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Title: Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism
Author: Painter, F. V. N. (Franklin Verzelius Newton), 1852-1931
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism" ***

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Transcriber's Notes: In the text, there are symbolic representations of
lines of poetry. Where these occur, u represents an unaccented syllable
and -' indicates an accented syllable. Words in italics in the original
are surrounded by _underscores_. Words in bold in the original are
surrounded by +plus signs+. More transcriber's notes follow the text.



F. V. N. PAINTER, A.M., D.D.


The Athenæum Press




The aim of the present work, as is indicated by its name, is to help the
young student in literary criticism. It is a sort of laboratory manual,
in which he will find specific direction for a comprehensive analysis of
the principal kinds of literature. It is intended to show him the
various points in relation to form, content, and spirit, to which in
succession he is to devote his attention. It is hoped that the book will
give definiteness and delight to literary study, which, for lack of such
a guide, has so often been vague, unsatisfactory, and discouraging.

A glance at the table of contents will clearly reveal the plan. The work
is divided into three parts, the first of which treats of fundamental
principles. In three chapters the nature of criticism, the relation of
the author to his work, and the æsthetic principles underlying literary
art are briefly discussed. The facts and principles here presented are
designed to give a clearer and deeper insight into the nature and
processes of criticism.

Part Second is chiefly concerned with the external elements of
literature. In three chapters it briefly discusses the diction, the
various kinds of sentences, the use of figures of speech, and the
different species of style as determined partly by the nature of the
discourse and partly by the mental endowments of the writer. It is
intended to embrace the rhetorical elements of form.

In Part Third the leading kinds of literature are discussed, and the
general principles governing each are presented. Special effort has been
made to throw light upon the nature and structure of poetry, fiction,
and the drama; and it is hoped that the chapters in which these subjects
are treated will be found particularly interesting and helpful.

Each chapter is followed by a list of review questions and by
illustrative and practical exercises. The aim has been to prepare not
merely a theoretical but especially a practical text-book, for which, it
is believed, there exists a felt and acknowledged need. It is hoped that
this little work will contribute in some measure to make literature one
of the most delightful, as it is surely one of the most important, of
all branches of study.
                                                  F. V. N. PAINTER.

    August 15, 1903.




  CHAPTER                                       PAGE
     II. THE AUTHOR AND HIS WORK                  19
    III. SOME ÆSTHETIC PRINCIPLES                 34



     IV. WORDS, SENTENCES, PARAGRAPHS             55
      V. FIGURES OF SPEECH                        68
     VI. STYLE                                    84



  VIII. KINDS OF POETRY                          130
    IX. EPIC AND DRAMATIC POETRY                 145
     X. NATURE AND FORMS OF PROSE                156
    XI. ESSAYS AND ORATORY                       167






+1. Purpose of Literary Study.+ The study or reading of literature
ordinarily has a threefold purpose,--knowledge, pleasure, and culture.
This purpose shows us both the character of the literature which should
be read and the manner in which it should be read. As a rule we should
read only books of recognized excellence, and read them with sympathetic
intelligence. Trashy books, whatever pleasure they may give, add but
little to knowledge or culture; and immoral books often leave an
ineradicable stain upon the soul. Fortunately there are good books
enough to satisfy every taste and supply every need.

+2. Necessity of Comprehending.+ A literary work cannot be of much use
till it is understood. It is useless to read books entirely beyond our
grasp. In the perusal of an author we should endeavor to enter as fully
as possible into his thoughts and feelings. Our primary aim should be
not to criticise but to comprehend. This is sometimes, especially for
the young student, a difficult task. It requires patient, painstaking
labor; but in the end it brings a rich reward in profit, enjoyment, and

In the study of a literary classic we should aim at more than a mere
intellectual apprehension of its technique and other external features.
The soul should rise into sympathy with it, and feel its spiritual
beauty. All literary study that falls short of this high end, however
scholarly or laborious it may be, is essentially defective. The
externalities of a piece of literature are comprehended in vain, unless
they lead to a fuller understanding and appreciation of its spirit and
life. Unfortunately, at the present time, philology and literary
analysis frequently stop short of the realization of the supreme end of
literary study. What should be only a means is sometimes exalted to an

+3. Definition of Criticism.+ Criticism, as its etymology indicates, is
the act of judging. Literary criticism endeavors to form a correct
estimate of literary productions. Its endeavor is to see a piece of
writing as it is. It brings literary productions into comparison with
recognized principles and ideal standards; it investigates them in their
matter, form, and spirit; and, as a result of this process, it
determines their merits and their defects. The end of literary criticism
is not fault-finding but truth. The critic should be more than a censor
or caviler. He should discover and make known whatever is commendable or
excellent. At its best, criticism is not a mere record of general
impressions but the statement of an intelligent judgment. It is not
biased or vitiated by prejudice, ignorance, or self-interest; but,
proceeding according to well-defined principles, it is able to trace the
steps by which it reaches its ultimate conclusions.

+4. History of Criticism.+ Criticism is a natural attendant of all forms
of art. Literary criticism is almost as old as literature itself. No
sooner had a writer produced a literary work, even in the most ancient
times, than his contemporaries proceeded to express their judgments
concerning it. Among the ancient Greeks Plato and Aristotle were both
critics; and the latter's work on "Poetics" is still valuable for its
discussion of fundamental principles. Quintilian, Cicero, and Horace
were distinguished Roman critics; and the poet's _Ars Poetica_, read in
every college course, is an admirable presentation of many critical
principles. But it is in modern times, and particularly during the
nineteenth century, that criticism received its highest development. In
England not a few of its leading literary men--Dryden, Pope, Addison,
Johnson, Coleridge, Jeffrey, Macaulay, Carlyle, Matthew Arnold--have
been critics; and in America we meet with such honored names as Poe,
Emerson, Whipple, Lowell, Stedman, and many others. In recent years
criticism has greatly gained in breadth and geniality.

+5. Standard of Criticism.+ All criticism involves comparison. For every
species of literature there is an ideal of form, content, and spirit,
which serves the intelligent critic as a standard of judgment. This
ideal is based on a realization of the recognized principles of literary
art. These principles pertain to _diction_, _structure_, _matter_, and
_spirit_ or _purpose_. No one will deny that the diction should be well
chosen; that the structure of the sentences should be correct and clear;
and that, in the case of poetry, the laws of versification should be
observed. These elements contribute to excellence of form. In addition
to these external elements there should be unity of thought, symmetry of
presentation, truth of statement, and sincerity and self-restraint in
sentiment. These elements give substantial worth to the matter or
content of literature. Besides all this there is a grace or elegance or
force, proceeding from the personality of the writer and transcending
all rules of art, that gives a peculiar charm to the best literature.
Sometimes the personal element or spirit of a work is so pleasing that
it more than counterbalances defects of form, and wins its way to the
popular heart.

+6. Classic Writers.+ Our classic writers are those who have most nearly
approached the ideal. The writings of Addison, Goldsmith, Irving,
Lowell, and others, embody in a high degree excellence of matter and
form; and in addition to this there is a pervading spirit that imparts
an irresistible charm to their works. While the works of no one writer,
whether ancient or modern, can be taken as an absolute standard of
judgment, the perusal of classic works is exceedingly helpful. These
works familiarize us with what is excellent in thought, expression, and
spirit. They cultivate the taste; and at length it becomes impossible
for the student to be satisfied with what is incorrect, slovenly,
tawdry, or untruthful.

+7. Requisites of Criticism.+ Many things are required for the best
criticism. First of all, the critic ought to be a person of sound
judgment. It is in a measure true that critics, like poets, "are born,
not made." The critic should have the power to divest himself of
prejudice; and, like a judge upon the bench, should decide every
question by the law and the evidence. He should be a man of broad
sympathies and wide culture; nothing that is human should be foreign to
him. He should be able to enter into the feelings of every class and to
appreciate the principles of every school. He should have a strong
imagination to enable him to realize the conditions of other ages or of
other social arrangements. Without these natural gifts of a sound
judgment, broad sympathy, and vigorous imagination, the critic is apt to
be limited, narrow, or unjust in his criticism. The history of
literature reveals numberless critical blunders; indeed, almost every
attempt to introduce new literary forms, as in the case of Wordsworth,
Coleridge, and Keats, has met with bitter opposition from uncatholic

+8. Criticism an Acquired Art.+ Criticism is an art that may in large
measure be acquired. The requisite faculties may be developed by a
course of study. The principles that are to guide the critical judgment
are provided in grammar, rhetoric, logic, æsthetics, and moral science.
Wide reading in various departments will banish narrowness and
provincialism. Study and experience will bring a cosmopolitan culture.
Though few are capable of attaining to eminence as critics, it is
possible for every one to acquire some degree of literary taste and to
form an intelligent judgment of a literary work.

+9. Diversity in Criticism.+ Diversity of judgment is a notable feature
in the history of criticism. It tends to shake one's confidence in the
critical art. It often happens that what one critic praises another
condemns. This fact has been presented by Irving, with delightful humor.
"Even the critics," he says in the conclusion of the "Sketch Book,"
"whatever may be said of them by others, the author has found to be a
singularly gentle and good-natured race; it is true that each has in
turn objected to some one or two articles, and that these individual
exceptions, taken in the aggregate, would amount almost to a total
condemnation of his work; but then he has been consoled by observing,
that what one has particularly censured, another has as particularly
praised; and thus, the encomiums being set off against the objections,
he finds his work, upon the whole, commended far beyond its deserts."

+10. Sources of Diversity.+ This diversity of literary criticism, which
at first sight tempts us to question the value of the art, is easily
traced to its causes. These are found not in the nature of the art but
in the manner of its application. Many reviewers nowadays do not take
the pains to read the works they pass judgment upon. Their estimate is
based on little more than a rapid survey of the preface and table of
contents. This fact renders a considerable part of current newspaper
criticism comparatively worthless. It is still worse when to this
superficiality is added a flippant manner that seems intent on nothing
but a display of the critic's smartness. Other critics write from the
standpoint of a particular sect or school of thought, and undervalue or
overvalue a work through a partisan spirit. Defective or erroneous
principles are used as standards of judgment. Still others are
impressionists; and instead of testing a work by recognized critical
canons, they simply record how "it strikes them." Differences of taste
and character naturally produce some diversity of view, but in general
the painstaking and impartial application of critical principles to a
literary work will yield pretty uniform results. The merits and defects
of the work will be brought to light, and conscientious and broad-minded
critics will be found in the main to agree in their praise or their

+11. Utility of Criticism.+ Criticism is not, as has sometimes been
supposed, a parasitic growth on literature. It is a handmaid of
literature; it belongs to the household of literature. Though it does
not deserve to rank with the great creative forms of literature, such as
the epic, the drama, or the novel, it is capable of a high degree of
excellence. Some of the greatest English writers, as we have seen, have
been critics. Not a few of the critical essays of De Quincey, Macaulay,
Carlyle, Arnold, Lowell, and others, have an honorable place in the
literature of the English-speaking world.

Literary criticism has a distinct value for three classes of persons. To
the young student it gives a clear insight into literary form, and
cultivates his taste for literary excellence. To the author it is at
once a stimulant and wholesome restraint; it rewards him for what is
good and chastises him for what is bad. To the public it is useful in
pointing out what books are worth reading and in showing the principles
by which a work is to be judged. It elevates the popular taste and

+12. Materials of Criticism.+ All literature is, in some sense, material
for criticism. It may be examined, tested by critical laws, and its
worth estimated in the class to which it belongs. But as a rule literary
criticism is confined to literature in the narrower sense; that is to
say, to literature that aims at artistic excellence. This includes the
various forms of poetry and the principal kinds of prose,--history,
oratory, essays, and fiction. These various kinds of literature, in
their higher forms, aim at presenting their subject-matter in such a way
as to minister to the pleasure of the reader.

+13. Molding Influences.+ In criticising it is important to recognize
certain general molding influences in literature. Among the most potent
of these influences are _race_, _epoch_, and _surroundings_. We cannot
fully understand any work of literature, nor justly estimate its
relative excellence, without an acquaintance with the national traits of
the writer, the general character of the age in which he lived, and the
physical and social conditions by which he was surrounded. These
considerations, independently of specific critical canons that determine
intrinsic excellence, must be taken into account when the critic wishes
to decide upon the relative value of a work. It is evidently unjust to
demand in writers of an uncultivated period the same delicacy of
thought, feeling, and expression that is required in the writers of an
age of refinement and intelligence. The indecencies in Chaucer and
Shakespeare are to be attributed to the grossness of their times.

+14. The Artistic Element.+ There is an artistic element in literature
upon which the value of any work largely depends. There is art in the
choice and marshaling of words. Furthermore, every department of
literature--history, poetry, fiction--has a separate and definite
purpose. In the successful realization of this purpose each species or
form of literature must wisely choose its means. This conscious and
intelligent adaptation of a means to an end is art. Apart from the
careful selection and arrangement of words in sentences, the historian
chooses the incidents he will relate, the order in which they will
appear, the relative prominence they will have, and the symmetry and
completeness of his whole work. The novelist selects or invents his
story, portrays from actual life or creates a number of characters,
constructs or modifies his plot, and unfolds the movement toward a
predestined end. In all this there is a constant exercise of the
creative faculty; and the complete product is as much a work of art as
is a painting or statue, which requires the same sort of intellectual

+15. Matter and Form.+ In any literary production we may distinguish
between the _thoughts_ that are presented and the _manner_ in which they
are presented. We may say, for example, "The joys of heaven are
infinite"; or, ascending to a higher plane of thought and feeling, we
may present the same thought in the language of Moore in his "Paradise
and the Peri":

     "Go, wing thy flight from star to star,
      From world to luminous world, as far
        As the universe spreads its flaming wall;
      Take all the pleasures of all the spheres,
      And multiply each through endless years,--
        One minute of Heaven is worth them all."

It is thus evident that the interest and worth of literature depend
largely on the manner in which the thought and emotion are expressed. In
general the _matter_ of discourse, which aims at the communication of
ideas, is of more importance than the _form_. Words without thought, no
matter how skillfully and musically they may be arranged, are nonsense.
But in the lighter sorts of prose, which aim at entertainment, and in
poetry, which is dependent on meter and harmony, _form_ is of preëminent
importance. The story of "Rip Van Winkle," for instance, owes its
perennial charm to the inimitable grace and humor with which Irving has
told it.

There is a natural and intimate relation between _matter_ and _form_;
one is the soul, the other is the body. Form is not to be unduly
magnified by itself; it is excellent only when it is a fitting
embodiment of the thought and feeling expressed. Form should be molded
by the thought and emotion, as the rose or oak is shaped by the potency
of its inner life. When, in any way, the form is out of keeping with the
subject, the effect upon a cultivated taste is a disagreeable
incongruity. In the language of Horace,--

     "Sad words befit the brow with grief o'erhung;
      Anger, that fires the eyeball, bids the tongue
      Breathe proud defiance; sportive jest and jeer
      Become the gay; grave maxims the severe."


1. What is the threefold object of literary study? What kind of
literature should be read? Why? 2. What should be our primary aim in
studying an author? What does this often require? What should be aimed
at besides outward form? What mistake is frequently made? 3. What is
criticism? What is the purpose of literary criticism? How is this
purpose accomplished? What sources of error are mentioned? 4. What is
said of the history of criticism? Name two Greek critics. Who were the
great Roman critics? Mention some distinguished English and American
critics. What is said of recent criticism? 5. What serves as a standard
of criticism? On what is this ideal based? Mention some elements of
excellent _form_; some elements of excellent _content_. What is said of
the personal element or spirit? 6. Who are our classic writers? Why
study classic works? 7. What natural gifts should a critic have? Why
should he have broad sympathies? What is said of critical blunders? 8.
How is criticism an acquired art? What is the advantage of wide reading?
What may every one hope to acquire? 9. What is said of diversity in
criticism? Illustrate. 10. What are the sources of diversity? What is
said of much newspaper criticism? What is meant by _impressionists_?
What is said of painstaking and impartial criticism? 11. What is said of
the relation of criticism to literature? What of its rank? For what
three classes has it a special value? How? 12. What are the materials of
literary criticism? To what class of literature is it chiefly devoted?
13. Name three great molding influences. Why should they be considered?
Illustrate. 14. What is meant by the _artistic element_? In what does
the historian's art consist? the novelist's? 15. What may be
distinguished in any literary production? Illustrate. On what does the
worth of literature largely depend? Which is the more important,
_matter_ or _form_? Where is _form_ specially important? Illustrate.
What is the relation of _matter_ to _form_? When the _form_ is out of
keeping with the _matter_, what is the result?


The following critiques should be studied with the view of answering
such questions as these:

         Does the critic seek the truth? Is he prejudiced? Is
         he chiefly concerned with _matter_ or _form_? Is his
         judgment sound? Is he broad or narrow in his
         sympathies? Does he judge by mere impressions? Is he
         superficial or thorough? Does he belong to a
         particular school? Is his criticism in any way
         helpful? Does he try to interpret the author? Is he
         chiefly concerned to show his own learning or
         brilliancy? Is he genial and tolerant? Is he dogmatic
         and intolerant? Is he courteous and kind? Is he
         ill-mannered and unkind? What points are criticised?


     The _Reverend_ Mr. Headley (why _will_ he not put his full
     title in his title-pages?) has in his "Sacred Mountains" been
     reversing the facts of the old fable about the mountains that
     brought forth the mouse--_parturiunt montes; nascitur
     ridiculus mus_--for in this instance it appears to be the
     mouse--the little _ridiculus mus_--that has been bringing
     forth the "mountains," and a great litter of them, too.--POE.


     The poesy of this young Lord belongs to the class which
     neither gods nor men are said to permit. Indeed, we do not
     recollect to have seen a quantity of verse with so few
     deviations in either direction from that exact standard. His
     effusions are spread over a dead flat, and can no more get
     above or below the level, than if they were so much stagnant
     water. As an extenuation of this offence, the noble author is
     peculiarly forward in pleading minority. We have it in the
     title-page, and on the very back of the volume; it follows his
     name like a favorite part of his style. Much stress is laid
     upon it in the preface, and the poems are connected with this
     general statement of his case, by particular dates,
     substantiating the age at which each was written.--LORD
     BROUGHAM in _Edinburgh Review_.


     The author is a copyist of Mr. Hunt, but ten times more
     tiresome than his prototype; his nonsense is gratuitous, he
     writes it for its own sake, and more than rivals the insanity
     of his master. He writes at random the suggestions of his
     rhyme without having hardly a complete couplet to endorse a
     complete idea in the book. If any one should be bold enough to
     purchase it, and patient enough to get beyond the first book
     and find any meaning, we entreat him to make us acquainted
     with his success; we shall then return to the task which we
     now abandon in despair.--_Quarterly Review._


     The simple Wordsworth, framer of a lay
     As soft as evening in his favorite May;
     Who warns his friend "to shake off toil and trouble,
     And quit his books, for fear of growing double";
     Who, both by precept and example, shows
     That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
     Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
     Poetic souls delight in prose insane,
     And Christmas stories, tortured into rhyme,
     Contain the essence of the true sublime;
     Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
     The idiot mother of "an idiot boy,"
     A moon-struck silly lad who lost his way,
     And, like his bard, confounded night with day;
     So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
     And each adventure so sublimely tells,
     That all who view the "idiot in his glory,"
     Conceive the bard the hero of the story.
                BYRON in "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers."


     This work has greatly disappointed us. Whatever faults we may
     have been prepared to find in it, we fully expected that it
     would be a valuable addition to English literature; that it
     would contain many curious facts, and many judicious remarks;
     that the style of the notes would be neat, clear, and precise;
     and that the typographical execution would be, as in new
     editions of classical works it ought to be, almost faultless.
     We are sorry to be obliged to say that the merits of Mr.
     Croker's performance are on a par with those of a certain leg
     of mutton on which Dr. Johnson dined, while travelling from
     London to Oxford, and which he, with characteristic energy,
     pronounced to be "as bad as bad could be, ill fed, ill killed,
     ill kept, and ill dressed." This edition is ill compiled, ill
     arranged, ill written, and ill printed.--MACAULAY in
     _Edinburgh Review_.


     There is in Carlyle's fiercer and more serious passages a
     fiery glow of enthusiasm or indignation, in his lighter ones a
     quaint felicity of unexpected humor, in his expositions a
     vividness of presentment, in his arguments a sledge-hammer
     force, all of which are not to be found together anywhere
     else, and none of which is to be found anywhere in quite the
     same form. And despite the savagery, both of his indignation
     and his laughter, there is no greater master of tenderness.
     Wherever he is at home, and he seldom wanders far from it, the
     weapon of Carlyle is like none other,--it is the very sword of


     Against the right of Gray to be considered one of the leading
     English men of letters no more stringent argument has been
     produced than is founded upon the paucity of his published
     work. It has fairly been said that the springs of originality
     in the brain of a great inventive genius are bound to bubble
     up more continuously and in fuller volume than could be
     confined within the narrow bounds of the poetry of Gray. But
     the sterility of the age, the east wind of discouragement
     steadily blowing across the poet's path, had much to do with
     this apparent want of fecundity, and it would be an error to
     insist too strongly on a general feature of the century in
     this individual case. When we turn to what Gray actually
     wrote, although the bulk of it is small, we are amazed at the
     originality and variety, the freshness and vigor of the mind
     that worked thus tardily and in miniature.--GOSSE.


     Shakespeare has no peculiarity, no importunate topic; but all
     is duly given; no views, no curiosities; no cow-painter, no
     bird-fancier, no mannerist is he: he has no discoverable
     egotism; the great he tells greatly; the small, subordinately.
     He is wise without emphasis or assertion; he is strong, as
     nature is strong, who lifts the land into mountain slopes
     without effort, and by the same rule as she floats a bubble in
     the air, and likes as well to do the one as the other. This
     makes that equality of power in farce, tragedy, narrative, and
     love-songs; a merit so incessant, that each reader is
     incredulous of the perception of other readers.--EMERSON.


     This Shelley biography is a literary cake-walk. The ordinary
     forms of speech are absent from it. All the pages, all the
     paragraphs, walk by sedately, elegantly, not to say mincingly,
     in their Sunday-best, shiny and sleek, perfumed, and with
     _boutonnières_ in their button-holes; it is rare to find even
     a chance sentence that has forgotten to dress. If the book
     wishes to tell us that Mary Godwin, child of sixteen, had
     known afflictions, the fact saunters forth in this nobby
     outfit: "Mary herself was not unlearned in the lore of
     pain."--MARK TWAIN.


     One of the poems on which much praise has been bestowed, is
     "Lycidas"; of which the diction is harsh, the rhymes
     uncertain, and the numbers unpleasing. What beauty there is we
     must therefore seek in the sentiments and images. It is not to
     be considered as the effusion of real passion; for passion
     runs not after remote allusions and obscure opinions. Passion
     plucks no berries from the myrtle and ivy, nor calls upon
     Arthur and Mincius, nor tells of rough satyrs and "fauns with
     cloven heel." Where there is leisure for fiction, there is
     little grief.
                                               SAMUEL JOHNSON.


     And, in truth, one of the legitimate poets Emerson, in my
     opinion, is not. His poetry is interesting, it makes one
     think; but it is not the poetry of one of the born poets. I
     say it of him with reluctance, although I am sure that he
     would have said it of himself; but I say it with reluctance,
     because I dislike giving pain to his admirers, and because all
     my own wish, too, is to say of him what is favorable. But I
     regard myself, not as speaking to please Emerson's admirers,
     not as speaking to please myself; but rather, I repeat, as
     communing with Time and Nature concerning the productions of
     this beautiful and rare spirit, and as resigning what of him
     is by their unalterable decree touched with caducity, in order
     the better to mark and secure that in him which is
     immortal.--MATTHEW ARNOLD.


     What peculiarities of George Eliot's are likely to leave a
     strong impress after her? I answer, she, of all novelists, has
     attacked the profound problems of our existence. She has
     taught that the mystery worthy of a great artist is not the
     shallow mystery device, but the infinite perspective of the
     great, dark enigmas of human nature; that there is a deeper
     interest in human life seen in the modern, scientific
     daylight, than in life viewed through a mist of ancient and
     dying superstitions; that the interest of human character
     transcends the interest of invented circumstances; that the
     epic story of a hero and a heroine is not so grand as the
     natural history of a community. She, first of all, has made
     cross sections of modern life, and shown us the busy human
     hive in the light of a great artistic and philosophic
     intellect.--EDWARD EGGLESTON.


     He has won for himself a secure immortality by a depth of
     intuition which makes only the best minds at their best hours
     worthy, or indeed capable, of his companionship, and by a
     homely sincerity of human sympathy which reaches the humblest
     heart. Our language owes him gratitude for the habitual purity
     and abstinence of his style, and we who speak it, for having
     emboldened us to take delight in simple things, and to trust
     ourselves to our own instincts.--LOWELL.


     It is requisite that the language of an heroic poem should be
     both perspicuous and sublime. In proportion as either of these
     two qualities is wanting, the language is imperfect.
     Perspicuity is the first and most necessary qualification;
     insomuch that a good-natured reader sometimes overlooks a
     little slip even in the grammar or syntax, where it is
     impossible for him to mistake the poet's sense. Of this kind
     is that passage in Milton, wherein he speaks of Satan,--

                          "God and his Son except,
          Created thing nought valued he nor shunned,"--

     and that in which he describes Adam and Eve,--

          "Adam the goodliest man of men since born,
           His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve."


     From the first to the last page of Nietzsche's writings the
     careful reader seems to hear a madman, with flashing eyes,
     wild gestures, and foaming mouth, spouting forth deafening
     bombast; and through it all, now breaking out into frenzied
     laughter, now sputtering expressions of filthy abuse and
     invective, now skipping about in a giddy agile dance, and now
     bursting upon the auditors with threatening mien and clenched
     fists. So far as any meaning at all can be extracted from the
     endless stream of phrases, it shows, as its fundamental
     elements, a series of constantly reiterated delirious ideas,
     having their source in illusions of sense and diseased organic
     processes. Here and there emerges a distinct idea, which, as
     is always the case with the insane, assumes the form of an
     imperious assertion, a sort of despotic command.
                                                   MAX NORDAU.


In addition to these brief extracts the student should be encouraged or
required to read a number of complete reviews both in our popular
periodicals and in books of literary criticism, with the view of
determining the critic's temper, culture, judgment, thoroughness, points
of view, etc. The older style of criticism is illustrated in Addison's
articles on Milton in the "Spectator" and Johnson's "Lives of the
Poets." For the elaborate review style the student might read some of
the critical essays of Macaulay, Carlyle, and Lowell. Our principal
reviews, magazines, and other periodicals, as well as recent works on
English literature, will supply abundant material to show the less
elaborate and generally more genial criticism of the present day.



+16. Personality of the Author.+ Every literary work reveals, to a
greater or less degree, the personality of the author. Every literary
production may be regarded as the fruitage of the writer's spirit; and
there is good authority for saying that "men do not gather grapes of
thorns or figs from thistles." A book exhibits not only the attainments,
culture, and literary art of the writer but also his intellectual force,
emotional nature, and moral character. Wide attainments are revealed in
breadth of view and in mastery of large resources. Culture is exhibited
in a general delicacy of thought, feeling, and expression. Literary art
is shown in the choice of words and in their arrangement in sentences
and paragraphs. The artistic sense, without which a finished excellence
is not attainable, reveals itself in the proportion, symmetry, and
completeness of a work.

+17. Thought and Feeling.+ The intellectual and the emotional nature o
a writer is clearly reflected in his works. Intellectual force, for
example, is recognized in the firm grasp of a subject, in the marshaling
of details toward a predetermined end, and in the vigor of utterance.
The Essays of Macaulay, however much they may lack in delicate
refinement of thought and feeling, display a virile force of intellect;
and many a page of Carlyle fairly throbs with energy of spirit. A
large, sensitive soul manifests itself in sympathy with nature and human
life. The "wee, modest, crimson-tipped" daisy, and the limping wounded
hare touched the tender sympathies of Burns; and it was Wordsworth who

     "To me the meanest flower that blows can give
      Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

There is no class of society, from kings to beggars, from queens to
hags, with which Shakespeare has not entered into sympathy, thinking
their thoughts and speaking their words.

+18. Moral Character.+ The moral character of an author appears in his
general attitude toward truth and life. A strong moral sense appears in
a firm adherence to right and an unblinded condemnation of wrong. A
genial, charitable spirit is shown in a kindly disposition to overlook
the weaknesses of men and to magnify their virtues. Life may be looked
upon as something earnest, exalted, divine; or it may be regarded as
insignificant, wretched, and ending at death.

It is character that gives fundamental tone to literature; and, as
Matthew Arnold has said, the best results are not attainable without
"high seriousness." The difference between the flippant and the earnest
writer is easily and instinctively recognized. No one can read Ruskin,
for instance, without feeling his sincerity and integrity, even in his
most impracticable vagaries. In Addison, Goldsmith, and Irving we find a
genial, uplifting amiability; and Whittier, in his deep love of human
freedom and justice, appears as a resolute iconoclast and reformer.

+19. Authorship and Character.+ It is sometimes supposed that the art of
authorship can be divorced from the personality of the writer. In
serious authorship this supposition is a mistake. The best writing is
more than grace of rhetoric and refinement of intellectual culture. Back
of all outward graces there is need of a right-thinking and truth-loving
soul. One of the essential things in the training of a great writer is
the development of an upright, noble character. Milton was right in
maintaining that the great poet should make his life a noble poem. As a
rule the writers of the world's greatest classics have been men of
sincerity, truth, and honor. Such was the character of Plato, Vergil,
Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning, and
many others. Our best American writers, almost without exception, have
been distinguished for moral worth. In men like Burns, Byron, and Heine,
the absence of a high moral purpose has detracted, in spite of their
unquestioned intellectual power, from the excellence of a large part of
their writings.

