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LETTERS OF FRIENDSHIP
"A scholar is a man who reads Plato with his feet on the fender."
WRITE a letter to a friend describing the manner in which you have spent the last year.
CALCUTTA, Nov. 30, 1836.
How the months run away! Here is another cold season: morning fogs, cloth coats, green pease, new potatoes, and all the accompaniments of a Bengal winter. As to my private life, it has glided on, since I wrote to you last, in the most peaceful monotony. If it were not for the books which I read, and for the mental and bodily growth of my dear little niece, I should have no mark to distinguish one part of the year from another. Greek and Latin, breakfast, business, an evening walk with a book, a drive after sunset, dinner, coffee, my bedthere you have the history of a day. My classical studies go on vigorously. I have read Demosthenes twice I need not say with what delight and admiration. I am now deep in Isocrates, and from him I shall pass to Lysias. I have finished Diodorus Siculus at last, after dawdling over him at odd times ever since last March. He is a stupid, credulous, prosing old ass; yet I heartily wish that we had a good deal more of him. I have read Theocritus again and like him better than ever. As to Latin, I made a heroic attempt on Pliny's "Natural History," but I stuck after getting through about a quarter of it. I have read Ammianus Marcellinus, the worst written book in ancient Latin. I am now busy with Quintilian and Lucan, both excellent writers. I am glad
that you have so much business, and sorry that you have so little leisure. Remember me most kindly to Mrs. Ellis. Ever yours affectionately,
T. B. MACAULAY.
III. Time Schedule
1. Make an outline of this letter showing: (a) how it should be divided into paragraphs; (b) the subject of each paragraph; (c) the subject of the whole letter.
2. Where is Calcutta?
3. Who was Macaulay?
4. Name five Greek and four Latin authors not mentioned in this letter.
5. Point out in Macaulay's letter an example of antithesis.
6. Point out one simple, one compound, and one complex sentence.
7. Go without your book to the blackboard and write from dictation the model or such portions of it as your teacher may select.1
Tuesday Oral Composition
Three-minute speeches on the following topics:
1. The "Four W's" in the Model.
3. Macaulay in India.
8. Quintilian. 9. Lucan.
1 The following plan interests pupils and at the same time affords an invaluable exercise in spelling, punctuation, handwriting, indention, and margins: (1) Divide the class into rival factions. (2) Have them correct and mark each other's work by means of the proofreaders' signs and the "A-Z Method." (3) Deduct a fixed amount from his own mark for each mistake not discovered by the marker.
10. The Reading Habit.
11. The Five Best Books.
12. The Ten Best Books.
Plan a letter describing your life for the last year in general, and in particular discussing the books you have read during that time. Include the following topics, allotting a paragraph to each: (1) General News; (2) My Chief Interest; (3) Your Correspondent and his Family. Be prepared to give this orally to the class, just as a business man dictates a letter to his stenographer.
Thursday - Written Composition
In class, under your teacher's eye, write your
Friday - Public Speaking
Program to be arranged by the officers of the club with the advice and aid of the teacher.
This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
EDWARD ROWLAND SILL.
LETTERS OF INVITATION
"A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies."
WRITE to your best friend a letter of invitation to visit you. Make it so persuasive that he (or she) cannot resist.
MADEIRA HALL, VENTNOR,
Here I am, lodged most delightfully. I look out on one side to the crags and myrtles of the undercliff, against which my house is built. On the other side I have a view of the sea, which is at this moment as blue as the sky and as calm as the Serpentine. My little garden is charming.
Will you come? Take your own time, but I am rather anxious that you should not lose this delicious weather and defer your trip till the equinoctial storms are setting in. I can promise you plenty of water and of towels; good tea; good cheese from town; good eggs, butter, and milk from the farm at my door; a beautiful prospect from your bedroom window; and, if the weather keeps us within doors, Plautus's Comedies, Plutarch's Lives, twenty or thirty comedies of Calderon, Fra Paolo's History, and a little library of novels.
I am just returned from a walk of near seven hours and of full fifteen miles, part of it as steep as the Monument. Indeed I was so knocked out with climbing Black Gang Chine that I lay on the turf at the top for a quarter of an hour. Ever yours,
T. B. MACAULAY.
1. Ventnor. A famous resort on the south coast of the Isle of Wight.
2. Ellis. Thomas Flower Ellis, "that one friend who had a share in the familiar confidence which Macaulay otherwise reserved for his nearest relatives." He was an acute and industrious lawyer. They had in common an insatiable love of the classics.
3. The Serpentine. A pond in Hyde Park, London. 4. The Monument. A fluted column, 202 feet high,
erected 1671-77 in London to commemorate the Great Fire of 1666. It is ascended by a winding staircase of 345 steps.
5. Black Gang Chine. A ravine, through which a path, partly cut into steps, descends. The rocks here are 400 feet high.
IV. Time Schedule
Monday- Study of Model
Part I. Queries
1. What do you know about Macaulay?
2. About the Isle of Wight?
3. What is the subject of this letter?
4. What is its purpose?
5. What is the subject of each paragraph?
6. (a) Does Macaulay use short or long words? (b) Does he write about anything that Ellis would not understand?
7. Point out an example of antithesis.
8. Point out one simple, one complex, and one compound sentence.
9. On what principle does Macaulay use semicolons after "towels," "tea," "town," etc.?
10. How far is Black Gang Chine from Ventnor?