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sentence, gathering up the various threads of thought, has its appropriate place at the close. To follow a very long sentence with a very short one is objectionable.
The qualities of a well constructed paragraph are exemplified in the following:
(The theme): Death is at all times solemn, but never so much so as at sea. (First illustration): A man dies on shore: his body remains with his friends, and “the mourners go about the streets”; but when a man falls overboard at sea and is lost, there is a suddenness in the event, and a difficulty in realizing it, which gives to it an air of awful mystery. (Second illustration, partly repetitionary): A man dies un shore: you follow his body to the grave, and a stone marks the spot. You are prepared for the event. There is always something which helps you to realize it when it happens, and to recall it when it has passed. (Third illustration): A man is shot down by your side in battle, and the mangled body remains an object, and a real evidence; but, at sea, the man is near you—at your side--you hear his voice, and in an instant he is gone, and nothing but vacancy shows his loss.- Dana.
In rural occupation there is nothing mean and debasing. It leads a man forth among scenes of natural grandeur and br yuty; it leaves him to the workings of his own mind, operated upon by the purest and most elevating of external influences. Such a man may be simple and rough, but he can not be vulgar. The man of refinement, therefore, finds nothing revolting in an intercourse with the lower orders of rural life, as he does when he casually mingles with the lower orders of cities. He lays aside his distance and reserve, and is glad to waive the distinctions of rank, and to enter into the honest, heartfelt enjoyments of common life. Indeed, the very amusements of the country bring men more and more together, and the sound of hound and horn blend all feelings into harmony. I believe this is one great reason why the nobility and gentry are more popular among the inferior orders in England than they are in any other country; and why the latter have endured so many excessive pressures and extremities, without repining more generally at the unequal distribution of fortune and privilege.-W. Irving.
The style of Bunyan is delightful to every reader, and invaluable as a study to every person who wishes to obtain a wide com
mand over the English language. The vocabulary is the vocabulary of the cominon people. There is not an expression, if we except a few technical terms of theology, which would puzzle the rudest peasant. We have observed several pages which do not contain a single word of more than two syllables. Yet no writer has said more exactly what he meant to say. For magnificence, for pathos, for vehement exhortation, for subtle disquisition, for every purpose of the poet, the orator, and the divine, this homely dialect, the dialect of working men, is perfectly sufficient. There is no book in our literature on which we would so readily stake the fame of the unpolluted English language, no book which shows so well how rich that language is in its own proper wealth, and how little it has been improved by all that it has borrowed.—Macaulay.
There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same, and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought he may think; what a saint has felt he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.—Emerson.
DIRECTION.-Combine the following statements or facts in each paragraph into a paragraph of your own, supplying what is needed, and write on the first line of each paragraph the topic it develops:
1. Now a class in Latin is called to recite. Forth steps a row of queer-looking little fellows. They wear square-skirted coats. They wear small-clothes, with buttons at the knee. They look like so many grandfathers. Like grandfathers in their second childhood. These lads are to be sent to Cambridge. They are to be educated for the learned professions. Old Master Cheever has lived so long. Seen so many generations. He can almost prophesy. The sort of man each boy will be. One urchin a doctor. Will administer pills. Potions. Stalk gravely through life. Perfumed with asafoetida. Another will wrangle at the bar. Fight his way to wealth. Honors. In his declining age. A worshipful member of his majesty's council. A third shall be a worthy successor. The master's favorite. The old Puritan ministers. In their graves. He shall preach. Great unction. Effect. Leave volumes. Sermons. Print and manuscript. Benefit of future generations.
2. Certain. At the time. His conduct excited disapprobation. Great and general. While Elizabeth lived. Disapprobation was not expressed. Loudly. Deeply felt. Great change at hand. Health of the Queen long decaying. Operation of age. Disease. Assisted by acute mental suffering. Pitiable melancholy of last days. Generally ascribed. Fond regret for Essex. Disposed to attribute. Dejection. Physical causes. Partly. Conduct of courtiers. Ministers. Did all in their power. Conceal intrigues. Court of Scotland. Keen sagacity. Not deceived. Did not know the whole. Knew. Surrounded by men. Impatient. New world. At her death. Never been attached. Affection. Now slightly attached. Interest. Prostration and flattery. Conceal the cruel truth. Whom she had trusted. Promoted. Never loved her. Fast ceasing to fear her. Unable to avenge herself. Too proud. Complain. Suffered. Sorrow and resentment. Prey. Heart. After a long career. Power, prosperity, and glory. Died. Sick and weary of the world.
