Friday, December 27, 2019


Man is a social animal. But living in society is not an easy job. How one behaves with another, how he approaches another person and how far he is successful in playing his role in the society indicates his manners. So, broadly speaking, we can define manners to be well established standard of conduct on the social life.

Man has to live carefully in the society. He should behave in a manner which pleases others. Manners and etiquettes are key to success. Although they do not cost anything, but they bring us valuable gains. They enhance the pleasure of life. One can win over even the enemy if he presents good manners. Good manners and etiquettes are key to success.

Nobody is born with good manners. Everyone either learns or acquires them. The best place to harness manners and etiquettes is the home which is a miniature society and where the child spends most of its time. Child tries to stimulate its parents and elders in their behavior and slowly leans and acquires certain traits of character that it has learnt at home. It learns a lot in company of his friends at school. In the school, the teacher plays an important role in cultivation of good manners and etiquettes. Teachers with their ideal behavior imbibe good manners in the school student.


Anywhere we go out, we are judged by the way we speak. Therefore words play an important role in our day-to-day conversation. How do we speak to our younger’s and how do we speak to our elders, reflects our personality. Whatever we speak should be in a soft, gentle and pleasant tone. Always try to avoid offending and harsh words. Always show respect to others. Not only the words, but our action and gestures should also be submissive so as to sweeten our life and to add charm to it, always try to follow these small courtesies.

It is not only important to mind your language inside your home with young and elders, but also be very careful about one’s behavior in any social gathering. Give everybody an equal opportunity to speak and never try to speak while another person is speaking. Speak in a low and pleasant tone and never shout. Respect the person who is speaking. Do not get agitated if one does not agree with you or when you disagree with others. In the worlds of Smith, “Manners are the shadows of virtues, the momentary display of these qualities which our fellow creatures love and respect, ff we strive to become, what we strive to appear, manners may often be rendered useful guide to the perfor­mance of our duties.'”

In a group of people always wait for your turn to speak. Do not monopolies the whole conversation. If ever you want to criticize anybody do it in a manner that it does not hurt the person. Do in a polite and civilized manner. Always be sweet and humble in your words and gestures.

Always be cautious in your behavior as one is observed everywhere. Whether in home, in school/in bus, in train or even while waking on the streets. Never speak loudly or sing or whistle on the street. Be courteous to your visitors at home or while waiting for a bus in a queue. So always try to observe small courtesies if you want to win over others heart.

So we can say that the success or failure in the life of a man depends largely upon his manners and etiquettes. In the words of Thompson we cai) say, ” Truth, justice and reasons less their force and all their luster, when they are not accompanied with agreeable manners.”

Monday, December 23, 2019



Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forc'd fingers rude
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear
Compels me to disturb your season due;
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his wat'ry bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

      Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring;
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse!
So may some gentle muse
With lucky words favour my destin'd urn,
And as he passes turn
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud!

      For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill;
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose at ev'ning bright
Toward heav'n's descent had slop'd his westering wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to th'oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with clov'n heel,
From the glad sound would not be absent long;
And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.

      But O the heavy change now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves,
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes mourn.
The willows and the hazel copses green
Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers that their gay wardrobe wear
When first the white thorn blows:
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.

      Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep
Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep
Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream.
Ay me! I fondly dream
Had ye bin there'—for what could that have done?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar
His gory visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore?

      Alas! what boots it with incessant care
To tend the homely, slighted shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?
Were it not better done, as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th'abhorred shears,
And slits the thin-spun life. "But not the praise,"
Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears;
"Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to th'world, nor in broad rumour lies,
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed."

      O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood.
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the Herald of the Sea,
That came in Neptune's plea.
He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds,
"What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain?"
And question'd every gust of rugged wings
That blows from off each beaked promontory.
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd;
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in th'eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

      Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower inscrib'd with woe.
"Ah! who hath reft," quoth he, "my dearest pledge?"
Last came, and last did go,
The Pilot of the Galilean lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain).
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake:
"How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain,
Enow of such as for their bellies' sake
Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reck'ning make
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But, swoll'n with wind and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said,
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more".

      Return, Alpheus: the dread voice is past
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse,
And call the vales and bid them hither cast
Their bells and flow'rets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks,
Throw hither all your quaint enamel'd eyes,
That on the green turf suck the honied showers
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freak'd with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well attir'd woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears;
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
For so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
Ay me! Whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl'd;
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world,
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold:
Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth;
And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.

      Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the wat'ry floor;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high
Through the dear might of him that walk'd the waves;
Where, other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the Saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more:
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.

      Thus sang the uncouth swain to th'oaks and rills,
While the still morn went out with sandals gray;
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay;
And now the sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropp'd into the western bay;
At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Lycidas" (/ˈlɪsɪdəs/) is a poem by John Milton, written in 1637 as a pastoral elegy. It first appeared in a 1638 collection of elegies, entitled Justa Edouardo King Naufrago, dedicated to the memory of Edward King, friend of Milton's at Cambridge who drowned when his ship sank in the Irish Sea off the coast of Wales in August 1637. The poem is 193 lines in length, and is irregularly rhymed. While many of the other poems in the compilation are in Greek and Latin, "Lycidas" is one of the poems written in English. Milton republished the poem in 1645.

The poem begins with the speaker lamenting the huge task before him (memorializing his friend), and then invoking the muses. Then, the speaker reminisces about how the speaker and a guy named Lycidas were shepherds together. Sadly, it turns out Lycidas is dead.

Then, the speaker starts to address a series of figures from the Ancient world – nymphs, muses, you name it – and asks them all where they were when Lycidas drowned. But before he gets too accusatory, he realizes that thinking about how Lycidas could have been saved if someone had intervened is pointless. His friend is gone, and all the hard work he put in on earth is worthless, because he died before he could achieve fame.

Enter Apollo. Yep, Apollo. He's always sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong. Apollo (the poem calls him by his Roman name, Phoebus) tells the speaker to cool his jets. He reminds the speaker that fame on earth isn't nearly as awesome as life in heaven, and that life in heaven is where the real fame happens.

But the speaker isn't done spreading the blame. He wants to find out who was watching over Lycidas when he drowned. Who dropped the ball? This is when St. Peter shows up and gives a stern speech about unworthy shepherds, which we soon realize is actually about unworthy clergy members in the Church of England, who lead their flocks, or congregations, astray. The poet apologizes for the poem's digressions – apology accepted – and moves on.

Returning to the pastoral mode, the speaker asks the valleys to send all their flowers to adorn Lycidas' coffin, even though he knows Lycidas is sunk somewhere beneath the ocean, so no coffin actually exists. The poem shifts gears at the end, suggesting that Lycidas isn't really dead, because he has been reborn in Heaven, where all the saints entertain him. Things are looking up: "Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new" (193).

Friday, December 13, 2019


Hester is being led to the scaffold, where she is to be publicly shamed for having committed adultery. Hester is forced to wear the letter A on her gown at all times. She has stitched a large scarlet A onto her dress with gold thread, giving the letter an air of elegance. Hester carries Pearl, her daughter, with her. On the scaffold she is asked to reveal the name of Pearl's father, but she refuses. In the crowd Hester recognizes her husband from Amsterdam, Roger Chillingworth.

Chillingworth visits Hester after she is returned to the prison. He tells her that he will find out who the man was, and he will read the truth on the man's heart. Chillingworth then forces her to promise never to reveal his true identity as her cuckolded husband.

Hester moves into a cottage bordering the woods. She and Pearl live there in relative solitude. Hester earns her money by doing stitchwork for local dignitaries, but she often spends her time helping the poor and sick. Pearl grows up to be wild, even refusing to obey her mother.

Roger Chillingworth earns a reputation as a good physician. He uses his reputation to get transferred into the same home as Arthur Dimmesdale, an ailing minister. Chillingworth eventually discovers that Dimmesdale is the true father of Pearl, at which point he spends every moment trying to torment the minister. One night Dimmesdale is so overcome with shame about hiding his secret that he walks to the scaffold where Hester was publicly humiliated. He stands on the scaffold and imagines the whole town watching him with a letter emblazoned on his chest. While standing there, Hester and Pearl arrive. He asks them to stand with him, which they do. Pearl then asks him to stand with her the next day at noon.

When a meteor illuminates the three people standing on the scaffold, they see Roger Chillingworth watching them. Dimmesdale tells Hester that he is terrified of Chillingworth, who offers to take Dimmesdale home. Hester realizes that Chillingworth is slowly killing Dimmesdale and that she has to help Dimmesdale.

