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(prefixed to the fibst edition, 1838.) 

Owing to circumstances^ which need not be detailed^ the 
first Volume was printed oflF, two years before the greater 
part of the second Volume went to the press^ and indeed 
before it was written. This may account for a seeming in- 
accuracy as regards dates ; and will make it necessary for 
the reader, when he meets with the phrases, " a short time 
since/' '' two or three years ago/* &c. to allow for the time, 
which has elapsed since they wore written. Perhaps too it 
may serve, in some measure, as an apology for the addi- 
tional notes * at the end of each volume. Two years could 
hardly pass away, without the author seeing reason to modify 
much that he had advanced, upon a subject so novel and so 
extensive as the present one. 

^ [Most of the notes to the first edition arc now incorporated with the text, 
or hare suggested corrections in it.] 


It is said by snch as professe the mathematicall sciences, that all things 
stand by proportion, and that without it nothing could stand to be good or 
beautiful. Puitcttham, Arte qf English PocsiCy Lib. ii. c. 1. 














Thk former edition of the present work was published in 
two Tolumes, with the following title ; " A History of Eng- 
lish Rhythms, by Edwin Guest, E?q. M.A. Fellow of Caitifl 
College, Cambridge, London ; William Pickering, 1838/' 
In place of a Preface, it contained a brief ** Notice to the 
Reader,^* here reprinted, which concluded with the words 
"two years could hardly pass away, without the author 
seeing reason to modify much that he had advanced, upon a 
snlyeci so novel and so extensive as the present one ;'^ and, 
I il may be mentioned, in particular, that (as shown in the 
note to p. 176) the very strict views upon the subject of 
dision which were laid down in the first volume seem to 
hare been considerably relaxed in other passages of the 
work. Wliat farther modifications the author may have 
dasired to make, we have, unfortunately, no means of ascer- 
tissiiiig ; but we may infer, from the long delay in issuing a 
lecond edition, that it may well have been bis hope and in- 
fteniioii to introduce many considerable improvements, 
though the laborious character of the work rendered it very 
diffienlt to do so. But the opportunity for this never 
afriv€?d ; and all that now remained to be done was, to as- 
certain what improvements could at any rate be made^ in 
Ibe absence of such revision as only an author can efiec- 
tirely give. 

In the first place, the former edition was somewhat care- 
lessly printed, and contained a long liat of errata, which are 
BOW removed. It farther appeared that even this Hat was 
fiol exhauBtive, and several other printer's errors have now 
keen silently corrected.* 

* Eten tlitiA, a few of them have escaped detection in tlie reviAion j see the 
I^it ot ErrmtA to tJie present tiditioo^ p. \ix. 

Secondly, the former edition contained several Notes at 
the endj some of which would have been introduced into the 
text, if they had occurred to the author sooner. Advantage 
has now been taten of doing this in the course of reprinting, 
wherever it seemed advisable to do so. 

Thirdly, the Notes are now considerably augmented (1) 
by help of some MS. annotationa in the au thorns own hand- 
writing, made in the copy which was in his own possession ; 
(2) by help of some MS. annotations in a copy formerly be- 
longing to Mr. Edmund Lenthal Swifte, and now in thei 
possession of Mr. S, Crompton, who moat kindly lent the 
book for this purpose ; and (3) by some additional remarks 
made by the editor. 

Fourthly, whilst the text is substantially the same as 
before, the editor haa added a few remarks, distinguished 
by being inserted within atjuare brackets, whenever they 
seemed to be absolutely necessary. For example, at p* 
349, the worda " Here follows Alfred's translation, l^Iet. 
xxvi. I. 4^* have been inserted, for the sake of greater clear- 
ness, and in order to give tho reference* The same explar 
nation applies to the numerous brief foot-notes within 
square brackets, the letters '* W. W. S/^ being further 
added to the footnotes whenever they supply additional in* 

Fifthly, tho very numerous well-arranged quota-tionsj 
which give the book its great and pernianent interest and 
value, have been subjected, as far as it could conveniently 
be done, to a thorough and searching revision ; a matter 
which has caused the expenditure of conaiderablc time and 
trouble. In the former edition, many of the references 
were left vague; so that we find *' F. Q." for Spensei^s 
Fairy Queen, '' W, Scott '* for quotations from songs out o£ 
the Waverley Novels, and the like. The difficulty of dia 
covering the whereabouts of many of these has been very, 
greatj and in a few cases search has been baffled ; but the 
convenience to the reader of finding the references supplied 
is so obvious that the opportunity was not to be lost. Thei 
extremely full index to words occurring in Anglo-Saxon 
poetry in L)r. Grein^s ** Sprachschatz der angelsachsischen 



Bickter ^ haa proved of great serrioe ; as have also Dr, 
Bdiiiiidt's *' Shakeapearo Lexicon/' Cleveland's " Concor- 
iukce to Milton," and Abbott's " Concordance to Pope." 
The editioii of the English Poets^ published by Chalmers in 
1810, baa been very uacfuh 

In particular, it must be borne in mind that Dr. Guest 
was quite a pioneer in Middle-English literature, and had to 
goi together a large number of his quotations by the labo- 
Tkm& process of trauscribiug them for himself from the MSS., 
«iid bad nothing but these trao^ripta to trust to ; there was 
aot even at that time any edition of Layamon or of the 
OzmuloiD^ nor was the Early Engliiih Text Society founded 
till nearly thirty years after his book appeared. Hence it 
often happened that exact references could not be given^ 
aor conld the passages cited be revised whilst passing 
through the press. Hence it will be readily underst^tod 
thtU namerous references have now been added to good 
editions, and that, by help of such editions, a large number 
rf corrections have been made in the passages cited, and 
WMxy obscurities cleared up. Even of later authors we now 
much better editions; and, in several quotations 
Shakespeare, Spenser, and the like, the text of the 
^notations has been conformed to that of the " Globe " 
editions of Shakespearo and Spenser, and to the best moJem 
editioDS of other authors* 

It may here be observed that the quotations from Lyd- 
lito^a " Fall of Princes/' from Barclays " Ship of Foles," 
kmsk Sir T. Morels '' Buful Lamentation ^* and " Book of 
Portone,*' and from Surrey's " Deecription of Spring " 
tp. 298) , were taken from the Preface to Todd's edition of 
** Johndon's Dictionai'y/' published in 1827. This accounts 
bit the reading mochitu discussed in the note to p, 225 ; and 
nay aerve to remind us that tho author had frequently to 
work with the very imperfect materials supplied by inaccu- 
attj and careless editionB, a difficulty which at the present 
dtle does not exist ; so that we can hardly appreciate at its 
fight value the wonderful industry which reduced such 
materials to order. 

Sucihly, the former edition had no inJex ; and indeed, an 



index would not have been of much value, in the absence 
reasonably good editions of our older literature. But noi?r 
that the exacfc references have been supplied to almost every 
quotation, and many editions have been cited in the foot- 
notesj the addition of an *^ Index of Authors quoted and' 
referred to '^ has become a necessity, and the construction' 
of it presented no difficulty; We can now tell how often, 
and where, the author baa cited any given play of Shake- 
speare, or any given poem of any other author. The con- 
venience of tliia is the greater, because Dr. Guest's great 
work has long been the convenient store-house whence 
many writers upon prosody have drawn their illustrationa^ 
sometimes without any acknowledgment that they havQ 
done so. 

Lastly^ the reader will soon find that, throughout till 
work, the diflTercnt *' sections ^' or arrangements of (proBOi 
dial) feet are denoted by the numbers 1, 2j 3, 4, Ac* Ai 
these numbers are, from the nature of the case, arbitrarilj 
chosen, it is next to impossible to remember them lonj 
without confusion, and it becomes convenient to tabulafa 
them for ready reference. Hence a " Table of Rhythms 
has been compiled and added, which will be found followinj 
the Table of Contents, on p* xvii. 

One more necessary remark will render the plan of th^ 
book easier to understand. The mark | bo constantly usee 
throughout the book to indicate the scansion, invariabl; 
marks the accented sifllables ; and is not used to mark tb 
division into feet as in the case of Greek and Latin verae^ 
It is, in fact, only another way of marking accent, used 13 
place of the more usualj but far more clumsy method of em 
ploying marks of accentuation. Thus it is the same thinj 
whether we write 

When I the Bri | tiah war | rior queen | 

or whether we write 

When the British warrior queen. 

This is an excellent and most convenient notation, ani 
for English verse, certainly the best, when it is once fairl 



i nnderstood. It ib alao extremely easy. Yet, when Dr. 
I Gnasi correctly scans a certain line thus — 

In I the hexstm \ eter ri { sei : the foun [ tiiiii^s sil { very col | amn, 

it is curious to find a MS. note in Mr. Swifle'a copy to this 
effect : "I think the proper scansion of this line is i — 

In the hex | anieter | rises the | fountain*^ | :«ilvcr)r | column | ."* 

That is to say, Mr. Swifte " corrects *' the author by scan* 
mug the line egeactly the savie an before; he has merely 
employed the symbol | in a sense of his owi^ by dividing 
the line into feet in the usual schoolboy fashion. It is ex- 
I traordinary that a careful reader could peruse the book 
vithout acquiring the sense of a symbol which occurs ao 
I many thousands of times. 

The remarks upon the values of the English letters 

[ should be compared with the later investigations by Mr. 

Ellis and Mr* Sweet. The study of phonetics has advanced 

Lof late years very rapidly; indeed, the most surprising 

is that Dr. Guest wati already discussing such matters 

L838j when to pay any heed to them was quite excep> 


The remarks upon the dialects are particularly interesting 

I showing how much the author was in advance of many 

Ilia contemporaries. We already find him arguing 

lie existence of three main dialects, in precise accord- 

with the results obtained long afterwards by Dr. 


It is, of course^ a matter for regret that the author found 
; £* opportunity for revising the work in that masterly 
aer of which ho alone was capable j still the work has 
been well known as giving a useful and serviceable 
ey of a diflBcult subject, and a i-eprint of it has long been 
The opportunity has accordingly been taken of 
locing all such improvements as, under the circum- 
fteces^ were possible. 

1 have in general preserved the peculiarities of spelling, 
Ik. of •the former edition; I have, however, substituted ide 
t%t he on p. 13, and diphthong for dipthovg throughout. 


Further, as Dr. Guest rightly rejected the spelling rhyme, 
for which he substituted rhime, it became necessary to go a 
step further, by employing the correct spelling rime. 

Some account of Dr. Guest and his work, with particular 
reference to his historical investigations, will be found in 
the Prefatory Notice to his ^^ Origines Celticas,^^ published 
for the first time by Messrs. Macmillan and Co. in the pre- 
sent year. A list of his various contributions to philolo- 
gical subjects is appended to the present volume. 

Walter W. Skeat. 

July, 1882. 



Notice to the Reader (from the first editton) . ▼ 

Preface to the Second Edition ..... Wi 

Table of Contests ........ xiii 

Table of Rhtthms xvii 


CsAP. I. Rhythm defined, 1. Verse measured either by time or 
accent, 2. General arrangement of the subject, 2. 

Crap. II. The voice, 4. The vocal letters, 6. The whisper-letters, 8. 
Imitative sounds, 12. 

Chap. III. A syllable defined, 22. The French e final, 24. The 
English e final, 26. The e of inflexion, 29. Initial syllables 
omitted, 34. The initial be, 36. The initial dis, 38. Vowel 
combinationf*, 39. The syllables T, e\ u\ 41. The vowel before 
nasals and liquids, 46. The vowel before some one of the close 
letters, b, p, d, U g, k, 62. The vowel before dentals, 65. The 
vowel before sibilants, 66. Coalition of words, 68. 

(kip. IV. Accent defined, 74. Primary and secondary accent, 76. 
Accent after a paaso, 77. Verbal accent, how affected by con- 
struction, 78. Accent slurred over in construction, 78. Emphasis, 
79. Accents of construction, 81. Verbal accent, foreign, 87. 
Verbal accent, English, 96. 

Chap. V. Quantity defined, 102. Length of English vowels, how 
indicated by their orthography, 103. Quantity, as an index of 
English rhythm, 108. Quantity, as an embellishment of rhythm, 
Chap. VI. Rime defined, 113. Rime, perfect, alliterative, vowel, 
consonantal, late alliterative, and common, 113. Rime, double 
and triple, 115. Final rime, 116. Middle rime, 121. Sectional 
rime, 122. Inverse rime, 133. Alliteration, 136. Unaccented 
rime, 140. Doubly accented rime, 142. 

CW. VII. The pauses, 144. The final pause, 144. The middle 
pau«e, 148. The sectional pause, 150. The stops final, middle, 
and sectional, 152. 




Chip, I. English rhytliins, their origin, 158. The chai'ftct«?r of certain 
rhytbiiis, ajid their fitness for poetical exprewsioii, 16% Hidtor^ 
of EuijlLsh rhytfims, 168. Eliuion, 172. Arrajigement of tLui 
Bubj^ict, 177. I 

Chap, II, Verses confliating of a fiiagXe section, 179. Verae of twi 
accents, 179. Verae of three accents, 181. 

Chap, HI. Verse of four accents* 184* Verses beja^nning with nectioii 
1,^86 — with section 1 I 18B — with section 2, 191 — with sectiau 
2 /, 193 — with section 5, 196 — with section 5 l^ 199— with section 
6, 202 — with section 6 L 204. 

Chap. IV. Verse of five liceent^, two in the first section, 207. Versei 
beginning with fiection 1, 209 — -with seetion 2, 214— with Bection 2 ^ 
216— with section 5,218 — with Bcction 6, 224 — ^with section 9, 225, 

Cbaf. V. Verse of five iiccetitH» three in the ♦ first sectiou, 227, 
Character of these rhjthniB, 228. Verses beginning with sectioi 
I, 230 — with section 2, TJ5 — with section 3, 238 — with aectiai 
4, 240 — with section 5, 240- — with section 6, 244 — with section t 
244 — with section 8, 245 — with section 9, 24(>. 

Chap. VL The veree of sijc accent*, 247. Verses beginning witl 
section 1, 249 — with section 2, 252 — -with section 3, 254^ — wit] 
section 5, 25.5 — with section 6, 258 — with section 7, 259 — witl 
section 8, 260 — with section 0, 2C0. 

Chap. VII. Verses containing a compound section, 261, Verses Q| 
six accents, with componnd section, 261. Verses of seven accents 
beginning with the compunnfl section, 267. Verses of sevei 
accents en<ling with the compound section, 270. Verses of eigll 
accent-8, ivith compouiitl section, 273. Verses of nine or mow 
accents, with compound section, 276, 

CoAP. VIII. Tlie sectional pan^e, its origin, 277. How indicated, 28^ 
Verses crmtaining the section 1 p^ of two accents, 280 — till 
sectirm 1 / /. /i, of two accents, 282 — the section 5 p, of tw 
accents, 283 — the section 5 L /), of two accents, 285 — the seci 
5 I L p, of two accents, 287- — the section 1 jp, of three accents, 
— the section 2 /./?, of three accents, 290 — the section 3/?, of tl 
accent*, 290 — the section 5 p, of three accents, 291— the Recti< 
7/?, of three accents, 293 — the section 7 /. p^ of three accen 
297. Writers npon ** rhythmus " 299. 

BOOK m. 

Chap. I. Systems, natural and artificial, 300, Systems followed in ih 
arraDgement of English poetr>\ SOL A rhythmical arrangeme 
why difficult, 301. The subject, how arranged in the pr 
book, 302. 



IClir. n. Anglo-Saxon Utenttire^ 303. Gertnan soholara, 304. Tlie 

**n^w Sidcomste," 307. Modem editions of Anglo*Saxaii MS8,, 

Ibeir aceentuatkiD, 308 — their eompoftition and rcftolutiuo of 

worda^ 311 — ^their vereification, 312 — their puncUiation, 313* 

CertmEn Anglo-Saxon idioms, 316. Some notice of Ciedmon« 322. 

ODdmon^s rhjthms^ 326, Oedmon*.? louder rhjtbmp;, 334. Alfrotl*'! 

ilijtlimi, 348- The Bninanburgli war-»on^. 356* Our earlv 

lyrical rhjtlimB^ 364. The Confessor's dejith-*i<ni|r, 366. The 

GraTe. 368. The Traveller's or GlecBUUi^ssotigt 370. 

Our. HI* Sectional metre, 3^8. Conjbeare*! rtining poem, 389. 

Eai-ljr ar^fictal rhjthmfi, 394. Skeltons rhrthm ^ecroin^lj in- 

floeneed bj them, 396. Other kinds of sect ion a 1 metre, 396. 

Lajamon, 398. English language^ it« hi^ttory, 399. LftvauionV 

dialect* 404. Lajaroou^s rhjthms, 406. Earl/ German neetiunal 

metrefi, 416. Komance of Horn, 418. 

CaiF. IV. The metre of four aceents, whence deriTed, 424. The 

Hole nnd Ni^tengale, 427. The Assumption of the Viriirin, 430. 

The Alexander, 434. Havelok. 434. Old E»|rli«h VeTsifm of the 

Fsalms, 438. Bbjtbmical proee, 438. Wulfetan's cluj-acter of 

William, 440. Godric's hytun, 442. Song falsely ascribed to 

Enut^ 444. Ongin of this metre doulitful, 444. 

Ckar. V, Old Englbh alliterative metres^ 446. AlUtemtive romances, 

447. William and the Werwolf, 447. The siege of Jerusalem, 

453; AUitemtive satires, 454. Visions of Piers Phmghman, &c„ 

455. Alliterative stanxas, 458. Hugh of the Palace, 459. Iliri 

Awntjne of Gawajn, 459. (lawiji Douglas* Prtilopje, 464. 

Gent of Tnstrem, its author, 465. British Cycle of Uonuuice, its 

origin, 466. 

€k4r. VI. The Psalm-metres, 472. " HbTtlimus *" and '* metnim,*' 

473, Ormin, the firj;t English imitator of the Latin rhjthtnrjs, 

476. Local diale«'ts, 478. Dialect of the Ch-mulum, 497. 

Rhjthm of tlie Ormidiim, 498. The Coimnoii Metre and it« 

rarietic^. 507* Otlier psalm-metre.** 513- The Long Metre, 514. 

Alexandrints, 514. The Short Metre» 52L 

C^ir. Vli, The metres of five accents^ .-522* Couplet-metre, 524. 

Blank rer»e, 527. Licenses ^ 529. iVL[ilt4)n'(t VLTstfieation, 530. 

Dnimiiioiul*s couplet-metre, 532. 

VIU. The iijuibling metres, 533. The tumbling metre of five 

[tat 533. The tumbling metre of four accents, 534. The 

triple measure, 537. 

Cktr. IX, Loose rhythms, 540, Measured prose, 542. Chaucer*B 

cadence^ 542. The choral rhythms of IHiltun, 545. The lyrical 

rhjtbms of Coleridge, 548. 

X- Metrical experiments, 550. ImitationB of the classical 

551. CanjpionV metres, 556. Metres, characterised by 

th€ sectional pause, 558. Capabilities of English metre, 559, 




Chap. I. Staves, 5i^2, English staves ol' tlic eleventli century, 563. 
8tiives capietl from thosf ul" tlu^ Latin rliylhmitt*^ 564. Mixed 
rime, 565. Tiiil rime, 569. laterwuven rinit% 570. Cotuptisition 
imd Repetition, 572. Wbt-ul and BiiriUen, 572. Tlie Bob, 57a, 
Iterfttioii, 573. 

Ch4p. 11. Siaven vriih contimioas riiiiCt 577. Stave of four Iambic 
dimeters* imitatetl, 579. The three-line stave eoiitinuously nming, 
580. Cnmin>uii<l staves with continuous rime, 58 L 

Chap. in. The p^ahn-staves, 586. Stave.^ with tail-rime, 587. The 
like with repetition^ 5S9- Staves with interwoven rime, 594. 
The like with repetition, 599. Mixetl i^taves, 602. 

CThap. IV. The hurtheii and whe(d defined, 605. The hurthen, 606. 
The prose burthen, 61*2. The wheel, 614. The Inib, 620. The 
bob-wheel, 620. The hob- wheel of the Trouhmlour, 629. WlieeU 
with riming section, 6;J3. 

Chaf. V. Ballet-strtves, 634. The ballet-Htave of eight, 635. The 
ballrt-stave of seven, 6*18. The bjillet-atave of nix, 639. Ballet- 
stave** with ]>andet3 rime, 641. Ballet-stuvefl with two rimen, 642. 
Ballet-staves with repetition* 642, The Roumile, 644. The 
Virelay, 647. Virelay-stave and Round le-stave, 648 Ballet- 
ataves with couplets, 650. Sen tiuo- stave, 651. Jingling ballet* 
stave, 65 L Italian staves, 652. The Somiet, 653. The degific 
stave, 656. 

Chap. VI. Broken ataveai 657. Broken staves, riming continuously, 
658, Broken psalm-Btave, 660. Broken ballet-stave, 66 L 
Jingling staves, 665. 

Chap. VIL The 8penser-stave defined, 666. Spenser- staves, with 
additional alexandrine, 667. Spenser-staves^ with an alexaiRlrine 
snl>?itituted, 669. Broken Spouse r-stuves, 671- 

Chap. Vi II, Writers of English verse, in the fif^h century, 673^n the 
seventh, 675 — in the eighth, 676 — in tlie ninth, 677 — in the 
tenth, 678 — in the eleventh, 679— in the twelftli, 682 — in the 
thirteenth, 685 — in the fourteenth, 688. EnglLnh writers of Latiu 
verse, 694. English writers of Norman vernc^ 697. Prevalence 
of Norman- Ilooiurn;e in England, 700. Neglect of our early 
lit-eniture, 702. I^itnre pn*spects of our language^ 703, 

NoTBS ..... 


List of Fap£B8, etc., bt Db. Gukst 


Tbe varioas '' sections/^ or groups of accented and unac' 
cented syllables^ are denoted by numbers, as explained on 
p. 160. For example^ a groap of syllables^ in which the 
first and third are accented^ and the second unaccented, is 
called 1. The same group may conveniently be denoted by 
the letters AbA, where the capital letter A denotes an 
accented syllable, and the smaller letter h denotes an unac- 
cented one. If to this section an unaccented syllable be 
appended, we get the lengthened section, denoted by 1 /, or 
by AbAb ; and if two unaccented syllables be appended to 
the same, we get the doubly lengthened section, denoted by 
IH, or by AbAbb. This being premised, the full table of 
rhythms, according to Dr. Guesf s notation, can be inter- 
preted as follows : — 

1. AbA. 

1 /. AbAb. 

1 iL AbAbb. 

2. AbbA. 

2 /. Abb Ab. 

«W. AbAbbAbb. 

4. AbbAbbA. 



6. bAbA. 

5 /. bAbAb. 

6 //. bAbAbb. 

6 /. bAbbAb. 

6 //. bAbbAbb. 

7. bAbAbbA. 

7 //. bAbAbbAbb. 

8. bAbbAbbA. 

8 /. bAbbAbbAb. 

8 //. bAbbAbbAbb. 

9. bbAbA. 
9 /. bbAbAb. 
9 //. bbAbAbb. 

10. bbAbbA. 
10 /. bbAbbAb. 
10 //.bbAbbA hi). 

11//. bbAbAbbAbb. 

12. bb Abb Abb A. 
12/. bbAbbAbbAb. 
12 //. bbAbbAbbAbb. 

Observe that 5, 6, 7, and 8 only differ from 1, 2, 3, and 
4 by having an unaccented syllable prefixed; and again, 



9, 10, 11, and 12 only differ from 5, 6, 7, and 8 in the same 

Further, the section 1 is intended to include similar 
metres of more than three syllables, such as AbAbA, 
AbAbAbA, and the like. 

The application of the above table is very easy ; two ex- 
amples may suffice. At p. 188, mention is made of the 
verao 1:5. This means AbA: bAbA, as shown in the ex- 
ample — Haste I thee nymph | : and bring | with thee j . 
The colon denotes the pause y and the upright bars denote 
the accents. Conversely, the line — And | the milk ] maid : 
sing I eth blithe | — quoted on the same page, is to be denoted 
by AbAb : AbA, or by 1 Z : 1 . 

Reference to the above table will explain any collocation 
of sections at once. 

For the meaning of the symbol p, see p. 280. 


P. 19, 1. 14. For H. VI. read 2 H. VI. 
P. 41,laftt line. For Cyntheai read Cynthia' a. 
P. 5K 1. 14. For Chalm. read Chaloner, 
P. 59, seventh quotation. For part read parte. 
P. 92, second quotation. For danger read daunger. 
P. 16.3, 1. 12. For mercy read pity ; and see nole on p. 710. 
P. 191, fourth quotation. For H. VI. read 2 H. VL 
P. 218, fourth quotation. For Draw near to fortune read Draw 
you to fortune ; and for wel read well. 
P. 222, tenth quotation. For advance read auaunce. 
P. 242, first quotation, I. 3. For resigne read resyne. 
P. 286, third quotation, 1. 2. Bead S<*ience all is vain. 
P. 378, 1. 4. For myrgirgum read inyrginguin. 
P. 517, 1. 4 from bottom. For Salve read Solve. 
P. 518, 1. 12. For Humphrey read Philippe. (See pp. 697, 699.) 
P. 540, 1. 3. For Chnmical read Chronicle. 
P. 669, note, 1. 4. For she lies read 1 ly. 





in its widest sense may be defined as the law of succession. 
It is the regulating principle of eyery whole, that is made 
up of proportional parts, and is as necessary to the regu- 
lation of motion^ or the arrangement of matter, as to the 
orderly succession of sounds. By applying it to the fii*st 
of these purposes wo have obtained the dance ; and sculp- 
ture and architecture are the results of its application to 
the second. The rhythmical arrangement of sounds not 
articulated produces music, while from the Like arrange- 
ment of articulate sounds we get the cadences of prose and 
the measures of verse, 

Yerse may be defined as a succession of articulate sounds 
regalated by a rhythm so definite, that we can readily 
foresee the results which follow from its application. 
Rhythm is also met with in prose, but in the latter its 
range is bo wide, that wo rarely can anticipate its flow, 
while the pleasure we derive from vorse is founded on this 
very anticipation. 

As verse consists merely in the arrangement of certain 
sounds according to a certain rhythm, it is obvious, that 
neither poetry nor even sense can be essential to it. Wo 
may be alive to the beauty of a foreign rhythm, though wo 
do not understand the language, and the burthen of many 
an English song has long yielded a certain pleasure, though 
every whit as unmeaning as the nonsense verses of the 

In considering the general character of any proposed 
metre, we should have especial regard to three circum- 
stances I fi^rst to the elements, which are to be arranged ; 




in its widest sense may be defined as the law of sQccession* 
It is the regulating principle of every whole, that is made 
op of proportional parts^ and is as necessary to the rega- 
lation of motion^ or the arrangement of matter^ as to the 
orderly succession of sounds. By applying it to the first 
of these purposes we have obtained the dance ; and sculp- 
ture and architecture are the results of its application to 
the second. The rhythmical arrangement of sounds not 
articulated produces music, while from the like arrange- 
ment of articulate sounds we get the cadences of prose and 
the measures of verse. 

Verse may be defined as a succession of articulate sounds 
regulated by a rhythm so definite, that we can readily 
foresee the results which follow from its application, 
fihythm is also met with in prose, but in the latter its 
nnge is so wide, that we rarely can anticipate its flow, 
wliile the pleasure we derive from verse is founded on this 
very anticipation. 

As verse consists merely in the arrangement of certain 
aoands according to a certain rhythm, it is obvious, that 
neither poetry nor even sense can be essential to it. We 
may be alive to the beauty of a foreign rhythm, though we 
do not understand the language, and the burthen of many 
an English song has long yielded a certain pleasure, though 
every whit as unmeaning as the nonsense verses of the 

In considering the general character of any proposed 
metre, we should have especial regard to three circum- 
stances; first to the elements, which are to be arranged; 




B, I. 

secondly to the accidentSf by which these elements are dis- 
tinguished; and thirdly to the law of succession^ by which 
the arrangement is efiected. 

In making versoj the elements subjected to the rhythm, 
may be either syllables, or verses^ or staves. The only 
accidents, which need be noticed as of rhythmical value, are 
three, the time or quantity, the accent, and the modification 
of the sound. 

Rhythm may be marked cither by the time or the ac- 
cent. In the great family of languages which has been 
termed the Indo-European, and which spread from the 
Ganges to the Shannon, tliree made time the index of their 
rhythm, to wit the Sanscrit, Greek, and Latin ; all the 
others adopted accent. It is remarkable that those dialects 
which now represent the Sanscrit, Greek, and Latin, have 
lost their temporal and possess merely an accentual rhythm. 
We are able in some measure to follow the progress of this 
change. So gradual was it in the Greeks that even as late 
as the eleventh century there were authors who wrote in- 
differently in either rhji:hm. The origin, however, of 
accentual verse, as it now prevails io those languages, is 
by no means clear. Whether it were borrowed from the 
northern invader^ or wore the natural growth of a mixed 
and broken language, or merely the revival of a vulgar 
rhythm, which bad been heretofore kept under by the pre- 
valence of one more fashionable and perhaps more perfect, 
are questions I shall pass by, as being at least as difficult aa 
they are interesting. 


Having premised thus much as to the meaning of our 
terms J I will now lay before the reader the course I shall 
follow in tracing the progress of our English rhjthms. In 
the second book we shall consider the rhythm of individual 
verses ; and in the third the rhythm of particular passage, 
or, to speak more precisely, the flow of several verses in 
combination ; while the fourth book will be devoted to the 
history of our slams, that is, of those regular combinations, 


wliicli form as it were a second class of elements to be re- 
gulated by the rhythm. 

The book which opens with the present chapter is little 
more than introdnctory, but the matters discussed in it are 
of high importance to the right understanding of the sub- 
ject. In the next chapter we shall consider the different 
modificatians of sound, with a view to the aid they afford us 
in embellishing and perfecting the rhythm. In the third 
we shall inquire what constitutes a syllable, and discuss the 
nature of accent in the fourth, and of quantity in the fifth. 
The varions kinds of rime will be the subject of the sixth 
chapter, and in the seventh and last we shall treat of the 
rhythmical pauses. 


B. I. 



If we drop a small heavy body into still water it forms 
a circular wave^ which gradually enlarges and loses itself 
upon the surface. In like manner, if one hard hotly strike 
against another — as the cog of a metal wheel against a 
quill — a wave ia formed in the air which expands on all 
sides round the point of contact. ^'^Tien this wave reaches 
tho ear, it produces on that organ the sensation of sound. 

If now tho wheel be turned round, so that the cogs strike 
against the quill in succession, several concentric waves are 
producedj following each other at equidistant periods of 
time ; and if the velocity be such that there are more than 
thirty sound-waves in a second, the sensation produced by 
one lasts till another enters the ear, and a continuoua soond 
is the result. This continuous sound is called a tone or 
musical note. 

As we increase the number of sound-waves^ the tone 
changes its character, and is said to become sharper. 
When more than six thousand enter the ear in a second, 
the tone becomes so sharp and shrill as to be no longer per- 
ceptible by organs constituted like our own. 

The wave which thus produces the sensation of sound, 
differs widely in origin from that which moves along the 
surface of the water. The latter is formed by the vertical 
rising of the watery particles, and as these fall again in 
obedience to tho force of gravity, they drive upwards the 
next adjoining. The motion of the particles is thus pe 
pendicular or nearly so to the direction of the wav 
motion. The air-wave is formed by the condensation 
well as by the displacing of the parti clesj and the mov 
power in this case is elasticity. The airy particles 

r, !!. 


driven on a heap, till the force of elasticity becomes greater 
than the iropelliDg force, and they are driven back to their 
former station. The neighbouring particles are then simi- 
larly acted on, and a slight motion or vibration in the same 
Hue of direction as that in which the sonnd-wave is trayel- 
liiig, takes place in all the particles. On the dze of this 
fibration depends the loutlneas of the sound. 

The tones of the human voice are produced by the vibra- 
tbns of two membranes, which have been called the vocal 
li^w^enU, These are set in motion by a stream of air 
gnabing from the lungs, and we can at pleasure regulate 
the sharpness and the loudness of the sound produced* The 
meehajiisin^ by which this is effected, has been lately made 
thf! subject of some very interesting speculations.^ 

If two elastic membranes stretched upon frames so as to 
leare one edge free, be placed opposite to each other, with 
ihd free edges uppermost, and a current of air pass between 
diam from beneath, they will be differently affected accord- 
sag to their inclination towards each other. If they incline 
fro4n each other, they will bulge inwards, if towards each 
other^ they will bulge outwards, if they be parallel, they 
will Tibrmte. Now the wind- pipe is contracted near the 
month by a projecting mass of muscles called the Glottis. 
The edges of the Glottis are membranes, and form the vocal 
ligaments. Ordinarily these membranous edges are inrlined 
from each other, and consequently no vibrations take |)lace 
during the passage of the breath ; but by the aid of certain 
mnaclea^ we can place them parallel to each other, when 
they immediately vibrate and produce a tone. With the 
aid of other muscles, we can increase their tension, and 
Iharoby the sharpness of the tone, and by driving the air 
flioie forcibly from the lungs, we may increase its loudness* 
The tone thus formed is modified by the cavities of the 
throat, nose, and mouth. These modifications form the 
Sf^t elements of articulate language, or the letters. 

iatf Mr. WtlJis's psperi in the Cambridge }^ifoiKi]>h!iiil I'rauBfu-tioris. 


B* I* 


It haa been showii * that the no to of a common organ- 
reed may take the qualities of all the vowel-aounda in buo- 
cession. This is effected by merely lengthening the tube 
which confines the vibrations* It would seem, therefore, 
that the peculiar characters of the different vowels depend 
entirely on the lengtb of the cavity, which modifies the 

In pronounciDg the long a in father, the cavity seems 
barely^ if at all^ extended beyond the throat; in pronounc- 
ing the an of aufjht, it reaches to the root of the tongue, 
and to the middle of the palate in pronouncing the long e 
of eat ; the sound of the long o in oat, requires the cavity 
to be ex tended to the lips^ which must be stretched out to 
form a cavity long enough to pronounce the u in jute. 

Every addition to the length of the tube or cavity, affects 
in a greater or less degree the character of the tone. The 
possible number of vowel- sounds, therefore, can have no 
limit; but as there are rarely more than seven or eight in 
any one language, we may conclude that the human ear is 
not readily sensible to the nicer distinctions. 

In pronouncing the vowels a and e, as they sound in ah 
and eel, we narrow the cavity by raising the tongue towards 
the palate^ while in pronouncing a, aw, o, as they sound in 
father, amjht, oat, the cavity is broad and open. These two 
sets of vowels have accordingly been distinguished as the 
narrow and the broad vowels. 

Next to the vowels, the letters which have spread most 
widely, are the three, 

b, d, g, 

as pronounced in ah, ad, a^. If we try to dwell upon the 
consonants which end these words, we find ourselves unable 
to do so but fur a short time, and even then it requires some 
muscular exertion. In each of the three cases the tone 
seems to be modified by a closed cavity, no aperture being 

" By Mr. Willie. 


left for the breath to escape by. In pronoancing b, the 
Kps are closed, and the vibrations are confined to the throat 
and moath ; in pronouncing d, the tongue is raised to the 
palate, and the throat and hinder portion of the month are 
the onlj open cavities ; in pronouncing g, the tone seems to 
be modified merely by the hollow of the throat. We shall 
call these letters from the circumstances of their formation 
die dose letters. 

The letters b, d, g have a very near connexion with the 
three nasals 

m, n, ng} 

The only difference in their formation is, that in pro- 
nouncing the latter, the breath passes freely through the 
nostril. With this exception, the organs are disposed pre- 
cisely in the same way for pronouncing m, n, n^, as for pro- 
nouncing ft, dy g. As the nostril affords a free passage for 
the breath, we may dwell on these letters during a whole 

V, dh,' 

have the strongest affinity to b and d. The peculiarity of 
their formation lies in the free passage of the breath through 
the interstices of the upper teeth. To the edge of these 
teeth we raise the lip in pronouncing v, and the tongue in 
pronouncing dh, instead of joining the lips, or raising the 
tongue to the palate. As these teeth form part of the en- 
dosure which modifies the voice, the breath may pass 
between them, and we may dwell upon the letters during a 
whole respiration, as is seen in pronouncing the words 
aVj adh. 

are never heard in pronunciation except at the beginning 
of a syllable and before some other vowel. They seem 
merely to represent the short vowels u and i (as heard in 
pKiand pit), melting into their several diphthongs. They 

' This character repreaento the sound which ends such words as hvim/, 
telling, Slc. 
* dJk represents the vocal sound of M as heard in thfy their, thoK, kc. 



B. I. 

are generally considered as consonants * bat if th© y of your 
be a consonant, ao must also be the e of Ettrope, 

The peculiaritj in the formation of these letters is a cer- 
tain trembling or vibrafcion of the tongtae, whence they may 
be called the trembling letters. In pronouncing Hhe tongue 
is raised to the palate, as in forming the letter d, bnt the 
breath is allowed to escape between it and the side teeth, 
and thereby causes the loose edges of the tongne to vibrate. 
In pronouncing the letter r the tongue is raised towards 
the palate without touching it, and the breath in passing 
causes it to vibrate/ 

These tremblings or vibrations of the tongue are quite 
distinct from the vibrations of the voice, and may be pro- 
duced duiTDg a whisper when the voice is absent, 

l^he only two vocal sounds which remain to be con* 
sidered are 

z, zh* 

In pronouncing z the tongue is raised to the palate in 
nearly the same position it occupies in pronouncing e, save 
that, instead of lying hollow so as to form a tube or funnel 
for the voice, the surface ri,*^es in a convex shape and leaves 
but a narrow slit or aperture between it and the roof of 
the mouth. By lengthening the aperture we get the sound 
of zh. These letters may be called the sibilants or hissing 


Hitherto we have spoken only of vocal letters, or, ia 

* Our ^pranim Brians teU us that ** r is never mate." Now^ if I may truM my 
rar, r is tiot pronounced fit tlio end of a svtiable, unless the following syllablt . 
npen with » vowoL It is nmd that^ at tht? end of a syllable, r is obscurely ^rth 
fiMunced ; but I have obcaerved that a very Mlight pronunciation of this letter 
has b«^oii suOiL'ieni tu Lxiuvict the B|M?aker of being an Irishman^ and thut many 
who inslat itpi'in Iih pronunciati^in, drop it immediately their attention 16 diverted 
or their vigilflnipc relaxed. 

^ By tho character zh [& represented the sound of s in o^ure. 

^ The dUiinciion here taken between voeol and whisper letters appears 


otiier wordsj of the different modifications of the voice. 
If the vocal ligaments be so inclined to each other as not 
to vibrate^ the emission of breath from the lungs produces 
merely a whisper. This whisper may be modified in like 
manner as the voice^ by similar arrangements of the organs ; 
and every vocal sound has its corresponding whisper-sound^ 
diat mighty if custom had so willed it^ have constituted a 
distinct ietter. 

It is^ however^ doubtful if there ever was a language 
which had its whisper letters perfect. In our own the 
number of whisper letters is nine. The three close letters^ 
the two dentals or teeth-breathing letters^ the two sibilants^ 
and the letter w, have each of them their whisper letters, 
and the aspirate h is the ninth. 

! letters. 

Whisper letters 


















We have lost all distinction between dh and th in our 
spelling, though we still distinguish them in pronunciation. 

me important. I onoe thought it was original ; but in conversing on this sub- 
ject with a respected friend, to whose instructions I owe much, I found hia 
riew* 90 Dear]/ coinciding with mj own, that I have now but little doubt the 
hmt was borrowed. 

^ I bare here considered A as a letter. Our grammarians differ on this point, 
but I coDfeM that utoffe is against me. There is little doubt, that its old and 
genuine pronunciation was much like the palatal breathing of the (jermans; 
and soch is the power which some persons still give to it. ])ut the people alto- 
gether neglect A, and others look upon it merely as the symbol of aspiration. 
In like manner, wh is usually treated as an aspirated to. Such, however, is the 
■nsfttled state of our language, that I have known men who prided themselves 
QQ their accuracy and refinement in the pronunciation of these letters h, why 
Ac, and who nevertheless gave them three or four different properties, ere they 
had well uttered an many sentences. 



B* I. 

as is seen at once in comparing the sound of th in thisj theUf 
clothes, to loathe — with its sound in thisilej thin, cloths, loath. 

The distinction also between the connected letter-sounds 
zb and sh does not appear in our orthography _, though at 
once sensible to the ear in comparing the sound of azure 
with that of Ash ur. 

That wli represents the whisper sound of w will, I think, 
be clear, if we compare the initial sounds of wh^e, when, 
while, T*^th those of were, uten, 7rile^ It is probable that in 
the Anglo-Saxon hwoer, hwanne, hwll, the m may have been 
vocal, and the h may have represented a distinct breathing; 
but it would be difficult to account for the change of hw 
into w"/ij which took place at so early a period (perhaps as 
early as the 12th century }, unless it indicated a change in 
the pronunciation ; and thia change would naturally bo to 
tho whisper sound of the w. 

In this view of the case m) may put in a fair claim to the 
title of cnnsonaDt, If the true definition of a vowel be, 
that it is a letter which makes any part of a word, into 
which it enters, a distinct syllable, then w has clearly no 
right to tho title of vowel. Nor can we reasonably call the 
initial sounds of were, wen, wHg diphthongal, unless we 
allow the initial sounds of where, ivhen^ iLfhile, to be diph- 
thongs also. But were this so, wo should have part of a 
diphthong a mere whisper while the other part remained 
vocaL Our itf then, amid a choice of difficulties, may, per- 
haps, be allowed the title of consonant ; but the same 
reasoning does not apply to the t/. The latter, I think, 
can ouly be considered as a letter indicating the initial 
sound of a diphthong. 

The whisper souuda of tho two liquid^i /, r, constitute two 
distinct letters in Welsh, and in several other languages. 
But tho Latin rh and the Greek p were certainly aspirated 
letter-sounds ; the accounts of their pronunciation, handed 
down to us by the old grammarians, are too explicit to leave 
any room for doubt upon the subject. 

That these letters jp, i, fc, /, &c., are the whisper sounds 

^ See, however, Dote 1, on page 9. 


of b, dp y, V, Ac, may, I think, be shown withoat much 
diffionliy. If we try to pronounce the words ab, ad, ag, av, 
Ac, m a whisper they cannot be distinguished from ap, a/, 
akj of, &c* Again, the vibrations of the organs, which are 
obWoQS while we are pronouncing a Tocal letter, cease im* 
mediately we change to the whisper sound ; but the diapo- 
ntion of the organs remains unchanged. Thus, in pro- 
noiuieiQg' the v of av, if we change to a whisper, the 
vibrations of the lips and teeth cease j and without any 
change in the position of the organs we find ourselves pro- 
nouncing /. 

The number then of English consonantal sounds, if we 
oonsider w as one, amounts to twenty-two ; whereof thirteen 
are vocal and nine mere whigper sounds/ 

The vowels are eleven in number. The long a, e, o, u, 
heard in father, red, roll, rule ; aw and a as heard in 
k$, aU ; and the short a, e, i, o^ u, as heard in pat, pet, 
pU, pot, put. The diphthongs are twelve,^ ei, oi and cm, as 
heard in height, hoUt/, out ; and eleven others formed by 
prefixing y to tho eleven vowels. These are heard in the 
foUowin^ words, yard, yean, yoke, yule, yawn, yare, yap, yell, 
jrsfi V^f young. 

Having said thus much on the formation of our ele- 
mentary sounds, we will now consider in what way nnd to 
what extent they may ho rendered useful, in embellishing 
■ad perfecting tho rhythm. 

If, aa ia often the case, besides the idea which the usage 
of language has connected with certain wordt*, there are 
others which are naturally associated with tho sounds or 
with the peculiarities of their formation, it is obvious, that 
the impreeaion on the mind mnat be the most vivid » when 
the natural associations can be made to coincide with such 
as are merely artificial and conventionaU In all languages 
there are certain words in which this coincidence is perfect. 
In out own we have hi»H, kaw, bahj and a few others, in 
«riiich the natural sound so closely resembles the articulate 
which represents it, that many have fallen into the 

' Sim note in the j^ppeocUx. ' [Fourteen*! 



error of supposing the latter a mere imitation of the former. 
The number, however, of these imitative sounds in any 
language is but scanty, and the assistance they render is 
both obvious and vulgar. The delicate perceptions of the 
poet demand the gratification more frequently than it ia 
supplied by the ordinary resources of language. It is by 
the command which he possesses over this noblest of all 
gifts (after reason) that he seeks to obtain it. 

In the next section wo shall trace some of the artifices 
which have been adopted to arrive at these imitative sounds ; 
and afterwards enquire how far the peculiarities which attend 
the formation of our letters^ as regards the disposition and 
action of the organs, can assist us in the fit and suitable 
expression of the thought. 

IMITATIVE soimns* 

" There is found/' says Bacon, " a simiUtude between th< 
sound, that is made by inanimate bodies, or by animal 
bodies that have no voice articulate, and divers letters of 
articulate voices ; and commonly men have given such 
names to thoso sounds as do allude unto the articulate 
letters ; as trembling of water hath resemblance with the 
letter I ; quenching of hot metals with the letter :: ; snarling 
of dogs with the letter r; the nohe of screech-owls with the 
letter sh, voice of cats with tho diphthong eu, voice of 
cuckoos with the diphthong ou^ sounds of stHugs with the 
diphthong ng/' — Nat. History^ Century IL § 200, 

When we pronounce the letter /, the breath in escaping 
under the side-teeth presses against the yielding tongue, 
which may be considered as fixed at its root and tip. The 
tongue, like other flaccid bodies in similar circumstances, 
vibrates with a slow and uncertain trembling. This strongly 
resembles the motion of water. ** Running waters," Bacon 
elsewhere observes, " represent to the ear a trembling noise, 
and in regals (where they have a pipe tlieycall the nightin- 
gale-pipe, which containeth water) , the sound hath a coa- 
tinual trembling ; and children have also little things th 
Oill cocks, which have water in them, and when they blo' 


or whistle in them^ they yield a trembling noise/' — Id. 
§ 172. It is in this inequality of trepidation^ that the resem- 
blance above alladed to seems chiefly to consist. Onr great 
poets afford us many beautiful examples ; in the Witches' 
song we almost hear the bubbling of the cauldron ; 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-hroth boil and btibble. 
All. Double, double toil and trouble. 

Fire bum and caldron bubble. Macb. 4. 1. 18. 

Not less happy are the following passages^ 

Glofiter stumbled, and in falling 
Strack me, that thought to stay him, oyerboard 
Into the tumbling billows of the main. 22. ///. 1. 4. 18. 

Fountains, and ye that warble as yejlow, 
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. 

P. L. 5. 195. 

The hypothesis that has been ventured as to the origin 
of the resemblance, thus noticed by Bacon, is strengthened 
by observing, that our poets always affect this letter, 
whenever they have to describe a yielding wavy motion. 
The tie, which links such an association with the letter {, ip 

Part huge of bulk, 

Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait, 

Tempest the ocean. P. L. 7. 410. 

Some of serpent kind, 
Wond'rous in length and corpulence, involved 
Their snaky folds. P. L. 7. 482. 

The one seemed woman to the waist, and fair, 

But ended /<n</, in many a scaly fold 

Voluminous and vast. P. L. 2. 650, 

R, though a trembling letter, has a character of sounc 
diflkring in many particulars from that of /. In the first 
place it has a narrow sound, not unlike 6, while that of I is 
a decidedly broad one. In the second place the vibrations, 
instead of being slow and uncertain like those of I, are quick 
snd decided. Its sound was likened, even by Roman critics, 
to the snarling of the dog ; but it has a resemblance to any 
narrow sound, which is broken in upon by short quick in- 


termptiona. Hence ifca power in expressing harsli, gratings 

and rattling noises. 

In the two first of tfie following examples, the roll of a 
liquid mass is beautifally contrasted with the harsh rattle 
of rock or shingle, on which it is supposed to act. 

As burning ^trta from liis boiling stew 

Dofh belch out Aamc^t, and rocks m pieces hrokcy 

Ami ragf*ed ribs of mountains molten new^ 

Eixwrapt in cole-black cloudt, F^ Q, K 11. 44. 

As raging se&s are wont to roar^ 

When wifiiry storm \m wrathful wreck does threat^ 
The rolling billows beat the ragged Mhore\ 

F. Q. L 11. 21. 

With clamour thence the rapid current drive 
Towards the retreatiug «ea their /ariow* tide, 

P. L. 11.853. 

As an aged tree 

Wlioae lieart-stringB witli keen «tecl nigh he wen be. 

The mighty trmkj half r^n^ with ragged rift^ 

Doth roll adown the rocks and fall ^hh fearful drift 

F. (I 1. 8.22. 

And she whom once the semblance of a scar 
Afipaird, an owlet*8 lantm chiird with dread ^ 
Now views the ^olumn^scatt'ring baj nety«r, 

Chiide Harold, 1.54. 

On a sudden open fly 

With impetuoua recoil und jarrirtg sound 

Th' infernal door 9^ and on their hinges grate 

Harsh ihimder. P. L, 2. 879. 

The brazen throat of irar had ceaa*d to rotir^ 

All now was tum'd to jolhty and game. P. L. 11.713. 

The raven himself is hoarse^ 

That croaks the fatal enterance of Duncan 

Under my battlements. Macbeth, 1.4. ?I9. 

— — Such bursts of horrid thunder^ 

Such groans of roaring wind and ruuj, 1 never 
Remember to have heard. Lear^ 3. 2, 45. 

The sounds represented in the three last examples 
not only harsh and grating, but deep and full ; the narrow 

a u 

ionod of the r is therefore corrected by the broad irowels in 
rwirf hoarse f groans^ Ac, 

Bacon likens the sound of z to the quenching of hot 
metals, and that of sh to the noise of screech-owla. The 
fact is that the sounds represented by «, zh^ #, sh, are all 
more or less sibilant^ and accordingly have a greater or leas 
affinity to any sound of the like character. Now there are 
A variety of noises, which though not absolutely hisses, yet 
ipproach near to them in the sharpness and shrillness of 
their sound, as shrieks, screeches^ the whistling of man or 
other animals. All these reaemble more or less the hissing 
goand of the sibilants. 

They 9am — but, other sight imt^'ftd f a crowd 

Of agly terpenU ; horror on thorn fell 

A till horrid gtftnpathy; fur, what thejr $aw^ 

Tlief feh ihemselrei now ehangiog ; down their aims, 

Down fell both upcar and tkieldy down they agfoMtj 

And the dire HUm renewed, P. L. 10. 538* 

Drt^adftd was iho din 

Of huMifig through the hall, thick sw^trmin^ now 

With oomjilitiated mtmHcrg, head and tail, 

S^nrpitm and ai/>, and amphUbana dire, 

Certutea hom*d« hydras and filopx drear, 

And dipsoM (not so thick Mwarmd cure the soil^ 

Bedropt with blood of gor^'on)* P* A. lO, 521. 

The hoarse iii|rht-ravenf trump of doleful drcre, 
The leather-winged bat^ cUy's enemy. 
The roefiil i^trich still waiting on the bior. 
The tchiitler ghrill that whoso hears dotli die. 

F, Q. 2. \% .%. 

By trkiMptring wttidx MOon luU'd anleep. 

V Allegro, 116. 

The breezy call of mt'«i*f- breathing mom, 

The Mwallow twittVing from the #/ra«?- built shed^ 

The rock's tkriU clarion, or the echoing horn, 
No more ahall rouse theni Irom their lowly bed. 

Grny^ Elegy^ at, &. 

And wtih $karp tthrilltng dhrieks do bootless ery. 

F. Q. 2. 12. 3G. 

Now air in hiish'd. save where the weak-eyVl bat, 
Wjfli rnhnrt xhrtll shriek flite by on leathern wing. 

Collins' 9 Evenings at, (I. 


It will be observed that in several of these examples the 
sharp sonnd of the sibilant is strengthened by that of the 
narrow vowels^ long e and short t. These vowels are some- 
times used with eflFect even by themselves. 

The clouds were fled, 

Driven by a keen north wind, that, blowing dry 
Wrinkled the face of deluge. P. Z. 11 . 84 1 . 

The threaden sails, 

Borne with th' invisible and creeping wind. 
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea. 

H, V. 3. CTionu, 9. 

The broad vowel-sounds on the contrary, long a, au, long 
and short o, together with the broad diphthong ou^ are used 
to express deep and hollow sounds ; 

A dreadful sound. 

Which through the wood hud bellowing did rebound. 

K Q. 1. 7. 7. 

The thunder .... ceases now 

To bellow through the vast and boundless deep. 

P, L, 1. 176. 

All these and thousand thousands many more, 

And more deformed monsters ihouscmd-fold, 

With dreadfld noise and hollow rombling sound 

Came rushing. F, Q. 2. 12. 25. 

As the sound of waters deep, 

Hoarse murmurs echoed to his words applause, 

P. L. 5. 872. 

The very expression a hollow sound shows how close is 
the association of a hollow space with depth and fullness of 
sound. Hence the broad vowels are sometimes used to 
express mere breadth and concavity. 

So high as heav'd the tumid hiUs, so low 
Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad and deep. 

P. L, 7. 288. 

Hell at last, 

Yawning received them whole, and on them closed, 

P. L. 6. 874. 

The observation of Bacon relative to the sound of ng may 
be generalized in like manner. There is no doubt that all 


the throe nasals have a close affinity to any deep low sound; 
8iicli as a hnm^ a murmur, or the twang of a musical string 
slowly vibrating. The reason I take to be the distinctness 
with which the vibrations of the voice are heard in pro- 
nooncing these letters, and the low deep tone in which they 
are generally spoken. 

Through the foul womb of night 

The hym of either armt/ stilly sounds. 

H. r. 4. Chorus, 4. 

The shard-^om^ beetle with his drowsy hums 

Ilath rung night*s yawning peal. Macbeth, 3. 2. 42. 

Where the beetle winds 

His small but sullen horn. 
As ofl he rises *midst the twilight path 
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum, 

Collins, Evening, st. 4. 

The ^vm-coek hummed wi* lazy drone. 

The kyc stood rowtin i* the loan. Bums, Twa Dogs. 

Where each old poetic mountain 
Inspiration breathed around, 
Every shade and hallowtsd fountain 
Murmured deep a solemn sound. 

Gray, Progress of Poesy, ii. 3. 

Even Johnson, notwithstanding the ridicule he has thrown 

upon enquiries of this nature, has admitted that particular 

images may be ^' adumbrated by an exact and perceptible 

resemblance of sound.'' But the law of resemblance — 

that first great law of association — is not to be confined 

thus narrowly. If the more sound of the words hiss and 

hah recall the cry of the animal, so may the muscular action, 

which the organs exert in pronouncing the words struggle, 

wrestle, call up in the mind the play of muscle and sinew, 

usual in those encounters. Wherever there is resemblanco 

there may be association. We will now enquire what 

means our poets have used to Jix their associations in the 

reader's mind^ more especially in those cases, in which the 

connecting link has been the disposition or the action of 

the organs. 

In the first place, we may observe that in making any 
I. c 



B. I, 

continued muscular oSbrt-, wo draw in tho trcath and com- 
pref^B the lips firmly. Now this is the very position in 
which w© place tho organs, when pronouncing the letters 
hj p, I have no doubt that to this source may be traced 
much of the beauty of the following verses* 

Behemoth^ biggest horn of earth, upkeavd 
Hi^ vastness — 

/\Z, 7,47L 

The moiin turns huge appciir 
Emergent, Qnd their broad bare backs upheave 
Into tlie clouds. P. L, 7. 285. 

The envious flood 
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth .... 
But amotber'd it within my panting bulk, 
Which almoat bursi to bekh m the »ea. R, III. 1. 4. 37, 

- — • — — But Jirst from inward grief 
Hia burxtiii^ jmssion into plain (m thus pour d. P. Z. 9. 97. 

Wim thrusting boldly twtxt hiui and the hlow, 

The burden of the deadly bruni did bear. F, Q, 4. 8* 42. 

A gricvoufl burthen was thy birth to uie. 

li. III. 4. 4. 167. 

When the mind is seiz'd with fear and amazement, tl 
lipfl open and voice fails us. If the surprize be sudden, a 
whispered ejaculation escapes, suppresaM almost as soon as 
uttered. In this way I would account for that combina- 
tion of letters sfj which Sponsor and others of our older 
poets affcctj whenever they have to describe this feeling. 
Its fitness for the purpose seems to lie in the sudden stop, 
which is given by tho t to the whisper sound of the 8 — 
letters, be it observed, which are formed without the agency 
of the lips. 

The giant ielf, dismayed with that iaound, .... 
In haste came ruabiiiff forth from inner bow'r, 
With Btariug conntnance stern^ as one antound^ 
And ^t/iggenrig Jiteps, to weet what soddeii xtoiir 
Had wrought that horror strmige and dai^Vl his flrcaded powV. 

F. Q. 1. 8. 5. 

51fi?rM was their look ; lika wild a mailed steerg^ 
Staring with licillow eyes and Hijf upAlmiding hairs. 

F. Q, 2. 9. IS. 


He anBwcr*d not at all, but adding new 

Fear to his first amazement, staring wide 

With siomy ejes, and heartless hollow hue, 

AsttmUKd UoodL F, Q. \, 9. 24. 

When too the sinews are overstretched^ or shaken with 
sharp and jerking efforts^ the same kind of broken breath- 
ing generally follows the strain upon them. The sound too 
is harsh and grating. Hence^ in part at leasts the effect 
produced by the combinations $t, sir, in the following 
passages ; 

Staring full ghastly like a strangled man, 

His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretched with struggling^ 

His hands abroad displaj'd, as one that grasped 

And tugg'd for life. H, VL 3. 2. 170. 

But th* heedful boatman strongly forth did stretch 

His brawny arms, and all his body strain. F. Q. 2. 12. 21. 

There is little doubt^ however^ that the chief link of asso- 
ciation in these passages is the difficult muscular action, 
which is calFd into play in the pronunciation of sir. 

Under the influence of fear the voice sinks into a whisper. 
Hence in describing that passion, or such conduct as it 
generally accompanies-— deceit or caution — wo find the 
whisper-letters peculiarly effective. 

With sturdy steps came stalking in his sight 

An hideous giant, horrible and high. F. Q. 1 . 7. 8. 

The knight himself e*en trembled at his fall, 

So huge and horrible a mass it sccm'd. F, Q, 1. 11. 55. 

So daunted when the giant saw the knight, 

His heavy hand he heaved up on high. F. Q. 1. 7. 14. 

And pious awe, thai /card to have offended. P. L. 5. \i\5. 

His fraud is then thy fear, which plain infers 

Thy equal yjfor that my firm faith and love 

Can by his /ram/ be shaken and seduc'd. P. L. 9. 285. 

Fit fesseh fittest imp of fraud, in whom 

To enter, and his dark suggestions hide. P. L. 9. 89. 

The whisper-letters p, t, are sometimes used at the end 
of words with great effect^ in representing an interrupted 


action. The impossibility of dwelling upon these letters, 
and the consequently sharp and sudden termination which 
they give to those words into which they enter, will suffi- 
ciency explain their influence. 

Till an unusual stop of sudden silence 

Gave respite. Comus^ 552. 

Sudden he stops^ his eye is Jix^d^ away ! 

Away ! thou heedless boy. Childe Harold, 1. 70. 

All unawares 

Fluttering his pinions vain, plumb down he drops 

Ten thousand fathom deep. Par, Lost, 2. 933. 

• The pilgrim oft 

At dead of night, mid his oraison, hears 
Aghast the voice of time, disparting tow'rs, 
Tumbeling all precipitate, dowfU'dash^dy 
Rattling aloud, loud thundering to the moon. 

Dyer's Ruins of Rome, 39. 

Little efifort is wanted, as Johnson once observed, to 
make our language harsh and rough. It cost Milton no 
trouble to double his consonants, and load his line with 
rugged syllables, when he described the mighty conflict 
between his angels. 

But soon obscurM with smoke, all heav*n appearM, 

From those deep-throated engines belch'd, whose roar 

Emboweird with outrageous noise the air, 

And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul 

Their dev'lish glut, chained thunderbolts and hail 

Of iron globes. P. L. 6. 585. 

But when he chose, he could also glide upon his vowels and 
make his language as smooth as the Italian. 

And all the while harmonious airs were heard. 

P. R. 2. 3G2. 

With what all earth or heaven could bestow 

To make her amiable, on she came, P. Z. 8. 483. 

■ The serpent sly 

Insinuating wove with Oordian twine 

His braided train. P, L. 4. 848. 

Milton's verses, however, lose half their beauty when thuB 
insulated. It is a remark of Cowper, that a rough line 


seems to add a greater smoothness to the others ; and no 
one better knew the advantages of contrast than Milton. 
There can be little doubt that many of his harsher verses, 
some of which contain merely a bead-roll of names, were 
introduced for the sole purpose of heightening the melody 
of the lines which followed. 


B. L 



The definition of a sciontific term is aeldom aided by ita 
etymology* According to the Greek derivation, a syllable 
means a collection of letters^ according to the Celtic * a verbal 
element. The first of theao must have suggested to Pria- 
cian his well-known definition. The Latin grammarian 
pronounces a syllable^ to be a collection of letters bear- 
ing the same accent^ and foroied by one impulse of the 
breath. Scaliger, more simply, and I think more aen- 
sibly, defines it to be a verbal element falling under one 

The objection which attaches to both theae definitions is 
the vagnonesB of the word acctmt. Among tbe Greeks and 
Latins accent meant tone^ with us it means something 
widely different. There are also Greek syllablea which 
receive both a grave and a aliarp tone. It is true we call 
this onion of the tones a circmnflexj but this is merely an 
evasion of the difiiculty ; or rather, we should say, it is a 
loose expression, on which an erroneous definition has been 
grounded. I am also far from sui^o that our English accent 
in all cases pervades the syllable. On some letters the 
stress is certainly more obvious than on others. These 
difficulties might be avoided, by defining a syllable to bo j 
word or verbal element, which for rhythmical purposes 
considered as having only one accent. 

Properly, every syllable ought to have a distinct vov 
sound, Buch is the rule which prayailed in the Greek i 

' In Welsh^ rA is an utteranre j JraMheh an orut ion, Jrartk eloqnent j dir^h a 
proverb, dir tnie; galarch a voicu of nioiirning, ffalar mourning j gntctheh h 
elinittx, ^ra^/A \l stc^p ; silkh iin clpmenitiiry part of siH'ut-li, a syttable, ajY/ an 
iflenienL Hencta the Nomiiiu ^IhJjc^ \xm{ uui* Kngliiib KyiUtble^ [But sec no 
in tbe Appendix,! 

C- 111. 



I^tin^ and I bolieve also in our earlier dialect. At pre- 
aent it is different. Thus the word heo/pen m now cuosidered 
•fi of two syllables^ thougk it has but one vowel^ the second 
Bjtl&ble consisting merely of a consonantal sound. 

It is probable that in the earlier periods of our language 
there was no such thing as a syllable thus merely conso- 
nantal. It is certain that the critics of Elizabeth's reign 
llumght a vowel essential^ and though many syllables were 
held to be doubtful^ yet in all such cases there prevailed a 
diffiarence of pronunciation, as to tho number of the vowel- 
flomids. At present we have many wordg^ such as heaven, 
Beven, &c.^ which are used in our poetry Boroetimos as mono- 
syllables, sometimes as dissyllables, yet in neither case have 
more than one vowel-sound. The only difference in the 
pronunciation is, that we rest somewhat longer upon the 
filial consonant, when we use them as dissyllables. There 
CHI be little doubt that at an earlier period these words 
voii]^ in such a case, have been pronounced with two 
Yowel-sonnds, heav-en, sev-en, &c.j as they still are in somo 
of our provincial dialects. 

It is not quite easy to say, why all the early systems of 
qrllabification should bo thus dependent upon the number 
of the vowel-sounds. Every letter, except p, t, k, may bo 
dwelt upon during a finite portion of time, and if we also 
except b, d, g, the consonants may be lengthened just as 
mdilj as the vowels. There is therefore only a partial 
olgectian to the system, which should even divide a word 
into its liUrcU elements. If we excepted the six letters 
h, d, g^ p, t, k, and joined them in pronunciation to those 
tmmfediately preceding or succeeding^ I can see no a jiriori 
objection to a system even thus simple. Musical com- 
posers take this liberty without scruple in adapting words 
to tausic, and often split a monosyllable into as many parts 
IB it has letters. 

The probable reason is the much greater importance of 
the vowel in the older dialects. In those languages which 
hsd a temporal rhythm, verse must have been spoken in a 
kind of recitative ; and such to this day is the manner in 
whidi the Hindoos recite their Sanscrit poems. Tho more 



B. I. 

grataful sound of tlio vowels woiilfl iiattimlly poiot tliomout 
&5 beat fitted for musical expression, and on thc?so tbe notes 
would chiefly rest. Again, the tendency of language is to 
shorten the vowels. Moat of our present short vowels 
wore pronounced by the Anglo-Saxons with tho middle* 
quantity, and some with the long. Those knots of conso- 
nants too, which aro so frequent in onr language, unloose 
themselves as we trace thom upwards. The vowels re- 
appear one after tho other, and as we advance we find their 
(quantity gradually iengfchening. There are dissyllables 
which expand themselves, oven within tlie Anglo-Saxon 
period, to six syllables, and the number might be doubled, 
if wo traced them still further by tlie aid of the kinth^od 
dialects. This accumulation of cousouauts aud shortening 
of tho vowel made the voice rest tho longer on tho conao* 
nantid portion of tho word, and seems at length to have 
paved tho way for consonantal syllables. 

In tratung the gradual extinction of our syllables, I shall 
first call tho reader's attention to tho final <?. Tho loss of 
tho initial syllable ^vill then be considered; and afterwards 
tho case of those vowels wliich have at any time melted into 
diphthongs, or have otherwise coalesced into one syllable, 
Tho loss of tho vowel before dilTereut coui^ouants will then 
bo matter of investigation i and we shall conclude the 
chapter by noticing such syllables as are formed by 
coalition of two or more distinct words. 


The following arc instances of French substantives whicl 
retained their final e after they were introduced into ou 
language ; 

Upon her kneca she p^ftn to falle, 

And with I 8ad eouu tenrtn ve ; knel | eth Btill^' 
Till she had herd, wlmt was the lordes will. 

Chm. The Ch'rh» Tale; C T. 8168, 

^ See chap. V. 

* Tlie vpTtical liee aKyays follows an acf?cnted S3* Hal tie ^ and tlw colon (J 
indlcAU's the place of the middle paute^ of which wt- .•itiull hare to say ttiore j 
Chapter Vlh 

C. ni. FRENCH £ FINAL. 25 

As to mj dome ther is non that is here 

Of El \ oqmen \ ce : that | shall be | thy perc | . 

Ckau. The FrankeUins Prologue; C\ T. 10989. 

Than had | de he spent | : all | his philo8 \ ophi \ f , 
Aj Questio quid juris! wolde he crie. 

Ckau. Prologue, 047. 

And God that sitteth hie in Majistee, 

8ave all this com\pagni\e : grct | and smalje, 

Thus have I quit the miller in my tale. 

Chau. The Reeves Tale; C. T, 4320. 

Till Erewyn wattir, fysche to tak, he went, 
Sic/cM,£an|tf : fell | in his | entent | Wallace, i. 369. 

We find also this termination famished with two syllables 
in tlie ploraly 

M in ben ' also | : the mal ! adi \ es col i de. 
The dcrke trcsons and the castes oldc. 

Chau, The Knightes Tale; C, T 24<)9. 

He was a jangler and a gnliardeis, 

And that | was most { : of sin | ne and har \ lotri \ en, 

Wei coude he stelen come and toUen thries.' 

Chau, Prologue, 562. 

We also have the e, which closes the French adjoctive. 

This ilke noble quene 

On her shoulders gan siistenc 

Both the armes, and the name 

Of tho I that had ' de : larg \ e fam \ e. 

Chau. House of Fame, 3. 319. 

A larg '. e man j he was | : with ey ! en step | c, 
A fairer burgeis is ther non hi Chepc. 

Chau, Prologue, 755. 

His conferre<l sovereignty was like 

A larg I e Hail | : full | with a fore ' right wind | '' 

That drowns a smaller bark. Fletcher, ProphitesH, 5. 1 . 

In rotten ribbe<l barck to passe the Kcas, 

The for : raine landes | : and straung \ ie sites | to see j 

Doth dauiigcr dwell. Turhervile to his Friend P., nt, 3. 

' Thriri Is always a di88yllal)lc in Chancer. 

' [But s<>rae iMlitioriH n*a(l : *' A Iarp:i* | sail, filfd | full wiih | a fore' -right 
wind;.- This is far belter.— W. W. S.J 



The most frequent vowel endinga of Anglo-Saxon sul 
Btantives wore a, e, u. All the three were, in the foi] 
teenth century, repreaented by the e final. We meet 
however, with subafcantivea in e which have two, and 
some cases three, Anglo-Saxon aubstantivea corresponding 
to them ; and when we find all the three endings in Anglo- ' 
Saxon J it is difficult to say which is represented by the e. 
Even when we only know of one Anglo-Saxon ending, there 
is always a possibility of the others existing, though they 
may not have fallen within the compass of our reading. I 
shall first give examples of the e which answers to the Anglo- 
Saxon a. 

All the Anglo-Saxon nouns in a are masculine, and 
belong to what Rask terms the first deciension, as nanui a 
name, tw?wi time, mmm the moon. 

And Kast iKJaptnl licre cliik Theseus, 

Aod tab j ely chaiig | ed Last | : thy jwrw | « tlma | — 

Chan. The Knighte* Tale; C T. 1585, 

A knight tlior wa«, and that a wortliy maWi 
Ttiat fro ] the tim \ e ; that | he first | begim | 
Ti> ritien oiit^ he loved ehivAtrie, 
Troutb and huDour, fredom aad cuiHcsic, 

Chau. Prti/^wc, 43. 
Ifis smle! was of rewcl bonct 
Llis bridel as the »omie Bbotie, 

Or as I the man ] e ligbt. 

Chau, Site Thopan; C. T. 13807. 

The Anglo-Saxon nouns in e belong to various gender 
and declensions. A great number of them are feminine 
and neuters belonging to the first declension. Among th^ 
feminine nouns are mnne the sun, heorie the heart, rose the 
rose ; care the ear^ ia neuter. There are also mascuhne and 
neuter nouns in e, which belong to other declensions. 

Thus the <lfty tbey spcnde 

In rev [ el, till | : the mu \ nc ^an | deiJfX'ntt e. 

Chmu The Ckrket Tale; C T, 8267, 


And thus | with good | hope : and | with keri \ e blith | 
Thej taken hir leave. 

Chau. The Knightes Tale; C. T 1880. 

And fresher than the Maj with flowres newe, 
For I with the roa | e col | onr : strof | hire hew | e. 

CJUM. The Knightes Tale; C, T. 1039. 

He smote me ones with his fist, 

For that I rent out of his book a lefe. 

That I of the stroke | : mjn er \ e wex | al defe. | 

duoL The Wif of Bathes ProL ; C. T, 6216. 

Noons in u were generally feminine, as scolu school, lufu 
love, sceamu shame, lagu law; but there were also some 
masculines belonging to another declension, as 9unu a son, 
vmdu a wood, &c. 

Full soth I is sajd | : that lov\enQ \ lordship | 
Wol nat, his thankes, have no felawship. 

Chau, The Knightes Tale; C. T. 1625. 

It is I a sham \ e : that | the pe { pie shal | 
So scomen thee. 

Otau. The Second Nunnes Tale; C. T. 15973, 

With empty womb of fasting many a daj 
Receiv { ed he | the law \ e : that | was writ | en 
With Goddes finger, and Eli, wel je witen, .... 
He farted long. 

CTiau. The Sompnoures Tale; C, T, 7470. 

No maister, sire, quod he, but servitour, 
Though I I have had | in scol\e : that | honour |. 

Chau, The Sompnoures Tale; C. T, 7767. 

Hefor { e hire stood | : hire son | e Cup j ido | 
Upon his shoulders winges hadde he two. 

Otau. The Knightes Tale; C. T. 1965. 

And as she cast her eie aboute, 
8he sigh clad in one sute a route 
Of ladies, wher thcj comen ride 
A I longe un | der : the wood\de sid | c. 

Gower, C. A, bk. iv. 

We also have the Anglo-Saxon ending -the, a distinct 

And wel I wot, withouten help or grace 

Of thee, I nc may | my streng \ the : nut | avail | le. 

emu. The Knightes Tale; C. T, 2402. 


I preise wol thy wit. 
Quod tbe Frank | eleiii | : coiisid | ering | thy you \ the 
St) fcliiigly tliou sjiekest, 8iix% 1 alone thee 
As to tiij cloiiie, titer is non thiit is here 
Of eloquence that sljal be thy pere. 

Chau. The Frankdemes ProL ; C. T. 10986. 

Such of these endings as survived till the sixteenth cen- 
tnrj changed the e for y, and were gradually confounded 
with the adjectives of that termination. There can he little 
doubt that the helly and woody of the following extracts 
were the Anglo-Saxon heUe (gen. case) and wudu. 

Free Ilelieon and frank e Pamtutsun livlk 

Are hel , It/ Iiauntjs | : uml raiike | peniic ions jlU | . 

Baldtvin; M.JbrM,; Collingbourne^ % 

- The tfftt I yrs scorn | their wood if kind \ , 

And henceforth nothing fair but her on earth tliey find. 

Fairy Queen, l. 6. 18* 

There were a few Anglo-Saxon adjectives, which ende 
in e, aa fje-irewe true, rdwe new. 

A irew\e swink | er : and | a good | was he | , 

Living in pees and parfite charitee. Chau* Prologue^ 5d3. 

And swore | his oth | : as | he was treiv I e knight ] . 

Chan. The Knighte» Tah; C. T, 961. 

She was wel more bliasful on to sec 
Than in | the newc : per|jenet|c tree. 

Chan, ilie Milhrett TaU ; C. T. 3247. 

An ad verb was also formed from the adjective by tl 
addition of an e ; a formation which flourished in the tir 
of Chaucer, and cannot be considered even dow aa obsolet 
The € hag indeod vanished^ and the word^ thug robbed of i 
syllable, is considered merely as the adjective used 
verbiallj. Ifc isj however, the legitimate though corrup 
descendant of the old adverb, and such root has it taken i 
the language, that not all the efforts of our grammaria 
have been ablo to weed it out. 

And I in a eloth | of gold [ : that brigk \ te shone | , 
With a coixtnne of many a riche sU>iie, 
Upou hire hed^ they hilo hiill hire hroiighte. 

rhnu. T0h ckfki'^ Taici c. T. %ms. 

c. iir. 



Commani] j eth bbii | : and ftin ' te Itk'wo | tlvL' fire j , 

Chau, Chanotir^ Vrrtmnnes Tale; C. T, 16728* 

We! I fX)tide ho fit | te on bora | : and fa^r ' e riil e. 

Chau. The Proto^e, 9X 

There isj however, one cantion to be given. The super- 
iitiTe af the adjective ends in atef that of the adverb in st. 

A knight thor was, and tliat | a worthy nmii, 

That I iVo tlie tiin e : that | hcjirtt * | began I 

To rideti out, he loved cKivalrie. Chau, Prolo§ruey 43. 


In the history of literature there are few things more 
nomrkable than the poaition which is now occapied by 
Chaacer. For the last three centnrios he has been read and 
pxaified and criticised, jet neither reader, eulogist, nor critic, 
has Uiought fit to investigate his language. ^\1ien does ho in- 
flect his substantive? when his adjective? These are quea- 
tiooA, which obtrude themselves in the study of every lan- 
goage^yet who has ventured to answer for oar early English ? 

One of the difiEculties in the way of this enquiry, is the 
number of dialects, which prevailed in the country from the 
eleventh to the fifteenth century. There is a wide distinc- 
tion between the language of Layamon and of Chaucer, yet it 
is by no means easy te say whether this marks a difference 
of dialect, or is merely the change which our language 
underwent in the course of two centuries. I shall therefor© 
eoofine myself to the dialect of our earliest classic, and 
notice the language of other writers, only aa they serve for 
the purposes of illustration. 

In the time of Layamon the dative singular in e still sur- 
vived. I suspect this dative had become obsolete before tho 
time of Chaucer; yet there are lines which it is difficult to 
account for without its assistance. Thus, in the couplet 
which opens the poem, 

^\T)arme dial A[)ril wilh his phoures flotc 

The droaght of March biul percud to the rote — 

* [Frinled jCntf* in the Ibrmer edition, bomuse io prinlfd by Tynftfailt 5 bur, 
I7 the argumeDt, there ought Io be no tiiml f. — W* W. JS,] 



B. I. 

there is littlo doubt that rote is a dissyllable, for it rimes 
with soie^ which seems clearly to bo the plaral ailjoctive 
agreeing with skoures. Now the common form of this sub- 
stantive is a monosyllable rotj and nnlesa rote he its tlativo 
wo must conclude thore is another substantive rote of two 
syllables — a conclusion whichj though I would not contra- 
dict itj seems iraprobablo/ If however Chancer used the 
dativej it must have been so rarely aa much to lessen the 
value of this discussion* 

There seems to be no doubt that Chaucer used the old 
genitive plural in a, the final vowel being represented, as in 
other cases, by e. We find in old English vtenne, horse^ 
othe, answering to the Anglo- Saxon mamm, horsa, dlha, the 
respective genitives plural of man, hors, and tUh. 

Tuelf fereii he hodde 
Tlmt he with him ladde 
Al I le rich | e menn \ e eon | es, 
And alle sujthe fey re gomes. 

Geste of King Horn^ 19. 

For ye arcn men of this molde, that mo^i wide walk en 
Aiid knowen countries and cxmrtcs, and mcnyc kiuoe places, 
liolh prine [ es ptiJ j eis : and pou | re men \ ne rc^t | es. 

Piers Plowman^ C xi. 14. 

— — Everie year this fi*eshe Male 

These liLstic ladies ride aboute, 

And 1 muHt ncdes 8 ewe her ronte 

III this inaner, as ye now seei 

And tnisflc her ballters^ forth with mce, 

And I am but | her horji \ e knav e. 

Gowe.r, Confess to Ammtlis^ bk. it. 

That is, ^'and I am only their horses' groom.** — in Anglo* 
Saxon, heora horsa cnapa. 

We now come to a verse which both Urry and Tyrwhit 
have done their best to epoil. Chaucer bec^ins his ex-«| 
quiaito portrait of the Prioresa with these lines ; 

Tber was alfio a nonne, a Prioretjse, 

That of hire smiling was fid Riinjilc and eoy. 

Hire gret \ est o(h | r : n'as | but by | seint hoy. 

Prologue, 130, 

* Se<? note in the App«^ndix. 

C. Ill, 



Where othe is tlie genitive plural after the superlative, 
" her greatest of oaths." The flow of the verse is as soft 
as the gentle being the poet is describing. But its beauty 
was lost on the Editors. They seem to have shrunk from 
making othe a dissyllable (a reluctance tlmt would bo per- 
fectly right if that word were in the nominative) j and so, 
without the authority of a single mannacript, they intro- 
duced this jerking substitute ; 

Hire grei{ est othe | : n'aB | butbjSemt | Eloy| — 

a change which not only mars the rhythm of one of the 
sweetest passages that Chaucer ever wrote, but also brings 
ns acquainted with a new saint. " Sweet Saint Loy '^ was 
well knowuj but I never met with St. Eloy in English 

The plural adjective takes e for its inflexion, sa the 
Anglo-Saxon endings would lead us to expect. In illiia* 
trating this and the following rules, I shall, as much as 
possible^ select examples which contain the adjective both 
with and without its inflexion. The reason for so doing ia 

Men loreden more derkneasis than light, for her werkia weren yvele^ 
(or ech mAn that duith ifttl batlth the light. Wiclif, Jon. 3, 19. 

in these lay m gret muldtade of ^Jb men, hlinde^ crakid^ and drtfc. 

Wiclif, Jan. 5, 3. 

A frere there was, a wanton and a meiy, 

A Hmitonr, a ful solemne man* 

In ill the ordeTB foure ts non that can 

8o mnch of daliance and fajr lan|;age . • • • 

Hia tippet was ay farped ftill of kniTea 

And pin I set for to gtr | en : fap" \ e wiv | es. 

Chmu Prologue, 208. 

Whem th» Bm^kh pun fwept olT the famkhed Frenchman ag he waa 
■mp hia aMMdei^ CbmKkjmid tellt as 

Soma itmtij bcRng^i their mnakeli evry weeke, 
Saaa leriSa d e tJieir hnrse fo mB«eU Sajfmei Lay. 

wdmj^ iw i ii i, in ooc of his poems, hat wrkim tlie word at fuD length 
, bat, I hav» Utile ^nbc, dided tka e to proomMaalioo. [See mj note in 


In ol I de ilay | es : of | the king | Artour, | 
Of which that Bretons spckc grct honour. 

The mfofBathett Tale; C. T. 6439. 

When the adjective follows the definite article the, or the 
definite pronouns this, that, or any one of the possessive 
pronouns^ it takes what is called its definite form. In the 
Anglo-Saxon, the definite adjective differs from the other 
in its mode of declension; in the old English the only 
difference is the final e. 

How may ony man entre into the hou8c of a strong man^ and take 
awei hisc vesselis, but he first byudc the sironge man, &c. 

Wiclif, Man. 12, 29. 
At Lcyes was he, and at Satalie, 
Whan I they were won | ne : and in | the gret \ e see ! 
At many a noble armee had he be. Chau, Prologue^ 58. 

Wei I can the wis | f po [ et : of | Floren ce, 
That hight« Dant, speken of this sentence. 

Chau, Wif of Bathes Tale; C. T. 6307. 

And up I he rid | eth : to [ the high \ e bord | . 

Chau, The Squiers Tale; C. T. 10399. 

Sike * lay this husbondman, whos that the place is 

O der { e mais | ter : quod | this sik \ e man j , 
How have ye faren sin that March began. 

Chau. The Sompnoures Tale; C. T. 7S50. 

White ^ was hire smok, and brouded all before. 
And eke behind, on hire colere aboute. 
Of colcblak silk, within and eke withoute. 
The tap j es of | : hire trhit '■ e vol | uper ; e 
Were of the same suit of hire colere. 

Chau. TheMilleres Tale; C. T. 3238. 

These rules prevail very widely in the Gothic dialects. 
They will not, however, explain all the cases in which the 
definite adjective is used, either in the Anglo-Saxon or in 
the old English dialect. The subject is too difficult and ex- 
tensive to be discussed here. We will, however, notice 

' [So printed by Tyrwhitt ; but wrongly, as the argumunt shews. Reftd 
5j>t.— W.W. S.] 

' [So printed by Tyrwhitt; but wrongly, as the argument shews. Bead 
Whit.^Vf. W. S.] 


one rale, which may be of importance to the grammar of 
both these langoageH. The passive participle^ and those 
adjectives which partake of its character, may^ I think, be 
treated at any time as indeclinable. We shall find many 
examples^ when we examine the rhythms of our Anglo- 
Saxon poets. 

Of the old English verb, as used by Chaucer, it may be 
observed^ that the first person singolar and the three per- 
sons plural of the present tense end in e ; so also the im-* 
perative mood ^ and the infinitive ; 

I put { to me I : in thy I protec | tion, ( 
Diane ! and in thy disposition. 

Chau. Knightea Tale ; C. T. 2365. 

In olde dayes of the king Artour, 

Of which I that Bret ! ons spek ! e : gret | honour | . 

Chau. Wif of Bathes Tale; C\ T 6439. 

Than longen folk to gon on pilgrimages, 

And palmers for to seken strange strondes, 

To 9er I Ptf * hal I wes : couth | in sun \ dry lond ! es. 

Chau. Prologue^ 12. 

The past tense generally ends in de or ede, bnt sometimes 
it is the same as the participle in d or ed. X believe these 
two forms of the perfect to be independent, and not derived 
the one from the other. We shall not stop to discuss the 
question, but I cannot pass by the strange hypothesis of 
Tyrwhitt. That critic supposes the de to be the same as ed, 
with a transference of the vowel ; representing in short the 
ending intermediate between the old termination and the 
present. Every one, who has opened an Anglo-Saxon 
grammar, knows, that de is the old and proper termination 
of the perfect, and though I will not assert that the other 
was never used by the Anglo-Saxons (indeed, I think I have 
actually met with it in one or two instances), yet every 
English scholar is aware, that it was only a short time 

* [Sot always ; it depends on the verb. Thus Ut has no final e in Ch. C. T. 

m.—w. w. s.] 

' [The ri^ht readin^ir ia /eme^ip]. adj. Bnt see ride (Ch. Prol. 27) riming 
•ilk rwi', pi. adj.- W. W.* S.] 

I. D 



B. I. 

before Chancer^ that it played any considerable part in our 

Ab I have more than once spoken of Tyrwhitt, in terms 
very different from the eulogios which are commonly paid 
him^ I would make on© observation. I admit that when an 
art is in a state of advancementj such as is the present stata 
of English criticism, it is disingenuous to dwell upon the 
casual blunders^ or the minute inaccuracies of those who 
have preceded ns, Tyrwhitt deserves our thanks for the 
manly experiment of editing our oldest classic, and for 
accumulating a decent share of general knowledge, to serve 
for his occasional elucidation. But what can we say of an 
editor who will not study the language of his author? — of 
one, who having the means of accuracy (at least to a great 
extent) within reach, passes them by, and judges of Chaucer's 
grammar in the fourteenth century by that of Pope in the 
eighteenth ? A Dane or Norwegian, with a competent 
knowledge of Anglo-Saxon, would have been a better judge 
of Chaucer^s syntax than his English editor. 

That Chaucer Bometimes dropt the e final is certain. 
Hire is always a monosyllable, whether it represents the 
A.S, hire (her) or the A.S. hear a (their) . It was also lost 
in other cases when it followed r, and perhaps when it fol- 
lowed other letters, though I would not assert as much, 
without the benefit of a better edition than Tyrwhitt's. 
Many French writers in the fifteenth and sixteenth cen- 
turies discarded tkcir e final ; some more generally than 
others* Murot, who wrote in the reign of Francis, dropt it 
in three cases, and in three only. The day will no doubt 
com 6, when we shall bo able to give a list of all the words, 
in which Chaucer has taken the same liberty.* 


In the present section^ we shall treat of such initial i 

' [It hof come. Profeaiior Child, of IT&rvurd Collegie, Hm collected nU lb* 
instancies of tlie final e^oA ootntrring in Lbe '"Canterbury Tutes." See aIm 
Eliis'ii " E»rly English Prnnu mint ion ;*^W, W, S.] 


tables as have occasionally disappeared from our language^ 
and will begin with the initial vowel ; 

He'll woo I a thou ' sand : ^point \ the day | of mar riage. 

Make friends, invite friends, and proclaim the bands, 

Yet nerer means to wed. Ttuning of the Shrew, 3. 2. 14. 

rU not I be tied | to hours | : nor * point \ ed times ' . 

Taming of the Shrew, 3. 1. 19. 

And keep | jour times | I *point \ jon : for | 1*11 tell | you 
A strange way yon must wade through. 

Fletcher. The Mad Lover, 4. 2. 

That I am guOtless of your father*s death, 

It shall I as ler | el : to | your judg , ment *pear ; ,' 

As death doth to your eye. Hamlet, 4. 5. 151. 

Xo faith I so fast, | quoth she | : but flesh | does *pair \ , 
Flesh may impair, quoth he, but reason can repair. 

F. Q. 1. 7. 41. 

The wrath | ful win ' ter : *proch ing on | apace I , 
With blustering blasts had all ybarde the treene. 

Sachville. M, for Mag, The Induction^ \, 

His owne dear wife, whom as his life he loved, 

Hee durst | not trust, | : nor "proche \ ilnto | her bed | . 

Sachville. M. for M. Buchingham, 45. 

When he had done the thing he sought. 

And as | he would | : *com plight and com past aU. 

Sachville, M.for M, Buchingham, 53. 

Therefore have done, and shortly spedc your pace. 

To ^quaynt \ yourselfe | : and com ; pany | with grace ' . 

Barclay, Schip of Foleg, Of Mochers, st. 2. 

Lay fear aside, let nothing thee amaze, 

Ke have | despaire | : ne * sense \ the want | of time ' . 

Higgins, M. for Mag. King Allxinact, 2. 

I 8hifte<l him away, 

And laid | good ^scuse \ : upon | your ec ; stacy ' . 

Othfillo, 4. 1. 80. 

From templets top, where did Apollo dweU, 

I ^sayd I to flye : | but on | the church | I fell ; . 

Higgins. M. for Mag. King Bladud, 22. 

» [The Globe edition hafl;>UTc».— W. W. S.] 



B. I. 

Several verbs, even at this day, are used sometimes with, 
and sometimes without the vowel, aa to espy^ to escape^ to 
estahluhi &c. 

There are also substantives that throw away the voweL 
ApprentlcG has been pronounced prenfite from the days of 
Chaucer to the present ; apothecaiyf also, and hna^nation, 
not un frequently lost their first syllables ; 

Ee I not abused | with priests | 
They cmmot help tliee. 

nor 'po(h ' ecar [ w, 

Fletcher, Valentiman^ 5. 

Thua time we wastt; unrl Innpfest loagiies tiiuke j*hort» 

Sail ^eas in co€kles, have an wibIi hut i*ir t, 

Milk ' iiig, to take | : your *fmjg ina ] iiou^ \ 

From bouni txi bourn, region to region. Per* 4. 4. L 

My brain, me thinks > ib as an hourglas!?, 
Wherein | my *mag \ ina \ Horn : run | like sands | . 

Bem Jionson, Erenj Man in kix Humour, 3, 3. 

Words compounded with the old preposition a, often lost 
it in pronunciation \ * 

My lor(l» T shall reply amaajedly, 

Half shep^ \ half wak \ ing : hut | as yet | I swear | 

I cannot truly say how I came here. M. N, D. 4. 1. 142. 

Btit home-bred broiles call hack the conquering king, 
Warrps thun |der ""boui | : the Brit aiiie eoasts [ cloth rinj^ ' , * 
Kiccolsu M.fbr M. Arthur. 7*hfl Argnmtmt^ L 7. 


This prefix ia found elided in the works of almost all our 
dramatists, but in some cases there is reiison to believfl 
that the word which is represented thus shorn of a syllabW 
is in fact the root of the com pound, instead of being it 
remnant We find Hong not unfrequentlj written for helor^ 
and sometimes we have the word written at full lengt 
although the rhythm requires but one syllable* Now, ere 
in Chaucer^s time, long was used in the same sense withoB 
the prefix, or any mark of elision ; and, as both Dutch ai] 
Germans have lang-mi^ to reach at, the probability is th| 

So abo we haTe Hm, odj.^ for alivr ; and hnf for aloof. 


long id an independent verb. Oin, though sedulously written 
^ffirij and sometimes begin by modem editors, may also be 
traced back to the times of Wiclif and Chaucer. I do not 
however recollect meeting with it in Anglo-Saxon ; another 
of its compounds, onginn-any being generally used. The 
elisions which follow are among the least doubtful ; 

Let pit I J not | be beUev | ed : there | she shook | 

The holy water from her heaTenly ejes. Lear, 4. 3. 31. 

And believe \ me, gen | tie jouth | : tis I | weep for | her. 

Fletcher. Loyal Subject, 5. 2. 

Now, Sir, if ye have friends enow, 

Though re | al friends ■ : I Vlieve, \ are few [ , 

Yet if your catalogue be fu', 

I'se no insist ; 
But gif ye want ae friend that*8 true, 

Tm on your list. 
Burns, Epistle to Lapraik^ st. 15. 

With these domestic traitors, bosom-thieves. 
Whom custom hath call'd wives ; the readiest helps 
To betray \ the head | y hus | bands : rob | the eas | y. 

Ben Jonson, Catiline, 3. 3. 

Lo ! Demophon, Duke of Athencs, 
How he forswore him falsely. 
And trai | ed Phil ; lis wick | edly. 

Chan. House of Fame, 1. 388. 

O belike \ his maj ; esty | : hath some | intent | 
That you should be new christened in the Tow*r. 

Richard III, 1. 1. 49. 

Tet even in these cases there may be doubts as to the 
elision of any syllable. The Germans have trieg-en, to 
betray^ why should not we have to tray ? The Vlieve how- 
ever of Bums points clearly to the loss of a syllable, sup- 
posing that the word is, as it ought to be, written accord- 
ing to the pronunciation. 

There are also certain adverbs and prepositions which are 
commonly written as though they had lost this prefix, 'fore, 
'cause, &c. These, however, are found as monosyllables in 
some of our earliest English authors, and it would perhaps 
be safer to consider them as distinct words, and to write 
them accordingly. 


We shall have less trouble with the prefix dis, than with 
the one we have just considered. Most of the words^ into 
which it enters, have been derived from foreign sources, 
and their origin carefully traced and ascertained. Still, 
however, there is difficulty in fixing upon the date of the 
corruption. It is undoubtedly of a very early antiquity, 
and probably of the thirteenth century. 

Each bush { a bar | : each spray | a ban i ner ^splayed, \ 
Each house a fort, our passage to have stayed. 

Mirr.forMag, HtuHnffHj \6, 

■ A storm . 

Ill ! to a cloud I of dust | : 'aperst \ in the air | 
The weak foundations of this city fair. 

Spenser. Visions of Bellay^ st 14. 

And ^sdain Jul pride | : and wil | ftd ar | rogance. 

Spenser, Mother Hubbard: s Tale, 1135.* 

I ^sdained \ subjec \ tion : and | thought one | step high I er 
Would set me highest. P. Z. 4. 50. 

And where Ardieus, tyrant vile ! 
Hi^ aged father 'stroyde. 
Higgins. M.for M. King Porrex, 12 (Jirst version). 

Qulien I he is \stre,st \ : than | can he swym | at will | , 
Grct strenth he has, bathe wyt and grace thartill. 

Wallace, 5. 520. 

Ilee thought by cruell feare to bring 

His subjects under, as him liked best, 

But loe I the dread | • wherewith | himself | was ^strest, 

Sackville. M. for M. Buckingham, 39. 

Labour had gi*en it up for good. 

Save swains their folds that beetling stood, 

While Echo, listning in the wood. 

Each knock | kept ^stinct \ ly count | ing. 

Clare, The Fountain, st. 2. 
But, as he nigher drew, he easily 
Might 'scern \ that it I was notj: his sweet [est sweet {. 

F. Q. 3. 10. 22. 

I once thought that the disciple of the following verso 

' [So also : " Or rudely ^stlain a gentle heart's request. "— ^Sjpfwwr, F. Q. iiL 
1. 55. —W. W. S.] 


fell under the present rule, and was to be pronounced 

And bitter penance with an iron whip 
Wis wont him once to disciple every day. 

F. Q. 1. 10. 27. 

bat elsewhere, when used as a word of three syllables, 
Spenser accents it dis ciple\, and we often find it written 
digple in the early part of the sixteenth century. Such was 
doubtless its pronunciation in the line before us.^ 

It may be observed here, though it does not strictly fall 
under the present head of our subject, that Shakespeare has 
used ^cide for decide. 

To *cide \ thig ti | tie : is | impan | eled 

A quest of thoughts. Sonnet 46. 


We are now to consider such syllables, as are rendered 
doubtful by the meeting of two vowel sounds. We will 
beg^n with those which contain the sounds represented by 
ay' and ou/. 

There were many dissyllables in the Anglo-Saxon, which 
contained in the first syllable the diphthong ce, followed by 
a g. All these have now lost the g, and become monosyllables, 
^fceger fisdr, stceger stair, snoegel snail. 

We learn, firom the mode of spelling that prevailed some 
centuries back, and from the pronunciation which still 
lingers in our provinces, that the first change was that of the 
^into a y,fayer, stayer, &c. &c. The next step seems to 
have been to drop the y, and pronounce the words fa-ir, 
iia-ir, &c., and to this mode of pronunciation our present 
orthography was accommodated. They finally became 

There were other words which had also g for the middle 
letter, and a or ti in the first syllable ; these generally 
tamed the g into w, as ageii own, fugel fowl ; a use of the w 

* lit is actually printed diaple in this very passage in the Globe edition. — 
W. W. S.] 


which was already known to the Anglo-Saxon^ for example^ 
in feower four. By degrees the w was dropt, and after 
some further time these words also became monosyllabic. 

The dissyllables containing y and w seem to have been 
once so numerous in our language^ that many words^ both 
English and foreign, were adapted to their pronunciation, 
and thus gained a syllable ; scuVy A.S., became shower, and 
fieuvy Fr., became flower. Change of pronunciation has 
again reduced them to their original dimensions. 

And sofl I unto | himself | : he say | ec? ^ fie ! | 
Upon a Lord, that woU have no mercie. 

Chau, The Knightes Tale; C. T 1775. 

Beseech | ing him | : with pray | er and | with praise | . 

Spenser. F. Q. 1. 5. 41. 

Nor crab | bed oares | : nor pray \ erg make | him rise | . 

Hall, Satires, 3. 6. VI. 

She's com j ing up | the sta \ irs : now | the mus | ic — 

Fletcher. Valentinian, 2. 5. 

The light whereof . 

Such blaz | ing bright { ness : through | the a { er threw j , 
That eye mote not the same endure to view. 

F. Q. 1. 8. 19. 
Save hazell for forks, save sallow for rake, 
Save hul | ver and thorn | : thereof /fa 1 17 ^ to make | . 

Tusser. Aprits Husbandry, $t. 10. 

So spake { th* archan | gel : Mi \ chael | then pausM | . 

P. L. 12. 466. 

Or on I each Mi \ chael \ : and La ] dy day | 
Took he deep forifeits for an hour s delay. 

Hall. Sat. 5. 1. 49. 

Where | is thy pow \ er then | : to beat | him back | . 

R. I J I. 4. 4. 480. 

Or ush I er*d in ' : a show \ er still I 
When the gust hath blown his fill. 

11 PenserosOy 127. 

* [So in Tyrwhitt, but wrongly ; the right form is seyde, where the final s is 
duly sounded.— W. W. S.] 
« [But read " flail /or to make," as in the best editions.— W. W. S.] 


So man \y ho[ urs : must | I tend J my flock | , 
So man \y ho\urs : must | I take | my rest , 
So man \J ho urt : must | I ayn | template | . 

