W. T. (William Tenney) Brewster.

English composition and style; a handbook for college students online

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light. Swift: The Battle of the Books.

9. Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not
coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and
nights to the volumes of Addison. Samuel Johnson: Life of
Addison,

10. There are no fields of amaranth on this side of the grave;
there are no voices, O Rhodope, that are not soon mute, however
tuneful; there is no name, with whatever emphasis of passionate
love repeated, of which tiie echo is not faint at last. Landor:
£sop and Rhodope.

11. It is rather for us to be dedicated here to the great
task remaining before us, — that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these
dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God,
shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the
people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the
earth. Lincoln: The Gettysburg Address.



EXERCISES

I. What are solecisms? Point out solecisms in the following
sentences and correct them.

1. Entering the hallway, an expanse of marble columns and
handsome pictures appears, which makes you think that Barnard
is a wonderfully beautiful place, in spite of a few drawbacks
which you may see.

2. Turning around, puzzled, my eyes rested upon an attractive-
looking woman who was just coming down the stairs.

3. One day Claire and Carac, her older brother, were pitching
a football back and forth to each other, Claire being on porch
and Carac at foot of steps leading up to same.

4. In Granada, lived a poor mason but strictly religious.

5. I would like to have him here Thursday if I could ; would n't
you?

6. I leaned over to speak with him when the balustrade gave
way, it being old and rotten.



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248 English Composition and Style

7. The power of the big store has ahready been felt in every
quarter and is acknowledged by every competitor. All you have
to do is to read their advertisements and see how they admit that
they must now get less for their goods than heretofore or they
will not be in line with New York's new retail center. Some
are claiming to sell from 25 to 50 per cent lower than they ever
did before, and what is this but an admission that either they are
now claiming to do something that they are not doing or that
they have been forced by the big store to come down from the
too high prices which they have been charging heretofore.

We are happy to leave the pubUc to judge for themselves as to
which is the case, and only present to you to-day a few general
remarks about some of our departments, with the emphatic state-
ment that no other store ever has or ever can sell reliable goods
for the same low prices at which we are now selling them, and
at which we will continue to sell them for all time to come.

8. He felt very bad about leaving a place he was fonder of than
any in the worlcC but in which he could never succeed.

9. Should you object to my coming to-morrow on the errand
I spoke of? I will have only a few days in New York and Henry
said he would like me to make the most of them. If you should
have any objectiwis, will you let me know?

10. We would certainly appear ridiculous if we arrived there
too soon. John said he would come for us in ample time and I
should think that was enough; shouldn't you?

11. Will we go together or would you prefer to go alone than
with another?

12. The silver cup which will be presented to the owner who
is fortunate enough to win the Hunter's Championship Steeple-
chase race, which will be decided on Saturday was placed on exhi-
bition in front of the judge's stand before the races began.

13. When he finally reaches his camp, through the aid of the
superintendent, he looked more like a tramp than anything I can
think of and whom anybody would flee from.

14. There is probably no place in the United States where there
is such a variety of different kinds of newspapers than there is
in our great city of New York.

15. He said he would have been glad to have been an orator
like Webster, whom he was perfectly convinced was the greatest
of any American orator.

2. Supply the proper form of shall or will, should or would in
the blanks of the following passages:



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1. What else he be set for with his staff?

What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All travelers who might find him posted there.
And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh
break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
For pastime on the dusty thoroughfare,

If at his counsel I turn aside

Into that ominous tract, which, all agree

Hides the Dark Tower.

Browning: Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

2. you object to my quoting your words in connection
with the matter I bring up at the next meeting? Ander-
son said he not like me to use his name and consequently
I thought I write and get your permission to use yours.

3. Rewrite each of the following groups of simple sentences
as a compound or a complex sentence. Make several versions
of each, and determine which is best. The revisions should then
be compared with the originals.

A. I. Others are intemperate and intractable.

2. They might get hold of a good cause.

3. There could be no greater calamity than this.

Newman (p. 126 last sent).

