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Quare non ut intelkgere possit, sed ne omnino possit
-non intelkgere, curandum.

— QUINTILIAN, Instiiutto Oratoria, VIII. 2.



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This volume, the editor imagines, may prove serviceable
to teachers of English in more than one way.

From its origin — and apart from the style of the editor's
translations — it may be regarded first of all as a body of
literary models to be used in illustration of some good hand-
book on English prose composition, by classes in what is
technically known as Exposition, i.e. written explanation.
The editor's conception of such a volume of models arose
partly from his belief — which needs no discussion here —
that of the three generally recognized Forms of Prose Writing,
namely, Description, Narration, and Exposition, only Expo-
sition can be advantageously taught as a practical art by
the average instructor in English to the average class ; partly
from his objection to certain books of "standard" selections,
which professed rhetoricians have seen fit to compile for
similar purposes of illustration in the classroom. In his
opinion these compilations suffer from one fairly obvious

As a rule, they seem to lack a fundamental principle which
every teacher of thinking and writing is supposed to demand
of every book, and to inculcate in the mind of every pupil.
They seem lacking in unity. The several selections in a
typical volume, if they happen to be complete in themselves,
and if they are really taken from standard authors, have other-
wise a purely formal bond of similarity: they are merely
samples of one or other of the three kinds of writing that com-


prise all literature. Diversity of authorship, of course, is
inevitable in an anthology. Whether the substance of any
book employed in the teaching of composition should be so
heterogeneous as of itself to produce no definite and lasting
impression on the plastic mind, merits serious consideration.
Perhaps it is a question to be decided by experience. So far
as the vi^riter's observation goes, the typical book of illustrative
excerpts, drawn from many authors, and dealing with widely
diverse topics, is not a ready instrument for coordinating the
processes of the average undergraduate brain. Hurrying,
within the space of a college term, from some popular account
of a glacier through eighteen other disconnected and often
fragmentary discussions, and ending, let us say, with a chap-
ter from Darwin's Descent of Man, the student of such a col-
lection will hardly observe along the route much more of the
method of exposition than can be totally dissociated from a
well-earned grasp of any one subject.

In brief, the present volume owes its origin to a conviction
that the link between substance and form, between knowledge
and expression, ought never to be broken ; and that before an
underclassman is urged to write a composition, he ought to
begin systematic thinking in a field where his teacher is quali-
fied to judge of his manner of discussion, through a critical
acquaintance with the matter discussed. A, specialist in
English need not be thoroughly versed in Darwinism; he
can scarcely be expected to show much familiarity with the
theory of glacial action ; he may properly be supposed to know
something about the mechanism of style, and to have made
some study of the evolution of types in literature. Hence arose
in my mind the idea of an orderly collection of essays on style,
with especial reference to prose composition; a body of
expository writing, for the most part by masters of expression,
at once illustrating and reiterating the salient principles of the


text-book * which it may accompany ; a group of stimulating
and, on the whole, mutually corroborative selections, repre-
senting not too many literary types for easy comprehension of
their structure, and printed as far as possible without curtail-

The material of the volume has been chosen, however, with
a view to possible applications other than the one just out-
lined, though not, it is hoped, inconsistent with it. For ex-
ample, aside from the question of models for practical criticism
and imitation, the selections offer some opportunity for a
purely theoretical investigation of at least two closely allied
literary species, the essay and the address on style. Facilities
for the study of specific types in prose are as yet not too abun-
dant. In addition to its use in the classroom, the volume
may likewise serve as a work of outside reference, since, al-
though it makes no pretence to inclusiveness, it aims to bring
together a considerable number of historic utterances on style,
not all of which are very accessible elsewhere. By supplying
an adequate historic background for the more recent treatises,
it has, I think, a substantial advantage over the collection of
nineteenth-century essays on style edited by Professor W. T.
Brewster of Columbia.

