Page images

scurrilous papers, who, without any authority, literary qualification, or merit of life, impudently assume upon themselves the right of exposing, censuring and rebuking the faults of private individuals. Such ignoble writers, although living in this enlightened era, may well take a lesson from the ancient Pagan authors.

1.-EXERCISE. In the foregoing examples, show the different qualities of the fable, to-wit, clearness; suitableness to the writer's object, of either illustration, instruction, or reprimand ; pleasantness of subject and style; brecity ; moral propriety.

II.-EXERCISE. Find, if you can, other examples of fables, and indicate in the same manner their kind and quality.

III.-EXERCISE. THEME: Relate the fable of Romulus and Remus nursed by a she-wolf, and draw a moral for maternal love. Or select any other subject, according to your liking.

IV.-EXERCISE. Read your composition, point out the species to which your fable belongs; the style which you have used, and show how you have observed each of the above named qualities. Let other pupils criticise your composition afterwards.

[ocr errors]

(8.) Is their custom imitated by modern writers of tales and

censorial papers?





1. A narrative is the recital of some past event." Narrations of future events are called predictions, or prophecies, and do not belong to the present subject.


The subjects of narrations are generally human events; whereby narrations differ from descriptions, which refer to all things.

3. Narratives admit of a double division, according to the subject and object.

4. First DivisION, ACCORDING TO THE SUBJECT.—The subject of a narration may be either true or fictitious, but yet probable, whereby a narration differs from a fable; or it may be partly true, and partly fictitious.

(1.) What is a narration ? (2.) What are the general subjects of a narration ? (3.) How many divisions do narrations admit ? (4.) How is the first division according to the subject, subdi

vided ?

5. Narratives that relate events which are true, are divided into historical and oratorical.

6. Narrations that relate human events, either wholly or partly fictitious, yet probable, if written in prose, and the subject is short, are termed parables ; if the subject is long, are called novels, or romances; and if written in verse, are called poems.

7. SECOND DIVISION, ACCORDING TO THE OBJECT OF THE WRITER.-In narrations, the object is generally three-fold, viz: to inform, persuade, and please. The first object is peculiar to the historian ; the second, to the orator; the third, to the poet, novelist, and romancer.

8. Hence narrations, according to the subject and object, are divided into three principal classes, viz: historical, oratorical, poetical, or fictitious narrations. Of each of these classes, of their qualities, and style, we shall treat in three distinct chapters in this part.

(5.) How are narrations that relate true human events divided ? (6.) What is the division of narrations either wholly or in part

fictitious ? (7.) What is the second division of narrations, according to

the object of the writer ? (8.) Recapitulate the division of narrations, according to their

subject and object.



We shall divide this chapter into five articles. In the first we shall speak of the General Qualities and style of historical narrations; in the second, of the Praxis of writing a historical narration; in the third, of History, its qualities, and criterions ; in the fourth, of Biography; and in the fifth, of Journalism.





1. A historical narration is ow that which relates some true event, or fact.”

2. When a narration comprises a series of past events, it is called History.

3. The object in historical narrations, is principally, to give correct information about a fact, when it regards one or more persons.

(1.) What is a historical narration ?
(2.) What is History?
(3.) What is the object of historical narrations?

[ocr errors]

4. Hence the necessary qualities of historical narrations are two, perspicuity and probability.

5. Perspicuity of narration means, that a fact must be related in an orderly and lucid manner ;

6. Which is obtained, FIRST, by stating, in clear and proper language, by whom, when, where, and how the fact occurred, together with all the principal adjuncts that relate to it; or, in other words, by mentioning the person or persons who were the principal actors; the time, and the place where the thing occurred; and finally, the objects and incidents directly connected with the main subject.

SECOND. By avoiding an excessive minuteness, in relating circumstances that have little connection with the main subject of narration.

7. The necessity of perspicuity in a narration, is shown from the fact, that without it, the principal object, which is to rightly inform the hearer or reader, is entirely lost.

8. Probability of narration means, that its

(4.) What are the necessary qualities of historical narrations ? (5.) What does perspicuity of narration mean? (6.) How is it obtained ? (7.) What is the necessity of perspicuity in a narration ? (8.) What does probability of narration mean?

« PreviousContinue »