a person, or with only an incident in his life? Whose life? Are
we given the story oi an historical event ? Who gives the retro-
spective narrative ?
Analyze the situation. What situation element is repeated in
the conclusion ?
Can you see the resemblance between the method used here
and that in section 48, in our imaginary conversation? Is the
resemblance close? Study the transition and the conclusion in
the latter : in the former.
^ I ^
i S ^
ft > ^
Retrospective Narrative 79
50. Theme-model II. in Outline. We derive the
following outline from Southey's Battle of Blenheim :
The poem consists of four parts — a situation, a
transition, retrospective narrative, and a conclusion.
1 . The situation belongs to Situation-type I. (§25).
2. The transition provides an occasion for the
telling of the story — here it is the finding of the
skull, and the questions about it. The transition
Lowell begins his Vision of Sir Launfal with
" 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."
The function of the transition, in Theme-model
II., is to "build a bridge*' from the situation to the
3. The retrospective narrative —
a. Deals with the story of events which hap-
pened previous to the time of the situation.
b. Follows the order of time.
c. The first sentence of the retrospective nar-
rative makes a general statement in regard to the
event described. " *T was a famous victory " charac-
terizes the event, the details of which Old Kaspar
gives in the remainder of the retrospective narra-
tive. This introductory sentence we call the charac-
d. The rest of the retrospective narrative proves
the general statement made in the introductory
sentence by giving the details of the events which
form the subject of the narrative.
8o Composition and Rhetoric
4. The conclusion summarizes the story, and
returns to the situation by means of dialogfue.
"And what good came of it at last?"
51. Unity in Retrospective Narrative. The situ-
ation at the beginning and the conclusion are to the
retrospective narrative what a frame is to a picture.
The frame satisfies our sense of completeness, thus
serving an artistic end besides its utilitarian use
in preserving the picture. It says for the picture,
"This is all." In a narrative also we like to feel
quite clearly that the end has come. This use of
the situation and the conclusion is one way to secure
unity or oneness of impression in a narrative. The
student should remember hereafter what is meant
by "framing a picture" when we talk of narration.
The use of the characterizing sentence at the begin-
ning of the retrospective narrative is another means
of securing unity.
This principle of unity is very important — not
only in telling a story, but in writing a description,
an exposition, an argument, or any combination of
these. We shall find it appearing in all our study
of composition, and a large part of our task will
be to preserve unity in the various themes we shall
write. Indeed, many of the rules and directions we
have learned, or shall learn, are really means of
securing unity. The discussion of this law is much
fuller under the subject of Description. (See Chap-
52. Outline of the Study of Dialogue. Before
writing a story according to Theme-model II., it
is necessary to understand some technical matters
Retrospective Narrative 8i
about the handling of dialogue, which is used in
that theme-model.^ We must learn how to punc-
tuate and paragraph it, and how the principle of
variety enters into it. The remainder of the chap-
ter is devoted to a discussion of this subject.
We shall consider under the special subject of
Dialogue six topics, as follows :
1. The paragraphing of dialogue.
2. The punctuation of dialogue.
3. The varying of the verb or expression which
introduces the direct quotation.
4. The varying of the subject of the introduc-
tory verb or expression.
5. The varying of the position of the introduc-
tory verb or expression.
6. The elaboration of dialogue:
a. By the use of description and narration.
b. By means of certain grammatical units, — the
phrase, clause, etc.
53. The Paragraphing of Dialogue. The fol-
lowing extract illustrates the principle that in dia-
logue each speech should form a separate paragraph.
The word paragfraph is here used in the sense of a
division or break in the text :
"Hark ye, mother — oughtn't we to buy us a lamp?"
"A lamp ? What sort of lamp ? "
"What! Don't you know that the storekeeper who
lives in the market town has brought from St. Peters-
burg lamps that actually bum better than ten pdrea f*
They've already got a lamp of the sort at the parsonage."
