sanctuary (n.)
As long as you keep this country as the sanctuary of liberty, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797), ‘Speech on Conciliation with America (1775)’
White horses, Falkland Islands. © Vogelfreund, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.
fond (adj.)
She was fond of all boy’s plays, and greatly preferred cricket.
Jane Austen (1775-1817), ‘Northanger Abbey’, of Catherine Morland
Trent Bridge cricket ground, Nottinghamshire. © DncnH, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0.
diligent (adj.)
Where wages are high, we shall always find the workmen more active, diligent, and expeditious, than where they are low.
Adam Smith (1723-1790), ‘Wealth of Nations’
Historic textile machinery in Burnley, Lancashire. © Clem Rutter, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.
determination (n.)
In some ways I believe I epitomise the average New Zealander: I have modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination, and I rather like to succeed.
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008)
The Remarkables, Queenstown, New Zealand. © Christian Mehlführer, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0.
honest (adj.)
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), ‘I keep six honest serving-men’
Wild asiatic asses, India. © Shaunak-Chitgopkar, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.
english language and history .com
Very short stories from history, myth and fiction
with traditional exercises in grammar and composition.
Feb 24
Friday
1
Six Honest Serving-Men
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
A professional journalist and author recognises that he has met his match

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Hungry. Greedy.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Breakfast. Eye. Keep.

Use together in one sentence: Teach. Rest. Tea.

Language games with this Post: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Marooned!
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Jim Hawkins, on a remote desert island, has escaped pirates only to be caught by a shadowy figure among the trees.

“WHO are you?” I asked.

“Ben Gunn,” he answered, and his voice sounded hoarse and awkward, like a rusty lock. “I’m poor Ben Gunn, I am; and I haven’t spoke with a Christian these three years.”

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Fancy. Elaborate.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Cry. Ship. Button.

Use together in one sentence: Waist. Like. Shipwreck.

Language games with this Post: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Britain’s Best Gift to India
Music: Frank Bridge
Samuel Smiles reminds us that until we brought the railways to India, we had little to boast about as an imperial power.

WHEN Edmund Burke, in 1783, arraigned the British Government for their neglect of India, he said: “England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs... Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by anything better than the ourang-outang or the tiger.” But that reproach no longer exists.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Will. Would.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Cut. Bridge. Guarantee.

Use together in one sentence: About. Mouth. Tiger.

Language games with this Post: Précis. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

India’s First Railway
Music: Sir George Macfarren
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.

AT 3.30pm on April 16th, 1853, as the band played ‘God Save the King’, fourteen railway carriages carrying four hundred VIPs jolted, and left Bombay for Thane. It was the opening day of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, India’s first passenger-carrying line, and ahead were twenty-one miles of 5'6" track, which the triple-headed train gobbled up in forty-five minutes.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Who. Which. That.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Train. Help. Survey.

Use together in one sentence: Pupil. Train. By.

Language games with this Post: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The History of Susannah
Music: George Frideric Handel
A young Jewish woman in ancient Babylon falls victim to a heartless conspiracy.

IN the days when Daniel lived in Babylon, a wealthy Jewish man named Joachim had a lovely young wife named Susannah. The Jews of Babylon often visited the couple’s gracious home and garden, and when two new Babylonian judges were appointed, they held court sessions there.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Will. Would.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Couple. Visit. Say.

Use together in one sentence: Beneath. Self-control. Lose.

Language games with this Post: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The Battle of Flamborough Head
Music: John Hebden
An American revolutionary harassed British commercial shipping off the Yorkshire coast, with mixed results.

IN September 1779, John Paul Jones, a commander in the American Continental Navy, led a makeshift flotilla of French ships around Scotland and down into the North Sea, harassing commercial shipping as far as Bridlington.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Lead. Led.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Hit. Meet. See.

Use together in one sentence: Round. Growl. On.

Language games with this Post: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.