George Green Loane.

A book of story poems online

. (page 11 of 11)
Online LibraryGeorge Green LoaneA book of story poems → online text (page 11 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


out having enjoyed his prosperity. The failure of a
publisher ruined him, but he was just as heroic as
Scott had been ; he refused the protection of the law,
and spent five years (1835-40) abroad, writing to clear
off his liabilities. Then he was editor of the New
Monthly Magazine for three years, and produced
therein his most characteristic long poem, Miss Kilman-
segg and her Precious Leg. The famous Song of a Shirt
appeared anonymously in Punch in 1843. His health
finally broke down in 1844, and he never again rose
from his bed. Hood was equally master of the most
grotesque wit and the most refined pathos. Few
poems can compare with The Bridge of Sighs, and
none with Miss Kilmansegg. The latter is a perfect
debauch of wit, pervaded by a grim earnestness of
satire which helps the reader through.

FRANCIS BRET HARTE (1839-92) was born at Albany,
New York, the son of a schoolmaster. After the usual



222 COMMENTARY

schooling he went to California at the age of seventeen,
and there played many parts teacher, miner, printer,
express-messenger, secretary of the San Francisco
mint, and editor. Such experience supplied him with
valuable materials, but his first publication was liter-
ary in origin, Condensed Novels (reissued in 1870), a
series of parodies in miniature on well-known writers,
which may still be read with pleasure. His fame rests
on a few prose sketches of mining life, especially The
Luck of Roaring Camp and The Outcasts of Poker Flat,
and two or three poems. Probably few people have
read his forty-four volumes, but his best things are
inimitable. The sympathetic insight which made him
so good a parodist of literature, enabled him also to
divine the thoughts and feelings of those rough, in-
articulate characters which he drew so well. He was
in succession Professor in the University of California
and United States consul at Crefeld and at Glasgow;
from 1885 he lived in London doing literary work.




EXERCISES 223



EXERCISES

1. Which lines do you consider most pathetic in Nos. I.,
II. and IV. ?

2. Point out the varieties of rhyme and rhythm in the
last stanza of No. IV.

3. Write the story of No. V. in ordinary prose, in the
order of events, and without direct speeches.

4. Read Kingsley's Sands of Dee and compare it with
No. VII.

5. Can you find any lines in No. VIII. where the
metaphor seems to have been suggested by the rhyme ?

6. In connection with No. X., consider how far the
truth of a story affects its impressiveness.

7. Illustrate No. XI. from Shakespeare's Henry V.

8. Make lists of the good and bad points in Cavaliers
and Roundheads (No. XII.).

9. Show how the play on the word " Hawke " is kept
up in No. XIII.

10. Campbell had first written "cemetery" for the
last word of No. III.; why did he change it? what is
the derivation ?

11. Look in your history for answers to Peterkin's
questions in No. XIV.

12. Read Paradise Lost, vii. 453 ff. t and compare with
No. XX. 250 ff.

13. Why is the absence of a flag noticed in XX. 291 ?

14. Write the story of No. XXI. in prose, without any
speeches.

15. Read Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum, and compare
with No. XXII.

16. Parse "ill" in XXVIII. no, and give the sense of



224 EXERCISES

110-14 in ordinary prose. What do you think of the last
stanza ?

17. Collect the similes in XXIX. and show their appro-
priateness.

18. In No. XXX. give the meaning of " Muse " (73);
illustrate the use of " stole " (87). Has Shakespeare any-
thing like line 100? Explain " their hostile gods " (145).
In what sense did Helen fire Troy? (150).

19. In No. XXXI, what part of the sentence are
"face," "beard," etc. (8)? What colour was Tynan
purple, and how was it got? Why " eight times " (31)?
Express line 27 in prose. What three " morals " are
drawn in the last stanza? What words through the
poem emphasise its mock-heroic character?

20. Explain " fly " in XXXV. 16, and " my own
hackney coach " (66).

21. Which of the writers, whose lines have been briefly
given above, valued money above the necessary com-
petence ? and why did they ?

22. Class the foregoing poems as (i. ) narrative, (ii. ) lyrical,
and consider whether an intermediate class will be
necessary.

23. Choose any of the poems for independent criticism,
saying why you like or dislike it.

24. Make a list of other poems which you would like
to have included among the forty, and give your reasons
for rejecting those which you would remove to make
room.

25. Which of the writers would you like to have known
personally, and why ?



THC 3?

TMji pmess J/ LCTCHVO

SJfaS&Sfr 6NG



YR ^D4

U.C. BERKELEY LIBRARIES






1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11

Online LibraryGeorge Green LoaneA book of story poems → online text (page 11 of 11)