" Oh, yes ! Isn't it one of those things which shines
* A pare (Ft. , pay ray ; Swed. , pert a ; Ger. . per get) is a resin-
OQs pine chip, or splinter, used instead of torch or candle to light
the poorer houses in Finland,
82 Composition and Rhetoric
in the middle of the room so that we can see to read in
every corner, just as if it was broad'daylight ?"
"That's just it. There's oil that bums in it, and you
only have to light it of an evening, and it bums on with-
out gpinff out till the next morning."
"But how can the wet oil bum ?"
"You might as well ask — how ean brandy bum ?"
"But it might set the whole place on fire. When
brandy begins to bum you can't put it out, even with
" How can the place be set on fire when the oil is
shut up in a glass, and the fire as well?"
"In a glass? How can fire bum in a glass — won't
"Won't what burst?"
" Burst ! No, it never bursts. It might burst, I grant
you, if you screwed the fire up too high, but you're not
obliged to do that."
" Screw up the fire ? Nay, dear, you're joking — how
can you screw up fire ? "
"Listen, now! When you turn the screw to the
ri|fht, the wick mounts — the lamp, you know, has a
wick, like any common candle, and a flame too — but if
you turn the screw to the left, the flame gets smaller,
and then, when you blow it, it goes out."
" It goes out ! Of course ! But I don't understand
it a bit yet, however much you may explain."
— JOHANI BrOFELDT (pSCud. JOHANI Aho),
Squire Hellman and Other Stories,
Suggestions. — Has each speech been given in a s ,
graph? Do quotation marks enclose each speech?*
interrogative and exclamatory sentences.
1. In dialogue commence a new paragraph when one
person stops talking and another begins,
2. Enclose each speech in quotation marks,
3. An interrogative sentence should close with an
interrogation pointy and an exclamatory sentence with
an exclamation point.
Retrospective Narrative - 83
I. Write an original dialogue on this model.
Let it be a story told by one person in answer to
another's questions. Use no verb of introduction.
We are now learning merely to paragraph dialogue.
II. Paragraph and supply the quotation marks
in the following :
Excuse me. Is it not true you are young ? I am three
and twenty. Ah ! and you had, doubtless, a father who
cared for your early instruction, — who, perhaps, was
himself a scholar ? Yes, at least a father by
adoption. He was a Neapolitan and of accomplished
scholarship, both Latin and Greek. But he is lost to
me — was lost in a voyage he too rashly undertook to
— Adapted from QTS.OKGE. Eliot's Romola.
Ah, young man, you are happy in having been able
to unite the advantages of travel with those of study.
. . . . But doubtless, young man, research after the
treasures of antiquity was not alien to the purpose of
your travels. Assuredly not. On the contrary, my
companion, — my father, — was willing to risk his life in
his zeal for the discovery of inscriptions and other
traces of ancient civilization.
— Adapted from George Eliot's Romola,
I am Atlas the mightiest giant in the world ! And I
hold the sky upon my head ! So I see. But, can you
show me the way to the garden of the Hesperides?
What do you want there ? I want three of the golden
apples for my cousin, the king. There is nobody but
myself that can go to the garden of the Hesperides, and
gather the golden apples. If it were not for this little
business of holding up the sky, I would make half a
dozen steps across the sea, and get them for you. You
84 Composition and Rhetoric
are very kind. And cannot you rest the sky upon a
mountain ? None of them are quite high enough.
— Adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Wonder Book,
Where are you from ? I am a Pole Have
you served ? Have you testimonials of honorable gov-
ernment service ? . . . . Here are the testimonials.
I received this cross in 1830. This second one is Span-
ish from the Carlist War, the third is the French Legion,
the fourth I received in Hungary. Afterward I fought
in the States against the South; there they do not give
crosses Do you know sea service ? I served
three years on a whaler Still you seem too
old for a light-house keeper. Sir, .... I am
greatly wearied, knocked about. I have passed through
much, as you see. This place is one of those which I
have wished for most ardently. I am old, I need rest.
I need to say to myself, here you will remain; this is
your port. Ah sir this depends now on you alone. . .
