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First Year English 


Harriet E. Crandall 

Instructor in English in the South Chicago High School 
2. 7^<^<? 

Atkinson, Mentzer & Grover 


z.1 A^o 

Copyright, 1908 

c ?s 

The Preface 

THERE is in human affairs a sad gap between purpose 
and accomplishment; whereby 1 am admonished to 
set down before this little book some account of the 
purpose with which it was undertaken. 

It is based on a few simple ideas of art and life. First, 
for children of high school age(certainly the practice of the 
art of writing is not an end but a means. It should lead not 
primarily to literary skill, but to development of general 
power and capacity. 

If this art is being practiced to that worthy end, there 
will be clear evidence of it. Natural exercise of innate 
power is pleasurable. Forced exercise of powers which 
are not ready for development is disagreeable, if not pain- 
ful. Now self-expression, even expression by means of 
written words, is delightful to the pupil if his genuine 
powers are utilized. Interest and pleasure are merely the 
symptoms of normal development and healthful exercise. 

As to the means by which this end is to be reached, sev- 
eral facts are to be remarked : first, the great importance of 
the pupil's having something to say ; in other words, em- 
phasis on content rather than form ; a minimum of theory 
and a maximum of practice. As a matter of fact, ninety- 
nine people out of a hundred who enjoy writing are trying 
to say something ; they are possessed by feelings and ideas 
which they wish to communicate. These feelings and 
ideas are the vital motive power which shapes to artistic 
form. Again, even for that rare hundredth person, who, 
during the first process of writing, is intent mainly on 
technique, one principle of art suffices for months, not to 
say years, of unremitting practice. In art, a very little 
theory will go far, and an excess of it is fatally in the way. 

The harm of giving too much rhetoric and too little 


viii The Preface 

writing to children is obvious. To the right-minded child 
literature is life ; it is not artifice. Nor is writing artifice ; 
it is a natural, verbal reaction of the individual to his world. 
The moment his attention is held by form at the expense 
of substance his interest fades ; and without interest the 
game is not worth the candle ; and for the following reason. 
All good writing starts in the impulse to express some- 
thing vital. This creative impulse — essentially the same in 
the high school child and in the epic poet — rouses the mind, 
sets words flowing, shapes and incarnates the thought, ac- 
cording to the measure of the mind in which it stirs. This 
is the process we wish to secure, not merely in order to 
get fresh, original compositions, but to widen and deepen 
the child's life, to give him the high pleasure of creation 
and the coordinate pleasure of appreciation. To all this, 
interest is an absolutely necessary antecedent. Therefore, 
in this book, form is subordinated to matter. 

And here appears the primary value of literature. Actu- 
ally many a writer finds his material, gets his ideas, by 
suggestion or inspiration from other writers. It is true, 
as Stevenson remarks, that every revival of letters has been 
heralded by a "cast back to earlier and fresher models." 
True it is, also, that these revivals have come not mainly by 
intellectual analysis and formal imitation, but rather by 
generous admiration and enkindling of the imagination. 
And thus literature may serve the child by suggestion and 

This book attempts to set the child writing ; to suggest 
something which he can work up, which will please him, 
when written, and seem to him worth while. 

It should be added that it attempts also to set him going 
in the right direction ; it does not abandon the field of 
technique, but attempts to guide his expression toward lit- 
erary effectiveness. A vital interest once aroused, tech- 
nique can do its perfect work. 

Similar practical considerations have determined also the 
order of presentation. A text-book in composition is neces- 
sarily unsatisfactory because it is fixed ; it must follow one 
way , while every class has its own development of interest, 
presents its own peculiar order in development of faults and 

The Preface ix 

virtues. No one booi< can fit every case. Ideally, every 
class, not to say every individual, should have its own 
book made over night according- to the demands of the 
day. And at no period in the history of the English stu- 
dent are these difficulties so great as in the last year of 
grammar school, and early years of high school. Interests 
spring up and die out with mushroom swiftness ; new traits 
appear in character, and die out or go on to permanence ; 
variety in interest and in character development is the only 
permanence the teacher can safely count on. This difficulty 
is not avoidable. But it is possible to abandon an order 
based on logical analysis of the science of rhetoric for an 
order based on the exigencies of practice in the art. Such 
order sacrifices the symmetry of the table of contents to 
the immaturities and growing powers of the child. This is 
but following the example set in modern language text- 
books, where a logical development of the subject has given 
place to a presentation based on actual habits of speech. 

To give the pupil pleasure in the exercise of his powers 
and in the works of literature is no mean object in these 
days when one of the perils of democracy is the absence 
of high pleasures and the increase of the crass and the vul- 
gar. Beyond this even, lies the broadly human significance 
of the study. 

Educators have often dwelt on the critical period in the 
development of a child — "the golden age of life ;" the time 
when new ideals are forming, new aptitudes are stirring, 
new faculties are germinating. At this time, the sympa- 
thies can be touched to finer response, the whole nature 
enriched and directed to higher issues. At this time, then, 
no study should be regarded wholly as a source of informa- 
tion or of mental discipline, nor as a means to a technical 
end ; least of all the art of writing. No study offers more 
opportunities than does composition, for directing and stimu- 
lating to sincere and complete living. The teacher who 
has access to the pupil's note-book has open sesame 
to the sacred mystery of the growing soul ; and on him 
devolves the responsibility of enlarging the interests, di- 
recting the sympathies, and clarifying the thinking. 

The author wishes to express her hearty thanks to many 

x The Preface 

friends: notably to the teachers of the Tulcy High School, 
for Appendix B on Punctuation; to Mrs. Maude Radford 
Warren, of the University of Chicago, for unfailingly help- 
ful suggestion ; and to George B. Aiton, Inspector of High 
Schools for the State of Minnesota ; H. E. Giles, Superin- 
tendent of Schools, Hinsdale, Illinois; E. H. Kemper 
McComb, Head of the English Department, Manual Train- 
ing High School, Indianapolis; B. A. Heydrick, Girls' High 
School, New York City ; Miss Ellen Fox, Instructor in Eng- 
lish, Central High School, Kansas City; Bruce Smith, 
Instructor in English, St. Louis High School; Dr. R. H. 
Griffith, University of Texas; Robert R. Reed, Superin- 
tendent of Schools, Stephen, Minnesota; Miss Chestine 
Gowdy, State Normal School, Normal, Illinois, for acute 
criticism and generous assistance. 

Harriet E. Crandall. 
South Chicago High School. 
July i. 1908. 

The '1 able of Contents 

The Preface vii 

The Table of Contents xi 

To the Teacher xiv 

A List of the Plates xiv 












The Main Points in the Story 

Robin Hood and the King 

Sir Patrick Spens 
Reality by Means of Details 

Incidents in the Lives of Great A Ten 
The Comma Fault . 
Reality by Means of Details 

The Awakening of Great Men 
Proportion and Detail . 

Our Friends the Animals 

Sentence Unity 

A Review of the Sentence . 

Adventures with Books 
Subordination in the Sentence 
Proportion and Detail . 

The Matter of Fairy Stories 
Coordination. "And Which" . 









xii Contents 

12. Proportion and Clearness 49 

The Story of a Scientist 49 

13. Clearness in the Sentence 51 

14. Proportion and Detail 54 

The White Ship 54 

15. The Paragraph in Dialogue 60 


1. Finding an Interesting Subject .... 65 

2. Making the Subject Definite .... 67 

3. The Notes 69 

4. Unity 72 

5. The Topic and the Paragraph .... 81 

6. The Plan 89 

7. The Topic Sentence 101 

8. Paragraph Development 106 


1. Describing From Memory. Dreams . . . 113 

2. Describing From Memory. Persons and 

Places 115 

3. Forecasting Current Events 116 

4. Repetition of Words 118 

c. Describing From Imagination .... 119 

6. Castles in Spain 123 

7. Shifts in Sentence Structure .... 127 


1. How to Enrich One's Vocabulary . . . 135 

1. Letters to Friends 142 

2. Formal Invitations 147 

3. Business Letters 150 

Contents xiii 


i. The Elements of the Story 155 

2. The Relation of the Incidents . . . . 157 

3. General and Definite Narration . . . 161 

4. Description. Selection of Details . . . 164 

5. Description. Arrangement of Details . . 166 

6. Character 169 

7. Mood 171 

8. Setting 173 

9. Preparation 180 

10. Conversation 183 

n. Story Writing 185 

12. Figures or Speech 192 

Appendix A. A Briee Review of English Gram- 
mar 198 

Appendix B. Punctuation. Riles and Exer- 

Appendix C Writing Advertisements 
Appendix D. Writing for Newspapers 
Appendix E. Supplementary List of Subjects 
Appendix F. Suggestions to Teachers 

The Index 

2 33 

To the Teacher 

Two directions should be given in regard to the use of 
this book. 

First, many teachers will wish to begin with a review of 
grammar. Such a review is provided in Appendix A, 
which may be used as an introduction immediately preced- 
ing Part I. 

Second, it may be desired to study narration and de- 
scription as two distinct subjects. For this purpose one 
may take Part VI. in the following order : for narration, 
Sections I, 2, 3, 9, 10; for description, Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 11. 

A List of the Plates 

Savonarola Frontispiece 

The Drawing Class Facing page 15 

The Last Prayer 40 

Ruins of the Colosseum 60 

The Road to Camelot 80 

Rescued 100 

The Pied Piper of Hamelin 120 

Columbus at the Court of Ferdinand and Isabella 140 

The Royal Courier 160 

The Pilgrims Going to Church 180 

The Fair Pleader 200 

Stratford-on-Avon . 220 



A First Year English Book 


The first problem in the process of learning to write is 
that of finding something to say, of getting material. Now 
there are three sources of material. First, you may repro- 
duce other people's ideas and experiences ; you may write 
what you have read, or what has been told you. Or, sec- 
ondly, you may deal with your own ideals and actions ; you 
may write of what you do, and see, and feel. Or, finally, you 
may write what you see with the mind's eye, what you 

Of these ways of finding material, the first is perhaps 
the easiest. No doubt you have read about many more 
interesting happenings than have come within your own 
observation. The newspapers furnish you daily with stories 
of striking events. Your lessons in school take you into 
a wider world than the one you live in. For instance, if 
you are studying Julius Caesar you can write a summary 
of the first act ; or you can tell what you have learned of the 
formation of river basins, or of the capture of Major 
Andre, or of the explorations of Father Marquette. 

One caution with regard to reproducing: when you re- 
produce a subject from your reading, think about it 
with such care that you will not slavishly repeat the words of 
the book. Try to tell it in your own words and m your 
own way. 


16 A First Year English Book 

^ Exercises 

/. Oral. Tell the best story of adventure you know, 
either fact or fiction ; or a funny story you have heard, or a 
good fairy story. Consider what is the main point in the 
story and try to bring that out. Have it all clearly in mind 
before trying to tell it to the class, so that you will not hesi- 
tate, or allow the interest to drag; for interest is the first 
aim in composition. 

2. Write in your own words one of the following 
stories. Give it a title. When you have finished writing, 
see that every sentence begins with a capital letter and ends 
with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. 


Once when Hercules was journeying along a narrow 
roadway, he came across a strange-looking animal that 
reared its head and threatened him. Hercules, not at all 
frightened, gave him a few lusty blows with his club, and 
started to move on. To his surprise the animal was now 
three times as large as before, and of a still more threaten- 
ing aspect. He therefore redoubled his blows, and laid 
about him fast and furiously ; but the harder and quicker 
the strokes of the club, the bigger and more frightful grew 
the monster, who now completely filled up the road. Pallas 
then appeared upon the scene. 

"Stop, Hercules," said she. "Cease your blows. The 
monster's name is Strife. Let it alone, and it will soon be- 
come as little as it was at first." 

JEsop's Fables 


King Richard of England heard many complaints from 
Nottinghamshire against Robin Hood and his merry knights 
of the greenwood tree. These complaints never came 
from the poor, with whom Robin shared all he had, but 
from the rich, who alleged that Robin and his followers 

The Main Points in the Story 17 

slew all the deer in the great forests, and not content with 
that, robbed all the rich men who passed through that part 
of the wood in which they dwtlt. 

Richard by no means always listened to the woes of his 
subjects. Now he took the robberies lightly enough, but he 
was angry to hear that his deer were being shot. 

"By my faith," he said, "I will go down to Nottingham 
and meet face to face this man who would defy me." 

He lost no time in riding to Nottinghamshire with a great 
array of knights. As they passed through the forests the 
deer became more and more scarce, until at last they could 
not see even one. And though they looked for Robin 
Hood even more industriously than they did for the deer, he 
was not to be found. After a search of two weeks, Rich- 
ard's impatience knew no bounds. At last a forester of- 
fered a plan. 

"You can find Robin Hood, sire," he said, "only if you 
go in disguise. If you should dress like an abbot, and car- 
ry a money-bag, and then ride with five knights, also dis- 
guised, through the wood, vou would meet the great out- 

"A good plan, faith," said Richard. Over his royal doub- 
let he put a long abbot's robe, and on his head a broad hat ; 
then, followed by five men all soberly clad in gray robes, he 
set off for the green wood of Nottingham. He had scarcely 
gone a mile before, at a turn in the path, he saw a company 
of men clad in green coats and bearing huge bows in their 
hands. At their head stood a tall, fair, handsome man with 
laughing eyes. He strode to the king's horse, and took it 
by the bridle. 

"Sir Abbot," he said, "by your leave, you must abide for 
a time with us. We are poor men, sir, living on nothing 
but the king's deer in the forest, and as you have plenty of 
money, we must ask you to give us some for charity's sake." 

"By my life !" cried the king, "there are many of you and 
I have but forty pounds. I have spent the last two weeks 
with the king in Nottingham, where I have given much 
money to many a good lord. Nevertheless, if I had a hun- 
dred pounds, I would give it to you freely." 

"That is spoken generously," said Robin. 

He held out his hand for the king's money-bag. Then he 

i8 A First Year English Book 

poured the shining coins on the green grass, dividing them 
into two parts. 

"Here, my good men," he said, handing one share to a 
slender young man called Gilbert of the White Hand ; "take 
this, and be merry with it." 

Then he turned back to the king. 

"Sir Abbot," he said, with a low bow, "I give you back 
half your gold, and I trust we shall meet again." 

"Grammercy," said Richard; "and as I am greatly in the 
king's favor, I bid you in his name to come to dine with him 
at Nottingham." As he spoke, he showed the king's great 

Robin Hood bowed again, lower than before. 

"I love no man in the world so much as I do Richard of 
England," he said. "I welcome the sight of my lord's seal ; 
and, Sir Abbot, in sign of the honor offered me, I beg you, 
for love of the king, to dine with me to-day under my 

"Gladly will I," replied Richard. 

A plentiful dinner, chiefly composed of the king's own 
venison, was soon set before Richard, and as he saw how 
promptly Robin's men obeyed him, he wished that his own 
subjects were as ready to do his bidding. After the meal, 
Robin proposed that his men should show their skill in 
archery. So they set up a willow wand with a rose-garland 
twined about it, at which they were to shoot frcm a very 
considerable distance. 

The king shook his head. 

"You are too far from your mark by fifty paces," he 

"Not so, Sir Abbot," replied Robin. "Most of these men 
will hit the wand; any who fails to hit it or the rose-gar- 
land shall yield up his bow and arrows, and shall receive a 
blow on his bare head." 

Then Robin shot first, splitting the wand. Gilbert of the 
White Hand and others followed, all coming within the rose- 
garland. Richard expressed great amazement ; then he 
asked to see Robin shoot again. This time the great out- 
law was careless in his sighting, and he missed the mark. 

"Ha, Master," laughed Gilbert of the White Hand ; "now 
must you receive a buffet on the head." 

The Main Points in the Story 19 

"If so," said Robin, "Sir Abbot here must bestow it." 

'Right gladly," said Richard, with a grim smile, for he 
was a strong man. He turned up the sleeves of the abbot's 
gown and gave Robin Hood such a blow that he fell full 
length on the ground. 

The outlaws started forward angrily, but Robin ordered 
them back. He rose slowly to his feet, and then he knelt 
on one knee and bowed low to the king. 

"Sire," he said, "when you rolled back your sleeves I 
saw the insignia of royalty. I crave your mercy." 

"Rise, Robin," said the king; "your boon is granted, and I 
in turn ask your grace for me and for my men. Moreover, 
I command you to come to my court and dwell in plenty 
with me." 

Robin stood upright, with a gay, audacious smile. 

"I will come on a visit, sire," he said, "with seven score 
of my men ; but then I must return home and shoot the 
king's good deer, as is my habit." 

King Arthur ami His Knights, Maude L. Eadford. 

j. Write the story according to the following plan : 

(a) Why King Richard goes to Nottinghamshire. 

(b) The King disguises himself in order to find Robin. 

(c) The King meets Robin. 

(d) They dine together. 

(e) The contest at archery and what comes of it. 

Which incident should you tell most about? Which 

should you tell least about? Why? If you can, describe 

the forest somewhat, and the dress of the king and the 

Rule. In conversation, the speech of each person, to- 
gether with sueh descriptive and explanatory words as 
accompany the speech, is written as a paragraph. 

Rule. In writing conversation, enclose the words of tin- 
speaker in quotation marks. 

Caution. Examine your theme to see that each speech 

20 A First Year English Book 

forms a paragraph ; that each speech is enclosed in quotation 

./. Look at the picture opposite page 40. It represents 
a scene in the Colosseum during the persecution of the 
Christians. Opposite page 60 is a picture of the Colosseum 
as it looks to-day. Write a theme describing one of these 

5. Oral. Look up the facts in a history of Rome, and 
give a short account of the gladiatorial shows. 


The following poem is a ballad, a kind of folk-poem. 
It is characteristic of ballads to tell only the essentials of 
the story, and leave you to imagine the rest. If you com- 
pare this ballad with the story of Robin Hood, you will 
see that the latter is told much more fully; the incidents 
are connected by explanatory sentences, and the various 
happenings are more or less expanded with details. 


The King sits in Dunfermline toun, 

Drinking the blude-red wine ; 
"O whaur shall I get a skeely skipper 

To sail this gude ship of mine?" 

Then up an' spake an eldern knight, 

Sat at the King's right knee ; 
"Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor 

That ever sailed the sea." 

The King has written a braid letter, 

And seal'd it wi' his hand, 
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens 

Was walking on the sand. 

Proportion 21 

"To Noroway, to Noroway, 

To Noroway o'er the faem ; 
The King's daughter to Noroway, 

It's thou maun tak' her hame." 

The first line that Sir Patrick read, 

A loud laugh laughed he, 
The neist line that Sir Patrick read, 

The tear blinded his e'e. 

"O wha is this hae dune this deed, 

And tauld the King o' me, 
To send us out at this time o' the year 

To sail upon the sea ? 

"Be it wind or weet, be it hail or sleet, 

Our ship maun sail the faem, 
The King's daughter to Noroway, 

'Tis we maun tak' her hame." 

They hoisted their sails on Monday morn, 

Wi' a' the speed they may ; 
And they hae landed in Noroway 

Upon the Wodensday. 

They hadna been a week, a week, 

In Noroway but twae, 
When that the lords o' Noroway 

Began aloud to say — 

"Ye Scotsmen spend a' our King's gowd, 

And a' our Queenis fee." 
"Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud, 

Sae loud's I hear ye lie ! 

"For I brouct as mickle white monie, 

As gane my men and me, 
And a half-fou o' the gude red gold, 

Out owre the sea wi' me. 

"Mak' ready, mak' ready, my merry men a", 
Our gude ship sails the morn." 

22 A First Year English Book 

"Now ever alack, my master clear, 
I fear a deadly storm. 

"I saw the moon late yestreen, 

Wi' the auld moon in her arm ; 
And I fear, I fear, my master dear, 

That we sail come to harm !" 

They hadna sail'd a league, a league, 

A league but barely three, 
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud 

And gurly grew the sea. 

The ropes they brak, and the top-masts lap, 

It was sic a deadly storm ; 
And the waves cam' o'er the broken ship, 

Till a' her sides were torn. 

"O whaur will I get a gude sailor 

Will tak' the helm in hand, 
Until I win to the tall top-mast, 

And see if I spy the land?" 

"It's here am I, a sailor gude, 

Will tak' the helm in hand. 
Till ye win to the tall top-mast, 

But I fear ye'll ne'er spy land." 

He hadna gane a step, a step, 

A step but barely ane, 
When a bolt flew out of the gude ship's side, 

And the saut sea it cam' in. 

"Gae, fetch a web of the silken claith, 

Anither o' the twine. 
And wap them into the gude ship's side, 

And let na the sea come in." 

They fetched a web o' the silken claith, 

Anither o' the twine, 
And they wapp'd them into that gude ship's side. 

But ave the sea cam' in. 

Proportion 23 

O laith, laith, were our gude Scots lords 

To weet their cock-heeled shoon, 
But lang ere a' the play was o'er 

They wat their hats abune. 

O laith, laith, were our gude Scots lords 

To weet their milk-white hands, 
But lang ere a' the play was played 

They wat their gouden bands. 

O lang, lang may the ladies sit, 

Wi' their fans into their hand, 
Or ever they see Sir Patrick Spens 

Come sailing to the land. 

O lang, lang may the maidens sit, 

Wi' their gowd kaims in their hair, 
A' waiting for their ain dear loves, 

For them they'll see nae mair. 

Half owre, half owre to Aberdoury 

It's fifty fathom deep, 
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens, 

Wi' the Scots lords at his feet. 


1. How many- incidents or separate scenes are there in 
this story? What happens between these incidents? 

2. Oral. Describe Sir Patrick Spens. What kind of 
ship did he sail in ? What do you learn from the poem 
about the manners at court in those days ? about the duty of 
obedience? Can you tell other instances in which obedience 
to a superior officer has led to death ? 

j. Write this story in your own words. Try to make 
your reader see just what happens, and realize how the 
characters feel. 

4. Examine the two themes you have written to see 
that every sentence begins with a capital letter and ends 

24 A First Year English Book 

with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. 
See that you do not write as sentences mere phrases or 
dependent clauses. Do not make such mistakes as the 
following : 

"I have used the plural 'we.' By that pronoun meaning 
my friend and myself." 

"We dined and paid our score. Which, in that restau- 
rant, grozvs to a surprising sice." 

Incidents in the Lives of Great Men 

On the morning of the 18th of March, 1848, it was 
reported that the king of Prussia had granted his people 
a constitution guaranteeing, among other benefits, the free- 
dom of the press. Later in the day the opinion prevailed 
among the people that these concessions were intended to 
deceive them. 

Read the following account, trying to see the pictures 
and incidents just as little George Ebers saw them. 

And then there was Frau Lieutenant Beyer, our neigh- 
bor in the house, whose husband was on the general staff, 
asking, '"How is it possible ? Everything was granted ! 
What can have happened?" 

The answer was a rattle of musketry. We leaned out 
of the window, from which we could see as far as Potsdam- 
strasse. What a rush there was towards the gate ! Three 
or four men dashed down the middle of the quiet street. 
The tall, bearded fellow at the head we knew well. It was 
the upholsterer, Sprecht, who had often put up curtains and 
done similar work for us, a good and capable workman. 

But what a change! Instead of a neat little hammer, 
he was flourishing an ax, and he and his companions looked 
as furious as if they were going to revenge some terrible 

Reality by Means of Details 25 

He caught sight of us, and I remember distinctly the 
whites of his rolling eyes as he raised his ax higher, and 
shouted hoarsely, and as if the threat was meant for us : 

"They shall get it !" 

. . . Meanwhile the fighting in the streets seemed to 
have increased in certain places to a battle, for the crash of 
the artillery grapeshot was constantly intermingled with the 
crackling of the infantry fire, and through it all the bells 
were sounding the tocsin, a wailing, warning sound, which 
stirred the inmost heart. 

It was a fearful din, rattling and thundering and ring- 
ing, while the sky emulated the blood-soaked earth and 
glowed in fiery red. It was said that the royal iron foundry 
was in flames. 

At last the hour of bedtime came, and I still remember 
how our mother told us to pray for the king and those poor 
people who, in order to attain something we could not under- 
stand, were in such great peril. 

The Story of My Life, George Ecers. 


1. Note the effect of excitement and fear; the contrast 
between the quiet street and the noise of battle ; the con- 
trast between Sprecht, whom the boy thought of as a capa- 
ble workman, and Sprecht ready to fight for what he con- 
sidered his rights. 

2. Write in your own words Ebers's story ; if you can, 
add to the description. How did the street look? How 
were the people dressed? What did the people wish to 
get? Why were they fighting? Why did Frau Beyer 
say, "Everything was granted" ? How old were the children 
who were watching from the window? What did they say 
to their mother when Sprecht went by? What did they 
say when the tocsin sounded? 

j. Oral. Who are the most interesting people you have 
read about or have met ? Tell the story of the life of one of 
them so as to interest the class in that person. 

26 A First Year English Book 

4. Write in the third person one of the following stories. 
Note that instead of the pronoun "I" you will use the proper 
noun "Daudet," for instance, or the pronoun "he." Be sure 
that it is always clear to whom the pronoun refers. 


What a journey it was ! At the mere recollection of it 
after thirty years, I can again feel the sensation of cramp, 
and again my legs seem to be imprisoned in fetters of ice. 
For two days I was cooped up in a third-class carriage, in 
light summer clothing, in bitterly cold weather. 

I was just sixteen ; I came from far away, from the 
farthest corner of Languedoc. where I had been usher in a 
school. I was coming to Paris in order to devote myself to 
literary work. When I had paid my railway fare, I was 
left the exact sum of forty sous in my pocket ! 

But why should I be worried or anxious? Was I not 
rich in anticipation ? I even forgot to be hungry, notwith- 
standing the tempting array of tarts and sandwiches which 
decked the buffet at the railway stations ; I was determined 
not to change that precious coin carefully hidden away in 
the innermost recess of my pocket. However, towards the 
end of our journey, when the train, groaning and tossing 
us from side to side, was bearing us across the dreary plains 
of the flat Champagne country, I very nearly fainted. My 
traveling companions, sailors, who had been whiling away 
the time with singing, offered me a restorative. What fine 
fellows! How harmonious seemed their rough ditties! and 
how good their hospitality to one who had not tasted food 
for eight and forty hours ! 

At last, a sound of wheels clanking on the turn-tables, 
a gigantic dome overhead blazing with light, doors banging, 
luggage vans clatterine on the pavement, a restless, busy 
crowd, custom-house officers — in fact, Paris. 

Thirty Years of Paris, Alphonse Daudet. 

5. Note the resolution of the boy in the face of hunger. 
What kind of railway carriages do they have in France? 

Reality by Means of Details 27 

What is the Champagne country like? How were the sail- 
ors dressed? 

6. Oral. Give as interesting an account as you can of 
your first journey. Try to tell your story in as good pro- 
portion as did the writers of the preceding selections. They 
put more time on the important incidents than they did on 
the unimportant. 

7. Suppose that at the age of fifteen it becomes neces- 
sary for you to make your own way in the world. You 
arrive in New York City with fifteen dollars in your pocket. 
Write a theme telling what happens to you. 



Ship Massachusetts, off Lobos, February 27, 1847. 
A I y dear boys : 

I received your letters with the greatest pleasure, and, as 
I always like to talk to you both together, I will not sep- 
arate you in my letters, but write one to you both. 

You will learn, by my letter to your grandmother, that 
T have been to Tampico. I saw many things to remind me 
of you, though that was not necessary to make me wish 
that you were with me. The river was so calm and beau- 
tiful, and the boys were playing about in boats, and swim- 
ming their ponies. Then there were troops of donkeys 
carrying water through the streets. They had a kind of 
saddle, something like a cart saddle, though larger, that 
carried two ten-gallon kegs on each side, which was a 
load for a donkey. They had no bridles on, but would 
come along in strings to the river, and as soon as their 
kegs were filled, start off again. I saw a great many ponies, 
too. They were larger than those in the upper country, 
but did not seem so enduring. I got one to ride around 
the fortifications. He had a Mexican bit and saddle on, 
and paced delightfully, but every time my sword struck 
him on the flanks, would jump and try to run off. We 
had a grand parade on General Scott's arrival. The troops 

28 A First Year English Book 

were all drawn up on the bank of the river, and fired a 
salute as he passed them. He landed at the market, where 
lines of sentinels were placed to keep off the crowd. In 
front of the landing the artillery was drawn up, which 
received him in the center of the column and escorted him 
through the streets to his lodgings. They had provided a 
handsome gray horse, richly caparisoned, for him to ride, 
but he preferred to walk with his staff around, him, and a 
dragoon led the horse behind us. The windows along the 
streets we passed were crowded with people, and the boys 
and girls were in great glee — the Governor's Island band 
playing all the time. 

I have a nice stateroom on board this ship. Joe Johnston 
and myself occupy it. I left "Jem" to come on with the 
horses, as I was afraid they would not be properly cared 
for. I took every precaution for their comfort, provided 
them with bran, oats, etc., and had slings made to pass 
under them, so that, if in the heavy sea they should slip, 
or be thrown off their feet, they could not fall. 

The ship rolls so that I can scarcely write. You must 
write to me very often. I am always very glad to hear 
from you. Be sure that I think of you, and that you have 
the prayers of 

Your affectionate father, 

R. E. Lee. 

8. Write a letter to some member of your family, 
describing a journey you have taken. 


A simple sentence consists of a single subject and a sin- 
gle predicate, either or both of which may be compound ; 
for example, "Howard was a great philanthropist." 

A compound sentence consists of two or more coordinate 
propositions ; for example, "Howard was a great philan- 
thropist ; he spent his life reforming English prisons." 

The following paragraph is made up of simple sentences : 

"In those dear days I was not Daniel Evesette. I was 

The Comma Fault 29 

the shipwrecked Crusoe. My clothing was transformed to 
the skin of wild beasts. I spent my evening poring over the 
enchanting volume. I learned my Robinson by heart. The 
following day I acted it with enthusiasm. The manufactory 
became my desert island. The large vats were the ocean. 
The garden became a primeval forest. The very grass- 
hoppers on the trees were called on to play their parts. 
But they never knew it." 

Adapted from the French of Baudet. 

These simple sentences may, however, be combined into 
several compound sentences. In such sentences, the propo- 
sitions will be separated not by periods, but by semicolons. 

"In those dear days, I was not Daniel Eyesette ; I was the 
shipwrecked Crusoe. My clothing was transformed into 
the skins of wild beasts; I spent the evening poring o\er the 
enchanting volume ; I learned my Robinson by heart ; the fol- 
lowing day I acted it with enthusiasm. The manufactory 
became my desert island ; the large vats were the ocean ; the 
garden became a primeval forest ; the very grasshoppers on 
the trees were called on to play their parts, but they never 
knew it." 

If these propositions be connected by "and" or "but," as 
the sense may require, a comma may often be used instead 

of a semicolon. 

Rule. In a compound sentence place a semicolon between 
coordinate propositions which are not connected by a con- 
junction. To violate this rule is to commit the "comma 
fault" ; it consists in substituting a comma for a semicolon. 

Note. — As soon as this point is mastered, see also Rules 
15 and 16, page 215. 

In the following sentences commas are incorrectly used 
for semicolons : 

"The strangers were a long time on my island, they ex- 
plored it thoroughly. I saw them enter my grotto, occa- 
sionally they would stop and shake their heads." 

30 A First Year English Book 

i. Punctuate properly the following : 

After Arthur had proved his prowess in his contest with 
the eleven kings he decided to establish his court and the 
Order of the Round Table the place he chose was the city 
of Camelot in Wales which had a good situation being built 
upon a hill he called the wise Merlin and ordered him to 
make a great palace on the summit of the hill through his 
powers of enchantment Merlin was able to do this very 
quickly within a week the king and his personal attend- 
ants were settled in the palace 

The main part consisted of a great assembly hall built 
of white marble the roof of which seemed to be upheld by 
pillars of green and red porphyry the outside walls of the 
hall were covered with beautiful rows of sculpture the low- 
est row represented wild beasts slaying men the second row 
represented men slaying wild beasts the third represented 
warriors who were peaceful good men the fourth showed 
men with growing wings over all was a winged statue with 
the face of Arthur Merlin meant to show by means of the 
first row that formerly evil in men was greater than good 
by the second that men began to conquer evil in themselves 
their victories in time causing them to become really good 
noble and peace-loving men as in the third row and finally 
that through the refining influence of good King Arthur 
and his wise helpers men would grow to be almost as perfect 
as angels 

King Arthur and Eis Knights, Maude L. Kadford. 


The Awakening of Great Men 


More than a thousand years ago, in the town of Whitby 
lived an elderly peasant, Caedmon, on some of the Abbey 
lands. All his life long he had patiently done his humble 
work, expecting no reward or honor, content humbly to 
serve. It was the custom, in those days, for all those who 

Reality by Means of Details 31 

were gifted, to sing or chant in praise of great aeeds 
and great men. One night Caedmon was sitting among a 
number of his companions who were singing the glories 
of war and of beauty, but when the turn came to him, he 
sat silent, unable to put his thoughts into verse. His failure 
made him ashamed and unhappy, and he slipped away from 
the gay company, and went his way to a stall of oxen, of 
which he had been appointed night-guard. He lay down 
sadly, and soon he slept. He thought that an angel appeared 
to him who commanded him to sing. Caedmon replied that 
he was mute and unmusical, but the angel assured him that 
he should sing, nevertheless. When Caedmon asked what 
songs, the angel bade him sing the origin of things, and 
straightway he made eighteen lines of verse, beginning, "Let 
us praise God, Maker of heaven and earth." 

In the morning, when he awoke, he remembered the lines. 
He went quickly to the town-reeve to tell his dream, saying 
that he wished to use his gift of verse-making for the instruc- 
tion of people in the Heavenly Word. The good and learned 
Abbess Hilda then received him, and hearing him recite, 
was so impressed by his skill that she had him and all his 
worldly goods taken into the monastery. There the monks 
read the Scriptures to him, from Genesis to Revelation, and 
wrote down and committed to memory his oracular sayings. 
Day by day he industriously made verses, until, before he 
died, he had the great happiness of putting many parts of 
the sacred writing into poetry. 


In a little school in Spain there was once a lad who 
was dull at his books, and becoming discouraged, often 
played the truant. One day he went to an old forest, and 
happened to see a tiny spring dripping down upon a great 
rock, in which the water had worn a hole. This slight acci- 
dent changed his life, for he saw in it a lesson of persever- 
ance. Thereafter he applied himself to his books with as- 
siduity, and by labor made up for the lack of quickness. 
He became a great Spanish historian, and a doctor of the 
church, Saint Isidore. 

32 A First Year English Book 


i. Tell one of these stories in Section Y. in your own 
words ; describe the place and characters so vividly that we 
can see the main happenings as plainly as we see them in 
Robin Hood and the King, or The Arrival. 


Our Friends the Animals 

Read the following selection from Maurice Maeterlinck's 
The Double Garden. 


We are alone, absolutely alone on this planet ; and amid 
all the forms of life which surround us, not one, excepting 
the dog, has made an alliance with us. . . . Among the 
animals we number a few servants who have submitted only 
through indifference, cowardice, or stupidity : the uncertain 
and craven horse, who responds only to pain and is attached 
to nothing; the passive and dejected ass, who stays with 
us only because he knows not what to do or where to go ; 
. . . the cow and the ox, who are happy so long as they 
are eating, and docile because for centuries they have not 
had a thought of their own ; the affrighted sheep, who knows 
no other master than terror ; the hen, who is faithful to the 
poultry yard because she finds more maize and wheat there 
than in the neighboring forest. I do not speak of the cat 
to whom we are nothing more than a too large and uneat- 
able prey ; the ferocious cat, whose sidelong contempt toler- 
ates us only as an encumbering parasite in our ov n homes. 
They do not love us, do not know us, scarcely notice us. 

Now, in this indifference, and the total want of compre- 
hension in which everything that surrounds us lives, . . . 
one animal alone among all that breathe upon the earth 
. . . has succeeded in breaking through the circle, in 
escaping from itself to come bounding towards us. This ani- 

Proportion and Detail 33 

mal, our good familiar dog, simple and unsurprising as may 
to-day appear what he has done, in thus drawing nearer to a 
world in which he was not born and for which he was not 
destined, has nevertheless performed one of the most unusual 
and improbable acts that we can find in the general history 
of life. 

. . . The word "friend" does not exactly depict his 
affectionate worship. He loves us and reveres us. He is 
our creature, full of gratitude and more devoted than is the 
apple of our eye. He is our intimate and impassioned slave 
whom nothing discourages, whom nothing repels, whose 
ardent trust and love nothing can impair. 


/. Oral. This selection gives Maeterlinck's opinion 
about the dog and the cat. Summarize his views in your 
own words. 

2. Oral. Do you agree with Maeterlinck? Which do 
you think is the better friend of man, the dog or the cat? 
Relate an incident which shows intelligence in an animal. 
Have you ever had a pet or trained an animal ? What do 
you know of the, habits of birds? 

3. Write a theme on any of the subjects suggested by 
these questions. 

4. Read the following story : 


At daybreak, Sir Ivaine reached a valley, and as he went 
through it, he saw a great «erpent fighting with a lion. Sir 
Ivaine stopped to watch the curious combat. At first the 
two fighters seemed evenly matched, but soon the huge ser- 
pent wrapped all its folds abcWt the lion and began squeez- 
ing it to death. When Sir Ivaine saw this, lie drew his 
sword and killed the serpent. 

The moment the lion was free, it bounded up to Sir 
Ivaine. He was afraid that it meant to kill him, but it 
fawned at his feet like a spaniel. He stroked it and put his 

34 A First Year English Book 

arms about its neck. When he mounted his horse, the beast 
followed him, refusing to go away. Then Sir Ivaine made 
up his mind that they were to be companions. For many 
days the two kept close together, and at night Sir Ivaine 
would go to sleep with his head on the lion's neck. 

One day as they came to a square castle set in a meadow, 
some people who stood on the castle walls began to shoot 
arrows at the lion, hut Sir Ivaine stopped them, telling them 
that the animal was tame. Then they told him that it was 
their rule that no one should pass by that castle without 
doing battle with their lord. Sir Ivaine told them that he 
was quite willing to obey their rule; so they opened the 
eastle gate. They said he must make the lion stay outside, 
but Sir Ivaine refused to do this. He promised, however, 
to make the lion lie down quietly, and then the two were 
allowed to enter. 

The courtyard was a large paved place in which there 
was a score of armed men. Presently the lord of the castle 
came forward. He was much larger than Sir Ivaine, and 
the lion seemed to observe this, for it began to lash its tail 
violently. But Sir Ivaine ordered it to be still, and it at 
once obeyed. 

Then Sir Ivaine and the knight battled together. The 
knight was powerful, but Sir Ivaine was very agile and skill- 
ful. He was not able to strike so hard as his enemy, but he 
was better able to avoid blows. Therefore, it was not long 
before he got the advantage and overthrew the lord of the 
castle. When this happened, the lord called for help, and 
ordered his armed men to kill Sir Ivaine. The whole twenty 
rushed forward to obey this treacherous order, but just as 
they were about to fall upon Sir Ivaine, the lion bounded 
among them, roaring savagely. With a few strokes of its 
powerful paws it disabled the men. Sir Ivaine told the 
lord of the castle that he must ride to Camelot and give him- 
self up to Arthur to be judged for his treachery. Then Sir 
Ivaine rode away from the castle, his heart full of gratitude 
to the lion for saving his life. 

King Arthur and His Knights, Maude L. Radford. 

5. Reproduce in writing the story of Ivaine. How many 
incidents are there in it ? Where does each take place ? 

Sentence Unity 35 

Which is most important ? Would it be well to explain that 
Sir Ivaine was one of King Arthur's knights, and that he 
was traveling in France in quest of adventures? Where 
should these facts be told? Would the story be improved 
by telling what finally became of the lion ? Keep your story 
in good proportion. 

6. Oral. Have you read any animal stories by Jack 
London, Ernest Thompson Seton, or Rudyard Kipling ? 
If so, tell one of them in your own words. 


The sentence is a group of words w r hich makes a state- 
ment. In other words, it expresses one main thought. The 
sentence may state a short and simple thought, as: "My 
mind to me a kingdom is." Or, it may state a longer and 
more complex thought, as : "If my mind is a kingdom, it 
has often seemed to me sadly in need of a ruler, being in- 
clined at times to unreasonable rebellion, and often showing 
a bankrupt treasury." 

But whether a sentence be long or short, simple or in- 
volved, it must not contain thoughts that are not related. 
It must express one main thought. It is hard to define just 
what we mean by one thought, but our minds are so made 
that we can readily determine when a sentence contains 
thoughts which do not belong together. You may say: 
"That man with the dull auburn hair is an American states- 
man," because the sentence expresses one thought. Your 
mind is on the American statesman, and the mention of his 
hair is descriptive of him. But if you say, "He was an 
American statesman, and his hair was dull auburn," your 
sentence lacks unity, because you have put together two 
distinct ideas which have no relation to each other. 

Rule: Every sentence should express one main thought 
and only one. 

36 A first Year English Book 

Exercise for Study 

1. Divide into sentences the following passage : 

Well, I came into the village, where I did not see (nor 
by this time expected to see) a single modern building, 
although many of them were nearly new notable was the 
church which was large and quite ravished my heart with its 
extreme beauty elegance and fitness the chancel of this was 
so new that the dust of the stone still lay white on the mid- 
summer grass beneath the carvings of the windows the 
houses were almost all built of oak framework filled with 
cob or plaster well whitewashed though some had their 
lower stories of rubble-stone with their windows and doors 
of well-molded freestone there was much curious and inven- 
tive carving about most of them and though some were old 
and much worn there was the same look of deftness and 
trimness and even beauty about every detail of them which I 
noticed before in the field-work they were all roofed with oak 
shingles mostly grown as gray as stone but one was so newly 
built that its roof was yet pale and yellow this was a corner 
house and the corner post of it had a carved niche wherein 
stood a gaily painted figure holding an anchor — St. Clement 
to wit as the dweller in the house was a blacksmith half a 
stone's throw from the east end of the churchyard wall was 
a tall cross of stone new like the church the head beautifully 
carved with a crucifix amidst leafage it stood on a set of 
wide stone steps octagonal in shape where three roads from 
other villages met and formed a wide open space on which 
a thousand people or more could stand together with no 
great crowding. 

A J>ream of John Ball, William Morris. 

Review of Rules for the Sentence 

1. Every sentence should begin with a capital letter and 
end with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. 

2. Do not write phrases or clauses as if they were 

3. /// a compound sentence place a semicolon between 
coordinate propositions which arc not connected by con- 

A Review of the Sentence 37 

4. Every sentence should express one wain thought and 
only one. 


Adventures with Books 

1. Write in your own words a theme, drawing your 
material from one of the following- biographical sketches 
Find an apt title for your theme. 

From my infancy I was passionately fond of reading, 
and all the money that came into my hands was laid out in 
the purchasing of books. I was very fond of voyages. My 
first acquaintance was Bunyan's works in separate little vol- 
umes. I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy R. Bur- 
ton's Historical Collections. They were small chapmen's 
books, and cheap ; forty volumes in all. My father's little 
library consisted chiefly of books on polemic divinity, most 
of which I read. I have often regretted that at a time 
when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper books 
had not fallen in my way, since it was resolved I should 
not be bred to divinity. There was among them Plutarch's 
Lives, which I read abundantly, and I still think that time 
spent to great advantage. There was also a book of Defoe's 
called An Essay on Projects, and another of Dr. Mather's 
called An Essay to Do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn 
of thinking, that had an influence on some of the principal 
future events of my life. 

Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin. 

I remember well the spot where I read these volumes 
[Percy's Reliques] for the first time. It was beneath a 
huge plantain tree in the ruins of what had been intended 
for an old-fashioned arbor in the garden I have mentioned. 
The summer day sped onward so fast that, notwithstanding 
the sharp appetite of thirteen, I forgot the hour of dinner, 
was sought for with anxiety, and was found still entranced in 
my intellectual banquet. To read and to remember was, in this 

38 A First Year English Book 

instance, the same thing; and henceforth I overwhelmed my 
school-fellows, and all who would listen to me, with tragical 
recitations of the ballads of Bishop Percy. The first time, 
too, I could -(.Tape a few shillings together, I bought unto 
myself a copy of these beloved volumes; nor do I believe 
I ever read a book so frequently, or with half the enthu- 

Memoirs of My Early Life, Bib Walter Scott. 

I begged my mother to give us Schwab's Talcs of 
(lassie Antiquity, which was owned by one of our com- 
panions. We received it <>n Ludo's birthday, in September, 

and how we listened when it was read to US — how often we 
ourselves devoured its delightful contents. 

I think the story of the Trojan War made a deeper 
impression on me than even the Arabian Mights. Homer's 
heroes seemed like giant oaks, which far overtopped the lit- 
tle trees of the human wood. They towered like glorious 
snow mountains above the little hills with which my childish 
imagination was already tilled ; and how often we played the 
Trojan War. and aspired to the honor of acting Hector. 
Achilles, or Aiax ! 

Tin Story of M.n Life, Qeoboi Ebers. 