A few weeks later, Hester sees Chillingworth picking herbs in the woods. She tells him that she is going to reveal the fact that he is her husband to Dimmesdale. He tells her that Providence is now in charge of their fates, and she may do as she sees fit. Hester takes Pearl into the woods, where they wait for Dimmesdale to arrive. He is surprised to see them, but he confesses to Hester that he is desperate for a friend who knows his secret. She comforts him and tells him Chillingworth's true identity. He is furious but finally agrees that they should run away together. He returns to town with more energy than he has ever shown before.

Hester finds a ship that will carry all three of them, and it works out that the ship is due to sail the day after Dimmesdale gives his Election Sermon. But on the day of the sermon, Chillingworth persuades the ship's captain to take him on board as well. Hester does not know how to get out of this dilemma.

Dimmesdale gives his Election Sermon, and it receives the highest accolades of any preaching he has ever performed. He then unexpectedly walks to the scaffold and stands on it, in full view of the gathered masses. Dimmesdale calls Hester and Pearl to come to him. Chillingworth tries to stop him, but Dimmesdale laughs and tells him that he cannot win.

Hester and Pearl join Dimmesdale on the scaffold. Dimmesdale then tells the people that he is also a sinner like Hester, and that he should have assumed his rightful place by her side over seven years earlier. He then rips open his shirt to reveal a scarlet letter on his flesh. Dimmesdale falls to his knees and dies on the scaffold.

Hester and Pearl leave the town for a while, and several years later Hester returns. No one hears from Pearl again, but it is assumed that she has gotten married and has had children in Europe. Hester never removes her scarlet letter, and when she passes away she is buried in the site of King's Chapel.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019



Epithalamion follows a rhyme a scheme of ABABCC, DEDEFF, and so on (except the 15th stanza.). The structure is 24 stanzas, each with either 18 lines or 19 (15th stanza has 17 lines). The last stanza is an envoy(a short formal stanza which is appended to a poem by way of conclusion) with 7 lines. There are 433 lines in total.

Christian symbolism

While the Greek mythology is used to express Spenser's undying love and wishes, the symbols of Christianity are used to express his intimate feelings.

"How the red roses flush up in her cheekes, And the pure snow with goodly vermill stayne, Like crimsin dyde in grayne, That even th'Angels which continually, About the sacred Altare doe remaine, Forget their service and about her fly, Ofte peeping in her face that seemes more fayre,"

Spenser comments how Elizabeth is so beautiful to him that even the Angels would come down to Earth to look at her; and Elizabeth is so beautiful and perfect, she is the virgin to be sacrificed, for all to learn from.

"She commeth in, before th'almighties vew: Of her ye virgins learne obedience, When so ye come into those holy places, To humble your proud faces; Bring her up to th'high altar that she may, The sacred ceremonies there partake, The which do endlesse matrimony make,"

The virginity being taken is sacrificial, but not in the form of Elizabeth dying for a cause. Her virginity is being sacrificed, but for the sake of making a marriage. Elizabeth is walking up the aisle, and the almighties are watching on. She stands as a symbol at the altar, for all to admire and want to be.

The second to last stanza of the poem is Spenser envisioning heaven, as it is the end of time for him and Elizabeth.

"And ye high heavens, the temple of the gods, In which a thousand torches flaming bright... Poure out your blessing on us plentiously, With lasting happinesse... So let us rest, sweet love, in hope of this,"

The description of this idea of Heaven is filled with their desires and will bring lasting happiness. Spenser's Heaven is one where he and Elizabeth can live in peace and be rewarded for their lives.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

fall of the house of usher

The story begins with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. As he arrives, the narrator notes a thin crack extending from the roof, down the front of the building and into the adjacent lake.

It is revealed that Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, deathlike trances. Roderick and Madeline are the only remaining members of the Usher family.

The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings "The Haunted Palace", then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be alive, and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it. Further, Roderick believes that his fate is connected to the family mansion.

Roderick later informs the narrator that his sister has died and insists that she be entombed for two weeks in the family tomb located in the house before being permanently buried. The narrator helps Roderick put the body in the tomb, and notes that Madeline has rosy cheeks, as some do after death. They inter her, but over the next week both Roderick and the narrator find themselves becoming increasingly agitated for no apparent reason. A storm begins. Roderick comes to the narrator's bedroom, which is situated directly above the vault, and throws open his window to the storm. He notices that the tarn surrounding the house seems to glow in the dark, as it glowed in Roderick Usher's paintings, although there is no lightning.

