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The reign of Richard I.
Materials:- Date of his accession-whose son his general character- persecution of the Jews— crusade quarrel with Philip II. at Messina - his marriage at Cyprus exploits in Palestine - his haughty temper-Philip's return - Richard quits the Holy Land-his shipwreck and imprisonment-ransom - return to England-war against Philip circumstances and date of his death.
Materials::- Number of forces engaged -cavalry-guns- the description of the battle-field - disposition of the forces-position of the generals -the first attack-how sustained - vicissitudes of - last grand charge — victory
fortune the reserve
and its consequences.
Materials:- The object-names of the leaders
their secret meetings — watchword
- oath of secrecy
-the plan of execution-betrayal by a conspirator his motives-bribe? conscientious?
discovery of the plot-arrest of the leading conspirators their trial and execution.
Materials: Causes of discontent-grievances of the people measures taken by the government inflammatory harangues of orators excitement of the populace excesses defiance of authority depredations, fires, &c. measures taken to restore order special constables- the military-collision -the insurgents defeated-order restored-grievances redressed, &c.
Of all the forms of composition, letter-writing, with which everybody is expected to be practically acquainted, is the one most frequently required. It is scarcely possible to lay down any positive rules on the subject of epistolary composition; since, as letters embrace a very great variety of matter, the style will naturally vary with the subject, feelings of the writer, &c.
The form of a letter has been frequently adopted by writers wishing to convey their thoughts to the public on history, philosophy, &c. But these works are not to be classed as letters. Epistolary writing is recognised as a distinct form of composition, only when it is an easy and familiar conversation carried on between two friends by means of a letter.
The letters of illustrious persons have always been interesting; sometimes from the importance of the subject; but more frequently, because, being easy and friendly communications, they are generally a good criterion of the writer's character. For here, if anywhere, we naturally expect to find the man-his whole disposition and turn of mind.
In every case, therefore, of letter-writing, the main point, and one to be constantly held in view, is a simple and natural mode of expression. In a letter, everything should be easy and flowing; the communication should be made in a clear, straightforward way, with no straining after effect, and no adoption of out-of-theway terms or far-fetched expressions. With regard to the arrangement of the matter, it may be proper to say
that whatever the writer wishes to communicate about one subject, should be exhausted before he proceeds to
another, so that he may not recur to it in the course of the letter.
By this means, all the materials of the letter will be arranged in proper order, and any misapprehension of the contents in the mind of the correspondent will be prevented.
A letter should be begun about one-third from the top of the page; and it may be needless to mention that the handwriting should be perfectly clear and legible, and that the most scrupulous attention be paid to the orthography and punctuation. Capital initials should never be used with nouns, unless when they are proper names, or happen to begin a sentence.*
With respect to the division of syllables, it should be remembered: Never to divide monosyllables, or words pronounced as monosyllables; such as 'robbed,' 'sinned,' &c. The syllables of a proper noun should never be divided; for example, it would be wrong to write Lon-don (the first syllable in one line and the second in the next) or Canter-bury, or Mr. John-son, &c.
It may be here useful to caution the learner against committing another very common fault in letterwriting; viz. writing the word 'yours' with an apostrophe before the final s (your's). This should never be done. The apostrophe is properly used only in nouns, to distinguish the possessive singular from the plural, and is never correctly applied to a disjunctive pronoun.
This rule should be carefully observed, as there seems just now a tendency in some to revive the obsolete practice of writing every noun with a capital initial.
Another point for consideration is the length of a letter. If we write with some special purpose, the letter should contain nothing but the one subject; but if, as is often the case, we write to friends at a distance, a longer letter will be naturally expected. It would be strange, indeed, to write a very short note from Calcutta to London.
Many of our great writers are distinguished for the natural grace and ease of their epistolary style. The letters of Cowper, Gray, Pope, and others, specimens of which are here subjoined, are among the most celebrated.
SPECIMENS OF LETTERS.
To Joseph Hill, Esq.
My dear Friend,
June 25th, 1785.
I write in a nook that I call my boudoir. It is a summer-house not much bigger than a sedan chair, the door of which opens into the garden, that is now crowded with pinks, roses, and honeysuckles, and the window into my neighbour's orchard. It formerly served an apothecary, now dead, as a smoking room; and under my feet is a trap-door, which once covered a hole in the ground, where he kept his bottles. At present, however, it is dedicated to sublime uses. Having lined it with garden mats, and furnished it with a table and two chairs, here I write all that I write in summer time, whether to my friends or to the public. It is secure from all noise, and a refuge from all intrusion; for intruders sometimes trouble me in the winter evenings at Olney. But, thanks to my boudoir,