In those times, Cook's edition of the British poets came 
up. I had got an odd volume of Spenser ; and I fell pas- 
sionately in love with Collins and Gray. How I loved those 
little six-penny numbers containing whole poets ! I doted 
on their size; I doted on their type, on their ornaments, on 
their wrappers containing lists of other poets, and on the 
engravings from Kirk. I bought them over and over again, 
and used to get up select sets which disappeared like but- 
tered crumpets ; for I could resist neither giving them away, 
nor possessing them. When the master tormented me — 
when I used to hate and loath the sight of Homer, and 
Demosthenes, and Cicero — I would comfort myself with 
thinking of the sixpence in my pocket, with which I should 
go out to Paternoster Row, when school was over, and buy 
another number of an English poet. 

Autobiography, Lfi<;h TTtxt. 

Subordination in the Sentence 39 

Note: If possible read in Ruskin's Praeterita, Volume 
II.. Chapter I., his account of his study of bible stories; and 
in Cross's Life of George Eliot, Chapter I., the account 
of her liking for ^sop's Fables. 

2. Oral. Do you find any of these experiences with 
books surprising? What have been your experiences' 1 
When you were very young had you any favorite stories 
or poems? Later, were you especially pleased with any 
books? Did you read them more than once? 

j. Write a letter to a friend who has ten dollars to spend 
for books, and has asked your advice on what books to buv. 

4. Write a theme with some such title as "My Literary 
Likings," "Good Old Friends," or "Adventures Among 
Books." Be sure not to make your theme a mere catalogue. 
Tell what these "friends" meant to you. in such a way that 
your reader will feel interested in them. 

5. Examine the theme you have written to see that you 
have violated none of the rules for the sentence, given on 
pages 36 and 37. 


Since the purpose of writing is to express thought, the 
question is not one of arbitrary rules, but of shaping the 
sentence to fit the thought. Sometimes we have a series of 
similar thoughts which need a series of like constructions to 
express them; sometimes our thoughts are very dissimilar; 
some of them are important and some unimportant. To 
express them aptly, then, we need different kinds of con- 

To express our thoughts, we have only words, phrases, 
clauses, and sentences. Our most important thoughts we 
put in main statements ; less important ones we put in 

40 A First Year English Book 

modifying or dependent clauses ; still less important ones 
we put in phrases ; less important ones yet in modifying 
words. How clumsy our expression would be if we used 
only statements of equal value is evident from selection i, 
in which almost every idea is in the form of a statement. 
Contrast this with selection 2, and note how much more 
accurately the thought is expressed in the latter. 


Silver trumpets sounded a flourish. The javelin-men 
came pacing down Treggarric Fore Street. The sher- 
iff's coach swung behind them. Its panels were splendid 
with fresh blue paint and florid blazonry. Its wheels were 
picked out in yellow. This scheme of color extended 
to the coachman and the two lackeys, who held on at the 
back by leathern straps. Each wore a coat and breeches of 
electric blue, and a canary waistcoat. Each was toned off 
with powder and flesh-colored stockings at the extremities. 
Within the coach sat the two judges of the Crown Court 
and Nisi Prius. They sat facing the horses. They were 
both in scarlet. They wore wigs and little round patches 
of black plaster, like ventilators, on top. Facing their lord- 
ships, sat Sir Felix Felix-Williams. He was the sheriff. 
He wore a tightish uniform of the yeomanry. A great 
shako nodded on his knees. A chaplain sat bolt upright by 
his side. Behind, trooped a rabble of loafers and small 
boys. They shouted, "Who bleeds bran?" The lackeys' 
calves itched with indignation. 


Silver trumpets sounded a flourish, and the jave- 
lin-men came pacing down Treggarric Fore Street, with 
the sheriff's coach swinging behind them, its panels splen- 
did with fresh blue paint and florid blazonry. Its wheels 
were picked out in yellow, and this scheme of color extended 
to the coachman and the two lackeys, who held on at the 
back by leathern straps. Each wore a coat and breeches of 


Subordination in the Sentence 41 

electric blue, with a canary waistcoat, and was toned off 
with powder and flesh-colored stockings at the extremities. 
Within the coach, and facing the horses, sat the two judges 
of the Crown Court and Nisi Prius, both in scarlet, with 
full wigs and little round patches of black plaster, like venti- 
lators, on top ; facing their lordship sat Sir Felix Felix- 
Williams, the sheriff, in a tightish uniform of the yeomanry 
with a great shako nodding on his knees, and a chaplain 
bolt upright by his side. Behind trooped a rabble of loafers 
and small boys who shouted "Who bleeds bran?" till the 
lackeys' calves itched with indignation. 

The Drawn Blind, A. T. Quiller-Couch. 

In order, then, to express your thoughts fittingly, you 
must be able to use all the different elements of a sentence — 
words, phrases, and clauses, — which are subordinate to the 
main statements. These subordinate elements are : 

1. Modifying words, including adjectives, adverbs, pos- 
sessives, and appositives. • 

2. Modifying phrases : 

(a) Prepositional. 

(b) Participial. 

(c) Infinitive. 

3. Clauses beginning with a relative pronoun or a 
subordinating conjunction. 


1. Turn to Section III., page 24; Exercise 4, pages 33- 
34; and name the subordinate elements in each selection. 

2. Rewrite the following selection in longer sentences, 
subordinating unimportant statements : 

The bowl of food stood on the chair. The rush-light 
was beside it. I finished the food, and felt better for it. I 
stretched myself upon the couch and fell into a heavy, 

42 A First Year English Book 

dreamless asleep. This may have lasted three or four 
hours. I was suddenly awakened. I heard a sound that 
was like the creaking of hinges. I sat up on the pallet; I 
gazed around me. The rush-light had burned out and the 
cell was dark. A grayish glimmer at one end showed dimly 
the position of the aperture, but all else was thick and black. 
I strained my eyes and ears. I heard no further sound. 
Yet I was certain I had not been deceived. The noise which 
had aroused me was within my very chamber. I rose and 
felt my way carefully about the room. I passed my hands 
over the walls and door. Then I paced backward and for- 
ward. I tested the flooring. I sat down on the side of my 
bed. I waited patiently in the hope of hearing the sound 
again. Presently a dull yellow light streamed from above. 
It issued from a thin slit in the center of the arched roof 
above me. Eagerly I watched it. The slit widened and ex- 
tended as if a sliding panel were being pulled out. A 
good sized hole was left. Through this I saw a head. It 
looked down on me. The knotted end of a rope was passed 
through this opening. It dangled down to the dungeon 
floor. I pulled it. I found it was firmly secured above. 
I went up hand over hand. I had some difficulty in squeez- 
ing my shoulders through the hole. I succeeded in reaching 
the room above. 

Untrained or careless writers often write sentences made 
up of two statements connected by "and so," one of which 
is really subordinate to the other. This type of sentence is 
often called "loose-knit." An example is, "The sky was 
overcast, and so we carried our umbrellas." The sentence 
should read, "As the sky was overcast, we carried our 
umbrellas." Note that such sentences are poor because 
they do not accurately express the thought. 

5. Correct the following loose-knit sentences : 

The king was ready to sail from France for England 
and a man asked the king to let him take him in the boat. 

Proportion and Detail 43 

But the king had already engaged his boat, and so he told 
him to take the prince. And so the king sailed first. But 
the prince was a jolly fellow and so he staid until the moon 
came up. The prince had ordered festivities, and so they 
all danced and sang till midnight. Then they set sail. And 
the princess was with them. And they were still sing- 
ing merrily when suddenly the boat struck a rock. The 
prince got in a boat and shoved off, but he heard his sister 
call, and so he went back to get her. Then all the people 
rushed into the boat and overturned it, and so they were 
all drowned. Only one came ashore, and he was a butcher. 
And he went to the king and told the story. And the king 
never smiled again. 


The Matter of Fairy Stories 

There is a large class of literature called folk lore and 
folk tales, which includes animal stories, myths, legends, 
fairy tales, and household tales. Nearly every child likes 
them, and some retain the liking till old age. Scientists 
who have spent years studying them tell us that such sto- 
ries as Cinderella, The Tar-Baby and Jack and the Bean 
Stalk are told to children from China to Peru. On the 
other hand, some persons consider such stories mere non- 
sense and a waste of time. Read the following selection 
from the life of Ebers : 

When the time for rising came, my mother called me. I 
climbed joyfully into her warm bed, and she drew her 
darling into her arms, played all sorts of pranks with him, 
and never did I listen to more beautiful fairy tales than at 
those hours. They became instinct with life to me, and 
have always remained so ; for my mother gave them the 
form of dramas, in which I was permitted to be an actor. 

The best one of all was Little Red Riding Hood. I 
played the little girl who goes into the wood, and she was 

44 A First Year English Book 

the wolf. When the wicked beast had disguised herself in 
the grandmother's cap, I not only asked the regulation 
questions: "( jrandmother, what makes you have such big 
eyes? Grandmother, why is your skin so rough?" etc., but 
invented new ones to defer the grand final effect, which fol- 
low ed the words, "Grandmother, why do you have such big, 
sharp teeth ?" and the answer, "So that I can eat you," where- 
upon the wolf sprang on me and devoured me — with kisses. 

How real this merry sport made the distress of perse- 
cuted innocence, the terrors and charm of the forest, the 
joys and splendor of the fairy realm! If the flowers of the 
garden had raised their voice in song, if the birds on the 
bough had called and spoken to me — nay, if a tree had 
changed into a beautiful fairy, or the toad in the damp path 
of our shaded avenues into a witch — it would have seemed 
only natural.. 

I plead with voice and pen in behalf of fairy tales. I 
tell them to my children and grandchildren, and have even 
written a volume of them myself. How perverse and unjust 
it is to banish the fain- tale from the life of the child. 
because devotion to its charm might prove detrimental to 
the grown person! lias not the former the same claim to 
consideration as the latter? 

The Story <>( My Life, Ge<jk<;e Ebeks. 


i. Oral. Do you think that people should read fairy 
Tories, myths, and household tales? What books of this 
kind do you know ? Have you any theory as to why people 
should tell such stories? Can you add to the arguments 
of George Ebers? 

2. Write a theme giving your ideas on the topic, "Should 
People Read Fairy Stories?". 

j. Read the following ballad. Note that, as in Sir 
Patrick Spens, page 20, much of the story is told by ques- 
tion and answer. The fairies are said to be very eager to 
carry away mortals to fairyland, whence return is impos- 
sible for the rash mortal who takes food from them. Thus, 

Proportion and Detail 45 

though the lady warns Thomas not to speak, she cunningly 
offers him an apple. He is too shrewd, however, to accept 
it, and is thus able to return to the land of mortals after 
living seven years in fairyland. 


True Thomas lay on Huntlie bank ; 

A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e; 
And there he saw a lady bright, 

Come riding down by the Eildon Tree. 

Her skirt was o' the grass-green silk, 

Her mantle o' the velvet fine, 
At every lock of her horse's mane 

Hung fifty silver bells and nine. 

True Thomas he pulled off his cap, 

And lonted low down to his knee : 
"All hail thou mighty Queen of Heaven ! 

For thy peer on earth I never did see.''' 

"O no, O no, Thomas," she said, 

"That name does not belong to me ; 
I am but the queen of fair elfland, 

That am hither come to visit thee. 

"Harp and carp, Thomas," she said, 

"Harp and carp along wi' me, 
And if ye dare to kiss my lips. 

Sure of your body I will be !" 

"Betide me weal, betide me woe, 

That fate shall never daunton me ;" 
Syne he has kissed her rosy lips. 

All underneath the Eildon Tree. 

"Now ye must go with me," she said, 

"True Thomas, ye must go with me, 
And ye must serve me seven years, 

Through weal or woe as may chance to be.'" 

4$ A First Year English Book 

She mounted on her milk-white steed, 
She's ta'en True Thomas up behind, 

And aye whene'er her bridle rang, 
The steed flew swifter than the wind. 

They rode on and farther on — 

The steed went swifter than the wind — 

Until they reached a desert wide, 
And living land was left behind. 

"Light down, light down now True Thomas, 
And lean your head upon my knee; 

Abide and rest a little space, 

And I will show you ferlies three. 

"O see ye not yon narrow road, 
So thick beset with thorns and briers? 

That is the path of righteousness, 
Though after it but few enquires. 

"And see ye not that broad, broad road, 

That lies across that lily leven ? 
That is the path of wickedness. 

Though some call it the road to heaven. 

"And see not ye that bonny road, 

That winds about the fernie brae ? 
That is the road to fair elfland, 

Where thou and I this night must gae. 

"But. Thomas, you must hold your tongue, 

Whatever ye may hear or see. 
For, if you speak word in Elflin land, 

Ye'll ne'er get back to your own countree." 

O they rode on and farther on, 

And they waded through rivers above the knee, 
And they saw neither sun nor moon, 

But they heard the roaring of the sea. 

Soon they came to a garden green, 
And she pulled an apple from a tree : 

Proportion and Detail 4.7 

"Take this for thy wages, True Thomas; 
It will give the tongue that can never lie." 

"My tongue is mine own," True Thomas said, 
"A goodly gift you would give to me ! 

I neither dought to buy nor sell, 
At fair or tryst where I may be. 

"I dought neither speak to prince or peer, 

Nor ask of grace from fair ladye ." 
"Now hold thy peace," the lady said, 

"For as I say so must it be." 

He has gotten a coat of the even cloth, 

And a pair of shoes of velvet green, 
And till seven years were gone and past, 

True Thomas on earth was never seen. 

Note : "Ferlie" means wonder : "louted" means bowed ; "harp and 
carp" means play and talk ; "leven" means lawn ; "dought" means could. 

4. Why does Thomas think that the lady was "the 
Queen of Heaven"? Why does he kiss her? Through 
what kind of country do they pass? What excuse does 
Thomas give for not taking the apple? How many inci- 
dents are there in the story? Where does each take place? 
Would it be interesting to add an incident in which Thomas 
finds himself home again on Huntlie bank ? How would he 
feel? What would the neighbors say to him? Write a 
theme, describing each incident fully, so that we can see just 
what happens. Keep the theme in good proportion. Make 
the main points very clear. 

5. Tell the story of the Sleeping Beauty ; or of Rip Van 
Winkle ; or of how Siegfried rescued Brunhilde. What are 
the points of likeness in these stories" 

6. Whatever we may think of fairies, the poets have 
certainly imagined beautiful things about them. Which of 
the descriptions given below do you like best? Learn one 

48 A First Year English Hook 


Oh, then, I sec, Queen Mab hath been with you. 
She is the fairy midwife; and she comes 
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone 
On the fore-finger of an alderman, 
Drawn with a team of little atomies 
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep. 
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut, 
Made by the joiner squirrel <>r old grub, 
Time out o' mind the fairies' coachma! 
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs; 
The cover, of the wings of grasshopper- ; 
The trace-, of the smallest spider's web; 
The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams; 
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film; 
Her wagoner, a -mall gray-coated gnat. 
Not half so big as a round little worm 
Prick'd from the lazy fingers of a maid. 

Romeo <iiui Juliet, Shakbspears. 


Over hill, over dale, 

Thorough bush, thorough brier, 
Over park, over pale, 

Thorough flood, thorough fire, 
I do wander everywhere, 
Swifter than the moon's sphere ; 
And I serve the Fairy Queen, 
To dew her orbs upon the green. 
The cowslips tall her pensioners be : 
In their gold coats spots you see; 
These be rubies, fairy favours, 
In these freckles live their savours. 
I must go seek some dewdrops here, 
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. 

Midsummer Xight's Dream, Shakespeare. 

Coordination 49 


"And Which" 

"And" and "but" are coordinating conjunctions, and 
should be used only between sentence elements of equal 

1. Turn to Section V., page 30, and point out all cases 
in which "and" or "but" is used. What sentence elements 
do they connect, words, phrases, or clauses? Are they of 
equal importance? 

2. Correct the mistakes in the following sentences : 

1. I have a good photograph of the camp taken with 
my new kodak and which, if you wish, I will send to you. 

2. I have written a description which I think rather 
vivid and which I will send you. 

3. The best way is to keep them in a dry place, and 
turning them when they need it 

4. The valleys were covered with huge trees, thick and 
tall, and which no boy could climb. 

5. One branch of the road leads to Millersville, and the 
other turning west toward the lake. 

6. I have told you of our memorable adventure, and 
which indeed I should be sorry to forget. 

j. Summarize all the points you have so far learned 
about the sentence. 


The Story of a Scientist 

1. Write in your own words the story given below. 

Audubon was the youngest of four children who lived 
with an indulgent stepmother on the Loire, nine miles from 
Nantes, while their father, a commodore in Napoleon's 

50 A First Year English Book 

navy, sailed the high seas. Madame Audubon allowed the 
little boy to spend all the time he wanted in collecting old 
birds'-nests, curious stones, mosses, and other objects per- 
taining to natural history. But after some delightful years, 
his father, home for a visit, made up his mind that the boy 
was neglecting his real education to follow the vagaries of 
inclination. He sent him away to school, intending him 
to do some solid studying, in the hope that he would dis- 
cover that his vocation was to be a soldier under Napoloai. 

The boy worked faithfully at mathematics, but he took 
more pleasure in studying music, — the violin, the flageolet, 
the Mute, the guitar, and in working at drawing under the 
great painter David. In one year he sketched more than 
two hundred varieties of birds from life. Once he spent 
practically three weeks lying on his back under a tree, 
watching with a telescope the habits of some little gray 
birds, the color of the bark. His father decided that such 
a person would hardly care for the din and smoke of battle, 
and so he decided that the boy should be sent to America 
to look after the Audubon property. 

The life in America began inauspiciously. In New York 
he fell ill of yellow fever, and would have died but for the 
ministrations of two good Quaker ladies, who took him to 
their home at Morristown and nursed him back to health. 
Then he went to his father's farm at Mill drove near the 
Schuylkill Falls, Pennsylvania, — a place which he called a 
blessed spot. Here he was free to study natural history ; 
he was given no more mathematics to study ; he heard no 
urging to become a soldier. All day long, if he liked, he 
could listen to the murmur of the mill or the song of the 
peewees. "Hunting, fishing and drawing," he wrote later, 
"occupied my every moment, and cares I knew not, and 
cared nothing for them." Here it was that he conceived his 
great dream, the dream that took him all his life to realize, 
and that made him at last famous and beloved : the writing 
of his book, Birds of America. 

Life of . I udubon. 

2. Oral. Quite as wonderful as works of magic, are 
the accomplishments of science and of learning. What are 
the most wonderful discoveries and inventions of modern 

Clearness in the Sentence 51 

times? If you could make an invention or discovery, what 
would you wish to invent, or to discover ? 

j. Suppose your wish to be granted, and then write a 
theme in the first person explaining your discovery or in- 
vention, how you made it, and its results and advantages to 
the race. In writing this, decide what points will be hardest 
for your reader to understand, and explain them with 
especial care. 

4. Oral. Tell the story of the early life of a great 
inventor — Bell, Morse, Edison, Fulton, Marconi, Goodyear, 
Watt, or any other. Decide what are the most interesting 
points in their lives — their early tastes, or the difficulties 
they overcame — and make those points clear by giving 
details about them. 


It is hardly necessary to say that the parts of a sentence 
should correspond grammatically, and yet we often find sen- 
tences in which the verb does not agree with its subject, or 
the pronoun with its antecedent. Such mistakes are the 
height of carelessness. See to it always, when you have 
written a theme, that every verb agrees with its subject, 
and every pronoun with its antecedent. This elementary 
precaution is necessary if what you write is to be either clear 
or grammatical. 

Equally important for clearness is the proper placing of 
modifiers. English is a language almost bare of inflection. 
The principal means of showing that a word modifies an- 
other is the placing of it beside that other. See to it, then, 
that all modifiers — words, phrases, and clauses — are so 
placed as to make perfectly clear which words they modify. 

52 A First Year English Book 


i. Turn to Section XII., pages 49-50. Point out the sub- 
ject and the predicate in each sentence. Do they agree in 
person and number? Point out pronouns and their ante- 
cedents. Do they agree? Point oul all modifying words, 
phrases, and clauses. Are the modifiers placed near the 
words they modify? 

2. Correct the following sentences: 

1. If everyone were convinced of their error, they would 
still have the task of reform. 

2. No one in the company knew their own minds. 

3. If anyone approves this plan, let them say so. 

4. There are none here to gainsay us. 

5. You may rely on every singer to do their best. 

6. Said John, looking up, "'Here is the cows at last." 

7. We then bought our tickets. This was a little piece 
of paper, printed in red and green, and was good for a ride 
all around Rome. 

8. We watched the big engine plowing through the snow, 
its wheels covered with snow, and puffing up clouds of 
smoke from her smokestack. 

9. It was an odd phenomena to see the earth's crust so 
split open. 

10. He often played at naval maneuvers with his brother 
on the pond who has since gone to the naval academy at An- 
napolis in a leaky old punt. 

11. I should like to see Miss Smith. I have her adver- 
tisement here which reads, "Wanted a lamp by a young 
lady with a green shade." 

12. I am going to call from a sense of duty on Mrs. Mar- 
den, stopping to get a book on my way back, who is a very 
complaining woman. 

Clearness in the Sentence 53 

Every modifier should, of course, have something to mod- 
ify ; and yet in the haste of talk, and even of writing, mod- 
ifiers are often left with nothing to modify. This occurs 
most often in the case of participial phrases and relative 

j. Turn to Section VI. , page 32. Point out all relative 
clauses and state what they modify ; all participial phrases. 
4. Correct the following sentences : 

1. Walking up and down the main street, many interest- 
ing sights were seen. 

2. Wishing and hoping for relief, no one discovered out 
sorry plight that day. 

3. We were busy that day, putting up a sort of cabin, 
which was a hard job as we had no hammer. 

4. Most people have some superstition or other which is 
curious in these enlightened times. 

5. Going cautiously up the bay, shoals were found bar- 
ring further advance. 

6. There was not a footprint ro be found, which made us 
all the more afraid. 

7. The dangers of mountain climbing are by no means 
slight, which is perhaps one cause of its popularity. 

Review of Rules for the Sentence 

1. Use modifying words, phrases, and clauses where nec- 
essary to express your thought clearly. 

2. Do not write loose-knit sentences. 

j. Use coordinate conjunctions only between sentence 
elements of equal rank. 

4. Every verb should agree with its subject in person 
and number. 

5. Every pronoun should have an antecedent. 

54 A First Year English Book 

6. Every pronoun should agree with its antecedent in 
person and number. 

~. livery modifier should be SO placed as to make per- 
fectly clear ivhat it modifies. 



Henry I. of England, November 25, 1102. 

By none but me can the tale be told, 
The butcher of Rouen, poor Berold. 

(Lands are swayed by a king on a throne.) 
'Twas a royal train put forth to sea, 
Yet the tale can be told by none but me. 

( The sea hath no Ling but Liod alone.) 

Of ruthless strokes full many an one 

1 [e had struck to crown himself and his son; 

And his elder brother's eyes were gone. 

And when to the chase his court would crowd, 

The poor flung plowshares on his road, 

And shrieked: '"Our cry is from King to God!" 

But all the chiefs of the English land 
Had knelt and kissed the Prince's hand. 

And next with his son he sailed to France 
To claim the Norman allegiance. 

And every baron in Normandy 
Had taken the oath of fealty. 

*T was sworn and sealed and the day had come 
When the King and the Prince might journey home : 

For Christmas cheer is to home hearts dear, 
And Christmas now was drawing near. 

Proportion and Detail 55 

Stout Fitz-Stephen came to the King, — 
A pilot famous in seafaring ; 

And he held to the King, in all men's sight, 
A mark of gold for his tribute's right. 

"Liege Lord ! my father guided the ship 
From whose boat your father's foot did slip 
When he caught the English soil in his grip, 

"And cried : 'By this clasp I claim command 
O'er every rood of English land !' 

"He was borne to the realm you rule o'er now 
In that ship with the archer carved at her prow : 

"And thither I'll bear, an' it be my due, 
Your father's son and his grandson too. 

"The famed White Ship is mine in the bay; 
From Harfleur's harbor she sails today, 

"With masts fair-pennoned as Norman spears 
And with fifty well-tried mariners." 

Quoth the King: "My ships are chosen each one, 
But I'll not say nay to Stephen's son. 

"My son and daughter and fellowship 
Shall cross the water in the White Ship." 

The King set sail with the eve's south wind, 
And soon he left that coast behind. 

The Prince and all his, a princely show, 
Remained in the good White Ship to go. 

With noble knights and with ladies fair, 
With courtiers and sailors gathered there, 
Three hundred living souls we were : 

56 A First Year English Book 

And I Berold was the meanest hind 
In all that train to the Prince assign'd. 

The Prince was a lawless, shameless youth; 

From his father's loins he sprang without ruth: 

Eighteen years till then he had seen, 
And the Devil's dues in him were eighteen. 

And now he cried: "Bring wine from below.; 
Let the sailors revel ere yet they row; 

ir speed shall o'ertake my father's flight 
Though we sail from the harbor at midnight." 

rowers made good cheer without check; 
The lords and ladies obeyed his beck ; 
The night was light, and they danced on the deck. 

But at midnight's stroke they cleared the bay, 

And the White Ship furrowed the water-way. 

The sails were set. and the oars kept tune 
To the double flight of the ship and the moon. 

Swifter and swifter the White Ship sped 
Till she flew as the spirit flies from the dead; 

A.S white as a lily glimmered she 
Like a ship's fair ghost upon the sea. 

And the Prince cried, "Friends, 't is the hour to sing, 
[s a song-bird's course so swift on the wing?" 

And under the winter stars' still throng. 

From brown throats, white throats, merry and strong, 

The knights and the ladies raised a song. 

A song, — nay, a shriek that rent the sky. 
That leaped o'er the deep ! — the grievous cry 
Of three hundred living- that now must die. 

Proportion and Detail 57 

An instant shriek that sprang to the shock 
As the ship's keel felt the sunken rock. 

Pale Fitz-Stephen stood by the helm 

'Mid all those folk that the waves must whelm. 

The ship was eager and sucked athirst, 

By the stealthy stab of the sharp reef piere'd ; 

And like the moil round a sinking cup, 
The waters against her crowded up. 

A moment the pilot's senses spin, — 

The next he snatched the Prince 'mid the din, 

Cut the boat loose, and the youth leaped in. 

A few friends leap with him, standing near. 
"Row ! the sea's smooth and the night is clear !" 

"What! none to be saved but these and I?" 
"Row, as you'd live ! All here must die !" 

Out of the churn of the choking ship, 
Which the gulf grapples and the waves strip. 
They struck with the strained oars' flash and dip. 

'T was then o'er the slipping bulwarks' brim 
The Prince's sister screamed to him. 

He gazed aloft, still rowing apace, 

And through the whirled surf he knew her face. 

To the toppling decks clave one and all 
As a fly cleaves to a chamber-wall. 

I, Berold, was clinging anear; 

I prayed for myself and quaked with fear, 

But I saw his eyes as he looked at her. 

He knew her face and he heard her cry, 
And -he said, "Put back! She must not die!" 

58 A First Year English Book 

And back with the current's force they reel 
Like a leaf that's drawn to a water-wheel. 

'Neath the ship's travail they scarce might float, 
But he rose and stood in the rocking boat. 

Low the poor ship leaned on the tide : 
O'er the naked keel as she best might slide, 
The sister toiled to the brother's side. 

I [e reached an oar to her from below, 
And stiffened his arms to clutch her so. 

But now from the ship some spied the boat, 
And "Saved!" was the cry from many a throat. 

And down to the boat they leaped and fell : 

It turned as a bucket turns in a well, 

And nothing was there but the surge and swell. 

The Prince that was and the King to come, 
There in an instant gone to his doom, 

Despite of all England's bended knee 
And maugre the Norman fealty! 

He was a Prince of lust and pride : 

He showed no grace till the hour he died. 

When he should be King, he oft would vow, 
He'd yoke the peasant to his own plough. 
O'er him the ships score their furrows now. 

God only knows where his soul did wake, 
But I saw him die for his sister's sake. 

By none but me can the tale be told, 
The butcher of Rouen, poor Berold. 

(Lands arc swayed by a King on a throne.) 
'T was a royal train put forth to sea, 
Yet the tale can be told by none but me. 

(The sea hath no king but God alone.) 

The White Ship, ROSSETTI. 

Proportion and Detail 59 


1. ( )RAL. What are the main incidents in this story? Who 
was the father of I fenry I. ? What kind of men were Henry I. 
and the Prince? By what means had Henry I. gained the 
crown? Had he committed these crimes for his own sake. 
or that his son might become king? Why does the poet 
repeal "The sea hath no King but God alone"? Does the 
poet tell the story in such a way that you want to know how 
the King received the news and how Bcrold was saved? 
You can learn this 1>\ consulting Rossetti's Poems. Do you 
forgive the prince his evil life because of his heroic death? 

2. Rewrite this story in your own words. Decide 
which point is the more important: how a wicked king 
was punished, or how a wicked youth was yet capable of a 
great act. Tr\ to bring out clearly one point or the other; 
do not try to bring out both. 

■?. Oral. If possible, tell in your own words one of the 
following accounts : 

1. Bradford's story of the landing oi the pilgrims at 

2. Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. 

3. The burning of Moscow. 

4. The capture oi Quebec. 

5. The signing of the Declaration oi Independence. 

./. The telephone enables us to hear sounds across a 
continent ; the phonograph enables us to hear words spoken 
months or years ago. Suppose that science could do the 
same thing for sights that it has done for sounds, so that 
by going into a room ami looking through a glass one 
could see what is happening at this moment at any place 

60 A First Year English Book 

in the world; and even more, could see what happened 
years or ages ago; what scenes in the history of the world 
would you choose to seer 

Write on the one that interests you most. 

< >bserve the following directions: 

i. Try to write the story as if you had seen it. Imagine 
how the people moved, what they wore, and how their faces 

2. Tell the story in good proportion ; that is, give each 
incident its proper share of attention. 

3. After you have made your first draft, go over the 
work carefully and see that your sentences are all clear. 


In writing conversation the speech of each person, to- 
gether with the words which go with it, is written as one 
paragraph. The words of each speaker are enclosed in quo- 
tation marks. For example: 

"Good woman, why do you weep?" asked Arthur, walking 
towards her. 

"Hush!" she cried, "or the giant will hear you." 

"Why do you weep?" the king repeated. 

"Alas ! because my mistress, the Duchess of Brittany, is 
dead. The giant has killed her." 

At that Arthur gripped the handle of his sword, and said, 
"I will kill this wretch before I am an hour older." 

When a speech is short, and at the same time belongs to 
the thought of the preceding sentences, it is added to these 
in the same paragraph. For example : 

The county was soon aware of Willoughby's engagement. 
The ladies especially were curious to see the fortunate 


The Paragraph in Dialogue 61 

young woman of his choice. When Mrs. Mountstuart 
met him at the hunt, her greeting was abrupt: "Let me 
see her." 

The following is written in what is called dramatic form ; 
that is, there are no quotation marks showing that someone 
is speaking ; the name of the speaker is written first, and is 
followed by a period, and if there is any comment on how 
he spoke and acted, it is inserted in parenthesis. This is the 
way in which plays are written. 

Giuseppe. They say you are careful of every thing ex- 
cept human life, excellency. 

Napoleon. Human life, my friend, is the only thing that 
takes care of itself. (He throws himself at ease on the 

Giuseppe (admiring him). Ah, excellency, what fools 
we all are beside you ! If I could only find out the secret of 
your success ! 

Napoleon. You would make yourself Emperor of Italy, 

Giuseppe. Too troublesome, excellency. I leave all that 
to you. Besides, what would become of my inn if I were 
Emperor? See how you enjoy looking at me whilst I keep 
the inn for you and wait on you ! Well, I enjoy looking at 
you whilst you become Emperor of Europe and govern the 
country for me. (Whilst he chatters, he takes the cloth off 
without removing the mat and inkstand, and takes the cor- 
ners in his liands and the middle of the edge in his mouth to 
fold it up.) 

The Man of Destiny, George Bernard Shaw. 


/. Rewrite the following selection; paragraph the con- 
versation properly : 

62 A First Year English Book 

I was still arguing it back and forth and getting 
no great clearness, when I came into the round-house and 
saw the Jacobite eating his supper under the lamp ; and at 
that my mind was made up all in a moment. I have no 
credit by me ; it was by no choice of mine, but as if by com- 
pulsion, that I walked right up to the table and put my 
hand on his shoulder. Do you want to be killed? said I. 
He sprang to his feet and looked a question at me as clear 
as if he had spoken. Oh! cried I, they're all murderers 
here; it's a ship full of them! They've murdered a boy 
already, now it's you. Ay, ay, said he; but they haven't 
got me yet And then looking at me curiously, Will ye 
stand with me? That will I! said I. I am no thief nor 
yet murderer. I'll stand by you. Why, then, said he. 
what's your name? David Balfour, said I; and then think- 
ing that a man with so fine a coat must like tine people, I 
added for the first time of Shaws. It never occurred to 
him to doubt me, for a Highlander is used to see great 
gentlefolk in great poverty ; but as he had no estate of his 
own, my words nettled a very childish vanity he had. My 
name is Stewart, he said, drawing himself up. Alan Breck, 
they call me. A king's name is good enough for me, 
though I bear it plain and have the name of no farm 
midden to clap to the hind-end of it. And having admin- 
istered this rebuke as though it were something of a chief 
importance, he turned to examine our defenses. The round- 
house was built strong, to support the breaching* of the 
seas. Of its five apertures, only the skylight and the two 
doors were large enough for the passage of a man. The 
doors, besides, could be drawn close; they were of stout 
oak, and ran in grooves, and were fitted with hooks to 
keep them either shut or open, as the need arose. The 
one that was already shut I secured in this fashion ; but 
when I was proceeding to slide to the other, Alan stopped 
me. David, said he. for I cannot bring to mind the name 
of your landed estate, and so will make so bold as to call 
you David — that door, being open, is the best part of my 
defenses. It would be yet better shut says I. Xot so, 
David, says he. Ye see. I have but one face ; but so long 
as that door is open and my face to it, the best part of my 

The Paragraph in Dialogue 63 

enemies will be in front of me, where I would aye wish 
to find them. 

2. Rewrite the following story, putting into dialogue 
form the parts printed in italics. Introduce descriptive 
details where they are necessary to make us see the speakers 
clearly : 

A beautiful damsel named Lynette came to King 
Arthur's court, and told him that her sister, Lyonors, was 
kept a prisoner in her castle Perilous. A river circled three 
times around the castle, and across the three passing-places, 
three brother knights kept guard. The damsel Lynette 
asked for a knight zuho would rescue her sister from these 
men who wanted her to marry one of them that they might 
have her great wealth. Gareth, a knight zvho zvas serving 
in disguise as a kitchen-boy, asked that the adventure be 
given to him. The king agreed, but Lynette, who zvas very 
angry, cried out on Arthur and hurried from the court. 

Gareth, putting on armor, and mounting a horse, fol- 
lowed her, and catching up to her, told her to lead, and 
he would follow. But she ordered him to go back, saying 
that she smelt kitchen grease. Nevertheless he followed 
her, and after a time they approached the first circle of the 
river. Lynette told Gareth that he had better return as 
he -would be overthrown, but lie refused to give up the 
adventure. On the other side of the river was a silk- 
draped pavilion in front of which passed a tall warrior 
without armor. Lynette cailed to him that Arthur so 
despised him that he was sending a kitchen knave to fight 
with him. While the knight put on his armor, Lynette 
asked Gareth if he zcere afraid. He said no, and that he 
would rather tight with twenty men than hear her unkind 

The warrior rode forth and taunted him, and Gareth, 
answering, rode at him fiercely, and soon overthrew him 
and sent him back to Arthur's court. As they rode on, 
Lynette, smiling, said that she did not smell the kitchen 
grease so much as she had. When they reached the second 
circle of the river she again bade Gareth go back, since 

64 - 1 First Year English Book 

a kitchen knave should not fight with knights, and when 

he would not return, she called to the second knight that 
she was bringing a kitchen-boy who had overthrown his 
brother. The warrior shouted, and rode fiercely at ( iareth. 
It was a long time before Gareth overthrew him, and sent 
him back to King Arthur's court. As Gareth rode on, 
following Lynette, she looked back and said the ivarrior's 
horse hod slipped or Gareth could never have been the 
victor, but that he could not overthrow the third warrior, 
who was by far the greatest of the three brothers. 

When they reached the third warrior, a huge man, he 
rode forward fiercely, and for a long time he and Gareth 
fought, (iareth grew very tired, and began to fear that 
he should be conquered. But when his strokes were be- 
coming feeble, Lynette called out that he was doing bravely, 
that he was not a kitcheu-knare, but a noble lord, the 
greatest she knew. This so encouraged (iareth that he con- 
quered the knight, 'I hen //(' turned to Lynette. telling her 
to lead that he might follow. But she replied that they 
must HOW ride side by side, and that she was sorry she had 
treated him unkindly. Then they rode on together to the 
castle ^i 1 .yonors. 

y. Choose one incident in the story of Robin Hood and 
write it out in dramatic form. The scene should be one 
which would "act" well ; that is, something interesting should 
happen, which could be "acted out" on a stage. 

4. Write out in dramatic form some incident from real 
life, such as "The Last Fifteen Minutes Before Our Foot- 
ball Team Goes Into Play"; "Catching the 8:05 Train"; 
"A Rehearsal for the School Entertainment." 

5. Rewrite the paragraph on page 124. beginning "He 
then led me." Paragraph the conversation properly. 



We now come to the second large source of material — 
your own experience. Something is always happening to 
you, your senses are always reporting to you from the out- 
side world, and you are always thinking about these intel- 
ligences. So the difficulty here is that there is so much to \ 
choose from. 

The best way is to choose what interests you more than f 
anything else. Perhaps today it is the game of ball to be 
played tomorrow, or the party you attended last night. Or 
possibly you want to know how the serial story is coming 
out that you are reading in a magazine. Whatever it may '• 
be, the subject you are thinking most about today is the one I 
you can write about best. 


/. Make a list of ten subjects in which you are inter- 

2. What subjects in the following list interest you? 

i. The Boy Next Door. 

2. My Brother's Pony. 

3. My Favorite Book. 

4. How to Make a Canoe. 

5. Our Summer Cottage. 

6. How to Elect a Mayor. 


56 A First Year English Book 

7. My New Fishing-Rod Pole. 

8. How to Make a Paper Hat. 

9. Learning to Swim. 

10. A New Picture. 

11. Why I Like Alan Breck Stewart. 

12. My Favorite Historical Character. 

13. A Day with Huckleberry Finn 

14. Abraham Lincoln. 

[5. Making a Summer Camp. 

10. How 1 Used to Get the < tysters for Breakfast 

17. Our Swimming Pond. 

18. My First Diary. 

19. The Advantage of 1 laving an Allowance 

20. How to Preserve Rose Leaves. 

21. Making Raspbeiry Vinegar. 

22. When I Go to Europe. 
2$. My Row Boat. 

24. Robert E. Lee. 

25. A Straw Ride. 

26. A Surprise Party. 

27. My Birthday Experiences. 

28. My Adventure in the ( Md House. 

29. Digging for Treasure. 

30. How to Draw a Map of North America 

31. What I Found in an ( )ld Trunk. 

32. Starved Rock. 

2,2,- In a Haying Field. 

34. A Country Store. 

35. How the Streets arc Cleaned. 

36. Washing Day. 

37. The Captain's Barometer. 

38. The Story of My Uncle's Sword. 

39. The Madonna of the Chair. 

40. The Fire Next Door. 

41. A Pair of Twins. 

42. Sailing a Boat. 

43. Making Dried Apples. 

44. Our Railroad Station. 

45. The Keeper of Our Post-Office, 

46. Making a Garden. 

47. How I Earned Mv First Money. 

Making the Subject Definite 67 

48. How We Organized Our Base-Ball Team. 

49. What I Would Do with a Thousand Dollars. 

50. The Trained Dog. 

j. Make a list of five subjects that you talk about during 
the rest of the day. 

./. Make a list of four subjects that you have heard 
your fellow students talk of lately. 

5. Make a list of your favorite heroes and heroines in 

6. Make a list of your favorite heroes and heroines in 

7. Make a list of three subjects that you hear discussed 
by your parents or teachers. 

8. Make a list of ten subjects about which you know 


You must have noticed in the lists of subjects you have 
made that you have put down some general subjects, such as 
"Fishing," or "Books," or "Sewing." You probably will 
not have included any such subject as "Ambition," or "Du- 
plicity," for very few people take any real interest in such 
abstract and general topics. If you should try to write 
about such subjects as "Automobiles," "Novels," "Sewing," 
"Longfellow's Works," you would soon find yourself in 
difficulties. It is hard to begin such a subject ; there is no 
handle to take it up by. But you could write about "My 
Cousin's Automobile," "My Favorite Novel," "How to Make 
a Hemstitched Handkerchief," "Longfellow's The Skeleton 
in Armor." 

The examples given above show that you may take a 
large subject and limit it until you are able to handle it. 

68 A First Year English Book- 

You may begin with such a subject as "Books," and narrow 
it first to "English Books of Fiction," then to "English 
Novels," and lastly to Silas Marner. Or "Sports" may 
become "Outdoor Sports"; "Football"; "How to Play Half- 
back." It. then, you are to write about something which 
will interesl you and your reader, you must choose a definite 
subject fully within your power of handling. 


/. Narrow the following subjects: 

Flections. Photography. 

The Kings of England. Ocean Steamers. 

Storms. Colonial Customs. 

Summer Vacations. Cod Fisheries. 

Horses. Reading. 

Christianity. Authors. 

2. Make a list of five definite subjects about fishing, 
sewing, or cooking. 

,\ Look at the pictures opposite pages 80, too, and 120, 

and make a list of three small and definite subjects about 

./. Oral. Note in the picture of the pilgrims going to 
church, opposite page 180, the appearance of the landscape. 
What effect does it have? Why do the pilgrims choose the 
particular order in which they walk? What expressions do 
the faces of the men and women wear? Of what are they 
probably thinking? Note their clothes. Note the way in 
which the men carry their weapons. Whose face do you 
like best? Whose face do you like least? 

5. ( )ral. Answer similar questions on Columbus at 
the Court of Ferdinand and Isabella, opposite page 140. 

The Notes 69 


One reason why you find it difficult to write is that you 
see things and hear things without noting them carefully, 
so that when you want to put them in a composition you 
have forgotten most of what you saw and heard. The best 
way of remembering is to make notes of your experiences. 
Indeed, the very act of making notes fixes your attention, 
so that you will see more than you have ever seen before, 
record more accurately, and remember more vividly. 
Charles Dickens said that when he went into a room he 
always remembered everything that was in it, even if he 
were there only for a moment. But very few people have 
such a memory as that ; and certainly most of our great 
writers, such as Hawthorne and Stevenson, have filled note- 
books with accounts of what they saw and heard in their 
everyday life. 

You can do no better than follow in their steps. In taking 
notes, write your impressions down just as they occur to 
you. The first necessity is to get everything down ; you 
can arrange afterwards. Write not only what you see, but 
also any reflections that come to you. For instance, you 
may be walking in the rain in the spring, and seeing the 
young growing things, you say, "I believe things in the 
spring have a great deal of curiosity ; they are stretching up 
to see what the rain is." That is certainly worth writing 
down. Or you may notice that when the old postman smiles, 
his mouth goes up at one side. Then you may begin to ask 
vourself what gives the peculiar effect to the smiles of dif- 
ferent people. So you will find yourself observing and 
remembering more accurately than ever before. 

The following selection is from Whitman's Memoranda 
of the War: 

/O ./ First Year English Book 

I am writing this, nearly sundown, watching a cav- 
alry company (acting Signal service), jusl come in 
through a shower, making their night's camp ready on 
some broad, vacant ground, a sort of hill, in full view 
opposite my window. There are the nun in their yellow - 
striped jackets. All are dismounted; the freed horses 
stand with drooping heads and wet sides ; they are to be 
led off presently in groups, to water. The little wall- 
tents and shelter tents spring* up quickly. 1 see the fires 
already blazing, and pots and kettles over them. Some 
among the men are driving in tent-poles, wielding their 
axes with strong, slow blows. I see great huddles of 
horses, bundles of hay, groups of men (some with un- 
buckled sabers yet on their sides), a few officers, piles of 
wood, the Barnes of the tires, saddles, harness, etc. The 
smoke streams upward, additional men arrive and dismount 
— some drive in stakes and tie their horses to them; some 
go with buckets for water, some are chopping wood, and 
so on. 

litre Whitman leaves you in no doubt as to the time of 
day, the weather, where he is and where the company is. 
He gives you a general view of the groups of men. animals 
and objects. Then he particularizes : the men are in '"yel- 
low-striped jackets;" the horses stand with "drooping heads 
and wet sides;" the men drive their axes with "strong, slow 
blows." He gives you a vivid picture because he has 
observed accuratelv. 


i. Stand on a bridge, look up and down the stream, 
and take notes of what you see. 

2. Make notes on the view from your room. 

j. Make notes of what you see in the picture opposite 
page 80. 