3 H. VI. 2, 5. 31. 

Let ev ! ery hil \ lock : be/o \ iter feet wide , , 
The better to come to on every side, 

Tusser, Marches Husbandry, sL 7. 

Yet where, how, and when ye intend to begin, 
Let ey ■ er the fin | est be first | »o%cen in | . 

Tu»9er. Octobers Husbandry, st, 5. 

I wol myselven gladly with you ride. 

Right I at min ow ; en cost ; : and be | your guid ; c. 

Chau, ProL 805. 

When the long o, or its equivalents^ was followed by a 
short Towel, Milton often melted them into a diphthong, 
in cases which have not been sanctioned by subsequent 

Or if Sion^s hill 

Delight I thee more | : and Sil \ ods brook, | that flowed | 
Fast bv the oracles of God. P. Z. 1. 10. 

And with more pleasing light 

Shad j oicy sets off | the face | : of things | , in vain i 

If none regard. P. L, 5. 42. 

AVhy dost thou then suggest to me distrust, 
Knowing who | I am | : as I | know who | thou art \ ? 

P, R.\. S55. 

The fel , lows of | his crime | : the /ol \ lowers rath j er. 

P. Z. 1. 600. 

THE SYLLABLES i\ e' , u\ 

When the long i is followed by a short vowel, the latter 
is elided among the vulgar even to this day. Thuro is no 
miapronunciation which now strikes the ear mure offen- 
sively ; yet little more than a century ago, and it must have 
been general. 

And all the prophets in their ajje the times 

Of;;reat ; Sfessiah j shall sing : Thus laws | and rites' 

Eaiabli.shed, &c. P. /.. 12. 243. 

March j t«) your sev ■ eral homes j : by Nio \ he's stone ; . 

Ben Jonson. Cynthea's lievels, 5. 3. 


*Ti8 worse than murder 

To do I upon I respect \ : such m'o \ lent out | rage. 

Lear, 2. 4. 23. 

God, in judgment just, 

Subjects I him from | without ] : to rio | lent lords. | 

P. Z. 12. 92. 

The mouse | may some | time help | : the lion \ at neede | , 
The lyttle bee once spilt the eagles breed. 

Dolman. M.forM, Hastings, 2\, 

Your sevei-al colours, Sir, 

Of I the pale cit j ron : the | green lion \ the crow | . 

B. Jons. The Alchemist, 2. 1. 

Who tore | the lion j : as | the lion tears | the kid | . 

Samson Agon. 128. 

Half on foot, 

Ualfjlying ; \ behoves | him now [ : both oar | and sail j . 

P. L. 2. 941. 

With flowers fresh their heads bedeckt. 

The fairies dance in fielde. 
And wanton songs in mossye denncs, 
The Drids \ and Sat | yrs yielde | . 

Googe's Zodiake of Life. Taurus. 

His knights | grow rio | iota : and | himself | upbraids | us 

On every trifle. Lear, 1. 3. 6. 

The noise 

Of riot I ascends \ : above | their loft | iest tow'rs | . 

P.L. 1.498. 

Pluck the lin*d crutch from thy old limping sire, 
With I it beat out | his brains j : pie • ty and fear | 
Dedhie, &c. T. of A. 4. 1. 14. 

\b pie\ty thus | : and pure | devojtion paidjP P. L. 11. 452. 

Thy words, with grace divine 

Imbued, | bring to | their sweet | uess : no | satie \ ty. 

P. L. 8. 215. 

And I with satie \ ty seeks | : to quench | his thirst | — 

T. of the Shrew, 1. 1.24. 

• Who, having seen me in my worst estate, 

Shunn'd | my abhorr'd | socie ty : but | now find | ing 

W^ho ^twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms 

He fastened on my neck. Lear, 5. 3. 209. 


For so I litnde | aometimes , : is best | socie \ ty, 

P. L, 9. 249. 
as well might recommend 

Sach sol . itude | before j : choic , est $ocie j ty. 

P. R. 1. 801. 

These verses of Milton have bewildered the critics. 
Mitford and Todd both give to society four syllables. The 
former reads the verse with six accents. 

For sol itade | sometimes \ : is best | soci ', etj { 

the latter ends it with two unaccented syllables. 

For sol \ itude | sometimes | : is best | soci ', ety. 

Neither of these rhythms is to be found in the Paradise 
Lost. There is little doubt that Tyrwhitt scanned these 
lines in the same way as Todd. He talks of Milton using 
the sdruceiolo ending in his heroic poems. These are the 
only verses which in any way countenance such a notion. 
The elision of the vowel after the long e is rare. 

For when, alas ! I saw the tyrant king 

Content not only from his nephues twajne 

To rire { world*s blisse \ : bat al ' so all | world*s being | , 

Sans earthlj gylt jcausing both be slajne, 

My heart agrisde that such a wretch should raigne. 

Suchville. M. for M. Bmrkinghamy 49. 

As being { the con ; trary | : to his | high will | 

Whom we resist— P. L. 1. 161. 

Seeing too | much sad | ness : hath | congcalM | your blood { . 
T. of the Shrew. Induction, 2. 134. 

The elision after the long u is still more rare^ 

Full many a yeare the world lookt for my fall, 

And when I fell, I made as great a cracke 

As doth an oak, or mighty tottring wall, 

That whirl | ing wind | doth bring ; : to ruin \ and wrackc. 

Churchyarde. M. for M. WoUey, 69. 

When the short % or short e was followed by a, as it 
soimds in pate, Milton and his contemporaries sometimes 
melted the vowels into a diphthong ya. In modem practice 
we carefully distinguish between them. 


With tears 

Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air 

Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign 

Of sor I row unfeign'd | : and hu \ milia \ Hon meek | — 

P, Z. 10. 1089. 

To conquer Sin and Death, the two fj^and foes, 
Bj hu I milia \ Hon : and | strong suf j ferance { — 

P. R, 1. 159. 

Let me 

Interpret for him, me his advocate 

And pro \pitia \ Hon : all | his works | on me | . 

Good or not good, ingraft. P. X. 11. 32. 

Instructed that to God is no access 

Without I media \ tor : whose | high of j fice now | 

Moses in figure bears. P. L, 12. 239. 

Then | doth the thea ; ire : ech j o all | aloud, | 
With gla<l8ome noise of that applauding crowd. 

Ilairt Sat, 1. 3. 37. 

In the country, even to this day, the accent is thrown 
upon the middle syllable, thea ! tre, but the word is always 
pronounced as having three syllables. 

When the short i or short e was followed by a short 
vowel, they often formed two syllables in cases where we 
now always melt them into a diphthong, or elide the first 

A broche of gold ful shene. 

On which was first jwriten a crowned A, 
And af I ter, a | mor \\n \ cit : om \ nia \ . 

Chau. Prol 160. 

But I the captiv'd | : Acra \ sia \ he sent ' , 

Because of travel long, a nigher way. F. Q. 3. 1 . 2. 

Five sunmiers have I spent in furthest Greece, 
Roam I ing clean through | the bounds | : of A ' xia ! . 

Com, of Errors^ 1. 1. 133. 

The vines | and the o \ siern : cut | and go set | , 
If grape be unpleasant, a better go get. 

TtLsser, Febntaries Husbandrif^st. \5. 

Himself I goes patch*d | : like some | bare cot \ tyer \ , 
Lest he might aught the future stock appeire. 

HaU, Sat, 4. 2. 


He vaunts his voice apon an hired stage, 

With high I -set steps j : and prince | \j car \ riage \ . 

Hall i&i/. 1. 3. 21. 

When the words end in ence, ent, or an, the additional 
syllable now sounds very uncouthlj. 

Well coude he fortunen the ascendent 
Of I his imag j es : for | his /mi | tient ' . 

Chaa. ProL 419. 

Th* unskil j ful leech | : mur { dered his pa | tient \ , 

Bj poison of some fool ingredient. Hall. Sat. 2. 4. 23. 

Con ' trary to | : the Ro | man an \ dents \ , 

Whose words were short, and darksome was their sense. 

Hall. Sat. 3 book. Prol. 

Whose seep | ter guides | : the flow I ing o \ cean | . 

B. Jon. Cynthia's Rev. 5. 2. 

No airy fowl can take so high a flight — 
Nor fish can dive so deep in yielding sea — 
Nor fearful beast can dig his cave so low — 
As I that the air I : the earth \ or o \ cean, \ 
Shonld shield them from the gorge of greedy man. 

Hall. Sat.S.}. 

Bat by far the most common instance of this resolution 
of syllables occurs in our substantival ending ion. From 
the 14th to the 17th century this termination expanded into 
two syllables whenever the verse required it. 

Full swe j tely | : herd ; e he con/es | sion j , 
And picas | ant was | : his ab \ solu j tion \ . 

Chau. Prolitn. 

Ne can the man that moulds in idle cell 
Un I to her hap | py : man sion \ attain j . 

F. Q. 2. 3. 41. 

'Tis the list 

Of those that claim their offices this day 
By cus j torn of | : the cor | ona ' tion ' . 

H VIIL 4. 1. 14. 

My muse would follow those that have foregone, 
But can | not with j : an Eng ^ lish pin \ ion \ . 

Hall Sat. 3. Prol 

Before we close this section I would add a word or two 


rospecting tho diphthong ea. This diphthongs though its 
representative still keeps its place in our orthography, has 
long since been obsolete. In our provinces, however, where 
it still lingers, we often hear it resolved into a dissyllable, 
e-aty gre-at, me-at, &c. I have watched with some C€ure, to 
see if it ever held the place of a dissyllable in our poetry, as 
in such case our Anglo-Saxon and early English rhythms 
might be seriously affected. My search has not been 
successful, and the result has been a strong conviction, that 
the ea, which so frequently occurs in our Anglo-Saxon 
poems, was strictly diphthongal. 

1 think, however, that in one or two instances this reso- 
lution of the diphthong has actually taken place, as in the 
following stave. 

Now shall the waiiton devils dance in rings, 
In ev i erj mead | : and ev ] ery he \ aih hore | , 

The elvish fairies and the gobelins, 
The hoofed satyrs silent heretofore. 

HcdL Elegy on Dr. Whiiaker, st, 5. 

This English diphthong will, of course, not be con- 
founded with the ea that occurs in certain French words, 
and which was not unfrequently resolved into two syl- 

That thcr n' is erthe, water, fire, ne aire, 
Ne ere \ atur \ e : that of | hem ma ked is | 
That may me helc or don comfort in this. 

Chau. The Km'ghies Tale; C. T. 1248. 


The subjects of the present section are the nasals m, n, 
ng, and the liquids I and r. Of these letters two, namely, 
n and Z, occasionally form consonantal syllables; the re- 
maining three cannot form a syllable without a vowel. 
The following are instances of the vowel having been 
dropt and the syllable lost. 

But always wept, and wailed night and day 

As bias ! ted blo^m \ thro heat | : doth Ian | giiish and | decay { . 

F. Q. 4. 8. 2. 


AmongHt them all grows not a fairer flower 

Tlian IB I the bioosm \ : of come ly cour | tcsy j , 

Which, tBough it on a lowlj stalk do bower, 

Yet brancheth forth in brave nobility. F, Q, 6. Prol. 4 

The short vowel was sometimes elided before the m, even 
when the consonant was found in another syllable. 

Hewn I out of ad' anumt rock I : with eng | ines keen | . 

F, Q, 1. 7. 33. 

As if I in ad amant rock | it had | been pight | . 

/*. Q. 1. 11. 25. 

Legit imate Ed ; gar : I | must have | your land | . 

Lear, 1. 2. 15. 

Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart, 

To make | a sham j bles : of | the par , liament house ! . 

3 H. F/. 1. 1. 70. 

ITiey I were a feare | : un | to the en \ myes ' eye. | 

Churchyard. Si^e of Leith, 9t. 4. 

I profess 

Myself I an «i j emy : to | all oth er joys | . Lear, 1. 1 . 74. 

So spake | the en | emy : of | mankind, | enclosed | 

In serpent. P. Z. 9. 494. 

And next to him malicious En\'y rode 

Upon a rav'nous wolf, and still did chaw 

Between | his cank , red teeth | : a ren | omous toad . 

F, Q. 1. 4. 30. 

These things did sting 
His mind | so ven \ omously | : that bum \ ing shame | 
Detains him. Lear, 4. 4. 47. 

On the other hand we now always drop the penultimate 
e of French words in ment, which once formed an indepen- 
dent syllable. 

Thus by on assent 

We ben | accord | ed : to | his jug ement \ , 

Chau. Prol. 819. 

' This author always makes enemy a dissyllable, and spells it as in the 


And who | that wol| : my jiig\ement \ withsay ;, 
Shall pay for all we spenden by the way. 

ChaU, Frol. 807. 

For of his hands he had no government, 

Ne car*d | for bloo<l | : in his | acnig \ ement . 

F, Q. 1. 4. 34. 

Then many a Lollard would in forfeitment, 
Bear pa per fag ' gots : o'er | the pav ' ement ' . 

Hall. Sat. 2. 1. 17. 

He came | at his | : command ement \ on hi I e, 
Tho Rente Theseus for Emilie. 

Chau. The Knightes Tale; C. T. 2981. 

The wretched woman whom unhappy hour 

Hath now | made thralll : to your | command ement\ . 

F. Q. 1.2.22.' 

Tho word regiynent is now also generally made a dissyl- 
lable, though we occasionally hear it pronounced with three 
syllables, as in the verses. 

The regiment : was wil ling and | advanced | too. 

Fletcher. Bonduca, 2. 4. 

His reg\iment : lies half | a mile | at least j 
South from the mighty power of the King. 

R. ni.S.S. 37. 

M, we have said, cannot form a syllable without a vowel. 

This rule holds both as regards our spelling and our pro- 

. nunciation ; but one or two centuries ago the termination 

sm was often pronounced som, as it is among the vulgar to 

this day. 

Great Solomon sings in the Knglish quire, 

An<i is become a new-found sonnetist, 

Singing his love, the holy spouse of Christ, 

Like as she were some light-skirts of the rest, 

In migh '. tiest ink hornis ms : he | can thith er wrest . 

Hall. Sat. 1.8. 8. 

All this I by st/l logis ' m, tnic : 
In mood and figure, he would do. 

Butler. Hudibras, 1. 1. 79. 

' [And ill F. Q. 1. 3. ».— W. W. S.] 

c- m. 



^j«lA« I inr^l mV pa«t | redem I ption 
Gaen in a pnl loping ccmaumption. 

Bums* Letter to John Gomltf, */, 4. 

Theee words should have been written as pronounced, 
inkkomisom, sylJogigom, &c. 

N is one of the two letters, whicb form consonantal syl- 
lables. It is difficult to say when it first olitaiucid this privi- 
lege, but it could hardly have been so early as the reign of 
Elii^beth. In that reign, Gal)riel Harvey objected to 
Spenser's use of heaven, seven, &c., as dissyllables, the same 
not being "authorized by the ordinarie use and custcjm/' 
He would have them written and spoken " as monosyllaba, 
thus, heavn, seavn, &c." I think therefore that heavfm, 
$ecm, &€., were commonly pronounced then, as now, with 
only one vowel ; and that when Spenser and hia contempo- 
raries made them dissyllables, they iinitsitod an obsoletei or 
rather a provincial dialect, and pronounced them with two 
vowels. This latter mode of pronunciation has left traces 
behind it ; even yet we may occasionally hear keav-en, sev-en, 
4c., among the vulgar. 

There are four terminations into which n enters, an, en, 
in, on; of these en is now merely consonantal, as in even; 
ttn and on sound like «h, as in Jioman, reason ; and in re- 
t&ins its proper sound as in griffin. Our poets use en as a 
pliable whenever it suits their convenience ; though, gene- 
nlly speaking, the only difference in the pronunciation is a 
lengthening of the n. The turminations an, on, and t«, are 
DOW commonly used as syllables j altbouf^b Milton and some 
of his contemporaries elide the vowel, and tack 7* to the pre- 
ceding syllable, when their rhythm requires it* 

Heavens \ b the qnitr{rel : &r | heaven* s 8iib!ititutc| 
Hath caiifl*i] his denth. Ft /L L 2. 


E<l irard'p tevfn i*nn«* : wliereof | tliy9t'ir | art one, ', 

Were I as seven phii'nU : of | his sa ' ertnl blnixlj 

(>f troen | ikir bnuich I e« : »prin^ , ing from | one root | . 

n. //. 1.2. u. 

Arid F&lamnn, thh wofiil prisoner^ , ♦ . , 

Wa.4 riJttn, \ aiid rom ed : in ! n rhstii^bre | on liig]k[. 

VhfiH. Tht Knit^hte* Tale; C\ T, 1065. 




B, I. 

Seemn anotber mom 

IHum I on micl noun ' : soiue great | beliest | from heaven [ 
To lis perbapa he brings. P. L. 5, 3)0. 

In an y case | : tbat nii<;b ie/alteii , or bap \ pe. 

Chaft, PrtiL 587. 

Fallen \'\\Qr wU : to | be weak | is mis | era ble. 

P. Z. 1. 157. 

One of our leading reviews scanned the last verse thus, j 

Faliten eber iib : to be weak | is mie ei'a ble. 

and Mitford almost laughs at the notion of heaven and yiV| 
being pronounced as monosyllables ! 

The following" are examples of the termination on, 

FartlpBt' from bim is best 

W'boiii retixon \ bath e qimird : force | hatb made | supreme [ 
Above hi-s eqnaln. F, L. I . *i47- 

Charon \ was afraid ' : lej^t thirs | ty Gul | lion | 
Would have drunk dry the river A*„*heron. 


Sat 3. 6. 5. 

There is sometimes the same elision of the vowelj and th6_ 
same loss of a syllable, in the middle of a word ; 

And thereto had lie riiblen, no man ferre, 

Ak wel I in CrLsien dom : as ] in Hetb , enes ' se, 

And ever honoured for his wortbinesse. Chan. 

ProL 48, 

Tbon^b I of their imnieH ' : in heaven j /// rec | ords now [ 

Be no ineinorial. P. L, L361* 

My cni-¥ie upon your whnnfitane hearts. 
Ye Edtn burgh gen try ! 

Tlje rithe n' what ye waste at c^artes, 

Wad st(«\v'd birt pantry* 

Bitms. To Wiliiam Simpitoii, si. 4. 

It may bo here observed, that the elision of the vowel i 

generally the first step towards coriTiption. EiVnhurgh 
merely introductory to E^enhoro\ 

The short vowels were also very frequently elided befof 
n, when that letter began the following syllable. 

' Our £dllor(» will nof bcheve that even Milton could wt^Lc English ; 
"etinr^t*- his /(?rr/^*^, per/ef^ and other barbarisms of the hkt? kind, Hitb 
thti U-asi hint to the rt.'ad©r. 


Un \ to oanelTes : | it hap ! neih oft | among { . 

Drayton. M.for M. Cromwell, 120. 

' My counsel swaied all. 

For fttill I the king | : would | for the card nail call 

Drayton. M. for M, Wolsey, 35. 

The J are but blinde that wake where fortune sleeps, 
They worke in vayne that strive with streame and tide, 
In doub I le garde | they dwell | : that dest [ nye keeps j . 

Drayton, M.for M. WoUey,\7. 

Dest \ iny by death { : spoiled fee ' ble na ' ture*8 frame | . 

Hall. Elegy on Dr. Whitaker, st. 9. 

Pride pricketh men to flatter for the prey, 

Toppresse | and poll { : for maint \ nance of | the same I . 

Chalm. M.forM. Northfolke, %. 

And each 

In oth|er*s eount\enance read | : his own | dismay. 

P. L. 2. 421. 
I was dcspisile, and banisht from my bliss, 
Discount j naunste, fayne | : to hide | myself | for shame \ . 

Higgins. M. for M. King Emerianus, 3. 

— Wisdom in discourse with her 
Los I es discount ' enanc^d : and | like fol i ly shows ' . 

P. L. 8. 552. 

Ignominy was further corrupted* into ignomy ; 

Thy ig I nomy | : sleep with | thee in | thy puve ! . 

1 //. IV. 5. 4. 100. 

Hence, broth ! er lack ey : ig nomy \ and shame i 

Pursue thy life. Tro. and Cress, 5, 10. 33. 

When the termination en followed r, it often formed a 
syllable, in cases where the vowel is now elided, as boren, 
toren, &c. 

Eke Zea _ land*8 pit ' eous plaints | : and IIol land's tor \ en hair. 
Spenser, Mourning Muse of Thestylis. 26. 

AVhen ng followed the short % at the end of a word or 
syllable^ the vowel appears sometimes to have been elided 
among our dramatists ; 

Having nei ] thcr sub I ject : wealth, | nor di adem ' . 

2 H. VI. 4. 1. 82. 


- So me times be Angers me 

Witli tdlifig I me of | the molil- | warp : and | the aot. 

1 //. IV, X L 148. 

Buck \ ingham, doth York | : intend | no barm | to us | ? 

2 //. VI. 5. 1. 5e. 

Humph ] rey of Buck \ ingham : I | accept | tbv greet ing. 

2 k. VL 5, L IfK 

\Vbj» Buck ^inghamt \& \ thetmi|tor: Cade | surpris'd | P 

2 H. VL 4. 9. 18. 

Mv Lor<l Cobham, 

With whom | the Kenjtisbmen | t will wilimgjf^ rise | * 

3 IL VI. 1. 2.40, 

Tliia oath | I willing^ \ hj take | ; ami will | peHbi*m | . 

3 H. VL 1, 1. 201. 

Our dramatiata use a very irregular metre, and are there- 
fore not the safest guides in a matter of this kind ; but when 
we find a woi'd recurring again and again^ in situations 
where our prevailing rhythms require the subtraction of a 
syllable^ I think we may fairly conclude such to have been 
the pronunciation of tho poet. 

Lj I believe, in pronuociation no longer follows any con- 
sonant at tho end of a word or syllable excepting d, t^ r , 
In the language of tho present day, we generally hear a 
short u before it. The difference between it and the letter 
n in this respect must, I think, be obvious if the pronuncia- 
tion of evil be compared with that of heaven. The first 
sounds clearly with two vowek e-vid^ but if we were to pro- 
nounce the latter hev-un it would at once strike us as \ 
couth and vulgar. 

In the Anglo-Saxon, I was very generally used without i 
vowel, as adl sickness, swegl the sky, sueI sulphur. In 
early English we changed thig mode of spelling, and adopt 
the French ending h in the place of I, writing settle, for ii: 
stance, instead of the A, S. seiL We have preserved 
orthography, except in cases where I follows r, although 
have since changed the pronunciation. 

We will first give examples in which the vowel has bee 
elided, and a syllable tost in consequence j 

and trouble | us not \ 
R. II L I. 2, 50l 
But when U> sin our bias»*d nature teAn9, 
Tbe c&re iul deril ; : is Mtill | at fijind { with means | . 

Drydeu. Aht. ^ Achit 70. 

This mobU \ eusam | pie : to | liis sbepe { he ^'af { . 

Vhau, PrvL 498. 

So mohie \ a msa \ ter tallen | ; all gone ' , and not { 

One friend to take his fortune bj the arm, 

And go along with him ? T. o/ -4. 4. I. 46. 

When this advice is 6^e I give, and honest. 

Pro bal to think , ing : and | indeed | the course 

To win the Moor again. Othello, 2, 3* 342. 

Probal is found in all the early editioDS^ and is clearly a 
cormption o( probable. It shows, if any proof wore want- 
ing, that the French ending able, was commonly used by 
our early English writers aa one syllable. Such was it con- 
ndered by Chaucer, who makes the word able^ corresponding 
to the French habile^ a diBsyllable. Milton made this end- 
ing one or two syllables, as best suited his verse, and soch 
WHB the common practice of his contemporaries . At present 
it ta alwaya pronoanced abul, and of course fills the place of 
two syllables. When it was so naed by our early English 
poets, they aeem, at least in some eases, to have accommo- 
dated their spelling to it; to have written, for example, 
fabill for fable, and delectabill for delectable. This ortho- 
graphy, and in all probability the pronunciation which cor- 
responded with it, prevailed chiefiy in the North. 

And tbuji with faine*! flattering and jafjes 

He made | the per | gone : and | the pepie \ his apeaj. 

Chau. ProL 707. 

Anon I tber is | a noise ] : of pepU 

begonne ' . 

Ckau. a T. 2662. 



B. I. 

There was sls^o b nonne, a priorosseT 

That I of her Bmil | iug : was | fn\ simple \ aiid coy ] . 

Chan. Pro!. 118. 

The wisest heart 

Of Stilomon he letl bj fraud to build 

His tern jjle I'lght | against | : the tvmple \ of God I * 

P, L, L 40L 

And his noxt son, ff>r wealth and wisdom faio'd, 

TJie clouded lu'k of Goti, till then in tents 

Wand I ering, shaJl in | a glo | rious : temple \ enshrine ' * 

P. L, 12. a32. 

Tliis hoiij^e 

Is Utihy I the old | man : and | his peo , pie can ' not 

Be well bestowed/ Lear^ 2. 4. 29 L 

The phiee* onkuown and wild, 

Breeds dread fid doubts. Oft fire is without amoke, 
Peril \ without show \ : there ] fore your har ^ dy stroke | , 
Sir knight, with-hold, ' F. Q, 1. 1. 12.* 

Of Bonjdry don | tes : thits theyjangie | and tret'c, 

Cfiau. The Squieres Tale ; a T. 105BA, 

Wer t I not all one | : on enip | ty eagle \ were »et | 

To jrnarfl the chicken from a hungry kite, 

As place Duke Ilumplirey for the King's Protector ? 

2 H. VL 3. L 248. 

And I for this mi> I ao^<' r in | contdu | sion | , 
Anil by Cuatance's mediation, 
The king, and many another in that place, 
CoQTerted was, thanked be Critito!* grace. 

Chau. Man of Lawes Tale; C T 5103. 

Contempt itself, that doth incite 

EftCh single' \ Bol'd squii^e | ; t^i set | yo^i at | so light | . 

Naif 8 AW. 2. 2. 17- 

How, I Sir I this g€ni\* man : you | must bear | withal I, 

Where nought but shadowy fonns were seen to move, 
her fh^eam ! ing mood | -^ 
Thomson, Castle of Indoitnce^ 1. 5» 

As Idle I ness fane | ied in 

* [The litiee are difFerfntly divided in the Globe edition. — W. W. S*] 

* [The Globe edition reads i ** And i»enll xvithout showe : theritjre yott 
stroke/* That wUhout had the accent on with, appears from the prectHring tin 
and is particularly noted fiu*Lher on, at the end of Clmp. 1V»— W, W, S.] 

* [But Thomson purpose ft/ wrote ulhssj and not idtmess, — W. W, St] 


rd rath | er heap | : a braz ! en candle ' stick turuM. 

IH, IV. 3. 1.131. 

In the quartos we hare can-stick, which appears to have 
been a common corruption in the time of Shakespeare. In 
like manner^ from ev'l and dev^l come iU and deil ; and there 
can be no doubt that gent'man, by a farther corruption^ has 
become our slang term gemman. Thomson seems to have 
made idleness a dissyllable^ in imitation of Spenser^ whose 
stanza he had adopted. 

The short vowels^ when they formed independent syllables 
before I, were frequently elided^ and even at the present day 
the same license is occasionally taken. 

• What can jou laj to draw 

A third | more op \ tdent : than | your sis | ters ? Speak | . 

Lear, 1. 1. 87. 

Beef I that erst Here \ ules ^ held | : for fin | est fare | . 

HaU. Sat. 3. 3. 

Partic \ ular pains | : partic ; vlar thanks | do ask | . 

B. Jonaon, Cynthidt ReveU, 5. 3. 

' Thus was the building left 

Ridic I ulaus, and | the work j : Confii j sion nam'd I . 

P. L. 12. 61. 

And approve 

The fit I rebuke | : of so | ridic \ ulous beads ' . 

B. Joruon. Cynthia* s Revelsy 5. \. 

That over there may flie no fowl but dyes 

Choakt I with the pest \ lent say | ours : tliat | arise ! . 

Sackville. M.for M, Induction^ 31. 

Keep safe { ly and war \ ily : thy ut ! termost fence .' 

Tusser. Sept. Husbandry^ st, 3G. 

In worst I extremes \ : and on | the per \ ilous ' edge { 

Of battle. P. L. 1.276. 

• The sun who, scarce uprisen, . . . 

Shot par \ allell to | the earth : his dew | y ray ' . 

P. Z. 5. 139. 

' Hence Shakespeare s Ercles, 

« [But Tusser has toarf/y.— W. W. S.] 

^ Hence parlous, so common among our Elizabethan writers. 



B. IJ 

No ser | vant Et in. \ ble : use Mam^ { ly to talk | . Tusier^ \ 86. 

Tlie sbot watt such thcr couUl no sound ofdrumme 
Be eas \Ut/ he an! | the tyme | : 1 you \ assure j . 

Churchyard. Siege of Letth, ML 19. 

• For I hi publitjue weal 

Lorde Chanc\iour was,: and bad | the greut | hmml «eid|, 
Dru^tm, M.forM, Wolsey,^*!, 

His amner too lie made nice idl in haate. 

And threefolde gifltes he threwe upon uit^ still, 

Hifl eounx \ lour atraigbt \ : like | wise was WiA »ey plaste | . 

Drayton, M./orM. Wol«eyjl5. 

Somo of our poets of the sixteonth and aevonteentli cen- 
turies pronounced the vowel, in cases where it is now re- 

So neither ibis travell may Beem to be lost, 
Nor thou I to repent [ of this tri \ jiiiig cost j . 

TusMtr, p. 2 {E. D. S, edition). 

Turn I biing all | : precip [ itate | down dash'd ( , 

Dyer* Ruitis of Rome ^ L 41. 

Which I when in vain] i he tridc | with str'tig\geliiig^\ 
Inilaui*d with wrath, bis raging blade he bel\. 

F. Q. 1. 1L39. 

Let sec ] ond broth [ ers : and | poor nea \ tUngs \ 

Whom mtire injurious nature later brings 

Into thi.s imked world, let them assaine 

To get liard pennywortbjs. HalL Sat, 2. 2. 43. 

And as | it queinte | : it mad | e a whim \ teling\^ 
Am don these brondea wet in her brennin^. 

Chtm. The Kmghtes Tale ; C\ T 2339. 

My eye.s these line« with tears do steep, 

To tbink I bow ^he | : through <;uile \ Tul hand \ eling \ , . 

Is from her knigbt divort*ed ui despair. F. Q. 1. 3. 2. 

Both stiir ing fieroi; \ : and bold ' ing i ' ^^fi^ | 
I'be broken reliqnes of tbetr former cruelty* 

F. Q. I. 2. 16. 

For half | so hold \ely\ i t^an ther | nn man | 
Sweren and lien as a woman can. 

Chan. The Wif of Bathes Prol, ; C, T. 5809. 

But Irew | ely , : to tel | len at | te last | , 
He was in cbtircb a noble ecclesiast. 

Chau, Prol. 709. 


For irew \ ely \ : comfort | ne mirth | e is iron ] 
To rid en by the wii}% diunbe aa a a ton. 

Chau. Frol 775. 

Some words in the North of England and in Scotland, 
retain the short Yowel, when it follows an r^ even to thia 

Tlmt done | the ear ' I let ' ters wrote | 
Unto each cufitle, fort^ and hold, &c. 

Flodden Fields 475* 

Ye*U try | the war \ Id : &ooti ] my lad ] . 

Bums, Eputie to a yuung friend^ at, 2, 

'Twas e'en, the dew | y fields were grcen^ 
On cv I ery blade | : the pfar \ h hanji | . 

Bunts. La^s o" BaUochm^h. 

In the modern pronunciation of our language, r follows 
no consonant at the end of a word or ajllable. In some 
of onr old English dialects such a combination was common, 
and was expressed by the French ending re. In all these 
cases we now interpose a short u before the r, and though 
we retain the spelling in a few instances, as in acre, sepulcre, 
mitre, &c,, yet these words are always pronounced with the 
short vowel, akur, sepulkur^ mitur^ &c. 

We will, as before, begin with those cases in which the 
final syllable has been lost. 

And PalamoQ . . * . 

Whs risen | and rem led i in | a ehambre | on high], 

In which he all the noble eitee ^igh. 

Ckau. The Kmghies Tale; C. T 1065. 

Aa Christ | I count | my head | : and I | a member | of his |, 
So Gud I trust for Chriates sake shall settle me in h\m. 
Ttusers * Beltrf, sL 24. 

Every tedions stride I make. 

Will I but rerneniber | roe : what | a deal | of world | 

1 wander, R. IL L 3. 268. 

^ — W is creature living 
That ever \ heard such | : anoth , er wai { menting i . 

Chau. Knightes tale ; C. T. 904. 

' The extreme precmion of Tusser^s rhytlim renders his authority, in a case 
of this kind, of great value. 


I must I not mffer \ this : yet | *tis but | the lees | 

And settlings of a melancholj blood. Comtis, 809. 

Deliver | us out | of all : this be | sy drede | . 

Chau, Clerkes Tale; C, T. 8010. 

Th' Allgiver \ would be | unthank'd | : would be | unprais'd ! . 

Comusy 723. 

And where | the river \ of bliss | : through midst | of heav | en 
Rolls o'er Elysian flowers. P. Z. 3. 358. 

And he hadde be sometime in chevachie 

In Flandres, | in Ar | tois : and | in Pic , ardi | e. 

ChaiL ProL 85. 

By water | he sent | hem home | : to ev | ery land. { 

Chau. Prol 402. 

Her glor { ious glitter \ and light | : doth all | men*s eyes { amaze ' . 

F. Q. 1. 4. 16. 

In proud rebellious arms 

brew after \ him the | third part | : of heav | en's sons ] . 

P. L. 2. 691. 
And after into heaven ascend he did in sight, 
And sit I teth on | the right | hand there | : of God | the father \ 
of might Tuner's Belief st, 16. 

If I by your art, | : my dea| rest /a/Aer, | you have| 
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them. 

Tempest, 1. 2. 1. 

Three vollies let his memory crave . 

O' pouth'r I an' lead, | 
Till Echo answer frae her cave, 

Tarn Samson's dead. 

Bums. Tarn Samsons Elegy. 

Whether sayest | thou this | in er | nest : or | in play ? | 

Chau. The Knightes Tale; C. T. 1127. 

See whe'r \ their bas | est met [ al : be | not moved | . 

Julius CcBsar, 1. 1. 66. 

Either thou | or I | or both | : must go | with him | . 

H. and J. 3. 1. 134. 

And neither \ by trea | son : nor | hostil | ity | 

To seek to put me down. 3 H. VI. 1. 1. 199. 

We have one of the best proofs of the elision^ in the 
further corruptions such words have undergone^ ot/r be- 


came o^er, ev*T ere, othW or, whether whe^r; and in those 
dialects which are so intimately connected with our own, as 
almost to make part of the same language, we find these 
letters similarly afiTected. Thus in the Frisic faer is father, 
moar mother, broer brother, foer fodder. With a slight 
change in the orthography, we find the same words in the 
Dutch. This seems to point clearly to a similar cause of 
corruption in all these dialects. The elision of the vowel I 
believe to have been the first step. 

As this final syllable is so important an element in the 
regulation of our rhythms, one or two more instances of its 
loss may, I think, be useful ; 

In his rising scem*d 

A pillar \ of state | : deep { in his front | engrav | en 
Deliberation sat P, L. 2. 301. 

Who shall go 

Before | them in | a cloud | : and pillar \ of fire | . 

P. L. 12. 201. 

Stud I ied the grammar \ of state | : and all | the rules | . 

B. Jonton. Cynthia^ s Revels, 3. 4. 


This hid j eous rash j ness : answer | mj life, | my judg | mcnt. 

Lear, 1. 1. 151. 

In the following examples the vowel is elided at the end 
of a syllable ; 

Tie I up the liber , tine : in | a field | of feasts ' . 

A. and CI. 2. 1.23. 

What trowen je that whiles I may preche, 
And winnen gold and silver for I teche, 
That I I wol liv ' e in pover te ^ : wil fully ' . 

Chau. The Pardoneres Tale; C. T. 12373. 

Take pover \ ties part | : and let | prowde for - tune go ' . 

Sir T. More. Book of Fortune. 

My duke | dom to { : a beggar \ ly den | ier | , 
I do mistake my person all this while. 

R. III. 1. 2. 252. 

> [Read jH>t^, as in the best MSS.— W. W. S.] 


In the next examples^ the elided vowel is found in a 
different syllable from that of the r; 

Since ped , dling bar \ barisms : gan | be in | request | . 

HaU. Sat 2. 3. 25. 

And specially from every shires ende 

Of Eng I lelond | : to Can \ terbury \ they wend | e. 

Chan. ProL 15. 

So bom I was to house and land by right, 

But in a bagg to court I brought the same, 

From Shrews \ brye toune | : a seate | of an | cient fame { . 

Churchyard, Tragicall Discourse^ 69. 

DcM \perate revenge | : and bat | tie dan | gerous | . 

P. L 2. 107. 

And I I the while | : with sprits \ welny | bereft | , 
Beheld the plight and pangs that did him strajne. 

Sachville. M,/or M, Buchingham, S7. 

The cap | tain notes | : what sol { dier hath | most spreet] . 

Churchyard. Trag. Disc. 64. 

You that had taught them to subdue their foes, 

Could or I der teach | : and their | high spirits \ compose | . 

p Waller. Panegyric, st. 41. 

For this infernal pit shall never hold 

Ccles I tial spirits \ in bon | dage : nor | the abyss | 

Long under darkness cover. P. L. 1. 658. 

Ten I dering the prec | ious safe | tj : of | my prince | . 

R. 11. 1. 1. 32. 

Of daimtjless courjagc : and { consid\erate pride I. 

P.L.\. 603. 
On some apparent danger seen in him 
Aim'd I at jour high j ness : no invet \ erate mal ! ice. 

it, II, 1. 1. 13. 

Turning our tortures into horrid arms 

Against | the tort \ urer : when | to meet { the noise | 

Of his almightj engine he tihall hear 

Infernal thunder. P. L, 2. 63. 

Of corm I rant kinde | : some cram ; med ca | pons are | , 
The moer they eat the moer they may consuem. 

Churchyard. Tragicall Disc. 

Tim I orous and sloth ; ful : yet | he pleas'd | the ear | . 

P. Z. 2.117. 


Hum \ orists and hjp | ocrites | : it should | produce { , 
Whole Raymond families and tribes of Bruce. 

Dryden. Mac FUcknoe^ 92. 

A re { creant | : and most | degen \ erate trai | tor. 

R. IL 1. 1. 144. 

The second verse quoted from Milton, is thus scanned by 

Celes \ tial spir | its in bon | dage nor { the abjss | , 

and is produced to show that the third foot sometimes con- 
tained three syllables ! 

In several cases, however, the vowel was retained where 
we now reject it; and so common must have been this 
mode of pronunciation, that we find it followed in many 
words which never properly contained an e. We find 
other words which inserted the short vowel after the long i 
or the long e, and thereby increased their dimensions by a 

For as jon liketh, it sufficeth me. 

Then { have I got { the mca's \ terie | quod she | . 

Chau. The Wif of Bathes T.; C. T. 6817. 

Here | may ye see | wel : how | that gen \ teri \ e 
Is not annexed to possession. 

Chau, The Wif of Bathes T,; C, T. 6728. 

I here confess myself the king of Tyre, 

Who frigh i ted from , : my coun ^ try | did wed | 

At Pentapolis the fair Thaisa. Per, 5, 3. 2. 

Then to him stepping, from his arm did reach 
Those keys, | and made | himself, : free en [ terance \ . 

F, Q, I. 8. 34. 

The raven himself is hoarse 
That croaks { the fa ; tal en | trance { of Dun | can. 
Under my battlements. Macbeth^ 1. 5. 39. 

That he is dead, good Warwick, *tis too true, 
But how I he died | Grod knows | : not Hen \ry\, 

2 H. VI. 3. 2. 130. 

The Fm [peress, \ the mid | wife : and | yourself | . 

Titus And. 4. 2. 143. 


Crying with loud voice, 

" Jesus maintain your royal Excellence," 

With **God I preserve | : the good | Duke Hum\phrey\y 

2 H. VL I. 1. 160. 

Exccp I ting none | : but good | Duke Hum \phrey \ , 

2 H, VL 1. 1. 193. 

• Courage yields 

No foot I to foe I : the flash | ing^ j re flies \ , 

As from a forge. F, Q, \. 2. 17. 

The prattling things are just their pride, 
That sweet | ens all | : their ^ rp side ' . 

Bums. Twa Dogs. 

Sluttery to such neat excellence displayed 
Should make | desi \re : vo | mit emj) | tincss { . 

Cymhelincy 1. 6. 44. 

A gen I Ueman | of 2^^ | re : my | name Per j icles. 

Per. 2. 3. 81. 

There's many a soul 

Shall pay | full de \ arly \ : for this | encoun \ ter. 

1 H. IV. 5. I. 83. 
Arcite unto the temple walked is 
OCJi ! erce Mars | : to don | his sac ' rifice | . 

Chau. The Knightes Tale; C. T. 2370. 

Their God himself, grievM at my liberty. 
Shot man | y at | me with : Ji | erce intent | . 

F.Q.\. 9. 10.» 


In the present section we shall discuss the remaining 
letters of our alphabet, and will begin with the close letters. 
Of these there are six, b, p, d, t, g, k. 

Adjectives in able and ible are sometimes pronounced 
as if the first vowel were elided. It is extremely difficult 
to say when this corruption first began. In the following 

Some time to increase his horrible cnielty 
The quicke with face to face engraved he. 

Sackmlle. M.fnrM. Buckingham ^ 4^. 

' [But the Glolie edition reads : " Shot many a dart at me with fierce intent ;" 
and Todd^s edition has the same. Otherwise, the line is deficient in sense as 
well as metre.— W. W. S.j 


Let full 

Yotir horrible pleasure. Here I stand, your islave. 

Lear, 3. 2. 18. 

it is cloar that horrible is a dissyllablOj but whether the i 
should be elided and the ward pronounced horrible, or iblB 
should be pronounced aa one syllable^ may be doubted. As, 
however, we know that ible was often pronounced aa one 
syllable, and have no distinct evidence that the present cor- 
rupt pronunciation was then prevalent, it would be safer, 
perhaps, to retain the voweL 

The loss of the vowel before ^ or c is very rare* 

Wni serve 

Thou ev I er yoaii^r 

Nor the time nor pliice 

our long I : inter \gator\ie*. See | 

Ctfmhdine, 5. 5, 391. 

fresh, lo¥*d, | and del \ tcaie woo 1 er, 

r. o/jL 4, 3, 385, 

And now and then tin ample t«ar trilFd dawn 

Her del ^ icatc cheek | : it seem'd | she was | a queen | 

Over her pasaion. Lear, 4. 3, 13. 

Perfum | ed gloves | : and del , iVa/^ eliiiins | of am Wr. 

B, Jmis. Mvery Man out of kin H. 2. 2. 


^^HH||^ elision before d and i is far more common. 

^^^^^e participle and prefcerito in ed^ was often pronounced 
in oui* old English without the vowcL In Anglo-Saxon the 
participle ended sometimes in od or ed^ sometimes in d 
simply. I do not, however, find that the elisions in our 
old English correspond with the latter class of Anglo- Saxon 
verbs ; on the contrary, in some couplets, as in the follow- 
ing, the same verb seems to be both a monosyllable and a 

Y<iT I in this world | : be lov \ ed * no | niatj mo | , 
And be I loved him { : as ten | rloHy | ucrain | , 

Chau. ne Kitightejf Tah ; {\ T, 1198. 

Good roilch-cow and pasture good husbands ^trovide. 
The re* \ *due good bus , wives : know best | liow to prinde ] . 

TuMer. April HtisK^ nt 19, 

* (Koiid lomde^^ Ifwdct with fin»l e soumleft. In tlie next line, the final e is 
etiiltsrii and tUe word befOtnes iot^d\ — W. W, S.] 


The King, at length, sent me beyond the seas, 
JEmbas I tour then | : with mes | sage good | and great | . 

Drayton. M,/or M, Wolsey, 14. 

Know Cade | we come | : ambass \ odours from | the king | . 

2 H. VI. 4. 8. 7. 

He j rocs' and her | oines* shouts | : confuid \ ly rise | . 

Papers Rape of the Loeky 5. 41. 

£dniund, I arrest thee 

On cap I ital trea | son : and | in thine | attaint { 

This gilded serpent. Lear, 5. 3. 82. 

I arrest thee, York, 

Of cap 1 ital trea ; son : gainst | the King | and Crown | . 

2 H. VI. 5. I. 106. 

Needs | must the ser | pent now | : his cap \ ital bruise { 
Expect with mortal pain. P. L. 12. 383. 

They all have met again, 

And are | upon | : the Med ; iterra I neon flote | 

Bound sadly home for Naples. Tempest^ 1. 2. 233. 

The rest | was mag \ nanim \ ity : to \ remit ! . 

Samson Agon. 1470. 

Pro I per deform \ ity seems | not : in | the fiend | 

So horrid as in woman. Lear, 4. 2. 60. 

Human \ ity must | perforce | : prey ] on itself j • 

Lear, 4. 2. 49. 
lie knew not Caton, for his wit was rude, 
That bade { a man { shuldc wedjde : his si\militude\, 

Chau. The Milleres Tale; C. T. 3227. 

Would I the nohil \ ity : lay | aside | tlieir ruth | , 

And let me use my sword, l*d make a quarry. Cor. 1.1. 201. 

Whose parents dear, whilst equal destinies 

Did run aboute, and their felicities 

Tlie favourable heavens did not envy, 

Did spread | their rule | : throucrh all | the terr\itories\ 

Which Phison and Euphrates floweth by. F. Q. \. 7. 43. 

Sor 1 row would be | a rar \ ity : most | belov'd, | 

If all could so become it. Lear, 4. 3. 25. 

There is, however, one word in ty, which now alwayi 
drops its penultimate vowel, though such vowel was retaincc 
as late as the seventeenth century. 


For she | had great | : doubt | of his 8af\ ety \ . 

F, Q, 1. 11.33. 
Nor fish can dive so deep in yielding sea. 
Though The | tis self | : should swear | her saf\ ety \ . 

Hall, Sat, 3. 1. 48. 


We now come to the dental letters, /and th, 

She*s gone | a tnan \ if est ser | pent : by { her sting j — 

Samson Agon, 997. 

Scarf I up the pit \ iful eye | : of ten [ der day | — 

Macbeth, 3. 2. 47. 

Hast thou, according to thy oath and band. 

Brought hith | er Hen | ry Her | eford : thy | bold son | ? 

R. II. 1. 1. 2. 

Eth, the ending of the third person singular, often lost 
its vowel. In the Anglo-Saxon the third person ended 
in aih, eth, or th, and the last ending was most prevalent. 
Many of our old English verbs, which formerly ended in ath, 
elided the vowel; though such pronunciation was more 
usual in those verbs, which took th for their Anglo-Saxon 
termination : thinVth, ly'th, gif^th, com'th, &c,, were probably 
the direct descendants of the elder forms, thincth, lith, gifth, 
cymth, &c. 

Drowned in the depth 

Of depe desire to driiike the guiltlesse bloud, 

Like I to the wolf { : with greed { y lookes | that lepth \ 

Into the snare. 

Sachville, M, for M, Buckingham, 25. 

High God, in lieu of innocence, 

Imprinted hath that token of his wrath. 

To shew I how sore | : blood-guilt | iness | he hafth \ , 

F. Q, 2. 2. 4. 

His sub I tie tongnc | : like drop | ping hon { ey melCth \ 

Into the heart, and searcheth every vein. 

That ere he be aware, by secret stelth, 

His power is reft. F. Q, 1. 9. 31. 

This contraction prevailed very generally among the 
poets of the West. It occurs no less than five times in the 
following simile &om Dolman, 

I. » 


So mid the vale the greyhound seeing stert 
His fearful foe, purgu'th, before she/lerfth, 
And where she tum'th, he tunCth her there to beare, 
The one prey pricKth^ the other safety*8 fear. 

M,for M, Hastings, 24. 


In discnssing the sibilants^ the first question relates to 
the contraction of es, the ending of the plural and of the 
genitive singular. There is no doubt that this syllable was 
occasionally contracted before the time of Chaucer^ and by 
that author frequently j ' 

For him { was lev | er han | : at his | beddes hed { , 

A twenty bokes clothed in black or red 

Than robes riche, &c. Chau, ProL 295. 

At mor I tal bat \ tailes : had | de he ben { fifiten { e* 

Chau, Prol, 61. 

It is still used when the substantive ends in a sibilant^ and 
even in other cases was occasionally met with as late as the 
early part of the seventeenth century ; 

Arose the doughty knight 

All heal I ed of I his hurts | : and woun \ des wide { . 

F, Q, 1. 11.52. 

Were I good Sir Bevis, 

I would I not stay | his com | ing : by | your leav \ es. 

B, and Flet. Knight of the Burning Pestle, 3. 1. 

Farewell | madame | : my Zorc/| f* worth |y moth] er. 

jSi> Thomas More, 
Until he did a dying widow wed, 
Whiles I she lay dot | ing : on | her death \ es bed | . 

Hall Sat. 4. 1. 62. 

No contraction was more common than that of the super- 

^ [I think not, except in pliutils of words of more than one syllable, such as 
batails or bataUles (spelt either way). Certainly not in the genitive sing^ulmr. 
Wo must scan it otherwise : — 

For him | was lever: | han at | his bed] des hed.— W. W. S.] 


It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal beUman 

Which gives | the UenCst \ good night | : he is | about | it 

Macbeth, 2. 2. 3. 

Or I when they meant | : to fare | the^*<^ | of all | 
Thej lick*d oak-leaves besprent with honej-fall. 

Hall Sat, 3. 1. 16. 

Thus I the great st man | : of Eng | land made | his end { . 

Drayton. M.for M. Cromwell, 121. 

So farre mj princes prajse doth passe 
The fa \ nunut qneene | : that ev | er was | . 

PuUenham, Parthenides, 16. 

Sometimes the vowel was elided^ in cases where^ according 

to modem pronunciation^ the 8 and t are given to different 

sjllables ; 

She has in her . . . 

all the truth of Christians, 

And all | their con { stancj { : mod \ e»ty was made { 

When she was first intended. Fletcher, ValerUinian, 1. 1. 

Wflt I thou then serve | the Phil \ istines : with | that gift | , 
Which was expressly given thee to annoj them ? 

Samson Agon, 577, 

• T the dead of darkness, 

The mill ; utert for { the pur | pose : hur { ried thence | 

Me and thy crying self. Temp, 1. 2. 131. 

• To plainness honour*s bound 

When mqfysty falls | to fol | ly : reverse | thy doom | . 

Lear, 1. 1. 150. 

In the following examples the vowel belongs to an inde- 
pendent syllable ; 

I had I in house | : so man \yof\ *sars still { 
Which were obayde and honoured for their place, 
That carelesse I might sleepe or walke at will. 

Drayton. M, for M, WoUey, 26. 

A silver flood 

Fun I of great vir ! tues : and | for med \ 'cine good | . 

F, Q. 1. 11. 29. 

Her grace is a lone woman 

And ve ' ry rich | : and if | she take | a phant \ 'sie 
She will do strange things. 

B. Jonson, The Alchemist, 1.1. 


Our pow'r 

Shall do I a court \esy : to \ our wrath, | which men | 

Maj blame, but not control. Lear^ 8. 7. 25. 

In his raging mind 

He cursed | all court | *«y : ^ and | unru | \j wind | . 

Hall Sat. 3. 5. 19. 

With blood I of guilt I less babes | : and tit { Yiocen/^ true | . 

R Q. 1. 8. 35. 

The 171 1 nocent prey \ : in haste | he does | forsake { . 

F. Q. 1. 6. 10. 

In death | avow | ing : the tit | nocence of | her son { . 

F, Q. 1. 5. 39. 

Sluic*d I out his in \ nocent soul | : through streams | of blood I . 

R. IL 1. 1. 103. 
Bidding the dwarf with him to bring away 
The Sar | azens shield | : sign | of the con | qneror | . 

F, Q. 1, 2. 20. 

And Brit | on fields | : with Sar \ azen blood | bedjM | . 

F. Q, 1. 11.7. 


We have now only to consider those cases in which a 
syllable has been lost by the meeting of two words. 

The synalaspha or coalition of two vowels, is now tole- 
rated in very few instances. We may elide the vowel of 
the definite article before its substantive, and sometimes, 
though more rarely, the vowel of to before its verb; but the 
ear is offended, if the to is made to coalesce with a narrow 
vowel as, t' insist, or the article with a broad one, as in the 

So spake | the apostate an | gel : tho* | in painj. P. Z. 1. 125. 

The earth cum { ber*d and | the winged | air : dark | with plumes | . 

Comujt, 730. 

Formerly this union of the vowels was far more general, 
Chaucer melts the final e into the following word withoui 
scruple, and in some cases the Anglo-Saxons took the same 

> As from phant^sie o^me fancy, so from caur^sy came curtsy. 


license. We also find Chaucer occasionally using the same 
liberty in other cases. His successors (fully alive to the 
convenience) followed his example, till Milton pushed this, as 
every other license, to the utmost. So frequently does it 
occur in the works of this poet, that several critics, among 
others Johnson, have given him credit for its invention, or 
rather, we should say, its introduction, for they suppose it 
borrowed from the Latin. 

We will first give instances where the final vowel is 

It is I reprev | e : and con \ trary of \ honour | 
For to be hold a common hasardour. 

Chau. The Pardoneres Tale; C. T 12529. 

And thereto he was hardjr, wise, and rich, 
And pit I ous { : and just | and al \ way ylich \ e. 

The Squieres Tale; C, T 10333. 

And you that feel no woe when as the soxmd 

Of these my nightly cries ye hear apart, 

Let break | your soun | dcr sleep | : and pit\y augment \ . 

Spenser. Shep. Kal, August. 187. 

As marks | to which { : my ^ndeav \ out's steps | should bend { . 

B, Jonson, Cynthicts Revels^ 5, 3. 

Stiff I ly to stand | on this | : and proud\ ly approve \ 
The play, might tax the maker of self-love. 

B, Jonson, EpiL to Cynthia s Revels, 

Pas I sion and ap | athy | : and glor \ y and shame { . P. L» 2. 564. 
In the following examples the final vowel is broad. 

Then was gret shoving bothe to and fro. 
To liflb him up, and muckle care and wo, 
So unweil \ dy was | : this se ; ly pal j led gost | . 

The Manciples Prologue ; C, T 17002. 

And with | so exceed\ing fu | ry : at | him strake | , 

That forced him to stoop upon his knee. F, Q, 1. 5. 12. 

IJer doubtful words made that redoubted knight 

Suspect I her truth | : yet since | no untnUh \ he knew | 

Her fawning love with foul disdainful spite 

He would not shend. p. Q. ], x. 53. 


No ungrate \ful food | : and food | alike | those pure | 

Intclligentid substances require, 

As doth your rational. P. JL, 5. 407. 

Ang I uish and doubt | and fear { : and sor \ row and pain { . 

P. X. I. 558. 
— ^ Vouchsafe with us 
Two on \ ly who yet | : by sov | ran gift | possess | 
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower 
To rest P. Z. 5. 365. 

The pronoun it not only coalesces with a vowel, as heft^ 
o't, &c,, but sometimes also with a consonant, as w7, with% 

If the ill spirit have so fair a house, 

Good things | will strive | to dwell | with't 

Tempest, 1. 2. 458. 

You taught I me Ian ' guage : and | my prof] it out \ 

Is, I know how to curse. Tempesty 1 . 2. 363. 

If he may 

Find mercy in the law, 'tis his; if none. 

Let I him not neeKt | of us | : by day | and night ] 

He's traitor to the height. H, VIII. 1. 2. 211. 

I say I it is I not lost | : Fetch't, \ let me see | it. — 

Othelloy 3. 4. 85. 

His sword 

Hath I a sharp edge | : it's long, | and it may | be said | 
It reaches far. H, VIIL 1. 1. 109. 

We find ^t before a vowel in His^ and even before a conso- 
nant in the passage — 

Which done, quoth he, " if outwardly you show 
Sound, I '< not avails | : if in | wardly | or no | ." 

Drayton, M.for M. Cromwell, 107. 

To also coalesces very freely with the word that follows it, 
whether verb, substantive, or pronoun. 

When I she was dear | /o u* : we | did hold | her so | . 

Lear, 1. 1. 199. 

Mar ! ried your roy | alty : was wife | to your place | , 
Abhorr'd your person. Cymheline, 5. 5. 39. 


For I a short day | or two | : retire | to your own | house.^ 

Fletcher. Loyal Subjectj 2. 1. 

From whence to England afterward I brought 

Those slights of state deUverM unto me, 

Int" which I were then | : but ver | y few { that sought { . 

Drayton, M.for M, Cromwell^ 88. 

To whom thus | the por | tress : of | hell-gate | replied | . 

P. Z. 2. 746. 

Since you prove so liberal 

To refuse \ such means | as this | : maintain | your voice { still 
'T will prove your best friend. Fletcher, Loyal Subject^ 2. 1. 

The frier low lowting, crossing with his hand, 

T^ speah I with contri | tion, quoth | he : I | would crave \ . 

Drayton, M,for M. Cromwell^ 104. 

His is frequently joined to the preceding word, as are also 
the verb is and conjunction as. 

Pond ering on his voy j age : for | no nar | row frith | * 

He had to cross. P, Z. 2. 919. 

Go tell I the Duke | and his wife | : I*d speak { with them | . 

Lear, 2. 4. 117. 

A blink | o' resfs \ a sweet | enjoy ] ment. 

Bums, Twa Dogs, 

They Ve no | sae wretched s : ane | wad think | , 
Though constantly on poortith's brink. 

Burns, Twa Dogs. 

Bams has more than once joined the verb to the word 
that followed instead of [that] preceding it, 

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve, 
What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live, 
A daimen-ickcr in a thrave 

'A' a sma' | request, | 
I *11 get a blessin wi* the lave. 

And never n^ss't. Bums. To a Mouse. 

t [Here follows, in the former edition, a quotation from Spenser, F. Q. 1. 10. 49 : 
<* And ask'd | to what end | they clomb | : that heav'nly height." 
This is an oversight ; for the line is an Alexandrine : 
" And ask I ed to I what end | : they ctemb that tedious height."— W. W. S.] 
« [•* Pondering his voyage '* is the osnal reading.— W. W. S.] 



B, I, 

Verbs beginning with vj sometimes elided it, and coalesced 
with the word preceding, thos^ in old English, we have nas 
for ne was^ not for ne wotj nere for ne were^ &c. 

And lij til at Lord tliiit clepcd is 8t Ive, 

Nere \ tkou our bro \ der : shuld est thou | wot tbrir ] e. 

Chm, The Smnpnoures Tale ; C, T, 7525. 

I tell [ ye» to I my grief, | 

he teas base 1 1 j miir j der'd 

Fletcher. Valentinitm, 


Yon were best | to go | to bed 

and dreum { a^&in|. 

2 H, VI 5. L 196, 

Moke I it not strange | : I know [ ^ou were one | could keep [ 
Tbe buttVy-hatch utill locked. Akhemist, 1. L 

Wit I ness thefie wounds, | I do 

thr}/ were fair Iv giv'n | ♦ 
Fhtvhrr, Bofiduca, LI. 

I would, we would, &c,, are stiD commonly pronounced Fd^ 
weUl, &c., yet we often find them written at fnll length, in 
places where the rhythm only tolerates one syllable. 

It would be useless to poiot out the coalition of the verb 
have with the personal pronouns. We, however^ are con* 
Btantly meeting with these contractions written at full length, 
we have^ you have, &c., for w^ve, you\'e, &c. 

The first personal pronoun seems to have been occasion- 
ally omitted before its verb, as in the phrases, ^pray thee, 
'beseech thee^ &c. I suspect it was omitted more frequently 
than the texts warrant us in asserting. 

I honour hi in 

Even I out of jour | report | : 
la she M)le child to the King ? 

Your voie^es. Lords, | * beseech 
Have a free way,^ 


But 'pray 

yon tell | ine 
Ctfmb, 1. ] 

. 54. 

you : let | her will [ 

Oih. L 3. 26L 

I ijhe's still I the same | : I would | fain sec | bcr. 

Fietcher, Lotful Subject, 5. 2. 

And, Father Card'nal, 1 have heard you .•^ay, 
That we shall see and know onr friends in heaven, 
If that I be true | : /a Aw// see j my boy | again |. 

King John, 3, 4. 76. 

' [Not in tbe GIoIk' editicm, which merely hm the 6ve wordS| '^Lvt h«r htkvm 

your voices/* — W. W. S,] 

C. Ill* 



The article the was froquently pronounced tk'^ and more 
particularly when it foLlowed a preposition. The same pro- 
nunciation still prevails in the north. In Carres Cmven 
Dialogues, we meet with itfi', oih\ toth\forth^j hijth\ Ac, 
also atith' and mdh\ &c., for a7id the, all tke^ &c. 

Amongst the rest rode tliat fulae lady faire, 

The foul Diieasa, next unto the chair 

Of proud I Lueit'|era | : a^ one | otK tram] 

F. Q. 1,4.37. 

And the Rom { lah riteB | : that with | a clear | er sight | 
The wisest thought they justly did rejeet, 
They after saw that the received light 
Not altogether free was from defect. 

JJrai/ ion . ilf. for M, Crom we U^ 97, 

The flames. 

Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and^ rolJ*d 
In bil Jows, leave | itke^ midst \ : a hor[rid vule|, 

P.L, 1.223. 

While the jol | Ij Hours 

lead on | propitious May | . 

Milton. SofinetSf L 4, 

Whose shrill saiot's-bell hangs on his lovery, 
Whtle the rc«t | are dam | ned ; to | tht! plumb | ery | , 

Hall. SaL 5. 1 (near the end). 

The fox was howling on the hill. 

And the dis j taut ech | oing glens | re[i!y j . Jlnms* A Vision. 

Ith' and oth' are often written i'ihe, oHke. This is a 
common but gross blunder. In the first place^ the vowel is 
[then] not elided, and, secondly, the prepositions are [then] 
written as if contracted trom in and o/; but i and o are in- 
dependent prepositions^ which may bo traced back through 
every centtiry to the times of the Heptai'chy. 

In gi\ang the many extracts I have quoted^ I have scru- 
pulously adhered to the spelling of my authors, or rather of 
their editors : Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, Steevens's ShakeBpeare, 
and Todd^s Milton have been chiefly referred to, Tonson^s 
Spenser, and either Gifford's or Tonaon^s Ben Jonson. 

This isj I believe, the only instanee of such contraction in the P.L. 



B* I. 



As the word is now used, means the stress wMcli is laid 
upon a syllable during pronunciation ; and in a more re- 
stricted sense^ ihnt particular stress fy^hich defines therhjtlioi 
of a verse or sentence. The latter might perhaps be termed 
the rhythmical accent. It is of merely relative importance, 
and may be either one of the strong or one of the weak 
accents in the sentence ; but must be stronger than that of 
any By II able immediately adjoining. W© shall mark the 
rhythmical accentj as in the last chapterj by placing a vertical 
line after the accented eyllable. 

It has been matter of dispute^ what constitutes the stress 
which thus distinguishes the accented syllable. Mitford, 
who deserves attention both as a musician and a man of 
sensOj baa entered deeply into this inquiry, and concludes 
with much confidence that it is merely an increased sharp- 
ness of tone. Wallisj who is at least an equal authority, as- 
sumes it to bo an increase of loudness. I cannot help 
thinking that the latter opinion is the sounder one. 

There are two reasons, which weigh strongly in my mind 
against the conclusion of Mitford. It is admitted on all 
hands, that the Scots give to the accented syllable a grave 
tone. Now, if our English accent consisted merely in sharp- 
ness of tone J it would follow that in the mouth of a Scotch- 
man our accents would be misplaced. This, however, is not 
80 } the accents follow in their proper place, and our verses 
still keep their rhythm, though pronounced with the straE 
intonations of a Fifeshire dialect. 

Again, in a whisper there can be neither gravity no 
sharpness of tone, as the voice is absent; yet even in 
whisper the rhythm of a verse or sentence may be distinct^ 
traced. I do not see what answer can be given to either 
these objections. 

C, IV. 



But though an increase of loudness be the only thing 
essential to our English accent, yet it is in almost every 
instance accompanied by an increased sharpness of tone. 
This, of course, applies only to the prevailing dialect. The 
Scotchman, we have seen, pronounces his accented syllabi© 
with a grave tone, and in some of our counties I have met 
with what appeared to be the circumflex. But the English- 
man of education marks tho accented syllablo with a sharp 
tone ; and that in all cases, excepting those in which the 
laws of ejyiphasis require a different intonation. 

Besides the increase of loudness, and the sharper tone 
which distinguishes the accented syllable, there is also a 
tendency to dwell upon it, or, in other words, to lengthen 
ita quantity. We cannot increase the loudness or the sharp- 
ness of a tone without a certain degree of muscular action ; 
and to put the muscles in motion requires time. It would 
seem, that the time required for producing a perceptible 
increase in the loudness or sharpneaa of a tone, is greater 
than that of pronouncing some of our shorter syllables. If 
we attempt, for instance, to throw the accent on the first 
syllable of the verb become^ we must either lengthen the 
vowel, and pronounce the word feee [ come, or add the adjoin- 
ing consonant to the first syllable, and so pronounce the 
word feac jawte. We often find it convenient to lengthen the 
quantity even of the longer syllables, when we wish to give 
them a very strong and marked accent. Hence, no doubt, 
arose the vulgar notion, that accent always lengthens the 
quantity of a syllable. 

It is astonishing how widely this notion has misled men, 
whose judgment, in moat other matters of criticism, it would 
be very unsafe to question. Our earlier writers, almost to 
a man, confound accent with quantity; and Johnson could 
not have had much clearer views on the subject when he 
told his reader that in some of Milton^s verses, *^ the 
accent is equally upon two syllables together and upon both 
fiirong, — as 

Thus at tlieir sbjidy Iwlge arrived, both gtood^ 

Both hirnd^ antl iiinJer open sky adored 

The God that marie both sky, air, earth and heaven. 

P. L. 4. 720* 



B. fl 

Every reader of taste woidd pronounce the wards Blood, 
turned, with a greater stress, than that which falls upon the 
words preceding them* But those words are at least equal 
to them in quantity ; and Johnson fell into the mistakOj at 
that time so prevalent^ of considering quantity as identical 
with accent. Even of late years^ when sounder notions have 
prevailed, one who is both critic and poet^ has declared the 
word Egypt to be the only spondee in our language* Surely 
every one would throw a stronger accent on the first syllable 
than on the second ! 

In every word of two or more syllables there is one, which 
receives a stronger accent than any of the others. This may 
be called the verbal accent^tiE upon it depends the accentual 
importance of the word. When the word contains three or 
more syllables, there may be a second accent j this, of course, 
must bo subordinato to the first, and is commonly called the 
secondani accent. 

When a word of three syllablofl has its primary accent on 
the first, our poets have, in all ages, taken the liberty of 
giving a secondary accent to the third syllable, if their 
rh y th m r e q ui r ed i t . T h us /i a rtn ony^ met o ry, an d m any o th era 
of the same kind, are often found in our poetry with the last 
syllable accented. The rule applies to words of any number 
of syllables, provided th© chief accent falls on the last syllable 
but two. 

An ignorance of this principle has led the Danish philo- 
logist Rask, into much false criticism. He objects to the 
Anglo-Saxon couplet. 

Gctim ] brede | 
Tempc4 Gudo. 

lie hnUt 

To Gwi a temple. 

because the first verse has but one accent; and supf 
that hmih, or some such word, may have been omitted bj 
the transcriber. The verse, however, has two accents, fo 
a secondary one falls on the last syllable de. He pronounc 
another verse, consisting in like manner of one wor 
(nlmiht-ne, to be faulty, and for the same reason ; ho eve 
ventures to deny the existence of such a word in the la 
guage, and would substitute mlmihtig-ne. Now, in the \ 

C. IV. 



placOj csl I miht-ne \ may well form a verse of two accents, 
sapposing a secondary accent to fall on the last syllable i 
and Becondly, there are two adjectives, ahnight a.iid almighty; 
the first is rare in Anglo-Saxon, but is often met with in old 
English J and Leyond a doubt is used in the verse last qnotcd.' 

A word of four syllables can hardly escape a secondary 
accent^ unless the primary accent is on one of the middle 
syllables, when it falls under the same rule as the trisyl- 
lable. If it end in hle^ it is occasionally pronounced with 
one accent, as dis\pu{ahle; but I think the more general 
usage isj to place a secondary accent on the last syllable, 

A word of five syllables, if accented on the first, cannot 
have less than two, and may have three, accents. We may 
pronounce the following word with two accents, in | consol | • 
ahle^ or with three, in | consol \able\ , When the accent falls 
on one of the middle syllables, the word may, in some in- 
stances, take only one accent, as indis \putable. 

W^hen two syllables are separated by a pause, each of 
them mafj receive the accent, the pause filling the place of 
a syllable. In the verses 

Vir I tue, beau | tie and speech | : did strike | — womid 1 — cbann 
My heart [ — eyes \ — ean* | : with won | tier, loTe, [ delight | . 

strike, ivoundj chnrm, heart, eyes and earSj are all of them 
accented, though only separated by a pause. 

It is probable, that at one time every atop, which sepa- 
rated the members of a sentence^ was held, for rhythmical 
purposes, equivalent to a syllable » At present, however, it 
is only under certain circumstances that the pause takes a 
place so important to the rhythm* 

As no pause can intervene between the syllables of a 
word, it follows that no two of its adjacent syllables can be 
accented. There was however a period, when even this rule 
was violated. After the death of Chaucer, the final e, so 
commonly used by that poet and his contemporaries, fell 
into disuse. Hence many dissyllables became words of one 

• [Or accent also tho second sylkWe | see Daniel, 195, cd. Grein.— W. W, a] 



B. I. 

syllable, mone became mooiij and sunne sun; and tho com- 
pounds, into which they entered, were curtailed of a syllableJ 
The couplet J 

Ne was she darke, ne broiitie, but bright 
And flere | lis is | ; the mon ] e light | . 

Momausit of the Rof(€, 1009. 

would be read, as if mone light were a dissylJable ; and as thi 
metre required two accents in the compound, they would 
still be given to it, though less by a syllable. By degree 
thie barbarous rhythm became licensed, though it never ob-| 
tained much favour, and has been long since explode 
Spenser has left us some examples of it« 

Per, All m the 



I brifrbt. 

I ley I bo I I lie mut \ -beam \ I 

Per, Glancetb from Phoebus' face fortbriglit. 


80 love into thv heart did stream. 

Per, Or as Dame Cjntbia's silver ray, 
WiL Hey | ho | the miton\4ight\l 

Per. Upon the glitteriug wave doth play, 
WiL Sueh play is a piteous pli*rht ! 

ShejK KaL Augtmi, 83. 

We have said that the rhythmical accent must be stronger 
than that of any syllable immediately adjoining. When the 
verbal accent is both preceded and succeeded by an un- 
accented syllable in the same word, it is^ of course, inde- 
pendent of the position such word may occupy in a sentence. 
But when the accent falls on the first or last syllable, it is 
not necessarily preserved, when the word is combined with 
others; or^ — to vary the expression — the verbal accent is not 
necessarily the same as the accent of const ruction. Thus 
the vfQxd father has an accent on its first syllable, but in the 

Look I ^Jaiher^ inf>k | , and yon'll laugh | to see \ 

How he gapes | and glares | with his eyes | on thee | . 

such accented syllable adjoins a word, which haa a strongc 
stress upon it, and consequently loses its accent. The vert 
accent, however, can only be eclipsed by a stronger accent 
thus immediately adjoining. The license, which is some 
times taken, of slurring over an accent, when it begins ' 

C. IV. 



verse, is opposed to the rery first principles of accentual 
rhythm. In Moore*8 line, 

Shining on |, ibittmg on | , bj no shad | ow made ten { der* 

the verbal accent of shining is eclipsed^ in the second foot, 
by the stronger accent on the word on ; but in the first it 
adjoins only to an unaccented syllable, and therefore remains 
unchanged. It is trne, that by a rapid pronunciation, and 
by affixing a very strong accent to the third syllable, we 
may slur it over; but, in such case, the rhythm is at the 
mercy of the reader; and no poet has a right to a false accent, 
in order to help his rhythm* Neither length of usage, nor 
weight of authority, can justify this practice. 

When a verse is divided into two parts or sections, by 
what is called the middle pause, the syllable, which follows 
finch pause, is in the same situation as if it began the verse, 
and cannot lose its accent, unless it be succeeded by a more 
strongly accented syllable. In this case, however, the 
Bame license is often taken as in the last, particularly in the 
triple metre. 

Ab Emphasis and Accent are too often confounded, I 
fihall add a few words on the nature of the former, and en- 
deavonr to shew, in what particulars they resemble, and in 
what they are distinguished from each other, 

A very common method of pointing out an emphatic 
word or syllable is by placing a pauae, or emphatic stop, 
before it. There is little doubt that this pause was known 
firom the earliest periods of our language, and that it had a 
considerable influence in regulating the flow of our earlier 
rhythms. It is still common, and indeed in almost hourly 

When I burned in desire to question them farther, they made them- 
Ives— air, into which they vanished. 

Macbeth, L 5, 3. 

If the accent be on the first syllable, our expectation is 
not only excited by the pause, but the accent becomes more 
marked ; and as the importance of a word depends on that 
of lift aocent<Mi syllable, the word itself stands the more 



B. !• 

prominently forward in the sentence. This method of 
heightening the accent is sometimes need, even when the 
first syllable is unaccentedj and when consequently the pause 
must fall in the midst of the word. Thus we hear some 
persons who spell, as it weroj the words pro-digious, dt-recily, 
in order to throw the greater stress on the second syllable. 
One resultj that follows from this mis-pronunciation, is a 
tendency to fix, in some degree, the pause on the first 
syllable, and thereby to lengthen its voweK 

Another method of marking the emphasis, is a strengthen- 
ing of the accent, without any precedent stop. We have 
seen, that under such circumstances the speaker ia apt to 
dwell upon the accented word or syllable. Hence w© some- 
times find, that the emphatic word lengthens its quantity. 
^^Tien the vulgar wish to throw an emphasis on the word 
little^ they pronounce it leetle. 

But the chief difficulty occurs, when the emphatic syllable 
adjoins upon one, which ought, according to the usual lai? 
of construction, to be more strongly accented. In such i 
case, we very commonly have a transference of the accent 
In Shakespeare's verse. 

Is I this ike \ Lord Tal | bot : «nt^ [ le Glo« | ter P 

I H. VL 3. 4. 13, 

the emphasis, which ia thrown on the article, gives it an 
accent, stronger than that of the word either preceding or 
succeeding. Sometimes, however, it would seem, that we 
distinguish the emphatic syllable by mere sharpness of tone; 
and leave the stress of the voice, or in other words the essen- 
tial part of the accent, on the ordinary syllable. Thus in 
Spenser's line. 

Flesh I may impmr, | quoth she | 

but rea | son cim | repair \ . 
F. Q. L7. 41. 

both the rhythm, and the common laws of accentuation will 
have the last syllable of repair accented ; but the purposes 
of contrast require that the first syllable should be emphatic. 
The stress therefore falls on the last syllable, and the sharp 
tone on the first. In the same way must be read Milton'a 

In some cases a very intimate acquaintaDCO with a poet'g 
rliythm is necessary, to know whether he intended to mark 
hia emphasis by a transference of the accent, or by mere 
change of intonation. 


This branch of onr subject may perhaps be treated most 
advantageously, if, in each case, we first state the law, 
which has been sanctioned by the general usage of our lan- 
guage ; and then notice such violations of it, as have arisen 
frcmi making it yields instead of adaptitig it, to the laws of 

Of all the words that may be used in the construction of 
sn English sentence, the articles are the least important* 
In the greater number of cases, in which they are now met 
with, they are useless for any purposes of grammar, were 
unknown to our older dialects, and still sound strangely in 
the ears of our country population. The circumstances, 
which jnatify their accentuation, are accordingly rare ; yet 
hy tlie poets of the 16th century they were sometimes ac- 
oented even more strongly than their substantive* 

Skill, which practice %mK\i 
Will bring, ( and short | ly make | you : « ^ ] maifl Mar | tialll * 

F. Q. 3. 3. 53. 

— Thii man in preat. 

Mighty and fear'd ; tliat lov*d, and bij^hly favoiir'd ; 

A third | thought wbe | and team { ed : a { fourth rich [ , 

And there i fare hon ' oiir'd : a \ M\h rare ly fea | tur d. 

Ben JoHMOn. Svfr^ Man out of Ai# Humour^ LI. 

Tet full I of val I our : Me * | which did | adom | 
Hie meann^s much^ F. Q. 6* 3, 7* 

' Ha% ibe definite and indefinite artk'leji arc placed upon the same tuoting^. 
I^ tW Utrer nrigi natty was nothing more than rhe ^rst enrrlinal number^ 
Md man, wlien placed m ooikatruetiont bare obeyed the lame Lanv as regards 




This is noted, 

Andg«n[Va% I : whoev'erMf | king fa | vours, 

The Cardinal itistantly will find employment. 

And far enough firom court too, H. VIIL 2. I. 46. 

Bat a more common fault— one of which even Pope was 
guilty — is the acceDtuation of the article when it occurs 
before the adjective. 

Defence | is n | gor^d eaunc ] : and heav'n | be for [ us. 

Comus^ 489. 
See tlie heavy clouds low falling, 
And briiiht llosperus down calling 
Thf I desd night | : fmm nn | rler frround | • 

Fletcher, Faithful Shep. 2. 2, 

The I poor wight | : is al | mo8t dead | 
On tlie pjonnd Ids wounds have bled. 

Fletcher. Faithful Shep. 3. U 

She I was not the \ prime cauge | : hut I | myself j . 

Samam^ 234. 

The treach I VouH coljourR : the | fair art | betrjiy|. 
And all the hright creation fades away. 

Pope, EMua^ on Criticism^ 492. 

In words [ as fash ] ions : the | same rule | will hold | . 

Pope. Exsay on Criticism^ 333, 

There is^ however^ one position of the article, which 
Beems to warrant its accentuation, even when not emphatic. 
It ia that, which leaves it adjacent only to unaccented 
syllables. In the language of ordinary life the article, even 
in this case, is seldom accented. The words a revol\ter 
would be pronounced with a stress of voice, regularly in- 
creasing to the third syllable. But, in the measured lan- 
guage of composition, no words can be slurred over, or run 
the one into the other; and it seems not only venial, but 
even more correct and proper, to accent the article a | re- 

ill accentuation. As the cardinal numljers were aiM-ented more sti'ongly than 
the accompanying substantive^ it follows that the examples quoted (ron 
Spenser and Joiiaon are instances rather of an ohntotrte than of tk false aeoeii> 
tuationi though such a mixture of the oli) with the new system ii itill open to 

7%€ I divine Des | demo | m. What | « she? 0th, 2, \, 73. 

The two laat examples are however open to objection oo 
another ground. When a verse, or section of a verae, begins 
with an accent, such accent fihould never be a weak one. 

A word must necessarily be of leaa importance than that 
whose relations it merely indicates ; hence the accentuation 
of the preposition above its noun, is offensive. 

Oppreat with hills of tymnny cast on virtue 

By I the light fiui | cieA of \ fools : thus | ti-aiifiport [ 4iiL 

Bttii. JonMon. Cynthia i Rtveh^ 5. 4. 

Fore tasted fimit. 

n'd I fini I bj the aer | pent : bg \ him firit | 
Made cooamoii. P, I, 9. 9211. 

Else had the spring 

Perpetual Kmird on earth with veniant llowVs, 

Equal in days and nightB, except to those 

Beyond | the po \ lar cb | clea : ta \ tbem day | 

ilid unbenighted bhone. P. L, 10, 67S. 

In the two extracts from Milton, the pronouns require 
vi emphasidi which makes the false accentuation still more 

' FtipQdicions formerly took the accent befure personm) pi^nounA, and, indeed, 
ibttdoioia tnmB of our provincial dialects; the (u^ent nation therefore in nnt 
pn^twly ipeaking faUe, though it take* the reader hy HiirpriH*^, mom partkn- 
kdf la the emphaaia falii on the pronouni in tho two rasea he re eitcd« 



B. I. 

All words which qaalify others^ as adjectives, adverbs, 
and others of the same class, receive a fainter accent than 
the words qnalified. 

It has been observed,^ that when '' a monosyllabic adjec- 
tive and substantive are joined, the sabstantive has the 
acute, and the adjective the grave, unless the adjective be 
placed in antithesis, in which case the reverse happens/' 
This rule might have been stated more generally. The 
primary accent of the adjective ought always, when not em- 
phatic, to be weaker than that of the substantive. But when 
the reviewer states this law to have been " observed by all 
our best poets,^^ and censures Darwin and his contemporaries 
as its first violators, he is lauding our earlier writers most 
unfairly. If authority, in a case like this, were of any weight, 
it might easily be found ; 

Help'd I by the great \ powV : of j the vir| tuoii* moon | . 

Fletcher. Faithful Shepherdets, 2. 2. 

Lest [ the gretit \ Fan : do j awake | 

Samf^ 1. L 

Thj chaster beams piny on the heavy face 

Of aJI I the world | : mak [ ing the blue \ sea smile | , 

Fletcher, Faithful Shep, 2. K 

I thitik a traitor — 

No ill I words I let | hm own | sbame : first | revile j him. 

Fletcher. Bonduca^ 2. 4. 

The dominations, royalties, and rights 

Of this I opprefl | scd boy | : this | ii thy el [ dest mns | son. 

Unfortunate in nothing but in thee. K. John^ 2, 1. 176. 

Hath any ram 

Slipt I from the fold | i or young \ kid lost ] ita dam [ ? 

ComuM, 497. 

The more correct schools of Dryden and Pope carefiiUy 
avoided this error, but our modem poets are not so scrupn* 
lous. The faults of the Elizabethan writers are more readily 
caught than their beauties ; 

Dccipit exemplar vitiis imitabile. 
The poBsessiye pronoun falls of course under the same 

* Kd, B^. No. 12. Art. 10. 



law aa tho adjective; but when coupled with an adjective 
receives the weaker accent. The violation of this rulo is bat 
too Gominon among those writers to whom allusion had been 

In wine I and oil | : thej wa^li ] cii hu \ wounds wide | . 

/•.Q. 1.5. 17,* 

And dark j some dens | , where Ti { tan ^ ^> | face ae? | er shuwg | . 

F. Q. 2. J. 27. 

Tfiat j I may ait | : aud poor | out m^ | sad sprite | 
Like running water .^ 

Fletcher. Fmth/ut Shepherdetx, 4. 4, 

The sweeping fiercencfis : vrhifli his «oul betrayed, 

The skill | with which | he wield jed : kU \ keen bJade|. 

Byron. LarOf 7* 

And then | as hia | Ikint breath | ing : wax ' as low | . 

Byron, Lara^ \7* 

It \b donbtless tinder the same law^ that the word own 
takes the accent after the possessive pronouns; a rule which 
is violated by Pope in the very couplet in which he de- 
nooncea the critics ; 

Against | the po | et : their \ own arms [ they tuni*d { , 
Sure to hate mo&t the men from whom they leam'd. 

Eamy on Criticism^ 1 06, 

Another Uw of English accentuation is, that the personal 
and relative pronoun [s] take a fainter accent than the verb* 

And mingled them with perfect vermilVf 
That Hkc | a live j ly sang | uine : it | seem'd to | the eye [ . 

F. Q. 3. 8. 6. 

That *ea-bea*t 

LeviaUmn, which God of all his works 

Crea { ted hii | gest ; that [swim th* o | cean^ stream | « 

P. LA. 200. 

' [Boi the Globe edition bai :^" They wash | his wound |es wide.'' This ii 
•ti^iiMitty ri|;bt} wounda beiit^ dis»yilMljio, us hu^ beeu shewn above, p. tiG. 
-IV.W. S.1 

* This rtfwe of Fletcher has eren more than bis usual proportion of blunders. 
W'ak pruper accents it wauld belong to the triple measur?. 

That I 1 may sit | and ^H^ur out | my sari sprite | , 


Such 18 certainly the right scanning of this puzzling line, 
for the first and all the early editions elide the vowel. We 
may hence see the danger of printing Milton without elisions. 
As tho line stands in tho modern editionB, every reader would 
accent it thus^ 

Crea { ted Im | gcst : that swim { tbe o | cean^streBm | * 

No one would be bold enough to risk a false accent, in 
order to avoid an awkward and spiritlesa rhythm* 

It remains to consider the law, which regulates the 
accents of a sequence. 

When two or more words of the same kind follow each 
other consecutively^ they all take an equal accent. If they 
are monosyllables, a pause intervenes between every two. 
It is probably for this reason, and on account of the great 
nuuiber of English monosyllables, that we find such frequent 
violations of a law so obvious and important. 

FeoTf sick I Dess, age | : loi^x^ la Ijour, Hor > row, strife | « 
Ptfifi^ liunlfifer, cold | : that makes | the heart | to quake, 
Atitl ever fickle furtEne ragetli rife. F, Q. L 9. 44* 

So shall [ tL'tatht jeal | ousy j : griff, lovc» | die and | decaj | • 

F. Q. % 4. 35. 

lufur I naJ Iiags | : cen \ taiu-s, fieinh^ hip j podame? ' , 

F, Q. 2. 9. 50. 

The hectifk, 

Gout^ lep I roBie | : or Boine ] Huch loathM | disease | . 

Beti Jonsoii, Kcery Man. out of kU Jlumuur, I. 1. j 

I am I a man | : and | I have Hmhs],Jf<»*A, hlutxl], 

Jhiift^ Bin jews and | a soul\ - a» wclJ | as lie |. iSame, 2*a^J 

Where he gives her many a rose 

Sweeter than the hroath that b!owJ«, 

The leaves | , grnpcn, ber ] rie» : of | the best i . 

Fletcher, Faithful Skep, Z. K| 

Iligh'dimhing rock, low FUidess dale., 
Sea^ des , crt, what | : do these | avail j ? 

Wordaworth. IVhiie Doe of Hf/htone, 7. 14. 

False accentuation very often leads to amhiguity. In 1 
last passage, there might be a question, whether the autl 
did not mean the sea-desert^ the waste of ocean ^ 

C. IV, 



the aame | diver [ mm sliare | , 
Childe Harold, 1. tl. 

When the words are collected into groups, this law of 
sequence affects the groups only, and not the individuals* 
Thus I think there would bo no fair objection to the mode 
in which Byron accents the verse, 

Voimg old\ , high low [, &t once 
Nor to Milton^s famous line. 

Rocks, ea^s \ , lukes^feni \ , hogi^ dens, \ * ; mid sbttdes | o( deAth | * 

This last verse has been variously accented. Mitford 
accents the first six words, thus making it a verse of eitjht 
iccents, though Milton wrote his poem in verses otjive. 

The same law will hold when the words are in groups of 
three together. 

Before we close this section, it should be observed, that 
the rule, which we have applied to the article, is a general 
one. There is no word, however unimportant, which may 
not be accented, when it lies adjacent only to unaccented 
fyllables. We have already given examples where the articlu 
is accented ; to add othens would be useless. 


The accentuation of foreign words, naturalized in our lan- 
guage, has always been varyiDg; one while inclining to tho 
English usage, at another to the foreign. We will first treat 
of proper names, which have come to us, either mediately or 
immediately, from the Latin. At present, we give them 
l^tin accents, when they have all their syllables complete ; 
and English accents when they arc mutilated. But nothing 
was more common, down to tho end of Eliaiabeth's reign, 
than to find the perfect Latin woi-d with its accents distri- 
bated according to the English fashion ; 

Till I tltat the pa] | e : iS'a^ | urnus \ the cal | do 
That kDtfW so many of ftveiitures ohie. 

Chan, The Knightes Tale; C. T. 244.5. 

r * Den meftiif m low woody bottorn, »acb' &« otlen marlu m •trdam or Wftler- 
^ it is coupled witb bog. 



B, I. 

Sat I urnm tlioti | e i, sund | -buende het \ on. 

Stttunius him Bea*dwellera hight. Alfred^ Met 26^8. 

Such one wiis <mce, ar once I was niistau^ht, 

A »mitli I at Vtd\caim^ j : own forge | up brought | . 

ffalL Satires, 2. I. 45. 

In sterres, mEny a whiter tlier-befhnij 

Wfts writ I thedeth | : cif Hec I tor, Aeh [ illcx \ — 

Chau. The Man of Lawes Talc; C. T. 4617. 

Hit gcsselde ^o : on snme tide 

Th«it.4u|feetf I : un Iderhocf jde 

Thjcm C^ere : cynerwu twL 

It fl^U of yore, upon a time, 

That Aidixes ^ had under 

The Kaiser kiii^^donis twu. Alfred^ Met, 26. 4. 

liufur I e hire ato^id [ : hire son e Vu\pido\, 
Upon his lihouldcrj^ wingea hatlde he two. 

Chau, The Kntghtes Tale; C\ T. 1965. 

Wjer I on E ] gypte : efl \ on-eyr j de. 

Again were the Kgjplians turned baek. 

Citdmon, Exod, 4^1. 

These wntera give us tlie Latin accGBts^ whenever it suits 

their rhythm. 

During the 14th century we got eveii our Latin from 
the French. Latin names were^ accordingl j| often used 
with French accents, and that to the very end of the lOth 

Fayr | est of fayr | e : o la I dj min | Vemut \ , 
Daughter to Jove, and spouse of VuleanuB. 

Chau, The Knigktes Tale; C, 712223, 

The dreint | Lean ' dre : for | Ins faire [ Hero \ , 

The teres of Heleine^ and eke the wo 

Of Briseide. Chau. The Man of Laweg ProL; C T. 4489. 

Hee [ tor and Her [ culew | : with false | St no \ , 
Their minds did make them weave the web of woe, 

Mirr, for M, Egelred, X 

Of Lu I erece and ] : of Bab|ylon | Thisbe\, 
Tlie awerd of Diiht^ for the false "Enee. 

Chan. The Mmt of LaweA ProL ; C. T. 4483, 

I llimt ill UliEses. 

C* IV. 



A cmnny'd hole or chink, 

Through which | ihe lov | era : Pjr | amua and | TTiishsf \ 

Did whisper ofbcn very secretly. AT. N, Drmm^ S, 1. 159* 

Sbakespeare elsewhere accents it This\t>y; he datibiless 
pai the old and obsolete accent into the mouth of his 
** mechaoicals/' for the purposes of ridicalc, 

French accent was particularly prevalent in such words, 
as had been robbed by our neighbours of one or more 

Thou gUder of the mmint of Citberon, 

For thll ke lov |e : thon had | de^st to | Adim \ , 

Have pitee. Chau. The Knightei TaU; C T. 


Amhitiona Sjlk : and etem Mariuji, 
|iiigh Cm ^ sar, great j Pompey \ : and fierce | AntoD | tus | , 

F.Q. J. 5, 49, 

Him thonght | how that | : the wing ' ed god | Mercu \ ry 
Befome him stood, and had him to be mery. 

Chau, The KnighUi Tak ; C T. 1387. 

All such words we now accent after the English fashion, 
Pom \p€y^ Met \ rury, Di \ an, &c. 

When the last syllable of a French word does not conbiin 
the e Rnaip it almost invariably takes the accent ; in English 
words^ the accent is generally upon the first. Now tho 
" makers '' of the 14th century, in raising our language once 
more to the dignity of cmirily verse, unhappily, but very 
naturally, had recourse to the dialect, which had bo long 
been nsed for the purposes of poetical expression, la 
Skinner's phrase^ " cart-loads " of French words were poured 
into the language. Those for the most part had a doubtful 
accentuation, English or French, as best snited the con- 
venience of the rhythm. This vicious and slovenly practice 
may be traced as late as to the reign of Elizabeth. In the 
following instances of French accent uation, I shall in each 
ci«e take, first the words of two syllables, and then those of 
tliree or more j 

A pren tia whiJ Jom dwelt | : In otir | nVi?e[, 
Ajid of a craft of vitailers wua lie. 

Chan, The Cohes Taie ; C 1\ 4363. 



B, 1, 

So meek a look hath aUc, 

I miiy [ not you | tievia e : aii hire | heautee \ , 
But tliufl much of hire beautee tell 1 may. 

Chaucer. C. T. 9B19. 

For qiihar \ h fail | veys : na wertu \ 

May be [ off pritre | : na off walu \ . The Bru€€^ I. 371. 

For wcU thou woat thjfielveu verailjr, 

Thut thou I and 1 | : be damj ned to | pri$on.\ 

l*erp*it I uel \ : us gain [ eth no | raunnon \ , 

Chau. The Knighfes Tale; C, T 1176. 

And when that he wel dronkeu bad the win, 
Then [ wold be apek | en : no ) word but | Laiin \ . 

Chau. Prol, 639. 

This I was thin oath[ : and min | also | ceriaift\^ 
I wot it wel thou durpt it not withsain, 

Chan, TheJOiightex Tale; C. T. 1I4L 

For whi€h thy child was in a crois yrent. 
Thy bliss [ ful ey | en aaw | ; nil bis | tunnent \ , 

Chau, M, of Lutves Tak ; C. T. 526-1. 

And, Kikerly, she was of gret dittport. 

And ful I plemnt\ : and ajmiable | ofp(»i1;|. 

Chau. ProL 137. 

He dorstc make a vaunt, 

He wbjtetliat | amau[ : was re\peiitatmi\. 

Chan, ProL 227. 

Of all Goers works, vihich do tluH world adoni, 

There h no one more fair and ex^L'llent, 

TliiLn is man's body both for power and ibrm, 

Whiles it is kept in sober govenmieut, 

But none | than it | : more fou! | and m\d€ceni\ 

DistemperM through misrule, F. Q, 2. 9. 1 . 

Some words in n still accent the last syllable, but in that 
case lengthen the vowel j ag saloon ^ dragoon^ cartoon, divine, 
&c. Many words too are spelt with the long i, though now 
pronounced with the short, as satiguine, &qJ 

Ther nis | ywis ' : no ser | pent 50 | cntel | » 
When man trcdetb on his tail, ne half so feL 

Chau. The Sompmurejs Tale; C. T. 


^ NadtH'f posit ivCy ahufiit^f cxjKftjdve^ fee* are still pronounced wi(h a lonjj i 
in Norfolk^ seo Forby's *^ Glossary ," p. 14. The Aniedca]i pi\>fiundaiii>o i» 
the MQie. 

C. IV. 



Tbc par \ iljJe swift ] : ond ( the ti | ger cruell \ . 
The anteloj)e and wolf, both fierce and i\AL 

F. Q, I. 6. 96. 

Cftus'd I him ftgrce ' : thev mi<;bt | in parU [ equai | 

Divide the realm, antl prrtmbt him a jrard 

Of sixty knight 9« on him attendinc^ s(ill at call^ 

Higgins, M, for M» Queen CordHtt^ll, 

It were^ | cjuod hcj : to thee | no jerrct | honour \^ 
For I to be fake | : tie | for to be | traitour \ « 

Chau. The Kn ightes Tale ; C T. 1 1 3 1 . 

Our govemour. 

And I of our tal { ea : jug j e tnd re \portour \ , 

Chan. ProL 815. 

Beyood | all past | exam [ pie : and | futtrc | . 

P. L, 10. 840. 

The other adjectives in ure are still accented on the last 
^ble^ as abgcure, secure, jnature, &c. 

She I was so cbari itablel : aod so \ piious]. 

She wolde wepe if that she saw a mous 

Caught m a trappe. Chau, ProL 14^. 

^^— Mighty Theseus, 

lliat I for to huu ten : la \ so de] airnwi 1 . 

Chun, Knightet Tale; C, T. liJ73» 

fes in 086, we, use, still take the accent on the 
ilej as verbose, precise, obtuse, &c. 

That telleth in thia cas, 

Tai I ea of best | seuteiic , c : and mofit [ itofax | . 

CkuH. ProL 799, 

I you { forge V | e alt hoi \ ly : tbis^ | (reipag \ . 

Chau. Knighiei Tale; C. T 1820, 

• How shoiild, alas ! 

8illy old man that Hires in bidden cell, 

Hid I ding bis beadn | all day \ : fur his { trettpasB \ t 

TytUngB of war and worldly trouble tell ? /^. Q. K 1. 30. 

By pol icy i : Qud Inn^ | process \ of time U P. i. 2. 207. 

But subtle Arehliuiigo, when his {^ucsta 

He 8*w divided into double parts. 

And U [ na wand ^ *r£ng in | : wooda | and forresU \ , &(•- 

F: Q. 1.2. 9. 

[If a French word end with the final e, tho penulti- 
sy liable is always accented. When such word was 
ought into our language, the final <? was either dropt or 



B. I. 

changed into y. The accent fell accordiEgly either on the 
last, or the penultimate syllable* 

The ending ie once formed two syllables with an accent 
on the t. This accent long kept its place even when the 
e was lost } 

Quod The [ neus { : hav | c ye &o grct | enm \ e 
Of myn honour, that thu« coniplaiii and crie. 

Chau. The Knigfites Tale ; C. T. 909. 

Before | her Jitan { detli : dan | ger and | enw^ \ / 
Flattt^ry, descent, mischeifc, and tyranny* 

Sir T. More, Bohe of Fortune, 

There many minstrelB makcn metodie, 

To drive 1 away I : the dull | melatg\chol^\. 

F. Q, 1. 5. 3. 

The following examples will be ranged in the like order ; 
firstj those words which retained the e finalj and aPterwarda 
those in which it had been lost ; 

Wei coud he playe on a git erne. 

In all I the touii | : naa brew \ houa iic | tatern \ t 

Thu he nc vmited. Chavu Milhres Tale ; C, T. 3333. 

In forme and reverence, 

And £hor(e | and qnickc [ ; and fid 1 { of high [ senten \ ee, 

Vhau, ProL 307. 

That this | Soudan | : hatb caught | bo gret | pksan \ ce 
To Lbu I hire fij^ | ure : in [ liis re \ membran | ce, 
That ail his lust, and ail bia besy cure, 
W'vm for to love hire. 

Chan. Mmi of Lamei Title; C. 71 4606. 

This se | ly cai- 1 peQter| : had gret [ meriseil\ le 
Of NicUolaii, or what thing might him aile. 

