The only reason selected Portals get significant traffic is because they are prominately linked. Portals are so 15 years ago, the internet moved on a long time ago. Legacypac talk , 8 April UTC Support : Poorly maintained, rarely useful, few views except the eight portals on Main Page , not worth editor resources.
I compared some random portals to their main article, e. Portal:The Simpsons views versus The Simpsons , views. The main portal page gets 0. They are utterly useless, and like many dead-end ideas from the early days, become more and more of a maintenance burden as time goes on. Next let's axe the sidebars, outlines, and bibliographies.
However, I don't think mass-deletion is going to work it rarely does. Instead I'd suggest updating any relevant guidelines to say they are obsolete, then introducing a speedy deletion criteria along the lines of "pages in the portal namespace that are no longer actively maintained". Perhaps X3? We should statt by removing them from the top of the mainpage - the most important real estate for the least important namespace on the project. That will drop traffic on the portals a lot. While I value putting in time to keep the portals updated every month, unfortunately not many other editors care enough to contribute to the portals.
Several years ago, many editors would contribute to P:USRD and offer suggestions for selected articles, pictures, and Did you know?
In recent years, there are very few suggestions for content which usually leads me to have to dig for stuff every month. Perhaps we could reduce the maintenance of portals and have them just randomly generate content and change every time they are refreshed, P:MDRD does this for selected pictures and Did you know? If no one cares enough to keep portals updated, then maybe it is time to get rid of them.
However, I would not want to delete the entire portal namespace but would rather mark all pages in portal namespace as historical and remove links to them from article space. By doing this, we could still keep the attribution of the history of the portal namespace rather than delete a large portion of Wikipedia history. Dough , 8 April UTC Support - as it appears they are largely pointless in the current environment. Largely useless, with dubious value to readers.
However, interested editors should be given an opportunity to migrate the content elsewhere, and the portals should not be outright deleted right away. The portal namespace isn't that useful, but I see this proposal as being about equal in usefulness to the namespace as a whole namely, not very When the two options are both washes, there is no reason to change.
Change for the sake of change is pointless. TonyBallioni talk , 8 April UTC Alternative — Why don't we just encourage editors to de-link portals that are unmaintained when they encounter them? Then if someone cares that will prompt them to do some maintenance. Dicklyon talk , 8 April UTC Because well meaning but not clued in editors will revert them, and keep add portal links without realizing what a disservice they are doing.
Legacypac talk , 9 April UTC Support There's no reason to let this largely useless part of the encyclopaedia continue to exist and just create problems for readers as well as editors. That said, I'd be open to migrating some content to wikiproject pages on a case by case basis if editors find a need. They aren't a well-maintained part of the encyclopedia, and updates to most portals come very infrequently. The vast majority of page views are to the main articles themselves, as described above, and the portals are an afterthought.
The featured portals process was abolished recently for a similar reason. However, I do think these portals should be archived, whether as Wikipedia project pages or in some other format. The namespace is generally unseen and unused by the public, anyway. I suggest we use Template:Historical instead.
Create a bot job to put it on all "Portal:" pages, and, if so desired, all "Portal talk:" pages, too. User:Axisixa [t] [c] , 9 April UTC Support but do not delete any relevant pages just mark them as historical instead - Portals have outlived their usefulness. They were a great idea in the past, but as both Wikipedia and the internet have evolved, they have become moribund. It's true that many had been the result of hard work, but perhaps such energy could better be devoted into our own articles. There have been suggestions that Portals could be more active if they were instead operated by bots, but that wouldn't solve the other main problem in that no one uses them.
With that said, I'm against mass deletion of portals since they did serve some historical value: they could instead simply be marked as historical. As for the Main Page portals, they could simply be moved into the Wikipedia namespace. I would not mind archiving them in the Wikipedia namespace and marking them as historical, but I don't feel very strongly about it, so don't mind if they're deleted outright either. Double sharp talk , 9 April UTC Support - these have long outlived any value they might once have had.
Neutrality talk , 9 April UTC Support - Most are no longer maintained, and we should concentrate our work where it matters, on the article pages. Kaldari talk , 9 April UTC Support , these were never really popular, and it is high time that they be formally deprecated. Trimming useless or unused features is essential to manage bloat and keep the 'cost' of maintenance down.
Lankiveil speak to me , 9 April UTC. Portals should be redirected to the index or outline of their parent topic, if possible, rather than deletion, but they should definitely be deprecated. Deleting such hard work would not encourage activity elsewhere. Per WP:BITE , such hostile action would tend to discourage voluntary effort by showing that such hard work can be casually deleted by a flash mob on a whim. I'm not seeing any benefit or necessity for this.
Once they aren't maintained, their usefulness tends to diminish rapidly. We should not be encouraging editors to build stuff that in the long run is not useful to readers. These get little maintenance now and, in any case, get few readers -- maybe one or two a day. When their enthusiastic creator moves on, shall we delete those too on similar grounds? Is Wikipedia only for high traffic, high maintenance pages like Kim Kardashian? All that other obscure stuff just gets in the way, right?
Why not just delete everything that isn't vital and focus on getting that right before allowing anyone to start anything else? Cesdeva talk , 9 April UTC Andrew Davidson : you didn't pick a good example in James Eustace Bagnall — he's long dead, and the information in the article isn't going to change.
I can give you better examples for your argument, e. Ponerorchis cucullata , where there's active research going on and the generic placement has changed recently and might change again, requiring the article to be moved and updated. But portals are different, as Cesdeva says. Since they deliberately cross-connect multiple articles they necessarily need regular maintenance, as relevant articles appear, get moved, get promoted or demoted, etc. Peter coxhead talk , 9 April UTC Portals for well-established topics like Mathematics don't need to change much.
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a newspaper and frenetic activity is not required for such pages. The point is that once you start to claim that we can discard pages because they seem to be a backwater then you put most of our content at risk. And Wikipedia is nowhere near finished yet. People are still developing and arguing about structural aspects like infoboxes and Wikidata.
It's far too soon to say that everything's settled and we can discard pages which are currently not mainstream. Peter coxhead talk , 9 April UTC No, the argument seems to be that because some portals don't work well, we should destroy them all to make sure that none of them work at all. The main benefit seems to be that we will then have some white space where the portals used to be. Presumably the people who didn't use portals will carry on as before while the people who did like and use them will be infuriated and leave Wikipedia.
Me, I'm thinking that the next step should then be to tear down the Village Pump too before we get any more bright ideas like this. The topic traffic portals are dismal failures according to our readers considering the have the highest visability links on the project. The readers rejected this failed idea a long time ago. We just need to turn off the lights. Some actual stats are listed below to refute it. Something linked to on the main page and on thousands of pages and talk pages gets fewer clicks than the word "free" in "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and your conclusion is that this shows that readers are interested in it?
Can you think of anything -- anything at all -- that might serve as an alternate explanation? I'm just saying. This is good evidence of significant usage. It is evidence that it has a link from one of the most heavily visited pages on the internet. I would support marking each Portal pages itself with Template:Historical but with any Wikiproject which links to that Portal notified so that they can remove the template if their consensus is that the Portal is active. In months time, any "orphaned" historical portals can be checked for usage volumes and considered for MFD.
AllyD talk , 9 April UTC Keep some portals including but not limited to the eight linked from the main page, continue maintaining them, and delete the rest. I think there is still some merit to maintaining a few portals about more basic topics, and a number of featured portals still receive a healthy amount of page views, so people are still using them. Portals are prettier than outlines and still serve a limited purpose, IMO.
Decreasing the number of portals maintained may be a way forward for them. I no longer see any benefit in having portals on enwiki. Fram talk , 9 April UTC But that's still 10, and 17, people a year respectively who have an opportunity to discover, if they so wish, new topics and sample selected encyclopaedic information in a different way to normal, without having to wade through a lengthy and maybe dull-looking article.
Yes, numbers are low on the scheme of things, but there are innumerable Featured Articles like this and this that get less traffic. Shall we delete all low-traffic pages next because they don't attract enough people? The logic makes no sense. Delete a rubbish page because it's flawed and can't be fixed, for sure.
But all Portals assuming just 50 visitors a day each still amounts to Why take that away? But the problem is that portals don't continue to be maintained, as noted repeatedly above.
So the value to readers in relation to the work required by editors is grossly disproportionate. It takes someone else 3 minutes to update the news. Why not? To compare portal and country is like apples and pears, - where on the country article would a reader get news and DYK? Some hundred look per day, enough for me to invest 3 minutes now and then. Let's do the honours. Portals can have moribund content and appearance but they are excellent links to a more complex process - where latin names of phenomenon have category pages with no attempt at explaining as to whether they are rock, plant or animal - portal links are useful to clarify the context of many pages in complex category trees that are otherwise too labyrinthian for the average user.
