THE KNOWLEDGE OF MAN
COMPOSITION in Form I (A and B) is almost entirely oral and is so much associated with Bible history, English history, geography, natural history, that it hardly calls for a special place on the programme, where however it does appear as ‘Tales.’ In few things do certain teachers labour in vain more than in the careful and methodical way in which they teach composition to young children. The drill that these undergo in forming sentences is unnecessary and stultifying, as much so perhaps as such drill would be in the acts of mastication and deglutination. Teachers err out of their exceeding goodwill and generous zeal. They feel that they cannot do too much for children and attempt to do for them those things which they are richly endowed to do for themselves. Among these is the art of composition, that art of ‘telling’ which culminates in a Scott or a Homer and begins with the toddling persons of two and three who talk a great deal to each other and are surely engaged in ‘telling’ though no grown-up, not even a mother, can understand. But children of six can tell to amazing purpose. The grown-up who writes the tale to their ‘telling’ will cover many pages before getting to the end of “Hans and Gretel” or “ The Little Match Girl” or a Bible story. The facts are sure to be accurate and the expression surprisingly vigorous, striking and unhesitating. Probably few grown-ups could ‘tell’ one of Æsop’s Fables with the terse directness which children reproduce. Neither are the children’s narrations incoherent; they go on with their book, week by week, whatever comes at a given time,—whether it be Mrs. Gatty’s Parables from Nature, Andersen or Grimm
or The Pilgrim’s Progress, from the point where they left off,—and there never is a time when their knowledge is scrappy. They answer such questions as,—“Tell about the meeting of Ulysses and Telemachus,” or, “about Jason and Hera.” “Tell how Christian and Hopeful met with Giant Despair,” or, “about the Shining Ones.” Children are in Form IA from 7 to 9 and their reading is wider and their composition more copious. They will ‘tell’ in their examinations about the Feeding of the Four Thousand, about the Building of the Tabernacle, How Doubting Castle was demolished, about the burning of Old St. Paul’s, How we know that the world is round and a great deal besides; for all their work lends itself to oral composition and the power of such composition is innate in children and is not the result of instruction. Two or three points are important. Children in IB require a quantity of matter to be read to them, graduated, not according to their powers which are always present, but they require a little time to employ their power of fixed attention and that other power which they possess of fluent narration. So probably young children should be allowed to narrate paragraph by paragraph, while children of seven or eight will ‘tell’ chapter by chapter. Corrections must not be made during the act of narration, nor must any interruption be allowed.
Children must not be teased or instructed about the use of stops or capital letters. These things too come by nature to the child who reads, and the teacher’s instructions are apt to issue in the use of a pepper box for commas. We do not say that children should never read well-intentioned second-rate books, but certainly they should not read these in school hours by way of lessons. From their earliest days they should get the habit of reading literature which they should take hold of for themselves, much or little, in their own way. As the object of every writer is to explain himself in his own
book, the child and the author must be trusted together, without the intervention of the middle-man. What his author does not tell him he must go without knowing for the present. No explanation will really help him, and explanations of words and phrases spoil the text and should not be attempted unless children ask, What does so and so mean? when other children in the class will probably tell.
Form II (A and B), (ages 9 to 12). Children in this Form have a wider range of reading, a more fertile field of thought, and more delightful subjects for composition. They write their little essays themselves, and as for the accuracy of their knowledge and justice of their expression, why, ‘still the wonder grows.’ They will describe their favourite scene from The Tempest or Woodstock. They write or ‘tell’ stories from work set in Plutarch or Shakespeare or tell of the events of the day. They narrate from English, French and General History, from the Old and the New Testament, from Stories from the History of Rome, from Bulfinch’s Age of Fable, from, for example, Goldsmith’s or Wordsworth’s poems, from The Heroes of Asgard: in fact, Composition is not an adjunct but an integral part of their education in every subject. The exercise affords very great pleasure to children, perhaps we all like to tell what we know, and in proportion as their composition is entirely artless, it is in the same degree artistic and any child is apt to produce a style to be envied for its vigour and grace. But let me again say there must be no attempt to teach composition. Our failure as teachers is that we place too little dependence on the intellectual power of our scholars, and as they are modest little souls what the teacher kindly volunteers to do for them, they feel that they cannot do for themselves. But give them a fair field and no favour and they will describe their favourite scene from the play they have read, and much besides.