In.the actual employment of material like this, every teacher,
of course, will pursue to a certain extent his own method, in
accordance with his personal leanings and the constitution of
his classes. In general, — even with not very advanced stu-
dents, — the writer inclines to a practice somewhat as follows.
Some text-book having afforded a preliminary knowledge of
the main forms of prose composition at a given meeting let
the class be ready to discuss the substance and the form of one
of the earlier selections, say that from Wackemagel, with suffi-

* For example, Professor J. M. Hart's Essentials of Prose Composition,
Philadelphia, 1902.


cient free play of opinion ; each individual, however, basing
his share in the discussion upon a thorough written analysis
of the whole selection. In the case of immature students
these analyses would afterward be subject to the instructor's
private supervision. At the next meeting let each member
of the class be prepared with a paper — also accompanied by
an outline — expanding some special topic in that selection,
or elaborating some point raised in the discussion. When one
has read, the others should feel encouraged to question and
comment. The instructor may or may not pass final judg-
ment on a paper. He is a moderator, whose function is to
stimulate his class to mental self-activity, and quietly to mould
it into a living, intelligent, social unit. This function he can
best perform with groups of not more than fifteen pupils — ■
preferably of ten or twelve; and, if he has tact, with much
younger minds than are usually drilled in anything approach-
ing a "seminary" course. Each student should preserve
his own papers, properly revised, for special conference from
time to time with the instructor. The net amount of writing
expected of an underclassman per week should be far less
than is customary in some of the "theme" courses at our
American universities ; the amount of time spent in the prepa-
ration and revision of any one theme, far greater. The stu-
dent who cannot be sufficiently interested in his English to
plan a composition twice, and to rewrite it thrice, should not,
under ordinary circumstances, hope to master even the rudi-
ments of plain exposition.

Save for the introductory translation from Wackernao-el,
the order of the selections is roughly chronological; but it
need not be followed. The excerpt from Aristotle might be
read before that from Plato. Lewes or Thoreau might be
kept until the close of the term. Manifestly, Wackernagel,
Aristotle, Plato, and Longinus are inserted as standards by


which to measure the remaining authors, and should be
taken up before Swift, Buffon, and the Test.

In the process of comparing one selection , with another,
students should cultivate the habit of marginal cross-refer-
ence; for the various authors may be made, so to speak, to
annotate and reenforce one another on essential points. A
few parallels are indicated in the Notes : enough, it is hoped,
to suggest to a reader the possibility of his discovering
many more by himself. A complete critical apparatus has
not been attempted, the editor having desired throughout to
suppress adventitious matter, so as to include a greater
number of masterpieces, and thus to increase the general
field of comparison. However, he hopes that the remarks
preceding and following the several selections will be of some
utihty to students or to teachers.

In the introductory notes teachers will not overlook cer-
tain references that would enable classes inadequately fur-
nished with copies of this book, but near a good library, to
find many of the selections in a variety of sources.

As a general introduction to the volume, the editor offers,
not, of course, his own theory of style — nobody would want
that — but a theory, or the skeleton thereof, by an estab-
lished modem authority, Wackem'agel, with whom the editor
feels himself essentially in agreement. The Introduction,
then, amounts merely to an extra selection taken out of chron-
ological order, and placed for the sake of prominence at the

In concluding the Preface, the editor desires to acknowledge,
very gratefully, his indebtedness to others whose good-will
has made the collection possible: to the late and lamented
M. Brunetiere and to Mr. Harrison for permission to use
their articles here reprinted; to Mr. Saunders and Bishop
Welldon for sections from their translations of Schopenhauer


and Aristotle respectively; to Mr. Havell for his version of
Longinus; to the publishers of material here included, and
not otherwise in the copyright of Messrs. Macmillan ; these
last obligations are specifically noted in the proper places.
To the series of essays on style edited by Professor Fred
N. Scott (Boston, Allyn & Bacon) such a compilation is neces-
sarily indebted. That series, and the Methods and Materials
of Literary Criticism, by Professors Gayley and Scott (Boston,
Ginn & Co.), ought to be owned by every teacher who
would use the present volume most intelligently. Finally,
the editor owes his thanks to Professor Louis Bevier of Rut-
gers College, for looking over the translations from Wacker-
nagel and Goethe ; to Professors O. G. Guerlac and W. Strunk,
Jr., of Cornell, for glancing through those from Buffon and
Voltaire; to. Professor J. L. Haney of the Central High
School, Philadelphia, for valuable suggestions touching the
Bibliography; and to Mr. A. W. Craver and Mr. A. H.
Gilbert for their assistance in reading proof. All other debts
are, he hopes, properly recognized where they occur.








