A prevalent feature in these compositions was a nursed and petted melancholy; another was a wasteful and opulent gush of "fine language"; another was a tendency to lug in by the ears particularly prized words and phrases until they were worn entirely out; and a peculiarity that conspicuously marked and marred them was the inveterate and intolerable sermon that wagged its crippled tail at the end of each and every one of them.
It may be remarked, in passing, that the number of compositions in which the word "beauteous" was over-fondled, and human experience referred to as "life's page," was up to the usual average.
But I love writing compositions
. Mostly Miss Stacy lets us choose our own subjects; but next week we are to write a composition
on some remarkable person.
Cobb, Rebecca made a poor hand at composition writing at this time.
"Write as you talk, Rebecca," insisted poor Miss Dearborn, who secretly knew that she could never manage a good composition herself.
Probably I should not have troubled myself to do so, had I been full in front; but I observed that she immediately began to slip her books into her cabas again; and, presently, after I had returned to the estrade, while I was arranging the mass of compositions
, I heard the folding-door again open and close; and, on looking up, I perceived her place vacant.
Of course there can be no exact parallel between arts so different as architecture and poetic composition
: But certainly in the poetry of our day also, though it has been in some instances powerfully initiative and original, there is great scholarship, a large comparative acquaintance with the poetic methods of earlier workmen, and a very subtle intelligence of their charm.
However far he may venture in a more full detail of passions and feelings, than is to be found in the ancient compositions
which he imitates, he must introduce nothing inconsistent with the manners of the age; his knights, squires, grooms, and yeomen, may be more fully drawn than in the hard, dry delineations of an ancient illuminated manuscript, but the character and costume of the age must remain inviolate; they must be the same figures, drawn by a better pencil, or, to speak more modestly, executed in an age when the principles of art were better understood.
"I admit," replied the president, "that this composition
has yielded excellent results, but in the present case it would be too expensive, and very difficult to work.
of the one would in this case counteract that of the other.
He would say to one of these women: This chin is too short, this nose is too long, this forehead is too high, this hair is too red, this complexion is too pallid, the perspective of the entire composition
is incorrect; conclusion, the woman is not beautiful.
The charms of Sophia had not made the least impression on Blifil; not that his heart was pre-engaged; neither was he totally insensible of beauty, or had any aversion to women; but his appetites were by nature so moderate, that he was able, by philosophy, or by study, or by some other method, easily to subdue them: and as to that passion which we have treated of in the first chapter of this book, he had not the least tincture of it in his whole composition