Forms III and IV. In these Forms as in I and II what is called ‘composition’ is an inevitable consequence of a free yet exact use of books and requires no special attention until the pupil is old enough to take of his own accord a critical interest in the use of words. The measured cadences of verse are as pleasing to children as to their elders. Many children write verse as readily as prose, and the conciseness and power of bringing their subject matter to a point which this form of composition requires affords valuable mental training. One thing must be borne in mind. Exercises in scansion are as necessary in English as in Latin verse. Rhythm and accent on the other hand take care of themselves in proportion as a child is accustomed to read poetry. In III and IV as in the earlier Forms, the matter of their reading during the term, topics of the day, and the passing of the Seasons, afford innumerable subjects for short essays or short sets of verses of a more abstract nature in IV than in III: the point to be considered is that the subject be one on which, to quote again Jane Austen’s expression, the imagination of the children has been ‘warmed.’ They should be asked to write upon subjects which have interested them keenly. Then when the terminal examination comes they will respond to such a question as,—“Write twelve lines (which must scan) on ‘Sir Henry Lee,’ or ‘Cordelia,’ or Pericles, or Livingstone,” or, to take a question from the early days of the War, “Discuss Lord Derby’s Scheme. How is it working?”; or, (IV) an essay on “The new army in the making, shewing what some of the difficulties have been and what has been achieved.” Forms V and VI. In these Forms some definite teaching in the art of composition is advisable, but not too much, lest the young scholars be saddled with a stilted style which may encumber them for life. Perhaps the method of a University tutor is the best that can be adopted;
that is, a point or two might be taken up in a given composition and suggestions or corrections made with little talk. Having been brought up so far upon stylists the pupils are almost certain to have formed a good style; because they have been thrown into the society of many great minds, they will not make a servile copy of any one but will shape an individual style out of the wealth of material they possess; and because they have matter in abundance and of the best they will not write mere verbiage. Here is an example of a programme set for a term’s work in these two Forms,—“A good précis; Letters to The Times on topics of the day; subjects taken from the term’s work in history and literature; or notes on a picture study; dialogues between characters occurring in your literature and history studies; ballads on current events; (VI) essays on events and questions of the day; a patriotic play in verse or prose.” Here are questions set for another term,—“Write a pæan, rhymed or in blank verse, on the Prince of Wales’s tour in the Dominions.” “An essay, dated 1930, on the imagined work of the League of Nations.” Form V, “Write a woeful ballad touching the condition of Ireland, or, a poem on the King’s garden party to the V.C.’s.” “An essay on the present condition of England, or, on President Wilson.”
The response of the young students to such a scheme of study is very delightful. What they write has literary and sometimes poetic value, and the fact that they can write well is the least of the gains acquired. They can read, appreciating every turn of their author’s thought; and they can bring cultivated minds to bear on the problems of the hour and the guiding of the State; that is to say, their education bears at every point on the issues and interests of every day life, and they shew good progress in the art of becoming the magnanimous citizens
of the future. Here are a few examples of the compositions of the several Forms.
(F. B. IIA. Council School.)
Soldiers dying, soldiers dead,
Bullets whizzing overhead.
Tommies standing cheerily by.
Waiting for their time to die;
Soon the lull of firing comes,
And naught is heard but the roll of drums.
And now the last shell crashes down,
A soldier reels in pain
Too late the glad news comes to him.
He never moves again,
He is the Unknown Warrior,
A man without a name.
Two years have passed and home he comes,
To the hearts that loved him well,
Who is the Unknown Warrior,?
No lips the tale can tell,
His tomb is in the Abbey,
Where the souls of Heroes dwell.
A nations sorrow and a nations tears,
Have gone with the nameless man,
Who knows, who can tell, the Warriors name,
We think that no man can,
So let our sorrow turn to joy
On the grave of the Unknown man.
