Puslapio vaizdai



(By Washington Irving.)

"Were anything wanting to perpetuate this victory, it would be sufficiently memorable from the scene where it was fought. This war has been distinguished by new and peculiar characteristics. Naval warfare has been carried into the interior of a continent; and navies, as if by magic, launched from among the depths of the forest! The bosom of peaceful lakes, which, but a short time since, were scarcely navigated by man, except to be skimmed by the light canoe of the savage, have all at once been ploughed by hostile ships. The vast silence, that had reigned for ages on these mighty waters, was broken by the thunder of artillery; and the affrighted savage stared with amazement, from his covert, at the sudden apparition of a sea-fight amid the solitudes of the wilderness. This battle will stand first on the pages of the local legends, and in the marvellous tales of the borders. The fisherman, as he loiters along the beach, will point to some half-buried cannon corroded with the rust of time, and will speak of ocean warriors, that came from the shores of the Atlantic; while the boatman, as he trims his sail to the breeze, will chant, in rude ditties, the name of Perry, the early hero of Lake Erie."

Present another example of a historical narration, adorned by vivid style, from a modern author?

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(By George Bancroft.)

66 The choice of America fell on a man born west of the Alleghanies, in the cabin of poor people of Hardin County, Kentucky-Abraham Lincoln.

His mother could read, but not write; his father could do neither; but his parents sent him, with an old spelling-book, to school, and he learned in his childhood to do both.

When eight years old, he floated down the Ohio with his father on a raft, which bore the family and all their possessions to the shore of Indiana; and, child as he was, he gave help as they toiled through dense forests to the interior of Spencer County. There in the land of free labor he grew up in a logcabin, with the solemn solitude for his teacher in his meditative hours. Of Asiatic literature he knew only the Bible; of Greek, Latin and mediæval, no more than the translation of Esop's Fables; of English, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The traditions of George Fox and William Penn passed to him dimly along the lines of two centuries through his ancestors, who were Quakers.

Otherwise his education was altogether American. The Declaration of Independence was his compendium

Recite a third example of historical narration, from a modern author.

of political wisdom, the life of Washington his constant study, and something of Jefferson and Madison reached him through Henry Clay, whom he honored from boyhood. For the rest, from day to day, he lived the life of the American people; walked in its light; reasoned with its reason; thought with its power of thought; felt the beatings of its mighty heart; and so was in every way a child of nature—a Ichild of the West-a child of America.

At nineteen, feeling impulses of ambition to get on in the world, he engaged himself to go down the Mississippi in a flat-boat, receiving ten dollars a month for his wages, and afterwards he made the trip once more. At twenty-one he drove his father's cattle as the family migrated to Illinois, and split rails to fence in the new homestead in the wild. At twenty-three he was captain of volunteers in the Black Hawk war. He kept a shop; he learned something of surveying; but of English literature he added to Bunyan nothing but Shakespeare's plays. At twenty-five he was elected to the Legislature of Illinois, where he served eight years. At twenty-seven he was admitted to the bar. In 1837 he chose his home at Springfield, the beautiful center of the richest land in the State. In 1847 he was a member of the National Congress, where he voted about forty times in favor of the principle of the Jefferson proviso. In 1854 he gave his influence to elect from Illinois to the American Senate a Democrat who would certainly do justice to Kansas. In 1858, as the rival of Douglas, he went before the people of the mighty Prairie State, saying: This Union

cannot permanently endure, half slave and half free; the Union will not be dissolved, but the house will cease to be divided;' and now, in 1861, with no experience whatever as an executive officer, while States were madly flying from their orbit, and wise men knew not where to find counsel, this descendant of Quakers, this pupil of Bunyan, this child of the Great West, was elected President of America."

Swett's Common School Readings.


In the preceding examples show whether they possess the qualities of a historical narration, viz: perspicuity, and probability. Indicate the kind of style used.

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Make a similar criticism of other narratives contained in your Rhetorical Reader or other books.


Relate the fall of Richmond, and Lee's surrender to General Grant.


Analyze your composition, showing the compliance of the rules with respect to historical narrations. Hear the criticism made by other students.



1. First; gather the principal points and adjuncts of the fact, and ascertain their truth.

2. Second; write them down first, promiscuously, as they are presented to the mind; and afterward in order, according to time, place, persons, or other principal circumstances. The order of time is generally preferable.

3. Third; each point or item, being expressed in a few concise words, will form what was termed in the first book, (Elem. of Comp.) on the subject of amplification, a complex idea.

4. Fourth; each point, or complex idea, must be developed and amplified in suitable language and style.

5. Fifth; when all the points have been properly expounded, read your composition; observe if you have followed the rules of historical narrations, make the necessary corrections, and let the composition stand for a day or two.

(1.) What is the first thing prescribed for the praxis of writing a historical narration?

(2.) What is the second direction ?—the third?-fourth? (5.) What is the fifth ?—and sixth?

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