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there must always be a difference of opinion as to the most suitable. The writing of Themes involves the burden of finding matter as well as language; and belongs rather to classes in scientific or other departments, than to a class in English composition. The matter should in some way or other be supplied, and the pupil disciplined in giving it expression. I know of no better method than to prescribe passages containing good matter, but in some respects imperfectly worded, to be amended according to the laws and the proprieties of style. Our older writers might be extensively, although not exclusively, drawn upon for this purpose. Another exercise is the conversion of Poetry into Prose. Much value is also attached to Abridging or Summarizing; and this might be coupled with the opposite exercise of filling up and expanding brief sketches.

The sustained practice of Khetorical parsing, or the applying of the designations, principles, and rules of Rhetoric, to authors studied, whether in English or in other languages, would eventually form, in the mind of the pupil, an abiding ideal of good composition.

Aberdeen, March, I866.

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