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Find a contrary example, and analyze it likewise.


THEME." I had just fallen asleep, when methought I saw "-here relate a dream, using the simple style.


Read your own composition. style you have used, and prove it.

State what



1. Middle style is that which holds an intermediate place, between the sublime and simple, or in which the ideas and words are neither too lofty, nor too familiar, but partake of both qualities.

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2. The middle style is also called flowery, because to it all the flowers and ornaments of diction rightly belong.

3. Virgil furnishes an example of the middle style, in the first book of the Georgics :

"It is often expedient to kindle the dry field, and burn in the flames the light grass. Whether it be

(1.) What is the middle style?

(2.) Why is it called flowery?

(3.) Furnish an example of the middle style, from an ancient author?

that by this means the soil gains an invisible strength, or an invigorating substance, or that internal impurities are purified by fire; or that the heat opens new ways, and the pores are unobstructed, whereby fresh humor is infused in the new grass; or whether it hardens more and closes the open channels, lest they may be burned by light rain, or by the strong power of the sun, or by the penetrating cold of Boreas."

4. Byron's description of the destruction of Sennacherib may also serve as an example of the middle style. The student must remark, that in these examples, ideas and words are neither too lofty, nor too familiar; hence, they belong to the middle style:

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB. “The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of his spears was like stars on the sea, When the wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest, when Autumn is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen; Like the leaves of the forest, when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed on the face of the foe as he passed;

(4.) Give another example from a modern classic?

And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and forever were still.

And there lay the steed, with his nostrils all wide, But through them there rolled not the breath of his pride, And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beaten surf.

And there lay the rider, distorted and pale,

With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpets unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Has melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.”

2. The middle style is acquired, first, by conceiving ideas not altogether familiar or common; second, by using figures of speech not too strong; third, by using flowery diction; fourth, by reading good authors.

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Point out in the above examples, first, the ideas and words which are neither too high, nor too low; second, the figures of speech and flowery diction.


Find an example of the middle style in your Rhetorical Reader, and show likewise how the ideas and words are neither too lofty, nor too familiar.


Find an example in which the rules of middle style have been violated, and point them out.



For nearly a century, American progress of civilization has kept pace with the extension of its territory."

In amplifying this sentence, use the middle style.


Read your composition, and prove your style by the rules.




In treating of each subject of composition, we shall indicate the peculiar style adapted to it. Here it may suffice to establish two general rules, concerning the choice of style in composition.

2. RULE I.-"The style must conform to the

(1.) Are there any general rules for the selection of style in composition?

(2.) Name the first rule?

nature of the subject of composition.'

Thus, if

the subject be elevated, or familiar, or intermediate, the style must be of the same kind.

3. RULE II.-"The style must suit the object of the writer or speaker.” Thus, if the object in writing or speaking be to inform or instruct, the style must be simple; if the object be to please, the style must be flowery or adorned; if the object be to persuade and move the mind, the style must be sublime.

4. It follows from these rules, that before a person begins to write or speak on a subject, it is necessary that he should carefully ascertain what kind of style is best adapted to the subject and object of his composition, and not act like one who makes a selection of a garment in a clothing emporium, before considering whether it will suit, or not, the person for whom it is intended.

5. It happens, very frequently, that a change of subject and object occurs in the same composition. In this case, as the subject and object is various and mixed, so is also the style, which is therefore named the mixed style.

(3.) Give the second rule?

(4.) What must a person do, before writing or speaking on a subject?

(5.) When is the style called mixed?

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