« ZurückWeiter »
foith. Each end makes a long arm. The feast goes cheerly on. Between the courses, punch and brandy pass round. Here and there a pipe is smoked. This is done while waiting for the next dish. They sit long at table. All things must have an end. A Swedish dinner must end. Then the dance begins. It is led by the bride and the priest. They perform a solemn minuet together. After midnight comes the last dance. The girls form a ring around the bride. This is to keep her from the hands of the married women. The married women endeavor to break through the magic circle. Seize their new sister. After long struggling they succeed. I must not forget the changing seasons of the northern clime. There is no long lingering spring. No unfolding leaf and blossom one by one. There is no long lingering autumn. An autumn, pompous with many-colored leaves. With the glow of Indian summers. But winter and summer are wonderful. They pass into each other. The quail has hardly ceased piping in the corn. When winter comes from the folds of trailing clouds. Broadcast over the land, she sows snow, icicles, and rattling hail. The days wane apace. Ere long the sun hardly rises above the horizon. Or he does not rise at all. The moon and stars shine through the day. At noon they are pale and wan. In the southern sky a glow, as of sunset, burns along the horizon. This glow is red and fiery. It then goes out. Pleasantly under the silver moon ring the steel shoes of the skaters on the frozen sea. Under the silent, solemn stars, ring out voices and the sound of bells.
DIRECTION.–Study carefully these facts, thrown together promiscuously, sort them, and group them into as many paragraphs, arranged in their proper order, as you think there should be. Write at the head the subject of the theme; write, also, the topic of each paragraph:
1. The early Christians here hid themselves. These cities of the dead are scattered all over Europe. They abound in Italy. Just within the entrance to the church of St. Sebastian there is a door. This is the door by which descent is made to the Catacombs. We did not descend. They here hid their devotions from their persecutors. Martyrs and saints were buried here. I had determined to withstand every temptation to enter these cities of the dead. I had determined this from the
first outset of my travels. How many accidents have happened! Fourteen popes were buried here. They have never since been heard of. He stepped forward to take it up. He lost both ball and thread. Sevo enty thousand martyrs are said to have been here laid in their unknown graves. How many have lost their way! A oung man entered without a guide. A whole school of boys from Rome entered the Catacombs. He carried a light and a ball of twine. They came with their teacher and a guide. How many have been shut out from return by the falling of earth! For a morning excursion of observation and amusement. He fastened the end of the twine at the door. How the light has gone out by accident! He felt for it but dared not move another step. That he might find the way back by following the thread. How the foot has stumbled ! · They entered. They have never since been seen. Nothing more is known. To boast of having wandered alone and in safety through these entangled passages.
He was restored to life. He had wound through numerous crooked alleys. By accident, he dropped his twine. He had doubled untold and undistinguishable corners. He felt for it. His light was burning out. Ha dared not move another step. He found his way to the upper earth. Grew more nervous and bewildered. No thread! He groped around in a small circle. He watched it grow less and less. In his desperate panic he fell upon the earth. To caution his friends against such foolhardy enterprises. It grew dimmer and dimmer. He looked with desperate sharpness. He dropped his light. His hand trembled. It went out. His hand fell upon the twine.
Do with these sentences as directed with those in the preced
DIRECTION. ing set:
1. “Peace, Mr. Griffith," interrupted the captain. "Yield the trum, pet to Mr. Gray." The captain bended from the rigging. His gray locks blew about in the wind. To haggard care they added a look of wildness. This was exhibited by the light of his lantern. Griffith threw his speaking-trumpet on the deck. “Then all is lost indeed, and among the rest, the foolish hopes with which I visited this coast.” He walked proudly away. He muttered in bitterness of feeling. The pilot had applied the trumpet to his mouth. He did this before the crew understood their situation. His voice rose above the tempest. He thundered forth his orders. Each command was given distinctly. A precision that showed him to be master of his profession. The
helm was kept fast. The headyards swung up heavily against the wind. The vessel was soon whirling round on her keel. She whirled with a retrograde movement. Griffith was too much of a seaman not to perceive. The pilot had seized the only method that promised to extricate the vessel from her situation. The pilot did this with a perception almost intuitive. Griffith was young, impetuous, and proud. He was also generous. He forgot his resentment and his mortification. He rushed forward among the men. His presence and example added certainty to the experiment. The ship fell off slowly before the gale. She bowed her yards nearly to the water. She felt the blast pouring its fury on her broadside. The surly waves beat violently against her stern. They seemed to reproach her for departing from her usual manner of moving. The voice of the pilot was still heard. It was steady and calm. It was clear and high. It reached every ear.
