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ment of the accent are various: the foot may consist of two syllables or of three, and a very different effect is produced, according as one syllable or other of the number is the one emphasized.

But besides the accentual system, which we may look on as native, there is another, and rival, against which it has to make good its ground. This is the totally different base of quantity or prosody, on which the Greeks, closely imitated by the Latins, constructed the whole body of their poetry.

Prosody was a regulation of syllables by their vowels and consonants according to ease of utterance. We are accustomed to say loosely of this system, a vowel before another became short, one before two consonants long—a mere figure of speech, the vowel itself not being qualified by such considerations, only the syllable generally.

It seems strange to us how so subtle a distinction as that of time in pronouncing a syllable could ever have made itself felt, but it was probably accompanied by a cadencing of the voice in marked rise and fall.

The ways in which it was possible to arrange syllables two and three together by this method were many and various, but all those with which it is necessary for us to concern ourselves are these five, the most important : Of Two Syllables.

Of Three Syllables.
A spondee—both long A dactyl-long short short
An iambus-short long An anapæst-short short long
A trochee-long short

Now, whatever the respective merits of the two systems, one thing it behoves, namely, not to confound them. This, however, appears rather to have been sought than avoided. Certain souls who saw nothing but Latin and Greek, or their reflex, in all the universe, hit on the happy expedient of calling the English feet by the above names, applied on this wise. Take an accented syllable to represent a long one, an unaccented a short, and arrange equivalents according, to go by the same names.

The feet thus dubbed are then to be

deemed real dactyls, trochees, or what not, because of the nominal identity thus brought about, and are to be supposed capable of being put through exactly the same paces. A real dactyl is a very different thing from a three-syllabled foot accented on the first, a real anapæst from one accented on the last.

The ancient system may or may not be applicable to our language that is a point for after regard; but this much is certain, we have an independent system which is not the ancient, and which should not always be liable to confusion with it by the retention of three or four mere unmeaning appellatives.

From this digression, entered into to show cause for the proposed innovation, we will now return to accentual feet, and state what names it seems most fitting to adopt instead of the prosodial, henceforth to be restricted to a quantitative meaning only.

For the two-syllabled foot with the accent on the close, by far the most predominant in the language, the term march is proposed instead of iambus, as indicative of the steady pace of verses composed in that metre.

For feet of the same length, but with the accent on the first syllable, instead of trochee the term trip or tripping will be employed, also indicative of the peculiar pace of the metre.

Of three-syllabled feet, that with the accent on the last instead of anapæst will be called quick, as essentially its metrical characteristic wherever employed.

With the accent on the opening syllable instead of dactyl, revert is suggested; perhaps not so inappropriate as it may appear at first sight, but anyhow it is a foot and term which will trouble us little.

As for spondee, it can have no accentual equivalent except with spondaic usage of weight, which makes it unnecessary to change the name. This foot may be dropped out of sight altogether for a season.

These four new names—march, trip, quick, and revert, are surely not too much to burden the memory with, and, as has been shown, are neither unnecessary nor inappropriate : did we go on talking of iambus, trochee, anapæst, and dactyl, certain it is the confusion would be greater in the long run.

Owing in a great measure to the adoption of prosodial names for accentual feet, it has been far too much overlooked of what an utterly different nature the English foot really is. The weight of syllable, which in Greek is everything, in English is not meted at all, or only exceptionally by way of effect, but is left at the discretion of the poet, as we shall see every one of the other metric elements of verse without exception is in turn singly dropped or brought into prominence in various metres.

The English foot, as a foot, has regard only to the position of the accent: the syllables themselves are as slaves, incapable of self-assertion. The verse moves on with all its various tones perfectly unrestrained; the regulating accent comes beating time at set intervals, and that is all. But the point at which it is wished to arrive is this—the extent to which this fundamental difference affects the combinations of the feet together in mixed metre.

Of the four varieties of foot described, two have the accent at the close, two at the beginning of it. This divides them into two natural classes, which tend to have their affinities among themselves, but are rather antagonistic one to the other.

The former of the two classes, namely, that with the accent at the close of the foot, is of vastly preponderating importance, the reason of which lies in the structural peculiarities of the English tongue, only by a right comprehension of which shall we see our way without error.

First, be it observed that much most usually the accent of a word of two or more syllables falls early: words accented otherwise are of course not rare, but few and far between in comparison to the mass the other way.

The accents, however, in their connection one among another tend decidedly to have the beat at the end of the foot. The two practices are not really opposed; it is only in

perfect accordance that the accent of the longer words is thrown early: symmetry requires this toothing into the coming word as favourable to union and variety.

This fact of English innately leaning to that run of accents which places the stroke at the end of the foot, independently of other sources, might be gathered from the grammatical structure of the language itself, the unemphatic article and preposition coming before the noun, the pronoun and auxiliary before the verb, and so on throughout. These are but as bubbles on the stream of speech, but none the less unfailingly they mark its direction.

This mode may be denominated as the forward ; the other, or that with the accent at the beginning of the foot, as the backward.

As long as the shorter kind of feet are exclusively employed, this distinction does not tell; the verse is kept unchangeable by a strictly alternating beat; let however a single three-syllabled foot be introduced, at once elective affinities come into play; the verse bas, as it were, its choice offered which run it will take, and it invariably, with one exception (see revert, Ch. XV.), settles it in one way by declaring for the forward rhythm as opposed to the backward. Thus in the

a

verse

Silentslý a bóve the surface,

there is no doubt about the metre; but in that of

Slowly | lífting | the hóm | that húng | at his síde, instead of continuing as it begins, with the accent at the opening of the foot, the moment the possibility of choice is offered the verse, it transfers the accent to the close of the foot, and no return afterwards to an alternate can make the rhythm revert back.

The verse may indeed be kept in the backward arrangement by force

Slówly lifting the horn that húng at his side ; but this is an unnatural procedure, and nought but the natural is true. Indeed, if it comes to that, and violence is to be done, the accent itself may as well be set aside outright. On this subject, in relation to the hexameter, see further, Ch. VII.

A very great assistance to the metrician arises from this natural leaning of the English language to one particular run: but for its aid, it would often be perfectly arbitrary in what way a verse were scanned; but this peculiarity causes all

; combinations, in spite of purposed arrangement to the contrary, to resolve into feet having the accent on the last syllable, the initial foot or feet of course not included. To this rule there is but one legitimate exception, already referred to a little above-revert.

The backward run rejected from the rule of metre gets installed on its lost throne when verse is fitted to music, asserting itself there with an exclusiveness quite sovereign. For in music, when words are fitted to any air, every bar as known must begin with an accented syllable, the primary part of any verse that does not begin with a beat being, as it were, cast off. Music treats the verse in corresponding way to suit its purposes, that the verse when master does the backward rhythm, which might perhaps as appropriately be hence called the musical.

Having now sufficiently discussed the foot, we will proceed to another question—that of pauses.

Every verse above the length of four feet has naturally a break of sub-division in its course. This peculiarity is technically known by the name of cesura, which means cutting : it originates in a modification of the same rhythmic force which causes the primary ordering of verse into lines at all, the most constant and important element in metre. The shorter a line, clearly the less occasion of pausing during its course ; and therefore lines under what may be called the cesural limit, that of four feet, are left untroubled by its influence.

Pauses in verse are of two kinds-grammatical pauses, such as are found in prose marked for the most part by stops; and rhythmic pauses, or cesuras, which owe their origin to the

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