W. T. (William Tenney) Brewster.

English composition and style; a handbook for college students online

. (page 25 of 43)
Online LibraryW. T. (William Tenney) BrewsterEnglish composition and style; a handbook for college students → online text (page 25 of 43)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

4. Write the foregoing sentences or ideas in connection with
other ideas, in order that by its context the form of the sentence
may be more restricted than at present


by Google

28o English Composition and Style

5, Explain any differences in meaning between the following
paragraphs, or other groups similarly chosen. The phrase "dif-
ference in meaning" may be taken to include effects and impres-
sions as well as literal meaning. What, so to speak, is the differ-
ence in the by-products of the paragraphs? Make a still better
paragraph of the material. See also pp. 159-172 and 282-294.

A I. "Well," I said to a helper, at dress rehearsal, "how do you
like Avonia ? " The helper thought a moment " She seems to fit
the part pretty well," she said, — then more doubtfully, ** She is n't
a very nice sort of a girl, is she?" And we had been afraid that
the acting was not unrefined enough, for the girl who took the
part acted under the "difficulty" of having naturally a splendid
enunciation and a wonderfully quiet and ladylike manner.

A 2. We were all worried in the beginning lest her perfect
enunciation and pleasant, restrained manner, for she had been
voted the most ladylike* girl in her class, would interfere with her
interpretation of the part of a rather noisy and unrefined actress.

She practised dropping^ ** g's " and using slang, and laughing
noisily until she was a good Avonia Bunn. But to us there still
appeared the dear quiet girl we knew so well, and I, for one, was
afraid the audience would see her that way, also.

"Well," I said to a helper at dress-rehearsal, "what do you
think of Avonia?" She spoke carefully, rather doubtfully. "She
seems to fit the part pretty well ; she is n't a very nice sort of a girl
is she?" I don't think we need worry any more that she is too
refined for the part. If any one thinks she is "not a very nice
sort of a girl" she must be able to disgufse her real self in her

A3. She was voted the most ladylike girl in the class; by this
is meant the most quiet and refined. She is to take the part of
a very unrefined actress and we all worried in the beginning lest
her perfect enunciation and pleasant, restrained manner would in-
terfere with her interpretation of the part

She went through her whole part, carefully dropping " fir's " and
adding slang and rehearsed her rather wild laugh until she seemed
to do it pretty well; but to us who knew her there still appeared
in noisy Avonia Bunn, the dear little quiet girl we all knew; I,

for one, was really worried that every one would see refined

rather than Avonia, although the acting was perfectly splendid.

"Well," I said to one of the helpers, at dress-rehearsal, "what
do you think of Avonia? " " She seems to fit the part pretty well,"
said the helper thoughtfully ; then rather doubtfully, " She is n't a
very nice sort of a girl, is she ? " I don't suppose we need worry


by Google

Words and Sentences 281

any more that our friend can not act well enough to disguise her
real personality.

6. Read carefully the paragraphs on pages 1 16-130 with a
view to noting the ideas that they express. Without further
looking at the paragraphs, try to express the same ideas in
your own language, and then compare the result with the orig-
inal. Express also the following groups of ideas in single or con-
secutive sentences in as interesting a way as possible. Compare
your versions with the originals (pp. 294-299) to note omissions
and differences of fact as well as variations in style and par-
ticularly in interest Account for such differences by context, oc-
casion, and personal qualities. Which of the original passages
seem to be said about as well as they could be said ?

1. Science obtains its results in the same way as conclusions are
drawn in any branch of life. In all cases we use deduction and in-
duction, but, of course, science uses them with scrupulous care.
Huxley, p. 294.

2. Every cultivated language contains learned words and pop-
ular words. The former we are always familiar with, the latter
come to us from books and reading, and are less widely used than
the popular words. Together the two classes comprise all our
words, and the distinction between the classes is important. Green-
ough and Kittredge, p. 295.

3. Addison's prose is exceedingly good in the average style; for
he is never excessive in any way; it is light, pure, exact, equable,
and easy. He never goes out of his way to ornament his style
or to try experiments, and he is consequently always clear if sel-
dom brilliant Johnson, p. 295.