B. I. Up up he went

2. He did not break his majestic poise.

3. But presently he appeared to sight some far-off alien
geography.

4. Then he bent his course thitherward.

5. Gradually he vanished in the blue depths.

Burroughs, p. 118.

C I. The sun had just set

2. The evening sermon was over.

3. The heart-broken congregation had separated.

4. The sentinels on the tower saw the sails of three vessels.

5. The vessels were coming up the Foyle. Macaulay, p. 117.

D. I. So the fortnight slipped away.

2. It was varied by nothing but the variation of the tide.

3. This altered Mr. Peggotty's times of going out

4. It altered Ham's engagements also. Dickens, p. iiS.



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250 English Composition and Style

£. I. I awoke again.

2. Many of the stars had disappeared.

3. Only the stronger companions of the night still burned
visibly overhead.

4. Away toward the east I saw a faint haze of light upon the
horizon.

5. It had been the Milky Way.

6. That was when I last awoke. Stevenson, p. 118.

F. I. I have thus taken my resolution to march on boldly in the

cause of virtue and good sense.
• 2. I shall annoy their adversaries, in all degrees or ranks.

3. I shall be deaf in the future to all remonstrances.

4. Remonstrances will probably be made me.

Addison, p. 119.

G. I. Mr. Newman's movement, grammatical style, and ideas, are

a thousand times in strong contrast with Homer's.
2. By the oddness of his diction and the ignobleness of his
mamier he contrasts with Homer most violently.

Arnold, p. 121.

H. I. The indirect method is the method of conveying meaning
by a series of approximations.

2. This method is best fitted for the uncultivated.

3. This may be inferred from their habitual use of it

Spencer, p. 123.

I. I. Thoreau studied with respectful attention the minks and
woodchucks, his neighbors.

2. He looked with utter contempt on the august drama of
destiny.

3. His country was the scene of this drama.

4. The curtain had already risen on this drama.

Lowell, p. 129.

4. Make the following loose sentences periodic. Where an au-
thor's name is added, compare your revision witK the original,
noting differences and trying to see which form is best.

1. He is very conscientious, fussing about the smallest details
in an order, and taking so long to fill one, that one wishes he
would hurry even if it meant mistakes.

2. Sometimes I would give up all hope of paying attention to



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the words she spoke in her clear, monotonous voice and would
try to figure out what her real human thoughts were like.

3. The sun was just going down, shedding a rich deep red over
the water as the train slowly pulled into the pretty little harbor of
Cherbourg.

4. He entered the room and closed the door before he could be
seen by any one, although all had been on the lookout for him
up to that time.

5. We had been urged to procure fine little hammers for our
geology work, hammers which would be suitable for chipping off
pieces of the interesting looking stones and rocks which we in-
spected once a week.

6. Scientists long ago have shown that all substance may exist
in the solid, liquid or gaseous state, depending only on its tem-
perature.

7. It may be a breach of good manners on the part of a guest
to criticize the whims and ways of his host, but I think it is
really an appreciation of the fun which is offered him.

8. There he was in sight at last, a quaint figure, limping along
with the aid of his stick. He must have been seventy or eighty,
with bent back and snowy hair and beard. When he reached the
gate he paused and took off his hat with a smile of recognition.

9. This girl went blind suddenly. She was always one of those
happy-go-lucky kind whom every one liked, a girl who got lots
of fun and enjoyment out of the world, more than most of us get.
Still, now when she is deprived of almost everything which for-
merly made her happy, she thinks only of her mother, never of
herself.

10. To one who loves outdoors, there is nothing more delight-
ful than a climb among the mountains, especially in the early
morning of autumn. The exertion necessary to climb sends the
blood running through one's veins, producing an exhilarating
glow, as he drinks in great drafts of the pure mountain air.

11. One of the most beautiful memorials to any man is, I think,
the Goethe house in Frankfort Of course the houses in which
great men lived have, very often, been restored and fitted up to
a certain extent by admirers of those men but very few if any
of those which I have seen, have preserved that atmosphere in
the house which makes the difference between a home and a
museum, except the Goethe house.