Portals are useful, but for whatever reason, those who visit seem to think otherwise, a small problem with dismantling parts of a structure, what is suggested next? Take care with such a suggestion, I would suggest threshold of this argument needs to be considered very carefully. As an editor when fixing categorization problems I wouldn't rely on the portal link being correct. DexDor talk , 9 April UTC reply to DexDor - having been through birds, and other category page main spacetagging - I believe that some indication on a category page reduces potential confusion as there some binomial latin phrases could be a plant or a bird.
I have not found deliberate or accidental project mis-tagging. JarrahTree , 12 April UTC I still don't understand how you think people would end up on a category page without knowing whether it's about a plant or a bird. S a g a C i t y talk , 9 April UTC Oppose If the proposal here is broad deletion of all, that can and will only end in a mess see this , followed by this , followed by this this - extensive one fell swoop, hacking away of multiple pages just is bad for the project, and we do it badly.
Some pedians have expressed interest in some of these even in this discussion over many years - so, I support those pedians -- I also might support things like removal of links from the Main Page, etc. Alanscottwalker talk , 14 April UTC Adding, I agree with User:Kmhkmh, below, we don't delete pages that don't get many views, we don't delete pages that don't get many edits besides, here once the page is set-up, there are many that don't need a bunch of edits -- once a page is complete, it's complete and we especially don't delete pages, because 'someone else works on them but not me'.
Would not oppose some method of archival for portals that have been maintained up until at least the past month and archival with deactivation for those maintained up until a year ago, but definitely deletion for those that haven't been maintained in over a year. Whatever action is taken be it deletion or archival should be unilateral and affect all portals in an identical manner.
Side bars and end bars provide a similar service and do a better job at it. Portals are largely unviewed and unmaintained. I do think they should be marked as historical rather than deleted outright though deletion should be an option in some cases. Portals operating like topical main pages make sense when you have a group of editors like a WikiProject actively curating them. The portals like the Main Page aren't configured to be static.
Because of that, their utility degrades over time and deletion makes sense when they aren't being updated. Maybe if the WMF had done more to retain our "wild west" editors from , we wouldn't be short-staffed and deprecating stuff now. Chris Troutman talk , 9 April UTC Oppose We shouldn't be deleting pages because i they don't receive many page views, or ii they haven't been well maintained. How do readers benefit from this proposal? Some readers must find portals useful, and this proposal seems like the wrong solution to specified issues.
The mere fact that people sometimes click on them isn't enough, since you click before you know whether the page will be useful to you. Is there a particular type of reader that you think they'll be more useful to? WhatamIdoing talk , 10 April UTC And what is the basis for people's assertions that they are not of any use to readers?
- The Lamp of Invisible Light.
- The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidius Naso?
- the key to our imaginations?
- Nar Dreams - Score!
- Lost in the American City.
- Self-Esteem Issues and Answers: A Sourcebook of Current Perspectives.
Do the same editors make such assertions about particular articles, and that therefore they also should be deleted? PaleCloudedWhite talk , 10 April UTC The incredibly low readership of portals - even the 8 linked off the top of the mainpage - proves they are not useful to readers who vote with their clicks. Also every person voting here is a reader too and I've yet to see anyone really say they use portals. The objections are around preserving history or some useful bits or not offending the creators.
Legacypac talk , 10 April UTC Portal:Christianity has received an average of pageviews per day over the last 90 days - is that an incredibly low figure? Of all the articles that I've created, the most read is Dark Hedges , which over the same period has received an average of pageviews per day. I am reminded of David Attenborough's comment on public service broadcasting , which he said should "cater for the broadest possible range of interests, popular as well as less popular, a network that measures its success not only by its audience size but by the range of its schedule".
PaleCloudedWhite talk , 10 April UTC Thank-you for that comparison as it should help you understand my point and might make you change your vote. We don't need to delete Dark Hedges because it is meeting a need. There are so many ways to get to Portal:Christianity that views a day could be mostly bots and accidental clicks. Legacypac talk , 10 April UTC And my point is that we should not be deleting pages based on pageviews, nor using pageviews as a basis for how useful a page is unless, perhaps, it always receives zero.
I am therefore asking: Do you use portals? Do you know anyone who does? Can you think of a hypothetical scenario in which a portal would be particularly useful for some reader? Perhaps a situation in which you personally would bypass other alternatives search, navboxes, see also, links, etc. I know why the critics think that portals are not useful critics look at the low page views, and conclude that if portals with tens of thousands of links on hundreds of articles are attracting such low interest, then realistically, some people are looking at them but nobody's finding them useful enough to seek them out.
The critics may not be correct, but it is a reasonable belief. I want to know why you believe that "some readers must find portals useful". Let's say, arguendo, you're absolutely correct. Let's say that there really are some readers who use them, and let's say that portals really are useful to those readers. Now, which readers are using them, and how are portals useful to them? If we can identify a plausible scenario, some sort of user story , then that might change people's minds about deleting them.
Otherwise, I think this type of claim is going to be rejected as motivated thinking e. It just can't! I made the statement about some readers finding portals useful in response to statements higher up the page stating that they are useless. People cannot make such statements; there is no factual foundation. The WMF, as far as I'm aware, has not conducted in-depth market research on how portals may or may not be used by readers, but we do have pageviews showing that some are read at least as much as many articles.
That does not quantify to what extent they are useful, nor in what way, but it does establish that they are used. It's really a rather narrow way of looking at something to say, as some have here, ' I haven't read them or edited them much, therefore get rid of them'. I do not look at portals as navigation aids, rather I see them more like the random article feature - showing readers something that they weren't necessarily looking for - but in a more topic-orientated way.
Leaping straight to deletion seems wholly the wrong way to go about this. PaleCloudedWhite talk , 10 April UTC Okay, so I'm understanding that you personally don't use them or know anyone who uses them, I don't use them or know anyone who uses them, and nobody in this discussion seems to use them or know anyone who uses them.
We also know that portals get remarkably few page views per link. Portal:Food , for example, is linked on more than 8, articles, and it gets a mere page views per day. The article on Food , by contrast, is linked on only a third as many articles, but it gets about seven times as many page views.
On a view-per-link basis, the encyclopedia article is 20 times more desired by readers than the portal. That limited popularity suggests that portals are not actually "useful to readers". Maybe they could be — I'd personally be happy to find something that worked for readers, and mw:Extension:RelatedArticles might be one option to consider — but the long-term lack of use, in the face of such heavy "advertising" in articles, suggests that portals as they currently exist do not seem to be useful to readers including for entertainment utility.
WhatamIdoing talk , 11 April UTC We have pageviews that show that people visit portals - that is the only concrete information we have. Everything else is unproveable assumptions, which are not adequate basis for deleting a section of the encyclopedia. So what if Portal:Food gets less visits than Food? It doesn't get zero views. Editors could reasonably have a discussion about why a page might receive less pageviews than another, but it is reckless to use such comparisons as a basis for deletion. I find it well maintain and a very useful source of news that links me to the relevant articles about news items.
I don't see how mass deletion of content benefits the project. Hawkeye7 discuss , 9 April UTC It seems that any collection of pages will now be subject to deletion. Hawkeye7 discuss , 10 April UTC Hawkeye7 : Are there any reasons other than mass deletion for which you're opposing? Much of the other editors here including myself support only the deprecation of portals, not outright deletion, so I politely ask you to either change or justify your vote.
And it's the people who haven't been here for over ten years and haven't done any work on portals but still post cursory support votes who need to justify why their comments should not be stricken. This is a deliberate attempt to do an end run around our processes, and for a reason: none of the arguments advanced here would be acceptable at MfD. Could the portals benefit from more automation? Is that a reason to delete anything at all?
The proposal violates our first pillar, that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia. It is not enough that information be listed. It has to be organised as well. That is why we have portals and, less usefully, categories. When writing articles, content creators often focus on a whole series of articles on a particular subject area. Portals and topics are often the locus or goal of such efforts. Hawkeye7 discuss , 12 April UTC Can you clarify what you mean by "mass deletion of content"?
Portals mostly consist of just a copy possibly out of date and copied without attribution of the lede of an article surrounded by some pretty formatting and links. The attribution to the original article is clear, just as it is in TFA. Attribution is required when you're copying a block of text from one article to another. The portals are encyclopaedic content, there's a lot more involved than you think, and the reasons given, ie low traffic and lack of maintenance apply to most of the encyclopaedia and are not valid grounds for mass deletion of content.
