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so high as the second, in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tone *.

This correct and natural language of the emotions, is not so difficult to be attained, as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the author's sentiments, as well as into the meaning of his words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied tones. For there are few people, who speak English without a provincialtone, that have not an accurate use of emphasis, pauses, and tones, when they utter their sentiments in earnest discourse: and the reason that they have not the same use of them, in reading aloud the sentiments of others, may be traced to the very defective and erroneous method, in which the art of reading is taught; whereby all the various, natural, expressive tones of speech, are suppressed, and a few artificial, unmeaning, reading notes, are substituted for them,

But when we recommend to readers, an attention to the tone and language of emotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Moderation is necessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when reading becomes strictly imitative, it assumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper, as well as give offence to the hearers; because it is inconsistent with that delicacy and modesty, which, on all occasions, are indispensable.


Of VERSIFICATION. As there are few persons who do not sometimes read poetical composition, it seems necessary to give the student some idea of that part of grammar, which explains the principles of versification ; that, in reading poetry, he may be the better able to judge of its correctness, and relish its beauties. When this lively mode of exhibiting nature and sentiment, is perfectly chaste, it is often found to be highly interesting and instructive.


VERSIFICATION is the arrangement of a certain number and variety of syllables, according to certain laws.

Rhyme is the correspondence of the last sound of one verse, to the last sound or syllable of another.


Feet and pauses are the constituent parts of verse. shall consider these separately.

Of poetical feet. A certain number of syllables connected, form a foot. They are called feet, because it is by their aid that the voice, as it were, steps along through the verse, in a measured pace; and it is necessary that the syllables which mark this regular movement of the voice, should, in some manner, be distinguished from the others. This distinction was made among the ancient Romans, by dividing their syllables into long and short, and ascertaining their quantity, by an exact proportion of time in sounding them ; the long being to the short, as two to one; and the long syllables, being thus the more important, marked the movement. In English, syllables are divided into accented and unaccented; and the accented syllables being as strongly distinguished from the unaccented, by the peculiar stress of the voice upon them, are equally capable of marking the movement, and pointing out the regular paces of the voice, as the long syllables were by their quantity, among the Romans.

When the feet are formed by an accent on vowels, they are exactly of the same nature as the ancient feet, and have the same just quantity in their syllables. So that,

in this respect, we have all that the ancients had, and some thing which they had not. We have in fact duplicates of each foot, yet with such a difference, as to fit them for different purposes, to be applied at our pleasure. )!!!

Every foot has, from nature, powers peculiar to itself; 3nd it is upon the knowledge and right application of these

powers, that the pleasure and effect of numbers chiefly depend.

All feet used in poetry consist either of two, or of three syllables; and are reducible to eight kinds; four of two syllables, and four of three, as follows:



A Trochee

A Dactyl - Uu
An Iambus -

An Amphibrach u-u
A Spondee

An Anapæst uu-
A Pyrrhic un

A Tribrach uuu A Trochee has the first syllable accented, and the last unaccented: as, “ Hāteful, péttish.”

An Iambus has the first syllable unaccented, and the last accented: as,

Bětrāy, consíst.” A Spondee has both the words or syllables accented: as, 11 “ The pāle mõõn.”

A Pyrrhic has both the words or syllables unaccented: as,

• ăn the tall tree.” A Dactyl has the first syllable accented, and the two latter unaccented: as, Lābourěr, possible.”

An Amphibrach has the first and last syllables unaccented: and the midille one accented; as, Dělīghtful, doméstic."

An Anapæst has the two first syllables unaccented, and the last accented: as, Contrăvēne, acquiesce.”

A Tribrach has all its syllables unaccented: as, Nū. měrăble, conquerable."

Some of these feet may be denominated principal feet; as pieces of poetry may be wholly, or chiefly formed of any of them. Such are the lambus, Trochee, Dactyl, and Anapæst. The others may be termed secondary feet; be cause their chief use is to diversify the numbers, and to improve the verse. We shall first explain the nature of the principal feet.

IAMBIC verses may be divided into several species, ac, cording to the number of feet or syllables of which they are composed.

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1. The shortest form of the English Jambic consists of an lambus, with an additional short syllable: as,


Repenting. We have no poem of this measure, but it may be met with in stanzas. The lambus, with this addition, coincides with the Amphibrach.

2. The second form of our lambic is also too short to be continued through any great number of lines. It consists of two lambuses.

Whăt plāce is hēre!
What scenes appear!
To me the rose

No longer glows.
It sometimes takes, or may take, an additional short syl-

lable: as,

Úpõn ă mõuntăin
Beside a fountain.


The third form consists of three Iambuses.

În plāces fār or nēar,
Or famous or obscure,
Where wholesome is the air,

Or where the most impure.
It sometimes admits of an additional short syllable: 28,

Oŭr hēarts no longer lānguish.

4. The fourth form is made up of four lambuses.

And māy ắt last my wear age,

Find out the peaceful hermitage. 5. The fifth species of English lambic, consists of fire lambuses.

How lov’d, how vālů’d once, ăvāils thee nöt,
To whom related, or by whom begot:,
A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.


Bě wise tõ-dāy, 'tis mādněss to děfēr;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;

Thus till wisdom is pushed out of life. This is called the Heroic measure. In its simplest form it consists of five Iambuses; but by the admission of other feet, as Trochees, Dactyls, Anapæsts, &c. it is capable of many varieties. Indeed, most of the English common measures may be varied in the same way, as well as by the different position of their pauses.

6. The sixth form of our lambic is commonly called the Alexandrine measure. It consists of six lambuses.

For thou årt būt of dūst; bě hūmblě ānd bě wise. The Alexandrine is sometimes introduced into heroic, rhyme; and when used sparingly, and with judgment, occasions an agreeable variety.

The sẽas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fix'd his word, his saving pow'r remains:
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns.

7. The seventh and last form of our lambic measure, is made


of seven Iambuses, The Lord descēnded from above and bow'd the heavens high.

This was anciently written in one line; but it is now broken into two; the first containing four feet, and the second three:

Whẹn all thỳ mercies, Ở mỹ Göd !

My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I'm lost

In wonder, love, and praise.

In all these measures, the accents are to be placed on even syllables; and every line considered by itself, is, in general, more melodious, as this rule is more strictly observed.

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