Imatges de pÓgina

on Love, where I have given the different Sentiments which Mankind, according to their several Temperaments, ever had, and ever will have of it ; fuch may observe, that I have strictly avoided all manner of Obscenity throughout the whole Collection: And tho' here and there a Thought may perhaps have a Cast of Wantonness, yet the cleanly Metaphors palliate the Broadness of the Meaning, and the Chaftness of the Words qualifies the Lasciviousness of the Images they represent. And let them farther know, that I have not always chosen what I most approv'd, but what carries with it the best Strokes for Imitation : For, upon the whole matter, it was not my Business to judge any farther, than of the Vigour and Force of Thought, of the Purity of Language, of the Aptness and Propriety of Expression ; and above all, of the Beauty of Colouring, in which the Poet's Art chiefly consists. Nor, in short, would I take upon me to determine what things should have been faid; but have shewn only what are said, and in what manner.



For making


N the English Versification there are two Things chiefly to

be consider'd ; 1. The Verses. 2. The several Şorts of Poems, or Compositions in Verle.

, But because in the Verses there are also cwo Things to be obsery'd, The Structure of the Verse, and the Rhyme; this Treatise shall be divided into three Chapters;

I. Of the Structure of English Verses. - II. Of Rhyme. III. Of the several Sorts of Poems, or Compositions in Verse.

CH A P. I.

Of the Structure of English Verses.
He Structure of our Verses, whether Blank, or in Rhyme;

consists in a certain Number of Syllables; noc in Feet compos'd of long and short Syllables, as the Verses of the Greeks and Romans. And though some ingenious Persons formerly puzzled themselves in prescribing Rules for the Quana tity of English Syllables, and, in Imitation of the Latins, comé pos’d Verses by the measure of Spondees, Da&tyls, &c. yet the Success of their Undertaking has fully evinc'd the Vainness of their Attempt, and given ground to suspect they had nog throughly weigh'd what the Genius of our Language would bear ; nor reflected that each Tongue has its peculiar Beaua ties, and that what is agreeable and natural to one, is very often disagreeable, nay, inconsistent with another. But that Design being tow wholly exploded, it is sufficient to have mention'd it


Our Verfes then consist in a certain Number of Sylla. bles; but the Verses of double Rhyme require a Syllable more than those of single Rhyme. Thus in a Poem whose Verses consist of ten Syllables, those of the same Poem that are accented on the last fave one, which we call Verses of double Rhyme, must have eleven ; as may be seen by these Verses.

A Man so various that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all Mankind's Epitome :
Stiff in Opinion, always in the Wrong,
Was ev'ry thing by starts, and nothing long ;
But, in the Course of one revolving Moon,
Was Fidler, Chymist, Statesman, and Buffoon:
Then all for Women, Painting, Rhyming, Drinking;
Besides Ten thousand Freaks that dy'd in Thinking.
Praising and Railing were his usual Themes,
And both, to shew his Judgment in Extreams.
So over-violent, or over-civil,

Man with him was God or Devil. Dryd. Where the 4 Verses that are accented on the last fave one have 11 Syllables; the others, accented on the last, but io.

In a Poem whofe Verses consist of 8, the double Rhymes require 9; as,

Wben hard Words, Jealoufies and Fears,
Set Folks together by the Ears ;
And made em fight, like mad, or drunk,
For Dame Religion, as for Punk ;
Whose Hoxelty they all durft swear for,
Tho' not a Man of 'em knew wherefore :
Then did Sir Knight abandon Dwelling,
And out he rode 4 Colloneling.

Hud. In a Poem whose Verses consist of 7, the double Rhymes ro quire ; 8 as,

All thy Verse is fofter far
Than the downy Feathers are
of my Wings, or of my Arrows,
of my Mother's Doves or Sparrows.

Cowl. This must also be observ'd in Blank Verfe; as,

Welcome, thou worthy Partner of my Lawrels !
Thou Brother of my Choise ! A Band more sacred
Than Nature's brittle Tyé. By holy Friendship!
Glory and Fame stood fill for thy Arrival:
My Soul seem'd wanting of its better Half,
And languish'd for thy Absence, like a Prophet
Who waits ibe Inspiration of his God.



