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18. By the deeper base of its hoarse organ, the sea is now playing upon its lowest stops, and the tide is down. Hear! How it rushes in beneath the rocks, broken and stilled in its tortuous way, till it ends with a washing and dull hiss among the sea-weed, and, like a myriad of small tinkling bells, the dripping from the crags is audible.
19. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
From peak to peak the rattling crags among,
EXTRACTS FOR THE CRITICAL STUDY OF STYLE.
From the peculiarity of thought and expression belonging to every writer, there is a certain character imprinted on his style, which may be denominated his manner, commonly expressed by such general terms as strong, dry, simple, affected, or the like.
Different subjects require to be treated in different sorts of style. A treatise on philosophy, for instance, ought not to be composed in the same style as an oration. Different parts of the same composition require also a variation in the style and manner; some parts admit of more ornament and require more warmth than others, which appeal specially to the understanding.
Where imagery abounds, rich and gaudy in proportion to the subject, we call the style florid. A style possessing all the virtues of ornament, without any of its excesses or defects, we call elegant. If the style is barren of imagery,
and is merely clear, precise, and lively, we call it plain; if matter-of-fact, and aiming only to be understood, it is dry. The expression of much in few words makes the style concise; a lavish use of words and circumstance makes it diffuse; the free use of the idioms of the language makes it idiomatic; the prevalence of short, pithy sentences makes it epigrammatic. A writer who expresses himself in a direct and easy manner, and in language intelligible to all, uses a simple style; one who uses pedantic terms, stiffly and formally arranged, has an affected style; one whose expression is too high-sounding for the thought, uses a bombastic style. If any one figure, as the metaphor or antithesis, is in excess, the style is named from it, metaphorical or antithetical; if the common type of sentence is the period, the style is periodic; if climax abounds, it is climacteric. Each of the forms classified under wit, when predominant, gives its name to the style, as satirical, humorous, etc. Even great writers give their names to their style; as, Miltonic, Shakesperian, Addisonian, Johnsonian.
The Johnsonian style, as illustrated by Dr. Johnson, abounds in long and sonorous terms and elaborately balanced periods. It expresses nothing with simplicity, or with that ease which indicates a sentiment coming natural and warm from the heart.
The Addisonian style, as illustrated by Addison, is the highest, most correct and ornamental degree of the simple
The Shakesperian style is best understood by a study of Shakespeare's plays.
The Miltonic style, as illustrated by Milton, is sublime in the highest degree; yet it is serious and simple in all its grandeur.
The following prose extracts are given for minute study.
Note the spirit in which each passage was written and the style which characterizes it. In particular, note the selection and placing of the words, the cast of the sentences, their perspicuity, the imagery—its kinds and its officesthe observation of men and nature revealed by each extract, the thought and truth of the observation, and the character of the author as disclosed in the passage selected:
I am always very well pleased with a country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the seventh day were only a human institution, it would be the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing of mankind. It is certain the country people would soon degenerate into a kind of savages and barbarians, were there not such frequent returns of a stated time in which the whole village meet together with their best faces, and in their cleanliest habits, to converse with one another upon indifferent subjects, hear their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the Supreme Being. Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week, not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both the sexes upon appearing in their most agreeable forms, and exerting all such qualities as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A country fellow distinguishes himself as much in the church-yard, as a citizen does upon the change, the whole parish politics being generally discussed in that place either after sermon or before the bell rings.-Addison.
"Now lay me down," he said; "and, Floy, come close to me and let me see you!" Sister and brother wound their arms around each other, and the golden light came streaming in and fell upon them, locked together. "How fast the river runs between its green banks and the rushes, Floy! But it's very near the sea. I hear the waves! They always said so." Presently he told her that the motion of the boat upon the stream was lulling him to rest. How green the banks were now! how bright the flowers growing on them! and how tall the rushes! Now the boat was out at sea, but gliding smoothly on; and now there was a shore before him. Who stood on the bank! He put his hands together, as he had been used to do at his prayers. He did not remove his arms to do it; but they saw him fold them so, behind her neck. “Mamma is like you, Floy: I know her by her face!