The narrator attempts to calm Roderick by reading aloud The Mad Trist, a novel involving a knight named Ethelred who breaks into a hermit's dwelling in an attempt to escape an approaching storm, only to find a palace of gold guarded by a dragon. He also finds, hanging on the wall, a shield of shining brass on which is written a legend:

Who entereth herein, a conqueror hath bin;
Who slayeth the dragon, the shield he shall win;[1]

With a stroke of his mace, Ethelred kills the dragon, who dies with a piercing shriek, and proceeds to take the shield, which falls to the floor with an unnerving clatter.

As the narrator reads of the knight's forcible entry into the dwelling, cracking and ripping sounds are heard somewhere in the house. When the dragon is described as shrieking as it dies, a shriek is heard, again within the house. As he relates the shield falling from off the wall, a reverberation, metallic and hollow, can be heard. Roderick becomes increasingly hysterical, and eventually exclaims that these sounds are being made by his sister, who was in fact alive when she was entombed.

Additionally, Roderick somehow knew that she was alive. The bedroom door is then blown open to reveal Madeline standing there. She falls on her brother and both land on the floor as corpses. The narrator then flees the house, and, as he does so, notices a flash of moonlight behind him which causes him to turn back, in time to see the moon shining through the suddenly widened crack. As he watches, the House of Usher splits in two and the fragments sink into the tarn.


Epithalamion is a poem celebrating a marriage. An epithalamium is a song or poem written specifically for a bride on her way to the marital chamber. In Spenser's work he is spending the day-24 hours- anxiously awaiting to marry Elizabeth Boyle. The poem describes the day in detail. The couple wakes up, and Spenser begs the muses to help him on his artistic endeavor for the day. He asks the nymphs to wake his sleeping love so the day can begin. Spenser spends a majority of the poem praising his bride to be. Which is depicted as both innocent and lustful.

When she finally wakes, the two head to the church. Hymen Hymenaeus is sung by the minstrels at the festivities. As the ceremony begins, Spenser shifts from praising Greek Gods and beings to Christian language to praise Elizabeth. After the ceremony, Spenser becomes even more anxious at the thought of consummating the marriage. Spenser then rebukes any idea of evil that could ruin their new found happiness. Spenser asks for blessings for childbearing, fidelity and all things good at the end.


Epithalamion is an ode written to his bride, Elizabeth Boyle, on their wedding day in 1594. It was first published in 1595 in London by William Ponsonby as part of a volume entitled Amoretti and Epithalamion. Written not long since by Edmunde Spenser. The volume included the sequence of 89 sonnets (Amoretti), along with a series of short poems called Anacreontics and the Epithalamion, a public poetic celebration of marriage. Only six complete copies of this first edition remain today, including one at the Folger Shakespeare Library and one at the Bodleian Library.

The ode begins with an invocation to the Muses to help the groom, and moves through the couple's wedding day, from Spenser's impatient hours before dawn while waiting for his bride to wake up, to the late hours of night after Spenser and Boyle have consummated their marriage (wherein Spenser's thoughts drift towards the wish for his bride to have a fertile womb, so that they may have many children).

Spenser meticulously records the hours of the day from before dawn to late into the wedding night: its 24 stanzas represent the hours of Midsummer Day. The ode's content progresses from the enthusiasm of youth to the concerns of middle age by beginning with high hopes for a joyful day and ending with an eye toward the speaker's legacy to future generations.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


The Cloud" is a major 1820 poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. "The Cloud" was written during late 1819 or early 1820, and submitted for publication on 12 July 1820. The work was published in the 1820 collection Prometheus Unbound, A Lyrical Drama, in Four Acts, With Other Poems by Charles and James Ollier in London in August 1820. The work was proof-read by John Gisborne. There were multiple drafts of the poem. The poem consists of six stanzas in anapestic or antidactylus meter, a foot with two unaccented syllables followed by an accented syllable.