Chan, MillerfS Tale; C, T. 3423. 

And led | their life | : in gret | irawaUl]^ 
And oft I in hardj : stonr off j bataill^. 

2%e Bruce, 1. 23. 

And ov [ er his bed ' : ther shin ] en two | ^ur | e« 
Of stcrr I e8. that | ben i."lep'ed: in j scriphtr^ei^ 
That on Fuella, that otluir Rnbeus. 

Chau, 7 he Knightet Tale ; C T. 2045. 

* Entmy^ envjt are still m> pronounced in Norfolk ; see Forbj^s **GlotsarjJ 
p. 105, 

iC. IV. 



Thm I ts tlie vie | loiie : of | this ar \ entur | «, 
Full hliafal in prison m&jflt thou endure* 

ChoH, The Kitighfes Tale ; C\ T. 1287, 

And do I that I | to mor { we : ma^ han | victor \ le, 
Min be the travaUleT and thin be the glorie. 

Chau, The Knighin Ttde; C, T 3407. 

Ther saw I many another wonder storic. 

The which ( me list ' : not draw ! en tt) I memo \ rie, 
ChaiL The Knightes Tale ; C\ T. 

To put in wryt a snthfast storie, 

That I it lest ay | fiirth : in | memo \ ry* 


The Bruce, 1. 14. 

For who ; «o mak | eth God | : hi* ad | versa ' nr, 
A» 1 for to werk j en : an ^ y thing in | contra \ ry 
Of hia will, certeSf never shal he thrive. 

The ChanoneM Veortuinnes Tale ; C T, 16944, 

Wei cotide he rede a leason or a storie, 

But al{der-beat | be iiung| : an of\/erto\rie, 

Chau, Pro/, 711. 

And over all ther as profit shuld ariso. 
Car 1 teia he waa | : and low ] ly of | tert>i» [ r, 

Chan. ProL 249. 

For in the land ther naJi no craftea man, . . , 
Ne por I treiour [ : ne car ■ ver of | imag | e#, 
That TheseuB ne gaf him mete and wageft, 

Chau, The Knighte* Tale ; C. T, 1899. 

A not [ -bed had | dc he : with | a brown | msag \ e^ 
Of wood I craft coud ] e he wel | •' al | the usag \ e. 

Chau, ProL 109, 

> : gret | is thin av | antag \ e^ 

More than ia min, that sterve here in a cage. 

Chau^ The Knighlei Tale ; C T 1295. 

And at thou art a rightful lord and juge, 

Ne g^ I e ua ney [ ther : mer 1 cie n© | re/ug j e, 

Chau. The KnighteJi Tale ; C T, 1721, 

With as I ther was { : a doc | tear of | phisik \ e, 

Li all this worldf ne was ther none him like 

To speke of pbisike. Chau, Proi. 413. 


Engen | dered of { hnmours { : melon \ cholik \ f , 
Befor I en : in { his eel j le fan | tmtik \ e, 

Chau. The Kuightes Tale: C\ T 1370. 



B* I. 

One of our souls liad wandered in the air^ 

Ban I ish*d tlib frail [ sfput [ chre : of J our flesh | . 

N. IL 1. 3. 194. 
But all [ be tKat | lie was!: &phil\oso\phrey 
Vethadde he but litd gold in coffre. Chau. Prol 299. 

Again [ his might | : tber gain 1 en non | oh^ta | cht^ 
He raaj | be ckp | ed : a god | for hifi ] mira \ cUm, 

Chau. The KnighUg Tale; C. T. 1789. 

A the \ atre | : a pub | lick re j ctpia \ ele 
For giddj humour and fliBensed riot. 

Ben Jon, E, Mau in Ai> Humour, 2. 1. 

Aa I in a vault | : an an | cient re \ cepta | cle. 

/?. and J. 4, 3. 39. 

Lest par [ adise [ r a r« | cepta | cle prove | 
To apirits fouL 

P,L. IL 123, 

Chaucer generally makes the ending ade bat one syl- 
lable ; and perhaps it may be a quefifcion if it ever fills the 
place of two syllables in his writings. The same remark 
applies to the endinga able and ible ; but as ifc would be 
dangerous, without the assistance of a better edition, to 
lay down any positive rule upon the subject, I shall follow 
the usual praetice in dividing them. 

I can I not soiue | : if tlmt | it be 

But Ve i mi a lia(! him ma i kt»d 

I poA,n hle,^ 
in ' vtMi I b!e^ 

Thus sayth the booke. 

Chau, Legeiide of Duio^ 97. 

Of his diete mesurable was he^ 

For it was of no groat Biiperfluitee, 

But I of vant nour | ishiug | : and di gesii \ hie. 

Ilia study waa but Htel on the Bible. Chau, Prol 437. 

For all afore that seraed fair and brijiht, 

Now base j and con \ tempti ] ble : did | appear | . 

F. Q. 4. 5. 14. 

For posfiilile is* sin thou hast hire presence, 

And art a knightt Q wortbj and an able, 

Tliat I by some caj^ , sin For ' tune is | changea \ hie 

Thou maieiit to thy deair Bometinjc attaine, 

Chan. The Kmghies Tale; C, T. 1242. 

' Cbmpar^ lamentdhle^ QhomindUc^ as pronounced in Norfulk ; iee Forby 
*• Gbiiary," p. 105. 

Your fair dbcourae hath b&en eji su^ar, 
Mwk I iDg the hard j way : sweet | and de \ lecta { hU, 

R. IL 2. X G. 

It can ; not btit | arrive | : most ac \ cepta ' hle^ 
B. Jons. £v. Man out of hit Ilut/iour, 1. 1 (^Tke Stage), 

By fofv^ impossible, by leave obtiiined 

V» I accepta hU : tbougb | in heaven j , our atate | 

Of splendid Ta;3salage. P, L, 2. 24d* 

With huge | force and | : in\ tupparta \ ble main [ . 

F. Q, 1.7. 11.' 

And won [ dred at } : their tm \paea \ hU stour 

Ther© are also certmn aubstantives in our language, 
^hich are closely connected with the past participle of the 
Latin ; theae long retained their Latin accent on the last 


Law I and edi^ | on ua { : who | without law { 

Err not- P. Z. 5. 797. 

Strongly drawn 

By thjt I new -felt j affec[tion: and \ liutiRet], 

P. z. 10. m% 

Wooing poor craftsmen with the crafl of umiks , . . 
A* I were | to ban ish: their [ fiffectx | with him], 

R. IL 1.4.28. 

Most ug I ly shapes [ : and horr \ ible | atpettt [. 

F, Q. 2. 12. 23. 

And I for our eyes | ; do hate | the dire | aspect] 

Of civil wounds. R, IL 1. 8, 127. 

Hi* worda [ hereentded : but | bii meek | aspect] 
Snent yet ipake. P. J.. 3. 260. 

Milton also accents the first syllable, as |pee^/ bnt the 

* [Ot pfrhapt t infup\porta\hl^^ with the atcent on sup. So^ perbap«, nn- 
•rjcijiCilMe joat above. But it does not affect the argument.— W. W* S.] 

' [1 cannot find that he does so ; see ail the passages, vis., P. h, 2. 301 , 
1 IM, 4, &U, 5. 7;*3, 6. 81, 313, 450, 7. 379, 8, 886. 10. 454 ; P. H. 3. 217 5 
•&•?. L. 10. 6^&, Com. 694.— \\\ W. S.] 



B* U 

older writers, almost inyarkblj, give ua the Latin accent. 
Dr, Parmer at once declared against the gennineness of 
'* The Double Falsehood/^ which Theobald and others had 
ascribed to Shakes peare^ because this word was always 
found accented on the first syllable. This was bold, but 
warrantable criticism. 



One of the most important rules is that, which bids as 
accent the root^ whether verb or aubstautive^ more strongly 
than in its inflection ; as in the words, lov | est, lov | eih, 
lav I ingf lov | ed, smit | eth, mnii [ ing, smit | ten, fox \ eSj oz | en, 
chil I drrni. 

The old ending of the present participle was occasionally 
accented^ during the 14th and 15th conturies ; and some- 
timesj though more rarely, the modern termination ing. 

Atici j sutli thynfges i that are | likand \ 

Ty]\ man ■ nys lier ; ing : ar [ plesand \ . Bruce^ 1, 9, 

The scaitb 

Tliat I toward thaitn": was ap\perand^\ 

For tliat at tbe King of Engl and 

Held 8 wy Ik freynxiBchip. Bmce^ 1. 82. 

Wherefore laude and honour to such a king, 
From dole | ftil daun | ger us so | defending . 

Dinghy, M, for M. Fiodden FitM, 24, 1 

Under this head may be ranged our verba! substantive 
whether denoting the agent, as lover^ or the action^ as 
iovi7ig. These endingSj however, in old English, were not 
unfrequently accented. 

And knew wel the tavern es in every towne, 
And ev ' ery host ] eler \ : and gay | tapster \ «, 
Bet than [ a la j zer r or [ a beg [getter \ e. 

Oiau, PtqL 240. 
For ther wa« he nat like a cloisterere. 
With thred | bare cope | : as ih | a poor | scholer \ e, 
But he was like a maiater or a pope. Chtm, Prol. 261, ! 

- The mount of Citheron, 
hire prin i cipal | dwelling [ , 
in pur I treeing [ . 

Chau. a T. 1938, 

TherVeintis hath| 

Was shew j ed on | the wall j 


A ! tredome is a noLle itiing, 

Fre j itome tuaya» man [ : to Uiiifr | Ukitig \ . Bruce, 1 , 225. 

For oftl tttre hftili | not tn | ken : hU be \ginmHg \ 
Of no partie, ne CAntel of a thing. 

Ckau. Knightes Tale; C T. 300D* 

To the same rale iimy be referred the adjectivea of com- 
ison ; and such adjectives as are formed by adding the 
imon terminations to a substantive, though Harbour 

has sometimes accented the last syllable of the adjective 

IB y* 

And gTff t]mt ony man thaini by 
Uod on I V thiDg | ; thui wes | worthy \ . 

Brute, L 205. 

And wjsH I men saj | is : Ue in | happy , 

That be otbir will Uim cliaa^ty. 

Bruce, 1, 121. 

The same rule and the same excoption hold in respect 
to adverbs derived from adjectives. 

For oft feynying of rybbaJdy * 
Awaal I yeit him | : and that | gretly \ . 

Brtice, L 34L 
Ik hard never, in rtang na rjme, 
Tell I of£ a man : that !twa | smertly | 
E«chewyt swa gret chewalrj, Bruce ^ 3. 178. 

The next law governs the accentuation of such €om* 
poands, as consist of a substantive and some word that 
qualifies it ; whether it be an adjective, or a substantive, 
pfaposition^ or other word used adjectively. Thia law is 
flue rerene of that, which regulates the accents of a sen- 
teace. The ktter requires the substantive to be accented, 
bat in the compound the accent falls upon the adjective ; 
w^ should say for instance — all | black birds | are not 
Mact|Wrt&, From the 14th to the 16th century this rule 
WIS fipequently, and is still occasionally, violated. The only 
exception, however, which ha,^ ji^ed itself in the language, 
is the word mankinds Milton accented it sometiraeB on the 
first, and at other times on the second syllable, but tho 

' GottpAre e<mimiullyt certainty, as [ironounccd m Norfolk ; we Forbj'a 
'QfcwKyr p. 105. 



B. I, 

latter now always takes tlie accent. The accent was naost 
frequently transposed in those words which ended with a 
long syllable, especially if it contained the long i, as 
insight, moonlight^ sun-rise* When the last syllable con- 
tained a short vowel sound, the accent was occasionally, 
but rarely, misplaced. In such cases, the false accentuation 
is now particularly offensive. 

The chtioping tii^ht tlius creepeth on tliem fiLst, 
And I the sa(i hii ' inour : load , ing their | eyelids | , 
Ah messenger of Morpheus, on them cast 
Sweet slimib'ring dew^ tlie which to sleep them bids. 

F. Q, 1. L 36. 
Trebly augmented was hh fanoua mood 
With bitter Rense of his deep-rooted ill. 
That flames j of fire | he threw^ | forth: from [ hiskrge | nmtril\, 

F. Q. l. 11.22. 

Afl for j tlie thrice ] three -an | gled : l:>eeeh | nut' shell \ , 
Or ches I riot's arm j ed husk J : aiid hid | kernel \ , 

HalL Sai. 3. 1. 18. 

Hire mouth fui smiile and therto soft and red, 

But mk I erly | : she hati | a fayr ] forehed \ . Chau. ProL 153, 

The compounds ending in dom^ hood^ ship, ness, ess, also 

belong to the same rule* Most of these endings contained 

two syllables in our old English dialect^ and oftan took the 

verbal accent. 

The angyr, na the wrechcfc dome* 

That I is cowp | lyt : to foyle | thyrldome. \ } 

The Bruce, I. 235. 

Ful Both I is sajd | : that Iot { e nc | lordMp { 
Wol nat, his thankes, have no felawship. 

Chan. The Knightes Tale; C, T 1025. 

That j ifi to sayn \ : troiith, lion ' our, Jind | manhe \ de^ 
Wisdom^ hurablesse, estat, and high kinretle. 

ChaJi. The Knightes Tale; C, T 2791. 

Throw kb douchti deid, 

Andtlirow | Lis owt|r&geQus { tmmheid]. Bruce, 3. 16 J. 

Jo J I e after wo | : and wo | af j ter gladnett \ se 
And shew | ed him | cnsam ] pic : and [ likenet \ xe* 

Chau. C. T. 2S43, 

' Barbour also oijcents thii word on Ihe Urst syllable; 1. 269. 

C. IV. 



T nrit I whe'r sJje | : be worn | an or | goddet\s€^ 
But Vcuus is it sotljlj, as I ^eKse, 

Chan, The KnighteM Tale; C\ T. 1103. 

Another class of compounds consist of a noon, and a 
prcpositioo, that governs and, as it were, overrides it ; the 
substantive linderground ^ and adjective underhand ^ may 
afford us examples ; they differ widely in their character 
from such compounda as tiiider'growth and tmder»hoL If 
we call the latter adjectival compounda, the others may be 
termed the prepositional. There can be little doubt that, 
at one periodj the preposition only preceded and governed 
a substantive, but the analogy was soon extended to 
adjectives and even verbs. 

The rules, which regulate the accentuation of these 
compounds, are very irregular. The tendency of our 
language has been, of late yej^re, to throw the accent on 
the noun, or word governed by the pi^eposition ; though I 
suspect the latter generally received it, in our earlier and 
purer dialects. 

The prefix un, at present, is never accented by correct 
speakers; but in the old English we find it far more 
generally accented than the following syllable. Shake- 
speare and lililton almost always accent uncouth on the 
first syllable, and we find its vulgar representative uncut^ 
accented in like manner ; while the modern U7icouth accents 
the second syllable. Many other instances might be 
brought, to show the difference between the old and the 
modem pronunciation of these compounds. 

The prefix mis was, in all probability, at first a prepo- 
sition* In modem usage it is very seldom accented, but 
in oar old writers frequently. 

-That fulk, 

Thn>w thar | pret mtjf \ chance : aiiU | fulj | , 

War tretvt than sa wykkytlj, 

That thttf hys thar jugb war, Bruce, I 221 

Uui who conjtirVl — 

— — Rablais' dnmken re veilings, 
To grace ] the mis | rule : of | our tav \ emingB | ? 

UulL Sal. 2. 1 . {near the end). 



B. I« 

Verbs^ componnded of a verb and preposition, accent 
the former ; but in our older writers wo find the rule often 

The for \ lorn maid [ : did | with loveii long | ing bum I . 

K Q. L 6. 22. 

Speak, Cap | tain, gkall | 1 stab | : the /or\lorH nwain j ? 

2 //. VL 4. I. 65. 

If either galvea, or oils, or herbs, or chariiif?, 

A for I done wight | : irom door | of death | mote raise | . 

F. Q. 1. 5. 41. 


Take me for ever, if in my fell anger 

I do I not &n£ I do : all | exam | pie ; where | 

Where are these iatlies^ Fletcher . Bonduca^ 3. 5. 

With plum I ed helm | : thj slay | er he \gins threatB | . 

LeoTy 4. 2, 57. 

Flis obedience 

Impu I ted bs ] comes theirs | : hy faith ] ; his mer j its 
To save them, not their own, though legal, works. 

P. L. 12, 408. 

We I do approve | thy cen [ sure : he | lotted Cri '„ tes, 

B. Jam. Ci/nthiajt liet^U^ 5, 3. 

Certain prepositions are compounded of a preposition 
and some other word which ia governed by it. The verbal 
accent now always falls upon the latter, but in our older 
writers it often fell upon tiie preposition. 

A riscount's daughter, an earFfi heir, 
Be I aides what | : lier vir | tue» fair | 
Added to her noble hirth. Mi If on ^ Kpiinph^ ^-e. 

Sweet [ is the coun | try : be \ cause | full ol" rich \ es, 

2 H. VL 4. 7. 66. 

^ These declare 

Thy good I nc59 he \ j/ond thought j : and powV [ olivine ^ . 

P, Z. 5, 158. 

That make { no diflTj *rence i be \ timxt cer { tain dy | ing 
And dying well. Fletcher, BondrntiOr 2. 1. 

And saw the shape 

Still glor [ iuus, be [fore whom { : awake | I stood | 
We are strong enough. 

P. L, 8. 463. 

If I not too rnao ] y : be ] htm! yon \ der hill | , 
The fellow telh* me, she attends, weak -guarded. 

FL Bonduca, 3. 4. 


Where val | umt Tal j bot : a | have hu | man thought] 

Enacted wonders. 1 H. VL 1. 1. 121. 

And ev I er a \gainst : cat | ing cares | '. 

Lap me in soft Ljdian airs. V Allegro, 135. 

' Nor walk by noon, 

Or glitt I *ring star | light : with \ out thee | is sweet | . 

P. L. 4. 655. 

The place unknown and wild 

Breeds dread | fill doubts | : oft fire | is trt'M | out smoke | , 
Andpe|rilic»Mj<m/8how|. F. Q. 1. 1. 12. 

To answer thy desire 

Of know I ledge with \ in bounds I : bevond | abstain | 

To ask— ' P. Z. 7. 119. 

Adverbs which are formed by adding a preposition to 
the words wJtere and there, as wherein, whereby, &ic,, 
therein, thereby, thereof, &c., were often accented on the 
first syllable by Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton; but 
now take the accent on the last. 

Tha adverbs compoonded with all, as always, also, &c., 
now take the accent on the first syllable, but were often 
accented by our old poets on the second. 

It shonld be mentioned before we close the chapter, that 
many words which accent the first syllable, when used 
as substantives, accent the last, when used as verbs, as 
fofe\east, up \ start, o\verthrow, &c., to forecast \, to 
upstart I , to overthrow \ , &c. 



B. L 



It has been much disputed^ if there be sucli a thing as 
cjuantity in the English language; and more learning has 
been shown in the discussion, than either good sense or good 
temper. In matters of this kind^ many a difficulty will 
give way before a clear definition. Wo will therefore first 
endeavour to^^ the meaning of tho word. 

The Greeks and Latins distinguiahed between the actual 
and the metrical quantity of a syllable. As far as regarded 
the purposes of metre, all their syllables were divided into 
two great classes, the long and tho short. But when they 
looked to the actual quantity^they felt no difficulty in making 
nicer distinctions; in holding for example the first syllable 
of in-elyiits shorter than the first of itv-feUw, the first syllable 
of es-serti from rntnij shorter than the first syllable of es-ttem 
from edo. In all these eases the first syllables were metri- 
cally long ; but in one set of caaea the vowel was long, in 
the other it was short. 

Now whether our metre depend upon quantity or not^ 
we clearly have no metrical distribution of syllables ; and 
therefore can have no metrical quantity, in the sense in which 
these words have just been used. But the notion that is 
generally attached to the word quantity, is that which is 
connected with its metrical value. In this sense, therefore, it 
may fairly be said, that we have no quantity in the English 

On the other hand, nobody will deny that in English, as 
in evQry other language, there are some syllables which are 
longer, that ia, which usually require a longer time for pro- 
nunciation, than others. Every addition of a consonant 
must, of necessity, lengthen the syllable ; whether the con 
sonant be added at the beginning of the word, as in tl 
examples as8, lass, glais, or at the end, as in ask, asks, ash^s 



la both cases the last syllable is longer than the secondj and 
the second than the first ; or, — if we choose ao to express it 
— tfie latter syllables have each of them a longer quantity 
than the one preceding. 

Before we examine the connexion between quantity thus 
\, and our English rhythms, it will be useful, if not 
to make a few remarks upon the quantities of 
our Englisli vowels ; for though, strictly apeaking, we have 
neither long nor short syllablea, we have moat certainly 
both long and short vowels. 


In all languages, custom must decide what increase of 
quantity shall constitute a distinct letter. Most languages 
range their vowels, as respects time, under two heads, the 
long vowels and the short ; but others, as some of the Irish 
dialects, range them under three, the long, the middle, and 
the short vowels/ There are reasons for believing, that thia 
division prevailed, at least partially, in the Anglo-Saxon, 

The long quantity was marked by Anglo-Saxon writers 
b two ways ; either by placing over the vowel our present 
acute accent, as in god good, fid foul, which were thus 
distinguished from Ood God, and ful full ; or by actually 
doubling the vowel, thus, god was sometimes written good^ 
This latter mode of distinguishing the long quantity still 
remains, and even of the former some traces were left tts 
late as the sixteenth century. Several writers, in Elisabeth's 
reign, expressed the sound of the long e by ee, and wrote 
m€ and/Vefe for our modern we fLnAfeet, 

When the vowel had no such accent, and was followed 
by not more than a single consonant, it seems, in the Anglo- 
Saxon period, to have represented its ordinary or middle 
time; when it was followed by a double consonant, or its 
equivalent,* it must have indicated its shortest time j when 

I plttia^ 0^ the cnntimioiia Bomid giren to lh« Sanskrit rowek^ is (hrce timet 

Ik* hmglh of the sliort vowelt and should uocupy three moments in its utterance, 

■ Ejr tlNl word equita.Unt, I m<>an any en nib i nation of letters, which serves 

titute fur a. duplicated letter. Both in Anglo-Htuton uid in modern 



B. I. 

followed by two different consonanfcSj it was probably a 
iimiter of doubt, which of the two, the ordinary or tho short 
time, was meant to be expressed. My reasons for believing 
that a double consonant was meant to indicate a short vowel, 
are the following. ■ 

It has been a notion very widely entertainod, that accent" 
lengthens the quantity of a syllable ; and to a certain extent, 
this notion may bo well founded. We cannot accent tho 
first syllablo of bcdight, without lengthening its vowel, or 
nibliDg to it the following consonant bed \ifjhi. If wo wish 
to keep the short e, and also to preserve the last syllable 
entire, wo must dwell on the J, or in effect double that con- 
sonant, and proBouncG tho word i*cil\di(jht. This, I take it, 
was the origin of tho double consonant. Hence, I believe, 
came that importaut rule, one of the first established, and 
the longest retained in our orthography, which orders us to 
dou!)le the final consonant of an accented syllable^ when tho 
vowe! ia a short one. 

This rule, though fur the most part well understood, and 
well observed by Anglo- 8ftxon writers, gave rise to a mode 
of spelling, which has worked sad confusion in our English 
orthography- As the «hort vowel of an accented syllable 
doubled the final consonant, it came at length to be an 
ebtiiblished rule, that a double consonant always denoted a 
Bhort vowel. Hence, in tho eleventh and twelfth centnriea,*_ 
we find the consonant frequently doubled, even in unaccent 
syllaVjles ; and so firmly was the system established in 
beginning of the thirteenth, that we have a long poem, calle 
the Ormulum, in which the consonant ia always doubled, 
whenever it follows a short vowel ; is and U being written 
18$ and iti. 

This peculiar mode of spelling has been ascribed, by somo 
to the ignorance of the writer, by others to the rudeness of 
a provincial dialect, by a tliird party to the harsh and 
rugged pronunciation of an East-English Dane ! Whatever 

Kiiglirth, there sa^mw to Jmve bt'cu an aversion to the doiibling of ceritiiji ain- 
soiiuiit.s. Iti mrMlcrn oriJiogriipby, wl» represent a clouljlf k liv cA\ a doublu ff 
or ch by % or ivh. 


we rosy say to the charge of rudeness^ that of ignorance 

mast rest with the critic. The anthor adopted hia system 

designedly, and warns his transcriber not to violate it. 

Though inconvenienti it is at least consistent; in this 

particular, indeed^ superior to any of those which have sac- 

od it* 

To the same principle may be traced the vicions spelling, 

that 18 found in many English words, and particularly in 

DOT monosyllables; for example^ in sea-gull, sd-off, bliss, 

dull, huff, &c. It is rnther singular, that though we write 

full with two Vb, yet with something like an appreciation of 

the old rule, which limits tho duplication to an accentod 

syllable, we get rid of the superfluous / when the word ia 

compounded, and write hopeful, sinful, &c. 

The law, we have just been examining, gave rise to a 
leoond, which has had, if possible, a still greater influence in 
<leranging the orthography of our language. As the doubting 
of the consonant indicated a short vowel, so by the converse 
rule a single consonant must have indicated a long one ; 
aod the vowels must have been long in the following dis- 
sjUablea^ mane the moonj time time, name a name. Now in 
tie Anglo-Saxon there was a great number of words, which 
bd, as it were, two forms ; one ending in a consonant, the 
other in a vowel. In the time of Chancer, all the difieront 
TOwel-endings were represented by the e final, and so groat 
ia the number of words which this writer uses, sometimes as 
monosyllables, and sometimes as dissyllables with the addi* 
tion of the e, that he has been accused of adding to the 
number of his syllables, whenever it suited tho convenience 
(>r hit rhythm. In his works we find herl and hertc^ bed and 
W<f«, crih and ertlie, &c. In tho Anglo-Saxon we find cor- 
responding duplicates, the additional sy liable giving to the 
noun, in almost every case a new docleuiiion, and in most a 
Qt'w gender. In some few cases, the final e had become mute, 
even before the time of Chaucer ; and was wholly lost in the 
pcricxi which elapsed between his death and the accession 
«if the Tudors, Still, however, it held its ground in our 
inaiiascripts, and ure our, rom a rose, &c., though pronounced 
M monosylliibles, were still written according to the old 




B. I, 

spelling. Hence it came gradually to be considered as a mle, 
that when a syllable ended in a single consonant and mute e, 
the vowel was long. 

Such is clearly the origin of this very peculiar mode of 
indicating the long Towel ; and it seems to me so obvioaa, 
that I always felt surprise at the many and various opinions 
that have been hazarded upon the subjectp We could not 
expect much information from men^ who, like Tyrwhitt^ were 
avowedly ignorant of the early state of our language; but 
even Hick[e]9 had his doubts, whether the final e of Anglo- 
Saxon words were mute or vocal ; and Rask, notwithstand- 
ing his triumph over that far superior scholar, has fallen into 
this, hia greatest blunder. Price, whose good sense does 
not often fail him, supposes this mode of spelling to be the 
work of the Norman, and the same as the '* orthography that 
marked the long syllables of hia native tongue/* * As 
the e final were mute in Norman French ! 

One of the results, which followed the establishment of 
this second principle, was the saving of many of our mono- 
syllables from the duplication of the final consonant. If the 
presence of the mute e indicate a long vowel, by the con- 
verse rule its absence must indicate a short one. K the 
vowel be long in white , pate^ and rote, it must be short in 
whit, pat J and rot. 

It appears, therefore, that there have been no less than 
four systems employed at different periods, to mark tho 
quantity of our English vowels. In the first, the long time 
was marked by the acuta accent; in the second, by a 
doubling of the vowel; in the fourth, by the mute e; while 
the third system indicated the short time by a doubling of 
the consonant, and conversely, the long time by a single 
consonant. In modern pi-actice, tho three last systems are, 
to a certain degree, combined. It would be matter of rather 
curious inquiry, to trace the several classes of syllables which 
are subject to their respective laws; and the gradual steps 
by which the later systems have intruded on the older ones. 

These observations may show, how inapplicable to ou 

* Wartfin s ** Ilistorj of KnglUb Pwtrj/* Diss. 1, note p, cii. 


tongue are the laws^ which regulate the qoantity of the 
Greek and Latin. Our earlier critics — a Sydney or a 
Spenser — talked as familiarly of vowels long by position » 
ts though they were fltill scanning their hexameters and 
pentameters ; and would have upholden the first syllable of 
htUy as long^ despite the evidence of their own senses* The 
tame principles have been acquiesced in, though not openly 
ivowedj by later writers ; and Mitford has even given us 
directions to distinguish a long syllable from a short one. 
His system is a mere application of Latin rules to English 
pronunciation! without regard to tbe spelling. So far it is 
an improvement upon that of his predecessors; but it is 
forgotten that the laws of Greek and Latin quantity were 
for the most part conventional ^ and derived tlieir authority 
from nsage. Custom with us has laid down no rules upon 
the subject, and without her sanction all rules are valueless. 
We have hitherto denominated certain vowels long and 
shorty as though we considered the only difference between 
item to be their time ; as though, for instance^ the vowel in 
fiuet differed from that in met only in its being longer. The 
Uiith is, they are of widely different quality. The spelling 
rfmany words has remained unchanged, for a period, during 
vhich we have the strongest evidence of a great change in 
our pronunciation. "WTien the orthography of the words 
vuti and met was settled, the vowels in all probability dif- 
fered only in respect of time; bnt they have now been 
changing for some centuries, till they have nothing in 
common between them, but a similarity in their spelling. 

In the present state of our language, we have five vowel 
•eunds^ each of which furnishes us with two vowels. 
Though the vowels, thus related to each other, differ only 
in respect of time, the spelling but rarely shows ua any 
eonnexion between them. 

Short Vaweli. 

Zong Voweh 





Pill. ' 







The vowela o and m, as they occur in note and nut,^ stand 
alone^ as do alao the different diphthongs. 


It haa been said that our English rhythms are governed 
by accent ; I, tnoreover, believe this to bo the sole princdple 
that regulates them. Most of our moderB writers on Versi- 
fication are of a different opinion, I have ^e(^B tho title of 
a book ^ which professed to give examples of verse mea- 
sured solely by the quantity^ but have been unable to pro- 
cure it. Mitfordj too, after dwelling on the great impor- 
tance of accentj seems half to mistrust the conclusions he 
haa come to ; for he adds, strangely euough, and not very 
intelligibly, " variety is allowed for tho quantities of syl- 
lables, too freely to be exactly limited by rule. A certain 
balance of quantities, however, throughout the verse, is 
roquiredj so that deficiency be no where striking. Long 
syllables, therefore, must predominate." I do not feel the 
force of this inferencoj and much less do I acknowledge it, 
as one of tho essentials of our ^* heroic verse,'* Verses may 
bo found in every poet that has written our language, which 
have neither a balance of quantities, nor a predominance of 
long syllables ; and it asks but little stretch of imagination 
to suppose a case, in which the predominance of short quan- 
tities, so far from being a defect, might bo a beauty* 

One of our leading reviews has stated, that, " indepen- 
dent of accent, quantity neither is nor ought to bd neglected 

^ In ortlinary sfK?^cli^ I bolieve the? worils btfrrtj turb, hurt, lurk, &c,, differ 
from hitn, cuh^ hut, Itick^ &r., only in the i^reater lerigtli of the vowol-«oun<L 
If tbia he fto, tbi^n^ msUfail uf five, iberc tLrc six vowol-soands m our langnaj^ 
each of which furiiishes us with two vowels, accordingly as the qiiantitj if 
long tyr ahnrL Again ; I would siiy that farfker differs from faih^ only m 
tht^ greater length of tLi firal vowijl. If iio, there \^ one vowel-sound in oiir 
Inngnage which fnrnishes us with three vowels, Tht^se are found respei^tively 
ill tho word5 fathom^ fulher, farthn. There nn? swrne Innguagcs which thu* 
form throe vowels from ntmost every one of tiieir vowel-&>unils* See \\, 10:3. 

^ Verse measured with a regard solely to the length of lime re<iuired io iIm 
pronunciation of eylluhleE:, the accent and emphnsJs being enlircly unoutictd. 
Kietiard Edwards. 1^13. ilmo. 


m oar versification/' In this, if I tmde^8t^and it rightly, I 
agree. The time k, occasionally, of great importance to 
the beauty of a verse, but never an index of its rhythm. I 
suspect, however, that the reviewer looked upon quantity 
in a more important light. He gives us the foUowing stave, 
in which the " long syllables " are arranged as they would 
be in a Latin sapphic, with an accentual rhythm, such as is 
often met with in our dramatic poets. The object is to 
show, that such " coincidence of temporal metre " gives a 
peculiar character to the verse, notwithstanding the familiar 
arrangement of the accents. 

O liquid streamlets to the main returning, 
Milrmuririgr wutent that adown the mdiintaini 
Rush uuobetructedf ne\'er in the ocean 

Hope to be trrtuqiiiL 

The foUowing stave is then given with the same ac- 
centuation, and the same pauses, to show how ** a diffe- 
rence of quantities will destroy the resemblance to Latin 

The headlong torrent from Its native eaTema 
Bursting resistless, with destructive fury 
Roars through the valley, wiktinff with Its deluge 
Forests and hamlets. 

I cannot help thinking, that the reviewer has deceived 
liimself. I do not believe one man in a hundred would be 
aenflible of the artful collocation of the long syllables in the 
stave. True it is, that in both these staves, the verse 
a peculiar character; but one, I think, quite indepen* 
dent of the quantity. The sameness of the rhythm would 
•lone be sufficient for this purpose. There is no doubt also 
a great difference in the flow of the two stanzas, but 
this too, I think, is in a very slight degree owing to the 
difference in their quantities. The first stave is made up 
of easy and flowing syllables, while the latter is clogged 
diroughont with knots of the most rugged and unyielding 
Gonaonanta. The mere difficulty of pronunciation might 
account for that difference of flow, which the reviewer attri- 
butes solely to the difference of the quantities. 

It is not, however, denied, that the effect may be partly 




B. I, 

owing to tho change in fclio quantity. There is no doubt 
that BQch a change will sometimes force itself upon our 
notice in a very striking raauner. In the staves that follow, 
any jostling of consonants has been studiously avoided ; 

The busy rivulet in humble valley 
S!i]jpeth ftway in happiness ; it ever 
llurricth on, a flolitude around, but 
Heaven above it 

The lonelj tarn that sleeps u{>5n the uiotintiii»f 
Breiilbiug a IjoIj calm around, drfnkii ever 
Of tlic great presence, eveu in its slumber 
Deeply rejoicing : 

The striking difference in the flow of these two stanzas * 
is almost entirely owing to the difference of their quantities. 

Before we close this section, I would make an observation 
on a passage in the review last quoted^ which, though it re- 
late to a foreign language^ has an indirect bearing on the 
question now before us. The law of French verse, as re- 
gards quantity, is stated to be — the thirteenth syllable 
short, the sixth long. Now a French verse can never take 
a thirteenth syllable, unless it consist of the short vowel 
sound, which is usually indicated by the e final ; and as this 
is the shortest syllable in the French language^ the critic 
risked little, in laying down the first part of his canon. The 
latter part, I think, is not correct. A strong accent indeed 
falls on the sixth syllable, but every page of French poetry 
contains syllables so situated, which cannot, with any show 
of reason, be classed among the long syllables of the 

This notice may be useful as showing that, as regards 
the French, no less than our own tongue, the rhythms that 
depend on accent are independent of quantity* I believe the 
same remark might be extended to every living language 
from India westward. 

^ These stanzas hava not the Mme rhythm [iui was here itated in the fiivt 
edition] aft the stanzas quote<JI on p. 109. I shall not, however, trouble the 
reader with a second version. The reoBoniug, though weakeoed, U sUU itrong 
enotigh to bear the inference it was meant to support 



Oar great poets certainly have not paid the ftanio atten- 
tion to the quantity of their syllables, as to the quality of 
their letter-sounds. Shakespeare^ however, seems to have 
affected the short vowels, and particularly the short i, when 
he had to describe any quickness of motion. 

Therefore do nimble -pin ion VI davos draw love, 
Atiidf therefore, hath tbe windiwift Cupid wings. 

R. Jl- J, 2. 5, 7. 

The niniUle gunner 

With Unstuck now the dev*H3h cannon touches — 

H, l\ 3, Chorm. 32. 

Milton also sometimes aided his rhythm by a like atten- 
tion to his quantities ; 

And soon 

In order, quit of all impediments 

Luitant, without disturb they t<»ok alarm, P. L. G. 547. 

In tbe following versos long syllables predominate. 

A poor, infirm, weftk and despised old man 

Unwieldj, slow, heavy and pale as lead 

Lear^ 3. 2. 20, 
R, §JhL2, 5. 17. 

The lowing herda wind slowly o'er the lea. 

Gra^^ Eiegy^ tt, 1. 

Through gladea and glooms the mingled measure stole, 
Or o'er some haunted streams with fond dulay 

Rotmd a holy calm difTuisin^, 

Love of peace, and lonely musing. 

In hollow murmurs died away. 

Collint, The Passion t. 

Or where Mffiander s amber waves 
In lingering labVinths creep. 

Gray^ Progt'tn of Poety^ 2. 3. 

Lo I where Mceotis sleepij, and hardly flowfi 
The freezing Tamds through a waste of anow^. 

Pope^ Dune, 3, 87. 



The last example is said to have been Pope's favourite 
couplet ; but his reasons for the preference are by no means 
obvious. The voice, to be sure, lingers with the river; 
but why so many sibilants ? 

ip. TI. RIME. ^^B 113 


u the correspondence, which exists between syllables, con- 
taining sounds similarly modified. 

When the same modification of sound recurs at definite 
inieryalsi the coincidence very readily strikes the ear ; and 
when it is found in accented syllables, such syllables fix the 
attention more strongly, than if they merely received the 
accent. Hence we may perceive the importance of rime in 
accentual verse. It is not, as is sometimes asserted, a mere 
ornament; it marks and defines the accent, and thereby 
fttrengthens and supports the rhythm. Its advantages have 
been felt so strongly, that no people have ever adopted an 
iccentual rhythm, without also adopting rime. 

Every accented syllable contains a vowel ; hence a riming 
syllable may be divided into three parts— the initial con- 
lonantfi, or those which precede the vowel, the vowel itself, 
and lastly the final consonants. Kime will be considered as 
made up of different kinds, accordingly as one or more of 
these elements correspond. 

The first species is the perfect rime, or that which requires 
a correspondence in all the three. It is called by the French 
the rich rime, and by that people is not only tolerated but 
aought after. With us it has been very generally diii- 

The second kind is alliteration ^ or that in which only the 
hdtial Bounda correspond* It pervades all our earlier poetry, 
aod long held control over our English rhythms. We do 
not, however, stop here to discuss its properties; we shall 
content ourselves merely with one observ^ation. Bask tells 
OS, that when the riming syllables of an Anglo-Saxon verse 
began with vowels, such vowels were, if possible, different, 





This rule^ wkich was first laid down by Ohms Wormiusj 
appears to be a sound one. It seema to mo a simple de* 
duction from one more general. The alliterative syllables 
of an Anglo-Saxon verse rimed^ I believe, only with the 
initial conaonanta. In yery few instances have I found the 
vowels corresponding. When the initial consonants were 
wanting, the law of alliteration was looked upon as satisfied, 
and the vowels, now became the initial letters, were found 
to be different. 

The third and fourth kinds of rime are the vowel and 
comonantaL The former, which required only a corre- 
spondence in the vowels, waa once common among the 
Irish ; but has never been adopted into English verse.' 
The latter rimed only with the consonants. It was well 
known to our ancestors and the kindred races of the 
north ; Olaus Wormius exemplifies it in the fallowing quo- 
tation from Cicero: *'non docti sed facti.'^ When both 
the final and the initial consonants correspond, it raay be 
calledj for diatiuction's sake, the full consonantal rime. 

In the fifth kind of rime, the vowels correspond and 
also the initial consonants ; in the aijxth, the vowels and 
final consonants, Tho former has been generally con- 
founded with alliteration. It was principally affected by 
those poets, who wrote after the subversion of our regular 
alliterative rhythms, and may perhaps be conveniently de- 
signated as modern alliteraHon, The latter is our common 
rime, of which we have too much to say elsewhere, to dwell 
upon it here. 

We have hitherto assumed the rime to be confined to a 
single accented syllable . Sometimes^ however, it reaches to 

* The rowel-rime, or, bs it U lenned by Fretich and Sp&niah criiks, tlw 
OBMmant rirne^ was cnmmon \n the Itomanee of Uc and oil the kindred Spaokh 
dialects, und is found in onr (I believe oaty onr) of oiir Atiglo-Kormfttt po6iB«. 
It is clearly the Irish comhardadh, though not suhjoct, in the Komanoo dial0Cl% 
to thf) nice rules which i-egukte its assoutrnt'es in the Giielic. I beliove there Is 
another peculiarity (jf modern versiilicatJon which may he traced to the liisier 
dialect, for 1 have little doubt that ^ome spet'ies of the bob {see bk, iv. c. ir.) re- 
present the Welsh cyrch. These oorre^ipiindeniees between the original and de- 
riratlTe tongues are valuablei and should, in all cast's, be carefully iDVi'stigated. 

the follomog syllable^ and occasionally to the 
syllables. In snch case the supernumerary i 
lables most be unaccented. The rime, when 
takes the names of double and triple rime. 

It has ever been a role in our prosody, that, when the 
rime becomes doable or triple, the unaccented ajllablea 
most rime perfectly. King James, in hia " Reulis and 
Cantelis," warns you '^quhen there fallis any short syl- 
labia after the lang syllabe in the line, that ze repoit 
thame in the lyne qahilk rymis to the uther, even as ze set 
diem downe in the first lyne, as for exempyll ze man not 


Tben feir ncK^ht 
Nor hvic oeht, 

Then feir noclit 
Nor heir nocht. 

repeating the same nacht in baith lynis ; because this syl- 
labe nocht, nather serving for callour nor fute, is bot a taylo 
to the lang fate preceding." The " Reule" is better than 
the reason* It is but too often violated. Even Chaucer, 
for the most part so careful in his rimes, has sometimes 
broken it/ In his roguii^h apology for the indiscreet dis- 
clotures of his Sompnour, he tells us^ 

Of euning ought eche guiUj mnii him thale^ 
For curse wol ale right &9 ajssoilinc; saveth, 
And al ■ so war | e him : of | a .*igiuf ^ ica | mt."^ 

Prologue, 662, 

Clare, the Northamptonshire [>oet, whose poems in 

* IV pafaet oonvtfOiidMiot in the unnccented ^xlldblea of ilw douhb rinio 
«a* mimtiiimm dispenstd with. The Authors of the Alifitutider^ of Ilarelokt 
mi of olher fvunmnceK written in l^he 13(.h centnnr, oocuiionallj ixmferited 
with ft nnx? belwe«n the U.«.t ai^i*<*m4*«I Ayllublefl^ and wholly ij^k- 
I vhikt King' Jaroi's calls *' the taih" This oiiiiJit have be«n a r^>oprni^M^ 
tid kgttimat^ kind of rime, for the dnJIest ear would hare boon uffumled^ if 
wA 6ancfpoDdenc«4 an ieni and de<mtis^ fiarpeih and harpe, were palmed upon 
< M regular doubJe rin eai. 

' K writ Uuting out of Chancery to enforce obedience to the Eccl^stiuiiiciit 


general show great facility^ has tried his hand at the triple 
rime ; 

Then come | ere si mm \ ute^^ gone^ 

For the long summer s day 
Flits her w'mga | i*wift a« lin \ nets on 

For bjeiii^f away ; 
Tlion coiue | with no douht\ing$ near 

To fear u false love^ 
For tliere*s notb \ iiig witbww^ | thee^ dear^ 

Can please in Broouiii^jfrove^ &c. 

But one of the commonest and most offensive blunders 
ia the misplacing of the accent^ as in the following couplet 
of Swiftj 

But OS I t4} com I ic A I ristoph | anen 

The ronjue | too vie [ iou« and too | /jrophatw \ it. 

Another, almost as offensive, and perhaps raore common, 
is the ending one of the rimes with an accented syllable. 

Proceed | to TriLg \ ics : first | Kurip [ idei 

(An auithor where [ : I some | times dip \ adays^) 

Jr rt^ht| iy cen | sured r hy | the Stag [yrite^ 

Who Kays | his num |bers : do | imi fmige \ aright 

The last syllables of the adverbs ought to be accented, 
adays]^ anght\. If the reader wish for more examples of 
the triple rime, he may consult Swift^s letter to Sheridan 
[1718], from which I have quoted. Out of more than a 
dozen couplets he may find two or three riming decently. 


or that which occurs at the end of a verse, is now almc 
the only one recognized in our language. It is, howev€ 
in all probability, foreign in its origin, and made its 
amongst us slowly and with difficulty. As this opinion 1 
been controverted, I will lay the reasons, which led me ' 
adopt it, briefly before the reader. 

In the first place, I know of no poem, written in 
Gothic dialect with final rime, before Otfrid's Evangelj 
This was written in Frankisb, about the year 870* 
riming Anglo-Saxon poem, which Conybeare discovered i 

C< VI. 


Uie Exeter MS. can hardly be older than the close of the 
tenth century; and thoQgh other poems contain riming 
prnmnges, I donbt if any of them existed before the ninth. 
Now we have many riming Latin poems written by Eng- 
tiflhmen^ some as early as the seventh century. This 
seems to show^ that the use of final rime was familiar to the 
scholar, before it was adopted into the vernacular language. 
It may be asked^ whence the Latinist got his rime^ unless 
from the Gothic concjuerors of the empire, as the Romans 
were confessedly ignorant of it, I would answer, in all 
probability from the Celtic races ; who appear to have re- 
tained no small portion of their language, even amid all the 
degradation of Roman and Gothic servitude. The earliest 
poems of the Irish have final rime, and we know that the 
Welsh used it, at least as early as the sixth century. Some 
of the Welsh poems have a rhythm strongly resembling 
that of the early Romance poems. Final rime is found in 
both, and was in all probability derived from one common 

A second reason, that has led me to this opinion, is the 
' flow of Anglo-Saxon verse. Final rime has been 
a "time- beater;'^ it separates each verse from the 
others by a strongly-marked boundary, and has ever a ten- 
dency to make the sense accommodate itself to these arti- 
ficial paoflos. We find this to be the case even in those 
alliterative poems^ which were written after final nme had 
been introduced among us. The verse generally ends with 
tie line, as if the new rhythm had completely overspread 
the language. But in the Anglo-Saxon rhythms, we find 
tiie tense fanning from line to line, and even preferring a 
pause in the mid&t of a verse. I incline therefore to thiuk, 
though the subject is confessedly one of difficulty, that final 
rime first originated with the Celtic races, that it was early 
transferred to the Latin, and from thence came gradually into 
Oar own language/ 

' Tbi ht!t of there fuvifii*' bren ^wo kinrli of final rime in the Celtic^ both of 
■tk wt foanfi in the Romance diulffrts that arose out of it* ruins, and only 
I «i vhicli «raA ever aiiopted iti the Laiin ^' rhy thmus/^ is & strong argixmoot 



B. I. 

The only final rime, that has been tolerated in our 
language, is of the sixth kind^ or that which requires a 
correspondence both in tb© vowels and final conaonante. 
This law is not always observed in those speciraens of 
final rime, wbicli have come to us from the Anglo-Saxons. 
We do not always find the vowel* sounds identical, nor the 
final consonants always corresponding. But when we re- 
member that these verges have never more than three 
accents, that they are subject to the law of alHteration, and 
sometimes also contain internal rime, that the riming syl- 
lables, moreover, aro aometimes as many as eight or nine 
in number, we may see reason rather to admire the skill of 
the poet, than to blamo his negligence. WQien, however, 
the verse was lengthened and alliteration banished, we bad 
a fair right to expect grc-ater caution, and very rarely 
indeed does Chaucer disappoint us. His rimes are, for the 
moat part, strictly correct. The writers who succeeded him 
seem to have been misled by the spirit of imitation. Many 
syllables, which rimed in the days of Chaucer and Gowcr, 
had no longer a sufficient correspondence, owing to change 
of pronunciation. Still, however, they were held to be 
legitimate rimes upon the authority of these poets. Hence 
arose a vast and increasing number of conventioTial rimes, 
which have since continued to disfigure our poetry. Pop© 
used them with such profusion, that even Swil't remonstrated 
with him on his carelessness. 

iinother source of these conventional rimes was the 
number of dialects, which prevailed during the 15th and 
16th centuries. Some of the Elizabethan writers honestly 
confined themselves to one dialect, and wrote the same 
language that they spoke. Others, and among them some 
of our greatest, allowed themselves a wider license, and, 
when hard-pushed for a rime, scrupled not at taking it 
from any dialect which could furnish it. Spenser sinned 
grievously in this respect, and grievously has he answered 

in fiiYoiir of the view b<?n? laken as to the Celtic urig'n of final rime. It mil 
however, be confeas«*ii, that one of my argtiments hvn' unm\ m fiomcwhat i&tmm 
The inftuLiH't^ which iinal rime <^xeru>di u\er onv Kiij^ltsli rhythms, Uover'rato 

C* VI. 




. He has been accused of altering his spelling to 
help his rime ! The charge is silly CDoagh^ and to a 
sensible man carries its own refutation with it. In a large 
proportion of these cases^ the word supposed to have been 
a mere corruption, is found to be still flourishing in our 
country dialects. His real oflFence, however, was a serious 
one. It introduced a vmjuenes^ into our pronunciation, 
under which the language is still suffering. 

The following passage from Puttenham ' may help to 
make this matter clearer. '* There cannot be in a maker 
a fowler fault then to falsifie his accent to serve his cadence, 
or by untrue orthographic to wrench his words to hclpe his 
rime^ for it is a aigne that such a maker is not copious in his 
owne language, or (as they are wont to say) not halfe his 
crafts maister; as for example, if one should rime to this 
word resiore, he may not match him with doore or poore, for 
neither of both are of like terminant, either by good ortho- 
graphy or by natural] sound, therfore such rime is strained; 
so is it to this word ram, to say came^ or to heane, den, for 
they sound not nor be written alike, and many other like 
cadences, which were superfluous to recite, and are usual 
with rude rimers, who observe not precisely the rules of 
DBodie. Neverthelesse in all such cases, if necossitie 
r^oastrained, it is somewhat more tollerable to help the rime 
by lalse orthographie, then to leave an unplesant disso- 
nance to the eare, by keeping trewe orthographie and loosing 
II16 rime ; as, for example, it is better to rime dore with re* 
thr0, then in his truer orthographie, which is doore, &c,'' 

Notwithstanding some inconsistency of expression, the 
entices meaning is, on the whole, tolerably clear. He pre- 
ten a spelling and a pronunciBtion, diflerent from those 
gsneraUy used, to a false rime. Ho would have doore 
«pelt and pronounced dore, though such spelling and pro- 
nunciation were vulgar and unfashionable, whenever it 
was made to rime with restore, It is singular that the 
pnvrincial pronunciation has now got the upper hand ; 
although we still spell the word door, we pronounce it dore. 

[' *rhe Arte of EngUih Poe§Ie ; hk. il ch, 8(9).— W. W. S/ 



B. L 

While upon this subject, it may be observed, that s 
and th are Qsed in our language^ to represent both a whisper 
and a vocal so end ; and these sounds often rime conven- 
tionally. Such rime may fully satisfy the eye, but it is 
most ofi'ensive to the ear. 

In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease^ 

Sprung the rank weed, and thrived with large increasf. 

Pope. Esmij on CHtictMrnt 534. 

Soft o'er the shrouds aarial whimpers breathe. 
That seem'd but zephyrs to the train keneaih. 

Pope, Rape of the Lock, ^.57. 

The riming ByllableSj we have seen, must have a cor- 
respond ence between the vowels and the final consonants ; 
but here the correspondence ceases ; no perfect rime can be 
allowed. Puttenbam warns his reader against riming such 
words as constrai7te and restraine, or aspire and respire ; 
*' which rule, neverthelease, is not well observed by many 
makers for lacke of good judgment and a delicate ear/' It 
was sometimes violated by Chancer, and frequently by Pope. 
The blunders of no writer, however eminent, should weigh 
with us as authority. The perfect rime always sounds 
strangely to the ear, and in some cases most offensively so. 

The final rime may be single, double, or triple. In the 
riming Anglo-Saxon poem, above alluded to, we have all 
the three. Chaucer seems to have preferred the double 
rime ; the letter e^ or some one of its combinations, forming, 
for the most part, the iiniiccented syllable. The poets of 
Elizabeths reign had no objection to the doable rime; but 
it was seldom used by Dryden, and still more rarely by 
Pope. The latter, in Johnson^s opinion, was never happy 
m hia double rimes, excepting once in the Rape of the 
Lock. The following couplet is, no doubt, alluded to ; 

The meeting points the saered hair dissever 
From the fair head for ever and fur ever ! 

Rape of the Lack, 3. 153, 

The triple rime is properly an appurtenant to the triple 
measure. In our common measure it is hardly ever found, 
and seems opposed to the very nature of the rhythm. There 

C. VI. 



are iiiBtaiices indeed, in which the triple rime closes oar 
common verse of five accents^ but it is then always a pro- 
fessed imitation of a foreign model, the sdrucciolo rimo,^ — as 
in that stanza of Bjron^ 

Oh I je immar { tal Gods | : what \m \ theog \ on^ f 
Oh I tboa, too, mor I t&I man | : what h \ pbi/iNi { thropp f 
Oh! world I which was | and is | : what it | coBmog\onif f 
peo I pie hare | accused | me : of | m\^an j thro/ty^ 
jet I I know I no more \ : tliun | the mikhog | an^ 
hat forms | this desk { : of what | tbey mean! — lycan\tkrvpif 
|1 comprehend, for without tmn^furroation 

feo become wolves on acij alight occasicm^ Don Juan, 9. 20. 

The affectation has no other merit than its difficultj. 


that which exists between the last accented syllables of 
two sections, may be considered as the direct offspring 
of final rime. In the Anglo-Saxon poem already mentioned, 
each section rimes, and becomes to many purposes a dis- 
tinct verse. But when the riming syllables were confined 
to the close of what had been the alliterative couplet, this 
couplet became the verse, and it was then necessary to 
distinguish between the middle rime, if any such were 
introduced, and the regular final rime, which shut in the 

This middle rime was most frequently introduced into 
Terse of four accents. In the stanza of eitjht and sixj as it 
l>as been termed, it was very cooimon. In the 16th 
century it was employed by learned bishops, and on the 
most sacred subjects ; but not with the approbation of 
Piittenham [bk, ii. ch. 9,]. That critic was of opinion that 
"rime or concorde is not commendably used both in the 
^i and middle of a verse ; unlesso it be in toyes and 
trifling poesies, for it shewetli a certaioe lightnesso either of 
the matter or of the makers head, albeit coinmon rimers 
^^ it much/' The poems of Burns Rhow, that it still 
keeps its hold upon the people ; and Coleridge, who wi'oto 
fcf the few, has used it, and with almost magical effect ; 


Ami DOW tiierc cam^ botli miBt and SDOWf 

And it g^rew vvondVous oulil. 
And ice | ma^i-hig/i | : CAme float \ ing % | 

As greeu as emerald. 

The ice wm liere, the ifo wns tlicre, 

Tlie k'li \vm all around. 
It crack VI ] afjtl growl d\ : nml roar'd | and howrd\^ 

Like noises in a swound. Ancient Manner. 

When, as is fiometinies the case, the middle rime occurs 
rcgularlyj it would perhaps be better to divide the line. 


ia that which exists between syllables contained in the 
same eections. It was well known to all the early dialects. 
According to Olaus WormiuSj the consonantal rime will 
suffice in the first section ; but in the second, there must be 
a correspondence both between the vowels and the final 
consonants. The same rule applies to Anglo-Saxon verse. 

The origin of this law will^ I think, be obvious, when we 
recollect, that sectional rime was not a substitute for allite- 
ration, but merely an addition to it* Now in the first 
section, there was always a probability of finding two 
alliterative syllables,^ and as a section seldom contained 
more than three, and generally but two accented syllablea, 
if the commoti sectional rime were added to the alliteration, 
this could hardly be effected without a perfect rime. In 
some few casesj such has really been the result of this 
union j but, in genera!, they avoided it by aiming only at 
comonantal rime. In the second section, where there was 
generally but one allitemtive syllable, a closer corre- 
spondence was required. 

In tracing the several kinds of sectional rime, it will be 
convenient to class them according to the difierent sections 
in which they occur. 

When the section begins ^vith an accent, it will be 
represented by the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, accordingly as each 

* S«e the section headed aUii^ration m the present chapter. 


couple of adjacent accents are separated by one unaccented 
syllable^ or the firsts the second^ or both couples are sepa- 
rated by two unaccented syllables. 

When the section begins with one unaccented syllable, it 
will, under the like circumstances, be designated by 5, 6, 7, 
8; and by 9, 10, 11, 12, when it begins with two unac- 
cented syllables. 

When the section ends with one or two unaccented 
syllables, we shall represent such ending by subjoining / or 
II to the figure, indicating such section, thus — II. 211. 

We will now arrange our rimes, and begin with such as 
are found in the section of two accents. 

The section 1 . was at all times rare, it generally occurs 
as the last section of a verse. 

But he that in his deid was wiss, 

Wj8t thai assemblyt : yrar | and quhar I . 

The Bruce, 2.561. 
But he has gotten, to our grief, 

Ane to succeed hiin, 
A chiel wha'Il soundly : buff { our beef\ , 
1 mcikle dread him. 

Bums. The Twa Herds, 

II. was common, and often contained the sectional rime 
in Anglo-Saxon. 

Sar I and sor '. gc : susl throwcdon. 

Pain and sorrow and sulphur bore they. 

Ctedmon. Gen, 75. 
Stune<le seo brune 
Yth I with oth I re : ut feor adraf 
On wendel-sie : wigendra scola. 

Dashed the brown 

Wave, one gainst other ; and far out-dravo. 
On Wendel-sea, the warrior bands. 

Alfred. Met. 26. 29. 

Strang waes and rethe 

8e the wsetrum weold : u:reah \ and iheah \ te 
Manfsehthu beam. 

Strong was he and fierce 

That wielded the waters ; he covered and o'erwhelm'd 
The children of wrath. Cadmon, Gen, 1376. 



B. L 

According to rule, we find both vowels and final conso* 
nants riming in the second oection. 

Section 2. is sometimes, but rarely, found containing 

Skill I mixt with will | : m he that teaches befit. 

Will I stoode for nkill \ : and law obeyed Inst ; 

Might I trode down right \ : of king there was no feare. 

Ferrers. M. for M. Somerset^ 38. 

The section 2^ was very coramonly rimed, particularly 
by the Anglo-Saxon poets. The rime was mostly double, 
and sometimes perfect. 

Frod\ne and god \ne : fajdcr Unwcncs. 

The wise and good father of Unwin. Traveller $ Svitg^ 1 14. 

Ac hi hiili^ jiod 

Cmimon. Gtn. 1096, 

Fer j ede anil ner \ cde : fifteiia stod 
Dcop ofer duiinm : sffi'drence flud 
MonneH elna. 

But tliein hfdy 0<»d 

T^chI iiiid reMCUed ; (ifteeii it stood 
( H itiati's ells, highVer f he dowiiB^ 
Sea-drenrhiiig flood, 

Fold wa;s atla?led . . . 

Wa^t cr oi" n^iti i rum : tlmm tlie wuniath gyt 
Under fa^stenne, 

— Earth was parted 

Tbe waters from the waters, — those that yet won [dwell] 
Under tlie llraiament. Cadmon. Gen. 150» 

Sieil I cum and swil \ cvm : thn moaht sweotole ongit4in. 
Hy Buch and Fuch things thou mayst plainly seC| &c. 

Ai/rtd. Met. 26. lOT. 

Light I it/ and bright ly : break;; away 
Tlje raorniiig from her mantle grey. 


Siege of Corinth, 21 

What will you Im^'c ? Me or your pearl again ? 
Nei , ther of ei \ ther : I remit both twain. 

L, L. L. 5. 1. 458, 

This riming section not unfrcquently closed the coupU 
in Anglo-Saxon verse. 

The riming section wide aiid aide became, like many of 
the others, a household phrase. It still survives in some 
of oar northern dialects* 

The section 5 was often selected for the rimo by our 
later poets. 

Bj l^ivt I And hv€ \ : of God above, 

I mind to shew, in verses few, 

How tkrougli the breers my youthful jears 

Have run their race. Tutser^ § 119, 2, 

Her look | was like | : the moming'i eje. 

BuniM, Letts o' Ballochnylc. 

It JB too much, we tlailj hcar^ 

To irire { and ihriee \ : both in a year. 

Tuiter, § 67. 8. 

Tofeede \ my neede \: he will me leadc 

To pastures green and fat ; 
He forth brought mc, in libertie. 

To waters delicate- 
Yet though \ I go[: through death his wo, &c. 

Archhinhop Parker, 

He told [ the gold \ \ upon the board. 

Heir of Linne. 

They ruafCd \ and pujtk'd \ : and blude oulgnsh'd. 

Btirm. ^Sheriff Muir^ Mt 2. 

Let other poets raise a fracas 

*Bout vines \ and wines \ : an' drunken Bacchua. 

Bums, Scotch Drink, at 1. 

And then to see Iiow ye're negleckit. 
How httff'd 1 an* cuffed , : an* disrepeckit. 

Burnt, Twa Dogt, 



B. T. 

We will now proceed to the verse of five accents. 

TlQn'em my My vaine may plain appear 

What hap I they heape \ : which try out ciiiiTiing gli^rhts. 

^'gg* M.'/ar M, King Biadud, 19. 

He staid \ his aUedli for humble miser's sake. 

h\ Q. 2. L 9. 

At lust I when lujst\ : of meat and drink was ceasM. 

F, Q. 2. 2. 39. 

Til esc kite« 

That hate \ and h€Qt\: and will not he obedient 

Tarn, of the Shrew, 4. I. 208, 

ITl took I to like I : if looking liking move. /f. S' J*l> 3. 97, 

ITie houa thai tuk^ and Southeroun put to ded ; 
Gat nane \ hot ane \ : with lyflfout of that sted. 

Wallace. 9. 16.53, 

Yet ftone \ hut one]: the scepter long did eway, 

Whose conquering name endures until this day. 

Niccole. M./or M. 

Arthur^ 5, 

So might I not righi [ : did thnist me to the crown. 

BiemterhasAet M. for M. Vortigern^ 1 3. 

Thej ph^de \ not prayed] : and diil their God displease* 

Bltnnerhasset. M.for M, Vartigern^ 16- 

Jt\ fight I and^i^Af'; nigh all their host was slayne. 

Higgius, M. for M, King Albanael, 40. 

Fnr hfujpe | ia doape^ \ : and hr>hl is hanl to snatch. 
Where bloud embrues the hantlsa that come to catch. 

Higgine. M.for M. King Forrex, llJ. 

I made them aO^ t}mt knew my narae^ agast . « . 
To shrinke \ and Jilinke \ : and shift away for fear. 

Higgtns* King Morindujt^ 4- 

Their spite \ ^ their might \ : their falsehood never restes. 

Baldwin. M.forM, Eivers, M. 

Ne can \ the man \ : that moulds in idle cell 

Unto her happy mansion attain. F. Q. 2. 3. 4L 

Ko reach \ no breach \ : that might him profit bring, 
Bnt he the same did to his purpose wring, 

Spens, Mother IhMard'i Tale, 1 141. 

With cufft I and ruffk \ : and fartUiiigales and tilings, 

Tiim, of the Shrew, 4. 3. 5G. 

a dream 

When sball jou see me wriie a tlung in rbjme ? 
Or groan \ for •/ban \f^i or spend a minute's time 
In pruning me ? Wben kLilII you hear that I 
WiJl praise a hand, a tVjot, a face, an eye, 
A gmt I f a ktate \ : a brow, a breast, a waist ? 

L, L, X. 4. 3. J 81. 

The rime is much less commoE in the last section of a 

Bid those beware : that weene \ to win \ 

Dy blondy deeds the crown, 
Lest from the height : they feele | theyit//| 

Of tojisye turvye dnwn* 

Ht'gg, M,for M* King Porrex {near the end). 

Good huibandmen ; must moil \ and ioil\. Tttsser^ § 4. L 

Then ye may tell : how peil \ and mell ., 

liy red claymores and muskets* kueil, 

Wr dying yell, iJie tories fell 

And whigs, &c?. Bunix. Sheriff Muir, st, <>. 

With foul reproaches and dbdamfal apight 

He vilely entertains : and will | or niU \ , 

Bean her away. K Q. 1 . X 4:i. 

5L was often rimed by the Anglo-Saxon poeta^ but rarely 
Vy their sneceaaors. 

G^grem j ed grym " mc : grap on w rat he — 
Grimly enraged he seiJted in wrath — Cadmort^ 62. 

Ne mmg his «arende 

Hii bod^^ beod \bji : thy ic wat thset he inc abolgen wyrtb. 

Nor may liis herald, 
IIiJi errand do ; therefore, I wot, with you enraged he*U he. 

Cttdmon^ 558. 

^ [But Oie Globe edition W i ** Or groan for love > "— W. W. S.] 



B. I. 

To rule the kingdom both wee left, and fell 
To war\ring,jaririjig : like two Koimda of bell. 

Higgim. M. for M. King Forrex^ 5. 

And tmll | yo% mil | ymi : I will marry you. 

Taming of the Shrew, % L 273. 

Section 6. also was often rimed by our old writers. 

With swordet | aud no wordex \ : wee trteil our appeaJe. 

Ferrers, M, for M, Gloucester, i. 1 8. 

In betl as I lay, 

What time \ stnUcc the ehime • : of mine hour extreme, 
Opprsst I was my rest \ : witli mortal aft ray » 
My foes | did uiir/o^^|: I know not whii'h way, 
My chajiiber-doors. 

Ferrers, M, for M, Ghucester, ii. GO. 

Sow barley and dredge with a plentiful hand. 
Lest weed \ 'stead of *ieed \ : overgroweth thy land. 

Tusxer. Sept. Husk 13. 

A wand \ in thy hand \ : though yc fight not at all, 
Makes youth to their biiamess better to fall 

Tussffr, § 77, 7. 

Then up \ with your mp \ : till you stagger in speech, 

And match ) me this attch | : though you swagger and screech. 

And dniik \ till you wink \ : my merry men each. 

W. Scoit. Kemlworth, ch. 2. 

To teach and nnteach | : in a school is unmeet, 
To do atid jmcb\i to the purse h unsweet. 

Tusser, f 23. 15. 

Both bfar | and forbear | : now and then as ye may, 
Then ^* Wench ! God a mercy " thy husband wdl say. 

Tvsser, i 89. U. 

This rimiiig section sometimes ends the verse. 

But hold to their tackling : there do \ but Skfew\» 

Tusser^ § 35, 45. 
Like a demigod here : ait / { in the ^% | . L. L. X. 4. 3. 79. 
To feel only looking i on/oir | est of/o»r | . 

X. X, i. 2. 1. 241. 

The section 6Z. aeoms to have been a very favourit-e on© 
for the double rime. It is only found in verse of the triple 
measure^ or its predecessor the '^ tumbling verse/* 

So many as love me, and use me aright, 

With treas j ure and pleas \ ure : I rk-hly requite. Tiaser, § 7, 




Wlut car\eik nor ipar\eik : till upent he hath ftll« 
Of hob I frti^, not ro£ | bittg : be fcnrful he nhtdh 

}!oi /ear \iMg nor <?ar [in^ : for heli nor for heaven* 

Tutner, 4 10. GO 

He noif I ^lA, destroy eth : and all to tliU dn(\^ 

To strip his poor tenunt 

TMter,^ 10. 1:1, 

Tithe du lie and trut | Zt? : with hartic good will, 
That God and bis blessing maj dwell with thee still. 

Ttuner.^Sl. 11. 

So due i ty and [so] true [ li/ : the Jawi alwaj to scan. 
That right may take his place. 

Ftrrerx. M,/or M> Trenlian.lX. 

So catch er$ and *natch ' erx : toil both night and day, 
Not off</y, bnt^rerdly : still prollin^ tor their prey. 

Ferrers, M. for M. Tresilian, 1 1 

Then §hak \ ing and quak \ ing : for dread of a dream, 
Half uHxJl I edf all nak \ed : in bed tts I by — 
My foes did unclose, 1 know not wbicli way. 
My chamber-do res. 

Ferrer*, M./ar M. Gloucester ^ ii. 60. 

The Sections with three accents rime much more rarely 
than those with two. They differ also from the latter in 
idmitting various dispogitions of the riming syllahlea. The 
nme wiJl be ranged under the first, second, or third class, 
iccordiiigiy as it exists between the two first accented 
lyllifcbksj the two last, or the two extremes. 

Section 1, 

Sundry iortu of whipa, 
Ai dingTeement : heaitfts \ or wealth' t | det'reaae ( , 

Baldwin, M for M. Hinert, 18, 

The I wes Laid \ geb^ld] : er thu geboren were. 

Frir thee wu* a duelling built ere thou wert born. 

Grave Sifng, 

(Jtsta weardiim : hsef , don gtetrm \ and dream \ . 

For the spirit-guards — : They had light and joy. 

Ceedmrni. Gen, 12. 

For all our ^rood descends from God*8 pood wilS, 
And of our lewdnens : jtpring eth all \ our i7/|. 

Uiggint. M, for /I/, h^rd Iremgtas^ 10. 



B. I, 

In daimger mther : to | be drent\ than hrent\. 

Section IL 

F, Q. 2, 6. 49. 

Thfl com ofer fold an : fus eithiftn 

Mipr I e mer ] gen tbrui | tla : nieron metode th» gjt 

Wid lond, &c. 

Tben gan oVr eartli quickly adraiire 

The ^eat tliird morn, nor bad tlie Maker as vet 

Wide land, &c, CiBdinon. Gen. 154. 

CwEctb Be Ilelista : hat \ an sceol|de Sat\an,^ m 

Qucjtli the Highest, Satan he sliould biglit. 

Cmdmon. Gen. 344, 
Section 2. 

Some magician's art. 

Artnd | thee or charmed | thee strong : which thou from heaven 
Fetgnd'st at thy birth was giv*n tliee in thy hair. 

Samson, U3S. 
If no mishap men's doings did assail^ 
Or [ that their ac/Ji \ and facts \ : were innocent. 

Higgins. M* for M, King Malin^ 1 . 

Hap I \y to wwe | and thrive | : as best I may. 

Tarn, of the Shrew, 1. 2. 5G. 

We I will have ringt \ and things \ : and fine array. 

Tarn, of the Shrew, 2. I. 325. 

Yet I she loves none \ but one \ : that Marinel is hi^ht. 

F, Q. 3. 5. 8. 

But Florimel with him : un { to hia bow'r | be bore I . 

F, Q, 3. 8. 36. 
Section 2Z. 

In sumptuous tire she jojM herself to prank^, ' 

But I of her ht^e | U>o lavhh : Httle have she thank. 

F. Q. 2, 2. 36* 

— And said he wolde 

Hire lemman be : wbetb | er she wol\de or nol\de, 

Chan. MmtofJSames Tale; C, T. 5337. 

Section 3i, 

Thus I they tug\ged and ntg\ged : till it was ncr njght. 

Tumament of Tottenham^ st. 23. 

Hav I e I iivtf | es or thry | es : redyn thiirgh the route. 

Same, st. 13. 

[Grein endi the lino with scfolde.—W. W. S,] 

C. VI, 



See I am toll j te ic and Bee | can t Seafolftn ami Theodric* 

Secca flought I and Becca, Seafola, and Theodric. 

Traveller's Song^ 1 1 5» 

The eeclion 5, is much more frequently used for this 
parposej particularly with rime of the third claa^. 

1st Class. 

This hlade \ in biaud | y hand ; : ]>erd_v, I beare. 

Nigging, M. for M. King MonnduM^ \. 

And fair \\y /are \ on foot( : however loth* f\ Q. 2« 2. 12* 

But honour, virtue's meed, 

Doth bear \ the fair I eH ftower : in honourabJe seed. 

F. Q. 2. 3. 10. 

We little have : and iow \ to Htfe \ in peace | . 

Higgins. M, for M, King MorindjUf 5. 

Sith needeig I mast repented faidts forerimne, 
Rfpent and tell : thofaH | tindfoile | I felt U 

BlennerkanieL M.for AT. Vortigern^ 10. 

A faire persons : and Jttrnng ] and yong \ of ag | e. 
And fidl of honour, and of curteaie, 

Chau, Clerkeg Tate; C. T. 7949. 

2nd Class. 

Bather let try extremities of chance, 
Than enter Iprrr j ed prai$e \ : for dread to disavounce. 

F.,Q,3. 11.24. 

Itocka, c^rm \ , lakes, fena \ , hogi*, denx | : and shades of death. 

P. L. 2. <>21 , 

Milton here nses rime to strengthen his accent. Ilia 
Terse wanted such aid, and he has applied it skilfully. His 
contempt for these ''jingling ^^ sounds never led him to 
'■eject tbem, where they could do good service. 

Traigtis for trewth : thns war { thai ded | in deed^ . 

Waliace, 11. 183. 

^V'bat lucke ha*l I : on such | a /o/ | to light \ . 

Higg, M/forM, King Locrinus^ IS. 

I made thj heart to quake, 
When on thy crest : with migh | ty j<!tro^€ \ I Jttrake | . 

Higg, M.forM. L&rd Nennittn^^i, 


B. I. 

So lightly leese thej all : whicb alt | do weene \ to win] . 

Baldwin. M.for M. Tregilian, I. 

3rd Class. 

He all tbeii- aramunltiiin, 
And feats | of war | dG/eals, 

Samson^ J 27 7. 

The hraylcM ] at sea | , the iailes | : I taken had at land. 

liigg^ M*for M, King Brtmnus^ 15. 

And I amongst my mates, the Romiah fryers, felt, 
Moreyo^e | aiid less | anoye ] : than erst in Britain brave. 

Hfgg, M.for M. Cadwallader, I. 136, 

And load \ upon | him laid\t his life for to have had. 

F. Q 3. 5, 22. 

Their arm | our help'd | their Aarm] : crujshVl in and bruised. 

P. z. (>. ess. 

Seeing the state : nnstead] fast how { it itode\* 

SacktfiUe. M./or M. Buckingham^ 12. 

My rule, my riches, royal blood and all^ 

When fortune frownde : tbe/e/ ler made | myyfl//|. 

Sack vi lie. M,fer M, Buckinghamt 108. 

What horse ? ft roan, a crop-ear is it not ? 

It JB, my lord : That ro/in | shall be | mj throne], 

1 //. IV. 2. 3. 72. 
Section 5?, is rarely rimed. 

And do I hear my Jeanie ovm 

That equal trnnsportsi move her ? 
I ask for life alone. 

That I [ may iive | to love | her. 

Burns. Come let me take ikee,^ 

Some apology may be due for such an overflow of autho- 
rity. It should bo remembered, that these riming sections 
are of the yery essence of our vernacular poetry. They form 
the poetical idiom, the common stock — of which the Anglo- 
Saxon Scop and the Maker of Blizabeth^s reign alike availed 
themselves. From the sixth to the sixteenth century, we 
find the same rimes again and again recurring in our poetry j 
and even when banished from what, in courtesy, we call 
polite literature, we find them still lingering in the songs of 
the people. Some of them can boast an antiquity, which 

a VI. 

alone ought to secure them our respect; and others 
bare simk so deeply into oar language, that all who pay 
attention to philology, must feel an interest in tracing their 


it that which exists between the last accented syllable of 
the first section, and the first accented syllable of the second. 
It appears to have flourished most in the fifteenth and six- 
teenth centuries. I do not remember any instance of it in 
the Anglo- Saxouj but it is probably of native growth, A 
kindred dialect^ the Icelandic, had, at an early period, a 
Bpecies of rime closely resembling the present — the second 
Terse always beginning with the last accented syllable of 
die first. It is singular that the French had, in the sixteenth 
century, a rime like the Icelandic, called by them la rime 
ifdrdassee. The present rime differed from both, as it was 
contained in one verse. The rime was sometimes of the sixth 
kind, and sometimes consonantal; but, in the great majority 
of instances, it was perfect. The inverse rime is, I believe, 
the only one in our language that has ever affected a perfect 
correspondence between the riming syllablea. 
We will begin with the verse of four accents. 

These stepa | both reach ; and tearh | tliee shall | 

To come j by thrift \: to shift | witluLl | . Tuxser, § 9. 39. 

Some, luckv^ find n flow'ry gpnt, 
For which they ne%'er toil'd nor Bwat, 
They drink | the ineeet\: Mid*eat \ the fat'. 

Burns to James Smithy tt 17. 

Where with intention I have err'd* 

No other plea 1 have, 
But thou I furi good : and good \ ness still | 

Delighteth io forgive. Burns. A Prayer. 

Take you ray lord and master than» 
Unless I mijtf/io?icf \ : mi^irAaHc* , eth me ! , 
Bach homely gift of me your man, 

Tusser io Lord W. Paget, 

The pi per laud\ ; and loud er blew ' » 
The dancers { quick : and ^nick ; er flew . 

Burn It, Tarn n Shantrr. 




B. I. 

O Henderson the mau ! the brotlier ! 

And art { thou gout \ : and geme { fur ev er ! 

Bunm* -Elegi/ on M. Henderson, 

Let prudence bless enjojinent's cup, 
Tlien nip | tur'd itip J : and «ip \ it up | . 

Burns, Wriiten in Friar$^ Caru Hermitage, 

The rime is generally double when the verse is in the 
triple nieaBure. 

Be greedy in speiuHng and careless to piivc, 
And short I ly be need i/ : and read y to crave j. 

Tusker, January Hmbmtdrtf, ttt - 

His breast ) full of ran | eour : like can ' ker to tret | , 
lli\s heart like a lion, liia neigh bonr to eat« 

Tusser (Enewus Npighhour}^ § 64, 

Your beauty *a a flow*r in the morning that blows, 
And with | era the fas ■ ter : the /a* ^ ter it grows ' ♦ 

Burns, Hey for a Lass, 

Come pleasure or pain, 

My warst [ word in wel \ come : and trd ] come again ] . 

Bnms. Contented wC little. 

In the verse of five accents the inverse rime is most 
frequent J when there are two accents in the first section. 

In such I a plighi\: what might \ a lii'dy doe | . 

Higg^ M. for M. Queen Ehiride, 26. 

And let | ^e/>o^^| : yonr/or^ | itude | cnmmeml'. 

Higg. M. for M. Kittg Brennuij 85. 

His baser breast, but in his kestrel kind, 

A pleasing vein of glory he did fitid, 

To which his flowing tongue and trnublotis spright 

Gave I hiiii great aid\ : and made | him more | inclined | , 

F. Q, 2. 3. 4* 
She must | lie h€re\ : on mere \ neees | sity | , 

" L. L. Loitt, L 1. 149. 

We plough I the deep [ : ami reap \ what oth ers sow ' . 

Wiiiler, A Panegyric to my Lord Protector, itt, 16. 

The following are instances of consonantal and perfect 

The rich mid poor and ev"rv one may see, 

Which way | to lore,: and Itve \ m due | degree I . 

Higgitis, 3Lfor M. Kmg Allmttaet, 

proL 9. 

C. yi. INVERSE BIME. 135 

When I am dead and rotten in mj dust. 

Then gin | to live \ : and leave \ when oth | era lust | . 

Hall to his Satires, ProL to Book IV. 

For €rod I iBJuMtl * uy^^l ice will | not thrive | . 

Higg. M. for M. King Number, 17. 

Thus made | of m^A/|: the mt^Afjiest | to wring |. 

Baldwin. M. for M, Rivers, 26. 

Ifolilow'd/a«/| : but/a«/jer did | heflyl. 

M. N. D. 3. 2. 416. 

For all I I did\ : I rfttf | but as | I ought| . F. Q, 2. 1. 33. 

For he. | wasfesk \ : aWfiesh | doth frail | ty breed ] . 

F. Q. 2. 1. 62. 

Weak I she makes strong \ : and strong \ thing doth increase { . 

F. Q.2. 2. 31. 

If I jou were men | : as men \ je are | in show | , 

You would not use a gentle ladj so. M. N. D, 3. 2. 16 K 

Vows I are but breath \ : and breath | a va | pour is | . 

Love's Labour Lost, 4. 3. 68. 

- Follj in wisdom hatcht, 

Hath wisdom^s warrant, and the help of school 
And wit's | own grace \ : to grace \ a learn | ed fool | . 

Z. L, Lost, 5. 1. 70. 

hap \ py love \ : where love \ like this | is found | . 

Bumns Cottar*s Saturday Night, st. 9. 

This rime is much more rare, when the first section con- 
tains three accents. 

Herein | my fol ■ ly vayne \ : may playne [ appear j . 

Higgins, M.for M. King Bladud, 19. 

And I by my & I ther*s love \ : and leave \ am armM | 

With his good will and thy good company. T.oftheS.\.\,5, 

But wheth { er they | be ta^en \ : or sloin \ we hear | not. 

R, II 6. 6. 4. 

That brought | into | this world\ : a world | of woe] . 

P.L. 9. 11. 
For I it is chaste | and pure \ : as pur \ est snow { . 

F. Q. 2. 2. 9. 

For I 'tis a sign | of love \ : and love | to Rich I ard 

Is a strange brooch in this all-bating world. R. //. 5. 5. 65. 



B. I. 

The double rim© is very rare in the verae of five accenta. 

The musis freedomet graunted tbem of elde, 

Is btirde ; | «1je rca \ sons : trea \ »om high { are belfl , 

M./or M, Coliittgbourn^ L 

The inverse rime was not un&equent in the verse of six 

accents. Spenser loved to close with it his beautiful and 
majestic stanza. 

Whereby | with e»A\j payne] \ great gayne \ we did | in fet' . 

Baldwin. M.for 3/, Trisiiiun, 8. 

He noT ! er meaot I witli toordt I 

but iwards | to plead | bis right . 
F. Q. 1.4.42. 

nor might | iiur might \ v ehanii | , 

>. C^. L 11. 36. 

By 8ub J tilty I nor alight 

And what | I can [ not quite j ; requite \ with ii | sury ; . 

So good j ly did | hegitile | : the guil , er of [ bis prey ] . 

F. Q. 2. 7. 64. 

Tlieretbrc | ueed mote | he Utfe \ : that lin ' ing gives | to all [ , 

-F, Q, 3.6. 47, 

And made ] that cap | tivei tftmlt , : the thrali \ of wretch | editeits [ . 

F. Q. 2. 4. 16. 

— Tried in heaviest plight 

Of la ' b-onra huge | and hard | : too hard | for bu man wirrbt | * 

Miiton. The Piut^ton, 13. 


The laws which regulate the Anglo-Saxon verse, hai 
been the subject of much speculation. Rask claims thd 
merit of their discovery, and does not affect to hide his 
triumph over the blindness and stupidity of our country- 
men . The opinions of Hickes, Conybeare^ and Turner, are 
submitted to review^ and dismissed with an air of very 
superior scholarship. The extreme deference, with which 
these claims have been liBtened to, and the acquiescence 
which has been paid to them in this country, is the best 
proof I have met with of that ignorance^ with which he and 
other foreigners have thought fit to charge us. 


According to Bask^ the law of Anglo-Saxon alliteration 
is this. In every alliterative couplet, there must be three 
syllables (and no more) beginning with the aame letters, 
two in the first section, and one in the second. If the 
riming syllables begin with vowels, such vowels should if 
possible be different* Each of the three syllables must take 
the accent. He gives for example the two couplets; 

Tha wsa ftfW wiate There was after llie feast 

IFop up a-Uafen. A ery raiB*d, (jBeoir. 128). 

£oienB» Bod ylfe, GiantSi and elves, 

And crrcaeas. And spectres. {Beow, 112.) 

He adds that iometimes in short verses there is but one 
riming letter in the first section. 

Now the first thing that strikes us, is, that thoBe are the 
rules which Olaus Worm ins laid down for the regulation of 
Scandinavian verse. The passage is familiar to all who 
interest themselves in these matters, and was quoted by 
Sckes, The merit then of Rask must lie in their applica- 
tioD. Do the same rules apply to the Anglo-Saxon as to 
the Icelandic verse F 

In the later poems — -those of the tenth and eleventh 
century — these rules partially hold; and I think more 
closely in the old English poems, which were contemporary 
with the great mass of Icelandic literature. But the flower 
of Anglo-Saxon literature was of much earlier date, and 
has the rules fail in the majority of instances. More than 
lwo*thirds of the couplets with four accents, and of the 
couplets with five more than one-half^ have only two riming 
tjllables. Even of the couplets with six accents, there ia 
9 large proportion in the like predicament. We find also 
in many couplets more than three alliterative syllables* I 
Gumot tinnk that much merit was due for the application of 
& principle, that fits thus loosely. 

These rules had been long recognised as applicable to 
hidsndic verse. They were not only laid down by Olaus 

EWonnios, but also in the Hattalykill or Metre-key, the well- 
hown Icelandic prosody, composed in the thirteenth cen- 




B. I. 

verse as alliterative, though no one had discovered the laws 
which governed its alliteration. We have examined the 
rules which Rask has proposed for this purpose, and t^^U 
now venture to lay down others, which we think may be 
trusted to with greater safety. 

IsL Every alliterative couplet had two accented sylla- 
hleSj containing the same initial consonants^ one in each of 
the two sections. 

2ndly, In a large proportion of instances, particularly in 
the longer couplets, the first section contained two such 
syllables. This custom gradually became so prevalent, that 
after the tenth century it may be considered as the general 

3rdly. Sometimes, though rarely, the second section had 
two riming syllables. 

4thly. The absence of initial consonants satisfied the 
alliteration. As a correspondence in the vowels seems to 
have been avoided, these fiyllablcs generally began with 
different vowels, when the initial consonants were wanting. 

Rask has broadly stated, that the second section cannot 
admit two riming syllableH, and has ventured to impugn the 
conclusions of such a man as Conybeare, because they were 
opposed to this 'Maw of alliteration/' I therefore give the 
following examples in proof of the third rule, 

Cwft'don that hie rirc : re the mode 

Ag I an wol | dun : and | wwa fath \ e meah | tiin, 

Qiutfh diey in wrathfid uiDod, that they the kingdom 
AVouhl have, and tliat with ease they might. 

Cmdmon, Oen, 47. 
Tha tKa Anlixes : leate hiefde 
Thrae \ ia cyn | ing : that \ he than \ an mt>B , te. 

When UlyBseis had leave, 

Thracia'w kiiijr^ that be might tbejiee— Alfrad, Met26, 21, 

Rathe was jB:cfylled 

Ueafi I cyningjes hiFs[ : him \ was hal]ig\iioh.L 

Qniek was futfill'd 

The liigli-king'» heal : aruund lam was holy light. 

CwdmoH. Gen, 125. 

The nunihor might easily be increased ; but the reader 



can do this for himself, when we come to the consideratioQ 
of oar Anglo-Saxon rhythms. 

In the longer species of verse, when the couplet contained 
more than six accents, three riming syllabtes in one section 
were common, both in the first section, and in the second. 

Alfred nsed occasionally three riming syllables in the first; 
aection, when the conplet contained six, and even when it 
contained five accents. Bat such instances are rare. 

We also find couplets in which the alliteration is, as it 
were^ double— the same two letters beginning accented 
ayllables in the second section, as in the first. Soch in- 
stances are far from nnfrequent. The coincidence, how- 
ever, may be accidental. 

It should be observed, that in Ccedmon and the earlier 
poets, the initial consonants are not always rimed cor- 
rectly. They seem satisfied if the first consonants corre- 
spond, and ofteli make s rime with sw or 8c. After the 
toth century, there was in general a more accurate corre- 

In the alliterative poems of the thirteenth and four- 
ith centuries, we find the v&wds corresponding much 
frequently than in Anglo-Saxon. So much was this 
kind of rime affected by the writers, who ushered in the 
EBra of Elizabeth, that we have elsewhere called it ** mo- 
dern alliteration/^ Alliteration indeed, as a system, had 
long been banished to the North, hot every " maker " was 
kumting after rime, initial or final, and thus came the last 
improvement upon the simple alliteration of our ancestors. 

But when unbition bleared both our eyoft. 
Ami hat I ty hate \ : liad broth erlifxl*' bereft. 

Higg. M. /or M. King Forreje, 5. 

VTbAt hart \ so hard\: but de>tb abhnrre to bear 

Frond* Segar, M. for M, Eichard^ I. 

Not raign \ ing but rag ing : as voiitb flid Iiini intice. 

Baldwin, M. for M^ Trtmlian^ 16. 

EnrefTister my miiTtiur tu rcmaincs 

Tbat princes may : my vie \ es viU* \ rt^friiTne \ . 

lliggim. M.for M. King lago^ 2. 



B. I. 

Devyded well : "we joint \ Ij did | enjoy | 
The princely aeate. 

Higgim. M, for M, King Forrex^ 4. 

But ftince thj outside looks to fair and warlike. 

And that tbj tongue : some aaj | of breed | ing brtatkes \ * 

Lmr, 5. 3. 143. 

Ware j rolling af|ter wave\i wbere waif | thej found. 

P. X. T. 298. 


Hitherto we Imre assumed that the accent always falls 
upon the riming syllable. There is little doubt, that Olaus 
Wormius wished to provide against a violation of this rule, 
when he laid it down, that the riming syllabi eg of a section 
must not follow each other immediately. There is, how- 
ever, one exception, an exception which seems to have 
ariaen from the slender dimensions of an Anglo-Saxon 
verse, or, as we have hitherto termed it, alliterative couplet. 
Into verses of this kind, containing only four accents, some 
poets managed to crowd final rime, middle rime, sectional 
rime, and alliteration. This could hardly be effected unless 
the unaccented syllables were put in requisition, as in the 
following passage ; 

Flak I mah flitjeth : flan \ mmt bwitjeth 
^Kfy I sorg bit|eth : bald \ aid thwitjetli, 
WriBC I Jac writh j ath : tvrath \ ath smit ! eth, &c. 

The javelin-man figbteth, tlie arclier 

The boroQgli -grief bitetii, — ^^ — 

Tbe vengcance-huur ilouriiihetb, the anger-oatli smitctb.* 

Rime-Song^ 62. 

We have one or two instances of this rime even i| 
Caedmon, which shews, that the difficulty of joining allite 
ration and sectional rime had made the invention familiars 
a very early period. 

on thone eat;nm wlat 
Siith \ 'frihih cyn ^ ing : and tha stitw beheold 
Dreama lease. 

' [Sense uniiertain.— W. W. S.] 

C. VI. 



On it with ejes glanced 

The italwArt king ; and the place beheld 

AH jojlesi. Cmdinon, 

Gen. 106. 

Frynd | tynif hie min { e geom | e 
Halde ou hym byge-ficcaftum, 

Ftienda are thej of mine right^truly^ faithftil tn their heart*s deep 
cotuKjli. Cmdmtm, Gen, 2B7. 

In like manner, the narrow dimensions of their versa 
drove the Icelanders to a similar invention. Tho riming 
syUableSj however, were differently disposed of* The first 
tjUable bore the accent and the alliteration ; the second, 
which of course was nnaccented, rimed with some accented 
ijllable in the same section, and generally with the second 
alliterative syllable. The rime was consonantal. This 
difference of the rime, together with the different position 
of the syllables, mnst have produced effects widely diff'erent 
in the two languages. Perhaps we might infer, that the 
HMccented rime was invented, at a period subsequent to the 
leparation of the two races. 

In the early part of the sixteenth century, there were 
instances, in which writers— some of great merit — actually 
dosed their verse with a rime between unaccented syllables. 
This arose, no doubt, from the prevalence of the " tum- 
bling verse,'* of which we shall have more to say hereafter, 
and which at one time threatened to confound all our 
notions of rhythmical proportion. Of all our writers of 
reputation, Wyat most sinned in this way. In some of his 
■mailer pieces, nearly ooe-fourth of the rimes are of this 

Right true it is^ and said full yore ago, 

Take heed | ofhimj: that by | the back | thee dawjetK 

For none is worse than U a friendly ftje. 

Thongh thee | leme good [ r all thing | that thee | deli | tetb, 

Yet know | it well \ : that in | thy bos \ ome crep | eth ; 

For man y a man : such lire | of^ timeB | he kindjleth, 

That I with the blaae | : hit beard j himself | he sing | eth. 

W^ai. Of the faimd Frend. 

In the above stanza Wyat intended to rime claweih, de* 
'*^i4, crepeih ; and also the words kindleih and singeth. 
In the following staves he rimes other with higher ; 



B, L 

But one | thing yet \ : there is | above | all oth j er, 
I ^ve him winges where bv he might npflye 
To hon 1 our and fame | : and if ( he wouM | to high I er 
Than mortal things, above Ihe starry idcye. 

W^at* Complaint npm Love, 

There are also cases in which an unaccented syUable fl 
made to rime with one accented. 

She reft | my heart | : and I \ a glove | from her | , 
Let US see then | : if one | be worth [ the othj er. 

W^at To hit Love. 

And Bac | chus eke | : cn8ba.rps | the wit \ of mme \ ^ 
qiiem non | fece ; re diser ]fum* 
Higgins. M.for M. King Chirinnim, 2. 

Ffficnn ] dl cal | ices | . 


seoras to owe its origin to the lavish use of the substantivea 
in ion. The facilities of rime afforded by the endings 
aiion^ Uton, &c., were too great to be resiatedj and they 
were used with auch a profusion^ as to make a great and 
certainly not a favourable impression on the language. 
Now io7i was sometimes used as one syllable, and then the 
rime became double, a\timi; sometimes as two syllables, 
and then the rime was thrown on the last, a | Hon | . Some- 
times the poet began his rime with the first syllable, even 
when he resolved ion into two. 

What ncd [ eth gret | er : di | lato j tion \ f 
I Aay by treatise and ambassatrie. 
And I by the pop | es : me [ dia \ lion \ 
They ben acconled. 

Chau, Man of I^wen Tale; C. T. 4652, 

A band | thai maid | : in prew | a il/u | aion | , 
At I thair pow [ er : to wyrk | hia eonfu \ sion | , 

Waiiace, IL 205. 

When I they next wake]: all tbi« 1 6eris\ion\^ 
Shall seem | a dream | : and fruit ( le&e vis [ ion \ . 

M.'n,D, 3. 2. 370. 

If gra I dous si | lenee : swefit | &tten \ tion { , 
Quick sight I and quic | ker : appre \ hen \ jrtoit, 
(The lights of judgment's throne) shine any where, 
Our doubtful autlior hopes this is tlieir sphere. 

/?. JoTi^on. Pro I. to Cynthia i Reveh^ t, I. 

C. VI. 



The double accent quickly passed to other terminations. 

Her name was A^Ape^ whose t'hiJdreii wenie* 
All three { as one : the lirst | hi^ht }Yi\amond\ 
The sec \ ond Di , amond ' ; the young ; est Tri \ amond \ . 

F. Q. 4. 2, 41. 

Sfa'p ' pen stand back * : 'tis age | that nottr \ ishetk \ , 
But joiiih j in la I dies' ejes : tlvnX flour i9heth\. 

Tarn, of the Shrew, 2. I. 341. 

A aerions blunder waa sometimes the result of this prac- 
tice. There are examples, among the early Elizabethan 
writers and their immediate predecessors, where ion ia 
resolved into two syllables in one line, while, in the one 
corresponding, it follows the last legitimate accent of the 
verse ; so that we must either increase the proper number 
of accents, or falsify the rime. Even Spenser waa guilty of 
this fault ; 

Wlio soon as lie beheld that angelV face, 
Ad0m*d I with all : tlivine | per/ec Hon | , 
Hia cheered heart eflsoons away gan chase 
Sad death { , revi | ved : with | her sad | mapec \ tion^ 
And fee j ble ttpir j it im\\y Mi \ re/ee ] titm^ 
A» wither d weed through criiel winter's tine, 
That feels | the warmth , : of sua [ ny beams | reflec ^ iianf 
UHm up his head, that did before decline, 
And glna to spread his leaf before the fair £uni;hine. 

F. Q, 4. 12. 34- 



B. I- 



which serre for the regulation of the rhythm, are three in 
number ; the firhal, middle^ and sectiofiaL The first occurs 
at the end of a verse, the second divides it into two sections, 
and the third ia fouod in the midat of one of these sections. 
It ia of great importance, that these pauses should not be 
confounded with such, as are only wanted for the purposes 
of gram mar J or of emphasis. To keep them perfectly dis- 
tinct, we shall always designate the latter as stops* 

There is no doubt, that our stops were at one time 
identical with our pauses. In the Anglo-Saxon poems, 
we find the close of every sentence, or member of a sentence, 
coincident with a middle or final pause. In the works of 
Csedmon and other masters of the art, we find even the sec- 
tional pause so placed as to aid the sense ; though I never 
knew a regular division of a sentence, which thus fell in the 
midst of a section. 

In the present chapter, we shall first examine the paases 
in their order^final, middle, and sectional — and endeavonr 
to settle the limits, which mark out their position in a sen- 
tence. We will then ascertain in what places of the verse 
the stops may fall ; or, in other words, how far the punctua- 
tion of a verse has, at different periods, been accommodated 
to its rhythm. 


In the Anglo-Saxon, there does not appear to have been 
any distinction made between the middle and final pauses. 
The sections, whether connected by alliteration or not, were 
always separated by a dot, and were written continuously, 
like prose. In the old English alliterative poems, we find 


the allitemtive couplet, or the two sections that contained 
the alliteration, written in one linej like a modern verse. 
In these poems also we find a marked distinction between 
the two panses> but the Anglo-Saxons — so far at least as 
regarded the pause — appear to have considered each section 
as a separate verse. 

As a general role, we may lay it down, that the final and 
middle pauses ought always to coincide with the close of a 
sentence, or of some member of a sentence* This rule may 
be best illustrated, by noticing such violations of it, as hav8 
»t different perioda been tolerated in our poetry* 

Perhaps there never was a greater violation of those first 
principles, on which all rhythm must depend, tban placing 
the final pause in the midst of a word. Yet of this gross 
(suit Milton has been guilty more than once. 

Cridt the dtall-reader *' Blesa me f what a word on 

A title page is thin," and some in file 

8CADd speiling false, while one tnight walk to sMile- 

End Green. So/tnft^ G. 

