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A. 1. In the Hexameter avoid :

a. Frequent Elisions,
b. Defective Cæsura,

c. Spondee in fifth place: and let the first foot

be a Dactyl in preference to a Spondee. 2. The last word should be either a trisyllable, or a

dissyllable. Avoid such endings as

- majoribus est elementis
— pulcerrima Laodamia
— non magna est copia apud me

memorabile quod sit
- animos ad religionem
— nos quoque fulgeremus
- caros ad amicos

- saltus virides per.
3. The line should not end with two dissyllables, as, -

“O bona mater”—“magnam tibi causam.” B. 1. (a) The Pentameter must have its Penthemimers

kept accurately distinct; i.e. the break in the line should be caused by the last syllable in a word, and not by Elision (1). (6) The first Penthemimer should not conclude with a monosyllable (2), unless preceded by a long monosyllable (3), or a word of two short syllables (4).

Hei misero eripuisti | omnia nostra bona ' Quanta in amore tuo ex || parte reperta mea est.

Quod licet inter vos nomen habete meum (2){ Justaque quamvis est sit minor ira dei

(o di reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea. Such lines are quite inadmissible. But lines like the following are not uncominon:

(3) Tu dominus, tu vir, tu mihi frater eras.
(4) Præterito magis est iste pudendus amor.


N.B. An exception may be made when the monosyllable is “est,” and the word before it is elided:—e.g. “Una celebrata est per duo liba dies.”

2. Use Elisions very sparingly in the first half, and

particularly avoid them in the second half of the line; unless a vowel is elided before “est.” E. g. “tuta futura via est.”

N.B. In this way only may a single monosyllable stand at the end of a Pentameter. Such lines as:—

“Hacc illi fatuo maxima latitia est

“Praemia si studio consequor ista sat est
“Omnis an in magnos culpa deos scelus est”

are not to be imitated. 3. The first foot should be a Dactyl by preference. If otherwise, the line should begin with a word of three long syllables, or its equivalent. 4. The last word in a Pentameter should be a word of two syllables', and either a verb, a noun substantive, or a possessive or personal pronoun. The line should not end with a participle, an adverb, or an adjective. N.B. Exceptions to this rule are participles which are used like substantives, e.g. amans, “a lover;” the adjectives “novus” and “pius;” with certain adverbs in an antithetical sentence: e.g. “Ultima Tarquinius Romanae gentis habebat

Regna, vir injustus, fortis ad arma tamen.”
Ov. Fast. ii. 687.

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5. The quantity of the last word should be U –. The line should never end with ā short.—E.g.

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A few ablatives—e.g. Jove, pede, vice, bove, may end the line; and a syllable which is common, as mihi, tibi, or which may be long by position, as pétit, is considered long at the end of a line. Avoid a monosyllable before the last word: e.g. “Gramineos pastor dulce canit per agros.” C. The sense should close with the end of the couplet, and generally there should be a pause at the end of the Hexameter. If, however, the sense is carried on into the Pentameter, the first word should always be a Dactyl, or a Trochee (– J; and a semicolon should be the strongest pause allowed after it. D. Never elide a monosyllable. E. 1st. Never put in Gradus Epithets merely to fill up the line; but take care that they are either expressed, or implied in the sense of the passage before you. 2ndly. Never leave an Epithet out. 3rdly. Never apply two Epithets to the same word. F. Be very careful about the order of your words, especially in the case of words connected by conjunctions, words in apposition, adverbs, and the words they qualify. E. g. take the lines “Nulla superba viri facta, nec arma, cano.

“Nunc volucrem laqueo, nunc piscem ducitis hamo.
“Ducentur capti juvenes captaque puellao.”

The lines would scan, if you were to write;

“Nulla nec arma viri facta superba cano.
“Nunc volucrem piscem laqueo nunc ducitis hamo.
“Ducentur capti capta juvenesque puellae.”

but you would write utter nonsense.

* There are a few instances in Ovid, but they are too rare to justify the violation of the rule. See Fasti iv. 624; v. 620; vi. 422.

G. Never use “is," "sea,” “id,” except in the formulæ,“ Vix

ea fatus erat.”—“Quidquid id est.” It is very rarely used otherwise : though there is an

instance in Ovid, Fasti v. 484. H. Remember that a vowel cannot be short before SC,

SM, SP, SQ, ST, X, or Z. On the other hand, you must not lengthen a short vowel before them. The position is to be avoided.

N.B. Smaragdus (smaragdineus, adj.), Zacynthus, Xanthus, and Scamander, are exceptions to

this rule. I. Avoid the jingling recurrence of the same syllable :

e. g. “mater amata”-“ore priore”_"humilis tantis sim conditor actis”-“O fortunatam natam me consule Romam!” _“O revoca fratrem, revoca,

carissima mater.” J. Depend upon your own ingenuity and memory ;, and

use your Gradus and English-Latin Dictionary

as little as possible. K. In the course of your reading you will come across

exceptions to the rules laid down here and elsewhere in this book. When you have written as much, and as well, as Ovid, Propertius, and Tibullus, you may take the same liberties; but not till then. Use no words for which you have only the authority of Lucretius, Catullus, or writers of the Silver Age. Your “ Gradus " may often mislead you.


a. The use of the singular for the plural, and the converse, is often productive of great elegance. E. g.

Cum flore, Mæcenas, rosarum.
In ramis multa latebat avis.

Supplex tua numina posco. So “nos,” “ noster,” for “ego,” “meus."1 Observe too the peculiar construction of the following line :

Et fêsti, et nostros vidisti flentis ocellos. B. The perf. Ind. is often used like the Greek frequenta

tive aorist. E. g. Illius immensæ ruperunt horrea

messes, “are wont to burst." Virgil, G. i. 49. 7. The perf. Inf. is elegantly used for the present. E. g.

Si pectore possit excussisse deum.—Commisisse cave

quæ mox mutare labores. d. The future perfect may often be used for the future. €. A future ind. active may be expressed by periphrases

like the following-
E. g. Quando erit ut condas urbem ?

= quando condere poteris ?
Quumque erit ut patriæ natalia rura revisam.

= quum patriam revisero. §. 1. The latter half of a Pentameter is often used to

begin the succeeding Hexameter. E. g.
“Tu mea compones et dices, ossa, Propertî

Hæc tua sunt, eheu! tu mihi certus eras :

Certus eras, eheu!1 But“vos," " vester," must not be used for “ tu,” “tuus.”

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