4. Make notes on the oddest-looking person you know 

The Notes 71 

5. Make notes of the most interesting street scene you 
watched today. 

6. Alake notes on a conversation you heard on the play- 
ground or the street. 

7. Make notes, as you have opportunity, on a picnic, a 
church bazaar, a street procession, a sky-scraper in process 
of erection, a football game, a boat-race, a skating scene, a 
street fair, a visit to the zoological gardens, or to a museum 
of natural history. Bring the notes to class for report and 

8. From the notes you have made, choose the subject 
in which you are most interested, and write it out in con- 
nected form. You will doubtless find it necessary to change 
the order of your notes in order to make your theme clear 
and straightforward. 

p. Let the teacher show the class a picture for a few 
moments, and then let the class describe it as fully as pos- 

10. Let the class look at a view and then describe it min- 

//. Let the teacher read to the class some passages of 
interesting information ; let them make brief notes, and then 
give as full and accurate an account of the matter as they 

12. Change the following to simple sentences by using 
participles or infinitives wherever you can. 

1. The frogs became tired of the rule of King Log and 
they desired a new king. 

2. He was wearied by their importunities and he 
granted their request. 

3. When they received their new king they regretted 
the change. 

4. They wanted a change in order that they might have 

~2 A hirst Year English Book 

5. The new king gave them more than they wished ; he 
ate a dozen frogs every morning for breakfast. 

6. They arrived at the station ; they found that the train 
had gone. 

7. lie crossed the bridge; he peered cautiously through 
the bushes ; there he beheld Robin Hood and his merry men. 

8. Gareth went to the king's court; his purpose was to 
be sent on a quest and gain great glory. 

9. When he reached the court, he was assigned to menial 
service in the king's kitchen. 

10. The man who is brave is the man who wins. 

11. He put on his armor; he mounted his horse, and he 
rode swiftly after the scornful lady, Lynette. 

1 j. When he was confronted by the two black knights 
he did not lose hope for an instant. 


So far, you have learned to find material, to choose what 
you want of it, to see for yourself, to use your imagination, 
and to find subjects in books and papers. 

You now come to closer quarters with the problem of how 
best to plan and tell what you have to say. All writing is an 
attempt to express your thought; it goes without saying that 
you cannot write if you cannot think. The first requisite is 
to have clearly in mind just what you want to bring out in 
your writing. The next requirement is to stick to your 
point ; not to put in what does not concern it, and to include 
what does concern it. This may seem to you simple advice, 
hut how many people actually follow it ? 

If you listen carefully to the average person who tries to 
tell a story, you will notice that he does not go straight for- 
ward, dealing with one subject and one only. He drags in 
details which have nothing to do with the subject. 

Unity 73 

Your composition, tbo w , should deal with one subject. \ If 
it does, it will be possible to find a title which will name or 
suggest the main theme — which will hit the center of the 
subject. The title will serve as a test, i If your composition 
treats^ of but one subject, you can find a title which will 
state itff if you have treated more than one subject, you 
cannorrind a title which will accurately name your com- 


/. Write the story of some interesting incident in your 
life. The following subjects may be suggestive: 

i. My First Day in School. 

2. A Tragedy in the Oak Tree. 

3. My First Visit to the Theater. 

4. My First Experience with a Bicycle. 

5. Camping by Lake. 

6. How I Learned to Ride a Broncho. 

7. My First Experience in Cooking. 

8. My Visit to New York, Washington, Chicago. 

9. How I Trained a Dog (or some other animal). 

10. Going to the Circus. 

11. The Unloading of the Circus. 

12. A Runaway. 

13. A Big Fire. 

14. My First Experience with an Automobile. 

Rrview of Rules for Writing 

In writing your composition, observe the following direc- 
tions : 

1. Choose something that has really happened to your- 

74 -' First Year English Book 

2. Choose a title which names the main interest of your 

3. Throughout your writing, keep your mind fixed on 
your main idea; see that you stick to the subject. 

4. After you have made your first draft, go over it 
carefully to see that it contains nothing which should be 

5. Be sure that each sentence begins with a capital let- 
ter and ends with a period. 


Make these sentences either simple or complex by sub 
ordinating some statements: 

1. It was already hard upon October; 1 was read} to 
set forth; my road led over high altitudes; there was no 
Indian summer to be looked for. 

2. 1 was determined to camp out ; I did nut wish to be 
obliged always to reach the shelter of an inn by dusk. 

3. Now. a tent is troublesome tu pitch; it is especiall) so 
for a solitary traveler. 

4. I thought the matter over ; I decided on a sleeping- 
sack ; this has many advantages. 

5. It serves a double purpose ; it is a bed by night; it is a 
portmanteau by day ; it does not advertise your intention of 
camping out to every curious passer-by. This is a high 

6. I could not carry all my baggage on my shoulders; I 
must choose a beast of burden. 

7. The path became gradually fainter, and it disappeared 
at length in a tangle of thorns and bushes. 

8. The sun was setting and we descried on our right the 
steep roofs of an old castle ; it stood among lofty crags. 

9. Goldsmith spent two years roving about the conti- 

Unity 75 

nent; he said he was pursuing" novelty and losing content; 
then he landed at Dover early in 1756. 

10. You may easily imagine what difficulties he had to 
encounter; he was left without friends, recommendations, 
or money. 

11. At length we find him launched in the great metrop- 
olis ; he was drifting about the streets ; it was in the gloomy 
month of February ; he had but a few half-pence in his 

Even when you are thinking primarily of your subject, 
you are liable to include something which does not belong 
to it. It is, therefore, necessary to be definitely on your 
guard against this fault. The following composition relat- 
ing a true experience has this fault : 


(1) It was so hot the night of my birthday, July the 
tenth, that I could not sleep, and kept tossing and turning 
on my pillows. (2) I suppose I was excited, too, by some 
unexpected presents I had received after supper. (3) The 
doorbell rang at eight o'clock, and the expressman brought 
a silver watch from cousin Alice, and a set of carpenter's 
tools from great uncle Henry. (4) I can tell you I felt 
proud thinking how I'd show them to the boys next day. 

(5) I am the only boy around who has carpenter's tools. 

(6) I was so uncomfortable in my own bed that I thought 
I would go to the spare room, which is over the side porch. 

(7) It felt good to slip between the cool sheets, and I soon 
began to doze. (8) Mother hardly ever lets me sleep in 
the spare room. (9) Pretty soon I heard a little click and 
a scraping sound. (10) I don't know why they made me 
wide awake, but they did, and I sat up and listened. (11) 
The sound came again, and I knew it was from the porch. 
(12) Then I knew that somebody was gently raising the 
window higher. (13) Perhaps if I hadn't been so fright- 

y6 A First Year English Book 

ened 1 might have made for the door. (14) My sister 
always runs when she is afraid. (15) But then maybe I 
should have been shot at. (16) Anyway, what I did was 
to slip gently between the sheets again and pretend to go 
to sleep. (17) But while I was taking long breaths, I 
was thinking. (18) The burglar would probably see me, 
but if he did not, he would go out of the door down the 
passage to Father's room. (19) If he did that, I should 
slip into the closet which has another door opening on the 
back hall, and I should then go to John's room. (20) John, 
who drives our horses, is very strong, and I know he could 
knock down any burglar. (21) When he was young he 
gave his brother a slap in fun and knocked him senseless, 
and that was when he found out how strong he was. (22) 
It seemed about a week before the burglar finally stepped 
inside the room. (23) The first thing he did was to come 
to the bed and flash a light on my face. (24) I went on 
breathing deeply, though it seemed about a week before 
he moved away. (25) I heard him at the bureau and the 
closet, but I knew he wouldn't find anything, unless it was 
the door. (26) Mother never keeps anything of value in 
the spare room. (27) I have an aunt, though, who keeps 
the silver between the sheets of her spare bed. (28) After 
a while, I heard him opening the bedroom door, and when 
I had given him time enough, I slipped out of bed and 
into the closet, pulled open the door, and just flew through 
the hall and down the stairs into John's room. (29) It 
took a little time to waken John, and a little more to show 
him I wasn't just trying to scare him. (30) But when we 
got up stairs, I was disgusted to find that the burglar was 
nowhere to be seen. (31) But the open window and the 
marks on the roof of the porch showed that there really 
had been one. (32) So that was the end of my first and 
last experience with a burglar. 

Observe the following points : 

1. The subject of this composition is the experience with 
the burglar. The writer must decide what to put in and 
what to leave out according to this subject. 

Unity jj 

2. The writer begins well by explaining the reason why 
he slept in the room which the burglar entered. But when 
he tries to tell part of the reason why he was not sleepy, 
he does not stick to the subject. Sentence 2 is on the point, 
but sentences 3, 4, and 5 have nothing to do with the burglar. 
Every sentence which does not in some way concern the 
main incident should be omitted. Of the three sentences, 
5 is farthest off the point. Sentences 8, 14, 21, and 27 have 
nothing to do with the story. Sentence 26 should be 

All these irrelevant sentences are connected with the boy's 
experience; they mean something to him, and that is why 
they slipped into the story almost in spite of him. But the 
writer should always remember that nothing must be used in 
a composition which does not bear on the main point ; that 
is, he must stick to his subject. 

Criticize the following selections with these questions and 
suggestions in mind : 

1. What do you think should be the title of each? 

2. How many subjects does each contain, and what are 

3. Can you find instances in which something should be 
added to make the subject clear? 

4. Strike out, where you can, irrelevant sentences. 


I always wanted to keep chickens, and at last Father 
said I might. He bought me four Plymouth Rock hens 
and four settings of eggs. I put them in the old hen 
house. Father had let Michael Ray paint it gray. While 
he painted it, I watched him, and he told me stories. He 
doesn't tell such interesting stories as Father, but he meant 
well. Father said the chickens wouldn't come out for three 
weeks, but I used to look at them every day, just in case 

y8 A First Year English Book 

these should be quicker. At last one morning when I 
went to the hen-house I could hear little peepings. And 
there were some chickens out, and others half out. The 
hen and I helped those which were inside their shells to 
get out. When chickens first get out they seem damp and 
tired. I felt like drying them with my handkerchief, but 
the hen looked a little cross, so I didn't. They were very 
pretty little things, and for two or three days I spent a 
good deal of time with them. Some of my time I spent in 
reading and in studying French. Then I used to practice 
duets with Amy Roberts. She lives in the house next to 
ours. As my chickens grew up, I was fonder and fonder 
of them. I had names for them all. I called a bald one 
"Truth." and the lazy one "Dickens' Fat Boy," and the 
thin one "Ichabod Crane." But I noticed that when I 
called one they all came running. I tried to teach them 
tricks, but I think chickens must be stupid, for they wouldn't 
learn. Now, our dog learned tricks very easily. Amy 
Roberts says you can teach a horse to count if he is the 
right kind of horse. But although they were stupid, I 
couldn't bear to lose one, and if any died, I always buried 
it. Besides, I never would let Mother have one for dinner, 
and she bought chickens to eat from a farmer's wife. Father 
said he could not appreciate my sentiment when it made 
him pay for an extra dinner. But T am sorry now that I 
did not let him have my chickens to eat. One day when I 
woke up, I remembered that I had forgotten to lock the 
hen-house door. When I ran out to see if anything had 
happened, I found the door open and nothing inside but a 
few feathers. Some thief had stolen all my pretty chickens. 
I have never felt like keeping any since. 


[Mrs. Pullet has been objecting to Mr. Tulliver because 
he is not deferential enough to his w r ife's family. The fol- 
lowing is Mrs. Tulliver's reply.] 

"I'm sure, sister, I can't help myself," she said. 
"There's no woman strives more for her children ; and, I'm 
sure, at scouring time this Ladyday, as I've had all the bed- 

Unity 79 

hangings taken down, I did as much as the two gells put 
together ; and there's this last elder-flower wine I've made 
beautiful ! I always offer it along with the sherry, though 
Sister Glegg will have it I'm so extravagant; and as for 
liking to have my clothes tidy, and not go a fright about 
the house, there's nobody in the parish can say anything 
against me in respect o' backbiting and making mischief, 
for I don't wish anybody any harm ; and nobody loses by 
sending me a pork-pie, for my pigs are fit to show with 
the best o' my neighbors' : and the linen's so in order, as 
if I was to die tomorrow I shouldn't be ashamed. A 
woman can do no more nor she can." 

The Mill On The Floss, George Eliot. 


When we consider the fact that many vegetables 
which a few years ago were unknown in this country are at 
the present time canned and ready for table use, do we 
not find it interesting to know something of the process 
of canning? I did not think how wonderful the process 
of canning is till I saw it done. I happened to be at Stur- 
geon Bay where there is a large pea canning factory. 

The building was very close to the lake, and it was a 
rather old-looking place, but everything was exceptionally 
clean. As I was walking along the sidewalk I glanced into 
a driveway where I saw a man pitching some kind of vines 
from an old wagon into a window. Upon inquiring what 
the vines were I was informed that they were pea vines 
being put into a chute leading to the factory. Having seen 
this much I was extremely anxious to see what became of 
all those peas. I walked up the driveway a little distance 
and looking into the building saw many interesting ma- 

The building was large and roomy and the scene was 
one of a very busy life. However, a gentleman evidently 
had noticed me standing outside, curiously looking into the 
building, and he came out to ask me if I should not like 
to come into the place. When I started in I noticed how 
clean everything looked. The floor was of cement and was 

80 A First Year English Book 

still damp from being scrubbed. Evidently I acted as 
if I were going to stop there, for the gentleman asked 
if I would not like to go through the place, and much to 
my surprise, left me. This offered me a chance to learn 
something of interest ; so I ventured inside, where another 
gentleman ushered me around, explaining the entire process 
of canning peas. 

The first thing to be seen is a place where the peas in the 
pods are thrown out of the chutes in which they are sep- 
arated from the vines. They are then put into a machine 
where they are shelled and then thrown into a tank of water 
to be well washed. Then the peas are put into a large zinc 
cylinder which revolves slowly. There are in this cylinder 
holes of medium size out of which the smallest peas drop 
into another tank of water, where they are washed thor- 
oughly before being put into the next tank, where they are 
cooked and made ready for canning. The rest of the peas 
go into another cylinder in which are holes of a larger size, 
and so the peas are separated into three sizes. 

The peas are next cooked in great vats of boiling water, 
and then rolled down a trough into the canning room, and 
thence to the soldering room, where the cans are sealed. 
Thev are then cooled in great tanks of water, labeled, 
packed in boxes, and are ready for market. 


/. Find in the daily newspapers an article which does 
not stick to the subject. Read it to the class and criticize it. 

2. Turn to the notes you took under Exercise I, page 
70. Do you find in them one main subject? If so, write a 
composition on that subject. 

3. Oral. State the main situation suggested by the pic- 
ture opposite this page. 

7. In the following exercises combine each group of 



The Topic and the Paragraph 81 

sentences into a single sentence by changing some of them 
into modifying words or clauses: 

1. Years passed away. Paul grew up; he was a quiet 
boy. He was unpretending. He had a shy look and awk- 
ward behavior. 

2. Generally he kept apart. He took care of the twins. 
He would sit for hours and work at some wood-carving. 

3. Meanwhile, he would not say a word to anyone. He 
had little intercourse with boys of his own age even at 

4. The old seaman sat before the fire. It threw fan- 
tastic shadows on the walls. 

5. He wore his hair in a tarry pigtail. This fell over 
the shoulders of his soiled blue coat. 

6. Every day he would come back from his stroll. 
He would ask if any sea- faring men had gone along the 

7. I remember the wooden sea-chest. It stood in his 
room. It was fastened with a heavy lock. None of us had 
ever seen it open. 

8. I remember the appearance of his coat. He patched 
it himself. Before the end it was nothing but patches. 

9. It was already candle-light. We reached the ham- 
let. We hoped to find aid there. 


In writing a composition, then, you must know what sub- 
ject you are going to write about; you must treat that sub- 
ject and nothing else. Very often you will find that your 
subject contains but one topic. Many editorials, many an- 

&2 .1 First Year English Book 


ecdotes, some poems, treat only one topic. Generally, how- 
ever, you will find that your subject falls into two or three 
main topics. 

Suppose you were going to write about how you spent 
your holiday. You would probably find that your subject 
divided into two topics ; what happened in the morning, and 
what happened in the afternoon. If the morning had been 
dull, but the afternoon had been interesting because of three 
things that happened, you would doubtless begin your com- 
position with the statement that there was nothing to tell 
about the morning, and then you would go on to treat the 
three interesting events of the afternoon. If you were tell- 
ing how you cooked a meal, your first topic might be an 
account of how you planned your courses, and the second, 
how you carried out your plan. Or your first topic might 
be, "Collecting and Preparing the Different Articles of 
Food," and the second, "Cooking and Serving the Meal." 

Most subjects, then, contain several topics, or main parts. 
In order to make these easily evident to the eye, compo- 
sitions are divided into paragraphs. Each paragraph states 
a topic and then discusses it. 

' Just as you must deal with one subject in your whole 
composition, so you must deal with one part of your subject 
in each paragraph. /A paragraph must treat of one topic 
and one only ; it must stick to the point. \ 


[After the Franco-Prussian war the French provinces of 
Alsace and Lorraine were ceded to the Germans.] 

That morning it was quite late before I started for 
school, and I was terribly afraid I should be scolded, for 
Monsieur Ffamel had told us that he would question us 
upon participles, and I did not know the first thing about 

The Topic and the Paragraph 83 

them. The blackbirds whistling upon the outskirts of the 
voods, the Prussians drilling in the meadow, tempted me, 
but I went on my way. When I reached the town hall, I 
saw a group of people who loitered before the little grat- 
ing, reading the placards posted upon it. For two years, 
every bit of bad news about our lost battles had been 
announced to us from that grating. As I hurried across 
the square, the blacksmith told me that I should reach 
Monsieur Hamel's soon enough, but I thought he was mak- 
ing fun of me. I was all out of breath when I arrived. 

Usually the place was full of uproar, all of us reciting 
lessons at the top of our voices, all shouting together, and 
each of us stopping his ears that he might hear better. But 
on this day a Sabbath stillness reigned. I entered in the 
midst of that deep silence, blushing, but Monsieur Hamel, 
without anger, told me to take my seat quickly. When I 
had recovered from my fright, I noticed that our master 
had on his handsome green frock-coat, and his finest 
frilled shirt which he wore only upon inspection days, or 
upon those occasions when prizes were distributed. But 
the greatest surprise of all came when my eye fell upon the 
benches at the farther end of the room. Usually, they were 
empty, but this morning, the villagers sat there, solemn as 

"My children," said Monsieur Hamel, in a grave and 
gentle tone, "this is the last day I shall teach you. The 
order has come from Berlin that henceforth in the schools 
of Alsace and Lorraine all instruction shall be given in 
German. Your new master will arrive to-morrow. To- 
day you hear the last lesson you will receive in French, and 
I beg you will be most attentive." 

My last French lesson ! and I scarcely knew how to 
write ! How I grudged every moment I had lost ! And 
those books which a moment before were so dull and heavy 
seemed now to wear the faces of old friends to whom I 
could not bear to bid farewell. Now I understood why 
Monsieur Hamel wore his finest clothes, why the villagers 
had come. I was busied with these reflections when Mon- 
sieur Hamel called on me to recite. Ah ! what would I 
not have given then had I been able to repeat from begin- 
ning to end that famous rule for the use of the participles ; 

84 A First Year English Book 

but I became entangled in the first few words. Monsieur 
Hamel, however, did not chide me. Instead, he began to 
speak of the French language, saying it was the clearest, 
most beautiful language in the world, which we must keep 
as our heritage, never allowing it to be forgotten, telling 
us that when a nation has become enslaved, she holds the 
key which shall unlock her prison as long as she preserves 
her native tongue. Then he took a grammar and read our 
lesson to us. and I was amazed to see how well I under- 
stood. After that, he set us at writing, giving us copies 
on which he had written in a beautiful round hand, "France, 
Alsace! France, Alsace!" Not a sound was heard but the 
scratching of our pens. Once, some cockchafers entered 
the room, but not even the tiniest pupils paid the least atten- 
tion to them. They were absorbed in tracing their straight 
strokes as conscientiously as if these, too, were written in 
French. Whenever I looked up from my page, I saw 
Monsieur Hamel gazing fixedly about the little school 
where he had taught for forty years. 

Suddenly, we heard the church clock strike twelve, and 
the Angelus. At the same moment, a trumpet blast under 
our windows announced that the Prussians were returning 
from drill. Monsieur Hamel rose in his chair. He was 
very pale ; never before had he seemed to me so tall as 
at that moment. He tried to speak, but he could not finish 
his sentence. Then he took a piece of chalk, and wrote in 
his largest hand. "Vive la France!" He remained standing 
at the blackboard, his head resting against the wall. He 
did not speak again, but a motion of his hand said to us, 
"That is all. You are dismissed." 

Adapted from the French of Daudct. 

The first paragraph tells how Francois set out for school, 
and what he saw on the way. The second relates how he 
entered the silent room, and what he saw there. The third 
is a short paragraph of conversation in which Monsieur 
Hamel tells the children that they are studying- their last 
French lesson. The fourth long paragraph gives an account 
of the lesson, and the fifth tells of the dismissal. Each oara- 

The Topic and the Paragraph 85 

graph, as yon see, deals with a different topic ; each is im- 
portant enough to have a paragraph by itself. You will 
note, too, that each paragraph deals with one topic only. 
Nothing is introduced which is not needed ; nothing is left 
out which should be introduced. For example, in the first 
paragraph we must be told about the lesson on the parti- 
ciples, the Prussians drilling, the placards, and the words 
of the blacksmith, because all those details are used later 
on. In the second paragraph we must be told of the usual 
uproar in order to feel the contrast of the unusual silence. 
We must know of the master's fine clothes, and of the 
presence of visitors. In the fourth paragraph, the little 
detail of the cockchafers serves to show how perfectly the 
attention of the children was held. 

There are a great many points of interest about this story. 
The suspense is very well handled ; it is only in the third 
paragraph that the boy understands the situation ; till then 
we are wondering what has happened. The detail about 
the Prussians in the first and last paragraphs adds a great 
deal. Throughout, the author makes you feel the pathos 
in the fact that these oeople of Alsace were forced to give 
up their nationality. 


1. Oral. Turn back to page 26, The Arrival, and state 
the topics treated in each paragraph. 

2. State the topics in the paragraphs of the following 

Passing through many a mile of pine and spruce 
woods, toward the centre of the park you come to the 
famous Yellowstone Lake. It is about twenty miles long 
and fifteen wide, and lies at a height of nearly eight thou- 
sand feet above the level of the sea, amid dense black 

86 ./ First Year English Hook 

forests and snowy mountains. Around its winding, waver- 
ing shores, closely forested and picturesquely varied with 
promontories and bays, the distance is more than one hun- 
dred miles. It is not very deep, only from two hundred 
to three hundred feet, and contains less water than the 
celebrated Lake Tahoe of the California Sierra, which is 
nearly the same size, lies at a height of six thousand four 
hundred feet, and is over sixteen hundred feet deep. But 
no other lake in North .America of equal area lies so high 
as the Yellowstone, or gives birth to so noble a river. The 
terraces around its shores show that at the close of the 
glacial period its surface was about one hundred and sixty 
feet higher than it is now, and its area nearly twice as great. 

It is full of trout, and a vast multitude of birds, swans, 
pelicans, geese, ducks, cranes, herons, curlews, plovers, 
snipe — feed in it and upon its shores ;. and many forest 
animals come out of the woods and wade a little way in 
shallow, sandy places to look about them, and cool them- 
selves in the free flowing breezes. 

The Absaroka Mountains and the Wind River Plateau 
on the east and south pour their gathered waters into it, 
and the river issues from the north side in a broad, smooth, 
stately current, silently gliding with such serene majesty 
that one fancies it knows the vast journey of four thousand 
miles that lies before it, and the work it has to do. For 
the first twenty miles its course is in a level, sunny valley 
lightly fringed with trees, through which it flows in silvery 
reaches stirred into spangles here and there by ducks and 
leaping trout, making no sound save a low whispering 
among the pebbles and the dripping willows and sedges of 
its banks. Then suddenly, as if preparing for hard work, 
it rushes eagerly, impetuously forward rejoicing in its 
strength, breaks into foam-bloom, and goes thundering 
flown into the Grand Canon in two magnificent falls, one 
hundred and three hundred feet high. 

Our Notional Parks, John MuiB. 

j. Write a theme on one of the following subjects, using 
the topic sentences suggested. 

The Topic and the Paragraph 87 


There are a great many dangerous occupations in the 
world, but among them all, none is more interesting to me 
than that of the fireman. His daily work consists in . . . 

But the excitement and danger in the fireman's life . . . 


Modern invention has introduced many new methods into 
industry. The use of steel frames, for instance, has changed 
the process of bridge-building. The old bridges used to be 
made of stone . . . (Describe.) 

But nowadays all the great bridges are built of steel, 
and many of them are of huge size and' stand very high 
across the water. One of the best examples is the Brook- 
lyn bridge. (Describe.) 


There are many queer ways of getting a living, such 
as fortune-telling, tight-rope walking, and jugglery; and 
one often wonders why people enter such strange callings. 
One of the most unusual and at the same time most interest- 
ing of occupations is that of the wild beast tamer. . . . 

I can think of three reasons why people follow this call- 
ing. ( Write a paragraph on each. ) 


In the Middle Ages they had a strange way of settling 
a dispute, called the "Trial by battle." . . . (Describe 

This custom seems to me [ Hght J because . . . 
(Give your reasons why.) 

88 A First Year English Book 


Few nun nowadays lead such adventurous lives as did 
that old soldier of fortune, Captain John Smith. His life 
in Europe was full of strange happenings. . . . {Nar- 

But more familiar to us are lh> adventures in America. 
. . . {Narrate, i 


The carrier pigeon is . . . {Describe it. ) 
It has a remarkable instinct which enables it to . . . 
( Tell how it will find its home.) 

This instinct in the carrier pigeon has sometimes been 
of great service to man . . . t Tell how. > 

/. ( Iral. Discuss the following subject, using the topic 
sentences suggested : 

There are two characters in history I always like to read 

about: one is ; the other . I like to read about 

. . . {Tell why you like to read of the first. I 

I like to read of . . . {Tell why you like to read 
of the second, > 

5. Oral. In the same way discuss the following: We 
often think that there is no chance nowadays to do anything 
heroic, but when we read of such a man a^ Father Damien 
we know that there are opportunities now just as there were 
in the days of King Arthur. 

Father Damien's early life was . . . 1 Narrate. 1 
At last he found his life work . . . {Narrate.) 

The Plan 89 


So far it is clear that you should have definitely in mind 
your subject and the main topics into which it naturally 
divides. It does not matter how you accomplish this, but 
most people find it a help to make a plan before writing. 
Some people write down the subject, and the main parts into 
which it divides, even before taking notes. Others make 
the notes first, then look through them to determine the 
topics, and then write the plan. The following plans and 
notes written on the same subject by two brothers will show 
you how different people treat the same subject. The first 
boy made his plan and then took notes ; the second used 
the opposite method. 

Subject: Hoiv We Made Maple Sugar. 


1. Going to the woods. 

2. What we did before the sap was ready to boil. 

3. Making the sugar. 

Rough Notes 

Early start. Vacation time. Cousin Miles. Utensils. 
Arrival at grove. House in the woods. Gathering brush 
for fire. Putting in spouts. The troughs. Collecting sap. 
Waiting for it to boil. Watching the kettles. Supper. Sap 
poured out. Hardened into sugar. 

The First Draft 

(1) We were visiting Cousin Miles in Soperton, 
Canada, during our spring vacation. (2) He has a small 

90 A First Year English Hook 

grove of maple trees from which he makes maple sugar. 
(3) The grove used to be much larger, but fire destroyed 
a good deal of it. (4) One reason why Father wanted us 
to visit Cousin Miles was so that we could see how maple 
sugar was made. (5) He used to like making it when he 
was a boy. (6) So we were looking forward to going to 
the grove. (7) We got up early on one morning, Cousin 
Miles, the hired man, whose name is Jim, Joe and I, and 
drove behind the old mule. (8) I was so sleepy at first 
that I did not see what we had in the cart with us. (9) 
But after a while I noticed that we had a great iron pot 
that would hold about forty gallons, eight wooden pails, 
a frying pan and coffee pot, and some blankets. (10) We 
drove out in the nippy spring air, and about the time the 
sun was up we reached the grove. ( 1 1 ) There was a lit- 
tle clearing, on one side of which was a hut. (12) Joe 
and 1 ran inside and found an old rusty stove, a table, a 
bench, and in a corner, a pile of wooden troughs. (13) 
After Cousin Miles and the hired man had brought in the 
blankets and frying-pan and coffee-pot, they called us out 
and we got into the cart again. (14) We drove to a part 
of the grove where two small trees about seven feet apart 
had been cut and trimmed so that they were almost like 
posts. (15) Across their forks a long pole hung. (16) 
The hired man took one end of this off, and swung the kettle 
on. (17) I forgot to say that he and Cousin Miles had 
put all the troughs in the cart. (18) They then went from 
tree to tree, cutting little holes about half an inch round and 
one and a half inches deep, and at about four feet from the 
ground. (19) Into each hole they put a semi-circular 
spout made of basswood. (20) I should have said that they 
put troughs first under all the trees they cut. (21) Before 
we could see how soon the sap would begin to run, Cousin 
Miles sent us off to gather brushwood to put under the 
kettle. (22) While we collected wood, the sap began to 
run. (23) I think we must have gathered wood for two 
or three hours. (24) Then Cousin Miles made a fire under- 
neath the kettle. (25) The next thing he did was to go to 
the troughs, and scoop up with wooden pails what sap there 
was in each. (26) This he poured into the big kettle. 
(2y) We stood about waiting for the sap to boil when 

The Plan 


Cousin Miles sent us back to the hut to cook the dinner. 
(28) I can tell you we hurried. (29) I think we can cook- 
pretty well, for Father has taken us camping a good deal. 
(30) I remember one time I cooked thirty fish for a big 
party for breakfast. (31) When we called Cousin Miles 
and Jim to dinner, they had poured in more sap, and they 
said the kettle would be ready to boil when the dinner was 
over. (32) We hurried through dinner so that we could 
stir the sap. (33) Some leaves and bark fell in, but Cousin 
Miles said they would add to the flavor. (34) I thought 
we'd have a great deal of sugar, but Cousin Miles said that 
four gallons of sap would make only about a pound of sugar, 
and a tree would yield from two to six pounds a season. 
(35) Cousin Miles let me skim off the scum that came to the 
surface. (36) Late in the afternoon he said the sugar 
would be burnt if we left it in the kettle any longer. (37) 
He poured it into the pails. (38) After a while the syrup 
slowly hardened into sugar. (39) We ate all we wanted 
of it, spreading it on our bread for supper. (40) I should 
have said chat we brought bread and groceries with us as 
well as the cooking things. (41) Then we went to bed, 
tired out. 


Let us take up Aleck's work topic by topic. The first 
paragraph, "Going to the woods," has ten sentences. Six 
of these are introductory, some of which can be omitted 
(the third, for example, is quite off the point), and the 
others cut down. The introduction, up to Sentence 7, 
could be expressed "in the following way: "Father used to 
enjoy maple-sugar-making when he was a boy ; so he sent 
Joe and me to spend our spring vacation with Cousin Miles, 
who has a maple sugar grove." 

On reading all the sentences over you will see that this 
first topic could more appropriately be named, "What we 
took with us on our drive to the woods." So far, then, 
the use of a plan has helped Aleck to treat one topic and 

92 A First Year English Book 

only one, and has also helped him to find out definitely what 
the topic is. 

In the second topic, '"What we did before the sap was 
ready to boil," sentence 17 belongs with sentence 13, and 20 
should come before 18. Sentences 29 and 30 have nothing 
to do with the topic of the paragraph or the subject of the 
composition. The third paragraph follows the topic with 
the exception of sentence 20, which belongs with sentence 17. 


(1) I was dreaming that I was in a house made of 
maple sugar, slowly, slowly eating my way out, when I was 
awakened by Aleck, who was dropping cold water on my 
face. (2) I told him once that was a way they used to 
torture people in the old times. (3) So he tried it on me. 

(4) I jumped up, remembering all at once that Cousin 
Miles was going to take us to help make maple sugar. 

( 5 ) We dressed by lamplight, ate breakfast, and hur- 
ried out to a cart which Cousin Miles and the man Jim 
had loaded with pails, a big iron kettle, food and dishes. 
101 We jumped in, and drove along behind the old mule. 
Jennie. (7) I sat on some gunny-sacks, and breathed 
in the cool air. (8) It felt very exciting to be driving 
along in the gray light. (9) We were on a road lined 
with trees, and I thought they looked very solemn and 
dark. ( 10) Here and there white frost lay on them, 
as if some one had put it on with a brush. (11) I sup- 
pose if I believed in fairies I might think that they got 
np early and painted the trees with frost. (12) I must 
say I read fairy tales now and then, and wish they were 
true. (13) Well, after a while the gray light seemed to 
grow brighter, and then some rose color came in the sky. 
(14) ft grew brighter and brighter, and presently up 
jumped the sun. (15) He seemed to make a real pop. 
(16) At the same time, the cart turned into Cousin Miles' 
strove of maple trees, and stopped in front of a little gray 
hut with a roof of yellow shingles. (17) It looked some- 
how like an old man with a straw hat on. (18) We found 

The Plan 93 

out that the cooking was done there. (19) Presently we 
got into the cart again with troughs and pails and the big 
kettle, and began to drive down a narrow road full of ruts. 
(20) I liked the look of the troughs, which were brown 
with age and polished and smooth inside. (21) After a 
while we - stopped at a place where a pole was slung across 
two uprights made of trees. (22) This was to hang the 
kettle on. (23) We went with Cousin Miles and Jim 
while they put the troughs under the maple trees. (24) 
Then they cut little round holes in these trees, and put in 
spouts from which the sap was to run. (25) Aleck and 
I had to gather dead wood for the fire. (26) It felt chill 
to the touch as if it had saved up all the cold of winter 
inside itself. (27) After the fire was lighted. Cousin 
Miles took pails and got sap out of the troughs for the 
•kettle. (28) It looked very black, swinging up there over 
the red and blue flames of the fire. (29) While I was 
watching the sap, Cousin Miles sent Aleck and me off to 
cook dinner, something I don't like to do. (30) Maybe 
it is because I always burn my fingers, or put in too much 
salt, or something; anyway, I'd rather watch the fire. (31) 
After dinner we went back to the kettle. (32) It was 
fun to watch the sap boiling. (33) It made big yellow 
circles, and gray-white bubbles ; sometimes it boiled hard 
as if it wanted to talk. (34) I wondered if it could have 
told us what the maple trees think of all winter while they 
are waiting for the spring. (35) I helped skim the syrup, 
and at first I tried to keep bits of bark and leaves from 
falling in. (36) But I was glad when Cousin Miles said 
it didn't matter, for I felt as if all the woods ought to have 
a share in the sugar. (37) When the syrup was boiled 
enough it was poured into pails, and by and by it became 
gray-brown sugar. (38) At supper Cousin Miles said we 
were to stay all night. (39) Of course we were glad, for 
it was quite as good as camping. (40) After supper we 
went out to watch the boiling again. (41) Our light was 
partly the moon, and partly a lantern, and partly a big 
torch which Jim had made of pine wood. (42) He stuck 
it in the hollow of a stump, and there it blazed and flared 
in the wind. (43) After a while, Cousin Miles took us 
to the hut to go to bed, while Jim stayed with the kettle. 

94 A first Year English Book 

(44) But the house seemed stuffy, and the floor I was 
sleeping on very hard. (45) So when the others were 
asleep, I slipped out, carrying my blankets, and went back 
to Jim. (46) I rolled up in my blankets under one of the 
trees. (47) It all seemed very quiet. (48) All I could 
hear was the steady drip of the sap into the troughs, the 
crackle of the fire, and now and then the hoot of an owl. 
(49) All I could see was Jim's dark figure, and his face 
in the light of the pine torch, and the dark trees all bare, 
and away above them, the stars. (50) They seemed 
larger and quieter than ever before. (51) I lay there 
winking up at them, and wishing I could keep my eyes as 
steady as they were. (52) That was my last thought ; 
when I next knew anything, it was dawn, and another day 
of sugar-making had begun. 

When Joe chose his subject he thought he was going to 
give nearly all his space to telling what he did in the grove, 
but when he had written his notes he saw that his plan 
should have read as follows : 

t. The drive to the grove; sentences 1-18. 

2. How we made the sugar; sentences 19-37. 

3. The night in the woods; sentences 38-52. 


On comparing the plan with the notes, he found that 
from the first topic he must cut out sentences 2 and 3, for, 
although they are interesting, they have nothing to do with 
the topic; and also sentence 12. In the second paragraph, 
sentence 30 is not related to the topic. The third para- 
graph, which is very well written, follows the topic properly. 

These two boys have treated the same subject very dif- 
ferently. Aleck is more accurate ; Joe is more imaginative. 
Indicate the sentences which show Joe's imagination and 
love of nature, and Aleck's accuracy. Which composition 
do you like the better? Whv? 

The Plan 95 


/. Read the following notes ; state the subject of each 
composition ; point out the sentences that are irrelevant to 
the subject, and make a plan in which you show the topics 
into which your subject naturally falls. 


( 1 ) The way to the old house on Chesapeake Bay led 
through a long stretch of woods. (2) As we drove my 
eyes were delighted with the colors about us. (3) First, 
there was the dull yellow of the sandy road, damper, and 
there fore darker, where the shade was deep. (4) On both 
sides of the road were oak trees, sycamore trees and pine 
trees. (5) The leaves of the sycamore were a bright thin 
gold, shining against dark brown trunks and branches. 
(6) The oaks were touched with brown, but the pines 
kept their rich dark green. (7) No leaves, however, have 
such a pure gold color in autumn as maple leaves. (8) 
There were hardly any flowers to be seen, partly because it 
was autumn, partly because they do not grow well in the 
sandy soil of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. (9) When 
I speak of the Chesapeake Bay, you know, probably, that I 
am writing about Virginia land. (10) As we drove on I 
noticed other colors, especially in the mill-pond. (11) 
This was a beautiful golden-brown color, so clear that I 
could almost see the stones at the bottom. (12) It stirred 
gently in the breeze, and the water lily leaves on the surface 
moved a little. (13) Now and then through the trees an 
old gray gate in a low fence barred our progress. (14) 
It always irritates me to open a gate when I am driving. 
(15) The road finally led us through a cornfield and then 
up to a great, green, tree-covered lawn, sloping down to 
the water's edge. (16) In the midst of this lawn stood 
the house. (17) It was large and white with a dark green 
roof. (18) It was long, consisting of a main part, and 
two wings, but so narrow that it did not seem more than 
one room in width. (19) It stood perhaps sixty feet from 
the water. (20) I counted twenty windows on the upper 

g6 .1 Firsi Year English Bo 

story of the front, and about fifteen on the lower. i_m | 
Part of the lower -pace was taken up by three doors. 
The roof had only a very slight slope. • 23 1 The window 5 
had cool green shutters, and soft white curtains fluttering 

in and out through the open -p.. 2 ; ) 1 If the three 

white doors, the middle one had a Square of -tallied glass 

in its upper half. (25) Wide gravel walks swept around 

the house. (26) At the hack were the kitchen and the 

servants' houses, also painted white, and behind, a vegetable 
garden. \t the side was a rose garden reaching 

almost t<« the sandy beach at the water*- edge. (28) The 
view is ver\ pretty, whether one stands at the front of the 
house, looking at the green lawn with the water beyond, 
or at the side with the garden • in sight. 

I have always wished that 1 hail a 1 30) This 

was a particularly beautiful one. (31) It was surrounded 
by a box-hedge, fully one hundred years "id. (32) The 
garden was divided into parts by paths edged with box 

(33) The ro>e> were of all color-: red, and delicate pink. 

and faint yellow, and white, ami ivory colored. (34) I 
have never seen more beautiful colors except in a garden 
in France. (35) Even in < let her thi 1 till flourished 

bravely, though 1 could &ee - ; ^n- of their vanished com- 
panions. (36) Some people do not like to look at flowers 
in Octoher. but I think the) are a cheering sight then. 
\"f) The water itself, especially as I saw it in late after- 
noon, seemed to have as many lovely tints as the r 
(38) Altogether, the impression I have of the old house 
on the Chesapeake, the ro~e garden, and the drive to the 
house, is a very beautiful one. rich in colors. 

(1) When T was sure my pursuers had gone away I 
stepped again into the pathway which led to the empty mill. 
(2) I pushed open the tottering door and entered a round, 
stone-flagged room. (3) Outside, nothing was to be seen or 
heard. (4) On one side of this chamber was a long W< 
ho X . and all around the walls were sacks full of flour. (5) 
I soon lighted a fire. (M On the fireplace stood a pile ^\ 
wood, all ready for the match. (7) I went out to the 

The Plan 97 

pond and got a pitcher of water. (8) Then I opened a 
flour sack, and, taking out some flour, made a paste of it 
and the water. (9) Cookery has always been a mystery 
to me ; many a time on my adventures I have wished that 
I had the knack of it. (10) There have been days when I 
have gone hungry rather than touch my own cooking. (11) 
But this cake I made seemed to me delicious, and I ate it 
with a relish. (12) I cooked it on a shingle in front of the 
fire. (13) This room had a ladder leading to a loft above. 
(14) I wondered if my pursuers could have given up the 
hunt for me, or were only postponing it. (15) I made 
another cake, which I ate more slowly than I had the first. 
(16) I had forgotten all about the danger I was in, when 
all at once I heard a loud sneeze. (17) I jumped to my 
feet and looked all about me. (18) There was nothing to 
see but the solid stone walls of the chamber, the box, and the 
sacks of flour. (19) There was no adjoining room from 
which the noise could have come. (20) I had gone up the 
ladder before I made my cake, and investigated the loft. 
(21) The loft was a bare place, absolutely empty. (22) 
I began at last to think that my imagination had deceived 
me. (23) I was settling down again when I heard an- 
other and a louder sneeze. (24) The sacks were unusually 
long and wide. (25) I seized my sword and glanced at the 
flour sacks. (26) Could anyone be hidden in one of those 
great bags? (2/) I pricked one after another, but found 
no one. (28) I was standing puzzling over the matter 
when I heard an extraordinary series of snorts and gasps 
and cries. (29) This time there could be no doubt as to 
whence the noise came. (30) I ran to the great box on 
which I had been seated, threw back the heavy lid, and 
gazed in. (31) It was a box fully six feet long. (32) It 
was of heavy oak wood, brown and worn with age. (33) 
It was more than half full of flour, in the midst of which 
was floundering some creature, so coated and caked with 
the white powder that it was hard to tell that he was human, 
except for the pitiable cries he was uttering. (34) I 
dragged the man from his hiding place, upon which he 
dropped upon his knees and shouted for mercy. (35) I 
still held my sword in hand. (36) It was a stout old blade, 
which had been given me by my father. (37) The man 

98 A hirst Year English Book 

raised such a cloud of dust that I almost dropped my sword 
as I stepped back, coughing and sneezing. (38) As the 
powder kept dropping from him 1 saw that he was not a 
miller or a peasant but a man-at-arms. (39) He wore a 
huge sword and a great steel-faced breastplate. (40) His 
Steel cap had remained behind in the box, and his bright 
red hair seemed to stand straight up in terror as he implored 
me to spare hi-- life. 141 ) Thinking there was something 

familiar about him, I brushed the flour from his face. ( \2 ) 

Me shrieked as though I had tried to kill him. (43) I 

have seen many such COWards in my adventures. (44) I 

recognized the fellow at once (45) It was none other 

than the ex-clerk who had iir-t set the pursuers <>n mv 

.?. Criticize the following plans; arrange them in what 
seem- to yon natural order. I >ecide what are the main topics, 
and place under each main topic all that bears upon it. 

Washington's First Presidential Inauguration 

Who went with him. 

The weather. 

The barge of honor, which carried him from Elizabeth 
Point, Xew Jersey, across the harbor. 

His reception in Xew York. 

The people at the Battery. 

Escorting flotilla. 

The arrival at the Battery. 

The journey from his home at Mount Vernon to Xew 

How he took the oath. 

His trip from Mount Vernon to Elizabeth Point. 

What his face looked like. 

The delegation which met him in Xew Jersey. 

His reception in Xew York. 

What he wore. 

The ceremony of inauguration. 

The Plan 99 

Preserving and Canning 

Tin cans used; sometimes lined with parchment to pre- 
vent poisoning. 

How the pickles are prepared. 


Glass and crockery jars used for pickles. 

Preparation of the fruit and vegetables. 

Various tests to which cans are put to be sure they are 
hermetically sealed. 

The large copper kettles used in cooking fruits and vege- 

How the vegetables are cooked. 

All bottles of mixed pickles uniform in number, arrange- 
ment, and color of contents. 

Cans soldered by machines. 

Putting pickles and whole fruits in bottles and jars by 

Catsup, baked beans, and so forth, by machinery. 

Caps placed on each can by hand. 

Process of cooking the fruit. 


5. Write a composition according to one of the following 
plans : 

1. The Deserted House. 

The garden and driveways of the deserted house. 
The lower story. 
The upper story. 

2. The Deserted House. 

How it looks outside. 
The yard. 
The house. 

3. The Deserted House. 

Why I do not like to go near it. 
What it looks like. 

ioo A First Year English Book 

4. A Trip Dozen the River. 

What we saw going down. 
What we saw coming home. 

5. The Party. 

The occasion of the party and the guests. 
The games we played. 
The supper. 