(A. B. 134. III.)
Write some lines, in blank verse, that must scan on one of the following: (a), Scylla and Charybdis; (6), The White Lady of Avenel; (c), The Prince of Wales in India.
THE WHITE LADY OF AVENEL
The sun had set and night was drawing on,
The hills stood black against the twilight sky.
A faint young crescent moon shone dimly forth
Casting a pale and ghostly radiance
Upon the group of pine trees on the hill,
And silvering the rivers eddying swirl.
Now all was silent, not a sound disturbed
The summer night, and not a breath of wind Stirred in the pines.
All nature slept in peace.
But what was that, standing up in the shade?
A woman, straight, and slim, all clad in white,
Upon her long soft hair a misty crown,
And ever and anon she deeply sighed,
Leaning against the rugged mountain rock,
Like to a moon beam, or a wisp of smoke.
And on her shimmering, moonlit, robe she wore
A golden girdle, in whose links was woven
The fortunes of the house of Avenel.
A cloud past o’er the moon, and the slim ghost
Faded and disapeared into the air.
A breeze sprang up among the pine trees tall;
And then the river murmuring on its way
Whispered a sad lament unto the night.
(K. L. 134. III.)
Write in Ballad Metre some lines on “Armistice Day” or “Echo.”
ARMISTICE DAY, or THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR
Within the ancient Abbey’s sacred pyle,
Which proudly guards the noblest of our dead.
Where kings and statesmen lie in every aisle,
And honoured poets, soldiers, priests are laid;
Behold a stranger comes. From whence is he?
Is he of noble birth; of rank or fame?
Was he as great as any whom we see
Around, who worked to make themselves a name?
Surely he is a prince, nay, e’en a king?
For see the waiting thousands gathered here;
And hear the streets of ancient London ring
To the slow tramp of men who guard his bier!
And, surely, ‘tis the King himself who comes
As chiefest mourner on this solemn day,
And these who walk behind him are his sons—
All here to mourn this man. Who is he? Say!
How long the ranks of men who follow him
To his last resting-place—the House of God.
Our bishops, soldiers, statemen all are here,
Gathered to lay him in his native sod.
You ask “Is he a prince?” I answer “No!
Though none could be interred with greater state!
This man went forth to guard us from a foe,
Which threatened this our land–He did his work!
He raised the flag of Liberty on high
And challengg the powers of Wrong and Might
He gave up all he had without a sigh
And died for the good cause of God and Right.
Nor is a sense of humour wanting,—
(M. 0. 13. 111.)
Write in Ballad Metre some lines on “Echo.”
Jupiter once went away from his wife
To flirt with some nymphs in a wood
But Juno, suspecting that he was with them
Came after as fast as she could.
Now Echo, a nymph, knew that Juno was there
That the nymphs they would soon be found out,
And so she kept Juno away from the wood
For if they had gone she did doubt.
But Juno knew all; and her anger was great
And Echo this dreadful thing heard
“Since you are so fond of talking, from now
You only shall have the last word!”
Now Echo went far from the dwellings of men
And spent her sad life all alone
And often she’d weep and think of the past
And over her fate make her moan.
Echo loved a Greek youth, but he could not love her.
And she watched him all day from her bower
Till she pined away, all but her voice, which lives still,
And the youth was turned into a flower.
(R. C. 15. III. Elementary, Convent School.)
Write some verses on (a) ‘Dandie Dinmont,’ or, (6) ‘Atalanta,’ or, (c) Allenby.
Atlanta was a huntress,
Who dearly loved the chase.
She out-ran the deer in fleetness,
And possessed a lovely face.
Many eager suiters sought her,
But they sought her all in vain,
For she vowed she’d never marry
And her suiters all were slain.
She had heeded well the warning,
From a witch well skilled in lore,
Who had told her if she married,
Happiness was hers no more.
Then a youth whom Venus favoured,
Came one day to run the race,
And by throwing golden apples,
He out-ran her in the chase.
In their hour of joy and triumph
Venus they forget to thank,
And the goddess sore offended,
Lowered them to the wild beast’s rank.