The cloud is a metaphor for the unending cycle of nature: "I silently laugh at my own cenotaph/ ... I arise and unbuild it again." As with the wind and the leaves in "Ode to the West Wind", the skylark in "To a Skylark", and the plant in "The Sensitive Plant", Shelley endows the cloud with sentient traits that personify the forces of nature.

In "The Cloud", Shelley relies on the imagery of transformation or metamorphosis, a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth: "I change, but I cannot die." Mutability or change is a fact of physical nature.

Lightning or electricity is the "pilot" or guide for the cloud. Lightning is attracted to the "genii" in the earth which results in lightning flashes. The genii symbolise the positive charge of the surface of the earth while the cloud possesses a negative charge.

British scientist and poet Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, had written about plant life and science in the poem collection The Botanic Garden (1791) and on "spontaneous vitality", that "microscopic animals are said to remain dead for many days or weeks ... and quickly to recover life and motion" when water and heat are added, in The Temple of Nature (1803). Percy Bysshe Shelley had cited Darwin in his Preface to the anonymously published novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), explaining how the novel was written and its meaning.He argued that imparting life to a corpse "as not of impossible occurrence".

The cloud is a personification and a metaphor for the perpetual cycle of transformation and change in nature. All life and matter are interconnected and undergo unending change and metamorphosis.

the cloud

The Cloud

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine aëry nest,
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbèd maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till calm the rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


The Importance of Being Earnest 

Algernon Moncrieff prepares for the arrival of his aunt, Lady Bracknell, and her daughter, Gwendolen, in his stylish London flat in 1895. His butler, Lane, brings in "Ernest Worthing" (who is listed as "John Worthing" in the cast list and "Jack" in the body of the play, although both Lane and Algernon believe his name is Ernest), who has just returned from the country. Jack reveals he has come to London to propose to Gwendolen. Algernon ridicules the notion of marriage, and says that before Jack can marry Gwendolen, he has to clear up the issue of Cecily. Algernon orders Lane to bring in Jack's cigarette case and shows the inscription: "'From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack.'" Jack says his name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country. Algernon says he has always suspected Jack was a "Bunburyist," and now he has proof.

Jack explains that Thomas Cardew, who adopted him, willed Jack to be guardian to his granddaughter, Cecily. Cecily now lives at Jack's place in the country under the guidance of her governess, Miss Prism. Since Jack must maintain a high level of morality to set an example, he needs an excuse to get into town. He has invented a ne'er-do-well younger brother named Ernest who lives in Albany, and whose problems frequently require Jack's attendance. Algernon confesses that he has invented an invalid in the country, Bunbury, for when he needs to get out of town. Jack insists that he is through with "Ernest," but Algernon maintains that he will need him more than ever if he marries.

Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen arrive. Algernon tells Lady Bracknell that he will be unable to attend her dinner tonight, as Bunbury is ill. They go into the music room. Jack confesses his feelings to Gwendolen, and she admits that she likes him, too, especially since she has always wanted to love someone named Ernest. Jack asks if she would still love him if his name were not Ernest. She would not, she maintains. He proposes to her, and she accepts. Lady Bracknell comes in, and Gwendolen informs her of their engagement. Lady Bracknell says that only she or her father can engage Gwendolen, and orders her to wait in the carriage. After she leaves, Lady Bracknell learns from Jack that he was an orphan, found in a handbag on a train. She is aghast and says she will not allow her daughter to marry him. She leaves and Algernon enters.

Jack tells Algernon what happened, and promises to "kill off" his brother Ernest later in the week. Algernon expresses interest in meeting Cecily, but Jack does not want this to happen, as she is young and pretty. Gwendolen returns. She tells Algernon to turn his back. She asks Jack his address in the country, and Algernon slyly writes this down and checks a train timetable. Gwendolen promises to write Jack daily when he returns to the countryside, and Jack escorts her out. Algernon informs Lane that he will be going Bunburying tomorrow.

In the garden at Jack's country house, Miss Prism and Cecily discuss Jack's seemingly serious demeanor; Miss Prism believes it is due to his anxiety over his reckless brother. Dr. Chasuble enters the garden. He and Miss Prism leave for a walk together. Merriman, their butler, announces the arrival of Ernest Worthing. Algernon enters, pretending to be Ernest. He and Cecily briefly discuss his "wicked" reputation. When he learns that Jack will be back Monday afternoon, Algernon announces that he must leave Monday morning. He flirts with Cecily and they exit into the house.