/. Rewrite the following, making the sentences either 
simple or complex. Underline the subordinate elements in 
the rewritten sentences. 

1. The kitchen of the inn was of spacious dimensions; 
it was hung round with copper vessels ; these were highly 
polished ; it was decorated here and there with a Christmas 

2. A deal table extended along one side of the room ; 
the table was well scoured ; on it stood a cold round of beef 
and other hearty viands. 

3. Travelers of inferior order were preparing to attack 
this repast ; others were smoking and gossiping ; they sat on 
two high-backed oaken settles beside the fire. 

4. Trim housemaids hurried backwards and forwards ; 
they were under the direction of a fresh, bustling landlady. 

5. Soon there drove up to the door a post-chaise ; a 
young gentleman stepped out of it ; his face seemed familiar 
to me. 

6. I moved forward to get a nearer view ; his eye caught 

7. It was Frank Bracebridge ; he was a good-humored 
young fellow ; I had traveled with him on the continent. 

8. We approached the house ; we heard a sound of 
music from one end of the building. 

9. The servants were intent upon their sports ; we had 
to ring repeatedly. 

The Topic Sentence 101 

10. The squire came out to meet us ; he was accom- 
panied by his two sons ; one was an officer in the army ; the 
other was an Oxonian ; he was home from the university. 


One can hardly say too often that the purpose of writing 
is to make your thought clear to someone else. Suppose 
you have your plan in mind ; now, one way of making it 
clear to the reader is to state in a sentence near the begin- 
ning of each paragraph what topic that paragraph treats of. 
Such a sentence is called the topic sentence. You have 
noticed how readily you can follow the words of a minister 
or a lecturer who announces in such a topic sentence what 
he is going to discuss. The topic sentence does not, of 
course, always occur just at the beginning of the paragraph, 
although that is generally the best place for it. 


/. Examine the topic sentences in the following selec- 
tions : 

i. Little dramas and tragedies and comedies, little char- 
acteristic scenes, arc always being enacted in the lives 
of the birds, if our eyes are sharp enough to see than. 
Some clever observer saw this little comedy played among 
some English sparrows, and wrote an account of it in his 
newspaper. It is too good not to be true : A male bird 
brought to his box a fine, large, goose feather, which is a 
great find for a sparrow and much coveted. After he had 
deposited his prize and chattered his gratulations over it, 
he went away in quest of his mate. His next door neigh- 
bor, a female bird, seeing her chance, quickly slipped in and 
seized the feather — and here the wit of the bird came out, 
for, instead of carrying it into her own box, she flew with 
it to a near tree and hid it in a fork of the branches ; then 

102 A First Year English Book 

went home, and when her neighbor returned with his mate, 
was innocently employed about her own affairs. The proud 
male, finding his feather gone, came out of his box in a high 
state of excitement, and with wrath in his manner and ac- 
cusation on his tongue rushed into the cot of the female. 
Not finding his goods and chattels there as he had expected, 
he stormed around a while, abusing everybody in general 
and his neighbor in particular, and then went away as if 
to repair the loss. As soon as he was out of sight the 
shrewd thief went and brought the feather home and lined 
her own domicile with it. . . . 

Sharp Eyes, John Burroughs. 

2. There arc names which carry with them something 
of a charm. We utter them, and, like the Prince in "The 
Arabian Nights/' who mounted the marvelous horse and 
^><>ke the magic words, we feel ourselves lifted from the 
earth into the clouds. We have but to say "Athens," and all 
the great deeds of antiquity break upon our hearts like 
a sudden gleam of sunshine. We perceive nothing definite ; 
we see no separate figures ; but a cloudy train of glorious 
men passes over the heavens, and a breath touches us, 
which, like the first warm wind in the year, seems to give 
promise of the spring in the midst of snow and rain. "Flor- 
ence!" and the magnificence and passionate agitation of 
Italy's prime sends forth its fragrance toward us like blos- 
som laden boughs, from whose dusky shadow we catch 
whispers of the beautiful tongue. 

The Life of Michael Angela, NORMAN GRIMM. 

2. Find the topic sentences in the following : 

i. To what extent the birds or animals can foretell the 
weather is uncertain. When the swallows are seen hawking 
very high it is a good indication ; the insects upon which 
they feed venture up there only in the most auspicious 
weather. Yet bees will continue to leave the hive when a 
storm is imminent. I am told that one of the most reliable 
weather signs they have down in Texas is afforded by the 
ants. The ants bring their eggs up out of their under- 

The Topic Sentence 103 

ground retreats and expose them to the warmth of the sun 
to be hatched. When they are seen carrying them in again 
in great haste, though there be not a cloud in the sky, your 
walk or your drive must be postponed ; a storm is near at 

Signs and Seasons, John Burroughs. 

2. Then the moving was an event, too. A farmer had 
a barn to move, or wanted to build a new house on the 
site of the old one, and the latter must be drawn to one side. 
Now this work is done with pulleys and rollers by a few 
men and a horse ; then the building was drawn by sheer 
bovine strength. Every man that had a yoke of cattle in 
the country round about was invited to assist. The barn or 
house was pried up and great runners, cut in the woods, 
placed under it, and under the runners were placed skids. 
To these runners it was securely chained and pinned ; then 
the cattle — stags, steers, and oxen, in two long lines, one at 
each runner — were hitched fast, and while men and boys 
aided with great levers, the word to go was given. Slowly 
the two lines of bulky cattle straightened and settled into 
their bows ; the big chains that wrapped the runners tight- 
ened, a dozen or more "gads" were flourished, a dozen or 
more lusty throats urged their teams at the tops of their 
voices, when there was a creak or a groan as the building 
stirred. Then the drivers redoubled their efforts ; there was 
a perfect Babel of discordant sounds ; the oxen bent to the 
work, their eyes bulged, their nostrils distended ; the on- 
lookers cheered, and away went the old house or barn as 
nimbly as a boy on a hand-sled. Not always, however; 
sometimes the chains would break, or one runner strike a 
rock, and bury itself in the earth. There were generally 
enough mishaps or delays to make it interesting. 

Sifjns and Seasons, John 'Riti:rou< 

3. The life of a swarm of bees is like the active and 
hazardous campaign of an army; the ranks are being con- 
tinually depleted and continually recruited. What adven- 
tures they have by flood and field, and what hairbreadth 
escapes ! A strong swarm during the honey season loses, 
on an average, about four or five thousand per month, or 

104 A First Year English Book 

one hundred and fifty per day. They are overwhelmed by 
wind and rain, caught by spiders, benumbed by cold, 
crushed by cattle, drowned in rivers and ponds, and in 
many nameless ways cut off or disabled. In the spring the 
principal mortality is from cold. As the sun declines they 
get chilled before they can reach home. Many fall down 
outside the hive, unable to get in with their burden. One 
may see them come utterly spent and drop helplessly into 
the grass in front of their very doors. Before they can 
rest the cold has stiffened them. I go out in April and May 
and pick them up by the handfuls, their baskets loaded with 
pollen, and warm them in the sun or the house, or by the 
simple heat of my hand, until they can crawl into the hive. 
Heat is their life, and an apparently lifeless bee may be 
revived by warming him. I have also picked them up 
while rowing on the river and have seen them safely to 

Honey was a much more important article of food with 
the ancients than it is with us. As they appear to have been 
unacquainted with sugar, honey no doubt stood them in 
stead. It is too rank and pungent for the modern taste ; it 
soon cloys upon the palate. It demands the appetite of 
youth, and the strong, robust digestion of people who live 
much in the open air. It is a more wholesome food than 
sugar, and modern confectionery is poison beside it. Besides 
grape sugar, honey contains manna, mucilage, pollen, acid, 
and other vegetable odoriferous substances and juices. It is 
a sugar with a kind of wild natural bread added. The 
manna is of itself both food and medicine, and the pungent 
vegetable extracts have rare virtues. Honey promotes the 
excretions and dissolves the glutinous and starchy impedi- 
menta of the system. 

Hence it is not without reason that with the ancients a 
land flowing with milk and honey should mean a land 
abounding in all good things ; and the queen in the nursery 
rhyme, who lingered in the kitchen to eat "bread and honey" 
while the "king was in the parlor counting out his money," 
was doing a very sensible thing. Epaminondas is said to 
have eaten rarely anything but bread and honey. The Em- 
peror Augustus one day inquired of a centurion how he 
had kept his vigor of mind and body so long; to which the 

The Topic Sentence 105 

veteran replied that it was "oil without and honey within." 
( "icero, in his Old Age classes honey with meat and milk 
and cheese as among the staple articles with which a well- 
kept farmhouse will be supplied. 

Locusts and Wild Honey, John Burroughs. 

j. Go back to Section VI., page 32, and find the topic 
sentences in each paragraph. 

4. Supply the topic sentences in the. following : 

1. Even in the well-watered gardens of the middle 
region, where the flowers grow tallest, and where dur- 
ing warm weather the bears wallow and roll, no evidence 
of destruction is visible. On the contrary, under Nature's 
direction, the massive beasts act as gardeners. On the 
i'orest floor, carpeted with needles and brush, and on the 
tough sod of glacier meadows, bears make no mark ; but 
around the sandy margins of lakes their magnificent tracks 
iorm grand lines of embroidery. Their well-worn trails 
extend along the main canons on either side, and, though 
dusty in some places, make no scar on the landscape. They 
bite and break off the branches of some of the pines and 
oaks to get the nuts, but this pruning is so light that few 
mountaineers ever notice it ; and, though they interfere with 
the orderly lichen-veiled decay of fallen trees, tearing them 
to pieces to reach the colonies of ants that inhabit them, the 
scattered ruins are quickly pressed back into harmony by 
snow and rain and overleaning vegetation. 

2. Of all the tourists and travelers who have vis- 
ited the Yosemite and the adjacent mountains, not one has 
been bitten by a snake of any sort, while thousands have been 
charmed by them. Some of them vie with the lizards in 
beauty of color and dress-patterns. Only the rattlesnake is 
venomous, and he carefully keeps his venom to himself as 
far as man is concerned, unless his life is threatened. 

5. Choose one of the plans you made under Exercise 
T, page 95. Write a composition according to it, taking 
care to begin each paragraph with a topic sentence. 

io6 A First Year English Book 

6. Write a composition on one of the following sub- 
jects. Write a paragraph on each topic stated in the topic 


is a typical (Illinois) town. (Describe the general 

situation, style of buildings, and so forth.) 

The main industries are 

The most notable public buildings are (Enumerate 

and describe.) 


is the most interesting book I have ever read. (Give 

the reasons why it is interesting.) 


Among the many occupations in life I should choose 
In the first place it attracts me, because it requires 

(much) preparation. (Discuss the amount and hind of 

In the second place it attracts me because it offers oppor- 
tunity to make a good living. (State the wages, etc.) 

Finally, it attracts me because 

(Give the aspect of it that you think you would especially 


You have seen that in the whole composition you must 
not only leave out whatever does not bear on your subject, 
but you must also put in what does bear on it. If a topic 
belongs to your subject, you must discuss it; mere mention 

Paragraph Development 107 

of it is not sufficient. To mention your topic and not dis- 
cuss it, would be like giving your title but neglecting to 
write your composition. 

The following composition is faulty because the second 
paragraph merely states a topic but does not treat it : 


We reached Rome two days before Easter Sunday, anx- 
ious to witness the beautiful Easter service in St. Peter's 
church. As we drove to a hotel we saw many foreigners 
in the streets, but it did not occur to us that their number 
could affect our comfort until we confidently ordered rooms. 
The proprietor informed us with regretful bows that all his 
rooms were taken. With spirits but slightly dashed, we 
drove to another hotel, only to hear the same words. To 
house after house we went, our despair growing, and our 
bill to the driver increasing. At last, having exhausted our 
list of hotels and pensions, we turned to our driver for sug- 
gestions. In broken English he said he thought his cousin 
might take us in if we did not mind the palazzo being on a 
small street. When we said the street did not matter, he 
took us to an old, marble palace unspeakably dirty. At his 
call a fat, untidy signora appeared, and after talking with 
him, said she would give us a room. 

Never in my life did I see such a grimy room. 

The first paragraph treats its topic, the search for a room, 
at sufficient length. The second states a topic, but does not 
treat it. The paragraph should be developed by describing 
the room, which is the main interest in the composition. 
Of the two paragraphs, the second should be the longer. 


i. Take the following notes and arrange them under 
topics. Add any material which is necessary to the treat- 
ment of each topic. 

108 A First Year English Book 

I promised my cousins to go to a picnic in the woods. I 
think they showed a great deal of confidence in my good- 
nature, for they remarked that as they were going to pro- 
vide the carriage, and lemonade, and carry fishing-rods, I 
could get the lunch ready. There were seven of us. So I 
bought seven loaves of bread, a dozen and a half eggs, a 
chocolate cake, and two pies. Then I went down to see 
Aunt Annie. I always disliked picnics. I couldn't see why 
I had said I would go to this. I like hot food, and things 
are always cold at a picnic. Then the coffee is always 
weak, or else too sweet. It's awkward to sit down around a 
table-cloth on the ground. And then, green things are 
always dropping on me. If there are little children along 
they are sure to get cross and cry ; or else they fall in the 
water and make their elders cross. Altogether, I don't see 
why sensible people don't stay in their back yards for the 
air, and eat in their own dining-rooms. Aunt Annie offered 
to give me a salad. She said the very fact that I didn't 
care to go should make me more particular about the food 
I took. So she made a delicious salad of fruits and nuts. 
She also added seven jam tarts. She asked me what I was 
going to make my sandwiches of. I said ham, and she sug- 
gested that I vary with lettuce and peanut sandwiches. 
She laughed at my seven loaves, and said that three would 
be more than enough. She told me to pack the food care- 
fully and hot to forget to carry some drinking glasses. She 
said I'd be sure to forget something. The next morning my 
cousins called for me in their big three-seated carry-all. 
They were all laughing and talking as if they were going to 
enjoy themselves thoroughly. I felt as if I should have a 
good time, too, Mother helped me in with my basket of 
food. I had put in some olives and pickles, and Mother had 
exchanged half of the chocolate cake for half an angel's 
food cake. There was enough for twenty people. We 
drove on rapidly for two miles. Then one of the horses fell 
lame, and we went at a snail's pace for two miles. After 
awhile, one of the boys got out to see if he could tell what 
was the matter. He found that the horse had a stone in his 
foot. When it was removed we set off again at a better 
pace. When we reached the lake in the woods where the 
picnic was to be held, we found that the boys had forgotten 

Paragraph Development 109 

the fishing-rods. So, as they could not fish, they played 
games until it was time for lunch. Then we found that I 
had forgotten the salt and pepper. I felt sure more than 
ever that picnics are not worth while. They just serve to 
show what a poor memory a person can hare at times. 

2. Find the main topics in the following selection. Com- 
bine the sentences into paragraphs, each of which shall treat 
one topic. If you find a sentence which does not bear on the 
paragraph topic, omit it. 

The old signs seldom fail, — a red and angry sunrise, or 
flushed clouds at evening. Many a hope of rain have I 
seen dashed by a painted sky at sunset. There is truth in 
the old couplet, too: 

"If it rains before seven, 
It will clear before eleven." 

An old Indian had a sign for winter : "If the wind blows 
the snow off the trees, the next storm will be snow ; if it 
rains off, the next storm will be rain." 

Morning rains are usually short-lived. Better wait until 
ten o'clock. 

When the clouds are chilled, they turn blue and rise up. 

When the fog leaves the mountains, reaching upward, 
as if afraid of being left behind, the fair weather is near. 

Shoddy clouds are of little account, and soon fall to 
pieces. Have your clouds show a good strong fiber, and 
have them lined, — not with silver, but with other clouds of 
a finer texture, — and have them wadded. It wants two or 
three thicknesses to get up a good rain, especially unless 
you have that cloud-mother, that dim, filmy, nebulous mass 
that has its root in the higher regions of the air, and is the 
source and backing of all storms, your rain will be light 
indeed. I fear my reader's jacket is not thoroughly soaked 
yet. I must give him a final dash, a "clear-up" shower. 

We were camping in the primitive woods by a little trout- 
lake which the mountain carried high on his hip, like a sol- 
dier's canteen. There were wives in the party, curious to 

no A First Year English Book 

know what the lure was that annually drew their husbands 
to the woods. The magical writing on a trout's back they 
would fain decipher, little heeding the warning that what is 
written here is not given women to know. 

Our only tent or roof was the sheltering arms of the great 
birches and maples. What was sauce for the gander should 
be sauce for the goose, too, so the goose insisted. 

A luxurious couch of boughs upon swinging poles was 
prepared, and the night should be not less welcome than 
the day, which had indeed been idyllic. (A trout dinner 
had been served by a little spring brook, upon an improvised 
table covered with moss and decked with ferns, with straw- 
berries fn»m a near clearing.) 

At twilight there was an ominous rumble behind the 
mountains. I was on the lake and could see wdiat was brew- 
ing in the west. 

Locusts 'hiil Wild Honey, John Buurouuiis. 

The number of paragraphs in a composition, or of topics 
in a subject, depends on lmw much you have to say. If you 
are writing on a small scale there will be few paragraphs; if 
you are writing on a large scale, there will be many. For 
example, suppose you were going to tell about the boyhood 
of Thomas Jefferson. If you were writing briefly, you 
might tell the story in one paragraph. If you had more in- 
formation, you might write one paragraph on his parentage, 
another on his schooling, a third on his work. 

A subject, then, does not contain inevitably just so many 
paragraphs or parts. It contains more or fewer, according 
to the information you have about it. With information you 
see the possibilities in a subject, and can write about it more 

Xote that though the following selections treat the same 
subject from practically the same point of view, the first 
shows fuller and more specific information, and conse- 
quently has more paragraphs than the second. 

Paragraph Development in 


In all Florence, nothing appeals to me as does the Ponte 
Vecchio, — the Old Bridge. Its long history stretches back 
into the Roman period when a Roman bridge lay across the 
Arno, binding Florence to Rome. In 1080, it was recon- 
structed of wood; in 1 177 it was carried away by a flood, 
and was rebuilt of stone; in 1333 another great inundation 
carried it away, and it was finally rebuilt of stone with three 
arches, by the great architect, Taddeo Gaddi, and today it 
stands as firm, apparently, as it was the day he finished it. 
Little shops are built upon the bridge on both sides of the 
roadway except in the exact middle, where, on each side, 
there is the width of one shop. Through these spaces, as 
through windows, one can look up and down the Arno, and 
see this beautiful part of Florence as though it were framed. 
The little shops were occupied from 1422 till the middle of 
the sixteenth century by butchers. Then the great De 
Medici, Cosmo I., gave ';hem to the goldsmiths, who have 
used them ever since for the display of jewelry. 

But the mere history of the bridge is nothing to what has 
passed over it. It heard the tramp of Roman legionaries, 
popes and emperors, kings and queens, generals and hire- 
lings. It heard the triumphal march of feet in 1288 when 
the foundations of the cathedral were laid, — that great 
cathedral which was finished only in 1887. It heard the 
hurried tread of funerals in the dreadful year of the Black 
Death, when 100,000 inhabitants died. Over it the Guelphs 
and Ghibellines fought their terrible feud that involved 
nearly all Florence in bloodshed. Over it passed the gen- 
erations of the Medici, to whose intrigues Florence owed 
the final loss of her republican rights. The pageant of the 
life of the nation has gone over the bridge, and much pri- 
vate history, too. Here Cosmo I. saw the beautiful Camilla 
Martelli, whom he afterwards married, leaning out of her 
father's shop, — the loveliest jewel there. And many a time 
she longed for the simple life of her girlhood, when, after 
Cosmo's death, his successor imprisoned her till she died 
an imbecile. Across the bridge many a time passed the great 
thinkers and poets and artists of Florence, — Galileo and 
Machiavelli. Dante and Giotto, and Michael Angelo. Many 

112 A First Year English Book 

and many a time Michael Angelo must have leaned upon 
the balustrade of the bridge watching the flow of the green 
Arno, brooding over his verses, planning the fortifica- 
tions of Florence, or dreaming of his dome of St. Peter's. 
The crowning glory of the Ponte Vecchio is that its floor 
bore the tread of this great man of Florence. 

Maude Radford Warren. 


Taddeo Gaddi built me, I am old, 

Five centuries old. I plant my feet of stone 

Upon the Arno as St. Michael's own 

Was planted on the dragon. Fold by fold 

Beneath me as it struggles, I behold 

Its glistening scales. Twice hath it overthrown 

My kindred and companions. Me alone 

It moveth not, but is by me controlled. 

I can remember when the Medici 

Were driven from Florence ; longer still ago 

The final wars of Ghibelline and Guelph. 

Florence adorns me with her jewelry; 

And when I think that Michael Angelo 

Hath leaned on me, I glory in myself. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 




There are few of us who have not at times been subject 
to dreams which have seemed so real that it has been hard 
to shake off their impression. Some have been pursued by a 
certain definite kind of bad dream ; night after night we have 
met strange creatures, or we have fallen from great heights, 
to wake just as we were about to strike the ground. Some 
have had certain pleasant dreams, which became, so to say, 
habitual. Some, perhaps, have dreamed poetry, but failed 
to remember it after waking. There is one remarkable in- 
stance of a beautiful poem — Kitbla Khan — which came to 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge in a dream. When he woke he 
began writing it down, but was interrupted and was never 
able to finish the fragment. You will find the beginning of 
it on page 138. Robert Louis Stevenson sometimes dreamed 
out stories, which were characterized by clearness of detail, 
and neatness of structure. 

The following is Stevenson's account of his dreams when 
he was a youth, before his mind was trained in the craft of 
story-telling. He was, it should be said, of a nervous consti- 
tution, and was never in good health. 


Upon these grounds, there are some of us who claim to 
have lived longer and more richly than our neighbors ; when 
they lay asleep they claim they were still active ; and among 


ii4 A Fust Year English Book 

the treasures of memory that all men review for their amuse- 
ment, they count in no second place the harvests of their 
dreams. There is one of this kind whom I have in my eye, 
and whose case is perhaps unusual enough to be described. 
He was from a child an ardent and uncomfortable dreamer. 
When he had a touch of fever at night, and the room 
swelled and shrank, and his clothes, hanging on a nail, now 
loomed up instant to the bigness of a church, and now drew 
away into a horror of infinite distance and infinite littleness, 
the poor soul was very well aware of what must follow. 
and struggled hard against the approaches of that slumber 
which was the beginning of Sorrows. Bui his struggles 
were m vain; sooner or later the night-hag would have him 
by the throat, and pluck him, struggling and ^creaming, 
from his sleep. His dreams were at times commonplace 
enough, at times very strange; at times they were almost 
formless; he would be haunted, for instance, by nothing 
more definite than a certain hue of brown, which he did not 
mind in the least while he was awake, but feared and loathed 
while he was dreaming; at times, again, they took on every 
detail of circumstance, as when once he supposed he must 
swallow the populous world, and awoke screaming with the 
horror of the thought. 

These were extremely poor experiences, on the whole ; and 
at that time of life my dreamer would have very willingly 
parted with his power of dreams. Hut presently, in the 
course of his growth, the cries and physical contortions 
passed away, seemingly forever; his visions were still for 
the most part miserable, but they were more constantly sup- 
ported ; and he would awake with no more extreme symp- 
tom than a living heart, a freezing scalp, cold sweats, and 
the speechless midnight fear. I lis dreams, too, as befitted 
a mind better stocked with particulars, became more circum- 
stantial, and had more the air and continuity of life. The 
look of the world beginning to take hold on his attention, 
scenery came to play a part in his sleeping as well as his 
waking thoughts, so that he could take long uneventful 
journeys and see strange towns and beautiful places as he 
lav in bed. And, what is more significant, an odd taste that 
he had for the Georgian costume and for stories laid in that 
period of English history, began to rule the features of his 

Describing from Memory i*5 

dreams ; so that he masqueraded there in a three-cornered 
hat, and was much engaged with Jacobite conspiracy be- 
tween the hour for bed and that for breakfast. About the 
same time he began to read in his dreams — tales, for the 
most part, and for the most part after the manner of G. P. 
R. James, but so incredibly more vivid and moving than 
any printed book, that he has ever since been malcontent 
with literature. 

A Chapter on Dreams, Eobert Louis Stevenson. 


1. Oral. What are the causes of dreams? Have you 
heard of any superstition as to their meaning? Have you 
read of any cases where dreams have influenced a man's life ? 

2. Write a brief theme telling some of your own dreams. 

References eor Suggestive Reading 

The Dream of Clarence in Richard III. Byron's The 
Dream. Jacob's Dream, in Genesis. Jack London's Be- 
fore Adam. 


Few writers of fiction describe scenes more vividly, with 
more faithful detail, than did Charles Dickens. When we 
have read one of his books we know the homes of his char- 
acters as well as if we had seen them. The Peerybingles' 
kitchen, the toymaker's shop, we can see as if we were in 
them. Why was Dickens able to make us see all this ? Be- 
cause he had a remarkably accurate observation, and a re- 
markably accurate memory. He himself said that he never 
went into a room, even for a few moments, that he did not 
remember what the room contained. And this power is 
characteristic of most great writers. Men of thought, phi- 
losophers and mathematicians, often pay little attention to 
their surroundings ; they are absent-minded, like Archime- 
des ; but the writer is usually, as a great French man of let- 

n6 A First Year English Book 

ters said of himself, "a man for whom the visihle world 


Oral OR WRITTEN. Descrihe four of the following scenes 
as fully and accurately as you can, describing color as well 
as form : 

i. Descrihe the breakfast table this morning. 

2. Describe what you saw from your scat in church Sun- 
day morning. 

3. Describe the view from your window. 

4. Describe the front of your house. 

5. Describe Launcelot as he rode by to Camelot ; the Lady 
of Shalott in her room ; what she saw as she looked from 
her window; describe her in the boat drifting down to 
Camelot. See the picture opposite page 80. 

6. Describe Queen Mab's coach ; the Feast of Oberon ; 
the fairies' funeral. 

7. Describe a favorite character from fiction : Huckle- 
berry Finn, or King Arthur, or Leatherstocking, or The 
Red Cross Knight, or any other. 

8. Describe some familiar flower or tree or animal. 

9. Describe what Enoch Arden saw as he sat on the cliff 
watching for a ship. 

10. Describe the room of Priscilla; of John Alden. 

11. Describe Miles Standish; Rip Van Winkle, his wife, 
his dog; Icliabod Crane. 

It has been well said that the secret of success is interest. 

"He who takes interest in a thing, will invariably develop 
a good memory regarding everything in relation to that 
thing. He will be eloquent on it; he will eventually prove 
inventive, at any rate suggestive, with regard to it. The 
keener the interest, the more likely is the person entertain- 

Forecasting Current Events 117 

ing it to advance knowledge, to do something striking and 
successful concerning the object of his interest. 

"Now a good way of increasing your interest and at the 
same time increasing your power to think, is the following : 
Whenever you read something in your daily paper which, 
either as a political or social event, arrests your momentary 
attention, try to think out how it will develop in the near 
future, by force of your own reflections. Thus, e. g., at 
present there is a conflict between Turkey and Great Britain 
in reference to the boundary of Egypt in the Sinai Penin- 
sula. Try to place yourself, first on the standpoint of the 
Turk, arguing out his case and possible rights as completely 
as you can ; then argue out the case from the standpoint of 
Great Britain ; finally, come to a conclusion ; bring your- 
self to predict the result of the conflict. 

"In doing so, you will at once take a more intense interest 
in the Anglo-Turkish conflict. By acquiring that interest, 
you will learn to view with attention phases of life different 
from your own. You will learn to see. Once you have 
made some headway in this great art of seeing things and 
into things, you have secured possession of one of the most 
essential factors of success." 

Success Among Men, Emil Reich. 


7. Read in a newspaper, or The Outlook, or The Re- 
view of Reviews an account of one or two situations im- 
portant now. 

2. What is the gist of the situation in each of these cases? 
the most important conditions? What are the possible re- 
sults ? Who are the most important actors in it ? What lines 
of action are possible to them in the case ? What would 
you do if you were one of them? 

5. Write a theme, summing up a situation briefly, and 
telling how you think the matter will come out. Give the 
reasons for your conjecture. 

Ii8 A First Year English Book 


There is one fault which is especially liable to appear in 
description, namely, the unnecessar} repetition of words. 
I fere is an example : 

On one side of the room was a table, and at the right 
of that was a settle. At the left of the settle stood a great 
arm chair ; in the chair were red cushions. In the center 
of the room stood an oak table on which stood a heavy gilt 
goblet ; beside it was an open book. On the other side of 
the room was the great fireplace. In front of it was a row 
of apples roasting before the fire. 

Such indications of place as "at the right," "at the left" 
are necessary to clearness ; but a little care in arrangement 
of words and in structure of the sentence will prevent the 
monotonous repetition of them. Such words as "was" and 
"stood" can be varied, or avoided by subordination. (Sec 
sentence study, page jp.) 

Note how the author of the following selection avoids 
such repetition : 

Here, then, was a wide and reasonably lofty hall, extend- 
ing through the whole depth of the house, and forming a 
medium of general communication, more or less directly, 
with all the other apartments. At one extremity, this spa- 
cious room was lighted by the windows of the two towers, 
which formed a small recess on either side of the portal. 
At the other end, though partly muhied by the curtain, it 
was more powerfully illuminated by one of those embowed 
hall-windows which we read of in old books, and which was 
provided with a deep and cushioned seat. Here, on the 
cushion, lay a folio tome, probably of the chronicles of Eng- 
land or other such substantial literature ; even as, in our 
own days, we scatter gilded volumes on the center-table, to be 
turned over by the casual guest. The furniture of the hall 
consisted of some ponderous chairs, the backs of which were 
elaborately carved with wreaths of oaken flowers ; and like- 
wise a table in the same taste ; the whole being of Eliza- 

Describing from Imagination 119 

bethan age, or perhaps earlier, and heirlooms, transferred 
hither from the governor's paternal home. On the table — 
in token that the sentiment of 'old English hospitality had 
not been left behind — stood a large pewter tankard. 

The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne. 


1. Take these properties — an interior with fireplace, set- 
tle, armchair, table, goblet, open book, row of roasting 
apples — and write a description, avoiding unnecessary repeti- 
tion of words. 

2. Describe the picture opposite page 15. 


Another way of finding something to write about is by 
telling what you see with the mind's eye, that is, with your 
imagination. Some of the most useful discoveries that were 
ever made were not found first with the eyes, but were first 
seen by the imagination. It was only an apple falling which 
Newton saw, but his imagination saw a universe held to- 
gether by law. Moreover, some of the most beautiful 
things in the world were made by the imagination— pictures 
like The Angelas, and poems like The Lady of Shalott. 

Of course, your imagination must use what you have 
really seen. But you can build up and combine so as to 
produce a new thing. Hawthorne had seen pictures of the 
Puritans ; he had seen their clothes, furniture, and banners. 
Out of all these, he made such stories as The Gray Cham- 
pion, or Endicott and the Red Cross. 

You can not only improve your writing by exercising your 
imagination, but you can also give yourself much pleasure. 
You are walking to school and you see a horse and wagon 
placidly ambling down the road with no driver. As you 
walk on, you can imagine what sort of man the driver is, 

120 ./ First Year English Book 

what he wears, where he is going, where he is at present, 
what he will do when he finds the horse gone. Or, as yon 
near a clump of woods, you see a line of blue .smoke. Sup- 
pose that should indicate a gypsy camp. Ybu shut your 
eyes and see men with swarthy faces and full black beards, 
and women with large, dark eyes, gleaming teeth, heavy 
gold ear-rings, and gay handkerchiefs around their necks. 

You see a black pot over the fire, and half a dozen children 
and dogs playing nearby. Perhaps you see how the men 
look as they walk about. 

At every opportunity, then, you should see with the 
mind's eye, you should exercise your imagination. There 
is an added pleasure in the fact that you see what nobody 
else sees. If you write down your impressions and com- 
pare them with your neighbor's, you will find many differ- 
ence-. Suppose that you are told to picture to yourself 
an untidy hoy who always comes late to school. You see 
him as he enters the door of the schoolroom; and you might 
write as folic .\\ s : 

Jimmy was the laziest boy I ever knew. lie would sleep 
so late in the morning that his hreakfast was cold when he 
came yawning down stairs, his curly mop of yellow hair all 
tangled, his brown eyes half shut with sleep. As he liked 
to eat, he would linger so long over breakfast that the last 
hell for school would ring before he set off. But he never 
hurried. He would open the schoolroom door at five min- 
utes past nine, looking at the teacher, while we looked at 
him. His jacket would he unbuttoned; probably he would 
have left off his waistcoat, and maybe his shirt would ln- 
pinned instead of buttoned. His trousers would be shabby 
and especially worn at the knees. His stockings would be 
full of holes and his shoes unlaced. All the time he would 
be swinging back and forth in his dirty right hand a tattered 

The student in the seat next you might write : 


Describing from Imagination 121 

Of all the unlucky people in our town Martin Lane is 
surely the unluckiest. He is well-meaning, but all his good 
intentions come to nothing because he is absent-minded. 
He is absent-minded because he has inventive genius. But 
so far, his genius has resulted only in making him always 
untidy and always late for school. His appearance in our 
schoolroom door at half-past nine yesterday was typical. 
He came breathless, because he did not want to be late. 
There he stood, his yellow hair all disheveled by his run- 
ning, one lock sticking straight out at the side, showing 
where he had singed it short in making some experiment. 
His blue eyes looked very round and staring, partly because 
he was worried at being late and partly because he had 
singed off his eyebrows and eyelashes in this same experi- 
ment. He had forgotten his collar, and his brown coat and 
waistcoat were full of little holes and singed places where 
he had dropped chemicals, and they were without buttons, 
for he had cut these off for some purpose or other. The 
bottom of one of his trouser legs was cut almost into rib- 
bons. One of his stockings was black, and one brown, 
showing that he had put them on while he was in a brown 
study. One foot was in a carpet slipper, because he had 
burned his heel in some lime. Altogether, he looked as 
untidy and mixed up as a scarecrow. 

Note that each of the writers has a different picture of 
the untidy boy who is always late. Which picture is more 
vivid? Which introduces details that seem more lifelike? 


1. Oral. Can you read a person's character from his 
appearance, his belongings and surroundings ? Are you 
sometimes deceived by appearances ? Give examples. 

2. Write descriptions of the following: 

1. Suppose that you could build a house, with grounds, 
situation, everything just as you would like; describe. 

122 A First Year English Book 

2. You have found a knife with a hacked handle and a 
broken blade ; describe the boy who lost it. 

3. Describe a room so that it will be recognizable as a 
sitting room on a rainy Sunday morning in November. 

4. Describe a schoolroom so a- to -how that it is ready 
for the closing exercises of the year. 

5. Suppose that you could spend two weeks of youi 
vacation just as you like; describe your experience fully. 

6. Suppose someone had given you three thousand dol- 
lars; how could you use it most wisely? 

7. A picnic has been held in the woods; what are the 
signs, and what do they tell yon of the picnickers? 

8. Describe a kitchen so as to show that it is a Thanks- 
giving morning. 

9. Describe the sitting room of a house so as to show 
that it is Christmas Eve. 

10. Describe a group of boys and girls who are hazel- 
nutting, and are resting before they set out for home. 

11. You see a girl's room, furnished in blue; dainty mus- 
lin curtains: a willow chair; a picture of Lincoln on the 
wall ; open on the table a large picture book, bound in red 
morocco; on the floor a blue hair ribbon, an open letter, 
and a picture postal card from London. Tell all you can 
about the girl. 

5. Oral. Describe a man and his surroundings so that 
it will be evident that he is a mason ; a doctor ; a sculptor ; 
a painter ; a railroad conductor ; a street car conductor ; a 
sailor; an army officer; a blacksmith; a miner. 

4. Oral. Describe a woman who is a milliner ; a nurse ; 
a sister of a religious order. 

5. Describe a scene so as to show that it is eaWy spring; 
late autumn ; early morning in summer. 

Castles in Spain 123 


Power to imagine is one of the greatest of our faculties. 
Before an actor can act his part, he must first imagine it. 
Before the painter makes his picture or groups his models, 
he must see in his mind what he afterwards makes visible 
to the world. Before the business man or the captain of 
industry builds up a great enterprise, he first sees it in his 
mind, together with the means by which he can realize his 
vision. This power of inward vision, like all our powers, 
is a matter of growth, and growth comes by exercise. 

Read the following imaginative sketch : 

On the fifth day of the moon, which according to the cus- 
tom of my forefathers I always keep holy, after having 
washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I 
ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest 
of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing 
myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound 
contemplation on the vanity of human life ; and passing 
from one thought to another, "Surely," said I, "man is but 
a shadow and life'a dream." Whilst I was thus musing, I 
cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far 
from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, 
with a musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon 
him he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. 
The sound of it was exceedingly sweet, and wrought into a 
variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and alto- 
gether different from anything I had ever heard. 

I had been often told that the rock before me was the 
haunt of a Genius ; and that several had been entertained by 
music who had passed by it, but never heard that the mu- 
sician had before made himself visible. When he had raised 
my thoughts by those transporting airs which he played to 
taste the pleasures of his conversation, as I looked upon him 
like one astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the waving 
of his hand directed me to approach the place where he sat. 

i_'4 A. First Year English Book 

I drew near with thai reverence which is due to a superior 
nature; and as my hearing \\ is entirely subdued by the cap- 
tivating strains 1 had heard. I fell down at his feet and wept. 
The Genius smiled upon me with a look oi compassion and 
affability that familiarized him to my imagination, and at 
once dispelled all the fears and apprehensions with which 
1 approached him. He lifted me from the ground, and tak- 
ing me by the hand, "Mir/a.'* said he. "I have heard thee in 
thy soliloquies; follow me." 

He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and 
placing me on the top oi it. "Cast thy eyes eastward," said 
lie. "and tell me what thou seest." "I see." said 1, *'a huge 
valley ami a prodigious tide oi water rolling through it." 
"The valley that thou seest." said he. "is the Vale of Misery, 
and the tide of water that thou seest IS part oi the great tide 
oi Eternity." "What is the reason." said \, "that the tide 
I see rises out oi a thick mist at one end, and again loses 
it-elf in a thick mist at the other?" "What thou seest," 
said he. "is that portion of Eternity which is called Time. 
measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning 
of the world to its consummation. Examine now." said he, 
"this sea that is thus hounded with darkness at both ends, 
and tell me what thou discoverest in it." "1 see a bridge," 
said 1, "standing in the midst of the tide." "The bridge 
thou seest," said he. "is human life; consider it attentively." 
Upon a more leisurely survey of it. I found that it consisted 
of threescore and ten entire arches, with several hroken 
arches, which added to those that were entire, made up the 
numher about an hundred. As 1 was counting the arches, 
the Genius told me that this bridge consisted at first of a 
thousand arches: but that a great flood swept away the rest, 
and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now beheld 
it. "But tell me farther," said he, "what thou discoverest 
on it." "I see multitudes of people passing over it." said 
I, "and a black cloud hanging on each end of it." As T 
looked more attentively, I saw several of the passengers 
dropping through the bridge into the great tide that flowed 
underneath it : and upon farther examination, perceived 
there were innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the 
bridge, which the passengers no sooner trod upon, but they 
fell through them into the title, and immediately disappeared. 

Castles in Spain 125 

These hiddei pitfalls were set very thick at the entrance of 
the bridge, /so that throngs of people no sooner broke 
through the/cloud, but many of them fell into them. They 
grew thinner towards the middle, but multiplied and lay 
r together towards the end of the arches that were 
entire. . . . 

"Look no more," said he (the Genius), "on man in the 
first stage of his existence ; but cast thine eye on that thick 
mist into which the tide bears the several generations of 
mortals that fall into it." I directed my sight as I 
ordered, and I saw the valley opening at the farther end, 
and spreading forth into an immense ocean, that had a huge 
rock of adamant running through the midst of it, and 
dividing it into two equal parts. The clouds still rested on 
one-half of it, insomuch that I could discover nothing in it; 
but the other appeared to me a vast .ocean, planted with 
innumerable islands, that were covered with fruits and flow- 
ers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that 
ran among them. I could see persons dressed in glorious 
habits with garlands upon their heads, passing among the 
trees, lying down by the sides of fountains, or resting on 
beds of flowers ; and I could hear a confused harmony of 
singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and musical 
instruments. Gladness grew upon me at the discovery of 
so delightful a scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, 
that I might fly away to those happy seats ; but the Genius 
told me there was no passage to them, except through the 
gates of death that I saw opening every moment upon the 
bridge. . . . 

Tht Vision of Mirza, Addi.sox. 

References for Suggestive Reading 

Tennyson's Recollections of the Arabian Xights. Ken- 
neth Grahame's Dream Days. 


/. Write a theme describing some of your "castles in 

2. Suppose that you are a young man who has gone to 

126 A First Year English Book 

the Klondike. Write a letter home describing' your hard- 
ships and your prospects. 

5. You are doing charity work in a great city. Write 
a letter home. 

4. You are shipwrecked on a desert island. Recount 
your experiences until you arc rescued. 

5. Suppose you could work a great reform in the world. 
Tell the story of your achievement. 

6. From the situations given below, choose one and \\ rite 
a story of what happens. Think over the subject carefully, 
so that you can see exactly how the scene looks and what 
is happening. Then write in a straightforward way, leav- 
ing out nothing that your readers ought to understand. 

1. A railroad station. A little girl from the country 
who has never been in a station before, enters timidly, 

2. At church on a warm day. The beads of the con- 
gregation are all turned towards the door ; the clergyman 
has stopped in his sermon. 

3. A boy stands on the step of a house now empty, bis 
home till the death of his parents the week before. He has 
in his hand an old valise and a worn umbrella. 

4. A little store where school supplies and confection- 
ery are sold. Three children stand at a counter in the back 
of the room, while an old woman is searching on some 
shelves at the side. Beneath the counter crouches a boy, 
his hand in his pocket, peering cautiously at the old woman. 

7. Study the picture opposite page 15 ; write a conversa- 
tion between two of the boys. 

8. Study the following dialogue. How do the people 
look ? What are their ages ? Is the first speaker a man ? 
Are they standing or sitting ? Where ? Do they make any 
gestures or movements as they talk? Rewrite, making all 
this perfectly clear. 

Avoid Shifts in Sentence Structure 127 

"So you want to make fifty dollars, and you think I can 
help you? What does a boy of your age want with fifty 

"I want twenty-five of it to get a new sewing-machine for 
my mother, and twenty-five to buy a bicycle so that I can 
have a newspaper route." 

"And why do you come to me?" 

"Because I — I can't think of any way of making money 
myself, and I knew you had work to give to people." 

"Did you try to think what you could do best?" 

"Yes ; and I tried to find work. But I can't do chores 
because I have to work at home at the time people want 
their chores done. Everyone seems to have plenty of wood 
split, and their own boys weed their gardens, and — " 

"I see. Well, had you any notion of what I might give 
you to do ?" 

"I thought you might perhaps let me do some of the 
things the hired man hasn't time for on this big place." 

"I help him myself." 

"Well, I have been wondering, and when I was in your 
library once, I noticed that the books were all dusty, and 
were put on the shelves in any order; some of them were 
upside down. You said you didn't know how many books 
you had, or what they were. Why shouldn't I arrange 
them, and — " 

"That's not a bad idea." 

"Then I thought maybe I might overhaul your garret. 
They say it hasn't been touched since it was built a hundred 
years ago ; and maybe — " 

"There, there ; you begin on the library, and if you do that 
well, I'll set you at something else." 


We have found that in attempting to write we are sure 
to fail unless we take the trouble to plan our compositions. 
It is quite as essential that we plan our sentences. It would 
have been a pleasant arrangement if we had been created 

128 A Fust Year English Book 

so that our thoughts would gush out into perfect expres- 
sion, clothing themselves in beautiful, orderly words, as a 
tree clothes itself in leaves. But it is the law of life that we 
must strive in order to attain success. If we would express 
ourselves well, we must use our wits; we must plan our 
sentences, as well as everything else that we make. 

Xow the facts which you should consider in planning are 
few and simple. You know that the sentence is an attempt 
to express your thought. The subject of your thought, 
then, should be the grammatical subject of your sentence. 
The person who writes, "He made a -perch in the town 
hall and the building of a new bridge was advocated by 
him," has not planned his sentence, lie has not taken the 
trouble to find out which is the subject of his thought, "he" 
or "the bridge." 

Let the subject of your thought be the subject of your 
sentence. Do not change your subject unless it is necessary 
to do so in order to express your thought. 


i. In the following selections, what is the subject of each 
paragraph? What is the subject of each sentence? Does 
each sentence bear on the subject of the paragraph? Note 
that there is no unnecessary change of subject within the 
sentence : 

Johnson had now become one of Goldsmith's best friends 
and advisers. He knew all the weak points of his character, 
but he knew also his merits; and while he would rebuke him 
like a child, and rail at his error-; and follies, he would suffer 
no one else to undervalue him. Goldsmith knew the sound- 
ness of his judgment and his practical benevolence, and 
often sought his counsel and aid amid the difficulties into 
which his heedlessness was continually plunging him. 

