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writer, and his manner of expressing that view. A good style in each case is that style which most truly and vividly represents the idea of the writer or speaker, whether that idea be mean or noble; just as a man is well dressed who is dressed according to his station in life. It is true there are certain main rules of grammar which all writers must observe. It is true also that there are certain main rules of sentence-arrangement which all writers must as a rule observe. But within these limits there exists a freedom wide as the range from Carlyle to Macaulay; and that freedom ought not to be cramped. The true end of teaching composition is to enable every one to use his powers in the best way, and not to cut all mankind into the pattern of a yew-hedge. The right way to proceed is to master grammar, to master analysis of sentences, and examine carefully the writings of celebrated men and the structure of their sentences, so as to discover in what their power consists. All kinds of verbal gymnastics help towards a true word-power; but the object of such exercises is not imitation, but knowledge of methods of working, and selection. But more of this hereafter. Truth of subject and truth of view have been touched on. There is also a truth belonging to the instrument used, to the language. Each language has a character of its own. The best writers who please, not merely their own generation, but live on as a great people's best possession, will not lose sight of this. They either know it or they feel it; in either case they act in accordance with it. Each language has a character of its own, and each nation accordingly ought to have on the whole a characteristic style of writing. Each nation indeed must have, though a senseless imitation of languages of a different kind may mar the effect in some instances.

This character depends mainly on the presence or absence of changes of form in its words. Grammatical forms, where they exist, give many little subtle delicate shades of meaning; they also give the power of arranging the words in a sentence almost at pleasure. A language therefore rich in word-forms will be fond of expressing such subtleties, will go out of its way to do so, and a habit of doing so will be formed even where there is no real gain in sense. Such a language, like a fine tool, will cut its shapes into delicate neat fine outlines, and precise clear forms. Another language, on the other hand, has very few grammatical inflexions and word-forms, but makes use of clumsy auxiliaries and roundabout expressions instead. Such a language, therefore, will avoid as much as possible all these niceties and subtleties, and will depend for its effect on the strength of its main ideas, on richness of expression and massive power. Like a strong tool, it will hew out great forms and revel in broad strong light and shade, in magnificence or grand simplicity.

It is obvious that languages thus distinct in character ought to be dealt with differently. Whether a nation likes it or not, it is useless for them to contend against the main laws of their language. Men cannot well carve cherry stones with hatchets, or build palaces with carving tools. Much fine work can indeed be done by any language, much strong work by any language; but the main distinction which makes one language a fine tool and fit for fine work, and another a strong tool and fit for strong work, cannot be got rid of. And to recommend a fine language as an example for a strong language is to tell the architect to turn cabinet-maker.

