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Reminds us of the ingenuity and perseverance of its inventors; of the struggles of the man of science, in consideration of which we should feel grateful for our advantages,
Exercise 42. Draw out a Scheme for a reflective paragraph for any of the class objects in Exercise 89, and write a Paragraph therefrom.
98. In considering an action or event, or the possession * of an abstract quality, our reflections may refer to any (or all) of the following heads. All the particulars need not be discussed in connection with each subject; and where any of them becomes considerable, it may have an entire paragraph devoted to itself:1. The cause, origin, or motive: an account of the circum
stances which explain the occurrence of the action, or the
existence of the quality. 2. The effect or consequence : good or bad, immediate or
remote. 8. The illustration, in which
(1.) It is compared, in these respects, with other and
similar actions ; or, (2.) Particular instances of the manifestation of the
quality are referred to. 4. The feelings which it excites in us; as that it is right or
wrong, and worthy of our approbation or disapprobation ; that its doers (action) or possessors (quality) deserve our sympathy, pity, or aversion; or some other treatment, as
ridicule or contempt. 5. The application : its influence on the life and conduct of
ourselves or others.
THE GRANTING OF MAGNA CHARTA. 1. The cause : The king weak and tyrannical; the nobles powerful, disgusted with his conduct; their motive, to weaken his power; his motive, to postpone a crisis, and deceive them into false security.
* In reflecting on qualities, we remove them from the category of objects in themselves, and think of them as possessed by other objects. 2. The effects : Great good to the nation; laid the foundation of British freedom, by restraining the absolute power of the king, by protecting all vassals from the tyranny and rapacity of their superiors; secured property to its rightful owners, and personal freedom to every subject.
3. The illustration : It may be compared to the first planting of a great tree. Its effect on the British Constitution resembles that of the discovery of the law of gravitation on physical science; it introduced a great general principle, to which subsequent acts have been referred.
4. The feelings : Such being its effects, we cannot but regard it with feelings of high approbation. We may feel contempt for so weak a monarch ; sympathy with those he oppressed; admiration of the conduct of the nobles; and gratitude to them also, for associating the people with themselves in its benefits.
5. The application : Good often brought out of evil by a wise Providence. We can never foresee the ultimate results of our conduct. Patriotism a duty, not only as regards ourselves, but also as regards future generations, &c., &c.
Exercise 48. Draw out a Scheme for a reflective paragraph on any of the following events, and write a Paragraph (or paragraphs) therefrom :
1. The murder of Thomas à Becket. 2. The Crusades (or any one of them). 3. The Reformation. 4. The execution of Queen Mary of Scotland. 6. Some great discovery (gravitation, electricity, &c.). 6. Some great invention (steam-engine, printing, telegraph, or any
of the subjects in Exercise 39).
100. Example.-An Abstract Quality.
HYPOCRISY. 1. The cause or origin : Moral cowardice; fear to confess a fault; desire to appear good.
2. The effects : Lying; fraud; ruin of character; contempt of friends; misery; punishment.
3. The illustration: An acted lie, like a spoken one, leads to many more. A mask once worn must be worn always, or else confessed. Example the Pharisee.
4. The feelings : Such being its (nature) origin and effects, we cannot but condemn it, and regard those who practise it with abhorrence. We may sympathise with their dupes, but we can hardly pity hypocrites, even where most relentlessly unmasked.
5. The application : Warning against this insidious vice, and against the awful consequences which it entails, &c., &c.
Exercise 44. Draw out a Scheme for a reflective paragraph on any of the subjects in Exercise 40, and write a Paragraph therefrom.
101. Reflections on the character of important personages may require a somewhat different treatment from the foregoing subjects, though they too (§ 95) may generally be arranged under the two heads of the feelings which a consideration of the character excites, and the qualities which excite these feelings. A more minute analysis, however, will shew us that our judgment of a man's character depends upon such considerations as the following:
1. The qualities of his mind.
KING HENRY VIII.
