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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 41

Handwriting And English

page 26

Handwriting And English.


Copy, in your best handwriting, the following passage:—

Dr. Fritsch, in his admirable work on the Ethnology of the Natives of South Africa, estimates the number of the Hottentots in the days of Van Riebeck at 150,000. Now, according to the recent census returns, there are in the Cape Colony 81,000; in Great Namaqualand about 15,000; and a few hundreds in Griqualands West and East.


1. Write down the passage which will be dictated by the Examiner or Commissioner.

2. Choose one of the following subjects, and write a short essay upon it:—

How to spend a wet day.
The use of Railways.
Speaking the truth.

3. Explain the following terms—Alphabet, syllable, monosyllable, orthography.

"When words are written down, the spelling of the words should shew us how the words ought to be pronounced." Shew that this rule is often broken, by spelling the following words as they are pronounced:—are, cough, debt, feign, great, hair, heir, key, laugh, might, plough, quay, reign, sweat, tough, treat, weigh, whey, yacht, yolk.

4. Define common, proper, and abstract Nouns, and classify the words in italics in the following passages, adding short explanatory notes, to justify your classifications, where you think them necessary:—
(a)Thackeray lectured upon theGeorges.
(b)When Music, heavenly maid, was young, While yet in early Greece she sung.
(c)The Smiths are a widely spread family; go where you will among the Germanic nations, you are sure to meet a Smith,
(d)In 1811 Miss Austen published her novel, "Sense and Sensibility."
(e)King Alfred allowed only eight hours a day for eating, sleeping, and exercise.
(f)Patience! No worm, no Socrates, no patient Griselda, no Job could endure this torture without writhing.

5. Define an Adjective: and divide adjectives into classes, giving examples of each class.

"In English we often use (a) words that are nouns as adjectives, and (b) words that are adjectives as nouns." Shew the truth of these statements from the following passages, pointing out distinctly, in each case, which is used for which:— page 27
(a)The sentinel stars set their watch in the sky.
(b)The village green was crowded with men from the neighbouring cavalry barracks,
(c)Her arms along the deep proudly shone.
(d)The rich fled from their stone houses, and the blacks from their mud huts, and huddled together in the open, looked anxiously for the morning light.
6. Define Prepositions and Conjunctions, and give, distinctly, all the examples of each that you can find in the following passages:—

My days among the dead are past,
Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old.

(b)They stole all the oranges but two, but, as they were getting over the wall, they dropped five or six.
(c)If I were you, I would wait until to-morrow, or at least until this afternoon's post is come in.
7. Parse fully every word in the following sentences, adding notes to explain anything remarkable in the constructions:—
(a)Oliver Cromwell was styled the Protector.
(b)She gave me the book which she had promised me,
(c)He has run his race, and now he is sleeping the sleep of the just.
Also parse the words in italics in this passage:—

"Back! Back! The back of your cart is too broad to get in here. Bach it at once, and go round the back way."

8. Analyse the following passages:—

They say there is a garden fair
That's haunted by the dove,
Where love of gold doth ne'er eclipse
The golden light of love.


He bargained with two ruffians strong,
Which were of furious mood,
That they should take these children young,
And slay them in a wood
He told his wife an artful tale,—
He would the children send
To be brought up in fair London
With one that was his friend.

9. "The principal basis of the English language is the Anglo-Saxon element. Of 38,000 principal words, it is reckoned that about 28,000 spring from this source."—Morell.

As in a comprehensive English dictionary there are about 100,000 words, point out the principal sources from which we have borrowed the rest of our words, and mention any historical events that have led to such borrowing.