صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Movement and Measure.

In this connection, grammarians make use of the terms, movement and measure. These stand in connection with feet, being constituted by them.

Movement expresses the movement of sounds, in their progressive order, whether from strong to weak, from long to short, or vice versa.

Measure signifies the measure of sound, which pertains 10 the different kinds of feet; or the measure of verse by the kind of feet of which it is composed; as, for exam. ple: verse, composed of iambic feet, is said to be in iambic measure: anapæstic verse, in anapæstic measure: trochaic verse, in trochaic measure, &c.

Measure and metre are thus distinguished: metre is the measure of verse, by the number of feet contained in a line. Measure relates to the sounds contained in the feet, singly, as they seem to move in a measured pace, foot by foot, on recital.

The Different kinds of Feet. The different kinds of feet, which are used in poetical composition, are twelve in number: four of which are dissyllables, and eight are trisyllables. They are composed of long and short quantity in the following manner.

To their names, which are of Greek derivation, I shall annex their explanations in English, with the marks by which they are desig. nated, together with examples of each, in the same lines, respectively Names.

Significations. Marks. Exainples. 1. Iambus, or iambic, short and long.

presume. 2. Trochee, long and short.

baker. 3. Pyrrhic, two short.

to the shades. 4. Spondee, two long

north star. 5. Anapæst, the last side long.

to the grave. 6. Dactyle, the first side long.

audible. 7. Bacchy, the first side short.

the north pole. 8. Antibacchy, the last side short.

night raven. 9. Amphibrach, both sides short.

octavo. 10. Amphimac, both sides long.

supersede. 11. Tribrach, three short.

nu | měrăblě. 12. Moloss, three long

great south sea.

Remarks, &c. These names, which were the technical terms used by the Greeks and Romans, were appropriate in specifying their several kinds of feet, which were composed of long and short quantity, and may be used intelligibly in specifying ours; but not so appropriately, as our feet are not composed of long and short quantity, like theirs, as hinted above; but principally of accents and cadences.

In those twelve kinds of feet is contained a specimen of the different sounds, or combinations of sounds, which are ever found in verse; and these are all which can be formed by language. Verse is composed by connecting these together, which constitute arrangeInents of long and short quantity in alternate and regular order.

Those twelve kinds of feet are of Grecian origin : they were used by the Greeks, and also by the Romans, in their poetical composi. tions, and taught in their prosodies. Our English language is not so constructed, as to admit the formation of some of those feet, so naturally and easily as theirs : yet we find some examples of each, in our English compositions : of the moloss, however, rarely; but every other kind are found more frequently, and are variously interspersed in our poems, although several of them have not been adopted by our writers on English prosody.

We may here observe that the quantity of our syllables is principally composed of accents, but not altogether so. We may also observe that full accents are not, in all cases, required to constitute long quantity; but that, in some cases, syllables, whose sounds are naturally long, will constitute it with a less force of accent; as, for example, the moloss, which consists of three long sounds, must necessarily be formed in this way, as three full accents never come together in English composition. Molosses seldom occur in our English compositions; and when they do, may be formed of some important monosyllable words, nouns, adjectives, &c. - as, in the following: “The deep dâmp vāult.”'“The great south séa.” “A great white throne."

It is true also that our other feet, which contain two long sounds, seldom contain two syllables of equal force of accent; as the spondee, the bacchy, the antibacchy, and amphimac.

And we may also observe, by inspecting our iambic compositions, that the long sounds are not always composed of full accents : nor is this always necessary, nor even possible, as may be shewn and illustrated hereafter. But, in all cases, the long sounds should contain quantity enough, and the short sounds little enough, that they may be plainly distinguishable, and that the contrast in their sounds may be plainly observable.

[ocr errors]

Section II. — Of Formations. On adopting those twelve kinds of feet into English prosody, I have given their names (which have come down to us from the Greeks and Romans) with English terminations: those adopted


heretofore, as our English writers have formed them; and the others, by the rules of analogy in such cases. I prefer this mode to that of giving them in Greek or Latin, as this is following an established precedent, from which I would never depart without a reason. And also because if their Greek or Latin names were retained, the plurals and adjectives, derived from these, should also be Greek or Latin ; which would not be so convenient in writing or speaking, or for an English reader.

In forming those English terminations, I remark, the final syllables, one or more, are dropped in most cases; as, for spondeus, we write spondee; for pyrrhichius, phyrric, &c.

In the word iambus, we have an exception to this rule. If we contract it, in the manner above specified, it would be iamb, and this would mar the etymology. Our writers on prosody have generally retained its Latin form - iambus, which would make the plural — iambi. But, instead of this, they have given it an English termination, by adding es, which makes the plural iambuses. This may be properly done, if the noun singular could be properly admitted into our vocabulary in its Latin form. Others have given it an English termination, by contracting the Latin adjective iambicus, which makes it iambic in the singular number, and iambics in the plural. This latter mode is somewhat anomalous; but this I prefer, and shall accordingly adopt it in this work. But as this may be a disputable point, I would not contend with those who dissent from

The word amphimacer I have given an English termination, by dropping the final syllable er, which makes it amphimac. Perhapsthis may be objected to, as, in this way the final ĉ is changed from c soft to chard. I have done this with some hesitation : and here a question may arise, which of the three may be preferable; to adopt the word amphimacer into our vocabulary, in its original' form; or to drop the final r, and make it amphimace; or to drop the final syllable, and make it amphimac.