"I received one morning," says Johnson, "a message from 

Avoid Shifts in Sentence Structure 129 

poor Goldsmith that he was in great distress, and, as it was 
not in his power to come to me, begging that I would come 
to him as soon as possible. I sent him a guinea, and prom- 
ised to come to him directly. I accordingly went as soon 
as I was dressed, and found that his landlady had arrested 
him for his rent, at which he was in a violent passion. I 
perceived that he had already changed my guinea and had 
a bottle of Madeira and a glass before him. I put the cork 
into the bottle, desired he would be calm, and began to talk 
to him of the means by which he might be extricated. He 
then told me he had a novel ready for the press, which he 
produced to me. I looked into it and saw its merits; told 
the landlady I should soon return ; and, having gone to a 
bookseller, sold it for sixty pounds. I brought Goldsmith 
the money, and he discharged his rent, not without rating 
his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill." 

The novel in question was the Vicar of Wakefield ; the 
bookseller to whom Johnson sold it was Francis Newbery, 
nephew of John. Strange as it may seem, this captivating 
work, which has obtained and preserved an almost unrivaled 
popularity in various languages, was so little appreciated by 
the bookseller, that he kept it by him for nearly two years 

Oliver Goldsmith, Washington Irving. 

2. Point out unnecessary changes of subject in the fol- 
lowing sentences. Rewrite the sentences. 

1. He set out for school, but a day in the country was 
chosen instead. 

2. Alice and Bessie went for a walk, but walking soon 
grew tiresome to them. 

3. Edward Smith was suspended from his office, and 
the mayor charged him with embezzling taxes to the 
amount of seventeen hundred dollars. 

4. John Bruce, the cashier, first noticed the deficit, and 
was called as a main witness in the case. 

5. We think the baby is our most precious possession, 
and he, in turn, appreciates us. 

130 A First Year E)iglish Book 

6. He broke the violin and it cannot be mended. 

7. To study is to grow ; growing is to do much good in 
the world. 

8. Golfing is our greatest pleasure, but we also like to 
play tennis and row. 

9. He was seen by Dora and me as we went down the 
street, and we called to him, but in vain. 

10. A rest was taken today by the hunters in camp, and 
they passed the hours telling stories. 

11. The women of Newcastle sent to camp a huge fruit 
cake, and a basket of fresh egg- was sent to Han l'icrson, 
a ranchman. 

The first requisite in sentence structure is that the- subject 
should not be changed without good reason. There are 
other unnecessary changes which occur in careless writing. 
Suppose you are telling a story and you come to a point 
where several actions follow each other in a rapid series, 
thus: "We ran about wildly, we shouted, we threw up our 
hats, we waved our ann>, — all to no purpose." 

You begin with a short statement, and if you plan your 
sentence, you will use the same construction for all the 
other actions in the series. Make no unnecessary changes 
in the structure of your sentence. For example, you should 
not say: "We ran about wildly, waving our arms; our 
shouts were heard ; our hats were thrown up — all to no 
purpose." Perhaps your series will consist of infinitives, 
as in the following sentence: 

"Salemina's first idea is always to make tangled things 
smooth, to bring sweet order out of chaos, to prune and 
graft and water and weed and tend things, until they blos- 
som for shame under her healing touch." 

Or you may use participial phrases: "We often found 
him at work in his garden, digging in the rich loam, pulling 

Avoid Shifts in Sentence Structure 131 

a stray weed, trimming a border-hedge, or fastening an 
errant vine upon the wall." 

Or again your series may consist of dependent clauses : 
"It was a pleasure to see how he would fit the tid-bits to 
the puny mouths, how he would recommend this slice of 
white bread, or that piece of kissing-crust, how genteelly 
he would deal about the water, with a special recommenda- 
tion to wipe the lip before drinking." 

Whatever your series, you should continue your sentence 
consistently in the way you begin it. You help to make 
your sentence clear when you form certain parts of it after 
the same pattern. By putting similar ideas in similar forms, 
you call attention to their likeness. The important rule to 
keep in mind is this: Do not change your construction un- 
necessarily; carry out your plan: make the parts fit each 



/. In the following sentences, name the words, phrases, 
or clauses which correspond in construction ; that is, which 
are in a series. 

If peradventure, reader, it has been thy lot to waste the 
golden years of thy life — thy shining youth — in the irksome 
confinement of an office; to have thy prison days prolonged 
through middle age down to decrepitude and silver hairs 
without hope of release or respite ; to have lived to forget 
that there are such things as holidays, or to remember them 
but as the prerogatives of childhood ; then, and then only, 
will you be able to appreciate my deliverance. 

The Superannuated Man, Charles Lamb. 

"I wish the good old times would come again," she said, 
'when we were not quite so rich. I do not mean that I want 

132 A First Year English Book 

to be poor; but there was a middle state," — so she was 
pleased to ramble on, — "in which I am sure we were a great 
deal happier. A purchase is but a purchase, now that you 
have money enough and to spare. Formerly it used to be a 
triumph. When we coveted a cheap luxury (and, Oh! how 
much ado I had to get your consent in those times!) we 
were used to have a debate two or three days before, and 
to weigh the for and against and think what we might spare 
it out of, and what saving we could hit upon that should be 
equivalent. A thing was worth buying then, when we felt 
the money that we paid for it. 

"Do you remember the brown suit which you made to 
hang upon you till all your friends cried shame upon you, it 
grew so threadbare, and all because of that folio Beaumont 
and Fletcher, which you dragged home late at night from 
Barker's in Covent Garden? Do you remember how we 
eyed it for weeks before we could make up our minds to 
purchase, and had not come to a determination till it was 
near ten o'clock of the Saturday night, when you set off for 
Islington, fearing you should be too late — and when the old 
bookseller with some grumbling opened his shop, and by the 
twinkling taper (for he was getting bed wards) lighted out 
the relic from his dusty treasury — and when you lugged it 
home, wishing it were twice as cumbersome — and when 
you presented it to me — and when we were exploring the 
perfectness of it (collating you called it) — and while I was 
repairing some of the loose leaves with paste, which your 
impatience would not suffer to be left till daybreak — was 
there no pleasure in being a poor man?" 

Old China, Charles Lamb. 


That man, I think, has a liberal education who has been 
so trained in youth that his body is the ready servant of his 
will, and does with ease and pleasure all the work that, as 
a mechanism, it is capable of; whose intellect is a clear, cold, 
logic engine, with all its parts of equal strength, and in 
smooth working order ; ready, like a steam engine, to be 
turned to any kind of work, and spin the gossamers as well 
as forge the anchors of the mind ; whose mind is stored with 

Avoid Shifts in Sentence Structure 133 

a knowledge of the great and fundamental truths of Nature 
and of the laws of her operations; one who, no stunted 
ascetic, is full of life and fire, but whose passions are trained 
to come to heel by a vigorous will, the servant of a tender 
conscience ; who has learned to love all beauty, whether of 
Nature or of Art, to hate all vileness,' and to respect others as 

A Liberal, Education, Thomas II. Huxley. 


And, O my brethren, O kind and affectionate hearts. O 
loving friends, should you know any one whose lot it has 
been, by writing or by word of mouth, in some degree to 
help you thus to act ; if he has ever told you what you knew 
about yourselves, or what you did not know ; has read to 
you your wants and feelings, and comforted you by this 
very reading; has made you feel that there was a higher 
life than this daily one, and a brighter world than that you 
see; or encouraged you, or sobered you, or opened a way 
to the inquiring, or soothed the perplexed; if what he has 
said or done has ever made you take interest in him, and 
feel well inclined towards him ; remember such a one in 
time to come, though you hear him not, and pray for him, 
that in all things he may know God's will, and at all times 
he may be ready to fulfill it. 

The Parting of Friends, John Henry Newman. 

Oh the terrible drought ! When the sky turns to brass ; 
when the clouds are like withered leaves ; when the sun 
sucks the earth's blood like a vampire ; when rivers shrink, 
stream fail, springs perish ; when the grass whitens and 
crackles under your feet; when the turf turns to dust; when 
the fields are like tinder; when the air is the breath of an 
oven ; when even the merciful dews are withheld, and the 
morning is no fresher than the evening. 

Locusts and Wild Honey, Johx Burroughs. 

2. In the following sentences, unnecessary changes are 

134 A First Year English Book 

made in construction. Rewrite the sentences, correcting 
such mistakes. 

i. A cameo-cutter works neatly and with quickness. 

2. To read and remembering make a full mind. 

3. He saw to it that I rode, that I played tennis, and 
was insistent on my taking exercise in general. 

4. Walking in the morning, sleeping in the afternoon, 
and to go to a concert, or a lecture at night, suit his taste. 

5. Silence maketh a wise man, but to talk much is a sign 
of a foolish man. 

6. He suggested my studying grammar, and that I 
should take a course in composition. 

7. The "Daily Telegraph" began a series of articles to 
call attention to the situation in the far East, and giving 
new facts of importance 

8. The writer alleges that fifteen battleships are unfit for 
service, ten others being only partially supplied with am- 

9. The bear, killed today, furnished a very fine skin, 
brown, with long hair, and of a uniform color, not mottled. 

10. Charles Green is recovering from his attack, and it 
is also thought that the injury will not be permanent. 

11. I will not deny that he read and that he studied, nor 
can his writing be gainsaid ; but the question is. what profit 
has been brought to others. 

12. He told him to observe, and to gather material, and 
planning the composition was insisted upon. 



One reason why most of us do not accomplish more in 
this world is that it does not occur to us to try ; we con- 
ceive an ideal, but think we can not reach it. This is 
particularly the case among students. The boy who thinks 
he can not learn Latin, or the girl who "can't do" algebra, 
seldom reaches excellence in the subject. 

Now, most of us do not try to use words we are not ac- 
customed to use. It scarcely enters our minds that we 
might have more than one adjective for the idea "pleasant 
day," or "great man." And if we see such a word as ''am- 
ateur" or "extraordinary" or "charming," we ignore it be- 
cause it seems to us unusual. If children associate with 
people who use the varied riches of their native tongue, they 
will pick up words without effort. Those who do not have 
such associates should make the conscious effort to increase 
their stock of words. 

Let us note some instances which illustrate this point. 
The following story is told of the childhood of Sir Walter 
Scott, by Mrs. Cockburn, who came to call on the family. 
At the time, the boy was only six years old. 

He was reading a poem to his mother when I went in. 
I made him read on ; it was the description of a shipwreck. 
His passion rose with the storm. "There's the mast gone !"' 
says he. "Crash it goes ; they will all perish." After hi? 


136 A First Year English Book 

agitation he turns to me, ''That is too melancholy," says he; 
"1 had better read you something more amusing." And 
after the call, he told his aunt he liked Mrs. Cockburn, 
for, "She was a virtuoso like himself." "Dear Walter," says 
Aunt Jenny, "what is virtuoso?" "Don't you know? Why, 
it's one who wishes and will know everything. " 

When Macaulay was a child about five years old, he was 
taken by his father to make a call. A servant who was 
waiting on the company spilled some hot coffee over his 
legs. The hostess was all kindness and compassion, and 
when, after a while, she asked him how he was feeling, the 
little fellow looked up in her face and replied: "Thank you, 
madam, the agony is abated." When eight or nine he wrote 
a long poem about Olaus .Magnus, king of Norway, from 
which are taken the following lines: 

"Long," said the prince, "shall Olave's name 
Live in the high records of fame. 
Fair Mona now shall trembling stand 
That ne'er before feared mortal hand. 
Mona, that isle where Ceres' flower 
In plenteous autumn's golden hour 
I tides all the fields from man's survey, 
As locusts hid old Egypt's day." 

These instances, to be sure, are exceptional. Macaulay 
and Scott were men of genius. But words which they used 
as children should surely be in the vocabulary of the Ameri- 
can high school student ; and a very little effort will put 
them there. 


7. In the stories told above, make a list of the words 
which you do not habitually use. Write sentences using 
them correctly. 

2. Suppose you wish to say that a man is courageous. 
You can say: "He has courage; he is a man of courage; 
a man of unflinching courage ; indomitable courage ; a brave 

Words 137 

man; a man of bravery; of notable bravery; a valiant man; 
a man without fear ; absolutely without fear ; without a 
shadow of fear; the man did not know the meaning of 
fear ;" and so on. Or, you can state it figuratively : ''He 
has a heart of oak; he is brave as a lion." 

j. Find as many ways as you can of saying that a man is 
not truthful; not honest; that an act is not wise; that cer- 
tain behavior is uncivil ; that a man is industrious ; that this 
would be an improvement ; that a girl is meddlesome ; is 

4. Write sentences using the following words: Dip; 
duck ; immerse ; submerge ; plunge ; abundant ; ample ; big ; 
broad ; capacious ; extensive ; huge ; immense ; great ; vast ; 
massive ; spacious ; gigantic. 

5. Write sentences using the following words : Belief ; 
confidence ; conviction ; opinion ; trust ; fancy ; caprice ; 
whim ; vagary ; garrulous ; chattering ; talkative ; loquacious. 

6. Write sentences using the following words : Throng ; 
crowd ; host ; multitude ; concourse ; age ; epoch ; season ; 
period; term; affair; business; proceeding; dialect; lan- 
guage ; command ; decree ; order. 

7. Write sentences using the following words : Gleam ; 
glimmer; glitter; glow; illumination; lustre; sheen; shim- 
mer ; shine ; sparkle ; twinkle ; riddle ; enigma ; puzzle ; prob- 
lem ; disciple ; savant ; agitate ; shake ; brandish ; quake ; 
quiver ; tremble ; oscillate. 

8. Oral. Find as many expressions as you can for the 
various degrees of darkness and gloom ; for misfortune ; for 
money ; success ; for lack of care ; for the expression, "not 
a whit." 

p. Oral. Find several ways of saying that a thing is 
new ; strange ; old ; bad or evil ; that a person is reluctant ; 
rustic ; intelligent ; strong. 

10. Turn to page 131, selection 2, and make a list of the 

138 A First Year English Book 

words you do not use in writing ; in speech. Use them in 

11. Report at the end of the week two words that you 
have newly acquired in your speaking vocabulary. 

There are some combinations of words or even of sylla- 
bles that affect us with a strange pleasure. Perhaps this is 
the source of the belief in charms. Certain it is that some 
words please us quite aside from their meaning, and so far 
as we can discover, simply as a result of their sound. Ten- 
nyson tells us that the words "far, far away" had always a 
strange fascination for him, and all poets have been sensi- 
tive to the music of language. Now we are not all poets, 
but we have in lower degree some of the tastes of poets. If 
we had not, poets would have no one to read their verses. 

12. Point out in the following selections anv words of 
which you especially like the sound : 

Go little book and wish to all 

Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall. 

A bin of wine, a spice of wit, 

A house with lawns enclosing it, 

A living river by the door, 

A nightingale in the sycamore. 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 

A stately pleasure-dome decree: 

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 

Through caverns measureless to man 

Down to a sunless sea. 

So twice five miles of fertile ground 

With walls and towers were girdled round : 

And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills, 

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree, 

And here were forests ancient as the hills, 

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. . , 

Words 139 

A damsel with a dulcimer 

In a vision once I saw : 

It was an Abyssinian maid, 

And on her dulcimer she played, 

Singing of mount Abora. 

Could I revive within me 

Her symphony and song, 

To such a deep delight 'twould win me, 

That with music loud and long, 

I would build that dome in air, 

That sunny dome ! those caves of ice ! 

And all who heard should see them there, 

And all should cry, Beware ! Beware ! 

His flashing eyes, his floating hair! 

Weave a circle round him thrice, 

And close your eyes with holy dread, 

For he on honey-dew hath fed, 

And drunk the milk of paradise. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 


Come, dear children, let us away; 
Down and away below ! 
Now my brothers call from the bay, 
Now the great winds shoreward blow, 
Now the salt tides seaward flow ; 
Now the wild white horses play, 
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray. 
Children dear, let us away. 
This way, this way! 

Call her once before you go — 
Call once yet! 

In a voice that she will know :. 
"Margaret! Margaret!" 
Children's voices should be dear 
(Call once more) to a mother's ear; 
Children's voices wild with pain! 
Call her once and come away ; 
This way, this way ! 

140 A First Year English Hook 

".Mother dear, we cannot stay! 

The wild white horses foam and fret." 

Margaret! Margaret! 

Children dear was it yesterday 
We heard the sweet hells over the bay? 
In the caverns where we lay, 
Through the surf and through the swell, 
The far-off sound of a silver hell? 
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep. 
Where the winds are all asleep; 
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam, 
Where the salt weed sways in the stream, 
Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round, 
Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground; 
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine. 
Dry their mail and bask in the brine; 
Where great whales come sailing by, 
Sail and sail with unshut eye, 
Round the world forever and aye ? 
When did the music come this way? 
Children dear, was it yesterday? 

Matthew Arnold, 

Orlando. But whate'er you are 

That in this desert inaccessible. 

Under the shade of melancholy boughs, 

Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time ; 

If ever you have looked on better days. 

If ever been where bells have knolled to church, 

If ever sat at any good man's feast. 

If ever from your eyelid wiped a tear 

And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied. 

Let gentleness my strong enforcement be: 

In the which hope I blush and hide my sword. 

Duke. True is it that we have seen better days, 
And have with holy bell been knolled to church. 
And sat at good men's feasts and wiped our eyes 
Of drops that sacred pity hath engendered; 







Words 141 

And therefore sit you down in gentleness 
And take upon command what help we have 
That to your wanting may be ministered. 

As You Like It. Shakespeare. 

12. Bring to class some selection in prose or verse which 
pleases you from the sound. 



You may not write many compositions in the course of 
your life, but you will certainly have to write many letters 
and notes of various sorts. The chief reason for taking 
pains with your letters is that they represent you. A care- 
lessly spoken sentence you may carry off by a smile or a 
jest. A badly written letter will have no palliative. More- 
over, it is only courteous to the recipient of your letter tc 
make it as attractive and readable as you can. 


Letters to people you know well should be very like talk. 
A good., friendly letter is a substitute for conversation ; it 
makes you feel, as you read it, that you can almost see your 
friend and hear his familiar voice. This effect of natural- 
ness should be your first aim in letter writing. Try to 
make your letter read like good talk. But you do not talk 
to each person with just the same manner. Your talk to 
your brother is very much more familiar than your talk to 
your .grandfather, though one may have no warmer place 
in your heart than the other. The tone of your letter, like- 
wise, should be appropriate, and should depend largely 
upon the relations existing between you and the person to 
whom you write ; somewhat also upon the matters of which 
you write ; and somewhat upon the circumstances under 
which you write. If you were writing an everyday letter 


Letter Writing 143 

to your cousin, you should make it as close an approach as 
possible to your usual intercourse. But if you were con- 
doling with him over a bereavement, the tone of your letter 
would be much graver than usual ; or if you were writing 
about some national matter in which you were deeply inter- 
ested, your letter would probably he more serious than 

The best way to make the tone of your letter both appro- 
priate and natural is to imagine that you are actually talking 
to your correspondent about certain given subjects. Make 
up your mind first of all that you are going to write an 
interesting letter. It must not be a number of isolated, 
disjointed scraps, such as : 

I met Ned Brown yesterday ; he is going to military 
school next term. Mother and I drove to town this morn- 
ing to buy a new ice-box. I think I am going to spend the 
holidays with Harry Lane. 

These remarks are neither appropriate nor natural ; 
and a letter made up of them is often tiresome. to the re- 
cipient, and certainly could not be read with pleasure by a 
third person. Plan your letter ^ust as you plan your whole 
composition. Arrange your thoughts in an orderly manner, 
grouping the related topics into two or three or four para- 
graphs according to the length of the letter. And do not 
forget that you are trying to give pleasure to your reader. 

The following is an example of a friendly letter : 

Vailima, Samoa, September 9, 1894. 

Dear Aliss Middleton: 

Your letter has been like the drawing up of a curtain. 
Of course I remember you very well, and the Skye terrier 
to which you refer — a heavy, dull, fatted, graceless creature 

144 ^ First Year English Book 

as he grew up to be — was my own particular pet. It may 
amuse you, perhaps, as much as "The Inn" amused mc, if 
I tell you what made this dog particularly mine. My father 
was the natural god of all the dogs in our house, and poor 
Jura took to him, of course. Jura was stolen, and kept in 
prison somewhere for more than a week, as I remember. 
When he came back, Smeoroch had come and taken my 
father's heart from him. lie took his stand like a man, and 
positively never spoke to my father again from that day 
until the day of his death. It was the only sign of char- 
acter he ever showed. 1 took him up to my room to be my 
dog in consequence, partly because I was sorry for him, and 
partly because I admired his dignity in misfortune. 

With best regards and thanks for having reminded me 
of so many pleasant days, old acquaintances, dead friends, 
and — what is perhaps as pathetic as any of them — dead 
dogs, I remain, Yours truly, 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 

Note that this letter is fresh and interesting. It contains 
no hackneyed expressions, such as "I take my pen in hand," 
or "I hope you are well." In short, the letter impresses you 
as being what the writer would actually say to his friend. 
You could find no better models for your letters than Ste- 

But a letter demands more than a good body. Every let- 
ter should state when and where it is written — that is, 
should have a heading. It should tell to whom it is written 
— that is, it should have an address. It should begin with 
a salutation, such as "Dear Mary." or "My Dear Mary" ( the 
latter being a shade more formal), "Dearest Mother," or 
"My own dear Mother." It might end with the leave- 
taking, "Lovingly yours," "Yours affectionately," "Yours 
cordially," "Your sincere friend." The relations of Miss 
Middleton and Stevenson justified the beginning and the 
ending of the letter printed above. "Dear Madam," would 

Letter Writing 145 

be, of course, quite too formal. "Yours respectfully" would 
not properly represent the relations of the two. 

These points concerning the beginning and the ending 
might take any of the following forms : 

28 Perie Street, Chicago, Illinois, 
August 25, 1907. 
Air. James Lowe, 
Lincoln, Texas. 
My Dear Uncle : 

Your affectionate nephew, 

Amos Lowe. 

August 25. 1907. 
Dear Uncle James : 

Your affectionate nephew, 

Amos Lowe. 
28 Perie Street, Chicago, Illinois. 

Dear Uncle lames : 

Y r ours affectionately, 

Amos Lowe. 
28 Perie Street, Chicago, Illinois, 
August 25, 1907. 


August 25, 1907. 
My dear Uncle James : 

Your affectionate nephew, 

Mr. James Lowe, 
Lincoln, Texas. 

146 . / First Year English Hook 

In friendl) letters, then, more or less informality and 
variation are permissible in showing to wlmni, when, where, 
an<l by \\ horn a letter is written. 

The heading telling when and where a letter is written is 
usually placed an inch or two from the top of the page, and 
toward the right-hand edge. When two or more items are 
in the same line, they are separated by a comma. The ex- 
amples illustrate when a comma or a period should come at 
the end of a line. The salutation i. followed by a comma 
or, more formally, by a colon. The last word of leave 
taking is followed by a comma. Observe carefully which 
words are capitalized in the salutation and the leave-taking. 

The signature always come-, a -pace below the leave-tak- 
ing, and close to the right-hand side of the page. Except in 
informal letters, the writer should sign the name he wishes 
his correspondent to use in reply. Confusion often occurs 
when married women use two signatures interchangeably. 
If Mrs. Trice signs a letter as "Mary Price" and yet wishes 
to be addressed as "Mrs. James Price," she must put below 
her signature, "Please address Mrs. James Price," or, in 
parentheses, "Mrs. James Price." 


/. vVrite a letter to your teacher accounting for your 
absence from school. 

2. Write a letter to your friend at boarding school, 
telling of a party you attended last night. 

J. You have a friend in the east at a certain board- 
ing school which you may possibly attend. Ask about the 
matters which may help you decide. 

4. Write a letter to a friend in the country telling 
why small parks and playgrounds are necessary in a large 

Letter 11 riting 147 

5. You have just been visiting your best friend in New- 
York. Write him an account of what happened to you on 
the train as you were returning. 

6. You have just been told by your father that your 
brother at school is not to come home for the holidays. 
Write a letter breaking the news to him. 

7. Your cousin has been too ill to attend the football 
game. Write him an account of it. 

8. Your friend, Ada, in London, England, is home- 
sick. Write her an amusing and cheering letter. 

p. Write a letter to your little cousin who has just en- 
tered the second grade. 

10. Write a letter to your favorite aunt, recounting the 
latest household comedy. 

11. Write a letter to your closest friend, giving an 
account of some trip you have taken recently. 

12. Write to a person who has always lived in the 
city, describing a typical country store. 


You write an informal invitation or note as you would 
write a friendly letter; but a formal note requires different 
treatment. Formal written invitations are in the third per- 
son throughout, as in the following examples : 


Mr. and Mrs. Adrien Smith request the pleasure of Miss 
Anesley's company at dinner on Thursday, August the 
twenty-fifth, at eight o'clock. 
yy Somers Street. 

Monday, August fifteenth. 

148 A First Year English Book 

Miss Anesley accepts with pleasure Mr. and Mrs. Adrien 
Smith's kind invitation to dinner on Thursday, August 
twenty-fifth, at eight o'clock. 
[8 Prescott Street 

August sixteenth. 

Mi-s Anesley regrets that a previous engagement pre- 
vents her from accepting Mr. and Mrs. Adrien Smith's kind 
invitation for Thursday, August twenty-fifth. 
iS Prescott Street 

August sixteenth. 

An engraved or printed invitation uses the second person, 
since the name of each person invited cannot be inserted in 
print or engraving. 







Observe how little punctuation there is. and also the ar- 
rangement of the lines. 

A further type of the formal note is as follows: 

Will Mr. Sargent kindly excuse Edwin Beecher from 
school at half past two this afternoon, and thus greatly 
oblige his mother. 

Eleanor Beecher. 
1 1 1 Locust Street 

Tuesday morning. 

Letter Writing 149 

Another type of the formal letter is the official letter. It 
is very dignified in style. Careful attention is paid to titles 
which (with the exception of Mr., Mrs. and Hon.) should 
be fully written out ; as, ''Governor James Madison Wiley," 
"Professor William Rodney Small." Formal beginnings 
are: ''Sir," "Reverend Sir" (if you are addressing a clergy- 
man), "Your honor" (if you are addressing the mayor of 
a city or a judge), "Your Excellency" (if you are address- 
ing the governor of a state or the president of the United 
States). Formal endings are: "Respectfully yours," 
"Most respectfully yours," "I have the honor to subscribe 
myself most respectfully yours," "1 am. most respectfully. 
your obedient servant." 

The following is a typical example of the official letter : 

232 Larrabel Avenue, 
Lafayette, Michigan, 

June 10, 1905. 
To the Examiner of the Bradley Institute : 

Owing to the fact that my physician, Dr. Martin 
Reece, has forbidden me to use my eyes for study during 
the rest of the quarter, I shall not be able to take the exam- 
inations on my three courses of sophomore study. I have 
read on my work very carefully, and though I cannot do 
any reviewing, I feel sure that I could pass satisfactory 
examinations, if I were given the opportunity. I, therefore, 
respectfully petition that I may be allowed to take oral 
examinations in my subjects at whatever date is convenient 
to my instructors. 

Yours respectfully, 

Joseph Marks. 


1. Write a formal note inviting a friend to luncheon. 

2. Write a formal note inviting" a friend to a reception. 

150 A First Year English Hook 

j. Write an acceptance to a dinner. 

/. Write a formal note declining an invitation to a 

5. Write an official letter asking the governor of the 
state to deliver your commencement address. 


Business letters should he the easiest of all to write, and 
yet they are frequently very badly written. Business men 
constantly complain that some of their clerks are ignorant 
uf the simplest rules of letter writing. In business let- 
ter^, the date and place of writing should always he given in 
full at the beginning. The address should, as in friendly 
letters, begin a space or two below the heading, and 
• in the margin line, the items arranged in one, two or 
three lines. The salutation comes a space below the ad- 
dress, usually below the last letter of the address. If the 
letter is long, the salutation should begin at the left margin. 
The nature of the salutation varies with circumstances. 
"Sir" and "Madam" are very formal. "Dear Sir," "Dear 
Madam," "My Dear Sir," are common terms in business 
correspondence. The leave-taking is usually "Yours 
truly," "Sincerely yours" or "Yours respectfully." The 
contractions usually permitted are "etc.," *'inst." {this 
month), "ult." (last month), "prox." (next month). It is 
advisable in answering a business letter to refer to it in the 
first sentence, giving its date. 

The matter in hand should he dispatched in the fewest 
possible words, and yet nothing must he omitted which is 
necessary to the clearness of the letter ; nor must the letter 
be so abrupt as to be discourteous. 

The following are good examples of business letters: 

Letter Writing 151 

Messrs. John Kirk & Son, 
180 State Street, 
Chicago, Illinois. 
Gentlemen : 

I am sending you by express today three 
pictures which I want you to frame suitably. For the 
largest, a copy of Corot's "Dance of the Nymphs," twenty 
inches long and twelve inches wide, I wish you would use a 
four-inch white mat, and an oak frame perhaps three inches 
wide. If, however, you wish to vary either of these meas- 
urements, I shall be glad to submit to your judgment. I 
wish you to select the color of the mat for the second pic- 
ture, Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa"; but the frame I want to 
be not more than two inches wide and of some wood which 
will take a rich sepia color. The smallest picture, Fra 
Lippo Lippi's "Madonna," I am in doubt about. Since it is 
a gray print, I suppose it should have a gray mat and a gray 
frame, but here, too, I wish to rely on your judgment. 
Kindly tell me by return mail when you can have these 
pictures ready for me, and what the work on them will cost. 
Sincerely yours, 

Caroline James, 
(Mrs. Harold James). 
Sept. 1, 1907. 

Note that the writer fully states her business. She uses 
no truncated sentences, such as "Am sending you, etc." 
She shows that she is a married woman ; if she had writ- 
ten merely "Caroline James" it would have been impossi- 
ble to tell whether she was maiden, wife, or widow. The 
proper signature for an unmarried woman in this case 
would be "(Miss) Caroline James"; for a widow, "(Mrs.) 
Caroline James. This letter also shows unmistakably when 
it was written, where it was written, and to whom it was 
written, as well as by whom it was written. Lastly, the use 
of the colon instead of the comma after the word "Gentle- 
men" adds a touch of impersonality to the letter. 

152 A ! : irst Year English Hook 

40 State St., Detroit, Mich. 
November 25. 1907. 
Mrs. Jane Price, 

Morton, Mich. 
Dear Madam : 

In reply to your letter of the 17th inst, 
we arc sending you samples of silk and ribbon, hoping that 
you can find among them many that you can use. They 
are all goods of the season, guaranteed to wear well, and 
unusually cheap. 

Although you did not ask us to do so, we are also sending 
you samples of nets and braids which are being much use I 
this year in the making of street hats and dress hats. Some 
of this braid is worth twice what we are asking for it. You 
will find a full account of our other unusual bargains in the 
catalogue which we are forwarding. We hope that you will 
favor us with your business. 

Yours respectfully, 

Bradley & Burns. 

A few words about the superscription of a letter, or the 
particulars written upon the envelope: The name of the 
person addressed should be written about halfway down 
the envelope, with the same amount of space left on each 
side of it. Each succeeding line of the superscription 
should begin an even distance to the right of the preceding 
line. Custom varies as to the punctuation, but the better 
form is to put periods after the abbreviations, and commas 
between all items except at the ends of the lines. 

Mr. Thomas B. Cooke The Rt. Rev. Andrew Smith 

24 Lowrie Street Kndermine 

Tuscola, Douglas County Missouri 


When you write postal cards, your practice must be some- 
what different from what it is when you write letters. On 
a postal card, the superscription on the "address" side should 
be the same as on a letter: but owing to limited space, 

Letter Writing 153 

the courteous close and the inside address are usually 
omitted, though, of course, the place, the date and the sig- 
nature should be given. The message itself must be confined 
strictly to the matter in hand. It goes without saying that 
nothing private should be written on a postal card. 

In writing a telegram, you have an incentive to condensa- 
tion, since every word costs. The practical rule is to leave 
out all words not absolutely needed to make your meaning 
clear. On the other hand, you should remember that a 
telegram is not punctuated ; therefore the meaning of the 
words alone must be unmistakable. 


i". As treasurer of the ball team, write to Marches 
Company, 81 Broadway, New York, for supplies. 

2. Write to Marches Company, acknowledging the re- 
ceipt of the supplies. 

j. Write to Harkness & Company, 11 Main Street, 
St. Louis, ordering them to make you a bookcase of a cer- 
tain sort. 

4. Write a letter recommending a friend of yours to 
a certain position. 

5. Write a letter to a publisher asking him to send you 
a catalogue of his latest books. Specify the kind in which 
you are particularly interested. 

6. Write a letter to the manager of a famous actor, 
offering inducements to him to present a play in your town. 

7. Write a reply from John Kirk & Son to Mrs. James. 

8. Write a reply from Mrs. Price to Bradley & Burns. 

p. Write as if you were representing the firm of Mar- 
tin & Gates, wholesale grocers, anxious to get the trade 
of a local grocer. 

10. You represent Louis Crane, a publisher. Write to 

154 A First Year English Book 

the secretary of a literary club in a high school telling the 

nature of some books which you think the club should read. 
//. Write to a general passenger agent of some rail- 
road, asking the prices of tickets to New York from Chi- 
cago, single and return, first and second class, for adults 
and children. 

12. Write a reply from the passenger agent. 

i;. Write as if you were the firm of Rideout & Tame-, 
makers of canoes, explaining to Mr. Hardy why the canoe 
he ordered has not reached him. 

14. Answer one of the following advertisements: 

1. WANTED -A high school boy who can spell cor- 

rectly and write n clear hand, to help me cata- 
logue hooka on Saturdays. Apply in writing to 
\\ llllatn Wilson, st Buchanan street. 

2. WANTED -A high BChool t'trl to read ah. ml for an 

hour daily t" an Invalid. Applj by lettei to Miss 
Ames, 20 Wellesley Avenue. 



Narration is that form of discourse which states a se- 
quence of related events occurring in time. Description 
is that form of discourse which describes objects, impres- 
sions, or states of mind. These two forms of discourse are 
usually very closely related. Each needs the other. If you 
tell a story, you describe the place where it happened and 
the characters who were actors in it. If you describe a 
person, you often find yourself telling some anecdote about 
him in order to show what his character is. Of the two 
forms, narration is perhaps more important ; certainly most 
people find it more interesting. Description usually plays 
a part subsidiary to narration ; it might almost be called the 
handmaid of narration. Therefore we shall study descrip- 
tion mainly in connection with narration. 

Every story has three elements : the plot, that is, the 
events or happenings; the setting, that is, the place where 
and the time when these events occur; and the characters 
who are concerned in the events. The plot — that is, what 
happens — may be a simple plot, such as the story of Rob- 
inson Crusoe, where there is only one main character and 
a single chain of events ; or it may be a complicated plot, 
such as that of Ivanhoe, with its three sets of characters, 
to all of whom striking events happen. Something happens to 
someone, somezAiere. If you begin a story and neglect to 
state any of these facts, you are sure to be interrupted by 


156 ./ First Year English Book 

such questions as, "Who was it?*' '"Where was he?" 
"When did it happen?" A story usually opens by satisfying 
this natural curiosity. Therefore the beginning should be 
set forth with especial care. 


/. Point out time, place, and characters in the follow- 
ing. In each case state which is presented first: 


When the present centur) was in its teens, and on a sun- 
shiny morning in June, there drove up to the great iron 
gate of Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies, on 
Chiswick Mall, a large family coach, with two fat horses 

in blazing harness, driven by a fat coachman in a three- 
cornered hat and wig, at the rate of four miles an hour. 
A black servant, who reposed on the box beside the fat 
coachman, uncurled his bandy legs as soon as the equipage 
drew up opposite Miss Pinkerton's shining brass plate, and 
as he pulled the bell, at least a score of young ladies were 
seen peering out of the narrow window-, of the stately old 
brick house. Nay, the acute observer might have recog- 
nized the little red nose of good-natured Miss Jemima Pink- 
erton herself, rising over some geranium pots in the window 
of that lady's own drawing-room. 

Vanitti Fair. William MAKEPEACE THACKERAY. 

In that pleasant district of merry England which is 
watered by the river Don, there extended in ancient times 
a large forest, covering the greater part of the beaurirul 
hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleas- 
ant town of Doncaster. The remains of this extensive 
wood are still to be seen at the noble seat of Wentworth. 
of Warncliffe Park, and around Rotherham. Here haunted 
of yore the fabulous Dragon of Wantley ; here were fought 
many of the most desperate battles during the Civil Wars 
of the Roses : and here also flourished in ancient times those 

The Relation of the Incidents 157 

bands of gallant outlaws, whose deeds have been rendered 
so popular in English song. 

Such being our chief scene, the date of our story refers 
to a period towards the end of the reign of Richard I., 
when his return from his long captivity had become an 
event rather wished than hoped for by his despairing sub- 
jects, who were in the meantime subjected to every species 
of subordinate oppression. 

Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott. 

2. Point out the time, place, and characters in Robin 
Hood and the King, page 16: The Last Lesson, page 82; 
The White Ship, page 54. 

j. Begin two of the following stories, stating the time, 
the place, and the characters : 

1. Sir Patrick Spens, page 20. 

2. King Robert of Sicily. 

3. The Sleeping Beauty. 

4. Rapunsel. 

5. King Alfred and the Wheat en Cakes. 

6. The Lady of Shalott. 

7. A Story of Robin Hood. 


In telling a story it is necessary to have in mind from the 
beginning just how it is going to turn out. A story is well 
called a chain of events; one incident leads on to another, 
and each is a link in the chain. No incident can be omitted 
from the series; no irrelevant incident can be inserted with- 
out being misleading. 


1. Read again The White Ship, page 54. Name the 

158 / First Year English Boole 

events in their order, noting how one leads on to another. 
Which are most important? 

_'. Reread The Last Lesson, page 82. Name the events 
in their order, noting how one leads on to another. Which 
are most important ': 

3. Tell the story of Ichahod Crane. Tie careful not to 
omit any important happening, nor to put in anything 

./. Continue the chain of events begun in the following: 

1. There was once a great earl of the court of Charle- 
magne who rebelled against the king. And being defeated, 
he fled with his wife to a village where he found lodging 
in the hut of a poor man. 1 le supported himself by burning 
charcoal in the forest near by. and his wife did beautiful 
needlework for the rich people of the town. One day the 
king and his courtiers came to hunt in the forest, and 

2. Once there lived a knight who was overgenerous. 
and entertained royally all who came to his castle until at 
length he found that his gifts and his largesse had left him 
penniless, lie could no longer go to the court to attend 
the king. The minstrels who had shared and praised his 
bounty, no more came to his lonely castle, and those whom 
he had befriended, seemed to have forgotten him ; even Ber- 
tram, whom he had advanced from servitude, and for whom 
he had secured a place as warden of the king's gate. 

At last the knight determined at Chri>tmastide to visit 
the king. He set out on foot in his old armor and his faded 
cloak. When he arrived at the palace of the king . . 

In every story or chain of events, there is one incident 
which is most important of all. This is usually called the 
main incident. It does not necessarily stand at the end of 
the story ; sometimes it comes near the middle. 

In the story of Ichabod Crane, for example, the main in- 
cident is his meeting with the headless horseman, and thus 
abandoning his suit to pretty Katrina Van Tassel. So in 
Rip Van Winkle the main incident is Rip's long sleep in 

The Relation of the Incidents 159 

the mountains. In the story of Joseph, the main incident is 
the scene where his brothers have come to buy corn from 
him, and he at length discloses his identity to them. 

Unless the main incident is carefully prepared for, how- 
ever, and the mind of the reader is made ready to receive 
it, the story fails. For example, the simple statement that 
Sidney Carton took a man's place and died for him on the 
scaffold does not move us ; but when it is prepared for, as 
it is in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, we are deeply 

In The Legend of Sleepy Hollozv the meeting with 
the headless horseman is prepared for by many clever de- 
tails. Thus we are told that Brom Bones was famed for 
his skill in horsemanship, and that he and his companions 
were wont to go riding about at night bent on madcap 
pranks. Brom played various practical jokes upon Ichabod. 
The night of the party Brom rode his favorite horse Dare- 
devil. Before the party broke up, many stories of neigh- 
borhood ghosts and apparitions were told, with dire effect on 
Ichabod, who was superstitious. All these prepare the 
mind of the reader for the main incident. In Silas 
Marnier a main incident is the finding of Dunstan Cass' 
skeleton in the Stone-pits with Marner's gold, the body 
being identified by Godfrey's riding whip. The hints 
which lead to this are the following: Dunstan has taken 
Godfrey's riding whip on one of his expeditions. He is 
walking homeward through a deep fog, and is obliged to 
feel his way by means of the riding whip. When he comes 
to the Stone-pits he picks his way carefully among them, 
and enters the cottage of the weaver. Marner is not there, 
and Dunstan reflects flippantly that he must have fallen 
into the Stone-pits. After he leaves the cottage with the 
old man's gold, Dunstan has greater difficulty in walking, 
for now he has but one free hand with which to feel his 
way by means of the whip. And then we lose sight of 

160 A First Year English Book 

Dunstan till his skeleton is found in the pits sixteen years 
later. The details are put unobtrusively ; our attention is 
caught by them at the time, but it is only later that we 
realize their full significance. For the story of Joseph, 
the best preparation is Joseph's dream, in which the sheaves 
in the field bow to his sheaf. 

( )f course, the method of preparing for the main incident 
differs with each story. It depends on the incident you 
choose. Silas Marner requires one sort of preparation ; 
the story of Evangeline another. But in any case, you 
must choose only such details as bear on your story and 
lead to your main incident. Omit all that is irrelevant or 

Take care, then, to select your main incident ; prepare for 
it by putting in all that is necessary to bring the story 
naturally to this main event. Tell your story in such a way 
that your reader's expectation is aroused without his seeing 
just what is going to happen ; treat important matters at 
length and pass lightly over unimportant matters, and make 
the beginning and the end interesting and consistent with 
your story. 

5. Turn back to The Last Lesson, page 82. The main 
incident is the master's farewell to the children on the last 
day of school. It is prepared for from the first : Francois 
going reluctantly to school, the Prussians in the meadow, 
the blacksmith at the grating, the master in his fine clothes, 
the visiting villagers, the failure of Francois to recite, the 
master's words about French, the writing-lesson — all these 
make us ready for the pathos of the moment when the An- 
gelus rings, the Prussians blow their bugles, and the mas- 
ter bids the children farewell forever. 

6. Turn back to the selection on page 45 and the selec- 
tion on pages 54-58, and state what is the main incident in 

General and Definite Narration 161 

each, and the details which prepare for this main incident. 

y. Find an incident in the life of Washington which 
would make the main incident of a story; in the life of 
Alexander Hamilton ; of Queen Elizabeth ; of Sir Walter 
Raleigh ; of Thomas Edison ; of Edmund Kean ; of Cyrus 
\V. Field ; of Christopher Columbus. 

8. Tell the story of the picture opposite page 160. 

0. Tell the story of the picture opposite page 180. 


For the purposes of the writer, narration may be divided 
into two kinds, general and definite. The first kind simply 
states that such and such events took place, without trying 
to make the reader see the characters at a particular place 
and time. The second kind narrates events as occurring 
at a definite time, and in a definite place, and makes the 
reader see the characters, and hear what they say. The 
following examples will make the difference clear: 

General Narration 

When Oedipus came to the city of Thebes, he found the 
community afflicted with a monster that infested the high 
road. It was called the Sphinx. It had the body of a 
lion and the upper part of a woman. It lay crouched on 
the top of a rock, and arresting all travelers who came that 
way, propounded to them a riddle, with the condition that 
those who could solve it should pass safe, but those who 
failed should be killed. Not one had yet succeeded in 
guessing it. Oedipus, not daunted by these alarming ac- 
counts, boldly advanced to the trial. The Sphinx asked 
him, "What animal is it that in the morning goes on four 
feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?" 
Oedipus replied, "Man, who in childhood creeps on hands 
and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age goes 
with the aid of a staff." The Sphinx, mortified at the 

162 A First Year English Book 

collapse of her riddle, cast herself down from the rock and 


rhis.s,,- Myths, < !harles M. <;avi 

Definite Narration 

It was one January morning, very early— a pinching, 
frosty morning — the cove all graj with hoarfrost, the 
ripple lapping softly on the stones, the snn still low and 
only touching the hilltops and shining far to seaward. 

The captain had risen earlier than usual, and set out down 
the beach, his cutlass swinging under the broad skirts of 
the old blue coat, his brass telescope under his arm, his 
hat tilted hack upon his head. I remember his breath 
hanging like smoke in his wake as he Strode off, and the 
last .sound I heard of him, as he turned the big rock, was 
a loud snort of indignation, as though his mind was still 
running upon Dr. Livese) 

Well, mother was upstairs with father; and I was laying 
the breakfast table against the captain's return, when the 
parlor door opened, and a man stepped in on whom f had 
never set my eyes before. He was a pale, tallowy creature, 
wanting two fingers of the left hand; and. though he wore 
a cutlass, he did not look much like a fighter. I had always 
my eye open for seafaring men, with one leg or two. and 
I remember this one puzzled me. He was not sailorly, and 
yet he had a smack of the sea about him too. 

I asked him what was for his service, and he said he 
would take rum; but as I was going out of the room to 
fetch it he sat down upon a table and motioned me to draw- 
near. I paused where I was with my napkin in my hand. 