What value is there in contributing articles under such a regime? It seems that better systems of directing users around has become the norm and in falling out of use they have become stagnant. Even looking at Portal:Arts the most highly trafficked portal due to a link on the main page , it appears to have almost no editor activity edited twice in 5 months. I'd support removing all mainspace links and adding a historical template to all of the portal pages as a good compromise preferred choice. GoodDay talk , 9 April UTC Oppose - the portal system would greatly benefit from some sort if integration with the main article space to draw more attention to it from readers and editors.
Perhaps, every article linked from a Portal page should have a link back to the Portal displayed automatically. Its hard to convince people to use Portals when such a visible portal page still hasn't moved there yet. Do not delete anything, they are project history, there may be value in the history. Instead, for each moribund Wikiproject, redirect to the parent article. In short, they are near useless, they are out of date and misleading for people who find them, and they are near worthless time sinks for an editor who feels the desire to update them.
Do no merge with WikiProject, most WikiProjects are barely active themselves. Also, there are design element in these that may be useful to know about. And the wikimarkup and formatting may be useful for some. I cut my page formatting teeth on portals. Why : There's helpful content in Portals for content organizers, and for readers, and the contents in Portals can often bridge the two groups. How: Perhaps we could have a deadline for portal-deprecation, with prominent notices given that all content should be merged before date.
I oppose deletion of the portals and their talkpages. Quiddity talk , 10 April UTC Quiddity , may I assume that this would happen only after asking the Wikiprojects and getting a positive response? Some Wikiprojects get a bit annoyed when someone messes with their space, an many other Wikiprojects are completely abandon and have nobody to either give permission or raise an objection.
I like the idea of portals, but their execution leaves something to be desired. My main project has a portal that went through the FPo process a few years ago P:USRD and now there's really only one editor maintaining it on a regular basis. I agree with some of the others that the content should be merged into the WikiProjects and not deleted outright. I had been thinking for a while and mentioning to editors offsite my opinion about how outdated the concept of Portals were.
I used to upkeep two myself, I even have a featured portal. However, in this day and age, I am more the person who wants them to stay but marked historic. They were a nice idea 10 years ago, but really, people can find articles one way or another without a portal. Mitch 32 My ambition is to hit. Specifically, I would like to see a portal system with: The automatic production of article synopses of the appropriate length when articles relevant to the portal topic are accepted and the ability to edit these synopses if they need improvement.
The automatic addition of these synopses to the pool from which the portal draws its content selections. The ability to sort or filter the article synopses on the "more articles" page or "more pictures", "more DYKs". The criteria portals use to select content should default to chronological rather than random ie it shows the last article to be featured in that subject. The automatic addition to the portal's content pool of featured and quality images when they get promoted at Wikimedia Commons. The automatic generation of an image summary for the featured pictures based on their synopsis at the Commons, but with the ability to edit and improve it if needed.
The ability to automatically pull pictures from DYK articles to be associated with their hooks on the portal. The ability to randomize all of the individual DYK hooks instead of manually devising "blocks" of hooks. An automatically generated list of new and recently expanded articles relevant to the subject. Foundation sanction for direct outreach by Wikiprojects to portal-goers like offering topical reference desks, advertising within-project contests, user adoption drives, etc. Sorry for the textwall, I just thought it was worth noting that the pro-portal camp has put forth a concrete plan for reform and I think implementing these changes would address most of the ccomplaints people have about our currently busted system.
I like the idea of tagging unmaintained, out-of-date portals with a one-week deletion notice that flags the creator and the associated WikiProject s to either save it or let it be deleted. Project members should be allowed to extend the one-week period if editors are in an ongoing discussion about it. Frankly, I'm surprised at all the support this RfC gets. What's next? Will someone come up with a case to delete little-viewed categories? How about unused helpspace redirects to projectspace? Where does all of this end, and how much of it is due to an objectionable level of deletionism?
Move all portals into Wikipedia namespace and mark them as historical. I've not edited any portals except for italic runs, so they're not an area I work in. But it's odd that this discussion is taking place without alerting every portal's talk page my apologies if they have been alerted as well as giving a good notice on Wales' talk page and again, apologies if it has, I'm not a constant lurker there. This is a major move, to wipe out an entire sub-culture of Wikipedia. Paine comes up with some good "way to go forward"ness. As for his concerns, I have seen, with my own eyes, editors actually contemplating if navboxes I call them templates should be removed from the project.
They already are banned from the mobile edition of Wikipedia. Lots of us love navboxes, they are the maps of Wikipedia. To create or add to a well-designed topic map feels like artwork. Is that what comes next? As I said, portals are not my thing here, so I don't know the level of work and care that has been put into them.
Probably a lot, I'd guess. So this move is pretty major, either way it goes down, which is why every portal talk page should be alerted, so active editors know about it I mentioned it in a move review and I think, judging from the recent comments to this discussion, that that mention at that move review alerted quite a few active editors that this discussion was going on, let alone that they'd have a chance to read six "that's" in one sentence. This major discussion is likely not very well known in the community. I generally support deprecating the portal system, but I think this needs to be a slow, structured process that is developed outside this one-time discussion.
There are multiple things that need to be done e. Our goal right now should be setting the direction and some basic parameters. WhatamIdoing talk , 10 April UTC Support and replace the Main Page links with the corresponding outlines or how about something completely new and refreshing in the top-right? Portal space is dusty and fairly dead. The few people who continue to maintain portals could refocus their efforts on other navigational systems, such as navboxes, sidebars, outline pages, and categories. I agree with some of the descriptive claims of the supporters.
It's true, for example, that I hardly ever edit or use the portals, and I often forget they're even there. But glancing around at a few of them, I don't agree that they're useless — they're a nice way of gathering together related material in a way that catches the eye and sparks interest. They have not served their intended purpose many are completely out of the date. It is time to close the book on this chapter of Wikipedia. Prefer the history is maintained and mark as historical rather than delete though. The entire idea appears to have been abandoned. Without editor engagement, the portals serve little useful purpose.
I think the portal-linking templates that litter the bottoms of articles should be deleted, as well as the links from the main page. Wholesale deletion of the portal pages themselves might be too demoralizing for the editors who created them. Calliopejen1 talk , 10 April UTC Support : Redundant with both regular articles and categories which can provide better content and navigation. ToThAc talk , 10 April UTC Support: I made a proposal to redesign portals, but that's up for a potential eventual return to the concept, if it is accepted.
I agree that the portal system, as it is nowadays, does not work and needs to go. However, as requested by others, you should either make portals historical, or give a deadline before deletion. Graphic organisers are a very useful tool for identifying similarities and differences, particularly Venn diagrams, T-charts and compare and contrast charts. Firstly, students need to determine from the question which events they are required to sequence.
Then, they should locate them in the text and look for any time markers that could be helpful. Examples could include before, then, when, while, after, finally, at last or following. Fun with the Dunns Eleanor began to cry on cue and then smiled at Jake who clenched his fists, got up and headed for the back door. He glared at Imogen and Eleanor, he raised his eyebrows, he slumped onto the lounge and he wrinkled his brow.
Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/RfC: Ending the system of portals
Teacher check 5. Leopards and cheetahs Cheetahs and leopards both climb trees to keep watch for prey. Leopards also climb trees to rest or to store their kill. Cheetah; quickly; large cats, hyenas or other scavengers might drive them away; leopard; it is strong enough to drag its kill into a tree to store it for later.
The writer of Account 1 stood frozen to the spot at first, then tried to get his camera, called out to the creature and chased after it and then finally took some photographs of its footprints. The creature from Account 1 had long, shaggy fur, a short neck, facial features like an gorilla and smelt like a pungent curry whereas the creature from Account 2 had short, fuzzy fur, a long neck, facial features like a orangutan and smelt like strong perfume.
Writing a spy novel She reads the manuscript through, jotting notes on a separate sheet of paper. Then she takes several months to edit the manuscript and finally sends it to her publisher. To be able to predict outcomes, often in terms of the probable actions or reactions of specific characters, students need to focus on content and understand what they read. They need to monitor their understanding as they read, constantly confirming, rejecting or adjusting their predictions.
Page 47 1. The focus of this section is on teaching students how to locate and use the information provided in the text to determine probable outcomes and then to evaluate their predictions. If they can justify their answer, teachers may decide to accept it. Page 48 1. The first art expert had been offered money by the twins to be part of their hoax, so he declared the paintings to be genuine. The second art expert correctly declared the paintings to be fakes. Page 49 1. Teacher check 4. Answers should indicate that Flynn would not be pleased about it. Answers should indicate that Megan would probably try to get to the horse again.
Answers should indicate that Flynn would not be happy about it but Aaron would like to go. Teacher check. Moonlight forest Answers should indicate that Mr Johns seems to be a joker, so her costume will probably end up being close to what she wants. Sequencing — 1 To fully understand what you read, you must be able to work out the order in which events happened.