The fine languages best known to us are the Latin and the French. Every Latin and French writer uses a wonderful instrument for precision, clearness, and force, where force means distinctness of outline and the sharpness of single ideas. The French have a very just saying, “If it is not clear it is not French. Because clearness and precision are so pre-eminently characteristic of the language that a writer who has not that has nothing; 'as the language cannot convey, compared with other languages, anything else equally well. The rich strong languages best known to us are the Greek, the German, and the English. Greek is both fine and strong, finer than Latin, as strong as English ; but its richness and strength render it a less distinctive example than the Latin, which has only its distinctness and fineness to depend on. English is the least fine of the three, and perhaps the richest. To give some idea of the richness of English it may be mentioned that if any page of a classical Latin author, Cicero or Caesar for example, be taken, from 80 to 90 per cent. of the verbs, substantives, and adjectives used are found in English, whilst nevertheless Latin forms about a third part only of the English language, at most. In other words, whilst from 80 to go out of every 100 Latin words occur in English, not more than from 30 to 35 Latin words occur in every 100 of English, the remainder 65 or 70 being in excess from other sources, giving an average of treble the number of words in common use in English as compared with Latin. The genius and character therefore of the English language requires a certain breadth of structure and fulness of expression, and avoids as much as possible fine tense and mood distinctions. And the best English writers will not imitate other nations, but will take advantage and wield with effect the resources of their own tongue. But though this is true, the habits of a generation, or time, may seriously interfere with it. Fashion has great influence on the popularity of any writer. The readers of the present day, accustomed to skim newspapers and reviews, demand easy reading. Easy reading must set before the mind a quick succession of images pleasantly and distinctly, like the slides of a magic lantern, and is not meant to be remembered. At least, its primary object is not memory or thought, but pleasure to the reader, credit to the writer. Easy reading must therefore have short sentences. They must not pass on into complex constructions. There must be no attempt to represent graduation of idea. A new sentence must be made for every part of an idea, as well as for the main idea itself. The sentence must always be arranged in the easiest way. The subject must begin, then the rest must follow in grammatical order, not in order of importance. The essential character of easy reading is that it presents a series of little pictures to the mind separately, one after another. Each is seen at once without effort. If the facts are well selected, and the separate thoughts striking, the effect is delightfuł. A book constructed on this principle by a skilful hand is a veritable magic lantern. And if the world was constructed on this plan of striking incidents and thoughts sharp and clear, with no modifications, nothing could be better than this style. The great charm of Macaulay lies in this sharp-cut giving of effects. He has spent exceeding pains in choosing the most striking incidents and making telling observations on them. Each short sentence, arranged generally in grammatical order, falls like a little hammer, and the mind receives with pleasure and without exertion the strokes of the enchanter, just like the plash of a fountain on a hot day. This succession of little blows has an additional recommendation. The more vivid strokes leave an impression on the mind, and the reader thinks, because he remembers perhaps the very words of some telling pieces, that he has received a more than usually full result from the book, a delusion which is not easily broken. But if knowledge is really the object, and to acquire or state sound facts or sound thoughts fully in a connected way, then the sameness of form, the short sentences in which all the ideas take equal rank, the want of connexion, the monotony of a series of little strokes, becomes very wearisome; when each little stroke ought to be remembered in its own order, and there is no distinction to remember them by. In such a style all the helps afforded by word-arrangement, the orderly, unobtrusive harmonies, the graduation and connexion of thought, the natural links of construction, all that aids memory, is sacrificed to immediate effect and temporary pleasure; whilst the mistake of supposing that clearness depends on shortness of sentence is fostered. It does not follow that the idea is clear because the sentences are clear. A short sentence indeed cannot well help being clear, but it may not give a complex idea clearly. And much real power is sacrificed, whilst even the word-clearness is not greater than that which a good writer produces by the harmonious arrangement of his thoughts and words.

Still, it is worth noting that the present habits of the English render them very intolerant of anything which does not seem easy. And any writer who disregards this, from whatever reason, will limit by so doing the number of his readers.

So far of general principles, truth of subject, truth of writer, and genius of language. These are directions, a sort of clue ; after this each must, for himself, follow the clue. All the noble deeds and thoughts and words of noble men of all time are common property, which those who wish to gain power for themselves must study, as far as they can, and make their own, not for imitation, but as examples to inspirit and guide, as a

starting-point for fresh efforts, each in his own mental circle. The principles on which great writings consciously or unconsciously proceed have been stated. Some rules can also be given to enable the student to know what to observe and look for in examining their manner of carrying out their intentions. The grand maxim of learning is to fix the mind on the right things. To put it in a paradoxical form: to know what to forget is the secret of learning well.

Now it is obvious at a glance that beauty of expression is the most striking feature to a mind new to literature. The favourite writers of the young are invariably writers of exuberant or forcible word-power. This fascinates them even when, as in Byron for instance, the sentiments themselves are generally false, or mean, or strained. The first attraction is word-power, and the first fault in composition will generally be word-falseness of this kind. But even where this word-power is true and good, as the jewelled words themselves make a strong impression, the mind of the reader need least of all set itself to lay hold of beautiful words in studying great writers. Moreover, the words belong to their own place, and, though of value, can seldom be transferred and made part of a learner's own stores for common use. There is great danger of being run away with by glittering words; many foolish writings are foolish because the writers have been dazzled by fine passages, and wanted judgment to reject the use of similar expressions out of place. Indeed, wordworship is so prevalent, that poetry with many has got to mean nothing more than ornamental diction, instead of the highest effort of the human mind in thought and word expression. As far as words are concerned, therefore, a student need not apply his mind specially to the gorgeous and striking words; these of themselves are likely to make impression enough. The manner in which a great writer puts common things, his fresh terms for constantly-recurring ideas, such as the seasons, days, morning, evening, &c., should be carefully noted. How the unnecessary and meaner parts of ordinary ideas are either kept out of sight or beautified by little changes; these are the points that are apt to escape notice, and which therefore require particular attention. Language-study is much facilitated if the learner

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