Suggestions and Exercises page 3
Give adjectives corresponding to: desire, monster, abundance, occasion, angel, industry, religion, reason, guilt.
Give nouns corresponding to: various, prodigious, regular, curious, probable, foreign, ingenious, barbarous, absurd.
Supply the missing prepositions in the following sentences, and correct your own answer by reference to the original passage:
The Kings of Granajah and of the Six Nations believe that it was created the earth, and produced the same day the sun and moon. But my own part, the best information that I could get this matter, I am apt to think that this prodigious pile was fashioned the shape it now bears several tools and instruments which they have a wonderful variety in this country.
An Eskimo boy visits your school. Compose a letter such as he might have written home, describing what he saw.
What is meant by adulteration? Why is it done? Why is it wicked? Who is the person best fitted to detect it? How can the chemist tell if water has been added to milk? Who was the first person known to have used this method? Why is skimmed milk heavier than fresh? How can its specific gravity be brought down? How is its colour faked? What is margarine? How can it be distinguished from butter? How can you tell what kind of starch has been mixed with a food-stuff?
Pick out from the passage all the words derived from the same root as "adulterate." State what part of speech each word is, and use each word in a sentence. Write out as many words as you can which have the stem "scope" (Greek, skopein - to look at). Find out, in each case, the full derivation and meaning of the word.
Describe in detail the method used in detecting the adulteration of any one food-stuff.
Describe clearly any scientific experiment you have recently performed.
An "Irish front" means an Irish forehead; a la Chinoise is French for "like a China-woman"; a table d'hote is a common table for guests in a hotel or restaurant; "on ajar" is now an old-fashioned phrase, meaning simply "ajar."
What is the point of the expression, "taking the dust" (compare "taking the air")? What does the stage-direction, "Aside" mean? Are "asides" supposed to be heard by the other players? Note the names of the people: Curricle, Vermilion, Evergreen, Ochre, etc. Why does the author give them such names? Are there any characters in the scene who appear not to like scandal?
Make up an imaginary dialogue in which three or four boys or girls discuss a team of players. (Avoid references to real people.)
Take any piece of conversation from this book or another and write it out in the form of stage dialogue, commencing each speech with the speaker's name, omitting all descriptive matter, and using no inverted commas.
Note the date and the place. What war was going-on? On which side was Virginia? If Carter was a traitor to Virginia, on which side was he? On which side was his father?
At what mark did Carter aim first? Why would it have been well for him to have fired there and then?
Why did he alter his aim? Why did he fire at all? Are you sorry for Carter? Why? In his place, what would you have done? What do you think about war? Why is civil war said to be worse than any other kind?
What is the Apocalypse? When you have discovered this, consult the copy you have at home and see if you can find out what "a horseman in the sky" has to do with it.
Write sentences illustrating the correct use of the following: summit, salient, profile, configuration, leonine, equestrian, aerial, accoutrement, silhouette, cameo, colossal, statuesque, sublimity, bivouac, abraded, obliquely.
Distinguish between: acclivity and declivity; vital and victual; sinuous and sinewy and sinister; impetuous and impetus.
Find the roots of the following and write down other words from the same roots: mandate, vital, scribe, ascended, submission.
Write a paragraph describing a valley in your neighbourhood.
Imagine you lived during any civil war. Write an account of your adventures during a single day.
Note the date. What war was going on at that time and in that country? In which other passage _ of this book have you read about that war? On which side was the speaker?
What event of "four score and seven years ago" is in Lincoln's mind? What was the "new nation"? For what purpose had Lincoln and his audience visited Gettysburg?
What did he mean when he said that the ground was already hallowed and dedicated? Why was it uncertain whether the men buried there had died in vain? How could the audience make sure that their sacrifice would not have been in vain?
What sort of government is described in the last sentence?
Commit the passage to memory.
In the eighteenth century few writers were able to make a comfortable living by the sale of their books, and men of wealth and title sometimes assisted authors by their favour and support, the authors repaying their patrons by grateful and courtly references to them in their works. Johnson here accuses Lord Chesterfield of seeking to obtain such praises without having done anything to deserve them.
What literary work had Johnson just completed? Had it been easy? (How do you know this?) From whom had he expected assistance? Had he ever sought it? Had he received it? Was he a courtly man by nature?
Point out any sentence in the letter in which Johnson says less than he means. Point out any phrase in which he says the very opposite of what he means. What figure of speech is he using in his general description of a patron as "one who looks with unconcern," etc.
Write down from memory the beginning and end of a letter to an earl. Write a precis (i.e., a shortened version, containing all the main points) of Johnson's letter.
A classmate has offered to do all your homework for you. Write him a letter pointing out that he is very kind but that homework has now stopped for the session and that in any case you are leaving school next week.
This passage is not prose at all but poetry, written on a different plan, it is true, from that in your poetry-books. Note the repetition of ideas and the repetition of sentence-forms. Note the structure: first the mystery of wisdom is emphasized, then the understanding and the glory of God; last of all, as a climax, comes the answer, "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom."
Where was Ophir? What modern poem contains a reference to it? Where is Ethiopia, and what is its other name to-day?
Commit the passage to memory.
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