And this Verfe of Milton,

Void of all Succour and needful Comfort. wants a Syllable ; for, being accented on the last fave one, it ought to have it, as all the Verfes buc Two of the preceding Example have: But if we transpose the Words thus,

of Succour and all needful Comfort void. it then wants nothing of its due Measure, because it is accented on the last Syllable.


Of the several sorts of Verses ; and, first, of those of Ten Syllables : Of the due Observation of the Accent, and of the Pauses

but of Verses; that is to say, of Verles of 10, 8, or 7 Sylla bles: Those of 4,6,9, 11, 12, and 14, are generally employ'd in Masks and Operas, and in the Stanzas of Lyrick and Pindarick Odes, and we have few intire Poems compos’d in any of those forts of Verses. Those of 12 and of 14 Syllables are frequently inserted in our Poems in Heróick Verse, and when rightly made use of, carry a peculiar Grace with them. See the bext Section towards the End.

The Verses of ro Syllables, which are our Heroick, are us'd in Heroick Poems, in Tragedies, Comedies, Pastorals, Elegies, and sometimes in Burlesque.

In these Verses Two things are chiefly to be consider'd ;
1. The Seat of the Accent;
2. The Pause.

For, 'tis not enough that Verses have their just Number of Syllables ; the true Harmony of them depends on a due Obfervation of the Accent and Pause.

The Accent is an Elevation or a falling of the Voice on a certain Syllable of a Word.

The Pause is a Reft or Stop that is made in pronouncing the Verse, and that divides it, as it were, into Two Parts ; each of which is call’d an Hemistich, or Half-Verse. But this

Division is nộr always equal, that is to say, one of the Half-Verses does not always contain the fame Number of Syllables as the other : And this Inequality proceeds from the Seat of the Accent that is strongest, and prevails most in te first Half-Verse. For the Paufe must be observ'd at the ti

the Word where such Accent happens to be, or at the End of the following Word.

Now in a Verse of 10 Syllables this Accent must be either on the 2d, 4th, or 6th ; which produces 5 several Pauses, that is to lay, at the 3d, 4th, sth, 6th, or 7th Syllable of the Verse: For,

When it happens to be on the 2d, the Pause will be either at the 3d or 4th.

At the 3d, in Two Manners:
1. When the Syllable accented happens to be the last save one
of a Word ; as,

As busymas intentive Emmets are;
Or Cities-hom unlook'd-for Sieges scare:

Day. 2. Or when the Accent is on the last of a Word, and the next a Monofyllable, whose Construction is govern'd by that on which the Accent is; as,

Despise it, and more noble Thoughts pursue. Dryd. When the Accent falls on the ad Syllable of the Verse, and the last save Two of a Word, the Pause will be at the 4th; as, He meditates his absent Enemy.

Dryd. When the Accent is on the 4th of a Verse, the Pause will be either at the same Syllable, or at the sth or 6th.,

At the same, when the Syllable of the Accent' happens to be the last of a Word; as,

Such huge Extreams inhabit thy great Mind,
God-like, unmov'd, - and yet,-like Woman, kind. Wall.

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At the sth in 2 Manners :
1. When it happens to be the last fave one of a Word; as,

Like bright Aurora---whose refulgent Ray
Foretells the Fervour- of ensuing Day;
And warns the Shepherd-with his Flocks, retreat
To leafy Shadows---from the threaten'd Heat.

Wall. 2. Or the last of the Word, if the next be a Monosyllable govern'd by it ; as,

So fresh the Wound is--and the Grief so vast. Wall. At the 6th, when the Syllable of the Accent happens to be the last save Two of a Word; as,

Those Seeds of Luxury,--Debate, and Pride. Wall. Lally, When the Accent is on the 6th Syllable of the Verse, the Pause will be either at the same Syllable or at the 7th.

At the same, when the Syllable of the accent happens to be the last of a Word ; as, She meditates Revenge-resolu'd to die,



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