On the other words, pertaining to this class, I make no comments; several of them having been introduced into our vocabulary, with English terminations, by approved authority. The others, which have not been introduced heretofore, being now needed, I have taken upon myself the task of introducing them. And as, in the progress of this work, I shall probably have occasion, not only for the use of those nouns, in the singular number, but also for the use of their plurals and adjectives, occasionally, I will here present a list of those nouns, together with their etymons, their plurals, and adjectives. Etymons. Nouns Sing

Nouns Plural. Adjectives.

iambic, iambics, iambic. Trochæus, trochee, trochees, trochaic. Pyrrhichius, pyrrhic, pyrıhics, Pyrrhic. Spondeus, spondee, spondees, spondaic. Anapæstus, anapast,

anapæsts, anapæstic.


Etymons. Nouns Sing Nouns Plural. Adjectives. Dactylus, dactyle, dactyles, dactyle. Bacchius, bacchy bacchies, bacchic. Antibacchius, antibacchy, antibacchies, antibacchic. Amphimacer, amphimac, amphimacs, amphimac. Amphibrachys, amphibrach, amphibrachs, amphibrachic. Tribachys, tribrach, tribrachs, tribrachic. Molossus, moloss,

molosses, molossic. I have been the more particular in giving those different formations, as this is a subject which has not been heretofore attended to. These being a class of words whose orthography has not been fixed, as we see different writers write them differently. Some fixed standard, in this particular, is deemed necessary. Perhaps my list, as above presented, may be found, in some instances defective: if so, I hope the necessary amendment will be made; if not, I hope the list I have here presented may form the orthographic standard, in this particular.

SECTION III.--Exercises on the foregoing. A correct knowledge of those several kinds of feet, and also of their uses, is necessary for those who would attain a correct know. ledge of prosody, or those who write verse.

Here, perhaps, the instructor may find it necessary to pause, and exercise his pupils in the following, or a similar manner. Cite

Connect An iambic foot, decay. Two iambics, I love to read. A trochaic foot, darkness. Three,

s he loves to

{ read his book. A spondee, high life. Two trochees, this is London. A dactyle foot, harmony. A trochee & iambic, this is the last. An anapæst,

to the hills. A trochee & pyrrhic, numerable. An amphibrach, testator. An iambic & pyrrhic, adviscable. An amphimac, counteract. A trochee & spondee, on the blue hills. A bacchy,

An iambic & spondee,

a great sea

snake. An antibacchy, pale faces.

bleeds. A moloss, pale white face. A trochee & iambic, here is the man.

Connect Four iambics,

the God of our salvation hears. Four trochees,

houses, churches, mixed together. Three anapæsts,

I am monarch of all I survey. An iambic and two anapæsts, he fondly to wisdom was prone. Two amphibrachs,

the face of creation. An iambic and tribrach, innumerable. A spondee and two iambics, Great Britain foremost stands.

a high wind.

{ A spondee & iambic, great Julius

Connect an amphibrach and amphimac. Shall wisdom cry

aloud ? = 3 ua Connect two trochees and an amphimac. Restless mortals toil for

nought. A pyrrhic, spondee and two iambics. In the last great rewarding day. Connect five iambics. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Insert a tribrach in an iambic line, 2d place. Innumerable before

th' Almighty's throne. Insert a dactyle in an iambic line, 1st place. Murmuring, and with

him fled the shades of night. Insert a pyrrhic in an iambic line, 3d place.

You brought your Clio to the virgin's aid. Insert an anapæst in an iambic line, 4th place. And temples rise;

the beautěõus works of peace. Insert an amphibrach in an iambic line, 3d place. And temples rise,

thể beautěous works of peace. Insert a spondee in an iambic line, 1st place. Rome bow'd to Pom.

pey, and confess'd her lords. Insert an amphibrach in an iambic line, 5th place. Let this auspi

cious day be ever sacred. Insert a spondee and pyrrhic in an iambic line. Gay dies unper.

sion'd with a thousand friends. Insert a trochee and spondeę in an iambic line. When the world

bow'd to Rome's almighty sword. Connect an antibacchy and bacchy. Night ravens and screech owls. Connect an antibacchy and amphimac. Blue hills and rattlesnakes. Cite an anapæstic line of four feet. On the brow of a hill, a young

shepherdess dwelt. Cite an amphibrachic line of four feet. Some fifty years since, in

the days of our fathers. Insert a bacchy in an amphibrachic line, 2d place. How cheerless,

, the late blooming fuce of creation. Connect an iambic, a bacchy, and two anapæsts. That wrap his

broad path in the mantle of night, Insert an amphimac in an anapæstic line, 2d place. Where the sod

presses damp on their bosoms of clay. Insert a spondee in an anapæstic line, 1st place. Gloom, silence, and

solitude, rest on the spot. Insert a spondee in an iambic line, 2d place. The deep damp vault,

the darkness, and the worm. Connect three dactyles. Gloomy and cragged and mountainous., Connect a dactyle and spondee. Rushing amain down. Connect a pyrrhic and moloss. To the swan's wild note. Cite a line of six feet, containing five iambics, and a bacchy in the

3d place. Go down to yonder church-yard, and read it there with care, Cite a line of six feet, containing four trochees, with an antibacchy,

in the 2d place, and a spondee in the last. Thoughts, like old

vultures, prey upon their heart-strings. Connect a spondee, an'amphibrach, a trochee, and moloss. Kings, queens, and princes, dukes, and landgraves, die.

« السابقةمتابعة »