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THE

ENGLISH PROSODY:

WITH

R U L Es

DEDUCED FROM THE GENIUS OF OUR LANGUAGE, AND THE

EXAMPLES OF THE POETS.

BY AS A HUMPHREY.

=

Of verse and its component parts I treat ;
Of sounds and pauses, quantity and feet;
Orders and forms display, and numbers teach
In all the various sounds of human speech.

BOSTON:
SOLD BY CROCKER & BREWSTER.

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,

BY ASA HUMPHREY,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

BOSTON:
Printed by 8. N. Dickinson & Co.

52 Washington Street.

PRE FACE.

The science of Grammar is one of the most useful and fundamental branches of literature; and the time has now come when it is generally esteemed as such, and generally studied in our schools; and this circumstance has given rise to many late publications on the subject, and perhaps more than are necessary. Some of those publications we consider pretty good, and others not so good. But improvement in the system is the main thing to be sought for.

On reviewing our grammar in its process by which it has arrived, step by step, to its present state, we perceive that it has been tardy in its progress, and arrived by slow degrees. On reviewing it in its present state, we perceive it to be, in some parts, pretty correct, and on just and stable principles, and, in other parts, defective. And it is to be regretted that we have not had a system of English grammar some centuries ago, which was founded on just and stable prin. ciples, after the manner of the Greeks and Romans. But such are the facts, our language has been a written language from the days of antiquity, and has come down through the dark and barbarous ages to the time of the Reformation, and with but little or no improvement in its grammatical structure. And even since that time, although classical literature has flourished in England for three centuries, and during which period England has produced many good

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