[The following titles represent such books and articles dealing with style,
especially prose style, as the editor has noted in compiling the present volume.
References which, in his opinion, cannot safely be disregarded by anyone who
wishes to go more deeply into the subject, are indicated by asterisks. Certain
titles included above, in the Table of Contents, are not repeated here ; a few
additional references, on the style of individual authors, will be found in subse-
quent introductions and notes to the several selections.]

The Proper Prose Style. (Vol. 57, p. 576.)

Studies in Contemporary Style. (Vol. 57, pp. 379,

Excess of Style. (Vol. 58, p. 15.)
Literary Style. (Vol. 59, p. 223.)
Style of Modern Journalists. (Vol. 60, p. 231.)
The Glittering Style. (Vol. 61, p. 243.) (Same
article: Living Age, Nov. 16, 1901, Vol. 231, pp. 458-461.)

7. Albalat, A. L'Art d'^crire. Paris, Colin, 7' M, 1901. (Reviewed

in Nation, May 18, 1899, Vol. 68, pp. 381-382; Athenaum,
Feb. 4, 1899, — 1899, Vol. I, p. 145.)

8. Albalat, a. La Formation du style par I'assimilation des

auteurs. Paris, Colin, 1901. (Revievired in Nation, Oct. 17,
1901, Vol. 73, pp. 308-309 ; Athenaum, Oct. 12,1901, — 1901,
Vol. 2, p. 491.)

9. * Aristotle. Poetics, Chapters XIX-XXII. (Butcher, S. H.,

AristotWs Theory of Poetry and Fine Art, London, Macmillan,
1898, pp. 69-87.)

10. Arnold, M. (See Cook, No. 39.)

11. * AtheNjEUM. Review of Symons, A., Studies in Prose and Verse.

(April 22, 1905 ; 1905, Vol. i, pp. 487-488.) (Contains a note-
worthy description of the subjective side of style.)

12. Bain, A. English Composition and Rhetoric. New York, Apple-

ton, 1879, etc. {Part I [pp. 20-152] is on style.)

13. Bain, A. On Teaching English. New York, 1887. (Deals chiefly

with style [esp. pp. 41-206] ; not a well-organized book.)

14. Bainton, G. [Ed.] The Art of Authorship . . . Advice to Young

Beginners, personally contributed by Leading Authors of the Day
[etc.]. London, Clarke, 1890. (See Spectator, May 17, 1890.)

15. Baldwin, C. S. How to Write. A Handbook based on the English

Bible. New York, Macmillan, 1905. (Reviewed in Literary
Digest, July 15, 1905, Vol. 31, pp. 79-80.)


i6. * Becker, K. F. Der deutsche Stil. Prag, Tempsky, 3. Aufl.,

17. Bird, F. M. Paralyzers of Style. Lippincoifs Magazine. (Feb.,

i8g6; Vol. 57, pp. 280-284.)

18. Blair, H. Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. Edinburgh,

1 783. {Lectures XVIII-XXIV treat of siyU:)

19. * Boeckh, a. Encyclopadie und Methodologie der philologischen

Wissenschaften. Leipzig, Teubner, 1886. (For style, see pp.
124-140; 245-248; 810-816.)

20. BouRGET, p. Essais de psychologie contemporaine. Paris, Le-

merre, 4« ^d, 1885. (Pp. 156-173 : Gustave Flaubert, III,
Thhries dart.)

21. BouRGET, P. Nouveaux Essais de psychologie contemporaine.

Paris, Lemerre, 1886. (Pp. i8o-ig8: MM. Edmond et Jules de
Goncourt, III, Questions de style.)

22. Brewster, W. T. [Ed.] Representative Essays on the Theory of

Style. New York, Macmillan, 1905. (Introduction, pp. ix-xxvii.
Contains essays on style by De Quincey, Spencer, Stevenson,
Pater, and Harrison, and selections from Newman and Lewes.)