But tell them that the print upon the stairs at school is not divine enough. The light about the head is shining on me as I go!"
The golden ripple on the wall came back again, and nothing else stirred in the room. The old, old fashion! The fashion that came in with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. The old, old fashion,-Death! Oh, thank God, all who see it, for that older fashion yet, of Immortality! And look upon us, angels of young children, with regards not quite estranged when the swift river bears us to the ocean!-Chas. Dickens.
At last Becky's kindness and attention to the chief of her husband's family were destined to meet with an exceeding great reward; a reward which, though certainly somewhat unsubstantial, the little woman coveted with greater eagerness than more positive benefits. If she did not wish to lead a virtuous life, at least she desired to enjoy a character for virtue, and we know that no lady in the genteel world can possess this desideratum until she has put on a train and feathers, and has been presented to her Sovereign at Court. From that august interview they come out stamped as honest women. The Lord Chamberlain gives them a certificate of virtue. And as dubious goods or letters are passed through an oven at quarantine, sprinkled with aromatic vinegar, and then pronounced clean—many a lady whose reputation would be doubtful otherwise and liable to give infection, passes through the wholesome ordeal of the Royal presence, and issues from it free from all taint.-Thackeray.
I have forgotten whether the song of the cricket be not as early a token of autumn's approach as any other-that song which may be called an audible stillness; for though very loud and heard afar, yet the mind does not take note of it as a sound, so completely is its individual existence merged among the accompanying characteristics of the season. Alas for the pleasant summer time! In August the grass is still verdant on the hills and in the valleys; the foliage of the trees is as dense as ever and as green; the flowers gleam forth in richer abundance along the margin of the river and by the stone walls and deep among the woods; the days, too, are as fervid now as they were a month ago; and yet, in every breath of wind and in every beam of sunshine we hear the whispered farewell and behold the parting smile of a dear friend. There is a coolness amid all the heat, a mildness in the blazing noon. Not a breeze can stir but it thrills us with the
breath of autumn. A pensive glory is seen in the far, golden gleams, among the shadows of the trees. The flowers-even the brightest of them, and they are the most gorgeous of the year-have this gentle sadness wedded to their pomp, and typify the character of the delicious time each within itself. The brilliant cardinal flower has never seemed gay to me.-N. Hawthorne.
[Candle-light] is our own peculiar and household planet. Wanting it, what savage, unsocial nights must our ancestors have spent, wintering in caves and unillumined fastnesses! They must have lain about and grumbled at one another in the dark. What repartees could have passed, when you must have felt about for a smile, and handled a neighbor's cheek to be sure that he understood it? This accounts for the seriousness of the elder poetry * * * * * * Jokes came in with candles.-Chas. Lamb.
This golden image, high by measureless cubits, set up where your green fields of England are furnace-burnt into the likeness of the plain of Dura: this idol forbidden to us, first of all idols, by our own master and faith; forbidden to us also by every human lip that has ever, in any age or people, been accounted of as able to speak according to the purposes of God. Continue to make that forbidden duty your principal one, and soon no more art, no more science, no more pleasure will be possible. Catastrophe will come; or, worse than catastrophe, slow moldering and withering into Hades. But if you can fix some conception of a true human state of life to be striven for-life for all men as for yourself—if you can determine some honest and simple order of existence; following those trodden ways of wisdom, which are pleasantness, and seeking her quiet and withdrawn paths, which are peace;—then, and so sanctifying wealth into commonwealth," all your art, your literature, your daily labors, your domestic affection, and citizen's duty will join and increase into one magnificent harmony. You will know then how to build, well enough; you will build with stone well, but with flesh better; temples not made with hands, but riveted of hearts; and that kind of marble, crimson-veined, is indeed eternal.—John Ruskin.
There is no evil that we can not either face or fly from, but the consciousness of duty disregarded. A sense of duty pursues us ever. It is omnipresent, like the Deity. If we take to ourselves the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, duty