This is called sequencing. Read the narrative. You know what happened last time your father and I went out—and that was just for half an hour. It will only be for a few hours. Imogen was 16 and was only interested in talking about boys on the phone to her friends. Eleanor was my age and she hardly talked at all, except to boss people around. I glared at both of them. She flounced out. That just left Eleanor. She was looking me up and down. I wrinkled my brow. Surely nobody could cry on cue? Just as I thought this, her lip trembled and a tear started rolling down her cheek.
She smiled. That did it. I clenched my fists, got up and headed for the back door. Remember that the order in which things happen is very important. There may be some time marker words such as then, before or next in the text to help you. Which event happened after Eleanor smiled? What happened just before Eleanor plucked the violin strings? So this is unlikely to be a good beginning of the text.
This about halfway through the text. So this could be the answer. Eleanor smiled. This must be the best This is probably the best answer. This could not be the best answer. Sequencing Practice page Use similar strategies to those on page 29 to practise sequencing. Clues are given to help you. Which event took place first?
You may like to scan the text and underline each event, then find out which one took place first. Publ i cat i ons The best answer is. You will need to find all of these events in the text to work out the order in which they happened. Sequencing On your own Think about the strategies you have been using and work out these answers. What happened last? Write the first and last sentences Eleanor said.
First: Last: R. Writing a spy novel As a well-known author, many people have asked me about the process I use to write one of my spy novels. Here is an example of my usual routine. Once I have a basic story idea in my head, I literally go in search of the main characters. I visit public places where I find lots of people—train stations, shopping centres and parks. I then watch for people who may fit my story idea. I take note of how they walk, how they speak and what they are wearing. After a few hours, I come home with plenty of ideas. I give the characters names, think up backgrounds and family details for them and write their details into a notebook.
Often, I will mix up the characteristics of the people I observed and merge them into one character. Next, I expand on my plot by drawing a cluster diagram. In the middle of a large sheet of paper, I write the working title of my novel in a circle. Then I draw lines out from the title and in more circles, I write the names of the locations and main events that I want to create in the novel. Then I pin the sheet of paper to a corkboard above my desk so I can see it easily as I write. Around it, I pin the character notes I wrote earlier.
Once I return from my walk, I sketch some of the important scenes I visualised. Once all of this is in place, I then try to forget about my plans for the novel for about a week. Then, when I get back to my desk, I can consider everything I have written or drawn with a fresh eye.
Sometimes, I am horrified by some of my weak ideas or I spot a huge hole in the plot. I always feel that this week off is worth it. I take a voice recorder with me. As I walk, I visualise the events of my novel as if it were a movie and talk into the recorder to help record the most vivid images. Sometimes, I even suggest which famous actors I would choose to play each of the main characters.
Now I begin writing! I work on a computer with a large screen so I can see two A4 pages at a time. Instead, I write the most exciting scenes first; the ones I can visualise most clearly. This helps to keep me interested. I only have one rule—I always write the ending last. This is because I almost always change my original ending while I am writing. Once I have written all the scenes, I then put them in order. This is a long and tedious task. Once it is together, I read it through. After this stage, it is time for editing.
Reading hyperfictions: exploring the storyweb
This takes me several months. Then, finally, the manuscript is sent to my publisher. I keep my fingers crossed that they—and my loyal readers—will like it! Sequencing Try it out Use the strategies you learnt and practised in Fun with the Dunns to work out the sequence. Find the part of the text that describes the author drawing a cluster diagram to find out what happens before. Which of these things does the author do before she draws a cluster diagram? Which of these things occurs between the author returning from her walk and beginning to write?
Finding similarities and differences — 1 To help you understand what you read in text, you sometimes need to think about how things are alike or how they are different and to make comparisons. Read the description. Leopards and cheetahs are members of the cat family. Because they both have spotted coats, many people confuse them. Like all cats, leopards are meat-eaters. They hunt at night for their prey, which may include baboons, large birds, antelope and even porcupines. They may also hunt for fish because, unlike other cats, they are strong swimmers.
Leopards are incredibly strong. They can drag the large animals they have killed up trees to eat or store for later. Leopards will often climb trees to rest or keep watch for prey. Unfortunately, leopards are classed as endangered animals. This is largely due to humans killing them for their fur. In some areas, farmers also kill them as pests.
Cheetahs are smaller and lighter than leopards. Their legs are also longer in proportion to their bodies. They are a tan colour, with a pattern of black solid spots on their coats. Unlike other cats, cheetahs can not retract their claws fully, using them for grip while running. However, unlike the other big cats, they can not roar. Cheetahs live in Africa. They are endangered, largely due to habitat loss and because humans kill them for their fur.
Cheetahs are generally solitary animals, but are sometimes found living in small groups. They live in grasslands and open plains where prey is abundant. They will sometimes climb trees to keep watch for prey. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal on earth and are truly built for speed, having very little fat on their bodies compared to that of a leopard. Cheetahs can reach speeds of over kilometres per hour— but only in short bursts. This means they must stalk their prey, aiming to get as close as possible before having to sprint.
Cheetahs hunt during the day, mainly preying on young or small antelope. They are the only cat which can turn in mid-air while running. Cheetahs have larger nasal passages than other cats, an adaptation which helps them to take in more air while they are recovering after catching their prey. They are not strong enough to hide or guard their catch, so they eat the meat quickly before a larger cat, hyena or other scavenger drives them away from their meal. Because of this, cheetahs kill much more often than leopards, who often store a kill.
Leopards live in Africa and some parts of Asia. The adults are solitary animals. They are found in rainforests, mountains, grasslands and even deserts. Leopards prefer to live in shaded areas with some cover, like rocks or dense foliage, to hide in or behind. Like lions, tigers and jaguars, leopards can roar. They also purr when they are content. Finding similarities and differences Learning about the skill Learn how to organise information to make it easier to answer questions about similarities and differences.
However, if there are three or more things to compare, it can be helpful to organise the information in a chart. Two examples are shown below. Choosing the best answer You will find it useful to complete the tick chart above first and use it to find the best answer. Use the information on the Venn diagram to help you find the answer. The leopard and the cheetah both Which two things do cheetahs and leopards have in common?
Meat-eater b They can purr and they have retractable claws. Purrs c They have retractable claws and they hunt during the day. Retractable claws d They are meat-eaters and they can purr. Hunts at night. Choosing the best answer a The leopard is a night hunter, but not the cheetah. So this is not a good answer. This is not a good answer. This is a very good answer, but check all answers. Finding similarities and differences Practice page Use similar strategies to those on page 35 to practise finding similarities and differences.
Refer to the text to complete the chart which will help you to answer this question. Which two things are only true of leopards? Fastest land animal c They store their kill high in a tree and they Tear stain hunt at night. Finding similarities and differences On your own Think about the strategies you have been using to work out these answers. You could draw a chart or Venn diagram on a separate sheet of paper if you need to. What is one difference between leopards and 2. Which two things do leopards and cheetahs have in common? Publ i cat i ons 4.
List four adaptations cheetahs that leopards do not. Complete the sentences to show one difference in the way leopards and cheetahs handle their prey. Finding similarities and differences — 2 You will need to think about how things are similar or different between texts or parts of a text and make comparisons. Read the eyewitness recounts. It was early morning, about 6 am, and the sun was just rising. I had bent down to light a campfire to boil some water for a cup of tea when I heard some rustling in the bushes behind me. I stood up and whirled around, afraid it might be a dingo.
But instead, I was awestruck to see a giant apelike creature. It stood on two legs and was much taller than an adult human. I would guess it was about three metres tall. It was covered in reddish, long shaggy fur and had a large head with facial features like those of a gorilla. It had a very short neck. The creature appeared to be collecting sticks which it tucked under its arm as it walked.
It moved slowly and steadily on its long, powerful legs. I must have stood frozen to the spot for about 20 minutes, watching the creature. I was downwind of it and I smelt a strong odour—similar to a pungent curry. Finally, I thought to get my digital camera. I slid sideways towards my tent but, unfortunately, I trod on a twig, which cracked loudly. Although the creature was some distance away, it heard. It turned its head and looked directly at me with terrified eyes.
I called out, trying to reassure it, but it let out an ear-piercing shriek, dropped its sticks and began to run. I chased after it, but it must have been going at twice my speed and I soon lost it. I returned to the place where it had dropped the sticks and looked at its footprints. I could fit three of my feet into one of its prints. It also had four toes on each foot. However, no-one would believe me.
But I will never forget what I saw that day. I had just bent down to study them when I heard a yelping sound. I looked up—and found myself face to face with an ape-like creature. Its fur was a reddish colour and short and fuzzy. It had facial features like those of an orangutan and a long neck. I leapt to my feet and the creature did the same.