+20. Autobiographic Elements.+ Our knowledge is of two kinds: the first
comes from our own experience; the other, from the experience and
testimony of our fellow-men. Personal experience carries with it a
conviction and power that do not usually belong to the knowledge
received from the testimony of others. What we have experienced has
become a part of our lives. The writers of vitality and power are those
who draw largely on their individual resources,--the treasures of their
own experience. They write, not from the memory, but from the heart. If
they borrow from others, they assimilate the information, and thus
vitalize it before giving it out again.

The best part of our knowledge is that which comes to us through
experience and assimilation. It is a permanent possession. When an
author's experience, either in an ideal or a realistic form, is
introduced in his work, it becomes an interesting biographical element.
It presents a part of his life, and often it exhibits the transforming
and glorifying power of his genius. In the drama "She Stoops to
Conquer," for example, Goldsmith has turned to excellent account a
humiliating incident of his youth. His "Deserted Village" is full of
childhood reminiscences. Scott's poems and novels are in large measure
only an expansion of the mediæval and other lore that he
enthusiastically collected in his youth and early manhood. George
Eliot's earlier novels are filled with the scenes and characters of her
early life; and Dickens's best novel, "David Copperfield," is largely
autobiographical. An author's best work--that which possesses the
greatest degree of interest and vitality--is generally that which
springs from the treasure of his deepest experience, and is the fullest
expression of his individual thought and feeling.

+21. View of Life.+ Every writer of originality and power takes a
fundamental view of life. He has settled convictions of some sort in
regard to the world in which he lives. Sometimes this view comes from
religion and sometimes from philosophy or science, though in any case
it is apt to be influenced by the writer's physical condition. German
philosophy has influenced many able writers,--Coleridge, Carlyle,
Emerson, and others in England and America; and at the present time the
theory of evolution is leaving a deep impress on literature.

Whence came this magnificent universe? What is the origin and destiny of
man? Is the general drift of human affairs upward or downward? These are
great fundamental questions, and the answers we give them lie at the
bottom of our thinking and give tone to our writing. The world is not
the same to the Christian theist and to the agnostic. Human life has a
deeper significance to the man who believes in the loving providence of
God than to the man who believes only in the existence of matter and
natural law. The man who believes in the presence and sovereignty of God
in all things looks hopefully to the future. He is optimistic rather
than pessimistic. The presence of an exuberant vitality reveals itself
in a cheerful, buoyant tone. Scott's exuberant spirit forms a pleasing
contrast with Carlyle's dyspeptic cynicism.

It is often highly important to understand the fundamental beliefs of a
writer. His works may be in a measure unintelligible till his standpoint
is fully understood. Sometimes his various writings are only an
expansion and application of one or two great fundamental principles.
The works of Herbert Spencer, for example, are in the main an
elaboration of the theory of evolution. Byron represented a skeptical
reaction against the conventional manners and beliefs of his day. The
essential feature of Emerson's work is found in a single sentence in
"Nature." "We learn," he says, "that the Highest is present to the soul
of man, that the dread universal Essence, which is not wisdom, or love,
or beauty, or power, but all in one, and each entirely, is that for
which all things exist, and that by which they are; that spirit creates;
that behind nature, throughout nature, spirit is present; that spirit is
one, and not compound; that spirit does not act upon us from without,
that is, in space and time, but spiritually, or through ourselves."

+22. Literary School.+ In like manner it is interesting and sometimes
illumining to know the literary school or tendency to which a writer
belongs. Every author has his limitations and idiosyncrasies. First of
all, he may be a writer of prose alone or of poetry alone. In prose he
may confine himself to a single department, as fiction or history; or in
poetry he may be chiefly lyric, didactic, or dramatic. Within these
narrower spheres he may identify himself with a single tendency or group
of writers. In history he may be philosophic or narrative; in fiction he
may be a romanticist or a realist; in poetry he may be subjective or
objective in his treatment of themes. Scott's romanticism, for instance,
which delights in mediæval scenes and incidents, is very unlike
Dickens's realism, which depicts the scenes and incidents of actual
contemporary life. George Eliot's psychologic novels are different from
those of either Scott or Dickens. Bryant's clear descriptions of nature
stand in striking contrast with Poe's mystical melodies.

+23. Mood and Purpose.+ It is important to understand the mood and
purpose of an author. We are not in a position fairly to judge a work
until we know its spirit and object. Until we know whether the writer is
playful or earnest, joyous or sad, satirical or serious, we cannot give
his words the right tone and value; and until we see clearly what he is
driving at, we cannot properly estimate the successive steps in his
production nor judge of its worth as a whole.

The moods expressed in literature are exceedingly various. Since
literature is the expression of the intellectual life of man, it
embodies the various moods and passions to which human nature is
subject. Sometimes, for example, there is laughing humor, as in Holmes's
"The Deacon's Masterpiece." Sometimes there is violent anger, as in
Byron's "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers." We feel his unrestrained
wrath, as he exclaims,--

     "Prepare for rhyme--I'll publish right or wrong;
      Fools are my theme, let satire be my song."

Sometimes the mood is one of pensive meditation, as when Gray sits alone
in the country churchyard amid deepening twilight:

     "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
        The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
      The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
        And leaves the world to darkness and to me."

Sometimes it is a righteous indignation that blazes and burns, as when
Carlyle exclaims, in the presence of selfishness and wrong: "Foolish men
imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no
justice but an accidental one, here below. Judgment for an evil thing
is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is
sure as life, it is as sure as death! In the center of the
world-whirlwind, verily now as in the oldest days, dwells and speaks a
God. The great soul of the world is _just_."

Often the mood or spirit of gifted writers is something too intangible
to be firmly grasped, yet its presence is felt as a pervasive and
delightful atmosphere. A work is sometimes suffused with the divine
touch of genius, as the delicate and indescribable hues of autumn
glorify the valleys and mountains. While hovering near the earth for a
time, the spirit of genius, as in Shakespeare and Ruskin, sometimes
suddenly and spontaneously soars to regions of supernal
splendor,--altitudes of beauty absolutely inaccessible to ordinary and
unaided mortals.

The purpose of a literary work, like its mood or spirit, may be various.
In a measure it varies with the department of literature to which the
work belongs. The purpose of history, which brings before us the
achievements of the past, is chiefly instruction. The oratory of the
pulpit and the forum aims at persuasion. Fiction aims primarily at
entertainment, though it may also be made the vehicle for religious,
sociological, or moral teachings. Poetry aims at pleasure by means of
melody, felicity of expression, the picturing of moods and scenes, and
the narration of interesting incidents or important events. When the
purpose of a production is clearly apprehended we are prepared to judge
of the wisdom of the author in his choice and adaptation of means.

+24. Study of an Author's Life.+ The foregoing considerations show us
the value of an acquaintance with an author's life. Without this
acquaintance we are not prepared, in many cases, to understand or judge
his productions. A good biography will acquaint us with the
circumstances in which his talents were developed, and disclose to us
the autobiographic materials which have been embodied in his works. It
will reveal to us his views of life and his principles of art. It will
show us, in short, the man behind the work, and thus help us to grasp
the full significance of his utterance.

No one is absolutely independent of his surroundings. Men are frequently
led, and sometimes driven by them, into the lines of work which they
pursue. Hawthorne's stories, for the most part, grew out of his New
England life. Had he been brought up south of the Potomac, they would
have been different. Had Irving never gone to England, he would not have
written "Bracebridge Hall"; and had he not sojourned in Spain, he would
not have written "Alhambra" and the "Life of Columbus." Byron's "Childe
Harold" is but a poetic record of his travels. Thus it is seen that an
author's work, in large measure, grows out of his surroundings and
experience, and cannot be thoroughly understood without an acquaintance
with his life. It sometimes happens, as Shelley has sung in his
interesting "Julian and Maddalo," that

                     "Most wretched men
     Are cradled into poetry by wrong;
     They learn in suffering what they teach in song."


16. How is a book related to its author? What does it exhibit? What is
said of the _artistic sense_? 17. How is intellectual force revealed?
How does a sensitive nature show itself? Illustrate. 18. In what does
the moral nature appear? What gives fundamental tone to literature?
Illustrate. 19. What must be back of the best writing? What was Milton's
opinion of the poet? What is said of the world's great classics? 20.
Whence does our knowledge come? What gives power and vitality to a piece
of literature? What is meant by _autobiographic elements_? Illustrate
from Goldsmith and Dickens. 21. What is said of a writer's fundamental
views? Whence do they come? Illustrate. What questions lie at the basis
of our thinking? Illustrate. What has physical vitality to do with
literature? What thought dominates Spencer's works? What is the dominant
belief of Emerson? 22. Mention some of a writer's limitations. Explain
the difference between Scott and Dickens; between Bryant and Poe. 23.
Why is it important to know the mood and purpose of an author? Why are
the moods different? Give examples of different moods. Explain the
general purpose of _history_, _oratory_, _fiction_, and _poetry_. Why
should we know the purpose of an author? 24. Why study the biography of
an author? What will it reveal to us? What have surroundings to do with
an author? Give illustrations. What is the quotation from Shelley?


The following selections should be studied with reference to such
questions as these:

         What light does the selection throw on the author? Is
         he a man of large attainments? Does it show
         refinement of thought and feeling? Does it display
         literary art? Has it virile force? Does it show a
         true sense of right? Is there a large, noble nature
         back of it? Does it grow out of the author's personal
         experience? Has it the force of conviction? How does
         the author conceive of the world? What does he think
         of God? How does he regard human life? Is he hopeful
         or pessimistic? Is he a writer of prose, poetry, or
         both? To what school of writing does he belong? What
         is the mood or spirit,--humorous, buoyant, serious,
         sad, ironical, angry, genial, urbane? What is its
         purpose,--to instruct, please, persuade?

     The love of dirt is among the earliest of passions, as it is
     the latest. Mud-pies gratify one of our first and best
     instincts. So long as we are dirty, we are pure. Fondness for
     the ground comes back to a man after he has seen the round of
     pleasure and business, eaten dirt, and sown wild-oats, drifted
     about the world, and taken the wind of all its moods. The love
     of digging in the ground (or of looking on while he pays
     another to dig) is as sure to come back to him as he is sure,
     at last, to go under the ground and stay there.--CHARLES

     The end of learning is to repair the ruins of our first
     parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that
     knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we
     may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which
     being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the
     highest perfection.

     We are like lambs in a field, disporting themselves under the
     eye of the butcher, who chooses out first one and then another
     for his prey. So it is that in our good days we are all
     unconscious of the evil Fate may have presently in store for
     us--sickness, poverty, mutilation, loss of sight or

     Alas! 'tis true I have gone here and there,
     And made myself a motley to the view;
     Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
     Made old offences of affections new;
     Most times it is that I have looked on truth
     Askance and strangely.--SHAKESPEARE.

     In order to secure my credit and character as a tradesman, I
     took care not only to be in _reality_ industrious and frugal,
     but to avoid the appearances to the contrary. I dressed plain,
     and was seen at no places of idle diversion. I never went out
     a fishing or shooting; a book, indeed, sometimes debauched me
     from my work, but that was seldom, was private, and gave no
     scandal; and to show that I was not above my business, I
     sometimes brought home the paper I purchased at the stores
     through the streets on a wheelbarrow.--FRANKLIN.

     Given, a man with moderate intellect, a moral standard not
     higher than the average, some rhetorical affluence and great
     glibness of speech, what is the career in which, without the
     aid of birth or money, he may most easily attain power and
     reputation in English society? Where is the Goshen of
     mediocrity in which a smattering of science and learning will
     pass for profound instruction, where platitudes will be
     accepted as wisdom, bigoted narrowness as holy zeal, unctuous
     egoism as God-given piety? Let such a man become an
     evangelical preacher; he will then find it possible to
     reconcile small ability with great ambition, superficial
     knowledge with the prestige of erudition, a middling morale
     with a high reputation for sanctity.--GEORGE ELIOT.

     Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
     One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the
     Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,--
     Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim
     Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

     Thus I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind
     than as one of the species, by which means I have made myself
     a speculative statesman, soldier, merchant, and artisan,
     without ever meddling with any practical part in life. I am
     very well versed in the theory of a husband or a father, and
     can discern the errors in the economy, business, and
     diversions of others better than those who are engaged in
     them; as standers-by discover blots, which are apt to escape
     those who are in the game. I never espoused any party with
     violence, and am resolved to observe an exact neutrality
     between the Whigs and Tories, unless I shall be forced to
     declare myself by the hostilities of either side.

     Out--out are the lights--out all!
       And over each quivering form,
     The curtain, a funeral pall,
       Comes down with the rush of a storm;
     And the angels, all pallid and wan,
       Uprising, unveiling, affirm
     That the play is the tragedy "Man,"
       And its hero the Conqueror Worm.--POE.

     The essays professedly serious, if I have been able to execute
     my own intentions, will be found exactly conformable to the
     precepts of Christianity, without any accommodation to the
     licentiousness and levity of the present age. I therefore look
     back on this part of my work with pleasure, which no praise or
     blame of man can diminish or augment. I shall never envy the
     honors which wit and learning obtain in any other cause, if I
     can be numbered among the writers who have given ardor to
     virtue and confidence to truth.--SAMUEL JOHNSON.

     What tho' on hamely fare we dine,
       Wear hodden gray, and a' that;
     Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine--
       A man's a man for a' that.
     For a' that, and a' that,
       Their tinsel show, and a' that;
     The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
       Is king of men for a' that.--BURNS.

     I said to myself that my hero should work his way through
     life as I had seen real living men work theirs; that he should
     never get a shilling he had not earned; that no sudden turn
     should lift him in a moment to wealth and high station; that
     whatever small competency he might gain, should be won by the
     sweat of his brow; that before he could find so much as an
     arbor to sit down in, he should master, at least, half the
     ascent of the "Hill of Difficulty"; that he should not even
     marry a beautiful girl or a lady of rank. As Adam's son he
     should share Adam's doom, and drain, throughout life, a mixed
     and moderate cup of enjoyment.--CHARLOTTE BRONTÉ.

     Day set on Norham's castled steep,
     And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,
       And Cheviot's mountains lone:
     The battled towers, the donjon keep,
     The loophole grates, where captives weep,
     The flanking walls that round it sweep,
       In yellow lustre shone.
     The warriors on the turrets high,
     Moving athwart the evening sky,
       Seemed forms of giant height;
     Their armor, as it caught the rays,
     Flashed back again the western blaze,
       In lines of dazzling light.--SCOTT.

     It is a restful chapter in any book of Cooper's when somebody
     doesn't step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites
     for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in
     peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he
     is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred handier
     things to step on, but that wouldn't satisfy Cooper. Cooper
     requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can't
     do it, go and borrow one. In fact the Leather Stocking Series
     ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series.
                                                   MARK TWAIN.

                     Live and love,
     Doing both nobly, because lowlily;
     Live and work, strongly, because patiently!
     And, for the deed of Death, trust to God
     That it be well done, unrepented of,
     And not to loss. And thence with constant prayers
     Fasten your souls so high, that constantly
     The smile of your heroic cheer may float
     Above all floods of earthly agonies,
     Purification being the joy of pain.--MRS. BROWNING.


The autobiographic elements in Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" and "Vicar
of Wakefield," in Charlotte Bronté's "Shirley" and "Villette," in
Dickens's "David Copperfield" and George Eliot's "Mill on the Floss,"
will be found interesting and helpful studies. In each case a good
biography of the author will give the necessary information to the



+25. Æsthetics.+ The science of beauty in general is called Æsthetics,
to which we have to look for some of the principles that are to guide
our critical judgment. Unfortunately for us, the science of beauty has
not yet been fully and satisfactorily wrought out, and the ablest
writers, from Aristotle to Herbert Spencer, exhibit great diversity of
view. There are two main theories of beauty: the one makes beauty
subjective, or an emotion of the mind; the other makes it objective, or
a quality in the external object. Without entering into the intricacies
and difficulties of the discussion, beauty will here be regarded as that
quality in literature which awakens in the cultivated reader a sense of
the beautiful. This sense of the beautiful is a refined and pleasurable
feeling; and, as we shall see, it is traceable to a variety of sources.

+26. Literary Taste.+ Literary taste is that power or faculty of the
mind which apprehends and appreciates what is beautiful and artistic in
literature. It embraces two elements: first, the apprehension of the
æsthetic quality; and secondly, an appreciation or emotional response to
its appeal. These two elements are not always equally developed in the
critic; and it frequently happens that an artistic literary production
affords exquisite pleasure without a clear apprehension of the æsthetic
elements from which the pleasure springs.

In literary criticism, as has already been shown, the standard of taste
is the ideal, developed by an application of necessary and recognized
principles, which the intelligent critic is able to form in every
department of literature. The capacity of taste is a natural gift; but,
like other powers of the mind, it is capable of great development. It is
cultivated by a study of the principles of beauty and by a contemplation
of beautiful objects in nature and art. Bad taste exhibits itself in a
failure to apprehend and appreciate what is genuinely beautiful; it
often mistakes defects for excellences. A refined taste responds to what
is delicate in beauty, and a catholic taste recognizes and responds to
beauty of every kind. The critic who would do honor to his office must
have a taste both refined and catholic.

+27. Æsthetic Elements.+ Literary beauty may pertain either to the
_form_ or to the _content_. Deferring to subsequent chapters the
elements of _external beauty_, we here consider the elements of
_internal beauty_. Though beauty of form and beauty of content may thus
be distinguished, they are always combined in works of the highest
excellence. Both alike have their source in the cultivated, creative
spirit of the writer. They cannot be effectually learned by rule; and
the best training for successful authorship is the development of the
intellectual and moral faculties.

Vividness of description is a frequent source of literary beauty.
Scenes, objects, and events are sometimes so presented as to become
visible to the inner eye. Thus Tennyson describes the flinging of
Arthur's sword:

                            "The great brand
     Made lightnings in the splendor of the moon."

Carlyle was a master of graphic description, and in a few touches he
thus brings De Quincey before us: "One of the smallest man figures I
ever saw; shaped like a pair of tongs, and hardly above five feet in
all. When he sate, you would have taken him by candlelight for the
beautifullest little child; blue-eyed, sparkling face, had there not
been something, too, which said, 'Eccovi--this child has been in hell!'"

Meditative reflection, when aptly associated with circumstance or
occasion, may become a pleasing source of beauty. When employed by way
of introduction, it may, as frequently in Irving and Hawthorne, strike
the keynote of what follows. Sometimes it gives natural expression to
the vague thought or feeling that had been produced in the reader by the
preceding narrative and that would otherwise have remained unsatisfied.
In the darkness and silence of night the poet hears the striking of a
deep-toned bell. Naturally he thinks of the flight of time.

     "The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
      But from its loss: to give it then a tongue
      Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke,
      I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
      It is the knell of my departed hours."

A meditation may, as a conclusion, impart a satisfying completeness to a
piece. Nothing could be finer, for example, than Addison's reflections
at the close of his essay on the tombs of Westminster Abbey: "When I
look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when
I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out;
when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts
with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I
consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow.
When I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival
wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with
their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on
the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read
the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some
six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us
be contemporaries, and make our appearance together."

Harmony of thought and expression is another source of excellence. The
thought should be clothed in a perfect body, so that nothing can be
added or subtracted without marring the beauty. The following stanza
from Holmes's "The Last Leaf" will serve for illustration:

     "The mossy marbles rest
      On the lips that he has prest
            In their bloom;
      And the names he loved to hear
      Have been carved for many a year
            On the tomb."

When, in addition to perfect harmony between spirit and form, the sound
reënforces the sense, there is an added element of beauty. The
intellect is thus assisted in imaging or realizing the scene. As the
heroine returns to her palace in Tennyson's "Godiva,"--

                                  "All at once
     With twelve great shocks of sound, the shameless noon
     Was clashed and hammered from a hundred towers."

A well-known illustration is furnished in Pope's "Essay on Criticism":

     "Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
      And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
      But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
      The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar."

The felicitous expression of some well-known truth or experience is
always pleasing. In its happiest form such an expression is received as
the final embodiment of its truth. It is henceforth taken up by the
multitude and quoted as having the authority of a sacred text. Pope
tells us, for example, that

     "To err is human; to forgive, divine";

and also that

     "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

But no other English writer has equaled Shakespeare in the number of
felicitous expressions that have passed into current use. His works are
a veritable mine of jeweled phrases. We often feel, for example, that
somehow there is a mysterious power controlling our lives; and this
experience he voices in the well-known lines,--

     "There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
      Rough-hew them how we will."

Yet at the same time, recognizing the truth of human freedom, he

     "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
      Which we ascribe to heaven; the fated sky
      Gives us free scope, only doth backward push
      Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull."

High spiritual truth, in fitting expression, is a source of great
beauty. There are three great provinces of thought,--man, nature, and
God. The last is the greatest of all; and the highest achievement of
literature is to lead us to a new or fuller appreciation of his
character. As we look upon the irrepressible and unending conflict
between good and evil in this world, we are sometimes tempted to doubt a
favorable issue; but Lowell tells us, in self-evidencing words, that

                                  "Behind the dim unknown
     Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own."

To Ruskin the various phenomena of nature brought a sweet message: "All
those passings to and fro of fruitful shower and grateful shade, and all
those visions of silver palaces built about the horizon, and voices of
moaning winds and threatening thunders, and glories of colored robe and
cloven ray, are but to deepen in our hearts the acceptance, and
distinctness, and dearness of the simple words, 'Our Father, which art
in heaven.'"

Another principal source of literary beauty is found in a worthy
expression of noble thought and sentiment. This may be regarded as the
soul of enduring literature, and it is as exhaustless as the human mind
itself. The dauntless love of liberty that breathes through Patrick
Henry's famous speech is thrilling in its eloquence: "What is it that
gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so
sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it,
Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but, as for me,
give me liberty, or give me death!"

Carlyle conceived of nature as the vesture of God; and, as he speaks of
the universe, this thought lifts his style to great majesty: "Oh, could
I transport thee direct from the beginnings to the endings, how were thy
eyesight unsealed, and thy heart set flaming in the Light-sea of
celestial wonder! Then sawest thou that this fair Universe, were it in
the meanest province thereof, is in very deed the star-domed City of
God; that through every star, through every grass-blade, and most,
through every Living Soul, the glory of a present God still beams. But
Nature, which is the Time-vesture of God, and reveals Him to the wise,
hides Him from the foolish."

Love is a perennial inspiration both in prose and poetry. It partakes of
the divine, for "God is love." Its highest manifestations, whether in
the family, among relatives and friends, or between lovers, are always
beautiful; and perhaps Browning was not far wrong when he sang,--

     "There is no good in life but love--but love!
      What else looks good, is some shade flung from love;
      Love yields it, gives it worth."

The portrayal of noble character is always inspiring. It appeals to the
better side of our nature, and strengthens our confidence in humanity.
No literary art can confer immortality on what is ignoble. The fiction
that is devoted to obscene realism, whatever may be the prestige of its
authors or its current vogue, is surely doomed. Only that which is
morally good is destined to live through the ages. The genial Dickens
will always be more popular than the satirical Thackeray. Boswell's
"Life of Johnson" owes its principal charm not to any trick of style,
but to the honest, rugged piece of manhood it brings before us. Only a
man of Luther's heroic spirit could have inspired this magnificent
tribute in Carlyle's "Heroes and Hero-Worship": "I will call this Luther
a true great man; great in intellect, in courage, affection, and
integrity; one of our most lovable and precious men. Great, not as a
hewn obelisk, but as an Alpine mountain,--so simple, honest,
spontaneous, not setting up to be great at all; there for quite another
purpose than being great! Ah yes, unsubduable granite, piercing far and
wide into the heavens; yet in the clefts of it fountains, green,
beautiful valleys with flowers! A right spiritual hero and prophet; once
more, a true son of nature and fact, for whom these centuries, and many
that are to come yet, will be thankful to Heaven."

Heroic self-sacrifice strongly appeals to us. Whenever a man or woman
gives up self for the good of others, we intuitively admire and honor
the deed. The story of Thermopylæ, the leap of Curtius into the yawning
chasm, the charge of the Light Brigade,--

     "... though the soldier knew
      Some one had blundered,"--

are instances of heroic self-sacrifice which the world is unwilling to
forget. There is a charm in Tennyson's "Godiva" or his "Enoch Arden"
beyond the reach of mere art; it is found in the noble spirit of the
heroine who replies to the taunt of her husband,--

     "But I would die";

and in the deep self-renunciation of the hero who, in heartbreaking
anguish, prayed,--

     "Help me not to break in upon her peace."

The beauty of a life of simplicity and benevolence is seen in the
immortal Vicar of Wakefield. His unaffected goodness has made him dear
to successive generations. In like manner we pay a spontaneous tribute
to Chaucer's "poure parson of a toune," and to the preacher of the
"Deserted Village":

     "A man he was to all the country dear,
      And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
      Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
      Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place.
      Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
      By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
      Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
      More bent to raise the wretched than to rise."

The fitting description of scenes and incidents of grandeur imparts
dignity and charm to a production. Grandeur is of two kinds: first, the
grandeur or sublimity of natural objects, such as the ocean, a storm, an
earthquake, or other exhibitions of tremendous power; and secondly, the
moral sublime, in which the heroic soul rises superior to dangers and
death. Milton's "Paradise Lost" abounds in grave and sublime passages.
Byron reaches the sublime in many of the descriptions of "Childe
Harold," of which the following will serve for illustration:

                                        "Far along
     From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
     Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
     But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
     And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
     Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud."

Perhaps no finer instance of the moral sublime is to be found than in
the bearing of Luther before the Imperial Diet in the city of Worms. He
was confronted by the chief dignitaries of Church and Empire. The
emperor himself, Charles V, was present. "Will you, or will you not,
retract?" solemnly demanded the speaker of the Diet. "Unless," replied
the intrepid reformer, "unless I am convinced by the testimony of Holy
Scripture or by clear and indisputable reasoning, I cannot, and will
not, retract anything; for it is unsafe for a Christian to do anything
against his conscience. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help
me. Amen!"

Another source of beauty is found in tenderness and pathos. These
feelings appeal to the gentler side of our nature. The pathos may arise
from various causes,--from bereaved affection, from fond memories, from
sore disappointments, or from helpless suffering. Every one is familiar
with Dickens's description of the death of little Nell in "Old Curiosity
Shop." Irving's story of "The Broken Heart" is deeply pathetic. The
deathbed scene of Colonel Newcome in Thackeray's great novel is notable
for its simple pathos: "At the usual evening hour the chapel bell began
to toll, and Thomas Newcome's hands outside the bed feebly beat time.
And just as the last bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his
face, and he lifted up his head a little, and quickly said 'Adsum!' and
fell back. It was the word used at school, when names were called; and
lo, he, whose heart was that of a little child, had answered to his
name, and stood in the presence of his Master."

There is a tender regret in Hood's little poem, "I Remember":

     "I remember, I remember,
        The fir-trees dark and high;
      I used to think their slender tops
        Were close against the sky;
      It was a childish ignorance,
        But now 'tis little joy
      To know I'm further off from heaven
        Than when I was a boy."

The ludicrous often adds charm to literature. It is divided into two
species,--wit and humor. Wit consists in the discovery of remote
analogies or relations, and produces an amusing surprise. It has various
forms. In the _pun_, which is a rather low order of wit, there is a play
on the meaning of words. Punning is an art easily acquired; but a pun is
usually an impertinence to be excused only by its felicity. Hood was one
of the most ingenious of punsters; and in his ballad, "Faithless Nelly
Gray," the wit of each stanza is found in a pun.

     "Ben Battle was a soldier bold,
        And used to war's alarms;
      But a cannon-ball took off his legs,
        So he laid down his arms."

_Satire_ ridicules the follies and vices of men, and is frequent in both
ancient and modern literature. Sometimes it is good-natured, but oftener
it is bitter. Swift's "Tale of a Tub" is a fierce attack upon
ecclesiastical divisions, while Pope's "Dunciad," which impales many of
his contemporary writers, almost ruined the reputations it touched.
Addison in the _Spectator_ is genial in his satire. Byron is a master of
powerful satire, and in the "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers" he
indiscriminately lampoons his contemporaries. For example:

     "Shall gentle Coleridge pass unnoticed here,
      To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
      Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
      Yet still obscurity's a welcome guest.
      If inspiration should her aid refuse
      To him who takes a Pixy for a muse,
      Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
      The bard who soars to elegize an ass.
      How well the subject suits his noble mind!
      'A fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind!'"

A _parody_ is a burlesque imitation and degradation of something
serious. In his song, "Those Evening Bells," Moore wrote in pensive

     "And so 'twill be when I am gone;
      That tuneful peal will still ring on,
      While other bards shall walk these dells,
      And sing your praise, sweet evening bells."

But in Hood's parody of the same title, this stanza is travestied as

     "And so 'twill be when she is gone;
      That tuneful peal will still ring on,
      And other maids with timely yells
      Forget to stay those evening bells."