Miss Prism and Chasuble return. She urges him to get married to a mature lady. Jack enters the garden, dressed in black. He tells Miss Prism he has returned earlier than expected, and explains that he is dressed in black for his brother, who died in Paris last night. Jack asks Chasuble if he would christen him this afternoon. He agrees, and Cecily emerges from the house. She tells him that his brother is in the dining room; Jack says he doesn't have a brother. She runs into the house and brings out Algernon. Jack refuses to shake Algernon's hand, but Cecily says that "Ernest" has been telling him about his friend Bunbury, and that someone who takes care of an invalid must have some good in him. Everyone but Jack and Algernon leaves. Jack orders Merriman to get the dogcart, as Ernest has been called back to town (he wants to get rid of Algernon). Jack tells Algernon he must leave, while Algernon expresses an interest in Cecily. Jack exits.

Cecily enters the garden. Merriman tells Algernon that the dogcart is ready, but Cecily says it can wait. Algernon compliments Cecily to her great delight. She then tells Merriman that the dogcart can come back next week. He asks Cecily to marry him, and she points out that they have been engaged for three months. "Ever since [she] heard of Jack's wicked brother Ernest" she has loved him. Cecily shows him the box of letters he "wrote" to her (which she really wrote to herself). She also admits that she loves him because his name is Ernest. Upon promptin, she doubts she would be able to love him were his name Algernon. He says he needs to see Chasuble quickly about "christening...I mean on most important business." Algernon exits.

Merriman announces that Gwendolen has asked to see Mr. Worthing (Jack). Cecily informs him that he has gone off to see Chasuble some time ago, but invites her in. Gwendolen immediately takes to Cecily, but wishes Cecily were not so young and alluring, as "Ernest," despite his moral nature, is still susceptible to temptation. Cecily tells her that she is not Ernest's ward, but his brother Jack's. Rather, she is going to marry Ernest. They compare diary entries. Gwendolen feels she has the prior claim, since Ernest asked to marry her yesterday. The girls argue and insult each other.

Jack enters the garden, and Gwendolen asks if he is engaged to Cecily; he laughs and denies it. Cecily says the man before them is her Uncle Jack. As Gwendolen goes into shock, Algernon enters, and Cecily calls him Ernest. She asks if he is married to Gwendolen; he denies it. Gwendolen says that his name is Algernon. Cecily is shocked, and she and Gwendolen hold each other and make up. Jack confesses he has no brother Ernest, nor any brother at all. The women retire to the house. Jack is angry at Algernon for stirring up trouble with his Bunburying. They have both arranged for Chasuble to christen them "Ernest" later that evening. Jack tells Algernon to go, but he refuses.

Jack and Algernon join Gwendolen and Cecily inside the country house. The women tell the men their "Christian names are still an insuperable barrier." The men reveal that they are to be re-christened this afternoon, and the couples hug. Lady Bracknell arrives, and Gwendolen informs her of her engagement. Lady Bracknell tells Jack that he may not speak any more to her daughter.

Jack introduces Cecily to Lady Bracknell, and Algernon says that he is engaged to her. Only when Lady Bracknell discovers Cecily has a large personal fortune does she give her consent for their marriage. However, Jack claims that, as his ward, Cecily may not marry without his consent until age 35. He declines to give the necessary consent. He says that he suspects Algernon of being untruthful. He recounts this afternoon's events, in which Algernon impersonated Jack's brother. Jack tells Lady Bracknell that if she consents to his marriage with Gwendolen, he will consent to Cecily's with Algernon. Lady Bracknell refuses and tells Gwendolen to get ready for the train.

Chasuble enters and announces that he is prepared for the christenings. Lady Bracknell refuses to allow Algernon to be baptized, and Jack tells Chasuble that the christenings will not be necessary any more. Chasuble says he will leave, and mentions that Miss Prism is waiting for him. Lady Bracknell asks to see Miss Prism. When she enters, she goes pale upon seeing Lady Bracknell, who accuses her of kidnapping a baby boy from her house 28 years ago. Under Jack's questioning, Miss Prism reveals that she accidentally left the baby in a handbag on the Brighton railway line. Jack leaves excitedly.