It towered over me, and I am not a short man. It had a ferocious look on its face and I was sure it wanted to kill me. I wanted to run, but I felt frozen. As I stood there, I could smell a curious odour from the creature. The creature raised its hand. It was clutching a bundle of sticks, and I yelled in fear. Then, to my surprise, the creature placed its hand on my head and patted it. Its expression had changed to one of curiosity. It regarded me with its head tilted to one side.
Then it backed away slowly, grunted and strode away on its two long legs. I suddenly remembered that I had my camera in my pocket and I dug it out and aimed it at the creature. At that moment, it glanced over its shoulder and saw what I was doing. It shrieked and began to run, still clutching the sticks.
I marvelled at its speed. I wish I had some pictures of that day to prove what I saw.
Teaching Comprehension Strategies: Book G - Ages by Teacher Superstore - Issuu
It was unforgettable. Finding similarities and differences Try it out Use the strategies you learnt and practised in Leopards and cheetahs to work out similarities and differences. Remember to use charts or Venn diagrams if you need to. The creatures in the accounts are the same because: a They had long shaggy hair. Which two things do the accounts have in common? Write three things the creatures did that were similar. Compare the different actions the two writers took when they saw the creatures. List four differences between the way the creatures looked and smelt. Predicting — 1 As we read, it is important to think about what is happening and to work out what we think will happen next.
Flynn watched his mum and dad disappear into the souvenir shop. He sighed. He was getting really sick of walking around cities on this holiday. That would be much more fun than looking at boring historical sites and museums. He glanced at his brother, who was happily taking photographs of a fountain. Aaron loved history, just like their parents. He tapped Aaron on the shoulder. Publ i cat i ons There was no sign of Megan. A million plans flashed through his mind. Should he and Aaron split up and hunt down different streets?
Should they …? Flynn nodded. He looked at his watch and then ran off down the street, dodging the crowd. The street came to a dead end after about metres. He turned back. A sick feeling hit him. What if someone had kidnapped her? She could only have gone in two directions—either further along this street or down the alleyway. Flynn jogged up to them.
He felt sudden anger boil up inside him and he screamed at her. Her face screwed up and she started to bawl. She clung to Aaron and he picked her up and cuddled her. He shook his head and rolled his eyes at Flynn and walked past him around the corner back to their parents. They were standing outside the souvenir shop with worried looks on their faces.
This could be underlined. What is the writer suggesting might happen? Which of these things do you think Megan would be most likely to do if she saw a dog and its owner? This is not a might just watch the dog; however, when good answer. Flynn is at least partly to blame for Megan c When Megan saw the horse, she ran over running away. So they are unlikely to say to it. The text also says that she likes to such a thing. This is a good answer. They would d Megan was not frightened to run up to a not want to empathise with how he is horse, a much larger animal than a dog. This is not the answer.
This is probably not the answer. They are feeling worried so they will probably speak sharply to Flynn. This is the best answer. Predicting Practice page Use similar strategies to those on page 41 to help you predict what will happen. How do you think Megan might behave towards Flynn for the rest of the day? Which of these things do you think is most likely to happen the day after the story finishes? What do you think Flynn would say and do if his parents were to ask him to look after Megan again?
If Megan were to see the horse again before she, Aaron and Flynn made it back to their parents, what do you think would happen? Predicting On your own Think about the strategies you have been using and work out these answers. Consider the differences between c Megan would have found Flynn. Megan running away.
Explain how you think both Aaron and Flynn would react to their parents suggesting they go on a walking tour of the historic parts of the city that afternoon. Tomorrow is the opening night of Moonlight Forest. I usually feel quite confident about acting, but this time I am really nervous.
And when I get nervous, my mind tends to go blank. I am so worried that I will forget all of my lines. Mrs Sinclair, the acting coach, says that is ridiculous. But I still worry about it! The other thing I worry about is the costumes. My costume is supposed to be a fairy dress.
He then talked loudly to the other cast members about how much he liked tutus and bright colours. My stomach dropped to my knees. I hope he was joking. The thing I worry about least is the other actors. Mr Johns, who apart from doing props and costumes is also playing a goblin, sometimes makes up lines as he goes along as a joke, but I overheard Mrs Sinclair warning him not to do that this time. The only person I worry about in the cast is Jeremy. I think the set and the music are c some of the best things about our play. We are having a string quartet coming e h r e in to play for us.
They are excellent. One of them is my cello teacher! Theyt played the music for our production o r s s r u e p last year and they sold a lot of their CDs to the audience members afterwards. Everyone who has seen it stops and stares in amazement. I am terrible at art and craft.
Which of these things is most likely to happen if Ella goes blank on stage? If something were to go wrong on the opening night of the play, which of these things is it most likely to be? Do you think Jeremy will completely spoil the play on opening night? The tests on pages 46 to 49 will show how well you can: Find similarities and differences You will be working on your own. Belinda had a particular interest in and talent for art, while Isabel concentrated on mathematics and history.
Isabel then went on to study art history and archaeology at university, while Belinda did courses in make-up artistry and painting, excelling at both. She was also able to sell many of her paintings. The twins were not identical and, apart from their red hair, they did not even look like sisters. The trip was supposed to last six weeks. But it was not to be. The twins claimed that while holidaying in France, they had found two paintings by famous artists that had never been seen before. The art world was amazed and curious. The paintings were inspected by a renowned art expert and declared to be genuine.
Promptly, they were sold for millions of dollars at auction. The girls then seemed to disappear. Over the next six months, their parents back in New Zealand received occasional letters from Isabel saying that she and Belinda were well and happy and continuing with their travels. But the truth was about to come out. In return for declaring the paintings to be real, the twins had promised him half the money they made. But they had vanished too quickly and he had never been able to claim his money.
He said that he had met only Belinda in person when she had turned up at his London office and explained their plan. American director Brock Coleson announced in an interview yesterday that he is going to make a movie based on the true story of Belinda and Isabel Kidd. Police are still hunting for the twins to this day. Family and friends claim they have had no contact with them. In the meantime, Coleson has great plans for his movie. It said that she and Belinda were sorry for what they had done and were planning to make amends for their crime.
However, the parents have denied the letter exists. What did Isabel and Belinda do after Isabel finished her degree? In order, list three things that happened in between the two events below. Which of these two things did the twins have in common? Isabel and Belinda are different because: a Only Belinda did a course in art history.
Explain the difference between the first and second art experts. If the first art expert were to find the twins, which of these things would he be most likely to do? Write how you think Belinda and Isabel would react to the news of the movie being made. Give reasons. Which of these scenes do you think Coleson would most want in his movie? To be able to summarise text successfully, students first need to be clear about what they are being asked to do and the form their answer should take.
For example, a one-word answer or a more detailed explanation may be required. It will help if they underline the critical words in the question. This section demonstrates how to decide on the meaning of facts and details provided in text and to build up evidence in order to make judgments and reach conclusions about this information.
They then need to locate any relevant information in the text, underline it and establish how it is linked. His foot struck once or twice against something harder than wood, and looking down he saw stones white with the leprosy of age, but still showing the work of the axe. And farther, the roots of the stunted trees gripped the foot-high relics of a wall; and a round heap of fallen stones nourished rank, unknown herbs, that smelt poisonous.
The earth was black and unctuous, and bubbling under the feet, left no track behind. From it, in the darkest places where the shadow was thickest, swelled the growth of an abominable fungus, making the still air sick with its corrupt odor, and he shuddered as he felt the horrible thing pulped beneath his feet. Then there was a gleam of sunlight, and as he thrust the last boughs apart, he stumbled into the open space in the heart of the camp.
It was a lawn of sweet close turf in the center of the matted brake, of clean firm earth from which no shameful growth sprouted, and near the middle of the glade was a stump of a felled yew-tree, left untrimmed by the woodman. Lucian thought it must have been made for a seat; a crooked bough through which a little sap still ran was a support for the back, and he sat down and rested after his toil.
It was not really so comfortable a seat as one of the school forms, but the satisfaction was to find anything at all that would serve for a chair. He sat there, still panting after the climb and his struggle through the dank and jungle-like thicket, and he felt as if he were growing hotter and hotter; the sting of the nettle was burning his hand, and the tingling fire seemed to spread all over his body. Suddenly, he knew that he was alone. Not merely solitary; that he had often been amongst the woods and deep in the lanes; but now it was a wholly different and a very strange sensation.
He thought of the valley winding far below him, all its fields by the brook green and peaceful and still, without path or track. Then he had climbed the abrupt surge of the hill, and passing the green and swelling battlements, the ring of oaks, and the matted thicket, had come to the central space. And behind there were, he knew, many desolate fields, wild as common, untrodden, unvisited. He was utterly alone. He still grew hotter as he sat on the stump, and at last lay down at full length on the soft grass, and more at his ease felt the waves of heat pass over his body.