4. Whittier's lack of artistic feeling, like his lack of humor,
though to a less degree than the latter, was serious. It appears
in his metrical forms and his rimes. His figures of speech show
that he was also deficient in imagination; they are all ordinary.
So, too, with his moralizing. Wendell, p. 295.

5. It is a grave mistake to think of books as more important
than the men who wrote them. If we take to bibliolatry we are
doing wrong, for we are worshiping flesh instead of spirit. The
important thing is that men should think about things in a first-
hand way, without accepting dogma. In fact, all real books have
been written by men who thought in this first-hand way. Emerson,
p. 296.

6. If we are going to get out of poetry all there is in it we must
learn to know what good poetry is. No charlatanism must be al-


by Google

282 English Composition and Style

lowed to invade our discrimination between what is excellent and
what is not so good ; for poetry to have a real value must be of the
highest character. Arnold, p. 296.

7. It is a well-known principle that the exercise of power de-
creases the further it is removed and this is true in government
It is quite natural, for example, that the remote provinces of Tur-
key and Spain cannot be so firmly governed as the home provinces.
Burke, p. 297.

S. When the music of the challengers ceased, a blast of defiance
sounded from the further end of the lists and everybody looked in
that direction. A solitary knight of medium size mounted on a fine
horse appeared. He was well armed and bore the device on his
shield of a tree torn up by the roots and the motto Desdichado,
the Disinherited. He was courteous and graceful and won the
heart of the crowd, who advised him to avoid all but the easiest
of the challengers. But instead he hit the shield of Brian de Bois-
Guilbert with the sharp point of his spear, thereby challenging him
to mortal combat Everybody was astonished and so was Brian.
Scott, p. 297.

9. According to the philosophy of the sect, there is an analogy
between clothes and the universe; that is to say, everything in the
way of clothes has its counterpart in nature. Swift, p. 298.

10. At the time when Pendennis first saw Miss Frotheringay,
she was about twenty-six years old, and very beautiful, much more
so than when she appeared some years later in London society.
At the time of which we are speaking, she had an excellent figure,
and beautiful features. Her coloring, with the exception of her
teeth, was superb, and her expression one of great charm and in-
telligence. She made a great hit on the stage, and Pendennis fell
madly in love with her. Thackeray, p. 298.

7. Rewrite the following passages in several different ways,
using more than one sentence or one paragraph for each re-
phrasing, if necessary. Explain any differences in meaning, or
tell what each revision does, and explain why one form is better
than another. Other paragraphs for revision are to be found on
pages 143-172-

1. In my Spanish class there is one member whom we all would
like to get even with in some way or other. She is a native and
so she never has any trouble with the work like we poor learners.

2. One woman with a basket of eggs was going from place to
place, inquiring the price of eggs that her friends had received.

3. As I watched the workmen building the apartment house
across the street, I used to compare it to my own life.


by Google

Words and Sentences 283

4. Now it wears a determined look; that theme must be written.
She takes out a picture of a friend from her book ; she is evidently
going to cut the Gordian knot

5. Growing as they did, on the edge of the pond, it was very
swampy, and in our attempts to get the prettiest ones which always
grew farther out into the pond, we often got very wet and muddy.

6. Almost the first thing which strikes her eye is an elevator;
and as she is led hastily through the building, it seems as if the
elevator were mischievously darting ahead of her to place itself
in her path every time she turns.

7. It seems to be one of the half-formulated theories of story-
book writers and parents who bring up their children in a town
that those country-bred youngsters who have the fortunate lot of
living on a farm are among the blessed.

8. Some part of the body may be in constant use and so may
the memory, but this would not be education; it is only when the
intellect is generally exercised.

9. Being a lover of nature Herrick's poetry seems very natural,
and we cannot but feel a strain of realism running through them.

la Most knowledge comes from the concentration of the mind
on a certain thing and gradually becoming more and more familiar
with the subject and its parts.

