NOTES AND QUESTIONS Biography. Herschel S. Hall (1874-1921), a writer of short stories and novels, was born in Indiana, but spent most of his life in Ohio. His first-hand knowledge of work in the steel-mills made his descriptions of great value. Mr. Hall is the author of Steel Preferred, and he was a frequent contributor to many magazines. This story appeared in Scribner's Magazine for April, 1919.

Discussion. 1. Notice how the author makes the story seem real by vivid pictures; by the conversation of the men; by making clear the difficulty of the work, amidst the heat and the noise, through describing the effects they produce; find examples of these devices. 2. What do you admire most in Pete's conduct? 3. What do you learn from this story about the work in the steel-mills? 4. Make a list of humorous passages. 5. Does the language of the workers seem suited to the speakers? 6. What did Mike mean when he advised the author “to learn to spell”? 7. Find the lines on page 484 where the author speaks humorously about the poet's idea of work. Do you think the author would seriously doubt the truth of Angela Morgan's poem “Work: A Song of Triumph"? 8. How is the heroism of toil shown in this story? 9. What were you told in "Literature and Life,” pages 17 and 18, about literature as a source of learning the “facts of life"? How does this story give you a clearer idea of the “facts of life” in a great steel-mill than you could gain from your geography or from an encyclopedia ? 10. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: alloys; ductility; malleability; elucidation; fused; bonus. 11. Pronounce: orthographic; laboratory; harass; admirable; ignoramus; genuine; débris; column.

Outline for Testing Silent Reading. Tell the story, following this outline: (a) Outside the steel-mills; (b) The open hearth with its long line of furnaces;, (c) The workers—the “small man,” Pete and his favorite jest, Mike and his advice; (d) Night work; (e) Pete and the boss; (f) Pete as foreman; (g) Pete's education; (h) The accident.

Library Reading. Steel Preferred, Hall.

Newspaper Reading. Bring to class and read the most interesting account you can find in a newspaper or magazine, telling about conditions of work in some industry such as mining, fishery, etc.

A Suggested Problem. Find out by a personal visit all you can about the way some industry or business is carried on (for example, some local store, or your father's business) and report to the class. Illustrate your talk, if possible, by pictures or blackboard drawings.



Back of the beating hammer
By which the steel is wrought,
Back of the workshop's clamor

The seeker may find the Thought, 5 The Thought that is ever master

Of iron and steam and steel,
That rises above disaster
And tramples it under heel!

The drudge may fret and tinker 10 Or labor with dusty blows,

But back of him stands the Thinker,
The clear-eyed man who knows;
For into each plow or saber,

Each piece and part and whole, 15 Must go the Brains and Labor,

Which give the work a soul!

Back of the motors humming,
Back of the belts that sing,

Back of the hammers drumming, 20 Back of the cranes that swing,

There is the eye which scans them,
Watching through stress and strain,
There is the Mind which plans them--
Back of the brawn, the Brain!

25 Might of the roaring boiler,

Force of the engine's thrust,
Strength of the sweating toiler,
Greatly in these we trust.

But back of them stands the Schemer,
The Thinker who drives things through;
Back of the job—the Dreamer
Who's making the dream come true!


Biography. Berton Braley (1882- ), poet and journalist, is a native of Wisconsin, and was graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1905. He served on the staff of The Evening Mail, New York, and was for a time associate editor of the magazine Puck. During the World War Mr. Braley was a special correspondent in France and England. He is a frequent contributor to the leading magazines and newspapers. Among his published works are: Songs of a Workaday World; A Banjo at Armageddon; In Camp and Trench.

Discussion. 1. What is the theme of the poem? 2. What is the relation of the planner to the worker? 3. What confidence does the poet express in the worker? In the “Dreamer”? 4. What does the poet mean when he says that the brain is back of the brawn? 5. Show that the poem is a plea for the coöperation that is discussed in the Introduction on page 336.

Class Reading. Read the poem aloud to bring out the meaning and the rhythm; bring to class and read other poems from Songs of a Workaday World that particularly interest you.



COURTEOUS READER: I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.

I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of



the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean old man with white locks: "Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you

advise us to do?Father Abraham stood up and replied: "If you would have my advice, I will give it to you in short; for 'a word to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him

to speak his mind, and, gathering around him, he proceeded as 10 follows: "Friends," said he, "the taxes are indeed very heavy;

and if those laid on by the Government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.

“We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as 15 much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and

of these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us. "Heaven helps them that help themselves,' as Poor Richard says.

"It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. "Sloth, like rust, consumes

faster than labor wears; while the used key is always bright,' as 25 Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we

spend in sleep! forgetting that 'the sleeping fox catches no poultry,' and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave.

“ 'Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough.' Let us, then, be up and 30 doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more

with less perplexity. ‘Drive thy business, and let not that drive thee'; and 'early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,' as Poor Richard says.

"So, what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We 35 may make these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry


need not wish, and he that lives upon hopes will die fasting.' “There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands.' 'He that hath a trade hath an estate; and he that

hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor'; but then the 5 trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither

the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow. ‘One today is worth two tomorrows,'

as Poor Richard says; and further, 'Never leave that till tomor10 row which you can do today.'

“If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you, then, your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so

much to be done for yourself, your family, and your country. 15 It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak

handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for 'constant dropping wears away stones,' and little strokes fell great oaks.'

"But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, 20 and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and

not trust too much to others; for, as Poor Richard says, 'Three removes are as bad as a fire'; and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee'; and again, 'If you would have your business

done, go; if not, send'; and again, 'The eye of the master will 25 do more work than both his hands'; and again, ‘Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge.'

“So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would

make our industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he 30 knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose to the grind

stone all his life, and die not worth a groat at last. would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting.'

"Away with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and 35 chargeable families; for 'what maintains one vice would bring

'If you

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