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Sir Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. It fired his mind. He learned it by heart. Doubtless he thought to himself: "If I could only write like that, how happy I should be!" At all events, after a while, that is, when he was about forty years old, he organized some of his Roman material into poems of the same kind as Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, calling these poems Lays of Ancient Rome. This was Step 2. Then he discussed with a friend of his, Mr. Thomas Flower Ellis, what he had done, and at his suggestion changed some passages. He even went so far as to go to Rome to study his poem in the light of what he could learn there. That was his way of accomplishing Steps 3 and 4. Step 5 consisted of getting the poems set up in type and reading the proof. Macaulay was particular about this. He did not despise spelling and punctuation, but he did despise people who despise spelling and punctuation. As a matter of fact, the only people who do not believe in these things are those who can neither spell nor punctuate. But that is another story. The Lays were published in 1842, which was Step 6, and were greeted with a chorus of approval, which must have been highly gratifying to Macaulay. At all events it brought him money and fame, which was Step 7.

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III. The Audience

When Macaulay wrote, when anybody writes, he writes for an audience. In the approval of an audience lie the reason and reward of composition. No man except a blockhead or an angel ever wrote except for an audience. In beginning a course in composition, the first thing to do is, therefore, to provide an audience. We shall accomplish this by organizing ourselves as a literary club.

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3. Appoint a committee to choose a name.

4. Appoint a committee to draw up a constitution. This probably will be quite enough work for one day. The second and third days will perhaps suffice for the discussion and adoption of the constitution. The fourth will be needed for the election of officers and the fifth for copying the constitution into everybody's notebook.

The Constitution of the United States will afford a good model. Two points, however, need particular


1. The section dealing with the order of business should be carefully drawn.

2. Every member of the class should be a permanent recording secretary, whose duty it should be each day to keep careful notes of the transactions of the club, to copy these in ink into a notebook, and to be ready when called upon to read them to the club. Their value for review work is obvious.

IV. Order of Business

1. Roll call. It is suggested that the class should each month learn a poem, and that each member may respond at roll call by giving one line or

one sentence.

2. Minutes of the last meeting.

3. Discussion of the minutes.

4. Reports of committees and officers.

5. New business.

6. Unfinished business.

This arrangement lends itself well to the methodical

transaction of the business of a class; affords training in citizenship; keeps the teacher where he belongs — in the background; gives daily practice in oral expression; and, above all, causes the boys and girls to feel that they have a vital share in the conduct and success of the work. A pupil may be appointed each day as critic. The teacher, as permanent critic of the club, will report daily on the work of the other members, and, under the order of new business, will assign the work of the next meeting. From time to time contests may be arranged with other classes and semi-public programs presented in the school auditorium. In this connection, it may be suggested that the teacher should often sit, not in the front, but in the back of the room. The use of a dignified current periodical as a basis for these discussions may serve a useful purpose.

V. Model Minutes

At the meeting of the Holmes Literary Club Monday, December 14, 1914, Mr. John Murray presided. Roll call, which was effected by the Critic, Mr. Edwin L. Miller, by requiring the members of the club each to give a line of Kipling's "If," as their names were read, showed nineteen present and one absent. The minutes of the meeting of December 11 were read by William Penn and ordered rewritten. The Critic returned to their authors for revision a set of reports on lectures, taking occasion to discuss in connection therewith the following topics:

1. The fundamental law of punctuation.

2. Festina lente = "Hurry slowly" = "Safety first." 3. Carpe diem "Do it now." 4. "Facts are the soul of reporting."

Under the head of new business he directed each


member of the class in preparation for to-morrow's meeting to perform the following tasks:

1. Write up the minutes.

2. Be prepared to discuss orally the topics suggested in the next paragraph.

This was followed by a debate between the Greeks and Romans on the resolution that "Admiral Mahan's thesis that sea-power is essential to worldpower is sound." The Romans won by 568 points to 550.1

VI. Oral Composition

Everybody composes orally whenever he speaks. As a rule people speak better than they write. Just as the legs are usually stronger than the arms, the tongue is apt to be quicker than the fingers. For this reason the art of oral composition is too often neglected. Its importance, however, cannot be overrated. It is not only an essential step in the preparation of written compositions, but has a value of its own to all public speakers, to all salesmen, and to all persons who meet other persons in social intercourse. As a beginning in this art, the pupil is therefore directed to prepare, without writing it, a three-minute speech on some topic suggested by the preceding pages. The following may serve:

1. What is Composition?

2. The Practical Value of Composition.

3. Seven Keys to Composition.

4. Sir Walter Scott.

5. The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

6. Thomas Babington Macaulay.

7. The Lays of Ancient Rome.
8. Literary Clubs.

1 The teacher may keep the score.

VII. Memorize

As an aid to composition, the process of learning poetry by heart is of great value. It increases one's vocabulary, develops a feeling for sentence structure, gradually teaches without seeming to teach the subtler methods of securing literary effect, and gives to what might otherwise be a too prosaic task a little touch of that finer stuff which we call idealism. The poem, or part of a poem, at the end of each chapter, has been selected with special reference to its value for being memorized.


All are architects of Fate,

Building in these halls of Time,
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Nothing useless is or low;

Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.

For the structure that we raise
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we build.

Truly shape and fashion these;

Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.
(Continued on Page 11.)

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