(J. T. III.)
Phaëton was a wilful youth who always got his way.
He asked to drive his father’s charge upon a certain day.
But Phæbus knowing well what danger lurkéth in the sky,
Implored of him to wish again and not that task to try.
But Phaëton determined was to best this dangerous way,
And leaped into the chariot to spite his father’s sway.
The horses started forward at a dashing headlong pace,
Phaëton tried to hold them back and modify the race.
With dreadful swiftness on he few, losing his proper road,
The earth and sky began to smoke in an alarming mode.
At length when all had burst in flames, Jupiter cried aloud,
Phaëton who had lost his head was killed beneath a cloud.
(H. E. M. 15149. IV.)
Write thirty lines of blank verse on (a), “A Spring Morning” (following “A Winter Morning Walk”), or, (6), Pegasus, or, (c), Allenby.
A SPRING MORNING.
‘Tis Spring; and now the birds with merry song
Sing with full-throated voice to the blue sky
On which small clouds float, soft as a dove’s wing.
Against the blue the pale-green leaflet gleams.
The darker green of elder, further down,
Sets off the brilliance of the hawthorn-hedge.
Close to the ground, the purple violet peeps
From out its nest of overhanging leaves.
On yonder bank the daffodils toss their heads
Under the shady lichen trees so tall.
Close by a chesnut, bursting into leaf,
Drops down it’s sticky calyx on the ground;
An early bumble-bee dives headlong in
To a half-opened flower of early pear.
O’erhead, in the tall beech trees, busy rooks,
With great caw-caws and many angry squawks
Build their great clumsy nests with bits of twig
And little sticks just laid upon a bough.
And by the long, straight, path tall fir trees wave
Their graceful heads in the soft whisp’ring breeze
And pressed against one ruddy trunk, an owl
In vain tries to avoid the light of day,
But blinks his wise old eyes, and shakes himself,
And ne tles close amid the sheltering leaves.
Now on the rhubarb-bed we see, glad sight,
Large red buttons, which promise fruit quite soon
And further down the lettuce shoots up pale
Next to a row of parsley, getting old.
But see the peas, their curly tendrils green
Clinging to their stout pea-sticks for support.
(B. B. 15. IV.)
A SPRING MORNING
Soft on the brown woods
A pale light gleams,
And slowly spreading seems
To change the brown wood to a land of dreams,
Where beneath the trees
The great god Pan, Doth pipe, half goat, half man,
To satyrs dancing in the dawning wan.
And then comes Phæbus,
The visions fade
And down the dewy glade
The rabbits scuttle o’er the rings they made.
In the fields near-by
The cattle rise
And where the river lies
A white mist rises to the welcoming skies.
Where the downs arise
And blue sky crowns
Their heads, fast o’er the mounds
The mist is driv’n to where the ocean sounds.
White wings against blue sky,
Gulls from the cliffs rise,
Watching, with eyes
That see from shore to where the sky line lies,
Where blue sea fades in bluer skies
Soft, doth the tide creep
O’er the golden sands
With sea-weed strands
Which, mayhap, knew the dawn of other lands.
(R. B. IV.)
Write thirty lines of blank verse on “Pegasus.”
The sky was blue and flecked with tiny clouds
Like sheep they ran before the driving wind
The sun was setting like a big red rose
The clouds that flew by him like rose-buds were
And as I gaz’d I saw a little cloud
White as the flower that rises in the spring
Come nearer, nearer, nearer as I looked
And as it came it took a diff’rent shape
It seemed to turn into a fairy steed.
White as the foam that rides the roaring waves
Still it flew on until it reached the earth
And galloping full lightly came to me
And then I saw it was a wondrous thing
It leapt about the grass and gently neighed
I heard its voice sound like a crystal flute
“Oh come” he said “with me ascend the sky
Above the trees, above the hills we’ll soar
Until we reach the home of all the gods
There will we stay and feast awhile with them
And dance with Juno and her maidens fair
And hear dear Orpheus and the pipes of Pan
And wander, wander, wander up above”
“Oh fairy steed, oh angel steed” I said
Horse fit for Jupiter himself to ride
What is thy name I pray thee tell me this
“Then came the magic voice of him again
“If thou wilt know my name then come with me.”
