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by the oft-repeated statement that we can find nothing new to say. That is the cloak which the dullard and the drone use to cover up their own incompetence and indolence. We can say something new.

. In one sense Nature never repeats herself. Her laws, her methods of operation, may be unchangeable always, but her products are infinitely diversified. Every day brings to light some new form, some hitherto unbeheld combination. The same thing is true in other spheres — of social, political, and religious institutions. Keep your eyes and ears open. See and hear; then think and write.

Avoid old maxims and adages. Such are, Honesty is the Best Policy, Time and Tide Wait for No Man, Well Begun is Half Done, A Bird in the Hand, etc. Writing on such themes leads to the habit of making random and sweeping general statements which, because they are founded upon no scientific demonstration, are worse than worthless. Besides, these old sayings often contain more poetry than truth. If you can detect and expose fallacies in them, they may be made to furnish material for argumentative essays. Only be careful that you rightly understand the spirit of the sayings and are competent to grapple with the problem involved.

Avoid subjects in which the words must be taken in some figurative or unusual sense.

The device is an old one, still cherished by many good writers. But it adds no grace to the composition, while it leads to misconceptions on the part of the reader and fosters in the writer habits of loose and aimless thinking. This form of title too is often only another way of expressing the abstractions which have been objected to above. Familiar examples of this class of subjects are, Crown

Jewels, Sowing the Wind, Stemming the Tide, Sunken Reefs, Links, Stepping Stones, Growing toward the Light. If you must preach or moralize, seek more effective methods. It may be doubted whether these fancies and pretty conceits, seeking to draw a moral lesson from every curious fact and phenomenon in nature, ever yet convinced the skeptical or determined the wavering

Then there are whole classes of subjects that have about them a delightful indefiniteness which seems to fascinate young writers. A Pyramid of Vanities; Yesterday, To-day, and To-morrow; Two Builders; Magic; Good Soil ; A Little While ; etc., etc. There is the wonderfully broad subject, Life : write what you please, it will fit here; though no two thoughts may have a common bearing, though no two sentences may fit together, they will all seem to harmonize with the title and the writer is content. But is the reader content? Read such an essay that has been written by some one else and judge for yourself.

Do you ask now what you shall select? Consider a moment. First of all, you want to interest your reader. Your real object may be higher than this — it may be to instruct, or to convince, or to arouse. But whatever be your object, if you do not interest first you will meet with small success. To interest keenly it is absolutely indispensable that you be interested yourself. The slightest weariness or indifference on your part will be detected at once and beget a corresponding weariness or indifference on the part of your reader. . What are you interested in most? What is there all about you, in your books, in your school, in your home,

in the duties and pleasures and sorrows of your daily experience, that makes life so little or so much worth living? Write about this.

And yet use your judgment even here. You may be deeply interested in something, and may write of it most sympathetically and entertainingly and still fail to entertain. You read for the first time the thrilling story of how Trojan Paris carried off the beautiful Greek Helen, and how the Greeks went in revenge and besieged the city of Troy for ten years, until they razed it to the ground. You are fired at once with a generous zeal to rewrite this tale for your friends to enjoy as well as yourself. But they evince little interest, and you are disappointed. Soon you learn that they had all heard this story long ago.

It was not that you did not write well — you made a mistake, that is all. You very naturally supposed that everybody else was as ignorant about this as you had been all along, that what was new to you would be new to them also. You investigate the matter further. You find that the story is thousands of years old, that it has been a stock part of the education of many generations of imaginative youth, that it has furnished themes for some of the world's grandest literature. You wonder about this, and try to trace this vast effect back to so apparently insignificant a cause. You examine the historical side of the legend, and you find faith here and doubt there and contradiction everywhere. One man thinks he has discovered the tomb of Agamemnon, and claims with still better reason that he has unearthed the ruins of Troy itself. You write again. Your readers are interested daily worth

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this time, and you feel that your work has not been in vain.

What then is interesting to the reader? That which is new to him. It may almost be said that we spend our lives in the search after novelty — new truth, new power, new beauty. Not always that which is absolutely new --- that which is relatively new will suffice. It may be found in books, in history, in legend, in speculation. Still better for the young investigator it may be found elsewhere. We have said that the world is full of new things - very simple many of them are too — which if we only sharpen our senses a little we shall discover. Perhaps it is because they are so simple, that we overlook them so often or fail to appreciate them. When you were tramping through the woods last Saturday you found growing wild in an out-of-the-way spot a great bed of white violets. What a discovery! You had seen these beautiful flowers tenderly cultivated in your aunt's garden, but you never dreamed that they were to be found growing wild so near your own home. Why, you can write a delightful account of this and your schoolmates will be far more interested in it than they would in any essay on plants carefully written up out of botanies and encyclopædias, or in any sentimental rhapsodizing over flowers in general. Leave the first kind of writing to specialists in this field of natural science, and the second to the poets. Not that all emotional expression is to be discouraged. By no means.

Only let it be spontaneous, genuine, and not carried to excess. And on the other hand, if you care more for the scientific aspect of things, there is no reason why you cannot do

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original investigation, and so find material for original writing. Instead of copying from others, simply record what you have seen yourself.

Late in the evening of that same Saturday, as you were trudging wearily homeward with your bunch of white violets, you stopped by the edge of the marsh to listen to the concert of the frogs. You were reminded of the story of the Irishman who was belated under somewhat similar circumstances. He was anxious to find the shortest way home, you know, and when a mischievous little frog down in the slough spoke up in a high-keyed voice telling him to “cut across, cut across, cut across,” he somewhat hesitatingly ventured. He was getting deeper and deeper in the mire with every step however when one old croaker came to his rescue with the sage advice, delivered in a stately orotund, to “go round about, go round about, go round about.” Travelers in Greece assert that in the Thessalian marshes to-day may be heard the same strange chorus, Brekkekekex, ko-ax, ko-ax, brekkekekex, ko-ax, ko-ax, which we know Aristophanes heard two thousand years ago. Now your frogs doubtless were neither Greek nor Hibernian, but they spoke none the less distinctly. What did they say? Could you catch it exactly ? Could you reproduce it, even approximately? It might be worth your while to try. Aristophanes caught and reproduced so well the croak of his native frogs that that line of outlandish Greek stands to-day as one of the monuments to his genius.

But you live in the city ? and you cannot go on Saturday tramps finding wood-flowers and listening to

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