Home here, sonny,'* says he. "Come nearer here." \ 
took a step nearer. 

"Is this here table for my mate Rill?" he asked, with a 
kind of leer. . . 

Truism, island, Robert Louis stkvkxson. 


I. In the following examples of definite narration, name 
all the details which make you see just what time it is, just 
where it is, just how things look, just what happens, and 
just how the characters feel. ^ 

General and Definite Narration 163 

It was deathly still. The homespun bedclothes and 
handmade quilts of brilliant colors had been thrown in a 
heap on one of the two beds of hickory withes ; the kitchen 
utensils — a crane and a few pots and pans — had been piled 
on the hearth, along with strings of herbs and beans and 
red pepper-pods — all ready for old Nathan when he should 
come over for them, next morning, with his wagon. Not a 
living thing was to be heard or seen that suggested human 
life, and Chad sat down in the deepening loneliness, watch- 
ing the shadows rise up the green walls that bound him in, 
and wondering what he should do, and where he should go, 
if he was not to go to old Nathan ; while Jack, who seemed 
to know that some crisis was come, settled on his haunches 
a little way off, to wait, with perfect faith and patience, for 
the boy to make up his mind. . . . 

Just above him, and across the buck antlers over the 
door, lay a long flint-lock rifle ; a bulletpouch, a powder- 
horn, and a small raccoon-skin haversack hung from one 
of the prongs ; and on them the boy's eyes rested longingly. 
Old Nathan, he knew, claimed that the dead man had owed 
him money ; and he further knew that old Nathan meant 
to take all he could lay his hands on in payment ; but he 
climbed resolutely upon a chair and took the things down, 
arguing the question, meanwhile. 

"Uncle Jim said once he aimed to give this rifle gun to 
me. Maybe he was foolin', but I don't believe he owed ole 
Nathan so much, an' anyways," he muttered grimly, "I 
reckon Uncle Jim 'ud kind o' like fur me to git the better 
of that old devil — jes a leetle, anyways." . . . 

A moment more and he had his pack and his rifle on one 
shoulder and was climbing the fence at the wood-pile. 
There he stopped once more with a sudden thought, and 
wrenching loose a short ax from the face of a hickory 
log, staggered under the weight of his weapons up the 
mountain. The sun was yet an hour high and, on the spur, 
he leaned his rifle against the big poplar and set to work 
with his ax on a sapling close by — talking frankly now to 
the God who made him. 

"I reckon You know it, but I'm a-goin' to run away now. 
I haint got no daddy an' no mammy, an' I haint nuver had 
none as I knows — but Aunt Jane hyeh — she's ben jes' like 

164 A First Year English Book 

a mother to me an' I'm a 'loin' fer her jes' whut I wish 
You'd have somebody do fer my mother, ef You know 
whar she's a-la\ in'." 

Eight round sticks he cut swiftly — four long and four 
short — and with these he built a low pen, as is the custom 
of the mountaineers, close about the fresh mound, and, 
borrowing a board or two from each of the other mound-. 
covered the grave from the rain. Then he sunk the ax 
into the trunk of the great poplar as high up as he could 
reach — so that it could easily he seen— and, brushing the 
sweat from his face, he knelt down. 

"God," he -aid, simply, "I hain't nothin' hut a hoy, but I 
got to ack like a man now. I'm a-goin' now. I don't 
believe You keer much, and seems like I bring ever'body 
bad luck; an' I'm a-goin' to live up hyeh on the mountain 
jus' as long as I can. I don't want You to think I'm 
a-complainin' — fer I aint. Only hit does seem sort o' 
curious that You'd let me he down hyeh — with me a-keerin' 
fer nobody now, an' nobody a-keerin' fer me. lint Thy 
ways is inscrutable — leastwise, that's whut the circuit-rider 
says — an' I ain't got a word more to say. Amen." 

The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, John Fox, Jr. 

2. Point out the same in The White Ship, The Last 
Class; in some story of your own selection. 

j. Compare the account of the return of Ulysses in 
Gayley's Classic Myths, with Stephen Phillips' Ulysses, 
Act III. 

/. Compare one of the stories in the Arabian Knights, 
Riverside Literature Series, with any larger version of the 

5. Read a story from the Arabian Nights or Tales 
of a Wayside Inn, or Hawthorne's Twice Told Tales; 
point out in it the scenes which are told in definite narra- 
tive ; point out also the general narrative which connects 
these scenes. 

6. Read one of Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, point- 
ing out the general and the definite narrative. 

Selection of Details 165 


It is obvious that a story is more vivid when the writer 
makes us see the characters and the places, as if they were 
actually before us. On the other hand, a narrative that is 
overburdened with description loses interest. Thus it be- 
comes necessary to tell as much as possible in a few words. 
The first thing to learn, then, is what to leave out. It goes 
without saying that you will omit what everyone takes for 
granted; for example, if you were describing a man, you 
would not say he had two eyes and a nose. But you would 
say that he was of medium height, and that he wore an 
ordinary-looking business suit. This gives the general look 
of the man, and so forms a natural part of your description ; 
but it is only the beginning. You must go on, then, and give 
the individualizing details which mark him out from all 
other men of medium height wearing business suits. You 
would say that his mild brown eyes have an expression as 
if he were trying vainly to recall something he had for- 
gotten ; and that his face is barred on the left side with a 
scar, which makes the left corner of his mouth droop. 
Thus you would give a picture of this particular man. 

Your object is to make the reader see the person, place, 
or thing as you saw it, and feel it as you felt it. Two 
people, each with good powers of observation, look at the 
same object, but their impressions of the object differ. 
Remember that what you see has a particular meaning for 
you, and that you must convey that meaning to your reader. 

There are three points to keep in mind in reference to 
any literary description you may make : 

1. You must note the general shape or outline of the 
person, place, or object. 

2. You must note the individual traits which belong 
to this person, place, or object, and to no other. 

166 A First Year English Book 

3. You must know what main impression the person, 
place, or object makes upon you. These points we shall 
study in their order. 

First, you should "notice the general look of what you are 
going to describe. A good way of making your reader see 
the general appearance of a man, for example, is to com- 
pare him to something he resembles. This method can be 
more easily applied to the description of places than of 
persons. Xotc, however, the aptness of the following 
example : 

The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his per- 
sun. lie was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoul- 
ders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of 
his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his 
whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was 
small and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy 
eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather- 
cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the 
wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill 
on a windy day. with his clothes bagging and fluttering 
about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of 
famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped 
from a cornfield. 

Tht Sketch Book, Washington Irving. 

The individual traits which express the real essence of 
a person are usually as few as they are telling. A few 
details, if rightly selected, will make you see a whole picture. 
For example : 

"A tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man ; his tarry pigtail 
falling" over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands 
ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails; and the sabre 
cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white." 

Exercise • 

1. Study the descriptions in Rip Van Winkle, or The 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, or in Chapter [ or XIII or XXV 

Arrangement of Details 167 

of Treasure Island. Point out the most lifelike pictures 
given by a few strokes. 


You can make no effective description of a person until 
you know the kind of man he is, the impression he makes 
upon you. Until you are sure of this, you do not know 
what details to put in and what to leave out. For example, 
the man you are trying to describe is a millionaire, noted 
for his parsimony. You would of course mention that he 
wore an ordinary, even shabby, business suit, for this detail 
helps to bring- out the impression of a parsimonious million- 
aire ; and you wish to introduce all significant details which 
help to produce this impression. If, however, you were 
describing a merchant, the fact that he wore an ordinary 
business suit would be taken for granted, as well as the fact 
that he had two eyes and a nose. In short, decide what main 
impression you wish to make, and choose only the details 
which bring out that impression. 

Sometimes a writer tells you in a sentence what im- 
pression he wishes to give you ; sometimes he merely pre- 
sents details which give the impression without stating the 
impression in a sentence. For instance, in the following de- 
scription of Modred, the details themselves give you the 
impression of his slyness. In the description of the Vir- 
ginian, the details are reen forced by sentences at the begin- 
ing and end which state the general impression. 

Modred's narrow foxy face 
Heart-hiding smile and gray persistent eye. 

Guinevere, Alfred Tennyson. 

i68 A First Year English Book 

Lounging there at ease against the wall was a slim 
young giant, more beautiful than pictures. His broad, soft 
hat was pushed back ; a loose-knotted, dull-scarlet handker- 
chief sagged from his throat, and one casual thumb was 
hooked in the cartridge-belt that slanted across his hip. He 
had plainly come many miles from somewhere across the 
vast horizon, as the dust upon him showed. His boots 
were white with it. llis overalls were gray with it. The 
weather-beaten bloom of bis face shone through it duskily, 
as the ripe peaches look upon their trees in a dry season. 
Bui no dinginess of travel or ^-habbiness of attire could 
tarnish the splendor that radiated from his youth and 

The Virginian, Owes Wister. 

The next example should show you that any object, or 
creature, however commonplace, may be individualized and 
made interesting. 

She was an egregious fowl. She was huge and gaunt 
with great yellow beak. And she stood straight and alert 
in the manner of responsible people. There was some- 
thing wrong with her tail. It slanted far to one side, one 
feather in it twice as long as the rest. Feathers on her 
breast there were none. These had been worn entirely off 
by her habit of sitting on potatoes and other rough ab- 
normal objects. And this lent to her appearance an air 
singularly at variance with her otherwise prudish ensemble. 
Her eye was remarkably bright, but somehow it had an 
outraged expression. It was as if she went about the world 
perpetually scandalized over the doings that fell beneath 
her notice. Her legs were blue, long, and remarkably 

The Virginian, Owen Wister. 


/. In the following description of a person point out 
the general, large impression of the man, and the individual 

Character 169 

There, with his shoulder propped against the jamb of 
the door, stood a tall, broad-shouldered peasant, about 
thirty years of age. In costume, he was a typical tramp ; in 
face and figure, a genuine Slav — a rare specimen of the race. 
He wore a red cotton shirt, incredibly dirty and tattered, 
full trousers of coarse, homemade linen, and on one of his 
feet were the remains of a rubber boot, while on the other 
was an old leather boot-leg. His light, reddish-brown hair 
was tangled all over his head, and small chips, straws and 
bits of paper stuck in the snarls ; all these things also 
adorned his luxuriant light-reddish beard, which covered his 
chest like a fan. His long, pallid, weary face was lighted 
up by large, pensive blue eyes, which gazed at me with a 
caressing smile, and his lips, which were handsome, although 
a trifle pale, also smiled beneath his reddish mustache. This 
smile seemed to say: "This is the sort of fellow I am 
. . . Don't condemn me. . . ." 

2. Write a brief description of a tramp, 
j. Describe a beggar, so as to show that he is not yet 
accustomed to begging. 

4. Describe a gypsy. 

5. Describe the queerest character you know. 

6. Write descriptions of what you see in the following 
situations : 

1. I had cautiously raised myself for an instant till my 
eyes were level with the window sill ; then I dropped to 
the ground, for in that instant I had recognized . . . 

2. A crowd was thick at the street corner and I ran up 
thinking there had been an accident. At first I could not 
get even a glimpse of the cleared space in the center ; but 
presently I dodged under the elbow of a tall man in a black 
coat, and craning my neck, I saw a doctor kneeling beside 
a little old woman. . . . 


In real life when you are observing a person, you judge 
of what he is chiefly by what he says and does. Very 

170 A First Year English Book 

often in writing it is advisable to suggest what a person is 
like, either by describing him so as to show what his 
character is, or by telling something he does which reveals 
his character. For example, the blind man Pew came to 
the Admiral Benbow fnn. 

"I hear a voice," said he, "a young voice. Will you give 
me your hand, my kind young friend, and lead me in?" 

1 held out my hand, and the horrible, soft-spoken, eyel 
creature gripped it in a moment like a vise. I was so much 
startled that I struggled to withdraw ; but the blind man 
pulled me up close to him with a single action of his arm. 

The incident in The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come 
where Chad is eager to get away before the neighbors come. 
but stops to milk old Nance, gives us an insight into the 
boy's character. 

In the following description of the Ancient Mariner. 
Coleridge does not attempt to tell us how worn and wild 
the mariner's face must have looked from his suffering. 
lie achieves a stronger result by telling how the man's 
appearance affected the Pilot, the Hermit, and the Boy. 

I moved my lips — the Pilot shrieked 
And fell down in a fit ; 
The holy Hermit raised his eyes. 
And prayed where he did sit. 

I took the oars; the Pilot's boy. 
Who now doth crazy go, 
Laughed loud and long, and all the while 
His eves went to and fro. 
"Ha! Ha!" quoth he, "full plain I see 
The Devil knows how to row." 


1. Point out all descriptions and incidents which sug- 
gest character in the following: 

Character 171 

1. Jackanapes, Mrs. Ewing. 

2. The Great Stone Face, Hawthorne. 

3. Wee Willie Winkie, Kipling. 

4. Will Wimble, {The Spectator Papers), Addison. 

2. Describe a boy who, later in the . story, is to betray 
his friend. 

5. Tell something a boy does which shows he is vacil- 
lating, although he tries to be firm. 

4. Show the character of an old lady whom the children 
all like. 

5. Describe a boy who is recklessly brave and who be- 
comes a famous spy. 

6. Describe a boy who is recklessly brave in sudden 
danger but whose courage breaks down under a long strain. 

J. Describe a woman whose character is so sincere and 
honest that her son will believe it impossible for her to tell 
a lie. 

8. Tell the following story, making it as clear and life- 
like as possible. These are the facts in brief: 

In one of the many Italian uprisings against Austria, a 
Sicilian youth, who had already exhibited great daring, is 
said to have volunteered as a spy. Captured by the Aus- 
trians and summarily condemned to be shot, he lost cour- 
age. His mother, permitted to visit his cell, found him in 
such agony of fear as to compel the contempt of his Aus- 
trian guards. After appealing vainly to his fortitude, she 
told him, in a feigned scorn, that the Austrians had at last 
rated him not worth shooting ; that they intended, for the 
public exhibition of his cowardice, to go through the form 
with blank cartridges. Believing this lie, he stood up smil- 
ing next morning before the rifles — and, of course, was 
instantly killed.* 

You may vary the setting of this story ; choose your own 
time and place. The incidents might happen in the Civil 

* Baldwin: A College Manual of Rhetoric, page 142. 

172 A First Year English Book 

War, in the Franco-Prussian War, or oven in the recent 
Spanish-American War. In each case, however, the armies 

must be operating near the home of the spy. 

References for Suggestive Reading 
Jackanapes, Mrs. Ewing. 
The Story of i/ Short Life, Mrs. Ewing. 
./ Soldier of the Umpire. Page. 
Wee Willie Winkie, Kipling. 


Very frequently in writing it is necessary to describe a 
character so as to show what mood he is in. This may 
appear from what he does and says, or from the way he 
looks. For example : 

Long John Silver and another of the crew stood face to 
face in conversation. 

The sun beat full upon them. Silver had thrown his hat 
beside him on the ground, and his great, smooth, blond 
face, all shining with heat, was lifted to the other man's in 
a kind of appeal. 

"Mate," he was saying, "it's because I thinks gold dust 
of you — gold dust, and you may lay to that! If I hadn't 
took to you like pitch, do you think I'd have been here 
a-warning of you? All's up — you can't make nor mend; 
it's to save your neck that I'm a-speaking, and if one of the 
wild 'tins knew it, where 'ud I be, Tom — now, tell me, 
where 'ud I be?" 

"Silver," said the other man — and I observed he was not 
only red in the face, but spoke as hoarse as a crow, and 
his voice shook, too, like a taut rope. "Silver," says he, 
"you're old and you're honest, or has the name for it ; and 
you've money, too, which lots of poor sailors hasn't ; and 
you're brave, or I'm mistook. And will you tell me you'll 
let yourself be led away with that kind of a mess of swabs? 
Not you ! As sure as God sees me, I'd sooner lose my hand. 
If I turn agin my dooty — " 

And then all of a sudden he was interrupted by a noise. 

Setting 173 

. . . Far away out in the marsh there arose, all of a 
sudden, a sound like the cry of anger, then another on the 
back of it ; and then one horrid long-drawn scream. . . . 
Tom had leaped at the second like a horse at the spur ; but 
Silver had not winked an eye. . . . 

". . . In heaven's name, tell me what was that?" 
"That?" returned Silver, smiling away, but warier than 
ever, his eye a mere pin-point in his big face, but gleaming 
like a crumb of glass. "That? Oh, I reckon that'll be 

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson. 


1. Read Treasure Island, Chapter XXV ; point out all 
indications of mood. 

2. Read any story from your literature course and point 
out all indications of mood. 

j. Read The Last Lesson, page 82, for this purpose. 

4. Write a description of a child sitting on the curb, 
the broken pieces of a beautiful pitcher in his hands. De- 
scribe so as to show mood. 

5. Write a description of a dog on a street corner 
thronged with people. Show that he has lost his master. 

6. Write a description to show a boy coming towards 
an old house with large barns and grounds. Show by his 
actions that he has been away a long time and does not 
know whether or not his father and mother are still there. 

7. Write a description of a girl entering a railway sta- 
tion, carrying a worn satchel, an old umbrella, and a lunch 
box. Show that she does not know where to go and that 
her friends have failed to meet her. 

8. Write a description to show that a boy who is usually 
cheerful, is depressed at receiving a low mark in exami- 

p. Oral. What is the mood of each character in the 
picture opposite page 200? Describe the picture so as to 
show this. 

174 -4 First Year English Book 


It is often very important in a story that we see clearly 
the place where the story happens. Very often the action 
is determined by the "lay of the land." the situation of the 
house, or the build of the ship's cabin. 

Such description is by no means easy. Places, objects, 
space-relations, arc proper subjects for the painter, rather 
than for the writer, who must, therefore, study the art with 
special care. 

First, as is the case in describing persons, you should 
notice the general look of the place you are going to 
describe, and should present its general shape by a com- 
parison with some familiar object which it resembles. A 
well-known example is Victor Hugo's description of the bat- 
tle-field of Waterloo: 

Those who would get a clear idea of the battle of Waterloo 
have only to lay down upon the ground in their mind a 
capital letter A. The left stroke of the A is the road to 
Xivelles, the right stroke is the road from Genappe, the 
cross of the A is the sunken road from Ohain to Braine 
I'Alleud. The top of the A is Mont Saint Jean, Wellington 
is there; the left-hand lower point is Hougomont, Teille is 
there with Jerome Bonaparte ; the right-hand lower point 
is La Belle Alliance, Napoleon is there. A little below the 
point where the cross of the A meets and cuts the right 
stroke, is La Haie Sainte. At the middle of this cross is 
the precise point where the final battle word was spoken. 
There the lion is placed, the involuntary symbol of the 
supreme heroism of the Imperial Guard. The triangle con- 
tained at the top of the A, between the two strokes and 
the cross, is the plateau of Mont Saint Jean. The struggle 
for this plateau was the whole of the battle. 

Les Miserable*, Victor Hr. 

i. Describe the town in which you live, using a com- 
parison to explain the shape of it. 

Setting 175 

2. In the same way describe some body of .water which 
you have seen. 

5. Describe the village of Stratford-on-Avon as shown 
in the picture opposite page 220. 

In describing places you must begin at a definite point, 
and describe what you see from that point, never changing 
your position or point of view. You must not begin to 
describe a town as if you were standing on the steps of the 
town hall, and then go on as if you were standing on the 
bridge. In the following example, the writer chooses a 
definite point of view and keeps it throughout : 

When the young men awoke they found that their win- 
dows looked out upon a prospect of soft and tranquil love- 
liness, quiet and peaceful as a happy dream. Immediately 
below the windows was a terrace, and beyond the terrace 
an orchard of fruit-trees, then leafless, but just breaking 
into blossom, the twisted branches gray with lichens and 
sparkling with dewdrops ; and beyond this again a stretch 
of park and pastures and vineyards, and then, in the far 
distance, the Jura Mountains, with their dark fir forests and 
escarpments of white rocks. Between the windows and 
these distant hills shadowy gradations of light revealed the 
ridges of vineyard and woodland with a delicate, faint 
tracery of outline, and a clear distinctness, in the softly 
tinted morning air. 

The Countess Eve, J. H. Shorthouse. 


/. Go back to the selection on pages 123-125, and note 
how the author has selected one definite point of view and 
has kept to that consistently. 

2. Make a diagram of your school grounds. Choose 
a point of view, and then describe the grounds as you see 
them from that point. 

3. Write a description, making the point of view the 
top of a hill. 

176 A First Year English Book 

4. Write a description of a railway station, selecting 
carefully your point of view as an artist would who was 
trying to make a good picture. 

5. Describe what you can see from your window. 

6. Look at the picture opposite page 40. and decide why 
the artist chose the point of view from which he painted it. 

7. Describe a room as seen by a sparrow on the window- 

After you have chosen your point of view, you will try 
to arrange the details in the most effective order. Some- 
times you will go from the nearest point to the farthest, or 
from the largest detail to the smallest. In the preceding 
example, page 175, the writer describes the details as they 
are contiguous — that is, in the order of space, beginning 
nearby and going farther and farther away. The following 
description begins at a definite point at the bottom and pro- 
ceeds upward. 

The scene before the reddleman's eyes was a gradual 
scries of ascents from the level of the road backward into 
the heart of the heath. It embraced hillocks, pits, ridges, 
acclivities, one behind the other, till all was finished by a 
high hill cutting against the still light sky. The traveler's 
eye hovered about these things for a time, and finally settled 
upon one noteworthy object up there. It was a barrow. 
This bossy projection of earth above its natural level occu- 
pied the loftiest ground of the loneliest height that the heath 
contained. Although from the vale it appeared but as a wart 
on an Atlantean brow, its actual bulk was great. It formed 
the pole and axis of the heathery world. 

As the resting man looked at the barrow, he became 
aware that its summit, hitherto the highest object in the 
whole prospect round, was surmounted by something higher. 
What the barrow was to the hill supporting it, the object 
was to the barrow. It rose from the semiglobular mound 
like a spike from a helmet. The first instinct of an im- 
aginative stranger might have been to suppose it the person 

Setting 177 

of one of the Celts who built the barrow, so far had all of 
modern date withdrawn from the scene. It seemed a sort 
of last man among them, musing for a moment before drop- 
ping into eternal night with the rest of his race. 

There the form stood, motionless as the hill beneath. 
Above the plain rose the hill ; above the hill rose the bar- 
row ; above the barrow rose the figure ; above the figure 
was nothing that could be mapped elsewhere than on a 
celestial globe. 

The Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy. 

In the preceding, the description also proceeds from large 
to small with the most characteristic detail for the last. 

Your plan will, of course, vary according to the object 
you are describing. The important point to keep in mind 
is that you must choose some plan which is adapted to your 
object. You have been told that you must be careful not 
to shift the point of view ; but suppose you were going to 
describe some large object which could not all be seen from 
one point of view. In this case you would choose a point 
of view, and describe what you could see from that point ; 
then you would shift your point of view, taking care to 
tell your reader that you have done so ; or you might take 
your reader with you for a walk, and describe what you saw 
on the way. Here, again, you should always be careful to 
make plain the point of view. 

In describing places or objects, as well as in describing 
people, you must keep in mind the main impression you wish 
to produce. 

The following description of a house conveys the main 
impression of cleanliness. Note how Dickens builds up this 
one impression. 

At length we stopped before a very old house bulg- 
ing out over the road. It was quite spotless in its cleanli- 
ness. The old-fashioned brass knocker on the low-arched 

178 . / First Year English B 

dour, ornamented with carved garlands of fruits and flow- 
ers, twinkled like a star; the two stone steps descending 
to the door were as white as if they had been covered with 
fair linen; and all the angles and corners, and carvings and 
mouldings, and quaint little pam- of glass, and quainter 
little windows, though as "M a- the hills, were a- pure as 
any --now that ever fell upon the hill-. 

1 Coppi ,/it 1,1, ( lHARl 1 - Dl( KENS. 

< u'ten the des< ription of the scene of a story helps ver) 
much in making the events seem real. The setting Miit-> the 
event so perfectly that the one suggests the other. "I ertain 
dank garden- cry aloud for a murder; certain old hi 
demand to be haunted." Indeed, ii" only a house look suf 
ficiently Military and ruined and desolate, the popular imagi- 
nation will supply a harmonious story, and will soon set in 
circulation tales of ghosts and spooks. 'The ghost story i- 
an excellent example of how setting heightens the effect of 

References h>r Suggestive Reading 

The Maelstrom, Poe. 
The House of Usher, 1 ' 
The Mmy Men, Stevenson. 
Will 0' the Mill, Stevenson. 


1. Read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and point out all 
the description which help- the uncanm effect. 

Read the stor) aloud, leaving .nit tl riptions, and 

see what you have left. 

_\ Point <>nt effective setting in Rip Van Winkle, The 
Specter Bridegroom. 

J. Write a good beginning for a ghost story, describing 
the time and the place. 

Setting ijij 

References for Suggestive Reading: 

A Ghost in The Odd Number, Maupassant. 
The Cantcrville Ghost, Wilde. 
They, Kipling. 

4. What kind of stories should be put in the following 
settings? Add as many suitable details as you can to the 

1. Early morning in May. A freshly-painted white 
house stands in a trimly kept lawn under oak trees. To 
the right is an apple-orchard pink with blossoms. 

2. Late afternoon in August. The dust lies thick along 
a country road, full of ruts and unshaded by trees. A cart 
apparently empty, drawn by two gray horses, is passing 
along the road. 

3. Noon in June. The blazing sun is pouring down over 
a hay-field in which several men and boys are at work. In 
the next meadow two women are walking with pails in their 

4. Morning in August in a Southern tobacco-field. Many 
negroes are at work. xAlong a road leading from a house 
in the background, a rider is seen galloping, leaping the 
fences as he comes. 

5. Midnight on a sailing vessel going from the Banks to 
Massachusetts. The waves are beating high ; there is no 
moon, and no light of any sort except a faint cluster of 
white and green to the starboard. 

6. A crowded dry-goods store. Clerks are waiting on 
women customers, all apparently in a hurry. One young 
man in a riding suit lounges, his hands in his pockets, near 
the ribbon counter. 

5. W'rite stories for some of the following settings ; de- 
scribe the setting of each incident fully and vividly. 

180 A First Year English Book 

1. A cold winter night in the country. There is a road 
faintly marked between two lines of fences, weighted with 
snow. A man is plodding forward, head bent, shoulders 
up. There is no other person and no house in sight. 

2. A derelict is swinging on the ocean in a fog. Not 
far off an ocean steamer is feeling her way carefully, con- 
stantly sounding her fog-horn. 

3. A well-filled library in which >il> an old man fallen 
asleep over his reading. Slowly opening the window is a 
man with a dark lantern. 

4. A house on fire, the crowd being pushed back by 
policemen; firemen handling hose and climbing ladders. A 
young man standing at a three-story window of the burning 

5. A sheet of ice; boys and girls skating; a small dog 
trying to follow one of the skaters ; an old gentleman being 
taught to skate by his grandson. 

6. A crowded city street ; fire engine coming rapidly ; a 
woman standing irresolutely in the middle of the street. 

7. A country grocery store. An old man i> whittling a 
piece of wood on the step. Two old men sit beside the 
stove. A lanky young clerk is selling a stick of candy to a 
little girl. 

8. An old woman is washing clothes in a back yard 
under an apple tree ; a clothes line is stretched across the 
yard between two trees, with a few clothes hanging from it. 
A tramp is entering the back gate. 

9. A soldier is limping painfully along a little village 
street towards a house at the far end, the blinds of which 
are down. Women and children stand at the doors and 
windows looking at him. He does not turn his head. 

10. A girl in evening dress is coming down a long 
staircase, carefully drawing on a pair of white gloves. An 
old lady stands at the bottom waiting for her. 

Preparation 181 


Much of the interest in a story depends on suggesting, 
not merely saying, that certain things have happened or 
will happen. If Mr. Fox had simply told us that Chad 
was left in the deserted cahin and that old Nathan was 
coming next morning to get the furniture, it would not 
have been so effective as it is when he describes the room: 

The homespun bedclothes and hand-made quilts of 
brilliant colors had been thrown in a heap on one of the 
two beds of hickory withes ; the kitchen utensils — a crane 
and a few pots and pans — had been piled on the hearth 
along with strings of herbs and beans and red pepper- 
pods — all ready for old Nathan when he should come over 
for them, next morning, with his wagon. 

The following scene from Treasure Island tells a clear 
story as to what has happened : 

It occurred to me there was no time to lose ; and, dodging 
the boom as it once more lurched across the deck, I slipped 
aft, and down the companion stairs into the cabin. 

It was such a scene of confusion as you can hardly fancy. 
All the lockfast places had been broken open in quest of 
the chart. The floor was thick with mud, where ruffians 
had sat down to drink or consult after wading in the 
marshes round their camp. The bulkheads, all painted 
in clear white, and beaded round with gilt, bore a pattern 
of dirty hands. Dozens of empty bottles clinked together 
in corners to the rolling of the ship. One of the doctor's 
medical books lay open on the table, half of the leaves 
gutted out, I suppose, for pipe-lights. In the midst of all 
this litter the lamp still cast a smoky glow, obscure and 
brown as umber. 


/. In Irving's Rip J 'an Winkle point out all the descrip- 
tions which show that a long time has passed since he left 
his home. 

1 82 A First Year English Book 

2. Describe a room so as to show thai burglars hav< 

just left it. 

j. Describe ;i house made ready for an auction sale. 

4. Write a description to show that a thunder-shower 
is about to fall. This might take the shape of a convi 
tion between two little girls anxious t<> reach home in time 
to avoid a wetting; or two boys, fishing, who are looking 
for shelter. 

5. Describe a farm scene so .i- to show that the thresh- 
ing is just over. 

6. Descrihe a scene which shows that four hoys are 
just ready to start on a camping expedition. 

I Ine caution is necessary: in trying to make a story seem 
ical, do not make the mistake of describing what is unim- 
portant. Only the main scenes and the important char- 
acters deserve full description. The following theme writ- 
ten by a student shows how misleading is such a mistake. 
Never descrihe merely for the sake of describing. 

John and Theodore are two friends, laborers, who have 
occupied a room with an old miser. John is devoted to 
Theodore, who is a weak and shallow character. Becoming 
involved in debt, Theodore at length steals some gold from 
the miser. When the theft is discovered John assumes the 
guilt and is taken to jail. Meantime Theodore returns and 
finds his friend gone. The student continues the >tor\ thus: 

1 tastily picking up his bundle he rushed blindly down the 
stairs and hurried down the streets, never stopping until the 
sun had driven the stars from sight. Me then stopped and 
looked upon the cool brook running through the high nod 
• ling grass on either side, with the sloping purple meadow- 
stretching to the forest and the blue sea beyond. I le 
quickly turned his steps to the forest. Theodore was filled 
with wonder at the beautiful scene, and wandering about 
he came upon a clear space. Here he was charmed by a 
song. When it was ended he walked toward the singer. 

Conversation 183 

She was a slender girl, about fifteen years old, with large 
gray eyes beneath an arch of black eyebrows. Her large 
white forehead extended back to a mass of glossy black 
ringlets. She smiled, showing faultless white teeth. Theo- 
dore, going up to her, asked for food and drink. She 
brought him to her father's home and set before him a good 
supply of food and drink. After having his fill, he started 
to roam about the forest until he came to a spot he liked, 
and there he built himself a hut, in which he lived many 

Meanwhile John had been taken to prison, where after a 
hard trial he was found guilty. After serving many years 
of hardships he was again set free and returned to Paris. 
I Ie began to work in an humble position ; soon he had 
reached a high and worthy position, yet he never seemed 

One day as he was standing beside his door his attention 
was attracted by a strong man with brown face and hands. 
Something about his walk and the expression of his face 
seemed familiar. Then it came to him, as swift as an 
arrow, that this was his long lost friend, Theodore. . . . 

In this theme the girl is described so fully that we think 
she is an important actor in the conclusion of the story ; 
as a matter of fact we never see her again. The forest, too, 
receives more attention than it deserves. The student has 
been carried away by the mere pleasure of describing. 

y. Turn to the picture opposite page 120: write out the 
incidents for which this picture is the preparation. 


One can readily test what is important in a story by turn- 
ing it into drama. This process forces one to determine 
which scenes really count. 

1. Take a story from The Arabian Nights, — that of 
the three Princes, Ali, Houssain, and Ahmed, will answer, — 
and write it out in dramatic form. Try to make as few 
changes of scene as possible. 

184 .1 First Year English Book 

2. Select some scene in the life of one of the following 
characters and write it out in dramatic form: 

Alexander the Great ; Chevalier Bayard ; John Paul Jones; 
Fridtjof Nansen; Aaron l'.nrr ; Warren Hastings; Thomas 
a Becket; Napoleon; Robinson Crusoe; Enoch Arden ; 
King Robert of Sicily; King Richard and Blondel ; Cer- 
v antes. 

3. Choose some scene from a favorite story and write it 
out in dramatic form. The following list may be suggestive: 

The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain ; King Cophetua 
and the Beggar-Maid; The Man Who Would Be King, 
Kipling; Rip Van Winkle, Irving; The Bottle Imp, Steven- 

In the management of your story, you can present a good 
deal of the action through the talk of your people, if you 
wish to choose this rather difficult method of carrying on 
the story. In connection with your plot, you must remember 
that dialogue has two purposes: to reveal character, and to 
tell what happens. Xever put any remarks in the mouth of 
a character which do not belong to him and to nobody else. 
Try to make the remarks so surely a part of the character, 
that if you were to read your story aloud without any ''said 
he's" and "said she's" your listener could tell who was 


/. Go back to the .--election on page 62, and note how 
the dialogue between Alan and David reveals character and 
advances the action. 

2. Make dialogues on the following subjects. Be sure 
that before you begin you have in mind the character- 
istics of each of your persons. Do not say "said he" too 
frequently ; vary with "he replied," "he remarked," "he 
observed," "he retorted," "he objected." "he answered," "he 

Story Writing 185 

inquired." Insert necessary description and comment. Do 
not forget to develop a story. 

1. Write a dialogue between two brothers who are about 
to start for a county fair. Show that one brother is quick- 
witted and hot-tempered ; the other slow, though not stupid, 
and good-natured. 

2. Write a dialogue between an aunt and her niece about 
a summer vacation, showing that the former has traveled 
much. She is gentle and considerate ; the niece thoughtless 
but affectionate. 

3. Write a dialogue between two girls in a school-room. 
One is clever, and kind, and has a sense of humor ; the other 
a newcomer, who has always gone to a private school, is a 
little supercilious and impatient. 

4. Write a dialogue between two men, one a great cow- 
ard and boaster ; the other reticent and self-sacrificing. Let 
them talk of hunting or of fishing. 

5. Let two workmen who are laying a street-paving talk 
about their employer. One is happy-go-lucky and lazy, and 
yet always seems to succeed ; the other is painstaking, but 
not very good-tempered, and has sometimes been unjustly 

6. Write a dialogue about two newcomers to a country 
town who are talking to an agent who has a house to rent. 
The agent is trying to find out what their business is, and 
they are skillfully avoiding an answer. One is polite and 
smiling ; the other stern and rather scornful. 

7. Write a conversation held by a tramp who has seen 
better days, a thin, sad man who does not like to beg ; and 
two boys, one of whom is kind-hearted and a good reader 
of character ; the other kind-hearted, but cowardly and sus- 

8. Write a dialogue between two women, one of whom 
is hard-worked, but merry ; the other is complaining and ill- 

i86 ./ First Year English Hook 

natured. It i- washing day and the clothes-lines of one o! 
them with it- burden has fallen to the ground. 


/. Take the situation of a 1><>\ or girl who is thrown 
upon his own resources, and tell what he does. The 
Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come places tin > situation 
upon a lonely mountain. The story mighl begin in the 
midst of a great city, or on a western plain, or in San 
Francisco just after the earthquake. 

_'. Write the stor) "i a t> \ who wishes to in- a soldier. 
Begin so as to show how the surroundings of his early life 
have led him to this ideal. 


Jackanapes, Mrs. Ewing. 

. /;; Incident of the French Lump, Browning. 

The Story of a Short Life, Mrs. Ewing. 

Wee Willie Winkie, Kipling. 

5. The same situation can be used beginning with a boy 
whose surroundings make him wish to he- a sailor; a 
painter; a civil engineer; a singer; an actor; a railway 

/. A negro hoy, horn a slave, wishes lie might he free. 
When the war breaks out he runs away from his Virginia 
master, goes to Washington and enters a negro regiment. 

< >n the battlefield he finds his old master, wounded . . . 

5. Two related families have been separated by a Ww<\. 
The little grand-daughter of one family has never seen her 
grandfather of the other family. lie i> very fond of fishing. 

< >ne day she wander- down to a stream where he has cast 
his lines. What happens? 

6. Take some character from a book which you like, and 
write your own storv about him. 

Story Writ in g 187 

7. Tell the story of an Indian spy acting for the French 
in the French and Indian War, and a frontiersman acting 
as a spy for the English. The one pursues and captures 
the other ; on the journey to camp they become friends. 

8. Continue the story of Treasure Island. Remember 
that the silver bars were still on the Island ; that John 
Silver had left the ship for parts unknown ; that three men 
had been left on the Island when the Hispaniola sailed for 

p. Finish the following stories. 

So much is given you that with a little of your imagina- 
tion you can see how each story ought to come out. Try to 
see the rest of the story vividly, have all your incidents and 
details lead up to the main incident, and introduce realistic 
details wherever you can. 

1. Casperl was a woodchopper, and the son of a wood- 
chopper, and although he was only eighteen when his father 
died, he was so strong and active that he went on chopping 
wood for the whole neighborhood, and people said he did it 
quite as well as his father, while he was certainly a great 
deal more pleasant in his manners, and much more willing 
to oblige others. 

It was a poor country, however, for it was right in the 
heart of the Black Forest, and there were more witches 
and fairies and goblins there than healthy human beings. 
So Casperl scarcely made a living, for all he worked hard 
and rose early in the morning, summer and winter. His 
friends often advised him to go to some better place, where 
he could earn more money ; but he only shook his head and 
said that the place was good enough for him. 

He never told anyone, though, why he loved his poor hut 
in the depths of the dark forest, because it was a secret 
which he did not wish to share with strangers. For he had 
discovered, a mile or two from his home, in the very black- 
est part of the woods, an enchanted mountain. It was a 
high mountain, covered with trees and rocks and thick, 
tangled undergrowth, except at the very top, where there 

i88 A First Year English Book 

stood a castle surrounded by smooth, green lawn- and 1 
tiful gardens, which wore always kept in the neatest pi 
ble order, although no gardener was ever seen. 

This enchanted mountain had been under a spell for 
nearly two hundred years. The lovely Princess who lived 
there had once ruled the whole country. But a powerful 
and wicked magician disguised himself as a Prince, and 
made love to lur. At first the Princess loved her false 
suitor, but one day she found out thai he was not what he 

pretended to he. and she told him to leave her and never 
to come near her again. 

"For you are not a Prince," she said. "You are an im- 
■. and. [ will never wed any hut a true Prill 

"Very wall." -aid the magician in a 'you -hall 

-•ait for your true Prince, if there is such a thing as a true 
Prince, and you shall marry no one till he com< 

And then the magician cast a spell upon the beautiful 

castle upon the top of the mountain, and the terril 
sprang up about it so that no mortal man could 

My go to the summit, except by one path, which was 
purposely left clear. And in the path there was a gate that 
the strongest man could not open, it was so heavy. Farther 

up the mountain slope the trunk of a tree lay right ac 
the way — a magic tree, that no one could climb over or 
crawl under, or cut through. And beyond the gate and the 
tree was a dragon with green eyes which frightened away 
every man that looked at it. 

Now . . . year after year young princes came from 
all part- of the earth to try to re-cue the lovely captive and 
win her for a bride. But, one after the other, they all tried 
and failed — the best of them could not so much a- open the 

And so there the Princess remained a- the years went 
on. She did not grow any older <>r any less beautiful, for 
-he was still waiting for the True Prince, and A\q believed 
that he would come. 

This was what kept Casperl from leaving the I Hack 1 
e-t. lie was sorry for the Princess, and he hoped snme day 
to see her re-cued, and wedded to the True Prince. 

But every Prince had to make a trial by himself. 
That was one of the condition- which the magician made 

Story Writing 189 

when he laid the spell upon the castle, although Casperl did 
not know it. 

And each Prince would throw off his cloak and shoulder 
a silver or gold-handled axe, and fasten his sword by his 
side, and set out to climb the hill, and open the gate, and 
cut through the fallen tree, and slay the dragon, and wed 
the Princess. 

But everyone of them came back, after a while, with his 
fine clothes torn and his soft skin scratched, all tired and 
disheartened and worn out. And then he would look spite- 
fully up at the mountain and say he didn't care so much 
about wedding the Princess, after all ; that she was onlv 
a common enchanted Princess, just like any other enchanted 
Princess, and really not worth so much trouble. 

This would grieve Casperl, for he couldn't help think- 
ing that it was impossible that any other woman could be 
as lovely as his Princess. You see, he called her his Princess 
because he took such an interest in her, and he didn't think- 
there could be any harm in speaking of her in that way, just 
to himself. For he never supposed she could even know 
that there was such an humble creature as poor young Cas- 
perl, the woodchopper, who sat at the foot of the hill and 
looked up at her. 

By and by, one summer evening, as Casperl sat watch- 
ing, there came a little Prince with a small train of at- 
tendants. He was rather undersized for a Prince; he didn't 
look strong, and he did look as if he slept too much in the 
morning and too little at night. He slipped off his coat, 
however, and climbed up the road and began to push and 
pull at the gate. 

Casperl watched him carelessly for a while, and then, 
happening to look up, he saw that the Princess was gazing 
sadly down upon the poor little Prince as he tugged and 

Then a bold idea came to Casperl. Why shouldn't he 
help the Prince. He was young and strong; he had often 
thought that if he were a Prince a gate like that should not 
keep him away from the Princess. Why, indeed, should he 
not give his strength to help to free the Princess ? And he 
felt a great pity for the poor little Prince, too, 

190 A First Year English Book 

So he walked modestly up the hill and offered his serv- 
ices to the Prince. 

"Your Royal Highness," he said, "1 am onl) a wood- 
chopper; but, if \<>u please, I am a strong woodchopper, 
and perhaps I can be of use to you." 

"But why should you take the trouble to help me?" in- 
quired the Prince. "What good will it do you?" 

"Oh, well!" said Casperl, "it i- helping the Princess, too, 
don't you know ':" 

"No, I don't know," said tin- Prince. "However, you 
may try what you can do. Here, put your shoulder to this 
end of the gate and I'll stand right behind you." 

Now, Casperl did not know that it was forbidden to any 
suitor to have help in his attempt to climb the hill. The 
Prince knew it, though, but he said to himself, "When I am 
through with this woodchopper I will dismiss him, and no 
one will know anything about it. 1 can never lii't this gate 
by myself. I will let him do it for me. and thus I shall gel 
the Princess, and he will be just as well satisfied, for be is 
only a woodchopper.'" 

So Casperl put hi- -boulder to the gate and pushed with 
all his might. It was very heavy, but after a while it began 
to move a little. . . 

2. In finishing the following store, punish the wicked 
queen and treat Lanval as seems to you right. Use descrip- 
tion and conversation so a- to make the scene- vivid. 

In the days when King Arthur held court at Carleon, 
Lanval was for many years his steward. Then he left the 
court of Arthur, and, being to., generous, soon fell into pov- 
erty. One day Lanval rode out into the forest in poor array, 
and, dismounting, he sat under a tree, very sorrowful. Soon 
there approached two maidens, passing fair, who said that 
their lady, Dame Triamore. wished to speak to him. I loing 
with the maidens, he found a rich pavilion and a lady of 
marvelous beauty who was daughter of the King of Fairy. 
She promised him that if he would forsake every other lady 
for her she would make him rich and would keep him from 
harm in tournament and in battle. But it must all be kept 
secret and he must on no account boast of her love. 

Story Writing . 191 

Lanval was well pleased. He won much renown by his 
largess and his rich attire and by his prowess in tourney 
and in battle. And many ladies looked on him kindly, but 
none seemed to him fair in comparison with Triamore. At 
length there was a wicked Queen, who showered him with 
favors until Lanval said to her that for seven years he had 
loved a lady more fair than any she had ever set eyes on. 
And in revenge, because he had slighted her, the wicked 
Queen accused him falsely to the King, who swore that 
Lanval should be slain unless, within a twelvemonth, he 
could substantiate his boast. 

Then was Lanval in sore distress, for he had broken his 
word to Triamore, who appeared to him no more, and whose 
rich gifts had disappeared. He lay wretchedly in prison, 
lamenting his folly in vain. Sir Perceval and Sir Gawain 
became his bondsmen, but nothing could he do to help him- 
self. And so the twelvemonth passed by, and again he 
was bound and brought before King Arthur and his 
knights. . . . 

10. Make stories from the following outlines, selecting 
with particular care the main incident. 

1. One Friday afternoon two boys slip into the church 
behind the deaf sexton, *and go up to play in the loft. He 
goes out and locks the door. What happens ? 

