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5. What does the poor man's son inherit?
Wishes o’erjoyed with humble things; A rank adjudged by toil-won merit;
Content that from employment springs;
A heart that in his labor sings;
6. What does the poor man's son inherit?
A patience learned by being poor; Courage, if sorrow comes, to bear it;
A fellow feeling that is sure
To make the outcast bless his door;
7. Oh! rich man's son, there is a toil
That with all other level stands ; Large charity doth never soil,
But only whitens, soft, white hands;
That is the best crop from the lands;
8. Oh! poor man's son, scorn not thy state;
There is worse weariness than thine, In merely being rich and great;
Work only makes the soul to shine,
And makes rest fragrant and benign;
9. Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,
Are equal in the earth at last;
Both, children of the same dear God,
Prove title to your heirship vast,
By record of a well-filled past;
ANALYSIS OF THE HERITAGE. What is the difference between prose and poetry ? To which class does this selection belong? Is it amusing or serious ? Is it about lofty or common-place subjects? Does it express a high degree of feeling? [It is not lofty or sublime or grand, but sensible and earnest, aiming at instruction, and in some parts touched with a gentleness that greatly heightens the effect. It has less of the true poetic element than many other selections.] With what tone to be read, therefore? [With the tone used in earnest conversation, and with moderate speed.] What lesson is taught in the piece?
First Stanza. What "rich man's son” is meant here? What then is the force of the word “the”? What are meant by “piles of brick, and stone, and gold” ? Suppose it had been punctuated thus, “ piles of brick and stone, and gold"; how might the meaning have differed from what it now is ? Are the hands of the rich man's son softer or whiter, simply on account of his descent, than those of the poor man? Suppose the rich man's son should become a laborer — would his hands be white and soft then? What does he really “inherit;" then? Does it require courage " to wear a garment old”? Why? What other meaning has “wear," and how are the two connected in thought? . What is the heritage that “one would not care to hold in fee”? What is it “to hold in fee”? Meaning of the word "care” in the last line? How comes it to have this meaning? What does "it" stand for in the last line but one?
Meaning and etymology of inherit ? tender ? wear? garment? fee? Are there many or few words of foreign origin here?
İs a positive statement made in the first line? What inflection then ? What words emphatic? [Those expressing the important thoughts, "rich man's son” and “lands,"
the latter being the most emphatic.Determine the emphatic words and the inflections in the second, third, and fourth lines by the same method. Is the statement in the fifth line positive or negative ? [Negative statements require the rising inflection, but the inflection upon the word "old" is the rising circumflex. Let the pupil pronounce the sentence, “I will not screen my brother, if he has done such a deed." Read the word “old” with the same inflection that is given to the word “deed.” Put "old" before “garment," and read with the same inflection as now.] Inflection upon "me” in the sixth line? [Conditional and incomplete clauses take the rising inflection.] What group of words is emphatic in the last line? [Those expressing the new thought.]
Second Stanza. What “cares” does the rich man's son" inherit? What is a “bank”? a "factory”? What is meant by the phrase, “ bank may break”? What is meant by “shares in the third line? What is to " burst" them? Why may a “breath” do it? Meaning of the whole line? Why does the author speak in the next line of "earning a living"? What is meant by the phrase, “suit his turn”? Could “soft, white hands" earn a living that might suit the turn of some men ?
Meaning and etymology of bank ? factory? shares? suit?
Inflection on cares'? [Apply the test, - is it a positive statement?] Emphatic word ? Inflection upon break? burn? [The words "bank” and “ break” require just about the same degree of emphasis ; and the same is true of "factory" and "burn.” A good way to render them is to read all alike with a falling inflection. Emphatic words and inflections in the third line? Is the thought in the fourth and fifth lines positive or negative? Inflection upon them, therefore ? upon earn'? [Emphasis sometimes demands a falling inflection.]
Third Stanza. Does not every one "inherit wants”? Meaning of wants here? What other meaning has it? What is “ dainty fare”? Meaning of the line? Meaning of “hinds” here ? "pants”? What is meant by hearing them with “sated heart”? Who hears them thus ? Meaning of the phrase, “with brown arms bare"? Meaning of the fifth line? Is it a strong or a feeble statement, that he 6 wearies in his easy chair"? What is usually expected to follow from sitting in an easy chair?
Etymology and meaning of wants ? stomach ? dainty ? fare? sated ? easy? craves ?
Inflection upon wants ? [Apply the test.] Upon fare? Where is the main statement in the sentence beginning “with sated hearts”? Inflection upon pants, therefore? Explain the emphases throughout the stanza, and point out the words subject to them.
Fourth Stanza. What is meant by a “sinewy heart”? Is the heart of a poor man really more sinewy than that of a rich man? Strict meaning of sinewy? of the word 'heart,' as here used ? of " hardy frame"? " spirit”? Why is he “king of two hands”? Does not the rich man also possess two hands? Does every poor man " do his part”? and can any one man work at "every toil and art” ? Why is it said that a king might wish to hold this " in fee"? Why a "king"? What is it that a king might wish to hold in fee?
Etymology and meaning of muscles? sinewy? hardy? useful ? spirit ? toil ? art?
What is the inflection on the word inherit ? [The thought here is not negative. See Introduction, Inflections , VI.] What group of words emphatic here? [ Those containing a new thought contrasted with those already expressed.] Inflection upon heart and spirit ? Emphatic words here? What words express the main declaration in the fourth and fifth lines ? What inflection then upon hands? What group of words emphatic? Inflection upon me? heritage ? king ? Emphatic word in the last line ? Inflection at the end of stanza ?
Fifth Stanza. When are one's "wishes o’erjoyed”? What sort of things do we generally consider necessary to accomplish this ? [ There are two ways of being rich; one is to have abundance. What is the other? ] Meaning of “ rank" here? Explain the words, “adjudged by toil-won merit”? Show how "content” may “spring from employment.” How can one's “ heart” "sing"? Explain the fifth line. Meaning of “ heart" in this line ?
Etymology and meaning of humble? rank? adjudged ? merit ? content? employment? labor ?
Inflection on inherit ? [When a question like this is repeated it should receive the rising inflection. Its force is the same as if it were in this form : “Do you still ask what the poor man's son inherits”? This has not the character of a positive statement.] Determine the inflections and emphases in the succeeding lines, by the rules already suggested.
Sixth Stanza. How does one learn “patience from being poor”? Does poverty or suffering always make men patient? What ought we to make our sufferings and poverty do for us? What kind of courage does it require to“ bear sorrow”? Is it the same that the soldier needs in battle? What is meant by a “ fellow-feeling”? Why should it "make the outcast bless his door "'? Why the outcast? Why his door? What " heritage” is referred to in the sixth line ?
Etymology and meaning of patience ? courage ? sorrow ? sure ? bless ?
Inflection upon the word “comes "? Explain the emphases and inflections throughout the stanza.
Seventh Stanza. What “ toil" is spoken of in the first line? Meaning of the second line? Why should this be said to the rich man's son? Meaning of " charity” in the third line? In what sense does it " whiten the hands ” ? Of what is the color white usually considered the sign? What is the best crop from the lands”? In what sense is it a crop? Is "being rich” represented as desirable or otherwise, in the last line ? What “ heritage” is here referred to ?
Etymology and meaning of level ? charity? soil? whitens?
Inflection upon soil? Why? Point out and explain all the emphases and inflections in the stanza.
Eighth Stanza. Why does he not caution the rich man's son against “scorning his state”? What is the "weariness” referred to