And ^Med bow the 9eq>ent» whom thej calPd 

Ophion^ with Eiiryriome, the wide- 

JEmcroachinff Eve perhaps » had first the rule 

Of high Olympus. F, L. 10. 580. 

All must remember the ridicule, which was thrown upon 
4is practice in the An ti- Jacobin ; but Creech, in the hapless 
translation to which it is said the envy of Dry den urged him, 
Ittd in sober earnest realized the absurdity. 

Pjirhos, you tempt a danger high, 

When jou would tear from angry li- 

Omeu her cubs. Hor. Ofles, :L 20. 

There are many verbs followed by prepositions, which 
niQst, for certain purposes, bo considered as compounds ; 
^ although, in some cases j words may bo inserted between 
such verbs and their prepositions, yet they will not admit 
^be psose. 

With that he fiercelj at him flew» and Iniil 

On hideooB stiokes, with rao*t importune might. 

F, Q, 6* 1. '20. 



B, I. 

Go to the Douglju}, fttid deliver liitn 
Up tohia pleasure, raiiaomlesa fttid free. 

1 //. IV. 5. 5, 28. 

Which from lueane place in little time vras grown 
Up uijto him, that weight upon him laid ; 
And being got the ntiarest to his tlirone, 
He tbe more euslj the trreat kingdom swaid. 

Drayton* M* for M, Cramwellt 43 » 

Another aerious fault is comtnittedj when the final pause 
immediately follows and separates a qualifying word from the 
word qualified ; as wheu it thus separates the substantive 
from its adjective, or other word of like nature. 

He joined to my brother John the olde 
Duckes of Norfolk, notable of fame. 

Baldwin, M.for M. 

Riverit, 27. 

He answer d nought at olh but adding new 

Fear to his first aniazemeut} staring wide .... 

Afitonbt'd stood. K Q. 1, 9, 24. 

Sir, if a sermiufs 

Duty with faith may be called love, yon are 
More than in hope, you are pOKsessM of it. 

B, Jonmn, Ev. Man in his H, *I, S. 

More foul diseases than ere jet the hoi 

Stm hrcd, thorough his burnings » while the dog 

Puriiue« the raging lion. 

Fletcher, Faithful Shepherdest, 1. 2. 

As wher« smooth Zephii-us plays on tha^eet 
Face of the curled atreains, with flowVs as many 
As the young spring givi}». 

Fletcher. Faithful Shepherdeia, 1 3. 

And God created the great whales, and each 

Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously 

The waters generated. P. L, 7, 39 L 

To judgment he proceeded on the accused 

Serpent^ though brute ; unable Uy transfer 

The guilt on him who made him instrument 

Of mischief. P, L. 10, 1G3. 

First in his Ea-st the gloHou!* lamp wa.^ seen , , . 

Invented with bright beams, jocund to run 

Hia longitude through IIea*vn's high road ; the gray 

Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danc'd . P. £. 7. 370. 

Stimede »eo brune 
Yth with oihre : ut feor adraf 
On Wendd sm : wigendra acola, 

^ Dash'd the brawn 

Wave, one *gainst other, and far out-drave 

On Wendd-sea the warrior bands. ♦ A If red. 

AgaiBj the paase should not occur immediately between 
the preposition and the words governed by it. 

What did this vanity, 

But minister communication of 
A moMipoor issue f 

And afler thi«, and then to breakfast with 
What appetite jou hare. 

When any of the personal pronouns immediately follow 
the verb, either in the dative or objective case, the connexion 
IB too close to admit this pause between them* 


I more desirous humbly did request 

Him shew th* unhappy Albion princes yore. 

Higgins, M* for M, 

At len^h I met a nobleman, they calVd 
Bin Labientis^ one of C«sar'« friends. 

Higgins. M.for M. 

At hand they spy 

Tliit quicksand nigh, with water covered, 
Bm by the checked wave they did descry 
^(plain^ and by the sea discoloured. 

^ Much better 

S»6 ne'er had known pomp ; tbongh it be temporal, 

Yet if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce 

^ from the bearer, 'tis a siifl^rance jwinging 

As ioul and body parting. H. VI I L 2. 3, 

And did not mannas and my love command 
^t U> forbear, to make those undentt&nd, 

I would have ihown 

To a}] the world, the art, which thou alone 
But taught our tongue. 

Beaumont to B, Jonson^ on hit Fox, I. 11. 



B. I. 


620. ■ 

Let it suiBce thee that thou know'ist 

£7j happj, and without lore no happiness. P, L, 8. 620. 

For from my mother*s womb thb grace I hatfe 

Me gitefi by Eternal destiny. F, Q- 2. 3. 45. 

When, however, thG pronoun becomes emphatic by anti- 
thesis, or when it loses its character as pronoun, and has no 
reference to any antecd'dent, this poaition of the final pause 
is mach less offensive. Yet even in thia case caution 13 

Here Nature, whether more intent to please 
L% or herself with strange varietiea — 


Cooper's Hill, 

It IB a walk thick set with many a tree, 
Whose arched bowes ore bed combiiietl bee» 
That nor the golden eye of heaven can peepe 
Into that place, ne yet, when heaven doth weepe, 
Can the thin drops of driBeling rain nffemi 
Him^ that for aucconr to that place doth wend. 

Nkcols. M.for M, 2nd Induction^ I 133. 


isi in great measure, under the control of the same lawsj as 
regulate the position of the final pause. But aa the former^ 
has long ceased to have any visible index^ and as its ver|H 
existence has been the subject of doubt and speculation, 
we find the violations of these laws proper tionably mor 
frequent* We have indicated the place of the middle pans 
by the colon (:), which must be familiar to the reader, 
marking the divisions of our ecclesiastical chaunts. 

Whether EngKsh verse of four accents ought, in ever 
case, to have a middle pause, is a question of difficult 
which may bo considered hei'oafter. There can be litt 
doubtj that every verse with more than four accents ongh 
to have the pause. We find this to be the case with thd 
alliterative couplets of the Anglo-Saxons, with the allit 
rative verses of our old English poems, and with those mor 
regular ryhthms, which, chiefly under the patronage 


Chaucer, were eatablisbed in their room. It was not tiU 
the middle of the fifteenth century that the dot, which indi- 
cated the middle pause, began to be omitted in our manu- 
scripts, and no edition of Chaucer or his contemporaries can 
be perfect without it» 

There are many instances, and some of high authority, 
in which the middle pause falls in the midst of a word. 
These, however, should not be imitated. 

Aiid negligent seciu^tie and eiise 

Utibrid I led -few ^ imai j itie | begat { . Drayton. M. for M. 98. 

Thy flng | er un [n^peas \ ahU | siUl mg [ es. 

SaniMon Agomstei^ 96 3 » 

Some rnusiijg motions in me, wliich cHftpose 

To some | thing ex ' :traor dinarif | my thoughts | , 

Smiutrn Agantntea^ 1S82. 

It world be easy to crowd the page with verses of six 
accents, in which this middle pause, if it exist at all, must 
divide a word. But the writers of the sixteenth century 
used a Terse of six accents, formed on a very different 
Lodel from the ordinary one— to wit, containing two 
tiong, one of four, the other of two accents. Thia 
difference of origin will, of course, account for the different 
position of the middle pause. 

The following are instances in which the middle pause 
aeexnt to be badly placed. 

And Re \tie\: rie \ ei hyr \ de 

And of Retia*s realm the raler, Alfred. Met 26. S, 

lie for despit, and for hie tyrannie, 
To don I the ded \ : hodi ies a vtl | laiii ' e 
or all our lorded, which tbat been yslawe. 
Hath all the bodies on an hepe ydrawe. 

Chan, Knighteg Tale; C. T. 94:1, 

FdLuk, goddesse Horerayne^ 

Bred out | o^ great \; Ju ^piter* brayne \ , 

Puttenham. Parth. 16. 

And U I na wan | drbig in \ : woodx \ and forrcstn | . 

F, Q, L 2. !). 




B. I. 

Bat Pblegelon ib son of HereBus and Night * 
But Her \ ebua | son o/\ : Eter \ nihf \ is bight | 

F: Q. 2. 4. 41. 

Pkfti { ure tlie daugh | t«r o/\ : 

Cu \pid and Psj | die late | . 

F. Q. 3. 6, 



W© have said that, in Anglo- Saxon verse, the stops, 
which cloaed a sentence or a member of a sentence, were 
always coincident with a middle or final pause. We never 
meet with these stops in the midst of a section. The 
sectional pause had, in all probability, a very different 
origin. In Ceedmon we find it before words, on which it 
is evidently the poet^a intention to throw a powerful 
emphasia. Perhaps we may infer, that the sectional pause 
was originally a stop, that served the purposes of emphaaia, 
as the others were stops which served the purposes of 
con a traction. 

Whatever were its origin, we find the sectional pause 
well known and widely used in the earliest dawn of our 
literature. It is common in Casdmon, and in Conybeare*a 
riming poem it is found in many sections together. 

Treow | tcl gade : Tir | wel | gade 

Bl©d I blb|aade:— ^ 

Gold I gearjwmie: Giin | hwearjiade. 


The tree ahot lortJi branches 
Fruit blei»ed ua ; — — 

Glory abounded ; 
Gold deck'd us ; GeniB enwrapt as. Rime-Songf 34, 

We shall not here range in order the sections, which 
have admitted the pause ; a chapter will be devoted to that 
purpose in the second book. At present we shall merely 
give one or two songs, in which the sectional pause haft^ 
been studiously affected. The first is by Sir Philip SydneyJ 
The verses are represented as having been " with some i 
curiously written. '^ 

^ This IB not the onlj v^rse in the Fuery Qiit'en which haa f^ix acLt'nta wbem] 
tt ot]g;^ht to have/w. Like the .^lueidi this noble poem was left unfinished 
' A fioction miiislng. 


Vir I lae, beftn { tj, tnd ipeeeh { : did strike, { wound \ , charm \ , 
|My heart | , e^es \ , ear$ | : with won | der, love | , delight j , 
(Tirtt I « #«c I ond, last | : did bind ; , enforce | , and urme | , 

His worket | , tkowe* \ , «ifilrt 1 1 with wit | ^ grace, and j * tows might | . 

I Thu» hem I our, Uk | ing, tniat | : much | , farre \ , and deep \ , 
> Held , pearit \ , posae«t | : mj judg | ment, sense | and will | , 
Till wrong | , contempt , deceit | : did i^owe | , *ieal \ , creep ] , 
Bonde* \%/a\ vonr^ faith j : to break | , de&le | , and kill | . 

Then griefe | , unkind | ne^^ proofe | : tooke | , kind\ led* taught | , 
WeQ grottnd { ed^ no | ble^ due | : spite | , rage ' , diBdatn \ , 
But ah [ alasa | in vaytie ! : my mind \ « Jfight]^ thought \ , 
I>oth him I , hia face ] , hia words \ : leuve | , Mhun \ , refraine { , 

For nolh | ing, time | , nor place | : can loo^e | , quench \ , ease \ 
liioe own I embrac | ed, sought | : knot | , ^re \ , disease | * 

Arcadia. Lib, IIL (1613), p. 368. 

The eurwtity of these verses is much greater than their 
merit The "art^^ consists in transforming the stopsj which 
leparate the words of a sequence, into sectional pauses. 

This kind of experiment seems to have been a favonrite 
one in the sixteenth century. Spenser^ in one of his 
€clc^aes^ had already written what he called a Ronndle^ in 
which the " under-song '^ had a sort of jerking liveliness 
inpsrted to it, by the free use of these sectional pauses. 
The piece has very little poetical merits but is '* curiously 

Per. It fell upon a holy Kve^ 

WiL Hey ] ho I : Kol j iday | ! 

Per^ When holy Fathers wont to Bbrive, 

WiL Now I gin | neth : this roun [ delay I 

Per, Sitting upon a bill so lu«;;h, 

Wa. Hey I hoi: the high | hili|f 

Per, The while my flock did fee<l thereby, 

WiL The while the shepherds self did spill I 

Per, I saw the bouncing BeJlibone^ 

WiL Hey | ho ; : Bon | nibel , c"i*c. &c. 

Shep. Kal, Atigutt^ 55* 

Shakeapeare has left us a happier specimen. 

Fabe accentuation. 



CoDie away | come away [ death \ 
And in sad cyjircss let rae be lukl ; 
Fly away I fly away [ breath \ , 
I am Hlain by a fair cruel maid. 




B. I* 



Nt»t a fluwer | not a (lower | sweet \ 
On my blai^k citflin let there lie strowiit 
Kola triciid | nut a friend | greet \ 
My pt>or eorjvse wlicrc my bi>r»c« ^biill be thrown* 

Twelfth Night, 2. 4. 52. 


may be divided, like our paoaes, into finalj middle, anc 

In Anglo-Saxon poemaj the fall atop falls indifferently at 
the endj or in the middle of an alliterative couplet. Of the 
two, the middle stop seems to have been preferred. In 
this particnlaTj the Anglo-Saxon rhythma resemble the 
more ancieot German, and are widely distinguished from 
the Icelandic. The latter, almost invariably, close their 
period with the couplet, like our own alliterative poems of 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. As no Icelandic poem 
can be satisiactorily traced to an earlier date than thoso 
English poems, we may conclude, that the northern 
rhythms were influenced by the same causes, and affected 
at the same time, and in the same manner, as those of the 
more southern dialects. 

In the metre* used by Chaucer and his school, we gene- 
rally find the middle stop subordinate to the final ; but our 
dramatists, whose dialogue required frequent breaks in the 
rhythm, gave to the middle stop all its former importance. 
The poets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries run 
their lines one into the other, even when they were writing 
what has been called the heroic couplet— a bcense that was 
very slowly corrected by the example of Waller, Denham, 
and above all of Dry den. The last poet, in his riming 
tragedies, broke his lines without scruple, and avowedly for 
the purposes of dramatic effect ; but in his other works 
very rarely indulges in this liberty. 

Johnson lays it down as a rule, that, in the midst of - 

C. TU. 



verae, a fnll etop ought not to follow an unaccented syllable; 
bat that a stop which merely suspends the sense, may* 
He would object therefore to the rhythm of the following 

So sung 

Tbe glor | Sous tram | wtcen | ding : He | through UeaT*o | 

That op€nVl wide lier blaxing jMirtula. led 

Tu God*8 et^roal houAe direct tbe way. P. L, 7, 573. 

Bat, amid aU the license of the sectional stop, a rule like 
tJiia is mere hypercriticisra. 

It 13 not easy to trace the steps, by which the sectional 
itop obtruded itself so generally into English verse. It is 
probable, that when the alliterative system, upon which our 
rhythms had been so long modelled, was done away with, 
auch license prevailed as to the position of the middle 
pause ; and consequently of the stop, that was coincident 
with it. When a more settled rhythm again brought it 
under rule, the ear had been too much accustomed to such 
new termination of the period, to take offence at the occa- 
nonal violation of a law which had been so long neglected. 
When our dramas came into vogue, the necessities of the 
dialogue must also have had great influence. A single 
Terse was sometimes parcelled out between three or four 
•pcakers, and frequently into as many sentences, Milton, 
therefore, had full range to gratify even his passion for 
tftriety. Had he used this liberty with more discretion, he 
would have laid the literature of his country under yet 
greater obligations. 

A very favoiuite stop with Shakespeare was the one 
before the last accented syllable of the verse. Under his 
sanction it has become familiar, though opposed to every 
pnnciple of accentual rhythm. 

Rich conceit 

Tsiight thee to make Tast Ne|>time weep for aje 

On I llij low grave j : ou fault* j forgiv \ en. Dead \ 

Is noble Tiroon. T. of A. 5, 4. 77. 

And so hiB peer* upon this evidence 

Hare found | him gnil \ iy : of \ hliih trca: son. Mrirk \ 

He Bpoke and learnedly for life, &*;. //> VIII. 2, L 




B. I. 

Loud I aB from num | bera : with | oat num | ber, tweet] 

As from bleat voices, uttering joj* P, L, 3. 345. 

Th' humble shrub 

And hmh \ with friz \ zled hair | : impHc | it. Last \ 

Rose, &i ID dance, the stately trees. P. X. 7. 322. 

When there is a ayllable between the stop and the last 
accent, it does not strike the ear so abruptly* 

I such a fellow saw 

Which made | me think { a man | : a worm | ; mt^ ii'n [ 
Came then into my mind. Xcflr, 4. L 34. 

Pipes that charm'd 

Their pain [ ful steps | : o*er | the burnt soil \ » and now | 
Adiraiic'd in view they stand. P* L. I. 561, 

' Thai for joy and pite gret 

Qaben that thai with tbar falow met 

That thai | weud bad | : bene dede | ; for thi 

Thai wclcumniyt him mar b artfully. Bruce^ 2. 904 (3. 507). 

A stop much favoured by Milton, is that which occurs 
after tho first syOable, when it takes the accent, 

Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to hor&e, 

Mcet^ I and iie*cr part | : till one ] drop down | a corse | . 

1 H. IV: 4. 1. 122. 

Though need make many poets, and some such 

As art and nature have not bette/d much, 

Yet ours for want, biitb not so lov*d the stage 

As be dare serve tb' ill customs of tbe age^ 

To make a child, now awaddlctl, to proceed 

Mmiy^ I and theti shoot | up : in | one beard | and weed | 

Past threeacore years. 

Beii JcmJton* ProL ta Etsery Man in his Unmour. 

Had yoUt some ages past, this race of glory 

Miin\j with amaze [ment : we [ shoukl read | your stoliy. 

Walltr't Panegyric, sL 37. 

Not to me returns 

Day I , or the aweet [ approach | : of ev'n | or mom | . 

P. L. 3. 41. 

^ This ti the celebrated passage which contains, as Is generally supposed, t| 
sneer upon Shukespeare. 

Dtj&ming ad impure, what God declare* 

Pure I f and commands | to aome { : leaves &ee | to aU j« 

P. L. 4, 744. 

stop^ which ia found in Chaucer, sometimes follows the 
jcond syllable when the verse begins with an accent. 

The foray ttedes on the golden bridel 
GnavD \ mg^ and fast | : the arm { urers | also | 
With ^e and hammer priking to and fro. 

Chan. The KnighUE Tak ; C. T, 2507. 

The statue of Mars upon a carte stood 

Arm I edy and look | ed grim | : aa lie | were wood | . 

Chau. The KnighteM Tate ; C\ T 2044. 

— For the time I study 

Vir\iue^ and that | part : of | philo«|ophy| 
Will I apply, that treats of happineas, 
fijr virtue specially to be achieved, 

ram. of ike Shrew, 1. L 17. 

Night with her will briiijar 

Si\lmiee^ and aleep | : liKt { 'tiing to thee | will watch { . 

P. /-. 7. 105. 

— And now hia heajrt 

Distends with pride, and, hanleniu^ in his Ntrength, 
I Gh I ties ; for nev \ er since ■ : crca ■ ted laau | 
^m Met such embodied force, P. L, 

f Thia stop, however, like the last, can never close a 
I' period. 

^ea the first accent faEs on the second syllabloj it is 
▼•tj commonly followed by a stop. 

it were, quod he, to thee no gret honour 

For to be false, ue for to be tray tour 

^0 Bie I , that am \ : thy coud | in and { thy broth | er, 

Chau, The Knightes Tale; C, T 1132. 

For it of honour and all virtue is 

The rool^f and brings | forth i glo[non8 flow'rs [ of fame'. 

F. q. 4. pmL 2. 


B- T, 

With such an easT and (inforc'd ascent. 

That no stupendous precipice denies 

Access j , no hor | ror : turns [ awaj | our ejes | , 

Denham. Cooper* i Hill, 42. 

Are ther€» among the females of our isle, 
Such/aulis I at which : 
lliere are I . Vice once 

And legal tie^, ejEpatiates unrestrained. 

it is I a fault | to snilc | ? 

: bj mod I est na I ture chained | 

Popt9 Sat 7/ 

This stop was by bo meaua rare in the rers© of four 


Bot for pite, I trow, greting 

Be tia tiling hot ane opynnyng 

Off hart ( , that schaw | is : the ten ] deroyss | 

OfTrewtli that in it closyt is. 

The Bruce, 3. 531. 

Where he gives her many a roac 

Sweeter than the brcAth, that blows 

The leaves \ » grapes, her | ries : of | tHe best ' . 

Fletcher. Faithful Shepherdess, a 1. 

Nor let the water rising liigh, 
As thou wad'st in, make thee cry. 
And sob ] , but ev I ei- : live | with me | , 
And not a ware shall trouble thee. 

Fletcher. Faith, Shep. 3. I. 

Our poets sometimes place a stop after the third syllable, 
bat I think never happily. 

The clotered blood ffir any leche-craft 
Cornan \p€th^ and [ : is | in his bouk | e ylafl |. 

Chau, The Knightes Tale; C, T, 5747. 


Of The I bes^ and [ : of ens tren two | ybomc [ ♦ 

Chau. The Knightes Tale; C. T. 1090. 

What in me is dark 

Iliu I mine, what | h low | : raise | and (support { . 
■ How he can 

R L, I, 

h doubt ful^ that | bo ncv | er : will |t it tofej * 

P. L, a. iM. 

> {Tho9n lines are not rvcogniBed in Abbott's *^ Concordance lo I^fiL**— 
\\\ W. S,] 

C. Vn. THB STOPS. 157 

If I can be to thee 

Apo\et, thou I : Pamas | bus art | to me | . 

Denham, Cooper's Hill, 7. 

Whj then should I, encouraging the bad, 
Turn reb | el^ and | : run pop { ubir { Ij mad | ? 

Dryden. Ahs. ^ Achit. 836. 

This stop is also found in verse of four accents. 

The lord off Lome wonnjt tharbj. 

That wes a^itale enn jmj 

To the king for his emjs sake 

Jhon Com\yn; and | : thoucht | for to tak | 

Wengeance. The Bruce, 8. 1. 

Mortals, that would follow me. 

Lore Vir \ tue, she | : alone | is free | . Connu, 1018. 

Oft in glimmering bow*r8 and glades 

He met | her, and | : in se | cret shades | 

Of woodj Ida's inmost groTe. II Peneeroio, 27. 

When we see how nearly the freedom of our elder poets 
approached to license^ we may appreciate^ in some measure^ 
fte obligations we are under to the school of Pope and 
Bryden. The attempts to revive the abuses, which they re- 
formed, have happily, as yet, met with only partial success. 





OuB Anglo-Saxon poems consist of certain Tersicles, or» 
&3 we have hitherto termed them^ seetums, bound together 
in pairs by the laws of alliteration. In some few instances, 
of comparatively modem date> the bond of union is the 
final rime ; bat generally speaking, this rime is an addition 
to the alliteration^ and not a substitnte for it. In Icelandic 
poems we sometimes find a section occurring withont ita 
fellow ; but I have never met with such a case in Anglo- 
Saxon verse, unless where there has eWdently been a aec- 
tion missing. 

For the most part these sections contain two or three 
accents, but some are found containing four or even five. 
The greater number of these longer sections may be 
divided into two parts, which generally fulfil all the condi* 
tions of an alliterative couplet ; and in some manuscripts 
are actually found so divided. Whether every section of 
more than three accents be compound, may perhaps be 
matter of doubt* There are certainly many sections of 
four accents, which can have no middle pause, uilless it fall 
in the midst of a word ; for example, 

Tfaa fpriBC I le of | ermod j % cjn | tag : the kt wbi cngla scjncMl^ 
Tben vptke the liaiigfaty king^ ftiAt erewfaile w«i of ingda fthittngl, 

and in the Icelandic verse of four accents, the middle 
paoae is of rare occurrence. But this is not decisive as 
to their origin ; for if a compoond section were once ad- 
mitted, we cannot expect it would still retain all the pecu- 
liarities of an alliterative couplet. As many of theae seo« 
tions are obviously compoond, it would perhaps be safer to 





refer them all to an ongm, which is sufficient for the pur- 
pose, than to multiply the soarcea of our rhy thms, without 
sfttislactory authority. 

Such yerses and alliterative couplets^ as contaizi a com- 
pound section, may well fumiah matter for a distinct 
chapter. We shall, at present, consider those only, which 
are composed of simple sections. 

We have seen, that two accented syllables may come 
together, if they have a pause between them. This pause, 
which has been termed the sectional pause, was admitted 
into the elementary versicle. The verses, however, or 
alliterative couplets, which contaiu the sectional pause, 
are of a character so peculiar, that they may be considered 
apart from the others, not only without injury to the 
general arrangement, but with much advantage to the clear 
luiderstanding of the subject. We shall, at present, then 
oonsider only such verses, as are formed of two simple 
sections, and do not contain any sectional pause. Thus 
restricted, the elementary veraicle or section is formed 
aoeording to the following rules. 

1. Each couple of adjacent accents must be separated 
by one or two syllables which are unaccented, but not by 
more than two. 

2. No section can have more than three, or less than two 

3. No section can begin or end with more than two un- 
aecaited syllables. 

These rales are directly at variance with those which 
Rssk has given. According to him, all the syllables be- 
fof« that, which contains the alliteration, form merely " a 
complement,^' and take no accent. In tho following eec- 
iftii, to which Conybeare would have given five accents, 

JEn \ ne liaef ] de he swa | swith | ne geworUt | ne 
One had he so mighty wrought. 

} accent falls on the first six ^ syllables, and the allitera* 
syllable stmih * is the first which is accented ! What 

For w, read/iv ; for smth^ reid fuw,— -W. W. S.] 



B. II. 

notion Hask attached to the word acceiitj I am at a loss to 

When the section begins with an accent, we shall repre- 
sent it by the figures 1^ 2, 3^ 4, accordingly as each couple 
of adjacent accents are separated by one unaccented syl- 
lable, or as the first, the second^ or both couples is separated 
by two unaccented syllables. 

When the section begins with one unaccented syllable, 
we shall, under like circumstances, designate it as 5, 6, 7, 8 j 
and by 9, 10, II, 12, when it begins T!vith two unaccented 

When the section ends with one or two unaccented 
syllables, we shall represent such ending by subjoining I, 
or Uf to the figure indicating such section; thus, H, 21L 

The section of two accents is capable but of two forms, 
when it begins abruptly, to wit, 1 and 2 ; but as these may 
be lengthened, and doubly lengthened, they produce six 
varieties. It is capable of six other varieties, when it be- 
gins with one unaccented syllable, and of the like number 
when it begins with koo. Hence the whole number of pos- 
sible varieties is 18. 

The section of three accents may take all the twelve 
forms, and as these may be lengthened and doubly length- 
ened, its number of possible varieties is 36. 

Our verses of two and three accents consist merely of 1 
simple sections ; but the verse of four accents is the repr 
sentative of the short alliterative couplet, containing t^ 
sections, each of two accents. The number then of all 
possible varieties is the product of eighteen multiplied inl 
itself, or 324. In like manner, the verse of six accents i 
composed of two sections, each containing three ; and 
number of possible varieties is the product of thirty-sis multi 
plied by itself, or 1296. The possible varieties of the vc 
with five accents is also 1296 ; to wit, 648 when the first \ 
tioa baa two accents, and the like number when it has thr 

* The &C tempt, which the a&me critic has nmde, to trace the early ^ 
rhjtbinj} and the Latin hexameter to n common source , appears to me equ 
fandriiJ. They that would fellow Gr^ek and Latin pmaody to the fouuu 
head, id list attack the Sanscrit, 

C, L 




Of this vast number, by far the larger portion lias never 
been applied to the purposes of verse* Probably the 
hms, that would result from gome of the combinatious, 
would be too vague, and others too abrupt and uneven in 
their flow^ to yield that pleasure which is always expected 
from measured language. But there are doubtless many 
combinations^ as yet untried, which would satisfy the ear; 
and it is matter of surprise^ that at a time when novelty has 
been sought after with so much zeal, and often to the sac- 
rifice of the highest principles, that a path so promising 
shonld have been adventured upon so seldom. 

When the accents of a section are separated by two un- 
accented syllables, the rhythm has been called thtj triple 
wmisttre; and the coiinnon measure, when they are only 
separated by a single syllable. It was a favourite hypo- 
thesis of Mitford, that these two were the roots, from 
whence had sprung all the varied measures of our language; 
and that they were immediately connected with the common 
and triple times in music. Were the opinion as sound as 
H is ingenious^ we should find these metres standing out in 
more distinct and bolder relief, the deeper we penetrated 
into the antiquity of our rhythms. But, on the coutraryj 
we find all our older poems exhibiting a rhjthm of acompo- 
mteand intermediate character; and it is not till a period 
OcniEpmtively modern, that the common and triple measures ♦ 
disentangle themselves from the heap^ and form^ as it were^ 
ike two limits of our English rhythms. There can be no 
doubt — for we have contemporary evidence of the fact — 
that Anglo-Saxon verse was sung to the harp ; perhaps it 
may bo granted, that the common and triple times in music 
*«re then well-known and femiliar, but ifitford's error lay 
in assuming, that every syllable had its own peculiar note. 
The musical composer of the present day does not confine 
eachi}^Uab1e to a single note, and we have no reason for 
ioppodng that the Anglo-Saxon was more scrupulous, 
Bad he been aii, still it would have been impossible to have 
recited Anglo-Saxon verse with a musical accompaniment, 
whether in the common, or in the triple time. 



B. II. 


As there is always a tendency to dwell upon the accented 
BjUable, coeterh paribus^ a verse will be pronounced the more 
rapidly, the smaller the number of its accents. Hence the 
triple metre is more suited to light themes, and the conimoii 
metre to those of a more stately character. With the 
masters of the art^ the rhythm ever accommodates itself to 
the subject. We find it changing, as far as its nmge will 
allow, from the triple to the common measure, or from the 
common to the triple, as the subject changes from the lively 
to the sad, from motion to repose, or the contrary- The 
White Lady's song will afford us an example of the first 

Mer ] riljr flwiio | we, the moon | shines bright ] , 
Down I ward we drift | through shadjow and light |, 
Un I der yon rotk | the e<l | dies sleep | 
Cairn I mtd &i | leiU^ dark | mid deep | . 

W, Scott Monastertf, ch. 5. 

and the song of " my delicate Ariel '* of the second. 

Where [ the bee | Bucks, there | ^uck 1 1 , 

In I ft cows I lip's bell [ I lie | ; 

There | I couch | , when owls | do cry | . * 

On I Ihu Imt's | baek I | do flj | 

Af I ler sum | mer mer , rdy '■ , 

Mer I riitf^ mer \ n7y, xhtili | / Ihe now \ , 

Un I der the bio* \ mm that hangM | on the bough \ . 

Tempest^ 5, l.f 

If there be a givim number of accents, this change of 
rhythm will, of course, bring with it an increased number of 
syllables. This probably misled Pope, He seems to have 
thought, that, to represent rapid motion, it was sufficient to 
crowd his verse with syllables; and for this purpose he even 
added to the number of his accents ! Who can wonder st 
his fiiilure ? 

Not BO whou swift Camdla scoura the plain, 
FUee I o'er th* iinl>en[ding corn]: and skima | along | the miinj. 

Pope^ Eua^f on Criticitm, 372. 



The character of the triple measur© may, however^ be best 
illustrated by an examplej in which it has been misapplied. 
A worthy and a pious man describes the gnilt and feara of 
the adnner, in the following jingle; 

My soul I is beset | 
With grief I ami dismay | ; 
I owe I a Tfuit debt | 
And noth | ing can pay { . 

I mast I go to prii { on, 
Unlefta | that dear Lord | » 
Who died { and la ris { en, 
Hb mer I cy aflTurd I . 

■ With what a different rhythm does his *' friend '* clothe 
the subject 1 

My for I mer hopea | arc fled | 
My ter | ror now j begiDs | ; 
I fed I alas | : that I | am dead | 
In trea | paflies I and aim { . 

Again^ as the pronunciation of an accent requires some 

miiicnlar exertion, a verse is generally tho more energetic, 

Uie greater the number of its accents. Hence^ other things 

being equal, a yerse increases in energy, as its rhythm 

afiproaches the common measure, and a verse of the common 

BWisiire is moat energetic, when it begins and ends with an 

iccented syllable. Hence in great measure the beauty of 

f tke following war-song; 


tbe plough I : the loom | » the mine | 
the joys \ : the heart | entwiue | , 
our broth { em : on | the brine | , 


Arm j , 7c brave | , : or slav [ ery | 

For I our homes | : our all j , our name | ♦ 
Blast I a^'aiu | : the tj { mut'g aim | , 
Brit I ain*8 wrongs | : swift yen | geance claim | , 
Rush I to arms | : or slav | erj | . 

Again, what stem energy has Cowper breathed over the 

I •P'rit of the warrior queen I 

When ( the Brit | ish : war] rior queen | , 
Bleed [ ing from | : the Ro \ man rudfi | . 
Sought I with an { : indig j nant mien | « 
Coan { ael of I : her coun j try*s Oodi { , Stc. 


B- II. 

How differeBt the rhytluii from that, in wkich he intro- 
duces the heart-broken wretchedness of the slave, 

Wide o I ver tlie trem | iilous sea | 
The inr»on | shed her man | tie of li^ht|, 
And the hreeze [ , ^rently dy \ iuff away | , 
Breathed sofl j on the bos | om of uight | , &c. 


Some times a verse of the triple metre begins with an 
accented syllable, or as we shall hereafter terra it, begins 
abruptly. If it be short, so that the accented syllables be 
equal J or nearly equal, in number to the unaccented^ it com- 
bines considerable force and energy with great rapidity of 
ntterancci and is in some cases wonderfully effective. 

Rojbu] R{>|Ter 
8«id I to his crew ] , 
Up I with the hlack | flag 
Down I with the blue | » 


on the main { -top, 
on the bt»w|, 
on the ijiiti I *tlec^, 
down below I . 

W. Scott Pirate, eh. 32. 

When the verse increases in length, the energy witK 
which it begins soon dies away into feebleness; its rapidity j 
however, remains uninjured. Byron has chosen it, and no^ 
unhappily, to embody the tumultuous feelings and passion 3j| 
and the sad forebodings, which hurried through the sonl o 
Saul before hia battle with the Philistine, 

War I riors and chiefs ] . phouhl the i*hafl | or the sword | 
Pierce | me in lead | ing the host | of the Lord | , 
Heed | not the corse | ^ though a king's j , in your path I, 
Bur I y your steel | in the bos | oms of Gath [ . 

Thou I who art bear | ing my buck | ler and bow | , 
Should thesoljdiera of Saul j look away | from the foe|, 
Stretch I me that mo | ment in blood | at thy feet| , 
Mine | be the dooni | which they dared | not to meet | . 

Fare [ well to oth | ers, but nev [ er we part [ , 
Heir | to my roy | altj, son | of my heart |, 
Bright I is the di j adem, bound | les^s the sway | , 
Or king { ly the death { which a waits \ us to -day | . 

Hebrew Melodii*. 

C. I. 



When a verse or section opens with an accent, followed by 
two unaccented syllablea, the rapid utterance, immediately 
preceded by m oscular exertion, produces in some cases a 
very striking eftbct. Force, unless counteracted, always 
produces motion; the mind, almost instinctively, links the 
two together ; and such a flow of rhythm will frequently 
raise the idea^^ not merely of power, but of power in energetic 
■ action. Hence in great measure the beauty of the two 
examples last quoted* 

»The effect, however, of tliis particular rhythm is more 
felt in those metres, which approach nearer to the common 
measure, and so afford us the advantages of contrast. 

The fjates that now 

Stood open wide : belcli j mg outrage | ous flame | 

Far into Cliao»— P. L, 10. 231. 

A sea of blood : gusUM { from the gajping wound | . 

K Q, L 8. 16. 
^^^^— Then shall this niouni 


Of Paradise by miglit of waves be mov'd 

Out I of hia place | : push'd | by the horn I ed floo<l I . 

P. L, IL 

So steers the prude fit crane 

Her annual vojage^ borne on winds ; the air 
Floats I aa tliey pass]: fami'd | with unimm ( ber d plumes]. 

P. L, 7. 430. 

In the common measure^ this particular rhythm maj 
also sometimes express, very happily, a sudden change of 
feeling or of situation. 

* 1*11 give thrice so much land 

To any wcU-deserving friend— 

But in the wuy <jf bar^iiiii, mark ye rae 

111 cavil on the ninth \mti of a hair. 

Are I the inden | ture^ drawn | P : shall { we be gone | P 

1 ////r. 3. 1. 137. 
O fairest of creation! last and best 
Of all G(»d's works, creature in whom exccU'd 
Whatever can tti si^^ht or thoni;ht be formed 
Mcdy, divitie» gnnd, aiaiable, or sweet. 
How I art thou luistj : how | on a sudjden lost]! 

P, L, 9. 896. 

Occasionally, similar effects are produced by making 



B. n. 

two unaccented syllables follow the second accent in a 

section ; 

On a siitideii open fij 

With I Impet | uous recoO \ : and jarring sound 

Th* inferaol doors. P. L. 2, 879. 

*Tis an unnilj and ft hard-monthM horse * . . 

* Twill 110 uoHkilful to VIC I J endure. 

But iHngs I wri J ter and read | er too | : thai aita not sure. 

Cowieyf Pindaric Odes; The Regurrection, 

Again, sameneaa or similarity of rhythm may be made to 
answer several important purposes. It may be used to 
biTUg out more forcibly the points of a contrast ; 

if thou wilt eaj aj I : to my | request { , 
if thou wilt say no] : to mj | demand |. 

3 //. VL 3. 2. 79. 

Not Bleep ] ing, to | engross | : his i | dJc bod | j. 
But pray | ing, to | enrich | : his watch | fid aonl | . 

R, IIL 3. 7. 76. 

It will also aid in calling up in the mind the idea of 
succession ; 

So man | y ho ! urs : must 
So man I y lio iir» : must 

So man | y ho | urs : must 

I tend I my flock | , 
I take my rest | , 
I con I template | , &c. 

3 IL VL 2. 5. 31. 

1 ver hill I : o I ver dale | , 
Tho I ro bush I : tho | ro brier I » 

I ver park | : o | ver pale | , 
Tho I ro flood | : tho | ro lire | » 

1 do wander, ike. 

M. N, D. 2. 1. 2. 

Milton often represented in this way, a multitudinous 
succession. He used, for the same purpose, a recurrence 
of similar sounds^ and sometimes mere alliteration ; 

An I gtiisli and douh t | and fear | : and sor | row and pain | • 

P. L. L 558.1 

With ru|iji up|on ru | in : rout | on ront|, 

Confu I sion worse | eoiifoun | ded — P* Z. 2* WS^ j 

O'er shields | and helms | : and hel \ med heads | he rode ] . 

P. Z. 6* 840. 
Well have we Rpeeded^ and o'er hill and dale 
For I est and fiuld | and fluoti [ : tem \ jilea and tow'ers | , 
Cut shorter many a league. P. R, 3. 267. 


The peculiar nature of Anglo-Saxon poetry allowed great 
gc^pe for the recurrence of the same rhythm, and the ear of 
the Anglo-Saxon poet seems to have been moat sensitively 
alive to its beauty. In those paraUeUsviSj as Conybearo 
has termed them, which form so striking a feature of their 
lyric poemSj we find the rhythm evidently formed upon tho 
same model. It often rises and falls, in the two passages, 
with a flow and with pauses almost identical. 

When the accent is strongly marked, the rhythm has a 
pTecigion, which often gives it ranch force and spirit. 
Alliteration is sometimes used for this purpose ; 

On lut ] leg I dim : lath | um thcod \ urn. 

At foot^ thej laid on the loatlied bamh. 

The Bnumnburgk War-Song, 2% 

■ Courage yields 

Ko foot I to foe I : the fliLsh | ing fi { er flyea | 

As from a forge. F. Q. L 2, 17. 

When, on the contrary, the rhythm rests on weak and 
lecoadary accents, it has that character of languor and 
feebleness, which Milton seems to have affected, whenever 
be had to describe an object of overwhelming dimension or 

Insu I pcra | ble heiglit | : of lof [ tiest Bhadc | , 

Cedar and pine aii*l dr— P. L, 4. 138. 

A dark 

lUim ] ita 1 ble o I ceaa : with | out bound | . P. Z. 2, 89L 
Craggy cliiT tliat overliiing 

Still I ofl it rose | : impos ^ sible | to climb | . P. Z. 4. 547, 

Here | in perpet | ual : ag | any | ami pain | . P, L, 2. 86L 

8o he I with dif ^ ficul \ ty : and la { boiir hiird { 
Mo?*d on 1 1 with dif ^ ticyl , ty : aad k ^ botii' he | * 

P. Z. 2. 102L 

Cadmon and other Anglo-Saxon poets generally marked 
in emphatic word by means of tho sectional pause* They 
generally prefaced in this way the name of the Deity. 

' [lUtUer, "on their truck/'— W. W. S] 



B. II. 

Tha we | ron getet | te : wtd | e and aid { e 

Ttiiirh I ge weald | — ^od \ es : will j drcs beam | um. 

The J were j-set, wide aod far, 

Through the power of God, for the sods of Glory, 

Cadrnotty 10, 

Among later writers, we occasionally find the middle 
pause used for the like purposes ; 

With huge I force and | : in | supporta | ble mmn \ . 

F.Q.L 7.11.1 

Firm they might have 8t<x>d 

Yet fell I ; remem | ber and | r fear \ to tratiEgreas j . 


It may be doubted, whether the earliest rhythms, that 
were known to our Bace, were accentual or t-emporaL 
We have poems written by Englishmen as early as the 
seventh century, and others which were probably written 
in the fourth ; and in none of these are found the slightest 
traces of a temporal rhythm. But we must remember, that 
the Goths were a people very differently situated from 
those, which regulated their metres by the laws of qaantity. 
The Hindoos, Greeks, and Latins, were seUled races ; and 
were not till a late period in their history, subject to any 
those convulsionSj which change the character and fortu 
of a people. The other tribes, which formed the Indci 
European family — the Celts, the Goths, tho Slaves — ap| 
almost from tho first as migratory hordes ; and traverse 
one-fourth of the earth's circuit as fugitives or invade 
It is possible, that these fearful changes may have wroagl 
the same revolution in their poetry, that their own invasioi 
seem afterwards to have effected in the prosodial syatei 
of Greece and Rome. 

Again, there can be little doubt, that the Greek 
Latin metres were mere varieties of the Sanscrit ; and 

* fBui perhaps the accent waa on the Hcond sylkble of inmtpporiabU; 
p. 9:p, nnt^.-W. W. a] 




I Ae three races derived their rhythms from one common 
warce. Now the early Gothic dialects, in their syntax and 
their accidence, approach the Sanscrit fuO as nearly as do 
the Greek and Latin ; it is probable, therefore, that they 
may at one time have no leas reaembled the Sanscrit in 
their prosody. 

As, however, no temporal rhythms are to be fonnd incur 
iture^ this is an inquiry rather ctirious than usefuL A 
important question is — what are the forms in which 
mt^ntual rhythm made its first appearance amongst us. 

If the Song of the Traveller were composed in the fifth 
century, there must have been great variety of rhythm even 
at that early period ; as there certainly was in the seventh 
century, when Casdmon wrote. It is, however, probable, 
that the earliest rhythms were of a simpler and more uniform 
character. The short verses, which are found in the Anglo* 
Saxon war-songs, have at once a character of simplicity, 
lad one which shows most strikingly the advantages of 
the initial rime or alliteration* Most of the alliterative 
couplets have only four accents — very few indeed have ao 
many as six. The second section, almost invariably, begins 
with an alliterative syllable, and in most cases the first 
lection abo* Hence the flow of the rhythm is abrupt and 
bmble ; or, to use language more familiar than correct, it 
» generaUj trochaic or dactylic. 

The abrupt commencement of the second section was 
doubtless the chief reason, why the middle pause was so 
important in Anglu- Saxon poetry. The sharp and sudden 
diririon between the two sections was well fitted for the 
tttnunation of a period ; and we accordingly find more 
•flBleiices ending in the middle, than at the end of a 
ooDplek This is a very striking peculiarity of Anglo- 
Saxon verse. 

When writing on more serious subjects, the Anglo- 

SiJton poet generally lengthened his rhythms, and fre- 

tjoenily employed couplets of six or even seven accents, 

Tbe actions also more commonly began with unaccented 

:s; but the middle pause still retained its impor- 



B, IX. 

When a section contained tlirce or more accents, it 
generally approached more nearly to the common measure, 
tiian to the triple ; but that the flow of the triple measure 
iraa neither unknown nor altogether disfavoured, ia clear 
from Beveral passages in the Song of the Traveller, In 
most cases, however, the rhythm was not sufficiently 
continuous, to give it that marked and peculiar character 
which ia observable — and sometimes very obtrusively so — 
in modern versification. 

The authority of Bede seeDis to be decisive* against 
Anglo-Saxon metre^ meaning by that word any law, which 
confines the rhythm within narrow bounds, either as to 
the number of syllables or of accents. Our scholars were 
probably the first to bend the neck to the yoke; and the 
ecclesiastical chants seem to have been the chief means of 
spreading it among the people. 

Accentual rhythms with four accents were in frequent 
use, among our latinists, at a very early period j but were 
not adopted into our vernacular poetry till the twelfth 
century. The influence of this new metre was very widely 
felt, even in our alliterative poetry. One of the distinctions 
between the rhythm of Layamon and of his Anglo-Saxon 
predecessors, is the great number of riming coupleta 
formed upon this model. 

Bub the accentual verse of fifteen syllables, formed after 
the Tetrameter Iambic Catalectic^ and which overspread the 
Greek and Latin churches in the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries, worked the greatest changes in our English 
rhythms. The long verses of six or seven accents, in 
which were written the Lives of the Saints, and so many 
other works of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were 
its direct descendants ; and, through these, we may 
connect it with our psalm metres, and other varieties of 
what are sometimes called our Lyric Measures. Their in- 
fluence also on our alliterative poetry produced, in the 

* Tim passage in Bede here feft?rr&d to is fiir several reasons obscaroj biit| 
on furlhi'r t'oiiitiituraljttu, I wuulil i&yj ibut ir canaot poesibJy h^Qi' U19 infeivim 
which is here drawn from it. 

C. I, 



thirteeDth century, that variety, which we have designated 
as the Old English alliterative metre* In this metre^ the 
verses had seldom leas than six^ and generally seven 
accents^ of which the first section contained four ; whereas, 
in Anglo-Saxon verse, the section which contained the four 
accents was generally the second. The middle pause too, 
was invariably subordinate to the final. The rhythm 
inclined very generally to the triple measure. In this 
metre were written some of our best, though least known, 
romances, and some of our finest satires* It lingered in 
Scotland, and in the north of England, till the reign of 

After alliteration, aa a system, had been lost, some 
writers wished to unite the utmost license of alliterative 
lliytbm with the forms of a later and more artificial system. 
Hence, we had lines of four, five, or six accents, and which 
oontained every variety of rhythmical flow, arranged in 
staves, frequently of the most complex structure. I have 
borrowed a term used by a royal critic, and called these 
slovenly verses the " tumbling " metre. Skelton and 
many of Eis contemporaries patronised it. 

The short and riming couplets of four^ five, or six 
accents, in which some of our earlier romances were 
written — King Horn, for example— seem to be the lineal 
descendants of the riming Anglo-Saxon poems. They 
differ from their predecessors, merely in dropping the 
alUteration, and confining the rime within narrower limits; 
liie rhythm is but slightly changed. The same short 
rerses are found, strongly affected by foreign influences, 
in the lai/s and virelays of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries ; and there can be little doubt that the *' short 
measures'^ of Skelton, '* pleasing only the popular eare/' 
which Puttenham so strongly inveigha against, were 
baoded down by tradition, as the genuine representatives 
i^f the same venerable stock. 

Our heroic verse, as it has been called of late, was 
formerly known by the more homely appellation of riding 
^»»w. It was familiarly used by our countrymen, in their 
mach poems, as early as the 12th century; but Hampole, 



B. II. 

or whoever was the author of the Prick e of Consciencej 
appears to have been the first who wrote in it any Eoglish 
poem of consequence. 

Chaucer strictly confined this rhythm to five accents, 
but certainly allowed himself great freedom in the number 
of hU syllables. Hia rhythm, however, always approaches 
that of the common measure, and is wndely different from 
the impudent license of the tumbling metre. The writers 
of EH^abeth's reign, though they iDtroduced the Alexan- 
drine, tied the verso of five accents to greater precision ; 
and in this they were followed by Milton* The school of 
Dry den and Pope narrowed its rhythm yet more ; and aa 
they loft it, it had since continued. 

This slight notice may prepare the reader for the use of 
certain terms, which it has been found convenient to employ 
in the following chapters. Before, however^ we proceed, I 
would call hia attention to a subject, very nearly connected 
with the one before us, and upon which, as it seems to me, 
very serious mistakes have prevailed of late years. 


From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century^ the pro* 
nunciation of our language varied much in diflerent coon- 
ties. In some the shorter vowels were very generally 
elided, in others they were scrapuloualy preserved. Some 
writers always pronounced the following words with two 
syllables, enmi/e, destnyej viciry, couuslour, &c., and wrote 
them accoi^dingly ; while others, who sometimes gave them 
an additional sjUable, wrote them either with a mark of 
elision en^iny, or in full enemif. The right to drop a syllable 
is claimed by our modem poets, in many hundreds of 
instances ; but whether the spelling should warn the reader 
of their intention to exercise such right, has been doubted. 

As this is, in some degree, a question of orthography, 
which is so much a matter of convention, we will first 
inquire what has hitherto been the prevailing usage. 

During the reign of Elizabeth, we find the orthography 
far more generally accommodated to the rhythm in poems 

a I, ELISION, 173 

of a strict and obviouB metre, than in those where the 
rhythm waa loose— in the poems of Churchjarde, Gas- 
coigne, and other writers of the ballet-stanza, than in the 
works of our dramatists* We may concludej therefore, 
that the printers were at that time ready to assist, and, as 
far as their knowledge went^ actually did assist the reader 
in the scansion of the verse. 

Shakespeare, it is well known, never printed his works ; 

the first folio, now, in more than one sense, tlmr to the 

collector, was edited by the players. We cannot expect 

that the orthography would be more attended to than the 

sense, which is often obscnre and even nnintelligible. We 

may find the same word spelt two and even three different 

ivays in the same pag© i the contracted word is often found 

written at full length, and the word which has its fnll quota 

of syllables, is found contracted. But, on the lolwlef there 

is evidently a wish to spell according to the pronunciation. 

The Paradise Lost was printed during the blindness of 

Milton, under the supervision of his nephew. Some 

cksaes of words had their contractions indicated, and 

others not ; for instance, the elision of the final vowel is 

aoticed in the article, but not in other words, Bcntley 

observes that Milton " in thousands of places melts down 

the vowel at the end of a word, if tho following word 

begins with a vowel. This poetical liberty he took from 

the Greeks and Latins ; * but he followed not the former, 

who strike the vowels quite out of tho text, but the latter, 

who retain them in the line, though they are alisorbed in 

the speaking/' Therefore to help " such readers as know 

not, or not readily know where euch elision is to take 

phoe,'^ he marks such vowels with an apostrophe. He 

•eems also to have distinguished between words, that 

regularly elided the short vowel, and those, which did so 

only occasionally, writing weUrhig without an apostrophe, 

bat con^ror with one. Milton's next editor, Newton, 

iomewhat varied the orthography. He warns tho reader 

of tho eliBion of the short vowel after the long one, as in 

^ BiatJejr wu a Greek scholar, bat certainly noi im English one ; see p» 69. 



B. II, 

riiitj he'ing, &c., and wrote prison^ reasonj instead of 
Bentley's prison ami reason. Later editors " have endea- 
voured to deserve well of their country/' by clearing" 
Milton^s page of these deformities, Tho merit of the task 
cannot well be less than its difficulty. 

It would not be difficult to assign a motive for the 
strong feelings that has prevailed during the laat half cen- 
tury, against the old and " barbarous ^' orthography. 
Though Tyrwhitt objected to Urry^a mode of marking the 
final e when vocal, sweih^ halve ^ *.^c*j as *' an innovation in 
orthography," and ** apt to mislead the ignorant reader, 
for whom it only could he iniended" he must have been 
conscious, that upon this subject (perhaps the most 
difficult that can b© submitted to an English scholar) no 
reader could be more ignorant than himself But there 
was little fear of criticism, and who would volunteer a con- 
fession of ignorance ? Even Giflford, whoBO stem good 
sense, and austere honesty might, one would have thought, 
have stemmed the current, boasts of rescuing Jonson from 
'*\the uncouth and antiquated garb of his age;"' and 
when editing Massinger, prides himself upon the " removal 
of such barbarous contractions, as conq*ring, ad'mant, 
rancorous, ignorant, &c.^' Yet it would be easy to point out 
many hundreds of verses, the right reading of which, owing 
to these *' silent reforms," has ever since been a mystery to 
the general reader ; and some, which I suspect, it would 
have puzzled the editor himself to have scanned correctly. 

Those who object to the '^ syncopes and apocopes,*' 
belong chiefly to two classes. In the first place, there are 
some, who presume upon the reader's knowledge, and 
think with Tyrwhitt, that h© who knows not where to 
contract the es and the ed, that is, the terminations of the 
plural and of the perfect, '^ had better not trouble his 

^ He proceeds wUh firange tnconsistencyt and a singular furgetftilnesi i 
wh»t was the real usage of the time, to observti *^ The barbajroUB oonlractia 
tilt' ne fore, the sjtKMpes iind apocoj^s wliieli deformed the old folios (for i 
qyarkis ore remarkubl y free from them) have been regulated, and tbi* ap 
ance of the |»oet's page asaimiJated iri a gnmi degree to iha4 of hu con temp 
rorMur, wbu spoke and wrote the same langiiage as hinisetf/* 


about the rersiBcation of Chaucer/' There are others, 
who think the elision or the pronynciation of the vowel a 
matter of indifference, and that if the ear be not offended 
hy anj "cacophony/* the rhythm must be satisfied. 

I would submit to the first of these classes, the three 
following^ lines, which were once brought forwaixj to show 
thai OUT heroic verse would admit three syllables, in any 
on© of the three first feet j 

OmiDoiut { conjecture on the wbole sncceas. 

P, L, 2. 123. 

A ptl { lar of stite | deep on Lis fnmt engrttTen. 

P, Z. 2, 302. 

Celestkl ipir | iU in Imju | dtge nor the abyss. 

P, l,\. U%, 

also the two lines, which Bishop Newton quotes, to 
prove that our heroic verse would admit either a '' dactyle " 
or an " anapaest ; " ' 

Harl'd headlong flaming from tV ethCrBiil bIcj. 

P. Z. 1.45. 

Myriads though bright ! if he whom mutual Icafr^ie — 

P, L, L 87. 

Now, if the most admired of Milton's editors were 
igBOra&t of the real number of syllables contained in the 
wordi, €0iere4il and myriads ; if a critic of Tjrwhitt^s 
ffpnlation did not know that ovtinous, piilar, and spirit 
itre to be pronounced oyn'nous, pillar, and gp^rif ; can we 
fcirly expect such knowledge to flashy as it were by 
mtoition, upon the nninstructed reader ? 

Of late yearSj however, the fashmnable opinion has 
boiii, that in snch caries the vowel may be pronounced 
without injury to the rhythm. Thelwall discovered in 
Milton "an appogtaiura, or syllable more than is counted 

ih the bar," and was of opinion that such syllables ** con- 
ititate an essential part of the expressive harmony of the 

* IWffMkr ii««d hardly he (old how confused are ihe Edllor'i notiooa upon 
otaeeeni and qfuijttity. 



B, ir. 


best, writers, and should never in typography or utterance 
be superseded by the barbarous expedient of elision." He 
marks them with the short quantity^ and reads the follow- 
ing verses one with twelve, and the other with thirteen 
syllables I 

CovSriug the heach, and blftc^k^ning all the strand. Dryden, 

Ungratefiil offering to thfi immortal powers. Pofte, 

But there are men^ entitled to our respect, whose 
writings, to a certain extent, have countenanced this error. 
Both Wordsworth and Coleridge use certain words, as 
though they still contained the same number of sylkbles, as 
in the time of Shakespeare. Thus they make deluaie a 
dissyllable, yet would certainly shrink from pronouncing it 
deVcate. The associations connected with this Shake- 
spearian dissyllable were doubtless the motive; but they 
are purchased much too dearly if the rhythm be sacrificed. 
The pettiness of the delinquency cannot be pleaded ; for if 
a short and ^^ evanescent ^' syllable may be obtruded, so 
may also a long one* 

That the poets and critics of Elizabeth's reign did not 
entertain the same opinion on this subject, as their editors, 
is certain, '^ This poetical license^** Gascoigne observe©, 
*' is a shrewdo fellow, and covereth many faults in a verse, 
it maketh wordea longer, shorter, of mo syllableB^ of fewer 
, , . and to conclude, it turkeneth aU things at pleasure ^ for 
example ♦ . , orecome for overcome, tarie for la ken ^ power for 
pomre^ heaven for heavn^ &c." Gabriel Harvey, after 
entering his protest against the us© of heavn, teavn, eleavn, 
evn, divl, &c,, as dissyllables, the same being contrary to 
the received pronunciation of the day, proceeds, *' Marry, 
I confesse, some wordes we have indeed, as fayer either 
for beautiful or for a marte, ayer both pro acre and pro 
h^rede, for we say not heirey but plaine aire ^ for him to 

' Tlie old Eiiglifih lyr a son* answering tn the DitU b oir an offjipringt 
first Bpelt with an h^ tluriii|^ the llith cciitiirj j the pedantry of the age^ 
c'fjursPj seeing nol!iin|T bxit a Latin ori^nal, hates. In like manner, our 
man of travel writes Miii with an e, mite ; tliong^h the wurd litis foriutHl 
our volipLT tongue ainw the days of Alfred. [See my note on this.— VV. W* 

C. I, 



(or else Scoggms's aier were a poor jest) , whiche are com- 
monly and maye indifferently be used either wayes. For 
fihall as well and as ordinarily lieare fayer h&faire, and 
aa aire, and both alike, not only of dy vers and sundrie 
ins, but often of the very same ; otherwhiles using the 
otherwyles using the other ; and so died or ifydt, sfried 
mtpide, tryed or iryde^fyer orfyre, myer or myre, with an 
infinite number of the same aorte^ sometime monosyllaba, 
sometime polysyllaba," He also objected to some of 
Spenser's "trimetra" (that is, English verses written on 
Ao model of the Trimeter Iambic) that they had a foot too 
ttuiny, unless it were *' sawed off with a payre of syncopes, 
uid then should the orthographie have testified so muche; 
and instead of heuve^di virginal s^ you should have written 
kmmdi mrgnals, and again, virgnah again© in the ninth, 
ifid should have made a curtoU of immm^to in the laste, 
kef* Hence it is clear that the ** barbarous contractions *' 
80 much inveighed against, are not chargeable upon the 
ignorance of the printer ; they form part of a system of 
orthography, deliberately adopted by men of education, to 
Riita particular state of our htnguage ; and it seems to be 
«« absurd, to exchange these peculiarities of spelling for 
tho«e of modem date, as it would be to pare down the 
IngQage of Homer to the AUlrism of the Tragedians. 
Tka blunders of the transcriber and printer consisted chiefly 
ill mtMapplying the orthography of the day ; it is the duty 
of an editor (and sometimes not an easy duty) to correct 
iliese blunders, and not to shrink from the responsibility, 
nader the pretence of purifying the text. The works of 
Bums have the spelling accommodated to the rhythm ; 
^y not those of Shakespeare and his contemporaries t 


In the next chapter we shall consider those verses which 
flint of a single section ; or, in other words, our verses of 
>and three accents. The third chapter will be devoted 
*o (h(} verse of four accents ] the fourth to such verses of 
&▼€ accents, as contain two in the first section ; and the 




fifth to such verses as contain three. The sixth chapter 
will discuss the verse of six accents. In the seventh we 
shall consider those verses which contain a compound 
section ; and in the last^ those which admit the sectional 

C. 11. 





In certain staves, we meet with lines containing only 
one accent. These in the 13th and 1-ith centuries aeldom 
contained more than one or, at most, two syllables; and 
lesm to have been known by the expressive name of hobs ^ 
that is pendants. They will be noticefl in the last book ; 
for in no point of view can they be considered as verses. 
The same may be said of the lines containing one accent 
and three syllables, which some of our modern poets have 

Hearts beat | lug 
At meet|inp, 
Tears start | ing 
At part j ing. 

It wonld be absurd to call these lines verses. Two of 
ttem, if joined together, would form the section 6 L with 
w« double rime — a riming section, which, for ages hag 
keen familiar to our poetry. They ought to have been 
^tten accordingly, 


The section 1* of two accents is rarely met with as an 
independent verse. The cause was evidently its short- 
Stts. Shakespeare, however, has adopted it into that 
pecoUar rhythm, in which are expressed the wauts and 
wiihea of his fainj-land. This rhythm consists of abrupt 
TCrses of two, three, or four accentB ; it belongs to the 
common measure, and abounds in the sectional pause. 
tTnder Shakespeare*s sanction, it has become classical, and 
most now be considered as the fnir^ dialect of English 



On I the ground | 

Sleep sound, 

rU apply I 

To f your eye | , 
Gentle lover, remedy. 

When I thou wak'stj, 

Thou tak'st 

True I delight I 

In I the sight | 
Of thy former lady's eye. 

M. N, D. 3. 2. 448. 

The section 1 L was common in those short rhythms, 
which abounded in the 16th century under the patronage 
of Skelton, Drayton, and others their contemporaries. 
Campion actually wrote a madrigal in this measure, which 
he called the Anacreontic ; 

Fol j lowe, fol I lowe, 
though I with mis | cliiefe 
arm*d | like wbirle { -wind 
now I she flies | thee ; 
time I can con | quer 
loves I unkind I nes; 
love I can al { ter 
times I di8grac|es; 
till I death faint { not 
then, I but fol | lowe. 


Could I I catch | that 
nimb | le tray { ter, 
skorii I full Law { ra, 
swift I -foote Law { ra, 
soone J then would | I 
seeke [ avenge {ment; 
what's I th' avenge | ment ? 
ev'n I submisse|ly 
pros I trate then | to 
beg I for mer | eye. 

Sections 2. 2 Z. are not uncommon; 

The steel we touch, 
Forc*d ne'er so much, 
Yet still removes 
To that it loves. 


Till there it stays ; 

So I to your praise | , 

I turn ever ; 

And though never 

From you moving, 

Hap I py so lov | ing. Drayton. An AmoureL 

But the Section 5. was^ as might have been expected, 
the chief staple of these short rhythms ; 

Most good, I most fair, | 

Or things | as rare | 

To call I you*8 lost | ; 

For all I the cost I 

Words can bestow 

So poor I ly show | 

Upon I your praise | , 

That all | the ways | 

Sense hath, | come short | . Drayton, The tame. 

Section 6. was sometimes met with ; 

Pleasure it ys 

To here I-wys 

The birds syngynge ! 

The dere | in the dale | , 

The shepe | in the vale { 

The come spryngyng. 


Gods purveyance 
For sustenance, 
It is for man ! &c. 

Ballet^ toritten about 1500. 


The Secticns 1. and 1 Z. with three accents are fre- 
quently met "^ith. There is one kind of metre in which 
these verses occur alternately. It has been revived by 

Fill the bumper fair, 

Ev'ry drop we sprinkle, 

O'er the brow of Care, 

Smooths^ away a wrinkle, &c. 



B, n. 

The Section 2. is not unfrequently mixed up with th©1 
other Sections of three accents ; 

Tbis wliile we are abroad^ 

Shall I wc not tout'h | our Ijre | ? 

BliflU I we not sing | an ode | ? 

Shall that holy fire, 

In us that strongly glowed. 

In thifl cold air expire f 

Drayton. An Ode written in the Ptak, 

MUton has given ns one Bpecimen of 3 I, 

Sabrina fair 
Lis I ten where | thou art sit | tiog 
Uuder the glassy, cool, traixfilucent wave, 

la twisted braids of lilies knitting 
The looie train of thj funber-dropping hair. 

Comui, 859. 

The Sections 5. and 5 I. have been alternated ; they form 
a very pleasing metre ; 


Ere God { had built j the moun | tains^ 
Or raisM [ the fruit | ful hills | , 
Before | he fill' d | the foun [ tains, 
Tbat feed | the tun \nmg rilU j , 
In tne | from ev [ erlas | ting 
The woB|derfnl | 1 AM 
Found pleai* ] nres nev | cr wast ] ing, 
And Wis \ dom is | mj name | . 

When, like | a tent | to dwell I in. 

He spread | the Bkiea [ abroad], 

And Hwatli'd { about | tbe swel { ling 

Of o 1 ceanig migh | ty flood | , 

He wrought { by weight { and meaa | ure, 

And I I was with | him then \ , 

Myaelf I tbe Fa | ther s pleas j ure, 

And mine | tbe sons | of men | . Cowper. Prov, 8, 

The Section 5 t was mnch favoured during the IGth 
century* We have songs, some of good lengthy entirely 
composed of it, though, generally speaking, it occurred at 


Section 9. is of constant occurrence in our old ballads and 
popular songs ; 

Over Ottercap hill they cam in, 

And so dowjn | by Rod | cljffe cragge { , 
Upon Grene Lejton they lighted down, 

Styrande many a sta^e. Battle of Otterhum^ sL 3. 

Bums often used it^ as in his humourous song on John 
Barleycorn ; 

They Ve ta*en a weapon, long and sharp, 

An* cut him by the knee, 
Then tied him fast upon a cart 

Like a rogne | for for | gerie | — 
*T will make a man forget his woe, 

*T will heighten all his joy, 
*T will make the widow's heart to sing 

Tho* the tear | were in | her eye { . 

This verse has very little to recommend it. 



B. 11. 



In the present chapter^ we shall consider our verses of 
four accents as made up of two sections, and range them 
accoi*ding to the order of the combinations* 

This is not an artificial law, invented for the mere pur- 
poses of arrangement ; it is the model upon which the great 
majority of these verses have been actually formed. The 
con.struction of the Anglo-Saxon couplet of four accents is 
rendered obvious to the eye, by the use of the rhythmical 
dot } and that the verse or couplet of four accents was 
formed in the same manner as late as the thirteenth century, 
is clear from Layamon, and other poets of that period. That 
the adoption of foreign metre brought with it into oar 
language many verses, which neither had, nor were intended 
to have, the middle pause, may perhaps be granted; but 
that our poetry quickly worked itself clear from such ad* 
mixture is no less cert^iin. The critics of Elizabeth^s reigD 
insist upon the middle pause almost unanimously. They 
differed sometimes as to its position, and did not entertain 
the clearest notions as to its nature or its origin j but all 
seem to have acknowledged it as a necessary adjunct of 
English verse. 

Gascoigne tells us, there are '' certain pauses or restes in 
averse, whiche may be called Ceasurea, whereof I woulde be 
lotho to stande long, since it is at discretion of the wrytef, 
and they have bene first devised {as should seeme) by tb 
musicians; but yet thus much I will adventure to wryt 
that in a verse of eight sillables the pause will stand best i 
the middest, &c/' In like manner, Sir Philip Sidney 
presents English verse, unlike the Italian or Spanish, 
" never almost^' failing of the " ceesura or breathing place j 

c. HI. 



and King James has urged its importance on his reader, 

and with reaaoning that good sense might adopt even at 

the present day. " Remember also to make a sectiotm in 

the middes of everie lyne, quhethir the line be long or 

■hort." If the verse be of twelve or fourteen fljllable«*, the 

section oo^ht specially to be " othir a monosyllabe, or the 

Unmest syllabe of a word, always being lang/* for if it be 

"the first syllabe of a polysyllabe, the music schall make zou 

8a to rest in the middes of that word, as it schall cut the 

ane half of the word fra the uther, and sa shall niak it seme 

twa different wordiSj that is bot ane/^ He thinks indeed the 

same caution not necessary in the shorter lines^ because 

"the masique makes no rest in the middes of tbame; '* but 

woald have "the sectioan in them kythe something longer 

Qor any other feit in that line, except the second and the 

bttt/' His mistake, in considering the middle pause merely 

•8 a rest for music, led him to confine his rule thus narrowly* 

The verse of four accents he divided like Gascoigne. 

It is clear, I think, that in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries the middle pause was looked upon as essential -, 
tnd that the verse of four accents was still formed of two 
wctions, as in the Anglo-Saxon period. When we meet 
Wh sttch verses as the following ; 

Quiding the fiery : -wheeled tlirone 
The cherub Con : t^amplatiuii. 

J I Penaeroso^ 53. 

I do not see how we can treat them otherwise than as f?dse 
Aythm ; or if the middle pause be disowned, at leaat rc'nuire 
that they should not intrude among verses of a different 
ckamcter and origin. If the poet make no account of the 
|*Qde, let him be consistent, and reject its aid altogether. 
If he prefer the rhythm of the foreigner, let him show his 
ttgeumty in a correct imitation, and not fall back upon our 
8oghah verse, when his skill is exhau^sted. Both foreign 
M English rhythm are injured, by being jumbled together 

i this slovenly and inartificial manner. 

f In ranging our verses of four accents, we shall take the 

at sections in their order^ and place under each the 

•, of which such section forms the commencement. 



B. II. 

We shall then take the section lengthened* and doubly 
lengthened. The same order will regnlate the second 
sections of each verse. Thus we shall begin with the 
verses I : I, I : I I, I All, I : 2, \ : 21, I i 211, &c., and tW 
proceed to 2 : 1, 2 : H, 2 : 1 H ; 2 : 2, 2 : 2 f, 2 : 2 11, &c. 


The verse 1 : lAs met with in our old romances ; an^ 
occurs so often in the fairy dialect of the sixteenth centuryJ 
as to form one of its most charactemtic features. It is noi 
obsoletej but was occasionally used during the last century. 

He bethnught him nedely .... 
Hovr I he myght | : veng | ed be | 
On that lad J f&yrt; and f'rc. 

The Squyr uf low degrt, 293 ; ed, Rit§mk. ' 

Where the place ? upon the heath j 
There | to meet | : with | Macbeth | . 

O I ver hill j : o | ver dale | , 
Tho I ro bush | : tho | n\ brier | ^ 
O I ver park | : o | ver pale | , 
Tho I ro flood | ; tho [ ro fire | , 
I do wander ev*ry wliere, 
Swifter than the iuood's sphere. 

Yet I but three | : conie | one more | » 
Two of both kinds makes up four. 
Here { eHc comes I : curst [ and sad | : 
Ciipid is a Itnavbh lad^ 
Thuj; to make poor females sad. 

HeiM* be berries for a queen, 
Some I be red | : some j be greco \ * 

I I must go I ; I I must run [ « 
Swilter than the fierj sun. 

There | I stop | : fly [ away | 
Ev*ry thing, that loves the day ; 
Truth I that hath | : but | one face | , 
Thus 1 charm thee from this place. 

Some I timea b wift | : some | times alow | 
Wave succeeding wave they go^ 
A various journey to the deep, 
Like human life, to endless sleep. 

Macbeth, \, L6. 

M. N. D. 2. L 1. 

M, N, D. 3. 2. 438. 

FlHehers I\ Sh. LI, 

Id. F. Sh. l. L 

Id. F. Sh. 3. 1. 

Dyer's Grongar HilL 


pi the last extract the vorse rather pleasos than offonds, 
[the dreamineas of the reflection suits well with its asso- 
jfciona. Indeed, the poet's whole landscape is mere fairy- 
td. In the following example^ I ain by no means sure 
It the line ought not to be read with three accents. But 
W we see the pronoun me accented in the seventh line ; 
pi remember the light imaginative style of the poetry j 
|d above aU, bow deeply Milton had drunk in the rhythms 
fFletcher; the balance will probably turn in favour of the 
Icr accents. 


O'er the smooth cnamell*d green, 

Wluere no print of step hath been, 

Fol ^ low me j : &s | I aing j , ' 

And touch the warbled strings 

Under the shatly roof 

Of branching elm star-proof, 
Follow me ; 
I wiB bring you whei'e she wts, &c. Arcades , 84. 

This is the only instance of tho rhythm in Milton* 
The verse 1 : 1. is rarely found lengthenod ; and then 
isQoat always in our old romances. 

Welcum ertou, king Arthoure 
Of al thj5 werld thou bercH the tlowr 
boird * Kyng [ : of | all kyng | es, 
Aod bles9e<i be he that the hrynges* 

Iwaine and Oawiuy 1409. 
1 ■ 2. and 1 : 2 L are rare, 

See the day begins to break. 

And I iJie light | : shoots | like a streak | 

Of subtle lire, Fletcher, Fa, Sheph. 4. 4. 

let I dietn sleep { : let | them sleep on ] 
Till tbie stormy night be jpoue, 
And tb' eternal morrow dawn. 

Cro^haw, Epitaph upon a Hutbmui and Wife* 

^ bifl wouad again i^ burst, 

K^p I him near | r here ] in the wood | , 

TDl I bare stoppM these streams of blood. 

Fteteher. Fa. Sheph. 5. 2. 

'.^i* hsn a diasjilabb, M.E. laverd, A.S> hldf&rd. [But aile, being 
Bil^ ^ i2in i^yljjiljii;^ Q^nfl tiic tj„e should run tbua : La | verd kyng i : of 

fm , «Vv«i «f^l : whtm fcoifp \ mm 
Tmim { mtd mhtm [ : 0m wjiM *««f g^] m 
l b r u t I im4 #V« I ; fW pco pJe fii I icw, 

*9i!ii/#. Bride of Ltfmmermoar^ dl. 3* 

It V, )a n< rM MffMilly fouod in our ballads and old 

M1m( iiHi7«if« HimU rliui in Kthtroinn 

Al««l iIii^MmhI Mnil Ma cum ipmiy I 

Wmiu *7l* MiitnKU ihft hi*/ inouiUitiiiN, The Bnice, 3. 367. 

An llit« «i*tMiiMU It In mro in Anglo-Saxon verae^ we hare 
Hi yifti Uit»l ¥rUh l\iw Hllitc^mtivtv eouplota; but many an 

III V K«MI ^^ Hlh^ WlNi W«ll« 

M» ^m^fi i^vJi iumwk 





IThe Anglo-Saxon couplets will be classed according to 
B alliteration. The number^ ranged under each head, will 
re the reader some notion of the comparative frequency of 
^ occurrence in Anglo-Saxon verse j 


hel I le heaf ] as : heard j e nilh | aa, 
wer I leas wer | od : wal | dend sen • de. 
gim I ungren { e : gar { secg theali { te. 
Scir I lun scim \ an : scip | pend ur { e. 

Cisdmfm, Gen. 38, 
Cetdmon^ Oen^ 67. 

CadmoH, Gen, 117. 

Cadmon^ Gen, 137. 

liord I and ham { as : bet | tend crun ■ gon, 

BrttimnhurgK Wttr-song^ 10. 

«vg j lideti I dam : wic I tres bro | gan. 

eorth [ ao tud | dor : eall | acwel { de. 

beaf I od ed I ra : heab | gesceat'j ta. 

Hf I e* bryt | ta : leoht [ w»s sor | est, 

fbnn I an sith | e : fvl { de hel | le. 

CVcc I a ric I es : cutb | w«8 wid | e, 

Crec I a drib | ten : camp | sted sec | aii. 

For I auld stor | y% : that | men red { js, 
B^preseatis to tbaim tbe dedys 
OfftUlwart folk. 

Ctedmon, Gen, IdSiJ. 

Cmdmony Gen. 1402, 

Cmdmon^ Gen* 4. 

Cadmon, Gen, 129. 

CtBdmoH^ Gen. 319. 
.4//rf^, 3/e/. 26. U. 
Alfred^ Met 26. 14. 

The Bruce, L 17. 

I:l4rtirs mcrewe, foiaon plenty, 

Barm | and gani | ers : nev | er emp \ ty, 

Virifti I witb ulus [ triag : huiicb ea grf>w ] ing» 

Plants I with good Ij : liiirj then bow | ifij^. 

Sprint? I come to | yon : at | the far \ lUasu 

In I tbe ver | j : end | of bar | vest. 

iiiafeitj and want sbiill shun vou« 

Osr\eA ble8{sing : lo | is on { you. Tempest, 4. L ItO. 

1 li 2. is found in Anglo-Saxon, but very rarely in 

ph I with otbjre : ut | feor adrafj. 
yth| a wr»c | on : an | leasra feorh | . 
A)r I luid fearm | e : fier | e ne moH | tern. 
and beah I setl : beof [ ona ric I e». 

Alf. Met 26. 30. 

Cad. Gen. 1385. 

Cad, Gen, 1394. 

Cied, Gen, 33. 

wttl|dre* etb |el t wrnhr | waj« a^prung | en. Cad, Gen. 83. 


drig I e stow { e : dug | otha hjrd | e. Cttd, Oen. 164. 

man { na swith { ost : man { cgra thiod | a. Alf, Met, 26. 55, 

Will I he woo | her ? : ay | or Fll hang | her. 

T. of the Shrew, 1. 2. 198. 

II: 5. was a well-known couplet in Anglo-Saxon. It 
was very common in our old romances^ and was still flourish- 
ing as late as Elizabeth's reign. It must now be considered 
as obsolete ; 

Oht I mid eng { lum : and or { leg uith { . Cted, Oen, 84. 

^f{en sr|e8t : him arn | on lastj. Citd, Oen, 138. 

wrath I iim weorp { an : on wil { dra lie | . Alf. Met. 26. 76. 

Ag I amem | non : se eal { les weold { . Alf, Met, 26. 10. 

Sceot I ta leod | a : and scip { -flotan | . 

Brunanburgh Wctr-eong, 11. 

njm I the heo | wss : ahaf | en on j [tha hean lyft]. 

C€ed, Gen. 1401. 
Storyss to rede are delitabill, 
Supposs that thai be nocht hot fabill ; 
Than | suld stor I yss : that suth | fast wer | , 
And thai war said on gud maner, 
Hawe doubill plesance in heryng ; 
The first plcsaunce is the carpyng, 
And I the toth | ir : the suth | fastnes | 
That schawys the thing rycht as it wes ; 
And I suth thing | is : that ar | likand | 
Tyll mannys hcryng are plcsand. The Bruce^ 1.1. 

Set me a new robe by an olde, 
And I coarse cop | par ; by duck | ate gold | , 
An ape unto an elephante, 
Bruck I le byr | all : by di | amante | , 
Set I rich ru | by : to redd | emayle | , 
The raven's plume to peacoke's tayle, 
There shall no less an oddes be seene 
In myne, from everye other queenc. 

Puttenham, Partheniadee, 15. 

When I build castles in the air, 

Void I of 8or | row : and void | of care | . 

Burton, Anat, of Melancholy, 

Wei I come wel | come : ye dark | blue waves | . 

Byron, Ch, Harold, 1. 13. 10. 


The lengthened verse is more rare ; 

8eow I and set|te : geond sefjan mon|na. 

Codex Exon. Christ, 663. 

Wil j lebum an : on wor | uld thring ' an. 

Ctfrf. Gen, 1373. 

Verses beginning with 1 U, are occasionally met with, but 
chiefly in the tumbling yerse ; for instance III-. 1. ; 

With I him man { fully : fur | to fight ' . 

M.for M. FUxid. Fielde, 2. 

With I such ho | liness : can | you do | it. 

H. VL 2. 1. 26. 

It would be useless to mark down every variety, which 
has been stumbled upon by the writers of such licentious 
metre as the tumbling verse. Those verses only, which 
occur often enough to give a character to the rhythym, will 
be noticed. 

Verses beginning with Section 2. 21, were always rare. 
The lengthened verse is found in Anglo-Saxon; 

All the commownys went him fra, 

That I for thair liff j * : war | full fain | 

To pass to the Inglis pes again. Tlie Bruce, 2. 497. 

He that keeps nor crust nor crumb, 

Wear ! y of all | : shall | want some | . Lear, 1. 4. 217. 

Man I fiehthu beam { : mid | dan geard | es. 

Cad, Gen, 1378. 

An I lixes mid | : an { hund scip | a. Alf, Met, 26. 15, 

Com I ane to I : ceol | e lith i an. Alf. Met, 26. 59. 


2. 2. is now seldom met with ; the lengthened verse is 
a common Anglo-Saxon couplet ; 

We I did observe | : cou { sin Aumerle | , 

How far brought you high HerYord on his way ? 

R, 11, 1. 4. 1. 

» [But the right reading is /(/^.— W. W. S.] 



B. II. 

Still I to be neat | : still | to be drcst | , 

As you were going to a feast, 

Still to be powdered, still perfumed, 

Lady, it is to be presum'd, 

Though art's hid causes are not found, 

All is not sweet, all is not sound. 

Give I me a look | : give | me a face | , 
That makes simplicity a grace ; 
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free, 
Such sweet neglect more taketh me 
Than all th* adulteries of art, 
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart. 

B, Jonson. Ejncoene^ 1.1. 

And I to the stack | : or | the bam-door | , 

Stoutly struts his dames before. LAllegrOy 51. 

Come I to my bowl | : come | to my arms | , 
My friends, my brothers. 

Bums, Epistle to J, Lapraik, sL 21. 

Wrajc I licne ham I : weorc I e to lean I e. 

Tro I ia burh | : til | um gesith | um. 

Cad. Gen. 37. 
Alf. Met 26. 20. 

Thrie | rethre ceol | : thset { bith that mss | te. 

Alf. Met. 26. ^7. 

Hsl I ctha beam { : hsf | don tha meg ' tha. 

Alf. Met. 26. 49. 

The verse from L' Allegro is, I believe, the only one 
written by Milton in this rhythm. 

The verse 2 : 5. has long been one of the standard 

Where | the great sun { : begins | his state | . 

r Allegro, 60. 

Ere I the first cock | : his mat | in rings | . L* Allegro, 1 14. 
2:6. was very common in the tumbling verse. 

King I without realmc | : low now | where I stand | . 

M. for M. King James I V. 3. 

Now I am I bond | : sometime | I was free | . Same, 6. 

Whom I should I blame | : I found | that I sought | . 

Same, 7. 


Praj I we that God \ : will grant | tu bis might | . 

ilf. /»r M. Fiodden Field, 6. 

Sotie I then the gonues | : hog&n \ a new plaj | . 

Same^ 15. 

And I the vaun^garde | : togeth | er are gone | . Sufintf 15. 

And I tlie luce-head | : that day | waa fiill bent | . 

Same, 19* 

This IB one of those verses which beloag to the triple 
measure ; and though never used by Cowper, and those 
who have left ua the happiest epecimens of that rhythm^ 
is far from uncommon in the works of our later poets, 
2 ; 9t is only found in the tumbling verse ; 

In I the vauut-garde [ : forward fast | did bye | . 

M. for M. Flofl F, Vu 

Give I the Scots grace | : by King Jem | yea fall | * 

If I the w!x)le quere { : of the mvm \ es nine | . 

Skelton^M Eleg^ tm Norikumberlande^ 155. 

2 : 10. is also found in the tumbling verse. It falls 
within the rhythm of the triple measure^ and is constantly 
need by all the writers of that metro. 

And I the whole powre | : of the earlc | of Darby ] . 

M. for M, Flodl Field, 1 4, 

To I the French king | : yf he liBt [ to take heed { . 

M, for M, Kg, Jamex I F., 1 2 . 

No I 'tis your fool]: wherewith I | am bo tak^en. 

The verse 2 / i 1. is very common. When lengthened it 
forms an Anglo-Saxon couplet. 

Un I der (he haw | thorn : in | the dale ! . VAUegro^ 03. 

Dmg I on and dyd ] on : drihi | uea wil | Ian. 

Cttdman* Geft. 142. 

Theod I en hU theg | nas : thrym | mas weox ] on, 

Cadmftu, Gen. 80, 

Dior I e gecep | tc : drih | ten Crec ] a, Alf MeL 26. 19. 

Cyn I iikgei theg | naa : cya | pan sith | than. 

A!f MeL 20. 77. 


M I thebtan cjn | ing : eor { la drih | ten. 

Brunanburgh War Sang^ 1. 

Min j ton forlst | an : leof | ne hiaf | ord. Alf. Met. 26. 72. 

Yet I thou art hig ! her : far | descen | ded. 

// Penserojso, 22. 

2 1: 2. was very common in Anglo-Saxon, but always 
rare in English, and may now be considered as obsolete. 

Beorht | and gcblsed | fast : bn | endra leas | . 

Cad. Gen, 89. 

Her chceke, her chinne, her neck, her nose, 
This I was a \y\ \ ye : that | was a rose | . 

Ptittenham, Partheniades, 7. 

Terns easy for his easje tides. 

Built all along with mannonrs riche, 

Quin I borows salt | sea : brack | ish Grcnewich | . 

Partheniades^ 16. 

Through | the sharp haw | thorn : blows | the cold wind , . 

Lear, 3. 4. 46. 

seom I odon sweart | e : sith { e ne thorf { ton. Ccsd, Gen. 72. 

ma3g I en-craeft mic | el : mod { a gehwilc | es. 

Alf. Met. 26. 105. 

eal I de ge I giun | ge : eal | le forhwerf ■ de. Alf. Met. 26. 86. 

naef I don hi mar | e : mon | num gelic | es. Alf Met. 26. 93. 

21: 5. is also common in Anglo-Saxon, but very rare in 

wearth | under wolc [ num : for wig j es heard. 

Alf. Met. 26. 13. 

lath I wende her | e : on lang j ne sith | . Cad. Gen. 6H. 

cjm I inges doh | tor : sio Cir | ce woes | . Alf Met. 26. 56. 

Where | fore I fear | me : that now | I shall | . 

M. for M. King James IV., 7. 

Leavinge the land thjc bellsirc wan 

Too the barbarous Ottoman, 

And I for grief channg | ed : thy ho ■ ly haunt | . 

Puttenham. Partheniades, 16. 

' fITore followed, in the first edition; an incorrect quotation from C'txUx 

Extm. 674. -W. W. S.l 

1* ■* 



God I -beam on grand | iim i Im gief | e bryt | tath. 

Codex Ex(m. Christy 682* 

Tha ( grta wid | land : ne weg|a8 nyt] te, Cesd, Gen, 156, 

And I reccan »pni*c | e : gelic | ne ef | ne. Alf, Met, 26. 2, 

II is seldom we find^ in such short rhythms as tho present, 
ibe aEitciration fall on the second accent of the last section. 
Baak'fi '* complement *' would assist but littl© in tho scan- 
mmg of such a verse. 

2 I \ 6, belongs to the triple measure, and, like all those 
Terses which have the rhythm running continuously through 
^th sections, is often met with in that metre. This verne 
was common in the tumbling metre ; and also, when length- 
enedj in the early English alliterative poems. 

Tbtts I for my fol ' ly : I feele j I do sraarte | . 

M.for M, King James IV,^ 4* 

Uy I mine own fol | ly : I had | a great fall [ , ♦SVif?ie, 7. 

Wbich I for their mer ! it« : in iield | with me fell | . 

Same^ 9. 
Adjuva pQ\ter t then fast | did they cry | . 

M,for M. Fhd. Field, 6. 

Ne« ! gyt Hoc | ed : hu l(mrf | hit the wer | c. 

llie Grfine (Thorpe), 7, 

Brongbte | forth a bul i le : witli bhh | opea set | e-i. 

P. Plough matt^ B, prof. 1)9. 

Cf^m ^ en np knel | yng : to kis ' sen bis bul | les. 

Same, pr^L 73. 

^eriauntz it 8omed : that .sen'edi?n nttc barro^ 
PKhI ed for pen] yea : and pmiml es the biwe | . 

P. Pimtghman, B, prol, 211. 

*Tb j a poofl hear | ing : wlien cliil ' *lren arc to j warrl, 
Iltit j a hariib bear | ing : wheu worn | en are fro | ward. 

T. of the Shrew, 5. 2, 1M2. 

21: 9- and 2 I : 10. are also found in this rhythm. 

TH I I beseech | yon : of your cbar[ity|, 

M.for M. K^. Jame* U\, 1 'i. 


With I the Lord Gon j iers : of Uie north { countrj { * 

M.forM, Flod. Field, 7. 

Prea | ed forth bold | ly : to withstaiKl [ tho might | . 

Skeltons Fleg-i^ on Northumherhmd, 87* 

Eche I man may eor | row : in bis in | wartl thought { , 

Same, 177, 

Tbjit I a king crown [ ed : an earle durst | not abide ] . 

M, for M, Flod. Field, 5. 

And I our bolde bil | men ; of them dewe | mony one | , 

Same^ 15. 

Fled I away from | hini : let bim lie [ in the dust{. 

Skeltoris EUgy. 39. 

Of the verses beginning with 2 IL there is one, 2U.i2* 
which has been adopted into the triple measure. It was 

weE known to our tumbling verse. 

Con I trary to | mine othe : ml \ emnly made | . 

M./or M, Kg. Jamet IV,. 6. 

Van { quiflhed in fieldc | I was : to { t!ie rebuke | * 

Same, 8. 

Lord I whom thnu fa | vaure»t r win { neth the game [ • 

Same, 8. 


The verse 5 : 1* is often found in old English poems* It 
did not become obsolete till after the reign of Elizabeth, 

He wanieth alle and f^orne 


Of everiche of hir aventurea. 

By avisiona, or by fignres, 

But that I our flesh [ : bath | n*y might ] 

To miden^tand^ it angltt. 

Chau. Haute of Fame. i. 4$. 

And sum | thai put ] : in | priscMin ^ 

For-nwtyn cansw or enchesouii. 77te Bntce^ L 279, 

* Read underalanibn^ 

* [But we hhoiiJd read : And sum thai put in hard priaoun* Wjrnioim qaott 
the Un* in this form. - W. W. S,] 



Her eyes, God wott, what Btuff they aire, 
I dnnst be Kwome eclie ys a staire; 
As clcre | nod brighte { : m | to guide { 
The pilot in hb winter tide. 

Puttmham, Partheniudes^ 17. 

Gentle breath of yours my sails 
Must fill» or el»e mj project fkllA, 
Which was | to please | : Now | I want | 

Sp'rits to enforce, &c. 

Now my charms are all o*erihrownf 

TempeMl, Epilogue^ 

And what strength I ba%'e 'b mine own, 

Which is I moet fiiint | : now | i% true | 

I must he here confined by you, 

Or lent to Naples. Tempest^ Epilogue, 

ie lengthened verse waa common in Anglo-Saxon, but 
Irare in the later dialects, 

stod deop I and dimj: driht{ne &ein|de. CmL Gen* 105. 

thurh driht | nea word | : dsBg | gcnem | ned. Ctfif. Oen, 130. 

sum heard | ge^winc { : hab { ban sceol | dan. 

Cad. Oen. 317. 

Cmd. Gen. 247. 

Cad. Gen, 13&0. 

thurh hand { -msBgeu | : hal | tg drib | ten. 

Iha teg I nade : self | a dnh [ ten. 

[ferede] on fif | el stream | : fam ] igbord j an. 

Alf. Met 26. 26. 

ihdet Au { lixes { : un | derh^ef { de. Ay. Met, 26. 5, 

on mor \ gen tid { : roasr | e tunc | goL 

Bninunburh War Song^ 14. 

For by Christ, lo, thus it fareth 

It la I not all [ : gold | that glar | eth. 

Ckau, Home of Fame^ i. 271. 

And mo curious portraitures, 
And queinte manner of figures 
Of gold work, than I saw ever ; 
Hut cer { taluly | : I | n*tst nev | er ^ 
Where that it wa«. 

Ckau, Moute of Ftme, L 125. 

[But tlie reading is wrong, being ungrfimmaiicaL Niit is an impoaaible 
B, gnflanar requiring nUte, Tbe line is iben perfectly regular % — 
But e«r)taloly]: I nis|te nevfer.— W. W. S.] 


Each byas was a little cherry, 
Or as I I think | : a | strawber { ry. 

Puttenham. Prin. Paragon, 

The verse 5:2. was never common^ and is now almost 

Of flssc { -homan { : flod | ealle wreah { . Citd. Gen. 1386. 

To gyr I waniie \ : god | lecran stol | . Cted, Gen, 281. 

Thow that besidea forrcine afiayres, 

Canst tend | to make | : yere | ly repayres | 

By summer progressc, and by sporte, 

To shire | and towne | : cit | ye and porte | — 

Thow that canst tend to rcadc and write 

Dispute I , dcclame, | : ar | gewe, endy te, | 

In schoolc and university e, 

In prose and eke in poesye. — Puttenham, Partk, 16. 

And he | good prince | : hav | ing all lost | 
By waves from coast to coast is tost. 

Pericles. ProL to Act 2. 34. 

By Pan ! I think she hath no sin 

She is I so light { : lie | on these leaves | , 

Sleep that mortal sense deceives 

Crown thine eyes. FI, Faith, Sh. 5, 2. 

And from her fair unspotted side 

Two blis I sful twins j : are | to be born j 

Youth and Joy : so Jove hath sworn. Comtu^ 1009. 

Of these | am 1 1 : Coi | la my name | . 

Bums. The Vision, 2. 12. 

The lengthened verse is not more common. 

On faeg | e folk | : feow | ertig dag | a. Cted. Gen, 1382. 

On Wen j del ssb | : wig | endra scol . a. Alf, Mttr, 26. 31. 

Se lie I ette | : lit | lum and mic | lum. Alf, Metr. 26. 36. 

• Advise 

Forthwith | how thou j : oughtst | to receive | him. 

Sams. Agon, 328. 

The king 

Is wise and virtuous, and his noble (pieen 
Well-struck | in years | : fair { and not jeal • ous. 

R. Ill, 1. 1. 90. 


The verse 5:5. has always been common in English 
poetry ; in Anglo-Saxon it is foand but rarely. 

And as | I wake | : sweet Mu { sic breathe { 

Above, I about, | : or un | demeath | . // PenserosOy 151. 

Xe wQ I le ic leng | : his geon { gra wurth { an. Cad. Gen. 291. 

Sweet bird | that shan*nst { : the noise | of fol { \y 

Moat mu | sical | : most mel { anchol | j. II Penseroso, 61. 

5 : 6. is only met with in the tumbling verse. 

This no { ble earle { : full wise | Ij hath wrought | . 

M./orM. Flod. Field, Z. 

Whereof | the Scots | : were right | sore afrayde { . 

M.forM. Flod.F.2\. 

Fy fj I for shame | : their hearts | were too faint { . 

SkelioiCs Elegy on Northumberland^ 42. 

In the 3ame licentious metre, we meet with the section 


The Per ] se out | : off Northum | berlande ] , * 

An avow to Gk>d made he, 
That he wolde huute in the Mountains 

Of Cheviat mthin dayes thre. Chevy Chase, 1. 

In se I sons past { : who hath herdc | or sene. 

Skelton*8 Elegy, 22. 

The fa , mous erle I : of Northiun | bcrland \ . Same, 107. 

Also with 5 : 10. 

Ilee cryde | as he { : had been stikt | with a sword { . 

M,/or M. King James IV., 2. 

From high | degree | : to the low | est of all | . Same, 7. 

Now go I thy ways ! : thou hast tam*d | a curst shrew | . 

T. of the Shrew, 5. 2. 188. 


The verse 5 Z : 1. is common. The lengthened verse is 
also found in Anglo-Saxon. 

In notes with many a winding bout 

Of lio I ked sweet | ness : long | drawn out j . L' Allegro, 1 39. 




get^rcjmed gnmjme : grap | on wrath ! e. Cad, Oen, 61. ^^ 


«ceop nih | te nam ] on : ner | gend ur | e. Cad, 140. 


gefltath 1 elod | e : Strang | nm miht | urn , Cdcrf. 1 15. 


on mer | eflod | e : nxid | dum weorth | an. CmL 1 45. 


Thmt ou 1 tha tid 1 e r theod { a leg | hwilc. Alf. Met 26. 43. 


That hie | with driht | ne : dsel | an meaht | on. Cmd, 26. ^1 
Ac him 1 sti nuer | a : mod | getwsDf | de. Ceecf. 53. 



But hai] thou God|des8 : sage [ and hojly. II Pmserogo^ 11. 


5 i : 2. occurs very rarely, except in our old romances and 
the tumbliog verse. The lengthened verse may also be found 
in Anglo-Saxon. J^M 


Tharfor thai went til Abyrtlen«, ^H 
Qhiiar Nolo the Briiysa comci and the queyn, ^B 
And oth 1 ir lad 1 yh : fayr | and farand | 
llkatie IW luff oiT thair hufiband. The Bruce, 2, 512. 


Bcith law 1 and na | tnre : doth { me accuse [ . 

M.for M. King Jamen Il\, 4. 


And m | fowle man { er ; brake { their aray | , 

M.forM. Flod, Field, le. ^ 


What fran | tyk fren | sy : fyll | in your brayne | . ^M 

Skekmi's Elegy, 5 1 . ^| 


To Bum I urn deor | e : swelc | um he ser | or. Alf. Met 26. 87. ^H 


His with 1 erbree | e^n : wiil | dor gesteal | dnni, Ctgd^ Gen. 64. ^H 


5 2: 5» was always rare^ and may now be looked upon A^| 
obsolete. ^| 


geond fol | en fyr | e : and fier | *cyle | . C<»rf. Gen, 43. ^^ 


A noble hart may halfF nane q»% ^^^ 
Na ellys nm^ht that may him plesa, ^^| 
Gytr tre | dome fail J vhe : for fre | liking | ^H 
Is yharnji; our all othir thiuj^* The Bmce^ L 229. ^H 


He is promiiiM to be wiv'd ^H 

To fair | Mari|na : but in | no wiaej ^H 
Till he had done his sacrifice. Periclen, 5.2. 10. ^^M 


But I 1 will tar |ry : the fool | will stay | ^M 
Anti hi the wiKe man fly. Zear, 2, 4* ^H 


Come hitli | er, liitb { er : my lit | tie pftge | 
Whj dost tbou weep ftud wail ? 


Ch. Harold, I, 13 3, 

Wbr iliiB I ft fkn I tome : wh j tbat | orac | lei 

I not ; I but who { so : of these | mirme | lea 

Tlie cfriisca know, &c. Chan. Hotue of Fame, I. 11. 

5 I: 6. is only found in the tambling verae. 

With four | score tbous { and : in gf>od { ly arraj | . 

M./or M. Fhdden Field, 2. 

That roj ' all rel [ ike : more prec | ioiis than golde | . Same, 6. 

Fulfyld I with mal | ice : of fro ^ ward entente ] ♦ 

Shelton's Ekgy, 25. 

