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endeavoring to make another by rubbing down the bar. The words ated like magic on the young philosopher. "Shall an old woman," he said to himself, "have more resolution and perseverance than I, within whose reach are the highest honors of the empire?" Inspired with new vigor, he returned to his books; his good resolutions were kept; and history still names him as among the wisest of philosophers.


Abridge, and present in your own words, the matter con. tained in Lesson XXXIX. of this volume, on "The Sublime ".


Abridge, and present in your own words, the matter contained in Lesson LXVI., on Criticism.


In the style of the Examples presented in Lesson LXVI., write a criticism on the Allegory entitled "The Palace of Vanity," quoted in Lesson LXXVI.


Questions on the Remarks in the Preceding Lessons.-What is an apologue, or fable? What is an allegory proper? What is a parallel What figure is used with advantage in parallels? What is a paraphrase? In what do paraphrases frequently occur? What are often paraphrased? What is a maxim? What is an aphorism? What was it called by the ancients? What is a proverb? What is a saw? Give examples of each. What is meant by abridging? What other name is sometimes given to this process?

Write a criticism on Dr. Johnson's Parallel between Dryden and Pope, quoted in Lesson LXXXI.



8412. Composition is the art of inventing ideas and ex pressing them by means of written language.

A composition is a written production on any subject, and of any length or style.

§ 413. There are two great divisions under which all compositions may be classed,-Prose and Poetry.

Those compositions are embraced under the head of Prose, in which a natural order and mode of expression are employed, without reference to an exact arrangement of syllables or the recurrence of certain sounds.

Poetry embraces such compositions as are characterized by a departure from the natural order and mode of expression; or, by an exact arrangement of syllables or the recurrence of certain sounds.

§ 414. The parts of composition, whether Prose or Poetry, are five; Description, Narration, Argument, Exposition, and Speculation. Either of these may separately constitute the bulk of a written production; or, they may all, as is frequently the case, enter, in a greater or less degree, into the same composition.

$415. Description consists in delineating the characteristics of any object by means of words. It forms an important part of almost every variety of composition; and allows the widest scope for ornament and beauty of language. The style used in description should correspond with the character

§ 412. What is composition? What is meant by a composition?

§ 413. What are the two great divisions under which all compositions are classed? Which are embraced under the head of Prose? Which, under Poetry?

§ 414. Enumerate the parts which enter, in a greater or less degree, into different compositions.

§ 415. In what does description consist? For what does it allow wide scope? What

of the object treated. If the latter is grand, the language in which it is described should be elevated in proportion. If beauty is the leading characteristic of the one, it should distinguish the other also. Whatever the nature of the object described, the style, to be effective, should be adapted to it, according to the principle stated under the head of Harmony.

Writers are most frequently called on to describe material objects, natural scenery, and persons.

§416. In the description of material objects, such heads as the following will generally be found appropriate; and, in drawing up an analysis for any particular subject, a selection. may be made from them, and such new divisions introduced as are suggested:

I. The place where, and the circumstances under which, the object was seen; the time when it was made, invented, or discovered; the changes which time may have produced in it.

II. Its history; traditions or reminiscences connected with it.

III. The materials of which, and the persons by whom, it was made. IV. Its form, size, and general appearance.

V. Comparison of it with any similar object.
VI. The feelings excited by beholding it.
VII. The purpose for which it was designed.
VIII. The effects it has produced.

§ 417. As a specimen of this kind of description, we extract from Forsyth's "Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters," a passage on


A colossal taste gave rise to the Coliseum. Here, indeed, gigantic mension were necessary for, though hundreds could enter at once, and fifty thousand fine seats, the space was still insufficient for Rome, and the crowd for the morning games began at midnight. Vespasian and Titus, as if presaging their own deaths, hurried the building, and left several marks of their precipitancy behind. In the upper walls they have inserted stones which had evidently been dressed for a differen purpose. Some of the arcades are grossly unequal; no moulding preserves the same level and forni round the whole ellipse, and every order is full of license.

Happily for the Coliseum, the shape necessary to an amphitheatre has given it a sta bility of construction sufficient to resist fires, and earthquakes, and lightnings, and

is said of the style to be used in description? What are writers most frequently called on to describe?

416. In the description of material objects, what heads will generally be found appropriate?

sieges. Its elliptical form was the hoop which bound and held it entire till barbarians rent that consolidating ring; popes widened the breach; and time, not unassisted, con. tinues the work of dilapidation. At this moment, the hermitage is threatened with a dreadful crash; and a generation not very remote must be content, I apprehend, with the picture of this stupendous monument.

When the whole amphitheatre was entire, a child might comprehend its design in a moment, and go direct to his place without straying in the porticoes; for each arcade bears its number engraved, and opposite to every fourth arcade was a staircase. This multiplicity of wide, straight, and separate passages, proves the attention which the ancients paid to the safe discharge of a crowd; it finely illustrates the precept of Vitruvius, and exposes the perplexity of scme modern theatres.

Every nation has undergone its revolution of vices; and, as cruelty is not the present vice of ours, we can all humanely execrate the purpose of amphitheatres, now that they lie in ruins. Moralists may tell us that the truly brave are never cruel; but this monument says, "No." Here sat the conquerors of the world, coolly to enjoy the tortures and death of men who had never offended them. Two aqueducts were scarcely sufficient to wash off the human blood which a few hours' sport shed in this imperial stumbles. Twice in one day came the senators and matrons of Rome to the butchery; a virgin always gave the signal for slaughter; and, when glutted with bloodshed, those ladies sat down in the wet and streaming arena to a luxurious supper! Such reflections check our regret for its ruin.

As it now stands, the Coliseum is a striking image of Rome itself; decayed, vacant, serious, yet grand; half-gray and half-green; erect on one side and fallen on the other, with consecrated ground in its bosom; inhabited by a beadsman; visited by every caste; for moralists, antiquaries, painters, architects, devotees, all meet here to meditate, to examine, to draw, to measure, and to pray. "In contemplating antiquities," says Livy, "the mind itself becomes antique." It contracts from such objects a venerable rust, which I prefer to the polish and the point of those wits who have lately profaned this august ruin with ridicule.


Write a Criticism on the above extract.



§418. IN descriptions of natural scenery, a selection may generally be made from the following heads. The order in which they should be treated depends somewhat on the nature of the subject.

$418. In descriptions of natural scenery, what heads will generally be found appro priate?

I. Circumstances under which it was seen; whether at sunrise, at noon, or by moonlight.

II. Natural features of the scene; level or undulating; fertile or barren; vegetation; trecs, mountains, streams, &c., within view. III. Improvements of art; whether well cultivated; buildings, and other productions of human industry.

uman beings.

IV. Living creatures that animate the scene;
V. Neighboring inhabitants; peculiarities, &c.

VL Sounds; murmur of a stream; noise of a waterfall; rustling of leaves; lowing of cattle; barking of dogs; singing of birds; cries of children; noise of machinery, &c.

VII. Distant prospect.

VIII. Comparison with any other scene.

IX. Historical associations

X. Feelings awakened in the mind.

§419. For an example of this kind of description, the stu dent is referred to the following extract from Sir Walter Scott. He will find other specimens, of a different style, inasmuch as they treat of individual curiosities of scenery rather than extended landscapes, in Willis's description of the Grotto of Adelsburg, quoted in p. 90 of this volume, and Campbell's Account of Fingal's Cave in a Letter to the poet Thomson, Lesson XCVI.


The sun was setting upon one of the rich grassy glades of this forest. Hundreds of broad-headed, short-stemmed, wide-branched, oaks, which had witnessed, perhaps, the stately march of the Roman soldiery, flung their gnarled arms over a thick carpet of the most delicious greensward. In some places, they were intermingled with beeches, hollies, and copsewood of various descriptions, so closely as totally to intercept the level beams of the sinking sun; in others, they receded from each other, forming those long sweeping vistas, in the intricacy of which the eye delights to lose itself, while imagination considers them as the paths to yet wilder scenes of sylvan solitude. Here, the red rays of the sun shot a broken and discolored light that partially hung upon the shattered boughs and mossy trunks of the trees; and there, they illuminated, in brilliant patches, the portions of turf to which they made their way.

A considerable open space in the midst of this glade seemed formerly to have been dedicated to the rites of Druidical superstition; for, on the summit of a hillock so regular as to seem artificial, there still remained part of a circle of rough unhewn stones of large dimensions. Seven stood upright the rest had been dislodged from their places, probably by the zeal of some convert to Christianity, and lay, some prostrate near their former site, and others on the side of the hill. One large stone only had found its way to the bottom; and, in stopping the course of a small brook which glided smoothly round the foot of the eminence, gave, by its opposition, a feeble voice of murmur to the placid, and elsewhere silent, streamlet.

§ 420. Descriptions of persons are often required in composition. In writing them, such heads as the following are generally taken :—.

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