The Mighty Minds of Old

(Update 9/28/14: the Answer Key is now released! Order it here.)

In between homeschooling, we’ve been hard at work trying to get The Mother Tongue Student Workbook 1 Answer Key released.  We know you are eagerly awaiting those answers! It should be available to purchase in the next few days.

The Answer Key will have just what you need to check your grammar student’s work (answers!), but it also comes with an added bonus. We have gathered the original source of nearly all the sentences or passages used in The Mother Tongue: Adapted for Modern Students. The vintage text by George Kittredge and Sarah Arnold was packed with practice sentences taken from great English writers such as Shakespeare, Spenser, Scott, and Wordsworth. In our answer key, you will be able to see the author and source of the various selections found in the book. (Check out a sample of the Answer Key.)

As I researched for the key, I came across this poem by Robert Southey:

The Scholar

My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where’er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old:
My never failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.
With them I take delight in weal
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew’d
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.
My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

Having spent several weeks with the words of Cowper, Dryden, Scott, and Shakespeare, and Milton, and others, I have felt surrounded by mighty minds of old. We live in an age that dismisses the Dead as having nothing for us, but if we fail to spend time in long-past years, loving the virtues and condemning the faults of the past, we cannot learn the lessons left for us.


Photo credit: Detail from Portrait of Robert Southey, English Poet, painted by John James Masquerier, 1800. Wikicommons.


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