The other principal form of the ludicrous is humor. It is wit modified
by a genial or sympathetic feeling. It has its origin in the disposition
or character, while wit springs alone from the intellect. It often
pervades an entire production. While wit generally breaks out in brief
and sudden flashes, humor is frequently diffused through an entire work
like a delicious fragrance. Addison's Sir Roger de Coverley papers in
the _Spectator_ are delightful examples of delicate humor. Hood's "Up
the Rhine" is a rich commingling of wit and humor. Dickens's "Pickwick
Papers" and Mark Twain's "Innocents Abroad" are humorous works of a
broader type. Irving's minor writings are suffused with a delightful
humor. And no one who has read the humorous beginning of the "Vicar of
Wakefield" is likely to forget it: "I was ever of opinion, that the
honest man who married and brought up a large family, did more service
than he who continued single and only talked of a population. From this
motive, I had scarcely taken orders a year, before I began to think
seriously of matrimony, and chose my wife, as she did her wedding-gown,
not for a fine glossy surface, but for such qualities as would wear


25. What is meant by _æsthetics_? What are the two theories of beauty?
How is beauty considered in this book? 26. What is meant by _taste_?
What are its two elements? What is said of their development? How may
taste be cultivated? How is bad taste exhibited? What is the distinction
between a _refined_ and a _catholic_ taste? 27. To what may literary
beauty pertain? What elements are considered in this chapter? Where do
we find beauty of _form_ and of _content_ united? Why is vivid
description an element of beauty? Give an illustration. How may
meditative reflection become an element of beauty? Illustrate. What is
meant by harmony of thought and expression? Give an example. How may
sound reënforce the sense? Illustrate. What is said about felicitous
expression? What writers excel in felicity of expression? Illustrate.
What is said of high spiritual truth? Name the three great provinces of
thought. What does Lowell think of the evils in the world? What does
Ruskin say of the phenomena of nature? What is said of noble thought and
sentiment? What makes Patrick Henry's speech thrilling? How did Carlyle
conceive of nature? What is said of love in literature? What is
Browning's idea? What is the effect of portraying noble character? What
is said of obscene realism? To what does Boswell's "Life of Johnson" owe
its principal charm? What does Carlyle say of Luther? What is said of
heroic self-sacrifice? Illustrate. Where do we see the beauty of simple
goodness portrayed? What is the effect of the fitting portrayal of
grandeur? What two kinds of grandeur are distinguished? Mention some
objects of natural grandeur. Illustrate from Byron. Give an illustration
of the moral sublime. To what does pathos appeal? Illustrate. Repeat the
quotation from Hood. What two species of the _ludicrous_ are
distinguished? What is _wit_? What is a _pun_? Illustrate. What is
_satire_? What are the two kinds of satire? Give an illustration. What
is a _parody_? Illustrate. How does _humor_ differ from _wit_? Give an
example of humor.


The following extracts should be carefully studied for the purpose of
determining their elements of _internal excellence or beauty_. They
should be tested by such questions as these:

         Is the extract descriptive or meditative? What gives
         vividness to the description? What points are brought
         out in the meditation? What is the main thought or
         feeling presented? Does it pertain to man, nature, or
         God? What phases of nature are considered? What
         element of character is set forth? Is there dignity
         or felicity of expression? Is grandeur portrayed? Is
         it physical or moral? Is there tenderness or pathos?
         What gives it this element? Is there art or humor?
         What kind of wit? What is the chief source of beauty?

     A man from Maine, who had never paid more than twenty-five
     cents for admission to an entertainment, went to a New York
     theatre 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."--ANON.


     O better that her shattered hulk
       Should sink beneath the wave;
     Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
       And there should be her grave;
     Nail to the mast her holy flag,
       Set every threadbare sail,
     And give her to the god of storms,
       The lightning and the gale.--HOLMES.

     Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have
     not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling
     cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and
     understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have
     all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not
     charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to
     feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and
     have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.--PAUL.

     Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned
     The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe
     And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,
     From morn to eve his solitary task.
     Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
     And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur,
     His dog attends him! Close behind his heel
     Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk
     Wide-scampering, snatches up the drifted snow
     With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout;
     Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy.
     Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl
     Moves right toward the mark; nor stops for aught,
     But now and then with pressure of his thumb,
     To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube,
     That fumes beneath his nose; the trailing cloud
     Streams far behind him, scenting all the air.--COWPER.

     Oh, the grave! the grave! It buries every error, covers every
     defect, extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful bosom
     spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can
     look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a
     compunctious throb that he should ever have warred with the
     poor handful of earth that lies moldering before him? But the
     grave of those we loved,--what a place for meditation! There
     it is we call up, in long review, the whole history of virtue
     and gentleness, and the thousand endearments lavished upon us,
     almost unheeded, in the daily intercourse of intimacy; there
     it is that we dwell upon the tenderness, the solemn, awful
     tenderness of the parting scene.--IRVING.


     The executioner had been directed to apply his torch from
     below. He did so. The fiery smoke rose up in billowy columns.
     A Dominican monk was then standing almost at her side. Wrapped
     up in his sublime office, he saw not the danger, but still
     persisted in his prayers. Even then when the last enemy was
     racing up the fiery stairs to seize her, even at that moment
     did this noblest of girls think only for _him_, the one friend
     that would not forsake her, and not herself; bidding him with
     her last breath to care for his own preservation, but to leave
     _her_ to God.--DE QUINCEY.

     O, lay thy hand in mine, dear!
       We're growing old;
     But Time hath brought no sign, dear,
       That hearts grow cold.
     'Tis long, long since our new love
       Made life divine;
     But age enricheth true love,
       Like noble wine.--MASSEY.

     The noon-day sun came slanting down the rocky slopes of La
     Ricca, and its masses of entangled and tall foliage, whose
     autumnal tints were mixed with the wet verdure of a thousand
     evergreens, were penetrated with it as with rain. I cannot
     call it color, it was conflagration. Purple, and crimson, and
     scarlet, like the curtains of God's tabernacle, the rejoicing
     trees sank into the valley in showers of light, every separate
     leaf quivering with buoyant and burning life; each, as it
     turned to reflect or to transmit the sunbeam, first a torch
     and then an emerald. Far up into the recesses of the valley,
     the green vistas, arched like the hollows of mighty waves of
     some crystalline sea, with the arbutus flowers dashed along
     their flanks for foam, and silver flakes of orange spray
     tossed into the air around them, breaking over the gray walls
     of rock into a thousand separate stars, fading and kindling
     alternately as the weak wind lifted and let them

     Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man;
       He's ben on all sides that give places or pelf,
     But consistency still wuz a part of his plan,--
       He's been true to _one_ party,--and thet is himself;
                         So John P.
                         Robinson he
               Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.

     Gineral C. he goes in fer the war;
       He don't vally principle more 'n an old cud;
     Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
       But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood?
                         So John P.
                         Robinson he
               Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.--LOWELL.


     Not she with traitorous kiss her Saviour stung,
     Not she denied him with unholy tongue;
     She, while apostles shrank, could dangers brave,
     Last at the cross and earliest at the grave.--BARRETT.

     Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
     Tears from the depths of some divine despair
     Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
     In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
     And thinking of the days that are no more.

     Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail
     That brings our friends up from the underworld,
     Sad as the last which reddens over one
     That sinks with all we love below the verge;
     So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.--TENNYSON.

     No nation which did not contemplate this wonderful universe
     with an awe-stricken and reverential belief that there was a
     great unknown, omnipotent, and all-wise and all-just Being,
     superintending all men in it, and all interests in it--no
     nation ever came to very much, nor did any man either, who
     forgot that. If a man did forget that, he forgot the most
     important part of his mission in this world.--CARLYLE.


     Think of him reckless, thriftless, vain if you like--but
     merciful, gentle, generous, full of love and pity. He passes
     out of our life and goes to render his account beyond it.
     Think of the poor pensioners weeping at his grave; think of
     the noble spirits that admired and deplored him; think of the
     righteous pen that wrote his epitaph--and the wonderful and
     unanimous response of affection with which the world has paid
     the love he gave it. His humor delighting us still; his song
     fresh and beautiful as when he first charmed with it; his
     words in all our mouths; his very weaknesses beloved and
     familiar--his benevolent spirit seems still to smile upon us;
     to do gentle kindnesses; to succor with sweet charity; to
     caress, to soothe, and forgive; to plead with the fortunate
     for the unhappy and the poor--THACKERAY.

     We watched her breathing through the night,
       Her breathing soft and low,
     As in her breast the wave of life
       Kept heaving to and fro.

     Our very hopes belied our fears,
       Our fears our hopes belied,--
     We thought her dying when she slept,
       And sleeping when she died.

     For when the morn came, dim and sad,
       And chill with early showers,
     Her quiet eyelids closed,--she had
       Another morn than ours.--HOOD.


In addition to the foregoing extracts, those appended to the previous
chapters may be examined again with the special view of discovering
their æsthetic elements. Furthermore, the student may be required to
study complete works--such as Goldsmith's "Deserted Village," Burns's
"Cotter's Saturday Night," Tennyson's "Enoch Arden," Scott's "Ivanhoe,"
Dickens's "David Copperfield," and others that will occur to the
teacher--in order to discover the beauties of description, meditation,
thought, sentiment, character, and other æsthetic elements awakening
pleasure and imparting excellence. The results may be presented either
orally or in writing.





+28. English Composite.+ The English language is composite, its words
being drawn from various sources. The original and principal element is
Anglo-Saxon, which prevailed in England for about five hundred years. By
the conquest of William of Normandy, French was introduced into England,
and was spoken by the ruling classes for about three hundred years. The
amalgamation of the Anglo-Saxon and the Norman French--a process that
was fairly completed in the fourteenth century--resulted in modern
English. But numerous words came in from other sources. The early
introduction of Roman Christianity into England, and the revival of
learning at the close of the Middle Ages, introduced a large Latin
element. The Celtic population of the British Isles contributed a few
words, such as _pibroch_, _clan_, _bard_. A considerable Greek element
has been introduced by theology and science, and English conquests and
commerce have introduced words from almost every portion of the globe,
of which _pagoda_, _bazaar_, _veda_, _bamboo_, _taboo_, and _raccoon_
will serve as examples.

The composite character of our language has made it very copious and
very interesting. No other language has so many words, our largest
dictionaries defining more than a hundred thousand. Every word has its
history, and often a very interesting one. _Raccoon_, for instance,
takes us back to the adventures of the redoubtable John Smith in
Virginia. The word _bishop_ carries us back to the introduction of
Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons at the close of the sixth century,
and then through the Latin to the primitive days of the Church, when an
_episkopos_, or overseer, presided over the newly founded congregations
in the leading cities of Greece. _Taboo_ reminds us of English
explorations and conquests in the islands of the Pacific. Thus nearly
every word may be traced to its source and, rightly understood, is
freighted with tales of conquest, battle, exploration, commerce,
science, and invention. It carries with it its meaning and atmosphere of
association, which the intelligent and skillful writer knows how to use
to advantage.

+29. Anglo-Saxon and Latin Elements.+ The Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic
element of our language embraces about sixty per cent of the words in
common use. It may be regarded as the trunk, on which the other elements
have been grafted as branches. The Latin element embraces about thirty
per cent of an ordinary vocabulary, nearly two thirds of which, or about
twenty per cent, comes through the French. The question has been raised
as to which element is preferable. Should a writer's style be Saxonized
or Latinized?

No absolute rule can be laid down. The two elements supplement each
other. In general the Anglo-Saxon element comprises concrete terms, and
the Latin element abstract terms. As Trench has pointed out, "The great
features of nature, sun, moon, and stars, earth, water, and fire; the
divisions of time; three out of the four seasons, spring, summer, and
winter; the features of natural scenery, the words used in earliest
childhood, the simpler emotions of the mind; all the prime social
relations, father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother,
sister,--these are of native growth and unborrowed."[57:1]

It is thus seen that the Anglo-Saxon element is full of force in its
presentation of definite concrete objects; and it is a noteworthy fact
that our best writers use a large proportion of native words. In
ordinary discourse none of our best writers, perhaps, fall below seventy
per cent of Anglo-Saxon. But in philosophy, which deals largely with
abstract ideas, the Anglo-Saxon element, as in passages from Herbert
Spencer, may fall as low as sixty per cent. It is interesting to
estimate the percentage of Anglo-Saxon or Latin in an author. This may
easily be done by counting the number of words in a given passage for
the denominator, and the number of Anglo-Saxon or Latin words for the
numerator of a common fraction, which may then be reduced to a decimal.

+30. What Element to Choose.+ A writer's style should be determined by
higher considerations than the deliberate purpose to use as far as
possible any single element of our language. Such a purpose degenerates
into affectation, and becomes a mannerism. The following extract from a
sonnet by Addison Alexander shows what may be done by short Anglo-Saxon
words; but, because of its lack of musical rhythm and fine poetic
quality, it is not to be commended as a model:

     "Think not that strength lies in the big round word,
        Or that the brief and plain must needs be weak.
      To whom can this be true who once has heard
        The cry for help, the tongue that all men speak
      When want, or woe, or fear, is in the throat,
        So that each word gasped out is like a shriek
      Pressed from the sore heart, or a strange wild note
        Sung by some fay or fiend."

With this may be compared the following lines from a sonnet by
Longfellow, in which the musical effect of the Latin element will be
clearly recognized:

     "I saw the long line of the _vacant_ shore,
        And the sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
        And the brown rocks left bare on every hand,
      As if the ebbing tide would flow no more.
      Then heard I, more _distinctly_ than before,
        The ocean breathe and its great breast _expand_,
        And hurrying came on the _defenceless_ land
      The _insurgent_ waters with _tumultuous_ roar."

The use of Latin words often gives clearness and melody to style; and
instead of a violent effort to Saxonize his writing, an author should
clothe his thoughts in the diction that is most fitting and expressive.

+31. Diction.+ Aristotle truly said that "the beginning of style is
correctness of diction." By diction is meant the choice and use of
words. Good diction lies at the basis of good writing. Words are used to
express ideas; and in view of this fundamental principle, it follows
that they should be intelligible and correct. They should belong to our
language; and hence the use of foreign words and phrases, except to
supply a real want in English, is generally in bad taste. The use of
provincial expressions, such as _tote_ for _carry_, is to be avoided,
except in the portrayal of provincial character. Archaic words, as well
as those that have not yet established themselves, should not be
employed. For these two classes of words Pope has laid down an excellent
rule in his "Essay on Criticism":

     "In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold,
      Alike fantastic, if too new or old;
      Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
      Nor yet the last to lay the old aside."

There is sometimes an obvious effort among young or half-cultured
writers to seek after unusual words.

Unless the purpose of discourse is to be defeated, it is evident that
the words used by a writer should have their accepted and exact meaning.
The study of etymology, though sometimes misleading, is very helpful in
learning the exact force of words. There are very few words in our
language that are exactly synonymous; and while synonyms are often
loosely used, the skillful writer is careful to distinguish their
different shades of meaning. This nice use of words, impossible to the
uncultivated mind, adds an exquisite charm to writing.

A very common fault of diction results in what is called "fine writing."
This fault consists in the choice of high-sounding words to express
commonplace ideas. It is the besetting vice of half-educated writers. In
the hands of such persons a "fair lady" becomes a "female possessing
considerable personal attractions," and "drinking liquor" turns into
"ingurgitating spirituous stimulus." Except for purposes of wit or
humor, this affectation is not to be tolerated.

+32. Sentences.+ In reading various authors, it is readily observed that
they use different kinds of sentences. Some writers use short sentences,
others long and complicated sentences. In comparing recent authors with
those of two or three centuries ago, it will generally be found that
shorter sentences are now more frequent. This brevity and simplicity of
predication has resulted in greater clearness. But the constant use of
short, simple sentences produces a disagreeable monotony.

Sentences are rhetorically distinguished as _loose_, _periodic_, and
_balanced_. A _loose_ sentence is one in which the meaning is complete
at one or more points before the end. Thus, at the beginning of
"Pilgrim's Progress," we read: "As I walked through the wilderness of
this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and laid me
down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a dream."

A _periodic_ sentence holds the meaning in suspense till the close. For
example, Macaulay writes: "If any man could have succeeded in this
attempt, a man of talents so rare, of judgments so prematurely ripe, of
temper so calm, and of manners so plausible, might have been expected to

A _balanced_ sentence consists of two parts, the one corresponding to
the other. In Johnson's famous parallel we read: "The style of Dryden is
capricious and varied, that of Pope is cautious and uniform; Dryden
obeys the motions of his own mind, Pope constrains his mind to his own
rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is
always smooth, uniform, and gentle."

A good style is apt to make use of all three kinds of sentences, which
give an agreeable diversity to composition. The exclusive use of any one
form produces monotony. In studying a writer's style, it is important to
determine the prevailing type, as well as the average length, of his
sentences. This investigation will give us some insight into a source of
his weakness or power, and furnish a basis of interesting comparison
with others.

Every sentence should have _clearness_, _unity_, _harmony_, and
_strength_. Of these four qualities, _clearness_ is the most important;
for without it the purpose of discourse is defeated. Apart from the
right choice and position of words, clearness is secured by _unity_ of
thought. This requires that the main subject retain a dominant place
throughout the sentence. The writer should not allow himself to be
switched off from the main proposition. _Harmony_ is attained by the
choice of euphonious words, and by their arrangement in an agreeable or
rhythmical order. _Strength_ is secured, in large measure, by the
omission of unnecessary words. The error of repeating the same thought
in different words is called _tautology_, while the use of more words
than are necessary is known as _pleonasm_ or _redundancy_. The fault of
redundancy is most likely to be found in the use of adjectives; and a
chaste or classic style appears particularly in a severe self-restraint
in the use of qualifying expressions.

+33. Paragraph.+ A paragraph consists of a group of sentences related in
thought. It contains the discussion of a single phase of the subject.
The nature of the paragraph determines its laws. The paragraph, like
each sentence, should be characterized by unity. The opening sentence
should contain the subject, or phase of the subject, to be discussed.
The succeeding treatment should be cumulative in character, so that the
reader is led on by a sense of the unfolding of the point under

There are various ways of expanding or building up the paragraph. It may
be expanded by a process of definition. Frequently one specification
after another is given till all sides of the subject have been
presented. Sometimes a general statement is followed by concrete and
individual instances. Again, the development of the paragraph takes the
form of proof or illustration. But whatever may be the form of
development, it should grow in importance till the conclusion.

The importance of paragraphing is often lost sight of by even
experienced writers. Sometimes there is an absence of clear, definite
thought. Hence it happens that we frequently find whole pages without
any break to indicate the transitions of thought. Such writing is apt to
leave a confused or obscure impression.


[57:1] Trench's "Study of Words," 155.


28. Why is the English language called composite? Which is the principal
element? How was French introduced? What was the origin of our present
English? Whence came the Latin element? Name some other elements and
their sources. What is said of the copiousness of our language? of the
history of words? Give illustrations. 29. What per cent in daily use is
Anglo-Saxon? What per cent is Latin? What proportion of the Latin
element comes through the French? Which element is preferable? What
classes of words are Anglo-Saxon? What per cent of Anglo-Saxon words is
used by our best writers? How do you estimate the percentage? 30. How is
the purpose to use a single element of our language characterized?
Contrast the sonnets of Alexander and Longfellow. What should determine
the writer's choice of words? 31. What did Aristotle say of _diction_?
What is meant by _diction_? What qualities should diction have? What is
said of the use of foreign words and phrases? What is a _provincialism_?
Define _archaism_ and _neologism_. What is Pope's rule in regard to
them? What is said of the study of etymology? of synonyms? of the nice
use of words? What is meant by fine writing? Give an illustration. 32.
What is the difference in the sentences of recent and older writers?
What is the gain in short predication? What is the rhetorical
classification of sentences? Define _loose_, _periodic_, and _balanced_
sentences. Illustrate. What is said of a good style? What four
characteristics should a sentence have? Which is the most important?
Why? What is meant by _unity_? How is _harmony_ attained? How is
strength or energy secured? Explain _tautology_ and _redundancy_. By
what is a classic style characterized? 33. What is a _paragraph_? What
should be its chief characteristic? What should the opening sentence do?
How is the paragraph expanded or developed? What is the effect of bad


The following extracts should be tested by such questions as these:

         What percentage of the words is Anglo-Saxon? What
         percentage is Latin? From what sources are there
         other words? Is the diction pure, appropriate, and
         precise? Are there provincialisms, archaisms,
         neologisms? Are synonyms carefully discriminated? Is
         the diction high-flown? What proportion of sentences
         are simple? complex? compound? What proportion are
         _loose_? _periodic_? _balanced_? What is the average
         number of words? Are the sentences clear? Do they
         show unity of structure? Are they harmonious? Are
         they forcible? Can any words be omitted without loss?
         Is there tautology or redundancy? Are the paragraphs
         well built up? By what means are they developed?

     Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw
     every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice
     of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth
     night and day; wherefore this was beyond the valley of the
     Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair;
     neither could they from this place so much as see
     Doubting-Castle. Here they were within sight of the City they
     were going to: also here met them some of the inhabitants
     thereof; for in this land the shining ones commonly walked,
     because it was upon the borders of heaven.--BUNYAN.

     God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he
     is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with
     hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he
     needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath,
     and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men
     for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined
     the times before appointed, and the bounds of their
     habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they
     might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from
     every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our
     being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are
     also his offspring.--PAUL.

     Criticism, either didactic or defensive, occupies almost all
     his prose, except those pages which he has devoted to his
     patrons; but none of his prefaces were ever thought tedious.
     They have not the formality of a settled style, in which the
     first half of the sentence betrays the other. The clauses are
     never balanced, nor the periods modeled; every word seems to
     drop by chance, though it falls into its proper place. Nothing
     is cold or languid; the whole is airy, animated, and vigorous;
     what is little, is gay; and what is great, is splendid. He may
     be thought to mention himself too frequently; but while he
     forces himself upon our esteem, we cannot refuse him to stand
     high in his own. Everything is excused by the play of images
     and the spriteliness of expression. Though all is easy,
     nothing is feeble; though all seems careless, there is nothing
     harsh; and though, since his earlier works, more than a
     century has passed, they have nothing yet uncouth or
     obsolete.--SAMUEL JOHNSON.

     The only accession which the Roman empire received, during the
     first century of the Christian era, was the province of
     Britain. In this single instance, the successors of Cæsar and
     Augustus were persuaded to follow the example of the former,
     rather than the precept of the latter. The proximity of its
     situation to the coast of Gaul seemed to invite their arms;
     the pleasing though doubtful intelligence of a pearl fishery
     attracted their avarice; and as Britain was viewed in the
     light of a distinct and insulated world, the conquest scarcely
     formed any exception to the general system of continental
     measures. After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the
     most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated
     by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of
     the island submitted to the Roman yoke.

     A mob is a society of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselves
     of reason, and traversing its work. The mob is man voluntarily
     descending to the nature of the beast. Its fit hour of
     activity is night. Its actions are insane, like its whole
     constitution. It persecutes a principle; it would whip a
     right; it would tar and feather justice by inflicting fire and
     outrage upon the houses and persons of those who have these.
     It resembles the prank of boys who run with fire-engines to
     put out the ruddy aurora streaming to the stars. The inviolate
     spirit turns that spite against the wrong-doers. The martyr
     cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of
     fame; every prison a more illustrious abode; every burned book
     or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged
     word reverberates through the earth from side to side. Hours
     of sanity and consideration are always arriving to
     communities, as to individuals, when the truth is seen, and
     the martyrs are justified.--EMERSON.

     I deny not but that it is of greatest concernment, in the
     Church and Commonwealth, to have a vigilant eye how books
     demean themselves, as well as men; and thereafter to confine,
     imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors. For
     books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency
     of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny
     they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest
     efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred
     them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive,
     as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and, being sown up and down,
     may chance to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand,
     unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a
     good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's
     image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself,
     kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man
     lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious
     life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on
     purpose to a life beyond life.--MILTON.

     Thus the Puritan was made up of two different men, the one all
     self-abasement, penitence, gratitude, passion, the other
     proud, calm, inflexible, sagacious. He prostrated himself in
     the dust before his Maker; but he set his foot on the neck of
     his king. In his devotional retirement, he prayed with
     convulsions, and groans, and tears. He was half-maddened by
     glorious or terrible illusions. He heard the lyres of angels
     or the tempting whispers of fiends. He caught a gleam of the
     Beatific Vision, or woke screaming from dreams of everlasting
     fire. But when he took his seat in the council, or girt on his
     sword for war, these tempestuous workings of the soul had left
     no perceptible trace behind them. People who saw nothing of
     the godly but their uncouth visages, and who heard nothing
     from them but their groans and their whining hymns, might
     laugh at them. But those had little reason to laugh who
     encountered them in the hall of debate or in the field of

     More manifest still are the physiological benefits of
     emotional pleasures. Every power, bodily and mental, is
     increased by "good spirits," which is our name for a general
     emotional satisfaction. The truth that the fundamental vital
     actions--those of nutrition--are furthered by laughter-moving
     conversation, or rather by the pleasurable feeling causing
     laughter, is one of old standing; and every dyspeptic knows
     that in exhilarating company, a large and varied dinner,
     including not very digestible things, may be eaten with
     impunity, and, indeed, with benefit, while a small, carefully
     chosen dinner of simple things, eaten in solitude, will be
     followed by indigestion.--HERBERT SPENCER.


In addition to the foregoing extracts, some of those previously given,
in poetry as well as prose, may be studied in the same way. Furthermore,
the student may be required to examine more at length a few authors
designated by the teacher, in order to determine (1) the proportion of
simple, complex, and compound sentences; (2) the proportion of loose,
periodic, and balanced sentences; (3) the percentage of Anglo-Saxon or
Latin words; and (4) the average number of words in a sentence. The
results will give occasion for interesting and instructive comparisons.



+34. Definition.+ A figure of speech is a deviation from the plain and
ordinary mode of speaking. Its object is greater effect. Figures
originated, perhaps, in a limitation of vocabulary; and many words that
are now regarded as plain were at first figurative. But the use of
figures is natural, and at present they are used to embellish discourse
and to give it greater vividness and force. To say with Thomson, for

     "But yonder comes the powerful King of day,
      Rejoicing in the east,"--

is far more vivid and forceful than to say "the sun is rising." Nearly
all great writers, especially poets, enrich their style by the use of

+35. Kinds of Figures.+ There are various kinds of figures, which may be
reduced, however, to three classes or groups. The figures based upon
_resemblance_ are _simile_, _metaphor_, _personification_, and
_allegory_. Those founded on _contiguity_ are _metonymy_, _synecdoche_,
_exclamation_, _hyperbole_, _apostrophe_, and _vision_. Those resting
upon _contrast_ are _antithesis_, _climax_, _epigram_, and _irony_.
Other forms of classification have been proposed. There are figures of
_diction_ and figures of _thought_; the former are found in the choice
of words, the latter in the form of the sentence. To figures of diction
has been given the name of _figures of intuition_, because they present
a sensible image to the mind; to figures of thought has been given the
name of _figures of emphasis_, because they emphasize the thought. We
thus get the following division:





+36. Figures of Resemblance.+ (1) _Simile_ is a form of comparison in
which one thing is likened to another. It is usually introduced by
_like_ or _as_, or some other word of comparison; as,--

     "The twilight hours _like birds_ flew by,
      As lightly and as free."

It is obvious that the things compared in simile should have some sort
of resemblance. When the points of resemblance are too remote the simile
is said to be farfetched. This was a frequent mistake among the
so-called "metaphysical poets" of the seventeenth century. Except in
burlesque or mock-heroic styles, dignified subjects should not be
likened to what is trifling or low. The effect of such a simile is
ridiculous, as in the well-known lines from Butler's "Hudibras":

     "And, like a lobster boiled, the morn
      From black to red began to turn."

(2) _Metaphor_ is an abridged simile, the words expressing likeness
being omitted. In the sentence, "Roderick Dhu fought like a lion," we
have a simile; but when we say, "He was a lion in the fight," we have a
metaphor. The metaphor is briefer and more striking than the simile; it
springs from greater emotion or mental energy, and often imparts great
force or beauty to a passage. Thus, likening human life to a voyage at
sea, Shakespeare says:

     "There is a tide in the affairs of men,
      Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
      Omitted, all the voyage of their life
      Is bound in shallows and in miseries."

There are several errors that are not infrequent in the use of metaphor.
A metaphor should not be blended with plain language in the same
sentence, nor should it be extended too far. The latter fault is called
"straining the metaphor." Two incongruous metaphors should not be used
in the same sentence. In the following lines from Addison his muse is
first conceived of as a steed that needs to be restrained with a bridle,
and then as a ship that is eager to be launched:

     "I bridle in my struggling Muse with pain,
      That longs to launch into a bolder strain."

(3) _Personification_ is the attribution of life to inanimate things.
When we speak of "the _thirsty_ ground" or "the _angry_ ocean," we endow
these objects with the feelings of living creatures. Personification is
a bold species of metaphor; it is the offspring of vivid feeling or
conception, and often lifts discourse to a high plane. Thus, in "Romeo
and Juliet," we read,--

     "Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
      Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops";

and in Shelley's "Queen Mab,"--

        "How wonderful is Death,
         Death and his brother Sleep!
     One, pale as yonder waning moon,
         With lips of lurid blue;
         The other, rosy as the morn
     When, throned on ocean's wave,
         It blushes o'er the world:
     Yet both so passing wonderful!"

(4) _Allegory_ is the description of one object in terms of another. It
is a sort of continued metaphor in which, however, the main subject of
discourse is not mentioned. In the following beautiful allegory, the
Jewish people are described in the character of a vine: "Thou hast
brought a vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted
it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep
root, and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of
it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her
boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. Why hast thou then
broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck
her? The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the
field doth devour it. Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts; look down
from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; and the vineyard which
thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for

The _parable_ and the _fable_ are closely akin to allegory. A parable is
a brief narrative of real or imaginary incidents for the purpose of
inculcating some moral or religious truth. It has been described as "an
earthly story with a heavenly meaning." A considerable part of Christ's
teaching was in parables, many of which are as beautiful as they are

A _fable_ is a fictitious story introducing animals or even inanimate
things as rational speakers and actors, for the purpose of teaching or
enforcing a moral. The fables of Æsop are almost universally known, and
the fables of La Fontaine exhibit a high degree of artistic merit.