12. Of late I have heard many persons remark about the in-
difference of the people to aviation, as shown by the poor attend-
ance at the meetings. This is really not the result of indifference,
but is due to the fact that, after paying admission, the spectator



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252 English Composition and Style

is discouraged, irritated, and cheated out of his money's worth
by the weather or some other cause, after he has waited some
hours to see the ascent. Is it any wonder then, that attendance
is decreasing to such an extent that it has often been necessary
for the guarantor to supply prizes out of his own pocket in order
to induce the aviators to compete?

13. From the plains to the mountains, the shattered aqueducts,
pier beyond pier, melt into the darkness, like shadowy and count-
less troops of funeral mourners, passing from a nation's grave.
Ruskin. Cf. p. 93.

14. The principle on which I have been insisting is so obvious,
and instances in point are so ready,* that I should think it tire-
some to proceed with the subject, except that one or two illus-
trations may serve to explain my own language about it, which
may not have done justice to the doctrine which it has been in-
tended to enforce. Newmaa Cf. p. 105.

15. The metaphysical poets were men of learning, and to show
their learning was their whole endeavor; but unluckily resolved
to show it in rime, instead of writing poetry, they only wrote
verses, and very often such verses as stood the trial of the finger
better than the ear; for the modulation was so imperfect, that
they were only found to be verses by counting the syllables.
Johnson. Cf. p. no.

16. Suddenly, from thoughts like these, I was awakened to a
sullen sound, as of some motion on a distant road. De Quincey.
Cf. p. 112.

17. In Ionia and Attica they were luckier in this respect than
"the best race in the world"; by the Ilissus there was no Wragg,
poor thing! Arnold. Cf. p. 117.

18. Hence the talk of the cleverest was unprofitable in result,
because there was no give and take; they would grant you as
little as possible for premise, and begin to dispute under an oath
to conquer or die. Stevenson. Cf. p. 120.

ig. Macaulay's learning is confined to book-lore; he is not
well read in the human heart, and still less in the human spirit.
Morrison Cf. p. 127.

5. Throw the following sentences or groups of ideas into the
balanced form:

I. They sat on either side of me. One wrapped in a mink
cloak, which nearly touched the ground, a huge muff lying idly
in her lap. The other had on a tight black jacket, a scrawny
piece of cheap fur was tied around her neck, her hands seemed



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Sentences 253

to have shrunk within the soiled brown gloves she wore and they
clung tightly to a shabby black purse.

2. The place seemed to be deserted so when some of the party
suggested exploring it, there was an eager cry of assent

3. It is not only undiplomatic for Peary to take this attitude
but it is ungentlemanly. It shows that Cook is a bigger man
from the point of view of courtesy whether or not from the
scientific point of view.

4. No matter how high the ordinary climber may ascend, there
will be other peaks which tantalizingly beckon to come up higher.

5. I think something of the elemental man that still survives
in the civilized citizens of the twentieth century is shown by what
most of us call our love of music Perhaps love of music is a
rather misapplied phrase in most cases, and we would be more
exact if we said we were fond of noise.

6. The first impressions which Chesterton made upon me were
somewhat vague, just as in coming upon an3rthing for the first
time we get a cursory, undetailed impression. I think that the
thing which appealed to me most was the general brilliance of
originality of thought and expression, together with a somewhat
daring fearlessness and an almost epigrammatic, at least a de-
cidedly "quotable," turn of expression.

7. It was a canoe, with two figures paddling, the golden glow
coming from a tiny box-lantern. By the time the outlines were
distinct, we could see the waving path of phosphorus left by the
beat of the oars, a silver road from the nowhere to us.

8. There is more university spirit and far less of class spirit
in the West The most spirit is displayed there in athletics espe-
cially football and very little in class elections and there is no
rivalry whatever between different classes.

