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Our Verses then consist in a certain Number of Syllables ; 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 fo various that he feem'd to be
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 1o.
In a Poem whose Verses consist of %, the double Rhymes require 9; as,
Wben hard Words, Jealousies and Fears,
Hud. In a Poem whose Verses consist of 7, the double Rhymes ro quire ; & as,
All thy Verse is Softer far
Cowl. This must also be observ'd in Blank Verse ; as,
Welcome, thou worthy Partner of my Lawrels !
And this Verfe of Milton,
Void of al Succour and needful Comfort. wants a Syllable ; for, being accented on the last save one, it ought to have it, as all the Verfes but 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
3 Syllables : Of the due Observation of the Accent, and of the Pause.
UR Poetry admits for the most part but of Three forts
of Verses ; that is to say, of Verses of 10, 8, or 7 Syllables: 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 Verfe, and when rightly made use of, carry a peculiar Grace with them. See the next Section towards the End.
The Verses of 10 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 juft Number of Syllables ; the true Harmony of them depends on a due Obsera
; vation 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 Rest or Stop that is made in pronouncing the Verse, and that divides it, as it were, into Two Parts ; each of which is callid an Hemittich, or Half-Verse.
But this Division is nor always equal, that is to say, one of the Half Verses does not always contain the same Number of Syllables as the other : And this Inequality proceeds from the Seat of the Accent that is strongest, and prevails most inte for Half-Verse. For the Paufe must be oblerv'd at the
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 oth; which produces s several Pauses, that is to say, 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 fave one of a Word; as,
As busy-as intentive Emmets are ; :
Dav. 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 2d 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 6ch..
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,
At the sth in 2 Manners :
Like bright Aurora—whose refulgent Ray
Wall. 2. Or the last of the Word, if the next be a Monofyllable 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 fave Two of a Word; as,
Those Seeds of Luxury,--Debate, and Pride. Wall. Lastly, When the Accent is on the 6th Syllable of the Verse, the Pause will be either at the samc 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 refolu'd to die.
At the 7th in Two manners : 1. When it happens to be the last fave one of a Word; as, Nor when the War is over,
is it Peace.
Dryd. Mirrors are taught to flatter,- -but our Springs.
Wall. 2: Or the last of a Word, if the following one be a Monosyllable whose Construction depends on the preceding Word on which the Accent is ; as,
And since he could not save her, with her dy'd. Dryd. From all this it appears, that the Pause is determin'd by the Seat of the Accent, but if the Accents happen to be equally strong on the ad, 4th, and 6th Syllable of a Verse, the Sense and Construction of the Words must then guide to the Obsera vation of the Pause. For Example ; In one of the Verses I cited as an Instance of it at the 7th Syllable,
Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our Springs. The Accent is as strong on Taught, as the first Syllable of Flatter ; and if the Pause were observ'd at the 4th Syllable of the Verse, it would have nothing disagreeable in its Sound; as,
Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our Springs
Present th'impartial Images of things. Which tho' it be no Violence to the Ear, yet it is to the Sense, and that ought always carefully to be avoided in reading or in repeating of Verses.
For this Reafon it is, that the Construction or Sense should never end at a Syllable where the Pause ought not to be made; as at the 8th and 2d in the Two following Verses:
Bright Hesper twinkles from afar:- Away
My Kids! --for you have had a Ferft to Day. Staff. Which Verses have nothing disagreeable in their Structure but the Pause, which in the first of them must be observ'd at the 8th Syllable, in the ad at the 2d; and so unequal a Divifion can produce no true Harmony. And for this Reason too, the Pauses at the 3d and 7th Syllables, tho' not wholly to be condemn'd, ought to be but sparingly practis’d.
The foregoing Rules ought indispensibly to be follow'd, in all our Verses of 10 Syllables; and the Observation of them, like that of right Time in Musick, will produce Harmony; the Neglect of them Harshness and Discord; as appears by the following Verses ;
None think Rewards render'd worthy their Worth.
Dav. In which, tho' the true Number of Syllables be observ'd, yet neither of them have so much as the Sound of a Verse : Now
their Disagreeableness proceeds from the undue Seat of the Accent: For Example, The first of them is accented on the sth and 7th Syllables; but if we change the Words, and remove the Accent to the 4th and 6th, the Verse will become smooth and easie ; as,
None think Rewards are equal to their Worth. The Harshness of the last of them proceeds from its being accented on the 3d Syllable, which may be mended thus, by transposing only one Word;
Cowl. Against the Insults of the Wind and Tide.
Blac.. A second Esay will the Pow'rs appease.
Blac, With Scythians expert in the Dart and Bom.
Dryd, are rough, because the foregoing Rules are not obferv'd in their Stru&ure: For Example, The first, where the Pause is at the 5th Syllable, and the Accent on the 3d, is contrary to the Rule, which says, that the Accent that determines the Pause must be on the 2d, 4th, or 6th Syllable of the Verse ; and to mend that Verse we need only place the Accent on the 4th, and then the Pause at the sth will have nothing disagreeable ; as,
Thus to be murthur’d, not in Battle flain. The second Verse is accented on the 3d Syllable, and the Pause is there too ; which makes it indeed the thing it expresfes, forc d, harsh, and uneasie ; it may be mended thus,
But forc'd and harsh, uneasie unto all. The 3d, 4th, and sth of those Verses have like Faults; for the Pauses are at the sth, and the Accent there too, which is likewise contrary to the foregoing Rules: Now they will be made smooth and flowing, by taking the Accent from the sth, and removing the Seat of the Pause; as.
Againt th’Insults both of the Wind and Tide.
A second Trial will the Pop'rs appease.
With Scythians skilful in the Dart and Boro. From whence we conclude, that in all Verses of 10 Sylla. bles, the most prevailing Accents ought to be on the 2d, 4th, or 6th Syllables; for if they are on the 3d, sth, or 7th, the Verses will be rough and disagreeable, as has been prov'd by the preceding Instances.
In short, the wrong placing of the Accent is as great a Fault in our Versification, as false Quantity was in that of the Antients; and therefore we ought to take equal care to avoid it, and endeavour so to dispose the Words, that they may create a