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About "literary Style."

About "literary Style." image
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" Ainong the pleasures ot a short resulenco ra Guilford, Ct., was au acquaintanco I formed witli Fitz.Green II alleck, the autlior of ' Marco Buzarrio.' " Meeting him ono day in ho stroet, he Btoppod me and eaid : - ' I leam that yon are goina to be a miuistor. I want you to cali upou me. I wiah to read you a sermón, that I deom a model for men of your profesaion.' " I promised to cali, and tho next tnorniug I went to the poet's house and was Bhown into the sittingroom, where the poet bado me weloome. He beokoned me to a chair, and tlien took down from the shelf a volume, and began to read in that sonorous, dreamy, undulatory tone of voico so peculiar to him. - The volume was ' Charter's Sermona.' (Charter was a Scotch preacher, located at Wilton, Sootland.') " The poet read from a sermón on tho text, ' I would not livo always.' He read until the toars gathered into bis ejes and coursed down bis cheeks. He finished the sermón, laid aside the book and asked, ' How do you liko it?' 'Very much,' was my reply. Said he, 'ïbat sermón is vvhat I cali a perfect poem.' I then ventured to retnark, 'lts great charro, in my opiniou, Is its i-implicity. Many of the sentences, I notice, are composed wholly of monosyllables.' " ' I think so too,' said Halleck, 'and that rcminds mo of an incident that camo uqdor my observation while in New York. While there a letter feil into my handa whioh a Scotoli servant-girl had written to her lover. lts style charmed me. It wíia fairly inimitable; I woudered how, in her ciroumstances in life, she could have acqnired so elegant and perfect a style. 1 showed the letter to ome of my literary friends in New York, and tliey unanimoimly agreed that it was a model of beauty and elegance. I then determined to solve tho mystery, and I went to the house where she wira cmployed, and asked her how it was that in her bumble oircumstances in life, she had acquired a style so beautiful that tho most cultivated minda could but admire it. ' Sir,' she said, ' I earne to this country fuur years ago. Th on I did not know how to road or write. But sinco then I havo learned how to rend and write, but I have not yet learned how to spell ; so always, when I sit down to write a letter, I chooso those words vrhich aro so short and simple tbat I am sure I know how to spell ihem.' There was the whole secrot. The reply of tbis simple-minded Scotch girl condenses a world of rhetorio into a nut-shell. Simpücity is beauty. Simplicity is power. " I would that eveiy man could read this anecáote. How many words. how much bombast, would this principie, here inculoated, elimínate from ambitious eormons and addresses."


Old News
Michigan Argus