DIRECTION.–Study the general groups of facts carefully, see what ones of each group are related in meaning and can be united, form as many paragraphs out of each group as you think there should be, and write on the first line of each paragraph, the topic developed:
1. The personal character as well as history of the bold outlaw is stamped on every verse. Against luxurious bishops and tyrannic sheriffs Robin Hood's bow was ever bent and his arrow in the string. The will was kept secret during the short remainder of his life. On the third of November, 1700, he expired. And I sank down where I stood, and hid my face against the ground. All Madrid crowded to the palace. The gates were thronged. I lay still a while; the night wind swept over the hill and over me, and died moaning in the distance. The antechamber was filled with embassadors and grandees, eager to learn what dispositions the deceased sovereign had made. He attacked and robbed, and sometimes slew, the latter without either compunction or remorse. The rain fell fast, wetting me afresh to the skin. In his more humorsome moods he contented himself with enticing them in the guise of a butcher or a potter, with the hope of a good bargain, into the green wood. At length the folding doors were flung open. Could I but have stiffened to the still frost. It might have pelted on. The Duke of Abrantes came forth. He first made merry and then fleeced them. He announced that the whole Spanish monarchy was bequeathed to Philip, Duke of Anjou. He made them dance to such music as his forest afforded. I should not have felt it. My living flesh shuddered to its chilling influence. He made them join with Friar Tuck in hypocritical thanksgiving. Iarose ere long. The justice and mercy they had experienced.
2. Intellect is man's grand distinction. As you have done a thousand times before. You take up the book in an idle moment. That which
gave the brightest luster to his character. His mental capacity. You wonder, perhaps. The loftiness and nobleness of his soul. As you turn over the leaves. It is this which renders him highly and peculiarly responsible to his Creator. Not only to the eloquence of Chatham. What the world finds in it to admire. It is on account of this that the rule over other animals is established in his hands. If ever there has lived a man. And it is this mainly. Suddenly, as you read. This enables him to exercise dominion over the powers of nature. Your fingers press close upon the covers. That man, beyond all doubt, was William Pitt. One that lived in modern times. Your frame thrills. It enables him to subdue them to himself. One to whom the praise of a Roman spirit might be truly applied. The passage chanced upon chains you like a spell. He loved power. He loved it only as a patriot should. It is so vividly true. He knew and felt his own energies. His whole heart was burning to revive the one. It is so vividly beautiful. It burned to wreathe fresh laurels round the other. He also felt that his country needed them. He loved power because he saw the public spirit languishing. The national glory declined.
3. These are not her glory. The bloom of that fair face is wasted. In an open space behind the constable there was seen approaching “a white chariot.” She, in some measure, returned the enemy's fire. Wherever literature consoles sorrow or assuages pain. This was owing to the shift of the wind. Drawn by two palfreys in white damask. The hair is gray with care. Wherever it brings gladness to eyes which fail with wakefulness and tears. And to the position into which she had tended. The damask swept the ground. The brightness of those eyes is quenched. One of her own broadsides was discharged in the direction of the town. A golden canopy was borne above the chariot. It made music with silver bells. Eyes that ache for the dark house and the long sleep. Their lids hang drooping. In the chariot sat the observed of all observers. The immortal influence of Athens is there exhibited in its noblest form. The beautiful occasion of all this glittering homage. The other toward Fort English. The face is stony pale. Fortune's plaything of the hour, the Queen of England. The appearance of the ship was magnificent. As one living in death. Queen at last. She is borne along upon the waves of this sea of glory. Mean weeds attire the queen of the world. She breathes the perfumed incense of greatness. She had risked her delicacy, her honor, her self-respect to win greatness. These weeds her own hand has mended. She had won. There she sat. Dressed in white tissue robes. Her fair hair flowed loose over her shoulders. The death-hurdle where thou sittest pale and motionless must stop. A light coronet encircled her temples. Coronet of gold and diamonds. She seemed at that hour the most beautiful of all England's daughters. She seemed the most favored.
Synthesis of Paragraphs into a Theme. – Just as words, phrases, and clauses may be joined in sentences, and sentences, jointly developing a topic, or thought, may be united into a paragraph, so paragraphs may be connected, standing one after another on the page, because they are related—the thoughts which they develop, being divisions of the one general subject, or topic. Paragraphs so related and so placed form a composition or theme.
DIRECTION. - Study these facts carefully, and group them into two great paragraphs; under these make sub-paragraphs, if you think there should be such, and write the subject of the theme at the top:
1. The dinner is now served. The bride sits between the bridegroom and the priest. The spokesman delivers an oration. The oration is after the ancient custom of his fathers. He interlards it well with quotations. The quotations are from the Bible. He invites the Savior to be present at this marriage-feast. The Savior was present at the marriage-feast in Cana of Galilee. The table is not sparingly set