+37. Figures of Contiguity.+ (1) _Metonymy_ consists in naming an object
by one of its attributes or accompaniments. It is based, not on
resemblance, but on relation, such as _cause_ and _effect_, _container_
and _thing contained_, _material_ and _thing made of it_, etc. When we
say, for example, that "_gray hairs_ are venerable," we mean _old age_,
putting an effect for the cause. In the sentence, "Socrates drank _the
fatal cup_," the container is put for the thing contained, namely, the
deadly hemlock.

The general effect of metonymy is to bring before the mind a definite
image, and thus to impart a graphic quality to the style. To say, "The
pen is mightier than the sword," is more graphic and forcible than to
say, "Literature is mightier than war."

(2) _Synecdoche_ puts a part for the whole, or a whole for the part; as,
"The harbor was crowded with _masts_." Synecdoche is a species of
metonymy, and has the same effect of giving vividness. This is apparent
in a well-known quatrain from Goethe:

     "Who ne'er his _bread_ in sorrow ate,
        Who ne'er the mournful _midnight hours_
      Weeping upon his bed has sate,
        He knows you not, ye heavenly Powers."

(3) _Exclamation_ is a figure of thought. It is the result of kindled
emotion, and expresses in exclamatory form what would usually be stated
in declarative form. Thus Hamlet, outraged at the conduct of his mother,
bursts forth:

     "O that this too too solid flesh would melt,
      Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
      Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
      His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
      How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
      Seem to me all the uses of this world!"

Though chiefly confined to poetry, exclamation is frequent in fervid
prose, and Carlyle's works fairly bristle with exclamation points.

(4) _Apostrophe_ is a direct address to the absent as present, the
inanimate as living, or the abstract as personal. It is closely allied
to personification, with which it is often associated. This figure is
expressive of intense emotion. The following passage from "King Lear"
will serve for illustration:

     "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
      You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
      Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
      You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
      Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
      Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
      Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!"

(5) _Vision_ is a description of absent things as present. It is suited
only to animated discourse in either prose or poetry. In the midst of
the argument of Milton's "Areopagitica" we find this splendid outburst
portraying the future of England: "Methinks I see in my mind a noble and
puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and
shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her, as an eagle, mewing
her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday
beam; purging and scaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself
of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking
birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at
what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year
of sects and schisms."

(6) _Hyperbole_ is an exaggerated form of statement, and is used to
magnify or diminish an object. It is quite natural, under the impulse of
strong emotion or imagination, to use exaggerated statements, and
frequently it serves to lend piquancy and force to style. But this
tendency is dangerous, and should be kept under restraint. As a rule it
is best to see and describe things as they are. The following from
"Julius Cæsar" will serve as an example of hyperbole:

     "Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
      Like a Colossus, and we petty men
      Walk under his huge legs and peep about
      To find ourselves dishonorable graves."

+38. Figures of Contrast.+ (1) _Antithesis_ presents a strong contrast
of words or sentiments, usually in the form of balanced sentences. It
gives force to style by uniting opposite things in one conception. Its
excessive use, however, becomes monotonous; and antithesis in
construction, without a real contrast of thought, is confusing and
disagreeable. Macaulay, perhaps, makes more frequent use of antithesis
than any other of our great modern writers. Of the Puritans he says: "If
they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they
were deeply read in the oracles of God; if their names were not found in
the registers of heralds, they felt assured that they were recorded in
the Book of Life; if their steps were not accompanied by a splendid
train of menials, legions of ministering angels had charge over them."

(2) _Climax_ arranges its words, phrases, or clauses in an order of
increasing impressiveness. Its proper use gives an accumulative force to
the sentence. No better illustration of the climax can be given than the
well-known one in Cicero's oration against Verres: "To bind a Roman
citizen is an outrage; to scourge him is an atrocious crime; to put him
to death is almost parricide; but to crucify him--what shall I call it?"

The arrangement of the words or clauses in a descending order is called
_anticlimax_ or _bathos_. It is frequently used in wit and humor. The
following sentence is a ridiculous anticlimax: "The enemy is now
hovering upon our borders, preparing to press the knife to our throats,
to devastate our fields, to quarter themselves in our houses, and to
devour our poultry."

The principle of the climax is of wide application. Not only in the
sentence but also in the paragraph, chapter, and entire work, there
should be, as far as possible, progress in the importance, intensity, or
amplitude of the thought.

(3) _Interrogation_ strengthens an affirmation or denial by throwing it
into the form of a question. It is a figure frequent in poetry and
emotional prose. The following example from Gray's "Elegy" will be
sufficient for illustration:

     "Can storied urn or animated bust
        Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
      Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
        Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?"

These questions are not asked for information, but for rhetorical
effect, and they forcibly suggest the truth of their negation.

(4) _Epigram_ is the pungent phrasing of a shrewd observation. It may be
recognized by two characteristics,--it must be brief, and it must have
an unexpected turn of thought. This turn of thought may spring from an
apparent contradiction, from the solemn assertion of a truism, from a
play on words, or from other sources. There is an apparent contradiction
in Wordsworth's epigrammatic line,--

     "The child is father of the man."

There is a play on words in the following epigrammatic characterization
of a loud and violent speaker: "He mistakes _perspiration_ for

(5) _Irony_ expresses a thought contrary to the form of words. Its
seeming praise is really condemnation; its compliments are insults. Its
advantage lies in the difficulty its victim experiences in making a
reply. It is useful in chastising follies and vices; but as a rule
ironic touches are to be preferred to continuous irony. The following is
from Thackeray: "So was Helen of Greece innocent. She never ran away
with Paris, the dangerous young Trojan. Menelaus, her husband, ill-used
her; and there never was any siege of Troy at all. So was Bluebeard's
wife innocent. She never peeped into the closet where the other wives
were with their heads off. She never dropped the key, or stained it with
blood; and her brothers were quite right in finishing Bluebeard, the
cowardly brute! Yes, Madam Laffarge never poisoned her husband, and Mary
of Scotland never blew up hers; and Eve never took the apple--it was a
cowardly fabrication of the serpent's."


[72:1] Psalm lxxx. 8-15.


34. What is a figure? How did it originate? What is its object? In what
two ways is it used? Illustrate. 35. To how many classes may figures be
reduced? On what are these several groups based? Name the figures based
on _resemblance_; those based on _contiguity_; on _contrast_. What name
is given to figures of _diction_? to figures of _thought_? State the
figures of _intuition_; of _emphasis_. 36. What is a _simile_? How is it
introduced? Give an illustration. What errors should be avoided in the
use of simile? What is a _metaphor_? What is its effect as compared with
a simile? What errors in the use of metaphor are to be avoided? What is
_mixed metaphor_? Illustrate. What is _personification_? Give an
example. What is _allegory_? Illustrate. What is a _parable_? Give an
example. What is a _fable_?

37. What is _metonymy_? On what is it based? Illustrate. What is its
effect on style? What is _synecdoche_? Illustrate. What is
_exclamation_? Illustrate. What is _apostrophe_? To what is it closely
related? Illustrate. What is _vision_? Illustrate. What is _hyperbole_?
Give an example. What is said of the use of hyperbole?

38. What is _antithesis_? What is said of its use? Give an example. What
is _climax_? Give an illustration. What is _bathos_? Illustrate. What is
_interrogation_? Illustrate. What is _epigram_? How recognized?
Illustrate. What is _irony_? What is said of its use? Illustrate.


The following passages should be studied in the light of such questions
as these:

         What figure or figures does the piece contain? Is it
         a figure of resemblance, contiguity, or contrast? Is
         it a figure of diction or of thought? What is its
         effect? Does it give force or beauty to the sentence?
         How would the thought be expressed in plain language?
         Is it used consistently? In what way does it
         strengthen or weaken the sentence? Is the figure
         trite or original? Is it farfetched or natural? What
         percentage of sentences is figurative? Are figures
         more common in prose or poetry? Why? Do the minor or
         the major poets use more figures?

     What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted?
     Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just;
     And he but naked though locked up in steel
     Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

     Hast thou left thy blue course in heaven, golden-haired son of
     the sky? The west hath opened its gates; the bed of thy repose
     is there. The waves gather to behold thy beauty; they lift
     their trembling heads; they see thee lovely in thy sleep; but
     they shrink away with fear. Rest in thy shadowy cave, O Sun!
     and let thy return be in joy.--MACPHERSON.

     I see before me the Gladiator lie;
     He leans upon his hand; his manly brow
     Consents to death, but conquers agony,
     And his drooped head sinks gradually low;
     And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
     From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
     Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
     The arena swims around him; he is gone,
     Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who

     If a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to
     think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to
     drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and
     procrastination.--DE QUINCEY.

     Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
     Draw them to Tiber banks and weep your tears
     Into the channel, till the lowest stream
     Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.--SHAKESPEARE.

     No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with

     The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
     And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
     And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
     When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.--BYRON.

                          The best of men
     That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
     The first true gentleman that ever breathed.--DEKKER.

     The glories of our birth and state
       Are shadows, not substantial things;
     There is no armor against fate;
       Death lays his icy hand on kings.
             Scepter and crown
             Must tumble down,
       And in the dust be equal made
       With the poor crooked scythe and spade.--SHIRLEY.

     What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite
     in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in
     action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the
     beauty of this world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
     what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no,
     nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say

     Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
     But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
     What though the mast be now thrown overboard,
     The cable broke, the holding anchor lost,
     And half our sailors swallowed in the flood?
     Yet lives our pilot still. Is 't meet that he
     Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad,
     With tearful eyes, add water to the sea,
     And give more strength to that which hath too much,
     While in his moan the ship splits on the rock,
     Which industry and courage might have saved?
     Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!

     The unwonted lines which momentary passion had ruled in Mr.
     Pickwick's clear and open brow gradually melted away, as his
     young friend spoke, like the marks of a black lead pencil
     beneath the softening influence of India rubber.--DICKENS.

     When thus, as I may say, before the use of the loadstone, or
     knowledge of the compass, I was sailing in a vast ocean,
     without other help than _the pole-star_ of the ancients, and
     _the rules_ of the French stage among the moderns.--DRYDEN.

     Once as I told in glee
     Tales of the stormy sea,
     Soft eyes did gaze on me,
       Burning but tender;
     And as the white stars shine
     On the dark Norway pine,
     On that dark heart of mine
       Fell their soft splendor.--LONGFELLOW.

     Since the vessel of thy unbounded ambition hath been wrecked
     in the gulf of thy self-love, it would be proper that thou
     shouldst take in the sails of thy temerity, and cast the
     anchor of repentance in the port of sincerity and justice,
     which is the port of safety; lest the tempest of our vengeance
     make thee perish in the sea of the punishment thou

                     She never told her love,
     But let concealment, like a worm in the bud,
     Feed on her damask cheek; she pined in thought;
     And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
     She sat like Patience on a monument,
     Smiling at grief.--SHAKESPEARE.

     England ne'er had a king until his time;
     Virtue he had, deserving to command;
     His brandished sword did blind men with its beams;
     His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
     His sparkling eyes, replete with awful fire,
     More dazzled, and drove back his enemies,
     Than midday sun fierce beat against their faces.
     What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech;
     He never lifted up his hand, but conquered.

     Earth proudly wears the Parthenon,
     As the best gem upon her zone,
     And Morning opes with haste her lids
     To gaze upon the Pyramids;
     O'er England's abbeys bends the sky,
     As on its friends, with kindred eye;
     For out of Thought's interior sphere
     Those wonders rose to upper air;
     And Nature gladly gave them place,
     Adopted them into her race,
     And granted them an equal date
     With Andes and with Ararat.--EMERSON.


In addition to the extracts here given, the student might examine those
connected with previous chapters, and discover the various figures they
contain. Furthermore, it is recommended that he study the figures in a
whole piece; as Milton's "L'Allegro" or "Il Penseroso," Goldsmith's
"Deserted Village," Gray's "Elegy," Burns's "Cotter's Saturday Night,"
Wordsworth's "Ode on Intimations of Immortality," Coleridge's "Ancient
Mariner," Moore's "Paradise and the Peri," Shelley's "Adonais,"
Tennyson's "Passing of Arthur," Longfellow's "Building of the Ship,"
Lowell's "Vision of Sir Launfal," and many others that will occur to the
teacher. Let him determine the percentage of figurative sentences, and
compare the results with those obtained from an examination of the prose
of Macaulay, Ruskin, Carlyle, De Quincey, Lowell, and other standard
writers. This comparison will throw light on the essential difference
between poetry and prose.



+39. Definition.+ _Style_ means an author's mode of expression. It is
not, as is sometimes supposed, an artificial trick, but a genuine
expression of the mind and character. Buffon had the right idea when he
said, "The style is the man." It derives its leading characteristics
from the intellect, culture, and character of the writer. A man of
independent force and integrity gives natural expression to his
personality. His style reveals his mental and moral qualities. Only
weaklings, who are afraid to be natural and who are destitute of
substantial worth, become conscious imitators or affect artificial

We have already considered style as related to _diction_, _different
kinds of sentences_, and _figures of speech_. It remains to consider it,
first, in relation to the various kinds of discourse, and, secondly, to
the generic types of mind.

+40. Kinds of Discourse.+ There are four generic kinds of discourse,
namely, _description_, _narration_, _exposition_, and _argument_. Though
frequently united in the same work, or even in the same paragraph, they
are yet clearly distinguishable. Each has a well-defined purpose and
method, to which the mode of expression is naturally bent or adapted.
The result is what may be called a descriptive, narrative, expository,
or argumentative style. These different kinds of discourse will now be
considered and illustrated in greater detail.

(1) _Description_ is the portrayal of an object by means of language.
The object described may belong either to the material or the spiritual
world. It may be a single flower, a landscape, or a stellar system. The
purpose of description is to enable the reader to reproduce the scene,
object, or experience in his own imagination. In general there are two
kinds of description,--the objective and the subjective; but the laws of
both are the same. There must be a judicious selection and grouping of
the details, and their number must be so restricted as not to produce

Objective description portrays objects as they exist in the external
world. It points out in succession their distinguishing features. Thus
we read in Wordsworth's "A Night Piece,"--

     "The traveller looks up--the clouds are split
      Asunder--and above his head he sees
      The clear moon, and the glory of the heavens.
      There, in a black-blue vault she sails along,
      Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small
      And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss
      Drive as she drives; how fast they wheel away,
      Yet vanish not!--the wind is in the tree,
      But they are silent;--still they roll along
      Immeasurably distant; and the vault
      Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds."

Subjective description notes the effects produced by an external object
or scene on the mind and heart. The eye of the writer is turned inward
rather than outward; he brings before us the thoughts, feelings,
fancies that are started within his soul. Thus Browning speaks of music
in his early poem, "Pauline":

     "For music (which is earnest of a heaven,
      Seeing we know emotions strange by it,
      Not else to be revealed) is as a voice,
      A low voice calling fancy, as a friend,
      To the green woods in the gay summer time;
      And she fills all the way with dancing shapes
      Which have made painters pale, and they go on,
      While stars look at them and winds call to them,
      As they leave life's path for the twilight world
      Where the dead gather."

(2) _Narration_ is a recital of incidents or events in an orderly
sequence. It is closely related to description, with which it is
frequently joined in the same paragraph. The one is used to aid or
supplement the other. Like description, narration has its place in
nearly every form of composition; and in history, fiction, and epic
poetry it constitutes, perhaps, the body of discourse. The incidents
narrated should be selected according to their interest and importance;
they should usually be presented in their chronological order, and there
should be a perceptible and often a rapid movement toward a definite
end. In all artistic narration we find unity, proportion, and
completeness. The following extract from Addison's "Vision of Mirza"
will serve for illustration: "On the fifth day of the moon--which,
according to the custom 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.'"

(3) _Exposition_ explains the nature or meaning of things. The purpose
of description is to form a picture; of narration, to portray an event;
of exposition, to set forth the distinctive nature of an object or
conception. The methods of exposition are various. In the first place,
the distinguishing features of an object may be presented; and in this
case exposition partakes of the nature of description. In the second
place, an object or idea may be explained by pointing out its effects;
and in this case exposition partakes of the character of narration. In
the third place, we may explain or define an object or conception by
indicating its resemblance or its unlikeness to something else that is
known. But whatever method of exposition is adopted, it should be full
and definite enough to impart a clear idea of the thing explained. Every
text-book will furnish examples of exposition; the following is taken
from Hitchcock's "Geology": "A _volcano_ is an opening in the earth from
whence matter has been ejected by heat, in the form of lava, scoria, or
ashes. Usually the opening called the _crater_ is an inverted cone; and
around it there rises a mountain in the form of a cone, with its apex
truncated, produced by the elevation of the earth's crust and the
ejection of lava."

(4) _Argumentation_ is the process of establishing the truth or falsity
of a thing. The means it uses is called proof or evidence, and will be
considered more fully in a subsequent chapter treating of oratory. This
proof or evidence may be derived from principles originating in the
mind, in which case it is called _intuitive_; or it may be found in
external sources, in which case it is called _empirical_. The latter
includes, among other forms of proof, a statement of facts, a
consideration of the nature or circumstances of the case, the testimony
of eyewitnesses, and an appeal to authority or generally accepted
principles. When the argument is attended with an appeal to the feelings
and will, it is known as _persuasion_. In the following extract, note
the three facts adduced by Mark Antony to prove that Cæsar was not

     "He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
      But Brutus says he was ambitious;
      And Brutus is an honorable man.
      He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
      Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
      Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
      When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept:
      Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

            *       *       *       *       *

      You all did see that on the Lupercal
      I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
      Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?"

+41. Generic Differences of Mind.+ As we have just seen, style is
affected in a measure by the species of discourse. It is determined,
further, by the mental constitution of the writer, and varies according
to the dominance of particular faculties. We may distinguish four
generic types of mind, which are reflected in four fundamental
differences of style.

(1) When the logical faculties of the mind predominate, the style will
be simple, direct, and plain. It is apt to be dry. The following extract
from Locke's "Thoughts on Education" will serve for illustration: "I say
this, that, when you consider of the breeding of your son, and are
looking out for a schoolmaster, or a tutor, you would not have (as is
usual) Latin and logic only in your thoughts. Learning must be had, but
in the second place, as subservient only to greater qualities. Seek out
somebody that may know how discreetly to frame his manners; place him in
hands, where you may, as much as possible, secure his innocence, cherish
and nurse up the good, and gently correct and weed out any bad
inclinations, and settle in him good habits. This is the main point;
and, this being provided for, learning may be had into the bargain."

(2) Again, the imagination may predominate. In this case the writer is
continually leaving the main thought to bring in additional and
embellishing ideas, particularly if he is a man of wide experience or
great learning. The result is apt to be an elaborate or stately style.
Lowell's style is eminently characterized by a play of the imagination.
His essay on Spenser begins as follows: "Chaucer had been in his grave
one hundred and fifty years ere England had secreted choice material
enough for the making of another great poet. The nature of men living
together in societies, as of the individual man, seems to have its
periodic ebbs and floods, its oscillations between the ideal and the
matter-of-fact, so that the doubtful boundary line of shore between them
is in one generation a hard sandy actuality strewn only with such
remembrances of beauty as a dead sea-moss here and there, and in the
next is whelmed with those lacelike curves of ever-gaining,
ever-receding foam, and that dance of joyous spray which for a moment
catches and holds the sunshine."

When the imagination is ill-governed, and especially in the case of
inexperienced writers, the resulting style is apt to be florid or
bombastic. The following passage from Headley's "Sacred Mountains,"
connected with a description of the crucifixion, is imaginative
extravagance,--a vain, artificial effort at the sublime: "I know not but
all the radiant ranks on high, and even Gabriel himself, turned with the
deepest solicitude to the Father's face, to see if He was calm and
untroubled amid it all. I know not but His composed brow and serene
majesty were all that restrained Heaven from one universal shriek of
horror when they heard groans on Calvary--dying groans. I know not but
they thought God had given His glory to another, but one thing I _do_
know, that when they saw through the vast design, comprehended the
stupendous scene, the hills of God shook to a shout that never before
rang over their bright tops, and the crystal sea trembled to a song that
had never before stirred its bright depths, and the 'Glory to God in the
Highest' was a sevenfold chorus of hallelujahs and harping symphonies."
Thoughtful writers of refined taste are more reserved and reverent in
speaking of occurrences in the celestial world.

(3) Again, the sensibilities may be in the ascendant. There is then a
quick and full response to the beauties of nature and human life. The
style becomes warm, graphic, glowing, pictorial. Unless held in check
by intellectual culture, an excess of sensibility is likely to
degenerate into sentimentalism. When combined with judgment and
imagination, as in the case of Ruskin, an emotional temperament yields
admirable results. Take the following splendid passage from "Modern
Painters," descriptive of a sunrise in the Alps: "Wait for one hour,
until the east again becomes purple, and the heaving mountains, rolling
against the darkness, like waves of a wild sea, are drowned one by one
in the glory of its burning; watch the white glaciers blaze in their
winding paths about the mountains, like mighty serpents with scales of
fire; watch the columnar peaks of solitary snow, kindling downwards,
chasm by chasm, each in itself a new morning; their long avalanches cast
down in keen streams brighter than the lightning, sending each its
tribute of driven snow, like altar-smoke, up to the heaven; the
rose-light of their silent domes flushing that heaven about them and
above them, piercing with purer light through its purple lines of lifted
cloud, casting a new glory on every wreath as it passes by, until the
whole heaven--one scarlet canopy--is interwoven with a roof of waving
flame, and tossing, vault beyond vault, as with the drifted wings of
many companies of angels; and then, when you can look no more for
gladness, and when you are bowed down with fear and love of the Maker
and Doer of this, tell me who has best delivered this His message unto

(4) Once more, force of will, firmness of conviction, energy of
character are conducive to strength. Where these exist there will be
directness of aim, and the style will be clear, unwavering, and strong.
There will be positiveness of statement, and sometimes intolerant
dogmatism. Carlyle and Macaulay are among our strongest writers, the
former being rugged, and the latter more polished in his strength.
Macaulay's broad-shouldered, stout-limbed constitution is reflected in
such passages as the following from his essay on Lord Bacon: "The moral
qualities of Bacon were not of a high order. We do not say that he was a
bad man. He was not inhuman or tyrannical. He bore with meekness his
high civil honors, and the far higher honors gained by his intellect. He
was very seldom, if ever, provoked into treating any person with
malignity and insolence. No man more readily held up the left cheek to
those who had smitten the right. No man was more expert at the soft
answer which turneth away wrath. His faults were--we write it with
pain--coldness of heart and meanness of spirit. He seems to have been
incapable of feeling strong affection, of facing great dangers, of
making great sacrifices. His desires were set on things below. Wealth,
precedence, titles, patronage, the mace, the seals, the coronet, large
houses, fair gardens, rich manors, massive services of plate, gay
hangings, curious cabinets, had as great attractions for him as for any
of the courtiers who dropped on their knees in the dirt when Elizabeth
passed, and then hastened home to write to the King of Scots that her
Grace seemed to be breaking fast."

+42. Symmetrical Faculties.+ When the mental faculties are symmetrical
and harmonious in their operation, no particular feature of style may
stand out prominent. It will bend to suit the exigencies of the subject.
It will rise and sink with the varying thought and feeling. It will be
judicious, and at times commonplace. But if, at the same time, mental
symmetry is united with fineness of fiber and with adequate culture and
practice, the style will probably be, as in the case of Addison and
Irving, full of grace and elegance. Note the easy grace with which
Addison begins his first paper on the "Pleasures of the Imagination":
"Our sight is the most perfect and most delightful of all our senses. It
fills the mind with the largest variety of ideas, converses with its
objects at the greatest distance, and continues longest in action
without being tired or satiated with its proper enjoyments. The sense of
feeling can indeed give us a notion of extension, shape, and all other
ideas that enter at the eye, except colors; but at the same time it is
very much strained, and confined in its operations, to the number, bulk,
and distance of its particular objects. Our sight seems designed to
supply all these defects, and may be considered as a more delicate and
diffusive kind of touch, that spreads itself over an infinite multitude
of bodies, comprehends the largest figures, and brings into our reach
some of the most remote parts of the universe."

Every passing mood and every peculiarity of mind or character are
reflected in the style. It may be gay, humorous, serious, sad,
melancholy, according to the state of the writer's feelings. It may be
colloquial or stately, concise or diffuse, plain or florid, flowing or
abrupt, feeble or energetic, natural or affected, commonplace or
epigrammatic,--as varied, in fact, as the character and mental
constitution of the writers. But every writer has a prevailing style;
and it is an interesting study to determine the nature of his mind and
character from his works.

+43. Importance of Style.+ A good style is a matter of importance. The
success or failure of a literary work depends largely upon the manner in
which its statements are presented. The classic works of Greece and Rome
owe their popularity and influence not so much to the facts which they
contain as to the art with which their contents are given. Our most
popular English writings, especially in fiction and poetry, owe their
vogue, in no small degree, to some excellence or charm of style. It is
chiefly in history, science, and philosophy that the weight of fact and
thought may be in a measure independent of style. Darwin's "Origin of
Species" would be a great book even if its style were far more
uninteresting than is really the case.


39. What is _style_? Whence does it derive its characteristics? What is
Buffon's remark? Who become imitators? 40. What four general kinds of
discourse are there? To what four kinds of style do they lead? What is
_description_? What is its purpose? What two kinds of description are
there? Illustrate. What is _narration_? How is it related to
description? Where is it dominant? How should its facts be presented?
What is necessary in artistic narration? Illustrate. What is
_exposition_? How does it differ from description and narration? What
three kinds of exposition are mentioned? What constitutes a good
exposition? Illustrate. What is _argumentation_? What means does it use?
What two kinds of proof are mentioned? What may constitute _empirical_
proof? Illustrate.

41. What further determines style? What four generic types of mind are
there? What is the result when the logical faculties are dominant? What
is the effect of a dominant imagination? What author is quoted in
illustration? When the imagination is ill-regulated, what is the result?
What illustration is given? What is the effect of strong sensibilities?
Into what may sentiment degenerate? What is the result when combined
with judgment and imagination? Who is quoted in illustration? What is
the effect of will power? Who are mentioned as strong writers?

42. What is said of symmetrical faculties? What will be the result when
united with delicacy and culture? Who are mentioned in illustration?
What may be reflected in style? What kinds of style thus result? Why has
every writer a distinctive style? 43. Why is a good style important? To
what do many writings, ancient and modern, owe their popularity?


The following extracts should be carefully studied. The diction, forms
of sentences, and figures, as presented in the two preceding chapters,
may be investigated along with the further elements of style just
considered. Such questions as the following may be applied to the

         What kind of discourse is it? Is it descriptive? Is
         it objective or subjective? What points are
         described? Is it narrative? Is it expository? By what
         means is the elucidation made? Is it argumentative?
         What kind of proof is used? Is the thought the chief
         concern of the writer? Is the piece imaginative? Does
         it abound in adjectives? Does it present pictures? Is
         it stately and in full dress? What faculty
         predominates? Does it glow with feeling? Does it
         reach the point of sentimentalism? Does it show a
         love of nature? of humanity? Do the emotions count
         for more than the thought? Is it energetic or
         vehement? Has the writer positive convictions? Is he
         hesitating or dogmatic? Is it graceful or elegant?
         Does it exhibit eccentricity or sanity? Is it smooth,
         abrupt, laconic, epigrammatic, humorous, colloquial?
         Are there other characteristics?

     Long lines of cliff breaking have left a chasm;
     And in the chasm are foam and yellow sands;
     Beyond, red roofs about a narrow wharf
     In cluster; then a mouldered church; and higher
     A long street climbs to one tall-towered mill;
     And high in heaven behind it a gray down
     With Danish barrows; and a hazel-wood,
     By autumn nutters haunted, flourishes
     Green in a cuplike hollow of the down.--TENNYSON.

     The Normans gave way. The English pressed forward. A cry went
     forth among the Norman troops that Duke William was killed.
     Duke William took off his helmet, in order that his face
     might be distinctly seen, and rode along the line before his
     men. This gave them courage. As they turned again to face the
     English, some of the Norman horse divided the pursuing body of
     the English from the rest, and thus all that foremost portion
     of the English army fell, fighting bravely.--DICKENS.

     Poetry of late has been termed a force, or mode of force, very
     much as if it were the heat, or light, or motion known to
     physics. And, in truth, ages before our era of scientific
     reductions, the _energia_--the vital energy--of the minstrel's
     song was undisputed. It seems to me, in spite of all we hear
     about materialism, that the sentiment imparting this
     energy--the poetic impulse, at least--has seldom been more
     forceful than at this moment.

     How inexhaustibly the spirit grows!
     One object, she seemed erewhile born to reach
     With her whole energies and die content,--
     So like a wall at the world's edge it stood,
     With nought beyond to live for,--is that reached?--
     Already are new undreamed energies
     Outgrowing under, and extending farther
     To a new object; there's another world!--BROWNING.

     I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as
     to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned
     authors. This pleasure I have seldom enjoyed; for though I
     have been, if I may say it without vanity, an eminent author
     (of almanacs) annually, now a full quarter of a century, my
     brother authors in the same way (for what reason I know not)
     have ever been very sparing in their applauses; and no other
     author has taken the least notice of me: so that, did not my
     writings produce me some solid pudding, the great deficiency
     of praise would have quite discouraged me.--FRANKLIN.

     Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.
     Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring;
     for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the
     judgment and disposition of business; for expert men can
     execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but
     the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of
     affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too
     much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for
     ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their
     rules, is the humor of a scholar: they perfect nature, and are
     perfected by experience; for natural abilities are like
     natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies
     themselves do give forth directions too much at large except
     they be bounded in by experience.--BACON.

     We want the same glorious privileges which we enjoy to go down
     to our children. We cannot sleep well the last sleep, nor will
     the pillow of dust be easy to our heads until we are assured
     that the God of our American institutions in the past, will be
     the God of our American institutions in the days that are to
     come. Oh, when all the rivers which empty into the Atlantic
     and Pacific seas shall pull on factory bands, when all the
     great mines of gold, and silver, and iron, and coal shall be
     laid bare for the nation, when the last swamp shall be
     reclaimed, and the last jungle cleared, and the last American
     desert Edenized, and from sea to sea the continent shall be
     occupied by more than twelve hundred million souls, may it be
     found that moral and religious influences were multiplied in
     more rapid ratio than the population. And then there shall be
     four doxologies coming from north, and south, and east, and
     west--four doxologies rolling toward each other and meeting
     mid-continent with such dash of holy joy that they shall mount
     to the throne.

     Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
       Come, hear the woodland linnet,
     How sweet his music! on my life,
       There's more of wisdom in it.

     And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
       He, too, is no mean preacher;
     Come forth into the light of things,
       Let Nature be your teacher.--WORDSWORTH.

     She is sensible of my sufferings. This morning her look
     pierced to my very soul. I found her alone, and she was
     silent; she steadfastly surveyed me. I no longer saw in her
     face the charm of beauty or the fire of genius; these had
     disappeared. But I was affected by an expression much more
     touching, a look of the deepest sympathy and of the softest
     pity. Why was I afraid to throw myself at her feet? Why did I
     not dare to take her in my arms, and answer her by a thousand
     kisses? She had recourse to her piano for relief, and in a low
     and sweet voice accompanied the music with delicious sounds.
     Her lips never appeared so lovely; they seemed but just to
     open, that they might imbibe the sweet tones which issued from
     the instrument, and return the heavenly vibration from her
     lovely mouth. Oh! who can express my sensations? I was quite
     overcome, and, bending down, pronounced this vow: "Beautiful
     lips, which the angels guard, never will I seek to profane
     your purity with a kiss."

     The only happiness a brave man ever troubled himself with
     asking much about was happiness enough to get his work done.
     Not "I can't eat!" but "I can't work!" that was the burden of
     all wise complaining among men. It is, after all, the one
     unhappiness of a man. That he cannot work; that he cannot get
     his destiny as a man fulfilled. Behold, the day is passing
     swiftly over, our life is passing swiftly over; and the night
     cometh, wherein no man can work. The night once come, our
     happiness, our unhappiness,--it is all abolished; vanished,
     clean gone; a thing that has been: not of the slightest
     consequence whether we were as happy as eupeptic Curtis, as
     the fattest pig of Epicurus, or unhappy as Job with potsherds,
     as musical Byron with Giaours and sensibilities of the heart.
     But our work,--behold, that is not abolished, that has not
     vanished: our work, behold, it remains, or the want of it
     remains; for endless Times and Eternities, remains; and that
     is now the sole question with us forevermore.--CARLYLE.

     Among the powers in man which suffer by this too intense life
     of the _social_ instincts, none suffers more than the power of
     dreaming. Let no man think this a trifle. The machinery for
     dreaming planted in the human brain was not planted for
     nothing. That faculty, in alliance with the mystery of
     darkness, is the one great tube through which man communicates
     with the shadowy. And the dreaming organ, in connection with
     the heart, the eye, and the ear, composes the magnificent
     apparatus which forces the infinite into the chambers of a
     human brain, and throws dark reflections from eternities below
     all life upon the mirrors of the sleeping mind.--DE QUINCEY.

                                 Thus with the year
     Seasons return; but not to me returns
     Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn
     Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
     Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
     But cloud instead and ever-during dark
     Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
     Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair,
     Presented with a universal blank
     Of Nature's works, to me expunged and rased,
     And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.

     It happened one day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was
     exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on
     the shore, which was very plain to be seen in the sand. I
     stood like one thunder-struck, or as if I had seen an
     apparition. I listened, I looked around me, I could hear
     nothing, nor see anything. I went up to a rising ground to
     look farther. I went up the shore, and down the shore, but it
     was all one, I could see no other impressions but that one. I
     went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe
     if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that,
     for there was exactly the very print of a foot, toes, heel,
     and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor
     could in the least imagine.--DEFOE.


It would be well to apply the critical principles of this chapter, and
indeed of the entire Part Second, to some brief but complete work. For
this purpose the teacher might assign Macaulay's "Essay on Milton," De
Quincey's "Joan of Arc," Tennyson's "Enoch Arden," Webster's "First
Bunker Hill Oration," or some other similar work. After determining the
diction, prevailing type of sentences, and figures of speech, let the
student divide the work, as far as possible, into its descriptive,
narrative, expository, argumentative, and persuasive portions. In many
cases the various kinds of discourse will be so interwoven that the
classification will be doubtful and difficult. At the same time the
student might point out the passages in which thought, imagination,
feeling, or energy of will predominates in a marked degree. The effort
should be made accurately to characterize the author's style as a whole.





+44. Definition.+ We may approximately define poetry as the metrical
expression of lofty or beautiful thought, feeling, or action, in
imaginative and artistic form. Its metrical character distinguishes it
from prose; for there is no such thing as prose poetry, though we
sometimes find, as in the best passages of Ruskin, poetical prose. Its
æsthetic idea or content, its exquisite diction, and its artistic form
distinguish genuine poetry from mere verse, which is the mechanical or
unartistic expression of commonplace thought, feeling, or incident.
Poetry is, in large measure, a product of the creative imagination; and
in its highest forms there must be energy of passion, intensity yet
delicacy of feeling, loftiness of thought, depth and clearness of
intuitive vision. It is the metrical expression of an exaltation of
soul, which sometimes suffuses the objects of nature and the scenes of
human life with a beauty and glory of its own,--

     "The light that never was on sea or land,
      The consecration and the poet's dream."

+45. Poetry and Prose.+ Poetry occupies a region above prose. While
prose in its highest flights approaches the plane of poetry, and poetry
in its lowest descent touches the level of prose, they are yet
essentially different. The one is commonplace, the other elevated or
ideal. This truth is brought out clearly when we compare the same fact
or incident of history as related in poetry and prose. The "Æneid" is
very unlike a prose account of the founding of Rome. We sometimes say in
plain prose, "The evening passed pleasantly and quickly"; but when the
poet describes it, there is an elevation of thought and glow of feeling
that make it ideal:

     "The twilight hours like birds flew by,
        As lightly and as free;
      Ten thousand stars were in the sky,
        Ten thousand in the sea.
      For every wave with dimpled face
        That leaped upon the air,
      Had caught a star in its embrace,
        And held it trembling there."

+46. Sources of Poetry.+ Nature is filled with poetry. The great poet is
God, and he has filled the universe with rhythm, harmony, beauty. Human
poems are but faulty shells gathered on the shore of the divine ocean of
poetry. The stars are the poetry of the skies. The planets and stellar
systems that circle in their glorious orbits preserve a sublime harmony
of movement. The light that reaches us from distant worlds comes to us
in rhythmical wavelets. Every human life is a poem,--often an amusing
comedy, but still oftener a moving tragedy. The tender friendships, the
innocent joys, the noble aspirations, the high achievements of men,
form the lyric poetry of human existence. The rippling of the forest
stream within its shady banks of fern, the rhythmical roll and heavy
roar of the ocean surges, are the poetry of the sparkling waters. The
audible silence and mysterious whisperings of the dark and majestic
forest, the modest hiding of the little violet that gives charm to some
neglected spot,--this is the poetry of the woods and fields. Whether we
look upon earth, or air, or sky, we may be sure that the unwritten
poetry of God is there. In our best moments we feel its presence,--its
mute yet eloquent appeal to our higher natures. It lifts us up into
fellowship with Him who thus speaks to us.

+47. The Poet.+ When material interests dominate the life of a people,
the poet is generally undervalued. He is apt to be regarded as an
unpractical, or even an eccentric and valueless member of society. Too
often the eccentricities of genius afford some basis for this prejudice;
but it is wholly groundless in the case of the largest and most gifted
of the poetic race. High poetic gifts are favorable to the noblest types
of manhood. The great poet, beyond all other men, possesses an intuitive
insight into truth, depth of feeling, and appreciation of beauty. These
gifts lift the poet out of the rank of common men, and make him, in his
moments of highest inspiration, a prophet to his people. In the language
of Bailey in his "Festus,"--

     "Poetry is itself a thing of God;
      He made His prophets poets, and the more
      We feel of poesy, do we become
      Like God in love and power--under makers."

Among the greatest of every nation, whether ancient or modern, poets
stand almost preëminent. In the Old Testament history there is no one
greater than "the sweet Psalmist of Israel." Homer stands in almost
solitary grandeur in the early annals of Greece. In the history of
Italy, what name is to be placed above that of Dante? In England there
are, perhaps, no names to be ranked above those of Chaucer, Shakespeare,
Milton, Tennyson, whose imperishable works abide with us, and in no
small degree mould the thought and feeling of each succeeding
generation. And among the illustrious citizens of our own country there
are few or none who have reached a higher nobility of character than its
great singers,--Longfellow, Bryant, Whittier, Hayne, and Lowell. Their
lives were no less sane than beautiful.

+48. The Poet as Seer.+ The poet is preëminently a seer. He discerns the
divine beauty and truth of life which escape the common sight; and
because he reveals them to us in his melodious art he becomes an exalted
teacher. In the midst of the tumults of greed and gain he lifts up his
voice to witness of higher things. In the presence of what seemed to her
a sordid generation, Mrs. Browning calls poets

     "The only truth-tellers now left to God,
      The only speakers of essential truth,
      Opposed to relative, comparative,
      And temporal truths; the only holders by
      His sun-skirts, through conventional gray glooms;
      The only teachers who instruct mankind,
      From just a shadow on a charnel-wall,
      To find man's veritable stature out,
      Erect, sublime--the measure of a man."

The poet, with his intenser nature, gives expression to our deepest
thoughts and feelings. What we have often felt but vaguely, he utters
for us in imperishable forms. In how many things Shakespeare has voiced
the human soul! While poetry has rippling measures suited to our smiles,
it belongs, in its richest form, to the deeper side of our nature. Its
loftiest numbers are given to truth and righteousness, to the tragic
strivings and sorrows of life, and to the mysteries of deathless love.

+49. Versification.+ Versification is the science of making verse. The
unit or starting point in versification is the syllable, which may be
_long_ or _short_, according to the time it requires in pronouncing, and
_accented_ or _unaccented_, according to the stress of tone with which
it is pronounced. _Quantity_, by which is meant the length of syllables,
formed the basis of versification in Latin and Greek poetry; but in
English poetry it is used to give variety, music, or some other element
of effectiveness to the verse. This may be illustrated in a well-known
passage from Pope:

     "When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
      The line, too, labors, and the words move slow;
      Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
      Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main."

The first two lines occupy more time in reading than the last two, the
sound in each case corresponding in some measure to the sense. An
examination of the lines will show that the first two have more long
vowel sounds than the last two, and that these and other vowel sounds
are lengthened in pronunciation by the presence of difficult consonant
combinations. "Ajax strives" and "rock's vast weight" are not phrases
that slip quickly from the tongue. Furthermore, the second line is
lengthened by no fewer than three pauses.

The principle of English verse is _accent_, and not _quantity_. In the

     "The mossy marbles rest,"

it will be observed that every other syllable receives a stress of voice
or is accented. The scheme of the verse may be represented as follows:


the line being broken up into three equal and similar parts, each of
which is called a _foot_. The foot consisting of an unaccented followed
by an accented syllable is called an _iambus_.

In the line,

     "Home they brought her warrior dead,"

we observe that beginning with the first syllable every other one is
accented, giving us the following as the scheme of the verse:


The last foot is obviously incomplete or _catalectic_. The foot that
consists of two syllables, the first of which is accented, is called a
_trochee_. It is the opposite of the _iambus_.

Again, in the line,

     "This is the forest primeval; the murmuring pines and the

it will be noticed that, beginning with the first, each accented
syllable is followed by two unaccented syllables, except in the last
foot, which is a _trochee_. The scheme of the verse is as follows:


This foot, consisting of one accented syllable, followed by two
unaccented syllables, is called a _dactyl_.

Once more, in the line,

     "Through the depths of Loch Katrine the steed shall career,"

the third syllable is accented, and the scheme of the verse may be thus


This foot, which is the opposite of the dactyl, is known as the

A _spondee_ is a foot of two equally accented syllables; as,
_mainspring_, _sea-maid_. There is still another foot, known as the
_amphibrach_, which consists of three syllables, the second of which is
accented, as in the word _de-ni'-al_. The scheme of the following line,

     "The flesh was a picture for painters to study,"

may be indicated thus:


But nearly all English poetry is based upon the four feet,--_iambus_,
_trochee_, _dactyl_, and _anapest_,--first given.

+50. Meters.+ A verse is named from the number of prevailing feet. A
verse containing one iambic foot is called _iambic monometer_; two feet,
_iambic dimeter_; three feet, _iambic trimeter_; four feet, _iambic
tetrameter_; five feet, _iambic pentameter_; six feet, _iambic
hexameter_. The line,

     "The twilight hours like birds flew by,"

is made up of four iambic feet, and is therefore an _iambic tetrameter_.
_Iambic pentameter_, in which Milton's "Paradise Lost," much of Pope's
poetry, Shakespeare's dramas, and, indeed, a large proportion of English
verse, are written, is called _heroic measure_.

In like manner we have _trochaic monometer_, _dimeter_, _trimeter_,
_tetrameter_, _pentameter_, and _hexameter_. The following line,

     "As unto the bow the cord is,"

is _trochaic tetrameter_, which is the meter of "Hiawatha."

The foregoing are called dissyllabic meters; but the trisyllabic
measures have the same names according to the number of feet. A verse
consisting of a single dactyl is thus _dactylic monometer_; of two
dactyls, _dactylic dimeter_; and so on up to _dactylic hexameter_, which
is the meter of Homer's "Iliad," Vergil's "Æneid," and Longfellow's
"Evangeline" and "Courtship of Miles Standish." The line,

     "Softly the breezes descend in the valley,"

is _dactylic tetrameter_, though the last foot is a trochee.

In like manner we have anapestic lines of all lengths from monometer to
hexameter. The line,

     "How she smiled, and I could not but love,"

contains three anapests, and is therefore _anapestic trimeter_.

But the time element of a poetic foot is important, as it explains the
seeming irregularities often met with in verse. An additional syllable
may be added to a foot or subtracted from it when the _time_ of the foot
or verse is not changed. By rapid utterance two syllables are often
equal to one, and in this way an anapest is frequently used with the
_time_ value of an iambus. In like manner a pause may sometimes take the
place of an unaccented syllable. Both cases are fully illustrated in
Tennyson's well-known lyric,--

           "Break, break, break,
     On thy cold gray stones, O sea!"

In spite of the seeming irregularity of this poem, the presence of the
proper _time_ element, together with the regular accents, preserves its
metrical harmony.

There are few poems without slight metrical irregularities. The meter is
varied to prevent monotony, to give emphasis to a word, or to respond
better to some turn of the thought or feeling. Take, for example, the
following couplet from Wordsworth:

     "To me the meanest flower that blows can give
      _Thoughts that_ do often lie too deep for tears."

The meter is iambic pentameter; but the first foot of the second line is
a trochee, and emphasizes _thoughts_ with fine effect. The time of the
line remains unchanged.

In Milton we read,--

     "Leviathan, which God of all his works
      Created _hugest that swim_ the ocean stream."

This is likewise iambic pentameter; but in the second line a clumsy
anapestic foot is inserted to correspond to the nature of the monster
described. No doubt irregularities sometimes occur by oversight or from
lack of skill; but with our greater poets, whose thought and emotion
instinctively assume the proper metrical form, the irregularities are

+51. Rhyme.+ _Rhyme_, or as it is more correctly spelled _rime_, is a
similarity of sound between words or syllables. Identity of sound, as
_heir_, _air_, _site_, _sight_, is not rhyme. It usually occurs between
words at the end of a verse, and serves to lend both beauty and emphasis
to poetry. The order in which rhymes occur is various. They may be found
in succeeding lines; as,--

     "The tear down childhood's cheek that flows
      Is like the dewdrop on the rose;
      When next the summer breeze comes by,
      And shakes the bush, the flower is dry."

They may occur in alternate lines; as,--

     "The sun has long been set;
        The stars are out by twos and threes;
      The little birds are piping yet
        Among the bushes and the trees."

Or the rhymes may occur at longer intervals; as,--

     "I envy not in any _moods_
        The captive void of noble rage,
        The linnet born within the cage,
      That never knew the summer _woods_."

In _double rhyme_ the correspondence of sound extends to two syllables,
and in _triple rhyme_ to three. A _double rhyme_, as _pleasure_,
_measure_, is also called _feminine_, while single rhymes are called
_masculine_. The following illustrates both _double_, or _feminine_, and
_masculine_ rhymes:

     "'Tis the hour when happy faces
        Smile around the taper's light;
      Who will fill our vacant places?
        Who will sing our songs to-night?"

The following from Hood illustrates _triple rhyme_:

     "Take her up _tenderly_,
        Lift her with care;
      Fashioned so _slenderly_,
        Young and so fair."

_Triple rhyme_ is usually employed only in a light, satirical, or
mocking vein. Byron uses it frequently in his frivolous or reckless
moods; for example,--

     "O world that was and is! What is _cosmogony_?
        Some people have accused me of _misanthropy_,
      And yet I know no more than the _mahogany_
        That forms this desk of what they mean; _lycanthropy_
      I comprehend; for, without transformation
        Men become wolves on any slight occasion."

_Middle rhyme_ is that which exists between the middle and final words
or syllables of a verse. It is frequently used in the "The Ancient

     "The fair breeze _blew_, the white foam _flew_,
          The furrow followed free;
      We were the _first_ that ever _burst_
          Into that silent sea."

_Sectional rhyme_ is that occurring in the first half or section of a
verse; as,--

     "_Lightly_ and _brightly_ breaks away
      The morning from her mantle gray."

_Alliteration_ is the use of the same letter at the beginning of two or
more words or syllables in the same verse or successive verses. It was
the determining principle in Anglo-Saxon poetry, and has remained ever
since a source of harmony in English verse. Its effects are sometimes
most pleasing when the alliteration turns on one or more internal
syllables. The following from Mrs. Browning's "Romance of the Swan's
Nest" will serve for illustration:

     "_L_ittle E_ll_ie sits a_l_one,
        And the _s_mile _s_he _s_oftly uses
      Fi_ll_s the _s_ilence _l_ike a _s_peech,
        _W_hile _s_he thinks _w_hat _s_hall be done,
      And the sweetest plea_s_ure choo_s_es
        _F_or her _f_uture within reach."

The light rippling melody of this stanza is due, in considerable
measure, to its fine alliterative structure.

Tennyson likewise makes effective use of alliteration, as may be noted
especially in the matchless lyrics interspersed throughout "The
Princess." A single stanza will make this clear:

      "The _s_plendor falls on ca_s_tle walls
         And _s_nowy _s_ummits old in _s_tory;
       The _l_ong _l_ight shakes across the _l_akes
         And the wi_l_d cataract _l_eaps in g_l_ory.
     _B_low, _b_ugle, _b_low, set the wild echoes flying,
     _B_low, _b_ugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying."

+52. Stanzas.+ A stanza is a separate division of a poem, and contains
two or more lines or verses. A stanza of two lines is called a
_couplet_; of three lines, a _triplet_; of four lines, a _quatrain_.
Tennyson's "Locksley Hall" is in two-line stanza:

     "Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something
     That which they have done but earnest of the things that they
         shall do."

His "Two Voices" is in the triplet stanza:

     "A still small voice spake unto me,
      'Thou art so full of misery,
      Were it not better not to be?'

     "Then to the still small voice I said,
      'Let me not cast in endless shade
      What is so wonderfully made.'"

Numerous examples of the four-line stanza have already been given.

_Rhyme royal_ is a seven-line stanza invented by Chaucer. As will be
seen from the following example, it is made up of iambic pentameter
lines, the first four forming a quatrain of alternate rhymes, the fifth
line repeating the rhyme of the fourth, and the last two lines forming a
rhyming couplet. Its scheme is _a b a b b c c_, in which the same
letters indicate rhymes.

     "For lo! the sea that fleets about the land,
        And like a girdle clips her solid waist,
      Music and measure both doth understand,
        For his great crystal eye is always cast
        Up to the moon, and on her fixeth fast;
          And as she circles in her pallid sphere,
          So danceth he about the centre here."

_Ottava rima_ is composed of eight iambic pentameter verses with
alternate rhymes, except the last two lines, which form a rhymed
couplet. Byron's "Don Juan" is written in this stanza. The scheme of
rhyme is _a b a b a b a c_.

     "'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark
        Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home;
      'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
        Our coming, and look brighter when we come;
      'Tis sweet to be awakened by the lark
        Or lulled by falling waters; sweet the hum
      Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,
      The lisp of children, and their earliest words."

The _Spenserian stanza_, invented by Edmund Spenser and employed by him
in the "Faerie Queene," is a difficult but effective form of poetry. It
consists of nine verses, the first eight being iambic pentameter, and
the ninth line iambic hexameter, or Alexandrine. Its rhyme scheme is _a
b a b b c b c c_. The following from Byron's "Childe Harold" will serve
for illustration:

        "To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
           To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
         Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
           And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
           To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
         With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
           Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
         This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold
     Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled."

The principal hymn stanzas are known as _long meter_, _common meter_,
and _short meter_. The _long-meter_ stanza is composed of four iambic
tetrameter lines, rhyming either alternately or in couplets; as,

     "Wide as the world is Thy command;
        Vast as eternity Thy love;
      Firm as a rock Thy truth must stand,
        When rolling years shall cease to move."

The _common-meter_ stanza contains four iambic lines, the first and
third being tetrameter, and the second and fourth trimeter. The rhymes
are alternate; as,

     "Eternity, with all its years,
        Stands present to Thy view;
      To Thee there's nothing old appears,
        To Thee there's nothing new."

The _short-meter_ stanza consists of four iambic lines, the first,
second, and fourth being trimeter, and the third tetrameter. The rhymes
are alternate; as,

     "Let good or ill befall,
        It must be good for me;
      Secure of having Thee in all,
        Of having all in Thee."

+53. Blank Verse.+ Unrhymed poetry, usually in iambic pentameter
measure, is known as _blank verse_. It is our ordinary epic and dramatic
verse, as exemplified in Shakespeare and Milton. Blank verse has greater
freedom than rhymed verse, but the attainment of a high degree of
excellence in it is scarcely less difficult. It approaches the ease and
freedom of prose, and perhaps for that reason it is apt to sink below a
high level of poetry.

Apart from its diction and meter, the harmony of blank verse depends
upon two things,--namely, its _pauses_ and its _periods_. The
rhythmical pause occurring in a line is called a _cæsura_. Though
usually falling near the middle of the line, the cæsural pause may occur
at any point, and sometimes there may be two cæsuras. There is generally
a rhythmical pause at the end of a verse, and when this pause is
stressed by a completion of the sense the line is said to be
"end-stopt"; but if the sense awaits completion in the following verse,
the line is said to be "run-on." The French name _enjambement_ is
sometimes used to designate a "run-on" line. The following extract from
Thomson will serve to illustrate the cæsural pauses, as well as
"end-stopt" and "run-on" lines:

     "These as they change, | Almighty Father, | these
      Are but the varied God. | The rolling year
      Is full of thee. | Forth in the pleasant Spring
      Thy beauty walks, | thy tenderness and love.
      Wide flush the fields; | the softening air is balm;
      Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles;
      And every sense, | and every heart, is joy.
      Then comes thy glory | in the summer months
      With light and heat refulgent. | Then thy sun
      Shoots full perfection | through the swelling year."

By _period_ is meant the conclusion of the sentence. The _period_ or end
of a sentence may fall at the end of a line or at any point in it. The
period serves to break up the poem into longer or shorter parts. In
Milton the sentences are generally long, and the periods thus break up
the poem into a sort of stanza of varying length. "Run-on" lines are the
prevailing type; and this fact, in connection with the length of the
sentences and the constant shifting of the pauses, imparts to his
"Paradise Lost" its peculiar organ roll. The following passage will
serve to make this clear:

     "Of man's first disobedience, | and the fruit
      Of that forbidden tree, | whose mortal taste
      Brought death into our world, | and all our woe,
      With loss of Eden, | till one greater Man
      Restore us, | and regain the blissful seat,
      Sing, Heavenly Muse, | that on the secret top
      Of Oreb, | or of Sinai, | didst inspire
      That shepherd | who first taught the chosen seed
      In the beginning | how the heavens and earth
      Rose out of Chaos.

                              "Or, if Sion hill
      Delight thee more, | and Siloa's brook that flowed
      Fast by the oracle of God, | I thence
      Invoke thy aid | to my adventurous song,
      That with no middle flight | intends to soar
      Above the Aonian mount, | while it pursues
      Things unattempted yet | in prose or rhyme."

These sixteen lines practically make two stanzas. Twelve lines, or three
fourths of the whole number, are "run-on." The cæsural _pause_, as will
be seen on counting the feet in connection with which they occur, is
exceedingly varied.

With the two foregoing extracts may be compared the following from
Shelley's "Alastor," in which all the periods are "end-stopt," and
divide the selection into clearly recognizable and almost regular
stanzas. It will be noted that the movement and effect are very
different from those of Thomson and Milton.

     "There was a poet | whose untimely tomb
      No human hand | with pious reverence reared,
      But the charmed eddies | of autumnal winds
      Built o'er his mouldering bones | a pyramid
      Of mouldering leaves | in the waste wilderness.

     "A lovely youth, | no mourning maiden decked
      With weeping flowers | or votive cypress wreath
      The lone couch | of his everlasting sleep;
      Gentle and brave and generous, | no lorn bard
      Breathed o'er his dark fate | one melodious sigh;
      He lived, he died, he sang, | in solitude.

     "Strangers have wept | to hear his passionate notes;
      And virgins, | as unknown he passed, | have pined
      And wasted | for fond love of his wild eyes.

     "The fire of those soft orbs | has ceased to burn,
      And Silence, | too enamored of that voice,
      Locks its mute music | in her rugged cell."

It will be observed that not only all the periods, but also twelve out
of the seventeen lines are "end-stopt."

+54. Poetic Style.+ By poetic style is meant the choice and arrangement
of words peculiar to poetry. While in the main poetic and prose diction
is the same, still there are words and verbal combinations admissible
only in poetry. Poetry strives after concreteness and vividness of
expression. Such words as _steed_, _swain_, _wight_, _muse_, _Pegasus_,
_yclept_, _a-cold_, _sprent_, _bower_, _meed_, _isle_, _a-field_,
_dight_, _sooth_, _hight_, and many others, are hardly ever met with in
ordinary prose. Their prose equivalents are generally preferred.

Poetry uses great freedom, called _poetic license_, in the order of
words and construction of sentences. The principal deviations from the
prose order are as follows:

(1) The verb may precede the subject for the sake of emphasis or meter;

     "_Came_ a _troop_ with broad swords swinging."

(2) The verb may follow its object; as,

     "_Thee_, shepherd, _thee_ the woods, and desert caves,
      And all their echoes, _mourn_."

(3) The infinitive may precede the word on which it depends; as,

     "When first thy sire, _to send_ on earth
      Virtue, his darling child, _designed_."

(4) Prepositional phrases may precede the verbs they modify; as,

     "_Of man's first disobedience_, sing, Heavenly Muse."

(5) The preposition may follow the noun it governs; as,

     "From peak to peak, the rattling crags _among_,
      Leaps the live thunder."

(6) Adverbs may precede the words they modify; as,

     "The plowman _homeward_ plods his weary way."

(7) Condensed expressions in the form of compound epithets are
frequently used; as,

     "O music, _sphere-descended_ maid!"

(8) An expletive pronoun may be used to throw the subject after the
verb; as,

     "It ceased, the melancholy sound."

(9) The relative pronoun may be omitted; as,

     "'Tis fancy, in her fiery car,
      Transports me to the thickest war."

(10) Intransitive verbs are sometimes used with an objective case; as,

     "Still in harmonious intercourse they _lived_
      The rural _day_, and _talked_ the flowing _heart_."

(11) Archaic or antiquated words and modes of expression may be used;

     "_Whilome_ in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth
      Who _ne_ in virtue's ways did take delight."

(12) The noun may precede the adjective modifying it; as,

     "The willows, and the hazel _copses green_."


44. What is poetry? How is it distinguished from prose? What is the
difference between poetry and verse? 45. What is the relative position
of _poetry_ and _prose_? Illustrate the difference. 46. What is the
source of poetry? What is said of human life? What constitutes its lyric
poetry? Mention some mental aspects of nature. 47. How is the poet
regarded in a materialistic age? With what is the great poet gifted?
What is Bailey's estimate of poets? What is said of the rank of great
poets? Mention some of the world's greatest poets. 48. Why is the poet
called a _seer_? What is his relation to his contemporaries? What does
Mrs. Browning say of poets? What is said of Shakespeare? To what class
of themes does the best poetry give itself?

49. What is versification? What is its unit? How are syllables
distinguished? What is the function of _quantity_ in English verse?
Illustrate. What is the principle of English verse? What is a metrical
foot? Define _iambus_? Illustrate. Define a _trochee_, with example.
When is a verse or foot _catalectic_? Define a _dactyl_, with
illustration. Define an _anapest_, with example. Define a _spondee_;
_amphibrach_, with example.