Yet tell me first I hesitating said
He told me and when I had heard the name
I leapt upon his back and flew with him.
(A. B. 16. V.)
Some verses, in the metre of Pope’s “Essay on Man,” on the meeting of the League of Nations.
From each proud kingdom and each petty state
The statesmen meet together to debate
Upon the happy time when wars shall cease
And joy shall reign, and universal peace.
No more shall day with radience cruelly bright
Glare down upon the carnage of the fight.
No more shall night’s dark cloak be rent aside
By flashing shells and searchlight’s stealthy glide
No more shall weary watchers wait at home
With straining eyes for thoes that cannot come
The nations shall forget their strife and greed
The strong shall help the weak in time of need
May they succeed in every peaceful plan
If war can cease as long as man is man.
(E. H. 1611. V.)
Gather up in blank verse the impressions you have received from your reading of Tennyson’s poems.
Take up a volume of the poet’s works,
Read on, lay it aside, and take thy pen,
Endeavour in a few, poor, worthless lines
To give expression of thy sentiments. ….
Surely this man loved all the joys of life,
Saw beauty in the smallest and the least,
Put plainer things that hitherto were dim,
And lit a candle in the darkest room.
His thoughts, now sad, now gay, may surely be
The solace sweet for many a weary hour,
His words, drunk deeply, seem to live and burn
Clear, radiant, gleaming from the printed page.
Nature to him was dear and so has made
Her wiles for other men a treasure vast.
Old Books, his master mind could comprehend
Are shown to us as pictures to a child.
Read on—and when the volume’s put away,
Muse on the learnings thou hast found therein;
The time thus spent thou never will repent,
For love of good things all should seek and find.
(E. P. H. 1614. V.).
A LULLABY SONG
The little waves are sighing on the shore,
And the little breezes sobbing in the trees;
But the little stars are shining,
In the sky’s blue velvet lining,
And Lady Sleep is tapping at the door.
The little gulls are flying home to shore,
And the little lights are flashing from the ships,
But close your eyes, my sweet,
And be ready then to greet
Dear Lady Sleep who’s tapping at the door.
The wind is rising all around the shore,
And the fishing boats speed home before the gale;
But hark not to the rain
That is lashing on the pane,
For Lady Sleep has entered by the door.
The storm has sunk the ships and swept the shore,
But there’s weeping in the town and on the quay,
But, sweet, you’re dreaming fast
Even though the dawn be past,
And Lady Sleep has gone, and closed the door.
(M. H. 173. VI.)
Write a letter in the manner of Gray on any Modern Topic.
Mr. Gray to Mr. — At Torquay.
My dear —
“Savez vous que je vous hais, que je vous deteste—voici des termes un peu forts,” still, I think that they are justified, imagine leaving a friend for two months in this place without once taking up the pen upon his behalf. If this neglect be due only to your low spirits, I will for once pardon you but only upon condition that you should come down here to visit me and at the same time strengthen your constitution. I can promise you but little diversion, but I think that the scenery will repay the journey—not to speak of myself. You will also be able to study
many “venerable vegetables” which are not usually to be found in England. But, I waste your time and my paper with these “bêtises” and I know well upon what subject your mind is at present dwelling—which of us indeed is not thinking of Ireland. I would give much to hear your views upon the subject. For my part it seems to me that there can be but one true view, and it surprises me mightily to hear so much discussion upon the subject. Are we not truly a peculiar nation who pass bills of Home Rule etc with much discussion and debate, when neither of the two parties concerned will accept the conditions that we offer them? The one considering they give too little freedom, and the other too much. Accursed be the man who invented a bill which was and will be the cause of so much trouble “in sæcula sæculorum.” Surely we need not have any doubt as to what line of action we should adopt, surely it has not been the habit of England to let her subjects revolt without an attempt to quell them, surely the government will not stand by and see its servants murdered, and the one loyal province oppressed. But alas many things are possible with such a government. Here it is said by people who have been driven from that country by incendiaries that the Government will let things take their course till everything is in such a condition that the Premier will rise in the house and say “You see how things stand—it is no use trying to control Ireland, let us leave it to the Seinn Feiners, and live happily ever afterwards, free from such unprofitable cares.”