11. Because of his gentle and kind nature Hamlet could not kill
the unlawful king outright since he was not sure that the ghost
had spoken truly, but he feigned madness for political reasons, or
rather that he might not be responsible for any rash acts on his
own part, since he was completely unnerved by the ghost's appear-
ance and determined to follow the advice of the apparition.

12. Some day, perhaps, we will all know that there are water-
babies existing, and Kingsley says there are other things which
men now say are contrary to nature.

13. Contrary to the usual war-novel which displays the heroism
of the cultured people only, this tale depicts the indomitable spirit
of the uneducated mountaineer, and how nature asserted, itself
here also when families became a kingdom divided against itself;
but out of war's desolation love was triumphant in spite of alL

14. He was only convinced of the futility of the plan after the
committee had told him it was against its interest, there being in it
no public spirit or real reason for being.

15. In speaking of the curriculum of a college, we find it inter-
esting, not as a bare statement of facts, but as the result of develop-
ment of centuries and the exertion of man's mind.

16. The place where they gather is one of the' prettiest spots in
that vicinity, being situated by a very large lake from which the


by Google

284 English Composition and Style

townspeople receive their water supply, and about an hour and a
half drive from the village, from which people drive in large crowds
to the fair.

17. Comeille's works are a superiority of art and intrigues
equaled by none of his contemporaries.

18. But the trustees of Columbia College at that time offered
degrees from that college to women who were able to pass the
required examinations, without, however, providing instruction for

19. Naturally, his new tenants are suspicious, Irralie most of
all, but she persists in defending him, and virions incidents tend to
support her assertions.

20. The library is grander than any yet built in this country,
there having been no thought nor expense spared in the manage-
ment and plans.

21. This theater is frequently used to continue the runs of
successful plays which have been started elsewhere and have been
transferred here, as was the case with the late Charles Coghlan.
To judge of the plays given at the Garden Theater, Mr. Mansfield
has recently been playing here.

22. If you look at the thing philosophically, a great blaze of
white light, flaring up, as you watch, on the horizon, would nat-
urally frighten any one, if unexpected.

23. The management of the Metropolitan Opera House respect-
fully asks that during the Season of Grand Opera, ladies occupying
seats in the Orchestra will not wear hats during the performance.
They can be left with the attendant at the cloak-room, free of

24. It is a book which when once started everything else is laid
aside until it is finished.

25. Except indeed when there is a particular delicacy prepared
for the parents, then the children do not partake of it

26. Although he was a fine looking lad of the same age as Det,
no one would have believed it

2^, Election day this year was very quiet except the evening.

28. 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 him in any way.

29. We climbed slowly up the hill and came to the half-way
house about noon, which was slow climbing, and although most
people do it leisurely, we were young and vigorous and should
have done better, if the heat had not prevented.

30. The Sowers by H. S. Merriman published in 1897 by Har-
per and Brothers.


by Google

Wards and Sentences 285

31. The next act introduces Sidney Carton, a young man who
has studied in Paris and is an habitual drunkard.

32. Thus having the hero on one side of the war and the heroine
on the other/ the interest in both armies is kept up.

33. Dr. S. Wier Mitchell has already given some valuable books
to the public and The Adventures of Francois while being well
written, will not likely evoke the applause that Characteristics did.

34. But General Wallace was just the right man to take up
such a task [the writing of Ben Hur, his first book] ; and the result
is a tale whose thrilling interest and brilliant action have scarcely
been equaled in modern times.

35. After having reached our swimming-grounds, we had had
a refreshing swim and a ducking all around, the fast approaching
darkness warned us to make a start for home.

36. I sprung out of bed and ran to my window, through which
I could see the huge breakers curl over and pummel the sand with
much spray, nearer the cottage than I would have liked.

37. Miss Hphhs gives a clever and humorous picture of the
twentieth-century woman, and is quite successful in its attempt to
show how really shallow are the ideas and feelings of the "man-
hater." It also father effectively proves that even the worst of
these fanatics can be made to surrender their opinions, if ap-
proached in the proper manner.

38. It is by imbuing his reader with a feeling of friendliness
that Hawthorne attracts you and it is in this way that he has
succeeded in gaining for The House of the Seven Gables that wide
interest and reputation which enables it to promulgate that truth
which the author had at heart to so many people, making them all
feel its justness by that great interest and fellow feeling which
this author inspires in his readers.

