to take the position he wished, and had reduced their army from 120,000 to 40,000 men.

He now moved forward with his army to reap the results of his masterly plan. But God defeated his purpose. Rain fell in the narrow gorges of the Alps, and the river Po could not be crossed in time. Napoleon reached the battlefield to find the advance division of the army beaten and in full retreat. Old Melais poured the close ranks of his Austrian infantry upon Marengo until even the Old Guard gave way, and the well-planned victory of Napoleon was changed to a terrible defeat.

Just at this moment, when the day seemed lost, Desais, the boy general, sweeping across the field at the head of his cavalry, halted near the place where Napoleon stood. In his corps was a drummerboy whom Desais had taken from the streets of Paris, and who had followed the victorious eagles of France in the campaigns of Egypt and Germany. As the line of troops halted, Napoleon shouted to the drummerboy, “Beat a retreat!” The boy did not stir. “Gamin, beat a retreat!” he shouted again.

The boy stepped forward, grasped his drumsticks, and said, “Sire, I do not know how; Desais has never taught me to beat a retreat. But I can beat a charge. Oh, I can beat a charge that will make the very dead fall into line. I beat that charge at the Pyramids once. I beat it at Mount Tabor, and I beat it again at the Bridge of Lodi. May I beat it here?

We are defeated,” said Napoleon, turning to Desais. “What shall we do?

Do? beat the Austrians! It is only three o'clock, and there is time to win a victory yet. Up, gamin, beat the charge, the old charge of Mount Tabor and of Lodi!”

A moment later, the soldiers, following the sword-gleam of Desais and keeping step to the furious roll of the gamin's drum, bore down upon the host of Austrians. They piled the first line back upon the second, the second upon the third, and the Austrians halted in dismay. Desais fell at the first volley from the enemy's guns, but his troops went on.

As the smoke cleared away, the gamin was seen at the head of the line, rushing right ahead and still beating the furious charge. Over the dead and wounded, over breastworks and ditches, over cannon and artillerymen, he led the way to victory; and the . fifteen days in Italy were ended.

To-day men praise the power and foresight that planned the battle of Marengo, but they forget that Napoleon failed; they forget that he was defeated; they forget how a general but thirty years of age snatched a victory from Napoleon's defeat, and that a gamin put to shame the Child of Destiny.

- From the French.

Tell what you know about Napoleon, the great general who was known as “the Child of Destiny."

The words tent, map, and pins are names of things mentioned in the first paragraph in “The Victor of Marengo." We call these words nouns.

Noun means name.

Find other nouns in the story.

A noun is the name of anything.

Choice of Nouns.

Read the following sentence:

As I went through the woods one day, I heard the plaintive call of a young bird, which was answered by the scolding cry of the mother bird.

As you see, two different nouns were used to describe the sound made by the birds. The little bird made an appeal for help; it gave a call. The mother wished the little bird

to help itself, so her reply was a scolding cry. The two words express the author's exact meaning.

Copy the following paragraph, filling in the blanks with the noun that you think most suitable:

One day in spring as I lay on the soft grass in a shady I heard the soft of the pine trees. From their branches there came the sweet of birds. Near by there flowed a brook with gentle Lulled by these sounds I fell into

from which I was awaked by the harsh of many crows. My pleasant

was ended.



Write a paragraph describing a walk you have taken in the fall. Use appropriate nouns in your description.



Turn to “The Victor of Marengo ” and copy six nouns that mean one thing. These nouns are said to be singular.

Copy six nouns that mean more than one. These nouns are said to be plural.

In the first list change the words that are singular to plural. In the other list change the words to singular.

[blocks in formation]

Write the following words in a column upon the board : bird bee morning night stream sister In a column to the right place the plural forms.

How did you form the plurals of these words? Most nouns form the plural as these words do.

Plurals in "es."

Write the following words in a column upon the board : ditch hiss




In a column to the right place the plural forms.
How did you form the plurals of these words?
Most nouns form their plurals by adding s or es.

Changes in Form.

Some nouns change their form before plural endings are added. Notice the following words: fly lady



With what letter does each singular word end? Look at the letter that precedes it. Is that letter a vowel or a consonant? In forming the plural a letter was changed. What is the letter? To what was it changed ? What letters were added ?

Nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant change y to i before adding es.

Look at the following words:


turkeys In these words the y is preceded by a vowel. How are the plurals formed?

Nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel add s only to the singular,



Re-read “The Victor of Marengo.” Point out the names of particular persons mentioned in the story; the names of particular countries; the names of particular cities and towns; the name of a particular river; the names of particular mountains. These words are the names of particular persons, places, and things. They are called proper nouns.

With what kind of letter does each proper noun begin?

There are other nouns in the story: as, map, field, boy. Each of these words includes a large class. There are hundreds of maps, fields, boys. These words, therefore, are common to a class and may be applied to all objects in the same class. They are called common nouns.

A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, or thing.

A common noun is a name that may be applied to any one of the objects in the same class.


Find all the common and proper nouns in these selections: 1. The stately homes of England,

How beautiful they stand,
Amid their tall ancestral trees,
O'er all the pleasant land!


2. The stormy March has come at last,

With winds and clouds and changing skies,

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