The obedient seamen whirled the yards. They did this in despite of the tempest. It seemed they handled the toys of their childhood. The beautiful ship was obedient to her government. She threw her bows up gracefully toward the wind, again. Her sails were trimmed. She moved out from among the dangerous shoals. She had been embayed there. She moved steadily and swiftly. In the same way she had approached them. There was a moment of breathless astonishment. It succeeded the accomplishment of the nice maneuver. There was no time for the usual expressions of surprise. The stranger still held the trumpet. He continued to lift his voice. The howlings of the blast. He directed any change in the management of the ship. He was guided by prudence or by skill. There was a fearful struggle for their preservation. It lasted an hour longer. At each step the channel became more complicated. The shoals thickened around the mariners on every side. The lead was cast rapidly. The quick eye of the pilot seemed to pierce the dark
A keenness of vision that exceeded human power. They were under the guidance of one who understood navigation thoroughly. It was apparent to all in the vessel. Their exertions kept pace with their reviving confidence.
SPECIAL PROPERTIES OF STYLE.
WIT AND PATHOS.
Wit.—This quality of style results from the union of seemingly unrelated or incongruous ideas—a union producing surprise and exciting a sense of the ridiculous. It is an odd fancy, short-lived, and depending upon the association of incongruities expressed in brief and pointed language.
Wit is not, like clearness, a common and necessary quality of style. It takes many forms, and befits many uses and occasions; it has its advantages and its disadvantages. Often it is aggressive, exposing hypocrisy, ridiculing pretension and pomposity, snubbing impertinence, and laying bare foibles, follies, vices, meannesses, and wickednesses, wherever it finds them. Oftentimes it is only sportive, genial, and humane, and, without hostility to anybody or anything, ministers to our sense of the ridiculous, to our feeling of mirthfulness.
The following examples serve to illustrate the definition of wit:
She strove the neighborhood to please,
With manners wondrous winning,
Unless when she was sinning.–Goldsmith. A man from Maine, who had never paid more than twenty-five cents for admission to an entertainment, went to a New York theater where the play was “The Forty Thieves," and was charged a dollar and a half for a ticket. Handing the pasteboard back, he remarked, “Keep it, mister; I don't want to see the other thirty-nine.”
A physician finds a lady reading “Twelfth Night,” and asks: “When Shakespeare wrote about Patience on a monument, did he mean doctors' patients?" "No," is the reply; "you do not find doctors' patients on monuments, but under them."
His face—that infallible index of the mind-presented a vast expanse, unfurrowed by any of those lines and angles which disfigure the human countenance with what is termed expression.
Several kindred forms of thought may be classified under wit. Thus:
Satire is used to ridicule the follies and vices of men, and to reform abuses, sometimes humorously and goodnaturedly, and sometimes severely and indignantly. A production of this kind, long or short, is called a satire. The following lines from the Love of Fame furnish an illustration:
Some for renown on scraps of learning dote,
Both strive to make our poverty our pride. — Young. Sarcasın is used only to scourge the follies and vices of men. It is keen and reproachful, and may be witty. The etymology of the word, implying to tear flesh like dogs, gives us some idea of its character. As an example: Ward, a flippant Parliamentary orator, who used to write out and commit to memory bombastic speeches, having severely criticised Rogers' poem entitled Italy, the 'poet took his revenge in these lines:
Ward has no heart, they say; but I deny it:
He has a heart and gets his speeches by it.-Rogers. Burlesque is a humorous degradation of a dignified subject. It is sometimes merely a combination of the great