And then he began to dream, to let his fancies stray over half-imagined, delicious things, indulging a virgin mind in its wanderings. The hot air seemed to beat upon him in palpable waves, and the nettle sting tingled and itched intolerably; and he was alone upon the fairy hill, within the great mounds, within the ring of oaks, deep in the heart of the matted thicket. Slowly and timidly he began to untie his boots, fumbling with the laces, and glancing all the while on every side at the ugly misshapen trees that hedged the lawn.
Not a branch was straight, not one was free, but all were interlaced and grew one about another; and just above ground, where the cankered stems joined the protuberant roots, there were forms that imitated the human shape, and faces and twining limbs that amazed him. Green mosses were hair, and tresses were stark in grey lichen; a twisted root swelled into a limb; in the hollows of the rotted bark he saw the masks of men. His eyes were fixed and fascinated by the simulacra of the wood, and could not see his hands, and so at last, and suddenly, it seemed, he lay in the sunlight, beautiful with his olive skin, dark haired, dark eyed, the gleaming bodily vision of a strayed faun.
Quick flames now quivered in the substance of his nerves, hints of mysteries, secrets of life passed trembling through his brain, unknown desires stung him. As he gazed across the turf and into the thicket, the sunshine seemed really to become green, and the contrast between the bright glow poured on the lawn and the black shadow of the brake made an odd flickering light, in which all the grotesque postures of stem and root began to stir; the wood was alive. The turf beneath him heaved and sank as with the deep swell of the sea.
He fell asleep, and lay still on the grass, in the midst of the thicket. He found out afterwards that he must have slept for nearly an hour. The shadows had changed when he awoke; his senses came to him with a sudden shock, and he sat up and stared at his bare limbs in stupid amazement. He huddled on his clothes and laced his boots, wondering what folly had beset him.
Then, while he stood indecisive, hesitating, his brain a whirl of puzzled thought, his body trembling, his hands shaking; as with electric heat, sudden remembrance possessed him. A flaming blush shone red on his cheeks, and glowed and thrilled through his limbs. He stretched out his hands, and cried to his visitant to return; he entreated the dark eyes that had shone over him, and the scarlet lips that had kissed him. And then panic fear rushed into his heart, and he ran blindly, dashing through the wood. He climbed the vallum , and looked out, crouching, lest anybody should see him.
Only the shadows were changed, and a breath of cooler air mounted from the brook; the fields were still and peaceful, the black figures moved, far away, amidst the corn, and the faint echo of the high-pitched voices sang thin and distant on the evening wind. Across the stream, in the cleft on the hill, opposite to the fort, the blue wood smoke stole up a spiral pillar from the chimney of old Mrs.
He began to run full tilt down the steep surge of the hill, and never stopped till he was over the gate and in the lane again. As he looked back, down the valley to the south, and saw the violent ascent, the green swelling bulwarks, and the dark ring of oaks; the sunlight seemed to play about the fort with an aureole of flame. It is really madness of you to go walking in such weather as this. And the tea must be nearly cold. He muttered something about being rather tired, and sat down to his tea. The draught was unpalatable, but it did him good, and the thought came with great consolation that he had only been asleep and dreaming queer, nightmarish dreams.
He shook off all his fancies with resolution, and thought the loneliness of the camp, and the burning sunlight, and possibly the nettle sting, which still tingled most abominably, must have been the only factors in his farrago of impossible recollections. He remembered that when he had felt the sting, he had seized a nettle with thick folds of his handkerchief, and having twisted off a good length, and put it in his pocket to show his father. Taylor was almost interested when he came in from his evening stroll about the garden and saw the specimen. I must add it to the flora of the parish.
Taylor had begun to compile a flora accompanied by a hortus siccus , but both stayed on high shelves dusty and fragmentary. He put the specimen on his desk, intending to fasten it in the book, but the maid swept it away, dry and withered, in a day or two. Lucian tossed and cried out in his sleep that night, and the awakening in the morning was, in a measure, a renewal of the awakening in the fort. But the impression was not so strong, and in a plain room it seemed all delirium, a phantasmagoria. He had to go down to Caermaen in the afternoon, for Mrs.
Dixon, though fat and short and clean shaven, ruddy of face, was a safe man, with no extreme views on anything. Dixon was tall, imposing, splendid, well fitted for the Episcopal order, with gifts that would have shone at the palace. There were daughters, who studied German Literature, and thought Miss Frances Ridley Havergal wrote poetry, but Lucian had no fear of them; he dreaded the boys. Everybody said they were such fine, manly fellows, such gentlemanly boys, with such a good manner, sure to get on in the world. Miss Deacon did her best to make him look smart; his ties were all so disgraceful that she had to supply the want with a narrow ribbon of a sky-blue tint; and she brushed him so long and so violently that he quite understood why a horse sometimes bites and sometimes kicks the groom.
He set out between two and three in a gloomy frame of mind; he knew too well what spending the afternoon with honest manly boys meant. He found the reality more lurid than his anticipation. The boys were in the field, and the first remark he heard when he got in sight of the group was:. Then they made up a game of cricket, and he was put in first. He was l. Arthur Dixon, who was about his own age, forgetting all the laws of hospitality, told him he was a beastly muff when he missed a catch, rather a difficult catch.
He missed several catches, and it seemed as if he were always panting after balls, which, as Edward Dixon said, any fool, even a baby, could have stopped. Edward Dixon, who was thirteen, and had a swollen red face and a projecting eye, wanted to fight him for spoiling the game, and the others agreed that he funked the fight in a rather dirty manner.
So the afternoon passed off very pleasantly indeed, till it was time to go into the vicarage for weak tea, homemade cake, and unripe plums. He got away at last. His governor must be beastly poor to let him go about like that. Is old Taylor a gentleman? It had been a very gentlemanly afternoon, but there was a certain relief when the vicarage was far behind, and the evening smoke of the little town, once the glorious capital of Siluria, hung haze-like over the ragged roofs and mingled with the river mist.
He looked down from the height of the road on the huddled houses, saw the points of light start out suddenly from the cottages on the hillside beyond, and gazed at the long lovely valley fading in the twilight, till the darkness came and all that remained was the somber ridge of the forest. The way was pleasant through the solemn scented lane, with glimpses of dim country, the vague mystery of night overshadowing the woods and meadows.
The moon swam up through the films of misty cloud, and hung, a golden glorious lantern, in mid-air; and, set in the dusky hedge, the little green fires of the glowworms appeared. He sauntered slowly up the lane, drinking in the religion of the scene, and thinking the country by night as mystic and wonderful as a dimly-lit cathedral. Oh, in the afternoon we played cricket. There was a boy named De Carti there; he is staying with the Dixons. Taylor was a man of very wide and irregular reading and a tenacious memory; he often used to wonder why he had not risen in the Church.
He had once told Mr. Lucian had mentioned the name of De Carti with intention, and had perhaps exaggerated a little Mrs. He knew such incidents cheered his father, who could never look at these subjects from a proper point of view, and, as people said, sometimes made the strangest remarks for a clergyman. This irreverent way of treating serious things was one of the great bonds between father and son, but it tended to increase their isolation. People said they would often have liked to asked Mr. Taylor to garden-parties, and tea-parties, and other cheap entertainments, if only he had not been such an extreme man and so queer.
Indeed, a year before, Mr. And, as Mrs. Meyrick of Lanyravon observed, his black coat was perfectly green with age; so on the whole the Gervases did not like to invite Mr. Taylor again. As for the son, nobody cared to have him; Mrs. Dixon, as she said to her husband, really asked him out of charity. They were really quite ripe too, and boys are usually so fond of fruit. Thus Lucian was forced to spend his holidays chiefly in his own company, and make the best he could of the ripe peaches on the south wall of the rectory garden.
He was full of a certain wonder and awe, not unmixed with a swell of strange exultation, and wished more and more to be alone, to think over that wonderful afternoon within the fort. In spite of himself the impression was fading; he could not understand that feeling of mad panic terror that drove him through the thicket and down the steep hillside; yet, he had experienced so clearly the physical shame and reluctance of the flesh; he recollected that for a few seconds after his awakening the sight of his own body had made him shudder and writhe as if it had suffered some profoundest degradation.
He saw before him a vision of two forms; a faun with tingling and prickling flesh lay expectant in the sunlight, and there was also the likeness of a miserable shamed boy, standing with trembling body and shaking, unsteady hands. It was all confused, a procession of blurred images, now of rapture and ecstasy, and now of terror and shame, floating in a light that was altogether phantasmal and unreal. He dared not approach the fort again; he lingered in the road to Caermaen that passed behind it, but a mile away, and separated by the wild land and a strip of wood from the towering battlements.
