Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

last three paragraphs differ from those that precede? 414. momentous. 416. aggressors. 420. loth. 423. What is the force of the adjective “mystic”?

Mention the chief characteristics of this address in regard to thought, language, and style.

COMPOSITIONS

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ The Majority Principle.” The imperfections of human nature make government of some sort necessary. Kinds of rulers : chiefs, patriarchs, kings, the representatives of the people. Show that in any form of government the powers of the rulers are virtually dependent upon the consent of the majority of the people. Show that as education is extended, the governments of the world become more free.

“ The Perpetuity of our Country.” The fundamental idea of national government. Show that it has been zealously preserved during all the events of our history. Look into the future.

The Literary Value of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address.” Show that the address has a definite structure; that it takes up certain points and treats them fully; that it appeals to the people, does not lecture to them; that it has the spirit of oratory; that it has a most beautiful conclusion and leaves a strong impression.

“Why did Lincoln Free the Slaves ?” Give Lincoln's views on the slavery question fore the war began. Show that slavery was the great strength of the South. Tell what influenced the President in his determination to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. (Read the Emancipation Proclamation.)

Topics for individual research : “Lincoln's Personal Appearance;" “ Lincoln as President;” “ Lincolu’s Noble Character; 6 The Lincoln Monument at Springfield, Illinois ;” etc.

THE GETTYSBURG SPEECH

5

We are

FOURSCORE and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final restingplace for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper 10 that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long 15 remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task 20 remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, — that this nation, under God, shall have a 25 new birth of freedom, — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLX.

I. EXERCISES

[ocr errors]

This speech was delivered at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the great national cemetery which is located where so many soldiers fell during the memorable battle of Gettysburg. President Lincoln followed. Mr. Edward Everett, one of the greatest of American orators, who had delivered a most eloquent address. Mr. Everett's address is almost unknown at the present day, while Lincoln's short speech is considered a model of oratory and is committed to memory by thousands of schoolboys.

1. Why does “ Fourscore and seven years sound better than to give the plain number? To what time is the speaker referring? The implied comparison is to the circumstances of physical birth, which is a universal fact and one that appeals strongly to all men. The idea here is that the desire for civil and religious liberty was the spiritual power which originated and fostered the new nation, until our ancestors brought it into actual existence among the nations of the world by the Declaration of Independence. 4. What kind of war is “civil war"? How did the Civil War in America test the proposition that all men are created equal? 11. What is implied in the phrase “in a larger sense”? 12. What words are to be emphasized in reading this line? 17. The word “ rather” is in the comparative degree; what two thoughts are compared ? 18. Why did he speak of the work as “unfinished”? 20. What was this “great task ”? 23. What

“the last full measure of devotion ” ? Which is greater — to die for one's country on the field of battle, or to give one's whole life to the service of others ? 26. Explain the words “a new birth of freedom” in this connection. “ of ..., by . . . , for the people ” — show the accurate shades of meaning expressed by using these three prepositions in this oft-repeated expression. 27. Does this imply that there have been democracies and republics that did perish? If so, give instances fro:n history. Show that, judging from history alone, we have no great assurance that our republic will endure. What conditions of modern civilization afford great certainty as to the perpetuity of republican forms of government?

Do we find in this speech any language that a person of ordinary education cannot fully understand? Is there any attempt at a grand, spread-eagle style? Are there any references to ancient mythology, or to any history, except that of our own country? What thought

was

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

From Harper's Weekly. Copyright, 1900, by Harper and Brothers

THE GETTYSBURG SPEECH

did Lincoln wish to impress upon the minds of the people by this speech? Name some of the points of excellence in this speech; the spirit of it can best be revealed by good oral reading or by declamation.

COMPOSITIONS

“ Freedom's Chosen Date.” The greatest of all American holidays; why do we celebrate it? Discuss and comment on the events of July 4, 1776; July 4, 1863; July 1, 1898; and show that on each of these dates our nation took a step in advance of the rest of the world in practical application of the theory of universal liberty, and that in this particular at least we have been the leaders of the world.

“ The Battle of Gettysburg.” Brief mention of events preceding the battle. A brief, vivid description of the great struggle. Conclude by showing that this battle was an outward representation of a great conflict of ideas.

“ National Cemeteries.” If a library be accessible, this composition can be based on individual research by three or four members of the class.

Make the picture on page 156 the basis of a composition describing the scene when Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg speech; invent a fitting title for your composition.

« AnteriorContinuar »