2. A tramp, penniless but in love with his roaming life, 
picks up a newspaper and reads that his eccentric uncle, 
living five hundred miles away, has died and left him a mil- 
lion dollars. What does he do? 

3. A girl of fifteen loses her uncle who was her sole 
relative. It is found that he has left no money. What does 
she do? 

4. Three boys out camping are set upon by robbers, tied, 
and robbed of all they have, one thief, however, protesting 
against taking anything from them. What happens? 

5. A brother and sister find in a hollow tree a round box 
on which is a piece of paper, covered with strange marks. 

192 A .first Year English Book 

At the top is written, "Who can read me truly wins a for- 
tune." What happens? 

6. Two girls are given a ten-acre field with the proviso 
that if they do not make it pay, it is to go to their brother. 
What do they do? 

7. Two boys are out in a sailboat. They quarrel ; a 
storm arises. What follov 

8. A girl who has offended her guardian wants to go to 
college. lie refuses to allow her the money. What does 
she do? 


< iften in trying to describe persons or objects you will 
find yourself telling what they are like, what they remind 
you of, comparing and perhaps contrasting them with other 
1 ibjects ■ 'i' pers< ins. 

<■ I, my love is like a red. red rose, 

That's newly sprung in June. 
1 '. my love i> like the melodie 

That's sweetly played in tune. 

Comparison, then, is one of the most suggestive tools of 
description; so valuable, indeed, that we shall find it worth 
while to consider, at this point, the kinds of figures at our 
disposal. Figurative language is language used in a sense 
not strictly literal. When Macbeth says: 

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player 
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
And then is heard no more — 

the statement is not literally true. The words are used fig- 

The most common figure is that of comparison. We fre- 
quently compare objects. When we express the compari- 
son, we use a figure called a simile. 

Figures of Speech 193 

Fair as a star when only one 
Is shining in the sky. 

When we do not fully state the comparison, but merely 
imply the likeness, we use metaphor. Or, to put it differ- 
ently : to use a simile is to compare one thing to another ; 
to use a metaphor is to call one thing by the name of an- 
other. An example of metaphor is: 

"The stars are the flowers of the sky." 

In the following sentence, the first figure is a simile, the 
second a metaphor: 

"Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent 
under it. " 

Sometimes, again, we speak of inanimate objects and of 
the lower animals as if they had the same qualities as 
human beings. This figure is called a personification. 

Stars, hide your fires ! 

Let no light see my black and deep desires. 

It is to be noted that figurative expressions are not con- 
fined to nouns, but are just as frequently found in other 
parts of speech. Scan every word to see if it is expressing 
a figurative or a literal idea. Such a figurative expression 
as "The sun's rim dips, the stars rush out, at one stride 
comes the dark," has its metaphor in the verbs and in the 
prepositional phrase. 


/. In the following passages, point out all the expres- 
sions which are not literal. Name personifications, similes 
and metaphors. State the points of similarity between two 
objects compared: 

1. It was an ugly little venomous serpent of a noise. 

194 A First Year English Book 

2. Rode under groves that looked like paradise 

( >f blossom, over sheets of hyacinth 

That seemed the heavens upbreaking through the 


3. The train grew small in the unending gulf of space, 
until all sign of its presence was gone save a faint skein of 
smoke against the evening 

4. Youth untamed sat here an idle moment, spending 
easily its hard-earned wag 

It came o'er my ear like the sweet sound 
That breathes upon a bank of violets. 

6. Thick as autumnal leaves that Strew the brooks 
In Vallambr 

7. These picnic pots and can- were the tir.^t of her 
trophies that Civilization dropped upon Wyoming's virgin 

8. A drove of fishes, painted like the rainbow and billed 
like parrots, hovered up in the shadow of the schooner, and 
passed clear of it, and glinted in the submarine sun. They 
were beautiful like birds, and their silent passage impressed 
him like a strain of song. 

9. In the early history of our planet, the moon was 
thing oft into space as mud is thrown from a turning 

10. Love took up the glass of Time and turned it in his 

glowing hands; 
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden 
. sands. 

11. Many a night I saw the Pleiades, rising thro' the 

mellow shade, 
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver 
\2. How smart a lash thy speech doth give my con- 
science ! 

Figures of Speech 19: 

13. My crown is in my heart, not on my head. 

14. Your fair discourse has been as sugar, 
Making the hard way sweet and delectable. 

15. To one who hath been long in city pent, 

Tis very sweet to look into the fair 
And open face of heaven, to breath a prayer 
Full in the smile of the blue firmament. 

16. The birds made 

Melody on branch and melody in mid-air ; 
The damp hilltops were quickened into green. 
And the live green had kindled into flames. 

17. Xot only around our infancy 

Doth heaven with all its splendors lie ; 
Daily, with souls that cringe and plot, 
We Sinais climb and know it not. 
Over our manhood bend the skies ; 
Against our fallen and traitor lives 
The great winds utter prophecies ; 

With our faint hearts the mountain strives ; 
Its arms outstretched, the druid wood 

Waits with its benedicite ; 
And to our age's drowsy blood 
Still shouts the inspiring sea. 

18. And what is so rare as a day in June? 

Then, if ever, come perfect days ; 
Then heaven tries the earth if it be in tune. 
And over it softly her warm ear lays. 

19. The little brook heard it, and built a roof 

'Neath which he could house him, winter-proof; 
All night by the white stars' frosty gleams 
He groined his arches and matched his beams ; 
Slender and clear were his crystal spars 
As the lashes of light that trim the stars. 

196 A First Year English Hook 

20. He was a pleasanl appearing man of two or three 
and twenty, of medium stature with dark gray eyes; but 
his lace lacked any fixed idea or concentration of purpose. 
A thought would wander like a free bird over his features, 
flutter in his eyes, light on his parted lips, hide itself in the 
wrinkles of his brow; then entirely vanish away, and over 
his whole countenance would spread the shadeless light of 

j". Go over the preceding list and turn ten of the figura- 
tive expressions into literal expressions. Turn five of the 
similes into metaphors, and five of the metaphors into 

3. Turn to page 43. Point out all the similes and 

metaphor-. Are they used to make the thought clearer? 
To suggest beautiful associations? 

/. Correct anything that i- incongruous in the follow- 
ing figures: 

1. The war-horse of the republic waves his strong right 
hand as a token of victoiy. 

2. She flung aside the mask and -bowed the cloven foot. 

3. She sat in a new gown and unlimited confidence. 

4. I bridle in my struggling muse with pain, 
That longs to launch into a bolder strain. 

5. To take arm- against a sea of troubles. 

6. Cut loose your stammering tongue that it may drive 
your thoughts home like a flaming sword. 

7. His remarks went to the point like a dove to her 
nest, springing up in leaves and fruit in the hearts of his 

8. He champed and fretted like a young wardiorse. im- 
patient to make the victory his own, and sow the seeds of 
his personality upon the whole army. 

Figures of Speech 197 

9. She flourished like a young bay tree, making ready to 
mark her footprints upon the sands of time. 

10. The keynote of his speech was wrapped up in a 
cloud of comparison. 

11. His threats leapt up like tongues of flame, hewing 
their way at the heads of the oppressors. 

5. Use comparisons to express the following ideas : 

1. He was talkative 

2. The wind blew 

3. The boat was tossed on the waves 

4. The engine shrieked 

5. The approaching trolley-car sounded like 

6. She was beautiful 

7. He was strong 

8. You could rely on him 

9. The sun shimmered through the leaves 

10. The leaves were blown along 

11. The little garden was fresh and neat 

12. The day was dark and the rain fell 

13. We heard the sound of confused footsteps like ..... 

14. The sparrows were chirping 



I. A sentence is ;i group oi words which expresses a 
complete thought. It consists of a subject, which names 
thi' subjed mi' the thought, and a predicate, which states 
what is thought of the subject. 


Name the subject and the predicate of each sentence in 
i he following: 






] I 




kick built a house. 

The day' wa> very warm. 

.Many people called to-day. 

The lake was unusually ri<£k\ 

The tire burned brightly, jy • 

1 sat on the heajth-rUg and watched the fire., 

Nature pays all debts promptly.' 

Re sought through the world lor a perfect man. 

The house is buihuof stone. 

The house on thelhilltop is buiftftof gray limestone. 

Where i< the Land <>f Heart's Desire? 

To thine own -elf be true. 

Owe no man anything. 

Where are the 'snows of yesteryear? 

II. A clause is a group of words which contains a subject 


Appendix A 199 

and a predicate, and is used like a noun, an adjective, or an 
adverb; as, "When he had fought many battles, he became 
weary of war." 

A phrase is a group of closely related words which does 
not contain a subject and a predicate; as, "going home"; 
"on the table". 


Among the following groups of words, point out the sen- 
tences, clauses, and phrases : 

1. And who art thou? said I to the soft- falling shower. 

2. This is the house that Jack built. 

3. The day of doom. 

4. Going homeward. 

5. The green trees whispered soft and low. 
(). A little learning is a dangerous thing. 

7. As life runs on, the road grows strange. ( 

8. The butterflies ceased. their flitting over the grass. 
<;. The way was long; the night was dark. 

10. As the boy was ill, we took him home. 

11. The robins sang in the orchard; the buds into blos- 
soms grew. 

12. While we were waiting the tide began to rise. 

III. Sentences are classified according to their form 
as simple, complex, and compound. A simple sentence 
contains one subject and one predicate, either or both of 
which may be compound: 

1. Ole Bull played the violin. 

2. Paganini and Ole Bull played the violin. ^Com- 
pound subject.) 

3. Mozart played, composed, and conducted. {Com- 
pound predicate). 

A complex sentence consists of one principal proposition 
and one or more subordinate propositions or clauses; as, 
"This is the house that Tack built." 

2oo ./ First Year English Book 

A compound sentence consists of two or mine independent 
propositions ; as, "The wa) was long and the wind was cold." 


Classify the following sentences, as simple, complex, and 
compound. Point out all the clauses. 

Charles the King, <>nr great Emperor, has been for seven 
long year> in Spain; he has conquered all the high land 

down to the sea; nol a castle holds out against him. Not 
a wall <>r city is left unshattered, save Saragossa, which 
stands high on a mountain. King Marsila holds it, who 
loves not God. He serves Mahound, and worships Apollon; 

ill hap must in sooth befall him. 

King Marsila abides in Saragossa. And on a day he 

passes into tlu- shade of his orchard; there he sits on a ter- 
race of bine marble, and around him his men are gathered 
to the number of twenty thousand. lie speaks to his dukes 
and d mnts. "I [ear, 1< >rds, w hat evil i iverwhelms us; ( Charles, 
the Emperor of fair France has come into this land to con- 
found us. I have no host to do battle against him, nor any 
folk to discomfort his. Council me. lords, as wise men and 
save me from death and shame." But not a man has any 
word in answer, save Blancandrin of the castle of Yal- 

Tli' 8<mg <>f Unkind. 

IV. A complex-compound sentence contains two or more 
independent propositions, one or more of which is accom- 
panied by a subordinate clause ; as, "There is a book in 
the British Museum, which would have, for many people, a 
greater value than any other single volume in the world: it 
is a copy of Florio's "Montaigne,'* and it hears Shake- 
speare's autograph on a fly-leaf." 


Classify the sentences in the following selections, as 
simple, complex, compound, and complex-compound. 


Appendix A 201 

In a mill there lived an old miller who had neither wife 
nor child, and three boys served under him. As they had 
been with him many years, he one day said to them, — 

"I am old, and want to sit in the chimney-corner; go out, 
and whichever of you brings me the best horse home, to 
him I will give the mill ; in return for the gift, he shall take 
care of me till my death."' Xow the third of the boys was 
the drudge, who was looked on as foolish by the others ; 
they did not mean he should have the mill. They all three 
went out together, and when they came to the village, the 
two said to stupid Hans, — 

"You may just as w 7 ell stay here; as long as you live you 
will never get a horse." But Hans went with them, and 
when it was night, they came to a cave in which they lay 
down to sleep. The two sharp ones waited until Hans had 
fallen asleep ; then they got up, and went away leaving him 
where he was. And they thought they had done a very 
clever thing, but it was certain to turn out ill for them. 

Soon after the Scots and Picts had become one people, 
there was a King of Scotland called Duncan, a very good 
old man. 

He had two sons; one was called Malcolm, and the other 
Donalbain. But King Duncan w r as too old to lead off his 
army to battle, and his sons were too young to help him. 

At this time Scotland, and indeed France and England, 
and all the other countries of Europe, were much harassed 
by the Danes. These were a very fierce, warlike people, 
who sailed from one place to another, and landed their 
armies on the coast, burning and destroying everything 
wherever they came. They were heathens, and did not 
believe in the Bible, but thought of nothing but battle and 
slaughter and making plunder. 



V. A noun is a name. A proper noun is a name of a 
particular person, place, or thing. All other nouns are called 
common nouns. A common noun which names a quality or 

202 ./ First Year English Book 

a general idea, is called an abstract noun; as, "virtue," 

"wealth. '* A common noun which names a group, is called 
a collective noun; as, "committee,' - "army.'* 

VI. A pronoun is a word which refers to a person or 
thing without naming him or it. A personal prononn is 
one that by its form distinguishes the speaker, the pi i 
spoken to, or the person or thing spoken <>f. 

A relative pronoun refers to some noun or pronoun, 
which is called an antecedent, and connects its clause with 
that antecedent ; as, "The man who would be king." 

The pronouns "who," "which" and "what," when used 
in asking a question, are called interrogative pronouns. 

Certain adjectives may be used as pronouns, and are- 
called adjective pronouns: "Give me that hook." {Adject- 
ive.) "That is the book I want." (Adjective pronoun.) 

There are three kinds of adjective pronouns: demon- 
strative, such as, "this," "that." "the former;" numeral 
(often called indefinite), as. "some." "few," "any"; dis- 
tributive, as, "each," "either." "neither." 

Examples: "This is the way." "Many are called, but 
few are chosen." "T want neither of them." 

VII. An adjective is a word which describes or limits 
the meaning- of a noun or pronoun; as, "The merry lark 
is singing." 

A proper adjective is an adjective formed from a proper 
noun. Jt is written with a capital letter; as, "English;" 

An article is a limiting word which cannot be used alone, 
but which is always joined to a noun. It has no descriptive 
meaning. There are two kinds of articles : the definite 
article "the," which points out a particular individual or 
group ; the indefinite articles "a" and "an," which do not 
point out a particular individual or group. 

Appendix . / 203 

Examples: "The king called a courtier." 

VIII. A verb is a word which assert? something of its 
subject. A group of words which makes a statement is 
called a verb-phrase. 

Examples: "Time flies." "I should have helped you." 

A transitive verb is a verb which requires an object to 
complete its meaning. An intransitive verb is one which 
does not require an object to complete its meaning. Many 
verbs are transitive or intransitive according to their use in 
the sentence. 

Examples: "He dwells alone.*' "He learns his lesson." 

An auxiliary verb is a verb which is used with the infini- 
tives or participles of a verb to complete its conjugation. 
The most common auxiliary verbs are "be,"' ''have," "do," 
"may," and their various forms. 

Examples: "I go." "I shall go." 'T might go." "I 
was told so." 

In each verb there are certain forms which do not assert 
something of a subject; they are called verbals. They are 
of three kinds: participles, infinitives, and gerunds. 

A participle combines the functions of adjective and 
verb. It at the same time expresses action or being, ami 
modifies a noun. 

Example: "I remember my father, standing before the 
fire, his head thrown back, his hands thrust into his pockets, 
talking to us in a pleasant, desultory way." 

A gerund is like a present participle in form, and is used 
like a noun. 

Example: "He enjoyed learning the poem." 

An infinitive is a form oi the verb which expresses an 
action or a state without asserting it of a subject. It has 
various uses: as a noun. "To see is to believe;" as an ad- 
jective. "I have a lesson to learn:" to complete the meaning 

204 A First Year English Book 

of another verb, "J went to see him." Ii may itself be 
modified In an adverb, as, " I hope some time to play well." 

IX. An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an ad- 
jective, or another adverb. 

Examples: "It was raining heazily." "The burden was 
very heavy." "It was raining very heavily." 

X. A preposition is a word which shows the relation 
between a noun it pronoun and some other word in the 

Examples: "The hook is on the table." "Beneath the 
ledge grew ferns ami columbine." 

XI. A conjunction is a word which connects words, 
phrases or propositions. A coordinate conjunction is one 
that connects elements of equal rank in the sentence. "Sir 
Richard spoke and he laughed." 

A subordinate conjunction is one that connects a dependent 
clause to some part of another proposition. 

Examples: "He walked about the room while he talked." 
"Take it if you want it." 

XII. An interjection i> a word which expresses emo- 
tion. It is not grammatically related to other words in the 

Examples: ".lias! 'tis pity!" "Hurrah! the day is 
won !" 


irt/of : 

Xame the parti of speech in the following: 

On one side of the moat was a large wood, and here 
Arthur spent a great deal of his time, lie liked to lie under 
the trees and gaze up at the blue of the sky. All about him 

Appendix A 205; 

old oaks stood like giant guardians watching sturdily over 
the soil where they had grown for centuries. Arthur could 
look between the trunks and see rabbits and squirrels frisk- 
ing about. Sometimes he heard a brown deer with shy, dark 
eyes pass, holding its graceful head high in the air ; some- 
times a flock of pheasants with brilliant plumage rose from 
the bushes. Again there was no sound except the tapping 
of a bright-crested woodpecker, and no motion but the flut- 
tering of leaves and the trembling of violets half buried in 
green moss. 

At times, when it was dim and silent in the wood, Arthur 
would hear bursts of merry laughter, the tinkling of bells, 
and the jingling of spurs. Then he would know that knights 
and ladies were riding down the road which ran beside the 

King Arthur and His Knights, Maude L. Radford. 

XIII. Phrases are classified in two ways, . according to 
their form, and according to their use in the sentence. A 
phrase introduced by a preposition is called a prepositional 
phrase ; introduced by an infinitive, it is called an infinitive 
phrase ; introduced by a participle, a participial phrase. 

Examples: "Snow lies on the field."- "To hear him talk 
is to believe in his sincerity." "Seeing a curiously wrought 
sword-hilt, I paused and examined it." 

A phrase used as a noun is called a noun-phrase ; used as 
an adjective, an adjective-phrase; used as an adverb, an 

Examples: "It came again with a great wakening light." 
{Adverbial) . "Dear common flower that growest beside the 
way, fringing the dusty road with harmless gold.*' (Ad- 
jective). "Hoping past hope is what men call despair." 

XIV. Clauses also are classified according to their use in 
the sentence, as, adjective, adverbial, and noun clauses. 

Examples: "When the cat's away the mice will play." 

206 A First Year English Book 

(Adverbial). "The house that was built upon tin- sands 
(adjective) izWwhen the Hoods came." (Adverbial.) "Hoiv 
a man can live well on nothing a year is indeed a puzzling 

question." (Noun). 


In the following, name all modifying phrases. Classify 

the dependent clauses according to their use. Point out 
coordinate propositions in the sentences, ami state the con- 
j unctions which connect them. 

The porter, drawn by the growing turmoil, had vanished 
from the postern, and the door .stood open on the darkness 
of the night. As Seraphina fled up the terraces, the cries 
and loud footing of the mob drew nearer the doomed pal- 
ace; the rush was like the rush of cavalry; the sound of 
shattering lamps tingled above the rest; and overtowering 
all. she heard her own name handied among the shouters. 
A bugle sounded at the door of the guard-room; one gun 
was fired; and then with the yell of hundreds, Mittwaldcn 
Palace was carried at a rush. 

Sped by these dire sounds and voices, the Princess 
scaled the long garden, skimming like a bird the star-lit 
stairway ; crossed the Park, which was in that place nar- 
row ; and plunged upon the farther side into the rude 
shelter of the forest. So, at a bound, she left the discretion 
and the cheerful lamps of palace evenings; ceased utterly to 
be a sovereign lady; and. falling from the whole height of 
civilization, ran forth into the woods, a ragged Cinderella. 
The Flight of lite Princess, Robert Louis Stevenson. 


Certain errors in grammar are SO common that it re- 
quires special care to eradicate them, especially when they 
are habitual in speech. The only way to rid oneself of 
them is to practice the correct forms aloud daily until these 

Appendix A 207 

replace the incorrect forms. The following exercises should 
be used or omitted according to the needs of the student. 

XV. Some pronouns have different forms for different 
cases. The subject of a verb is in the nominative case; the 
object of a verb or of a preposition is in the objective case. 
Many people make mistakes in the use of the forms. You 
should say : 

"Tom and / were there," not "Tom and me were there." 

"They told Tom and me to go," not "They told Tom and 
I to go." 

"It is /," not "It is me." 


Unless you habitually use the correct form, repeat the 
following forms aloud ten times every day. 

1. You and I were there. 

2. He and I were there. 

3. She and I were there. 

4. They and we were there. 

5. You and we were there. 

6. It is I. It is we. It was not I. It was not we. 

7. Give it to Tom and me. 

8. Give it to him and me. 

9. Give it to her and me. 

10. Give it to them and me. 

1 1 . They saw you and me. 

12. They saw you and them. 

13. They saw him and her. 

14. He is taller than I. 

15. He thought it was I. He thought it was she, etc. 

XYI. The pronoun "who," has an objective form, 
"whom." You should say: 

(1) "To whom did you speak?" not "To zAio did you 

208 A First Year English Booh 

(2) "Whom did you see?" not "Who did you sec?" 
Write five sentences using "whom" correctly. Practice 
them aloud daily until the correct form becomes habitual. 

XVII. Verbs should agree with their subjects in per- 
son and number. "The boy rims" is singular. "The boys 
run" is plural. Most mistakes in verbs occur in the col- 
loquial forms of everyday speech, where we do not recognize 

the number of the subject. 


I am. You arc. lie is. I was. You were, lie was. I 
was there You were there, lb- was there. Was I there? 
Were you there ? Was he there? Wasn't I dine? Weren't 
you there? Wasn't he there? Neither of us is ready. 
Neither of us two was there. Was either of them there? 
Was neither of them there ? 

I'm not. You're not. You aren't. He's not. fie isn't. 
We're not. We aren't, etc. There's no use. [ haven't been. 

I've not been. You haven't been. You've not been, etc. 
Am I not" Aren't you? Isn't he? etc. It isn't; 'tisn't ; 
'tisn't I ; 'tisn't she ; etc. 
Supply the correct form of the verb to be in the following: 

I. Neither of them present. 

Man after man seen to fall. 

,}. Tom. with Bill ready to <^o. 

4. 'The man as well as the child worthy of prai 

5. Either he or she — — mistaken. 

6. Neither of us too tired to go. 

7. No one more honest than be. 

X. Everyone delighted. 

'). Everybody alarmed at the news. 

Many mistakes are made in the use of tense-forms of 
verbs. The principal parts of verbs arc the present, the 
past, and the past participle, as "speak, spoke, spoken." 

Appendix A 209 


I did, you did, he did, etc. I have done, you have done, 
etc. I saw, you saw, etc. I have seen, you have seen, etc. 
I went, you went, etc. I've gone, you've gone, etc. I began. 
I've begun, etc. I came, I've come, etc. I spoke, I've 
spoken. I gave, I've given. I knew, I've known. I ran, 
I've run. 1 took, I've taken. I wrote, I've written. 

XVIII. One of the commonest mistakes in grammar is the 
misuse of "shall" and "will." Yet the rule is simple. You 
will easily keep it in mind if you remember that usage is 
determined by meaning. When you wish to express in the 
first person simple futurity, you say, "I shall call." "We 
shall call as usual." When you wish to express, in the first 
person, determination or willingness, you say, " I will." 
You reverse matters when you are using the second and 
third persons. You say, of something in the future, "I 
shall," but "you will," and "he will." When you are ex- 
pressing authority, control, or determination, you say, "I 
will," but "you shall," and "he shall." That is, when you 
are discussing simple future occurrences, you use "shall" 
in the first person, and "will" in the second and third. When 
you are expressing determination or authority, you use 
"will" in the first person, and "shall" in the second and 

In questions, you must always say "shall" for the first 
person, not "will." It would not show common sense to 
say "Will I call on him?" for you are then asking someone 
else what your intention is. In the second and third per- 
sons, you use the form which will be used in the answer 
to your question. If it is a matter of willingness or de- 
termination, the answer will be, "Yes, I will go," and, ac- 
cordingly, your question should be, "Will you go?" "Will 
you do me a favor?" If the reply indicates simply a future 

210 A First Year English Book 

fact, not determination or willingness, your question should 
be, "Shall you go?" 


Shall you like it? Won't you try it? Will you please 
pass the salt? Then you won't do it after all? 


Insert the correct form, "shall" or "will": 

i. I be glad if you be so kind. 

2. 1 be at home as usual. 

3. You find it very convenient. 

4. He see his mistake. 

5. We be happy to see you. 

6. You be tired before noon. 

7. They be glad of the opportunity. 

8. I be glad ? Of course I . 

9. you be at home ? 

10. we ever know the truth of the affair? 

n. you be happy to go home? 

12. you not consent to go? . 

13. Yes, if you wish it, I go. 

14. I'm afraid I be late. 

15. I'm afraid you be late. 

16. I'm afraid we miss the train. 

17. If you start at three. you catch your train I 5 

The use of "should" and "would" corresponds to the use 
of "shall" and "will." If you are in doubt as to whether 
you should use "should" or "would," translate the terms 
into "shall" or "will." Practice the following forms. 

1. I should like to go. Should you like to go? 

2. I said that I should like it. 

3. I said that I would do it gladly. 

4. If it should rain, we should miss the train. 

5. If you would consent to go now, you would catch the 


Note to the Teacher : Other exercises of this sort may be devised 
as the faults of the pupils may require. A good practice book for this 
purpose is Applied English Grammar. Lewis, Part I. 




/. Singular nouns usually form their possessives by 
adding 's to the nominative ; as, hoy, boy's. 

Note: Often the pronunciation of the added s makes a 
new syllable ; and if this syllable makes an unpleasant sound, 
the possessive is indicated by the apostrophe (') alone; as, 
"For goodness' sake." This is chiefly a matter of taste. 
If the s is sounded, it is always written ; and whenever 
there is doubt, it is well to follow the rule. 

2. Plural nouns form their possessives in two ways : — 

(a) If the nominative plural ends in s, the possessive is 
formed by the addition of the apostrophe (') alone; as, 
boys, boys'. 

(b) If the nominative plural does not end in s, the pos- 
sessive is formed by adding 's, as in the singular ; as men, 

j. Compound nouns form their possessives by the addi- 
tion of the proper sign to the end of the compound ; as, 

./. Personal and relative pronouns form their possessives 
without the use of the apostrophe ; as, "he," "his," "who," 
"whose." The form it's is the contracted form of it is. 
The Indefinite pronoun one forms its possessive like a noun ; 
as. "one," "one's." 


212 A First Year English Book 


/. The apostrophe is used to form the possessive case of 

2. The apostrophe is used to indicate the elision of a 
letter or letters. (See 4 above.) 

j. The apostrophe is used to form the plural of letters, 
figures, etc. 

Example: C, C's ; r, r's. 


/. Every direct quotation should be enclosed in double 
quotation marks. 

Example: "Shall we go?" he asked. 

2. A quotation consisting of several paragraphs requires 
quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph, and 
at the end of the last paragraph only. 

Example: See Section XXII, Rule 18. 

J. A quotation which is included within another should 
be enclosed by single quotation marks. 

Example: See Section XXII, Rule 18. 

4. Titles of books, etc., are often enclosed by quotation 
marks, unless printed in italics or underlined. 

Example: See Section XXII, Rule 18. 

Note: This rule applies to quoted words and phrases. 
The World says it is "brutal" and "cruel." 


/. Nouns or phrases which are independent by direct 
address (compellatives) should be separated from the rc>t 
of the sentence by commas. 

Example: "Come, men, let us go." 

2. Parenthetical expressions, and expressions which, 
though not parenthetical, come between important parts of 

Appendix B 213 

the sentence, as. between subject and predicate, between the 
predicate verb and the direct object, or between the parts of 
a quotation, should be separated from the rest of the sen- 
tence by commas. 

Example: Punctuation, without doubt, will aid you to 
express your thoughts clearly. 

Note: If the intermediate expression is restrictive, so 
that it is inseparable in idea from what precedes, no comma 
is necessary. 

Example: The man across the street is named Williams. 

j. Introductory words and phrases should be separated 
from the rest of the sentence by commas, unless the con- 
nection is very close. 

Example: By the way, who told you that? 

4. Words in apposition, with their modifiers, should be 
separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. 

Example: John Meyer, the prisoner at the bar, was now 
called upon for his defense. 

Note i : If one of the terms in apposition is a general 
title, the comma may be omitted. 

Example: The novelist Stevenson is dead. 

Note 2: A title or a degree following the name of a 
person should be separated from the name by a comma. 

Example: John Smith, Esq. 

Note 3 : If a pronoun is used with a noun, for emphasis 
or in direct address, the comma should be omitted. 

Example: He himself did it. 

5. Phrases or clauses placed by inversion at the begin- 
ning of sentences are usually followed by commas. 

Example: In everything that relates to science, I am be- 
hind the rest of the world. 

6. Participial phrases, unless restrictive, and nouns used 
absolutely with a participle, should be set off by commas. 

214 A First Year English Book 

Examples: Having been absent, lie did nut know the les- 
son. Success being hopeless, we retreated. The door lead- 
ing to the hall was closed. 

7. A very long subject should be followed by a comma. 
(Use this rule rarely, if at all, in first year.) 

8. Words, phrases, and clauses which arc contrasted 
should be separated by comma-. 

Example: We live in deeds, not years. 

p. Words or phrases in the same construction, forming 
a series, should be separated from each other by commas. 

Example: The fruils. Mowers, and shrubs sent forth 
grateful perfumes. 

Note 1 : If there are two or more words or phrases, with 
a conjunction between each two, no commas are needed. 

Example: The fruits and flowers and shrubs sent forth 
grateful perfumes. 

Xote 2: If in the series the only conjunction is between 
the last two members, the better usage is to place a comma 
before the conjunction. 

Example: See Rule 8. 

Note 3 : If the last two words or phrases are not con- 
nected by a conjunction, a comma is usually placed after the 
series, unless what follows is a single word or a short ex- 
pression very closely connected with the series. 

Example: The fruits, flowers, shrubs, sent forth grate- 
ful perfumes. 

Note 4: If tw r o or more adjectives precede a noun, they 
should not be separated by commas, unless they are of the 
same kind. 

Examples: She wore a pair of soiled white kid gloves. 
He had in himself a radiant, living spring of generous and 
manlv action. 

Appendix B 215 

10. Short quotations, or expressions resembling quota- 
tions, should be set off by commas. 

Example: He asked, "Are you ready?" The question 
is, What shall we do now? 

it. A comma is frequently used before a conjunction 
that joins two words or phrases that are far apart. (Use 
rarely in first year.) 

12. A relative clause which is nonrestrictive (that is, 
which contains an additional thought) should be separated 
from the rest of the sentence by commas. 

Examples: Longfellow, who wrote many poems, was an 
American. The man whom we saw is Mr. Drake. 

Note: A restrictive clause should be preceded by a 
comma if several words come between the relative pronoun 
and its antecedent, or when the relative pronoun refers to 
each of several antecedents. 

Example: There were present men, women, and chil- 
dren, who had been hurt. 

/j. Dependent clauses, commonly introduced by such 
words as "if," "when," "unless," "though," should be sep- 
arated from the rest of the sentence by commas, unless 
closely connected. 

Example: We were always ready to receive advice, 
though we seldom followed it. 

14. In compound sentences containing a common verb, 
the omission of the verb in any clause except the first should 
be marked by a comma, unless the sense is clear without it. 

Example: "Chaucer painted persons; Spenser, qualities. 

75. If the members of a compound sentence are not 
joined by conjunctions, they should be separated by semi- 
colons, though if they are very short, commas are some- 
times used. 

Example: Friends deserted him; enemies thronged his 
way. "I came, I saw, I conquered." 

216 A First Year English Book 

16. If the members of a compound sentence are not 
closely connected in thought, or arc subdivided by comma-, 
they are usually separated by semicolons. 

Example: Nor is it always in the most distinguished 
achievements that a man's virtues or vices may be best dis- 
cerned; but very often an action of small note, a short -ax- 
ing, or a jest shall distinguish a person's real character more 
than the greatest sieges, or the most important battles. 

77. A semicolon should precede such words as "as," 
"viz." (namely), "i. e." {that is), "c. g." (for example), 
when followed by examples, instance-, or specifications. 

Example: The invaders of Britain were composed of 
three tribes; viz., the Jute-, the Angles, and the Saxons. 

18. When a direct quotation is so long that it begins 
a new paragraph, it should be preceded by a colon. 

Example: The poet Longfellow used to tell the follow- 
ing story : 

"I was once riding in London when a man approached 
my carriage and said, 'Are you the author of the Psalm of 

" T am,' I replied. 

" 'Will you allow me to shake hands with you ?' 

"We clasped hands warmly, the carriage moved on, and 
I saw him no more ; but I remember that as one of the best 
compliments I ever received, because it was so sincere." 

Exercise 1 
a. Rewrite, using the necessary periods: 1. The sugar 
weighs ten lbs, three oz 2. The train leaves at ten A M, 
the boat, at two P M j. I replied on the 2nd inst to yours 
of the 30th ult 4. Lieut Col and Mrs Smith, Capt and 
Mrs Rogers. 5. Hamlet's soliloquy, "To be or not to be," 
is in Act III, Scene 1 6. Here are three letters, — one for 
Jamaica, L I, one for Bridgeport, Conn, and one for Chi- 
cago, 111 7. We send you inclosed a MS of 284 pp, from 
the Rev J J Walker of Washington, D C 

Appendix B 217 

b. Rezvrite, making the usual abbreviations and punctu- 
ating: 1. Address the letter to Messieurs J C Smith and 
Company, 22 Market Street, Newark, New Jersey. 2. The 
chief railroad stations of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are 
the Broad Street Station of the Pennsylvania Rail Road 
and the Terminal of the Reading- Rail Road. 5. The Stuart 
Kings of England are James I, Charles I, Charles II, James 
II, and Anne. 4. The meeting was addressed by the Rev- 
erend Joseph Speaker, Doctor of Divinity, Professor Fow- 
ler, and Doctor Waters. 5. The quotation is from Milton's 
Paradise Lost, Book II, lines 1-5. 

Exercise 2 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. Its too bad hes gone. 2. 
Every subjects duty is the kings; but every subjects soul 
is his own. j. Mind your ps and your qs. 4. Whom the 
gods love die young was said of yore. 5. Good speed cried 
the watch as the gate-bolts undrew. 6. You are old father 
William the young man said. 7. The man replied my child 
you are right. 8. (Write as a direct quotation) The man 
told ^)hn to go home. p. (Write as an indirect quotation) 
"I am Peter Klaus," he said, "and no other." 10. (Punctu- 
ate in tzvo ways to mean very different things) The Doctor 
said the Professor is crazy. 

Exercise 3 

Rezvrite, punctuating: 1. He was unwilling he said to 
part from his people without a word. 2. If she had said 
pretty Annie there would have been some sense to it. 5. 
Dear master I can go no farther farewell kind master. 4. 
God save thee brother exclaimed the monk. 5. Horatius 
quoth the consul as thou sayest, so let it be. 6. All work 
even cotton spinning is noble. 7. Dismiss as soon as possi- 
ble all envious feelings. 8. The officer shouted charge like 
heroes men. p. My boy is gone forever cried the father. 
70. Every man however humble he may be can do some- 
thing to benefit society. 

Exercise 4 

Rezvrite, punctuating: 1. Mother Im to be Queen of the 
May. 2. Novels as a class are injurious to many young 

218 A First Year English Book 

people. J. Much of his popularity he owed we believe to 
that very timidity which his friends lamented. 4. Tell me 
John what you have found. 5. A good motto for you un- 
friend is make haste slowly. 6. I shall not run answered 
Herbert stubbornly. 7. Let us if we must have great ac- 
tions make our own so. 8. Cease fool thy prattle, p. Its 
too bad the box has lost its lid. 

10. Summer woods about them blowing 
Made a murmur in the land. 

Exercise 5 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. The managers with Burke at 

their head appeared in full dre^<. 2. And I said my cousin 
Amy speak, and speak the truth to me. 3. Keats says that 
truth is beauty and beauty is truth. ./. ( )h, surely my good 
mother you will not refuse me this. 5. These three books 
and they are not expensive are all that you will need. 6. I 
am a wayfarer the stranger said and would like permission 
to remain with you a little while. 7. I thought the writing 
excellent, and wished if possible to imitate it. 8. Shall we 
go now asked John it has stopped raining. o. So Tike a 
shattered column lay the king. 10. You are wrong my boy 
though you cannot see it now. 

Exercise 6 

Reunite, punctuating: 1. My wish nevertheless was 
heard and remembered. 2. It is then a mark of wisdom to 
live virtuously, j. O are you come Iago. 4. There is a 
parrot too calling out pretty Poll pretty Poll as we pass by 
5. Religion then has an undeniable part to play. 6. Then 
he came. 7. Yes the messenger has gone. 8. Let us be of 
good cheer however remembering that the misfortunes hard- 
est to bear are those that never come. 0. We shall never 
know perhaps. 10. The Dakota tribes doubtless then occu- 
pied the country southwest of the Missouri. 

Exercise 7 
Rewrite, punctuating: 1. One of the best books I ever 
read Little ^Yomen was written by Miss Alcott. 2. Balti- 
more the Monumental City has grown rapidly. 3. ( >n the 
contrary he is able to come. 4. W'c your representatives 

Appendix B 219 

shall demand justice. 5. All these however were mere ter- 
rors of the night. 6. However you may feel son you must 
do your work. 7. The poet Lowell was a native of Cam- 
bridge. 8. Whittier's story, The Rattlesnake Hunter, is 
based upon this fact. o. Hawthorne himself could scarcely 
have imagined a wilder, stranger story. 

10. My country tis of thee 
Sweet land of liberty 
Of thee I sing. 

Exercise 8 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. Like most gifted men he won 
affection with ease. 2. When the court sat again Mr. Fox 
assisted by Mr. Grey opened the charge. 3. It is impos- 
sible however to change the natural order, and they who 
attempt it must suffer. 4. When Jason the son of the de- 
posed king of Colchis was a little boy he was sent away 
from his parents, and placed under the queerest schoolmas- 
ter that you ever heard of. 5. Though he were dumb it 
would speak. 6. Cadmus said a voice Cadmus pluck out 
the dragon's teeth, and plant them in the earth. /. As they 
neared it the appearance of the reef became more and more 
forbidding. 8. Up ran also a great many trumpeters. o. I 
have two brothers George and Henry my brother George 
is older than I, but my brother Henry is younger. 

10. Now who be ye would cross Lochgyle 
This dark and stormy water? 

Exercise 9 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. The President after having re- 
viewed the troops started on a trip to California. 2. To 
what purpose said the merchant hesitating we know noth- 
ing of the youths character, j. Isaacs father being dead 
Mrs. Newton was married again to a clergyman. 4. Gen- 
erally speaking the dogs which stray around the butcher 
shops restrain their appetites. 5. Because the doctor in- 
sisted on a change of scene they took the invalid to Men- 
tone. 6. Mr. Carr seeing his nephew in the room re- 
proached him bitterly. J. The teacher being away for the 
day the children went home. 8. Wearied bv his London 

220 ./ First Year English Book 

life [rving started for a tour on the Continent, p. Human 
life may be compared to a river flowing ever toward the 
sea of Eternity, jo. If you ran talk in human language 
say what you would have me do. 

Exercise 10 
Rewrite, punctuating: i. Up spoke John saying father 
if you let me go I will on my return carry all the wood into 
the cellar. 2. The school-house being deserted soon fell to 
decay, y. The school-house being deserted they went on 
to the church. ./. The horizon was of a fine golden tint 
changing gradually into a deep apple-green. 5. The man 
with the long coat on is Mr. Appleby our new minister, o. 
In [862 a few days after the hattle of Antictam Lincoln is- 
sued his immortal proclamation announcing that on the fol- 
lowing New Year's Day in all such states as had not by that 
time returned to their allegiance the slaves should he forever 
lire. ;•. The- man having finished his work went home. 8. 
The man having finished his work we all admired it. p. 
Truth crushed to earth will rise again. 10. In such circum- 
stances be guided by your judgment. 

Exercise 11 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. We live in y\c^\\- not years. 2. 
But they were happy grateful pleased with one another and 
contented with the times. 5. lie their sire was butchered 
to make a Roman holiday. 4. Bruce seeing the success of 
the spider resolved to try his own fortune. 5. Bryant was 
robust but not tyrannical: frugal but not severe; grave yet 
full of shrewd and kindly humor. 6. Industry honesty tem- 
perance are essential to happiness. 7. It was a bright calm 
cold night. 8. She wore a pair of soiled white kid glove-. 
p. Here comes a big rough dog a countryman's dog in 
search of his master. 10. I come to bury Caesar not to 
praise him. 

Exercise 12 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. There are few voices in the 
world but many echoes. 2. The great burden- he had borne 
the terrible anxieties and perplexities that had poisoned his 
life and the peaceful scenes that he had forever left behind 
swept aero-- his memory, j. In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit 

Appendix D 221 

entered flushed but smiling proudly with the pudding like 
a speckled cannon ball so bard and firm blazing in half 
a quartern of ignited brandy. 4. Punish guide instruct the 
boy. 5. The college was a large light standstone structure 
with red sandstone trimming 6. While the emperor was 
speaking a breathless silence pervaded the whole audience. 
7. The ledge blurred at first in outline now stood out in 
bold relief. 8. The sea carried men spars casks planks bul- 
warks heaps of such toys into the boiling surge, p. At 
one time he was a radical at another a conservative. 10. 
Not only his duty but also his inclination prompts him to 
be kind to his mother. 

Exercise 13 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. All eyes were now turned upon 
Philip who had not spoken. 2. The book that you want is 
on the table. 3. Sir Walter Scott who was a famous nov- 
elist is also the author of several notable poems. 4. Water 
which is composed of oxygen and hydrogen is necessary to 
life. 5. He that will not work shall not eat. 6. The man 
whom I want to see is gone. 7. The cloud which had scat- 
tered so deep a murkiness over the day had now settled into 
a solid and impenetrable mass. 8. I that denied thee gold 
will give my heart, o. The books which help you most are 
those which make you think most. 10. The judge who was 
a shrewd fellow winked at the iniquity of the decision. 

Exercise 14 
Rewrite, punctuating: 1. The man who had first spoken 
then arose and asked the attention of the audience. 2. The 
man who proved to be an escaped convict had in his pos- 
session one of the missing papers. 3. I once ascended the 
spire of Strassburg Cathedral which is the highest I think 
in Europe. 4. After a short interval Charles turning to 
Philip who in an attitude of deep respect stood awaiting his 
commands thus addressed him. 5. The river being flooded 
my uncle whose temper had been growing worse all day 
broke out into a series of snorts grumblings and sputterings 
which would have been laughable at any other time. 6. 
However if we have to do it we might as well do it now. 
7. Lastly in the name of human nature itself in the name of 

222 A First Year English Book 

both sexes in the name of every age in the name of every 

rank I impeach the common enem) and oppressor of all. 8. 
But they arc choosing neither a king nor a president else 
we should hear a most horrible snarling, p. The) flew to 

the better country the upper day. TO. It 1 were you Minnie 
said the king I would run home to my mother. 

Exercise 15 

Rewrite, punctuating and capitalizing: Mr. Smith who 
has the reputation of being a generous uncle was talking to 
little Johnnie his nephew well Johnnie he said how are you 
getting along with your french oh very well uncle we have 
nice sensible sentences now the lesson this morning read my 
uncle never forgets me at christmas and i hope he will give 
me a sled a bicycle and a pony this time if he knew how 
much i want them he would i am sure. 

Exercise 16 

Rezcritc, punctuating and capitalizing: Francis Wilson 
the comedian tells this story many years ago i was a mem- 
ber of a company playing she stoops to conquer one evening 
in a small town a man without any money stepped up to 
the box-office and said pass me in please the box-office man 
gave a loud harsh laugh pass you in what for he asked 
the applicant drew himself up and answered haughtily 
what for why because i am oliver goldsmith the author 
of the play oh i beg your pardon sir replied the box-office 
man hastily seizing his pencil he wrote out an order for a 

Exercise 17 

Rewrite, punctuating: i. If you see Margaret to-day 
please give her this book. 2. The house is brilliantly lighted 
the rooms are decorated and everything is in readiness for 
the arrival of the guests. 5. Though he slay me yet will I 
trust him. 7. If the good is there so is the evil. 5. God 
made the country man made the town. 6. He holds his 
watch in his left hand but clutched in such a manner that 
you cannot see the dial-plate. 7. When he died poor people 
lost one of their best friends. 8. As they now gazed for 
the last time on that revered form and listened to the part- 
ing admonitions from his lips they were deeply affected, o. 

Appendix B 223 

Smooth back your curls Annie and let me tie on your bon- 
net and we will set forth. 