Jack returns with this very handbag. Jack tells her he was the baby. Lady Bracknell informs Jack that he is the son of her sister, making him Algernon's older brother. Jack asks Lady Bracknell what his original name was. She says he was named after his father; after locating his name under the Army Lists, they learn his full name is Ernest John Moncrieff. All three couples, Chasuble and Miss Prism, Algernon and Cecily, and Jack and Gwendolen, embrace. Jack tells Lady Bracknell that he has realized, for the first time in his life, "the vital Importance of Being Earnest."

Tuesday, December 3, 2019



Having been tenant long to a rich lord,
    Not thriving, I resolvèd to be bold,
    And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancel th’ old.

In heaven at his manor I him sought;
    They told me there that he was lately gone
    About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possessiòn.

I straight returned, and knowing his great birth,
    Sought him accordingly in great resorts;
    In cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts;
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
    Of thieves and murderers; there I him espied,
    Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died.

A Tale of two cities

is 1775, and Mr. Jarvis Lorry is traveling to Dover to meet Lucie Manette. He tells her that she is not an orphan as she had been told from a young age. He now says that he will travel with her to Paris to meet her father, who has recently been released from the Bastille. Doctor Manette is housed in the Defarges' wine-shop and has lost his reason, but he starts to regain it when he meets his daughter and is transported back to London.

Five years later, Charles Darnay is tried in London on a charge of treason for providing English secrets to the French and Americans during the outbreak of the American Revolution. The dramatic appearance of Mr. Sydney Carton, who looks remarkably like him, precludes any positive identification and allows Darnay's acquittal. Darnay, Mr. Carton, and Mr. Stryver all fall in love with Lucie Manette, who was a tearful, unwilling witness for the prosecution. Although they all make an attempt to woo her, she favors Charles Darnay and marries him. Carton comes to her house alone and declares that while he expects no return of his love, he would do anything for her or for anyone whom she loves. Darnay has ominously hinted to Doctor Manette of his concealed identity, and he reveals to his father-in-law on the morning of his wedding that he is a French nobleman who has renounced his title.

In France, Darnay's uncle, Monseigneur, has been murdered in his bed for crimes against the French people. This means that Darnay is next in line to inherit the aristocratic title, but he tells no one but Doctor Manette. At the urgent request of Monsieur Gabelle, who has been arbitrarily imprisoned, Darnay returns to Paris. He is arrested as a nobleman and an emigrant and thrown into jail.

A spy named John Barsad drops into the Defarges' wine-shop to gather evidence regarding whether they are revolutionaries. They reveal practically nothing, although Madame Defarge is knitting a list of those whom she and the other revolutionaries intend to kill.

Doctor Manette, Miss Pross, Lucie, and her small child follow Darnay to Paris, where the Doctor is almost successful in using his power among the revolutionaries as a former Bastille prisoner--like the people, he was oppressed by the ruling regime--to secure Darnay's release. But Darnay is once again denounced by the Defarges, a charge which is made even stronger by Monsieur Defarge's revelation of a paper document that he found in Doctor Manette's former cell in the Bastille. The document recounts that Manette was arbitrarily imprisoned by the Evrémondes for having witnessed their rape of a peasant girl and the murder of her brother. Darnay is brought back to prison and sentenced to death.

Sydney Carton also has traveled to Paris because of the selfless love that Lucie Manette has inspired in him. He resolves to sacrifice himself to save her husband's life. He forces the help of John Barsad, having recognized him as Solomon Pross, the dissolute brother of Miss Pross. Carton overhears the Defarges discussing a plan to kill Lucie and her child, and he figures out that Madame Defarge is the surviving sister of the peasant girl who was raped and of the boy who was stabbed by the Evrémonde family.

Carton arranges for the Manettes to leave immediately. He uses his influence with Barsad (Pross), who also works as a turnkey, to get into Darnay's cell. He drugs Darnay and exchanges places with him, having Barsad carry Darnay out of the prison to safety.

Madame Defarge knocks on Lucie's door to arrest her, but the Manettes have already fled to safety. She is instead confronted with the extremely protective Miss Pross, who comes to blows with her and accidentally shoots her dead with her own gun. Darnay returns with the Manettes to London in safety. Carton dies in Darnay's place at the guillotine, satisfied with the knowledge of his good deed.

Today's Question

Arrange the following words of Chomsky in chronological order in which they appeared: (i) Current issues in Linguistic Theory (ii) Syntactic...