. . Well I take you; you are light-house keeper.
— Adapted from Henryk Sienkiewicz*s Sielanka,
Note. — In the above excerpts the expressions which are used
to introduce the direct quotations are omitted because the student
has ^ot yet learned how to punctuate the direct <juotation when
the introductory word or expression is used. This omission has
necessitated the maJcing of some changes in the punctuation of
54. The Punctuation of Dialogue. The follow-
ing sentences give us the seven possible forms of
the direct quotation, with the proper punctuation of
each type :
"Give me the book," he said.
He said, "Give me the book, John."
"Give the book," he said, "to me."
"Give me the book," he said. " It is mine."
"Is this your book?" he asked.
Retrospective Narrative 85
6. " What an interesting book this is ! " he ex-
7. "Give me the book, John," he said.
Suggestions. — i. Note especially the punctuation of the name
of the person addressed.
2. In the broken quotation — that is, in the quotation in which
the introductory verb occurs between parts of the quotation — read
the sentence aloud through the introductory verb. Then ask, ••Is
the sentence already complete ? " If it is, place a period after the
introductory verb, and begin the remainder of the (}uotation with
a capital letter. See the fourth illustration of the direct quotation
above. If the sentence is not complete when read. through the
introductory verb, punctuate as in the third illustration of the
3. Note that the quotation mBxks follow the interrogation or
I. Learn to write, with correct punctuation, the
seven illustrations of the direct quotation given in
section 54. Write original sentences, using as a
model each of the seven direct quotations given in
II. Paragraph and supply the necessary punctu-
ation marks in the following quotations :
What is the matter said he eagerly what mean these
cries and that clashing of swords ? Only a trick of the
times said Wamba they are all prisoners. Who are
prisoners exclaimed Gurth impatiently. My lord and
my lady, Athelstane and Hundibert and Oswald. . .
. . Our master was too ready to fight said the jester
and Athelstane was not ready enough and no other
person was ready at all. They are prisoners to green
cassocks and black visors. . ... Wamba said
Gurth thou hast a weapon and thy heart was ever
stronger than thy brain we are only two but a sudden
attack from men of resolution will do much follow me.
Whither and for what purpose said the jester
— Sia Walter Scott. Ivanhoe.
86 Composition and Rlutoric
You are contented then said Vamey to take court
service. Ay, worshipful sir, if you like my terms as well
as I like yours. And what are your terms demanded
Vamey. If I am to have a quick eye for my patron's
interest he must have a dull one towards my faults said
Lamboume. Ay said Vamey so they lie not too grossly
open. Agreed said Lamboume. Next if I run down
game I must have the picking of the bones. That is
but reason replied Vamey so that your betters are
served before you. Good said Lamboume and if the
law and I quarrel my patron must bear me out.
Reason again said Vamey if the quarrel hath happened
in your master's service. For the wage and so forth I
say nothing proceeded Lamboume ; it is the secret
guerdon that I must live by.
— Sir Walter Scott, Kenilworth.
I will pay he said the thousand pounds of silver
that is he added after a moment's pause I will pay it
with the help of my brethren When and
where must it be delivered? Here replied Front de
Boeuf .... weighed and told down on this very
dungeon floor And what is to be my surety
said the Jew that I shall be at liberty after this ransom
is paid? The word of a Norman noble thou pawn-
broking slave answered Front de Boeuf But
wherefore should I rely wholly on the word of one who
will trust nothing to mine said Isaac timidly. Because
thou canst not help it Jew said the knight
Grant me he said at least with my own liberty that of
the companions with whom I travel They
may contribute in some sort to my ransom.
— Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe,
The garden of the Hesperides cried one. We thought
mortals had been weary of seeking it after so many
disappointments. And pray adventurous traveler, what
do you want there ? A certain king who is my cousin
replied he has ordered me to get him three golden
apples. Most of the young men who go in quest of.
these apples observed another of the damsels desire to
obtain them for themselves or tp present them to some
fair maiden whom they love. Do you then love this
king your cousin so very much. Perhaps not replied
the stranger sighing. He has often been severe and
cruel to me. But it is my destiny to obey him. And
do you know asked the damsel who had first spoken
that a terrible dragon with a hundred heads keeps
watch under the golden apple-tree ?
— Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Wonder Book,
Suggestion. — See Appendix I. for rules for punctuation.
55. Varying the Introductory Verb or Expres-
sion. The following is a list of words which may
be used to introduce a direct quotation :
Digitized by VjOO
88 Composition and Rhetoric
Vary the verb or verbal expression introducing
the direct quotations in the following selections.
Supply the necessary marks of punctuation and
paragraph in accordance with the rules given in
sections 53 and 54:
Is the sky very heavy he . Why not particularly
so at first the giant shrugging his shoulders but it
gets to be a little burdensome after a thousand years.
And how long a tim^ the hero will it take you to
get the golden apples ? Oh, that will be done in a few
moments Atlas. I shall take ten or fifteen miles at
a stride and be at the garden and back again before
your shoulders begin to ache. Well, then Hercules
I will climb the moimtain behind you there and relieve
you of your burden.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Wonder Book,
Cousin Eustace Sweet Fern who had been sit-
ting at the story-teller's feet with his mouth wide open
exactly how tall was this giant? O Sweet Fern Sweet
Fern the student, do you think I was there to
measure him with a yard-stick? Well, if you must
know to a hair's-breadth I suppose he might be from
three to fifteen miles straight upward Dear
me the good little boy with a contented sort of a
grunt that was a giant sure enough and how long was
his little finger As long as from Tanglewood to the
lake Eustace. Sure enough that was a giant
Sweet Fern. .... And how broad, I wonder, were
the shoulders of Hercules That is what I have never
been able to find out the student I wish
Sweet Fern with his mouth close to the student's
ear, that you would tell me how big were some of the
oak-trees that grew between the giant's toes. They
were bigger Eustace than the chestnut-tree.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne,^. Wonder Book ^
Retrospective Narrative 89
56. Varying the Subject of the Introductory
Verb. Observe how the subject of the verb which
introduces the direct quotation is varied in the fol-
lowing diagram of a conversation between A and B,
two enemies engaged in a deadly combat. A is a
Continental, B a Tory who has murdered A*s brother.
A is avenging his brother's murder.
" ," said the Tory. •
" said his opponent.
'* said the British soldier.
" said the Continental.
" said his enemy.
" said the American.
" said the culprit.
" said the avenger.
" said his victim.
'* said the victor.
Suggestions. — How many synonyms are secured for the word
Tory ? How many for Continental ? Can you tell from the syno-
nyms chosen for the words, Continental and Tory, the feeling or
relation of one character to the other at the time of a particular
If the subject were not varied as above, the rep-
etition of the words Continental and Tory would
become monotonous. We should have the expres-
sions "said the Tory/* "said the Continental/* "said
the Tory/* "said the Continental/* "said the Tory/*
"said the Continental/* repeated many times.
Vary the subject of the verb, or verbal expression,
introducing the direct quotation in the dialogue,
in sections 54 and 55. As you do not know the
context of these quotations, you will be obliged to
infer from the conversation who the speakers are.
90 Composition and Rhetoric
57. Varying the Position of the Introductory
Verb. Observe how the position of the expression
or verb which introduces the direct quotation is
varied in the following dialogue, which is taken
from Hawthorne's The Great Stone Face:
Still, Ernest's neighbor was thrusting his elbow into
his side, and pressing him for an answer.
'•Confess! confess! Is not he the very picture of
your Old Man of the Mountain?"
"No ! " said Ernest, bluntly, "I see little or no like-
" Then so much the worse for the Great Stone Face ! "
answered his neighbor; and again he set up a shout for
Old Stony Phiz.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne,
The Snow Image y and Other Twice- Told Tales,
Suggestions.— I. In the first speech in the above quotation the
** verb or expression of saying" precedes the quotation. Call this
Type I. , which may be represented as follows : He said, *• "
2. In the second speech the ''verb of sayinop " occurs between
the parts of the quotation. Call this Type II., which may be
represented as follows: ** ," said he,'* ."