Here he was looking over a gate one day, doubtful and wondering, when he heard a heavy step behind him, and glancing round quickly saw it was old Morgan of the White House. Taylor pretty well, I suppose? Would you come and taste a drop of cider, Master Lucian? Lucian did not want any cider, but he thought it would please old Morgan if he took some, so he said he should like to taste the cider very much indeed. Morgan was a sturdy, thick-set old man of the ancient stock; a stiff churchman, who breakfasted regularly on fat broth and Caerphilly cheese in the fashion of his ancestors; hot, spiced elder wine was for winter nights, and gin for festal seasons.
The farm had always been the freehold of the family, and when Lucian, in the wake of the yeoman, passed through the deep porch by the oaken door, down into the long dark kitchen, he felt as though the seventeenth century still lingered on. One mullioned window, set deep in the sloping wall, gave all the light there was through quarries of thick glass in which there were whorls and circles, so that the lapping rose-branch and the garden and the fields beyond were distorted to the sight.
Two heavy beams, oaken but whitewashed, ran across the ceiling; a little glow of fire sparkled in the great fireplace, and a curl of blue smoke fled up the cavern of the chimney. Here was the genuine chimney-corner of our fathers; there were seats on each side of the fireplace where one could sit snug and sheltered on December nights, warm and merry in the blazing light, and listen to the battle of the storm, and hear the flame spit and hiss at the falling snowflakes.
At the back of the fire were great blackened tiles with raised initials and a date. Fetch a jug, will you, directly? In his boyish way Lucian had been a good deal disturbed by Annie Morgan; he could see her on Sundays from his seat in church, and her skin, curiously pale, her lips that seemed as though they were stained with some brilliant pigment, her black hair, and the quivering black eyes, gave him odd fancies which he had hardly shaped to himself. Annie had grown into a woman in three years, and he was still a boy. She came into the kitchen, curtsying and smiling.
How nice your voice do sound in church, Master Lucian, to be sure. I was telling father about it last Sunday. Lucian grinned and felt uncomfortable, and the girl set down the jug on the round table and brought a glass from the dresser. He looked up eagerly at her face; the black eyes, a little oval in shape, were shining, and the lips smiled. Annie wore a plain dress of some black stuff, open at the throat; her skin was beautiful. The drink was really good; not thin, nor sweet, but round and full and generous, with a fine yellow flame twinkling through the green when one held it up to the light.
It was like a stray sunbeam hovering on the grass in a deep orchard, and he swallowed the glassful with relish, and had some more, warmly commending it. Morgan was touched. My old grandfather he planted the trees in the time of the wars, and he was a very good judge of an apple in his day and generation. And a famous grafter he was, to be sure.
You will never see no swelling in the trees he grafted at all whatever. Would you like to taste a Blemmin pippin, now, Master Lucian? Lucian said he should like an apple very much, and the farmer went out by another door, and Annie stayed in the kitchen talking. She said Mrs. Trevor, her married sister, was coming to them soon to spend a few days. I suppose you must be getting a fine scholar now, sir? Lucian did not find the Blenheim Orange as good as the cider, but he ate it with all the appearance of relish, and put another, with thanks, in his pocket.
He thanked the farmer again when he got up to go; and Annie curtsied and smiled, and wished him good-day, and welcome, kindly. Lucian heard her saying to her father as he went out what a nice-mannered young gentleman he was getting, to be sure; and he went on his way, thinking that Annie was really very pretty, and speculating as to whether he would have the courage to kiss her, if they met in a dark lane. For many months he had occasional fits of recollection, both cold and hot; but the bridge of time, gradually lengthening, made those dreadful and delicious images grow more and more indistinct, till at last they all passed into that wonderland which a youth looks back upon in amazement, not knowing why this used to be a symbol of terror or that of joy.
At the end of each term he would come home and find his father a little more despondent, and harder to cheer even for a moment; and the wall paper and the furniture grew more and more dingy and shabby. The two cats, loved and ancient beasts, that he remembered when he was quite a little boy, before he went to school, died miserably, one after the other.
Old Polly, the pony, at last fell down in the stable from the weakness of old age, and had to be killed there; the battered old trap ran no longer along the well-remembered lanes. There was long meadow grass on the lawn, and the trained fruit trees on the wall had got quite out of hand. At last, when Lucian was seventeen, his father was obliged to take him from school; he could no longer afford the fees.
This was the sorry ending of many hopes, and dreams of a double-first, a fellowship, distinction and glory that the poor parson had long entertained for his son, and the two moped together, in the shabby room, one on each side of the sulky fire, thinking of dead days and finished plans, and seeing a grey future in the years that advanced towards them.
Taylor told the good news to his acquaintances — his coat was too green now for any pretence of friendship; and Lucian himself spoke of his plans to Burrows the doctor and Mr. Dixon, and one or two others. Then the whole scheme fell through, and the parson and his son suffered much sympathy. People, of course, had to say they were sorry, but in reality the news was received with high spirits, with the joy with which one sees a stone, as it rolls down a steep place, give yet another bounding leap towards the pool beneath.
Dixon heard the pleasant tidings from Mrs. Dixon was nursing little Athelwig, or some such name, at the time, and made many affecting observations on the general righteousness with which the world was governed. The dear old bishop had given an address on Auricular Confession; he was forced to do so, you know, after what had happened, and I must say that I never felt prouder of our beloved Church.
It seemed that Mr. Has Mr. Taylor forgotten the vows he took at his ordination? Somehow or other Lucian divined the atmosphere of threatenings and judgments, and shrank more and more from the small society of the countryside. Long did he linger with the men of the seventeenth century; delaying the gay sunlit streets with Pepys, and listening to the charmed sound of the Restoration Revel; roaming by peaceful streams with Izaak Walton, and the great Catholic divines; enchanted with the portrait of Herbert the loving ascetic; awed by the mystic breath of Crashaw.
Then the cavalier poets sang their gallant songs; and Herrick made Dean Prior magic ground by the holy incantation of a verse. And in the old proverbs and homely sayings of the time he found the good and beautiful English life, a time full of grace and dignity and rich merriment. The strange pomp and symbolism of the Cabala, with its hint of more terrible things; the Rosicrucian mysteries of Fludd, the enigmas of Vaughan, dreams of alchemists — all these were his delight. Such were his companions, with the hills and hanging woods, the brooks and lonely waterpools; books, the thoughts of books, the stirrings of imagination, all fused into one phantasy by the magic of the outland country.
Sometimes, when he was sunken in his books, the flame of delight shot up, and showed him a whole province and continent of his nature, all shining and aglow; and in the midst of the exultation and triumph he would draw back, a little afraid. He had become ascetic in his studious and melancholy isolation, and the vision of such ecstasies frightened him. He began to write a little; at first very tentatively and feebly, and then with more confidence.
He showed some of his verses to his father, who told him with a sigh that he had once hoped to write — in the old days at Oxford, he added. So he pottered on; reading everything, imitating what struck his fancy, attempting the effect of the classic meters in English verse, trying his hand at a masque, a Restoration comedy, forming impossible plans for books which rarely got beyond half a dozen lines on a sheet of paper; beset with splendid fancies which refused to abide before the pen.
But the vain joy of conception was not altogether vain, for it gave him some armor about his heart. The months went by, monotonous, and sometimes blotted with despair. He wrote and planned and filled the waste-paper basket with hopeless efforts. Now and then he sent verses or prose articles to magazines, in pathetic ignorance of the trade.
He felt the immense difficulty of the career of literature without clearly understanding it; the battle was happily in a mist, so that the host of the enemy, terribly arrayed, was to some extent hidden. Yet there was enough of difficulty to appall; from following the intricate course of little nameless brooks, from hushed twilight woods, from the vision of the mountains, and the breath of the great wind, passing from deep to deep, he would come home filled with thoughts and emotions, mystic fancies which he yearned to translate into the written word.
And the result of the effort seemed always to be bathos! Wooden sentences, a portentous stilted style, obscurity, and awkwardness clogged the pen; it seemed impossible to win the great secret of language; the stars glittered only in the darkness, and vanished away in clearer light. The periods of despair were often long and heavy, the victories very few and trifling; night after night he sat writing after his father had knocked out his last pipe, filling a page with difficulty in an hour, and usually forced to thrust the stuff away in despair, and go unhappily to bed, conscious that after all his labor he had done nothing.
And these were moments when the accustomed vision of the land alarmed him, and the wild domed hills and darkling woods seemed symbols of some terrible secret in the inner life of that stranger — himself. Indeed, though he avoided the solitary lane, and the sight of the sheer height, with its ring of oaks and molded mounds, the image of it grew more intense as the symbol of certain hints and suggestions. The exultant and insurgent flesh seemed to have its temple and castle within those olden walls, and he longed with all his heart to escape, to set himself free in the wilderness of London, and to be secure amidst the murmur of modern streets.