9. But we did not think of that, and so seven night-gowned
figures proceeded to show their bravery when we heard him
moving. Then we hurried to our rooms and by the time he had
decided what course to take we were almost sound asleep.

10. She has a remarkable poise and bearing and handles the
situation with a cleverness which is admirable.

11. The people were of very different types, ranging from busi-
nessmen to newsboys and bootblacks.

12. There are many fine bits of description throughout which
take the place of illustrations and in style it may be compared
with any of Zola's works.

13. The Lake of Lucerne is nearly cruciform in shape, its
length is about twenty-three miles, width varies from one-half to
two miles and its greatest depth being seven hundred feet



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254 English Composition and Style

6. Correct the following sentences in various ways as indi-
cated
A. For better unity of meaning:

1. The people in town gave him his food and he appeared to
have no money but one day he died and it was found that he had
considerable money.

2. Alan held his stand bravely, nothing daunted him; shots
and cries could be heard at a great distance.

3. The great advantage of a college education is that it gives a
man a sense of responsibility which he has to assume at once on
his entrance to the college, which now allows a man to elect
studies that have a bearing on his future career, there being sev-
eral electives at Columbia and more at Harvard.

4. As my friend's boat was at Bayswater, we took the carriage
and went there after first providing ourselves with so much lunch
that we were unable later to eat it, although all fishermen do
that and we did not wish to prove any exception to the rule.

5. It is to the effect that the woman, who is the wife of a
prosperous real-estate broker, and resides with her family in a
c6mfortable four-story house in one of the most respectable por-
tions of the city was attacked in her own hallway by a thief who
was robbing her home, and, after dazing her with the spray of
a liquid which is believed to have been a solution of carbolic acid,
plucked a valuable pair of earrings from her ears and a pin from
her breast before leaving the house.

6. When the garrulous girl of critical eighteen from her su-
perior position in the center of the load had turned from her
quotations from the authors whom we all read in grammar school,
with indifferent success but much apparent self-satisfaction, had
turned from her illuminating discussion of all the plays she had
seen, as well as those she had not, and had be^n a tirade against
those unfortunate fellow-beings who were delinquent in English
grammar, I expected trouble.

7. Being exceptionally intelligent and capable, she succeeded in
organizing a school in which she herself and engaged assistants
taught the people what the children learn in our primary schools,
and besides sufficient agricultural knowledge to make their plots
yield somewhere near the proper amount

8. The most wonderful thing, which must strike every reason-
ing intelligence which thinks about it is the way the passengers
behaved in that crisis which came so unexpectedly, and then the
heroism of it all must be apparent.

9. The silver cup which will be presented to the owner who
is fortunate enough to win the Hunter's Championship Steeple-



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chase race, which will be decided on Saturday was placed on exhi-
bition in front of the judge's stand before the races began.

10. After we wandered about, for the greater part of the night,
through cornfields and climbing numerous fences, we returned
home very tired and disappointed but eager for the next expe-
rience which we hoped would be more successful.

11. After three or four hundred years of search for the North
Pole it is certainly a strange state of affairs to have two men
appearing almost together and announcing to the world that they
have each discovered the long sought pole, one claiming to have
found it a year earlier than the other.

12. Whenever I hear a discussion upon the imaginations of
children I am reminded of a story which I once heard of a little
girl, who was possessed by an imagination so great, that she used
to tell very exaggerated and improbable yams, much to the dis-
tress of her parents, and her mother finally told her that she
should have to punish her the very next time that she told an
untrue story.

13. The new curriculum has been a great change and has cer-
tainly made Columbia, together with the new buildings, much more
popular than it was formerly.

14. He also wishes to show the struggle between love of the
world and love of the man, in which the latter eventually triumphs.

15. In his new play, "Barbara Frietchie," Mr. Fitch has dealt
with the old theme, of love between nominal enemies, and has
laid the scene of his story in the town of Frederick during the
Civil War.

16. But they either are engaged in pleasant and profitable
business and have no desire of changing or being in such a condi-
tion as to be independent they do not care to assume the great
responsibility and worry of this position.

