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308. OF TECHNICAL TASTE. - Technical taste is the lowest kind of criticism, and implies a partial or limited standard, drawn from some work which has been admired, and applied to decide upon the merits of some other production.
309. OF PHILOSOPHICAL TASTE. - The man of philosophical taste forms his standard not on any single human production. Truth and nature are the models which he has studied, and he has found them alike in the objects of creation around him, in the scenes of real life, and in the creations of genius. The decisions thus formed are fixed and determinate. What met the approbation of the man of philosophical taste two thousand years ago, meets the approbation of the man of philosophical taste now, and will continue to be admired to the end of time.
LESSON 106. 310. A DESCRIPTION is a detail of the particular circumstances, appearances, or qualities, by which persons, places, and objects, are readily recognized and distinguished from the rest of the species.
311. Qualifications for an Observer. - Sound judgment and correct taste, combined with a habit of attentive observation and patient analysis.
312. RULE FOR A GENERAL DESCRIPTION.
1. From a careful examination of the scene form a correct idea of its beauties and imperfections.
2. From these select the most pleasing and prominent features for your especial delineation.
3. Then detail, in neat and sufficiently copious language, the general appearance of the scene and the surrounding objects in the order in which they present themselves to your view.
4. An extended Description, adapted to Senior Pupils, may comprise the following:
a. Some notice of the sounds produced by natural objects, such as a waterfall, a brook, &c., or by animated nature, as, from sheep, cattle, birds.
6. A contrast in the uncultivated parts of the scene.
c. The employments of the inhabitants in the vicinity.
d. A judicious interspersion of appropriate reflections suggested by surrounding objects. To what extent these particulars may be introduced will depend on the taste and purpose of the writer.
313. The EXERCISES. — The Exercises given under this Section will be of two kinds. - 1st. The Model Extract, illustrating either the whole of the rule or its leading points, and requiring to be reproduced from recollection. — 2ndly. The Exercise from hints, briefly but sufficiently expressed, requiring a full development according to the ingenuity and skill of the pupil. The following is a Model Exercise.
314. 1. Let the following Example be read two or three times over, carefully noticing the sequence of the sentences. The book must afterwards be laid aside.
2. Then the Exercise can be reproduced by the pupil from recollection.
3. Afterwards, a comparison must be instituted between this and the original, when all deviations either in construction, punctuation, or sequence must be carefully noticed. An inferior production ought to be rewritten.
315. MODEL. — FRESHWATER BAY, ISLE OF Wight.
1. The scenery of Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, is one of the most attractive features of this picturesque and far-famed island. The wild range of perpendicular cliffs, surmounted by the verdure of the Downs that appear above them, forming a striking contrast with the snowy surface of the chalk,- the waves gently swelling to the base, or dashing in wild confusion against their sides, — the seafowl issuing from the cavities of the rock, wheeling aloft and balancing themselves in mid-air, or plunging in search of their prey beneath the waters, -- the boats of the fishermen busied in the labours of their perilous calling, - the shipping in the Channel, - combined with the different appearances of the changing seasons and varying weather, altogether yield a picture of the most pleasing and animating description.
2. These cliffs are remarkable for the prodigious numbers of aquatic birds that frequent them ; more especially during the summer months, for the purpose of depositing and hatching their eggs among the crevices of the rocks, which afford them a secure asylum from the weather ; though even here they are not beyond the reach of man, their unwearied persecutor. The inhabitants of the island, for the sake of their down and eggs, descend, at the hazard of their lives, from the brow of the cliff above, suspended merely by a rope attached to the waist, and thus explore, at leisure, every hollow of the rock, much in the manner practised by the inhabitants of the Shetland Isles.
3. The upper part of the Bay, where cliffs begin to rise in romantic grandeur, is remarkable for a cave, which, opening under the cliff, expands into a marine grotto of considerable dimensions, and forms an interesting and impressive object to the curious traveller. A slight pier of chalk divides the mouth of the cave into two unequal arches, beyond the smaller of which is another of the same size. The principal arch is between twenty and thirty feet in height. The entire depth-of the cavern is about one hundred and twenty feet, but the height rapidly diminishes till it becomes too low to be explored. The interior of the arches, with their dark mantle of moss and sea-weed, forms a fine contrast to the white chalky cliffs outside; and the sea-view from the upper part of the cave, with its wild foreground, formed by large fragments of the rock which lie scattered at the feet of the spectator, is strikingly beautiful.
LESSON 107. — Hints. 316. From the following Hints, which are given in regular succession, produce a Description developed and expressed as nearly as possible according to the rule.
317. SCENERY NEAR LAKE CHAMPLAIN, UNITED STATES.
1. On ascending the Champlain, the shores become wild, mountainous. 2. The site of Burlington of singular beauty, white houses, neat, elegant, ascend rapidly from the shore, trees interspersed, arranged with symmetry that characterizes the young villages. 3. Beyond sweet bay, waters of the lake open, bounded by a range of mountains, behind these when our eyes rested on them, the sun sinking in golden splendour; a fairy scene, when the sun's flaming disk might have dazzled eagles, dropped behind the scene, blazing on the lake, on the windows and white walls of the village, and on the sails of the ships and shipping, gliding through the waters.
4. The territory named Vermont intersected North and South by mountains, covered with green forests whence the name. 5. This ridge, rising sometimes to 3000 or 4000 feet, nearly fills the breadth of the state ; but scooped into glens, valleys, intersected with streams and rivers flowing to the east into the Connecticut, and to the west into the Champlain. 6. Gigantic forests of white pine, spruce, cedar, and other ever