3. In the third speech the *' verb of saying " follows the quota-
tion. Call this Tjrpe III. , which may be represented by the follow-
ing diagram ; * * — , " said he.
4. What is the verb introducing the direct quotation in each
speech of the above extract?
Caution. — In writing dialogue^ never let Type I. fol-
low Type /., Type 11. Type IL^ etc, but vary in some such
way as this: /., ///./ //., ///./ /., //.; ///., /.
Supply a different verb to introduce each speech
in the following extracts, and vary its position "with
reference to the quotation (see §§55 and 57). Para-
graph and punctuate these selections in accordance
with the rules already given for the paragraphing
and punctuating of dialogue.
Retrospective Narrative 91
Mrs, Tulliver : Tom, you naughty boy, where's your
Tom : I don't know.
Mrs, Tulhver : Why, where did you leave her?
Tom : Sitting under the tree against the pond.
Mrs, Tulliver : Then go and fetch her in this
minute, you naughty boy ! How could you think o*
going to the pond and taking your sister where there
— George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss,
Shy lock: Three thousand ducats; well.
Bassanio: Ay, sir, for three months.
Shylock: For three months ; well.
Bassanio: For the which, as I told you, Antonio
shall be bound.
Shylock: Antonio shall become bound ; well.
Bassanio: May you stead me? will you pleasure
me ? shall I know your answer ?
Shylock: Three thousand ducats for three months
and Antonio bound.
Bassanio : Your answer to that.
Shylock: Antonio is a good man.
Bassanio: Have you heard any imputation to the
Shylock: Oh, no, no, no, no: my meaning in say-
ing he is a good man is to have you understand me
that he is sufficient. „, ^
— William Shakspere,
The Merchant of Venice y Act 1,^ Sc, j.
Jacques: By my troth, I was seeking for a fool,
when I found you.
Orlando : He is drown'd in the brook ; look but in,
and you shall see him.
Jacques : There I shall see mine own figure.
Orlando: Which I take to be either a fool or a
P ' — William Shakspere,
As You Like It, Act III., Sc. 2.
92 Composition and Rhetoric
58. The Elaboration of Dialogue. Dialogue is
elaborated by the use of words, phrases, or clauses,
to modify the verb which introduces the quotation
or the subject of that verb. Through this elabora-
tion we learn how the speakers looked when they
made a certain speech ; how they felt ; what their
manner was ; where they were ; in what tone they
spoke, etc. These little touches enrich the dialogue
and awaken our interest in the speakers by making
them more real. When we telephone to a person
we hear only his voice and words, but when we talk
to him near at hand we use our eyes as well as our
ears ; note his dress and manner, the expression of
his face, and his gestures. We also make mental
note of his character as revealed in his appearance
or speech, or from what we know of his past. The
mind is thus kept very active, and dialogue is there-
fore a very complex activity in real life; it is much
more than the mere words that are spoken in con-
If the dialogue we write in our themes is to have
any resemblance to that of real life, we must tran-
scribe all the latent elements that accompany the
words spoken, because our pleasure or lack of
pleasure in a conversation depends often as much
upon these accompaniments as upon what is said.
We shall study first the kinds of narrative and
descriptive details which may be used in this
elaboration, and secondly, the grammatical forms in
which these details may be expressed. Thus we
shall consider the subject of dialogue elaboration on
the sides of both thought ^.vAfortn; that is, from both
the logical and grammatical points of view.
Retrospective Narrative 93
59. Elaboration of Dialogue on the Side of
Thought. Dialogue may be amplified by means of
certain narrative and descriptive motives, which
give us details in regard to the speakers, the place,
and other matters connected with the dialogue.
I. By means of description.
a. Description of personal appearance,
" Bless us," cried the Mayor, " What's that ? "
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat ;
Nor brighter was his eye^ nor tnoister
Than a too-long-opened oyster y
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous