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The English Language

Robert Gordon Latham

Published: 2013-09-12
Pages: 106 (Paperback)

New from: £8.40

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1841 edition. Excerpt: ... it treats as two; and that lines as long as Where Virtue wants and Vice abounds, And Wealth is but a baited hook-- it reduces to a single verse. 312. In Metres of Measure ax, the number of Syllables is double the number of Accents, unless the final Rhyme be single; in which case the Syllables are the fewest. In Metres of Measure x a, the number of Syllables is double the number of Accents, unless the Rhyme be double (or treble); in which case the Syllables are the most numerous. Now this view (which may be carried throughout the whole five measures) of the proportion between the Accents and the Syllables, taken with the fact that it is determined by the nature of the final Syllable, indicates a division of our Metres into Symmetrical (where the number of the Syllables is the multiple of the number of Accents), and Unsymmetrical (where it is not so). For practical purposes, however, the length of the last Measure may be considered as indifferent, and the terms indicated may be reserved for the forthcoming Class of Metres. 313. Of the Metres in question, Coleridge's Christabel and Byron's Siege of Corinth are the current specimens. In the latter we have the couplet He sat him down at a pillar's base, And threw his hand athwart his face. In the second of these lines, the Accents and the Syllables are Symmetrical; which is not the case with the first. Now to every, or any, Accent in the second line an additional unaccented syllable may be added, and the movement be still preserved. It is the fact of the Accents and Syllables (irrespective of the latitude allowed to the final 384 THE PROSODY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. measure) being here not Symmetrical (or, if Symmetrical, only so by accident) that gives to the Metres in question..."
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