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LESSON 86. DIRECTIONS AND MODEL LEsson. 240. The Exercises in this Section may comprise two operations:

1st. The Mutation of Poetry into Prose; 2nd. Critical Remarks on the Example.

241. MUTATION OF THE POETICAL EXTRACT INTO PROSE. - 1. In rendering the Poetical Extract into correct Prose, it must be observed, that every sentence in Poetry will require a corresponding one in Prose.

2. As much as possible, the exact meaning and spirit of the original must be retained.

3. Poetical terms and idioms must be carefully excluded, and appropriate prose constructions substituted in their place.

4. Regard must be had to accuracy of Punctuation, and a skilful connection of the sentences.

242. CRITICAL REMARKS. These will consist of such observations as may reasonably be expected from youths of average ability, whose attention has been directed to subjects of this kind. Whether a full discussion of every particular comprised under the following heads, or only a selection of one or two may be deemed the preferable mode, must depend on the discretion of the Instructor,

1. An Analysis, or (if too difficult) a brief Enumeration of the leading topics, sentiments, or

incidents contained in the Exercise; with remarks on their practical tendency, or the justness of the Author's reasonings.

2. Observations on the suitableness of any Figure of Speech introduced.

3. Observations on the appositeness and significancy of the Epithets employed.

4. Underline whatever instances of Poetical License may occur.



In such a world, so thorny, and where none
Finds happiness unblighted, or if found,
Without some thistly sorrow at its side,
It seems the part of wisdom, and no sin
Against the law of love, to measure lots
With less distinguished than ourselves, that thus
We may with patience bear our moderate ills,
And sympathize with others, suffering more.
Ill fares the traveller now, and he that stalks
In ponderous boots beside his reeking team.
The wain goes heavily, impeded sore
By congregated loads adhering close
To the clogg'd wheels ; and in its sluggish pace
Noiseless appears a moving hill of snow.
The toiling steeds expand the nostril wide,
While ev'ry breath by respiration strong
Forced downward, is consolidated soon
Upon their jutting chests. He, form'd to bear
The pelting brunt of the tempestuous night,
With half-shut eyes and pucker'd cheeks, and teeth
Presented bare against the storm, plods on.
One hand secures his hat, save when with both

He brandishes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain.
Oh happy! and in my account, denied
That sensibility of pain with which
Refinement is endued, thrice happy thou.
Thy frame robust and hardy, feels indeed
The piercing cold, but feels it unimpair’d.
The learned finger never need explore
Thy vigorous pulse ; and the unhealthful east,
That breathes the spleen, and searches every bone
Of the infirm, is wholesome air to thee.
Thy days roll on exempt from household care;
Thy waggon is thy wife ; and the poor beasts
That drag the dull companion to and fro,
Thine helpless charge, dependent on thy care.
Ah treat them kindly! rude as thou appear'st,
Yet show that thou hast mercy, which the great
With needless hurry whirl'd from place to place,
Humane as they would seem, not always show.

Cowper. 244. The preceding rendered into Prose. In a thorny world as ours is, in which all are exposed to some annoyance, or feel, at times, some prickly sorrow, it is the part of wisdom frequently to contrast our own condition with that of others less distinguished, or less fortunate. We may thus learn to bear with patience what cannot be removed, and to sympathize with others whose sufferings exceed our


In a wintry snow-storm, ill fares the traveller; and equally so, the poor waggoner who stalks in ponderous boots beside his reeking team. The wain whose wheels are clogged by congregated loads adhering close goes heavily ; and in its sluggish noiseless pace appears a moving hill of snow. The toiling steeds expand the nostrils wide, while every breath forced downward by respiration strong, is soon consolidated ?pon their jutting chests. He, formed to bear the pelting brunt of the tempestuous night, plods on, with half-shut eyes and puckered cheeks, and teeth presented bare against the storm. One hand secures his hat, except when with both he brandishes his pliant length of whip which oft resounding is never heard in vain. Happy man! to whom has been denied that sensibility of pain which accompanies refinement, Thy robust and hardy frame feels indeed the piercing cold, but feels it unimpaired. Thy vigorous pulse no learned finger needs explore. The unhealthful east that breathes the spleen, and searches every bone of the infirm, is wholesome air to thee. Thy days roll on exempt from household care. Thy waggon is thy wife, and the poor beasts that drag the dull companion from place to place are thy helpless charge, dependent on thy care. Ah, treat them kindly, rude as thou appearest ; and show that thou hast mercy, which the great with needless hurry whirled from place to place, though seemingly humane, do not always show.

245. Remarks. 1. The poet commences his subject by laying down the proposition, that since we are all more or less exposed to the sorrows and annoyances of life, we shall become better enabled to endure what cannot be avoided by contrasting our condition with that of others less favourably circumstanced. He then proceeds to notice a man who, from his occupation, is compelled to undergo every inclemency of weather. Hard as this condition appears to be, it is not entirely destitute of advantages. The human frame inured to toil gradually becomes vigorous and robust, so as ultimately neither to fear the pelting storm nor feel the withering blast. Nor does this condition of life exclude the exhibition of kindliness of feeling towards the animals committed to our care; a feeling not always manifested by those whose position in life is greatly above that of the humble waggoner.

2. In the phrases — “ Thy waggon is thy wife,” and “the poor beasts thy helpless charge,” we have two metaphors

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The learned finger,” that is, the finger of the physician, is an instance of Metonymy.

3. The Epithets introduced by the poet are singularly appropriate and expressive of the ideas intended to be conveyed. The following, printed in italic, are a few instances,“ reeking team,” “ congregated loads," "sluggish, noiseless pace,” “ toiling steeds," "pliant length.”



246. 1. Render the following Extract into neat Prose, according to Directions No. 241.

2. Give a critical Analysis, and adduce Observations, according to Directions No. 242.



Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd
The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe
And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve his solitary task.
Shaggy and lean and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropp'd short, half lureher and half cur,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he slow, and now with many a frisk
Wide-scampering snatches up the drifted snow
With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout ;
Then shakes his powder'd coat and barks for joy.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl
Moves right toward the mark; nor stops for aught,
But now and then with pressure of his thumb
To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube
That fumes beneath his nose : the trailing cloud
Streams far behind him, scenting all the air.

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