50. How is a verse named? What is _iambic trimeter_? What is _iambic
pentameter_ called? What is _trochaic tetrameter_? Illustrate. What is
_dactylic hexameter_? Illustrate. Mention some well-known poems written
in this meter. What is _anapestic trimeter_? Illustrate. On what
principle may a syllable be added to a foot or omitted from it? Explain
the irregularities in the first two lines of Tennyson's "Break, break,
break." What is said of metrical irregularities? What is their purpose?
Illustrate from Wordsworth and Tennyson.

51. What is _rhyme_? Of what use is it? In what order may rhymes occur?
Illustrate. What is a _double rhyme_? What other name has it?
Illustrate. What is a _triple rhyme_? Illustrate. When is triple rhyme
usually employed? What is _middle rhyme_? Illustrate. What is
_sectional_ rhyme? Illustrate. What is _alliteration_? What is said of
it? Give illustrations from Mrs. Browning and Tennyson.

52. What is a stanza? What is a stanza of two lines called? of three? of
four? Illustrate. Explain _rhyme royal_; _ottava rima_; Spenserian
stanza. Illustrate. Explain the usual hymn meters, illustrating in each
case. 53. What is blank verse? What is said of its freedom and
difficulty? On what does its harmony depend? What is meant by _cæsura_?
What is an "end-stopt" line? A "run-on" line? What French name is used
for the latter? What is meant by _period_? Into what does the _period_
practically divide blank verse? On what does Milton's "organ roll"
depend? Point out a notable difference between Milton's and Shelley's
blank verse.

54. What is meant by poetic style? What is said of poetic diction?
Mention some poetic words. State some of the leading deviations in


The following selections should be examined in the light of such
questions as these:

         Is it _poetry_ or _verse_? What lifts it above prose?
         Does it treat of nature, man, or God? Is it
         intellectual, emotional, or both? What is the poet's
         idea? Is it commonplace, true, elevated, delicate,
         exquisite? What is the mood of the poet,--serious,
         playful, humorous, calm, exalted? What imaginative
         features has it? What concrete pictures? What
         figures? Is it self-restrained and classic? Is it
         loose and voluble?

         As to structure, what is the fundamental foot? Name
         each line. What irregularities may exist and for what
         purpose? Is the movement slow or rapid? Explain the
         source of slowness or rapidity. What is the order of
         rhymes? Are they perfect or defective? Are there
         double, triple, middle, or sectional rhymes? Point
         out the alliteration. What is the effect? Name the
         stanza. Is it blank verse? Where does the cæsural
         pause fall in each line? Is there variety? Are the
         lines "end-stopt" or "run-on"? Point out the poetic
         words. What is their effect? What poetic
         constructions are there? Divide the selections into
         three classes,--_feeble_, _good_, _excellent_.

     Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,
       And Christmas blocks are burning;
     Their ovens they with baked meats choke,
       And all their spits are turning.
     Without the door let sorrow lie;
     And if for cold it hap to die,
     We'll bury it in a Christmas pie,
       And evermore be merry.--WITHER.

     Silence in love betrays more woe
       Than words, though ne'er so witty;
     A beggar that is dumb, you know,
       May challenge double pity.

     Then wrong not, dearest to my heart,
       My true, though secret passion;
     He smarteth most that hides his smart,
       And sues for no compassion.--RALEIGH.

                                      Father, thy hand
     Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
     Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
     Upon the naked earth, and forthwith rose
     All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
     Budded and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
     And shot toward heaven. The century-living crow
     Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
     Among their branches, till at last they stood,
     As now they stand, mossy, and tall, and dark,
     Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
     Communion with his Maker.--BRYANT.

     But since, O man! thy life and health demand
     Not food alone, but labor from thy hand,
     First, in the field, beneath the sun's strong rays,
     Ask of thy mother Earth the needful maize;
     She loves the race that courts her yielding soil,
     And gives her bounties to the sons of toil.--BARLOW.

     My days among the dead are passed;
       Around me I behold,
     Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
       The mighty minds of old;
     My never-failing friends are they,
     With whom I converse day by day.

     With them I take delight in weal,
       And seek relief in woe;
     And while I understand and feel
       How much to them I owe,
     My cheeks have often been bedewed
     With tears of thoughtful gratitude.--SOUTHEY.

     It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
       The holy time is quiet as a nun
       Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
     Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
     The gentleness of heaven is on the sea;
       Listen! the mighty being is awake,
       And doth with his eternal motion make
     A sound like thunder--everlastingly.

     Lives of great men all remind us
       We can make our lives sublime,
     And departing leave behind us
       Footprints on the sands of time;

     Footprints, that perhaps another
       Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
     A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
       Seeing, shall take heart again.

     Let us, then, be up and doing,
       With a heart for any fate;
     Still achieving, still pursuing,
       Learn to labor and to wait.--LONGFELLOW.

     Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
       Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
     Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
       The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

     The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
       The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
     The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
       No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

     For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
       Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
     No children run to lisp their sire's return,
       Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.--GRAY.

     And slowly answered Arthur from the barge:
     "The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
     And God fulfils himself in many ways,
     Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
     Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
     I have lived my life, and that which I have done,
     May He within himself make pure! but thou,
     If thou shouldst never see my face again,
     Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
     Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
     Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
     For what are men better than sheep or goats
     That nourish a blind life within the brain,
     If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
     Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
     For so the whole round earth is every way
     Bound by gold chains about the feet of God."

       All day thy wings have fanned
     At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
     Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
       Though the dark night is near.

       And soon that toil shall end;
     Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
     And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
       Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.--BRYANT.

     Then from a neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of
     Swinging aloft on a willowy spray that hung o'er the water,
     Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music,
     That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent
         to listen.
     Plaintive at first were the tones, and sad; then soaring to
     Seemed they to follow or guide the revel of frenzied
     Single notes were then heard, in sorrowful, low lamentation;
     Till, having gathered them all, he flung them abroad in
     As when, after a storm, a gust of wind through the tree-tops
     Shakes down the rattling rain in a crystal shower on the

     Over his keys the musing organist,
       Beginning doubtfully and far away,
     First lets his fingers wander as they list,
       And builds a bridge from Dreamland for his lay;
     Then, as the touch of his loved instrument
       Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his theme,
     First guessed by faint auroral flushes sent
       Along the wavering vista of his dream.--LOWELL.

     And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
     Where the evening star so holy shines,
     I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
     At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
     For what are they all, in their high conceit,
     When man in the bush with God may meet?--EMERSON.

     'Twas twilight and the sunless day went down
       Over the waste of waters; like a veil
     Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown
       Of one whose hate is masked but to assail.
     Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown,
       And grimly darkled o'er the faces pale,
     And the dim desolate deep: twelve days had Fear
     Been their familiar, and now Death was here.--BYRON.

     And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
     When all in mist the world below was lost--
     What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
     Like shipwrecked mariner on desert coast,
     And view the enormous waste of vapor, tossed
     In billows, lengthening to the horizon round,
     Now scooped in gulfs, with mountains now embossed,
     And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound,
     Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound!


In addition to the foregoing poetical selections, those previously given
may be analyzed with reference to form, content, and mood. Their beauty
or excellence will now be more clearly understood. Furthermore, it is
recommended that the teacher assign brief poems, either from our
standard authors or from current literature, for full analysis and
criticism. The blank verse of Tennyson, Shelley, Milton, and Shakespeare
might be investigated and compared at considerable length in order to
determine the average length of their sentences, the place of the
cæsural pause, and the proportion of "end-stopt" or "run-on" lines.



+55. Classification.+ Poetry may be divided into four general types or
classes: (1) _didactic_ poetry, which is chiefly concerned with
instruction; (2) _lyric_ poetry, which generally gives expression to
some emotion; (3) _epic_ poetry, which is devoted principally to
narration; and (4) _dramatic_ poetry, which deals with direct
representation. All these types or classes have variations and
subdivisions, which call for consideration in some detail.

+56. Didactic Poetry.+ The term "didactic" as applied to poetry involves
a seeming contradiction. Instruction is a function peculiar to prose;
but in the hands of a genuine poet, didactic verse may be so adorned by
the imagination and so warmed by the feelings as to lift it sometimes
into the realm of genuine poetry. Thus Dryden's _Religio Laici_, the
first didactic poem of special note in our language, is essentially
prosaic in theme and purpose. But its opening lines, by a happy simile,
are unmistakably poetic:

     "Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars
      To lonely, weary, wandering travellers,
      Is Reason to the soul; and as on high
      Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
      Not light us here, so Reason's glimmering ray
      Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way,
      But guide us upward to a better day."

A didactic poem, at its best, is apt to be more or less prosaic. In
estimating its worth, three points are principally to be considered: (1)
To what extent has it a true poetic quality? (2) To what extent is it
complete, symmetrical, and true? and (3) To what extent is it correct
and skillful in versification?

Our language is specially rich in didactic poems, among which may be
mentioned Dryden's _Religio Laici_ and "Hind and Panther," Pope's "Essay
on Criticism" and "Essay on Man," Young's "Night Thoughts," Johnson's
"Vanity of Human Wishes," Cowper's "Task," Akenside's "Pleasures of the
Imagination," Rogers's "Pleasures of Memory," Campbell's "Pleasures of
Hope," Wordsworth's "Excursion," and Pollok's "Course of Time."

(1) _Satire_ is a species of didactic poetry. It is the use of wit,
irony, and sarcasm to ridicule foibles, vices, or evils of any kind.
Three kinds of satire may be distinguished: _personal_ satire, which is
directed against individuals, and usually springs from malignant or
unworthy motives; _partisan_ satire, which aims to make an opposing
party or sect odious; and _social_ satire, which seeks to improve the
manners or morals of society. Dryden, himself a master of the dangerous
art, says,--

     "Satire has always shone among the rest,
      And is the boldest way, if not the best,
      To tell men freely of their faintest faults,
      To laugh at their vain deeds and vainer thoughts."

The mood of satire may be various: it may be genial and pleasant; it may
be earnest and just; or it may be personal, unjust, and malicious. Any
species of satire may exhibit keenness of wit, but satire reaches its
highest excellence only when it springs from upright motives and
confines itself to truth. If there is exaggeration or caricature, as is
generally the case, there still must be a substantial basis of fact. No
amount of intellectual brilliancy or artistic skill can justify what is
false and slanderous.

Satirical poetry is very old. Aristophanes, Juvenal, Horace were
distinguished satirists of antiquity. Satire is found in almost every
period of English literature. Among our well-known satires are Butler's
"Hudibras," Dryden's "Mac Flecknoe" and "Absalom and Achitophel," Pope's
"Dunciad," Byron's "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers" and "Waltz,"
Lowell's "Fables for Critics," Moore's "Fudge Family in Paris," and not
a few others.

(2) _Descriptive poetry_, or the _nature epic_, as it has been called,
may be classed under didactic poetry. It is devoted to the description
not of successive events but of successive scenes in nature. It is sober
and reflective in character. Beginning with Chaucer, who delights in May
time and the daisies, nature occupies a prominent place and displays an
ever-unfolding richness in English poetry. Pope's "Windsor Forest" is an
elaborate though artificial piece of description. Milton's "L'Allegro"
and "Il Penseroso" are nature pictures that have never been surpassed in
their graphic portraiture. Other celebrated descriptive poems are
Goldsmith's "Traveller" and "Deserted Village," Thomson's "Seasons,"
Bryant's "Forest Hymn," Whittier's "Snow-Bound." But in poems of every
class there are descriptions of nature, though occupying an incidental
and secondary position.

In these nature poems there should be truthfulness of description. They
should be genuine; not coldly conventional, as Pope's "Windsor Forest,"
but real or idealized pictures from nature. The descriptions should be
specific rather than general; and if, in addition to faithful
portraiture, we have the warmth and elevation that come from human
emotion or from the recognition of an all-pervading Presence, the result
is the highest type of descriptive poetry. These finer descriptions of
nature are found in all the great poets since the days of Wordsworth.

(3) _Pastoral poetry_ is a species of descriptive poetry. It is devoted
to a portrayal of country life and manners, and generally embodies a
slight degree of dramatic action. "A pastoral," says Alexander Pope, "is
an imitation of the action of a shepherd, or one considered under that
character. The form of this imitation is dramatic or narrative, or mixed
of both; the fable simple, the manners not too polite nor too rustic;
the thoughts are plain, yet admit a little quickness and passion, but
that short and flowing; the expression humble, yet as pure as the
language will afford; neat but not florid; easy and yet lively."

English literature is not rich in pastoral poetry. What we have is
generally an imitation or translation of classical models. One of the
best known English pastorals is Spenser's "Shepherd's Calendar," which
contains imitations of Theocritus and Marot. Milton's "Comus" is a kind
of pastoral. The purest examples of pastoral poetry are found in Pope,
who has a series which he calls "Pastorals." Keats's "Endymion" has
been classed with pastoral poetry, but it is not a pure example of the

+57. Lyric Poetry.+ Lyric poetry gives intense expression to thought and
emotion. As the name indicates, it was originally accompanied by music.
Though lyric poems are short, they constitute, in the aggregate, a large
part of English poetry. At the present day didactic and epic poetry is
rarely written; but lyric poetry continues to flourish. Its range of
theme is practically without limits.

There are numerous kinds or classes of lyric poetry, of which we may
distinguish the following: (1) ballads, (2) songs, (3) odes, (4)
elegies, (5) sonnets. These will now be considered in the order given.

(1) A _ballad_ is a brief narrative poem in lyric form. The ballad was
originally the production of wandering minstrels, and in its old English
form it possessed a simplicity, directness, and charming crudeness that
a more cultivated age cannot successfully imitate. The old English
ballads, most of which were composed in the north of England, depict the
lawlessness, daring, fortitude, and passion characteristic of life along
the Scottish border. A group of ballads gathers about the name of Robin
Hood, "the gentlest thief," as Scott calls him, "that ever was." A
stanza or two will illustrate their general tone and style:

     "He that hath neither beene kithe nor kin
        Might have seen a full fayre sight,
      To see how together these yeomen went
        With blades both brown and bright.

     "To see how these yeomen together they fought
        Two hours of a summer's day,
      Yet neither Robin Hood nor Sir Guy
        Them fettled to flye away."

Recent poets have written ballads, among the best of which may be
mentioned Longfellow's "Skeleton in Armor" and "Wreck of the Hesperus,"
Tennyson's "Edward Gray" and "Lady Clare," and Goldsmith's "Hermit."
These are all ballads of a pure type.

(2) A _song_ is a lyric poem intended to be sung. Songs may be
classified according to sentiment or occasion. In this way we may
distinguish love songs, convivial or drinking songs, political songs,
war songs, national songs, religious songs or hymns. As with lyric poems
in general, there is no thought or sentiment of the human soul that may
not find expression in song. Burns is distinguished as one of the best
of all song writers. Moore's "Irish Melodies" and "National Airs" are
bright though somewhat artificial. Among the writings of nearly all our
poets are pieces suitable for music.

Our hymns do not as a rule reach a high degree of poetic excellence. The
reason is, perhaps, not difficult to find. The hymn writers are
concerned less with a free play of the imagination and emotions than
with a strict regard to theological or even dogmatic truth. But
notwithstanding the difficulties of the case, not a few hymn writers
have given beautiful expression to their faith, adoration, and love.
Keble, Watts, Wesley, Cowper, Bonar, and many others have written hymns
that give satisfying expression to a deep religious fervor.

(3) The _ode_, is a somewhat lengthy lyric, characterized by exalted
feeling, dignity of theme, and irregular and complicated structure. Our
literature contains a number of excellent and famous odes, among which
may be mentioned Dryden's "Alexander's Feast," which the confident
author thought would never be surpassed.

     "'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won
          By Philip's warlike son:
        Aloft in awful state
        The godlike hero sate
          On his imperial throne;
        His valiant peers were placed around,
      Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound;
        (So should desert in arms be crowned).
      The lovely Thais, by his side,
      Sate like a blooming Eastern bride,
      In flower of youth and beauty's pride.
        Happy, happy, happy pair!
          None but the brave,
          None but the brave,
        None but the brave deserve the fair."

Pope's "Ode on Saint Cecilia's Day" is scarcely inferior. Collins's "Ode
on the Passions" is well known, though not equal perhaps to his "Ode to
Evening." Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" and
"Progress of Poesy" are deserving of mention. Shelley wrote an "Ode to
Liberty" and an "Ode to the West Wind," both well worth reading and
study. Coleridge's "Ode on France" deservedly ranks high, and
Wordsworth's "Ode to Duty" and "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality"
are almost unsurpassed. Lowell's "Commemoration Ode" is justly admired.

(4) The _elegy_ is a meditative poem of sorrowful theme, usually
lamenting the dead. English literature may boast of several elegies
unsurpassed in any age or country. Spenser's "Astrophel" is a lament
over the death of Sir Philip Sidney. Milton's "Lycidas" is a monody on
the death of the poet's friend, Edward King. Gray's "Elegy in a Country
Churchyard" is celebrated for its graphic description and beautiful
thought. Shelley's "Adonais," a lament for Keats, belongs to the upper
regions of song; and Tennyson's "In Memoriam" belongs to the great
poetic achievements of the nineteenth century.

(5) The _sonnet_ is a lyric poem consisting of fourteen iambic
pentameter lines. It is divided into two parts: the first consisting of
an _octave_ or double quatrain, and the other of a _sestet_. The rhymes
of the first two quatrains are usually the same; those of the sestet are
variously arranged. The sonnet is an artificial and complicated poetic
form; but it lends itself admirably to the development of a single
poetic thought, and Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Mrs. Browning,
Longfellow, Hayne, and many others have used it with great skill and
power. The following sonnet by Mrs. Browning will serve for

     "I thought once how Theocritus had sung
        Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
        Who each one in a gracious hand appears
      To bear a gift for mortals, old or young;
      And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
        I saw in gradual vision through my tears,
        The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
      Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
      A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
        So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
      Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair,
        And a voice said in mastery while I strove,
      'Guess now who holds thee?' 'Death,' I said. But, there,
        The silver answer rang, 'Not Death but Love!'"

As will be seen on examination, the rhyme scheme is as follows: _a b b a
a b b a c d c d c d_. But the quatrains may have alternate rhymes, and
the sestet may consist of a quatrain and couplet or of interwoven
triplets, as in the following schemes: _a b a b a b a b c d c d e e_; _a
b b a a b b a c d e c d e_.

+58. Some Criteria.+ The brief lyric, above all other kinds of poetry,
should be finished in form and expression. The imperfections of diction
that might go unchallenged in a longer poem are inexcusable in a lyric.
Delicacy of thought and intensity of feeling constitute its breath of
life, and should mold for themselves a beauteous form. What is
commonplace, harsh, or unmusical in expression should be avoided, unless
such diction is wedded to the thought. Concrete and suggestive words are
to be used rather than abstract and vague expressions. There is always a
distinct gain when the poem evokes pleasing pictures.

As a rule the thought and expression should be clear; the poet should
not mystify the reader nor tax too far his efforts at comprehension.
Browning sometimes grievously offends in this particular. While
insisting on clearness, however, we should not forget that the mystical
and the musical have their place in poetry. A poem may sometimes be
pleasing through its melodious and mystical character, even when it is
not clearly intelligible.

Whether the poet has a distinct introduction, or whether he plunges into
the midst of his theme, he should observe method and symmetry of
structure; and in spite of the liveliest play of the imagination and
sensibilities, he should impose a severe restraint upon himself. He
should leave something to the imagination of the reader.


55. Into how many classes is poetry divided? Name them, giving the
general character of each class. 56. What contradiction is there in the
term _didactic poetry_? How is it saved from this contradiction?
Illustrate. What points are to be considered in estimating didactic
poetry? Mention some principal didactic poems.

What is poetic _satire_? What three species are mentioned? What is said
of the mood of satire? Mention some well-known satires. What is meant by
_descriptive_ poetry? What is said of nature in poetry? Mention some
descriptive pieces, or nature epics. What are their criteria? What is
_pastoral_ poetry? What was Pope's conception of it? What is its place
in English literature? Mention our principal pastorals.

57. What is _lyric_ poetry? Mention the principal kinds. What is a
_ballad_? What is said of old English ballads? Mention some recent
ballads. What is a _song_? Name the different kinds. Who are mentioned
as song writers? What is said of hymns? Why are they not better? Name
some prominent hymn writers? What is an _ode_? What place does it hold
in our literature? Name a few famous odes. What is an _elegy_? Mention
some famous elegies. What is a _sonnet_? How is it divided? What is the
rhyme scheme of the sonnet? Name some of our great sonneteers. 58. What
are some of the criteria for judging lyric poetry? What was one of
Browning's faults?


The following selections should be studied in the light of such
questions as these:

         To what division of poetry does it belong? Is it
         didactic, descriptive, pastoral, satirical? What is
         the spirit of the piece? Is it a ballad, song, hymn,
         ode, elegy, sonnet? Is it elevated and intense? Is it
         true in sentiment and thought? Is it well constructed
         and harmonious? Is it clear or hazy? Is it natural or
         affected? What is its meter?

     Of all the causes which conspire to blind
     Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
     What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
     Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
     Whatever nature has in worth denied,
     She gives in large recruits of needful pride;
     For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
     What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind:
     Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence,
     And fills up all the mighty void of sense.--POPE.

     Of these the false Achitophel was first,
     A name to all succeeding ages cursed:
     For close designs, and crooked counsels fit;
     Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;
     Restless, unfixed in principles and place;
     In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace:
     A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
     Fretted the pigmy-body to decay;
     A daring pilot in extremity;
     Pleased with the danger, when the waves went high,
     He sought the storms; but, for a calm unfit,
     Would steer too nigh the sands to boast his wit.

     Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
     And pause awhile from letters to be wise;
     There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
     Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
     See nations, slowly wise, and meanly just,
     To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
     If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
     Hear Lydiat's life and Galileo's end.--JOHNSON.

     The groves of Eden, vanished now so long,
     Live in description, and look green in song:
     These, were my breast inspired with equal flame,
     Like them in beauty, should be like in fame.
     Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain,
     Here earth and water seem to strive again;
     Not chaos-like together crushed and bruised,
     But, as the world, harmoniously confused:
     Where order in variety we see,
     And where, though all things differ, all agree.
     Here waving groves a chequered scene display,
     And part admit, and part exclude the day;
     As some coy nymph her lover's warm address
     Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress.--POPE.

     Right against the eastern gate,
     Where the great sun begins his state,
     Robed in flames, and amber light,
     The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
     While the plowman, near at hand,
     Whistles o'er the furrowed land,
     And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
     And the mower whets his sithe,
     And every shepherd tells his tale
     Under the hawthorn in the vale.--MILTON.

     In this, our happy and "progressive" age,
     When all alike ambitious cares engage;
     When beardless boys to sudden sages grow,
     And "Miss" her nurse abandons for a beau;
     When for their dogmas Non-Resistants fight,
     When dunces lecture, and when dandies write;
     When spinsters, trembling for the nation's fate,
     Neglect their stockings to preserve the state;
     When critic wits their brazen lustre shed
     On golden authors whom they never read;
     With parrot praise of "Roman grandeur" speak,
     And in bad English eulogize the Greek;--
     When facts like these no reprehension bring,
     May not, uncensured, an Attorney sing?--SAXE.

     In the street I heard a thumping; and I knew it was the
     Of the Corporal, our old neighbor, on that wooden leg he wore,
     With a knot of women round him,--it was lucky I had found him,
     So I followed with the others, and the Corporal marched

     They were making for the steeple,--the old soldier and his
     The pigeons circled round us as we climbed the creaking stair;
     Just across the narrow river--O, so close it made me shiver!--
     Stood a fortress on the hill-top that but yesterday was bare.

     Jenny kissed me when we met,
       Jumping from the chair she sat in.
     Time, you thief! who love to get
       Sweets into your list, put that in.
     Say I'm weary, say I'm sad;
       Say that health and wealth have missed me:
     Say I'm growing old, but add--
       Jenny kissed me.--LEIGH HUNT.

     Those evening bells! those evening bells!
     How many a tale their music tells,
     Of youth, and home, and that sweet time
     When last I heard their soothing chime!

     Those joyous hours are passed away;
     And many a heart that then was gay,
     Within the tomb now darkly dwells,
     And hears no more those evening bells.--MOORE.

     There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
           The earth, and every common sight,
               To me did seem
           Apparelled in celestial light,
     The glory and the freshness of a dream.
     It is not now as it hath been of yore;--
               Turn wheresoe'er I may,
               By night or day,
     The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

     Abide with me! fast falls the even-tide;
     The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
     When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
     Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

     Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
     Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
     Change and decay in all around I see;
     O Thou who changest not, abide with me!--LYTE.

     When I consider how my light is spent
       Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
       And that one talent which is death to hide,
       Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
     To serve therewith my Maker, and present
       My true account, lest he returning chide;
       "Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
       I fondly ask; but Patience, to prevent
     That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
       Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
       Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state
     Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
       And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
       They also serve who only stand and wait."--MILTON.


In addition to these selections the student might classify, as far as
possible, the poetical extracts previously given. In some cases, owing
to brevity, this classification will be difficult. Furthermore, the
teacher might assign particular didactic, descriptive, satirical, or
lyric poems for special study as to form, content, and mood. The special
criteria of this chapter should be applied. A comparative study of
Pope's "Windsor Forest," Goldsmith's "Deserted Village," and
Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" would be specially instructive, as showing
the different ways of treating nature.



+59. The Epic.+ The _epic_ is a long poem celebrating in stately verse
some important and heroic event of the past. It may be based either on
history or tradition, though in our greatest epics there is a
commingling of the two. The method of the epic is chiefly narrative and
descriptive. The theme is generally stated in the beginning, and the
narrative, frequently interspersed with episodes, pursues an even
course. Homer thus begins the "Iliad":

     "Of Peleus' son Achilles, sing, O Muse,
      The direful wrath, which sorrows numberless
      Brought on the Greeks, and many mighty souls
      Of youthful heroes, slain untimely, sent
      To Pluto's dark abode, their bodies left
      A prey to dogs and all the fowls of heaven."

Vergil begins the "Æneid" in a similar manner, and the opening lines of
"Paradise Lost" follow classic models.

The structure of the epic may be determined from the fundamental
conception of its nature. As a narrative of an important and heroic
event, it should be simple, direct, and dignified in its treatment. The
incidents should be introduced in a natural order, and their prominence
should be regulated according to their relative importance. In an epic
poem, as in every other creation of art, the law of symmetry should be

But the epic admits of episode. The poet may stop the flow of his
narrative for a time to dwell upon some incident connected with or
growing out of the main theme. Such an episode is the story of the
destruction of Troy in the second and third books of the "Æneid." The
episode may be employed to throw light on existing conditions or to add
interest to the general narrative. In the "Æneid" it serves both
purposes to an eminent degree.

The epic makes extensive use of dialogue, and thus, in a measure,
partakes of the nature of the drama. The introduction of the dialogue
serves a double purpose: first, it lends greater vividness to the
narrative; and second, it lends variety to the story, enabling the
ancient minstrel, and in a less degree the modern reader, to do a little
acting. Often the dialogue is highly dramatic, as in the quarrel between
Achilles and Agamemnon in the first book of the "Iliad." A large part of
our greatest epics is in dialogue.

The great epics of the world are all heroic. They celebrate great
events--the Trojan war, the founding of Rome, the loss of Paradise--and
bring before us a large number of heroes, divinities, and angels. The
"Iliad" is made up chiefly of battle scenes, in which mighty heroes and
Olympian deities take part. Æneas is the hero of the "Æneid"; but back
of the tribulations through which he passes, we recognize the agency of
contending divinities. And in "Paradise Lost" Milton introduces the
mighty beings of heaven and hell. The epic is thus the stateliest and
grandest form of poetry.

There are minor varieties of the epic, which occupy an important place
in modern poetry.

(1) The principal of these varieties is the _metrical romance_, of which
Scott's "The Lady of the Lake" or Owen Meredith's "Lucile" may be taken
as the type. It differs from the grand or heroic epic in confining
itself to lowlier themes, and in introducing the passion of love. The
metrical romance lends itself readily to every form of romantic story.
In Scott it introduces the scenes and characters of mediæval Scotland.
Byron, in "The Giaour," "The Siege of Corinth," "The Bride of Abydos,"
and others, works up oriental legends. Moore's "Lalla Rookh" is a
beautiful oriental romance. Owen Meredith's "Lucile" is a modern love
story, while Morris's "Story of Sigurd" is derived from Scandinavian

(2) The _metrical tale_ may be distinguished from the metrical romance
by the absence of romantic love and adventure. It is naturally briefer
in form. Byron's "Prisoner of Chillon" and Burns's "Tam O'Shanter" may
be taken as types of the metrical tale. On the one side it approaches
the metrical romance, and on the other the lyrical ballad. Since the
days of Gower and Chaucer the metrical tale has added to English poetry
some of its choicest pieces.

(3) The _mock epic_ is, as the name suggests, a burlesque. It narrates
trivial incidents in a stately manner. It is not to be taken seriously,
and may be employed either to satirize or to amuse. Butler's "Hudibras"
is a mock heroic satire, while Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" was
intended to amuse with its pleasant conceits and to effect a
reconciliation between two alienated families among the nobility. Here
are the opening lines of Canto III:

     "Close by those meads, forever crowned with flowers,
      Where Thames with pride surveys his rising towers,
      There stands a structure of majestic frame,
      Which from the neighboring Hampton takes its name.
      Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom
      Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home;
      Here thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey,
      Dost sometimes counsel take--and sometimes tea."

+60. The Drama.+ The drama is a composition in prose or verse usually
intended to be acted on the stage. Representation takes the place of
narration. In order to add to the reality and interest of the
representation, the accessories of dress and scenery are carefully
employed. Whether in prose or verse, the laws of dramatic structure are
the same.

The two principal divisions of the drama are _tragedy_ and _comedy_.
Tragedy represents an important and serious action, which usually has a
fatal termination; it appeals to the earnest side of our nature, and
moves our deepest feelings.

Comedy consists in a representation of light and amusing incidents; it
exhibits the foibles of individuals, the manners of society, and the
humorous phases of life. The name _tragi-comedy_ is applied to a drama
in which tragic and comic scenes are intermingled. A _farce_ is a short
comedy distinguished by its slight thought and ridiculous caricature or
extravagance. A _melodrama_ is a drama with a romantic story or plot,
and sensational situations and incidents. An _opera_ is a musical drama,
the higher forms of which are known as _grand opera_, and the lower or
farcical forms as _opera bouffe_.

The laws of the drama are substantially the same for all forms. There
should be unity of dramatic action; that is, the separate scenes and
incidents should contribute in some way to the development of the plot
and to the final result or _dénouement_. A collection of disconnected
scenes, no matter how interesting in themselves, would not make a drama.

In addition to unity of action, which is obviously the one indispensable
law of the drama, two other unities were prescribed by ancient
authorities. The one is unity of time, which requires that the action
fall within the limits of a single day; the other is unity of place,
which requires that the action occur in the same locality. While
evidently artificial and dispensable, these latter unities conduce to
clear and concise treatment. Among the Greeks and Romans the three
unities, as they are called, were strictly observed; they have been
followed also by the older French drama; but the English stage, breaking
away in the days of Elizabeth from every artificial restriction,
recognizes unity of action alone.

The action of the drama should exhibit movement or progress, in which
several stages may be clearly marked. The _introduction_ acquaints us,
more or less fully, with the subject to be treated. It usually brings
before us some of the leading characters, and shows us the
circumstances in which they are placed. After the introduction follows
the _growth_ or _development_ of the action toward the climax. From the
days of Aristotle this part of the drama has been called "the tying of
the knot," and it needs to be managed with great care. If the
development is too slow, the interest lags; if too rapid, the climax
appears tame.

The interest of a drama depends in a large measure upon the successful
arrangement of the _climax_, or the point in which the opposing forces
immediately confront each other. In our best dramas it usually occurs
near the middle of the piece. From this point the action proceeds to the
close or _dénouement_. The knot is untied; the complications in which
the leading characters have become involved are either happily removed
or lead to the inevitable catastrophe. Avoiding every digression, the
action should go forward rapidly, in order not to weary the patience and
dissipate the interest of the spectator. The _dénouement_ should not be
dependent upon some foreign element introduced at the last moment, but
should spring naturally from the antecedent action.

In addition to the five principal parts just indicated--introduction,
rise or tying of the knot, climax, fall or untying of the knot, and
_dénouement_--there are three other elements or factors that need to be
pointed out. The first is the cause or exciting impulse of the dramatic
action, and naturally stands between the introduction and the rise or
tying of the knot. The second is the cause or tragic impulse of the
counteraction, and stands between the climax and the fall or untying of
the knot. The third is the cause or impulse that sometimes holds the
action in check for a moment before reaching its final issue, and stands
between the fall and the _dénouement_.

The structure and eight component parts of a complete or ideal drama may
be represented in a diagram as follows.

            _C_                  A = Introduction.
           /   \                 B = Rise or tying of knot.
          /    _\__b             C = Climax.
         /       \               D = Fall or untying of knot.
        / B       \              E = _Dénouement._
       /           \ D           a = Cause or exciting impulse.
      /             \            b = Tragic impulse.
    _/__a           _\__c        c = Impulse of last suspense.
    /                 \
  _/__A              __\__E

+61. Characters and Manners.+ Apart from the plot or story the interest
of a drama depends to a large extent on the _dramatis personae_. In the
classic drama the characters are few and dignified; in the romantic
drama, as first developed in the age of Shakespeare, the characters are
numerous and drawn from every class of society. The same difference is
found in the classic school of France, represented by Corneille,
Molière, and Racine, and the romantic school founded by Victor Hugo.

The characters should be clearly drawn and sufficiently differentiated.
Each one should have his peculiar individuality, and be reasonably
consistent with himself in all parts of the dramatic action. The whole
world of mankind is at the service of the dramatist, and there is no
type of humanity that may not be brought upon the stage. The ancient
world of history or of tradition may be represented, or the stage may
hold up the mirror to contemporary manners and society.

The drama should be true to the time and locality in which the action is
placed. The dress and manners should be in keeping with the conditions
assumed, and the tone of thought and expression should not do violence
to time or place. A Carthaginian nobleman, for example, should not
ascertain the time of day by means of a gold watch, nor should an
unlettered rustic speak in strains of eloquent poetry. A violation of
the truth in time is called an _anachronism_. But "in some dramas, and
in some species of drama," as Ward has said, "time and place are so
purely imaginary and so much a matter of indifference that the adoption
of a purely conventional standard of manners, or at least the exclusion
of any definitely fixed one, is here desirable." This is shown in
Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The drama should be moral both in tone and teaching. We may apply to the
drama, as to every other species of composition, Pope's well-known

     "Immodest words admit of no defense,
      For want of decency is a want of sense."

Indecent language and grossly immoral situations should be excluded from
the stage. When this is not done, as is frequently the case, the drama,
instead of uplifting, degrades humanity. This fact has brought the stage
into disrepute with many excellent people. In its close or _dénouement_
the drama should not let vice triumph over virtue, nor should it make
the impression that wickedness ever escapes unpunished. Such teaching
places the stage in contravention with the moral order of the world,
according to which, even when the punitive consequences are not openly
manifest, wickedness is inevitably accompanied with some form of
internal or external retribution.


1. What is an epic? On what may it be based? What is the method of the
epic? Where is the theme stated? Illustrate. What should be the
structure of the epic? What is meant by symmetry? What is an episode?
Why may it be introduced? Illustrate. What is said of the use of
dialogue? What is the nature of the great epic? What is meant by
_heroic_ here? Illustrate. What is a metrical romance? How does it
differ from the grand epic? What is said of the adaptability of the
metrical romance? Illustrate. What is a metrical tale? Name an example
or two. What is a mock epic? For what ends may it be used? Mention a
mock epic.

2. What is a drama? What is said of the laws of the drama? Name the two
chief divisions. Define tragedy; comedy. What is tragi-comedy? farce?
melodrama? opera? What is the difference between _grand opera_ and
_opera bouffe_? What is meant by unity of action? What other two unities
are there? What is meant by unity of time? What is meant by unity of
place? Where are the three unities strictly observed? Which is observed
on the English stage? Mention the successive steps of dramatic action.
What is the function of the _introduction_? What follows the
introduction? What name did Aristotle give it? What is the _climax_?
What is said about the arrangement of the climax? What is the fall or
untying of the knot? Why should it not be protracted? What is meant by
the _dénouement_? What are the three other dramatic elements? What is
meant by the _cause_ or _exciting impulse_? What is meant by the _tragic
impulse_? By the _impulse of last suspense_?

3. On what does the interest largely depend? What is the difference in
the characters of the classic and the romantic drama? What is said of
each character? Whence may the drama draw its characters? Where may the
dramatist get his materials? To what should the drama be true? What is
an _anachronism_? Illustrate. Is conformity to time and place always to
be adhered to? What is said of the moral tone of the drama? What is
Pope's opinion? In what two ways should the stage be moral?


In place of the illustrative and practical exercises, as heretofore
given, it is recommended that the student be referred to representative
epic and dramatic productions. Besides the great epics mentioned in the
text, some of the following works might be used: Scott's "The Lady of
the Lake" or "Marmion," Tennyson's "Elaine" or "Enoch Arden," Dryden's
"Palamon and Arcite," Byron's "Bride of Abydos" and "Prisoner of
Chillon," Burns's "Tam O'Shanter," Pope's "Rape of the Lock,"
Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Conquer," Sheridan's "Rivals," and
Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," "Julius Cæsar," and "Hamlet." To
show the difference between the classic and the Shakespearian drama the
student should read one or more of the plays of Euripides, Corneille,
and Molière in good translations. Victor Hugo's "Ruy Blas" is
recommended as an excellent type of the romantic drama of the nineteenth

Apart from the criticism of diction, sentence, and figure, the pieces
assigned should be studied with the view of answering such questions as
the following: To what division of the epic or drama does the work
belong? What is its source? Is it legend or history? What is the story?
Has it a beginning, middle, and end? Is it symmetrical in structure?
What episodes are introduced? Is the treatment in keeping with the
subject? Is it true to fact and character? Does it faithfully portray
an age or country? What customs are reflected? What is the state of
society? Describe the leading characters. What is the rank of the piece?
What other productions resemble it? Is it classic or romantic? Are there
autobiographic elements? What light is thrown on the author? How is
nature treated? What fundamental views of life are reflected? What is
the moving impulse in the drama? What constitutes the introduction?
Where is the climax? Is the _dénouement_ natural and satisfactory? Trace
the tying and the untying of the knot. What furnishes the "tragic
impulse"? Is there an "impulse of last suspense"? What unities are
observed? What is the length of time consumed? What is the ethical
teaching of the piece?



+62. Definition.+ Prose is the ordinary form of discourse. It is
distinguished from poetry not only by more commonplace thought but also
by the absence of regular metrical structure. Prose and poetry together
constitute the great body of literature; but at the present time, which
is characterized by the predominance of material and commercial
interests, prose forms by far the larger part. In our popular magazines,
poetry is relegated to a very subordinate place.

The forms of prose are various. They may be approximately classified
under history, essays, oratory, fiction, science, philosophy, and
epistolary correspondence. These classes, as will be seen later, are
subject to numerous subdivisions. The last three classes--science,
philosophy, and epistolary correspondence--do not come within the scope
of the present work, but in general it may be said that they are subject
to the same laws of truth and beauty that govern other forms of literary

+63. History.+ History is a systematic record of past events. It rests
upon contemporary testimony, which may exist in the form of written
documents or of oral tradition. History passes into mythology when it
treats of legendary heroes and divinities, and into fiction when it
treats of imaginary events. Metrical chronicles, however valuable may be
the historical materials they contain, are not to be regarded as history
in the true sense of the word. History presupposes change, which may
take the form of progress or decadence. Without the element of change,
there is nothing to relate beyond the existing state of things. English
literature is very rich in historical writing of every kind, and in the
century that has just passed, we meet in England with the names of
Macaulay, Carlyle, and Froude, and in America with the names of
Bancroft, Prescott, and Motley.

As to time, history has a well-defined and generally accepted division.
This division recognizes three great periods,--namely, _ancient_,
_mediæval_, and _modern_. In each of these periods a general type of
social condition, varying somewhat in different countries, prevailed
without essential change. Ancient history extends from the beginning of
trustworthy records to the fall of the Roman empire in A.D. 476;
mediæval history extends from that date to the revival of learning and
the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in 1517; and modern history
embraces the period extending from that time down to the present.

As to subject-matter, history has been variously divided. When it treats
of human progress in all nations and ages it is called _general_ or
_universal_ history. When it deals with a single country it becomes
_national_ history; thus we have histories of England and of the United
States. When it treats of separate institutions or interests it may be
regarded as _special_ history,--as church history or a history of
literature. Again, history may be divided according to the sources from
which it derives its data. When based on the facts supplied in the
Scriptures it is known as _sacred_ history; when based on other sources
of information it is called _profane_ or _secular_ history. This,
however, is only an arbitrary though convenient distinction; for all
history, as a record of the unfolding purposes of God, is sacred.

As to form, history is divided into several classes. A _chronicle_ is a
register of facts and events in the order of time in which they
occurred. It does not enter into a discussion either of causes or
effects. It is rather a source of historical materials than history
itself. The "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," for example, contains valuable
facts, but can hardly be regarded as a history of the Anglo-Saxons.
_Annals_ are chronicles that give the events year by year.

As to method, history may be divided into _narrative_, _descriptive_,
and _philosophical_. Each has its definite object, by which its
treatment of materials is determined. _Narrative_ history is chiefly
concerned with a systematic presentation of the facts. It is satisfied
when these are clearly presented in due perspective, and afford a
comprehensive survey of the period or subject treated of. Nearly all the
manuals of history in common use belong to this class.

_Descriptive_ history aims at presenting a graphic portraiture of the
past. Its method is not so much narration as description. Men and events
are brought forward in vivid colors. It makes the past live again
before our eyes like a moving pageant; and better to accomplish this
result, perspective, and even a full statement of events, are sometimes
sacrificed. While narrative history is concerned mostly with the
succession of important public events,--wars, changes of administration,
and far-reaching legislative enactments,--descriptive or scenic history
introduces, in large measure, the social life and manners. Macaulay is a
prince among descriptive historians, though no better example of scenic
history can be found than Carlyle's "French Revolution."

Philosophic history is concerned less with narration and description
than with the underlying causes and effects of events. It regards all
human events as an outward movement or evolution, which proceeds
according to fixed and ascertainable laws. It looks upon history, to use
the words of Macaulay, as "philosophy teaching by example." Philosophic
history is a product of recent times; and among the best examples are
Hegel's "Philosophy of History," Guizot's "History of Civilization," and
Lecky's "History of European Morals."

It is evident that an ideal history will be a combination of the
narrative, descriptive, and philosophic. The first gives the events in
due order and proportion; the second clothes them in living reality; and
the third explains their causes and results. But the production of such
a history requires a rare combination of mental gifts; the vivid
imagination required in scenic description is not usually found
associated with philosophic depth. Perhaps Green's "History of England"
and Bancroft's "History of the United States" are as good examples of
the highest type of historical writing as can be found.

There is a very noticeable difference between the methods of ancient and
modern historians. The former, it has been said, were _artistic_, and
the latter _sociological_. These terms, while aiming at the facts, are
neither accurate nor happy. The ancient historians, as Herodotus and
Thucydides, aimed at a pleasing narrative. To attain this end, neither
an exhaustive investigation of facts nor a conscientious abstention from
fiction was necessary. Hence we find the works of the one filled with
impossible events, and those of the other with orations confessedly
fictitious; but in both cases the introduction of legend and fiction has
imparted an interest that would otherwise be lacking in their works.

With modern historians, especially in the presence of the existing
dominant scientific spirit, it is different. The first requisite of
historical writing at the present day is absolute truth, as nearly as it
can be ascertained. The modern historian is not allowed to draw upon his
imagination for facts; he is held to a laborious and exhaustive
investigation of the sources of information. He writes out of abundant
stores of accurate information; and not content with the mere
chronological narration of facts, he seeks beneath them the principles
or laws that bind them together as a whole. Modern history, particularly
that of the last fifty years, has a breadth, accuracy, and depth, of
which the historians of Greece and Rome hardly dreamed.

+64. Biography.+ Biography is that department of history that gives the
facts and events of an individual life. It is at once an interesting
and important form of history. We have a natural desire to know the
lives and characters of the men who have in any way risen above their
fellows, and been associated with great social, literary, or political
movements. While great men are in large measure the creatures of mighty
movements, they at the same time give direction to historic development.
There is truth in Carlyle's idea that universal history "is at bottom
the history of the great men who have worked there."

There are three general types of biography, corresponding to the three
kinds of history. The first is _narrative_ biography, which is concerned
chiefly with an orderly statement of the leading facts--birth,
parentage, education, marriage, and achievements--in a person's life.
The second is _scenic_ or _descriptive_ biography, which aims at
interest by means of characteristic incidents or anecdotes. The third is
_philosophic_, which tries to trace the relation of a person's life to
the age in which he lived, and to estimate the influence he exerted on
his own and subsequent ages. The first is more common, the second more
interesting, the third more instructive; but it is evident that the best
biographies present a judicious combination of all three types.

The first essential of biography, as of history in general, is truth.
When we are studying a man's life we want to know the facts; otherwise
we shall not be able to judge correctly of his life and work. There are
two principal sources of error in writing biography: the first is
ignorance, which leads to the omission of important particulars or to a
misinterpretation of those that are known; the other source of error is
prejudice for or against the person whose life is portrayed. This
prejudice leads, on the one hand, to such a presentation of the
biographical facts as to magnify the merits of the man; and on the
other, it leads to such a suppression or distortion of the facts as to
detract from his just deserts. Both faults are illustrated in Johnson's
"Lives of the Poets," which, though excellent in the main, are sometimes
defective for lack of research, and colored by the writer's strong Tory
and Anglican sentiments.

_Autobiography_ is the story of a man's life written by himself. It is
perhaps the most interesting form of biography. In autobiography the
writer has the advantage of an intimate acquaintance not only with the
outward facts but also with the secret influences and motives by which
his life has been controlled. It takes us, as it were, behind the scenes
of history; but at the same time there is inevitably the error that
springs from undue partiality. And though men like Rousseau, Gibbon, and
Franklin attempt to divest themselves of this prejudice, and even
succeed in a remarkable degree, there is reason to suspect the omission
of facts and motives that would reflect too unfavorably upon the

A _diary_ is a record of one's daily occupations and experiences. It
sustains the same relation to biography that chronicles or annals do to
history: it furnishes the materials out of which biography is made. When
the diarist is a man of prominence, as in the case of Dean Swift, his
journal throws an interesting light not only upon his own life but also
upon the times in which he lives. It introduces us to men in the freedom
and frankness of private life. When the diary is kept, not with a view
to subsequent publication but merely to aid one's memory, it becomes a
valuable record of facts.

+65. Some Criteria.+ In judging a historical work three principal points
are to be taken into consideration.

(1) The first is concerned with the mode of execution. Is the outward
form of the work such as is required by the laws of art? The diction
should be conformable to the subject, and marshaled in correct, varied,
and forcible sentences. The style should bend to suit the changing
themes. The interest and impressiveness of a work, as may be seen in
Macaulay and Irving, depend in no small measure upon its literary
quality. Furthermore, there should be movement and symmetry. The
progress of events should be followed in a natural order, and the place
and treatment of each should be according to its relative importance. As
in a drama, there should be a beginning, middle, and end.

(2) The second point to be considered in a history is the
subject-matter. Obviously this is of prime importance, for the object of
history is the preservation and communication of truth. In weighing a
historical work, we should consider both the writer's sources of
information and the use he has made of them. Has he gone to original and
trustworthy sources of information or has he taken his materials at
secondhand? Has he given them thorough or only partial examination? Has
he well digested his materials, so that he writes from the fullness of
assimilated knowledge, or does he present only the raw materials of
history? While delightful and useful histories may be written largely of
secondhand materials, it is evident that monumental historic
achievements, like Gibbon's "Decline and Fall" or Carlyle's "Oliver
Cromwell," must be based on exhaustive original investigation. And
however useful may be the works that serve up undigested materials, they
cannot be regarded as constituting history in a literary sense, for they
lack the element of art.

(3) The third point to be considered in judging a historical work is the
personality of the author. What is his mental caliber? He should have
the breadth of view that enables him to grasp the subject in its
entirety, and to coördinate the facts according to their relative
importance. Otherwise he will dwell on insignificant details, lack
largeness of movement, and, instead of sweeping forward like a river,
spread out aimlessly like a dreary marsh. He should have the breadth of
culture that will enable him to weigh the facts he uses. This requires
familiarity with various systems of belief. Whether a theologian or a
scientist, a Protestant or a Romanist, he should be able to do justice
to the facts and motives of the opposite party. His love of truth should
be supreme. He should have soundness of judgment in connection with a
clear logical sense. He must not jump at conclusions, but base them on
sufficient evidence. And then the mood, attitude, and prejudices should
be ascertained. This constitutes his standpoint. Most writers have
convictions or belong to schools of belief that consciously or
unconsciously influence their work. A skeptic like Gibbon could hardly
do justice to the rise and progress of Christianity.


1. What is prose? How is it distinguished from poetry? What is said of
prose in this age? Name the principal forms of prose. Which do not come
within the scope of this book?

2. What is history? On what does it rest? How is it different from
mythology? from fiction? What is the relation of history to change? What
is said of history in English literature? What threefold division of
history is there in regard to time? Name the limits of each. As to
subject-matter, how is history divided? What division is based on the
sources of information? Define a chronicle; annals. As to method, what
threefold division of history is there? Define narrative, descriptive,
and philosophic history. What method does the best history follow? What
difference is there between ancient and modern methods in history? What
is the first requisite of historic writing to-day?

3. What is biography? Why is it interesting? What was Carlyle's idea?
What three different types exist? What is the chief requisite? What are
the two principal sources of error? What is autobiography? What
advantage has autobiography? what source of error? What is a diary? Of
what use is a diary?

4. In judging a history, what is the first point to be considered? What
is required by the laws of art? What is said of style? What is meant by
symmetry? What is the second point to be considered? What two inquiries
should be made? On what are the greatest historical works based? What is
the third point to be considered? What should be the historian's mental
equipment? Why is it important to know his fundamental philosophical or
religious beliefs?


In place of illustrative and practical selections, as given in earlier
chapters, it is suggested that the student be referred to a few leading
works in the department of history. Among those that might be used,
apart from popular text-books on the subject, are Macaulay's "History of
England," Green's "History of the English People," Carlyle's "French
Revolution," Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico," Motley's "Rise of the
Dutch Republic," Irving's "Life of Goldsmith," the autobiographies of
Franklin, Gibbon, and Ruskin, the diaries of Pepys and Evelyn, Johnson's
"Lives of the Poets," volumes from the English Men of Letters series,
the American Men of Letters series, the American Statesmen series, or
any other works to which the student may have access.

The volumes assigned by the teacher should be studied with reference to
diction and style as presented in Part Second of this work. In addition
to this, the narrative, descriptive, and philosophical passages should
be distinguished. By an analysis of a single chapter or of the whole
book, the symmetry and completeness of the author's treatment may be
judged. The writer's purpose and standpoint should, if possible, be
ascertained, and the effect upon the work pointed out. His mood,
character, and intellectual gifts should be traced as reflected in his
work. The results of this investigation might be presented in the form
of a written critique.



+66. Essays.+ An essay is a brief dissertation on some special subject.
It aims to present its statements in a clear and interesting manner, and
this careful regard for a finished form brings the essay within the
scope of literature in the strict sense of the word. The essay does not
usually aim at an elaborate discussion of a subject in all its phases,
and it is thus distinguished from the treatise. Its origin dates from
the French author Montaigne in the latter part of the sixteenth century;
but since the vast multiplication of periodicals in recent years, the
essay has become a prominent department of literature. There is scarcely
any subject of human interest that may not be discussed in an essay.

The principal forms of the essay are as follows:

(1) The _tract_, which is usually a brief discussion of some religious
or moral subject.

(2) The _editorial_, which is an editor's discussion of some theme of
public interest.

(3) The _review_ or _critique_, which is a critical examination and
discussion of some literary work.

Two general and well-defined types of essays may be profitably
distinguished. The first may be called the _personal_ essay. It allows
great freedom of treatment, and in large measure reflects the
personality of the author. It has something of the ease and charm of
conversation. The essays of Montaigne, of Addison, and of Lamb are of
this personal type.

The other kind may be designated as the _didactic_ essay. Its aim is the
impartation of knowledge and the formation of public opinion. The
personality of the author is concealed behind his statements and
arguments. He does not write in the first person. In our best writing of
this kind there is a careful treatment of the subject.

The method of the essay is chiefly exposition. It uses narration and
description only in a subordinate way. The essayist usually has some
information to impart, some argument to present, or some conclusion to
be reached. His purpose naturally determines the mode of treatment.
Generally there will be a beginning or introduction, a middle containing
the body of treatment, and a conclusion. Very frequently, however, the
writer plunges at once into his subject without the formality of an

In estimating the worth of an essay three things are to be chiefly taken
into account. The first is its form, including diction, sentences,
paragraphs, and arrangement. The various points brought forward should
be in a natural order, and each should have the prominence to which its
relative importance entitles it. There should be movement or progress in
the treatment, and the essay should gain in weight as it advances to the

The second point is the subject-matter of the essay. As the essay is not
intended to be exhaustive, there should be judgment in the selection of
points to be presented. A skillful writer will be recognized as much by
what he leaves in the inkstand as by what he says. In the presentation
of facts there should be a conscientious regard for truth. The author's
originality, force, culture will be reflected in the matter and manner
of his discussion.

Then, last of all, the writer's mood and standpoint should be
considered. Is he serious, satirical, humorous? Is he writing from the
standpoint of party or sect, or is he seeking only to know and present
the truth? Is he thoroughly acquainted with the subject that he
discusses? Only as we answer questions like these can we enter into full
sympathy with an author and form a just and adequate conception of his

+67. Oratory.+ Oratory is that form of discourse that is primarily
intended not to be read but to be spoken. Its object is mingled
instruction and persuasion, and it may be defined as instruction
suffused with feeling. In its lofty and impassioned forms oratory
attains to eloquence,--that quality which profoundly moves the hearts
and wills of the hearers.

But it is well to recognize the source of eloquence, which is to be
distinguished from bombast and fustian. Eloquence is not a trick of
rhetoric; it springs from the moral character of the speaker, from his
gifts and attainments, and from the subject and occasion. "Mere
eloquence," said Webster, "does not consist in speech. It cannot be
brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it, but they will toil
in vain. Words and phrases may be marshaled in every way, but they
cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the
occasion. Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation,
all may aspire to it; they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all,
like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting of
volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force."

Oratory is variously divided, but perhaps no other division is better
than that of Aristotle. He distinguishes three species of oratory:

(1) Deliberative oratory, which has its place in deliberative bodies. In
Parliament or Congress it is concerned with questions of legal
enactment, finance, or administration; in religious bodies, with
ecclesiastical questions; in scientific bodies, with questions of
science. At the present day a large part of oratory is deliberative in

(2) Judicial or forensic oratory, which is heard before courts of
justice. It is chiefly concerned with human conduct in relation to law,
and its aim is to determine what is legally right and just.

(3) Demonstrative oratory is chiefly occupied with the presentation of
abstract or practical truth. It is heard in lectures, sermons, and other
public addresses. It draws its themes from any department of human
knowledge, and aims at imparting instruction, uplifting character, or
influencing conduct.

A finished oration is a work of art. Ancient rhetoricians distinguished
six parts, which may still be found in some elaborate specimens of
pulpit or forensic eloquence. These six parts were (1) the exordium or
introduction, (2) the division of the subject, (3) the statement of what
is to be established, (4) the argumentation, (5) the appeal to the
feelings, and (6) the peroration or conclusion.

It is evident that this scheme for an oration is, as a rule, much too
artificial and elaborate for use at the present day. Modern intelligence
and modern intensity of life demand greater brevity and directness. An
audience of the present time rarely has patience with a discourse of
more than an hour, and it generally prefers one of half that length. In
a modern discourse we may generally recognize a threefold division:

(1) The introduction, which points out the relation of the subject to
the occasion, or otherwise prepares the audience better to appreciate
the discussion that is to follow. It should be natural, and not so
lengthy as to be out of keeping with the main body of the discourse.

(2) The discussion of the subject in hand. This consists of a statement
of the theme and the various facts, arguments, and illustrations that
are designed to throw light upon it and establish its truth. This is the
main part of the discourse, and great care should be exercised in the
statement of facts and the arrangement of arguments. Personal conviction
should be back of what is said, for without this tone of sincerity the
most brilliant rhetoric and eloquent declamation will be in vain.

(3) The conclusion, in which the results of the discussion are
presented. It should be clear and claim no more than has been fairly
established in the preceding discussion. On the basis of the truth
previously presented it may contain an appeal to the feelings and the
will, urging the course of action that has been shown to be advisable,
wise, or obligatory.

Argumentation may seek to establish the truth of a proposition in four
different ways:

(1) There may be the introduction of testimony. By testimony is meant
the statements of actual observers or witnesses. It rests on experience,
and may be given orally or in writing; hence we have _oral_ and
_written_ testimony.

(2) A proposition may be supported or established by analogy. Reasoning
from analogy is that process by which we infer that when two objects
resemble each other in several known particulars they will also resemble
each other in a certain unknown particular. The planet Mars, for
example, resembles the earth in shape, motion, atmosphere, change of
seasons, and relation to the sun; and from the resemblance in these
known particulars some persons have inferred that, like the earth, it is
also inhabited.

Analogical reasoning has a prominent place in our mental operations.
Analogy lies at the basis of simile, metaphor, and personification,
which are often used in argumentation. We frequently use analogical
processes in the practical affairs of life, inferring, for example, that
there will be rain to-day because the temperature, appearance of the
clouds, and the condition of the atmosphere resemble those of a rainy
day last week.

But it is to be observed that the arguments from analogy give us at the
best only probable truth. The degree of probability depends upon the
nature and number of the resemblances upon which the conclusion is
based. There must be no point of dissimilarity that would disprove the
conclusion inferred.

(3) We may establish a conclusion by an array of facts. This is called
inductive reasoning. We observe, for example, that A, B, C, and all
other men of the past, so far as our knowledge goes, have died; and in
view of these individual cases we draw the comprehensive conclusion that
all men are mortal.

But this mode of reasoning, common and indispensable as it is, needs to
be employed with caution. There is always danger of inferring more than
the facts warrant. When the inference is based on an inadequate
induction of facts, the process is called "jumping at a conclusion,"--a
mistake that is frequently made. Even large inductions are not always
safe. We might conclude, for instance, that, because the bulldog, hound,
mastiff, setter, spaniel, terrier, and other species we have known, are
accustomed to bark, therefore all dogs bark. Yet this apparently
well-founded conclusion is erroneous, for there is a non-barking species
in Greenland.