17. As the people have been for centuries deprived of all rights
by both Church and State and as, consequently, they have no
ability to govern themselves and no conception of true govern-
ment, conditions identical with those of the French in 1789, there-
fore the horrible scenes of the French Revolution would be repro-
duced and the civilized world would shrink in horror at the
atrocities of the Filipinos as it has recently done at the barbarity
of Spain.

B, For better coherence:

I. He acted under the fear of what might befall him and that
his friend would only realize the motive of his actions when it
was too late for him to help in any way.



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256 English Composition and Style

2. To insure intelligibility of criticism, we might limit it to
adjectives of two syllables and so do away with our ever-ready
pocket dictionaries.

3. Having considered the thing from every point of view, the
accident can only seem due to the most extreme negligenoe on
the part of the servants of the company; the survivors asserted
that they were not requested by them to keep their heads in the
midst of their excitement

4. As the number of prisoners increased, and as time went on,
they proceeded to wreck the place; first, in monkeying with the
water meter, they shut the water off, then on discovering a dark
closet they succeeded in spilling what chemicals they could lay
their hands on, and after the various electric wires had been cut,
a huge feather duster, which perfumed through the house a rich,
delicious odor, was stuffed into the furnace.

5. Though a New Yorker, East Hampton is more like home to
me than any other place.

6. They were made removable only by the general of the army,
thus placing them beyond the authority of the president, who
disapproved of the whole plan.

7. The men that were there yesterday and your father who
arrived after you left said that there was no prospect of an end
to the strike nevertheless we hope the trouble will soon be past.

8. Shylock, praising the great learning of the young lawyer
and thanking him profusely, is about to execute it, when Portia
reminds him that the bond does not mention a drop of blood being
shed; it being impossible to take the flesh without doing so.

9. Such detail is employed in all instructions that every one
except a true blockhead must learn something, and as far as my
own experience goes, I feel that I have learned in a short time,
by this method, more than I could have done otherwise in just
the same or perhaps even in a longer time.

10. Being accustomed as I was to New England farms where
a five-acre com field is considered very large, an eight-acre field
seemed enormous indeed, and never having seen more than six
hogs at one time and these kept in a pen, a pasture containing'
some three hundred "porkers" was a distinct revelation.

11. We followed him through it all and visited the beef and
mutton department also and came away with our appetites for
meat unimpaired as we had found everything as clean as possible
and absolutely none of the conditions described in **The Jungle."

12. Two of our daily papers are making this controversy a
veritable battle-ground, namely, the Herald and the Times.

13. They will be of all' ages and sizes from the mischievous



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*• Primer Class" scholar to the young men and women who sit
upon the long back seat all alike ready to adore the teacher who
pleases them to make life miserable for the one who fails to.

14. Since phonographs were invented, they have been scoffed
at by people who thought themselves cultured, considered an
amusement for the "lower classes," and generally looked down
upon, mainly, I think, because at first most of the songs repro-
duced were rather vulgar.

15. That her hold was full of water could easily be seen, for
when we were within hailing distance, three pumps were seen at
work sending out streams of water in as large streams as the
hose of a fire-engine emits.

16. What better conveys a feeling of awe than to look at the
tops of trees, right beside one, whose roots are out of sight far
below, and whose verdant foliage can be justly compared to no
other scene in nature.

17. Economic Clubs, with memberships ranging from 200 to
1,200, have already been organized under the direction of the
League in New York City, Boston, Springfield, Brockton, and
Fall River, Mass., Providence, R. I., Portland, Me., New Haven,
Conn, and other places. Over five hundred speeches have already
been delivered before these clubs, most of the speakers for which
were obtained through the Speakers' Bureau of the League.

18. For whereas there are about 400 species of flowering plants
in the Arctic regions, until Dr. Charcot discovered two flowering
plants in more than one locality on the western coast of Graham



Online LibraryW. T. (William Tenney) BrewsterEnglish composition and style; a handbook for college students → online text (page 22 of 43)