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There is also found an illustration, which is of an analogical kind. It is where the writer refers to the sports of children, which familiarize them with the elements of arithmetic. This argument from analogy may be regarded as an appeal to the common sense of the readers. The remaining argument rests in like manner on appeals to experience, observation, common sense, and consciousness, and it is not necessary to analyze them. The student, in the analysis which has been made, has had an opportunity of seeing some of the grounds on which assertions and reasonings aro founded.
GENERALIZATION OF A SUBJECT. Generalization is the act of extending from particulars to generals, or the act of making general.
In the treatment of all subjects there is a tendency in young writers to dwell too much on isolated particulars, without reference to their general application. The object of all investigations, whether literary, physical, or intellectual, and the purport of all inquiries, should be, the establishment of general principles; and every thought, which may tend to their elucidation, and every idea which may contribute to their discovery, must be reckoned among the most valuable of all literary labors. Hence, the efforts of the student should be directed towards the attainment of so valuable an end, and in the training of his mind, on the part of the teacher, there should always be a distinct reference to this consideration,
In the study, therefore, which the writer should always employ in his preparation for his work, it should be his aim to discover some general principle, with which his subject is directly or remotely connected, and endeavor to follow out that principle in all its consequences, — to show how his subject affects, or is affected, by this general principle, and how that principle influences the interest of learning and science, or contributes to the well-being of society, and the moral, physical, and intellectual condition of the world. Let us suppose, for instance, that the teacher has assigned to a class in composition, Truth, as the subject of a theme. The young writer, who is too much in haste to finish his task, would, perhaps, commence his exercise with some hackneyed observations on its importance, and dwell with considerable prolixity on its influence on a particular individual.
Individual instances, it is true, may have their influence in establishing the importance, or illustrating the effects of a general principle; but to confine an exercise upon a general subject to individual instances, is to present but narrow views of its importance. So far as the example introduced into the exercise of the student may serve to show the importance of a general principle, that example may be valuable, but it should by no means form the body of his work. It may be introduced into the exercise, as an illustration, or as a subsidiary portion of his labor, but it should not be dwelt upon to the exclusion of the principle which it is designed to illustrate. Thus, in the subject to which reference has already been made, namely, “Truth,” the well-known story of Petrarch may incidentally be mentioned, to show the dignity which attends the strictest observance of veracity; but, an exhibition of the effects on society in general of the presence or absence of the subject itself, would be a more useful and, of course, a more valuable mode of considering the subject, than any attempts to show its importance in individual cases. It should be the constant endeavor of the teacher to lead the student to the consideration of causes and effects, their operations and their tendencies, and, by the method of reasoning from particulars to generals, to show how general truths are inferred from particular instances, and general principles are established by the consideration of the effects of particular causes.
The student who is thus led to perceive the general bearings of a subject, will not take partial views, -- he will go out into the world, - on board ship, -inta factories and other large establishments, and view the operations of general principles ; will have the sphere of intellectual vision enlarged, and insensibly acquire a comprehensiveness of mental perception, which will release him from the shackles of a narrow education, and enable him to take in, as it were at a glance, the grand theatre of the moral world, with all the stupendous machinery by which the changes in its scenery are effected.
As an exercise in generalization, the student may fill out some one or more of the following models from the outline presented,
Example. 1. Time. Definition of; its divisions; mode of marking them; mode of ascertaining; meridian; the sun; parallel between time and space, finite and infinite.
2. The Feudal System. Its nature and origin, including a clear definition of the meaning of the term; the countries where it existed; the relations which it caused among the inhabitants of a feudal country; its effects upon the morals and the happiness of the respective nations where it existed; the virtues and vices which it encouraged and engendered, and a consideration of the causes of its gradual overthrow.
3. The Grecian Lawgivers, Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus. The differ ent character of their respective laws; the effect which they produced on the people; their duration, and the probable cause of their alteration and abrogation; the consequences which they produced; and their comparative effects on the morals and happiness of the people.
4. The Crusades. What were they? their object; the manner in which they originated; the superstitions to which they gave rise; their effect on the religion, manners, and morals of the age; the vices and profligacy which they engendered; their influence on the moral condition of the world, and the balance of power in Europe; the sacrifices of blood and treasure which they occasioned; the benefits which they have produced.
5. Chivalry. What was it? give a clear definition or description of it; how it arose; the manner in which candidates were admitted to its orders; the most eminent of its orders; the effects of the institution on the morals and prevalent habits of the age; its particular effect on the female character; the virtues and vices which it would naturally engender or encourage; and the good or bad consequence of its universal prevalence at the present day.
6. The ancient Sects of Philosophy. Describe the various sects; their doctrines; the manner in which they were taught; the character of the respective founders; their influence; the remarkable individuals who have embraced the principles of the respective sects; and the effect of their writings and example on mankind, &c.
