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EDWARDS'S SIXTH READER.
1.—THE GRAY OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN.
HARRY HIBBARD. At the Franconia Notch, in the White Mountains, in New Hampshire, thero is a group of rocks at tho top of one of the precipices, so placed that, when viewed from a certain point, they present the appearance of a human face in profile. All the surrounding scenery is romantic and impressive. The face has a gravo and thoughtful aspect. Every year tho sceno is visited by multitudes of curious travelers.
1. Where a tall post beside the road displays Its lettered arm, pointing the traveler's eye Through the small opening 'mid the green birch trees, Toward yonder mountain summit towering high, There pause. What doth thy anxious gaze espy? A crag abrupt hung from the mountain's brow! Look closer! scan that bare, sharp cliff on high! Aha! the wondrous shape bursts on thee now! A perfect human face, -_ neck, chin, mouth, nose, and brow !
2. And full and plain those features are displayed,
3. Most wondrous vision ! the broad earth hath not,
4. And curious travelers have descried the trace
ANALYSIS OF THE GRAY OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN.
Is this prose or poetry? What is the difference between these? [Two kinds of difference, - a difference in thought, and a difference in form. A composition full of poetry in thought, may have the form of prose.] Thoughts of what kind are poetical? prosaic ? [To show the difference in form, let the teacher read, correctly and naturally, a few lines of blank verse, and a few lines of prose, and let the pupil, not the teacher, observe and point out the difference. One will be measured off to the car, the other will not.] Poems may be comic, serious, lively, joyous, sad, heroic, pathetic, descriptive, didactic, sublime, &c. Which and how many of these characteristics belong to this piece ? Has it any other traits? Is any piece of poetry just alike in all its parts in this respect? How great are the differences in this piece? Is this a highly imaginative selection ? Is the scene described
tu prekinuha ne goblen
are blocheads and in
a real or a supposed one? What would one need to do as a preparation for writing such a piece as this? Would it be sufficient to sit and think? As a preparation for reading it? [This piece is, in the main, minutely descriptive and not imaginative. Careful observation would, therefore, be the chief requisite as a preparation for writing it. It appeals to the eye, and consequently the teacher must be sure that the pupil, with the mind's eye, secs the scene as a reality. As he stands in his place, he must forṁ for himself a picture, and be able to point out, with his finger, the place upon the picture, of each object mentioned; and also to describe each with its surroundings. Without this there can be no success in the reading of such a selection.] In what part of what country is the above scene situated ? Point out the exact locality on the map. Through what towns and by what means of conveyance would you reach the place, from where you live? With what tone of voice should such a piece be read? What degree of loudness ? What pitch ? What rate of speed ? [This is chiefly lively description. The tone of a dignified narrative is not sufficiently animated for it. The degree of loudness is moderate. The pitch should be a little higher than the medium, and the speed a little more rapid.]
First Stanza. What kind of a "post" is here spoken of? Of what is it made? [The object of these questions is not to get at the exact and real size, &c., so much as to lead the pupil to form a picture. It is not necessary that the actual length, &c., be given as answers. What is required is, that the pupil should have a picture, and should tell, in answer to questions, what he himself sees in his mind's eye. Almost any consistently formed picture is better than none.] How tall is it, - about how many feet ? Where are you standing as you see it? Are you on foot, in a carriage, or in a railway car ? On which hand is it? Point to it as you have located it in your imaginary landscape. How far from you is it? How near do the wheels come to it as you pass ? What is meant by the expression, “displays its lettered arm”? What is this arm? Why called an arm? What letters are on it? To what does it point? Does it point horizontally, downward, or upward ? [Examine the fourth line.] What makes the "opening" in the trees? How large an opening is it? Is it near
the ground? Is it on the same side of the road with the post ? Point to it. What time of the year is this? What part of the birch tree is green? What kind of birch trees are these ? Color of bark? How large are they? How many feet high? Inches in circumference at the root? What is a “mountain summit”? How far off is this one ? Point to it in your picture. What is meant by “towering high”? Where are you directed to "pause"? Why should you pause? What is it to “espy"? What is meant by “ gaze," in the fifth line? Why “anxious"? At what are you looking? What is a “crag'? Why “abrupt”? What is the “mountain's brow”? What is meant by the crag's being "hung" from it? Why are you directed to look closer”? What is it to "scan”? How does a “cliff” differ from a "crag”? Why is this said to be “bare”? Why “sharp"? [Do not forget its position.] Meaning of "aha"? What “shape” is meant? Why “wondrous”? What is meant by its “bursting”? What is called a "perfect human face”? In what respect is it a perfect human face? Is it so in respect to color ? Does the human face appear to the observer at any position whence he may happen to see the rock?
Give the etymology and meaning of post, display, lettered, mountain, summit, anxious, crag, abrupt, cliff, perfect. [In giving etymologies several steps are to be taken. First, separate the word into its parts; next give the radical mcaning of each part; next the radical meaning of the whole; next the actual or received meaning of the word; next show how the radical meaning gave place to the received meaning. For an example, take the word affluence. Its parts are af, flu, ence Af=ad means to, flu means flow, ence means the state or condition of. The meaning of the whole word then is the state of-flowing-to. But the usual or received meaning is abundance of wealth or property. It is clear that the usual meaning came from the other, because the man of wealth is so situated that money is all the while in the state of-flowing-to him. All these steps must be taken, or the exercise is of little worth. In schools the last step is often omitted, because it requires a little thinking.] Are there many or few words of foreign origin in this stanza ? How is the entire piece in this respect ?
Where is the first positive declaration or direction in the first stanza ? Which is it, a declaration or direction ? [The first positive clause is, “There pause," —a direction. All the preceding clauses and phrases are, therefore, conditional. We express positive declarations, and utter positive directions, with the falling inflection of the voice. Let the pupil utter the expressions, " The grass grows," — a positive declaration; “Be diligent and faithful,” - a positive direction. Let him notice carefully whether his voice slides upward or downward at the words « grows” and “faithful.” Let the teacher assist him, by himself pronouncing the sentences. Take also this, “If the weather is fair I will go.” Let the pupil notice the direction in which the voice slides on the word "fair.” The expression, “If the weather is fair,” is conditional. Conditional expressions have the rising inflection or slide.] What inflection then upon the word arm ? eye? trees? high? pause? [“ What doth thy anxious gaze espy” is an expression (usually called an indirect question. All questions that cannot be answered by " yes" or "no" are so called. They are equivalent to positive directions. This is equivalent to saying, “Tell me the thing that thy anxious gaze espies”. in all indirect questions the affirmation contained in the verb is assumed: some condition only is in doubt. Here the object of the verb is the thing demanded. Sometimes it is the manner of the action, as, “ How do you travel”? Sometimes it is the cause, as, “Why sleep the brave"? Herce the posi – tive character of such questions. 7 Indirect questions have what inflection of the voice, then ? What inflection upon “brow”, in the sixth line, and why? upon “closer”? upon “high ;' in the seventh line? Inflection upon “face”? upon “now”? upon “brow in the ninth line? [The word "now" expresses an important condition. The form had not burst on him before.]
[The words, or groups of words, that express the most important thoughts or the new thoughts in a sentence, are spoken louder and more forcibly than the other words. This is called emphasizing them, and the louder utterance is called emphasis. Words thus spoken are said to be emphatic.] What word or group of words expresses the most important idea in the first sentence? [Upon this and similar questions the pupil should be encouraged to think. It is well for the