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pathetic, animated, inviting, entreating, commanding, chiding, &c.

These are not accent, emphasis, or cadence; but are variations of these. They are mostly perceptible on syllables which are accented and emphatical; and, as far as they relate to the formation of numbers, may be included in the former.

Remarks. It is here observable that, as accent, emphasis, and tones, have each a distinct office, and mode of operation, it was necessary that each should be distinctly and separately defined. But seeing their offices and operations are similar: emphasis being accent aug. mented, and tones being only a variation of the former, hence, in the formation of numbers, they may come properly under one denomination -- accent, and in this, their joint capacity, have but one common cadence.

In the course of this work, I shall have occasion to speak of these in each capacity, both jointly and separately; and when I say, all sounds consist in accents and cadences, their joint capacity is intended. And this is also agreeable to the diction of my predecessors and grammarians generally : accent, in its general and most extensive sense, is understood to include emphasis and tones.

Of Time and Quantity. Pertaining to verse, and also to the sounds of which it is composed, are time and quantity.

Of Time. Time, as it relates to poetical composition, is the space of time occupied in pronouncing a line of poetry, or any of its constituent parts. We shall here consider it only in relation to syllables.

On inspection, it is plainly seen that our language is composed of syllables, which vary in the length of their sounds: some are long, some short, and some are of intermediate lengths ; as, mat, not, con, &c. are short sounds; mate, note, cone, and grave are long. Some of our diphthongal sounds are longer still; as, voice, noise, sound, bound, &c. Others are seen to be of intermediate lengths. These varieties are seen to exist in syllables, in their primal state, unaffected by accent and cadence: they are seen to exist also, in due proportion, when under the influence of accent and cadence, in composition.

It is also seen, that, when taken into composition, our syllables are variously affected by accent, emphasis, and cadence, according

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to their different degrees of force. By accent and emphasis their sounds are augmented, in time, as also in quantity: that is, their sounds are longer, as well as louder than the sounds of unaccented syllables.

Concerning the relative lengths of syllables, or proportions in point of time, no precise or determinate rules can be given; nor can it be determined what is the difference between long and short syllables, because their lengths are various. Poetic numbers are composed of long and short syllables alternately; and grammarians have laid it down as a general rule, that the proportion between long and short syllables, in poetical composition, is as two to one. This may stand as a general rule, but is not without exceptions; and in all cases the difference is better determined by the ear than by mathematical process.

Of Quantity. Quantity is the quantum of sound attached to each syllable. Quantity differs materially from time: time only determines ihe length of sounds: quantity, the weight, or aggregate quantum of sounds, either longer or shorter.

These technical terms, time and quantity, are derived from the Greeks; and, in Greek prosody, are said to be nearly allied, and that quantity was principally constituted by time, their accents con sisting of long tones; and hence the terms, long and short quantity, were very appropriately used in Greek prosody, and also in the Roman; but which do not so properly apply in ours.

What were the idioms of speech and pronunciation, in those antient languages, is not very well known, nor can be now: since those languages have ceased to be spoken, their idioms are lost, and sunk in oblivion. But that they were different and diverse from ours is apparent, from the best information we can obtain, and from what we can learn of their rules of prosody, their technical terms, &c., which have come down to us; and which, it is presumed, were very appropriate to their languages, but are not so to ours.

In English prosody, time and quantity are two distinct things, as specified above. They have some connection, however, and relation to each other: they commonly go together; they have their seat in syllables, accented or unaccented: they are both affected by accent and cadence; but quantity more than time; and quantity, inore than time also, constitutes numbers. We may observe, however, that numbers are constituted by both of these united.

Verse is composed of great and small sounds, arranged in alternate succession, which are generally called, after the manner of the Greeks, long and short quantity; but with equal propriety, in English verse, they may be called, great and small quantity. These, when thus arranged, form a contrast to each other; and these are constituted, principally, by accent and cadence; but not altogether

and universally so; if this were the case, the names of long and short quantity would not be wanted; for the terms accent and cadence, would be equally proper, or more so.

But quantity is not precisely the same as accent, and is not always constituted by it altogether, as I will show by example:

“Kings, queens, | ănd princès, 1 dūkes, ănd | ländgraves die.” We see, by scanning this verse, that the last foot has three long syllables; the second of which has but a small degree of accent; but the syllable itself, of its own natural sound, being possessed of time and quantity almost sufficient for the purpose, without the aid of accent, plainly shews that accent and quantity are not precisely the same, and do not run parallel in all cases.