Let don I ble del [ inge : in the ] haye no place | . Same^ 174. 

In Doe I all one |ly : were sett [ and eomprysed | . Same, 156. 

AJaa I those pleas [ urea : be stale [ and for&ak | en. 

Ben. Jomon, Fax, LI. 

5 / : 10. is also to be found in the same barbarous rhythm, 

St. Cut I herds ban | ner : with the bwh I ops men bolde [ , 

M. far M. Fhd, Field, 6. 

Sir Ed I ward Stan ( ley : in the reare | -warde was he j . 

Same, 14. 

In this rhythm we may also find verses beginning with 
5 II., for instance 5 U : 2. and 5 ^/ : 9. 

I knew I not ve | rily : who | it should be | . 

M. /or M. King James I V., 2. 

That vil I aiue hast | arddis : in their f\x \ rious tene | . 

SMton'it Fiegtf, 24. 

The first of these belongs to the triple measure^ and is 

The class of verses beginning with the section 6, is now 
almost obsolete, and in none of the better periods of our 
literature did these rhythms meet with much favour. They 
are not often found in Anglo-Saxon ; and though they occur 
more frequently, they are still rare in the Old English 
alliterative metre. In our ballads they are common ; and, 
as might be expected, they abound in the tumbling verse. 


The few which belong to the triple measure^ have alone sur- 
vived in modem usage. 


The verse 6:1. though its rhythm be abrupt and awk- 
ward, was used both by Gower and Chaucer — doubtless 
because it fell within the orthodox number of eight syl- 

And that his shipcs dreint were 
Or ell \ es ylost | : he | n'ist where | .^ 

Chau. Ho. of Fame, 1. 233. 

6:2. though of the triple measure, is only found in the 
tumbling verse and some of the later alliterative poems. 
The sharp and sudden stop between the two sections, is 
probably the cause why they have been so little favoured. 

Of Scot I land he sayde | : late | I was king { . 

M. for M. King James IV.^ 3. 

Quhy t, scim j lie and soft | : as | the sweit lil { ics. 

Dunbar, Tua Maryit WemeUy 28. 

6 : 5. is also confined to our old romances and the tum- 
bling verse. 

Durst nane of Walis in bataill ride ; 

No yhet, fra ewyn fell, abide 

Castcll or wallyt town within 

That he | ne suld lyfTj : and Ijm j mcs tjne { . 

The Bruce, 1. lOo. 

That us I to withstand | : he had | no might | . 

M.for M. Flod, Field, 1. 

The fa | ther of wit j : we call | him may ] . SamCj 1 1 . 

Beseech | ing him there | : to show his might | . Same^ 17. 

The verso 6 : 6. belongs to the triple measure, and is used 
without scruple even by the most careful writers of that 

* [But n'*i»t is wrong; grammar requires niate; and the latter section is 
perfectly regular, i.e. is section 5. See note on p. 197. — W. W. S.] 

c m 

With »or I owful sighed j : aa ev | er man herde | . M. King James /K, 2. 

With crowne | on my head \ : and seep | ter in band \ . 

M.for M. King James IV,, 3. 

The breatch { of mjne oath { t I did | not regarde, 

Same^ 10. 
That sf I re nndon | : the wul | e tha duf { e. 

The Grave (Thorpe). 

For ¥y ] thagore's sake i i vfbut bod [ y t ben took | thee ? 

Ben Jonson* Fox^ 1.1. 

The first of these verses was very common in the early 
half of the 16th century. Many short poems were entiroly 
e«HQposed of it. It seems, however^ to have fallen into 
diftoae shortly afterwards ; for Gascoignej who regrets the 
exclusive attention that was paid in his time to the com- 
mon measure, tells his reader, " we have used in times 
paat other kindea of meeters, as, for example^ this ful- 
lowing : 

No wight in tins world : that wealth can attajne, 
UnlesfE he heleve : tliat all k but vmn," ^ 

This metre was afterwards revived. 

6 : 9. was rarely met with except in the tumbling verse ; 

1 pur I posed war | : yet I fain | ed truce | . 

M./or M. K JameM I\\ 4. 

Thus did \ I, Frenche Kinge, | : fur tVielove | of thee [. 

Same^ 4. 
To suf I fi'C him slain | : of h]« mor | tall foe | . 

Skeiion, Elrg^, 38. 

Thus gat I levvt thai : and in sie | thrillage j , 

Bulb pur and thai of hey para^^e, TVif Bruce ^ L 275. 

6 : 10. and 6:11. are two of the commonest verses in the 
triple measure. They are also of constant occurrence in 
the tumbling verse ; 

In this I wTtitched w orhi \ : I may du | longer dwell | - 

M.for M, K. James, 14. 

• (See Gsitain noies of Inatruction conct?rning the making of rcrae, preiuEed 
to Ambers rrprint of Gaacoigne't " i^t*.*l Gltisis," p. 34, —W, W. S. ] 



B. II.l 

Our her | aid at annes ] : to King Jem | yo did say \ , 

M. for M. Flodd. Field, 4. 

With all I the hole »orte | : of that glor | ion* place | . 

Sk€lion*s Elegy, 212. 

A» per I fightl J m \ : could be thought | or devjn | ed. 

Same, 16%, 


6/ : L and 61:2. are oxtrcmely rare, but when lengthened 
Bre found both in Anglo-Saxon and in our later alliteratiTe 
meters ] 

Thtii VyHsU tliair liifltM^ at tliair partjng^ 

The Kinij I winbethcicht | him : off | a thing | , 

That he fira thine on fute wald ga. The Bruce, 3. 351, 

geslog I OB «i Base | ce : aweord | a ec [ g^m. Bnmanburh^ 4. 

Of led I ra gehwfcr | e : e { gor-Btream | as. Cad, Gen. 1374* 

Ac jft I pers and Jang | lers : Jud ] as chil | dren» 

P, Ploughman, B, ProL 35* 

These versea of ten syllables are the shortest that 
found in Pierg Plowman.' They are rarely met with 
alHterative poems of a later date ; 

His &ore I exclama \ tions : made | me offerde { . 

M. for M, K, James IV^ X \ 

And held | with the com | mons : un { der a cloke | . 

SluilioHs Elegy, 76. 

Tha wHjr I on geaet | te : wid | e and sid | e. Cterf. Gen* 10- 

And raughte | with his rag [ man : ryng | es and broch { ea. 

P. Ploughman, B, proL 75. 

In glut { onje God [ it wote : gon | hii to bed | de. Sam^^ 43* j 
6 2 : 5. is almost peculiar to the tumbling verse ; 

Yet were | we in nom | ber : to his | one, thi^e | . 

M.fnr M, K.Jam€^%. 

' [This may bo douhU*d. The line : '^ l4ghtliob Iyer kep awey 
mfi onJy to \mxe nine syllablea ; see P. FL B, ii. 8U*-~W. W* B.] 


I trowe I he doth nei | tber : God love | nor dread | . 

Same, 12. 

Tkat buf I fits the Scota [ bare : they lac | ked noiie { . 

M.forM. Fhd, Field, 20. 

But hj I ikem to know { lege : ye m&j { attajne { . 

Skeittm't Elegy, V2d. 

61:6* belongs to lie triple meaBoro^ and as the rhythm 
mua contiiiEOQslj througli the line^ it ha8 sorvived the 
tambling verse, of which it once formed one of the most 
striMiig featorea. The lengthened verse ia found in Piers 

In pete I eable man | er : I ml | ed my land { . 

M, for M, Kg, James^ 3. 

Full friend I ly and faith |ful : mj atibljects I fand] . 

Samr, 3. 

Fttll bold I Ij their big { men : against | ns did t^ome | . 

Fiod, Fieltl 17. 

Your bap | waa unhap | pj : to ill { was jour spede | . 

Skelton*f Elegy J 61, 

*Twa« 1 I won the wag | er : tliowgli you | hit the white | , 
And be | ing a win | ner : GotI give | joa good night ] . 

Tarn, of thfi Shrett?, 5, % 186. 

And len { eth §ucb loe { elea ; that leih | erye baiin | ten, 

P. Ploughman. B, proL 77* 

There hov | ed an bund | red : in ho«y [ es of eelk ] e. 

Same, 210. 

Which soul I fast and loose, | Sir : came first | from Apo) ', io. 

B. Jonmn* Fox, LI. 

6 / : 9- and 6 i ; 10. are only found in the tumbling verse 
ud some of the most slovenly specimens of the triple 

Te bad | not been a | ble : to have said | bim Nay | . 

SkdlojC» Elegy, 70, 

And conld | not by fats [ bo<!e : either tlirivt* | or thie \ . 

M, for M. K, Jamen^ 9. 

For tor I rowe and pi | ly : I gan nere | to resurte | . Same, 2. 


Now room { for fresh game { sters .* who do will { you to know. | 

B, JoMon, Fox, 1.1. 

As blithe | and as art { less : as the lamb { on the lea | , 
And dear to my heart as the light to my ee. 

Bums. Auld Rob Morris, st. 2. 

Of the verses beginning with 6 U. we have one 6 ZZ : 2. 
which still keeps its station in our poetry. It belongs to 
that class of verses^ which have the triple rhythm running 
through both sections. This was doubtless the cause of its 
surviving. It is found occasionally in the tumbling verse ; 

Bo the tem | poral and spirit { ual : for { to complaynej . 

SkelioiCs Elegy, ISl. 

Why then | thy dogmat | ical : si 
Of that I an obstrep | erous : law 

lence hath led | thee? 
yer bereft | me. 

B, Jonson, Fox, 1. 1. 

In the same loose metre^ we sometimes meet with such a 
verse as 6 ZZ : 1 0. 

The Bar | on of Kil | lerton : and both As | tones were there | . 

M, for M. Flodd, Field, 10. 





OuB verse of five accents may be divided into two sec- 
tj whereof one contains two, and the other three accents. 
»rdingly as it opens with one or other of these aections^ 
the character of its rhythm varies materially. We shall in 
the present chapter pass under review those verses, which 
hegin with the section of two acceots- 

Before, howeverj we proceed, I would make one or two 
observations on a subject, which has already been touched 
ttpon in the opening of the last chapter, Gascoigne thought 
ih&tin a verse of ten syllables, the pause would " be best 
placed at the ende of the first four syllables /' Ho adds, 
lowever, soon afterwards, ** In rithme royall it is at the 
^ter*» discretion, and forceth not where the pause be 
onti! the end of the liue/^ Now as the stanza, known by 
ra^ name of the rhythm royal, was borrowed from the 
French, this strengthens an opinion already mooted, that, 
^th the other peculiarities of foreign metre, the flow of iLs 
Ajthm was introduced into our poetry/ But that it quickly 
' JJeHed to the native rhythm of the language is clear, no less 
from the versification of such poets, as have sui'vived to us, 
™ii fi^m the silence of contemporary critics. Gascoigne 
II the only writer who alludes to this license — a strong proof 
tfcat it was not generally recognised even as a peculiarity of 
*ke rhythm royaL 

In most of the manuscripts I have seen, containing verso 
of five accents, the middle pause is marked ; though not so 

' Ii mif fit hefK« J«j inferred, that the French rerso of five accents had no 
••"U* piiue. TTiis is incorrecr j the French verse uf fottr acL'enta, like the 
njthiBiiii rif thi? Iambic I)im»*ter, had none, but tlie versi* of fire aocentn iilw(i3'a 


carefully, as in the alUterative poems of the same ] 
Below are the first eighteen linea of Chaucer's Prolo 
from MS. Harl. 1758, and MS. Harl 7333. The first dq 
script gives both the middle and the final pauses. 

Whan that Aprill , wit A his scboures swote - 
The droug:]it of Marebc , liatb perccd to Ibe rote • 
And bathed euery veyrie . in 5iicbe lioouro . 
Of wMi^he vertue . engfendi-id is the iloiwc , 
And zepbirus eke . with hia swete bretbe . 
Bnspirefl batb . in euexy holt and heth , 
The tendre croppes , and the jong sonne. 
Into the Raui . bis half cours ronne . 
And Binale fowles . maken melodye - 
That slepen all tbe njght . with open eye . 
So pricketb hem nature . in bere corages * 
Than loo gen folk . to gon in pilgrjmages . 
And palniei"a for to aeke . etraunge strnndes . 
To ferne halwes . coutbe in sondry londes . 
And speeialy . from enerie scbires ende . 
Of Entjlond . to Cannterbnrj'e thei wende. 
The holy blisfiill martyr for to eeke. 
That bem batb hoi pen . whan that thei were »eke, 

Whanne that Aperjil wttA big shoures swoote 
The drowght of marcbe bathe pereed to the rote 
And bathed cuerj veyne , in sncbe lykonre 
Of wiuhe vertne , engenderid i» the donre 
Whanne zepbyms eke • wiih bis swete bretbe 
Enspiryd bathe in euery hcdt and bctbe 
Tbe tend re croppy a . and the yownge sonne 
Ilathe in the Rame ♦ bis balfe cours eronne 
And smale foides . maken tnelodye 
That slepen al the nigbt wit A open eye 
So priekethe bem nature * in tbayre etinrages 
Thanne longcn folkes to gon on pilgrjTnagea 
And palmers eke . to sec he straunge strandes 
To feme halowcs . kowtbe in sundry e landis 
And specially e , fronie euery sbyrce ende 
Of Eng[e]land to Ca^Titerburye tbei wcnde 
Tbe booly blyssfulle mai'tyr. flbr to fieke 
That hem hatbe bolpon . wbanne that thei were *. 

The occasional omission or misplacing of the dot 
perfectly in keeping with the general inaccuracy of t 
two copies. Indeed, in MS. Harl. 7333, the pause, 
inserted, is often nothing more than a mere scratch 


pen. Still, as it seems to me, we can onlj come to one 
condnsion, in examining these manuscripts ; namely, that 
each yerse was looked upon as made up of two sections, 
precisely in the same way as the alliterative couplet of the 

Anglo- Saxons. 


»e of very rare occurrence. They are chiefly used by our 
inmatists. We shall begin with the verse 1 : 2. 

Have I not heard these islanders shout out, 
Vive I le roi I : as I I have bankM | their towns { . 

Kiag John, 5. 2. 104. 

I that's well | : fetch | me my cloke | my cloke | . 

B. Jomon, £v, Man in his Humour^ 3. 2. 

Hold, shepherd, hold ! learn not to be a wronger 
Of I jour word | : was | not your prom | ise laid { 
To break their loTes first ? 

Fletcher, Faith. Sheph. 4. 3. 

1 • 5. is more common. 

Like a pilgrime, which that goth on foote, 

And hath none horse to releve his travaile, 

Hote, drye, wery, and may finde no bote 

Of I wel cold I : whan thrust | doth him { assaile | ' — 

Hight BO fare I. 

Lydgate, Fall of Princes, Prol, of Bh. 3. »t. 1. 

Then as a bayte she bringeth forth her ware, 

8il I ?er, gold, | : riche perle | , and prec | ions stone | . 

Sir T. More. Bohe of Fortune. 

Barkloughly castle call you this at hand ? 

Yea, I my lord ] : how brooks | your grace | the air | . 

i?.//. 3.2. 1. 

Delights and jolly games 

That shepherds hold full dear, thus put I off; 

Now I no more | : shall these | smooth brows | be girt | 

With youthful coronals. Fletcher. Fa. Sheph. 1.1. 

' [At the same time, welle was certainly disst/Uebic in Chaucer's time, and 
■i^kft been so used by Lydgate. The line then becomes perfectly regular : 
*Or«el|feeold I whan thrust | doth him | assaile.*'-W. W. S.j 



msrosT or esgi^ish airrraMs. 

B. ir. 

Time* fi^m tht bonks of Wje, 

And sftDdj-bottom^d Sev^em h^ve I teat ham 
Boot |le« bone ^ : lad w»di ^ cr-be^l [en baick j . 

I H, /F-S. 1.65. 
Jm|d wfco]: wkli iMtlptu I ble piile ! 
Smote Sbera sJccpin*. ^SKifliJi^it Agmi. 969.* 

Chaaoer affords as a few instances of the same TerBe 
leogtbened ; 

Tlier n*at quicksilver, fitai^ tie farimttoot 
BoTM, ceruse, ue oile of tutre noo, 
Xe I oiDtnient | : ih^t wol j de den se or bit ^ e,^ 
ThAt htm might beJpen of hu vhelkcs irhit€. 

Ckau. Pr^L 63U 

Verses beginning with the section I L abonnd in Anglo* 
Saxon ; thej are also met with in Chaucer and the writers of 
the fifteenth century, but were rarely used after that period, 
except by onr dramatists. 

•eo I ga swilj e : stilt | than smi | ne up| . BmnoMlmrh^ I3> 

gas I Ha geom | re : geof | on death j e hweop | . C<p«f. Ejeod. 447. 

Sid I mid Bwegl |-torbt : him | th«;r tsr | gekmp | . 

Citd. Gen, S8. 

boot I forbora|ten : and | forbjg|ed tbrym|. CWL Gen. 70. 

torh I te tlr I e : and j bis lorn | gewr«c | . CenL Oen, 58. 

wibt I gewor | den ; ac | tbea wid ] a gmnd j . C««/, Oett, 104. 

won { ne weg { as : tha | wms wul { dor toi ht | . Cttd, Gen, 1 19. 

up I from eorth | an : thurh | hb og | en word | . Cied, Gen, 149. 

gid I a*tflom|ne: tha | gesiind|rod wj»8|* Oied. Gen. 162. 

mici I uin sped | uin : met | wl eng | la bebt | * O^d, Gen, 121. 

mid I dan geard | en : met | od af | ter sceaf | . C<sed, Gen* 1S6. 

or I gewori! | en : ne | nii en | de cymtU | . Cmd^ Gen. 6. 

gaa| la weard | um : beef { don gleam | tuid dream | . 

Cted, Gm. 12. 

* [Hiir the rigbt reading is different : Ja |et who with | tnhos ( ptU | bl» gmSkk 
W.W. B.] 

• [Hut tli<i right nwding Is i Ne oin lenient | that wo}]dit, &c. — W.W.S.1 


moD I nea el | na : that | is ma \ ro wjrd { . Cad, Oen, 1399. 

Wal jdend ur | e : and | geworh | te tha | . CtBd, Gen, 147. 

Ag j an wol ] de : tha | wearth yr | re God | . C<b(L Gen, 34. 

The gretc clamour and the waimenting 

Which that the ladies made at the brenning 

Of I the hod | ies : and | the gret j e honour | 

That Theseus the noble conqueror 

Doth to the ladies. Chau, Knightes Tale; C, T. 993. 

Thou mightest wenen that this Palamon 
Id I hia fight { inge : wer | e a wood | leon | .^ 

Knightes Tale; C, T, 1655. 

No more of this for Goddes dignitee 

Quod I oure hos | te : for | thou mak | est me { 

So weary, &c. Chau, Prol, to Melibeus ; C. T. 18847. 

Like I a pil j grime : which | that goth | on foote | . 

Lydgate (see p, 209). 

Thus I fell Ju I lius : from | his migh | ty pow'r | . 

Sir T, More, Bohe of Fortune, 

' Up the foresayle goes, 

We faU on knees, amyd the happy gale. 

Which I by Grod's | will : kind | and calme | ly blowes | .* 

Gascoigne, Journey into Holland^ 122. 

^ut! I when struckst | thou : one { blow in | the field |? 

2 H. VI. 4. 7. 84. 

The other again 

^ I my kins | man : whom | the king | hath wronged { . 


When comes such another ? 

Neyjer ! nev j er ! : come | , away, | away | ! Jul, Cos, 3. 2. 257. 

But hiwt thou yet latched the Athenian's eyes, 
With I the love | juice : as | I bid | thee do|?' 

M. N. D, 3. 2. 36. 

this learn { ing : what | a thing I it is | . 
this wood I cock : what | an ass | it is | . 

T. of the Shrew, 1. 2. 160. 

' Tyrwhitt very nnnecessarily inserts an as to eke out the metre *^ were as a 
"wi leon j» [which a« is not in the best MSS.]. 

' [Bat Hazhtt's edition gives a complete line : *^ Which by God's will full 
7*l«dcalinely blows."— W. W. S.] 

' [Bat the right reading is : **naldidbid thee do "* ; and the line is regular. 


I thank my blessed angel, never, never, 
Laid I I pen | ny : bet { tcr out | than this | . 

A Jonson, E, M, out of his Humor, 1.1. 

Let him that will ascend the tottVing seat 
Of I our gran | deur : and | become | as great | 
As are his mounting wishes ; as for me 
Let sweet repose and rest my portion be. 

Sir M, Hale, from Seneca, 

O I that tor { ment : should | not be | confined | 

To the body's wounds and sores ! Samson Agon. 606. 

The lengthened verse is more rare. 

Ag I an wol | dun : and | swa eath { e meah { ton. 

C(Bd, Gen. 48. 

Wyrd I mid waeg | e : thaer | ser weg | as lag | on. 

Cad. Exod. 457. 

Fus I on frsBt | wum : hssf { de fee | ne hyg | e. 

Cad. Gen. 443. 

- Let me think we conquered- 

Do I , but so I think : as | we may | be con | quer'd. 

Fl. BonduccL, 1. 1. 

Hear | ye, cap | tain : are | you not | at leis | ure. 

1 H VL 5. 8. 97. 

11 : 2. is rarely met with after the 15th century, save in 
the works of om* dramatists. 

bsBlc I forbig | do : tha | he gebolg { en wearth | . 

Cad. Gen. 54. 

And ran in all thair mycht. 

To I the fech | taris : or | thai com ner | that place | , 
Off thaim persawyt rycht weill was gud Wallace. 

WaUace, 11. 104. 

• That deemat of things divine, 

As I of hu I man, : that | they may al { terM be | , 
And changed at pleasure for those imps of thine. 

F. Q. 4. 2. 51. 

Gras I ta weard | as : tha | he hit gear | e wis | te. 

Cad. Oen. 41. 

Spenn | mid spang | um : wis | te him sprsB | ca fel | a. 

Cad. Gen. 445. 


Keep your words to-morrow, 

And I do some | thing : wor | thj yoar meat | ; go guide | *em, 
And see 'em fairly onward. Fletcher, Btrnduca, 2. S. 

Pi I pes, trom I pes, : na { kers and clarioun { es 
That in the bataille : blowen blody sownes. 

Chau, Knightes Tale ; C. T, 2513. 

\l: h. seems at one time to have been recognised^ as a 
andard verse of ten syllables. It fell, however, into 
most total disuse, daring the reign of Elizabeth. 

Fa I um fol | mum : and him | on fsBthm | gebraec { . 

Ccsd, Gen, 62. 

Scip I pend us | ser : tha he | that scip | beleac . 

Cctd, Gen. 1391. 
Kymph j es faun { es : and Am | adry { ades | . 

Chau. Knightet Tale; C. T. 2930. 

Ad I am el \ dest : was grow | and in | courage | , 

Forthward, rycht fayr, auchtene yer of age, 

Large off persone ; .both wiss, wortlii, and wicht, 

Gude I king Rob | ert : in his | tyme maid | him kiiycht { 

Lang I tyme ef j tir : in Bnic | es weriA | he baid | , 

On Engliss men nione giid iorn^ maid. Wallace, 3. 45. 

FuU I gret slauch 1 tyr : at pit j te was I to sc { , 

Of I trew Scot j i^ : oursett | with sut] elte { . Same^ 1. 107. 

His rebell children three, 

Henry and Richard, who bet him on the breast ; 
Jeff^rey onejly : from that | offence | was freej. 
Hen I ry dy I ed : of Eng | lands crown | possest | , 
Rich I ard liv j ed : his fa | ther to { molest ! , 
John I the young ! est : pect still | his fa | ther's eye | , 
Whose deedes unkind the sooner made him die. 

Ferrers. M,forM, Glocester^u. 14. 

For having rule and riches in our hand, 

Who durst gaynesay the thing that we averd ? 

Will I was wis { dom :'Our lust | for law | did stand { . 

Sackville. M,for M, Buckingham, 37. 

Idolatrye from deepe devotion, 

Vol jgaire wor | yhippe : from worldes | promo tion ' . 

Puttenham, Parth. 

Mar[riage, unc \ le : alas | my days | are young | , 

^ fitter is my study and my books. 1 H, VI, 5, \, 21. 


Under some shady dell, when the cool wind 
Plajs I on the leaves | : all | be far | away | 
Smce thou art far away. Fletcher » Faithful Shep. 1.1, 

Hclp'd by the great pow'r of the virtuous moon 

Id I her full light | : oh | you sons * | of earth | , 

You only brood, unto whose happy birth 

Virtue was given, &c. Fletcher, Faith/, Shep. 2. 2. 

In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade 
Oppose himself against a troop of kernes — 
And, in the end being rescueil, 1 have seen him 
Ca I per upright | : like | a wild | Moris { co. ^ 

2 H. VL 3. 1. 360. 

2:2. has always been one of the standard verses in the 
metre of 5 accents. 

0th|er8 apart I : sat j on a hill | retired |. P. L, 2. 557. 

Cur I teis he was | : low | ly and ser | visa | ble. Chau, Prol, 99. 

2:3. was never used by Dry den and his school, nor 
indeed were any of those verses, which incladed the section 
3. I cannot help thinking that good taste was shown in 
ejecting them, even though sanctioned by Spenser and by 


But this good knight, soon as he them can spy. 
For I the cool shade { : thith | er has | tily got { .' 

F, Q. 1. 2. 29. 

Pee|bly she shriek'd | : but | so fee ] bly indeed | , 

That Britomart heard hot. F. Q. 4. 7. 4. 

Thou with thy lusty crew 

Ptlse titled sons of gods, roamiug the earth 

^t I wanton eyes \ : on | the daugh j tcrs of men { . 

P. R. 2. 180. 

lie who receives 

Light I from above ' : from | the foun | tain of light | , 

No other doctrine needs. P. R, 4. 289. 

' That is, the plants which the speaker had just gathered. 
* [But the Globe edition puts him before Caper in the same line.] 
' [Bat the Globe edition has : ** For tlie cool shade him thither hustly got" ; 
^hichig sufficiently smooth*— \V. W. S.] 


B- U. 

2:5. haa been one of our standard verses of five accenl 

BiDce the days of Chaucer. 

But rich be was of holy thought and wej'k ; 

He { WHS alBu ^ : a lem | ed man | a clerk | 

That Crigtes gospel trewely wolde preche. CJatu, ProL 4S1. 

Some I to whom Heav'n | : in wit | has been | proAue | 
Want I as much more \ j to turn | it to | its use ! , 

Pope^ Esnaif on Crkitum^ 80. 

Crea I ture so fair | : his rec | oivcile j ment aeek | injj. 

P. Z. 10. d43w 



2 / : 1 . has been common in our poetry from the earliest 
period, and is stiil counted among the standard verses of 5 

Met ] od on mon ] num ; mer | e swith , e grap | . 

Vied, Gem, 1381 

glad j ofer grun | das : gcMl { ee con | del beorht | . 

Brunanhurh^ 15. 

rod { or arasr | de : and | this mm { e land | . CmtL Oen* 114^ 

som I od on sand | e '. nyn \ ton sor | ga wiht { . Citd, Gen, 343. 

dnl I on gedwil \ de : tiol { don dreog | an teng | . 

Cmd, Gem. 23. 

sti&lg I nc gestig | an : sum | mag Btyl | ed nweord | . 

Exeier MS, dkrist^ C7% ] 

aing I an and sec | gon t tham | bith snyt | tru crsft { , 

Exeter MS. Ckrisi, 667. ' 
word [ cwithe writ { an : sum { um wig | es sped { . Sa$ne^ 679« 

leoht I ffifler thjs|trnm : heht | tLa lif |es wettrd|, 

CtEd, Gem. 144. 
fiot|an and Bceot \ ta : thser | geflem ] ed wearth | . 

Brunamimrk, 82. 

A clerk ther was of Oxeiiforde also 
That I tiuto log I ik : had | de long | ygo | . 

Chaucer, ProL 29i^ 
Whence | and what urt | thou : ex ) ecra | ble shape ' . 

P. L 2. 681 • 
wUtje gGwein|med ; heo | on wrac^e Bith|than, 

Citd. Gen. 71. 





gum { -rinca gjd | en : cuth | e gal j dra fel | a. 

Alf. Met. 26. 53. 

beor I nas forbred | an : and | mid bal | ocraf | turn. 

Alf. id. 75. 

Thra j cia cjn j ing : thcet | he tlion | an mos | te. Alf. id. 22. 

wid' e eteow | de : tha | se wul | dor cyn | ing. Cad. Gen. 165. 

One I that lusts af j ter : ev j 'ry sev ' eral beau ' ty. 

FletchfT. Faith. Sh. 1. 2. 

21 : 2. is met with chiefly in the works of oar dramatists. 
It is not found in the " heroic verse '' as used by Dryden 


God liketh not that men us Rabbi call 

Keil ther in mar | ket : ne | in your larg | e hall { . 

Ch. Sompnoures Tale; C. T. 7779. 

Know [ and the wor | schip : and | the gret no { bilnacc | 
Of him quhilk sprang that tym in mony place. 

Wallace, 11. 267. 

^Tiiles I I in Ire I land : nour j ish a migh ! ty band | . 

2 H. VI. 3. 1. 348. 

Keep I his brain fiun { ing : Ep | icurc | an cooks | 
Stuu^n with cloyless sauce his appetite. 

A. and C. 2. 1. 24. 

^rite I them togeth | er : yours ( is as fair | a name I . 

Jul. Can. 1. 2. 144. 

If aught proposal — 

Of difficulty or danger could deter 

^'e I from attemp | ting : where | fore do I | assume | 

These royalties ? P. L. 2. 450. 

^^ I the mseg eath | e : eal ! dum and leas I um spel | lum.^ 

Alf. Met. 26. 1. 

^ifter to al j dre : thoes | we her in | ne mag ] on. 

Cad. Gen. 437. 

L€t j me not think | on't : frail | ty thy name | is worn | an. 

Hamlet, 1. 2. 146. 

^re I is our un | cle? : what | is the mat ! ter, Snf | folk ? * 

2 H. VI. 3. 2. 28. 

' [But spellum bebngs to the line following. — W. \V. S.] 
» [The Globe edition haa, " what's the matter."— W. W. S.] 


Give I me the map { there : know | that we have | divid { ed 
In three our kingdom. Lear^ 1.1. 38. 

2 Z : 5. like all those verses which had a supernumerary 
syllable between the sections, was rejected by Dryden and 
his imitators. 

Lag I o mid Ian { de : geseah | tha lir| es weard < . 

Cad. Gen. 163. 

God I es forgym | don : hie hyr | a gal | beswac | . 

CiBd. id. 327. 

Draw I near to for | tune : and la { hour her | to please | , 
If that ye thynke yourselfe to wel at ease. 

Sir T. More. Boke of Fortune. 

Give I me the dag | gers : the sleep | ing and | the dead | 
Are but as pictures. Macbeth, 2. 2. 53. 

In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame, 
Or I by eva | sions : thy crime | uncov | er'st more | . 

Samson, 841. 

Har I pies and hy | dras : or all | the mon | strous forms ] 
Twixt Africa and Ind. Camus, 605. 

Fyr I ena fi'em | man : ac hie | on frith | e lif j don. 

C€td. Oen. 19. 

I hear a knocking 

At I the south en | try : retire | we to | our cliam ] bers. 

Macbeth, 2. 2. 66. 


5 : 1 . is very rare. The cause is evidently the sharp and 
abrupt division between the two sections. 

Tha;m Ca | sere | : cyn | eric | u twa | . Alf. Met^ 26. 6. 

And he that is approvM in this ofience, 
Though he hath twinn'd with me, both at a birth, 
Shall lose | mc. What | ! : in | a town | of war | , 
To manage private and domestic (][uarrel ! 

Othello, 2. Z.7,\\. 

Shapes of grief 

Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows 

Of what I is not ^ | : Then, | most gra | cious queen | 

More than your lord's departure weep not. J?. //. 2. 2. 28. 

> [The Globe edilion has. «' Of what it is not," &c— W. W. S.] 


And weor | thodon | : swa | swa wul | dres cyn | ing.^ 

Alf, Met. 26. 45. 

Yea, look*st | thou pale j ? let | me see | the writ I injr. 

R. 11. 5. 2. 57. 
The King of heav'n forbid our lord the king 
Should 80 with civil and uncivil arms 
Be rush'd | upon [ ! : thy | thrice no i ble cous | in 
Harry Bolingbroke doth humbly kiss thy hand. 

R. II. 3.3. 101. 

5:2. has been common in our verse of ten syllables from 
the days of Chaucer. 

This Pal I amon | : when | he these word • es herd j e, 
Dispitously he loked and answer { de. 

Knightes Tale; C. T. 1125. 

And Phoebus, fresh as bridegroom to his mate, 
Came dan | cing forth | : shak | ing his dew | y hair | . 

F. Q. 1. 5. 2. 

False el | oquence | : like | the prismat | ic glass | 
Its gaudy colours spreads on every place. 

Pope. Essay on Criticism, 311. 


For self- 1 offence | : more | than for God | ofien | ded. 

Samson, 514. 

Some of onr later critics^ and among others Johnson^ have 
tecorded their objections to any verse which ends with the 
aection 2. Pemberton, the friend and panegyrist of Glover, 
considers the measure of the verse 

And tow'rds | the gate | : roll | ing her bcs | tial train | 

P. L. 2. 873. 

Mfeulty; because the third foot is ^' a trochee. ^^ He would 
correct it thus. 

And rol j ling towVds | the gate | : her bcs | tial train | . 

The alteration seems to me anything but an improvement. 
The uneven flow of Milton's line, is far better adapted to 
express a " rolling '^ motion, than the continuous rhythm 
of his presumptuous critic. 

' [But the MS. omits And.-\\. W. S.] 


5 : 3. was last patronised by Milton. Its revival is hardly 
to be wished for. 

Als bestiall thar rycht courss till endur 
Weyle lielpit ar be wyrkyn off natur, 
On fute and weynge asccndand to the hycht, 
Conser | wed weill | : be | the ma | kar of mycht | . 

Wallace, 3. 5. 
The par | dale swift | : and | the ty | ger cruell | , 
The antelope and wolf both fierce and fell. F. Q, 1. 6. 26. 

His work enjoys not what itself doth say, 

For it shall never find one resting day ; 

A thousand hands shall toss each page and line, 

Which shall be scannM by a thousand eyne, 

That sab { bathes rest | : or | this sab { bathes unrest { ^ 

Hard is to say, whether*s the happiest. 

Hall, on Mr. GreenhanCs " Book of the Sabbathr 

Tis true I am that spirit unfortunate 

Who, leagued with millions more in sad revolt 

Kept not my happy station, but was driven 

With them | from bliss | : to | the bot [ tomless pit ' . 

P, R. 1. 358. 

Eternal wrath 

BuruM af I ter them | : to | the bot | tomless pit { . P. L. 6. 865. 

In his own image he 

Crea | ted thee | : in | the im | age of God | 

Express. P. X. 7. 526. 

There can^ I think^ be little doubt^ that Milton saw in 
this rhythm a certain fitness for his subject. The reader 
is almost forced to dwell on the preposition which begins 
the second section ; otherwise he may miss the accent^ and 
sink the line into a miserable verse with only four accented 
syllables. This resting place serves the purpose of an 
emphatic stop, and seems to have been intended to give 
force to the words which follow, " the bottomless pit," '* the 
image of God.'^ 

5 : 5. is one of the standard verses of 5 accents. 

From cneo \ -msegum | : that hie | set cam { pe oft | . 

Bnmanburh, 8. 

* [But perhaps this is t-mphatic, and we should read: *' or this | sab | bath's 
unrest.)" Dr. Guest, in the first edition, prints " or the sabbath's unrest 5" but 
the right reading seems to be this. — W. W. S.] 


And wek | e ben | : the ox | en in | my plow | , 
The remenmnt of my tale is long enow. 

Chau. The Knightes Tale; C. T 889. 

And hear | me woods j : and si | lence of | this place { 
And ye | sad hours j : that move | a sul { len pace | . 

Fletcher, Fa. Sheph. 4. 4. 

And pi I ous awe { : that fear*d | to have | offen | ded. 

P. Z. 5. 135. 

This verse is occasionally found doubly lengthened, in 
le works of our dramatists. 

He must | not live | : to trum { pet forth | my in | &my. 

Per. 1. 1. 145. 

And hence we do conclude 

That what | so*er | : hath flux | ure and | humid | ity. 

B. Jon. E. M. out of hie H. Prol. 93. 

5 : 6. seems rarely to have been used after the 15th oen- 
ory^ even by our dramatists. 

Schyr Ran | aid had { : the Per | seys protec | tioun { 

As for all part to tak the remissioun. Wallace, 1. 333. 

Twa yeris thus with myrth Wallace abaid 

Still in I to Frans | : and mon { y gud jor | nay maid { . 

Wallace, 11. 144. 

How fi I ery | : and for | ward our ped | ant is | . 

T. of the Shrew, 3. 1. 

S 1 : 1. has always been among the standard verses of five 

A mer | chant was | ther : with | a forked herd | , 

In mottelee, and high on hors he sat, 

And on his hed a Flaundrish bever hat Chau. Prol. 272. 

Wliat strong | er breast { -plate : than | a heart | untain | ted. 

2 H. VI. 3. 2. 232. 

With all his host 

Of rcb I el an | gels : by | whose aid | aspir | ing. . . 

He trusted to have equaUM the Most High. P. L. 1. 37. 

•I^ following is an instance of the verse doubly length- 

If that my cousin King be King of England, 

It most I be gran | ted : I | am Duke | of Lan | caster. 

R. II. 2. 3. 123. 


51 : 2. fell into disuse after Milton's death; 

And with that word he cau^rht a great mirrour, 
And saw that chaunged was ull his colour ; 
And saw | his vis i age : all | in anoth | er kind | , 
And right anon it ran him in his mind. 

The Km'ghies Tale; C, T. 1401. 

Sound drums | and trum | pets : bold | \j and cheer | fully | . 

R. IlL 5. 3. 269. 

She, gnilt \ less dam | sel : fly | ing the mad | pursuit | 

Of her enraged step-dame Guendolen. Comus, 829. 

My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd, 

But still rejoic'd ; how is it now become 

So dreadjful to | thee? : That | thou art najked, who] 

Hath told thee ? P. L. 10. 119. 

Let grief 

Convert | to ang | er, blunt | not the heart | , enrage | it 

Macb. 4. 3. 229. 

AVhen flame | and fu|ry : make | but one face | of hor|ror. 

Ftetch. Lay. Subf, 1. 3. 

Gentle to me and aflable hath been 

Thy con | descen | sion : and | shall be hon | our'd ev | er 

With grateful memory. P. L. 8. 648. 

5 Z : 5. did not survive Milton ; 

Of sterres that ben clcped in scriptures 
That on | Fuel | la : that oth | er Ru | beus | . 
This God of armes was araied thus — 

Chau, The Knightes Tale; C. T. 2046. 

The swerd | flaw fra { him : a fur | breid on | the land | , 
Wallas was glad : and hynt it sone in hand. 

Wallace, 1. 405. 

Then mayst | thou bold | ly : defy | her turn | ing chaunce | , 
She can thee neither hinder nor advance. 

Sir T, More. Boke of Fortme. 

Now, broth { er Rich { ard, : Lord Has | tings, and | the rest | . 

3 H. VI. 4. 7. L 

And to the ground her threw ; yet n'old she stent 
Her bitt | er rail | ing : and foul | revil | ement | . 

F. Q. 2. 4. 12. 


Or search'd the hopeful thicks of hedgy rowes 

For bri I ery ber j ries : or hawes | or sowr j er sloes | . 

Hall. Sat. 3. 1. 14. 

How are you join'd with hell in triple knot, 

Against the unarmM weakness of one virgin. 

Alone I and help i less ! : is this { the con j fidcnce | 

You gave me, brother? ComitSf 581. 

Ah ! fro I ward Clar | ence : how ev 1 11 it | beseems | thee 
To flatter Ilenn-. 3 H. VL 4. 7. 84. 

Farewell my eagle ! when thou flew*st, whole armies 

Have stoupM | below | thee : at pas | sage I | have seen | thee 

Ruffle the Tartars. FL Loyal Subj. 1. 8. 21. 

Byron has given as one instance of the verse 5 Z : 5. bat 
rather through negligence than of set purpose ; 

I see I before | roe : the glad 1 ia | tor lie | . Childe H. 4. 140. 

51:6. is very rare. It prevailed chiefly in the 15th 
century ; 

Bchir Ran \ aid Craw { furd : beho { wide that tyme | be thar j , 
For he throw rycht was born schirreff of Air. 

Wallace, 4. 15. 

Verses beginning with 5 II, are occasionally found in 
v^ucer, and are not unfrequent in our dramatists. Mas- 
suiger particularly aflfected this doable lengthening of the 
firet section. 

5 II : 1. 

They teach their teachers with their depth of judgment, 

And are | with ar | guments : a | ble to | convert 

The enemies to our Gods. Mass. Virg. Martyr, 1. 1. 46. 

When that the Knight had tliiis his tale told, 

In all I the com | paynie : n'as | ther yong | ne old | , 

That he ne said it was a noble storie. 

Chau. The Milleres Prol.; C\ T. 3111. 

It is the Prince of Wales that threatens thee, 

Who nev | er prom | iseth : but | he means | to pay | . 

1 //. IV. 5. 4. 42. 

To meet | Northum | berland : and | the Prel | ate Scroop | . 

Same, 5. 5. 37. 


Verses beginning with the sections 6. and 6 1. were cer- 
tainly used by Chaucer ; though^ in the present condition 
of his works^ it is difficult to say to what extent. They 
were very common in the century, which succeeded his 
death, but in the 16th century fell rapidly into disfavour. 
They are found but rarely even in the plays of our drama- 
tists, though I suspect that Shakespeare^s editors have 
silently corrected the rhythm of many verses, which, as 
Shakespeare wrote them, contained the obnoxious section. 
The rare occurrence of these verses in Anglo-Saxon is 
matter of some surprise. 


Me lif I es onlah | : se | this leoht | onwrah | . 

Riming Poem, 1. 


And as | he was wont { : whis | tered in | mine care { . 

M,/or M. Kg. James IV. 1. 

Was not Richard of whom I spake before 

A rebell playne untill his father dyed, 

And John likewise an en*my evermore 

To Rich I arde againe { : and | for a rcb { ell tried | ? 

Ferrers, M.forM, Gloucester, ii, \S, 


Off cornikle quhat suld I tary lang. 

To Wal I lace agayne | : now breiff j ly will | I gange | . 

Wallace, 1. 148. 
Yet are mo foolcs of this abusion, 
Whiche of wise men despiseth the doctrine, 
With mowes, mockes, scome and collusion, 
Reward ] ing rebukes | : for their | good dis | cipline \ . 

Barclay, Schip of Poles, Of Mockers, sU 6. 

On Hoi I yrood day | : the gal \ lant Hot | spur there | , 

Young Harry Percy and brave Archibald 

At Holmedon met. 1 U. VI, 1. 1. 52. 

Lord Mar | shall, command { : our of { ficers | at armes | ,^ 

Be readie to direct these home alarmcs. R, IL 1. I. 204. 

' Fol. Ed. 1628. In the modem Editions the word Lord is omitted. 


6:6. is only found in very loose metre^ like that of the 
mbling verse ; 

Ilereaf I ter by me { : mj sue | cessors may | beware | . 

M./or M, Kg. James IV. 11. 

Pteser^e | the red rose \ : and be | his protec | tion { . 

M. for M. Fhdden F. 25. 

Verses beginning with the section 6 2. are occasionally 
QD6t ^rith^ but rarely after the middle of the 16th century. 

■ I wonder this time of the yere 

Wliennes that swete sayour cometh so, 
Of ros I es and lil | ies : that | I smel j le here | . 

CTuiu. The second Nonnes Tale; C. T. 15712. 

heartless fooles, haste here to our doctrine, .... 
For here | shall I shewe | you : good | and veri | tie { , 
incline | and ye find | shall : great prosper j itie { , 
Bnaaj ing the doc | trine : of | our fa thers olde | , 
And godly lawes in valour worth great golde. 

Barclay. Schip of Foles, Of Mockers, st. 1. 

His soldiers spying his undaunted spirit, 
ATid{bot, aTaljbot: crijed out | amainj. 

1 H. VI. 1. 1. 127. 

It also proved full often is certayne, 

'Hiat they | that on moc | kers : al j way their min | des cast { ^ 
Shall of all other be mocked at the last. 

Barclay. Schip of Foles, id. st. 9. 


Take ye example by Cham the son of Noy, 
Which laugh | ed his fa { ther : un { to deris | ion | . 

Barclay. Schip of Foles, id. st. 13. 

Verses beginning with the sections 9^ 9 2. are sometimes^ 
"W>ngh rarely, met with in our dramatists. 


We may bold | ly spend | : upon | the hope | of what | 

Ii to come in. 1 H. IV. 4. 1. 64. 

' [ftit Jamieton's edition has mockes, i,e., mocks, not mockers. This is ob- 
inly right; and the scansion is probably different.— W. W. S.] 



The people of Rome, for whom we stand, 

A special party have by common voice, 

In elec | tion for { : the Ro | man £m | pery | , 

Chosen Andronicus. Tit And, 1. 1. 20. 


Tell him, if he will, 

He shall ha* | the gro | grans : at | the rate | I told | him. 
B, Janson. E, M. in his HumoWf 2. 


C. V. 




We have now to consider those veraes of five accents, 
which have three accented syllables in the first section ; 
and shall begin with observing upon certain peculiarities of 
tleir rhjthm ; more especially such as distingnisli them from 
tile ckas of verses, we have just passed under review. 

Here was, at one time, much vague and unprofitable 
ipeculation as to the b&tt position of the middle pause^ — 
an indeterminate problem, which admits of several answers. 
Gascoigne thought the pause would be " best placed " after 
the fourth syllable ; King James preferred the sixth. The 
kter objects specially to the fifth, because it is " odde, and 
e?ene odde fute ia short/' Johnson's objection to the 
Middle pause, when it follows an unaccented syllable, has 
IwD already noticed ; he would tolerate it when the sense 
'Was merely suspended, but not when it closed a period. 

There are certainly many sentences, which ought to end 
▼ithafull and strongly marked rhythm ; and, as certainly, 
fitWa in which a feeble ending, so far from a defect, may 
IWi beauty. I consider it a beauty in the very veryo which 
•nkoBon has quoted to prove it the contrary ; 

He with hh liorii(l ercw 

Lay vanqimh**!, rollmg in the fiery ffulpb 
ConfouDtlecl though immortai. But \m dooro 
Reserv'd him lo more wrath, &c» 

P.L. L5L 


^Hhified," we must remember, that Johnson^s ear was 
Wocated to admire the precise, but cold and monotonous 
jrijthm of Pope. As to its leaving the reader "in expec- 
lUtion of the remaining part of the verse," I cannot see in 
^]ii& consiste the objection. 

ere are also sentences, which ought to end slowly and 



B* II, 

with dignity ; but there are others, which may with equal 
propriety end abruptly. 

Whether the pause, then, be best placed after the section 
of two, or of thi-ee accents ; whether after an accented or 
an unaccented syllable ; must depend entirely on the circum- 
Btances of each case. It may be granted, that the '* noblest 
and moat majestic pauses" are those which follow the 
fourth and sixth syllables, and more especially the sixth ; 
and though the latter ought not to he preferred, hecatise it 
makes "a full and solemn close/^ yet it deserves oor 
preference, whenever such a close is necessary. There ia 
certainly something imposing in that " complete compass oC 
sound/* to which Johnson listened with so much pleasure^ 
when the pause followed the sixth syllable. Those who ar& 
familiar with hia favourite rhythms, will readily understanA 
"the strong emotions of delight and admiration'^ witti^ 
which he professes to have read the following passages ; 

Before the hllh appear'il or fountain flow'd, 

Thou will) t'tenml wisdom (Hdst oon verse, 

Wisdom tliy sisttJT, and with her diibt plav 

In piTacnce of th* almlglitv Fat lie r, |)!ea.^*d 

With tkj celuRtial mng, P. L. 7. S. 

Or other worlds they seemM, or happy isles, 
Like those Hesperian gardens, fana'd of old, 
Fortunate fields^ ami groves and flowVy vale?, 
Thrice happy isle.n \ But who dwelt happy there 
He Btaid not lo inquire. P, L, 3. 567a.J 

— ^ — - He blew 

HiB trumpet, heard in Orel* slnee, perhaps, 
W}ien God descended ; and perhaps once more 
To aound at gen ral thorn, P. L, 11. 


From the importance which Milton attached to 
numbers/^ it is clear that the poet and his critic differ 
no less in theory than in practice. The former moved ' 
majesty, whenever his subject required it; the latter loi 
the pomp of words for its own sake. The one wished \ 
suit his rhythm to his matter; the other too often swell 
out a thought, which could ill bear it, in order to 
rolling and a stately period. 

c, y. 



We bavo seen that several of onr modem critics, and 
among them John sod ^ objected to any verse, whose second 
section began abruptly. A a the objection is supported by 
exaiDples, which belong to the class of verses we are now 
eoQsideringi a few observations upon it will not, I think, be 
altogether out of place. It is said, that the injury to the 
Aflftiure is remarkably striking, when the '* vicious verse " 
Molades a period. 

Tills delicious pluee 

For lis H)0 large ; where thy abnndiinee wants 
Partakers, and uncropt : falls | to the ground |. 

P. L. 4 729, 

Hiii cfdm aud Imrmlci^s life 

I>f)es With s u list ant lal ble}<iie<Jneiis aboiinilf 

And the auft winga of peace : cov ' er him round [ » 

Transi of Vir^l; George 2. 

In the first of these verses, I can only see those *' apt 
numbers,^'' which Milton affected beyond any other poet, 
that has written our language. But Cowley is indefensible. 
iBitead of accommodating the flow of his verse to the 
'object, he has expressed his beautiful thought in the most 
jerking line his measure woald allow. Giving all his 
ittention to the smoothness of his syllables^ he seems to 
ive forgotten his rhythm. 

The whole, however, of Johnson^B criticism is founded 

false premises. When he denounced the verses last 

quoted, as gross violations of *' the law of metre,*^ he had 

«4 OQt with assuming, that the repetition of the accent 

"it equal times/' was '* the most complete harmony of which 

» single verse is capable." Our mixed rhythms were 

merely introduced for the purposes of variety ; to relieve us 

frtJtn the weariness induced by " the perpetual recurrenco 

<rf the same cadence," and to make ua '^ more sensible of the 

Winony of the pure measure/* This notion is not of 

modem date ; for so early as the sixteenth century, Webbo 

had laid it down, that ** the natural course '^ of English 

Vine ran " upon the lambicko stroke ; " and that " by all 

IDcelBiood it had the origin thereof/^ Ho might have been 

fcsnght aonnder doctrine by his contemporary Gaacoigne. 


B. a 

This critic lamenta that they were fallen into such ^' a plain 
and simple manner of writing, that there is none other footc 
used bntone/' and that such '^ sound or scanning^ continoetli 
throQgh the whole Terse." He admires " the libertie in 
feete and measures '' used by their Father Chaucer; aoJ 
tells his reader^ that ** whosoerer do peruse and well con- 
sider his works, he shall find, although his lines are not 
alwajes of one self-same number of syllableSp yet being 
read by one who hath understanding, the long-est verse, anil 
that which hath mo5t syllables in it, wilt fall to the ear© 
correspondent to that which hath fewest syllables in it; and 
likewise that which hath in it fewest syllables, shall b« 
founde yet to consist of wordes, that have such naturalt 
sounde, as may seeme equal in length to a verse, which hatli 
many moe syllables of lighter accents/' 

There can be no doubt, that our heroic metre was from 
the first a mixed one ; and though, owing to various caos^t 
— chiefly to the prevalence of false accentuation — ^it hai 
approached nearer and nearer to the common measure ; yet 
to narrow its limits, beyond what is necessary for ilw 
security of the accent, is to impair its beauty no less thsB 
its efficiency. 

Our verses of five accents begin much more commonly 
with sections L and 1 I. when the pause follovrs the thifd 
accent, than when it follows the second. The greater 
length of tbe section, and the more continuous flow 
rhythm, is doubtless the cause. 

1 : H. is met with in Anglo-Saxon, but in English 
hardly ever, 

Se I the wte , trum weald ^ : vri'cali { atird theah ] te. 
Ths I iTKfl sotli I 8wa mt\: dbli | cm heof | num. 

«ith ] th»n wid \ e rtd ] : wolc ' num iin | der. Cat/, i<f, ISJIt? 

swatig I that fyr \ on twii , : fe<jnd \ e» cncf | tc. 

Cted. id. 44SL 

ntbt I A oib I er swilc { : aith | wc9 reth \ o. Cad. id, 1 3M, 





2. is also rare. 

Hu I bert, keep | this boy | : Phil | ip, make up | , 

Mj mother is assailed in our tent. 

And ta*eii, 1 fear. Kg, John, X 2. 352. 

Wal I der-fies ] tan wic | : wer | odes thiym [ me. 

Cmi. Oen. 37. 

wjn I nihte | beueald | : sits | le gein | nod. Cad. id, 42, 

offer sealtlne Bae|: sund|wududrif Jan. 

Exater MS. Chrtnt, ^11. 

Vmd. Gen. 66* 

^m [ ferhyd | ig ejn { : eng { k of beof [ utim. 

Bl:5. is not imfreqoently uaed by the writers of the 
Hbenth century^ and by our older dramatists. 

' On I his Uf ] dagura | : gelic [ ost wies I . Alf, Met 26. 88, 

On I thfiftin ig \ londe [ : the an j lixes | , Alf. id. 58. 

Zeph I eras | began { : his mor { ow courss { ; 
The swete wapoiur thus fra the ground resourss. 

Wallace, 8. 1187. 

ScTTc I her daj | and night | : as rev | crently | 
Upon thy knees as any servaunt may. 
And, in conclusion, that thou shait win thereby, 
ShaO not be worth thy servit-e, I dare say. 

Sir T. More, Boke of Fortune. 

Sound, trumpets, and set forwards, combatants. 
Stay I i the king { hath thrown { : his war \ der down | . 

R. IL K3. 117- 
Firat that he lie upon the truckle bed. 
Whiles his young maLster lieth o'er bis head, 
Sec I otidt that | he do { : on no \ default | , 
Erer prcsntne to sit above the salt. Hall. ShL 2, 6. 5. 

Warton reads the line thus, 

Recond that he do, uptm no defaidt. 

I hare nothing bat a modem reprint at hand to refer to ; 
but bare little doobt that Warton has been tampering with 
Ma text* His motive for doing so is an obvioos one. By 
tianging the preposition he gets at once the orthodox 




B, II, 

number of syllables ; though' the accents still remain 

Mr \ thon eng | la weard \ : for af { erli^^g | de. 

Cad. Gen. 22, 

Gif I om grow [ ende | : on god [ ca ric | c, CW, id, 68. 

Lif { ea leuht | fniina { : on lid [ ca bos | me. Cad, id, 1040. 

On I ilia hat | lui hell { : thurh hjg { elcitB | ie. Cad, id. SSL 

Hit I geaeol { de gio | : on sum { e tld | e. Alf, Met 26. 4. 

I soiuerinie lay hi-rc in Cnrioli, 

At I tt poor I iiian's house j : he ua*d | me kind | ly. 

Cor. 1. 9. 82. 

Let*s to the aea-sldc, ho ! 

As well to see the vessel that's come iti^ 

As I tlirow out I our ejes | : for brave | Othelllo.* 

Oth, 2, L 56- 
- — - — — Examples that may nourish 
Ne«ilect and disobedience in whole lM>die9 — 
Must not he play*d mthal ; nor tint of pity 
Make | a gen j eritl ' : forget | his du [ ty. 

Fl, Bonduca^ 4* 3. 

O I how come j ly' it ia | : and how | reriv | ing. 

Sanuon, 1268. 



'' epigram ** 

This lengthened verse forms the great staple of Cam- 
pion's " Trochaic measure." The following 
will serve as a specimen. 

Ceaae | fond wretch | to lore j : no oft | deltid { ed, 
Still I made ritch | with hopes I : still an \ reliev | ed| 
Now I dy her ] delaica i : ahe. iliat | dehat | eth, 
Feels j not true \ desire | : he that | ^ defer | red 
Oth I ers time | attends : his owne | betray | etli, 
Loftju I t' affect | thyself [ : thy cheekes | deform | ed 
With pale care, revive with timely pleasure ; 
Or with scarlet heate them, or by painting 
Make thee lorely, for auch arte she uaetb, 
Whom ] in vayne | ao long | : thy fol j ly lov \ ed, 

1 / : 1. was used by Chaucer and his school, and also by 
onr dramatists. The lengthened verse was common in 
Anglo-Saxon ; 

' [Read ' At to throw out/ a» in the first folio.— W. W. S.] 

^ Thia is f&lae ai.'oentuation, but was certainly bteuded by tbe autlior. 



How longer Jono, Uiurgh thj craelte€, 

Wilt I thou war \ rein Theb | es : the | citee [ .* 

Chan. The Knighiet TaU ; C T, 1545. 

lath not two beares in their fury and rage, 
two I and for | tie chiJ dren : rent | and torn | , 
' they the prophete HeliMJua did aeorne ? 

Barclay, Sckip of Foles^ Of Mocken^ 9t 11. 

I exan | der 1 1 den : that^s | my name { , 

2 H. VL 5. L 74. 

And thus do we of wisdom and of reacK 

By indirections find directions out, 

So I by for | mer lev [ ture : and \ advice | ,^ 

Shall you, my aon. Hamlet, 2. L 64. 

Twelve I year since, | Mimn ' da : twelve | year tince | , 
Thy father waa the Duke of Milan, Temp, 1, 2. 53, 

Some late editora ieU tia to make tbe first year a dis- 

Twelve ye ] ar since, | Miran | da : twelve | year since | 

Thus I much for | your an [ swcr ; for j yours elvea | , 
Ye have lived the shame of women, die the better. 

Fletcher, Valentimatif L 2. 


Out I ye sluts | , ye fol I lies : from | our swoi-ds I 

^llch our revenges basely ? Fletcher. lionduca, 3.5. 

Pleticlier*s editor, in 1778, adds a third out, which ho has 
> doubt was dropt by the compositor or transcriber ; ** 

Out I 

Oat, out I ye sluts | ye fol , lies, &c. 

While I their hearts | were jo | cuud : and 1 sublime I , 
Drunk with idolatry, &c. Samson^ 1^60. 

How reviving 

To I the sp*rit6 | of just | men : long | oppressed |. 

Samson^ 126B. 

flu I gon forh { tigen | de ; fasr | onget { on. Ceed, Exod. 452, 

hyht j lie beof I on~tim | ber : hoi { tnas diel { de< 

CiSMl, Qen, 146* 

' fllif die reading warrein is false ; we must read werreymf in thre« sy tJablea, 
liW 'u pei^'Uy r^guhir.- W. W. S,) 
' (But Uto Gbbe edition has '' So by m^ fomcr leoturts'' &c,— W. W. B.] 


And I thurh of | ennet | to : eal | ra swit h | ost. 

Cad. Gen, 337. 

And I he eac I swa sam | e : eal | le masg | ne. 

Alf. Met. 26. 64. 

Wul I dorsped | urn wel | ig : wid| e stod | an. Cm/. Oen. 87. 

Ac I hi for I thaem yrm | thum : eard | es lys | te. 

Alf. Met 26. 71. 

On I gesac | um swith | e : sel | fes mih | turn. Cmd. Oen. 59. 

heo I ra cyn | ecyn { nes : cuth | is wid | e. Alf. Met 26. 42. 

Of I er heof I onstol { as : heag { um thrym | mum. Cmd. Oen. 8. 

Wol I don her | ebleath | e : ham | as fin | dan. Ctsd. Exod. 453. 

O I fer la { goflod | e : leoht | with thys | tram. Cttd. Oen. 127. 

that I he God { e wol | de : geong ] erdom | e. Cted. id. 267. 

that I he God | e wol | de : geong | ra weorth | an. Citd. id. 277. 

CwsBd I on that | heo ric { e : reth | e mod | e. Cted. id. 47. 

OthjthflBt him | gelyfjdc : leod | a un { rim. Alf. Met 26. 40. 

Oth I thet him | ne meah | te : mon | na as | nig. Aff. id. 69. 

Is I this the | Lord Tal|bot : uncjlc Glo6|ter? 

1 H. VI. 3. 4. 13. 

He shall not this day perish, if his passions 
May I be fed I with mu | sic : are { they read { y ? 

Fletch. Mad Lover, 4. 1. 

1 Z : 2. is common in Anglo-Saxon, but very rare m 
English ; 

un I der eorth | an neoth | an : sel | mihtig God { . 

Cad. Gen. 311. 

thon I ne cymth | on uh { tan : eas | terne wind | . Cisd. id. 315. 

wies I thses Job { es fe { der : God | eac swa he { . 

Alf. Met. 26. 47. 

See I him pluck | Aufid { ius : down | by the hair | . 

Cor. 1. 3. 33. 

heow I on heath | olin | de : ham | era laf { um. 

JBrunanburh Sang, 6. 

Sith I than her | ewos | an : heof | on ofgaef | on. Cad. Oen. 85. 



Of I ihmm mod | e cum { ath : mo» | nu gehwjl | com. 

Alf. Met 26. 109. 

That j be to I his ear \de : ibu | ige nys | te, Alf, id. ^iy. 

Ac I he mid | thssm wif | e : wun | ode sith \ than. Ai/. itL 68. 

A large proportion of Alfred^a verses have the alliterative 

syllables thrown back to the very end of the section. The 

aame peculiarity is sometimes met with in the works of 

Ciidmon and other Anglo-Saxon poets. This appears to 

m fatal to Rask's theory. If all the syllables, which 

occur before the alliterative syllablOj form merely "a com- 

pKmeiit/' and take no accent, we shall have some hundreds 

of sections with only otte accented syllable; a result which, 

according to Rask himself, is opposed to the very first 

principles of Anglo-Saxon verse. 

11:5* was at no period common ; 

«lc I tie a&f I ter otli | rum : for ec J ue God | . At/, id. 50* 

Wbjit I ED al j tera | tioD : of hon { our luia | 

Desjiemte waut mafle! 71 of Athens, 4. 3* 468, 

But I am troubled here with them mjaclf, 

The rebels have ajisajrVJ to win the Tow*r — 

But 1 get you \ to Smith [ field : and gath | er head [ . 

2 H. VL 4. 5. 8. 

Thss I the heo | ongun | non : with God { e win | imti. 

Cad. Gen. 77. 

Tieverae 2:1. isBoraetimes found lengthened in Anglo- 
SaiOGj but is very rarely met with in English ; 

TTwii I ne ae hal | ^a Gtwl | : hab | ban mill ] te. Ctsd. Gen, 270. 

Wd j come, ye war | bkc Goths , : wtil | c-ome Lu | I'ius, 

TiL And. 5* 3. 27. 

2:2. is one of the standard verses of five accents, but 
^43 little favoured by Dryden and his school. Seldom as 
^ tiae it, it is much more rarely that they use it happily. 
'te properties have been discussed at length in the opening 
of thia chapter* 

For the love of God, that for us alle died, 

And as 1 mav deserve it unta you, 

What I *hall thb re | ceit cojit * ^ ? : tel | leth me now j . 

Chau* Chammes Yemanneit Taie ; C T* 16821. 

' Qvfrv, cn6t#? [Y«t| certainly -, Urn line is quite regular, tetUik being read 


B. II. 

This mighty man, quoth he, whom 7011 hare sljitn« 

Of I an huge gi ; an teas | : whil | om was bred | . 1^. Q. 4, 8. 47* 

And I for Mark An | tonj | : think | not on htm [ . 

Jul Cms. %. L 18L 

There to converse with eyerlasting groans — 
Ag I es of hope [ less end | : this | would be Mrorae | 

He unobserved 

Home I to hia moth \ er*8 house | : prir | ate retttm^d | . 

P. It 4. eaa. 

Ja \ the great chain | that draws | : all | to agree 

Pope, E$9a^ am MtOL, 1 


Brut I us is no j ble, wise { : ral | iant and hon j eit, 
Ca'sar was migh j ty, bold { : roy \ al and Iot | ing. 

Jul Cir#, 3, J. JSe, 

Where | may she wan | der now J : whith | er betake | her ? 

Comiu, 3dl. 

2 : 5» waa well known in Anglo- Sax on^ and has alwftjs 
been among the atandard verses of five accents. 

Lasd I de ofer lag | n stream | ; s^et Ion 1 ge theer \ . M 

Al/. Met 2€, 16. 1 

He I tha gefcr | de | : thnrh feon { des erscft | . Cocf. Gem, 453. 

A Frankelein was in this compnynie, 

White was his berd^ m h tlie tiaycsie, 

Of I his cximplex | ion | : he was | sangntn | , 

Wc! loved he by the monve a sop in win. CAoic I*roL 

Ami I tiie world's vie tor !«tood \ : subclueii | by floiitid | . 

Pope. Etmy on CHiiciMm^ 381. 

wer { ige wun ] edon | : and we | an cuth [ on, H 

CiBfl Gen, 74, " 
hear | ran to hab | bane { : ic maeg ] mid han | dnm [swa feUl. 

Cmd, Gm, 270. 

Rliart was his jjoun, with sieves lotif^ and wide, ^H 

Wcl I coude ho sit ^ te on htirs | : and fair | e rid [ e. ^| 

CAau. /Vot 9a 
One I that doth wear | himself; : away | in lone ! ness. ^ 

Fkk'her. Faiik. Shep. U t,| 

Till I an unu \ sua] stop | : of sud | den si | lence. Com^us^ SSSL 



! 1 ; 1, is one of the standard verses of five accents, 

\Vbi] I om aA ol I de stor | ies : tel { leu iia | , 

ITher was a duk, that hlgbte Theseus. 
Chau, KnighUs Talt; C. T, 861, 

Tben | sliall man's pride | and dul [ tiet^B : com | prebend | 
Eli aciiou^s, po^saioa'g, being' s^ use and end, 
I Pope^M Eisaif on Mtm^ i. 65. 

For I thmn he wsn | mid rih | te : ric | es hjr | de. 

Alf. Met, U. Al, 

f Gif e I not jowneli \ to lone { nesi : and | those grac | es 

Hide from the eyei of men. Ft, Faith. Sheph. 1. 3. 

21:2. fieems to have been last patronised by Milton. 


WeVe fellows still 

Scrrling alike | in sot royr : leakM | im our l)ark|i 

And we, poor raate«, stand on the dying deck 

Hetrtng the surges threat. Tinmn of A. 4, 2. 19. 

1 1 bWI remem | ber tru 1 17 t tnwt | me, I shall j , 

Fl Lay. Suhj\ 1.1. 

^iit I for that damn*d | majfic | ian : let | htm be girt | 

^^itti all the grisly legions. Comus^ 602. 

%) I e he sng | um an | nm : eal { le gesjl [ lan« 

E:reter MS. Christ. 683. 

- ' ' 5. feU into disuse at the same time as the verse last 

^'i I a«s your Gods | will hiiTe | it : it on j Ij stands | 
^ lives upon to use our strongest hands. 

A. and C. X L 50. 

^[eer at home | lie bed | -rid : not on j tj i{ die, 

glorious. SamM<m^ 579. 

^^<ms^ I for the third, | Laer { tea : you do | but dal { 1/. 

HamUi, 5. 2, 308. 

■ — Let other men 

8«t up their bloods for aale^ mine shall be ever 

Fair I tm the soul | it car | riei : and un | chaste nev | cr. 

Fiek'her. Fa. Shep. 1. 3. 

2' * 6 i, was not uncommon in our early English rhythmB. 

^TJciten not | in cim | tre : to cair | en about | e. 

P. Piotighnmnj A,proL 29, 


2 U : 1, may be found in soma of our dramatiBts. 
Nor cures nor secret vaults, 

No, nor the powV they »erve, could keep these Cbrbtinnf* 
Or I from noj reach | or pun \ ishment : but | i\iy mac; ic 
Still laid them open. MaMiinger. Virgm Afarfyr^ 1. 1, |7. 

The verses beginning with the sections 3* and 3 I. deserre 
attention^ as being in tbe number of those which strikingly 
characterize the rhythm of Milton. To a modern ear the 
flow of these verses is far from pleasing, nor can I readily 
see what was their recommendation to one, whose ear was so 
delicately sensitive, unless it were that assigned in p. 220. 
Whatever might be the motive, he certainly employed them 
more profusely than any of his contemporaxies. 

3: 1. 

Tha I was WKBt | mum awe&ht { : world 


Riming Poem, % 


How I if when { I am laid | : in { to the tomh | 

I wake before the time 

R. and J. 4. 8, 30w 

The mighty regencies 

Of seraphim and fm ten tales and powers, 

In I their trip \ le degrees j : re | gions to which | 

All thj dominion, Adam^ ib no more 

Than what this garden is to all the earth. 

Both ascend 

In t th^ T^i« I Jon5 of God | : It | was a hill | 

Of Paradise the highest P, Z. 1 1. 370. 

Ir { recov \ 'mblj blind j : to { tal eclipse | . SamMom^ SI, 

Fel ] low, come | from the throng, | : look | upon Ca | sar. 

5. and 3 : 6 /, 

This piid nqnier wiih Wallace bonnd to ryd . . , • 

And EdwnnI Lilil) his sister sone so der, 

Full I Weill graitb { it in-till | r thar ar | mour cler | , 

Wallace^ 3. 51, 
Or he decess, 
MoQ |y thou I sand in fcild | : lall mak | thar end 1 . 

Wailace, 2. 34^. 

Who I t)ien cfures ] to be half | : bo kind | igain | ? 
For bounty, tha( makes Gods, does atill mar meD« 
" 7\mon of A, 4, 2. 40. 

0|Ter fish | of the seaj : and fowl | of th* air{ 

Ami for the tcatimony of truth, hast borne 
I' * m^er | sa] reproach | : far worse | to bear | 
TUb violence. 

I come thy guide 

To { the gar | deo of bibs { : thy seat | f>repar*d | . 

BoifK echo murmnr'd to hia wordfl applause, 

Thrrjtigh I the in | finite host | : nor less j for that ] 

Tlie flaming seraph fearlea a A X. 6. 872. 

From their bh'ssful bow'rs 

W imarantine shade, fountain or Bprin«f, 

% I the wa I tera of life ] : wherever | they sat | , 

h fellowiship« of joy, the son a of light 

HiHted. P, L, 11 

Trnt image of the Father, whether thi^n d 

In I the bos| om of bliss ; and light | of light] 

Concei^'iiig, or remote from Heaven P. J?t 4» 596. 

U{ iii?er I sally crowned | : with high { est prais | es. 

Sammn Agtm, 175. 

ilton Q66d just as freely the yersea that begin with the 
ned aection. 

Thii I Valer [ ian corree ' ted : as j God wolde | , 

Amwetd again. Chau. 2nd Nonnes Tale ; C T. 15630. 

' A stream of neetArouB humour issuing flowM 
San|guiiie, such j as eeles{tial : spirits | may bleed | . 

P. L, 6. 332. 


Tlien to die desert takes with tlicse his fliglit, ■ 

Where still from shade to sliade the son of God ' 

Afj ter for \ ty dEtjs* fas | tlog : had { rem&ifi*d | . 

P. R. 2. 24L 
Victory and triumph to the Bon of God, 
Now ent'riug hin great duel, not of arms. 
But I to van I qnish by wis | dom : hel | IibIi wiles ] . 

PHI, 173. 

— Is thifl the man 

That I invin \ cible 8am | son : far | renownM { , 

The iiread of laraers foes— Sanaon, Agon. JWO, j 

Can this be he. 

That heroic, that reiiownVi 
Ir I rests | tible Sara [ sob r whom | unarm | ed 
No strength of man or fiercest wild beast couhi witbstJind ? 

Samson Agon, 124. 

And through hU side the last drops, ebbing slow, 
From tiie red gash, fall heavy, one by one. 
Like j the first | of a thun | der :-show'r | , and now | 
The areoA swims around him. Chtltle Haroldy 4. 


With gentle penetration^ though unseen, 

Shoots I invis | ibie vir | tue : e'en | to the deep { . 

P, L, 3, 585.1 

There are very few versea that begin with the section J 
Not only is its length unwieldyj but the very marked eh - 
racter of ita rhythm prevents it from uniting readily wi**^ 
other sections. It is some times found in our old Engli^^ 
alliterative poems ; 

Lov I ely lay | it a-long | 


in bis lone Uy den j ne. 

William cmd the Werwolf, 20.1 

Fra I grant all f ul | of firesche o | dour ' fyn \ est of smell | 
Dwibar, Tua Mary it Wet 

5:1. has always been rare. 

This yellow slave — 

Will knit and break religions — place thieves 
And give them title, knee, and approbation 
With sen | *tora on | the bench j : this | ia it { 
That mokes the wappcned widow wed again. 

Timon of A . 


Whether to knock agaiiut the gates of liome, 

Or rudelj visit them in parts remote, 

To firight I them, ere | destroy. { : But | come in { , 

Let me commend thee first to those, that shall 

Saj yea to thy desires. Cor. 4. 5. 147. 

Love is not love, 

^Vhen it is mingled with regards that stand 

Aloof I from th' en | tire point j : will | you have | her ? 

Lear, 1. 1. 241. 

1 defy thee, 

ThoQ mock | -made man { of mat | : charge | home, sir j rah. 

FL Bonduca, 4. 2. 

5 : 2. is one of the standard verses of five accents. 

A gher \ eve had j de he been | : and | a contour | , 

Wm no wher swiche a worthy vavasour. Chan. Prol. 361. 

IiMtmct I me, for | thou know'st, ! : thou | from the first | 
Wi8t present. P. Z. 1. 19. 

We can | not blame | indeed | : but | we may sleep | . 

Pope. Essay on Criticism, 242. 

One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge called, 
Forbid \ den them | to taste | : know | ledge forbid | den ? 

P, Z. 4. 514. 
At Sessions ther was he lord and sire 
Ful of I ten times | he was | : knight | of the shire | . 

Chau. Prol, 357. 

5:5. ig also one of the standard verses of five accents. 

And though he holy were and vertuous, 
He was | to sin | ful men | : not dis | pitous | . 

Chau, Prol, 517. 

Letro hence | for an | cient rules | : a just | esteem { . 

Pope's Ess, on Crit, 139. 

He dies | and makes | no sign | : O God | forgive | him. 

2 H. VI, 3. 3. 29. 

The fel | lows of | his crime | : the fol | low'rs rath | er. 

P.Z.I. 606. 

Fbe following is an instance of the verse 5 : 5 II, 

Will you permit that I shall stand condemned 
A wan I d*ring vag | abond | : my rights | and roy | alties 
Plucked from my arms perforce? B. II, 2. 3. 119. 



5 : 6. was seldom used after the fifteenth centniy. 

The faithful love that dyd us both combyne^ 

In manage and peasable Concorde, 

Into jour handes here I cleane resigne 

To be I bestowed | upon | : jour chil | dren and mine | . 

Sir T. More. Ruful Lament 

And was | a big | bold bam | : and brem | e of his ag | e. 

William and the Werwolf, 18. 

And whan { it was | out went | : so wel | hit him lik { ed. 

Same, 28. 

5 : 10. is very rare. 

Katharine the curst, 

A ti I tie for | a maid { : of all ti | ties the worst | . 

Tarn, of the Shrew, 1. 2. 129. 

5 { : 1. is one of the standard verses of five accents. 

Befel that in that season, on a day 

In South I wark at | the Tab | ard : as | Ilaj | — 

Ch. Prol. 19. 

These leave the sense, their learning to display, 
And those | explain | the mean | ing : quite | away | . 

Pope's Ess. on Criticism, 116- 

From every shires ende 

Of Englelond to Canterbury they wende 

The ho I ly blis | ful mar | tyr : for | to sek | e. Chan, Prol 15. 

His greedy wish to find, 

His wish I and best | advan | tage : us | asun | der. 

P. Z. 9. 257. 

5 2:2. and 52:5. were seldom used after the time of 


Till now you have gone on and filFd the time 

With all I licen { tious meas | ure : mak | ing your will { 

The scope of Justice. Timon o/" vi. 5. 4. 3. 

I heard | thee in | the gar | den : and | of thy voice | 
Afraid, being naked, hid myself — P, L, 10. 116. 

Obey I and be | atten { tive : canst | thou remem { ber 

A time before we came into this cell ? Temp, 1. 2. 38. 



- Thou mnd I 

Hare for | tj miles | to ride | yet : ere din | ner time ' .^ 

1 Hen, IV, 3. 8. 222. 

For m I those days | might on | ly : shall be | admired | . 

P. L, 11. 689. 

And from work 

Now res | ting, blessM | and hal | low*d : the ser | enth daj | . 

P. Z. 7. 591. 

The mom | ing comes | upon | us : we'll leare | yon, Bru { tus. 

Jul, Cm, 2. 1. 221. 


To loathe | the taste | of sweet { ness : whereof | a lit | tie 

More than a little, is by much too much. 1 Hen, IV, 3. 2. 71. 

51:6!. is met with in the old English alliteratiye 


For son I e thu | bist lad] lie : and lad | to iseon | ne. 

Orave»Songf 42. 

Inhabjite as | anher|mite: unhojly of workjes. 

P, Ploughman, B, prol, 3. 

I Blom I bred in | a slep | yng : it swey | red so mer | y. 

P, Ploughman, id, 10. 

Verses that begin with the section 5 U, are met with, not 
only m the tumbling verse, but occasionally also in onr 
^hunatigts. They give a loose and slovenly character to 
4e rhythm, and were very properly rejected by Spenser, 
and by Milton. 


Who wears | my stripes | impressed | on him : who | must bear | 
My beating to the grave.^ Cor. 5. 5. 108. 

5 « : 2. 

It may | be I | wiU go | with you : but yet | 1*11 pause | . 

Rich, II 2. 3. 168. 

A eoT I *reign shame | so el { bows him : his own | unkind { ness. 

Lear, 4. 3. 44. 

• [Printed sa prase in the Globe edition.— W. W. S.] 

* [In the G lobe edition the lines are differently dirided.] 



B. U* 

Verses beginning with the sections 6, 6L 6 M. were 
rarely used even by our dramatists. Byron, whose neg- 
ligent versification ba^ never yet been properly censtiredf 
has given ua one or two examples of the verse 6:2, To 
slip a verde of this kind into a modem poem, ia little better 
than laying a trap for the reader. 


I have 8o much endur'd, so much endure, 

Look cm I me, tlie grave j hath not | : chang ] *d thee luor | e 

Than I mn chatigM for thee. Byron. Man/red, 2. 4. 

6 : 5< 

And there | by the band | of God | : he ww | prostrate | . 

M.forM, Fladden Field, 18. 

He conquered all the re|nie of feminie, 

That whilnm was yclepcd Scythin^ 

And wed | ded the freah | e quene j ; Ippol ] Ita | .* 

Tht Knighted Tate, L 8. 

The sen | &te hath sent | about I : three sev | era! quests | 

To tearch you out Othello^ 1 . 2. 40. 

6 :6. 

And mMiJy a deadjly stroke |: on tliem | there did light { . 

M. for M. Fhdd, FUlii, 9, 


Qui loq I uitur tur | piloqj uium : is Lu | cifercs bin [ e* 

P. Piovgkman, B, prai. 39. 

Verses beginning with the sectiona 7. and 7 I. ar® very 
rarely met with, except in the old English alliterative 


With that, j m baiat | to the hege| : bo hard | I iuthrmiig| , 

Dunbar. Tm Muryii Wem^m^ 19. 

Qubairon j ane bird | on ane bransche | : so birtt { out hir not { k 

Same^ S» 

* [Thia line it *> execrnblj harsh tbiit im error may be iuspet-ied. Aecctrdiiiglf ^ 
wo find that>VttiA# it an insertion of Tyrwhitfs, duv to the faet th^t be wM 
unaw&ra that wtddsdt wai trisytlabie* Read— And wedldedc | ib# qiiaeo* 

If*pollitu.-.W.W. 8.] 




Apon I the mid | sumer ev { en : mir | riest of nich | tis. 

Dunbar, Tua Maryit Wemen^ 1. 

71: 6 i. 

The hel | ewag | as beoth lag | e : aid- wag | as unheg { e. 

Grave' Song, 17. 

To hay | e a ly | cence and lev | e : at Lon { don to dwel { le. 

Piers Ploughman, B, prol. 85. 

Verses beginning with the section 8. are no less rare 
(bm those which begin with section 4. Thej must of 
necessity approach close on the confines of the triple 
iDeasnre ; but yerses belonging to that measure woold^ in 
most cases^ be of a most unwieldy lengthy if they contained 
live accents. They are, however, occasionally found in the 
>IUteratiYe metre, and there are some very curious speci- 
niena in the Anglo-Saxon poem, called The Traveller. 


Hid Wen | Inm ic waes | and mid Wa^r | nnm : and | mid Wic | ingum. 

Song of the Traveller, 59. 

Hid Seax j um ic wss | and mid Syc | gimi : and | mid Sweord | - 
werum. Song of the Trav. 62. 

HidFronc | um ic waes | and mid Frys | um : and | mid Frum | tingiim. 

Song of the Trav, 6S. 

Hid Engl lum ic wsbs | and mid Swief|um : and | mid ^njenum. 

Song of the Trav. 61. 

Hid Rag | um ic w»s | and mid Glom | mum : and { mid Rum | - 
walum. Song of the Trav. 69. 

Hid Creac | um ic wes | and mid Fin | num : and | mid Cses { ere. 

Song of the Trav. 76. 


^ Gef , thum ic wss | and mid Winjedum : and | mid Gef|- 
flegum. Song of the Trav. 60. 


Of &k I nesse of fas | ting of les | inges : of vow { es ybroke { .^ 

P. Ploughman, B. prol. 71. 

' [TUs line is certainly corrupt in this form. It was perhaps derived from 
■e uTjf inferior MS., which has the words of lesingea inserted. No good MS. 
5 see P. Plowman, A. prol. 68, B. prol. 71, C. L 69.— W. W. S.] 

:24€ msrroKT of ssgeush hhtthmb. b. i 

Verses begmningiritli tbe section 9. form a very slovei 
rhythm, but mre occmsicaiftUy fonnd in the works of o 

9 : 5. 

Ti$ a voQ der bj . rau- foare : Ae wfll | be tam*d | so. 

7". i^eke Skrew, 5. 2. 1S9. 
9i: I. 

Like an arrov shot 

Ftvch a v«ll> «xper icDccd ar dier : hha < the mark 

H» eje dcc2i lend ai * Per. 1. 1. 163. 

I^*Z f*^"^ ''•J miio jour dnaten 

WW ^Iki hoc4 kxm oqi o* th* cit t : Bat } I fer 
Ti^Ti: rviar ria m agam. Cor, 4. a 121 

[iSiriftLY the verse of six accents was the one most 
commonly used in our language j but for the last three 
centuries it hnn been losing ground, and in now merely 
tolerated, as affording a convenient paune in a stave, or as 
aometimea yielding the pleasure of variety. 

The place it once filled in English literature would give 
it some degree of importance, even though it had never 
been one of our clasmcal rhythms ; but its importance is 
greatly increased, when we recollect the period when it 
most flourished, and the writers by whom it was chietly 
cultivated. Poems in this metre ushered in the asra of 
Elizabeth ; and no one cau look with other feeHngs than 
respect upon the favourite rhythm of a Howard, a Sidney, 
and a Drayton. 

The verse of six accents is frequently met with in our 
Anglo-Saxon poetns, and also in the alii tcra live poems of 
the fourteenth century. But the psalm- metres were chiefly 
instrumental in rendering it familiar to the people ; and 
doubtless gave it that extraordinary popularity, which for a 
a time threw into the shade all the other metres of our 

It must, however, be acknowledged, that our verse of 
SIX accents is much inferior to the verse of five. Though 
of greater length, its rhythm has a narrower range, and a 
flow much more tame and monotonous. Its pause admits 
little change of position, and though in the number of its 
posnble varieties it equals the verse of five accents, yet 
many of these have a length so inconvenient, as to render 
them very unfit for any practical purpose- It is also more 
difficult to follow a diversified rhythm in the section of three, 


Verses beginning with the section 9. form a very sloyenl 
rhythm^ bat are occasionally found in the works of on 


'Tis a won | der by | jour leave { : she will | be tam*d | so. 

T. of the Shrew, 6. 2. 189. 


Like an arrow shot 

From a well- { exper | ienced ar | cher : hits | the mark { 

His eye doth level at Per. 1. 1. 163. 

[We] gave way unto your clusters 

Who did hoot | him out | o* th' cit|y : But | I fearj 
They'll roar him in again. Cor. 4. 6w 122. 




Formerly the verse of six accents was the one most 
commonly used in our language ; but for the last three 
oeDtaries it has been losing ground^ and is now merely 
tolerated^ as affording a convenient pause in a stave^ or as 
tometimes yielding the pleasure of variety. 

The place it once filled in English literature would give 
it some degree of importance, even though it had never 
lieen one of our classical rhythms ; but its importance is 
greatly increased, when we recollect the period when it 
BK)8t flourished, and the writers by whom it was chiefly 
edtivated. Poems in this metre ushered in the sera of 
i Bizabeth; and no one can look with other feelings than 
^ mpect upon the fiEivourite rhythm of a Howard, a Sidney, 
•od a Drayton. 

The verse of six accents is frequently met with in our 

Anglo-Saxon poems, and also in the alliterative poems of 

fte fourteenth century. But the psalm-metres were chiefly 

' ifiitramental in rendering it familiar to the people ; and 

' doubtless gave it that extraordinary popularity, which for a 

I • time threw into the shade all the other metres of our 


It must, however, be acknowledged, that our verse of 
lix accents is much inferior to the verse of five. Though 
, of greater length, its rhythm has a narrower range, and a 
fiow much more tame and monotonous. Its pause admits 
I fittle change of position, and though in the number of its 
iPOiiible varieties it equals the verse of five accents, yet 
I Bany of these have a length so inconvenient, as to render 
j: fliem very unfit for any practical purpose. It is also more 
I difficult to follow a diversified rhythm in the section of three. 

i% for whole pas- 
ilda prao- 
t qf iiitiriiB ; baft iha iatniim 
' istrodnoQd ao kippi^^ the f4iMiOT <i 
thythM IS sDwdlttdbifted Id daogAfif feeling* orof so^cct^ 
that criliciiM w9 prabdblj be fa i yiUB u in the pleeeiife cf 

the reader. Ou this gtODad, the faBovin^ jmssmge 

to lie to hmre a frtr ckim oa the ibrheemuse of the critief 
tiboi^ it will hndly sieel with Ua ^iproTml. ggk^^fJM^ thus 
deambea^ or iBther pi ofe aae a his iBAbJlity to deecribe, tlit 

of yiMM. 

A tpirit wliicfa iupirw ifce vork t]uoo|^iuiBt» 

A« llit4 of nature Dorei the TorM about : 

▲ ^amt that gknrs amidct con c ^i i ops fit 

Ef^D Mmetlitiig of diTinef and bmvv than wit ; 

Itadf Qiueeo, ret all thing* bj it shown, 

DeMiibsng all iDen, but described bj none. 

Where doat thou dwell ? What c^v^ems of the htmm 

Cmk inch a va»t and mighty thing contain ? 
When I» at vaetint boun*, in vain thy absence mourn. 
Oh, where do«t thou retire ? And why dost thau return 

Sometimes witli powerful clsarma tu hurry me away, 
From pleasures of the nigbtt und bnsinesn of the day ? 

Esmy tm Poetry^ L2\, 

The writers of our old English alliterative metre used 
the Alexandrine with the utmost freedom^ as also did our 
dramatists; but it was rejected by Milton, and has oyer 
since been considered as alien to the spirit of English blank 

Verses of six accents beginning with the section 1, are 
rarely found, except in our Anglo-Saxon poems, and the 
works of our dramatists; Milton, however, has occasionally 
used them in hia Samaon, 

1 : L is well known to the Anglo-Saxon, but is hardly 
ever met with in English verse* 

heah | -cynlng | en hscs { : him | 

hd \ ig ieoht { . 

CmL Gen 124. 

tliurli I his an I ca cneft | : of] cr oth | re forth | . 

Exeter MS. ChriM, 685. 

him I seo wen | gel&ah | ; siih [ thftn wal | dead hia { . 

Catd. Gen. 49. 

I lath [ he ask^d | far me [ ? Knovf \ you not | he has { ? 

Maci/. L 7* 30. 

of I er rum | ne grund { : rath | e wies | gefyl | led. 

Cad. Gen, 123. 

TJu I aeo tid | gewat | : of | er tib | er sceae | an. 

C^. Ul 135. 

Ne I wtes her | tba giet [ : nym the heul | sterscead | i\ 

CiEd. id. 103. 

By alternating the verse 1:1. with the common heroic 
verse. Campion formed what ho calls hia elegiac metre. It 
seems to have been his intention to imitate the rhythm of 
Latin elegy ; if so, the attempt must be considered as a 

Constant to none, but ever falete to nie \ 
Tnii| ter still | to lc*ve| : throti^^li | thy I'uhie | desires |, 

Not hope of pitlie now, nor vain redrcRs 
Turns I my grief | to teal's | : and | renu'd | taments | , 

So well tby empty vowcs and hollow thoughts 


Wit ; nes both | thy wrongs j : and | remorse | lea hart | — 

None canst thon long refuse, nor long affect, 
But { tum*st feare | with hope | : sor | row with | delight I , 

Delaying and deluding cv'ry way 
Those I whose eyes { were once | : with | thy beau | ty chamiM | . 

1 : 2. is also rare. 

Whose mention were alike to thee as lieve 
As I a catch | polls fist | : un { to a bank | rupts sleeve | . 

Hall Sat. 4. 2. 81. 

O I ye Gods | ye Gods | : must | I endure | all this I ? 

Jul. Cos. 4. 3. 41. 

Well, I what rem | edy | ? : Fen | ton, Heav'n give | thee joy | . 

M. W. of Windsor, 5. 5. 250. 

The verse 1 : 5. is somewhat more common. 

Take pomp from prelatis, magistee from kingis, 

Sol I eninc cir | cumstaucc ; : from all | these world | lye thingis I , 

We walke awr}'e, and wander without light, 

Confoundinge all to make a chaos quite. Puitenham. Parth. 

O I despite { ful love { : uncon | stant wom { ankind { ! 

T. of the ShretOy 4. 2. 14.. 

Saf I cr shall | he be | : upon | the san | dy plains , 

Than where castles mounted stand. 1 H. VI, 1. 4. 39. 

We'll I along | ourselves \ : and meet | them at | Philip | pi. 

Jul. Cois. 4. 3. 225. 

Vir I tue, as | I thought | : truth, du | ty, so | enjoining. 

Samson Agon. 870. 

Verses beginning with the lengthened section are more 
commonly met with. The verse 1 J. 1. was used as late as 
the 16th century. 

And I thurh of | ennet | to : soh j ton oth ] cr land [ . 

Cad. Gen. 332. 
Gan enquire 

What stately building durst so high extend 
Her lofty tow'rs, unto the starry sphere. 
And I what un { known na | tion : there | empeo | pled were | . 

F. Q. 1. 10. 56. 

Let I me be I record | ed : by | the right] ecus Gods | , 

I am as poor as you. T. of A. 4. 2. 4. 


The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims 

To be high Steward ; next the Duke of Norfolk 

He I to be I Earl Mar | shal : jou | m&y read | the rest { . 

H. VIII, 4. 1. 17. 
Setjte sig { eleas | e : on | tha sweart | an hel { le. 

Casd, Gen, 312. 

Gif I he to I thflsm ric | e : wsbs | on rih | te bor { en. 

Alfred. Met 26. 46. 

He I nom Sum | erset | e : and | he nom | Dorset | e. 

Layamon, 210ia 

And I tha men { within | nen : oht | liche | agun | nen. 

Layamon, 21033. 

These evils I deserve ; and more, 

Acknowledge them firom God inflicted on me 

Jost'lj, yet I despair | not : of | his finjal par! don. 

Samson Agon. 1169. 

H. 5. is met with in the Anglo-Saxon, and also in the 
oU English alliterative poems. 

InefldoD heor ; a hlaf | ord : for thon j e heh \ stau God ! . 

Alfred. Met. 26. 44. 

On I tha deop | an da | lo : thssr he | to deof | le wearth | . 

Cisd. Gen, 305. 

Heh { 8te with | tham her j ge : ne mih { ton hjg { eleas | e. 

CiBd, id, 51, 

Had I an on I this ric | e : swa me | that riht | ne thine | eth. 

Cad, id. 289. 

And I hi wil ; tun scir I e : mid with | ere | ingrat | te. 

Layamonj 21017. 

Gif I me mot | ilas \ ten : that lif { a mir | e breos { ten. 

Layamon, 21087. 

Ther | lai the | Kaiser j e : and Col grim his | ivcr \ e. 

Lay anion, 21039. 

High ! ed to I the high | e : hot het | erly | tliay wer ] e. 

Gaw. and the Green Knight, 1 152. 

In I a som j er ses | on : when sof ; te was | the sun | ne.^ 

P, Ploughman, B, prol, 1 . 

Verses, which begin with the sections 2. and 2 I, have 

fl aean it otherwise ; the adjective is soft, not softc. We then have — In a 
|erKs|on :*when soft | was the 8UD|ne. I make only four accents, not 
or. if we accent In, there nrefive, — W. W. S.] 


been viddy used m Eagliflli poelry. Some of iha: 
Twieties hM SBrrired in BKidem tUBgo, 
S : 1. M fiMmd in our 



Jfoo^. 3. 6. U 

I te, a« I ^0iiM pott off 

nr|dknl»^l:ot' | die She) 

«a^ F^rinee lad Ike wdcrv^ 


Ik good Duke bhiiiU 

Bm if tikm can be wtec^ if liyi B«M 
Be aiij thi^ b^ iwne nd eiqfitf title* 
If I it be so I w feobj: km' | bMA ^ 
A poirV that € 

2 : 2, is still oommon. 

FUitker. Lof. S^. L I 

Bodi| IbrberikQJUebloQdj: and | Ibr 

Et^i I tiU we BMke I te 1 

An indistinct reguti. 

Iea|der joiith 


nd I tbeeerlialblMl 




The verse 2 : 5, like the last^ is used eren at the pniovi 

dAJ. _ 

And I bf bis on I tj- njdej : preeerr'de | oar princ { e» i^gbif . ^^ 

M,/ar M. Flodd. FmM€, 14. 

fieii|itli*d&oinHT|mg W]^ts|: our weerl^daje | tre ^ 

Wbi|tber Ibesonls | doij|:ofmea | tbatUve | ftmln|, 

F. Q, 1. % llT 
Wbere | tbej sbonld live | m woe| : end die | in wretdi ! eiliicaol * 

Then I bj nuun force j pulTd up { ; aad on | bie ahoul | den bof^l 
Tbe g»u» of AxxA, Stam^um Ag^m^ lA 

ILnjcb I Us ar kow ^ hahis | : ejad oom [ mOQii pink { kit cn«r | k, 

Gaw. Doing. Ptifl lo 6 SmHd, sL 7. 

* [I should put 99 a^eeot on tbev «wds. — W. W. &J 


So I did tluit squire | his fo«s | : disperse | and drive | asun j der. 

K Q. fi. 5. 19. 

Yet 1 were her words | but wind [ : aiid all | her tears | but wat | er. 

F, Q. G. 6, 42. 
UpofD the Britiah coast, what ahip yet ever came, 
Thtt not of Pljmouth hears^ where those brave navies lie, 
Frum c&mjoTis* thundVitig throats* that all the world defy, 
Wliich I to invaa | ive s^poil | : when th* En I glish li^t | to draw [ , 
fli^e check'd Iberia'» pride, and hold hi^r oft in awe ? 

Drayton s Polyolbion^ Sojtg 1 . 

The Terse which follows appears to be doubly length- 

We bave this hour a constant will to publish 

Our daiivhtera* sevYal dowVs, that future strife 

Mtj I be preven | ted now | : the princ | e» France | and Bur | gundj 

Long in our court have made their am'roua sojourn. 

Lear, L 1, 44. 


Johnson has giyen it as his opinioii that the Alezandiine 

"invariably requires a break at the sixth syllable/' Thisj 

Iw teUs us, is a role which the modern French poets never 

'iohte; and he censures Dryden's negligence in having so 

in obaerred it. But the French and English Aloxandrinea 

•Te little in coiumon save the name, and to reason from 

> properties of the one to the properties of the othofj is 

^«7 unsafe criticisni. The former may have four, fivOj or 

;•! accents; the latter never has less than six. In the 

tteiber of their syllables they approach mere nearly to 

other ; but their pauses are regulated by very different 

The English pause ^ divides the accents equally, but 

I French pause has frequently two on one side, and three 

bths other. Again, in French the pause must divide the 

^^ifiahUt equally, but not necessarily so in English . Johnson's 

io^Bamtance with the English Alexandrine seems to have 

k^^rery limited ) in one place he even represents it as the 

nztention of Spenser. 

Dryden only followed the last mentioned poet, in using 

' Tlii obier?ation doe* not applj to thoae versos of six aooeots^ which coei- 
les ch. 7. But luch rhythms hav« long since been 

i begimyiig witli m len^dieiied section. SxA 

m bmaA im mw^rj p age of our dramatists ; wd 

[ m tke y/mAm of our earlier poets. Pop 

IXrsjtoD m rejectmg iliem ; mi if 

hb notena of AjUnnicatl proportios is 

As wAixi of Bope, we bars sa maj dae to tbo critadiB. 

'vUdi gBTe rne to Am 



wiii|le tlMf£ 


Lb tewit^^fmk'.fm.WlK | Ito lk« | kid ba>Ba. 

n»aBetkiiis3. andSLbal seUam open an EnglisliT«m 

' be Ike naniber of ilB aooeiita. TVhen there ar« ti$ 

aenatet sadi a Terae is mnij, if erer, met with after & 

l&tli csatinj. 



Wen te fofftli ^ iii&efl«v»jU«idiaMa|7arv|etsl*4 

Thtt I ws&beore tb€0K :«rk6ci | to Billi[e covjaa. 


Verses beginning with the sections 5. and 5 Z. are bj far 
Ae most common of our modem Alexandrines. They are 
also well known in old English poetry^ bat are rare in Anglo- 


I know I joa're man | enough | : mould | it to | just ends { . 