Such is the talk, but I believe it not. We have as a nation always muddled things but we have muddled through triumphant in the end. It is so obvious that our interests and those of Ireland co-incide, that even to contemplate separation is to me incredible.
Thus I remain your harassed friend, etc.
(N. S. 151. VI.)
Gather up in blank verse the impressions you have received from your reading of Tennyson’s poems.
ON READING TENNYSON’S POEMS.
Oh! Prophet of an era yet to come,
When men shall sing where men were wont to speak
In words which even Englishmen knew not.
And when I read thy songs, at once I felt
The breath of Nature that was lurking there.
And then I knew that all thy life thou dwelt
Amid the changing scenes of Nature’s play,
And knew the very language of the birds,
And drank the essence of the honeysuckle.
And when thou wast but young, I knew thy thoughts,
Thy Doubts and struggles, for thou gave them me;
And yet, had I been thee, my thoughts would still
Have rested deep within my heart; but still
T’would be relief to pour out all my woes
In the sweet flow of sympathetic verse.
Thy epithets produce a vivid scene
Of knights in armour or of maiden fair,
And yet, methinks, the fairness of her face
Doth sometimes cover many a fault below.
But to thy genius and thy work for ever
Be owed a debt of thankfulness that we
No longer tread the paths of level Pope
Or read those words that are not English-born.
(K. B. 16. V.)
Among the spirits of the nearer air
There are three children of the sun and sea—
The Genii of the clouds; it is their care
To give the ocean’s bounty to the earth:
Oft they retain it in a time of dearth,
But they give all, however much it be.
The youngest of the three is very fair;
She is a maiden beautiful and sweet,
Of ever varying mood, changeful as air.
Now, plunged in merriment, she takes delight
In all she sees, now tears obscure her sight;
A breeze-swept lake shows not a change more fleet.
The fleecy clouds of April own her sway—
They, golden, lie against the golden sun,
Or sport across the blue when she is gay;
But when, anon, her girlish passions rise,
She marshalls them across the sunny skies
To flood the earth, then stops ere half begun.
Her elder brother is of different mien,
The clouds he governs are of different mould;
When the earth pants for moisture he is seen
To spread his clouds across the filmy blue.
When his rain falls, it steady is and true;
Persistent, gentle, ceaseless, yet not cold.
From the grey bowl with which he caps the earth,
It sweetly falls with earth-renewing force.
Not April’s rapid change from grief to mirth
Excites its fall, but calm, determined thought
Of middle age, of deeds from judgment wrought;
He recks not blame, but still pursues his course.
Aged, yet of awesome beauty is the third,
Of flashing eye and sullen, scornful brow—
With an imperious hand she guides her herd
Of wild, tempestuous mood; quick roused to ire
Is she, slow to forgive, of vengeance dire;
Before her awful glance the tree-tops bow.
And when enraged, she stretches forth a hand—
A long, thin hand—to North, South, East and West,
And draws from thence clouds num’rous as the sand;
They crowd on the horizon, and blot out
The sun’s fair light; then, like a giant’s shout,
The thunder booms at her dread spear’s behest.
(A. P. V.)
Sketch a scene between a “Mr. Woodhouse” of to-day and a neighbour of his.
SCENE:—Mr. Woodhouse’s private study.
Persons present:-Owner of study, and Miss Syms, a very modern young lady.
Mr. Woodhouse.—” Oh, good afternoon Miss Syms, I am charmed to see you. Dear, dear, how dark it is. One might almost think it were evening, if the clock opposite did not directly oppose the fact.” Miss S.—“Oh, I don’t know, it’s not so bad out. I’m awfully sorry to blow in like this, but I came to enquire after Miss Woodhouse’s cold. Is she better?”
