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numerable vortices, and all whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which water never elsewhere assumes except in precipitous descents.
8. They had at this time attained an altitude of above three miles and a half, having surmounted the highest strata of clouds. What a place for two human beings to find themselves in, looking upon sights never beheld but by the sun and moon, and by eyes spiritual! Who is to wonder at any enthusiasm excited by them? It seems to me that if I had been there I should have felt as if I had no business in such a region till disembodied; life and death would have seemed to meet together, and their united wonders oppressed me beyond endurance.
9. “He blenches not ! he blenches not !” said Rebecca. “ I see him now; he leads a body of men close under the outer barrier of the barbican. They pull down the piles and palisades; they hew down the barriers with axes. His high black plume floats abroad over the throng, like a raven over the field of the slain. — They have made a breach in the barriers they rush in — they are thrust back! Front-de-Boeuf heads the defenders ; I see his gigantic form above the press. They throng again to the breach, and the pass is disputed hand to hand, and man to man. God of Jacob ! it is the meeting of two fierce tides — the conflict of two oceans moved by adverse winds !”
She turned her head from the lattice, as if unable longer to endure a sight so terrible.
10. And the king was much moved and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went thus he said, “O my son Absolom, my son, my son Absolom ! Would to God I had died for thee, O Absolom, my son, my son!”
II. But who are those who make the streets their couch, and find a short repose from wretchedness at the doors of the opulent? These are strangers, wanderers and orphans, whose circumstances are too humble to expect redress, and whose distresses are too great even for pity. The world has disclaimed them; society turns its back upon their distress, and has given them up to nakedness and hunger.
12. On the barbarians came like an avalanche, a mountain torrent, shaking the solid earth, and sweeping away every obstacle in its path. The little army of Spaniards opposed a bold front to the overwhelming mass. But no strength could withstand it. They faltered, gave way, were borne along before it, and their ranks were broken and thrown into disorder. It was in vain the general called on them to close again and rally. His voice was drowned by the din of fight, and the fierce cries of the assailants. For a moment it seemed that all was lost. The tide of battle had turned against them, and the fate of the Christians was sealed.
13. Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him ; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from
And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud; and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him ; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you.
And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now, therefore, be not grieved nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither : for God did send me before you to preserve life.
14. I approached the grave. On the coffin was inscribed George Somers, aged twenty-six years.” The poor mother had been assisted to kneel down at the head of it. Her withered hands were clasped, as if in prayer, but I could perceive by a feeble rocking of the body, and a convulsive motion of the lips, that she was gazing on the last relics of her son, with the yearnings of a mother's heart.
Preparations were made to deposit the coffin in the earth. The bustle around seemed to waken the mother from a wretched reverie. She raised her glazed eyes, and looked about with a faint wildness. As the men approached with cords to lower the coffin into the grave, she wrung her hands, and broke into an agony of grief.
As they lowered the body into the earth, the creaking of the
cords seemed to agonize her; but when, on some accidental obstruction, there was a justling of the coffin, all the tenderness of the mother burst forth ; I could see no more
- my heart swelled into my throat — my eyes filled with tears.
1. In No. 9 of the preceding Exercise, give your views on the following points:
a. What is the effect of repeating "blenches"?
b. Would it be a gain or a loss to introduce a conjunction or connective phrase between the different sentences ?
c. “ Close . barbican.” Might the melody be improved ? d. “ They pull ... palisades.” Is the alliteration an advantage ?
“ Like . . . slain.” What is the point of the comparison? Is the simile used for ornament or illustration? Does it make the "floating of the plume " more easily comprehended ?
f. To what is the animation of the description due ? 8 “ Meeting . . . winds."
... winds." Remark on the use and fitness of the metaphors. Are they becoming in the mouth of the speaker ? Do they suit the scene?
h. How does the length of the sentences harmonize with the nature of the scene?
i. Are the sentences arranged in natural order? j. Is there a topic sentence? Does such a paragraph admit of one?
k. What qualities of style are prevalent in the passage? l. By what devices are these qualities brought out?
REPRODUCTION. 1. Make yourself fully master of the meaning of No. I of Exercise LXXXIV.
2. Reproduce the ideas in such language as you can command.
3. Compare your version with the original to see that you have caught the exact meaning.
4. Criticise your words, sentences, paragraphs, and figures of speech.
5. Go through the Exercise, dealing with each of the parts in a
The Ludicrous embraces those qualities of style that stir the comic or mirthful part of our nature. They appeal to our feelings, but chiefly through the medium of our intellect.
Under the term “The Ludicrous” may be comprised, — Vituperation, Satire, Sarcasm, Ridicule, Derision, Raillery, Wit, Humor.
Vituperation, whose chief feature is intense, yet restrained, denunciation, does not necessarily provoke mirth. It may either condemn its object to scorn or hold it up to ridicule.
Satire consists in such a description of the acts or character of a person as exposes his weaknesses, follies, or vices, and thereby lays him open to ridicule. As its purpose is to reform men, it lays bare only what is reprehensible in the management of public affairs, or what is blameworthy in private morals.
Sarcasm. — When satire becomes virulent and denounces with derision the character, conduct, or views of men, it is called Sarcasm.
Ridicule consists in making the failings, errors, or vices of men the subject of good-natured raillery.
Derision differs from ridicule in being ill-natured and scornful. It is angry denunciation under the disguise of laughter.
Raillery is a gentler kind of ridicule, in which a person is made the object of good-humored pleasantry or of slight satire.
These qualities are rendered effective by, 1. A command of suitable language.
2. A vigorous use of striking figures, such as Antithesis, Inuendo, Epigram, Irony.
3. Clearness, pointedness, and simplicity of language.
WIT AND HUMOR. Wit consists chiefly in the discovery of incongruous combinations or relations, or of unexpected resemblances. Two kinds of wit may
be noted : 1. The first consists in discovering a point of similarity between ideas or objects that are seldom associated, and that appear to ordinary observation to be entirely unlike.
A great part of the pleasure derived from such works as Don Quixote arises from the ludicrous or absurd situations in which the characters are continually being placed.
2. The second consists in the discovery of a double meaning for a word, in finding puns; as, “When the Chief Justice threatened to commit Sheridan, that gentleman replied, 'It will be the best thing you ever committed.'
Jests are minor witticisms, intended only to provoke laughter.
The pleasure arising from wit is that of surprise accompanied by admiration.
Humor is that tone which, running through a composition, provokes in the reader a good-natured feeling that breaks out in a smile, sometimes a laugh. It arises from the joining of things that are incongruous, and from presenting objects and ideas in an odd and unusual light. It does not, like wit, break out and sparkle at points, but permeates every part of the subject with a genial glow of delight. Humor is always kindly ; it never attempts to injure or destroy, but is ever bathed in sympathy or tenderness. It laughs not at men and things, but with them.