39. The American magazines keep the American people in touch
with all the subjects of the day, and, while in this respect they are
not the equal of the "reviews" which penetrate far more deeply
into, and, indeed are only concerned with, the important issues of
the day, nevertheless, by adding, each month, several expository
articles to their imposing array of fiction, they give a fairly good
impression of the passing times.

4a It is well, in formulating an "idea" of the magazine of
to-day, to begin, like the proverbial Privatdocenten, by taking a
hasty survey of the source and winding progress of the mighty
stream of periodical development And even if we cannot perceive
the entire trellis of substream and streamlet, which even narrow
into innumerable rills of local leaflets in country communities, we
can at least grow familiar with its general course, which is steadily


by Google

286 English Composition and Style

flowing from the past, out into tlie vague future, passing our pres-
ent point of view.

41. And now we have come to the end of our consideration of
the best papers. And now we may demotish the yellow journals.
But before we begin to decry these, we must treat another im-
portant morning daily, a "betwixt and between" — a transition
paper, and commonly known as The New York Herald.

42. But yet, with all their merits and faults, we can truthfully
say that there is not a city in the world to-day, unless perhaps it
is London, which surpasses New York in the matter of journalism.
To emphasize this fact one has only to take a stroll through Park
Place and " Newspaper Row " and see the number of immense sky-
scrapers occupied by our leading printing concerns, and reflect on
the amount of money they represent

43. If the idea of David Harutn is, as I have stated I thought
it was, to relate simple human nature, the book is a success and
should prove such. Like Denman Thompson's play "The Old
Homestead," it will always be popular solely because, as has been
rare heretofore, it is truth and the imagination need not be strained
to understand it Hence to close up my review if the author's
aims were those I have stated, David Harum is a howling success.

44. The scene in the Hotel de Bourgogne is notable in this
respect, also for its historical value.

45. The events follow in rapid succession, the interest of the
reader being kept up to the end.

46. Cyrano afterwards becomes Christian's vicarious lover and
writes for him letters to Roxane, that are full of excellent expres-
sions of love and which she, in her blindness, at once credits to
Christian, who when talking with her can scarcely utter anything
to captivate her except " I love you."

47. Until this year the numbers of the Momingside have seemed
to have no aim or end to their existence, but recently there has
appeared a series of articles entitled '* Imaginary Lectures " ac-
companied by caricatures of college professors, the noble purpose
of which was evidently to increase the circulation, the proceeds
probably to be devoted to clearing off troublesome back debts.

48. On leaving the office of the Columbia Gymnasium, and pro-
ceeding further into the building a stairs is reached, at the top
of which a door on the right leads into a large room called the

49. The main entrance to the room is through the door men-
tioned and from which the main passageway runs to a similar door
on the other side of the room.


by Google

Words and Sentences 287

Sa The disadvantages of the electric automobile carriage are
the weight, on account of the storage batteries, the necessity of
smooth roads and the cost being the highest of any motor carriage.

51. The greatest objections to the gasoline type are slight vibra-
tions, odors, and their not having self-starting power.

52. The couples have disappeared and Barbara is left alone,
when a man is seen crawling arotmd the comer of the house.

53. He then tells Barbara that he loves her and asks her if she
will marry him and she accepts. Just then Barbara's father comes
up in company with Colonel Negley who lives next door. Mr.
Frietchie orders Captain Trumbull to leave the house.

54. Vice-President Garret A. Hobart, of this country, on No-
vember 23 from a case of heart trouble was taken from the midst
of those who loved and honored him.

55. John Storm, the son of Lord Storm, contrary to his father's
wishes, decides, instead of studying for the law, to take holy

56. In regard to this study I have little to say, but that un-
doubtedly I need such courses, and that, had it not been a pre-
scribed study in my case, I should likely not have elected it, and
thus a study, although rather distasteful, yet of great value to me.

57. It is a question of their supporting themselves or of going to
the workhouse and for the diseased to go to an asylum.