Mr. W.—“How very thoughtful of you! No, I am afraid dear Emma is very indisposed. It is so trying having an invalid in the house, it makes me quite miserable when I think of my poor daughter having to stay all alone, in bed. But really, that is almost the best place in this dreadful weather. Do you really mean to say that you have been taking a walk.”
Miss S.—“Yes, why on earth shouldn’t I? It’s about the only way to get really warm.”
Mr. W.—“If the liberty might be allowed me, (dryly) I should say, that it was the one way in which to get a feverish cold, besides making oneself thoroughly miserable; and the ground is so damp under foot!”
Miss S.—“Oh, it hasn’t been raining much lately. I only got caught in a little shower, (visible start from Mr. W.). (coyly,) Excuse me, but is that a box of cigarettes up there on the mantle—piece?”
Mr. W.—“Cigarettes? Oh, no! I couldn’t think of keeping them near the house. I never smoke. It irritates my throat, which is naturally weak.”
Miss S.—“But don’t your visiters ever take the liberty of enjoying something of the sort? Besides, what about Miss Woodhouse?”
Mr. W.—(horrified,) “Dear Emma smoke a cigarette!! Why, I never heard of such a thing. What would she say if I told her. Dear Emma smoke, no, no, certainly not.
Miss S.—(Laughing,) “Oh, I am sure I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to offend. How do you think the old Johnnies in Ireland are behaving themselves?”
Mr. W.—(coldly,) “I beg your pardon.”
Miss S.—(sweetly,) “I said, how do you think matters are looking, in Ireland.”
Mr. W.—“I am sorry, I think I could not have heard aright before.—Matters in Ireland, yes, oh I think the Irish rebels are positively awful. To think of breaking into houses, and turning the poor inhabitants out into the cold streets, (where they probably nearly die of cold), it is too dreadful!”
Miss S.—“Oh, I s’pose they are rather brutes sometimes. But in a way I almost sympathise with them. I wouldn’t like to have to knuckle under to the English (catching sight of Mr. W.’s expression of horror and pained surprise,) I really think I’d better get a move on. Please don’t look at me like that! I really don’t mean half I say. Cheerio!!
Mr. W.—Good afternoon Miss Syms, it was so kind of you to come. (aside) Oh, how unfeeling of dear Emma to have a cold, if it means visiters like this every hour. (aloud,) Good afternoon, can you find your way out. I really shall catch cold if I move out of this room!!
(E. G. 17. V.)
Write some lines on “ Spring” in the metre of “Allegro.”
Begone! for a short space
Ye whistling winds, and fogs, and snowy clouds,
And frosts that with fair lace
Each window-pane in dainty pattern shrouds,
Offsprings of Winter, ye!
Begone! find out some icy arctic land.
Upon that cheerless strand
‘Mongst piercing ice, and chilling glaciers dwell
Such regions suit ye well,
Go, cold Winter, well are we rid of thee!
Come Spring, thou fairest season come!
With the bee’s enchanting hum,
And the dainty blossoms swinging
On the tree, while birds are singing,
See how they clothe the branches gray
In dress of freshest pink, all day,
Then when the dewy evening falls
They close their flowers till Morning calls.
Sweet Morn! Spring leads thee by the hand
And bids thee shine o’er all the land;
Thou send’st forth beams of purest gold,
To bid the daffodils unfold,
While Spring bends down with her fresh lips
To kiss the daisie’s petal tips.
And as she walks o’er the green sward
A cheerful mavis, perfect bard
Breaks into song; his thrilling notes
Are echoed from a hundred throats
Of eager birds, who love to sing
To their sweet mistress, fairest Spring.
Then as she sits on mossy throne
A scarlet lady-bird, alone,
Bids her good welcome; and above
Is heard the cooing of the dove.
Two butterflies in russet clad
Fly round her head with flutt’rings glad;
While at her side a giddy fly
Buzzes his joy that she is nigh,
Oh! Spring my heart’s desire shall be
That thou wilt ever dwell with me!
 These answers are uncorrected and are taken from Examination papers not sent back. Most parents and teachers have their papers returned.