By Richard Nordquist. Grammar & Composition Expert
Richard Nordquist, Ph.D. in British, is professor emeritus of rhetoric and British at Lance armstrong Atlantic Condition College and also the author of two grammar and composition textbooks for school freshmen, Writing Exercises (Macmillan) and Passages: A Author’s Guide (St. Martin’s Press). Richard has offered because the About.com Help guide to Grammar Composition since 2006.
Updated Feb 24, 2016.
Within this excerpt from his autobiographical Existence around the Mississippi, American humorist Mark Twain views what might be lost in addition to acquired through understanding and experience.
Two Methods for Visiting a River
1 Now after i had mastered the word what of the water coupled with arrived at know every trifling feature that bordered the truly amazing river as familiarly when i understood the letters from the alphabet, I’d designed a valuable acquisition.
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However I had lost something, too. I’d lost a thing that could not be restored in my experience as i resided. All of the elegance, the wonder, the poetry choose to go from the regal river! I still bear in mind a particular wonderful sunset that we observed when steamboating was a new comer to me. An extensive expanse from the river was switched to bloodstream in the centre distance the red hue brightened into gold, by which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous in one location a lengthy, slanting mark lay sparkling upon water in another the top was damaged by boiling, tumbling rings, which were as numerous-tinted being an opal in which the ruddy flush was faintest, would be a smooth place which was engrossed in elegant circles and radiating lines, very delicately tracked the shore on the left was densely wooded, and also the sombre shadow that fell out of this forest was damaged in one location with a lengthy, ruffled trail that shone like silver and over the forest wall a clear-stemmed dead tree waved just one leafy bough that glowed just like a flame within the unobstructed splendor which was flowing in the sun.
There have been elegant curves, reflected images, woodsy heights, soft distances and also over the entire scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted continuously, enriching it, every passing moment, with new marvels of coloring.
2 I was like one bewitched. I drank it in, inside a without words rapture. The planet was a new comer to me, and that i had not seen anything such as this in your own home. But because I’ve stated, each day came after i started to cease from noting the glories and also the charms that the moon and also the sun and also the twilight wrought upon the forest’s face a later date came after i stopped altogether to notice them.
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Then, in the event that sunset scene have been repeated, I ought to have viewed it without rapture, and really should have commented on there, inwardly, in this way: "This sun implies that we will have wind to-morrow that floating log implies that the forest is booming, small because of it that slanting mark around the water describes a bluff reef which will kill somebody’s steamboat one of these simple nights, whether it continues stretches like this individuals tumbling ’boils’ show a dissolving bar along with a altering funnel there the lines and circles within the clever water over yonder really are a warning that that difficult place is shoaling up dangerously that silver streak within the shadow from the forest may be the ’break’ from the new snag, and that he has located themself in the most effective place he might have found to catch steamboats that tall dead tree, having a single living branch, won’t last lengthy, after which how’s an appearance ever getting through this blind place during the night with no friendly old landmark?"
3 No, the romance and also the beauty counseled me gone in the river. All of the value any feature from it had for me personally now was the quantity of effectiveness it might furnish toward compassing the safe piloting of the steamboat. Since individuals days, I’ve pitied doctors from the heart. Exactly what does the stunning flush inside a beauty’s oral cavity mean to some physician however a "break" that ripples above some deadly disease? Aren’t her visible charms sown thick using what will be to him the twelve signs and indicating hidden decay? Does he ever see her beauty whatsoever, or doesn’t he simply view her professionally, and comment upon her unwholesome condition all to themself? And doesn’t he sometimes question whether he’s acquired most or lost most by learning his trade?
Studying Quiz: “Two Methods for Visiting a River,” by Mark Twain