SECTION JII. — Of Pauses. Pauses are rests, or cessations of voice, in reading and speaking, and are equally common to prose and verse. The due observance of these pertains to reading and speaking; but their just distribution, and notation pertain to composition.

The syntax pauses, which are taught under the article punctuation, are useful in all compositions, to point out the syntactic construction; and in poetical compositions, they are necessary also, in forming harmonious sounds, and just propositions, and in regulating time, as will be shewn, hereafter, in the proper place.

Grammarians have given the following definitions and rules, for the regulation of pauses, which may serve for general rules, but are not without exceptions.

Pauses are notes of distinction, and are used to distinguish syllables from syllables, words from words, and sentences and parts of sentences, from each other; for which the following rules may be observed.

To each syllable a pause should succeed of perceptible length.

To each word a pause should succeed, perceptibly longer than the former.

A comma marks a pause the length of one syllable.
A semicolon marks a pause the length of two syllables.
A colon marks a pause the length of three syllables.
A period marks a pause the length of four syllables.
The interrogation and exclamation pauses are of vari-

ous lengths, as they sometimes terminate, each, a whole sentence, and sometimes not.


The pause, marked by the dash, is of various lengths, as its situation, and the manner in which it is used, may require : being sometimes longer, and sometimes shorter, than that of a period.

The pause, pertaining to a parenthesis, is equal to that of a

These may serve for general rules for the lengths of those pauses, in prose and verse.

And it may be observed that the above defined pauses have no measured time for their lengths: their lengths are only determined by the lengths of the sounds, as they are pronounced in reading or speaking, either quickly or slowly; in either case, the sounds and pauses are regulated by the same proportions of time.

As pauses are necessary to shew the construction of sentences, in prose and verse; and as they are also necessary in poetical compositions, for the due regulation of time and harmony, the syntax pauses have a twofold use in verse. But as these do not always occur where they may be needed, for the purpose last mentioned, in verse, two other pauses, called poetic pauses, pertain to verse, and are occasionally used, when the syntax pauses are wanting, and which may here be noticed.

The Poetic Pauses.

The pauses pertaining to verse, called poetic pauses, are the final pause, and cæsural pause.

The final pause takes place at the end of a line or verse, in reading, when a syntax pause may be wanting, to mark the distinction between lines, to show when the line is ended, and to prevent its running into another. This pause is less than that of a comına.

The cæsural pause takes place in the middle of a line, or in some of the intermediate parts of it, where time and harmony require it, and the sense and construction will admit it. This pause is sometimes less than that of a comma, and sometimes not.

The above may serve for general rules and definitions, as far as relates to composition. But as rules for reading, some additions, some occasional deviations, and some farther illustrations, may be necessary, as will be shewn in the proper place.

Here end the definitions of the elementary parts of verse; and these (it may be perceived) are no more than the elements of prose, with some few exceptions. These, of themselves, are not poetry; nor can they be called numbers, unless arranged in poetic order. Arrangements are therefore necessary; and the different order of

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arrangement constitutes the difference between prose and verse, and also between one kind of verse and another.

Questions and Exercises on the foregoing. What is prosody? Whence its derivation? Of what does it treat?

What is verse? What are numbers? What are the sounds of which numbers are composed ?

Give a definition of orthoephy; of accent; of cadence; of emphasis; of tones.

Have accent, emphasis, and tones, each a separate capacity, as they are commonly used ?

Have they also a joint capacity, as they are used in poetical composition ? Explain this.

What is time, as it relates to verse ? What is quantity, as it relates to English verse ?

What are the pauses pertaining to verse, and what are their uses ?

What are the relative lengths of the pauses in time? Point them out severally.

Are there poetic pauses also ? How many, and what are they called?


Versification teaches the rules for the composition or construction of verse.

Verse is composed by the due arrangement of great and small, or long and short, sounds, in alternate succession; and this is done by the use of feet.

Section I. Of Feet. Feet are formed by the union of sounds, or syllables, which come under the denomination of long and short quantity, in this manner, debūte, võlcānò, sūpērsēde.

Feet are the component parts of verse; and by arrang. ing them in regular succession, due arrangement of sound is made, which constitutes their harmony, and forms a verse, or line of poetry; as, for example: « Behöld | the mörn | ing sẵn.”

These are called feet, because, when thus arranged, the sounds of the verse seem to move in regular order, and by a measured pace, foot by foot, on recital.

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