Lucian was growing really anxious about his manuscript. For six weeks he had not dared to expect an answer, but afterwards life had become agonizing. Every morning, at post-time, the poor wretch nearly choked with anxiety to know whether his sentence had arrived, and the rest of the day was racked with alternate pangs of hope and despair.
Now and then he was almost assured of success; conning over these painful and eager pages in memory, he found parts that were admirable, while again, his inexperience reproached him, and he feared he had written a raw and awkward book, wholly unfit for print. Then he would compare what he remembered of it with notable magazine articles and books praised by reviewers, and fancy that after all there might be good points in the thing; he could not help liking the first chapter for instance. Perhaps the letter might come tomorrow. So it went on; week after week of sick torture made more exquisite by such gleams of hope; it was as if he were stretched in anguish on the rack, and the pain relaxed and kind words spoken now and again by the tormentors, and then once more the grinding pang and burning agony.
At last he could bear suspense no longer, and he wrote to Messrs Beit, inquiring in a humble manner whether the manuscript had arrived in safety. The firm replied in a very polite letter, expressing regret that their reader had been suffering from a cold in the head, and had therefore been unable to send in his report. He felt relieved; the operation that he had dreaded and deprecated for so long was at last over, and he would no longer grow sick of mornings when the letters were brought in.
He took his parcel to the sunny corner of the garden, where the old wooden seat stood sheltered from the biting March winds. At all Libraries. Runnymede has wit and humor enough to furnish forth half-a-dozen ordinary sporting novels. I must a tale unfold; Tom came in yesterday and began to rave about the Honorable Mrs. You know I read everything Mrs. Runnymede writes, so I set out Miggs directly to beg, borrow or steal a copy, and I confess I burnt the midnight oil before I laid it down. Now, mind you get it, you will find it so awfully chic.
Harmless amusement, a gentle flow of domestic interest, a faithful reproduction of the open and manly life of the hunting field, pictures of innocent and healthy English girlhood such as Miss Sanders here affords us; these are the topics that will always find a welcome in our homes, which remain bolted and barred against the abandoned artist and the scrofulous stylist. He turned over the pages of the little book and chuckled in high relish; he discovered an honest enthusiasm, a determination to strike a blow for the good and true that refreshed and exhilarated.
A beaming face, spectacled and whiskered probably, an expansive waistcoat, and a tender heart, seemed to shine through the words which Messrs Beit had quoted; and the alliteration of the final sentence; that was good too; there was style for you if you wanted it. The champion of the blushing cheek and the gushing eye showed that he too could handle the weapons of the enemy if he cared to trouble himself with such things. At last he turned to his parcel and drew out some half-dozen sheets of manuscript, and began to read in a rather desponding spirit; it was pretty obvious, he thought, that the stuff was poor and beneath the standard of publication.
The book had taken a year and a half in the making; it was a pious attempt to translate into English prose the form and mystery of the domed hills, the magic of occult valleys, the sound of the red swollen brook swirling through leafless woods. Day-dreams and toil at nights had gone into the eager pages, he had labored hard to do his very best, writing and rewriting, weighing his cadences, beginning over and over again, grudging no patience, no trouble if only it might be pretty good; good enough to print and sell to a reading public which had become critical.
He glanced through the manuscript in his hand, and to his astonishment, he could not help thinking that in its measure it was decent work. After three months his prose seemed fresh and strange as if it had been wrought by another man, and in spite of himself he found charming things, and impressions that were not commonplace. He knew how weak it all was compared with his own conceptions; he had seen an enchanted city, awful, glorious, with flame smitten about its battlements, like the cities of the Sangraal, and he had molded his copy in such poor clay as came to his hand; yet, in spite of the gulf that yawned between the idea and the work, he knew as he read that the thing accomplished was very far from a failure.
It had escaped his notice that A Bad Un to Beat was in its third three-volume edition. It was a great thing, at all events, to know in what direction to aim, if he wished to succeed. Jumper, who will show you the lovely blue paper with the yellow spots at ten shillings the piece. This then was English fiction, this was English criticism, and farce, after all, was but an ill-played tragedy. But this was a trifle; he did not arrogate to himself the position of a small commercial traveler, who expects prompt civility as a matter of course, and not at all as a favor.
He simply forgot his old book, and resolved that he would make a better one if he could. With the hot fit of resolution, the determination not to be snuffed out by one refusal upon him, he began to beat about in his mind for some new scheme. At first it seemed that he had hit upon a promising subject; he began to plot out chapters and scribble hints for the curious story that had entered his mind, arranging his circumstances and noting the effects to be produced with all the enthusiasm of the artist.
But after the first breath the aspect of the work changed; page after page was tossed aside as hopeless, the beautiful sentences he had dreamed of refused to be written, and his puppets remained stiff and wooden, devoid of life or motion. Then all the old despairs came back, the agonies of the artificer who strives and perseveres in vain; the scheme that seemed of amorous fire turned to cold hard ice in his hands. He let the pen drop from his fingers, and wondered how he could have ever dreamed of writing books. Again, the thought occurred that he might do something if he could only get away, and join the sad procession in the murmuring London streets, far from the shadow of those awful hills.
Lucian felt rather hurt at this letter, but the parson only grinned grimly as usual. He was thinking of how he signed a check many years before, in the days of his prosperity, and the check was payable to this didactic relative, then in but a poor way, and of a thankful turn of mind. The old rejected manuscript had almost passed out of his recollection. It was recalled oddly enough. He was looking over the Reader , and enjoying the admirable literary criticisms, some three months after the return of his book, when his eye was attracted by a quoted passage in one of the notices.
The thought and style both wakened memory, the cadences were familiar and beloved. He read through the review from the beginning; it was a very favorable one, and pronounced the volume an immense advance on Mr. He had a few shillings in his possession, and wrote at once to a bookseller in London for a copy of The Chorus in Green , as the author had oddly named the book. He wrote on June 21st and thought he might fairly expect to receive the interesting volume by the 24th; but the postman, true to his tradition, brought nothing for him, and in the afternoon he resolved to walk down to Caermaen, in case it might have come by a second post; or it might have been mislaid at the office; they forgot parcels sometimes, especially when the bag was heavy and the weather hot.
This 24th was a sultry and oppressive day; a grey veil of cloud obscured the sky, and a vaporous mist hung heavily over the land, and fumed up from the valleys. It was a pleasant and shining evening when, passing by devious back streets to avoid the barbarians as he very rudely called the respectable inhabitants of the town , he reached the post-office; which was also the general shop.
Lucian took it under his arm and went slowly through the ragged winding lanes till he came into the country. He got over the first stile on the road, and sitting down in the shelter of a hedge, cut the strings and opened the parcel. He cut the pages hastily and began to read. He soon found that he had wronged Mr.
Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing
Ritson — that old literary hand had by no means stolen his book wholesale, as he had expected. And Mr. And here and there Mr. Ritson had made little alterations in the style of the passages he had conveyed, and most of these alterations were amendments, as Lucian was obliged to confess, though he would have liked to argue one or two points with his collaborator and corrector. At the post-office, when he was inquiring for his parcel, he had heard two old women grumbling in the street; it seemed, so far as he could make out, that both had been disappointed in much the same way.
Dixon has quite enough to do to relieve good Church people. Dixon, assisted by Henrietta, was, it seemed, the lady high almoner, who dispensed these charities. As she said to Mrs. A large family was an expensive thing, and the girls must have new frocks. Dixon is always telling me and the girls that we must not demoralize the people by indiscriminate charity.
He did not find much satisfaction in thrashing the boy, but he did it with hearty good will. Further on, at the corner where the turnpike used to be, was a big notice, announcing a meeting at the school-room in aid of the missions to the Portuguese. So he lay well back in the shade of the hedge, and thought whether some sort of an article could not be made by vindicating the terrible Yahoos; one might point out that they were in many respects a simple and unsophisticated race, whose faults were the result of their enslaved position, while such virtues as they had were all their own.
They might be compared, he thought, much to their advantage, with more complex civilizations. On reflection, however, he did not feel quite secure of this part of his defense; he remembered that the leading brutes had favorites, who were employed in certain simple domestic offices about their masters, and it seemed doubtful whether the contemplated vindication would not break down on this point. He smiled queerly to himself as he thought of these comparisons, but his heart burned with a dull fury. Throwing back his unhappy memory, he recalled all the contempt and scorn he had suffered; as a boy he had heard the masters murmuring their disdain of him and of his desire to learn other than ordinary school work.