23. Brewster, W. T., and G. R. Carpenter. Studies in Structure

and Style (Based on Seven Modern Essays). New York, Mac-
millan, 1896.

24. Brockhaus. Conversations-Lexicon. 1898. (Vol. 15, p. 359,


25. * Brunetiere, F. Style (en littlrature). Lm. Grande Encyclo-

pedie. (Vol. 30, pp. 558-562.)

26. Buck, W. J. Style in English. Writer. (Vol. ir, p. 30.)

27. Bulwer Lytton, E. Caxtoniana. New York, Harper, 1864.

{Chapter VIII : On Rhythm in English Prose as conducive to
Precision and Clearness, pp. 79-81. Chapter IX: On Style
and Diction, pp. 83-ior.)

28. Burroughs, J. Style and " The Stylist." Critic. (Dec, 1898 ;

Vol. 33, pp. 464-465.)

29. Burroughs, J. The Vital Touch in Literature. Atlantic Mojithly.

(March, 1899; Vol. 83, pp. 399-406.)

30. Campbell, G. The Philosophy of Rhetoric. New York, Harper,

1846, etc. {Parts II and III treat of style.)

31. Chaignet, a. La rhfitorique et son histoire. Paris, Bouillon et

Vieweg, 1888. (Pp. 413-539: Thtorie du style.)

32. Chambers's Journal. Style. (May 24, 1845 ; Vol. 3, pp. 321-



33. Christian Monthly Spectator. Essay and Oratorical Style.

(Vol. 4, p. 356.)

34. * Cicero. On Oratory and Orators [etc.], Translated [etc.] by J. S.

Watson. London, Bohn, 1855. (For style, see Index.)

35. * Coleridge, S. T. Biographia Literaria, Chapter XX. Coleridge's

Works, ed. Shedd. New York, Harper, 1884. (Vol. 3, pp. 443-460 :
" The Neutral Style, or That Common to Prose and Poetry," etc.)

36. CONDILLAC, E. B. CEuvres. Paris, 1798. (Vol. 7, pp. 337-423 :

Traitk de Part d^crire. Pp. 429-443, a separate treatise : Dis-
sert atio7i sur Vharmonie du style.)

37. Constable, J. Reflections on Accuracy of Style. London, 1734.

38. *C00K, A. S. The Bible and English Prose Style. Boston,

Heath, 1892.

39. *CooK, A. S. The Touchstones of Poetry. Selected from the

Writings of Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin. Privately printed
[San Francisco] [1887].

40. Crawshaw, W. H. The Interpretation of Literature. New York,

Macmillan, 1896.

41. * Demetrius. On Style, ed. W. Rhys Roberts. Cambridge Uni-

versity Press,, 1902.

42. Dennis, J. Style. Time. (Vol. 13, p. 71.)

43. *De Quincey, T. Essays on Style, Rhetoric, and Language, ed.

F. N. Scott. Boston, Allyn & Bacon, 1893.

44. Diderot, D. Thoughts on Art and Style, selected and translated

by Beatrix Tollemache. London, Rivingtons, 1904. (Reviewed
in Nation, Oct. 6, 1904, Vol. 79, p. 279.)

45. * DiONYSius OF Halicarnassus. The Three Literary Letters, ed.,

with English translation [etc.], by W. Rhys Roberts. Cam-
bridge University Press, 1901.

46. Drake, N. Essays, Biographical, Critical, and Historical. Lon-

don, 1814. (Vol. 2, pp. 1-116: On the Progress and Merits of
English Style.)

47. Dublin University IVIagazine. On Style. By " A Student of

Pascal." (Aug., 1865 ; Vol. 66, pp. 178-179.)

48. Dublin University Magazine. The Cutting Style of Writing.

(April, 1872; Vol. 79, pp. 415-425-)

49. *Earle, J. English Prose: Its Elements, History, and Usage.

London, Smith, Elder, 1890. {Passim and Chapter IX: Style.)

50. Edinburgh Review. Some Tendencies of Prose Style. (Oct.,

1899; Vol. 190, pp. 356-376.) (A review of Craik's English
Prose, Raleigh's Style, and Henley and Whibley's English Prose.)