10. When Duty whispers low Thou must ■ 
The youth replies I can. 

Exercise 18 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. To err is human to forgive 
divine. 2. My end draws nigh 'tis time that I were gone. 
3. To be really wise we must labor after knowledge to be 
learned we must study to be great in anything we must 
have patience. 4. Worth makes the man the want of it 
the fellow. 5. Then shook the hills with thunder riven 
then rushed the steeds to battle driven. 6. They were not 
a handsome family they were not well dressed their shoes 
were far from being waterproof their clothes were scanty. 

7. Homer was the greater genius Virgil the better artist. 

8. It ought to have been enough to satisfy him but it was 
not. p. Suddenly in the air before them not farther up 
than a low hilltop flared a lambent flame. 10. \\ nile work- 
ing his way through college he saved a hundred dollars. 

Exercise 19 

Rewrite, punctuating: 1. Irving was born in 1783 Long- 
fellow in 1807 and Holmes in 1809. 2. The Normans ral- 
lied and the day was lost. 5. Who was that short sturdy 
plainly dressed man ? 4. It was a strange thing to do 
nor was it very easy I should imagine to dig out all those 
teeth from the dead dragon's jaw. 5. Leave me here and 
when you want me sound the bugle horn. 6. Every town 
had its fair every village its wake. 7. Although defeated 
so many times he never gave way to discouragement. 8. 
Sink or swim live or die survive or perish I give my hand 
and my heart to this vote. 0. Then up rose Mrs. Cratchit 
Cratchit's wife dressed out but poorly in a twice turned 
gown but brave in ribbons and she laid the cloth assisted 
by Belinda Cratchit her second daughter also brave in rib- 
bons. 10. Nobody jostles her all turn aside to make way 
for little Annie and what is most singular she appears con- 
scious of her claim to such respect. 



Countless advertisements are written every year, and mil- 
lions of dollars are paid to print them. One authority puts 
the total annual expense of printed forms of advertising at 
six hundred millions of dollars. One million was spent in 
one year in advertising a single cereal. The Century Mag- 
azine charges two hundred and fifty dollars for a full page 
advertisement. The Ladies' Home Journal charges seven 
dollars and fifty cents for a single agate line (there are four- 
teen such lines to the inch i the width of one column for a 
single insertion. And yet, very many advertisements do not 
pay. It has been estimated that seventy-five per cent of 
all advertisements are a loss ; and still the other twenty-five 
pay so well that business men feel that they must advertise. 

In many cases it is impossible to tell beforehand whether 
an advertisement will succeed or not. It is a good deal like 
presenting a play : the managers and actors cannot tell in 
advance whether the play will attract the public. For this 
reason it is difficult to give many suggestions which will 
inevitably bring success in the writing of advertisements ; 
but there are some which must be followed, or failure is 

As a rule, the picture which usually accompanies an 
advertisement catches the reader's attention, and so takes 
some of the burden from the writer. But a conscientious 
writer will try to make his advertisement as interesting as 
if no extraneous aid accompanied it. The average reader 
feels that he is paying you a compliment in reading your 
advertisement ; thus you must work doubly hard to win his 


Appendix C 225 

interest. He will not be interested if you are wordy or 
ambiguous. For example, it is stated that a famous firm 
lost money in England by using in advertising the expres- 
sion, "The smile that won't come off," because "come off" 
to the English conveys the meaning of '"happen." Let every 
word, then, be absolutely clear, and as definite and forceful 
as possible. 

Before you can write thus, you must think over your mate- 
rial again and again, trying to shape it in different ways 
until your mind is thoroughly accustomed to looking at it 
in all possible forms. This means that you must choose 
words that are applicable to the thing you are advertising, 
and to nothing else. For example, the following advertise- 
ment is poor, because it might apply to several different 
things : 

"The in its fourth year of existence has endeared it- 
self to old friends, and is winning new ones. Xo family 
once having tested it, can afford to be without it. Xo judge, 
however severe, can fail to testify to its excellence. If the 
purchaser is not satisfied with it, we cheerfully refund his 
money. For full particulars apply to the Com- 
pany. X'ew York." 

The , then, might be baking-powder, or breakfast 

food, soap, a chest-protector, or a sewing-machine. If your 
article is something to eat, arouse in the first line your 
reader's desire to taste it : if it is a musical instrument, 
appeal to his sense of hearing ; if it is a pair of woolen hose 
make him feel how pleasant the warm contact of the wool 
would be. Consider your object thoroughly, make your- 
self a real admirer of the object, see how it feels or looks 
or tastes or sounds to you, and then make your reader feel 
that effect. 

Further, you must catch your reader's attention at once. 
He may be stepping into the street car, and for one instant 

226 ./ First Year English Book 

his eye lights on your advertisement; in that instant, he 
must be attracted, or he will not care to finish reading it 
when he has taken his seat. And remember that your 
beginning must be brief as well as interesting. No less 
important is the ending: when the last word of your adver- 
tisement is finished, stop. The following is an example of 
a good brief advertisement which catches the attention 
immediately : 






A word or two about advertisements in verse: These are 

attractive if they are good, but if bad they fall very flat. 
Choose a Mibject which is rit for verse and can be put in a 
jingling meter. Then see that your rhythm is smooth and 
the rhyming perfect. But whether you write rhyme or 
serviceable prose, remember these cautions: Consider how 
your subject will appeal to the reader; that is, which of his 
senses it should affect ; next, think it over so thoroughly that 
you are master of it from all points of view ; then clothe it 
in clear, concrete, forceful words, paying particular atten- 
tion to the beginning and the end. 

Write an advertisement of a new cereal. 

Write an advertisement of a new automobile. 
Write an advertisement of a business college. 
Write an advertisement of an auction sale. 
Write an advertisement of a circus. 



Considering- how many daily and weekly newspapers 
there are in the world, it is not unlikely that you may wish 
to become an occasional contributor to one or more of these, 
or perhaps a regular reporter. There are many contributors 
and reporters, and there are thousands who try to fill these 
positions and fail. If you want to write for the newspapers, 
you must first of all get what the editor calls "news." By 
this is meant any event or occurrence not previously printed, 
which is interesting to a number of people ; or perhaps some- 
thing occurs which has been written about, but which is 
particularly timely. If you take a trip to New York on 
a train, that is not new. But if on that train you make ac- 
quaintance with a great English politician traveling incog- 
nito, and get from him the material for an "interview," that 
is news which the average editor would be glad to take. 
Or if there is a bad accident on the train, and you are able 
to write an account of it as a capable eye-witness, this is 
news. Suppose a great general is killed ; then little stories 
which have been printed about him months ago could be 
rewritten, and would be read because of their timeliness, 
while these same stories, submitted to an editor a year after 
the general's death, would be refused. 

But it is not enough to have good and timely material ; 
you must know how to treat the material. In the first place, 
you must be master of all the facts relating to your "story," 
as the newspaper account is technically called. If you were 


228 A First Year English Book 

to write an account of a train wreck which was merely 
descriptive, it would be worthless; and if it were full of 
comment on the fearful carelessness towards life which we 
Americans show, it would be worthless. The public wants 
facts. You would be expected to tell what was the probable 
cause of the wreck, just where and when it took place; the 
number of lives lost; the probable amount of damage done. 
If you were submitting your "interview" with the politician, 
you should have in it various interesting facts about him ; 
why he was visiting America; where he had been so far; 
where he was going next ; how long he intended to stay in 
this country. 

The work of a writer for the newspaper, then, is to give 
plain facts, and all necessary facts. As he is merely a trans- 
mitter of timely and interesting news, he must omit any 
personal reflection or moralizing. He must give news in 
the simplest and clearest manner possible. Moreover, he 
must present his facts in a particular order. If you will 
examine any newspaper account of a stirring event, you will 
find that the most prominent facts or incidents are put in 
the headlines and in the first paragraph or two, while the 
rest of the details come later, though this method often 
involves repetition. This plan of presentation is, of course, 
to save the time of the busy reader, who, by reading the first 
paragraph or two, gets the main facts without loss of time. 

The power of finding and selecting news can be acquired. 
You learned in the earlier sections of this book that close 
observation was essential before you could find interesting 
material about which to write. Close observation, a keen 
curiosity about the life which surrounds you, the habit of 
storing up facts in your mind and in your note-books, and 
the power to tell just what you see, such is the road to suc- 
cess in newspaper writing. 

Can you shut your eye and see every detail of the street 

Appendix D 229 

along which you pass to school? There is a store being 
built on the corner; who is building it? Who is the con- 
tractor? How many workmen are engaged? When does 
the owner move in? What kind of store is it? You know 
a merry-faced, talkative old man who built the first house 
in town ; do you know when it was or why he chose the 
site or anything of his history? Some time you may need 
the information he can give you. You can never tell when 
a fact may be needed, and, in general, you may be sure that 
some time or other you can use nine out of every ten facts 
you acquire. Observe keenly, then, and be on the alert for 
facts and information of all sorts. 


1. Read carefully several copies of a good daily paper. 
See how the news articles are written. Look at the head- 
lines of a certain article, and write upon the subject. Then 
compare your composition with the newspaper article, and 
see what facts you have omitted. 

2. Write a report of the wedding of a prominent couple. 
Compare your account with a good newspaper account and 
see what you have omitted. 

3. W r rite an account of a lecture by some prominent 
lecturer or politician. Compare your account with some 
newspaper account of like sort. 

4. Write an account of some public event which has 
happened lately in your town. Compare with the newspaper 

5. Write an account of your commencement exercises. 

6. Write an account of some important public build- 
ing which is soon to be opened. 

7. Write an account of an accident. 














My Neighbor in School. 32. 

How I Made a Kite. 33. 

If I Were President. 34. 

A Narrow Escape. 35, 

My Saturdays. 36. 

My Scrap-book. 37. 

My Mother's Old Autograph 38. 


A Photograph Album. 39. 

The Book-store. 40. 

The Oldest Inhabitant. 41. 

My Impromptu Gynasium. 42. 

The Leader of the Demo- 43. 

crats. 44. 
The Leader of the Bepubli- 

cans. 45. 

How I Made a Paper Hat. 46. 

The Christmas Windows. 47. 

The Autobiography of a 48. 

Nickle. 49. 

My Autobiography. 50. 

The Lesson of The Ancient 51. 

Mariner. 52. 

My Visit to a Newspaper 53. 

Office. 54. 

The Latest Air-Ship. 55. 

How I Earned My New 56. 

Eing. 57. 

An Ideal School. 58. 

My Dream About the Puri- 59. 

tans. 60. 

A Disappointing Side-show. 61. 

Smokeless Powder. 62. 

A Picture of Robert E. Lee. 63. 

An Ideal House. 64. 

The New-comer. 65. 

A Eunaway. 66. 

The Crowded Corner. 67. 

The Game of the Sparrows. 68. 

A Clever Bird. 

The Vociferous Colon v. 

A Bird of Prey. 

The Cocoon. 

The Leg-of-mutton Sleeve. 

The Long Eoad to — . 

My Cousin in the Kinder- 

A Secret. 

A Little Pocket Edition. 

The Old Bureau. 

The Old Armchair. 

A Poster. 

The Travels of a Pumpkin 

The Punctured Tire. 

What I Know About Cats. 

The Story of the Drum. 

Our Town Band. 

The Last Day of Winter. 

The Clearing in the Woods. 

The Ferry Boat. 

The Eels. 

The Moving Sidewalk. 

Fishing for Minnows. 

Building a Wharf. 

The Search by Night. 

The Ghost. 


The Scene in the Street Car. 

My Eaft. 

What I Saw of the Strike. 

My Aunt's Kitchen. 

Grandmother 's Eoom. 

The Football Song. 

The Lumber Mill. 

The Blacksmith's Shop. 

The Driver. 

The Conductor. 

Appendix E 

23 T 

69. The Fruit Store. 

70. The Drug Store on the Cor- 


71. A Visit to the Home of the 

Old Colonel. 

72. How I went Camping. 

73. An Autumn Trip. 

74. Fording the River. 
7"). My First Mountain. 

76. The Summer Hotel. 

77. The Lady and the Umbrella. 

78. The Dance of the Fire-flies. 

79. The Dog and the Bone. 

80. The Saw-mill. 

81. The Newsboy. 

82. Our Charades. 

83. The Dog with the Ribbon 


84. Our Sea-serpent. 

85. The Broken Vase. 

86. Why the Crowd Laughed. 

87. The Old Omnibus. 

88. A Search for Treasure. 

89. Our Assembly Room. 

90. A Rose-garden. 

91. The Mud-hole. 

92. My Hero. 

93. A Great General. 

94. Why I Admire Queen Eliza- 


95. My Favorite Picture. 

96. The Haunted House. 

97. Telling Ghost Stories. 

98. A New York Draft. 

99. The Points of a Good Cow. 

100. The Creamery. 

101. The Day I Churned. 

102. The Manual Training Class. 

103. The Election. 

104. Sitting up All Night. 

105. What I Thought of when 

I Could not Sleep. 

106. A Lesson in Physiology. 

107. Peter the Hermit. 

108. The Noble Knight. 

109. A Feudal Castle. 

110. How a Knight Was Trained. 

111. A Banquet in King Arth- 

ur's Court. 

112. What I Think of Chivalry. 

113. A Moki Village. 

114. How a Bank-note is Made. 

115. Tennyson's Poem, The 'Re- 


116. In a Hospital. 

117. How We Celebrated the Vic- 


118. The Philippines. 

119. What a Davy Lamp Is. 

120. Getting Up in the Morning. 

121. The Bonfire. 

122. The Scare-crow. 

123. Examination Day. 

124. The Queer House. 

125. Building Air Castles. 

126. How I Met a Great Man. 

127. The Baby's Tricks. 

128. My Day of Misfortunes. 

129. A Sewing Society. 

130. The Consumer's League. 

131. Three Ways of Obtaining 


132. My First Hour in a Depart 

ment Store. 

133. How I Study My History 


134. A Hay-meadow. 

135. The Happy-go-lucky Girl. 

136. The Hoodoo. 

137. What I Think of the Jap- 


138. if I Were Living in the 

Year 2000. 

139. If I Owned a Newspaper. 

140. The Fourth of July. 

141. Our Most Treasured Relic. 

142. The Dog that Adopted Me. 

143. The Game of the Birds. 

144. Mv First Play. 

145. The Time I Won the Prize. 

146. The Truant Baby. 

147. Going Berrying. 

148. The Tea-party. 

149. How I Spent My First 


150. The Windmill. 

151. My (diner in the Garret. 

152. How to Make Corn-bread. 

153. A Girl's Room. 

154. A Boy's Room. 

155. The Church Choir. 


./ First Year English Book 


Whal 1 Should Like to En- 





The Host Tiling I Ever 



1 -1. 


The Boy Across the Street. 



The Giggling Girl. 



The New Restaurant. 


How to Make Pudge. 



The Peculiar Pedler. 

1 85. 


The Clever Book-agent. 



When Grandmother Was a 





When Father Was a Boy. 



A Queer Character. 



An English Sihool-boy. 



A Duel. 



Our Minister. 



Our Doctor. 


My Besl Friend. 



Whom I Wish to Be Like. 



The Battle of San Juan. 



When 1 Was Alone in the 





The Ice-cream Party. 


1 76. 

My Reward. 



Borrowing in School. 

Our Library. 

Our Policeman. 

My Desk. 

My Teacher's Table. 

A Trip 1 Wish to Take. 

My l'ir-i Attempt at Cook- 

Why I Failed. 

( iiir Quarrel. 

Our Reconciliation. 

An Adventure in the Rain. 

The Trick Horse. 

Iinw i Made a < iarden. 

Going Borne from School. 

Why the Farm Kan Down. 

Tom Sawyer. 

The Time I Missed the 

The Ways of the Bea\ er. 
My Favorite Magazine. 


A Sacrifice. 

A Halloween Party. 

A Pretty old I .adv. 

Breaking the Pony. 



In teaching composition, more depends upon the teacher 
than upon the text. The first aim of the teacher should be 
to make the child take the work naturally, as if it were a 
part of his pleasurable, every-day living. At home he lives 
actively ; he often carries to school an unwilling or passive 
mind. At home he takes part in the social life and talk of 
the family ; he asks questions, finds out facts, makes things 
with his hands. At school he often feels a sense of isolation. 
There are certain things which he must learn all by himself ; 
he can not ask help, for instance, from the boy whom he 
was helping in a game in the schoolyard five minutes before. 
(See The School and Society, by John Dewey.) 

If the teacher makes the composition work a part of the 
daily living of the pupil, the latter will reflect in writing his 
interest in talk. He can be shown that he is making some- 
thing when he constructs a composition, just as much as if 
he were making a box. And in time he will feel a pleasure 
in expressing himself through words as well as through 
deeds. Further, composition will help him to organize and 
generalize his life. It can largely do away with the isola- 
tion he feels, can help him socially, give him an idea of 
general responsibility, an interest in others, an impulse to 
help others. This is achieved not so much by writing as 
by criticizing. The child is led to criticize his own and 
his friends' composition. Mary tells George where she 
thinks he could improve his work by changing the title, or 
by adding something to the end. All the children work 


234 ■ ' First Year English Honk 

together at improving John's theme. John will not feel 
hurt at their suggestions; he will simply realize that he is 
being helped. It is only when John is twenty and in a col- 
lege class that he resents criticism. 

The first step, then, is for the teacher to get the pupils 
to take writing as a matter of course. The ideal would he 
to spend from a half t<> three-quarters of an hour a day <>n 
the subject. Compositions may he written in class, or sub- 
jects may he assigned for outside work. The former plan 
trains the pupil to do hi- work quickly. Occasionally the 
subject should he given him just before he writes t" insure 
spontaneity; again, it should he assigned a day m- two 
in advance to give him time to think over the matter. 
Sometime- <>ne method should he used chiefly with a class, 
-nmetimes the other. The teacher should he always ready 
to help by asking questions and offering suggestions. 

Ideally the pupils should write one composition a day; 
yet it is impossible for the teacher to correct all the^c. The 
teacher should criticize in writing at least one composition a 
week for each pupil. The paper on which the composition 
is written should have a wide margin. < »n this the teacher 
should put, in red ink, the suggestions for rewriting, mak- 
ing on the outside of the composition a general summary of 
the criticism. Then the pupil should rewrite in accordance 
with these suggestions. Too much insistence can not be 
put on this matter of rewriting, for by it the pupil learns 
more than he does when he writes the original composition. 
But more can be done by oral criticism than by written 
criticism. The teacher should read aloud every day, or 
two or three times a week, some of the best and some of 
the worst compositions, and lead the class to criticize them. 

Criticism should never be discouraging. All that can be 
said in praise of a composition should he said. Even when 
there is absolutely no good point in it, the teacher should 

Appendix F 235 

put his remarks in some such way as this : "You can turn this 
into a good composition if you will make the following cor- 
rections." Further, criticism should be constructive. Never 
tell a pupil he is wrong without setting him right, or else 
putting him in the way of finding out for himself the rem- 
edy. Moreover, the teacher ought not to try to accomplish 
too much at once ; it is enough to call the child's attention 
at first to one or two of his gravest faults, weeding out the 
others as time goes on. It is well, sometimes, in writing 
down criticism to correct a fault, especially if it be a bad 
mistake in grammar, without calling the child's attention to 
it. The great necessity is fluency and the power to con- 
struct ; if we find too much fault with the child, we prevent 
these powers and destroy his interest. 

There follow four specimen corrected compositions, two 
of which are perhaps worse than many which most eighth 
grade or first year high school teachers receive. The first 
is bad because the child has chosen too large a subject, and 
a title which is even larger than the subject. The result is 
that he writes about two or three disjoined topics, and errs 
in unity. It should be treated as follows : 


Y (yuv titls xs too 
MY VACATION large; you talk of only 

r\ * 1 , 1 °"<? day of your va- 

One day last summer when our cation. 

Sunday school had their picnic out in "School" is singu- 

Kankakee a party of men and women lar and "their" is 

got into a sail boat and went boat- v ma ' 

■ i- ^-p, 1 , ,, You say too much 

riding. They had not got more than about t his\wn. You 

half way out when the boat upset and a >'e ™°* writing about 
,1 1 r 11 • r-\ him, but about the ac- 

the people fell in. One was a man cident in geixeraL You 

from Chicago who owns a red auto- should treat only one 
„i :i~ tlj li r • 1 subject in your com- 

mobue. He was arrested once for rid- position. 

236 ./ First Year English Book 

ing too fast. ( >nly a few of the p 
pic could swim, SO some men went out 
to try to save them. They managed 
to save them all. About an hour after 
this accident a man stepped on a si 

and killed it. 

Then \vc went for ice-cream and 
lemonade and by mistake the man 
gave me two dishes of ice-cream. 

When we was coming home thi " ro 

it-Hi- ' ' ' 

ran over a cow and killed it. 

This composition is interesting, but you try to talk about 
too much, fell of the sail-boat accident only, giving more 
details about it; or tell how you saw the man kill the snake, 
what it looked like, etc. Take one small subject and treat 
it fully. (See Section I.) Put all this in one paragraph. 

In the second composition note that the child'-' attention is 
not called t<> two faults which are corrected. Further, no 
notice is taken of his mistake in coherence; "the woman" is 
wrong, because there must have been several women. But 
it is necessary to put the emphasis on unity here. 


"Hello, hello," said Clarence to the 

groceryman. "Give me a ride." 

"Ah, I ain't got time to bother with Jrhat should you 
, . , ,, . , , have said instead of 

kids, said the groceryman. "ainf'f 

Clarence hollered so that the gro- 
ceryman stopped his wagon and got 

Appendix F 

2 37 

out and helped him in. Then don't 
you think Clarence felt good? He 
.."ver had rode on a grocery-wagon 
before. He sat up as straight as the 
gate-post before his yard. Whenever 
the groceryman got out of the wagon 
to give the woman a parcel, Clarence 
held the lines. The groceryman used 
to live in the workhouse when he was 
a little boy, and they weren't very 
good to him there. The groceryman 
kept Clarence till twelve o'clock, and 
then he brought him back to his 

This is a bad mis- 
take. Find out the 
correct form. 

Do you need this? 
Bemember you are 
talking of Clarence 's 
ride. This is what you 
might say if you were 
talking of the grocery 
man as a little boy. 
Write on one subject 

This is very pleasant reading; you do the dialogue well. 
But be sure to write of one subject only. 

The third composition has unity, but suffers excessively 
from the fault of wordiness. Obviously, the writer has 
about a fifth grade mind. 



A good title. 

There is a little boy lives next door 
to us and then there is another little 
boy, and a girl. All three of them 
live in the detached house next door 
to us. Their names are Tom and 
Dick. Their father told my father 
that the next boy he had he would 
name him Harrv for a name. The 

Since one and one 
make two, what should 
you write here? 

Bon 't you say some- 
thing here that you 
have already told us? 

Do you need "for 
a name"? 

2 3 8 

. / First Year English Book 

little girl she is called .Mary. Mary 
is not pretty. I don't know what to 
call her face, but it is not pretty. Tom 
and Dick play with Mary, and when 
they play with Mary they are kind to 
her. She is good to them. I go in 
and play with them when my mother 
lets me. 

"Shi "' 

Is it 

happy i 

tun <l .' 

pleasant or 
r good na- 

Put this in !'• Wt I 


This tells very clearly about the children next door, but 
when you rezvrite, you must put your composition in fewei 

The fourth composition is very good. It shows that the 
writer has observation and imagination. The teacher need 
call no attention in such a theme to any fault except the 
shorl paragraphs, and the mistakes in grammar and in spell- 
ing. The children should be asked to point out its merits. 


When I was a little bush I was cut 
down and it hurt me dreadfully. I 
was separated from all my brothers 
and sisters and was tied in a bundle 
and thrown in a wagon. 

I thought I was the only one, but 
soon after some more bundles was 
thrown in on me, and I did not feel 
very comfortable. Soon the waggon 
carried me to a pencil shop. 

Their I was skinned (I mean my 
bark was taken off) and T was 

' ' Bundles ' ' is plu- 



Spt lling. 

Appendix F 239 

smoothed down and cut into pieces. 
The lead was put into my stomach. 

Then I went into the polishing room 
and was polished till I was bright as a 
diamond. After I had come out of the 
polishing room, I was tied in a bundle 
with eleven more just like myself and 
had a stamp stamped on me, "The 
Board of Trade." And very soon 
after this I was sent on an order to the 

School, where I was given to 

a boy. 

He took out a knife and chopped off 
my head and began to write a com- 
position with me. He worked so hard 
I became very small from being cut. 
So he threw me away. Now I am old 
and I do not work any more. 

This is very good and interesting. But you have too 
many paragraphs. Put all this in one paragraph. Do not 
make mistakes in grammar. 

Finally, as the text shows, too much emphasis can not 
be put on finding subjects in which the child' is interested, 
on developing his imagination, and on training his senses. 
For the latter purpose the teacher can get much help from 
Halleck's Education of the Central Nervous System, pub- 
lished by Macmillan & Co. 


The value of reproduction work is obvious. In preparir^, 
for it the teacher should give the children every opportunity 
to ask questions on the masterpieces they are going to repro- 

240 A First Year English Hook 

duce, and should especially lead them to reproduce the litera- 
ture in the proper proportion. Their work should be on 
the same scale as the author's. Their tendency is to give 
too much space to the beginning, and too little to the mid- 
dle and to the end. Often, if the exercise is given them in 
class, they plan so badly that they do not have time to make 
any end before the time for writing is up. 

As to the diction, — it does not matter whether, after an 
oral reading, they take whole phrases and clauses from the 
author, or whether they use their own words entirely. In 
the former case they will be using good words ; in the latter, 
they will be exercising a certain amount of originality. 

The reproductions of different children should be read in 
class and should be compared with the original It is in- 
structive for them to see the different ways in which the 
same story strikes different people, lor example, one child 
in writing a reproduction of The White Ship will leave 
Berold out of account entirely. Others will see, without per- 
haps understanding, the irony in the fact that this incon- 
spicuous person was saved, though all King Henry's power 
could not save his only son. 

Good material for reproduction are the King Arthur sto- 
ries, the Robin Hood ballads, some of the border ballads, cer- 
tain of the Jungle-book stories, parts of Longfellow's Tales 
of a Wayside Inn, certain of living's Tales of a Trai'eler. 
It is worth while for the teacher to take certain dramatic 
scenes from Stevenson's Kidnapped, The Wrecker, Treas- 
ure Island. The Merry Men, The Ebb Tide, St. Ives, and 
The Master of Ballantrae, and have the children reproduce 
these. Dramatic scenes of this sort usually have the struc- 
ture so strongly marked that it influences the proportion in 
which the children treat the reproductions. 

Here we have an idea that is opposed to the old-fash- 
ioned idea that writing ought to be spontaneous ; that it is a 

Appendix F 241 

gift, and so should come rippling forth as spontaneously as 
the water flows. But as a matter of fact, evidence goes to 
show that the best writers have carefully planned their 
work. And certainly no untrained child can hope to do 
creditable work unless he carefully plans it. Here, again, 
in order to put life into the work, the teacher should sug- 
gest subjects for plans which are taken from the interests 
of the child. Let him write a plan of the next holiday he 
would like to spend, etc. Moreover, this work should be 
correlated with the child's other studies. Let him write a 
plan of his history lesson, or of a physiography lesson. Let 
him tell how he is going to carry through his next drawing 
lesson. Let him go over the notes he took earlier in the year 
when he was studying Section III, and rewrite them with 
a definite plan in his mind. Sometimes students should 
take notes and plans of the same subject, and then exchange 
papers, and then write. They should keep jotting down 
plans in their notebooks as these occur to them and bring 
them to class for criticism. Planning may seem to be dry 
work, but it is far from that if the teacher can get the 
class interested. To remedy faults in plans, to plot out a 
subject in the best way, gives play to the gift of ingenuity, 
which almost every child possesses in some degree. 


The comma fault is an error to which children are pecul- 
iarly liable. Too often the fault is not eradicated by the 
time they have reached college. It can not be too much 
insisted on that statements which are not grammatically 
connected should not be written as one sentence. Take 
this sentence, quoted, with what follows, from Rad- 

242 A First Year English Book 

ford's "Rhetoric" (Hinds, Noble & Eldridge, Publishers, 

New York). ' 'I knew it was dawn, the birds were singing, 
the cattle were moving about the yard.' Now this 'lumping 
together' of three statements which have no grammatical 
connection is a violation of the principle of unity. Again, 
this quasi-sentence violates the principle of coherence, for 
these three statements might form one sentence if they wore 
properly connected: '] knew it was dawn, for the birds 
were singing-, ami the cattle were moving about the yard.' 
This change in the sentence has resulted in showing the 
relations of the different statements, in making one stand 
out as the principal statement, and the other two sink into 
their true place as subordinate statements. Tims it appear 

that the original form violates the principle of mass (or 
emphasis). Moreover, the original sentence is not only a 
violation of the principles of good writing ; it is also grossly 
incorrect. The comma has as definite a meaning as the 
figure '5'. It can not be Used between coordinate state- 
ments which are not grammatically connected except in cer- 
tain easily recognizable cases, namely, when the statements 
are short or in a series. . . . To separate coordinate 
statements which are not grammatically connected is an 
office of the semicolon. The sentence is correct written 
thus: 'I knew it was dawn; the birds were singing; the 
cattle were moving about the yard.'" 


The burden of developing the imagination of the chil- 
dren rests on the teacher rather than on any text ; for chil- 
dren can take fire from a personality, as they newer can from 
a book. Moreover, not only words, but face, expression, 
gesture suggest much to the child. The teacher should 
keep constantly in mind that in composition the child must 

. [ppendix /•' 243 

do a great deal of his thinking' in pictures. Therefore all 
that will stimulate his vision should he offered him. The 
teacher should help the children on the exercises in the book 
li\ questions and hints. Above all, he should give them 
man) exercises of his own, based partly on their experience. 
I le should work for a skillful combination of what they have 
experienced with what they have not experienced. The 
work of this section can be v - ery well correlated with the 
literature and history work. What did King Robert of 
Sicily look like? Can you see him? Can you see the splen- 
did procession? Can you see the fool's cap and hells? What 
kind of expressions did King Roberl wear at various times? 
Can you see Christopher Columbus as he stood on the deck 
of his ship? Scores of such questions can he asked with 


It is not easy for most children to learn to treat properly 
the paragraph in dialogue. The rules given in the text are 
so clear that no further comment need he made about the 
matter. In the work in literature and history, the teacher 
should call the children's attention to the inverted commas 
about the speeches. Nothing will fix the matter in their 
minds except Constant repetition of the point. 


This work on the sentence calls for the closest attention 
on the part oi the teacher. It is necessary for him to have 
a feeling for the structure ni the sentence if he is to interest 
the children in the structure of it. The matter of subordina- 
tion can easily he taught them in connection with the rela- 
tive importance oi the different parts of the thought that 

244 A First Year English Book 

goes into a sentence. Connectives, too, have a close relation 
to the thinking ; they show explicitly the logical order of the 
ideas. But it will take more drill to make the children real- 
ize the necessity of uniformity, and the value of parallel 
construction. The study should never be carried so far that 
it becomes tiresome to the children ; moreover, it should 
always be made plain that they are not aiming to imitate 
any particular sentence type, but are trying to put the 
thought in the way which shall be clearest. Good sentences 
so constructed should be given them for study, and the sub- 
ject matter must be particularly simple. It is too much of 
an effort to take a difficult thought and at the same time 
understand completely the form. 


It is a good plan to talk over with the children subjects in 
which they are interested. A great deal of stimulus comes 
to them from the fact that they are all working together. 
Suggestions from the teacher, and from each other, will 
show them that they have a wider range of subjects than 
they had supposed, and that it is possible to generate inter- 
est in very commonplace matters. If the teacher has the 
time, it is worth while to suggest to individual children the 
subjects which will interest them peculiarly. 


Suggest the narrowing of subjects immediately related to 
the children's experience at home and in the school. Have 
them examine the pictures in the schoolroom, or in certain 
literature books; ask them suggestive questions on these. 
Then have them make small and definite lists of subjects 

Appendix F 245 

which they see in these pictures. Minute observation is 


This matter of note-making is one of the most important 
in the subject of composition. It may be made interesting 
or lifeless. The best way of putting life in such work is to 
get the children interested in the subject of composition 
for its own sake. Competition is valuable here if it is not 
pushed too far. Let the children observe and take notes on 
the same object ; then have the notes read in class, and by 
criticism and questioning point out in what cases the great- 
est number of facts have been observed, the best observation 
shown. It is not necessary that the class know whose notes 
are being read ; the teacher might read the notes, if she 
thinks that best. At the same time it is well to train the 
children to receive open criticism as a matter of course. 

Make use of the various points of local observation. It 
is a good plan to take fifteen minutes and have the children 
make notes from memory of all that they can see from a cer- 
tain field or tree or hill. Then show them all the points 
they have omitted in this landscape which they have passed 
scores of times. 

Further, the child should be stimulated not only to note 
the dialogue of people, but to note how they look as they 
talk, etc. This will help to prepare him for description 
which comes later. 


This matter of teaching the children to write about one 
subject and one only, or the principle of unity, is one of the 
fundamentals in the teaching of composition. The eager 
child is full of ideas ; they come pressing in on him so thick 

246 A First Year English Hook 

and fast that he is not able to tell always that some of them 
are irrelevant. They are all interesting to him, because they 
are his. The quickest way of getting rid of this fault is to 
read aloud a composition which sins against unity, and 
ask the children, "Does the writer stick to one subject?" 
They can soon tell when he does not, and where he errs, and 
how his work can be remedied. Many compositions should 
be read in this way, until the children learn to sec the fault 
in the work of themselves as well as in that of others. It 
goes without saying that the remedy for such a fault must 
always be pointed out. Tin children should never be left 
at a loss as to how they arc to rewrite their work. 

Moreover, if a child commits the sin of unity in his oral 
work, he should be corrected. This error is one that affects 
the whole thinking of the child and should not be allowed to 
appear in any connection whatever. Further, in his litera- 
ture and history work, the teacher should call attention now 
and then to the fact that the writer treats one .subject and 
one only. The children should be asked to choose stories 
from their own reading in books and newspapers where one 
subject is treated throughout. 


The fault that most children commit in paragraphing is 
twofold: They either make almost every single sentence 
stand as a paragraph, or else they put all they have to say in 
one long paragraph. It is imperative that they should be 
taught that a subject naturally falls into topics, each of 
which should have a paragraph. The great difficulty will be 
that they will make very short paragraphs on each topic ; 
then they must be taught to write more fully on each topic, 
or else join together by some word- of connection the 
topics most closely related, and put them in one paragraph. 

Appendix F 247 

If they think over their subjects long enough, they will have 
sufficient to say on each topic ; for that reason it is worth 
while, frequently, to discuss a subject in class before it is 
written about. This work on the paragraph will be slow at 
first, but after the children have grasped the ideas in Sec- 
tions X and XII, the matter will be much simpler. 


The teacher will already have had the experience of cor- 
recting compositions where the paragraphs are too short. It 
is comparatively simple to show a child that he has treated 
two halves of a topic, as it were, in two paragraphs, when 
they should be joined together. The fault of the undevel- 
oped paragraph, however, is not the same thing. If the 
child is careful always to plan his work, he may not fall 
into this fault of the undeveloped paragraph ; that is, he will 
not simply state a topic and then neglect to develop it. As 
a rule, when a child uses an undeveloped paragraph he 
usually does so near or at the end of the composition, when 
he is getting tired of his work. The fault shows such lazy 
thinking that it should be promptly uprooted. The attention 
of the class should be called to the full way in which certain 
writers of history develop their topics. They should be 
asked to bring to class writing where the topics are fully 

Exercises in reproduction will teach the children better 
than anything else could that the number of paragraphs the 
writer should use depends on the fullness of treatment. It is 
worth while in this connection to compare in class com- 
positions which different children have written on the same 
subject, in order to show how their scales of treatment have 

248 A First Year English Book 


This section is so fully developed in the text that there 
is no need to dwell on it here. A child who has been well 
drilled on the first three elements of style will take up the 
subject of words with great zest and intelligence. The 
teacher need only emphasize the necessity for accuracy. It 
is well worth while to give the children drill in the class in 
defining wellknown words. Their awkwardness at first 
will be a good object lesson to them. 


Since letter writing has such a practical part in a child's 
life, a good deal of attention should be paid to drill in this 
work. It is advisable to have letters written in class about 
a given subject, and then compare the results. Through 
class discussion the children can be led to see that it is neces- 
sary to put themselves in their work, if it is to be interest- 
ing. Here again the exercise must be correlated with their 

Finally, too much can not be said of the necessity of tak- 
ing writing as a matter of course. The children should not 
be allowed to look upon it as a hard task in which only a 
few can be proficient. Rather, they should take it as a 
pleasant exercise, actually communistic on the side of crit- 
icism, in which proficiency is quite within the reach of 
any and all. Only thus will the teacher receive the full 
reward of his labor. 


(The references are to MS es ) 

Addison, 125, 170. 
Advertisements, 224-226. 
Aesop, 16, 39. 
And, 49. 

Arabian Nights, 164. 
Arnold, Matthew, 139. 
Arrival, The, 26. 
As You Like It, 140. 
Autobiography, 37, 38. 

Baldwin, C. S., 171. 

Ballads, 20, 45, 54. 

Before Adam, 115. 

Bottle Imp, The, 157. 

Browning, Eobert, 186. 

Burns, Eobert, 192. 

Burroughs, John, 101, 102, 103, 

109, 133. 
Byron, 115. 

Canterville Ghost, The, 17S. 
Chapter on Dreams. A. 113. 
Cinderella, 43. 
Classic Myths, 161, 164. 
Coleridge, 138. 
Comma fault, 28-30, 215. 
Conversation in narration, 183- 
Eules for, 19. 
Coordination, 49. 
Countess Eve, The, 175. 
Cross, 39. 
Current Events. 11(5 117. 

Baudot, Alphonse. 26, 29, 
David Copperfield, 177. 


Describing from Memory, 113- 

Description, arrangement of de- 
tails in, 167-169. 
Character, 169-171. 
Fundamental Image, 165-169. 
Individualizing details, 164- 

Selection of details, 165-167. 
Setting, 174-180. 
Details, arrangement of details, 
Individualizing details, 164- 

Eeality by means of, 24-28, 30 

32, 161-164. 
Selection of, 164-166. 
Dialogue (see Conversation). 
Dickens, Charles, 69, 177. 
Domestication of Animals, The, 

Drawn Blind, The, 40. 
Dream Days, 125. 
Dream of John Ball, A, 36. 
Dream, The, 115. 

Ebers, George, 24, 38, 43. 

Eliot, George, 79. 

Ewing, Mrs., 170, 171, 186. 

Fable, 16, 39. 

Figures of Speech, 192-197. 
Flight of the Princess, The. 206. 
Forsaken Merman, The, 139. 
Fox, John, 162, 185. 
Franklin, Benjamin, 37. 
Fundamental Image, 165-169. 




Gayley, C. M., 161, L64. 
Ghost, A, 178. 
Grahame, Kenneth, L25. 
( Irammar, errors in, 206 210. 

Review of, 198-210. 
Great Stone Pace, The, 17". 
Grimm, Norman, 102. 
Guinevere, Ki7. 

Hardy. Thomas, ] 76. 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1 19, 164, 

How ( laedmon Became a Poi 
llnw Isidore Became a Historian, 

How Lincoln Earned His I 

Hollar, 27. 
Bugo, Victor, 17). 
Hunt, Leigh, 38. 
Huxley, Thomas, 132. 

Incident of the French Camp, 

An, 186. 
[rving, Washington, 129, 159, 

166, 178. 
[vanhoe. 156. 

Jack and the Bean Stalk, 13. 
Jackanapes, 17". 171, 186. 

King Arthur and His Knights, 

on, 33. 
Kipling, Rudyard, 170, 171, 17S, 


Lamb, Charles, 131, 132. 1(54. 
Last Lesson, The, si', 17)!. 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The, 

159, 166. 
Les Miserables, 174. 
Letters, Business, 150-154. 

Formal, 147-150. 

To friends, 142 147. 
Liberal Education, A, 132. 

Life of Audubon, 50. 

Life of (i gc Eliot, :'■'.' 

Life of Michael Alio, .|,., 102. 
Little Shepherd of Kingdom 

ic, The, 162, 1 - 

Locusts and Wild Honey, 108, 

L09, I :■.::. 
London, .lack. 1 15. 

fellow, H. \\., 67, 112. 
1 s,. Knit Sentence, li 

Maelstrom, The, 17s. 
Maeterlinck, Maurice, 32. 
Man of Destiny, The, 61. 
Maupassant, Guy de, 178. 
Memories of My Early Life, •"•7. 
Memoranda of the War, 89. 

Merry Men. The, 178. 
Metaphor, L92-197. 
Midsummer Night's Dream, I s . 
Mill on the Floss, The, 7s:. 

Mood, 172 17:;. 

Mollis. William. 36. 
Muir, John, B5. 


Analysis of, 155- 164. 

1 definite ami general, nn-164. 

Elements of, 155-157. 

Main incident, 54-59, 159 161, 

186 L91. 
Preparation in, 180-1 83. 
Relation of incidents in, 15s- 

Setting, L73-180. 
situation elements, 155-1.57. 
Newman, John Henry, I 
Newspapers, Writing for, 227- 

Notes, 69-71. 

Old Bridge at Florence. The, 112 
Old China, 132. 
Oliver Goldsmith, 129. 
Our National Park, 85. 
Outline (see plan). 
Outlook, The, 117. 



Page, Thomas Nelson, 171. 

Topic, 81-88, 101-106. 

Development, 106-112. 

In dialogue, 60-64. 
Parallel Structure (see 

Parting of Friends, The, 133. 
Personification, 193. 
Phillips, Stephen, 164. 
Plan, 89-101. 
Plot (see Narration). 
Poe, Edgar Allen, 178. 
Praeterita, 39. 
Preparation, 181-183. 
Proportion, 20-24, 32-35, 43-47, 


Exercises in, 215-223. 

Rules for, 211-215. 

Quiller-Couch, A. T., 40. 

Radford, Maude L., 16, 30, 33. 

Recollections of the Arabian 

Nights, 125. 
Reich, Emil, 117. 
Repetition of Words, 118-119. 
Reproduction, 16-19, 20-23, 24- 

28, 30-31, 33-34, 37-38, 45- 

47, 54-58. 
Return of the Native, The, 176. 
Review of English Grammar, 

Review of Reviews, The, 117. 
Richard III., 115. 
Rip Van Winkle, 47, 159, 166, 

Robin Hood and the King, 10. 
Romeo and Juliet, 48. 
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 54, 24n. 
Rusk in, John, 39. 

Scarlet Letter, The, 119. 
Scott, Sir Walter, 38, 156. 
Semicolon, rules for 29, 215. 

Sentence, clearness in, 51-5:!. 

Coordination in, 49. 

Loose-Knit, 42-43. 

Parallel structure in, 130-134. 

Review of, 36, 39, 53-54. 

Shifts in structure of, 127- 

Subordination in, 39-43, 71-72. 
74-75, 100. 

Unity in, 35-37. 
Setting', 174-180. 
Shakespeare, 48, 115, 140. 
Sharp Eyes, 101. 
Shaw, George Bernard, 61. 
Shorthouse, J. II., 175. 
Sicilian Spy, The, 171. 
Signs and Seasons, 102, 103. 
Silas Maimer, 68, 159. 
Simile, 192-197. 
Sir Patrick Spens, 20, 157. 
Situation Elements, 155-157. 
Skeleton in Armor, The, 67. 
Sketch Book, The, 166. 
Soldier of the Empire, A, 171. 
Song of Roland, The, 200. 
Spectator Papers, The, 170. 
Spectre Bridegroom, The, 178. 
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 62, 
113, 138, 143, 157, 162, 160. 
172, 178, 181, 206. 
Story of My Life, The, 24, 38, 

Story of a Short Life, 171, ISO. 
Story Writing, 186-192. 
Subject, choice of, 65-67. 

Definiteness of, 67-68. 

Subjects for composition, 230- 
Subordination, in the sentence, 

39-43, 71-72, 74-75. 
Success Among Men, 117. 
Suggestions to Teachers, 233- 

Superannuated Man. The, 131. 

Tales from Shakespeare, 104. 
Tales of a Wavside Tun, 104. 
Tar Baby, The', 43. 
Tarbell, Ida M., 27. 
Tennyson, Alfred, 125, 107 

252 Index 

Thackeray, Wm. M.. 156. Vanity Fair, 156. 

They, 178. Virginian, The, 167, L68. 

Thomas the Rhymer, 15. Vision of Mirza, The, \-~>. 

Thompson-Seton, :'«•"». Vocabulary, 135-138. 

Topic Sentence, 10] 112. Warren, Maude Radford, 111. 

Treasure [aland, 162, 166, 17l', 

n . lsl - ...... ,.., Wee Willie Winkie, 170, 171. 

[Vice l old I ales, i<>4. .g- 

White Ship, I'll.-. :,». 240. 

Ulysses, ici. Whitman, Walt, 69. 

Unity in description, 164 169, Will o' the Mill. 17s. 

17:: 179. Wilde, 178. 

In the paragraph, 81 88. Wistrr. Owen, 167, 168 

In the whole composition, 7 - _'- Words, 135 ill. 
80. Repetition of, 118-1 19. 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below 

DEC 6 1954 

Form L-fl 

11 - A 


JEC6 195|» 


A A 001 433 995 




li ! 1 P « 

111 li