Fletcher. Loy, Subj, 1. 3. 


Such one | waa 1 1 dehiess | : first | of this com | pan j | . 

F. d 1.4.20. 

To gaze | on earth | \j wight | : that | with the night | durst ride | . 

F. Q. 1. 5. 32. 

Then gins | her grier | ed ghost | : thus | to lament | and mourn | . 

F. Q. 1. 7. 21. 

Or bj the girdles graspM, thej practice with the hip, 
Tlie forward, backward falls, the mar, the turn, the trip, 
Wken stript into their shirts each other thej invade, 
Within I a spa | cious ring | : by | the behol | ders made | . 

Drayton. Polyolbion, Song 1. 

Which men | enjoy | ing sight | : oft | without cause | complain | . 

Samson Agon. 157. 

This and much more, much more than twice all this 
Condemns | you to | the death [ : see | them deliv { er*d o | ver 
To execution. R. II. 3. 1. 28. 

The dominations, royalties, and rights 

Of this I oppress I ed boy : This | is thy el|dest son*s | son 

Infortunate in nothmg but in thee. K. John, 2. 1. 176. 

5:3. is only found in old English. 

ImuT I it forth | allane | : neir | as mid { nicht wes past | . 

Dunbar. Tua Maryit Wemen^ 2. 

Qnod he | and drew | me doun | : deme | in dolf | by anc djk | .^ 
Qaw. Doug. Prol. to Eneid 8, st. 13. 

^ t^ kter MS. of the poem. I therefore read : into thse | re ssb | -strond | c. — 

' [I scan the line difierently. It can be shewn that the phrase qiiod he is 
<^ onaocented, forming no real part of the line. Hence the ca^ura comes 
^^itne; as thus: 

Qood he — and drew | mc doun | dernej : in dolf | by ane dyk | . — W. W. S.] 


^ «^l.^l 

jr: «. I. 4. 9. . 

^. «. L S. S. 




irknWai|kaiiMt|lfecttU;:MireaU | n|nh | Oni kal 
Viirdgbl f dMbyiilderdsjl: .i^a^ I tfe.Ut I M^ 

WlwiMp I lUI I I »fiib|: toaid I »»Mi I t^r^loei? 

WWdbUf |«Sitk«« I befbr«[: t]ieaD[.««tii-«Irovii)ki^ flocdu i 
WIAljcl I t^f«r^ t iiidf««n|: witkker 1 g^matie brc^ 
0«lfcoii I bdbre | meidlli: tlijcirldiiig ibara | abcmij. 
And In i ihk wai>dj 'ring iiiflie[: kelp to | ooodtict | me oatl; 
IXr^et I mf anMnt | to right { : at vith | tlij htnd \ to sIkiw | 
Whirb wiy | thy for esta nmge | : which w»y | Uijr Ht [ en tewl; 
WfMt ^tf'n| iiifl by | thy help | : thAt so | I mmy j descry | 
lUfW thy fmir fnottDtAtDS ttOJid, and how thy vaUies lie. 

Dray km 9 Paljf album, 80t^ V 

Tll# Itngthnoed verae was also common. 

Ho lung I «« thMO I two ftraii): were ijble to | he wrc^kfen, 

> ]1 tlioulil put tto •ctHJtit on /o,— W. W. S.1 



AnddpoTC | away | the stound|: which mor| tally | attached | him. 

F. Q. 6. 8. 10. 

Oft fur I nishing | our dames { : with Id { dia*8 rarest | devic { es, 
And lent | ua gold | and pearl | : rich silks | and dain | ty spic | es. 

Drayton, Polt/olbion, Song 1. 

Verses beginning with the lengthened section, were 
common till the end of the seventeenth century. Drayton, 
iowever, rejected them, and they were proscribed by John- 


Some spa! ris no { thir spirit | ual : spous | it wyf | nor ant { . 

Gaw. Douglas. ProL to 8 Eneid, st. 4. 

A msj I ny of I rude yil | layns : made | hym for | to blede | . 

Sheltons Elegy, 46. 

Whoie sem | blance she | did car { ry : un | der feig | ned show { . 

F. Q. 1. 1. 46. 

But piik*d I away | in ang | uish : and | self- willed | annoy | . 
* F. Q. 1. 6. 17. 

More iigjly shape | yet nev | er : liv { ing crea { ture saw | . 

F. Q. 1. 8. 48. 

And oft I to groan | with bil { lows : beat | ing from | the main { . 

F. Q, 4. 12. 5. 

Whom unarmed 

I Ho strength | of man { , or fierc { est : wild | beast, could | withstand { . 

Samson, 126. 

And with | paternal thun | der : vin | dicates her crown | . 

Dry den. Hind and Panther, 1 109. 

The last verse is the one specially objected to by John- 

•And wer I eden | tha rich { e : with | than stron { ge Childrich | e. 

Layamon, 21037. 

5 / : 5. like all those verses, which have a supernumerary 
•yllable in the middle, was rarely used after the fifteenth 
centory. It was, however, sometimes met with in our 



Of drev | illing | and drem | ys : what do j ith to | endjte | ? * 

Gaw, Doug, ProL JSneid 8, ^. 1 • 

Full rud I and ry | ot ress | onis : baith roun | dalis | and rjme { . 

Same, st. S. 

Na la I hour Ibt | they luk | till : thare luff | is are | bjrrd-lyme | . 

Same, st. 6. 

Yet sham | fully | they slew I hym : that shame j mot them | befal | . 

SkeltofCe Elegy, 49. 

And fiirth | he wul | dc bug | en : and Bath | en al | belig | gen. 

Layamon, 21025. 

Ah Bwa I me hsel | pen drih | ten : thse scop | tlues dsei { es lih { ten. 

Layamon, 21073. 

Despise | me if | I do | not : Three great | ones of | the cit | y, 

In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, 

Off-capp d to him. Othello, 1.1.8. 

Verses beginning with the sections 6 and 6 I. are found 
in the old English alliterative metre. 
6: 1. 


Quha spor | tis thame on | the spray { : spar { is for | na space | . 

Gate. Douglas. ProL to 8 ^netd^ st 8. ^ 


As an I cres and here { mites { : that hoi | de hem in { here sel | lea. 

P. Ploughman, B, proL 28. 

That Na | ture fill no | bilie | : annam | ilit fine | with flou { ris. 

Dunbar. Tua Maryit Wemeny 31. 

6 : 9 Z. 

So glit I terit as | the gold { : wer thair glor | ius | gilt tres { sis. J 

Dtmhar, id. 19. I 

61:5. (^* 

Sy th Char | ite hath | be chap | man : and chef | to schryv | e lord { es. ^ 

P. Ploughman, B. prol. 64. 1 

Unclos I ed the ken { el dore { : and cal { de hem | ther-out { e. 

Gaw. and the Green Knight, 1 140. J 

* [I adopt the reading of Mr. SmalFs edition, and scan the line difierentlj» i ^ 
thus: I 

Of dreflling and drem | is : what dow | it to endyt?|— W. W. S.] 


In the same metare may also be found verses beginning 
with the sections 7. and 7 I. 

^ brem | e bnk | kes also { : with | her brod | e [laum | es. 

Gaw. and the Green Knight, 1155. 

% Aat I that an | y day-lyght [ : lem | ed up | on erth 1 e. 

Gaw, and the Green Knight, 1137. 

1 seigh I a tour | on a toft | : trie { lich yma { ked. 

P. Ploughman, B. prol. 14. 

-And get I en gold | with here gle { : sin | iiillich | e y trow|e. 

P. Ploughman, A. prol. 34. 

80 tboch ; tis thret | is in thra | : our bres | tis o | ver-thwort | . 
' Gaw. Doug. Prol. to 8 JSneid, st. 2. 

The sdiip j man schrenk { is the schour { : and set | tith to | the schore | .^ 

Gaw. Doug. id. st. 5. 

Whb such I a crak | kande crj | : as klif { fes had { den brus { ten { . 

Gaw. and the Green Knight, 1166. 

Ofal jle man | er of men | : the men | e and' | the rich | e. 

P. Ploughman, A. prol. 18. 

I drew I in deme | to the djk { : to dirk | in ef | ter myrth | is. 

Dunbar. Tua Maryit Wemen, 9. 
11'. 1. 

[ weoe I thou byd { dis na bet | ter : bot | I brek | thy brow | . 

Gaw. Douglas. Prol. to 8 JEneid, st. 11. 

l£k will > le worth | liche wrek [en : al | le his with | er-dcd j en. 

Layamon, 21085. 


ilad mn | me put | hem to pryd | e : apar | aylcth { hem there af { tur. 

P. Ploughman, B.prol. 23. 

I0C injcompe | tabiU cler | gy : that Chris { tyndome { offend | is. 

i Gaw. Douglas, Prol. to 8 jEneid, st. 9. 



' [But Mr. SmalFs edition ends the line with ^' and settis to schore " ; which 
%hg better.— W. W. S.] « [I put no accent on and.^W. W. S.] 



B* E 

Verses beginning with sections 8. and 8 L are very ram 
They are foundj however, in the Song of tlie Traveller. 
8 : 5 ^, 

That travlyllis* tluis 
brmrfl I ifl» 

with thy LoMt" 

quhen bero | is with | 1^ 
Gaw, Ikmgla$^ id. $L 10. 


Mid Hron [ um ic 
renin I um. 

wffia I and mid De«iii { um : aud | mid Heftil ^ 

Mid Scot I turn ic wmn \ and 

mid Peoh i tiim 

and j mtd Serrd t- 
Trar, Song. 79- 

Verses beginning with sections 9. and 9 L are also int. 
Ben Jon son has nsed them once or twice in that sti«ap 
medley of learnings coarseness, and extravagance, wiA 
which the three sycophants amuse the crafty epiciin, 
their master. We have the verses 9:7. and 9 : 9. in tk 
first four lines. 

Now ruom for fresli gamesters, who do will you to know, 
They do bring | you uei | ther play | : nor U | niver [ sity show 1 ; 
And therefm*e do intreat jo«, that whatsoever they rehearse 
May not fare | a whit | the worse | : for the false | pace of | the T«fBt 

Bea Jonson. T^he fox, 1. I 

There are also verses in Piers Ploughman, which •f 
be read, as if they began with the section 9. But I bw 

doubts^ if the custom, now so prevalent, of slurring o^ 
ao initial accent, were practised at so early a period, K 
this license be allowed, we may give to the foUowing li« 
the rhythm 9 1:21 

All in hop I e for { to hav | e : hev | cne-rieh | e bits { se. 

* {For tratyUu^ Vtc. Small hu hraulis^ obvioualy the ri^lit re«d!tii^aii 
by the alliteration. Thia altera the run of tlie fine. — W. W. 8.1 

* [For hoist f Mr. Small baa hmt. Tho right reading' b obrtou&Jv 
boML-W. W. a] 




The origin of those sections which have more than 
three accents, has already been matter of discussion;^ in 
die present chapter we shall consider them all as com^ 
pound. This will enable ns, at once, to double the range 
of oar notation. 

Every section of four, five, or six accents, may be re- 
presented as an Anglo- SaxoD conplet; and if we add a 
e to the figures, which denote the rhythm, we shall be in 
no danger of confounding a compound section, with the 
ooaplet to which it probably owes its origin. Thus we 
may represent the section [in Caedmon, Gen. 245] 

Then j den lieo | his hal ige woni | 

bjr the formula 1 : 6. e, — assuming that the middle pause 
of the couplet followed after the third syllable. I have 
already stated my belief, that the hypothesis, which has 
been started, as to the nature and origin of these com- 
pound sections is the true one ; but whether true or 
Use, there can be little doubt as to the convenience of the 


may be ranged under two heads, accordingly as they be- 
gin or end with the compound section. Those which 
belong to the latter class are rare in Anglo-Saxon; but 
common in our psalm metres, and all those rhythms which 

Seo B. 2. ch. 1, 3, and 4. 


were derived from, or influenced by them. They are, ho'w- 
ever, seldom met with after the sixteenth century.^ 

1 : 6. c : 1 Z. 

• Heo wflBron leof gode 

Then | den heo '| his hal | ige word | : heal j dan wol j don. 

They were dear to God, 

While they his holy word would keep. Ctsdmon, Gen. 244. 
2Z: IZZ. c:6. 

No man ys wurthc to be ycluped kyng, 

Bot ! e the hey ■ e kyng | of hev | one : that wrog 1 1« al thing ' . 

R. Glouc, p. 322. 
5 : 5. c : 6. 

About I c scint | Ambros | e day | : ido | was al this | , 
Tuelf hundred in yer of grace, and foure and sixti iwis. 

R. Glouc, p. 546. 

Ticwelin, prince of Walis, robbede mid is route 

The erl | es lond | of Glou | cetre ; : in Wal | is about | e. 

R, Glouc, p. 551. 

5 :6.c :6Z. 

So ho I ly lyf | he lad | de and god ! : so chast | and so clen | e 

That hey men of the lond wolde hem alday menc 

That liii nadde non eyr bytwene hem. R. Glouc, p. 330. 

6 : 5. c : 6. 

And wel vaire is ofTringc to the hey weved ^ ber 
And sutli I the ofte wan | he thud j er com | : he off| rede ther | . 

R, Glouc, p. 545. 
5 : 5 Z. c : 6 Z. 

And ris | en up | with rib | audy j e : tho rob ! erdes knav | cs. 

P. Ploughman^ B, prol. 44. 

5Z:5Z. c :6Z. 

To ayn | ge ther | c for sym ■ ony | e : for sil | ver is swet | e. 

P. Ploughman^ id. 86. 

* It must be obsen*ed that the examples quoted in this chapter have bees 
arranged generally accordiug to the authors, as the number of yarieties vns toa 
scanty to render tlic mode of subdivision, hitherto followed, advisable. 

^ IVeved is the Anglo-Saxon mghcd, an nitar. 


5 : 5. c : 5. 

Who with his wisdom won, him strait did chose 
Theii king { and swore | him fe { alty | : to win | or lose | . 

F. Q, 2. 10. 37. 
Tet secret pleasure did offence impeach, 
And won \ der of | antiq | uity | : long 8top*d | his speech I . 

F, Q. 2. 10. 68. 
5l:l.c: 5. 

Aj well I in cur j ious in | struments | : as cun | ning lays { . 

F. Q, 2. 10. 59. 

Tbej erown'd | the sec \ ond Con | stantine ) : with joy | ous tears | . 

F, Q. 2. 10. 62. 

How he I that la I dy's lib j ertie | : might en { terprisc | . 

>. Q. 4. 12. 28. 

Tlieir hearts | were sick, | their eyes | were sore j : their feet | were 
hime|. F. Q. 6.5.40. 

2: 5Z:1. 

Gracious queen, 

More I than your lord's | depar | ture weep | not : more's I not seen ' . 

R. II. 2. 2. 24^ 

Verses ending with section 2. are chiefly found in the 
works of our dramatists. 


Aft j thoa cer j tain this | is true | : is | it most cer { tain ? 

Cor, 5. 4. 47. 

Verses which end with the compound section are much 
more common in Anglo-Saxon^ than in the later dialects. 
They yielded to the favourite rhythms of our psalm- 
inetres; and though their popularity revived in some 
ineasure daring the sixteenth century^ they have since 
Ulen into almost total neglect. 

Cfledmon frequently made both his sections begin ab- 
fDptly, and for opening the couplet preferred the section 


Hie habbath nie to hearran <jecorene. 

Rot^ e rill < cas : mid swil cum niae^r | niau ra;d | gethen | ecan. 

C. Tf L 



Huetb my UeArt^ that they he«veD*s re&lm 
Posisess for ever I If atij of you may 
Tlii* chiinge by aught, &c. 

Ctsd. Gm, 426. 

Though not unknown to the old English dialect, these 
feraes are so rarely met with in the interval which elapsed 
between the Anglo-Saxon period, and the sixteenth century, 
ftit we shall pass at once to the rhythms of the Faery 

6 : 5 : 5. c. 

Tou shAme | fac*d are { : but sliame | fac*dne8s | itaelf { is »\ic \ , 

F. CI 2. a 43. 
Bj whii-h she well perceiving what waa done, 
Gin tear her hair, and aU her garroents rent, 
Aud beat | her breast | : and pit { eously [ herself | torment | . 

F. Q. 6. 5. 4. 
For no demands he stay'd, 
^iit first I him loos'd | : and af j terwarda { thus to | bjm said j. 

F. Q. 6, 1,11. 

The common metre of six accents^ which spread so widely 
\ the sixteenth centtiry, seldom tolerated a verse with 
^compoond section. The reluctance to admit these verses 
I strengthened by the example of Drayton^ who rigidly 
jJuded them from the Polyolbion. There are, however, a 
poems, in which they are admitted freely enough to 
? a pecnliar character to tlie rhythm. One of these poeras 
Jf the Elegy written by Brysket, (though generally ascribed 
to Spenser,) on the death of Sir Philip Sidney. It has very 
poetical merit, but deserves attention, as having un- 
btedly been in Milton's eye, when he wrote his Lycidas. 
it Milton borrowed his iiTOgular rimes, and that 
mixture of Christianity and Heathenism, which 
ked the feelings and roused the indignation of Johnson, 
ay be questioned, if the peculiarity in the metre can 
be considered as a blemish. Like endings, recurring 
Dcertain distances, impart a wildness and an appearance 
jfligence to the verse, which suits well vntb the character 
tgy. But to bring in St. Peter (as Milton has done) 
ad in hand with a pagan deity is merely ludicrous; it 
the taste of the age, and that is all that cun be urged in 



its excuse. Still, however, tlie beauties of this singular 
poem may well make us tolerant of even greater absui*dity. 
'No work of Milton has excited warmer admiration, or caEed 
forth more strongly the zeal of the partisan. The elegy on 
Sir Philip Sidney will afibrd us a specimen of rather a curious 
rhythra ; and at the same time enable ub to judge of Milton's 
skill in changing the baser metal into gold. It should be 
observed, that^ in sotne editions, the sections are written v^ 
separate lines, as if they formed distinct veraea. 


Ccune forth, ye Nymphs I come forth, forsake your watVy bowen 

Forsake your mossy caves, and help me to lament ; 

Help ] me to tune | my dole | fiil notes,: ro gur | wling sound] 

Of Liffie's tumbling streams, eomo let salt tears of ours. 

Mix wilh his waters frfsh : O eome* let fine eonseJit 

Joyii I u=i to mourn | with wail | ful plaint-s ' : the dead | ly wound | 

Whic'li fntal clap hath niade, dei-reed In* higher powers 

The drery day, in whii'li they have from us yrenl 

The noblest plant fhat might from east to west be foimd, 

Monni, tnourii *5reat Philips tall ! ntoorn we his woeful end. 

Whom spiteful death hath phiekt luitimely i'rvm the tree. 

Whiles yet his yeai-i^ in flow re did promiae worthy fruit, &c. 

Up I from his tomb | : the migh | ly Cor [ uie ] us rose | , 
Who cur.sinijf oft the Fates that his mishap harl bred, 
His hoary looks he tare^ e ailing the Hear ens unkind ; 
The Thsunes was heard to roarj the Seyne and eke the Moise, 
The SchaU-h the Danow's sell' this great misehance did rue, 
Willi torment and with grief their tbuntains pure and cle^r 
Were tronh | leii and | with swel | ling Hooth \ : deelar'd [ tlieir wo 
The comfortles,s, the Nymphs with pallid hue» 
The t^ylvan Gods likewise came running tar and near; 
And, all with tears hedew'd and eyes cast up on litghf 
O help, O heJp, ye CJimIs ! they ghastly gan to cry. 
O ehange the crnel fate of this so rare a wight, 
And grant that natnre*s course may measm-e out his age* 
The beasts their IbtKl forsook and, trembling fearfully. 
Each sought liis eavc or den, this cry ilid them sn fright- 
Out from amid the waves by storm then stirrM to rage, 
This ery did cause to rise th* old father Os-ean hoar ; 
Who grave with eld and full of majesty in sight 

[Id tlip GJobt* edition of Spenser, p. 563*] 




Qbe I iQ this wise ] : He&aio, ^ qaotb be, | rotir tears | and plainui | , 
Cease the«ie your itlle words, make vuin rciinest.** no more ; 
Ko humble speech nor mtmii m$iy move the fixed stint 
Of Destiny or DeAth ; sneh is his will that palut'^ 
Tlie parth with colours fr^»hj the djirkest akieu witli store 
Of star ^ry light | : and though | yonr tears | a heart [ of flint | 
Hight tentler make, yet nought herein thev will prevail 
Whiles thus { he said { : the no | ble Kni^lit | wbo gan | to feel | 
Hii Tital force to faiut^ and death with cruel dint 
Of dire I ful dart | : his mor | tal bod | y to | assail | , 
With eyes lift up to Ileav'n, and courajEre frank an steel. 
With cheer [ ful face | : where viil j our live ly was | exprest | , 
B^t bumble mindf be said, O Lord, if ought thi.H frail 
Aad earthly carcass have thy service soutjbt t'ndvance^ 
If my de«ire hath been, still to relieve th' npfirest ; 
If, jnslice to raaintain, that valour I have spent 
Which thou me grav'st; or if henceforth I mit^ht advance 
Thy name, | thy truths then spare | me» Lt>r<l ^ ; if thou | tliink best | 
F()fbear these unripe years. But if thy will he Ireiit, 
If that ; preUx ed time | be come | ; whifh ibou | hast aetj. 
Through pure and fervent faith I ho|>e now to be placed 
gbtli't^vertastinn: h\U^^ which with thy precious bloo<i 
HLdu purchase didht for us. With that a ^igh he fet, 
And straight a cloudy inLst bis aeriwcH over-rnxt ; 
tltf lipji waxt pale and who, like damask roses bud 
(W from the stulk, or like in field U* purple Ihtwre, 
W}iirh Inncruisheth being shred by eultor us it past. 
A !r«D)»Unj^ chilly cold run throu«;b their veins, whi< h were 
Wiiheye* hrimfuli of tears to see bia fatal hour, iStc. 



Hay be divided, like those of six, into two classes, ac- 
^ingly as they begin or end with the corapound section, 
«btt these elates were known to the Anglo-Saxons; but 
toder the influence of the psaltn metres the latter gradually 
|ite way, in the same manner as the correspondiDg rhythm 
I the metre of six accents. It was, however^ very freely used 
f certain of our poets, during the sixteenth and seventeenth 
Qlmies; more especially by Phaer and Chapman. 
We will first take the verses that betjin with the com- 
imdi section* Coedmon generally opened the first Bec- 
p with an accent, and the second with an unaccented 


11:11. c: 211. 

And moste ane tid : ute weorthan 

Wes I an an I e win { ter stun | de : thon | ne ic mid | this wer | ode. 

And might I one Reason outfare 

And bide one winter's space ! then I with this host — 

CW. Gen, 369. 

1 : 61. c: 8. 

heel I eth-helm | on heaf | od aset | te : and thon | e full heard | e geband | . 

Hero's-helm on head he set, and it fxdl hard y-bound. 

C(gd. id, 444. 
2 : 5. c : 5. 

War I iath inc | with thon { e wsestm | : ne wjrth | inc wil | na gsed | . 

Be ye both ware of that fruit, ne let it goad your lust 

Catd. id. 236. 

21:21. e: 51. 

Lag I on tha oth | re fynd { on tham fy | re : the ser | swa feal | a hsef | dot 
Gewinnes with heora waldend. 

Lay the others, fiends, in fire, that erewhile had so fele 

Strife with their Ruler. C«rf. Gen. 322. 

21:51. c: 51. 

Naeron mctode 

Tha I gyta wid | lond ne weg | as nyt | te : ac stod | bewrig | en ffes [ te 
Folde mid flode.* 

Nor had the Maker 

As yet wide land, nor pathways useful ; but fast beset 

With flood earth stood. C(Bd. id. 155. 

51 : 11. c : 51. 

Tha sprsec | se of | ermod { a cyn | ing : the ser | wsbs eng { la scyn { ost. 

Then spake the haughty king, that erewhile was of angels shcenest 

C<Bd. id, 338. 
5:51. c: 41. 

Se feond | mid his | gefer | um eal | lum : feal | Ion tha u { fon of heof | ntA 

The fiend with all his feres fell then on high from heaven. 

Cad, id. 30e. 

[In Grein, 1. 156 begins with IVul hnd,^W, W. S.] 


c. vn- 



The last verse but ono approaches very nearly to the 
foTOorite rhythm of Chapman ; of which we have no less 
than five examples in the first six lines of his Iliad. 

AchU ; les bane | ful wmth | rcioond | : O CckI | (less ! tbat | iia posed | 
bfinite sorrows on the Greek** : and maiij lirave smils Imd 
From breiksts | hero | ique, sent | them farre | ; to that | id vis | ibie cave | 
That no I light com | forts, and | their Ikus , : to do^s | and vul ] tures 

gave I , 
To tU I which Jove*8 | will gave | effect] : from whom | atrife ^i j 

begimne | 
fietwixt I Atrid | e% king of mexi | : and The | tis' god | like Bonne | . 

Iliad, I, I. 

The same verse is also common in the translations of 

er and Golding. Like Chapman also, these poets fre- 

iiently hegin the first section abruptly, and sometimes even 

ke second; but they never allow themselves the liberty, 

bich the latter so often takes, of opening a verse with the 

ction 5 : 2. c. 

5 : 2. : 5. 

This grace desir'd 
Tuiicbnfe | to me | ! paines | for my teares | : let theae | rude Oreekca | 

repay I 
fucd wiib thy airowes. Tliits he prayM, and Fho^hus heard him 
Text I at heart | down | from the tops] : of steepe | heaven 
fttofjpt ' ; hi» bow 
I quiver cover*d round, his hands did on his shoulders throw ; 
1 of the auifrie deitye, the arrowe^i as he movM 
fd about him , Chapman. Iliads 1. 40, 

5 : 2. c : 2. 

Jiflffe'i and Latonas sonne, who, firetl again et the king of men 
For contumetie «fiown his j>ne8t, infectious sicknes^e sent 
IW plague the armie ; and to death hy troopes the iiokliers went, 
ra atoned thus | ; Cbry | ^e*} the priest | : came { to the lleete | to buy | 
'pfe^entd of unvalud price* bis daughter's lihcrtie, &e. 

Chapman, Iliad^ 1.8. 

5 : 2/. c: L 

ku3 Xan I thui? spake | ; a | h!est Achil | Its : now | at least | our care | 
Shall bring thee oiT; but not farre hence the fata! minnteis are 
Of thy grave ruine. Chapman, fliady 18. 


This kind of verse is sometimes used in Layamon^ but 
more rarely than might have been expected. Robert of 
Gloucester has made it the great staple of his Chronicle. 
He uses a very loose rhythm, one of his sections approach- 
ing to the triple measure, while the other not unfrequently 
belongs to the strictest law of the common measure. 

2 : 5. c : 8. 

Eng I elond ys \ a wel | god lond | : ich wen | e of ech I e lond best j 
Yset in the endc of the world. Bob, Glouc, p. 1. 

6 : 6. c : 5 L 

The Sax { ones and | the Eng | lische tho | : heo htd | den al | an hon j do, 
Five and thritty schiren heo madeu in Eugelonde. 

Rob. Glouc, p. 3. 

He seems to have preferred opening his verse abruptly, 
and, like Csadmon, generally began the second section with 
an unaccented syllable. 

Ev I erwyk | of fair | est wod | e : Lyn [ colne of fayr | est men | , 
Gran | tebrug { ge and Hon | tyndon { e : mest pleu { te of | dup fen | , 
Ely of fairest place, of fairest sigte Rochestre, 
Ev I ene a { geyn Fraun | ce ston { de : the con | tre of | Chiches { tre. 

Rob, Glouc, p. 6. 

We have now to consider those verses which end with 
the compound section ; and will begin with some examples 
furnished by Caedmon. 


forthon he sceolde grund gesecau 
Heard { es hel \ le-wit j es : thses | the he wann | with heof | ues wal { dend. 

therefore must he seek th' abyss 
Of dread hell-torment, since he warr'd with heaven*s wielder. 

C(Bd. Gen. 302. 
21,5:51. c. 

Grod sylfa wearth 
Miht I ig on mod | e yr | re : wcarp hin | e on | that mor j ther-iu j nan. 

God's mighty self became 
At heart enraged ; he hurFd him to that murderer s den. 

C(Bd. Gen. 341. 



thser he hsef^ mon geworhtne 
'fifjter his on | licnis { se : mid tham { he wil | e efl | geset { tan 
Heofona rice mid hlutrtmi sawlum. 

t there he hath man ywrought 

AfWr his likeness ; with whom he wills again to people 
HeaWs realm with shining souls. CiBd, Oen, 395. 

3 Z : 5 : 5 Z. c. 

iKhi|ta heof I ones wal | dend : wearp hin | e of | than he | an sto | le. 

The highest Heaven-wielder hurFd him from the lofly seat. 

Coid. id. 300. 

This kind of verse is to be found in Layamon. 

71:1 :9l.e. 

Tofiathjecom | the Kseiseire: and | bihei | thene casjtel therje. 

To Badi came the Kaiser, and beset the castle there. 

LayamoHy 21031. 
2:6: 6. c. 

ferjde geond al | Scotland { : and set | te hit an | his ag { ere hand | . 

& went through all Scotland, and brought it under his own hand. 

Layamon, 21045. 

. Phaer and Chapman also used similar rhythms ; the latter 
■ore sparingly than the former. 

5 : 5 : 5. c. 

'wn for disdaine, for on themselves their owne worke Jove did 

'*» sislter craw {1yd furthj: both swift | of feete | and wight | of 
no ! ster ghast | Ij great j : for ev | erj plume | her car | cas beares | , 
^Uke number leering eyes she hath, like number harckning eares. 
F Phaer. 

* Great Atreus* sonnes ! said he, 

-4id all I ye well | -griev*d Greekes | : the Gods { whose hab { ita { tions 

4b heavenly houses, grace your powers with Priam's razed town, 
^od grant ye happy conduct home. Chapman, Iliad, 1. 15. 

Bbed of the Harpye ! in the charge ye undertake of us, 
Kidiarge | it not | as when | : Patroc { lus ye | left dead | in field { . 

Chapman. Iliads 19 ; 1. 2ii/rom end. 

^ite an mot w&equeiiilT metwiii 

mtimm flfV"^ to kave ~~ .. 
frfitlirdo«l»cifcat Shmkespeare's t€S • 
bava been made if I 

, mud ai oOket tiawi 

otder to bring it 

For exampk^ 

Wc 9pr tiflft S&anFk wife iai^ m fvettf : 

.tker fjlp .ftl«i|^ t^|: ^pai Mf: 

Jr. ///. 1. Lfti 

B Ik flov of iBa two last yersee m 
eeftulj Bo4 loaiiMlAL Hie Hbertiiie sneer upon dij 
wrefedied wiBlmp^ was to to ooainsted with the biK 
flvcMOi kvdM al mem fotniialife^ and therefore 
toted rinb. Bal in the text, as "corrected '^ by 
du8 happy torn of the rhTthm is lost ; 

We wf ttoi Sto«*s wife I 

Alwfisy ey^ mpum^f pli 
And the Qdm V kiadrcd I 

isfffeltf ibut. 

» calM gcntlefolkfl 

In BofiwelFs edition of Malone^s Shakespeare we have \ii 
line written^ as in the folio^ with seven accents* But i 
neither of the editions do the notes give the reader ^ I 
slightest hint of any interference with the text^ ^therfrl 
tiie purposes of amendment or of restoration I 

The poets of the seventeenth c?enttiry occasionaUy istt^ 1 
daced the verse of seven accents into their '* heroic mstts^'l 
But the change of rhythm was too violent. The Koeaul 
hardly survived the age of Dryden. 

Let »ucli m man be^n without delay. 
But he must do bejood what I cnn saj. 


MnrtaboTe Milton s lofly flight prevail, 
Succeed | where great | Ton^iia ; to : and | where great | er Spen ! ser 
fiiilj. Sheffield. Essay on Poetry^ 1st edition. 

In the second edition this line was altered to give Milton 
the preference^ when it quietly settled down into an Alex- 

They meet, they lead to church, the priests invoke 
The pow'rs, and feed the flames with fragrant smoke, 
This done, they feast, and at the close of night 
Bj kindled torches Tary their delight, 
These | lead the live \ ly dance \ : and those | the brim ! ming bowls | 
invite j . Dryden. Cymon and Iphigenia^ 564 . 

It will be observed that each of these verses ends with 
tte compound section. 


The notation used in this chapter readily adapts itself to 
vines of six or seven accents^ but when a verse contains 
ttg[Iitor more accents^ the reader must be furnished with 
•Mne further intimation than is given by the mere nume- 
rical index^ before he can hope to follow its rhythm. Even 
itt tracing the rhythm of a verse which contains only six or 
•Ten accents^ he will require the like assistance, if the 
inildle pause of the compound section fall in the midst of 
» word. But in both these cases, I believe the index, fol- 
Wed by such explanation, to afford the shortest and 
f Mdiest means of pointing out the rhythm. 

The longest verse which has been used to form any 
A^glish metre^ is the one of eight accents. This unwieldy 
dtythm was not unknown in the seventeenth century, and 
WDCordxag to Webbe " consisteth of sixteen syllables, each 
mo Terses rjming together, thus : 

' [Tbe passage concludes the poem, and is printed by Chalmers so that the 

v jbst lines run thus : 

Must above Tasso's lofty flight prevail, 
Succeed where Spenser and ev'n Milton fail. 

rely this Uut line is no Alexandrine. — W. W. S.] 



2 : 6 Z : 2 Z : 6 Z. 

He let bine swa micles wealdan, 
Hdi8t]neto him [ on heofjona ric|e : hfef|ile he hin|e swa hwit|ne 
geworht | ne. 

He let him so mickle weild, 
Next to himself in heaven's realm ; he had him so purely wrought — 

C<Bd. id, 253. 
2 Z : 1 Z. c : 1 Z : 1 c. 

Hwy sceal ic aefter his hyldo thcowian, 
Bogjin him swiljces geong | ordom | es : ic | mseg wesjan God | swa 

Whj must I for his favour serve — 
Bow to him with such obedience ? I may be God as he. 

Cad. id, 282. 
2 Z : 1 Z. c : 1 Z : 1 Z. c. 

Frynd synd hie mine geome, 
Holjde on hyr | a hyg | e-sceaf | tum : ic | mceg hyr | a heai* | ra wes | an. 

Friends are they of mine right truly, 
KAfiil in their hearts deep councils ; I may their liege lord be. 

Cad. id. 287. 

5 : 5 Z. c : 5 Z : 1 c. 

, Ac iuot|ath inc | thass oth { res eal j les : forlaet | ath thon | e sen | ne beam. 

** enjoy ye all the other — leave ye that one tree. Cad. id. 235. 

5 : 5 ZZ. c : 1 : 6 Z. c. 

^twyn'lic wsbs | his waestm | on heofjonum : that | him com | from 
wer ' uda driht | ne. 

* [excellent was his appearance] in heaven ; [that] came to him from 
the Lord of Hosts. Cad. id. 255. 

1 6:51. c ill: 51. c. 

.£nne hsfde he swa swithne gcworhtne, 
8n miht | igne on | his mod \ gethoh j tc : he | let bin | e swa mic | Ics 
weal {dan. 

One had he so mighty wrought, 
lo powerful in his mind*s thought — he let him so mickle wield. 

Cad. id. 252. 

These yerses are also to be fonnd in the psalm metres of 
le tibirtoenth and fourteenth centuries. Eobert of Glou- 
mter used them yery fireely in his Chronicle. 


King Wyllam was to milde men dcbonere y-nou, 
Ac to men that hym with-sede to al stumhede he drou, 
In chircli | e he was | devout y-nou | : vor hym | ne ssol | de non day | 

abyd | e, 
That he | nc hur | de mas | se and mat j yns : and cv { esong | and ech , e 
tyd I e. R. Glouc. p. 369. 


CeBdmon occasionally uses couplets, which contain nin^ 
or even more than nine accents. 

1 Z : 2 Z. c : 1 : 5. c. 

And I heo aljle for|sceop drih|ten to deofjlum : forjthon heojliii 

died I and word | ^ 
Noldon weorthian. 

And them all the Lord transhaped to fiends, for that they his deed mc 

Would not worship. Cad. id. 309. 

3 : 6 Z. c : 1 Z : 1 ZZ. c. 

Ilet I e hajf 1 de he set | his hear | ran gewun | nen : hyl | do haef j de his | fef* 
lor I ene. 

Hate had he from his Lord y-won ; his favour had forlorn. 

C(Bd, id. 301. 

In the following couplet we have as many as eleven accent*. 

And soeolde his drihtne thancian 
Tha)s lean { es the | he him on { tham leoh | te gescer | ede: thon | Delet{0 
he I his hiu | e lang | c weal | dan. 

And should his Lord have thanlcM 
For the portion he him in light had given, then had he let him longti^* 
wield it. Ceed, id, 257. 

Perhaps, however, we ought to read, thon | ne let | eheW 
hin I e ; and, by this elision of the vowel, reduce the numb* 
of accents to ten. 

These long rhythms may be traced through our literatoi^ 
till they ended in the doggrel verses, which Shakespeait 
put into the mouth of his Clpwns, and Swift used as aft 
vehicle for his coarse but witty buflfoonery. Their revitJ 
is hardly to bo wished for. 

^ [In Grein's edition, the line U^giDS with drihten. — W. W. 8.] 






gives a character so very marked and peculiar to those 
rhythms into whidi it eoters, as makes the consideration 
of them apart from the others^ not only a matter of con- 
venience, but almost of necessity. Wo have, thereforej 
reserved the present chapter for tracing the hiitory, and 
noticing the pecuJiarities, of those sections which admit the 

As to the origin of this pause, I have already ventured 
an opinion, I think it owes its existence, in our poetry, to 
the etnphatic slop; hut as the question is one of ditficulty, 
and as I may have occasion hereafter to refer to some of 
the reasons, which lead mo to this conclusion, I make no 
apology for laying those reasons at some length before the 

In the earlier and primitive languages, we find the intona- 
tion of words a matter of very high importance. In tho 
Greek and Latin, there are many words which have nothing 
else to distinguish them, but the tone ; thus the Latin ne, 
when it signified not, was pronounced with a sharp tone — 
when it signified lestf with a grave one ; or to apeak ^vith 
greater precision, it was pronounced, in the first case, more 
sharply than the ordinary pitch of the voice, and more 
gravely in tho latter. In the Chinese, there are mono- 
syllables, with no less than five distinct meanings, according 
to the tone which is given them ; and those, who have heard 
them pronounced by a native, will readily understand the 
iojmense resources, which may thus be placed within the 
reach of language. I am not, however, awai^e that these 
differences of tone have ever been applied to the pujposes 
of cou»iruciion. There does not seem to have been any re- 



hiiwm Bsd snbardinftle inlxnttition in a sentence y a word hd 
its lose fixed^ and tlus it retained, whatever its position. 

Whedier tlie mcii ie ia i mwmt lieiglitened the lone of tht 
BjlUfe €» wlodi il fidl^ hm beem donbted. Bentler ihcmgU 
it did ; bnt later critiGB faaTO aeen reancm to qoe^tion hi 
opaaaa ; and aa it misl ofken intarfaro with the verbal toof, 
ttoor ol yc lioas mtm aulitled to mnok weig^ht* There are, 
howerer, passigea in the old grammariansy which &vcMir 
the notMkn of there hafing been aoia« change in the voica 
Majr not Ae mrnt hare be«n marked by a stresa^ Tesembliaf 
our modem accent ? If this were ao, the change from \k 
^emfonl to the acecatpal ihjthm^ in the fourth oecUD^^ 
weiU be natmal and easy ; the aame syllable taldsf lb 
accent in the new rhylhnij which (according to B^itlejiii 
Dawes) reoeiTBd the mrtU in Uie old. 

M'ith this e x c c p tkai (if it be one)» I know no instukeiil | 
the Greek and Latin, where an alteration either in the \ 
or loudness of the Toicet kaa been need for porpoaes of Mr ! 
straetimorof fhythm. The tone seems to have bcenamfli 
accident of die wwrrf ; and had no inflnence on the seDtC9G% j 
further than as il cxnitribnted to its hartnony. The st 
of the Toioe aeema to hare been employed solely for lb I 
pnrpoees of emphasis ; and was certainly considered If 
Qnintilian aa reducible to no system^ for he ka?« lb j 
lesmer to gather from experience, ''qnando attolkii^W 
sobinittenda sit rox.^ Had the atroas of Toice been a uj 
way dependeat on the eofwImc^NHiy its laws might hare bM | 
readily explained ; and wonld have certainly fixed theaH** I 
tion of a people who scmtinized the peculiaritiea of tkf | 
language with so mach care, 

Bnt though I can find no system of accenta Uke oar iv 
in these kindred langn^es, yet there are renaona for it I 
lieving^ that our preaent accentuation has been kaadeddott] 
to us from a very remove antiquity. We find H redandtfl 
a system in our Anglo-Saxon rhythms ; and its wide pff^l 
lence in the other Gothic dialects, points clearly to an &x^\ 
of even earlier date. The precision of the laws whickicf 
gulated the accents in Anglo-Saxon verse, is one of ihetf^ 
striking features of their poetry. We find none of th 




Kcentioud departares from rale,' which are so common in 
the old English, and are occasionallj met with, even in our 
later dialect. It may be questioned^ if any primanj accent 
were doubtful * in the Anglo-Saxon ; at any rate, the liniits 
of uncertainty must have been extremely narrow. 

In modem nsage, we sometimes tear a word accented, 
tlMJUgh it immediately adjoin upon an accented eyilable ; 
esp^dally when it contains a long vowel -sound* The 
Ajthm of Sackville'a line/ 

Their greato | cm \ el tee : and the deepe bloodslied 
Of frieodfl 

w not without example, in the every-day conversation of 
Damy persons, who have accustomed themaolves to a alow 
and emphatic mode of delivery. Were thia practice gene- 
nDy sanctioned by that of our earlier and more perfect dia- 
lect, we might infer, with some plausibility, that our Eoglish 
acceaU were at one time, like those of the Greek aod Latin, 
itrictly verbal ; and that the sectional pause was a conae- 
■" ' n. which followed naturally from the system of accen- 
ii, originally prevalent in our language. But there 
•» grounds for believing, that in the Anglo-Saxon the stress 
on the adjective was always aubordinato to tliat on the sub- 
lUntive. In nine cases out of teu, it was clearly subordi- 
luite; in no case is it found predominant j* and when with 
die aid of the sectional pause, it takes the accent, there is, 
iitthe great majority of cases, an evident intention on the 
pwt of the poet, to use the pause for the purposes of em- 
piiiais — -the substantive, in all probability, still keeping the 
iironger accent. There are, indeed, instances of the sec- 
tional pause, where it is certainly not used as an emphatic 

* Tbe witkst departure from the c*>mroon rhjthm of the kngiiiige which the 
iNgl»^ii3Eon poet allowed hiiiij§«lf, was owin^ Ut t hvi froquent uw of the sectkmal 
|VM» We iIulII have more to suy on tliis head shortly. 

• Tberp ar© [lerhapc tostanceii^f in which the snme sentence hns been diiTerently 
■MriAmted, Bui thia may be uwing to a dilft.'renc0 ol* diak*ct. The Anglo* 
hijtm atiihor b, I beliere, dwayA coii»iiitt^*nt with hinueff* 

*&»!». 21>5. 

* WWa Uie acljectiro has a strfin^T accent than its siiih-itantivT, it tilwaya 
mma fATt uf a compoundj aitd is iiu longer suiijc^t to intltfxicrii. 



B. irr 

stop ; but the^ej I believe, are, for the most part, fonud ix» 
poema of inferior merit, or in tboso artificial rhythms^ whicli 
were probably inventcul in the course of the ninth and tentl> 
centuries. They may perhaps be laid to the account ofcar^'" 
leasness or of incapacity; and ranked with those cases, whcr^ 
the ordinary rhythm of the language has been made to pel ^ 
to the rljythm of ita poetry. These exceptions may shak^> 
but I do not think they are sufficiently numerous to overture*- j 
the hypo the 81 a that has been started. 

ITaving thus given the reasons, which incline me to th^^ 
opinion already stated as to the origin of the pause, I shaL » 
now proceed to range in order, those sections into which i "fc 
enters. If we consider the pauee as filling the place of a«^* 
unaccented syllable, wo may use ncariy the same notation t*i> 
indicate the rhythm, as hitherto. We have merely to shoi 
the presence of the pause, by the addition of a p. Thus tt 
section wo have already quoted from Sackville, . ^rcatc | cru ] el tee. 

would be represented by the formula, b U. p, 


Sections, which admit the pause, may be di%4dcd ini 
two classes, accordingly as they contain two or three 
cents. When the section contains only two, the 
cannot change its position, for it must fall between the i 
cented syllables ; but as the section may vary both 
beginning and its end no less than three different ways,! 
admits of nine varieties. Of these six have establis 
themselves in English literature, to wit, 1, p. I L p, 1 IL 
5. p. 5 L p. 5 IL p. 

Whether the section 1. p. were known in Anglo-Saxo 
is a matter of some doubt. In Beowulf [L 1168], there ^ 
the couplet, 

8pnEt! I tha | : idea Scyldinga.^ 

Spttke then the Scylding's Lady 

' Conybt'tirf ■» rjiiimg' pot'tn^ for pxample. 

" [GrtitD makes tho lintj much longer. W. W* S.] 


riinCsBdmon, p. 185 [Exod. 118], we haye, 

Thj Ises hira westengryre, 
Har I hseth | : holmegnm wederum. 

Lest them the desert-horror — 
The hoar heath — with deluging storms, &c. 

The lengthened section, 1 L p, is somewhat more com- 


Tha on dunum gesict — 
Earc I No I es : the Armenia 
Uatene sjndon. 

Then on the downs rested 
Noah*8 arc — which Armenia 

Are hight. Cad. Gen, 1421. 

See also, 

F«r I No|es. Cad, id. 1323. 

The section 1 p. was never common. It was chiefly used 
J oar dramlatists ; and more particularly in their faery 

On the ground 

Sleep I sound ' ! 

I'll apply 

To your eye, 
Gentle lover, remedy. 

When thou wak*st, 

Thou I tak'st| 

True delight 

In the sight 
Of thy foraier lady's eye. M. N. D. S. 2. 448. 

Up and down, every where, , 

I strew these herbs to purge the air. 

Let your odour : drive | hence | 

All I mists j: that dazzle sense. Fl. Fa. Sh. 3. 1. 

Mark what radiant state she spreads 
In circle round her shining throne, # 

Shooting her beams, like silver threads ; 
This { this | : is she alone. 

Sitting like a goddess bright, 

In the centre of her light. Arcades, 14. 

is is the only instance of the section in Milton, who 
less borrowed it from Fletcher. The propriety of 
jspeare's rhythm will bo better understood, if we sup- 


poee {whmi was certomly mtended) tliat the feiry is poar«i| 
the love-juice on the sleeper's eye, while he pronouncej ^ 
words, " Thou tik'sk^ The words form, indeed, the fiiirj't 
" chftrm/' and the fhythm is grave and emphabc as thflf 
impoit. I cannoi think, with Tyrwhitt, that the line ^^ 
be improved, ''both in its measure and eonstraction, if li 
were written thna: 

See I t]iaiitak*Bt)J 

I know Dol how the eoBstmctioa is bettered, and] 

lence, no less than the fitness of the numbers, i 
entirdy lostw Seward, in like manner, took comp 
upon the halting verses of Fletcher. His c4>rrectioD5 affo! 
na an amuaing specimen of conjactaral criticism. 

Let jo«r odcnr : dme \ fr^om heneej 
AH ] mki^;: t^i daxxle aevwe ! 

Fielder, Kke Shakespeare, had m tkoBrm to deal with ; 
to gain Ae sane obfCNdy he naed the aame rhythm. 

The aeeiioiis L p, and 1 I. p. are both of them to h 
found in Spenser a Auyusi; but the atrange rhythm nbdl 
be adopted in hia rmtmdh can only be cx>osidered as 
perunent. It would be idle to trace out evefy varied h 
has atumbled upon, in writing a metre for which he hidi 
pveeadent^ and in which he haa had no iautator. 

The section 1 U, p. i$ peeuBar to the An^Lo-Saxon* 
that dialect it ia met with, not only amozig^ the short m 
rapiil rhythms of Beowulf, but also in the stately nmabi 
of C»dmon ; and of all the pausing aectioDa known to «i 

dialect, was the one most widely used. It is 
guiar it should so completely have disappetired fi^na i 
early EaglisL I do not recollect one singie instance of 
in that dial^pt. 

We will begin with the couplet of four aooen! 


Har I Hil | derinc : hreman ne thorfle. Brunanburh, 89. 
Sweart | sjn|nihte : side and wide. Cted. id. 118. 

Sweart | swith | rian : geond sidne grund. Cad. id, 134. 
Treow | td | gade : tir | wel | gade. Rim. Poem, 34. 

Gold I gear | wade : gim | hwear | fade. Same, 36. 

Sine I sear | wade : sib | near { wade. Samej 37. 

Fege feoUon : feld | djn | ede. Brunanburh, 12. 

Sar and sotge : susl | throw | edon. Cad, id. 75. 

Ellen eacnade : ead | beac|nade. Rim, Poem, 31. 

haten for herigum : heo | ric { sode. Alf. Met. 26. 57. 

The following are instances of this section^ when found 
B the couplet of five accents. 

Hof I" her jgode : hygeteonan wraec. Cad. Gen, 1380. 

Word I weorth | ian : hefdon wite micel. Cad. id. 329. 

Ofer holmes hrincg : hof | seljeste. Cad, id. 1393. 

Tha com ofer foldan : fus | sithjian. Cad. id. 154. 

Wlitebeorhte gesceail : wel | lie | ode. Cted. id. 131. 

ealra feonda gehwilc : fjr | edjneowe. Cad. id, 314. 

The section 5. p. was used by our dramatists in their 
fj dialect. It was also found in Sackville^ and must^ 
one time^ have taken deep root in the language^ for it 
D3S a striking feature in the staves of several popular 


Troy I ! Troy | ! : there is no boote but bale, 
The hugie horse within thy walles is brought, 
Thy turrets fall. 

Sackville, M. for M. Induction, st. 65. 

Let her fly, let her scape, 

Give again : her own | shape | . FU Fa, Sh. 3. 1. 

1 do wander every where. 
Swifter than : the moon's | sphere ■ . 

M. N. Dream, 2. I. 6. 

msrosr ot kxglish rhythms. 

J SadnriUe, added a third Trmfr, 
cml anlkonlr frcm the po6i» or notice to the readflr. 

OTtwftTraft Tny^! I&a« b m bofte Ira t bale 

lA Amm oorrapted are more nu 
Bore ftetiona tiian his late ablei 
itMdd have fallj satisfied e^ei 
fipleea oC a RilaoBy liad it been his good fortune 
lighted €B thuM. Siaerona ako, with that mischieTo 
gpamtj which ealM down the happj ridicule of < 
IhoQght fit to im^frpm the metn of Shake '" 
reads Hm liM iku : 

Bui th0 qoaitii oT 1600, and Hie folio of 1623^ 
against him. Tke flow of Shatespeare^s line 
keeping with the pecuKar xhTthm which he bas" 
to his fiums. It wants nothing &om the critic 

Bams^ in Ms '^ Locj," has used this sectioa ! 
eaoogh to gire a pecoliar chazaetier to hia metre.^ 

O, wad re «W\ : m yon | towii \ 
Xe Me t^ ermm saa vpoaf 
TW finest daae^s : m jtm \ town t ^ 
Tbat e^'enia mdb b dnn^ oa. ^ 

llie nmUdb hfite : flB Toa I to«ra , 
And «a joa boaie hnca of Ajr; 
Bvt mj de]%^ : in 7«a | t4>«ii ' , 
Aad devest bliw k Locj tiur, &c. 

Hoofe also, in one of his beaotifnl melodies^ lii ^ 
compound staiua, which opens with a sta^e Bv 1 
His slanaa oomlains aho Mtr spedmem of tldsacdu 

WUIasinii^ : «« tlM^aiooa't ) %bt , 
A amafai from bcr anile I tam^il 

Tq leok at of%e : IImi« anre br 
Ib lone mad dEetaat ffjkmf bom 

" fThk soDg.htipaming**0,wmJt je."* fto^ «as wri 
calird **Tlw bow Ijub Ib jmi tammr Bcaee the 
tawn" a sot Uir port « own,— W. W. §•] 

Vni. SECTION 5 1, p. OP TWO ACCENTS. 285 

Bat too I farl 
Each proud { star | 
For me to feel its warming flame, 
Much more | dear | 
That mild | sphere | 
Which near our planet smih'ng came ; 
Thus Mary dear I be thou my own, 

While brighter eyes unheeded play, 
rU loTe those moonlight looks alone 

That bless my home, and guide my way. 

The day had sunk : in dim | showers { , 
But midnight now, with lustre meek, 
Illumined all : the pale | flowers { , 
Like hope upon a moiuner^s cheek. 
I said I , (while j 
The moon*s { smile { 
Flay*d o'er a stream, in dimpling bliss), 
" The moon | looks) 
On many brooks ; 
" The brook can see no moon but this :** 
And thus, I thought, our fortunes run, 

For many a lover looks to thee ; 

While, oh ! I feel there is but one. 

One Mary in the world for me ! 

Sir Jonah Barrington tells us^ in his Memoirs^ that this 
Dgular stanza belonged to a well-known Irish song^ which 
18 popular some fifty years since. 

The section 5L p. was used from the earliest period to 
uch we can trace onr literature, down to the close of the 
teenth century. It is found in the almost perfect 
^ms of Caedmon, and in the majestic stanza which we 
e to the genius of a Spenser. Sackville used it with a 
ifbflion^ which has given a very marked character to his 
b^; and there are grounds for suspecting that it was 
altogether unknown to Milton. My search, however, in 
works of this poet has hitherto been without success. 
^erses of four accents. 

On last I leg | dun : lathum theodum. Brunanburhy 22. 

The King j ef | tir : that he wes gane, 

To Louch-lomond the way has tane. Bruce, 3. 405. 

Stowe gestefndc : tha stod { rathje. Casd. Gen. 160. 

SmkmlU. M./m-M. 

WboB f^tAt M«»do Ttnqniilit tlicre in ( _ 

Willi deepe | ikogli | let : defpoilmg mil his pnd«. 

* Csrtaintjr » mtidi mora important m«iter I 


When Hannibal, 
And worthy Scipio last in armes were sene, 
Before Carthago gate, to try for all 
The worlds | em | pire : to whom it should befall. 

Sackville, M. for M, Induction, 60. 

Her eyes | swol | len : with flowing stremes aflote. 

Sackville, Induction, 13. 

The hngie hostes, Darius and bis power, 

His kings | , princ { es : his peeres and all his flower. 

Sackville, Induction, 58. 
What could binde 
The vaine | peo { pie : but they will swerve and sway. 

Sack, Buckingham, 61. 

Tet ween'd by secret signs of manliness, 
Which close appeared in that rude brutishness. 
That he | whl | lom : some gentle swain had been. 

F, Q, 4. 7. 45. 

His land | roort | gag*d : he sea-beat in the way 
Wishes for home a thousand sithes a day. 

Hall Sat. 4. 6. 78. 
Which parted thence. 
As pearls from diamonds dropt : in brief | , sor | row ' 
Would be a rarity most belov*d, if all 
Could so become it. Lear, 4. 3. 23. 

With all my heart, good Thomas : I have | , Thorn { as, 
A secret to impart unto you. 

B. Jonson, Ev, M, in his H. 3. 2. 

Make your own purpose 
How in my strength you please : for you | , Ed | mund, 
Hliose Tirtue and obedience doth this instant 
So much conunend itself, you shall be ours. Lear, 2. 1. 113. 

Our dramatists very commonly placed a pause before the 
^ accent^ when they ended the verse with the name 
title of the person addressed*. There are three or four 
imples of this practice among the verses last quoted^ 
I we shall meet with others as we proceed further. 

THE SECTION 5 11. p. 

>niLd in the old English metre of four accents^ and in 
1 [Differently divided in the Globe edition.] 

avin. SECTION l.p. of three accents. 289 

leoond and third, or in both these places. We might pro- 
tide for these three possible contingencies by dividing the 
piosing sections (like the riming sections/) into three 
daases. But, in fact^ the two first classes are alone met 

I iri& in our literature^ none of our sections containing two 


THE SBCnON l.p. 

of the first class, is occasionally found in Anglo-Saxon 

Hremmas wundon 
Earn | es | es georn | : wses on eorthan cyrm. 

The ravens wheePd around — 
The ern, greedy for its prey ; their scream was on the earth. 

Battle ofMaldon, 106. 

and very commonly of the second class, when lengthened ; 

Tbtirh I geweald | God | es : wuldres beanium. 

C<wf. Gen. 11. 

W«s I min dream | dryht | lie : drohtad hyhtlic. 

Riming Poeniy 39. 

Thnrh I his word | wes | an : wseter gemsne. 

C<Bd. Gen, 158. 

^Kerscild | scot | en : swilce Scyttisc cac. Brunanburh^ 19. 

^« I is riKt I mic ! el : thaet we rodera weard. Cad. Gen, 1. 

S^tnnre gastas : wss | him gylp | for { od ! Ctsd. id. 69. 

nodes mynlan : o [ fer m»gth | giun | ge. Alf. Met. 26. 67. 

^ to setle : thsr | Iseg secg | maen { ig. Bntnanburh, 17. 

Godes ahworfon : h»f | don gielp | mic | el. Cad. Gen. 25. 

gewendan mid wihte : that | hie word | God | es. 

Cad. id. 428. 
Closed the Gospel : as | hem good { lik | ed. 

Piers Plowman. B. prol. 60. 

Worching and wandring : as | the world | as | keth. 

P; p. id. 19. 

Seepage 129. 

'Sydney has nsed them in the song quoted at page 151. But he adopted 
■ tkm flBgnlar rhythm, arowodly, as an erperiment, 




B. a. 

It IB nought bj the bishop : thAt | the boy | prech { ech. 

O there are divers reasons : to ] dissuade | , broth | er.* 

B. Jmwn^ £r. M. in Am H. % I 

This section is sometimes, though but rarely, fouad 
doubly lengthened. 

Meimbces metes : ac ] hi ma | luf | edon. AI/^ Met. 26* 91. 

THE 8KCTI0N 2 L p, 

can only be of the second class. It is found both in Angw^ 
Saxon rhythms and in the old English alliterative metre* 

cwcth I that his He | wer | e : leoht and ^cene. 

Caid, GtfL m 

Her eire Trphseus wa.s, who mad with hist. 

And flruiik with blooil of men, slain bj his might. 

Through incest her of his own mother Earth 

Whil [ om begot | , be | ing : but half | twin of | that birth 

I ahop me into shrowdes : as | I a ehepe | wer | e« 

P. P, B,pr^t 
There preched a pardoner : as | he a preoste ( wer I o» 

P. P. a. ek 

What says the other troop I : They | are disaolvM | , hangfea 

Car, 1. La«L 

Whj I are jroii reji'dj la|dj : why | do you frown f| 

is more rare, but is occasionally met with ; aad, of cooil 
must be of the first class. 

tiirang { thrya | tre genip | : thorn the ne theoden self. 

heold I heof |ona freaj : tha hine halig God. Cmd. id. H 


Tou shall close prisoner rest, 

Tai that the nature of your fault be kuowii 

To the Venetian state : come | bring | him awaj | . 

OtL S, 2. 335. 

Where be these knaves ? What [ f no | man at door | , 
To hold my stirrup, nor to take my horse ? 

T. of tk€ Shrew, 4. 


The section 5 p. in rare. It is found, however, in the 
old romance of Sir Tristremj and was not unknown to the 

The folk I stode | nnfain| 
B*for that leTe<li fre, 
** Knuland mj LonJ b slain. 
He speketh no more with me.** 

The Douke ] an ' ?wcrd then | 
"Yjiray mi Lonl so fre, 
"Tietl*er thou blm or ban, 
T^in owhen mot it be." 

The folk stood so^t 
Before that lady free» 
*^ Roland my lonl i^ btaiti, 
lie speaketU no more with me,** 
TVixir. K 22. 

The Duke answered then, 
** I pray my Lf»nl so free. 
Whether thou bless or cnrsei 
Thine own may it be.** 

TruL 1. 77. 

Jiwte hrinon : ac hie | hal | ig God | . Cad, Gen, 13D6. 

hp Ureoweth : that hie | heof | onric 1 e. Cetd, id. 426* 

modem poet has uaed this section in one of those 
I which have been already mentioned, and which recall, 
Jviridly, the lyrical outpourings of our dramatists. The 
priety of doing so may, however, admit of aome question, 
'en in the sixteenth century, when the sectional pause 
I common, it was seldom introduced into a song, unless 
Ipliice in the rhythm was marked out by some regular 
To introduce it at random now, when the pause is 
[>]ete, at^ms little better than throwing a needless 
Jty in the way of the reader. How many persons 
read the following lines, for the Jir&t time, without 

The brand i« on ihy brow, 
A dark and gnilty spot, 
*Ti» ne'er to be erased^ 
*Tis ne'er to be forgot^ 


The brand is on thj brow, 
Tet I mast Ehade the spot, 
For who will lore thee now 
If I I bve I thee not | f 

Thy soul is dark, is ?tain*d. 

From out the bright world thrown^ 

By God and maii disidain d. 

But cot by me^thj own. The Fehn'a Wife? 

The section 5. p. when lengtbenecl, is met with of the 

second class, not only in the Anglo- Sax oBj bnt also in the 
old English alliterative metre, and the works of onr drama* 
tists. In this last diTision of our literature, we occasion- 
ally find it without the lengthening syllable. 

For that it Bav*d me, keep it. In like necessity, 
Which God protect thee from : it may | protect | thee | .' 

Per, 2. 1. 134. 

What shall I be appointed houraj as though helike 

I knew not which to take : and what | to leave, { liaj? 

Tanuo/the S, 1. I. lOa, 

^-^ Arc beea 

Bound to keep life in drones : and i | die moths | ? No | . 

Ben Jonion, Ev, ilf, omt a/ his H^ 1. I. 

These examples, however, are very rare. The lengihen&i 

section is common^ 

Duke Morgan was blithe 
When Roland Riia wa^ down^ 
lie sent his meaenger quickly. 
And bade all thoidd be boun. 
And to hi«i he^&iA attend. 
Heady at his Ntiaimons, 
Durst none apralnst him strive. 
But yielded faim towVand town, 
TrtMtrem^ h 24. 

To Bek [ e seint | Jam { es : and aeintes in Home. 

P. Ploughman^ B. proL 43* 

But on I a May | mor|we: upon Malvemc liilles. 

P. PhnghmoHy B, prt^L^. 

Douk Morgan was hlittte 
Tho Roulttud Rii« wna donn, 
He sent | his sond | swith | e. 
And had all schiikl be boun. 
Aud to his lores Uthci 
Redi to his finmoun. 
Dure I non oyaiu him kithe, 
Bot yalt him tour aud t^oun. 

* [From Knglish Soups, hy Bnrry Cornwall, 1832, p. 140,] 

* I 111 rlifl Globe edition: *' The which the gods protect the« {jromN 



Nay more | than ihw | , broth | er : if I should apeak, * 

He would be readjr, &c. B, Jonson, £v. M, iii Aw H, 2. l. 

beorhte blisse : wm9 heorl a blsd I mu- ] el* 

Cmi. Om. 14. 

gKfltet snjtru : thy les | him gieJp | »ceth | the, 

Exeter MS. Ckrid, 684. 

A lo?e of mine P I would : it were | no worse |, broth |er. 

B. Jotiion* Er, M. in Hit If, 4. I. 

Hirk what I say to thee : I mu^t | go furth | , Tboni | m. 

Same^ 4. 6. 

It may here be observed, that if the section of an 
Anglo- Salmon couplet take the pausBj the allifeeration almost 
always falls. on the syllable which precedes it. If the allite- 
flitioD be double, it falls also (with very few exceptions) 
upon the syllable which follows the pause. These obaer- 
▼ationa will also apply to the old English alliterative metro. 


>^mitg of only one form. From the peculiar nature of the 
Aythni^ the pause must fall between the first and second 
a^cent^ syllables. 

Of all those sections which contain the pause, this is the 
oue which haa played the most important part in onr 
literature. It is rarely met with in the Anglo-Saxon, but 
Was very generally used by our old English poctsj by the 
poets of the Elizabethan a^ra, by Shakespeare, and by Milton, 
Jtisthe only one of our pausing sections which survived 
ueELXteenth century, and it is found occasionally re-appear- 
Bg, even after Milton^s death. Burns haa used it once — 
[>bably the last time it has been patronized by any of our 
chaaical writers. 

This section occurs so frequently, aa to render necessary 
a more careful arrangement than wo have hitherto found 
practicable. We shall begin with the verso of three accents, 
of which several examples are found in the romance of 



E. II. 

Tlic forBter, for his righto. 
The left | uchul | der yaf he | , 
Wit hert | liv | it aiui Ugh | tes, 
Ami Wml tille bijs quirre* 

Mi fatier me katli forlorn^ 
Sir Roliant Bikerlj, 
The best | blow | er of horn | , 
And king of venerj» 

** Your owlieu soster liini bare ;" 
The king | lith | ed liiiu thaji | , 
Y nam gibbe bim na inare, 
Ich aii^'bt ta ben hi^! man. 

The forester for his rights 
The lefl shoulder gave he, 
With !ieart, liver und lights. 
And bloml for hh share. 

Triitremy 1. 4C, 

Mj father hatb me lost, 
Sir Rohan t truly, 
The best blower of horn. 
And king of venery. 

TrUtr. 1.49. 

Your own siater bare him, 
'The king listened [to him] then— . 
I am akin to him no moiHB^ 
1 ought to be hifl oian. 

Among the vorsos of five accents, which contain this so 
tioiij 7 /J : 5 is the one the most commonly met with in our* 
poetry. The orthodox number of its fiyllables, is doubtlos* 
one of the causes of its popularity. 

I Iiave this day l>eii at y*nir t'bir» he at ujesse, 
And said a sermon to my simpk' wit. 
Not all I af I ter the text | : of ho | \y writ | . 

Smnpmure'M TaU ; C. T, 7^*70. 

The Mar | kep | yt the port | : of that | willuge | , 
Wallace knew weill| and send bim hx& message. 

Wallacty 4. 359. 
He eallyt Baljoune till ansuer for Scotland^ 
The wyss | loiti | m gert lum | ; sone brek | that baod | . 

WaOaet^ I. 75. 

And cry*d | mer [ cy, &ir Knight | : and raer | cy, Liord | - 

F. Q. 2. 1. 


At laiit I tum|mg her fear| 
She aak'd — 

to fool I ish wrath | , 

F, Q. 3. 

Cupid their eldest bpother, he enjoys 

The wide | kingjdom of love |; with lord|ly away] 

F, Q. 4. la 4i. j 

So poaco I be | ing eon firmed | : among&t { them all | « 
They took tbeir steetlH — P, Q. 4, (j. 

What man is be tbat boasts of ilesldy might, 
And >'ain asr^nrance of ujortality, 
Which all M) «onn as it doth eome to fight 
Against | spirit |ual foe^j: yields by | aod 1>t|, 


Let not light see mj black and deep desires, 

The eye | wink | at the hand | : yet let | that be | , 

Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. Macb, 1. 4. 51. 

The owl I shriekM | at thy birth | : an e { vil sign { . 

3 H. VL 5. 6. 44. 

Be a man ne'er so vile, . . . 

If he can purchase but a silken cover, 

He shall not only pass, but pass regarded ; 

Whereas | let | him be poor | : and mean | ly clad | , &c. 

B, Joruon. Ev. M, out of his H. S. 3. 

Bat far I be I it from me | : to spill | the blood | 

Of hannless maids. Fletcher, F, Sh, 3. 1. 

Kone else can write so skilfully to shew 

lour praise | ; ag | es shall pay { : yet still | must owe. 

Geo, Lucy to Ben, Jons, on the Alchemist, 

Anon I out I of the earth | : a fa { brie huge { 

^like an exhalation. P, L, 1. 710. 

A mind { not { to be changed j : by place | or time | . 

P,L.\, 253. 

Bird, beast | > in { sect, or worm | : durst en | ter none | . 

P, L. 4. 704. 
Is pain to them 
^ pain I , less | to be fled | : or thou | than they | 
Less hardy to endure ? P. L. 4. 918. 

And when a beest is ded, he hath no peine, 

But num | af { ter his deth | : mote we | pe and plein | e. 

Knightes Tale; C, T, 1821. 

Writings all tending to the great opinion 

That Rome | holds | of his name | : wherein | obscure | ly 

Cewr's ambition shall be glancM at J, Cas, 1. 2. 322. 

But since { , time | and the truth { : have wakM { my judg { ment. 
B, Jonson, Ev. M, in his H, 1. 1. 

The verse 7 ^ : 2 is more rare. 

Yet saw I Silla and Marius where they stood. 
Their greate crueltee, and the deepe bloudshed 
Of friends | ; Cyr { us I saw | : and { his host dead | . 

Sachville. M,forM, Induction, 61. 

Tis good, I go I to the gate | : some | body knocks | . 

Jul, Cas, 2. 1. 60. 

Inrage|,deaf I as theseaj: hasjty asfire|. R. II. 1. 1. 19. 



So spake | lB|rael'8 true king | 
Hade ajoswer meet 

aud I to the ileod | 

P. R. 3. 440. 

He speakH, | let | iis draw nearl r match] lese in minjht | ^ 

The glury late of Israel, now the grief. Samson Agon. 178. 

The section 7 p* m also found in the yerm of six accents j 

7 p ; 5 was the moBt usual combination. 

She almost fell a^rfLin into a swoimd^ 

Ne wist I wbeth | er al>ove ] : she were | or \m j der ground | ♦ 

F, Q, 4. 7. 9. 
— — • I prithee now, my son, 
Go to them with this bonnet in thy hand, 
Thy knee | buss | iii«^ the stonea | : for in | sudk bus | iness 
Action IB elorpjcnee. Cor, 3. 2. 72. 

Mach care is sometimea necessary to discover this se 
tion, when it emh the verse. Owing to the license whic| 
certain of our poets allow themselves, in the management ( 
their pauses, there is danger of confounding the midd 
pause with the sectionaL We shall first give examples ^ 
the verse 2 : 7 p. and then of the verse 5 : 7 p* 

Wal I laoe Bcho said [ : that full [ worth I y has bejne [ ♦ 

Than wejiyt Bcho, that pete was to s^eync. Wallace^ 2. 333, 

Thre yer in pe«8 the realm stude desolate, 
Quhar | for tbair mm \ : a full j grew | ou^ debate { 

Wallace^ 1.43. 

— — When merchant -like I sell revenge, 
Broke | be mj sword [ ! ; my arms \ torn | and defaced | ! 

2 //. VI. 4. K 


Qulia Bjierd | , echo said | : to Saint | Marg | ret thai socht | ; 

Qiihtt Ker|wit hir, | full ' pret ] frend | suhipe thai fantlj 

With Sothroim folk, for acho was of Ingland* Wultaite^ L 283. 

And next in order sad, old age wee found, 

His beard | all hoare | : his eyea | hoi | lt>w and blind |, 

With drouping chere still poring on the ground, 

Sackviiie. M.Jbr M* Induction^ 43. 

' [Jamtesoti, the editor of Wallace, actually ptits a fidl stop after kir, wh 
tuiB the icntence in bab!^ and ruins the Beose. — W. W« 8.]. 


^'ce bippj mother, and thrice happy mom, 

Thit bore | three s^ch | : three snch | not | to be found. 

F. Q. 4. 2. 41. 

I should be still 

Peering in maps for ports and piers and roads : 

And every object that might make me fear 

Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt 

Would make | me sad | . Salar, — My wind | cool | ing my broth | 

Would blow me to an ague, when 1 thpught 

^Vlttt barm a wind too great at sea might do. 

M. of Venice, 1. 1. 17. 

The lengthened section 7 I. p. is as common as the one 
teiave been considering. It has been nsed by Shakespeare 
V 8 complete verse. 

If you dare fight to-day, come to the field, 

If not I when { you have stomjachs. JuL Cas. 5.1. 65. 

But it was the verse 7 I. p : 1 that spread it most widely 
dboagh onr literature. In this verse it was used by our 
IniiDatists^ and by Milton: and may be traced far into the 
^hteenth century. 

For the dearth — 

The Gods, | not { the patric { ians : make | it, and { 

Your knees to them, not arms must help. Car, 1. 1. 74. 

No^ no I , this | shall forbid | it : lie | thou there | . 

Rom, and JuL 4. 3 21. 

Your father were a fool 

To give thee all, and in his waning age 
Set foot I un|der thy ta|ble : tut | a toy |I 

Tarn, of the Shrew, 2. 1. 401. 

One that dares 

Do deeds | worth | y the hur { die : or | the wheel | . 

B, Jons, Cynthia's Revels, 3. 4. 

More foul diseases than e*er yet the hot 

Sun bred | , thor | ough his bum | ings : while | the dog | 

Pursues the raging lion. Fl, Fa, Sheph, 1. 2. 

Whose veins | like | a dull riv | er : far | from springs | 

Is still the same, slow, heavy, and unfit. 

For stream or motion. FU Fa, Sheph, 1. 3. 

And to despise, or envy, or suspect. 

Whom God | hath | of his spec | ial : fa | vour raisM { 

As their deliyerer. Samson, 272. 


Light the day, and darkness night, 

He nam'd j ; thus | was the first | day : ev*n | and mom | . 

P.JL7.251 J. 

That all 

The sentence, from thj head removed, may light 

On me, the cause to thee of all this woe, 

Me, me I on I ly, just ob | ject : of | his ire|. P. Z. 10. 938. _ 

Me also he hath judg'd, or rather 

Me not I , but { the brute ser | pent : in { whose shape | 

Man I deceived. P. L. 10. 494. 

I go to judge 

On earth | these | thy transgres | sors : but | thon know*st | 
Whoever judg'd, the worst on me must light. P. Z. 10. 71. 

Shall he, | nurs'd { in the Pea { sant's : low { ly shed | , 
To hardy independence bravely bred, 
Shall he be guilty of their hireling crimes, 
The servile, mercenary Swiss of rhymes ? 

Bwmi Brigs of Ayr, 7. 

The following are instances of the same verse length*^ 



This ilke monk let olde thinges pace 

And held | afjtir the new|e : world | the tracje. 

Chan. Prol. 175, 

Light. . . . 

Sprung from the deep ; and from her native east 

To journey through the aery gloom began, 

Spher*d in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun 

Was not I ; she | in a cloud | y : tab | ema | cle 

Sojouru'd the while. P. Z. 7. 245. 

Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd, . . . 

I drank | , from | the clear mil | ky : juice | allay | ing 

Thirst. Samson Agon. 547. 

Surrey has given us an example of the verse 1 I. p\h. 

The fishes flete with newe repayred scale, 
The adder all her slough away she slinges, 
The swift { swal { low pursu | eth : the fly | es smale I . 

Description of Spring, 8. 

These are the principal combinations in which the section 
7 I, p, is met with. Others, however, have occasionallj 
been found, more especially in the old English alliterativa 



fli^^trfi, Thaa Dunbar, in his *' Twa mariit women and tf^ 
**«fo^" gives tua on example of the verse 7 L p:2 L 

I krd, I im | der ane hoi | jn : hevin | He green hew | it. 

Dunbar^ as above, /. IL 

^ttci examples^ however, are rare. 

Before I close a book, which treats thna fully of the 
firthm of Eoglish verse, it may bo expected that I should 
^fttice a series of works, which have been published during 
Aelast thirty years, on the same subject, by men, some of 
wbse names are not unknown to the public. These writers 
entmain a very humble opinion of those '* prosodiana," 
'*who scan English verse, according to the laws of Greek 
JHftre/' and they divide our heroic line, not into five feet, 
but into six cadences ! They are not, however, so averse to 
foreign terms, as might have been looked for. With them 
rhythm is rhythmus, and an elided sy liable, an apotjialura. 
Ooe of these critics assures ua, that there are eight degrees 
of English quantity ; and if the reader ahonld '' deny that 
is any such thing as eight degrees of it, in our lan- 
, for this plain reason, because he cannot perceive 
' it will be his duty to confide in the greater expe- 
ice, and better educated ear of those, who have paid more 
attention to the subject ! I will not follow the example sot 
fcy these gentlemen, when they speak of the poor " pro- 
lodian.'' It may be sufficient to say, that much which they 
idvance, I do not understand, and much that 1 do under- 
itaod, I cannot approve of. 


BOOK 1 1 L 



Pew things appear, at first sight, more easy, or'; 
trial are found more difficult, than the clear and od 
arrangement of many and varied particulars. To clasf 
according to their aeveral relations^ so that they may I 
each other in due subordination, would seom rather an 
ciae of patience than of intellect ; to require industry^ 
most some little discrimination, rather than depth of th< 
or an enlarged comprehension of the subject. But 
ever been by a alow and tedious process, that theoi 
disentangled itself from more knowledge of fact; i 
soon learn how much easier it is to collect materials, i 
form with them a consistent whole. The many syt 
which have been hazarded in the exact sciences, mi 
make us cautious, when we treat of matters, from thoi 
nature, so much more vague and indeterminate. 

The systems of the naturalist have been called (^ 
great accuracy of language) natural or artificial, accoB 
as they were founded on more or less extensive ana| 
The same terms have been applied to the systems of phd 
accordingly aa they were based on the gradual develd 
of language, or accommodated to the peculiarities of 
ticular dialect. If we may use these terms, when sp^ 
of our literature, I would venture to denounce aa ai^ 
every system, which makes time or place the rule of ita 
fic-ation. The example of Wartan* shows us^ how 4 

' All must ndmii his fiiiltire as regarrls the arrangement of his «■ 
however much ihey admire the tuste and learn ing of this aooofxiplish«e 




J* is to follow a merely chronological arrangement ; and tho 
citiins, which have been made by local vanity or prejudice, 
to appropriate certain portions of onr literature, are listened 
to irith lesa patience, as our knowledge of that literature 
becomes more widely extended. 

The success of our critics might have been greater, if their 
imbition had been less ; had they noticed with more care 
til* outward make and fashion, and confined themselves less 
fetduflively to the spiritual tendencies of our poetry. The 
mstiiict of imitation appears to have seized the points most 
tongible — the rhythm and the versification. The sentiments 
ind language seem to have been considered as appur- 
tenants of the metre, rather than as essential elements of our 
poetry. We find particular trains of thought, and particular 
idioms (in some cases amounting almost to a change of 
ialect) for ages appropriated to certain rhythms. 

The history of our language has suflfered, equally with 
Ibat of our poetry, from overlooking the peculiarities of our 
poetical dialect. Some of our critics will have Chaucer to 
tdiibit a faithful specimen of the English tongue, during the 
ith century — but who, judging from style and lan- 
, would suppose him to be a contemporary of Langland ? 
HiAt, in the following century, the same hand * wrote the 
'Twa mariit women and the Wedo,"*' and " The Golden 
e r '* How widely does the foreign and artificial atate- 
of the ballet style differ from the rude but native 
iQP of our alliterative poetry ! 

complete history of our rhythms would probably lead 

ivery satisfactory arrangement of oor poetry ; and enable 

trace, with more truth and precision than has hitherto 

done^ at once the progress of our language, and the 

development of our inventive genius. Unfortunately, 

blished specimens of oui* early litei-ature are so scanty^ 

ly to furnish us with an unbroken series of any early 

Large gaps occur, which can only be filled up by 

ons search into manuscripts, scattered through the 

* [Tte of WOli&m Danbar. The Tw& Mariit Women in in the uld allitera- 
leneim— W.W. S.]. 



B. III. 

country, and not always very easy of access.* In such cases 
simikirity of idiom, or of subject, may sometimes aid us ; and 
enable ns to recognise a particular rhythm, when the changes 
it has undergone might otherwise make us hesitate* 

With better means of information, I might probably soe 
reason to modify much that is advanced in the following 
book- but I cannot think that any of the more important 
divisions would roquiro material alt-eration. 


' The next chapter will bo devoted to the consideration 
Anglo-Saxon rhythm — that main stock, from which hai 
i)ranched almost all the later rhythms of the language. In 
tho third chapter, wo shall treat of our seotional metres — or 
such as were produced by making each section a distinct 
verse. In the fourth, we shall trace the progress of such 
metres as wore based on the shorter Anglo-SaxoD rhythms j 
and in the fifth, the history of our old English alUteratiTe 
metre — or, in other words, of that metre, which refiolted 
from modifying the longer Anglo-Saxon rhythms by tlii 
accentual rhythm of the Latin chaunts. The origin of the 
Psalm-metres may be considered as the converse of this; 
they appear to be the nafciiral growth of tho Latin rhythm 
modified by tho native rhythm of the language. These wiB 
form the subject of the sixth chapter. The motre of five 
accents will be considered in the seventh chapter ; and tho 
tumbling metre in the eighth. We shall^ in the **^«»^^ ^ 
chapter, notice certain loose rhythms, which have ImI^I 
occasionally used ; and in the tenth, such new metres «* 
have from time to time been invented or adopted by oar 
English poets. 

^ [It iDii6t bo remembered tk%t this statement reftsn to ihm year ISZB> aimx 
that tliite, a Inrge number of MSS. have been printed by the EatIt Enslisi 
Text Society, by tbt? Camden Society, and bj varioua editors. — W. W. 8,1 





Before we enter npon the subject of Anglo- Saxon 
rijtim, it may forward our inquiry, if w© first throw a 
njrid glance over the present state [in 1838] of Anglo- 
Siion literature. 

Among the writers, to whom this literature has hitherto 
Wn considered as very deeply indebted, must be ranked 
tke names of Hickes, Lye, and Conjbeare. The first of 
Iku/b pablished his Thesaurus in 1705 ; Lye's Dictionary 
fcllowed after the lapse of half a century ; and Conybeare's 
** ninstrations ^' appeared, as a poathumous publication, so 
iBteastlieyear 1826. 

The censures, which have been passed upon these works 
litterly, have been fuUy equal to any forrner eulogies. It 
tmld require much care, and some discrimination, fairly to 
n out the merit due to their respective authors. 
' rrors, it is true, are many, but the subjects on which 
th«y speculated were tww; and^ when an art is in its 
laCmcy, an increased range of knowledge is sometimes of 
oore importance than extreme accuracy* They, who de- 
vote themselves to discovery, have rarely time for minute 
tion ; and their mistakes may well claim the for- 
le of those, who have profited by their labours. It 
slight praise, that the material a, which these writers 
L, are readily seized upon, even by those whose criti- 
hasbeen most hostile. No one, 1 believe, has studied 
!o-Saxon literature, since these *' blundering works '' 
Oied, without having them at his elbow, 
rest, which has been felt of late years in favour 
of these studies, has not however been confined to our own 
conntrr. It has spread to the scholars of Denmark and 
of Germany ; and their enthusiasm, backed by an unre- 
mitting industry, has given a marked impulse to Anglo- 
SdLXon literature. 



B. XL 

Of their yarious publics tions^ the Grammar of Rask an 
the Deutsche G-rammatik of Grimm, are certainly the mof 
valuable. Upon these two worksj and the influence whid 
they have exerted, 1 would make a few obaervations ; and 
if, in so doingj I dwell chiefly on what appear to be their 
defects, it should be remembered that a mistake becomes 
the more dangerous, the greater the merit of the work which 
contains it. 

The first of these scholars was a native of Copenhagen^ 
and devoted the whole of a short life to the study of the 
Northern languages* His knowledge of the Icelandic wm 
accurate and profound ; his farniUar acqaaintance with the 
kindred dialects may admit of some question , But it i 
as a philological critic^ as ono of the most zealous 
moters of what may be called comparative philology, \ 
he has the fairest claim to our respect. In this field 
was one of the earliest labourers; and the discovery 
many a curious analogy was the reward of his zeal and 
ingenuity. His varied knowledge enabled him to defcedi 
by comparison, minute peculiarities of construction, whicl 
would certainly have escaped the notice of one, who ] 
given his attention solely to a particular dialect. 

It was with these advantages that he began his As 
Saxon Grammar ; and to these he owes whatever sue 
that work has met with. There are few English scho 
who can peruse this grammar without benefit 3 there 1 
probably none, who will rise from its perusal, with any 1 
high notion of its author's candour, or even — so far as j 
gards the Anglo-Saxon dialect- — -of his scholarship/ 
terms in which he speaks of Hickes and Lye are but lii 
to his credits Without the aid derived from their labo^ 
his book would never have been written ; and though^ 
some cases, his mastery of the Icelandic enabled him 
correct their errors, in others, his triumphj though equ 
loud, is far more questionable. 

* Aft^r the publicatica of Cpnjbemro*! ** UliiBtnitions,*' Rji4k notk 
lonper rlijthms of Cfseitmon, ** which had esc^aj>ed Uira while eii|(«gvd 
first edition of hia Grammari not having Cieflmon then at hajid,^ &c 
tiifly have escapes) the iiotiw of iiiiy out* who tind read cliat fioel ? 




The Accidence is by far the most valuable portion of 
lis grammar ; the Syntax and the Prosody (and more 
etpc^ially the latter) must, I thint, be considered as 
Mures, According to hiin, the alliterative syllables alone 
tike the accent ; all those which precede them, form 
mrelj a " complement/' and are '* toneless.*' Great cart* 
mnst be taken not to confound this complement with the 
Terse iteelf, "lest the alliteration, the structure of the 
?eree, and even the sense, be thereby destroyed 1 *' Were 
ihese strange notiona sanctioned by Anglo-Saxon prosody, 
tte jingle of a nursery rime would be music, compared with 
die rhythm of Anglo-Saxon verse* Ho baa treated Hickes^ 
Ikeory of a temporal metre with liitle ceremony — it would 
h difficult to say which of the two theories be the more 
faille, the one he has adopted, or that which he repudiates. 
The great defect of the Deutsche (jrrajnjiiatik is a want of 
Imni distinction — ^of a jealous and a penetrating criticism* 
of like ending, or of like beginning, are classed 
, many of which we know must belong to different 
itionSj for we can resolve them into their elements, 
prove a different construction. We have also a large 
ion of the work, devoted to the changes of the letters; 
the ImuSj which regulate these changes, are barely 
at, and it would seem imperfectly undtu-stood, for 
letters represented as original, which are certainly 
iptions; and others degraded as corruptions, which 
as certainly, original. The declensions again are 
led into the weak and the strong, or, as Rask has it, 
the simple and the complex ; and this has been called 
afvroZ division. Had it any claim to such a title it 
be more widely applicable ; we have only to test it 
me of the kindred languages, to see at once its un- 
less/ As an ariifidal system, it does not possess 


nouns of all the Indo-Eiiropean liini^imgcs iimj, I tliinlij be mni^ecl 

rery imall number of rkcIensioriH. I w^\\ vwiuure to niiswer tar thu 

^ike Greek, the Latin, the Slavish dmieols, und the Gothic. Even thn 

of Uie Cetiic may he re<ltioed (in purt at. lea»l) mi^er the aam** hiws. 

tioiis between the deelerasioDs ure eBtmtiiai, anil iiee|>ty rooted iti thv 

f mnKinrm of these Iiin^iages. 




B, I Jj 

the ordinary merit of convenience ; it is at once cumbr 
and imperfect. His arrangement of the conjugations i 
proaches nearer to a natural order, and is far more 

But, with all these defects, the Deutsche Grammatik i 
work of surpasfling thought and labour. No man 
studies the nature and structure of language, can negle 
with safety. It m a mine of learning ; and, though we i 
sometimea quarrel with the armngement of its materials J 
may well be grateful that such masses of knowledge 
been arranged at ail. In what manner they may be 
turned to account in the study of language, is an inqnir 
some difficulty, but of far greater interest* 

Now dialect is a term merely relative. The Gothic 
dialect of the Indo-European language ; the Anglo- 
is a dialect of the Gothic. Wlien wo compare the In 
European languages j we seize the points of resemblan 
and pass slightly over those of diSbrLmco. When we i 
pare the Gothic languages, we find many of these point 
difference become leading features — such as are, in : 
cases, strikingly characteristic of these new dialects, 
same thing ia to be expected, and certainly takes place! 
comparing our English dialects. To argue then from i 
a knowledge as we can now obtain of any parent lang 
to the peculiarities of a derivative dialect, requires 
greatest caution. In studying the Anglo-Saxon, we can< 
look upon the Deutsche Gtavtmatih as a collection of us 
hints — hints not to bo adopted at once and without refl 
tion, but to be worked out and tested, by a careful exac 
tion of Anglo- Saxon authorities. 

After the publication of those two books, Mr. Thorpe,! 
friend of Rask and translator of his Grammar, retnrne 
England. To this gentleman we owe the version of Cfl 
mon, which was published about four years ago by the SocietJ 
of Antiquaries* Another gentleman,* who had, I believa 

[J. M, Kemble. See brs areonnl of Anglo-Saxon iitudiea, in a letter pmli 
ritheqiio Anglo-Siixonnt, par F. Michel, 

ill thp pretW'Li to the 
W. W, 8.] 




leeu adoiitted to the intimacy of Grimm, diatinguished him- 
rfabont the same time by his zealous admiration of that 
scioiar; and expressed his opinion of Ewjlish Bcholarship 
iii terms, that were, to say the least, aomewhat unguaixled . 
in answer soon appeared, and *' the Conti^oversy '' fol- 
Wel^ In the warmth of this dispute extreme opinions 
Ittre been advanced on both sides ; some of which I think, 
tk© writers themselves would, upon reflection, see reason at 
lottt to modify. 

May we not appreciate the learning of Hickea, the 

masterly command of idiom shown by Lye, and the elegant 

Jcholarahip of Conybearo, and yet acknowledge the many 

[mmmatical errors, of which these writers have been guilty ? 

fay we not admire the patient investigation of Grimm, and 

tlie quicker but less sound perception of Rask, without blind- 

ourselves to their faults^ or embarking with them in ill- 

iered theory or vague generalization ? 

these two parties, the ^' new Saxoniats '* have been 

[y the most enterprising. The peculiar notions which 

maintain, and act upon, have been thus stated by one 

leir earliest and most zealous advocates. '* All persona 

have had much experience of Anglo-Saxon MSS.know 

hopelessly incorrect they in general are; when every 

nee has been made for date and dialect, and even for 

tie etijmalogical ignoratire of former times, we are yet mot af 

9try turn with faults of grammar, with omissions or rodun- 

dtttdefi of letters and words, which can only be accounted 

Ibron the supposition, that professional copyists brought to 

tkir task (in itself confusing enough) both lack of know- 

kdge, and lack of care. A modern edition made by a per- 

reaili/ conversant with the language which ho illustrates, 

in all probability, be much 7n<fre like ike ortginal than. 

MS* copy, which even in the earliest times waa made by 

«n ignorant and indolent transcriber. But while he irmkes 

Ab neC'Cflsary corrections, no man is justified in withholding 

the original readings : for^ although the laws of a language, 

' 'Dm* lApers on this subjcHrt appeured in tho ^Htentbrnan's Mftgmxine*' ut 
cIuTing \\w lajit two y»^rs. [Sei^ Gent, Maj^. I8:H, 1B35.J 



ascertained by wide and careful exatni nation of all tho cog- 
nate tongues^ of all the hidden springs and ground- priociplt*s 
on which thej rest in common^ are like the laws ofths Medet 
and Persians and alter 7iotf yet the very errors of the old 
writer are valuable^ and serve sometimes as guides and claa 
to the inner being and spiritual tendencies of the langn 
itself/' , 

That I differ from several of the opinions here advanc 
may bo partly gathered from what has gone before, Butl 
think it due to a gentleman, who has laid Anglo-Saio 
literature under some obligation , to state my reasons mo 
fully; and as the question is one of great importance, < 
as a very loose meaning is sometimes given to the wor 
" coiTect copy " and '* original readings/' perhaps I sh 
be excused, if 1 enter somewhat minutely into the points! 

Our modern editors take the Hberty (without any wamii 
to the reader) of altering the text in three particulars. Tk 
change the accents,* which in certain cases are used to i 
tinguishtho long vowels; they compound and resolve wor 
and they alter the stops and pauses—or in other words i 
punctuation and versification— at their pleasure. 

With respect to the accents, Rask professes to have' 
guided by the authority of printed Anglo- Saxon wor 
aided by a comparison of the kindred dialects. I do not i 
quire if he acted up to these pnnciples ; but under the i 
cumstances, (unable as he was to procure Anglo-S 
MSS.) none better could have been followed. The editor 1 
CaKlmon informs us, that in the accentuation, " which 
firms^ in almost every case, the theory of Professor 
he has *' followed the authority of MSS,, and except in a 1 
instances that of the MS. of Cjedmoo himself/* 1 will 
stop to ask, what constitutes the theory of Rask, or in wh 
cases this gentleman differs from his friend, but I have co 
pared his edition with the MS. at Oxford, and find 

' III the foUowing remiurkSf the word accent liu ibe same meftn'mg, i 
genenUj given it by our Anglo-Saxon editors* Much cx>tiriijiicm mtglil I 
nHatn if we hud venture*! iiix>n n t'bftDge of phraseologj. 




omitted or intruded without authority, at the rate of some 
tweoty a page — by what hconse of language can these be 
called a yet/; instances ? 

If the reader ask what theory has been followed, after 
this bold departure from the original ? — an answer would 
be difficult. The very same words are found, in one page, 
with long vowels, and in another with short, as if the accent" 
were inserted or omitted, as the whim of the moment dic- 

To the edition of Beowulf these obseryations only partially 
apply. The editor ha^s shown more deference to hia reader, 
and has distinguished between theory and fact — between his 
own accents, and the accents of the MS.^ 

* In one of his ptipers (Gent. Mag., l>ec, 1834, p. 605) he promises to ex» 
pkiD *' die system," on which he has regultited his act^eiituntion. Woidd tl not 
have lieen safer policj, if he had/raif established the nynUmi , und thin had iu.'ted 
Ul>OTl it ? 

After this n<Ue wiis wriwen, there appeared no article in the Gcntlewian-a 
Magazine, expluiDing the system of accentuation, which was ftillowtHl in the 
Iliac edition of li^'owulf [i. <f. that by Keniljh% publisbod in 1837]. The writer 
diBSotita, and 1 think with much reason j from the prineiples on which Mr. Thorjie 
remodelloil the accentuation of Ca*iiinon, and thf*n udvam^s ar^timentB in favour 
of hia own syatera. These we will not examine^ ns it is a matter of minor ira- 
ptirtanee wliat theory an editor may adopt, if he distinguish (and in Beo^wulf 
the diHlinetir>n has tteen made) iM'ti^een hi^ own notiunii and the eontenta of hiB 
MS. Bnt there is one paswa^o^ very candidly qnuted from an ohl j^Taniinarianj 
«hieh deserves the reader's notice — I say enndidly (jtioted, beiauiie it uff-anis a 
very str^mi^ argument in a ease where, as it seemn to me, stmnj^ iirjj^iimenth were 
not wanting, against tJie theory which the writer himself eupouses. Fnnn this 
jMiaiMiig^, which makeH mention of ** the §hort e.** it in very pmjierly inft^rred, that 
ihe iKscent waa sometimes njied for the mime purpose us onr modern itiilics. It 
must, I think, ivjnvince everyone, who h«ji not committed himttelf in controversy, 
liuw little we yet know of a suhjeit, on which so much si^eculation has been 

I would take thin opportunity of again pressing on the reader the importance 
of copying cmr MSS- faUhfuUy — I mean not only to the letter, but so ujs to 
show their pceuliaritiea an regards punctuation, com |Misit ion, &e. It is luito- 
nisliinf bow much li^ht muy thus be lhn»wn upjii the Btructure of our lan- 
gna^. For exanijile, many An^lo- Saxon MSS. join the prcf»osition to its sub- 
Ktantive, and thus (Mint iti the origin of a namerous clusa of atlverbs, o^i/y, 
a^/wp, agroumi^ tjV., underfoot^ underhand^ und0rm(tfhi i^c., (oifHt/, tonight^ to- 
rnorroWt ^c. Again, in itome MSS. eereral of the common prefixes are eare- 
fidly iK'pftraied from tlieir c*)mpi>unda — the atlverb gai-tMCf for example^ being 
written ge wUv^ or in Old English y wijvii' ; and it is from tbeae Hcaltered eie- 
meuts of an a^herh that uKKJern scholarship has manufactured a verb and pro* 




I cannot help tliinking, however, that in the present state 
of Anglo-Saxon scholarship, all these speculations are pre- 
mature. Here is a language, mth whose accidence and 
syntax we are very imperfectly acquainted — the nature of 
whose dialects we have not yet investigated — and we are 
endeavouring to measure the length of its vowel-sounds, 
'with a nicety, to which they who spoke it made no preten- 
sion. It is probable that the quantity of the vowels varied 
with the dialects — if so, their peculiarities should be first 
studied ; it is almost certain that the quantity was sometimes 
indicated by the spelling — if so, the system of Anglo-Saxon 
orthography should be first ascertained and settled. 

If we look into Anglo-Saxon MSS. we find some with- 
out any accents ; and few, in which they have been syste- 
matically adopted. In the Beowulf MS. the whole number 
of accents cannot amount to more than a few dozens. In 
the MS. of Ca?dmon, they were also at first very sparingly 
used; but wore profusely added by the same hand that 
(Corrected the MS. 

To charge these conflicting usages upon the ignorance of 
the writers, is a ready method of solving a very difficult 
quostion. That some of our Anglo-Saxon MSS, have been 
carelessly transcribed, may be admitted, bnt#I cannot 
allow that such is their general character. Many of them 
are beautifully written, and have minute corrections, which 
show they have been revised with equal care y and thcao 
MSS. agree no better than the others, with any theory that 
has yet been started, on the sulyect of Anglo-Saxon ortho- 
grapljy. To pare down their peculiarities to a level with 
German criticism, is an easy task, but one I think that is 
little likely to aid the progress of Anglo-Saxon scholar- 

Doun /fiiim/ Ap^ain^ in many Old Knglij»U MSS. the g<>tiitiru.| vihUi^ b 
iteporatefl fn»m it& n^urir thus Srh*/ Bettef ur tcttrg^^ Saint Bonnet's sooiif^ 
— » pmt'tiee, which bHows us (h<? origin of ihosi' [)hru**<L's to be met wiib in 
our IJtiirgy and other worlui of the same dat»', Chri^it hie mke^ God 4i< /om^ 
^c. IHhor inKtiincM*^ of tlic tidvnntagCH, likely to lUHrriU* &t>m m m<»r» cttmAd 
t'diliiig iif otir m!uiiiai"ripL% might tanlly In* iiollect«?d. 

