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And in many other places exactly after the cast of the ancient plays. There are some poetic liberties that our author takes, such as ' lengthening words in scansion, as wītěness, fiděler, āngěry, Heněrī, sārjčānt, cāptăin, ftātúe, desire, villăin, fire, böūr, grăce, grčāt, &c.
VOSSIUS spoke very ignorantly of our language when he asserted that our verses run all, as it were, in one measure, without distinction
i Our editors not knowing this have turned some parsages into prose : viz. Midsummer Night's dream, Aet IV. Queen. I have a venturous Fairy that shall seek
The squirrels böārd, and fetch thee new nuts." Other passages they have altered. viz. Macbeth, AA I.
“ Mal. This is the sērjčānt
“ Who like a good and hardy soldier fought." Thus arbitrarily changed,
- This is the serjeant, who “ Like a good right and hardy soldier fought.” And presently after,
“ Dismay'd not this “ our captăīns, Macbeth and Banquo. Capt. Yes
“ As sparrows eagles." Altered into, " Our captains, brave Macbeth and Banquo. Capt. Yes."
of members or parts, or any regard to the natural quantities of syllables. For are not these fubftantives as much trochees, conduet, confort, conteft, &c. and the verbs from these substantives, as much iambics, condúet, confórt, contéft, &c. as any Latin or Greek words whatever ? Again, sinful, fáithful, náture, vénture, &c. have all the first fyllable long. However our position in the main determines the quantity, and a great deal is left to the ear. There is no need at present to mention more of these alterations. Let us now turn to some other poets. Spencer. B. 2. c. 9. st. 15.
66. And evirmore their cruel cāptăine.” And B. 6. c. 10. ft. 36.
“ And hewing off its head, it presented." Fairfax. B. VI. st. 103.
“ Spred frostie pēărle on the canded ground.” And B. XV. st. 12. • Some spred their failes, some with strong õårs sweep." The Latin writers are not without instances of adding to the syllables of words in scansion. Lucretius, Lib. VI.
« Quæ calidum faciunt aquãē tałtum atque faporem." Horatius, Lib. I. od. 23.
" Aurarum et sildāē metu.” Here aquæ and sylva of two syllables, are both to be read as if of three syllables,
But let us take any verse in Milton or Shake speare, for example. Sảy first for heav'n hỉdes nõ thing from thỹ việw.
4 I 5 And transpose the words, Say firft for heav'n nothing from thy view hides. 'I
5 who cannot' feel the difference, even supposing he could not give a reason for it?
THE greatest beauty in diction is, when it corresponds to the sense. This beauty our language, with all its disadvantages, can attain ; as I could easily instance from Shakespeare and Milton. We have harsh, rough consonants, as well as the soft and melting, and these should sound in the same musical key. This rule is most religiously observed by Virgil ; as is likewise that of varying the pause and cesura, or as
i Quotusquisque est, qui teneat artem numerorum ac modorum ? At fi in his paulum modo offensum est, ut aut contractione brevius fieret, aut productione loogius, theatra tota reclamant. Cicero in Orat. "Hem do we xj Év Tois moλυανθρωπολατοις θεάτρους, ά συμπληροί σανλοδαπός και άμεσος όχλος, έδοξα καλαμαθείν ως φυσική τις εσίν απάντων ημών οικειότης σεός ευμέλειάν τε και έυθμίαν. Dionyf. Hal. p. 72. Edit. Lond.
Milton expresses it, the fenfe being variously drawn out from one verse into another. For it is variety and uniformity that makes beauty ; and, for want of this, our riming poets soon tire the ear: for rime necessarily hinders the sense from being variously drawn out from one verse to another. They who avoid this Gothic bondage, are unpardonable, if they don't study this variety, when Shakespeare and Milton have fð finely led them
But to treat this matter, concerning his metre, somewhat more exactly: 'tis observed that when the iambic verse has it's just number of syllables, 'tis called acatalectic ; when deficient in a syllable catale&tic ; when a foot is wanting to compleat the dipod, according to the Greek scansion, brachycatale&tic ; when exceeding in a syllable, bypercatalectic.
lambic monometer hypercatalectic, of two feet and a semiped.
Thěn yiēld | thee cow
The lambic dimeter brachycatalectic of three feet. Běā | tủs il | le qūi