51. Ellwanger, W. D. Religious Helps to forming Style. Critic.

(Vol. 43, p. 406-410.)

52. *Elster, E. Prinzipien der Litteraturwissenschaft. Halle, Nie-

meyer, 1897. (j. Kapitel: Sprachstil, pp. 414-487.)

53. ♦Elze, K. Grundriss der englischen Philologie. Halle, Niemeyer,

1887. rPp. 322-339: Siilisiik.)

54. Faguet, E. Les Corrections de Flaubert. Revue politique et lit-

ter aire, (^juin, 1899; Vol. 63, pp. 695-697.)

55. Fisher, E. Style. Universalist Quarterly Review. (Vol. 11,

p. 194.)

56. Forsyth, W. Literary Style. Fraser''s Magazine. (Vol. 55,

pp. 249, 424.)

57. Forsyth, W. Essays, Critical and Narrative. London, Long-

mans, 1874. (P. 162.)

58. *F[owler],H. W. and F. G. F. The King's English. Oxford,

Clarendon Press, 1906.

59. * Gayley, C. M., and F. N. Scott. Methods and Materials of Lit-

erary Criticism. Boston, Ginn, 1899. (An indispensable work.
For style, see Index.)

60. Genung, J. F. The Practical Elements of Rhetoric. Boston, Ginn,

1902. (Style and Style in General, pp. 11-27 i in detail, pp. 28-
210.) '

61. *Gerber, G. Die Sprache als Kunst. Berlin, Gaertner, ^. y^z<;?.,


62. GuMMERE, F. B. A Handbook of Poetics. Boston, Ginn, 1888.

{Part II, Style, pp. 83-1 18.)

63. Harper's Monthly. [Individuality of Style.] Editor''s Study.

(Dec, 1904; Vol. no, pp. 162-164.)

64. Hart, J. S. A Manual of Composition and Rhetoric. Revised

Edition, by J. M. Hart, Philadelphia, Eldredge, 1897. {Part I,

65. Hartmann, E. von, .SIsthetik. Leipzig, Friedrich, 1886. (For

style, see Vol. 2, pp. 139-143 ; 554-556-)

66. *Hartog, P. J. The Teaching of Style in English and French

Schools. Fortnightly Review. (June, 1902; Vol. yj, pp. 1050-

67. Hastings, T. S. Oratorical and Rhetorical Style. Presbyterian

Review. (Vol. lo, p. 210.)

68. *Hendrickson, G. L. The Peripatetic Mean of Style and the

Three Stylistic Characters. American Journal of Philology.
(Vol. 25, pp. 125-146.)


69. * Hendrickson, G. L. The Origin and Meaning of the Ancient

Characters of Style. Antericati Journal of Philology. (Vol.26,
pp. 249-290.)

70. Heydrick, B. a. Qualities of Style. Chautauquan. (April,

1903; Vol. 37, pp. 43-46.)

71. Home, H., Lord Kames. Elements of Criticism (1762). New

York, 1854. (Esp. pp. 235 ff.)

72. HosMER, J.K. Perspicuity the Prime Requisite of Style. Western.

(Vol. 4, p. 223.)

73. Hunt, T. W. Studies in Literature and Style. New York, Arm-

strong, 1890. (Cf. Modern Language Notes, June, 1890, Vol.
S, pp. 179-181.)

74. James, H. The Question of our Speech. Booklover^s Magazine.

(Aug. 6, 1905 ; Vol. 6, pp. 199-210.)

75. * Jespersen, O. Growth and Structure of the English Language.

Leipzig, Teubner, 1905. (Pp. 1-17 characterize the general style
of English.)

76. *JONSON, B. Timber, ed. F. E. Schelling. Boston, Ginn, 1892.

(Pp. 54-72 deal with prose style and the art of writing.)

77. *JouBERT, J. Pensees. Paris, 1880. (Pp. 273-300.)

78. Kames. (See Home, No. 71.)

79. Keary, C. F. What is Style ? Independent Review. (Dec,

1904 ; Vol. 4, p. 363.) (Same article : Eclectic Magazine, March,
1905, Vol. 144, pp. 393-399; Living Age, ]2.n.. 21, 1905, Vol. 244,
pp. 149-155. a. Literary Digest,7eb. 11, 1905, Vol. 30, p. 202.)

