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Example. 1. Tire. Definition of; its divisions; mode of marking them; modo of ascertaining; meridian; the sun; parallel between time and space, inite and infinite.
2. The Feudal System. Its nature and origin, including a clear definition of the meaning of the term; the countries where it existed; the relations which it caused among the inhabitants of a feudal country; its effects apon the morals and the happiness of the respective nations where it existed; the virtues and vices which it encouraged and engendered, and * 1 consideration of the causes of its gradual overthrow.
3. The Grecian Lawgivers, Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus. The differ ent character of their respective laws; the effect which they produced on the people their duration, and the probable cause of their alteration and abrogation the consequences which they produced ; and their compara tive effects on the morals and happiness of the people.
4. The Crusades. What were they? their object; the manner in which they originated; the superstitions to which they gave rise; their effect on the religion, manners, and morals of the age; the vices and profligacy which they engendered; their influence on the moral condition of the world; and the balance of power in Europe; the sacrifices of blood and treasure which they occasioned; the benefits which they have produced.
5. Chivalry. What was it? 'give a clear definition or description of it; how it arose ; the manner in which candidates were admitted to its orders; the most eminent of its orders; the effects of the institution on the morals and prevalent habits of the age; its particular effect on the female character; the virtues and vices which it would naturally engender or encourage; and the good or bad consequence of its universal prevalence at the present day.
6. The ancient Sects of Philosophy. Describe the various sects; their doctrines; the manner in which they were taught; the character of the respective founders; their influence; the remarkable individuals who have embraced the principles of the respective sects; and the effect of their writings and example on mankind, &c.
7. The Public Games of Greece. Their origin; the nature of these games, or in what they consisted; the places where they were celebrated ; the rewards bestowed upon the victors; the estimation in which these honors were held; the effects of these games upon the victors, and upon the nation to which they belonged, by encouraging athletic exercises and spirit of emulation; did the encouragement of physical exertion influence literary or intellectual effort for the better or the worse ? the probable effects of the institution of similar games at the present day.
8. The Grecian Oracles. What they were ; where situated; by whom and on what occasions, were they consulted; the superstitions which they encouraged; their probable nature; their effects upon the religious char. acter of the people; their duration ; probable cause of their falling into disuse; the wisdom of Providence in concealing from mankind the knowledge of future events; fatalism. The following subjects are suggested for tłe unaided efforts of the students
9. The Reformation. 11. The Invention of the Art of Printing. 11. The Invention of the Mariner's Compass. . 12. The Telescope.
POETRY AND VERSIFICATION.
Postry may properly be defined the language of the im agination. Its usual form is in verse,* and it is sometimes, and. indeed most generally, adorned with rhyme. But true poetry consists in the idea, not in the harmonious arrangement of words in sentences, nor in the division of a composition into lines containing a certain succession of long and short syllables.
Poetry | deals largely in figurative language, especially in tropes, metaphors, personifications, similes, and comparisons. It is also exceedingly partial to compound epithets, and new combinations employed for the purposes of illustration and description.
Versification is the art of making verses. A verse is a line consisting of a certain succession of long and short syllables. A hemistich is a half of a verse. A distich, or couplet, consists of two verses.
Metre 1 is the measure by which verses are composed.
* The word verse is frequently incorrectiy used for stanza. A verse consists of a single line only. A stanza, sometimes called a stave, consists of a number of lines regularly adjusted to each other. The word verse is derived from the Latin language, and signifies a turning: The propriety of the name will be seen in the fact, that when we have finished a line we twn to the other side of the page to commence another.
† There are few words in the English language, the true signification of which is more frequently mistaken than the word Poetry. It is generally thought to consist in the harmonious arrangement of words in sentences, and the division of a composition into lines containing a certain succession of long or short syllables. This is a mistaking of the dress for the substance which the dress should cover. True poetry consists in the idea that it may be presented even in the form of prose. It addresses itself to the imagination and to the feelings. Thus the scriptural adage, “Love your enemies," although in prose, becomes highly poetical, when presented with th 3 beautiful illustration of Menon : "Like the sandal tree which sheds a perfume on the axe which fells it, we should love our enemies." This distinction between the idea and the dress which it assumes, must be carefully noticed by all who aspire to poetical fame.
Perhaps there is in no language a more beautiful exhibition of poetical beauties in the form of prose, than in the beautiful tale called “ The Epi curean," by Thomas Moore, Esq.
| It may perhaps be useful, although not properly connected with the ubject of English versification, to explain what is meant in psalmody bv
This measure depends on the number of the syllables and the position of the accents.
The divisions made in a verse to regulate the proper succession of long and short syllables are called feet. They are called feet, because the voice, as it were, steps along through the verse in a measured pace. The divisions of a verse into feet depend entirely upon what is called the quantity of the syllables, that is, whether they are long or short, without reference to the words.
Sometimes a foot consists of a single word, but it also sometimes embraces two or three different words, and sometimes is composed of parts of different words.
There are eight kinds of feet, four of which are feet of two syllables, and four are feet of three syllables.
The feet consisting of two syllables are the Trochee, the Iambus, the Spondee, and the Pyrrhic.
The feet of three syllables are the Dactyle, the Amphibrach, the Ana gæst, and the Tribrach.
The Trochee consists of one long and one short syllable; as, hātefúl.
The Dactyle consists of one long syllable and two short ones; as, hólı ness, thūnděring.