5S. Local disturbances now follow in which most of the prom-
inent citizens are put in jail, by Leech, on one pretext or another.

59. No college has dared to put in the background any subject
included in the old regime of Latin and Greek and they still put
their most prominent men as professors of these subjects.

60. Man was originally a protoplasm, a mass of matter inhab-
ited by the germ of life, presumably the gift of the Creator.

61. As time went on people began to study evolution more
carefully and aided by the valuable commentaries of Huxley, Tyn-
dall, and Spencer, evolution gained numerous converts, until at
present, it is accepted pretty generally as the true descent of man
by the learned men of all countries.

62. Cyrano, who, on account of his large nose which is very
conspicuous and upon which many sarcastic remarks are passed
throughout the first part of the play, is aware of the fact that love
is not for him, is madly in love, nevertheless, with his cousin
Roxane. .

63. Cyrano, however, is determined that Roxane shall marry
the man she loves best, i. e.. Christian, and therefore delays
DeGuiche by telling him how he (Cyrano) had just fallen from


by Google

288 English Composition and Style

the moon, and all such nonsensical stories, thus gaining time suffi-
cient for the ceremony to be performed between Roxane and

64. It is a well-known fact that Longfellow, personally, was
very fond of music and it seems to me that this goes to prove
that there is music in his poetry, for it is said that a poet writes
from the inspiration of his own feelings.

65. The fire and spirit of the Columbia team, the way they
made the attack and repulsed the rushes of Cornell in the first
half of the game, when they had their entire team, are but a few
proofs that a score of 6-0 or perhaps 12-0 in favor of Cornell
would do that team and at the same time Columbia justice.

66. She plays her part with life and vigor and helps it with
her face and gowns both of which are without doubt the prettiest
in the play.

67. After all, we are not so very different from our quaint old
Pilgrim fathers. One wonders when one sees the marvelous
changes that have taken place since then, whether we have any
of their old spirit and ambition left in us. However, when Thanks-
giving time draws around and we render thanks for the peace and
prosperity of the State, the abundance of the harvest, and the
happiness of mankind, the true Pilgrim ideal is reawakened in us,
not as simple perhaps, but just as deep and heartfelt a thanksgiving,
as was sent up by those brave and faithful few upon the bleak
shores of the new land, full of danger and doubt, but full of
freedom and promise.

68. The baby got so that he would lie for hours in her pres-
ence, absolutely quiet, refusing to do anything worthy of notice.
This is the state of my family at present. They absolutely refuse
to perform for my metaphorical blue note-book.

69. At the cost of spoiling the only good point Mr. made

in his letter, I must say he did it by misquoting me. I did not
ask why he selected this book. I asked why his tool came for

two months to my store, vainly trying to do what Mr. asserts

they never do, viz., "search after those that are kept out of
sight," and finally prosecutes my brother for accidentally having
a book which he might have bought every day in the week during
the whole two months at any of the numerous bookstores which
he passed in coming to mine, for it is well known that the Kelly
translation complete has been sold, is being sold, and will be sold,
without any opposition from the society.

70. Madison Square Park is a very small area of space lying
between Twenty-third and Twenty-sixth streets, and between Mad-
ison and Fifth avenues. By these dimensions it can readily be


by Google

Words and Sentences 289

seen that the park is extremely small; but nevertheless pretty. It
lies as it were, in the heart of the city with rows of ungainly look-
ing buildings projecting, like high precipices on each side of it.

The park itself is very neatly laid out, with fountains here and
there, to cool the hot breezes as they slowly cross the quadrangle
in the summer's heat The children, too, stop to gaze upon their
own reflections in the water, and to watch the ever-changing
stream as it shoots from its nozzle.

Walks for pedestrians are virtually strewn around without regard
for beauty or convenience. They incessantly cross each other, and,
as it seems, vie with each other, to reach nowhere.

71. Unlike London the New York parks are almost all in a bunch.
We have Central Park which is bounded by 59th and iioth streets
on the south and north respectively, and on the east and west by

Online LibraryW. T. (William Tenney) BrewsterEnglish composition and style; a handbook for college students → online text (page 25 of 43)