall?
7. Did the storm increase?
8. Was there any wind, or was it still?
9. Did the snow-flakes fill the air?
10. How did every thing begin to appear--trees, fences, branches, twigs?
11. Were there any drifts?
12. Were any sleighs, or any people to be seen plunging through the snow?
13. How long did the storm continue?
14. Did it clear off bright and cold?
15. How did every thing look in the sunlight?
16. Was not every twig loaded?
17. How did the evergreens look?
18. Did people begin to break paths in the snow?
19. Did the sleigh-bells begin to be heard?
20. Did not every one rejoice that the storm was over?
Under this subject you wish first to convey to the mind an impression of the peculiar bleakness and chilliness which generally precedes a long snow-storm. You can describe the various indications of the coming snow, in the feeling of the air and the appearance of the sky; the solid bank of snow clouds in the horizon; then the gradual manner in which the storm begins; the silent, leisurely fall of the snow-flakes, in contrast of that of rain-drops; the powdered appearance of the earth after the first sprinkling; then the increase of the storm; the thick flakes
filling the air; the increasing depth of the snow; the white heaps to be seen everywhere; the wind whirling and sweeping over it, and roaring in the tops of the trees: then the bright clearing up; the beauty of the white snowdrifts in the sunlight; and of the loaded trees--particularly the dark evergreens, in contrast with their white burden.
Endeavor always to give the particular aspect of whatever you wish to describe: thus, "the wind whirls--it sweeps the edge of the drifts," is more descriptive than "the wind blows," because the former gives not only the fact, but also the manner of the blowing, while the latter expresses nothing but the fact.
1. In what regions are these displays more brilliant?
2. In what part of the heavens do they always begin to appear?
3. Why are they called "Northern Lights?"
4. What are they called by inhabitants of some northern regions?
5. Why do they give them the name of "Merry Dancers?"
6. What was the most brilliant one you ever saw?
7. In what season did it occur?
8. At what time in the evening did you first see it?
9. Was the sky cloudless, or were there clouds?
10. Was the moon visible?
11. What was the first appearance of the Aurora?
12. In what way did it increase?
13. Did it assume any color?
14. Were there waves and columns of light?
15. What was the appearance of these waves?
16. Did the streams of light shoot up rapidly?
17. Did they extend around the whole heavens?
18. Was the brilliancy variable?
19. When was it greatest?
20. How long did the display continue?
21. Is the cause of these appearances known?
The magnificent displays of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, occur most frequently in winter, though they sometimes appear with great splendor in the summer season. No one has ever accounted for them satisfactorily. We know not whence they come, nor whither they go; and this mystery hanging over their sudden appearance and disappearance, adds greatly to the feeling of awe and wonder with which we view their bright visitations.
You can expand this idea, or put it in another form, as an introduction to your composition, if you choose; and then proceed with a description of the appearance of the sky before the Aurora began; the clouds in the northern
[gap] rizon; the manner in which the streams of light shot [gap] t of them: the waves and columns of light which fol- [gap] ved; the rapid changes of motion and color in these; [gap] e extent snd brilliancy of the Aurora; the time of its [gap] ntinuance, and its final disappearance. You should study [gap] find a variety of terms expressing rapidity of motion [gap] d brilliancy of color; such as--darting, shooting, [gap] eaming, waving, glancing, kindling, flashing, luminous, [gap] id, glowing; and make a careful use of these in your [gap] cription.
[gap] n doing this, you will be much assisted by considering [gap] hints given in the preceding instructions.
[gap] . Was it in summer or winter?
[gap] . From what point did you watch the sunrise?
[gap] . What were the distant features in the view?
[gap] . What was nearer?
[gap] . What were close at hand?
[gap] What kind of a light preceded the sunrise?
[gap] Did this continue brighter and brighter?
[gap] What sounds were heard?
[gap] Were there any clouds in the east?
[gap] What kind of clouds were they?
[gap] How did they indicate the approaching sunrise?