7. The Public Games of Greece. Their origin; the nature of these games, or in what they consisted; the places where they were celebrated; the rewards bestowed upon the victors; the estimation in which these honors were held; the effects of these games upon the victors, and upon the nation to which they belonged, by encouraging athletic exercises and spirit of emulation; did the encouragement of physical exertion influence literary or intellectual effort for the better or the worse ? the probable effects of the institution of similar games at the present day.
8. The Grecian Oracles. What they were; where situated; by whom, And on what occasions, were they consulted; the superstitions which they encouraged; their probable nature; their effects upon the religious chara acter of the people; their duration; probable cause of their falling into disuse; the wisdom of Providence in concealing from mankind the knowledge of future events ; fatalism. The following subjects are suggested for the unaided efforts of the students
9. The Reformation. 10. The Invention of the Art of Printing. 11. The Invention of the Mariner's Compass. 12. The Telescope.
POETRY AND VERSIFICATION.
Poetry may properly be defined the language of the im agination. Its usual form is in verse,* and it is sometimes, and indeed most generally, adorned with rhyme. But true poetry consists in the idea, not in the harmonious arrangement of words in sentences, nor in the division of a composition into lines containing a certain succession of long and short sylla
Poetry + deals largely in figurative language, especially in tropes, metaphors, personifications, similes, and comparisons. It is also exceedingly partial to compound epithets, and new combinations employed for the purposes of illustration and description.
Versification is the art of making verses. A verse is a line consisting of a certain succession of long and short syllables. A hemistich is a half of a verse. A distich, or couplet, consists of two verses.
Metre 1 is the measure by which verses are composed.
* The word verse is frequently incorrectly used for stanza. A verse consists of a single line only. A stanza, sometimes call of a number of lines regularly adjusted to each other. The word verse is derived from the Latin language, and signifies a turning. The propriety of the name will be seen in the fact, that when we have finished a line we turn to the other side of the page to commence another.
† There are few words in the English language, the true signification of which is more frequently mistaken than the word Poetry. It is generally thought to consist in the harmonious arrangement of words in sentences, and the division of a composition into lines containing a certain succession of long or short syllables. This is a mistaking of the dress for the substance which the dress should cover. True poetry consists in the idea, that it may be presented even in the form of prose. It addresses itself to the imagination and to the feelings. Thus the scriptural adage, "Love your enemies," although in prose, becomes highly poetical, when presented with the beautiful illustration of Menon: “Like the sandal tree which sheds a perfume on the axe which sells it, we should love our enemies." This distinction between the idea and the dress which it assumes, must be carefully noticed by all who aspire to poetical fame.
Perhaps there is in no language a more beautiful exhibition of poetical beauties in the form of prose, than in the beautiful tale called “ The Epi curean," by Thomas Moore, Lisq.
I It may perhaps be useful, although not properly connected with the 'ubject of English versification, to explain what is meant in psalmody by
This measure depends on the number of the syllables and thio position of the accents.
The divisions made in a verse to regulate the proper succession of long and short syllables are called feet. They are called feet, because the voice, as it were, steps along through the verse in a measured pace. The divisions of a verse into feet depend entirely upon what is called the quantity of the syllables, that is, whether they are long or short, without reference to the words.
! Sometimes a foot consists of a single word, but it also sometimes embraces two or three different words, and sometimes is composed of parts of different words.
There are eight kinds of feet, four of which are feet of two syllables, and four are feet of three syllables.
The feet consisting of two syllables are the Trochee, the Iambus, the Spondee, and the Pyrrhic.
The feet of three syllables are the Dactyle, the Amphibrach, the Anapæst, and the Tribrach.
The Trochee consists of one long and one short syllable; as, hāteful.
The Dactyle consists of one long syllable and two short ones; as, hóli ness, thūnděring. .
The Amphibrach consists of a short, a long, and a short syllable; as, delightful, removal, COỡval.
The Anapæst consists of two short syllables and one long one; as, còntrăvēne.
The Tribrach consists of three short syllables; as, -råtúăl in the word spiritual.
Of these cight different kinds of feet, the lambus, the Trochee, the Anapæst, and the Dactyle are most frequently used, and verses may be wholly or chiefly composed of them. The others may be termed seconary feet, because their use is to diversify the harmony of the verse.
English verses may be divided into three classes, from the feet of which they are principally composed; namely, the Iambic, the Trochaic, and the Anapæstic. To these some authors add the Dactylic as a fourth division; but an attentive consideration of what is called the Dactylic verse will
Long, Common, Short, and Particular metre. When each line of a stanza has eight syllables, it is called Long Metre. When the first and third lines have eight syllables, and he second and fourth have six syllables, it is called Cominion Metre. When the third line has eight, and the rest have six syllables, it is called Short Metre. Stanzas in Particular Metre are of various kinds, and are not subject to definite rules.