80. Kellogg, M. D. A Study in Style. Education. (Sept., 1900 ;

Vol. 21, pp. 50-53.)

81. * King's English, The. (See Fowler, No. 58.)

82. * K6nig,E. Stilistik, Rhetorik, Poetik in Bezug auf die biblische

Litteratur. Komparativisch dargestellt. Leipzig, Dieterich, 1900.

83. Korting, G. Encyklopadie und Methodologie der englischen Phi-

lologie. Heilbronn, Henninger, 1888. (^Der Stil im Englischen,
PP- 357-362.)

84. Korting, G.' Encyklopadie und Methodologie der romanischen

Philologie. Heilbronn, Henninger, 1884-1886. {2. Theil, pp.
296-311, Die Stylistik; j. Theil, pp. 257-278, Satzbau, etc.)

85. La Bruyere, J. de, CaractSres. I. Des Ouvrages de I'esprit.

(Euvres. Paris, Hachette, 1865. (Vol. i, pp. 113-150.)

86. La Harpe, J. F. de, Cours de Littfirature. Paris, 1826. (See

Index, Vol. 18, under Style.)

87. Lamb, L. A. A Standard Newspaper Style. Writer. (Vol. 3, p. 13)


88. Lanson, G. Conseils sur I'Art d'gcrire. Paris, Hachette, j* id.,

■ 1903-

89. Lanson, G. L'Art de la prose, I. Les Annales politiques et

litter aires. (26 mars, 1905.) (The introductory article in a
series on masters of French prose.)

90. Legge, a. O. Style. Manchester Quarterly. (Vol. 2, p. 37.)

91. Leisure Hour. Peculiarities of Style. (Vol. 9, p. 621.)

92. * Lewes, G. H. The Principles of Success in Literature, ed. F. N.

Scott. Boston, Allyn & Bacon, 1892.

93. * Liers, H. Zur Geschichte der Stilarten. Neue Jahrhucher fur

Philologie und Paedagogik. (1887; Vol. 135, pp. 681-717.)

94. Living Age. [?] Excellence of Simplicity. (Sept. 30, 1905;

Vol. 246, pp. 877-880.)

95. Literature [N.Y.]. Departure of English Prose from Classical

Standards. (Nov. 17, 1899; Vol. 5, pp. 433-434.)

96. LoiSE, F. Traits de littlrature : Les lois du style. Bruxelles,

Vromant, 1887.

97. Logan, J. D. Postulates of a Psychology of Prose Style. Educa-

tion. (Dec, 1901 ; Vol. 22, pp. 193-201.)

98. Long, G. An Old Man's Thoughts about Many Things. London,

Bell and Daldy, 2 ed., 1872. {Of Style, pp. 92-161.)

99. *Longinus. On the Sublime, ed. W. Rhys Roberts. Cambridge

University Press, 1899.
100. * LuTostAwsKi, W. The Origin and Growth of Plato's Logic.
New York, Longmans, 1897. {Chapter III, pp. 64-193: The
Style of Plato. Very important for the bearing on stylometry.)
loi. Lytton, E. B. (See Bulwer, No. 27.)

102. Lytton, E. R. Le Style c'est I'homme. Fortnightly Review.

(June 1, 1884; Vol. 41, pp. 712-723.) (Same article: Eclectic
Magazine, Aug., 1884, Vol. 103, pp. 145-153.)

103. Mallock, W. H.. Style c'est I'homme. New Review. (April,

1892 ; Vol. 6, pp. 441-454.) (Same article : Eclectic Magazine,
Vol. 118, pp. 793 ff. ; Living Age, Vol. 193, pp. 643 ff.)

104. Marmontel, J. F. E16mens de litt^rature. Paris, 1787. (Vol.'

6, pp. 189 if.)

105. Marcou, p. B. Two Points in French Style. American Jour-

nal of Philology. (1885 ; Vol. 6, pp. 344-348.)

106. Mather, F. J., Jr. Wanted — a Style for the Times. Nation.

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