The Amphibrach consists of a short, a long, and a short syllable; as delightful, remöval, còẽval.
The Anapæst consists of two short syllables and one long one; as, contrăvēne.
The Tribrach consists of three short syllables; as, -ritúăl in the word spiritual.
Of these cight different kinds of feet, the lambus, the Trochee, the Anapæst, and the Dactyle are most frequently used, and verses may be wholly or chiefly composed of them. The others may be termed seconary feet, because their use is to diversify the harmony of the verse.
English verses may be divided into three classes, from the feet of which they are principally composed; namely, the Iambic, the Trochaic, and the Anapæstic. To these some authors add the Dactylic as a fourth division; but an attentive consideration of what is called the Dactylic verse will
Long, Common, Short, and Particular metre. When each line of a stanza has eight syllables, it is called Long Metre. When the first and third lines have eight syllables, and he second and fourth have six syllables, it is called Common Metre. When the third line has eight, and the rest have six syllables, it is called Short Metre. Stanzas ir Particular Metre are of various kinds, and are not subject to definite rilis
shɔw that it is nothing more than the Anapæstic, with the omission of the first two unaccented syllables.
Every species of English verse regularly terminates with an accented syllable; but every species also admits at the end an additional unac cented syllable, producing (if the verse be in rhyme) a double rhyrne, that is, a rhyme extending to two syllables, as the rhyme must always commence on the accented syllable. This additional syllable often changes the character of the verse from grave to gay, from serious to jocose; but it does not affect the measure or rhyme of the preceding part of the verse A verse thus lengthened is called hypermeter, or over measure.
Pure Iambic verses contain no other foot than the Iambus, and are uniformly accented on the even syllables.
Trochaic verses are aecented on the odd syllables.
There are seven forms of Iambic verse, named from the number of feet which they contain. The following line of fourteen syllables contains all the seven forms of
"Iambic verse. 1. How blīthe whěn first from fār I came to woolănd win the māid.* 2. When first from far I came to woo and win the maid. 3. From far I came to woo and win the maid.
4. I came to woo and win the maid. 5. To woo and win the maid. 6. And win the maid.
7. The maid. The additional syllable en at the end of each line, to convert maid into maiden, will furnish seven hypermeters, and the line will thereby be made to exemplify fourteen different forms of the lanbic verse.t
Trochaic verse is in reality only defective Iambic; that is to say, Iam bic wanting the first syllable. I The following line is an example of Trochaic verse:
Vītăl | spārk of heāvenly | flame.g
* This measure is sometimes broken into two lines, thus :
How blithe when first I came from far
To woo and win the maid. The fifth forın of Iambic verse, consisting of five Iambuses, is called the Heroic measure. The following lines exemplify it:
How loved, | how vāl | ŭed õnce ăvāils | theě not,
To whom related, or by whom begot, &c.
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
Vi | tăl spārk | of heaven I ly flame.
Anapăstic verse properly consists of anapæsts alone; as,
At the close 1 of the dãy | whēn thē hām | lět is still. The first foot, however, in all the different forms of Anapæstic metre, may be a foot of two syllables, provided that the latter syllable of the foot be accented. Such are the lambus and the Spondce. But the Pyrrhic and the Trochee, which have not the second syllable accented, are on that account inadmissible.*
Different kinds of feet frequently occur in all the different kinds of verse. But it is not always that they can be exactly discriminated. Concerning the Trochee, the Spondee, and the Pyrrhic, there can be little doubt; but with respect to the Dactyle, the Anapæst, and the Tribrach, the case is different;
Vītăl | spārk of | heāvenly | flame. In like manner, if we cut off the first syllable from any form of the Jam bic, we shall find that it may be scanned both ways, with the deficiency of a semi foot at the beginning of the end, according as we scan it in Iambusos or Trochees.
Thus, the line given as an exemplification of the lambic metre, on the preceding page, if deprived in each form of its first syllable, becomes Tro chaic : how) Blīthe whěn / first from fār I | cāme tě | wõā ănd | win thě | māid. when) First from | far i came to woo and win the maid.
from) Far I came to woo and win the maid I) Came to woo and win the maid. to! Woo and win the maid.
and) Win the maid And thus we see, that what we call Trochaics regularly terminate in an accented syllable, as is the case in every other form of English metre; though, like every other form, they also admit an additional unaccented syllable at the end, producing a double rhyme; so that by changing maid for maiden in each of the preceding lines, (as directed under lambic verse, we shall have twelve forms of Trochaic verse. But it may be remarked that of the six regular forms of Trochaic verse, and the six hypermeter related to them, the first three in each class are very seldom used.
* The following stanza is given by some authorities as an instance of Dactylic verse :
Hõly ănd | pūre ăre thě | pleāsŭres of | pīěty,
Rīsing ăn | eārthly ănd / sõaring ă | būve. An attentive consideration of these lines will show that they are legiti mate Anapæstic lines with the omission of the first two unaccented sylla bles in each line. When scanned as Dactylic measure, the two unaccented syllables are omitted at the end of the even lines. By supplying the two unaccented syllables at the beginning of each line, they may thus be show, to be Anapæstic:
Oh hỏw hồ | ly ănd püre | Kre the pleäs | ires bf pi | “ty.
As thčy 're drawn from thě fountain of mēr | cy'ănd love, &c. And thus it appears, that whez. scanned as Anapæstis they want the as cented syllable at the end of the odd lines.