(4) Again, we may establish a truth by showing that it comes within an
established and recognized principle. This process is known as deductive
reasoning. The principle on which deductive reasoning depends is the
self-evident truth that "whatever is true of the whole is true of the
parts." Starting from the general truth that all men are mortal, we may
conclude that A, B, and C are mortal.

The general truth that supplies the basis of deductive reasoning may be
taken from various sources. Sometimes the truth is self-evident or
intuitive, as the axioms that lie at the basis of mathematical
reasoning. Sometimes they are truths arrived at by inductive processes.
Sometimes they are maxims that have gained the assent of mankind; and
again, they are the statements of an accepted philosophy, creed, code,
or other recognized source of authority.

In deductive reasoning two points need particular attention: (1) the
fundamental principle on which the argument is based should be well
established or recognized as true; and (2) the conclusion should
necessarily follow from the truth assumed in the beginning, and not
embrace more than is duly warranted by it.

The general structure of an oration is determined by its object. There
should be, in large measure, simplicity, unity, and progress. The
language should be within the comprehension of the average hearer; the
sentences, as a rule, should be brief and forcible; and the general
style should be concrete rather than abstract. All parts of the oration
should be bound together by the single truth and purpose at which the
orator aims. The arguments should not be abstruse but clear and
striking. Irrelevant matter of every kind, no matter how brilliant in
itself, should be excluded; and every fact and principle should be
scrupulously correct. Understatement is better than overstatement. The
orator should continually advance toward his conclusion; the auditor
should feel himself borne along not on a circling eddy but on the bosom
of a full, strong current of thought and feeling.

It was Cicero who said that the orator should know everything. However
desirable such attainments might be, they are no longer possible; but
the orator should have a wide range of culture and experience. This is
necessary to give breadth and proportion to his outlook upon the world.
In addition to this general culture he should, as far as possible, be
master of his subject; and to this end he should bestow upon his
discourse careful and even laborious preparation. Without these
requisites the orator is apt to prove uninteresting, inconclusive, and


1. What is an essay? What brings it within the range of art? How is it
distinguished from a treatise? With whom did it originate? What gives it
prominence now? Name its principal forms. What is a tract? an editorial?
a critique or review? Name two types of essay. What is the character of
the _personal_ essay? Give examples. Define the _didactic_ essay. What
is the method of the essay? What parts may usually be distinguished?
What three things are to be considered in estimating the worth of an
essay? How should the successive points be presented? How is a skillful
writer recognized? What is said of the essayist's mood and standpoint?

2. What is oratory? What is its object? What is eloquence? Whence does
it rise? What is the substance of Webster's view? How did Aristotle
divide oratory? What is _deliberative_ oratory? _judicial_ or
_forensic_? _demonstrative_? What parts were anciently distinguished?
What is said of this scheme? What three parts are now generally
recognized? What is the purpose of the introduction? What is said of the
discussion? What is said of the speaker's convictions? What is the
nature of the conclusion? What four methods of proof may be used? What
is meant by testimony? What are the two kinds of testimony? What is
meant by reasoning from analogy? Illustrate. What is said of its use?
What sort of truth is furnished by analogical reasoning? On what does
the degree of its probability depend? What is inductive reasoning?
Illustrate. What is meant by "jumping at a conclusion"? Give a case of
erroneous conclusion. What is deductive reasoning? Illustrate. Whence
may come the general truth lying at the basis of deduction? What two
points must be attended to carefully? What qualities should an oration
have? Why should the diction and sentence structure be simple? What
should give unity to the oration? What is said of irrelevant matter? of
movement or progress? What was Cicero's view of an orator's attainments?
What is the advantage of broad culture? What is said of special


In place of brief illustrative and practical selections, it is
recommended that the student be referred to complete essays and
orations. In addition to current literature, in which will be found
essays of various kinds, Bacon's "Essays," the papers of the
_Spectator_, Lamb's "Essays of Elia," and the essays of Macaulay, De
Quincey, Carlyle, and Emerson may be used. Under the head of oratory,
apart from contemporary speeches and sermons, the student might be
referred to Burke's "Speech on American Taxation," Webster's "Bunker
Hill Orations," Patrick Henry's "Speech before the Virginia Convention,"
Emerson's "Representative Men," and Carlyle's "Heroes and Hero Worship."

The essays assigned should be investigated as to form, matter, and mood
or purpose. Such questions as the following may be answered: What kind
of essay is it? Is it personal or didactic? What is the theme? What is
the writer's aim? What is his mood? What constitutes the introduction?
the body of the essay? the conclusion? What may be said of the diction,
sentences, and style? What is the order of thought as determined by
analysis? Is there symmetry? Is there movement? Is irrelevant matter
excluded? Is the treatment lit up by humor? Is there breadth of view?
What is the writer's standpoint? Is there care and self-restraint of

In the case of a speech the same questions may be asked in reference to
form, content, mood, or purpose. In addition the student may determine
the class of oratory to which the speech belongs. He may ask such
questions as the following: Is it eloquent in any part? What is the mode
of argumentation? What is the form of proof? Is the argument sound and
convincing? The student should analyze the speech, in whole or in part,
and make a synopsis of its principal propositions and proofs. The result
may be presented in a written or oral critique.



+68. Definition.+ Fiction is that form of prose narrative in which the
characters, scenes, and incidents are partly or entirely imaginary. In
its highest form it is a sort of prose epic; and Homer's "Odyssey" finds
a parallel in Fénelon's "Telemachus." In the arrangement of characters
and incidents to form a plot, fiction resembles the drama; and at the
present time every notable work of fiction is apt to make its way to the
stage. Like poetry in general, fiction has its principal source in the
creative imagination, which, working on the basis of experience,
modifies or produces character, scene, and incident.

A common division of fiction, though not consistently observed, is the
_novel_ and the _romance_. The novel is a fictitious narrative in which
the characters and incidents are in keeping with the ordinary train of
events in society. Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield," which brings before
us the simple life of a country pastor, may be taken as a type. A
romance is a fictitious narrative in which the characters and scenes and
incidents are uncommon, improbable, or marvelous. Scott's "Ivanhoe" may
be taken as a representative of the best type of romance. The one form
of fiction may readily shade into the other, and it becomes difficult
in some cases to determine the classification; but in general the two
species are clearly marked.

+69. Romanticism.+ During the past century there were two far-reaching
movements in the field of fiction. Both came in the character of a
reaction; taken together they have given greater breadth and depth to
this department of literature. The first movement, which dates near the
beginning of the last century, is known as _romanticism_. It was a
reaction against the formal and the conventional. Romanticism may be
defined as liberalism in literature; it is a breaking away from
authority and a return to nature. It manifested itself in two
particulars both in fiction and poetry: first, there was greater freedom
in subject, form, and character; and second, there was a return to the
past, particularly to an idealized age of chivalry in the Middle Ages.
Scott was the great leader of the romantic movement both in poetry and
in fiction. In their wide range of character and incident, and in their
idealization of the past, the Waverley Novels are in general perfect
types of romanticism.

+70. Realism.+ Realism came about the middle of the Victorian era as a
reaction against romanticism. It was born of the scientific spirit,
which rendered the public dissatisfied with fanciful pictures of past
ages and with the impossibilities of wild romance. Realism, as the word
indicates, adheres to reality. Discarding what is idealistic or unreal
in characters and situations, it aims at being true to life. All the
great novelists of this period--Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot--were
in the best sense of the word realists.

As an effort to represent life as it is, the worth of realism must be
acknowledged. In its proper application it places the novel on an
immovable basis. While idealism shows us how life might be or ought to
be, realism shows how it actually is. Unfortunately, realistic writers
have not, in many cases, been true to their fundamental principles. The
great continental leaders of realism--Tolstoi, Zola, Ibsen--have been
tainted with a fatal pessimism. Realists of this type seem to see only
one side of life,--the darker side of sin and wretchedness and despair.
They often describe what is coarse, impure, obscene. No doubt their
pictures are true as far as they go; but the fatal defect of their work
is that it does not reflect life as a whole. It does not portray the
pure and noble and happy side of life, which is just as real as the

Except in the hands of genius, realism is apt to be dull. It gives us
uninteresting photographs. There are times when we do not care so much
for instruction as for amusement and recreation. This fact opens a
legitimate field for the imaginative story-teller. There is to-day a
decided reaction against realism in the form of what has been called the
_new romanticism_. It does not present to us elaborate studies of actual
life, but entertains us with an interesting or exciting story.
Stevenson, Weyman, Hope, and Doyle have been leaders in this movement,
and some of the most widely read novels of the past few years have
belonged to this new romanticism.

+71. Idealism.+ The influence of idealism in fiction should be
recognized. It may tinge the work both of romanticism and of realism.
It is, perhaps, to be regarded as an atmosphere rather than as a method.
The aim of idealism is to soften the hard realities of life. It in a
measure portrays things not as they are but as they should be; and as
far as it definitely pursues this course it presents a contrast to
realism. It naturally chooses for the most part the nobler types of
character; and to the villains that may be introduced it metes out in
due time a merited punishment. The trials of life are brought to happy
issue. The hero and heroine, both somewhat above the characters of
ordinary life, at length triumph over all the obstacles that beset their
path. Kept within due bounds, idealism gives a hopeful and uplifting
tone to fiction; but without careful restraint it is in danger of
becoming false and injurious. It presents to the young a caricature of
the world, and exposes them, at a later period, to bitter and dangerous
disillusionment. Among our greatest novelists an idealistic tendency is
very perceptible in Scott and Dickens.

+72. Component Elements.+ In every important work of fiction there are
six things to be considered, namely, the characters, the incidents, the
environment, the plot, the purpose, and the view or philosophy of life.
The first three elements constitute the materials out of which the
novelist builds his work; the last three supply the general plan by
which he builds it. The excellence of the work, as in architecture,
depends both on the character of the materials and on the manner in
which they are put together. When Solomon constructed his famous temple
he not only used cedar and gold but also joined them together according
to a wise design and noble purpose. These various elements are worthy of
separate consideration.

(1) The characters of a novel are of prime importance. As in actual
life, they give tone to the society to which we are introduced. They
should be clearly individualized, as in the drama, and maintain
throughout a reasonable consistency. They may be taken from any class of
society; and writers of large creative genius, like Shakespeare, Scott,
Dickens, Balzac, will be distinguished both for the number and for the
variety of their characters. It is not enough that the characters be
described in their outward appearance and experiences. In all profounder
work, as in George Eliot, there will be an unveiling of the hidden
springs of motive and disposition. The great potentialities of human
nature both for good and evil will be brought to light, and thus the
mimic world of the novelist will reflect the life of the great real
world in its more tragic aspects.

(2) By the incidents of a novel we mean the acts and experiences of the
characters. They make up the connected and progressive story. The
incidents may be as varied, as the occurrences of human life, sweeping
the whole range of toil, sorrow, and joy. They may be either comic or
tragic. The interest of a work of fiction depends largely upon its
incidents. Separately they may be entertaining, absorbing, or thrilling;
and taken together in their sequence they may carry us forward
irresistibly to the conclusion. They should be in keeping with the time
and place, and the several acts of the personages should be in harmony
with their character and culture.

(3) As in real life, the personages of a novel or romance live and move
in the midst of an environment. They are placed in the midst of
circumstances, upon which they act and by which they are acted upon.
They may live on land or sea, in the country or in the city, amid the
wildness of unsubdued forests or the culture of long-established
communities. They may be surrounded by intelligence and luxury or by
ignorance and squalor.

The environment is brought before us by description, which necessarily
constitutes no inconsiderable part of every work of fiction. The
descriptive passages should be true to fact, and graphic enough to
enable the reader to picture the scenes in his mind; but they should not
be so long drawn as to encumber or impede the story. Description is
subordinate in fiction; instead of being an end in itself, its purpose
is to throw light upon the characters and incidents of the story.

(4) By plot, we mean the manner in which the incidents of a story are
arranged with reference to the final issue. The incidents may be loosely
connected or they may be so skillfully ordered as to arouse the reader's
breathless interest. A skillful plot presupposes dramatic talent. This
is not always found in union with a strong creative imagination; and
thus it happens that some of our greatest novelists, as Thackeray and
George Eliot, are defective in dramatic plots. While a skillfully
arranged plot is not an essential element in a work of fiction, it is
always a source of interest and power.

(5) Every work of fiction has an aim or purpose. Sometimes the author
merely aims at telling an interesting story which has no other
significance than to provoke a smile or a tear. Sometimes it may be
intended to illustrate a period in history or the manners of a
particular locality. Sometimes it is designed to throw light on some
phase of human character or human experience. And again, it may be a
vehicle for conveying some form of teaching or for illustrating the
growth of culture and character. In studying a work of fiction the
purpose should be clearly apprehended, for the merit of a novel or
romance depends in a measure upon the author's aim and his degree of
success in realizing it.

(6) Every work of fiction, consciously or unconsciously to the author,
is apt to embody a particular view or philosophy of life. Every
thoughtful person has convictions in regard to God, nature, and man. He
may believe in a personal deity or an unconscious force as the source of
all things. He may think of nature as a creation or as a product of
impersonal natural law. He may think of man as an immortal being or as a
creature whose existence ceases with death. But whatever may be an
author's fundamental beliefs, they will inevitably color his work.

+73. Kinds of Novels.+ Novels may be divided into various classes
according to subject or method of treatment. As to method, we have
already had the general division of romanticism and realism. Another
generic classification has been proposed: first, _novels of life_, which
include the works portraying both past and contemporary life; and
second, _novels of idea_, which include didactic and artistic works of
fiction. The didactic novel discusses some practical problem or advances
some social or moral theory; the artistic novel subordinates the story
to perfection of form.

It will be helpful to the student to distinguish the following classes:

(1) The _society novel_ is devoted to a portrayal of existing men and
manners. The field is a wide one. The characters may be taken from any
class of society. The society novel may bring before us, as in
Thackeray's "Vanity Fair," what is known as fashionable life. It may
again, as in George Eliot's "Adam Bede" or Goldsmith's "Vicar of
Wakefield," introduce us to the lives of plain people. It may acquaint
us, as in Du Maurier's "Trilby," with the Bohemian or artist class in
our great cities. It may deal, as in Dickens's "Oliver Twist" or
Bulwer's "Paul Clifford," with the criminal class. In short, there is no
class of society or type of character that may not become the subject of
treatment in novels of this class.

(2) _Local novels_ are devoted to the portrayal of the life and manners
of a well-marked locality. They are social novels within a restricted
field. Differences of race, of language, of pursuit, and of
intelligence, as seen in particular localities, are reflected in novels
of this kind. There is scarcely any portion of England that has not been
described in some work of fiction. Charlotte Bronté brings Yorkshire
scenery and character before us in "Shirley"; George Eliot portrays the
scenes of her native Warwick in "The Mill on the Floss"; Blackmore's
"Lorna Doone" portrays the scenery, life, and language of Devonshire.

America has afforded a very rich field for the local novel. Not a few of
its choicest works belong to this class. Scarcely any part of our wide
country or any special phase of its life has escaped the eyes of the
enterprising story-teller. In his "Grandissimes," for example, George W.
Cable gives us a glimpse of the Creole life of Louisiana. In the
"Hoosier Schoolmaster" Edward Eggleston describes pioneer life in
Indiana. In "Gabriel Conroy" Bret Harte brings before us the wild and
lawless life of California a half century ago. In various works Miss
Murfree has described the dwellers in the Tennessee mountains. New
England and the South have been portrayed by various writers.

(3) The _historical novel_ is devoted to the description of life in the
past. It should be based on a careful study of the period to be
portrayed. It may deal with the scenes of a hundred years ago or it may
go back a thousand years before the Christian era.

No other department of fiction has a prouder array of great books.
Historical fiction has gone hand in hand with a revived interest in
historical and archæological research. The greatest of all historical
novelists is Scott, whose Waverley series covers the centuries between
the crusades, which "Ivanhoe" describes, and the rebellion of Prince
Edward Charles in 1745, which "Waverley" describes. But other great
names--German, English, American--belong to this class of fiction.
"Uarda," for example, by George Ebers, describes life in Egypt a
thousand years before Christ. Kingsley's "Hypatia" takes us back to the
city of Alexandria in the fifth century of our era. In the "Last Days of
Pompeii" Bulwer Lytton describes the life of the Roman city at the time
of its destruction. George Eliot's "Romola" portrays the spirit and
manners of the city of Florence in the days of Savonarola and the
revival of learning. "Ben Hur" by Lew Wallace is a tale of the Christ.
"The Schönberg-Cotta Family" by Mrs. Elizabeth Charles is a graphic
portrayal of movements and scenes in Germany at the period of the

Recently there has been a notable revival in historical fiction. It has
come, perhaps, as a reaction against a hard realism and empty
romanticism. It probably strikes its roots in the desire for knowledge
which at the present time is so generally characteristic of the American
people. Not a few of the recent books of phenomenal
popularity--Churchill's "Richard Carvel," Miss Johnson's "To Have and to
Hold," Ford's "Janice Meredith," Page's "Red Rock," Thompson's "Alice of
Old Vincennes"--deal with interesting periods in the history of our

(4) The _problem or purpose novel_ has been prominent in recent fiction.
It has been a natural product of this restless, intellectual age.
Fiction has been made the medium for the discussion of political,
social, and religious problems. Not a few of them, as Bellamy's
socialistic "Looking Backward," have had an enormous circulation. "Uncle
Tom's Cabin" by Mrs. Stowe was a severe arraignment of slavery, and
exerted a strong influence in molding the sentiment of a large part of
our country. Recent theological unrest is reflected in Mrs. Ward's
"Robert Elsmere" and in Margaret Deland's "John Ward, Preacher." The
nature and influence of labor organizations are presented in Charles
Reade's "Put Yourself in His Place," and in the anonymous American story
"The Bread Winners." Hall Caine's "Christian" involves a serious
indictment against the church in England. Disraeli traversed the field
of English politics in his "Coningsby" and "Endymion," as did Trollope
in his "Phineas Finn" and "Prime Minister." In his "Guardian Angel" and
"Elsie Venner" Oliver Wendell Holmes traces the effects of heredity, a
subject previously handled by Hawthorne in his "House of Seven Gables."
In this way we see that nearly every great practical question of general
interest may be discussed or portrayed in fiction.

(5) The _love story_ and the _story of adventure_ embrace a considerable
though unambitious part of fiction. The love story deals with courtship
and marriage. As a rule, after encountering more or less opposition or
difficulty, the lovers are at last happily united. A thread of love
usually runs through all the more ambitious types of fiction, for it is
a source of universal interest that cannot lightly be set aside; but in
the love story it is the central and dominant interest.

The story of adventure consists of a succession of interesting or
thrilling incidents. The type of this species of fiction is Defoe's
"Robinson Crusoe." The new romantic movement already referred to lays
much stress on a rapid succession of exciting incidents. This is
illustrated by Hope's "Prisoner of Zenda" or by most of R. L.
Stevenson's works, of which "Kidnapped" and "The Master of Ballantrae"
may be taken as fair examples.

(6) _Naval fiction_ belongs to the sea. It is an interesting field,
though somewhat limited in its range of character and incident. The sea
itself, with its magnificent and changing moods, is a sublime object.
The restricted life on shipboard--the telling of yarns beneath the
starlit skies, the spirit of mingled superstition and daring, the prompt
and brave activities attending a storm, and, above all, the excitement
and dangers of battle--has for the landsman a peculiar charm.

Novelists of the sea are not numerous; for, in order to be in the best
sense successful, the writer must have had a seafaring experience. James
Fenimore Cooper, who had been in the navy, criticised Scott's "Pirate"
as the work of a landsman. He undertook to produce a genuine story of
the sea in his "Pilot," which, whatever else may be its defects, is
correct in sailor's lingo and briny flavor. He was no less successful in
"The Red Rover," the scenes of which antedate the Revolution. But the
prince of marine novelists is unquestionably Frederick Marryat, whose
"Peter Simple," "Jacob Faithful," and "Mr. Midshipman Easy" are perhaps
unsurpassed in their sphere.

(7) The _psychologic novel_ is concerned chiefly with mental analysis.
It traces the workings of the soul under different circumstances and
different influences. It follows the character in its ascent to higher
goodness or in its descent to lower degradation. Stevenson's "Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," for example, is a powerful exhibition of the
duality--the brute and the divinity--in human nature. Hawthorne's
"Scarlet Letter," while in one sense a historical novel, is an
incomparable study of the human soul under the weight of guilt and
remorse. Throughout George Eliot's novels there is a constant portrayal
of mental and moral conditions that give to her works an unusual depth
and power. Her method has been justly called psychologic realism. Under
this head we may place what has been called the "art and culture novel,"
the object of which is to exhibit the gradual development of individual
character by means of a changing environment. The type of this sort of
fiction is Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister."

The short story, which our magazines have rendered so popular in recent
years, is a novel in miniature. It paints on a small canvas but with
exceeding delicacy. Like the novel or the romance, it may find its
materials in any age or in any class of society; and in its general
method it conforms to the laws of fiction in general.


68. What is fiction? How does it resemble the drama? What is said of
dramatized novels? Define _novel_ and _romance_. Give examples of each.
69. What is _romanticism_? When did it manifest itself? In what two
particulars? 70. What is _realism_? Whence did it spring? What are its
merits? What tendency of realistic writers is noted? What is the danger
of realism? What is meant by the _new romanticism_? Mention some of its
representative writers. 71. What is the aim of _idealism_? How does it
do this? What two great novelists show idealistic tendencies? 72. What
six things are to be noted in every novel? What two groups are
distinguished among them? On what does the excellence of a novel depend?
What is said of the characters? Whence may they be drawn? How are great
writers distinguished? What characterizes profound novels? What is meant
by incidents? What is said of their variety? How should they be
arranged? What is meant by environment? What environments may be used?
How may they be brought before us? What should be the character of this
description? What is its place? What is meant by plot? What is
presupposed in a skillful plot? What great writers are lacking in
dramatic power? What purposes may be aimed at? Why should the purpose be
apprehended? About what have thoughtful persons convictions? What is the
effect of these convictions? Why should the writer's aim or purpose be

73. How may novels and romances be divided? What are _novels of life_?
_novels of idea_? What seven classes are distinguished? What is a
_society novel_? What may it portray? What are _local novels_? What is
said of them in America? Mention some well-known local novels. What is a
_historical novel_? On what should it be based? What is said of
historical fiction? Who is the greatest of historical novelists? Mention
some others. What is said of recent tendencies? Mention some recent
historical novels. What is meant by _problem_ or _purpose novels_?
Illustrate by various examples. What is the nature of the _love story_?
of the _story of adventure_? Illustrate. What is _naval fiction_? Why
are sea novelists not numerous? What is said of Cooper? Who is the chief
of marine novelists? With what is the _psychologic novel_ principally
concerned? Give examples. What gives George Eliot's novels their depth?
What is said of the short story? To what laws is it subject?


As illustrative and practical exercises, let the student criticise
several pieces of fiction assigned by the teacher. For this purpose any
of the standard or popular works mentioned in the text may be selected,
or any others to which the student may have access.

After classifying the work and determining its style, the student should
investigate it according to its six component elements,--characters,
incidents, environment, plot, purpose, and views of life. The points to
be investigated under each head are suggested in the text.

As points of special interest, he may inquire into the origin of the
work and the sources from which its materials were derived. This
investigation will frequently reveal, as in the case of Thackeray,
Charlotte Bronté, Dickens, and George Eliot, interesting autobiographic

The results of this investigation may be presented in a written
critique, in which the value of the work as a whole, in the light of
correct æsthetic and critical principles, should be determined. It will
sometimes be found that novels of wide popularity are destitute of great
intrinsic excellence.


  Æsthetics defined, 34;
    æsthetic elements, 35.

  Allegory, 71.

  Alliteration, 114.

  Analogy, argument from, 172.

  Anglo-Saxon and Latin elements of English, 56.

  Annals, 158.

  Antithesis, 75.

  Apostrophe, 73.

  Argumentation, 87;
    four kinds of, 172.

  Artistic element in literature, 8.

  Author and his work, 19;
    personality of, 19;
    mental qualities of, 19;
    character of, 20;
    view of life of, 22;
    literary school of, 24;
    mood and purpose of, 24;
    life of, 27.

  Autobiographic elements in literature, 21.

  Autobiography, 162.

  Ballad defined, 134.

  Beauty, 35.

  Biography, 160;
    three types of, 161;
    essentials of, 161.

  Blank verse, 117.

  Cæsura, 118.

  Character and authorship, 21.

  Chronicle, 158.

  Classic writers, 4.

  Climax, 75.

  Comedy, 148.

  Criticism, defined, 2;
    history of, 3;
    standard of, 3;
    requisites of, 4;
    as an art, 5;
    diversity of, 5;
    diversity of, explained, 6;
    utility of, 7;
    materials of, 8.

  Description, 35, 42, 85.

  Diary, 162.

  Diction, 58.

  Discourse, kinds of, 84.

  Drama, 148-153;
    unity of, 149;
    five principal parts, 150;
    other elements, 150.

  Dramatis personae, 151.

  Elegy, 137.

  Eloquence, source of, 169.

  English language, composite, 55;
    copious, 56;
    elements of, 56;
    what elements to choose, 57.

  _Enjambement_, 118.

  Epic poetry, 146;
    different species of, 147;
    mock epic, 147.

  Epigram, 76.

  Essay, 167;
    principal forms of, 167;
    criteria of, 168.

  Exclamation, 73.

  Exposition, 87.

  Fable, 72.

  Faculties, symmetrical, 92.

  Farce, 149.

  Felicity of expression, 38.

  Fiction, defined, 178;
    elements of, 181;
    characters of, 182;
    incidents of, 182;
    environment in, 183;
    plot in, 183;
    aim of, 184;
    view of life of, 184;
    kinds of, 184;
    society novel, 185;
    local novel, 185;
    historical novel, 186;
    problem or purpose novel, 187;
    love story, 188;
    marine novel, 189;
    psychologic novel, 189;
    short story, 190.

  Figures, defined, 68;
    kinds of, 68;
    of resemblance, 69;
    of contrast, 75.

  Harmony of thought and expression, 37.

  Heroism, 41.

  History, defined, 156;
    divisions of, 157;
    methods of, 158;
    criteria of, 163.

  Humor, 46.

  Hymns, 135.

  Hyperbole, 74.

  Idealism, 180.

  Imagination, 89;
    ill-governed, 90.

  Interrogation, 76.

  Irony, 77.

  Life, an author's view of, 22.

  Literary school, 24.

  Love in literature, 40;
    love story, 188.

  Ludicrous, the, in literature, 44.

  Matter and form in literature, 9.

  Metaphor, 70.

  Meter, 111, 116.

  Metonymy, 72.

  Mind, generic differences of, 88.

  Mock epic, 147.

  Molding influences in literature, 8.

  Moral character, 20;
    moral sublime, 43.

  Narration, 86.

  Necessity of understanding a work, 1.

  Novel and romance, 178.
    _See_ Fiction.

  Ode defined, 136.

  Opera, 149.

  Oration, divisions of, 170;
    criteria of, 174.

  Oratory, 169;
    different kinds of, 170.

  Parable, 72.

  Paragraph, 62.

  Parody, 45.

  Period in verse, 118.

  Personification, 70.

  Poet, the, 105;
    as seer, 106.

  Poetic license, 120-122.

  Poetry, defined, 103;
    and prose, 104;
    sources of, 104;
    classification of, 130;
    didactic, 130;
    descriptive, 132;
    pastoral, 133;
    lyric, 134;
    criteria of, 138;
    epic, 145.

  Prose and poetry, 104;
    defined, 156.

  Purpose of literary study, 1.

  Realism, 179.

  Rhyme, 112;
    different kinds of, 112-114.

  Romance, metrical, 147;
    defined, 178.
    _See_ Fiction.

  Romanticism, 179.

  Satire, 45, 131.

  Sensibilities in ascendant, 90.

  Sentences, different kinds of, 60;
    qualities of, 61.

  Simile, 69.

  Song defined, 135.

  Sonnet, 137.

  Spiritual truth, 39.

  Stanza, defined, 115;
    different kinds of, 115-117.

  Style, 61;
    defined, 84;
    importance of, 94;
    poetic, 120.

  Synecdoche, 72.

  Tale, metrical, 147;
    of adventure, 188.

  Taste, literary, 34.

  Tenderness and pathos, 43.

  Tragedy, 148.

  Tragi-comedy, 148.

  Versification, defined, 107;
    quantity in, 107;
    accent in, 107;
    poetic feet in, 108-110;
    time element in, 111;
    meter in, 111.

  Vision, 74.

  Will, force of, in literature, 91.



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+Shelley: Selections from.+ Edited by W. J. ALEXANDER of the University
of Toronto. 80 cents.

+Sidney's Defense of Poesy.+ Edited by Professor ALBERT S. COOK of Yale
University. 65 cents.

+Steele: Selections from.+ Edited by Professor GEORGE R. CARPENTER of
Columbia University. 60 cents.

+Wordsworth: Selections from.+ Edited by Professor EDWARD DOWDEN of the
University of Dublin. 90 cents.

+GINN & COMPANY Publishers+


The following changes have been made to the text:

     page 36: "[quotation mark missing in original]The great brand

     page 74: exaggerated form of statement,[original has period]

The following words appear in the text with and without hyphens. They
have been left as in the original.

     common-meter       common meter
     long-meter         long meter
     love-songs         love songs
     short-meter        short meter

The following words have variations in spelling. They have been left as
in the original.

     Athenæum           ATHENAEUM
     d'Arthur           Darthur
     Pre-Shaksperean    Shakespearian
     Shakspere's        Shakespeare

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism" ***

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