1. Qualities of mind : Vigour, good parts, great capacity, but weak judgment.
2. Moral nature : Determination, intrepidity, violence, cruelty, arrogance, caprice, but sincerity, gallantry, liberality, bravery.
3. Motives : Gratification of self, and of the whim of the hour.
4. Effects of conduct : Loved by his subjects; useful in preparing the way for the Reformation.
5. Different capacities : A King; a Diplomatist; a Theologian; a Patron of learning; a Man.
7. Napoleon Bonaparte. 2. Lord Bacon.
8. Marlborough. 3. Oliver Cromwell.
9. Wellington. 4. Sir Thomas Moore.
10. Cicero. 5. Queen Elizabeth.
11. Wallace. 6. Warren Hastings.
12. Charles I.
Chapter IV.-Summary, or Précis Writing.
103. Summarising is the process of selecting, and expressing in a brief form, the essential features of an extended composition, or series of papers,-. g., a debate, a correspondence, a
, narrative, an official letter or despatch.
*** This is rather an application of composition than a part of that art; but as the process is one of great practical utility, a few hints are here given for conducting it. As being essentially an analysis of themes, and an abstract of a series of paragraphs, it has its proper place, in the scheme of this work, between “Paragraphs" and
" Themes.” 104. The writing of a summary (or memorandum, as it is officially called) requires that the document or passage to be summarised be in the first place carefully read over, and a brief abstract or analysis made of the most important parts; and then that these parts be written out in the form of a short narrative, which will be the summary required. The following extract from the “Sixth Report of H. M. Civil Service Commissioners," fully explains the nature and requirements both of the abstract and the summary :
"1. The object of the ABSTRACT (schedule or docket) is to serve as an index. It should contain the date of each letter; the names of the persons by whom and to whom it is written; and, in as few words as possible, the subject of it. The merits of such an abstract are (1.) to give the really important point or points of each letter, omitting everything else ; (2.) to do this briefly; (3.) distinctly; and (4.) in such a form as readily to catch the eye.
“2. The object of the MEMORANDUM (or précis), which should be in the form of a narrative, is that any one who had not time to read the original letters might, by reading the précis, be put in possession of all the leading features of what passed. The merits of such a précis are- -(1.) to contain a concise history of the correspondence, including all that is important in its substance, and nothing that is unimportant; (2.) to present this in a consecutive and readable shape, expressed as distinctly as possible; (3.) to be as brief as is compatible with completeness and distinctness.'
105. The best method of performing this exercise may be gathered from the following rules :
I. Read over the whole passage, and underline with pencil,
or otherwise mark, the most important parts. II. Select these parts, and write them in the fewest possible
words, as an abstract, or series of heads. III, Extend these heads in the form of short sentences, which
will be the summary required. IV. Number the letters or paragraphs (1, 2, 3, &c.) in the
original, and place corresponding numbers before the notes or heads in the abstract, and the sentences in the sum
mary. V. The abstract may, for reference, afterwards be thrown into
the form of an index. (See § 106 ; 4.)
Example. [The essential parts in the following correspondence are here printed
(1.) THE CORRESPONDENCE.
Whitehall, 4th June 1860. Gentlemen,
I am directed by Secretary Sir George Lewis to inform you that he proposes to appoint Mr.
at present a supplemental clerk in the Treasury, to a vacant clerkship in the office of the Receiver of Police. As Mr obtained a certificate from you in 1857, on his appointment to the Treasury, Sir George Lewis presumes it will not be necessary for him to appear before you for examination on his appointment to the receiver's office, but he will be glad to receive your decision on the matter, and I am to request your early reply.
No. 2.-Mr Maitland to Mr Waddington.
7th June 1860. Sir,
(1.) In reply to your letter of the 4th instant, notifying the nomination of Mr
now a supplemental clerk in the Treasury, to a clerkship in the office of the Receiver of Police, and requesting to be informed whether it will be necessary for him to appear for exami. nation; I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to state that Mr
was on his nomination to his present clerkship examined in some