' I liuM> tJ^wheri' suggcsTod (p. 105} ihat ihero utiry luivc htmi Mfv# 


Another license^ very commonly takeB^ is that of com- 
poflBding and resolving words. 

In English we writo some compounds continuously, as 
f9&rtagt; others we splits as it wore, into distinct words, 
a« caoi mine ; or link together by means of the hyphen^ as 
fnar-tree. The hyphen was unknown to the Anglo-Saxons ; 
but compounds were frequently reeolved into their 
rieraents, and written as though they formed distinct 
irords. Now there is no objection to the hyphen, if it be 
wed only to tye together the scattered elements of a eom- 
poond ; for even if there be blunders in the construction 
of ii passage, and words united that should be separate, yet 
the reader possesses an easy remedy — lie has merely to 
Kfike oat the hyphen, and the real text is before hira. 
But the case is widely different, when the hyphen is also ^ 
a^eJ in the resolution of woi-ds. He most then rest 
content with such readings as are given him. The editor 
iiaecnre from criticism. 

Most of our modern editors take this double Ucense, 
The reader may think that the hyphen is occasionally used 
to prop a false translation, or that it sometimes mars the 
Ajthm of a section ; but he must have a greater confidence 
in the soundness of his opinion, than would bo generally 
warranted by the present state of Anglo -Sajc on scholarship, 
if he venture an objection. He mai/ be quarrelling i^ath 
the original, when he thinks he has only the editor to cope 
titk. He caimot be safe unless he have his finger on the 

What is the object proposed by this resolution of words, 
U far from clear. Few of our editors follow the same 
plin; nor are there many of them consistent even with 
thamselves. Sometimes the prefix is separated from its 
Terb ; sometimes linked to it by means of the hyphen; 
itanetimes the two are written continuously** The common 

of Angb'Saxon quantity. Thia, of course?, la more hypothesis, and 
be given up with very lirtJe relttctanw, but I certjvinly ooulJ wish to 
lUre hwA tin f^ppitrhtnity of testing \Ka iiorrertuejiH. 
' Thi* Efi^li^li I'uiuUT inuit ual eonBkk-r (his a more queatioY) of orthography- 



adjectiva! compounds ^ generally take the hyphen^ but 
Toany hundred instanceBj they are separated into distil 
words, as mere flod, god awning ^ &c, &c. So that notoi 
is the integrity of the manascript violated, but the reada 
gets nothing in exchange — not even a theory.' 

The versificfttion of our ^[SS. has been treated wid 
little more ceremony fcban their system of accents. 

I have already mentioned, that Anglo-Saxon poetry i 
written continuously like prose. In some mannscripta 
in that of Ctedmon) the point separated the sections ; 
others (as in the Dunstan Clironicle) it separated 
couplets ; in others (aa in the Beowulf MS.) the point 
used merely to close a period, and the versification ha 
nothing but the rhythm to indicate it/ The point 
often omitted ; and sometimes, though very rarely, it 
misplaced. Kow it would seem easy enough, to copy ( 
MS. correctly, and to mention in the notes the omission < 
the false poi^ition of the points j and it is matter of reg 
that the confidence reposed in some eminent graminariai 
has too often led our editors to **" restore '* the versificatia 
without informing the reader. The alterations which haf 
been thus made are, 1 feai*, but too numerous ; and moij 

It Bonu'titTjes hsippcns* tliat an atlverli is tat'kcd as a prefix to a verb» and I 
only the rhyibm of I tie lino^ but e^en its sense, tiestro/ed. 

* Sw p. 91*. 

* The Kyjiiien is very coniTOo nly furgottoD> when an adjective and i 
tire are Lompijunded^ (even in t^ascia whore L-hrnige of aet^&nt points infallibly! 
14 lOTOpiund,) nnleaa the petmliarines of tlie fijntajche swii. as cannot be got! 
of wilbuiU it* 

° la the M8S. from wliit b I hav^ taken the extracts, which wiU sIiartl/1 
siibnatUed to the reader, thu prtjujHltior^ is ^ijt^uerully joined lo \[m auliaLiAd 
as tmhearm* I bnve writtt^n tbem sepirutilyt as I could not iatisfy ntyi 
whether or not this ensrom applied to nil the prepositions, ITie 
pkrtitle »< is also generally joined to its \erb; and sometimes tht»i 
\\A substantiie. I have written tliem sepumtely in itll eoR'S, With 
uxt'eptions, the reacler will have only to strike out the hyphen, to get a 1 
pure iexL 

* The writer generally leaves a slight interval between hi« sections ; 
might bo expectt'dt tbiis is of>en forgotten. The Editor shmjld ha^e mentk 
iht^ omission of rlie dot, and have let hia render know that he was, to a 
extent lit lenst, imswerablo for the veraifieution. 


than one scholar has thus impaired his uaefulnessj whose 
services, in other roispectSj may well deaerte our thanks J 

In their punctuation, the Anglo-Saxons used three kinds 
of stops. The first was somewhat like our semicolon (;) ; 
the second was merely the same atop reversed ( * ) ) ^^^ 
the third consisted of three dots (/.)* Most manuscripts 
have merely the rhythmical point ( ,) , and that too in cases 
where it is required also to mark the versification — a clear 
proof how closely the two systems were at first connected. 
The same hand that altered the spelling, and sometimes 
even the wording of the Caedmon MS. added also the stops* 
The task however was carelessly performed ; and Junius 
has pointed his edition, according to his own notions of the 
author^ s meaning. The compiler of the Analectaj also, has 
furnished his text with commas, semi-eolonSj &c, in the 
same way as if it were an English compoHition ; but as the 
sense often depends on the punctuation, the reader ought 
always to know, how far it is borne out by the original. 
Many persons may differ with an editor, in the construction 
of a passage, who would not have confidence enough to 
impugn the punctuation of a manuscript,'^ 

A modern edition therefore aims at being an improved 
versiorij and not merely a copy of the MS. The editors 
claim the merit of restoring the text; and unfortunately 
so little do they distrust their amendments, as seldom 
to give the reader that warning he has a right to look 
for. These claims we have examined ; but there are 
others (and strangely inconsistent ones) sometimes brought 
forward, which should not pass, altogether, without obser- 

' The evening Iwfore I examinee! tlie MS. of Cipdmom I marked dowTt between 
( wetjty and ihirty eases of doubt fid prosi>dy» In every une of these inatiince*, 
bm two, tlie text bad been altered. 

Tli« motive for these changes was in general obvioun enough j It was to bring 
two alliULTiitive syllables into the first section— or to b«gin the set-ond section 
with the chiff-Utitt^ lus Uask terms it — t^r to support some of the *jlher pi*n»o- 
dii*l canona of that gnimmarian. To effect these objecLa, we have perimls ending 
in the iniilfit of a section, and pauses immediately betwctm a prepobition and its 
subs tan live! 

« As 1 belicvt^ the Ciedmon MS. or't^ifmlly had no stop, I have in such ex- 
tractA as urc tukcn from it. seldom thougiit it worth while to notice ihi*m. 



B. ni. 

vation. One editor, who has entirely altered the accentoa- 
tion of his inaniftcript — who has often changed the versifi- 
cation — who has compounded words and resolved worda, 
" lays claim at least to one meritj that of exhibiting a faiUi- 
Jul text/* Another^ who is no less free in the compoaition 
and resolution of words, and who mai'ks in the same way an 
erasure of the MS., and (what he considers to be) a defect 
in the syntax or the prosody, tells ns, he has printed his 
" text letter for letter as he found it/'* It seoms difficult to 
reconcile these professions with the claims elsewhere made 
by these gentlemen, and hardly poasible to reconcile them 
with their practice, ^fl 

In the following extracts, we shall first state the lai^H 
which defines the versification ; and then carefully note 
every deviation from it. When the point occurs in the 
midst of a section, it will be inserted, so as to give the 
reader every means of forming an independent judgment. 
It will be seen, that the point often divides a cmnpound 
section^ in a way that strongly supports the hypothesisj 
elsewhere started, as to the origin of such section,* 

The sections will be ranged in couplets, notwithstanding 
tho protest of Rask. It wiil be useless to follow this critic 
through his long, and (asi it seems to me) very inconclusive 
reasoning upon this subject. Half a doaon sentences ntmy 
embrace all the merits of the question. Our English verse 
was at first wiitten like prose, the point sometimes sepo^ 
rating the couplets, but generally the sections. About the 
end of the twelfth century, a now mode of writing came into 
fashion, and a line was given to each couplet. The lee- 
landers followed a different plan, and made each section a 
distinct verse ; but I have very seldom seen regular allitera- 
tive metre, so written, in English, As far therefore as 
nuihority goes, an Icelander would naturally make a verse 
of each section, and an Englishman of each couplet* It i^ 

* R 159. A jfcTupuluiia adherence to the puncluiitioii of the mttnujcript 
wiJi ftlsf^ Lnive open uinther ipji\'itiuii, which cannot, I think, W Wked tifuni 
i4!» liilly ciui'ided— the qut^slton, 1 mcfui, wheLber an dlitomtivo aecUuti vtwx 


C\ lU 



Werer, as Conybeare romarkedj a mere question of con- 
venience. I prefer the couplet for Anglo-Saxon vorsej 
becaofie in such form it seems better calculated to illustrate 
tke origin of our later rliythma. 

In marking the accented syllables, I have met mth great 
difficulty ; and fear I have sometimes mistalcen the rhythm 
my author. It might perhaps be sufficient to say, it 
a work of difficulty, and the fird time it had been 
ipted; but it may also be said, that much of the diffi- 
ly ariBes from ilie liberties, which have been taken with 
the rersification of our manuscripts/ I have been very 
bus to arrive at accuracy 5 for the scansion of an Anglo- 
con verse is not a matter of mere curiosity. There can 
Ih? little doubt that the modern accentuation of our lan- 
guage is mainly built upon that of its earliest dialect; and 
tbt we must investigate the latter, before we can arrive at 
toy satisfactory arrangement of the former. 

As to the English version, I fear it will often stand in 
Dfiedof the reader's indulgence. I cannot hope to escape 
fliuch better than those who have attempted the task 
kefore me; and in every translation from the Anglo- 
Saxon^ that has fallen under my notice, there are blunders 
eftOQgh to satisfy the most unfriendly critic. The Anglo- 
Saion student has to work against the evils of a scanty 
TocabalnFyj^ an imperfect grammar^ and idioms, that must 

looett wislied to aacertaln the acoenliialion of a particular dsw of 00m- 

, kfid collected for tliut purpose seTeoteea sections^ in which aueh notn* 

I oeentTed. Of xheae^ nine were indeeisivi} 5 five gavo one mode of atx-en- 

o, uid three anoihtT. I satisfied myself^, that iu one of these sections a 

I bftd Itten uatnl improper J j, but the other two con tinned puiales, till I 

Itn opyjortiinTtj of &eeing the MS., vfhvn 1 found the point luid in both coses 

I iiiis|kiEced by ^he Editor. 

li'U half imdined to agn^e wiih the learned biographer of Ritooiii and to de- 

i U>e oorruptton of a MS. a$ a crtme tittle Uw than felony / 
FHiicJi diffictilty arises fmm the* vaut uixmber of duplieiik's and fripljcates 
four An^lo-SaxoD nouns. Very many of have more than one ii?r- 
I and more than one giender anil dcch^nsion. t>ther nimns (both sub- 
} tuid adjective) occoaionallj take au e m the uDminative, and as « \% one 
mooest inflesdons, the pi*r]Je.xity, thence ariaiujr, is considerable. 
I A fiollBEtion of these poxzling sy nonymes would be of the greatest service to th^ 



have taken root in the very infancy of our languagf 
Price appears to havo been the only scholarj who liaa fair? 
met these difficulties with a running commentary. I she 
endeavour to follow his exam pi Oj but as the discussion 
some quo&tions may be too lengthy for the compass o€ 
note, I shall take this opportonity of discussing certain 


There are some w^ords, compounded of an adjective 
and a aubstantivOj in which the ktter, though it remains 
unchanged J has the force of an inflected noun. It would 
seem, that this class of compounds place the negative 
prefix before the adjective. Thug grms-grene is green witb 
grass, and grGEs-ungrene^ not green with grass. Tiie 
modern idiom, which most nearly resembles the present, 
is found in the comparison of certain compounds, wherein 
ono adjective qualifies another, as heawnty-hright, 9weet- 
tempered. These are compared by adding the er and tho 
est to the first adjective, 

Thiice blet^fietl tbej, thiit iiiasler ^o their bhuxl, 
To mulor^o mirh jjiuiclen piljjrritiiage ; 
But earthlier happt/ is tlie rose di^tiird, 
Tliftii that» which, witherini; on the virgin tliom, 
Grows, lives, and dies, in siiigltj hlessudueas, 

ilf. N, D. I 

And niQjiy strokefi, though with ik little nxe^ 
Ilew down and fell the hardejtt'limber'd oak. 

3 H, VL % 



W'eU, well, he was tlie covertst sheltered traitor 

That ever lived. Rich. ill. 3- 5. U. 

Farewell i\\vn^ fair est vntri ! all thoufrhts in me 

or women perii?h. Mwsni tiger. Maid of Honour, h 2, 

^ In I lie last edition of Ca>dmon, these are made two distinct wordf. ^ 
\t dear, from the proaudj^ that thi*y are rompeiind j for the prefix K«ai 

G ra^s I -ungren | e t gur |' secg tbt*ali | te, 

Cad./oL 7, Gfw, 111 





AH \how we flaw were the nglieit-awkward hoidetiA in natui'e. 
K Swinburne, Trav, in Spain^ Letter 44. 

Again, certain compoimd prepositions may be divided, 
80 as to inclose the substantive they govern, 

Tim tliry comon : io theodne /oran * 

The tliree came the ting before. Cad.foL 176. Dmi. 93. 

BumoD flcealcaa 

• Fmdo&i 4ian 
Burnt were the serrants 
Bound about the oven. Cced^foL 18G. Dan. 253. 

This idiom we long retained in the phrases, io God- 
^fij to him- ward, io Wmd^or- ward, &c. There was 
•Iso an idiom very like it in the Latin. 

It would seem too, that, when one substantive qualified 
tootherj the compound aometimoa opened and admitted an 

The Anglo-Saxon winter uwder, mere wt^, sunwr drng^ 
4c. answer to our modern phrases, minier weather, sea 
jWion, mmmer day, &c* In the following passages these 
eompoimds admit the adjective — at least it is only on 
1 fti« supposition, that I can render them into intelHgible 

Byniende (fr : mui bcoi-ht aumor 
Xttgend hergatli : niht somod and d©g 
Awl thee laiida gehwilc : leolit and theostro 
Herige on hifle : somcHi h&t iintl re aid 
Aw] tbec frea mihtig : forstiia and siiawas 
Winter biter* weder : and wolueii-fani 
l«fige on lyfie 

|I quota from ^Ir, Thorpe'a text, but refer to the page of the manuxr^tt 
Ijif^iten in both the Editmiiii. 

Brinun iinka these two words together as a compound, wmiar'biierf bitter 
Mr» Thorpe follows his example, but evade* the consequence, 

And ihee, mighty Loni! tins frosts and anows 
The wimter'A bitter meat Her ^ and the heaven's cxjurse, 
Praue in the air. 

\ k««p both his compound and hit translatioD. One nr other mast be 



n. ir 

Burning fire, and bright summer 

Herj' [prabe] their preserver I niglit aUo and day ; 

And Tliee each Imid, Ih^ht and darknesB, 

Ilery in their station! also heat and cold ; 

And Thee, mighty I^ord, the frowLs and the hiiowb* 

The hitter winter weather, iind the welkin*s course 

Pmiso in the lyft I Cisdmon^foL 192. Ihm, 371 

For thasm that is sio an rest : eallra geswiiica 
Hyhtlicn hyth : heaum ceolum 
Modes usscB : mere smylta trie * 

For that it is the one rest of all labours, 

The desiretl haven for the lofly barks. 

Our aotd's mild roadstead. Alfred, Met. 2K 10. 

H^'eet thu feder wereest 
Snmur lange^ dagag : «withe hate 
Thffiin winter dagum : wumbnmi sceorta 
Tida getiohJiant 

Lo I then, Father, inakest 
Long summer-flays intensely lujt, 
And to the wiuter-days wondronaly short 
Tinier hast given 1 Alfred. MmL 4. II 

JEthelstan cyning : eoria dnhten 
Beorna beag gifa r and his hrothor oka 
Eatlraund aetheling : ealdor langne * tfr 
GeAl(jgoii mt lake 

^ Mr. Fox renders the lino thus, 

Of our mind a great tranquil station, 
but this woiild require metre insteatl of mere. 

^ Mr. Fox (from whoj»c' edition I atn quoting) makes theso two words a I 
pound, m?nur-l&nge, long as summer 5 but, like Mr. Thorpe, he ev«dr<«| 

Behold I tliou, Father, makest 
Summer long days very hot. 

Comgue aW the following : 

thier ic sittan mot snmor langne dfipg* 

Esrilts C&mpUdm [Klage der fVaii], J 
theah ie gesitte ^iimrr longve dmg, Juliana, 40 

Nune of theso mad muMtackio-purpU-kued maltwonns. 

1 Hen, IK 2. L 
Al the winter-long night. Lthf /«• Freme^ \i 

^ Lye readers the passage, langne (ir ge»hg<m, Ac, thiis--diutitrnam| 
toriam refiortiritnt in prmlio. Mr. Thoqie has greatly improTeil upon 




^thelstan ktng^ of e^ls tbe Lord, 

Of limrons the beifj^b-giver, and his brother eke 

Etimund the etht^ling, elders a l(»ng train 

Slew in battle. Bnmanburgh War-Song^ 1 . 

Ttore is another idiom, or, to speak more accurately, a 

l^mfe of syntax, which has hitherto been moat strangely 

^rlooked. A substantive flingular^ when taken in a 

collective sense, may always be joined to a verb plural, 

Abogt every page of Anglo-Saxon poetry will furnish us 

*itli examples. 

Mtrgih sithedon 
Fcmaon and wiiduwan : freondum bcalegene 
From hleow -stole : heJtend IcBddon 
U't mid «htiim : abrahanie^ uiseg 

The maideiiB departed — 
Bujifels and widows^ flhorti of their friends ; 
From hift place of refuge, the spoiler leil 
Out with his goods, Abrahnm^s kinsman. 

Cad./oL 94. Gm, 201 L 

Thar sfter him : folca thr^thum 
Shmu simeones : sweotum cotnon 

There after them, in peopled bands, 
The S0D5 of Simeon came in crowds. 

Cmd.fol 160. Exod, 340, 
Him on laste sell 
Wuldor spedum welig : wide atddan 
Gifnm groweude : on godes rk-e 
Beorht and geblsedfast : buendra lea» 

On their hinder path. 
Rich with glories, their seats stood widely 

fmhmg«tUcT'lanffne a compound — " gained life-long glorj in (he battle ;"" 

riSfrifitM in Gloisarj. But objectiona may be taken even to this version. In 

(^fim place, I am not satis6ed, lh»t Or (glory) is masculine, In ihe second 

fiitt. tike meaning given to the word slean may be doubted, Slean, to strike, 

'•ii»f,ha» two sets of derivative meanings; to fix (as it were by stjiking), to 

*HWiifc a» ^eteld »Uan^ to fiK n tent, eorldom «t^an^ to establish an earldom ; 

I ^log^ (aa it were by striking), in whit:'b sense we might even now usci the 

w terb, as *ige eUany to strike a victory , hut he dtan^ to strike a pn^y. 

^ftfalnk wi» abooldbe pushing this analogy too far^ if we talked of *friking a 

I fiwy; at least, I would not so translate, without a cleaner authtiriry than the 

' before us. Lastly, the promise of merely l\fe4ong glory , for such a 

I 4flb«7f vonlil be much too meagre flattery. 



B. Ill 

(With riches flourisliiiig withui God^s realm, 
Briglit and precious I) — void of habitantii. 

Cmd.foL 5. G^ti-^^ 
Ilandum brvgdon 
Hethth of seo^diuLii : bring -m»led sweonl 

With (heir hiuidi^ the heroes 
Drew firom the sheaths the riiig-i'olour'*J swortL 

C(td,/nL 93. Get*. T99L 

Eodon tha sterced-ferththe h<tl€th ^ 

Went the «iem-hearted heroes. Judith^ 55. 

Wigend cnmcan : wimdum werige 

The warriors quailed, with wfiunrlR dii^pirited. 

Dcitih of Bt/rifitutfh^ 301, 302. 

An adjective, cannected with the nouoj maj be put m 
the singalar number^ as in tha third examplo; or in tht! 
plural, as in the last.^ 

It is curious to observe how this idiom has been ren- 
dered in our translations. Sometimes, when the meaning 
was obviousj it has been rightly conatrued^ and the " {ako 
concord^' passed over in silence. In other cases, ifc hat 
led to very bad translation, and more than once to very 
UDEonnd criticism. It has been holden ^ for instance, that 
the masculine nouns of the second declension sometimes 
reject their plural ending as ; so that heiieiLdy w^end, anA 
hideih may stand for hetlendm, mgejuiaSf and hmUthas, 
But this hypotheais is much too narrow for its object. In 
the examples above quoted, manjih ia feminine, and had 
mmgiha in the pliu^l ; sell is neuter, and had seilu} and sitnn^ 
though masculine, forma its plural in a, $una. 

There is yet another rule, which is no leas important than 
the laat, and appears to have been equally overlooked. 
The passive participle may be considered as declinable, or 
notp at the pleasure of the writer. 

' [Grein piiU e<fdo% aiid iufhih in different linet,— W. W, Sw] 

* So in hhy T ** Tunjuiniuin morihunrkim qntim qui rirca ofmnt i^ieetfpiaiaMif, 
t)lo> ftij^nd'H lictort';! (finipreht^mhitiL Chimor intk tx)iicuriuaq|ttt papmiimiram* 
(ium i|uid rei esaet/' — llt>t>k i« ch. -11. 

* See GIo«9«ry to the An&iei'ta, under the hcada Garland H*tUtk\ aii«l 
C»diaon, ed. ThorjK*, p. J 78, doU? h. Ami me Grimm, nsiiL Gramm. i. 047. 



Othtbiet be idkm : on eorth-Hce 
Godes h4nd ge«ceaft : geirone fiinde 
Wislice gew6rht : mid hifi wif stinied 

Until be Adam upon eartb*s realm, 

God*8 bandy work I ready found 

Wiflelj y-¥rrougbt ; and his wife witb him, 

CmLfoL 23. Gen, 454. 

Gewitao him tlm gangan : geomer-mude 
Under beam^aceade : blasde hereafod 

Gan they then depart, sad at heart, 
Under tree-flhadow — -joy -bereft I 

Ctjstlfol 40. Gett. 858, 

And him bi twcgen : beitniaa stcSdoti 
Tha w«ron iitan : ufmtes gebl«detie 
Oewerfd mid wKstme 

And tbem beside, two trcea there stood; 
They were without, with food y -laden- 
Covered with fruit. Cad.foL 23. Gen. 4(>0. 

Her wffis hia maga sceard 
Freonda gefylled : on folc-stede 
Beglegen set sace : and his sunu forlet 
On wsel-8towe : wundum /orgruuden 
Geonge set gntbe 

Here was loss of kin — 
Of friends hewn down — on cpowde'd field 
Slain at tlie fight I and bis ston he left 
On the carnage -place, with wounds laid Um^ 
Though young in war* Brminithurgh Wnr^Smtg^ 40. 

Ne weartli weel mare 
On thys iglande : aefre gita 
Folcefl a/ylled 

Was no greater carnage, 
Ever yet within this island, 
Of men hewn down — Brvrmnhurgk War'Song, 65. 

Ifectiyes also, when tliey partake of the charactor of 
Ivtidpies, are sometirQes used without dDclonsion. 

^likThoipd haa rightly translate thia pii&aag«^ but doubta the correct* 
||a#Mi tnuiatation, for, ** to justify it, we uugbt to have wanne in tbe 

Nallee wolcnu tba giet 
Otet rjirone grund : regnas bcron 
Wwm ^ mid winde 



B, m. 

Nor do ads as yet 
O'er the wide t^arth bftre raiii.s 
Wau-eoloured with wiiith 

CiffL/oL 12. Gai.m 
CmlfoL 23. (7«i.45 
Cad^/ol. 13. Orti. 244-' 

That hie wiirdon Idth Gode 

That they might bu loathed of God* 

Ileo weeron leaf Gode 
They wei-e beloved of Goci 

iE't this,ses ofkteii : thoiiue wurthath thin cagan swa leifhL 

Eat of lUii? fruit — then will be thine ey« m brightened. 

Cad,/oL 27. Gen 

It would be easy to multiplj examples ; but our lii: 
are narrowj and will oblige us to pass over some peculi 
ties of Anglo-Saxon grainnaarj which I would fain 
noticed. We will proceed at once to the main subject of « 

Ceedmon, of whom we have heard so muchj was one j 
those gifted men, who have staoiped deeply and lastin 
upon the literature of their country, the impress of th 
own mind and Ibclings. He was the first Englishman- 
may be, the first individual of Gothic race — who exchan 
the gorgeous images of the old mythology for the cha 
beauties of Christian poetry. From the sixth to the twe 
century, he appeal's to have been the great, model, whomj 
im^itated, and few could equal. For upwards of five cen 
rieSi he was the father of English poetry ; and when his 
was discovered in the reign of our first Henry, it seems| 
have excited no less reverence than those of the kings i 
saints by which it was surrounded. 

Nothing shows raoi^e clearly the influence which this ex 
ordinary man exerted upon our national modes of thou 
and expressioD, than a comparison between the Anglo- 
and early Icelandic literatures. So striking is the cont 
both as to style and subject, that Rask has even ventured tQ 
maintain they were radically distinct. A bett-er knowledge 
of the Anglo- Saxon would have shown him his mistake. 
But though it might easily be proved, that our fathers had 
poems on aloiosfc all the subjects which were once thouglij 
peculiar to the Eddas, yet the remains of them are so scanty 



or the allaaioDS to tbem ao ambiguouSj as rather to baffle 
criticism, than to enlighten it. The revolution effected by 
Csedmon appears to have been complete. 

The manuscript, which is supposed to contain the poema 
of Csednion, was a gift from Archbishop Usher to the cele- 
brated Junioaj and by him was bequeathed to the Bod- 
leian Library, From the style of the writings it must have 
been written about the end of the tenth, or the beginning of 
the eleventh century ; and as about that time there was an 
Abbott jElfwine at Winchester, at whose expense certain 
manuscripts (which are still ertant) were written and illumi- 
nated, much in the same way as the Casdmon manuscript, 
and as a head occars among the illuminations with the name 
of j^lfwine written over it, it has been surmised, that he 
was the patron to whom we owe the preservation of the 

Junius, who published thia manuscript at Amsterdam in 
1665, and who was an Anglo-Saxon scholar of the first class, 
put the name of C^dmon upon hia title-page without hesita- 
tion. The style of the poems, bo strongly resembling that 
of the fragment preserved by Bede — -the absolute identity 
of the subjects with those on which we know that Cssdmon 
wrote — and the marks of antiquity so abundantly scattered 
throughout, were to his mind proofs, amply sufficient to 
warrant him in so doing. Hickes did not agree in this 
opinion ; but the notions which he held upon the subject of 
Anglo-Saxon dialect, and upon which he chiefly grounded 
his dissent, have been long since exploded* 

Versions of Casdmon have been twice attempted ; first by 
Lye, and afterwards by Mr, Thorpe. Lye's translation has 
never been published; but if we may judge from such ex- 
tracts as appear in his Dictionary, I would say he has often 
shown great sagacity, and a singularly familiar acquaintance 
with Anglo-Saxon idiom. His MS. is now the property of 
the Society of Autiquarios, having been presented to that 
body by Mr. Thorpe, the well-known bookseller. The editor 
of Csodmon has denied any knowledge of thia manuscript 
version ; but of the many and copious extracts to be found 
in the dictionary be has diligently availed himself. In several 



R m 

instances he haa corrected LjVb mistakes ; but a version cf 
Cffidraon is a work of immense difficulty, and it refleci 
no discredit on either of these scholars to say, that manj 
and very large portions of the poem have not yet been froit- 

As the point separates the sections in the MS*j i^e reidff 
may assume that it always coincides with the middle ill 
final pauses, unless a note inform him to the contrary, Wlo 
the point is found in the middle of a section, it will b» 

Common type will be used instead of Ang-lo- Saxon; aai 
as in modern orthography th represents both a vocal aod i 
whisper sound, it will stand both for ^ and p. 

It is thus our earlier Milton introduces his subject to tin 
reader ; — 



\ e] ■ thiet I we rod | era weard | 

Wer eda wul [ dor-ciu | ing : word [ um her j igen I 

Mtid nm luf | ien : he | is meg | nft aped | * 

Heaf od eal | ra : heab j -gesceaf | ta* 

Frea | rol | miUtig : nies | hira frum [ a aef | re 

OV I gewar I doii : ne | nu en | de cymth [ 

Bic [ ean driht | nes : ac | he bith a | ric | e 

Of I er lieof I eu-stol ' as : heag | um thrym mnm 

Soth I -fwst and switli- j feorni * C*md, Qtn^ 1. 

Mickle rif;ht it is, that we heaven^s griiarfl 

(Glory-kiJig of liosts!) with words should bery, 

With heart.** s^hoidd love, lie b of powers the efficacy 

Head of all high t-reatiooi*, 

Lord Alnughtyl In bim beginninf^ never 

Or origin hath been* nor end cometb now 

To the eternal Lord ; but be is vljv aupreme 

Over heaven -tbrou OS, with hhr\i majesty, 

Righteous and luigbty. 

^ Hmati A.S. to praiaGi to hery^ 

And hery Pan with orisons and ahus. ^rautMt 

' I lie eat virtiittwn exemplar. £yc, IIij h of power this eaaetioe. Hkorpt^ 
I haire OL^vt-r nii4 willj 0ped In either of these senses. 

' The Uead of all ©xalted ermUmtts. — Thnrpr, The eontoxt rlcmrl/ r^aint 
(be more gpn(>rul and ahstraet lerm. In llie MS. tber^ is no loeirieai noiM 
after f/i/m. 

* Mr. Thorpe i-loses his period with the section, Q/Ir h^e^frn'^Ma*, bal 
the prcient division seems better suited to the hsuaI How of CMbmb'ji rhrtJim. 




Asjitness of numbers ia ono of the chief merits of this 
passage, I will endeavour briefly to point outj in what I con- 
ceiye this fitness to consist. In other cases it will be left to 
the reader^ to apply these or similar principles himself. 

In the first hne, the pause before micel gives that word a 
certain emphasis ; and we have a sameness of rhythm, to 
mark the repetition of oar Saviour's titles, 

Rad I era weard | 

Wer I eda wul | dor-cining 

and also to fix in the mind the double duty, which we owe to 

Worrl I nm her [ igen 

Mod I um luf I ien 

The accent thrown upon /te, in the third line, opens the sec- 
Hon, and is therefore, as it ought to be, strong and forcible, 
I The repetition of the diphthong ea in the fourth line calls up 
lie idea of multitude ; and the pause before cBlniihtigf after 
file flowing rhythm that preceded it, makes that word 
ttrikingly emphatic. The parallelism, which follows, is en- 
forced by a similarity of rhythm ; 

Or I geword[eii^ 

Ec I can drOit | nm — 

QBfl I him &iiin|aef|rc 
ne I nu en | de cymth | 

ktUle the flowing rhythm, in the two following sections, ex- 
: Kbits a contrast, which suits well the change from a nega- 
|We to an affirmative proposition. The firm rhythm of the 
fc section binds the whole together ; and the last section 
\ OS a specimen of that elastic rhythm, which is so often 
i at the close of Csedmon's periods. 



B. UI. 

Swegl I -boemas Lieobl | 
TUa wasr | on gcaet ! te : wiU e and j^id ; e 
Thiirli I geweald | * god [ es : will ; circs beam iiui 
Gas I ta weard | «m ' : hief | don glejim | and dream | 
And heor ' a ord | -frumwi r * enp j la threat | as 
Beorli I te blins | e : ' w©s heor j a blaed | mic | el 

Tlietj I nas thrym | ■ fiiefit<» : tbecKi en her i edon 
Sffig I don his I tmii laf: \ hei>r| a lif [ -frean 
Derii I don driht | nes : ^ dntr | ethum | ' 
Wajr I on swiih \ e gesaj | lige 

Sytina ne ciithon 
Fir I en a frern | man : * ac | hie on frith | e lif j don 
Ec I e mid heor | a aldor : el | les ne | on|::un | non 
Ricr ] an on rod ; erum : nyni | the rilit | and 6otb | 
jEr I thon eng ^ la wearfl : for o \ ferhjg de 
Diel I *' on gedwil I de 

Nol dan dreo^ | an len</ | 
Heor I A self] ra ried : oo | hie of sib j -hifan 
God ; OS aliwurf on : liief don cyielp | mir | el 
Thffit liie I with driht ne : da*l | an uieuh \ ton 
Wnl I doT-fiest | an wie \ : wer j odes thrymme 
Sid I flndawegl|-torht^* 

* The emphatic ttop, 

* Seop, 166 J. 2ti. 

^ Cicdmoo s^oldom iij^es e\ en a riming sei^tion, wifhrmt an cVbjoct. The i 
tition of the djpbthoog fti, and the double rime in the prpteding section, calli 
the ideas of extent and multitude. Sec pp, ICG, 167. 

* Had hi at re and joy 
Of their origiinii the hosts of angels, 
Bright blisfi^ their reward was great : 

Mr. Thorpe considera the and redundant I e^nnot see &nj reason Ibr I 
jecting it. 

* Mr. Thorpe makog hrorhfe the ftoeufiattve feminine, agreeing wirh 
and perhaps rightly. There will be a perfect sjntax with either eonstrad 

* No metrieal point after drihin€*. 
Gasias the spiritK, v^erfid the host, and dtignth the nobilitj, aeem to I 

meant the freat IkxIj of angels \ while rngla-mtarda*^ or gaskt-weardtg^ i 
angel- gimrdii, or spirit -gunrdsj were the ** throned pow'ts.** 

Mr. Thorpe renders the line thus : 

Thej* judged by the Lorri's power, 

^ Here Mr. Thorpe altera his text. Aceonling to Haak, dHtfttkum can 1 
only one accent. See p. 76. ^\r, Thtirpe therefore (without authority ' 
the MS. or notice to the reader) takes war on from the section foUowiog^ 

dugef thiim wier|on^ — 
thus violating what I will venture to aaaert w a canon of Anglo^SajLon ] 
— the rule namely ^ which forbids us ti> place a atop in the midst of a i 

c. u. 



Heaven's depths lie sway'd ; 
They were y-ect, wide and tai". 
Through God's powV, for the sons of glory ^ 
p'or the spirit-giiards. Light had they and joy^ 
And their Creiitor ! Angel-lhi*ongs, 
Bliss reJiilgentT miL'kle waa their meed 1 

Thftoes, most glorious their leader heried ! 
Told joyfully the praise of their Life-king I 
Ruled the Lord's high chivah^ I 
And were right happy ! 

Sins knew they not, 
Or t'l-ioie.** to frame — but tliey in peace Uved» 
For Ji3'e with their prince. Nought else gan they 
Uphold in heaven, save the right and time ; 
Ere that the angel -guard, by reason of pride 
Was lost in error, 

TLev woidd u^ longer work 
Their own good ; but they from Gml's 
Father-love turuM tlieui. They hail miekle boast, 
That they with the Lord would share 
The resplendent mantjion» with the hoBt^s glory 
Wide-filled and heaven-bright. 

" Sj/nna and fyrma aeem to be the genitive tmses after the verb euthomj— 
They knew not qfsms or crimen — tafnttne. 

* liipsus est m errorcm. Lf/e. Sank into error. Thorpe, 

Btet m probably the paat tense of Bome verb, but I know not wbere Lye found 
the meaoing ha has given to it. Such a construe tion, t4M>, requires the acunsa- 
tiTe gedwibL I have eonstraed dal as if il wer« the post tense of a iii*uter 
verb deUiH^ bearing the same relation to dot error (Cffidmon 18) aa dwelan or 
gedwdaji to dwola or ^edwola. It is the Wst I could make of a very diffictdl 

^^ Habebant joctationem magnam quod illi cum dommo participare powent 
glorbsaro mansionem, exercitni codestis turmKni. Lye. 

Mr. Thorpe nmders the pasnage thus; 

They lad the griut prosninption 
That they against tbo Lord could divide 
The glory-fast abode, that niultitude of bo«t. 

Lye t^onsidered thrymme m the aceiuiotivt* of thrym (it ii in farrt the da- 
tive) ; and us Mr. Thorpe follows Lye so clnaelj, I presume he has fallen 
into the same mistake. It i^pomihlc that be may have found a neuter dupli- 
cate in c; but there i^ no such word as thrymmt in his index. The piuisage is 
certainly one of difliculty. Torht iipp**ars to be one of Iboee participial adjec- 
tives, which sometimes escape inHeclion j and »id is certainly one of those 
adjet'tives which oi*casionii.lly huve rhe force of an adverb* The phrase might 
perhaps he wTitten, in German fashion, sid* atd mtr^l-torht, widely and 
heavenly bright. 




There oq them fell pain, 
IkiTy and pride, arid that angers mood^ 
His, wiio this folJy gan tirat tu frame, 
Tu weiTe and wake. 

Then in words quoth he, 
With hate athirst, that he^ on the North side, 
Hou^ and high seat of heaven's reaJni 
Would have* 

Then was God ireful, 
A&A wrath with the host, whom ere while he honourd 
VVitb brightness and ^larj. He shap'd out for that false one 
An eiile-hoine — anguish for his meed I 
IkO'gtTMins I torments dread ! 
H« bide that torture-houae of the exiles ahide 
Deep ind joyless (he our Lord) 
The ?|)irit-guarda. 

When he knew it well, 
Foal with lasting ni|fhtj sulphur-heap d, 
H ide filFd with fire, and fierce ehilJ, 

"^'k and red low — then bade he, through that house of folly, 
Wm[ high the torture-t«rrors S 

) diicussion, than we have now time to enter upon. We 
I come to the Oreation [L 103]. 

I » one of Ihose puzzling daplicatea., which are bo apt to mislead — loeore 
t both fiigmfy angruish. 
^re may be some doubt, if the Augio-Saxons did not pronouiu-e these 
I •wii lA « compound. If so, the SLt'tion w<iuld probably be accented thus — 
I Deijp I dn?Bin | a- lea?. 

[ Bftt Ccdmon converts the stop^ iiulieatiog a sequence, mto a seclional 

^B Bude the torture- hous«* await the exiles, 

^H IX-^jp, void of jfiytt, our Lord, 

^^m The guardian a of spirits. Tkifrpe, 

'vl mulentand thU rightly, Mr. Tliorpe puts thf e^rUts in appositii^n to the 
pft^&Mi 0ftkff wpirtU — that is, the genitive tiirttena in apposition tu the o^icu- 
^^mmnias. This mtdst be faulty •, hut I huve doubts ai to the corre^'tness 
fay own teraioni for bid^tn to await, to abide, generally governs a genitive. 
t il fco w e rtr the only method of constriiction which presents itAclf. 

. Thar^ construes geare aa if it were an adjective j 
When be knew it rtrtt/y, 

I is doohdess the well-known adverb. 


Ne I WIB8 her | tha g^et | : nym | the heol | Bter-«ceadli 
WiLt I gewnnl i en : ac | thea wid \ a grund | 
Sua rleop I and dim | ; driht | ne freni | dc * 
Id ] el '' and un | njt 

On tiion I c efttr ] urn wlat | 
Stith ] -frihth cin | itig : and | tha stow | e bebeold ] 
DTf>aEn I ft leas ] e : geseah | deorc | gesweorc | 
Sem I ian ' bid | nifite : sweart | under rod ] enun 
Wonn^ I and wea | te t oth | that tlieos wor| uld-geai'«J»ft| 
Tlmrh word | gew earth [ : wiil | dor-cyn | ingea 

Her a&r | e«t gesceop | : ce | e drib \ ten 
Helm I eall | -wihta : beof I on and eurth ', ao 
Rod I or ara^T | de : and j this mm { e laod | 
Qewtttth I el(3d ! e : Strang ] um miht | um 
Frea | lelmihtig 

Fol ' de wau | tha gyt | 
Ones I -ungren | e * : g4r | -secg theah | le 
Sweart | sjn | nihle : aid | e and wid ] e 
Won [ ne wieg j as 

Tha I wffia wnl | dor-torht | 
Heof I on-weard I es gast | : of | er hiJlm | bortn 
Mic ] lum sped | um 

Met [ od eng 1 la heht | 
Lif I eB brjt | ta : leoht | forth j cnman 
Of I er mm | ne gnind i r ratli | e wais [ gefyl | led 
Ileab I -cming | es ht&» \ : him | wsda hal | ig leoht | 
Of I er w^Bt I enne : swa | se wyrh | ta behead | 

Tha I gesiin | drode : mg \ ora wal | dend 

Of I er lag I o-tlofl I e : leoht | with theos | tnim 

8cead | e with seim ] an : 8ce<jp | tha bam nam { an 

Lif I es bry t { ta : leoht | wnes ser | est 

Thurb driht j nen wurd | : daeg | genem | ned 

Wlit I e beorht | e gesceaft | 

1 Fremde has a double ending in the nommatiTe — one rowel, tha ol 


■-' Iiid A.S. barren, idle. Deserts idk.— Othello. Idle pebbles.— 1< 
* Seman is the ficilve verb ; aemian I believe is always neuter. J 

mon 4 [I. 72], ^l^*' Thorpe mukeE it active ^ but ti> support his oooitmc^ 

guiJiy of one or two grammatical errors, and (a far graver eliArgt)haa i 

his text. Junius points the passage correctij. 

a II- 



Ne had there here as yet, save the vaiilt-shadowi 
Aupht existed ; but tim wide iihyns 
Stood deep and dim^atrange to hs Lord, 
Idle ^ and useless. 

On it with eyes glaoc'd 
The stalwart ting, and the plaee !>eheld 
All jojless. He saw dark ehtud 
Lour with lasting night, swart under heaven, 
Wan^ and waste; till this world^s creation 
Rose through the word of the glory-Kiiig, 

Here first shaped the eteiiiitl Lord 
(Head of all things !) heavcJi and earth ; 
Sky he rearM, and this wide land 
He atablieh'd — by hb strung tnight, 
Lord Almighty f 

Earth was not aa yet 
Green with grass ; ocean cover*dt 
Swart with lasting night, wide and far, 
"Wan " pathways. 

Then glory -bright, 
Was the spirit of Heaven's- Guard o'er the water borue. 
With mighty »{ieed, 

Dade the Angd-maker, 
(The Life-dispeni^er) li^ht to come foiih 

O'er the wide ahysa. Qnick wm fidfill'd 

The high King*8 hest — njnnd him was holy light. 

Over the waste, an the Maker bade. 

Tlicn parte*l the Vietor-ljord 

O'er the water-flood, light from darkness — 

Shade from «?heen.' (Jave then names to both 

The Life -dispenser. Light waa erst, 

By the Lord's word, named day — 

That* beauty-bright creation 1 

' WoHy in the sense of dismalf wns long known to our poetry | 
Min la the drenchiog in the se& so wan. 

Chan, KnighU9 Tale; C. T, 2458* 
^ As to the natnre of this compound^ see p. 316. 
*■' See note 4. 

' Throned in celestial shetn,—MiUm^ Hgmn en the Natimii/, 2-15* 
* Such seems Co be the furee of the definite objective in ibis place. 

332 msTORY OF English bhythms. 

Wd I Ucjodc 
FtgIad^ i?tfiym|the: fortb{-b«ero tfd| 
Dspg I fer|e8tft 

Geseah { deorc { -flceado 
Sweul; I swith | riui : geond std j ne grondl 
Tha { s€o tid | gewat | : of | er tib | er sceic [ in 

Mid I dan-geard | es * 

Met'od «f|ter ace«f| 
Scir { urn ftcim | an : &cip { pend ur | e 
M£\ en mr \ est : him ara | on last { 

Tkrang | tliys | tre genip j : tham | tlie se tbeod | en selfj 
Sceop niht | e nam | an r ner ! gend ur I e 

Hie I gesun { drode ' : Bith than fuf | re 
Drug I on and djd I cm : dribt | nes wil | ku 
E* I ce of I er eorth | an 

Tba I com oth | er daeg | 
Leobt I mher theos | trum : heht | ttia lif | es weatd { 
On mor | e-flod ! e ** : mid { dum weorth | an 
Hyht I He heof I on-tim | ber : bol [ mas dael | de 
Wald I end ur ]e : and [ geworh j te tha | 

^ Wonkf ending in ca and a>, resolve the diphthongs into the component 
vowela, when tbej lake the inflexion n. Thusfrta in the nominative is m mono- 
ayl]abk% but the dative fretiH m a dissyllable. So beomy the present inHiutive of 
Aeo, has two syllables. This rule appears to be an important one. 

Mr. Thorpe thus renders the pauage, 
Well pleased 
The Lord at i he beginning, the procreatiTe time. 
The first day saw the dark shade, &c. 

To support thU eonstniction, he nmofwe^ ffeaeah to the fint aectkKi ; 
not only does the metrical point follow igrestdf and the rules of prosody lbrbid~ 
iiicsfa change, but a regular stop has been added to the metrical point in tlie 
MS« The reader, as usual « has no notice of these changes. 

Sweart appears to be one of those adjectives whteh are aometlmes used adfeiw 

* Then the time passed, owesr the fruitlul region, 

Of mid earth, — Thorpe^ 

Mere Mr. Tliorxx^ makes tibcf tceacan^ a compound^ and supposes 
m mistake for srealan. The text is certainly correct. Sceacan is to fly or ] 
away, and an infinitive of some verb of motion very oommonly follows 
verbs eumanf gcwitant and others of the same kind We have the very ph 

Ill tha hreowig-mode 
Wurpon hyra wmpen ofdune ; fftwitan hxm werig^ferbthe 
On fleam teto/can. 

Drove afterwards tfie Maker 
FVom the clear shecQ (he our Creator t) 
TliG Even first. On its footsteps run 
Aucl throng' d dark cloud, to wliieh the Lord himself 
Gave the name of Night — he our Retleeiuer f 

These, being parted, sithen ever 
Dree*d^ and did tbe Lord*B v^'illp 
For aye, o'er earth. 

Then came the second daj^ 
Light after darkness. Bade then life*s Guardian^ 
On the sea-flood (in the midst) to stand 
A joyous heaven-gtructnre- The waters lie parted 
(He our Ruler i) and tben be wrought 

They then sorrow inyr 
Cant their weapons down y gian they, heavy at heart, 
To Hight betake them. 

In his Glossary, Mr. Thorpe makea kreowuf, cruel j timig-ferhtk, wetry of 
life ; and R'liders scmcan^ by the verb to shake. These are errorB into whicti 
aoy one might have fallen. I merely point them out, aa showings that no one 
(in the present state of Anglo-Saxon Literature) hai a right to draw so largely 
on the good opinion of hb reader, as to publish a Glosaary, withoiU giving HU 

' Mr. Thorpe makes gesundrod/: a verb. 

Our preserver 
Them separated j always since 
They have sufibred, &c. 

* Dreogan A. S. to endure ^ to dree. 

The sorow 
Which that I drk I raay not long endure, 

Chau. Tro. and Ckm, 5. 296. 

The word is still common in the North. See Brockett*s G loesary, and Carr's 
Cr liven Dialect. 
^ No metrical point. 




eras fbs | ten : th»t | se nc { a kh6t\ 
from eortlx { aa : titurh | his og | en word | 
Fre& I ffil I militig 

Fold I w^ 4d« I led 
Un I der lie&h | 'rod or I e : hal | gum mibt | um 
W»t I er u{ w«t ( rum : tluun | tbe wtin | lath gy 1 1 
U'n ] der ties | teiine : folc | a liruf | es ' 

Tb4 I com of I er fold | an : fus | ^ sith { ian 

Mmt I e merg | en thrid | da : noar [ on met { ode | ' tka gj\ \ 

WM- 1 lond. ne weg | as Djt [ te : ^ stod | bewrig | en hss | te 

Foljde midflod^e 

Frea | engla lieht { 

Thurli I his word j wes | an : wae j ter geiii»'n \ e 
Tha au | under rod , enim : he or | a ry'n e heal | dath 
Stow , e geHtefti , de * : tha stod | hrath | e 

Hohn I under heofjonun': swa [ ac haljga behead* 

Sid I »t-flom{tie 

Tha I gesun ! drod wm» | 
Ijigl o with Ian | de i ge^^eah | tha lif ] ea wcard | 
Drig I e stow I e : dug I otha hyrd e 
Wid I e leteowd | e : tha | sc wul dor-cjn | ing 
Eortk I an nem I de 

Here is the first gap in the manuscript, no less than three 
leaves having been torn out. We will therefore pass^ at 
once, to the speech of Satan [1« 356], Here Caedmon 
lengthens his rhythm Sj and assiimeB greater pomp of Ian* 

I's I thes leagja stjdje* . unlgelk swiUi{e : tham otb|rum^ tlie | we 

m*T I cathon 
He { &n on lieof { on-ric | e : the me | mm hear { ra onlag | 

* Mr. Thorpe oooHtmes thuii, 

Wftter from waters, for tkote, who yet dwell 
UndLT the fast Dees of the roof of oat kins. 

1 do not clearly see bU meaning. Siu^lj he cannot mean /or numirmd. 

* Fat IB one of those adjectives which an* sometimiet Hied aA adverba. 

* Lye considered ftut&d m ihc participle of mftunj whkb, how«v«r 
gmmetm for its participle. Mr. Thorpe, in this insUuicu, follows Lya, 

Wen' tiot tneted yet 
Wide land iior useful ways, &c. 

* Mr. Thorpe makes these words the accusative pltirml ; 


The skies — % firmanictit. This the mighty one rftiB*d 
U|) tVom earthy by his own woitl, 
Lcirtl Almighty ! 

Earth was parted. 
Under high hea¥*n, by holy mjght ; 
The water from the waters— those that yet won [dwell] 
Under the fimiament of this world*s roof I 

Then garit <>*er earth, quickly aiUance 
Tlie third greut Morn ; nor had the Maker aa yet 
Wide Und, nor pathways uscfiil — but fast beset 
With I loot! earth stood. 

The L<jrd of angela bade 
By ids word the waters to be rollected^ 
Which now^ under heaven hold their eourae, 
In place appointed. Then quickly stood 
The sea, under heaven, (a* the Holy one bade) 
Far and wide united. 

Then was parted 
Water from land ; then .naw our life's Guard 
(The nobles' pastor) the dry regions 
Wide displayed ; then tlie Glory -king 
Named earth. 

guage. It liaa been supposed this speech was not unknown 
to Miltonj when he wrote the first book of his Paradise 

This narrow stead* h much unlike to that other/ which erst we 

High in beaveii's realm, which on me my Ijord bestowed ; 

That now, under heaven, hold their oouneT 
And I heir platers fijred. 

* It would not be difficult la show, that Milton knew nothing of Anglo- 
Saxon. Csdmon rhtfrt^fi»rc inuNr hare been to him a setdcd huok, unless he 
procured a translation from Junitis, or some oilier scholar of tbat period. 

• Stjfde — place, j^d 

Fly, therefore, fly this tl^arfnll stmd anon. F, ^. 2* 4. 42. 

It u aTiU ased in the North. See Carr and Brockett. 
' " Is this the regi*-m, this the soil, the clhne,'" 

Said then the lost Aruliangel, ** this the seat, 
lliat we must change for heaven^" ttc. A L. I, 242* 



B. U 

TheaB | we hiii | e for { tham al | w&ldan : ag | an ue inos | ton 
K<jm I ig£m ur j ea ric | ea : na^fltli | He tbeah riht | gedun | 
Thiet I he ii» liaefth | beiiel | led : fy'r | e to bot | me 
ll^l I le lliae | re Ixiit | an : heof | on-rfc | e beniiin | en 
lliif I ath kit | geraeir j cod : mid mon | -cjnne | 
To I geflet|tiine 

ThsBi \ me h »org|a. me«t| 
ThflBt ad I atn scual | : tlie waeft | of eorth \ a;i geworht | ' 
Min I ne atrong | lican : stol | bebeal | dan 
WeBJan him | on wy'n I ne : and we | this witje thol|ten 
Hearm { on thLa | se hel { le 

Wal I i aht | e io , ' mm | ra hknd | a i 

And mo« [ te fin | o tfd | ; ut | e weorth | an 

W^a I an an | e win | tor-Btnnd ] e : tlion | ne ic mid | thja wer | ride 

A'c lie I gath me ym | be : ir \ en-bend | a* 

Rid I eth rac ] entan sal | : fc | eom rie | es leas | . 

Hab I bath me | swa beard | e : hel { le dom | maa 

Fees I te befang | en ; h^r | is fjV { mic | el 

Uf I an and neotb ] one : ie 4 | ne geseab | 

ran land | acipe : Ug | ne aswam | ath * 
ofer hel | le : t]^e hab ] bath bring | a ge«pong | 
-hearda ail | : *Rith | es aniyr | refl 
red me | min feth ] e : fut | synt gebijn | dene 

Kka I da gebaj'f | te : fivnt this | sa Ml I -dora 

W eg I as forwijrhte : ^ swa | ic mid wiht | e ne mro'g | 

Of this I sum liuth | o^bend | um 

Licg I ath me ymb | ntan 
He&rd | ea ir | enes : h^t | e gesla»g | ene 
Grind | las great | e : mid thy | me god | liafath 
Gehffif I ted be | tham hetds | e 

Swa { fc wat | he min [ ne hi^ | e cuike 
And I thsei wis | te eac | : wer | oda drih j ten 

^ Mr. Thorpe construes the aection, *' mnst cede our realm,'' Imt tb 
verb m ryntan ; mmi^an and rummn are, I believe, always used >s i 
' Ur fican it thus : — 

the I wfes of eorth | an geworht| . 

* The metrical point here divides the coinpnund 8o*»tion* 

* Bendu has tieen changed to hentlti.i, iti the MS. Prtibably Viwf was ! 
maaouline and a feminine douu. When the text has bt^n altered, Mr. l%i 
sometimes copies the original, and sometimes the nmended reading, 
all t-asea^ given the former, 

"^ I hare given to this word the some meaning a^ Lje, thoQgh I 
with it elMjwhere. (It does not occur elaewhere, — W. W. $.] 

• n. c^dmon's longer rhythms. 337 

Though, for the AU-wielder, it we may not have — 

Must quit na of our realm ! ^ Yet hath he not right y-done, 

In thit he us hath feU*d, to the fiery bottom 

Of this hot hell ; hath heaven's realm bereft us, 

And it hath destin'd by mankind 

To be peopled! 

That of my sorrows is the greatest, 
Thtt Adam shall (he that of earth was wrought) 
Mj strong-establish'd seat possess, 
And be kk joy — and we this torture suffer, 
F^ witUn this hell ! 

O that I had sway of hand, 
And might one season out fare ! 
Bide one winter's space ! Then I with this host 
But around me lie iron bonds ! 
P^esieth the fetter's link ! — I am realmless ! 
Me so strongly hold hell-chains 
Fast bonnd. Here is huge fire 
Aboon and beneath ! aye saw I not 
A loathlier landakip ; the flame ne'er fadeth 
Hot over heU. Me hath the rings' clasp, 
The hard-polish'd link from onward course disabled — 
From progress barr'd ; my feet are bound ! 
Hands y-diained ! Of these hell-doors 
The ways are lost, aa with aught I cannot 
From these jointed bonds ! 

Lie around me 
Hnge grindles" of hard iron, 
Rxed hot ; with them God 
Hath me fetter'd by the neck ! 

So wot I well, he my heart knew, 
And wist eke tf is, the Lord of hosts, 

' Ifs renden this phrase mordax vinculum, and perhaps rightly. 
' ^ lloarpe follows l»je in his oonstmction of tliis passage, 
Of these hell-doors are 

The ways obstructed, so that with aught I cannot 

Fran these limb -bonds escape. 
t tfct waja are open^ though lost to the fettered angel, is clear from what 
■IL I think too that awa is not rightly rendered. 

is 6r as we can judge from the drawing which accompanies the descrip- 
fSbrngrimM was a kind of heavy iron grating, which rather encumbered 
rinner by its weight, than fixed him in its grasp. 
. Thorpe renders hate gesltggene, forg'd with hont. 



Thiet sceoljde unc adjame^: yf|ele | gewTirth|an 

Ymb I thffit heof I on-ric | e : thser | ic ah | te min { ra han | da geweald | ' 

A'c tholjiath we | nil threa | on beljle : thet synldon thj8|tro and 

Grim { me grund- 1 lease : haf | ath us god | sylfa 
Forswap | en on | thas sweart | an mis | tas : swa | he us | ne msg en | igc 

sjn I ne gestsl | an 
Theet we | him on | tham Ian { de lath | gefrem | edon 

He haeflh | us theah | dues leoht i es bescjr | ede 
Beworp | en on eal | ra wit { a mss | te : ne mag | on we | ihss wrac | e 

gefrem | man 
Geleanjian him | mid lathjes wihtje : thset | he us haf | ath thci 

leoht I es besc^r | ede 

He hsfth I nu geme^ | cod . an | ne mid { dan-geard | : ther | he hefth 

mon I geworht|ne 
^f I ter his on | licnes | se : mid tham be wil | e eft | geset | tan 
Heof I ona ric | e . mid hlutt | rum sau lum 

Wc I thaes soul | on hjcg | an geom I e 
Thst I we on &d|4me gif | we 8ef{re nu^jen : and on ) his eaf|rDa 

swa sum { e . 4nd { an gebet | an 
Onwendjan^ him | thsBr wiljlan sm | es : gif | we hit nuegjen wih|tl 

athenc | an 
Ne I gel3rf|e^ ic | me nu| . thses leoh|te8 fur|thor : thsB8{the Uti 

thenc I eth lang | e niut | an 
Thses e4d { es mid | his eng | la crsef { te : ne mag { on we thset | on al |dif 

gewin I nan, 
ThsBt I we mih | tiges God | es mod | onwsec | en : ut | on othwen \ da 

hit I ml . mon | na beam | um 

^ This passage, like many others which have to do with the dual m 
is very obscure. I have construed, as if unc Adame were an idiom, similirll: 
wit Adam twa, we two, Adam and I.— C»d. fol. 222 [SataHj 41 1], 

Mr. Thorpe considers unc to refer to the Deity and himself (Satan) ; 
That should us, through Adam, evil befall, ^lc 

^ Mr. Thorpe here marks a hiatus of several lines. The IfS. sliowill 
erasure (though a drawing intervenes) and the sense appears oontinnoiis. ^ 
mention of Heaven brings before the fallen angel his present misery; d 
follow — hate against God, justified by a wretched sophistry— dee^Nur 
success as against him — and the outpourings of envy and malice againit UK 

In comparing the Satans of Milton and Cssdmon, we see at once the 
of their genius ; the dramatic power, or (in German phrase) the 
of the one, and the intense auhjectiveness of the other. Milton's devil is an iN 
strsAtion— a God ; Csedmon's a real existence. Milton's is the noUer pictufit 


Tint, throagh me and Adam, evils must ensue, 

Aboat that heaven's realm, where I had sway of hand ! 

But endure we now throes in hell ! darkness that is, and heat 
Grim and bottomless ! — Us hath God self 
Swept into these swart mists, so of sin he maj not us convict, 
TVit we gainst him, in that land, evil frame. 

He hath us though of light berefl ! — 
BnTd Qs to greatest tortures ! Nor may we for this vengeance frame, 
Ot qidt him aught of evil, for that of light he us bereft ! 

Be hath now designed a mid-earth, where he hath man y-wrought, 
ifter his h'keness ; with whom he wills again to people 
fieaven^fl realm with shining souls. 

^ This should we endeavour strongly, 

tUktX we on Adam (if e*er we may) and on his offspring too our hate 
I may wreak — 

LTlae pervert him in his will — if we may in ought devise it. 
pTcr hope I now light further (so pleaseth him) long while t* enjoy, 
^^ InppiDess with his angels* power. Nor may we this e*er gain, 
^tttt we of mighty God the rage should weaken. Let us snatch it then 
from the sons of men. 

HDMBoi^i the more natural, and if (as we are taught) man be but little lower 
Mftthe aogela— 41 iruer portrait 

r ' Yerfaa which take the prefix <m appear to be variotisly accented. They 
l^ribaU be carefblly watched. 

* TUt paange seems a mere burst of despair. Mr. Thorpe, however, 
DpmMai it to relate generally to Adam, and that in the phrase, '* his angels,*' 
MtfnMBn lefiers to him, <' who was created like the angels.*' 

~rl kaie no confidence further, in this bright state, that which he seems long 

1 to enjoy. 

I with Ms angel's power. 

I Mmnu^n Jiis poem, Ciedmon alludes to the *' portion in light " which 

IIMcaei gnuiled to the fallen angel. 

« How art thou fidlen from heaven, O Lucifer, eon of the morning, " 

Is. 14. 12. 


Thset heof I on-ric | e nu w6 | hit hab { ban ne mot { on : gedon | ihiet hie | 

his hyl I do forlaBt | en 
Tbset hie | thst onwcnd|on . thset he | mid his word|e bebead. : 

thon I ne weorth | he him wrath | 6n mod | e 
A'-hwet^ I hie from | his hjido : thonjne sculjon hie | thas hel-le 

sec I an 
And I thas grim | man grwidjas : thonjne mot {on we | hie us | to 

giong I rum hab { ban 
Fir I a beam | . on this | sum faes | tum clom | me 

Ongin I nath nu ymb { tha fyrd | e thene | ean 
Gif I ic sen I egum theg | ne : theo | den-mad | mas 
Ge4r | a forgeaf j e : then | den we on { than god | an ric { e 
Gessel | ige sset | on : and h(ef { don ur | e set | la gew^d | 
Thon I ne he | me na | on leof { ran tid : lean | um ne meah { te 



e gif I e gyl I dan : gif | his'* gien 

ra theg | na hwilc { : gcthaf { a wurth | an 
Thset I he lip I heonon : ut | e miht | e 

Cum I an thurh { thas clus | tro : and haef { de cnefl | mid him 
ThsBt I he mid feth | er-hom | an : fleog | an meah { te 
Wind I an on wolc | ne : thser | geworht | stond | ath 
A'd ] am and eu | e : on eorth | -rice | 

Mid wel { an bewun | den : and we | synd aworp | ene hid | er 
On I thas deop { an dal | o 

Nu I hie driht | ne synt | 
Wurth I ran mic { le : and mot | on him thon { e w^l { an &g | an 
The we | on heof | on-ric | e : hab | ban sceol | don 
Ric I e mid riht | e '^ : is | se raed | gescyr | ed 
Mon I na cyn { ne : thset | me is | un mod | e min { um * swa sar | 
On min | um hyg | e hreow | eth : thaet hie | heof j on -ric | e 
Ag { an to al I dre 

Gif I hit eow | er sen { ig mseg | e 
Gewend | an mid wiht { e : thaet { hie word | God { es 
Lar e forlset { en : sun | a hie him | the lath { ran beoth { 
Gif hie brec | ath his { gebod | scipe : thon | ne he him | abolgen 
wurth 1 eth 

* Hwettan and ahwettan mean to sharpen, to whet, to excite, to 

The meaning given to it in the text agrees well enough with the oontezt, W 
has no authority to support it. 

dy instead of a prefix, may be the adrerb. If so, the passage should be n» 

Aye drive them from his favour, &c. ? 

^ his appears to be the genitive case after gethqfa. Mr. Thorpe seems ti | 

look upon gien as a preposition governing it, i 

If in return for it he would 

(Any of my followers) be my supporter, Ac. 

en. CuEDmon's longer rhythms. 341 

Thit heayen*8 realm, now we it may not have — cause that they his favour 

lose — 
Tkt they pervert, what he by his word hath bidden. Then gainst them 

wrath at heart he '11 be. 
Win drive them from his favour — th/sn must they seek this hell, 
And these grim gulfs ; then mote we them for subjects have — 
The sons of men — in this fast bondage. 

Begin ye now about this raid to think, 
If I to any thane lordly treasures 
Gave of yore, (while we in that good realm 
Sit happy, and o*er our seats ha(l sway,) 
Then he, in happier hour, might not with meed 
My gift repay, — if indeed of this 
Aoj one of my thanes would be th* abettor — 
That upward hence he would outfare. 

Through these barriers, and shoidd have strength within him, 
Thtt he with feathery mantle might flee, 
ind wind him through the welkin, where stand y-fashion*d 
idim and Eve, upon earth*s realm, 
With weal wound round I and we are hither hurlM 
hto these deep gulfs ! 

Now they to Lord 
in dearer fiur, and mote that weal possess. 
Which we in heaven's realm should have ; 
That realm with right is the lot assigned 
To mankind ! This lies on my mind so sore ! 
BoeCh me in my heart, that thei/ heaven's realm 
Pouess for ever ! 

If any of you may 
Thk change with aught, that they God's word 
And lore desert, soon they to him the more loath'd will be. 
If they break his command, — then he gainst them enrag'd becomes, 


Thm passage is rather involved ; the meaning seems to be, " if any one owe 
:' at a Ikvoor, now is the time to repay it ; if indeed any will pass these barriers, 
: lai ihoold be strong enough to reach the earth.^ The contrast, so abruptly 
' iamiuee d, at the end of the passage, appears to me extremely beautiful. 

' Mr. Thorpe joins this section with the last sentence, 

Our realm by right ; this council is decreed 
For mankind. 

* Kr. Tborpe transposes these words — tbfet me is on minum mode swa sar. 
[Tbe MS. haa maiks for such transposition. — W. W. S.] 


Sith I than bkh hfm | se wel | a onwend | ed : and wyrth | him wit | e 

Sum he^ I harm { -scearu 


Hjc I gath his eal { le 

ge hi I beswic { en : sith | than' ic | me fest | e ma^ | 
tan on this | sum rac | entum : gif him | thset ric | e los | ath 
Se I the thst | gelaes | teth : him | bith lean | gearo 
M£\ ter to al I dre : thss | we her-in | ne | mag { on 
On thys { sum fyr { e forth | : frem | ena | gewin [nan 
Sit I tan Ise't J e ic hin | e with | me sylf { ne 

Here the manuscript has lost a leaf. It appears thi 
offer has been accepted^ and the fiend is preparing for hi 
journey. The following extract deserves notice^ as it ooii« 
tains rather a striking example of that peculiar character 

Angan | hin ! e tha gyr | wan : god | es 4nd | saca 

Fiis I on frse'tl wum : h8ef|de ib'cne hyg|e* 

Hel I eth-helm { on heaf { od aset | te : and th<5n | e fiill heird | e geUbdj 

Spcnn I mid spdng | um : wist | e him spne c | a f<^ | a 

Wor I a word | a 

Wand I him up th4n | on 
Ilwearf { him thurh | tha hell |-dora : h8ef|de hygje Strang |iie 
Leolc ^ I on lyf | te : Lath | wende mod | ' 

Swdng I th®t fy'r | on tw&|: feond|e8 cr«'f|te 

Wol I de dc4r | nunga : driht | nes geong | ran 

Mid m4n | -dse'dum | : mcnn | beswic | an 

Forlffi'd I an and { forWr | an : that | hie wur | don lath | god | e 




tha gefeni | e : thurh feond | es craeft | 
thaet he ad 1 6m : on eorth | -rice | 
es hand | -gesccaft : gedr | one fund I e 
lice I gewurht j : and | his wif { somed 

The Temptation is much too long for insertion ; we 

Driht I en send | e 
Regn I from rod { erum : and | eac rum | e let | 

* This is a very curions contraction for leolic ; if indeed the omissi 
vowol be not a mere clerical blunder. [Not so ; ledlc is " flew," pt, t. 
sec Grcin. Lye*s explanation has been exploded.— W. W. S.] 

c. II. c^dmon's rhythms. 343 

Sithen will be their weal all changed, and for them punishment pre- 
Some dread torture-portion. 

Think all of this— 
How them ye maj beguile ; sithen I fast may rest me 
In these fetters — if to them that realm be lost. 
He who this performs — for him a meed*8 prepared 
For ever after, (as far as we herein, 
— Henceforth in this fire— of good may win) 
Him will I let sit, by myself ! 

istic of Anglo-Saxon verse, to which Conybeare has given 
the name of parallelism. The boldness and the wickedness 
of the attempt is dwelt upon in no less than four successive 

Gan him then prepare God*s adversary, 
Quick with his attire — mind of fraud had he. 
Heroes helm on head he set, and it full hard y-bound. 
And lac*d with clasps — wist he of speeches fele, 
Of wary words. 

Sprang he up thence. 
And shot him through hell-doors ; heart strong had he, 

Lion-like alofl — a mind of hate. 

Smote he that fire in two, with fiendish strength — 
Covertly would he, with ill-practise, 
The Lord's lieges, men beguile, 
Mislead and lure astray, that they might be loathed of God. 

He then journeyed with fiendish strength. 

Until he Adam, upon earth's realm, 

(God's handy work !) ready found. 

With wisdom fashioned, and his wife with him, &c. 

therefore, finish our notice of Csedmon with his description 
of the Deluge [1.1371]. 

The Lord sent 
Rain firom the sky ; and eke, far and wide, 

' Mod is here clearly neuter. Sometimes it is masculine. See Ccdmon, 

fol. 18. 


Wil I le-burn { an : on wor [ iild thring { an 
Of sed I ra gehwier { e 

6g I or-stream | as 
Sweart { e swug { an : se's | lip | stigon 

Se i the wset | rum weold | : wreah | and theah { te 

Strang | wads and reth | e 
weold I : wreah | and the 
Man I fiehthu ' beam | : mid | dan-geard | ea 

Won I nan wieg { e : wer { a eth { el-l&nd 
Ilof I her I gode : hyg | e teon | an * wrsec 
Met I od on mon | num : mer | e swith | e grap | 
On fflBg I e fole | 

Feo I wertig dag | a 
Niht { a oth { er swilc { : nith { wes rcth | e 
Wsll I -grim wer { um : wul { dor-cyn | inges 
Yth I a wrsec { on : 4r | leasra feorh | 
Of flfescj -homanj^ 

Flod I ealle wreah | 
Hreoh | under heofjonum : hea | -beorgas | 
Geond sid { ne grund | : and | on sund | 4huf { 
Earc I e from eorth | an : and | tha seth { elo mid | 
Tha seg I nade { ": sel | fa drih | ten 
Scyp I pend us { ser : tha | he that scip | beleac | 
Sith I than wid | e r4d | : wolc | num un { der 
Of I er hoi | mes hrincg | : hof | sel ^te 

For I mid fearm { e : ib r | e ne mos { ton 
Wseg I -lithend | um : waet | res brog | an 

' Buma A. S. a stream, a bourn. 

My little boat can safely pass the persons bourn, 

Spenser, F. Q. 3. 6. 10. 
And every bosky bourn, ComuSy 313. 

^ Sweg-an A. S. to murmur, to give a hollow sound, to sough. 

A noise like that of a great soughing wind. 

Hist, Roy. Soc, see Todd, 

Sough, as a substantive, is still common in the north of England. It is found 
in Chaucer, Gower, and Ben Jonson. 
^ It would seem, there are ti^o forms of this substantive, /cpJUA undfighthu, 
* See p. 331, n. 4. 

^ Lye construes thus *' animi molestiam (propter ofiensas) ultus est.** 
« See p. 359, n. 8. 
''We still use the phrase to be aveiujcd of, and in the North to be wroken of. 

C. II, 



Lei tlie welling baurus ' 
Fit)!!! every vein* 

on the world pour, 

()ccaxi*9 streams. 
Black tliey soughed ; ^ geas uprose 
Over the stratid- walls. 

Strong WHS be and fieree. 
That wielded the waters ; tie eovcr'd and o'crw helmed 
The hate^brooding children of this mid-earth. 

With the wan * wave man's mother-land 
And maiisirjn he harried ; the heart's wins wreakM 
The Maker tm men ; ocean laid strong grt{>e 
On the fey ' folk. 

Forty d«y§ — 
Kight* other forty too — his rage was fierce, 
Slmighter-grim atjainst men. The King of glory '» 
HiHows wreak'd the life of the wicked 
On the mantle of iesdk* 

Hood cover' d all 
(Dreiwl undLT heaven) the high hills 
T'hrough the wide world ; mu\ afloat upheavM, 
The ark from xj^iirth, anfl the nobles therewith, 
W'hom sained the Lord hiniiielf, 
Otir Maker I when he that ship lock'd fast. 
Sithen wide it rode, under the welkiu, 
O'ei- the ocean's round — that house most blessed I 

It went with its freight I To the ark must not come 
' — Wave o'erriding — the water's terrora 1 

I have transhitcd accordmf^ly , tfaoagh the commoa idioro in A. S. is wrmcan mt. 
Mr Thorpe tumt Iba passage differently ; 

tlie King of Glory 8 

Wavea dri>v*> the lives of the impious 

From ihGir carcases. 

I do not however nsooUect ever meeting with the verb in the sense heregitctt 
to it. 

* Lye renders seffnian by Jtiffnartj obsi^nats. It is the Flemish $eff^nen and 
Dutch :tifmm, and in its primary sense meant to ttiatk or consecrate by a sign 
(as the ero8s)j anii secondflrily to bless. It is still retained in the Northern 
phrase, ** God mim you,'* Scott has often used it. 

8ain ye and save ye, and blithe m<it ye be, 

for seldom ihey land, that go swimming with me. 

Monmtery, ch. 5. 
There is no metrical point after aegnade. 


Hies I te hHn | on ^ : ac hie | lial | ig God | 
Fer I cKie and tier | cde ' 

Deop I ofer dun | iiid : &m | drenc | e-flod | * 
Mon { nes el | na * 

ThiEt I is masr \ o wynl \ * 
Tham { set nietist | au : wses nan { to ^ed^l \ e 
Njrni I the heo | wtus : filiaf , en on | tba lie| tin Ivfk ( 
Tba I ae eg I or -her | e : eortli | *ui tud \ dor 
Eal! I m'weal | de : but] on tba;! eoro | e bord | 
Heold I Iieof|oim freft| 

The extracts we have given are not perhaps those which 
would most strike the reader. The passages, in which 
Csedmon puts on all his snblimity, are unfortunately among 
the most difficult. These extracts, however, may serve, in 
some measure, to show the masterly manner in which he 
manages his numbers. His accent always falls in the 
right place, and the emphatic ay liable is ever supported by 
a strong one. His rhythm changes with the thought, — 
now marching slowly with a stately theme, and now run- 
ning off with all the joyousneas of triumph, when his 
subject teems with gladness and exultation. There ia 
reason to believe, that to these beauties our forefathers 

* Mr* Thorpe trfttmlftti's 

gushing streiiins might not 
The WBTo-furing, horrors of the Vfaters, 
Fyriously lout-h. 
But I doubt if hrinan governs li dative. 

' Tbe {iropcT mode of stcunnmg this »ei'h'on ia by no means clear. It would 
adem that a double rime wn&i jntende<l ; if so, we must contract the Terbs^ 

ferMo and ner'di* 
but if thi^ wen^ allowable bow etnilil \\w betxrer distinguiidi between fmm^ff , 
ferde f Wan tber« a doubly ujct't.'ni«i rime ? 

Ferjede | and utr|ede|» 
or did tbe section elide tbe final vowel of /(rrdef 
Fered' and nerede. 

' Mr. Thorpe cmnpound* ft^-drtnee ; but, by m doing, be destroys the aUite* 
ration t 

Doof) ofer dunum : flie-jdreueo flod) 


The sea-rush they toiich*ci ; but them holj God 
Led and rcKcmid ! 

Fifteen it .stood 
• Of man*fi ells, bigb o'er the downa, 

The sea^ — one drenching fl<>od 1 

*Ti9 a niif^hty weird I 
From them at last, was none se|)jirate- 


Save them, wait none on the high liflt uprais'd I ^ 
Then the swi-host eiifth's offsjjmng 
All overwhelmed : Init that ark -hull 
Heaven's Lord upheld. 

were deeply sensitive ; and that Casdmon owed to them no 
small portion of hia popularity. In these respects, he has 
no superior, in the whole range of our literature, and 
perhaps but ojie equaL 

From the mitldle of the seventh centuryj when Caadmon 
wrote, we have no poera, whose date ia ascertained, for 
more than two hundred years. In the latter half of the 
ninth century Alfred translated, or rather paraphrased the 
Metres of Boethius. The MS. which contained these 
translations has perished ; hut a copy had been taken by 
Junius, and is now in the Bodleian Library. This copy 
is of course the best authority we can now refer to, and it 

* £Zn A. S. EH cU, or Ieng:th of a man- a fore-arm from thu dhow to the 
wriit, ^ 

* Wyrd A. S. a fate, a dewtinj, a it^fird. 

* I can only ronstruL^ this piuiHage nn the hypotheaia that Wtn ts UDdi?rsiood 
after was^ Mr. Thorpe rondero it differently : 

That waa an awful fate, 
From what at last waa naught exempl 
Unless 'twere raised in ihe bigb uir; 

hot a^ wyrd ia feminine, this construction would recjuiro thm'e instead of 

h. may be obfterred that Mr, Thorpe has^u>fc<r corrtctfd his MS. in thid short 
paasagB — once that he may t>cgia the Aectiou with an allitt^ratiyo aylkble, 
and in ft !iecond place, that he may havu the two tilliterative Byllables in the 

■«me Mctton. 

Tham at mehstan wiea : nan to gv'dule 
Kymthe heo wks ahafeti : on thii hean IjfK 


is much to be regretted that, in a late edition, it has been ^ 
estimated so lightly. Mr. Fox considers Junius as already '^ 
"convicted of faulty punctuation'' in his transcript of*3 
Casdmon,^ and he has therefore remodelled the versificatioil, « 
according to his own notions. The reader, who may "^ 
question the correctness of his text, is ** referred to Raw- - 
linson's edition,'' and (as the transcript of Junius was not « 
at hand) to that edition I have had recourse. 

That the reader may judge in what manner Alfred has 
paraphrased his author, we will first give the Metre, as 
Boethius wrote it : 

Vela Neritii duels Solis edita semine, 

Et vagas pelago rates Miscet hospitibus novis 

Eurus appiilit insulse, Tacta carmine pocula ; 

Pulcbra qua residens dea, Quos ut in yarios modos 

Hit I gessel | de gio | : on sum | e tid | e 
thsBt Au I lixes I : un | der haef { de 
thffim Ca I sere | : cyn | e-ric | u twa | 
He I wses Thrac { ia ^ : thiod | a al { dor 
and Re I tie I * : ric j es bird | e * 

WsBS I his frea | -Drihtnes : folc | -cuth nam ■ a 
Ag I amem { nou : se eal | les weold | 
Crec I a ric I es 

Cuth I wees wid | e 
Thtet on | tha tid | e : Tro | ian { a gewin { 
Wearth | under wolc | num 

For wig I es heard | * 
Crec I a driht { en : camp | sted sec | an 
Au I lixes mid | : an { hund scip | a k 
La^d I de ofcr lag | u-stream | 

SsBt long I e thaer { 
Tyn I winter ^ full ] : the | sio tid | gelomp | 

' A note directs us to the preface of Mr. Thorpe's Csedmon, page idx, 
^ AulixeSy that is Ulixcs, or Ulysses. There are reasons for beliefing tliily V 
in some of the Anglo-Saxon dialects, x was pronounced merely as a nbifauit ^ < 
aspirate. Archbishop Csena in his riming hexameters makes is rime to ur. 
Vivcndo felwr, Christo laurate triumphi« 
Vita tuis seclo specimen charissime coelo, 
Justitise cultor, verus pietatia amator, &c 
^ No metrical point. /, 

* No metrical ix>int — Ithaca was called Neritia from the mountain NeritiM^ >. 


c n. 



Vertit herbipot-ens manits, 
Hune apri tacies t4?git ; 
Slle Marmariciis !eo 
Dent^ crest'it et ufifjuibuB ; 
flic, lapi-* super additua, 
Here dum parat, vilixlat ; 
Olle, tlgrU ut Indifti» 
Tecu mitis obambidat. 
Sed licet variis mali.< 
Numen Arcadb alitis 
Obsitum miaemns due em, 
Tei^u* solvent ho«pitis. 
.Taa tamen iBala reiiuges 
Ore pMx-ida traxerant ; 
Jaifi *ue8 Cerealia 
Glinde pabula I'erterant ; 

Kt nihil manet mtegrum^ 
Voi-e corpore perditis ; 
♦Sola mens stabilis: super 
Moiistra, qiiai ]iatitur, (^emit* 
O Ifivem iiiijiiuin manutu, 
Koc potent ia gruQima, 
Membra quie valoant lieet 
Corda vertert* n<ni valent. 
Intii-s est boiiiinuiB vigor, 
Arce conditns abdita ; 
Htifc vencna potent jua 
Detrahimt buniinem sibi, 
Dira i|ut© ptuitus iiieant^ 
NtH" nncentia coqiori 
Mentis ulcere swviunt. 

B, 4, Meir. 3, 

[Mere follows Alfred's translation. Met, xxvi, 1.4.] 

It liflpp'd of yore, upcin a time, 

Tbjit Aulixes "* bud under 

The Kaiser kintrilouiH two ; 

He was elder of the Tbrakia^clana, 

And of Retia'fi realm the leader. 

Hia Bovereign Lord's tar^known name 
Was AgJunemnoD ; he wielded all 
The Creeks [i.^?. GreekV] reidio. 

Known was it widely, 
That, on that tide, the Trojan war 
Happ'd under weUciix 

Forth went the war -leafier — 
The Creeks* Lord — 1 lattle* stead to seek ; 
Aulixes with bim a hundred ships 
Led o'er the a ea- stream. 

lie mi long there — 
Ten winters fiilU When the time fell. 

iluabtleM Alfred got his Retie. Why he makes UljBfles kin|y of 
it would be dlificitit to »ay. 
Ferbape these two linea wnuld be belter scanned as one line : — 

He I wies Thrajda Lhiod|a iiJ|dor : and RejUe-rilifiS hirc1)e. 
^ Tltta is f^ti of those subatantives which have li dip] it ale in e, [Ko; heurd 
■I tt^jactiYe. The aense is ** striing in war."— W. W, S.| 
' Jn Ani^lo-Saxon, nouns of number were accented more utrorigly than thf 
Heuoe th« acceutuution of om* rooilern eonipounds, tttelve\muHih 

\lwif^» ate 


Thset hi | thaet ric { e : gerseht | haef { don 
Deor I e gecep | te : Drih | ten Crec | a 
Tro I ia-burh | : til | um gesith | um 

Tha I tha ^ Aulix | es : leaf | e haef | de 

Thrac { ia-cyn | ing : theet | he thon { an mos | te 

lie I let him | behind | an : h3rmd { e ciol | as 

Nig I on and | ^ hund-nig j ontig : Nfen | igne ' thon \ an 

Mer|e-heng{e8ta : ma | thonnesenjne 

Fer I ede on fif | el ^-stream | : fam { ig bord | on 

Thrie I rethre ceol { : tha^t | bith thiet msat | e 

Crec I iscra scip | a 

Tha I wearth ceald weder 
Stearc | storm | a gelac | : stun | ede sio brun { e 
Tth I with oth I re : ut | feor adraf 
On wend | elsaj | : wig | endra ^ scol | a 
Up on I thnt ig | land : thser Ap { oUin { es 
Doh I tor wun { ode : dssg | -rimes worn | 

Wflss I se Ap I ollin | us : seth | eles cjn { nes 

lob I es eaf I ora : se | wses gio | ^° cjning 

Se lie I ette | : lit | lura and mic | lum 

Gum I ena { gehwjlc | um : thset | he Gt>d " | wsrc 

Hehst I and halg | ost : swa | se hlaf | ord tha | 

Thaet djs | ige folc | : on | gedwol | an lied | de 

Oth I thaet hym | geljf { de : leod | a un | rim 

For I thsm he wses { . mid riht { e : ric | es hyrd | e 

Ileor I a cyn | e-cyn | nes 

Guth I is wid { e 
lliset on I tha tid | e : theod | a ceghwilc 
Ilffif I don heor | a hlaf | ord : for thon | e hehs | tan God ' 
And weorth | odon | : swa | swa wul | dres cyn | ing 
. Gif I he to I thsem ric | e : wjes | on riht | e bor | en 

* Thu in Bawlinson's edition. [And tku in Junius. — W. W. S.] 

^ It would seem that the prefix hund did not take the accent, hu 
ontig, hund-eah\tatigy &c. 

^ Mr. Fox, in this place, changes n<Bnigne into n€snige ; but ii 
honesty, not common among Anglo-Saxon editors, gives his reader fai 
ing. He has mistaken /(?r0(20, the past tense of ferian, for ferdff the pa 
of feran, Rawlinson points the passage thus — Nienigne thonan mere b 
ma . thonne snne ferede. [So in Junius' transcript. — W. W. S.] 

* There have been several attempts to explain this phrase ; but none, 
satisfactory. [See p. 378, n. 3.] 

^ It would seem, from this line, that ceol is neuter. 

" Alfred's interest in every thing that related to his marine is well 

Then, when Aulixes had leave, 

(Thr&kift*s king) that \m tuiorht thence — 

He left behind him horned keek, 

Nine and ninety, Fr<nn tbeni-e no more 

Of the neft-stuJUonH, than one, he led 

On Fifcl-stream — with foamy sides, 

A three-hank**! keel— that im the greatest" 

Of Creekiflh s flip a. 

Then wii» cold weather — 
Stomui a htige plenty ; da<ibM tht^ brawn wave 
One gainst other, and out far dnive. 
On Wendel-sea,' the warri<vr-l>aodfl, 
Upon that isliind, where Apolliii^j^ 
Daughter wonn'd, days a number. 

Tbia ApollmuB was of noble kin^ — 

Yob's* 3oa He was king of yore, 

He pretended to small and prreat, 

(To every man) that lie wa^s Ood 

Highest anil holioat. So tliis lord then 

That silly folk into error led. 

Till hirn believed, a host of people^ 

For that he was, of right, the kingdom's leailer- 

Of their kinjriy kin. 

Known is it widely, 
That, on that tide, the iiationa each one 
Hat! their Lord ihr the Li^dieat God, 
And worshiped bim, like as the Glory -king. 
If he to the realm of right was bom ; 

He great 1 j improved upon the Daninh and Frieslsh ihipe, before hid time th« 
best in Europe. 

^ Thut is, the Mediterranean. 

■ There are three genitiveii plaral, in thiB metre, wbioh end in fa — ^iffendra^ 
tkegnra^ and wHdra ; wi^dmikiaa is found in Qedmon. [See p. 353, n. y.} 

" Tbo Anglo- Siixons hatl no if. [M is for Jom.] 

*** Gio is certainly the allit4irtitive syllable of this foetion. In Anglo-Saxon 
we often find tbe adverb taking one of the strongest «ecen(8 in the senieneo. 
Wo have Kiill some traL^es of thi§ ii»ngt^ in our language, utt m our ntodii of 
•iccentfng the modem compound Wfkoine, 

1 ' G ocMJ in UiG MS. [Yes ; Jimiua wnfce« ^ood.- W. W. S.] 




Wies I thaes loh | ea fed | er : GcmI * | eac swa he | 
Sat I uTDUfl tbon | e : sutid { -buend | e het { on 
Urn} \ ethft beam 1 1 ha*f | don tba mseg | tha 
-Sic I ne »f I ter otb | rum : for ec | ne God | 

Bceol I de eac | wesan : Ap | oUin { es dob | tor 

Dior i -boren | : dyn \ iges folc ] es 

Gum I -rinca gyd | en : cuth | © gald ] ra tel | » 

Drif ; nn dry \ crmfinB : bio | iredwol ] an fylg \ de 

Man I iia swith | oat : man | egm tlieod & 

Cyii I inges doh | tor : sio Cir j ce wies | * 

Hat I en for ber | igiini " : bio | rio | aode 

On I tbiEm ig | londe : the Au | Lixea | 

Cyn I ing Thra | cia ^ : com | ane to | 

Ceol I e litb i an. 

Cuth I wies son { a 
Eal j Ire tbasr { e mipn { ige : tbe bir | e mid | irtin | ode 
^th I eling | es sitb | : bio [ mid nn \ j^met { e 
Lis I sum luf 5 ode : litli- ] moima frea | * 
And I be eac { swa i^m ' e : eal | le mt^g { ne 
Ef I ne swa dwitli | e : hi | on sef i an luf ode 
Huet I he to I Im eard | e : a*n | ige nys | te 
Mod I ea my n I Ian : ofjer ma^gtJi I ginn^^e 
Ac I be mid | tbjem wif | e : wun ode Jiitb tbiin 
0th I tbffit htm I ne meah | te : mon { na aeri [ ig 
Thegn | ra * sin \ ra : t ba?r | mid '" | wesan 
Ac I bi for | tbjem yrmjtbura : eard j es lys ] te " 
Myn ] ton fur-Uet | an : leof [ ne blaf | ord 

Tba I onfrun non wer \ can : wer theoda spell | 
8iBd I on tba?t I bio soeo] I de : mid bir | e seln | lace 

' Hero we have for ihe alliteratiTe sjlJablpfs] loh and God^tkud m few i 
above lob and (fio. Muj wr^ not infer that among the Weat-Sexe, ff t 
look tli« ionnd of ^ ? Gott ha atifl pronounred Yott in Hanover, We biaj ante 
0§cw9ortha for Jugitriha^ in .^frt«d, tr. of Urosius, b, v. c. 7, 

* That is, the sailors (the great aatronomera of those daja) cmUed Kit Mv 
Saturn na. 

* Mr* Fox tv)nstnjes thus : 

Him Sftturn tbe sea-dwellers 

C3all, even the children of men ; they esteemed tb«ir kinsmen 
One af^er another as the eternal God. 
But aa m^gth is femininp, thiB cnn^traetion would require mle^ I 

* Tki 4nm a bai^in, a trade, a craft, are itill well-known idioon^ 

* Here k no metrical |iotnt. 
" Mr« Fox oonatmea tbas ; 

Tbe king's daughter was Ctree 
O&Ued for her opproiisions. 


(This Yob's father was God eke as he ; 
8aturniis him Rca-dwellers ciill*d — 
Tiie aoiis of men ^) : the nfltions had 
Each one after <»ther, for the etenial God f * 

Must also he Ap»lUn*s daughter 

(As nobly born) the sylly folka — 

The people's Ootldess. She couth of many arts, 

Charm -craft-s to drive ; "* error she followed 

Of all pef^ple niost^ through maiiy nations^ — 

The kinrr'sj daughter I She was Cirt-e hight 

*Fc>re her Hhrinea, She reig^ned 

In that isIuTid, which Aulixes 

(Thrakia's king) happVi with one 

Ship to fiftil to. 

Knnwn was mmn 
To all the menie, that with her wonn'd, 
The E the ling's journey. She, without limit, 
Passionately lovVl the seamtvn s lord ; 
Aiid he eke the f^ame. with all hh main 
E'en M 8tr(>iigh% her lovM in ncml ; 
That he towVd bis land wist not any 
Heart's affection, beyond that yonng maiden ; 
But he with that woman si then wonn'd. 
Till there might not any of the men — 
Thanes of his— -there with him bide. 
But they, for the yearnings of their country'i* love, 
Minded to leave him their lief Lord* 

Then jpan to work the people spells ; 
Said they J that she wouhl, with her magic, 


I doubt if thiA meaning vmn be g^ireii to th^ wortl heri^m. Besides, how h the 
name Circr descriptive of an oppressor? 

"^ 1 Miifij:ieL"t this is a mistiikw for Thracia cynimj, 

* I hove fonjiU'ued this lino, on the supposition that /r«a U a mistake for 
fnant the nccnsative. 

* [So in MS. J hut read fh^na^^W. W. S,] 

^** When a prt^|K>aition/t^/fo«w the word it govefni, ittakeaafttrongf^r aeeent ; 
and when it immediatt'ly precedes the vi*rb at tho close of the RtutenrL^ its 
accent is gtrieral ly the predominant one in thi* sentexn-e. The f'^nmer |mrt of 
rhia rale may explain the aueentuatiun of our modern compounds; thenbi/l, 
i hereto], kerebpl^ kemm\f kc 

^* Lye renden the passage in the same way. The construction requln^ that 
tysi should be feminine, which is rather doubtful. Perhaps it would be safer to 
ctinstrue thus t 

But they for their wretchedness — for ihuir country *8 love 
Minded to leave, Blc. 

A A 


Beom I as forbred I an ; and | mid bai \ o-cntf | turn 

Wrath I um weorfi [ an : on wild ] ra He | 

Cjn I ingles tbe^ {as : cys ' pan ^ith | than 

And I raid rac [ entan eac ] : ra>p \ an m«n ' igne 

Sara I e hi | to wixlf | ura wnrd | on : ne meah ^ ton thon | ne 

word I forth bring | an 
Ac I hio thra^ | -mi^liim : thlot | on ongcm { uon 
Sum I e wmr | on eaf | oras : k | grym. | eted j on 
Tbon I ne lii mr \ es hwset ] r «inf j ian sciol | don 
Thi I tbe k' | on wBer | on : on^in | non lath | lice 
Yr I renga ryn \ a : thon | tie hi iceol | don * 
Clip I ian I for corth ] re : Cnilit | as wurd | ou 
Eal I de ge |jiimg | e : eaU | e forbwerf j de 
To fliim I uin dior | e : swelc | urn he wt\ or 
On I his lif , -dagum j : gelic] ost wms\ 
But I an tham ryn | in^e : tbe | sin cwen | Inf | ode 
Nol I de thar a oth | ra : len | ig nnbit ] an 
Men|m8Ce9 motlea : ac | hi ma | lufiethm 
Deor| a dmht | nth : Bwa | bit gedef | e ne wie8| 
Na^f I don hi mar [, e : mon | num gelic | es 
Eortb I •bnend \ tnn • t!ion | ne in [ gethonc | 
Hsef I don an | ra gebwile [ : his ag [ en Mod | 
Thiet ( WITS tbeab fiwith|e : Borgjum gebundlen 
For I thiem earf | othiim : tbe | him on \ Baton.' 

Hwnt I tha dys | egan men | : the thys ] «m dry | cncftnm 

Long* I lyfjdon : leas J nm spel | lum 

Wis I son hwieth | re : tboet | thiet gewit J ne mieg | 

l^lod I on wend [ an : mon | na nm j ig 

Mid dry I craeftura I : thenb | hio gedon | tneahie 

ThjEt I tba lich | oman : lang | e tbrag | e 

Onwend | wurd | on. 

Is I tlia*t wun I derlic 
Mieg I en-cra^ft mic | el : mod | a gehwilc | es 
Of I er Hcb | oman : lien | ne and stcn | ne 

Swyle I uin an«l swylo | um : Thn | meabt Bweot [ ole 
Tha&t I thies Hcb |omftn : list|a» and cncfitaa 
Of I tbflem Mot! i c com I atb : mon | na gebwyl | cam 
Mn I lepra kIc \ • thu j ineaht eath | e ongtt { an 
Tbict I te ma j deretb : mon 1 na gebwyle | nm 
MfKl I es Tin I tbeaw : tlion j ne met [ trymnc8 
Lsen I efl lich l omon. 

* Here i» no alliteration. 

* Here is no allirerfttion, unless we accent the prefix <m. See p. 2 
fEttmuller stipplifw d, i.r, evpr, after hhn, — W, W. S,] 

Tlie men lay low, and with ill-cmfbi 

Cniplly throw into ijea>*t^' shapes 

Tht* kinrr's thftuo!* -sitheu fetter, 

Anil eke with i^hains, hind many ft one. 

They, some liko wolves became ; iie might they then one 

wf»ril forth brin^r ; 
But they at time^^ to howl began. 
S«inie were bonrB ; aye they ^riinteft. 
When aught of sorrow thty would bemoan. 
They, that wore lions, horribly gan 
Atiirrily to roar, when they wouhl 
Call for the crew. The men beeanie, 
OH aiwJ younrj, all changed 
To some beast, such aa he erat 
In liin life-days Hkcst was — 
All hut tlie king; whom the f|neen Iov*d. 
Of the otliers* would not any eat 
< H man^d meat ; bnt they more lov'd 
The company of beasts — a* wom ill fittinj^. 
Ne had they more of likeness to men. 
That people earth* than the power of though L 
Earli of them Imd his own mind, 
But that WI15 greatly sorrow- homid, 
F(tr the tronblen, which them beset* 

But then the foolish men, thiit in thcKe cbarm^erAfy 
Lon^ believed — in iille tales- 
Knew, however, that no, man may 
The wit-^ or the mind clmn<fe, 
With eh arm -e rafts ; though she mijiht cause 
That their bo<iie«, for a long throw, 
€*hange<l should be. 

*1*i!i wonderfnl — 
The miekle power of might of each mau*i; mind 
Over the bmly weak and sluggiMh ! 

By such and mich thinjrs, thou may*fit plainly see 

That th« body's fa<'ultiefl and pow'r» 

From the mind come, to every man — 

Ilk one of them. Thou nmy'it readily see, 

Thjtt ninre liurtelh every man 

Tlie mnufH ill liabit, than the sickness 

Of the frail body. 

Lon^ iflf probably, a mistake for Icmgt, 




B. HI.. 

Ne I Ihearf leod a nan | 
Wen ] an th«&i* , e wvrd | e ; tJi«t | tbaet wer | ige 
TliBPt Mud * : mon \ im mn \ iges 


Bui lungu to I him : id | fre ini&g | on wen 
A^ tha uii ' thcavvas : »lc i es mod | es 
And I tbEL't ill | getbone : lek | m moa { nes 
Thon I e licU i uman lit | : thid [ er hit wil | e 


Alfrod's Teraification shows poorly indeed beside that of 
Csadmoo. He seems to have had little more command 
OTer his rhythm, than aomo of oer modern poets. The 
aectional pause (alwaya a dangerous thing to meddle with) 
is often nsed by him, and seldom happily ; and the manage- 
ment of his accents is such, as vory rarely to assist Hi 

But Alfred was aomething greater than a poet. Who 
can read these lines without emotion, when he remembers 
that the writer — while discharging his kingly duties bs na 
other man discharged them— was daily sinking' under s 
painful disease, that ended only with his life ? 