12. How did they change, in shape and color?
13. What was the first appearance of the sun?
14. What was the first point touched by his light?
15. What was the effect produced?
16. Was there any dew, or frost, or mist seen in t [gap] light?
17. How did this look?
18. Were there any long shadows cast?
19. By what objects?
20. Did these grow shorter and shorter?
21. How long was it before the sun was fairly risen?
The best advice that can be given you in writing up this subject, is to describe an actual scene--select [gap] some point which commands a pleasant view, and giv [gap] the changes as they took place under your own obser [gap] tion.
You should mention the season in which the sun [gap] occurred, the kind of light which preceded the rising [gap] the sun, and the appearance of the sky and clouds.
You should also describe the various points in the la [gap] scape as it was spread out before you in this uniform g [gap] light; and then, the changes which took place in each [gap] these points successively, under the magic touch of [gap] sun's ray; also, the morning mist, the dew drops catch [gap] the light, the long shadows, the fresh air, the morn [gap]
sounds, and, above all, the splendor of the clouds which hung about the pathway of the sun, and the changes which occurred in these, as he rose higher and higher; all this is capable of being wrought in a beautiful description.
Remember, it is with description as with painting--fine touches are needed to give it beauty. Not only the outline of the landscape, but something also of the effect produced by lights, shadows and colors, must be conveyed to the mind, otherwise the description will be wanting in completeness.
1. Under what circumstances did you observe the sunset?
2. What was the season?
3. What kind of a day--clear or hazy?
4. What was your point of view?
5. How high was the sun when you began to watch its progress?
6. Were there any clouds in the sky?
7. How did these change in shape and color?
8. What were the nearest features in the view?
9. Beyend these, what were seen?
10. What were the most distant points?
11. How did each of these appear in the rays of the setting sun?
12. Was there any haze over the landscape?
13. What was its appearance on the most distant hills?
14. What on those next nearer?
15. How was it with the nearest?
16. Were there any deep shadows to be seen?
17. What points were successively illuminated?
18. What gradual changes took place as the sun sunk lower?
You may take as your subject a summer sunset. This is a glorions theme for a description. It is a favorite with every artist who wishes to paint a beautiful picture, on account of the brilliance of the sky, the glowing colors of the landscape, the strong contrasts of the lights and shadows, and the haze which fills the atmosphere, giving such a beautiful softness to every thing.
In studying a scene of this kind for the purpose of describing it, you should observe the effect of this haze. On the most distant hills it may be a light, pearly tint, hardly to be distinguished from the sky; on those next nearer, its color will be more decided; and on the next, different still; while over the nearest objects, it assumes a great variety of beautiful hues.
You should also notice the effect of strong light in changing the appearance of objects. A little cluster of twigs, upon which the rays of the setting sun may strike, will look as if they had been dipped in gold; and though you may know them as they really are, you must describe them as they appear.
Great care must be taken in the selection of right descriptive terms, for this is as essential to a fine description, as is the proper choice of colors to a fine painting.
The subjects embraced
in Division III. are inexhausti
[gap] e in their character, since by changing
the point of view
[gap] each, the subject itself is changed. The pupil will thus
find it an excellent exercise, to take
[gap] e same subject two or three times in
[gap] s compositions according to the scene
selected for de-
[gap] ription. In the study of Nature he will
find an ample
[gap] ariety of material. These exercises in description are of the highest impor-
[gap] nce, as laying the foundation of all freshness and vivid-
[gap] ess of style. The pupil should be thoroughly trained in
[gap] em before attempting any other branch of composition.
The subjects embraced in Division III. are inexhausti [gap] e in their character, since by changing the point of view [gap] each, the subject itself is changed.
The pupil will thus find it an excellent exercise, to take [gap] e same subject two or three times in succession, varying [gap] s compositions according to the scene selected for de- [gap] ription. In the study of Nature he will find an ample [gap] ariety of material.
These exercises in description are of the highest impor- [gap] nce, as laying the foundation of all freshness and vivid- [gap] ess of style. The pupil should be thoroughly trained in [gap] em before attempting any other branch of composition.