« PreviousContinue »
teacher will take up their unfinished task, and, without models, outlines, hints—work of any kind laid out for him—will go on to teach the pupil to translate into product, and so make available in his speech, the theory unfolded, the knowledge imparted. If this were all that teachers require of a text-book on rhetoric, surely there would be no call for another; least of all men would the author of this have felt himself summoned to write one. He has no reason to suppose that he could improve upon the scientific treatises, the philosophies of rhetoric, already extant-many of which, and among these some of the oldest, are admirable of their kind. But the cry coming up from teachers on all sides is, that they need something more—something which, unfolding fully and clearly the principles of the science, shall go on immediately to mark out work for the pupil to do with his pen in illustration and as fruit of what he has learned, and shall exact the doing of it—and this not in the recitation-room, but in preparation for it, and as the burden of his lesson.
Believing, with such teachers, that the rhetoric needed is not that whose facts receive final lodgment in the pupil's memory, but that whose teachings are made to work their way down out of this into his tongue and fingers, enabling him to speak and to write the better for having studied it; believing that the aim of the study should be to put the pupil in possession of an art, and that this cannot be done simply by forcing the science into him through eye and ear, but must be largely by drawing it out of him, in products, through his tongue and his pen;—believing this, the author has prepared this work, in which all explanations of principles are followed and supplemented by exhaustive practice in composition.
The plan pursued is simple; the work stands under
three heads—Invention, Qualities of Style, and Productions.
Great stress is laid upon Invention, the finding of the thought, that most important element in discourse of
Thirty lessons, more than a third of the whole number, are devoted to this. While, strictly speaking, rhetoric cannot, nothing can, teach the pupil to think, he can be brought into such relations with his subject as to find much thought in it, get much out of it, and he can be led to put this into the most telling place in his oral and written efforts. Explaining, then, what thinking is, what thought is, and what a sentence is as the embodiment of a thought and the instrument for its expression, the author leads the pupil up through the construction of sentences of all conceivable kinds, from the simplest to the most intricate—transformed by substitution, contraction, and expansion-through the synthesis of sentences, in their protean forms, into paragraphs, and through the analysis of subjects and the preparation of frameworks, to the finding of thought for his themes.
Under Qualities of Style, running through more than 100 pages, the pupil is made familiar with the six grand, cardinal ones-perspicuity, imagery, energy, wit, pathos, and elegance,-learns in detail what he must do to secure these, and has placed before him pages of rare extracts from English writers, for the critical study of style.
Under Productions, all discourse is divided into oral and written, and written into prose and poetry. These are subdivided, and the requisites and functions of the grand divisions and of their subdivisions are explained. Special attention is given to those productions exacted of the pupil-conversation, debates, orations, and letters. The rhythm and the metre of poetry are made level to his comprehension, and extracts are given for the critical study of poetry.
But whether, under the head of Invention, the author is conducting the pupil up through the construction of sentences and paragraphs, and through the analysis of subjects and the preparation of frameworks, to the finding of thought for his themes; or, under the head of Style, he is acquainting him with its cardinal qualities; or, under the head of Productions, he is dividing and subdividing discourse, noting the nature and the offices of cach division;—in it all he is keeping in sight the fact that the pupil is to acquire an art, and that to attain this he must put into almost endless practice, with his pen, what he has learned from the study of the theory.
In particular, the author would add that the kindred and adjacent studies by which rhetoric is bounded are pointed out, so that the pupil learns, at the start, what is the territory he is to traverse; that schemes for the review of sections are scattered through the book; that a table of contents, through which run a rigid co-ordination and subordination of essential points, each bracketed in its proper place, may be found following the index; that the sentences used in the work have been gleaned from many writers, and often have been manipulated to suit the author's need, so that they are seldom credited to any one, or enclosed within quotation marks; and that capitalization and punctuation are taught where they are to be used, and as an essential part of the sentence itself.
POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, June 1, 1880.
. 205, 206
Comparison, The.. ....III-115
. 124-126 Dash, Rules.. ..29, 38, 42, 43
..200, 201 Essays..
Exclamation Point, Rule.... 22
Figures of Speech.. ..III-134
.. 225, 226
.. 205, 206
.231 - 251
Poetry, Mission of...... .228-230
. 230, 231
. 200, 201
. 16, 17
. 162, 165-170
. 162, 165-170
135, 160, 171, 178, 227, 260
Compound...27, 28, 37-40
. 206, 207
. 204, 205