We must now pass to the days of Alfred^s grandson. Ii 
the year 937, was fought the battle of Brunanburgfc 
—a battlOj that involved more important interests, th&a 
any that has ever yet been fought within the Island. 
It was indeed a battle between race^ : and had England 
failed, her name might have been lost for ever. Tb# 
forces on either side were worthy of the stakea they 

937 Her 

^th I clstan cingl ' : iH>r | la drib | ten. 

Beor I na beag j -gifa : and | his bro | thor e4c 1 

* Here a sectbti apfK'nrs to be wanting. No metrical point. 

* These two bnes had better be read &s one : — 
Thipt Mod I moo|iia iea|ige3 : ealflun^ to { him se|fFemfi»g | OQweudli 

[Grein reads: — 
Thjct mtkl'ifem^fnd monmi, &c.^W. W. S»] 

' The DimsUn MS, Tib. A. vi ; the Abingdon, Tib. B. i ; and the* VVn 
Tib. B, 1T« 1 have taken copiea from all these MSS., and also from 
miind MS. in B«n et Library. The DiinsUn MS, appears to be by for Uw irt 
rnrriHi trunftcript of the four. 

* l(f haa not, howeTPF, confined himself ro his rhree authoritiea. Botmd 


c. n. 


Xnr Tie<*d»* BJiy one 
Look for this hup — tLut the wretched flesh 
The mind of any man 
Altogether to it e'er may turn ; 
But the ill habits of ilk uiind^ 
And the thought af each man, 
The body leads thitUer it will. 

played fof* Round the banner of Atholstan were ranged 
one hundred thousand Englishmen, and before thom was 
the whole power of Scotland, of Wales, of Cumberland^ 
and of Grallowayj led on by sixty thousand Northmen, 
The songj which celebrated the victory, is worthy of the 
effort that gained it. 

This song is found in all the copies of the Chronicle, 
but with considerable variations. Price collated three of 
them/^ and formed a texfcj so as best to suit the convenience 
of translation / The result might have been foreseeuj 
and is such as |ittlo encourages imitation. I shall rather 
give the text^ as it is found in one of these copies — the 
Dunstan MS. Not a word need be altered^ to form either 
good sense or good poetry. 

Am the metrical point in this MS. divides the couplets, 
I am of cour«e answerable for the position of the middle 
pause. When it marks the final pause, it will bo inserted, 
BO as to render unnecessary a constant roferonco to the 

&37 Xow* 

^th el Stan kinn^/ of earla the Lortl, 

Of barons the Iteigh*- giver, arid hia brother eke, 

his readioga im^ not to be found in any of the MS5. which I hmve seen | nor 
can I tell whence he got them. 

^ A metrical t>^int. 

* Thi.s is the common form^ whiuh tntroduoei the events of e«cli year in our 
venerable Chronicle. 

' The firttl befifdtU^n, and the lawful heir 

iM FAward iitu/, the third of thiit descent. I H. VI, 2. 5* eT)- 

' Th^beiyh was a kind of armlet. *' liroche and boighe" h a e<immon 
alliteration in our old romiLnces j and the plural heufhs is still used in Norfolk. 
t*> signify any costly ornMnenra, as jewelu, &e. See Forby'a V<K?*b«lary. 



B. H!. 

Ead I mund mth \ eling ; eal [dor lang j ne tfr ' . 
Gealog ! an let sak | e : aweord | a ecg | gtioi. 
Em I be brut* | an-burh 

liurd -woall cluf j an. 
Heow I an heath [ o Lin ! a : ham | ura lif j uin. 
Eftf I oran ead | weardes : swa liim | gespth ) eic wji»s | . 
Fram cneo ] -mafjum | : that hie I ait cam | pe oft | * 
Wkh lath I ra ^ehwau | e : Imid | eal | godon. 
Ilord I and him | ns 

llet I tend ^ cnm | gon 
Scot [ ta leod | e : and scip ] -liiitau | , 
Fa'g I e ^ feol | laii : Md | den | nade.® 
Sec I ga 8wat | e : sith | than sun | ne upp [ . 
On mor [ gen-tid | : ma;r | e ttin j gol. 
Glad { ofer gnin | das : god { e» can | del beorht I . 
Ee I es driht ] nes ^^ : that | " sec a^tb | ele | gesoeafl | . 
Sah [ to«et|le'' 

' EthrUng meant a prince in iLb general sense, and in jpv parHeuUtr^ an Wr 
to royalty — apparent or preaumptivo, 
» Tir A.S. a tram, a tire; 

Such i)ne was wrath, the taat of this ungodly tire. F, Q. 1. 4. SS, 
The fonstruction of thia pai*ago has been already di^usa^)^ Bee p. 318, a. I. 
[But A. S. tir means glwry, and has not at all the sense of tire. -^W, W. &.] 

* Swcfffda €cgnmj widi the edges of the swords; and in another part ol <b 
poem suvordea ecffumf with the edges of thefworiL *l'he A,S* awoird wan k»g, 
pointed » and ^tt'(>*edged. HL*nce the propriety of the phnue. 

* Lina is clearly a mistake far iMtit which is found in the other M5& 
Lind^ the linflen tree, i%as {us Price h&a fihuwu) the poetical name fbct^ 
shield ; as asCy the ash, for the spear. The latter vtwi long pretferred ia 00 

Let mv twine 

Mine arms about that IxKlyi where against 

My grained ash an hundred times hath broke. Cor. 4. 5. 112. 

> We meet very commonly, in A. S, poetry, with the phraaes raid la/.y^i 
laf^ heat ho tof^ hairtera la/, &c.^ as expressions for the sword. Price alwan 
givGR to io/\i» common meaning, and ia followed, in so doings by Mr. Tbcni* 
and Mr. Kemble — the old rrik\ the rtlk of itdieritancef the b«ttlo rtlic, ih 
relic ijf the hammers, &c. But hj\ m theam cases, is dearly the lonlAndjr fdwff. 
a swords a glaive. We thus gel phrases that have a meaning ; the old ^J^ii, 
the heretlitary f^lnivff the huitle-^/'<jrit'f , the glaive of the haoinciers — Uiat is aj I 
take it, the well-tempered glaive. [But see p. 3t>3, note 10. — VV. W. S,] 

* By my fader ktitf 
Yotir hiTte hongeth on a joly pin* 

Ckttu, MerakafU^ Tale i C. T, 


EdmiiDd the etlieling,* elders tk lung tir«/ 
Slow in battle, with fiword-cd^e«»* 
Round Brunanbtirgb. 

Shield- wall they clnre^ 
The J hewM battle- lindeos,* with hunimef^gliiivcfl/ 
The sons of Edwarfl I As in them Iwaa of birthrighi, 
From their father-kiu/ that they iu war ofl^ 
Atraiuat each foe^ their land shtMild save. 
Their wealth aiul homes, * 

Tlie .spoiler f|ii»iilM ; 
The Scottish people, ai\d the ship-t'rews 
Feymea' fell The field streanfd 
With soldier-sweat,'* sitheii the sun <m high, 
At morning- tide (the mighty itar! ^^) 
CSlided o'er earth, Gt»d'8 candle ^^ bri/iht^ 
(The eternal Lord's?) — till this noble handy work 
Sank to its seat. 

' Thia is a eolleciivw noun and therefore tdces a plural verb, auo p, 320. An 
ignorancM^ of this principU* has led Frit* mm aome very serbui error*. 
" F(B^e A.S. deatb*doani€d,^/f'y. 

And through tht<y dafih'd^ i&nd hew'd, imil smiuihV), 
TUt/rj^ rnen died awa, man. Bum*, Sheriff Muir^ »t. i. 

* The true meaning of this verb Frict? diutxjvered in the Icelandic. 11 in not« 
is a happy piece of eriiii-iam* 

^° lliat is — with blood. Frtee however is mtitak«)U, wJieii ho &aya the Angk> 
Saxon pueta never ustd jmv?^ in its onii nary sen !st? ; ^n'o (Vdinon^ fol *2L U 
i» not without rtsferKneo to its old poeiicuJ meanings that Slmkespuaru u«e« the 
word : 

The honourable captain there 
Drops bloody twmi from hii war* wearied Jimb». 

1 U. r/. 4. 4. I?. 
^^ So the moon is called by Shakespearo, 

The moist star^ 
Upon whole itdluencL* Neptune** empire *tund?«. 

Ham, I. 1, 11$, 

^* So CRNlmon calk the Bun^ foica frith «m<W— man'* candle lA' hie. Tb« 
word wa* not rtjected from on? poetry till after the 10th century, 

Night*ii candlet are burnt out. Horn, tmd Jut !J» 5. 0, 

'* A meti ieul point 

^* The other MSS. have oth, itntil. 1 havu Hecn the phraau *wii Utngfi—thmi^ 
such time^-UDtil ; but never before tiihihan — thttt^ tVice reads oiK^thmi^ ImiI 
without authority. 

'^ A metrical point. 


ThflPT I beg eec«: | man ', ig. 
Gar I nm forgrun | den ^ : gum { an north I erne \ . 
Of i er acjld { Bceot | en : swjl | ce scjt | iisc eac [ , 
Wer I ig wig I ges Sttd | * 

West I -aexe forth j , 

And I langne dtpg ] : cor | ed-cv« | turn. 
On last I leg | dun : ktb | iim theod ; um^ 
Heow I an her | c-tljm | an : hind | an thearl |e. 
Meo I irai tuyl | en-scearp | um * : nijrrc J e ns wjnil 
Ilemrd [ ea hand -plegan : ha*1 1 etha nan { am* 
Thar j a the | mid an j lafe : of | er ear j -gebUuid. 
Ou lid I OB bos I tue : land | gesoh { tan. 
Fa^g I e to I gefeoli | te * 

On I thiBm camp | -stedc : cin | ingas ^ong | e. 
Sweord | nm aswef [ ede : swilc | e seof j one eac I , 
Eorl I as an | lafea * : un | rtm hcrg | ea. 
Flot I tan and scot | ta ' 

Tha>r I geflvm|etJ wearth|\ 
North I manna breg | o : ned | e geba?'d I ed. 
To lid I efl stef I ne"^ : lyt | le weor | ode, 
Cread | * cnear | on dot | : cing | hi \ gewat I . 
On teal | one fiud | : feorh | gener | ede ) ♦ 
Swyl I ce tliier eac | kc frod | a : tnid Beam | e com ! 
On I his cyth [ the north | ; constantin | as, 
Hir I Lll I derinc 

* A mc'trical point. 

^ Price til lis coiuitrues the paB<»ge, 

There lay many n warrior 

Strew*d by darts^ nortberD itta7i 

Shot over the shield So Scott iah ek© 

Weary of war- 
leaving the passage without further explanatioQ. To jiupport this i 
we mnsi auppnsp foumart a nomiiiative sinji^alar. Now the nouns of tllif i 
sion db MOiKtimtia take an n in Lbo nomiDative, see SarruUf Cied, foL ] 
DernQn^ Cffid. fol. 2ii0. Tliese insCanceH are very rare ; but Pfiee 
HHm couriti^naiiced, in (*oiiie tneasure, by Dr. Ingrarn-jj reading amma \ 
If thiii h^i ailmitted, we might construe, 

There lay many a soldier 
By the dart* brought low ^ the man of the North 
Over dbielfl ahot ; so Scott'hman eke-* 
Weary f war-tirt<d • 


There laj many a soldier, 
^By ±.'hke dartfl brought low — Northern men, 
O^r^T- flhield shot : so eke the Scotchman 
^^^T ^^jry, war-tired I 

The West-Sexe then 
-Tlie livelong day — in banded throngs, 
lV>ot' laid on the loathed people ; 
^X^^^jr hewM down the fliers fast from behind 
^W'itJb Bwords mill-fiharpen^d. Nor did the Myrce grudge 
■Ajwxy^ one of the heroes the hard hand-play — 
^>f tbose, that with Anlaf o'er the tumbling sea, 
Xn tiie ship*8 bosom, sought the land 
^ey men for the fight. 

Five lay 
^ that war-stead — ^youthful kings, 
Sword-silenced. So also seven 
^1« of Anlaf; and a host of the robber-band, 
Ship-men and Scots. 

There was chased 
*■ "6 Northman leader, force-driven 
To the ship*s bow, with slender train ; 
I>n)ve keel afloat — the king out-fled — 

^ fallow flood, life he saved ! 

^ there eke the sage one in flight came 

Northward to his kith — Constautinus — 

Hoaiy warrior ! 

Aiee liaa more than once changed iwylce for swylc. I cannot see either reason 
CBodfe for so doing, 
^psose is marked with a metrical point in the MS 
' PoUow him at foot , tempt him with speed abroad. Hamlet^ 4. 3. 66. 
* A metrical point. MyUn-scearp is a very remarkable compound — if it be 
ifsltlf eonstruedf and I do not see how otherwise it can be rendered. 
' A flMtrical poinL 

* A Metrical point. 

* IteaUy <' Of the fleet and of the Scots." 

' fHee iint settled the meaning of this word. 

'Ikate IbUowed Price, who considers eread as the past tense of a verb 
i w rfi y to press forward, to crowd. It should be observed, however, that in 
dt the Old English examples which he quotes, this verb to crowd occurs as an 
\ Terby nsTer as a neuter one. 



E. nt* 

Hrem | an ne thorf | te 
Mec \ cm gemui i an : her | w»s his mag | m scemid [ '* 
Preon 5 da gefyl | led : on folc | -stede | - 
Forsleg en «t sac | e : and | hia sun j a fbrlet | . 
Oq wjfcl I -stowe ; * : wund | um forgmiui | en. 
Geong I ne st guth | e 

Gjlp I an ne thorf | te. 
Beom I bland t en-fex * : biD | -gesljrht | es. 
Eald I inlwUu : ne an|laf^ the|mA|. 
Mid beor | a her e-!af um : hlih | ban ne thorf | tao. 
Tb»l I hie bead | o-wearc | a : bet | eran wurd | an. 
On camp t -«tede ] : cum | bul-gehnas ] tea. 
GAr \ -mittnng | e : gum ena | gemot | es. 
Wiep I en-gewruE ] les : thea [ ^ hia on wsel j -felda. 
Witb cad | weardea |' : caf | oran pleg | odon. 

GewitI an him | tba north { men : niegl [ ed * cne«F [ mm 

Dreor |ig dar | otba iaf j : on dyng I es ^^ mer | e. 

Of I er deop | -wieter : d jf ' len sec { ean. 

Eft I £r { a land : xw « iaomod | e. 

SwUc I e iha { gebroth | or : b^ { en nt som [ ne* 

Cing I and astb eling : cyiti \ the aoh { tan. 

Westj -seaauia land , : wig [ ges hrem , ige. 

Let I an him | behind an : brmw | brjrt | tigean. 
Sal I owig^p&d I an ^ tbon | e sweart | an bnefn [ , 

^ Price s ttttempi to render thU pajs^ftge is an obvious failure. Stvvf4 « \ 
cW^rly th« Icelandic »kanij a cutting off, a loss. In that diaieet they have i 
votEtpimtid./rdniJ-dhtn/t a loss uf frk^nds, which ia almost the expr^s^um m thf j 
UxXy/rtondA toward, 

* A metrical point. 

* A OMttrkal point 

* How oo«dd Prioe make the «ingular noon Jala/ agree with the pluf«l va«^ 1 

* Tk9t wtkn used in the sense of ^ fir tkai^ betavm, till the middle of the 17th 
century. 1 he Paradi»e Lust may alTord u« examples, as well as our bcaotUfal 

* lYiee thtis rpiidert the \ 
At the confikt of banners, * 

Tbt ntetiog of spears, the assembly uf men. 

The interrhange of weapons, 
1 suspcet howerer that the ptuM intended in dmutIc out the prugresa of the 
(iroBi Uie distant sklnaiah to iht* m«lr«. I bait* doubts if """•*'"^ j-triWnslij 
rightly translated by either of u&. iMe of I>r. tngrmm's MSS. mMis ftkmad 
*— bill this helps u» lit tie, ftif it dii#s tu>t iKXur elsewhere, (rmrnHhtm^ is rJaattj 
the ilchl of darts or ja%elius^for ^ar meaat a misttle, not a spear« Wm 
^^itritUt seema to bs the imsrehaafe of weapoaa, or the fight hand to hand. 

C. 11. 

THE bru:nanbohgh war-song. 


Needed not to buast 
Of the sward-greetiDg ! Here vfus loss of kin — 
Of frieruLs liewu do«Ti» on the crowde*! field 
Slain lit the fi^jlit* And hifs .son he left 
On the slttughter-pUce, with wu undn kid lou\ 
Thongh joniig in war. 

Needed not to vamit 
Of the bills slan«^hter^ the grey-hair*d Bairon, 
(The treachour t^klj nor xVnlaf more, 
With their army-wrecks^ needed nut to laught 
Tliat * they were the better in workB of wai* 
On battle-»t4?ad — in tlie banner-strife — 
The javelin-min^rle * — the soldiers* close — 
The weiipon- barter — since they phij'd 
On slaughter- held, with EdwaEHl's sons ! 

Gan then the Northmen, in their nailed barks, 

(The darts* sad leavintTg, on the noisj sea :) 

Over deep water Dyilen to seek— ^ — 

The land of the Ire ^' once more — shame -^hearted ! 

Bo the brotherH» tK>th at onee 

(King and etbelinjT,) Roiijrbt their kith,- — 

The land of the West-Sexe — in the fight estulting 1 

Left tliev behind tlieto (the carcase to share) 
Him of the sallow ^'^ coat— the iwart raven 

"^ FrioQ reads thaa ike, and coaatrufis thus, 

** Of that which they on the slaughter -field,*' &c. 

bat thaSf and thm^ tke^ are both of them mere ounjunciioiui. 

** A mMriea) point. 

• Tritie girei us nfggleduii^ without authority fr*^ni either of hb tlireo MS8» j 
\ the reading of the inaccuratu Worcester MS. be eouiiidered hm^h—ildtgUd 
Dr. Ingratn however lio^ fouod n^cUd&n in hom^ of his MSB. 

** The Wona^ster MS. haa d^nigiA^hui 1 never met with either dyngittdyniff 
elsewhere. With darotha laj\ compare ythlof^ Exod. 5 85, 

^^ That is Iredand. Dt/Jlen is Dublin^ where AnJuf waathen reigning. 

*'^ From a passage in Beowulf, Mr. Kemble was led to oflfer a very ingvnioUAy 
itnd I think the true explanation of thii* phrase. Un«* of the reasons, however, 
whieh hi& friend Mr* Tborjie give* for adopting it— vi^s, that padan would 
hardly be u^d iwiee Logutber with tlie same mi^aQiii^^ — is ntore4|ue&tiuniib]e. I 
have little doubt that Uasa-padwi is a compound of precisely the name kind ils 

The Angk>-Saxons seem to have used taUimf in the sen&e of dusky. Tlw 
ravmi it (ttlhxi mllow both by Canlmon and the author of Judith. 

Ac him lleah on kste 
Earn «tes geom : tirig felhera 



Hyrti I ed^neb | ban : and ilion { c ^ hns [ o-pad | an. 
Earn | sef | tan hwit ' ' : tes | es bnie | an. 
Graed | igne gutb | •hafoi; : and | ihmi grtegj e deor | < 
Wulf I on wealjde* 

Ne I weartli wael | mire. 
On I thy» * eg| lande : fef j re gyt | a. 
Fob 1 69 afjl I led : befor | an thja { turn. 
8we(ird | ea ecg | urn : thica | the us secg \ eath * b^c | 
Eald I e uth | witan : »yth \ ttiaQ east I an hid { cr. 
Eng I le and sex { an : upp { bccom | an. 
Of er brad | e brim | n : bryt | ene solit | an 
W^laiio I e wig I ^smitbas : weal | as of | ercoin [ an 
Eorl aa ar j ]iwat« ' : eard { begeat I on. 

E. Ul. 

Anglo-Saxon rhythm may, in soma measure, be considered 
as a genus J containing only one species* Theae Bpecimer— g 
have therefore been ranged according to their date. B^^ 
the reader must not conclude that it had no varielies, \%^ 
have already seen how Csedmon lengthens his rhythm, wh^n 
he thinks the dignity of his subject requires greater pomp of 
language. The fervour and energy of lyrical poetry dt 
manded a quicker and more marked recurrence of the i 
cent ; and in poems of this class, the abrupt sections greatl 
outnumbered those which began with an unaccented syllsbh 
—sometimes in the proportion of ten or fifteen to one. Tb 

Salowig pada ; a&ng bilde leoth 

Hyrned nebba, Judith, MA. 

But oil I heir footsteps dew 
The ern grt»edy for Us prey, with h*jary feathers ; 
He of tbe utillow coat sang the battle-sung— 
The bird with horned nib I 
That is, the eagle followed ^ and die raven crooked. Price applied the plit 
»alowi(f pcuiit in the laat extniel, to ihe eagle j, andj if we may judge ffoni 1 
mode of pointing the passngef ao does Mr. Thorpe. 

' Hft^o M^tmis to haTe been a inixlure of white with aome darker colour, 
mon iiftoii it in dest^ribing the culver or wooil-pigeon. 

^ The ^ea-e&gh^ It would seem, from (.his Kne, tluit ram wu aametiakiet 
Utied as a neuter noun, 
^ A metrkal poinL 

* A mt^trieal jjomt. 
^ llie Abingdon MS. agrees here with the text. The Woroeater MS, i 

*' on thisMfi iglando/' In Cadninn we sometimes find tbia (ifonoun withoVt 
inflexion, aa in the text. See Caedmon, foJ» 19, 

* Price thus rendera the passage, 



With homed iiib ; aud him of the grizzled coat — 
The em "* wliite-plumagetl behind* hifl prey to gorge ; 
The greetly war-hawk ; and the grey b4^a8t, 
The wolf of t^he wemkL 

Was uo greater earn age 
Ever yet, within the bland, 
(Before this) of men fciril 
By the KWtird-cd)res, (as the books tell ns — - 
The writers old) since from the east hither^ 
Up came Engle and SexeJ 
And^ o'er the broad i^ea?, sought Britain ; 
And mighty war-smithB " the VVaels o^ertauie ; 
And eark, after honour keen, gat the land. 

icctions 1 and 2 of two accents, were those most frequently 
W8ed— indeed, so frequently as sometimes to form two- thirds 
of tic whole, TLey were mostly lengthened, and aome- 
fcaea doubly lengthened. 
I have elsewhere*^ hazarded an opinion, that these short, 
^uptj and forcible rhythms were the earliest that were 
mwn to our language. They are such as would naturally 
^ prompted by excited feeling, and are well fitted for those 
•jricai outpourings, which form the earliest poetry of all 
In the longer rhythms, alliteration appears something in- 

Of that, that say to us in books 
Old historiana. 
r in the firsft place, be^ is the nominative plural ; and swondly, the nectton 
t UM see^eaik bee, m very commonly founfl ht/ iisdf, m Anglo-Saxon 
Utere can be llLtlt? doubt, that uih vdtan \»> a fiominatiTe, in a^pmUiati 

/Af too is a mefe c?oiyunctioTi. 
Stxtn and Sfj:e are the real namf^s of that €?ner^'L'ric nitres ^^ «'ln»m England 
one-tbird of its })opidation. Why must we g^o to France for a niiiiie,, when 
t«s two Engliah ones to choose between ? 
OHnpomids of tM» fortnation, were a^mmon till of late years ; ba fy-winifk^ 
; tkapt^ m ilkf a posttire-m aster, &c. && The pause is here marked with 

* Vtim canaiders the ar ia arhwate merely an augmentatiTe prefix. I am 
aoi hom^wet convinced by his reaaoiiiDg. 
** Sea p. 169. 

" The tame rhythm is also found in snub parts of CBedmon's [wtm, us [wirtjike 
of t^ lyrical chaiacter. 


trusive and artificial^ bnt it mast have been natarally sag- 
gested by these earlier rhythms ; for the main qualities, _ 
which fitted them for the lyrical song, are such as allitera: — 
tion would greatly strengthen. It is highly probable, thabi 
to these rhythms the alliterative system owed its origin. 

We have already had one specimen of lyrical song, I wil'^ 
now give another of later date. In both, there is the sam^s 
kind of rhythm ; but the one was a song of triumph ove^ 

1066 Here 

Ead j ward kingc : eng | la hlaf | ord 

Send I e soth | -fae[ste] * : sawl | e to crist | e. 

On god 1 68 wser | a ^ : gast { hal | igne. 

He I on wor | ulda her | : wun | ode thrag | e. 
On kyn | e-thrym | mc : craef | tig iwd | a. 
Feo I wer and twen | tig ^ : freo | lice weal | dend. 
Win I tra gerim | es * : weolm • biyt | node. 

And healfe tid ^° : hrol { etha weal | dend. 

Weold I wel { gethung { en ^^ : wal | um and scot | turn. 

And brjtt | um eac { : byr { e seth | elred | ea 

Eng I lum and sex | um : or | et-masgc | um. 

Swft I ymb-clyp \ path : ceald | -brimmas 
Thict call I ead { warde : a^tli | elum king 



' Soe p. 357. 
^ See p. 357, note 6. 

^ The Worcester MS. has soth f teste; in the Abingdon MS. the three bit 
letters are torn off. 

* Certain nouns regularly formed their dative in a. In the present poem we 
have wtgra and woralda, 

'^ Such appears to be the force of the preposition on. In the Menek)gia 
[1. 216] we have, 

^thele Andreas : up on roderum 
His gast ageaf : on Godes uxBre 
Fus on forthweg. 

The noble Andreas, alofl in the heavens. 

His spirit rendered — in God's promise trusting ! 

Prompt for departure ! 

® See p. 382, n. 4. 

' In the MSS. we have the letters xxiiii. 

** No metrical point. 

® This is doubtless a mistake for weohn. See welan hrytnodon, p. 368, 1. 8. 

^^ The Worcester MS. gives the section thus, And he \ hal\ o-tid, I hare con* 

c. a THE confessor's death-song. 367 

the public enemy, and tho other coram emorates tho death of 
an English king. 

The Confessor^s Death-Song ia found both in the Abing- 
don and Worcester copies of the Chronicle. My text ib 
taken from the former. The "metrical point divides the 
sections; and I have marked it (for tho reason already given ') 
whenever it was found indicating the final pause. 

1066 Now* 

Kin<? EdwftrtL lord of the Enfrle, 
SeDt his rigiiteous hotiI to Chriat, 
(Id God*9 prumi&e trusting) ^ a spirit holy. 

He, in the world here, wonn'd a throw ;^ 
Amid the kinglv tliron^, sage in liij* connnels. 
Pour- and -twenty winters, in humber, 
Gcn'royftly rulings wealth he parted. 

And he, in his day of strength (the Lord of heroca) 
Rul*d must righteously, Waels and Seot« 
And likewise Brits (child of Ethelred ht* !) — 
Engle too, and Sexe, the «ons of battle. 

WhatBoe'er the cold sciis enclip— ^^ 
All that^'£dwBrd, the noble king, 

tfrt»%\ the parage with thia roadiiiKT** 1 nin mtilit* nothing antiifactory ofhmife 
f^. Th« reader, however^ roaj be inoru stiLx-e&sful. 
'*' Ko metrical point. 

^' The Worcester MS. has cenida (ccalde) hrimmas : but cald brwnma* in pea* 
My correct, for this adjective cmld i» frequently enoipiunded. 

" Witneas you ever-bamin^ lights aboTe, 

You eletneiil*, that dip un round aljout. OfheUa^ 3. 3. 463. 

Where is he Imng, clipped in with the sea. 

That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Walea^ 

W^hich calls tne pupil, kc. 'i 1 H. IV. 3. I. 44. 

ntiw ia aoroe diffieultj as to the proper accentuation of verbs which take i}mh 

r a fsHlx* Here the prefix ia clearly not accented. 

*• We have an idiom very similar to this in Fletcher*a lines. 

All that comes near him, 
He thinks art come on purpose to Iwtray him. 

Noh, Gent, 1. 2« 

Cbmpttne : *' and of aloh eaU that ihrnr betst wses on tham lande,^ and slew alJ 
oC the ooantry. A, S. Chrm, an. 1054, 

n. THE confessor's deatu-sonq. 369 

Faithfnllj serv*d — the men of princely seaU 

Aje blithe-hearted was the harmless king ; 

Though he long erst, of land bereft, 

In exile-wand'rings dwelt — widely o*er earth ; 

Sithen Knat overcame the kin of Ethelrcd, 

And Danes ruled the dear realm 


Winters in number, wealth tliey parted. 
Sithen forth came, sumptuous in attire. 
For kingly bounties famous, pure and mild, 
Edward the noble. His country he shielded. 
His land and people ; till on a sudden came 
The bitter death, and took (to our cost !) 
The noble man from earth. 

Angels bare 
His righteous soul into heaven *s light ; 
But the wise prince entrusted the realm 
To a high-minded man, to Harold self, 
The noble earl ; he, at every season, 
Faithfully served his Lord 
In word and deed ; nor faiFd in aught. 
Of that was needful for the people*s king. 

opportunity of consulting the MS., my text hafi bean 
ken from the copy in Mr. Thorpe's Analecta. It is cer- 
Lnly more correct than Conybeare's. [It occurs on fol. 
Oof MS. Bodley343.] 

For thee was a dwelling fixt, ere thou wert b</m ; 

For thee was earth appointed, ere thou of thy motlier cmauiti. 

Bat it iff not di<rbt, ne the depth y-meMtmrd, 

Xe is it yei look'd to. how long it ►bouid be for then. 

' Ikmm. in tJbe parer diak*eU l/me, 
' la tJbt MS.S. xzriiL 

TVt WortsMrtier M8. intM/rtx^lir. sad I ihiak sore tamKuW. 

Dwrt wa^isMAk *fj Uf ai^ in thi* hate, is dM; Hiaae wmif, m wiuHb wr mnm mmt 
Wy — -* dairJr did h^r rwe i\r hu:. 

' TVr <MKlexi n^^rvu Vj rt»'^uir« ckat 4^^ «bg«M Ur li*-n- «M#nMid **> % 
dcr ««rt. 

t t 


Ka I me ^ the brmgl sth : ther | Ilia be | cm xea^t j 

Ka I me tc&A \ the met eti : and | ^m mold ) wmodi \ that 

Ne bitb I no tfam has : hea lice | ttiii ^ bred 
Hit bitb I unheh * | and Uh : thoo ne tba list | ther-infnp 
The hel | e-wag es beotb lag e : &id j -wagea ( nnke^je* 
The rof j bith ibjLd ; : tbi re broa , te fill oeh [ 

8wa I tbu scealt | on mold ' : mxn ] iezi ( fiil cald , ' 
Dim me and deorc | e : thet den | ful ^ st on botid ] 

Diir I eleas is \ thmt bus | . and dearc | hit is | witb-in | oen 
Thmr \ rbu bist fes ' te bi-dytt : and da^tb | hefth tba vaeg e 
Lad lie i» I tha*t corth | -bus : and grim | in | ne to wim | ten 
Tber | tbn acealt wun | ien : ami wurm ! ea the \ to-del eth 

Tbu« I tbu bi£t | ilegd \ : and lad ' asst thin j e frond | en 
Nef«t I thu net) | ne freond : tbe | tbe wjl I le far | en lo | 
Tbset ef : re wul j e lok hn : bu { tbe thet bus { the Itk [ le 
Tbffit ffif re iindon | ^ : the wxil | e tba dnr | e 
And tlje I a^fter lib | ten : for s^on j e thu | biat lad J lie 
And lad I to i-seon 1 ne ^ 

Other lines folio w-, bull many of the letters are illegible. 

In this poem J the alliteration is very feebly marked; 
and io one verse it appears to have been entirely gupe^ 
seded by the middle rime. The section 7. p occurs twice, 
and the negative prefix mi never takes the accent — clear 
proofs that the change which gradually produced oar 
modern rhythm and accentnationj had already begun to 
operate. The peculiarities of the language also well de- 
serve our notice ; such as the old English plural in frondei^, 
and the use of the preposition to before the Present In- 
finitive, in ^0 wumen. This is the earliest example 1 haw 
met with of an idiom^ now so common. 

There is one poem with pretensions to an antiquity bo 
remote, as may probably justify us in referring^ it to a 

* Thii word Is very comTnonly met with in Robert of GlouL'^ater. I do Ml 

rfinoinbflr to hiivif Jipen it ini the purer Siixoiu 
^ FaJhe m'l'Pi it nation. 
^ In this vers© i» no alliteratioti, [Cftld h n partial rime to mold, W,W» S.1 

* Thfi lAngung;e ai ihb priem Aeenjn to difier from LavHmotia (ae© cb. ,11 nnJr 
in \n^tt\'* nmrn rnrrw-tly written. 


Now man thee bringeth, where tbou slidt bide; 
Now mail shall iiieitsure thee^ and akhen tbe grrjuiKl. 

Nor will thy houfie be hi^'bly timberd — 
'Twill be imhigh and low ; when thou \y*9t therein, 
The heel- walls will be low, the cover- walls unhigh. 
The roof will be fixt thy breast full nigh. 

So thou sihttlt in earth won full cold, 

Dimly and darkly — -that den is foul loth' toiaub* 

Doorless is that bouse* and dark it is within ; 
Ther^ shall thou be fast shut in, and death have tlie key. 
Loathly is that eapth*hwi8e, and grim tn avou in. 
There sbalt thou won, and womi,H shiire thee. 

Tliiis thou shalt be laid, and loathsome to thy friends ; 
Ne haflt thou nne frit'ud, that thee will iare to. 
That ever will hxik, how tlmt house likes thee, 
That ever for thee will undo the door, 
And to thee go down : for soon thou rthalt be loathly. 
And loathsome to see. 


distinct sera. It is found io tbe celebrated Exeter MS.^; 
and haa been named hy Conybeare ^^ Tlie Song of the 
Traveller/^ It appears without introduction or explana- 
tion/ among other Anglo- Saxon poems, so that from 
internal evidence alone can we judge of its age, or of its 

The Song of the Traveller professes to record the wan- 
denngs of a certain " Gleeman/' the contemporary of 
Eormanric and of yEtlaJ As the East-Got died in 375, 
and /Etia was not king (aa described in the poeru) till 
43'i, these wanderings must have lasted nearly sixty years. 
We are told that he visited the court of Eornuinric in hia 
ftrst journey, as the follower of Ealhild, and probably as 
the youthful page of that princess. If this were so, the 

' Tliw MS. WAS given to ihe Cathedral by Bishop Leofric-- in the reign of the 
ronr<%si-ir ; and may have bf^en written in the latter half of tbe lOth or early in 
thi* Uth I'entury, 

** The pt»em opens with a hotI of prefatre, like tlmt prefixed to Alfred a metres ; 
but it is in verse^ and of almoNt equal fintiquity with tho poem. 

' The HeriDanarie and Attila of Koman Mist^iry, 



B. Ill* 

poem maj have been written soon after the age of eighty 
— an advanced age, it is true, bet one that agrees well with 
the general style and character of the poem. 

About the year 370, began the great struggle betwe 
tho Goth and the Hun. The former, though driven 
the plaina of Hungary, withstood the invader step by st 
till, in the year 430, they bent before the genius 
the power of ^tla. The hoof, beneath which the 
withered, was then turned upon tho Enipiro. 

Now it seems clear that the Goths, though a defeated, ] 
were still, when this poem was written, an independezi 
people J the enemies— not the allies of ^'Etla* It se 
no less cleaFj from the alight mention made of him, 
the kiug of tho Huna had not yot run the course, wi 
niado him a hero of the Gothic wiyfA, no leas than 
Eoman History. If this reasoning be sound, the 
must have been written between the years 433 and 440, 

If we would test its genuine noes by its agreement ' 
history, we must first pick out tlie Gothic annals (rom tfl 
Greek and Latin writers of the period, aided by saeii 
scanty notices as the monks have left us. With 
helps, we may fix between the years 375 and 435, 
Ostrogoth Hermanaric, the Visigoth Wallia, the Bu 
diana Gibica and Gundicarius — and these are resj 
the Eorraanric, the Wala, the Gifica, and the On 
of the Gleeman. Theodric the AmaUng, and 1a 
tho Frank, were a few years too late; and the conq 
of Italy, though he soon became the great centre 
early romance, is not once alluded to. The sober 
in which Eormanric and hia generals are spoken 
also worthy of notice. We see none of the fable 
soon afterwards inveloped their names; they are stilll 
mere creatures of history. 

The geography of the poem is full as remarkable «*i 
historical allusions. The different Gothic races tpn^ 
atiH to have held the lands on which Tacitus found th«i^ 
The Swefe had not yet migrated to the Rhine; thev 
still on the Baltic^ and neighbours to the English. 
East-Goten also were " eaat from Ongle,'* an expr 

C* II. 



which more than one important inference may be 
Idmrti* I think it shows that the preface (in which it 
I occurs] was written bj an Englishman, who had not yet 
pft the continent; and that the East-Goten, though "east 
■ Oogle " in the time of Eormanric, had already left their 
fttive plains for the luxuries of Italj^ — or why should their 
Iformer seats be pointed out with such particularity ? The 
Ipreface may have been written about the close of the fifth, 
[or the beginning of the sixth century. 

Of the dilfercnt theories which may be started as to the 

[origin of this singular poem^ the one which seems to me 

[heset with fewest difficulties, is that which maintains its 

anineness. If we suppose it to be a forgery, where shall 

I discover a motive for the fraud ? where shall we find any 

logous case in the history of that early period ? Above 

[•II, where shall wo find the learning and the knowledge 

. neces&ary to perpetrate such a fraud successfully ? 

Upon the changes, which the language of the poem 

BJ have undergone in the five centuries which elapsed 

are the MS. was written^ I shall not venture an opinion, 

knowledge of that language seems to me much too 

Bty to speculate upon such a subject safely* Xor is 

fflueh easier to form a judgement, as to the matter 

may have been interpolated. It has been indeed 

OBed, that a Gleeman of the 4th [5th] century could 

Uy have heard of the Medes and the Persians, the Assy- 

and the Idumeans, the Israelites and the Jews. But 

bilaa had already translated the Sciiptures, and all the 

ag Gothic tribes were Christiana — better Christiana, if 

[ believe the Roman historian, than his own countrymen. 

most remember too, that the Wendio were lords of 

!>, the Swefe of Spain, the West-Goten of Gaul, and 

Ronie had been already once visited by a Gothic con- 

eror — what is there surprising in one of the same race 

fling himself of the facilities, which then exists, for 

felling through the Empire? In some districts, h© 

Id find his countrj-men I he rulers ; in others, he would 

stned by the fears of a degenerate, or the courtesies of 




B, III. 

Conybeare has given a translation of this poem ; but his 
transcript was an inaccurate one, and his version more faultv 
than itprobabljr would have been, had he lived to pobliBhit. 
My text is taken from the Museum copy of the MS.^ which 

Wid I -Bitli malli I olad | e : worti | -hord orileac | 

Sc I the miiMSt ■ : ^ man^tli u uf | er etirth ' an 

Folc I a ge^md-ff nl ' e : i*ft | he flf tt e fretlmli | 

Myn I e-Iie ne math | tbum : liin " e from myrg j mgum 

^th ' ele I tniwot , on ' : he | mid ealb | -hilde 

Fa;l I re IVeuth , u* weL him : form | an akb [ e 

Hreth I -cymng ! e.s : ham | ^enoh \ te 

East I an of ong \ k\ : eor maii-ric | e« 

Wratli I t'j5 Wirr ' -loj?an 

On*iJiii I thu worn | spree | aii 

Fel tt if iiiou I na ^efra^f^n | : niiejsj [ tlmiii weald an 

Sceal thetui a , j^ehw) Ic | : tlieaw iim lif ] gau 

Eorl I ! idler oth rum : etli le ricd , an 

8e the ]i\H theod eii-stol [ : gethti | on wil | e . 

Thftr a wjcH ** : wal n hwd e ael ta^t . 

And al j ex-aad [ rpas : eal j ra ric j ost . 

* Mr, Kenable marks this section as *^ h^jieleajily in fault" I do not Me hii 
difficulty. [Gr*?in inserts nionna before nnfjif. — W. W. 8.] 

* Thill is " whi^ moHt visited tin* g^nnit," &.v. 

' Thpr« is dilficuliy in the construction <if this pii«!%age. Onwacaa is eooi- 
monly twed na u neuter verb in iine of the sensoi*, to aiiuik^, to he des<^nd4^ /mm, 
Jlen- it h dourly tictive, and I have ^iven ii the meaniuj* whieli seema best In 
sail I ha contcN t. I firn e alHi> not uiet wit h mffnc- Ik eta<ewbcrei anil bave i^udcfei 
it aji if it w<*re a nn^'e variattoii from mttttfilic^ 

It hus bi'cn ^>ald that tht' Tnweth'r was *' of high birth among Lbe MyrmiuiL* 
Perhaps we rni^lit translate <imi/'MV» "begat/* In whkh ca»4« the gleeman mn 
hitve tit'en u noble. 

Compare: " Fnernut pnrontea niandiito ejus (Ailolph, 2nd Earl of Northal- 
bingiu) plebea Holzutornm Stnrnmtiorura et Mnrcomattni^um. Vocantar aut«iD 
usitato more Mmrcottiiinni Rentes inidtML'uni|ue roih-ct^, ijuio Marcain incolunL* 
— Bclmond, Chron, Sluior; Leibnitz, ycri|jt. Rerum Brunsv, ; Grimni^f 
I>PiU8C'he Liunen, p. 152. 

* Liienillj, /owe-iwotw. This epithet i» a[^p]ied to women m oth^r AnA^ 
Saxtfn poems. ' 

* The poet diatrngui»hcH between the people f^tgie^ nnd their cotintty Omk. 
" The last cruel net of Eoriiianric has U-en worki^d up into miiny a wondnMi 

file (w//M, the Germans would cidl it> by the uciive invention of the nonk 
Karlier writers ;;»v« ms the simple hist-iry. Wht^n the Huns first began U 

c, n. 



had the advantage of a careful revision hy Sir Frederic 
Madden. It differs, in some few particulars, from the tran- 
script which Mr. Kemble has given us in his edition of 

Wide travt;! tolil- — bis wortl-storc imlock'tl, 

lie who mo.Kt (iri?atni^8« ^ «ver em*th 

And Xttticins vinitwl. Oft in hall he ^ot 

Memoniblc hir*fe^**, Hini tVnni aroong the Myrgiugfi 

Nobles reurM. He, with Ealh-hild, 

(Leal artificer of love ! *) in his first joiiniey, 

Sought the liniiit' of the fitTre king» 

Ea.Ht from Oii^le — ^ the home nf Eoriniiikrii.*, 

Wrathful treehoyr ! "" 

Gari he the nnjxiUer ttill . 

Alanv tile II I wot of, luitions ruliug ! 

Mu^t each j^eciple live under laws ; 

Kach earl, after *»thei% for his laed take L-ouii?>ei^ 

He that will^ hh throne to flourish. 

Ofthe^e was* Wala^ whilom most pronperous ; 

And Alex* aiidreiks ''\i fall most powerful, 

i^Bpoo the Goths, nnp of EormHnrif's chiefij pr^^ved false. The Ivrnnt 
I his wife ♦%/rw/WA to lie torn asunder by wild burses, and 50«m after, fell 
i tbe swords of her two brt>then> Sarm aiid Ammius, The latter we shall 
l«r mofie of present! J ; see p. 385, n, 7. 
* That ia, of nations lie had f^iftit^rL 

tinre ends the intrmluction. whteh I ihhik must have been writt^^n hefore 

■le k'ft the continent. f<*r the |>oet clearly refL^rs to the oh! country undf^r 

•• of Ontfle^ and we know this name was tjivcn in the new seir lament ^ 

u ft lery early period of it:* history. Fr»jni the iitteution paid lo the i^t-o- 

fnphjr,! suspect itwa^ als4> written after the tJatrogoths had left the Vistnia — 

fiofaibtjr between the years 480 and 547, the date of Ida's landing at Bam* 

' A mstrical point follows n^^^, and thus preserves the alliteration. Mr. 
KcnUe hss siicri6ced it by his divisioop 

Thara wieg Wala : hwile !§elust 

1W inetrit^t point is, as the reader will see, of vei^y rare oeeurreme. 

'This is doubtless the Wallia of Roman history j he who broug^ht Spain 
■nder the dominion of the Etopcrur, and settled the YisigoLhs in ibe distrii't 
tOQnd Tboulouse, A.D. 417. 

^' Who Alex-andreas is may he doubted. If the poet mean tbe Maii'donian, 
It is lh« only instance in which he has noticed aisy oiie, not tk cutitempt*niry. 



B. ULl 

Moil , nil oyu | nes : and | tie miesl. | gethmh | 

Thftr I a . tho I Ic of { er fold | aii : gefheg I en haeh \ be. 

^t i la weold htm j num : eor \ man-ric got ] iim . 

Bee: J t-a bun | ingum ^ : bur | gnudum gif j ica . 

Cas ; ere | weold creac \ urn " : and c«l | ic finnutti . 

Hag j ena holm | *ryruiii : and hend | en g^Iom { mum , 

Wit I ta weold swu^f | uin ^ : wad | a hsth | ingnm , 

Mcac ] a myr \ gmgutn * : mearc | -bealf bund | inofum . 

Tlieod [ rk' weold frone | usn ^ : tbyl | e roud | inguiu 

Breoc | a hrmul \ ingiuu ' : bil \ ling wer» | um 

( h I wuie I wci»lrl now i um ^ : and yt | um g^f wulf • 

Fin I fok- I waldiug : firea | i^a ryn 1 ne ♦ 

Sig I e-ber | e !c?ng j est : sff | denum weold . 

llnii^f [ hoc I ingum ** : beJm | wulf ingum . 

Wald I wo \ inguni ^ : wcmI | tbyr ' ingum . 

Sse ' ferth sycg j iim : swe | om ong end- theow . 

Sceall 5 -here ym | brnra ^ : sceaf j a long , -beaj*duxii 

Iliin I *lupt wer | van "* : and bol en wros | num 

Ilring ! -wf?ald wiea hat | eu : lier [ e-far | eiia cy n , i»g . 

Of I fa weold ong | le : ale | wib den | um 

Se I wa*^ tbar | a manna : mod | gast eal { ra . 

No I hwa?thre be | oter of | fan : eorl I -srype freiti I edc 
Ac of I fa geslog [ r «?r j est mouna 

* Ttie poet here *^numenitefi tlioM' prhices, he viaitfd during his sixtvjvan 
of wandering, who aeeniod best to distrliurge their duties* Thus he maluis Gite 
kiug of tlie Burgundiuns, tbough he also vigfted their kinpf Guthere' lal 
Mwkca king of ihc Myrgiiigs, though he received a fiivaur from hi* ini utmt 
Bacigils. Aft Milii. reigned sixty yearn after Bormanhu, iheee severmJ pciiMii 
were tMjrtainly nfit conteinptimries of each other. 

^ I have erjcleavoiirfd to preserve the real names of these aeveraJ tnb(& 
The Goteu and the Geats w^re dijiirinct rucea as early as the foiurib centari ; 
were we to translate these w«nis by our modern term Goths, this diatiiiction 
woidd be losL 

^ A metrleal ]M>iiit. 

* The Gibieit of the Burgundian laws, 

* The Stievi of Iht^ I^atins, 

* Brecca with his Brondtngis are mentioued in Beowuif, as the enemloa of tlw 
Geata. M 

'' Probably the Variniof Taeitus, They lived in Pomemnia. ^ 

* Perhaps the men of Eo-land, Ubii of Cologne ? Or Avwnm, Tbi^^ Gana* 
e. 40? 

" Attunrii^ Vplf. Put. 2, lOJj Cbiituarii. Strabo, 6, 291 1 Chaaiifirii TW^ 
G«rm. cM. Kutei^wl the Fi-ankisb leugue aii Attuarii. 



Amongst mankind ; and he most won 
Of those, that o*er eurth hoin'tl of 1 have, 

iEtlft' ml'tl the Huns ; Eonminric the Goten ; * 

Bec^'ft the Baniiips ; Gifica* the Burgends ; 

The Kaber rurd the Creeks [Greeks], and CtcUc the Fina, 

Hageue the men of Hohn-riL- ; and Henden the Glomnis ; 

Witta r 11 I'd the Swiefe ; ^ Wad a the IIa?l«ing3; 

Meaca the Myrgin^s ; Mearir-hcalf the Ilundings ; 

Theodric ruFd tlie Fronlts ; Thyle the Bondings ; 

Brcoca ^ the Bmniliogs ; Billin^^ the Werne ; ' 

OBwine rafd the Kows/ and Gefwnlf the Yts* 

Fin» Fiilkvvaldaa son/" the Freseu kin ; 

Sige-here long while the Sea- dene rul'd, 

Hnffif ' tiie liocin^.s Helm the Wultinga, 

Wald the Woing«/' Wod the Thyrmgs/" 

Siiiferth the Sye*js^ Onjien-theow the Swcon,'* 

Sceatldiere the Yrabre,^* Sceata the rjong-bearden,"' 

Hnn-hiet the Wer«,'' and Holen the Wrosnen, 

Ilring-weahl was hight king of the army-eomradea, 

Offft ruftl Giigle, Alewih the Dene. 

He was of all these men the haughtiest — 

No where ditl he,'" bey mid 00a, earlship "* frame ; 
But OfTa staldisht (earliest of all men — 

^^ Fin and Fulewalda are mentioned in Beowulf. The oonqneat of Ffn'a 
fllronghold, Finnea-burgh^ wad tUe subjei^t of a noble poem, of which only a 
fn^gra*Jnt haa siirvivi**! to us, 

Whethur the Fre^ten, whom Fin ruled, were settled south of the Elbe, where 
lived the Koiuam Fritiij, uml the tmidera Friese^ or were the StraniJ-Frieao 
of HuUtein, oiay be doubted. As many Fr«»ea came over with Ifla, we har** an 
intereat in the question, but it is one of too muoh difficulty, to bo diaeuasied in 
the computs of a note. 

" Hn«f i« raentiojied in Beowulf, aod Hix**} aa his ant'^^stor. It is probable, 
ihut the Iloeings aad the VVultings were two fumihes, riitluT ihan two raoeti, 

*'^ The Woings are nieutioned ui Beowulf, 

" Tlic Thytings lived in the ceniTe of Garumny — in tlie modern Thuringer- 

'* The Suionea of Tacitua, ancestors of the Swede*. 

-^ Am bnnii^s, dwelling near the river Emmeren ; Furatonburg, Monimienta 
Fadt^rbomensiai p. IBl* 

^^ I give thete peoplo th«ir real naiue. liong-beardan does not mean long' 
beards, hut long-beardtd ime»» 

' ' Qtiwry, Biirii \ Tiie. Germ, c, 43. 

1" [liather, * Yet did he not/— W. W. S.] 

^^ That is, the reputation and influence of a great ejiid or L-hiefUiiii, 



CnOit I ' wei|«»de : crn ^ e-rie m meet | 
Nienjigelfcn-emldliim :cor l-»cipe mar! ui 
Ooorei , te : «n e vweord e 
Merc \ e pem«r de : with ' mjr| gii-guinl 
Bi fi -fei dor e , heold oo forth | dtbdian 
Eng Ic Mid gwaf I e : swii | hit of f» geslog | 

Hroth wulf Slid broth ptr : heold on let^est 

Sib be «t som oe : suh tor-fwd nn * 

Sith than hj for*wrsec on : wic , ingft cjim | 

And ing | eldes : ord { for-big | dmo 

For.heow|ftti «! heor { ole : be^ | o-beftrd ; lui ** thrfml- 

Swm I ic geond-ferd | e fel 1 m : fremd j ra Uyiil [ ■ 

Geoiid giB ne grund | : god es and yf | les . 

Th«?r I ic ciiD nadc : cntxs !e bitliel ' ed 

Freo -Du^nm feor : fo\ g*<ie wid e . 

For thon ic | tnaeg sing an : and secg \ mx spell | 

MxQ I an for e meng ] o ^' : in meod u*beal j le 

Ha I me cjm \ e^god { e : ejs turn doh | ten. 

Ic w^ I mid hun ' um : and 1 mid hreth | -»otuin « 

Mid swe om and | mid geat | nm : and | mid sutK | ->denQtxi • 

Mid wen lum ic W9ts \ and mid wapm | nm : and | mid wie ' 

Mid gef I tbnm ic w«s | and mid win | cdom*^ : and | mid geff\ iefis~ 

* Mr* Eemble makai a oompouod of tfaesn two m&tda^ 

* On this prepoeitioD hangs the qaestioD^ whc^ther the wmnderin^ ] 
by birth an EDgUsfamaD or a Swief If wp might constnie, *^ 
MjTgi^gB," he wa$ Englbh. But I ^r, that when iiaed in 
nevar gi>rertMKl • dative. Yet it is strange, ihat a If TTgin^ ahoyld that ^M& 
one that had trimnphed over bis oouotry — is it mn interpoJation ? f 8aa f, Jl 

' like Fi/ei^ttw^mm (tee p. 3^0, n. 4), this word is withoot i 

* It is dear frnm this, thai the £zigle and the Svnpl^ < 
nations ; and consequently that the latter had not jet left tke rcaaii of 
Baltie* This is une of the manr ciTrnmsfaaoM, that prove t^e gwwml atfi|i 
of ih** |»<?ni. 

Mr. Kemble suppoiea the Swefe to hare " general] j acknowk^ai 
power of Olfa.^' They appear to hare been vanquished by him, but < 
werie never subject to him. 

* These cousins reigned together over Denmark. 

* F^^dtra oanimooljr nieans a &ther s brother ; here it ia rtoMJj aa i 
So^ritas in the Latin, and reitfr in the German^ mcaa botk \ 

I never saw tukt&r eJsewhere, but sukiriga means a com 
'' Tlsat tAjmnigkfd, 

* The pirates were called Wkimgty or baymen, from the b«ja \ 

C. II. 



AVhile jet a youth !) kmg«kim tlie largest. 

No oiw^ of equal age with liim, greater carlahip 

FoBt^'d. With unairled swortl^ 

The marches he widetie<lt againat the MjrglngR, 

By Fifel door.' Held thenceforth 

Bugle atiti Swa^fe, an OITa fixt it/ 

Hrothwulf and Hrothgar ' held loiig while 

Peace together, (brothera* w«>n.s they!) 

Sit hen they wreak*d' the Wieiug-raee," 

And 1 11^ eld's '* swoixl [or vaiit;iiard] brought low, 

And t'eU'd, at Ileorot,'" the Heatho-beai'deii crowd. 

So I fared through many stranger-lands. 
Through the sjmcious earth ; of good and evil 
There 1 tasted ; from tanuly parted, 
Froiu kinsmen far, widely I served. 
Therctbre nniy 1 I'ing, and i^tory tell — 
Relate 'fore the meiny^ in lucad-hali* 
)Iow uic the higli-borti with largef«8 bleat. 

I was with the Iluna, and with the Hreth-Goten, 
With the Sweoti, and witlr the Geats,'^ and witli the south Dene^ 
AVith the Wenle^' 1 wai*, and with the Wierne, and with the \Vicing»i 
With the Geftha ^^ I wa^, mid with the Winedu,"* and with the Gefflegc^* 

' Ingeld iras H roth gar's unele. There U mention made of his sword m 
Bwuulf, but I raruiot eiwily r«'onci(e the two passuj^es. 

^" Heorut was Hrothgtirs palace » thtj scene of Beowulf *» struggle with Ui** 
terrific Grendcl, 

*^ A3 loHi^-htarda 11 were the loiig-bparded oneSy 50 kfO^ho-hmrdan were the 
wur-l>eartk'd ones. A wur- beard I sup^Hjso wu a short one, sucli ua we have 
reaiMU to believe was wurn hy the northern pirates. 

^* MmtiffOf A. S« the attendants^ the cuurt, the ntHntf, 

They »uuimon*d up their meiny — straight took horM?. 

A, Lear, 2. 2. 35* 

[But thia memy is a word of French origin.— W. W, 8,] 

'^ Tiiorkelin would fix the Gents in Pomerania, but there lb little doubt they 
were of Jutland, 

'* No doabt the Wendla-leod of Boowtdf, i!»nd the Vnndwls of the Romans. 

" I'he Gefthiiare mentioned in Bt^wulfj were they oot the Gepidi© of the 
ijitjo hi^tortann ? 

'* The Venedi of TaeitiiB. This Slavish race, under the name of Wends, play 
a very important part in the history of Germany. Tliey occupied the vtieiuu 
scats of the East-Goien. Even at the present day we m*y consider the Elbe a* 
the bounfiary line Ijetweeti the two races — the Slaves and the Goths. 

^^ A inetrk'ttl point. 

'" Query, Helvecoiiap; Tsc. Germ. e. 4a. 

' Gtikmn 10 generaUj conmdeRd & neuter Tffb^ Vut in this pmnm^ wr^ » 
be actire. I wuuld also saj it wm act ire in 0»d. foh 161. Neither LjvV ow- 

struclioo of the passage nor that of Mr. Thorpe la satuifaArtorv. 

* In the (^odex of the fiurguDdian Laws we find tlje uanies of foyr I^iqa 
(tibica^ GislahariiiSf Gotlkomaru.^, and Gntuinharius. Tlit* Hrst imd la«t «ffi 
proliablj the Giiica and Guth-hi^re visited by the Traveller. Both the«e vnam 
must have reigned during^ the sixty years of wandering ; fi>r ^ writera i 
tliat Gundahariiifl was killed by the llnn«. und though they dtflbr >• lothatiai 
of kJs death, yet no one places it lower than the reign of .£|J^ 

The jntni!sion of an a, before a <^ or ^ may be paralleled erca tn our 0«i 
tftialeitfi; thus dilajUory^ wianteryt vommt^ for dUator^^ ^oiHof^ uid j m^^j^ 
See Forhy's Vot^abulary. [The n is orig-inal* not intruaive. — W. ^^ g^i 
' Rugii \ Tac. Germ, c. 44. Terra Rugonim ^ Hiissein ; A, 8^ L*wa i is ft 
* According to German antiquaries, the Glommi were a Sombtc tribe, 
*' The Rumwai^s were the Italians^ and other VVehih (Celtic?) r^ec 
tin- iHuy of l{omt\ 




hk the Engle I was, and with tlie Swcefe^ and with tlie .^npiie,^ 
^^'itli th^ Sexe I was, and witli the Sycgs, and with the Swordmtm,^ 
H'JLli tht Urons ^ I was, aad with the Deane, and with the Heatho* 

Witli the Tlivrhifjs I was, aiwl with Uie Throwends^ 
Ati'l with the Biirgeiuls — tbt^re I a \w\^h got, 
TliiT€ finthere ° pave nie a precious pft, 
f i{if Dij gongs meed — no shiggrish king was he ! - 

^'ttlitht* FmnkH I was, and with the Fryi<en, and with the Frumtings, 
With the Kiige' I was, and with the Glonimii,'' mid with tlie Huni- 

likewise I wafl in Eatuk^ "^ with j5ilfwine 
lie Iml^ of all mankind (to my iniiid) 
IlasKltbe lighieHt" in earning of praise — 
Iltirt most free, in dealin;^ c>ut of rings, 
Aim] bright beigh» — -Edwine^a baini ! 

»'it]i the Sercings I was, and with the *Serings, 

^Vjth the Creacfl [Greeks] I was. and with the Ftna, and with the Kaiaer,'' 
[_w thai o^er war-burghs hehl the sway, 
vtt^ and oVr Wad-ric**. 

with tbe Scf»U I was, and with the Peolit«, and with the Soride-Fins,'* 
"itbthe Lid-wicings I was,^' and with tbe Leoiis : and with the Long- 

hearden ^^. 
"lib th€ Heathen I wft«, and with the Heroes,"* and with the Himdings, 
With the laraele I was, and with the Ex-syrings,*' 

'^ I^^Ueai, A,S. most active, lightest. 

2 Sam. 2, 18, 

L iff hi of foot as a wild ro«. 

I* Anietrieal point 

I ^ Hlb mojf hare been the gr«at Theodosius. 

f^ lir. Kemble makes Wiolant and Wilfta prriper names. The section is a 
liing one on any hypothesis, 
I iiofe 9. 

I 8mde-fins are mentioned by PrtX'opius. They appear lo have Iwen 
t powerful tribe of the Fins. 
f *' Tbt Lid-wictngi were tbe Bretons of France. 

' Tbr Lctmbards had not as yet left their seats on the Elhe. 
V* In the year 350 Ulphil&s translated the Scriptiirea into Gothie, and in tbe 
I of SO years ail the great German tribes bordering njKjn the Empire — the 
iGttten, the Bnrgends, the Wenle. the Swiefs of Spain^and it would seem 
I tlua p^asage the Swnfs of Germany also — were Christiana. Tbe Sweon,. 
IbtDme, the Engle and Franks wore still heathen. 
" Aft to the pronunciation of the j-, see p. 348, n. 2. 



B« III. 

Mid cbr | eiim , and | mid in | tleum ^ : and | mid eg ! yptiim . 

Mid moid | um it wies | mid mid pers | um : and | mid myr | ginguin . and 

mt>f| din^um 
And I ongetid myr^ | ingiira : and | mid nui ] otliinp | \\m 
Mid east! -tlivrin^i um ic wa?9 | and mid e | cdtim ^ : and | mid is ' turn * 

and id ] unnn^ j mn . 

And I i€ wffis | mid cor \ man-ric ' e : eal | le thrag] e 

Thier | me got \ ena cjn \ ing : god | e d«bt e 

Se ! me bfeag | forgeaf i : burg | -wareii a fnim \ a 

On * I tliam Biex | bund wa's : sm^t \ es** gold | es 

Goficyr j ed aceat | ta : soil j ling-rim | e 

Tbon I e Jc ead | gilse : on ttbt | i»cal I de 

Min|um Meo | -drilitne ; tha | ic to ham | LiLWom 

Leof I um to lean | e : tba?^ | the be | mc land | forgeaf | 

Mi [ nes fa&tler eth | el : frea | inyr | ginga * 

And me | tha calh | bild : otli ' erne | forgeaf | 
Dryht | -cweu dug ] utbe : dob | tor ead ; witiei 

Hyr I e lof I leng [ de : geond kmd | a fel | a 
Tbonn | lo be song | e : sec • gan seeol ile 
Hwffir I ic un ] der swegl j : sel | mi wk ! se 
Gold I -hroden ; e cwen | : ^^i\ e bry t , tian . 
Tlionn I wit Bcil Jing : *uir|an reor de 
For un J crum sig ] e-driht j ne : song | idiof | an 

' A metrical point. [Read iudeum^ i. e. Jewg. — W. W, S. ] 
^ TliesL* vers<?s run i«ry awkwurdly. Mn Keaiblo divides them dilTercaiUy* 
hut I think not gati8fm't*>rily. 

^ Xo dttubi the Estii of Tacitns, rbe meti of modem East-lamI (Kfiihonia). 

* Thrag A. S* a periwd of X'xmv — u throw. 

down himfMjIf he laid, 
Upon tht« grassy gn>und to sleep a tltrmi', F, Q. a. 4. ML 

' It appears that the pnepositiyn before a pronoim took the aeogat, «o, \ 
this day, we say tm \ Uy on | kim^ &c. 

* The proper meaning of smtpt is by no means clear. 
'^ This patisai^ ia obscure. The shilling {^eiUing) was a coin worth i^ 

shots {sciijta»). Norn* seilltTiff hns Litii derived from the verb t^cyllnn^ to diT 
and the German schiidt-muncey email change^ clenrly fotiies from vcktid-a 
divide. It is likely, that the eiistoiin (whieh I believe still preiaiLs in An 
of aji'tuully dividing the larger eoins^ was known at this jteriod to the Go 
If BO, we see the propriety of the phrase (/fjwyn r^, sbom off. It should, 
ever, be noticed xh&t gtifcyrcd mm/ he rendered by the wonl <7m». 

The precise meaning of sciUim/-rim, abillingtule, J do not know. Mr, Kenib 
I obMrre, makei it Lwii distinct words. The word Uiut, scmf^ is still in rb 
use nmring onr aailorsj li& prhnidvf^ nieimiog was & parf^ it portion, 

^ Lieft^ was n term of respect often addressed by inferiors to tbelr Lord 4 
Lndy. When Melissa dlsoorers Pastorelf and runs to Informs her mistrex, 

C. lU 

THE traveller's SONG. 


With the Ehree, and with the In dee, and with the Ejrvpte, 

With the Jloids I was, and witlj thij Perse^ and with the Myrginga^ and 

with the Mofdin^s, 
I And again with the Myrgings, and with the Amotlniigs, 
And with the East' Thy riup;!^ I was, and with the Eok, and with the 

Isle," and with tlie Idumingti. 

And I wa« with Eormftn-ric a whole throw;* 

There me the Gi»tens* king with largess blest ; 

He me a beigh gave— <:hiet* of the bnrgh-men I 

For it were ^horn off, of beaten gold| 

Six hundred shotJf, m shilling-tale ; ' 

That, for a possession, cave I to Ettd|:ils, 

Mj iz^nardian-Ijord (when home I cEime) 

For my Liefer " meed ; for that land he gave me, 

Mjr uthera native seat* — Lord of the M>Tging« ! 

me then Ealh-hihl another gave^ 
jrH|QeeJi of the nobles I daughter of Bad wine ! 

r prai*e I spread through many lands, 
1 I in #on>r had U^ mj^ 
! be»U 'iTider Heaven, I knew 
il-^ta4i queen gifts to bestow ; 

we two,*° (the Hhilling at feast to share) 
\ our eonqn'ring lonl the s^ong uplifted, 

Mff Li€f€y said rfie, ye know that long ygo, 

WhiLit ye in durance dwelt, ye to me ga\« 

A httle maid— F. Q, r». 12. 17* 

Inthli curioua poiisag^ we see the Ion! taking hi a fine upon renewal u\' 
' frad. We see alw), even at this early p'riocl, a strong tendency towanLs 
' dtsacvnt ; for the gleeman stict-iwled not to his father'f* land^ but Uv 
■ Hkel, or native soil. There must have been thre« generations in 
V It the lesMt 

Mage shows that the Traveller was a lanflhoklor ; but he still may 

I of low condition, for the Joirlaitd or public demesne was held by 

1 of all rankii | the boc-hnd^ or allodium was rhietly in the hands of the 

' This ii another puzzling passage, 
tdhided the Unea thus 

We might get a better conatmcUon if 

Thonn wit seilling sciran 

Keorde for uncrum sige drihtne : iM>ng ahofan — 

n we should miss one sectifju, and have another containing four 
L which is contrary to the usual rhythm of the poem. This passage 
I what many circumstances would lead us to conjecture, that the glee- 
tkg in |mrJ^-one probably an^swering the otber. {Wit SciUin^ means 
liodSdlEBg' ; teiran re&rde, ' with clear vtiice/— W. W, S.] 



B, III. 

Hlud I e bi heaqi | an : lik'otli | or »win | Bade . 
TliQiin mon | ige men [ : mod | um wlon | ce 
Word j um eprec | an : tbu j the wel | ctitban 
Tlist I bi D^f] re aoDg | : ael | lau ne hjrd | on . 

Tbon I an ic eal | ne geond-bwearf j : eth | el got | etift 

8ob I te je h sitli | a ' : tlia sel | efitan | 

Tbaet | weea inn [ -weurud : eor \ luftu-ric | es 

Iletb j ean sobt | e ic and beade { can : and bar ] eling { fts . 

Era I ere an sobt [ e ie anil fridl | an : ond cast j -go tan ] 

Frod I ne and god ; ne : fsrd j ttv nn \ wcnoa , 

Sec ] can soli | te ic and bee | can i seaf | olan [ and tlxeod | ric . 

Heath | oric | , and eif , ecan : hlith | e and inc gentbeow , 

Kwi I wine sob [ te ic and el ] san : eg [ elniund | and hung | ar 

And I tha wlon jean gedrybt | : with \ -myrging | a . 

Wulf j-here sobjte ic and wyrm | -here : ftd otlt | thti?r wig [ ne 

Tbon I ne bread [a her | e : heard | um sweord | nra 

Ymb wist | la-wud I n : werg j an sceold j on 

Eald I ne elh [ et-atol ; mi \ Ian leod | um 

Rsed I 'here aoh | te ic and rontl ] -here ; rum ' stan and gisl ] -here 

With|ergic!d | . and freoth enc : wnd'gan and bam | an . 

Ne wnT , on tbiet '* \ gc-sttH | a : tha saeui | listan | 

Tbeab | the ic by { i nihtjt [ : nem \ nan 6ceold | e 

Ful oft I of tham heap | e : hwin | ende " lleag 

Giel I lende gar] : on grom | e tbei*d ^ e, 

Wrffic j can tbajr weold ] an : wund \ nan gold f e 

Wer I um and wif | um '^ : wnd | ga and bam | a 

Swa I ic thffit Bym|le onfond " : on tb0er|e fer|inge 
Tbiei ae 1 bith leof I a«t : lond I -buend I um 


^ A little flock, but weU mj pipe th&y couik, Bid$t^. 

^ The construction hisre i^ not un &my one. 

^ Names of individuals I have given unaltered from the Saxon, but namas of 
races I have endeavourtKl to reduce to the modem standard of our liingrmgf 
thus tb« Saxon Gota jm representiad by Got^ for tbe final vowel disapppttrfd 
during the progrea* of the 15th t^ntury. To ttiis rule, however, I have made 
one exception. The final e hu* been reudnud, nnd 1 have written Entflt^ Swa^e^ 
StCy as did the Saxons. Were we to difMMird the r, we should find it very difll* 
cult to diAtinguinh the singular from tbe pluraL 

* Mr. Ki'fiible writes thiA i'om[Kiand ai two words. But in Che ftrat plaee, 
from such a reuding I can extract no sattsfiietory meaning j and scicondlj^ tlia 
protudy rei|uire8 ttUk to b« an ac<.'enti*d syHable* A sectional pause never 
rtocmrs tmniediatelj lietween a preposition and itB Kobstantive. As we know 
not the position of the Myj-pngs, we eannot hope to fix that of the Wifh-Myr- 
gings. [See p. 378, L 4, and tbe note.— W. W. S.] 

' Can tlieHe HrtmU be tbe same aa the HrttU-Gottn above mentiotied ? Or 
ibe Marudrti^ nWws of ArlovJAtus in hi» iiiAtisi*in of Gmil % Cji?s, LSI. 

II. THE traveller's SONG. 385 

Aea c^ loud to the harp the voice resounded ; 
AV^l^en man J men, proud of soul, 
8ai«i in words (they that couth ^ well) 
TtM-^t they never better song heard. 

Tti^nce I tum'd me through all the Gotens country 
So^ei-ght I, at all times, the noblest — 
Ttiem that were the household of Eormanric. 

He^tlica sought I, and Beadeca, and the Herelings ; 

^tnerca sought I, and Pridla ; and the East- Got,* 

Tbe wise and good father of Unwen ; 

Secca sought I, and Becca, Seafola, and Theodric, 

Heathoric and Sife^ Hlithe and Inc-gentheow ; 

^^wine sought I, and Elsa, Egelmund and Ilungar, 

And the proud Lord of the With-Myrgings,* 

Wulfbere sought I, and Wyrmhere — there oft war ceased not, 

Then the Hreads * army, with hard swords, 

'Round Wistla *-wood, had to guard 

l^eir old native soil from ^tla's bands. 

R*d-here sought I, and Rond-here, Rum-stan and Gisl-liere, 

"ithergield and Freotheric, Wudga and llama ^ — 

^or were these of comrades the least worthy, 

^ough them I last must name. 

''all oft from that troop whistling flew 

'ke hissing dart, *mongst the grim band ; *" 

^fles, there they swayM, by aid of the twisted gold 

Both men and women — Wudga and Hama ! '"'' 

°o this I ever foimd, in these wanderings, 
That he is dearest to the people, 

* the wood of the Vistula. 

^ is doubtless the Ammius mentione 1 in note 6, p. 374. He long 
WW in the Gothic " myths," as the general of Eormanric. 
r ib to this use of the neuter pronoun see the Confessor's Dcnth-Song, 
1 14, p. 367. 

1W A. S. kwin-an appears to be the same verb as the h^elandic hniia, to 
It noise like the wind or the sea. 
* libat is, the Huns. 
" A metrical point. 

^ Tlus passage may perhaps admit of the following paraphrase. ^' Though 
■n their native seats, in Pannonia or Hungary, by the Huns, still 

, & kept their people together by their largesses, and made head against 

Ijttefadars on the Vistula.'' The East-Goten did not yield to the Huns, till 
feHfijr 60 yean afterwards. Their subjection lasted only during iEtla's 

C C 



B. m. 

Se I the }um god | syleth : gum { eiw tic I e 

To I geheiii [ dentie : tUend | en he her | leofkiU . 

8wa scrith j eiide ] r gt?s<>ertp [ urn bweorf ! ath 
Gleo ! -men giim { ena : g^eond jernind ] a fol ' a 
ThcaH*! e seeg \ nth : thonc | -word spree | atb 
Sym \ le suth | oththc north | : sum ue geniet | ath 
Gvd I da gleaw [ ue : tjeot'j urn un hneawne 
8e I the for | e dug | iitbe : wil ; e diim { iricr | an 
Eorl I 'scipe aef | nan 

Oth ! tlnet eal I Mttceih 
Leoht I and lif | somod : lof | se ge-wyrceth { 
Haf I ath im I der heof I oniim : heah 1 -fiestne dtjm I . 

We have now before U3, specinieDs of almoBt all the 
Anglo- Saxon poems, whose dates are known. In givinj 
these extracts, it has been mj first wish to deal fairly wil 
the reader ; and in all eases to laj the text before hi 
such aa it was found in the manuscript.^ Ho i& thi 
enabled to form his own judgment, and (when uocessa^ 
to correct my errors. I am, however, fully alive to the 
vantages, that have been relinquished. A Blight change 
of the dot, or the insertion of a few asterisks/ would, in 
many cases, have been most convenient. If the text were 
not bettered, the reader might at least have been baffled, 
and the blunders of translation secured from criticism* 

The merit of a faithful i*:xt is claimed with some degree 
of confidence ; that of a faithful version^ I dare only say, 
I have done my best to deserve. But no attempt haa 

* The readt*r will rotnetnbor the cauitoita given him in p. 912, n. a« In th« 
Son^ of the TrawllfTf however, and in thf Riming Popm, which will be given ia 
the third chapter, I have not tuken oven the liberti<^$i thert* mGntic^iuMl ; but 
have followed the MS. even where it seemed inccmiiiAtint with itac^lC Tlw 
slightest iilteraUon required more i-oufiileiu-e than I vould pretond to in thf 
mi<lst of so much diHit uitj. 

Ahnosi every early MS. hoa aome peeuUaritiea in the mode of writings, whidl 
are^ o£ ootLTse, familiar to thoise who have mtudied it, and oaaity distinguiibd 
(torn oatnal btandetv. No editor will do his daty who nef lecta to noUo« tli«ai c 
Imt the same ficru{mloiui esactne^ will hardly be expected ttom otie, wfao ccm- 
iultji the M8. for the sake of ati extrneL 

' A lin« of aateriakA, or li rlaah, is fre<|uentty uued to show a <lef«ct m llr 
mannftcript^ — real, or fi-wpected. TUU is a common^ but moat ti 

^T, THK traveller's SONG. 387 

Who gives them wealth — men*s government 
To hold, while here he liveth. 

Thus wandering, at men's bidding 

The Gleemen turn them o*er many lands ; 

Their need thej tell — thanks they render ; 

Always, south or north, some one they meet with, 

(Skilled in songs — free in gifts) 

That, *fore the nobles, would rear his sway. 

And earlship stablish. 

Till all flitteth, 
I (Light and life together) he that gets him praise, 

HaUi under heav'n exalted sway ! 

"^ made at concealment ; the translation^ whether right 
w ^nx)ng, is never, I trust, so literal as to be unintelli- 
gible, nor so loose as to leave in doubt the construction, 
vidch has been put upon the original. The difficulties of 
fte snbject have been, at least, honestly met ; if sometimes 
wwuccessfally — the failure will not, it is hoped, be visited 
wifb any very great severity. Upon the reader^s indulgence 
I iniiBt throw mysel£ 





or tliat wbich resolts from malriiig each section a distiod 
verse, most probably owed iU origin to the middle not 
Like sounds, recmring at definite intervals, very qnicklj 
strike the ear ; and when they regularly close the sectioi 
the diTision of the couplet becomes the more marked, 
its sections are soon looked apon, for all practical p 
as distinct verses. 

Middle rime is foond in Anglo- Saxon poems of 
tenth, and, it may be, even of the ninth centory. 
riming conplet, for the most part, occnrs singly; hi 
sometimes the middle rime runs through a whole 
There is, however, but one Anglo- Saxon poem, 
diacovered, into whose rhythm it enters as an iss^ 

I would willingly pass over this poem allo^ther, were 
not its rhythm so singular, as almost to force it upon our 
notice. The writer, who aims at scientific arrangementi 
most choose his subjects not as inclination leads him but as 
rale prescribes. In the stead of those which might gene- 
rally interest, or whose scope and tendency he has fully 
mastered, he must sometimes take such as are imperfectlj 
understood, or of very partial interest, or of trivial impori^^ 
All these objections may be made to the introduction of tk^' 
following poem ; but it fills too Urge a place in the history 
of our rhythms to be left unnoticed, and its peculiarities are 
so intricate and varied, that a slight notice would be any 
thing but satisfactory. 

Me lif I es otobh ] : se | this leoht | onwrmh | 
And I th«itarh|teget«0h[: tiljlioe | OQimli| 

!!• JIL 



*' Coiijbeare*8 riming poem/^ aa it has been called, is 

found in the Exeter MS. and presents such difficulties to 

tVie translator, that the scholar, whose name it bears, would 

xiot attempt an English version. His editor, however, has 

^iven a translation, which Rask commends as a " merito- 

^ous attempt,"'^ The last-naoied critic himself has risked 

'ttie translation of a couplet, and would fain account for the 

difficulties of the poem on the score of diahcL Other 

Reasons might have been given, and I think with greater 

^^andour* I see few marks of dialect, which may not be 

found in the works of Csedmon or of Alfred. Peculiarities 

of construction are rare ] and even the words whose 

tueanings are unknown, are genei^llj formed according to 

^ell-known analogies. They are not, however, met with 

^11 the narrow round of Anglo-Saxon scholarship; and the 

abrupt and broken style of the poem, which is made up, 

ttit were, of shreds and patches, seldom enables us to 

goess the meaning of a word from its connexion with the 


As the reader might naturally wish to know for what 
Wnd of sentiments a rhythm so singular has been chosen, 
I kve ventured to offer a translation, however imperfect, 
la many cases the meaning given to the text is mere con- 
jecture ; and where the reasons for the conjecture were not 
I obvious, or snch as could not be suggested in a few words, 
^e sentence has been left a blank. As we perfect our 
▼cxabulary these difficulties will vanish ; it would be waste 
of time to dwell upon uncertainties, when a single passage, 
Ittckily hit upon, might decide the question. 

Who the minstrel-king may be, who thus contrasts the 
*^ of exile with days of bygone happiness, will bo left 
for tie reader to determine,' 

h] me life kindled he, who this light reve&lM,^ 

And that brightly he brought fortli^ bounteously he revealVl. 

* (Mr. Thorpe thicks that tlip poem is a pamphrtLse of Job, chapters xxiz. 
iniixx, which see.— W. W. S.] 

* The me&ntng of tbijs pa^&agc tteoms to be-— '' Ke thftt niiido me^ cfeated lights 
od sbuwercd his boiisi j alike on ftofh cn?ui ions.'' 


Svjlc I e €orcli I e olj: «hl|eic eal dor-stoll 
Gmld{oF.woniiiiBgol|:goiD^-$ib|be ne | oTk^Q' 

Ac va» gefot ^ear : ffdleiHle sner 
Wuo ieml ', o waa" | wil -bee besc«r | 

Sc«alc i Afl w«r , OD sceju^ e : 8Ct1 | wwta h«»rp | •' 

Hlud e hlyn ede : hleucb , or dttk , cde 

Swegl ! -rid s win s*de : smith ] e ne mins ' «*ic 

Burg: I -sele beof : odi: : l»eorfat | hlif , ftde 

£1 1 hn emc \ nade : ead | beac uade 

Fre I acun frod ade * : firom urn god | md» ^ 

Mud I meg i Dade r mm | e '^ fcg { Dad« . 

Treow | tdjgide^^: tir | widt^de" 

BWd I bill I 

' Akgon Mems to be the plonl of mleaJk — mtg^wg^m of J««^«a4, mmd 
mk, [Pi. L pL of uiicifan ; « feuts failed not*— W. W, Sw] 
< IF«9iiiaiij tJi* Mme at vtaiiai 7 
' iiiynfr iw, Bb. Id cot k tmm witli. 
* Opcnl«Mif-r«^ l>i. to i«fl«et. 

' la Aot tliia word connected witb the leclandk y«r, a jolcr, a ^ttis f 
^ TUauwaa^eMr*.^ 

3. III. conybbare's riming poem. 391 

Glad was I with glees, adom*d with hues — 

With the colours of bliss, with the hues of the blossoms. 

Men look'd on me — the feast they fail'd not ; 
In life's gift they joy*d — in ornamented paths — 

A mansion o*er the fields, to win in their joumies, 
With long pleasure — ^a light for the prostrate. 

Then by abundance was awaked worldly converse — 
Under heav'n upraised, by strength of counsel, reflection. 

Guests came — jokes they mingled ; 

They lengthened out the pleasure — with joys adom*d me. 

[The rapid ship glided through a channel into the expanse ?] 

On the sea-stream was journeying — there injury came not past me. 

Lofty state I held ; no trouble was in my hall. 

For that there a high-wierd sat ; hero there oft abode — 

That in hall he might see a weight of silver. 
And to the Thanes quaff — whilst potentate I was. 

Nobly they heried me ; in battle rescued me ; 
Fairly escorted me ; from enemies guarded me 

So me hope's gift possest ; heart the Lord enwrapt ; 
Seat with wealth he stablishM; step -goings he directed. 

Also earth brought forth ; held I princely throne ; 
In magic words I sung ; nor from old kindred fell. 

[But there was boisterous mirth, and resounding harp-string; 
Concord of the inmates precluded lamentation ?J 

My servants were sharp ; a crowd was round the harp ; 
Loud it resounded ; the strain re-echoed ; 
Heaven's course sung ; nor ceas'd its loudness ; 
The burgh-hall trembled ; bright it glitter'd ; 
Wax'd high confidence ; happiness beacon'd ; 
Lords it befriended ; brave men assisted ; 
The heart was strengthened ; the thought exulted ; 
The tree branch'd forth ; glory abounded ; 
Fruit bless'd us; ^'' 

■^ Of -oil, the same as offeal, or rather afeal ? 

« Scyll, the same as scfol ? [** The harp was shrill."— W. W. S.] 

^ Frodadej another form ior freothodel 

'° Minni, Icel. ; the thought, the memory. 

' ' A verb formed from felffa 1 

^'^ A verb formed from ukU^I 

" Here a section seems missing. 


Gold I ger | wacle ^ : gim | hwearf | ade . 
Sine I sear j wade ^ : sib | near | wade 

From { ic wees | in frast | wum : freo { lie in geat | wum . 
Wffis I min dream | drjht | lie : droht j ath hyht j lie 
Fold I an ie freoth i ode : folc | urn ic leoth | ode . 

Lif I wies min long | e : leo<l \ urn in { ge-mong | e 
Tir ; um ge-tong | e : teal , a gehong | e. 

Nu I min hreth j cr is lireoh | : heow | -sithiim sceoh i ' 
Nyd I -bysgum ncah | : gewit | eth niht | es infleah { * 

Se fer I in d»g | e wies dyr | e : scrith | ed nu | deop fyr | 

Brond | -honl geblow { en : breost | um in | for-grow ' en 
Flyht I um to-flow | en : flah * \ is geblow | en. 

Mic I lum in | gemyn | de : mod | es gecyn | de 

Gret \ eth ungryn | de : grom | efen pyn [ de . {_or wynde.] 

Beal I o fus bym | eth : bit | tre to-yrn ■ eth. 

Wer I ig win | neth : wid | -sith ongin | neth. 
8ar I ne sin { nith : sorg { um cin | nith 
Bleed | his blin { nith : blis | se lin | nath 
Lis I turn lin { neth : lus | tum ne tin | neth. 

Dream | as swa her | gedreos | ath : dryht | -scype | * gehreos | i 
Lif I her men | forleos | ath : leah | tras oft | geceos | ath 

Treow | thrag is | to trag | * seo | untnim | e genag | 
Steap I um eat { ole | misthah : oud | eal stund | genag ' 

Swa I nu world | wend I eth : wyrd | e send ] eth 
And liet | es hent j eth : hajl | ethe scynd ] eth 

Wen ! oyn ^ ge-wit | eth : wael-gar slit | eth 
Flah I -mah flit | eth : flan | -mon hwit | eth 
Burg I -sorg bit | eth : bald ! -aid thwit | eth 
Wrapc I -faec writh | ath : yrrkth \ -4th smit ' eth 
Sin I grynd sid { ath '* : ssbc | ra ^ fear | o glid | eth 

Grom I torn graBf|cth : grseft | haf|ath. 

* A metrical point. [Grein has ffearwadf.] 

^ The substantive scaro moans a war-machine, a means of defen 
not this meaning have passed to the verb? A metrical point foil 

* Same as sceoc? [Rather, sceoh is shy, fearful. — W. W. S.] 

* Seeflt/ff, OT fiyhj Ca^d. fol. 215; and nXsoflug, Icel. 

conybearb's riming poem. 393 

Gold deck*d me ; gems flew round me ; 

Wealth made a bulwark ; kinsmen closM around me. 

Brave was I in ornaments, comely in attire. 

My joy was lordly, sojourn joyous. 

The land I befriended, to the people I sung. 

Life was mine long- while, among men. 
On glories reclining, nobly supported. 

Now my mind is disturbed, from coloured paths 'tis fled — 
With pressing cares beset, by night,^ into exile it wendeth. 

Who erst in day was dear, shroudeth now deep fire ! 

The brand-heap is full blown, o'er his breast 'tis spread — 
By wanderings brought low, his vagabond lot is full blown. 

Bale quickly bumeth ; bitterly it o'ertaketh him. 

Knemy warreth ; wide wand'ring beginneth. 

Affliction showeth no favour, with sorrows it is pregnant ; 

His happiness endeth ; his joys cease ; 

So here fall pleasures ; lordships sink ; 
Life here men lose ; and sins oh choose. 

So now the world changcth ; fate it sendeth ; 
And hate it follow eth ; upon man it rusheth. 

Hope's offspring flitteth ; the death-dart pierceth, 

The archer fighteth ; the javelin-man P 

The borough-grief biteth ; bold eld ? 

The vengeance-hour flourisheth ; the anger-oath smitcth : 
Sin's foundation departeth ; the snare-path glidcth away. 

Tiat is, the night of adversity. 

lere dryht-scipe seems to be taken in a collective sense. See p. 319. 

n the MS. wrncyn and ge are united, voeneynge. 

ame as sithath ? 

'onybcure suggests searo for f€Pcra. By this substitution we presen-e the 

nal rimo. 



Senrj o-hwit sokth : mm \ nr-hmt col | mtli 
Fold ! -wc4a feall ; etli : Icon | -acipe wc«J lelli 
Eortli [ -msegen eal , tkth : et \ lew ctj , aih* 

Me I tbivt w}rd | pcw»f | : and | gekwjrt [ fat^^\ 
TbiL«t I ic grof] e grmf : untl | thst grijii| me gnef| 

Flu I an ifps I ce tie m«*g | : thonne flan ^ | liredii»g | 

Nyd I grapuni Dimjeth :thoim|e seo tiettb | be-eTajtilk 

Seo I me eth { lee onfuDQ | ' : uid | mee licr liesM|c» im fiSa • 

Thon I uc lieh ! orna lig | ctli : Um [ a w v nn frit etk 

Ac I liim weii|ije' ge-Mig|etli : ntid | iha mi»t j gvCkjf'.fd 

Otli I thset beoili [ iUa b4n an | : and | aei djIi I stmn ■**■ * 

Nfrfiie se neda tan balawuu Ixer ge-Uloteoe 
No bith se blisa adroren 

iEr I thmt ead | ig getBenc | eth : he hin | e the off tor nraMlflA 

n> rg \ cth liim | tba liit j ran sjfd \ oe : hog | mib to d 
wyn [ Tiii 

Gemoii I niorth | a liss { e : lier »bd \ on tnUt I am blisB ' e 

Hyht I lice | in beof [ onm . ric | e : ut | on nu bal | gum 

Scyl I duiii liiscyr j efle : sryn | dan gener | ede 
Wcim ; innm biwer ; cde : wul | dre gener j ede. 

Thfer mou | -cjm mot { : for meot | nde rot | . 

8otli I ne god | geiie \ ou : and iia | in sib | be gefe | ma. 

From this poom we learn, that the sini 
rhythms, whose rules form so large a portion of ^ 
proBody, were known to our poets, at least in 
early as the close of the tenth century. There is i 
reason to believe them of native growth^ and It 
have here a very early specimen of their peculi 

' Nes non &o hot, that bit ne oulmtli, 

Nes non so hwit that bit ne lotatJi^ 

HmU and 373/4^ 

* Flm appears to be tbe po&t tense of aome verb, anaweiio^ fo th» 1 
JUma, to mab beadloiig. [Grain kmBjfan^kndt i.e. anow-airili.^ W^ 

* Same a» mijimgl 
'III rlie MS. ^gttnnf and /;<; are joined togetbor — mtmm^^ Xav^ irina I 

wjrm with (be toterprctatiui], a tptciet ^ «Mr«L Wmme mw |^ 
Nvct«d ivoctL 


Treacherous white soileth ; snmmer heat cooleth ; ^ 
World's weal falleth ; strife upwelleth ; 
Earth's might ageth ; courage cooleth. 

This for me wove my wierd ; and as my lot it gave me, 
That I should dig my grave ; and the grim grave to fly, 

To flesh is uot given, when the swift day is gone. 

Fate in her gripe seizeth, when nigh she cometh. 

She from country took me, and here with hardship tried me. 

When the carcase lieth, limbs the worm eateth ; 

Bat with him ? warreth, and the feast partaketh, 

Tfll there be bone alone, and at last be none. 

, the ofter himself he afflicteth ; 

fie AToideth the bitter sin ; after the better joy he yeameth ; 

fie rememb*reth of crimes the pardon. Here are mercies in bliss, 

Aloft in heaven*s realm ! May we now, like the saints, 

Prtnn sins all cleansed, approach it ^ — redeemed ! 
V^tym every stain safc*guarded ! with glory redeemed I 

There mote mankind, Tore their Maker exulting, 

^le tixie God see, and aye in peace rejoice. 

re do not indeed find the stanzas of eight verses^ or the 
of three and four syllables^ these are probably the 
ition of a later age ; but the artificial flow of the 
and the rime^ both final and sectional^ may be 
alike in the Icelandic metres and in the poem before 
1/ The different varieties of rhythm were not, however. 

' This eoaplet is probably corrupt, for the alliteration is disturbed. In the 
filMt felk>w I can trace neither rime nor alliteration; and they seem 
' derti tpte of meaning. This gap throws some doubt on the construction 
; perfect line. 
\iBj heaTen. 
Of Ibe Mune kind was probably the Aldicht of the Flemings j Mone, 27. 

Voord sdjt niet moe, 
hoord zwijt siet toe. 


as yet separated ; nor were the pauses^ as yet^ sabjected 
the rime ; we still find the stops falling in the midst ol 

We may trace through our early literature a series 
poems written with short, abrupt^ and artificial rhytho 
of two or three accents^ and for the most part devoted i 
whim, satire, or ridicule. I cannot help thinking th 
these rhythms, though certainly foreign in their origi 
were strongly influenced by the peculiarities of the met 
we are now considering. The sections 2 and 6 very fir 

1'he shup ; pare that | huem shup { te : to shorn { e he huem shaii | de 

To fles I ant to fley { e : to tyk | e and to tad | de 

So I sey th rom | aunz : whos | e ryht rad ' de 

Floh I com of flor | e : ant lous | com of lad | de, &c. 

Nou I beth cap | el-claw | eres ^ : with shorn | e to-shrud | e 

Hue bus I keth huem | wyth bot | ouns : as | e hit wer | e a bmd j e 

With low I e lac I ede shon | : of { an hayf { re hud | e 

Hue pik I eth of her | e prov | endre : al huer | e prud | e,' &c. &c. 

The '^ short measures '' of Skelton, so popular with 
lower classes at the beginning of the sixteenth cent^^a 
may perhaps be looked upon the direct descendants of 
Anglo-Saxon rhythms, though it must be confessed ^ 

He frown | eth ev ' er, No slepe | can him catche | , 

He laugh | eth nev | er, But ev | er doth watche | ; 

Ev I en, nor mor | owe ; He is | so bete | 

But oth I er men nes sor | owe Wyth mal | ice and hete ! , 

Cans I eth him | to grin | , Wyth ang \ er and yre j . 

And I reioyce | therein | . His foule | desyre | 

Skelton's metre not unfrequently reminds one of A 
loose but quaint rhythm of the Minnelieder ; and it is • 
from unlikely that both may belong to the same para 

^ Capel-claweres, that is, horse-curriers, or grooms. 

2 [Printed in Political Songs, ed. Wright, pp. 238, 239; also in Bodd^hf 
edition of MS. Harl. 2253, pp. 136, 137.— W. W. S.] 


ntly occur, and we often find a strong tendency towards 
sectional rime. I will give a short extract from a 
ire, probably of the thirteenth century. It is found in 
) Earl. MS. 2253 ; and was directed against the insolent 
mials — the grooms, pages, and '^boyes with boste,'^ — 
10 always, in that age of show and splendour, accompanied 
e great. The rime is only found at the end of the couplet, 
it through a large portion of the poem the sections are 
rittenin separate lines, as though they formed distinct 

The Maker that made them, to shame he consigned them, 

To fleas and to fly, to tike and to [toad] ^ 

8o saith Romance, whoso reads rightly — 

Flei came from floor, and louse came from lad, &c. 

Now be capul-dawers y-clad to their shame ; 

Thejr busk them with buttons, as though tVcre a bride. 

With low-laced shoon of a [heifer s] * hide ; 

They pick from their provender all their pride ! &c. &c. 


resemble, in their flow, the lais and virelais of the 
lib century. His description of Envy is a favourable 
len. [It occurs in Phyllyp Sparowe, 922.] 

Wjl guff j re no slepe \ His tong | never styll | 

In his head | to crepe j . For { to saye yll | , 

flis foule I semblaimt | Wry th | yiig and wring | yng, 

AI dis ! plesaunte | , By 1 1 yng and styng 1 yng ; 

Whan oth \ er ar glad | , And thus { this elf | 

Than | is he sad | , Cunsum j eth himself | . &c. &c. 

Fran | tyke and mad I ; 

ck. He thus winds up his abuse of the '^ vilitissimus 
tiifl/' Dnndas. 

Dundas I , that dronke assc | , 

Dr. Guest has dadde for tadde in the text, which destroys the alliteration ; 

m tranalafies dadde by <^ blow."— W. W. S.J 

Dr. Guest has haygre in the text, which he rightly leaves untranslated.— 



That rat | is and rank { is, 
That prat | is and prank | in 
On Hunt ] ley bank | is. 
Take this | our thank | is — 
Dun I de, Dunbar | , 
Walke Scot | , walke, sot { , 
Rayle | not to far | . 

[See Dyce's edition^ i. 194.] 

Poor Jonson's letter to ''Master John Burgess*' wil 
probably recur to the reader's memory — what Englishman 
can read it and not feel humbled ? 

Fa I ther John Bur | gess, He lov*d | the Mus • es, 

Necess | itie ur | ges Though now | he refus '. es 

My wo I full crie | To take | apprehen | sion 

To Sir Rob | ert Pie | ; Of | a year's pen ' sion. 

And that | he will ven | ter, And more j is behind | , &c. &c. 
To send | my deben \ ter. [ Underwoods^ 75.] 

Tell I him, his Ben | 
Knew I the time when | 

Cowper also has trifled, very amusingly, with this jingl«i 

The sectional metres, which succeeded to the diif 
Anglo-Saxon rhythms, differ in several respects from thoift- 
we have been last considering. Layamon affords us M 
early, and, at the same time, a very curious specimen rf 
their peculiarities. His history was probably writtei 
during the latter half of the twelfth century, though ihe 
MS.,^ which contains it, is of later date, probably later than 
the reign of John. It is written continuously like Anglo- 
Saxon verse ; but the frequency of the middle rime, ani 
the subjection of the middle pause to the final, are peco- 
liarities, which strongly characterise the early sectionil 
metres of our Old English dialect. 

Before we examine Lay amends metre, it may be well to 
take some notice of his dialect ; and as this presents maaj 
diSiculties, we will clear the way by first making some 
general observations on the history of our language. 

The Anglo-Saxons had three vowel-endings, a, e, and « 

* Calig. A. IX. There are also extant i\ke fragmentt of a later copy. Othi 



to distiDguiah the cases of the noun, and the different con- 
jugations of the verb. In tlie Old English all these vowel- 
eudings were represented by the final e ; and the loss of the 
Sua] e is the characteristic mark of our modern dialect. It 
if obvious that either of these changes must have brought 
wftli it a new language. The confusion of the vowels, or 
4ft loss of the final e, was a confounding of tense and person, 
>l)lcase and number ; in short, of those grammatical forms 
to nrhich language owes its precision and its clearness. 
Other forms were to be sought for, before our tongue could 
igttin serve the purposes of science or of literature* 

The oldest of the Gothic tongues, the Anglo-Saxon and 
the Maeso-Gothic, must take their place with the nobler 
Aiid the purer languages, with the Greek, the Latin, and the 
Sanscrit. The causes, which in the twelfth century gave 
birth to the Old English, worked nearly at the same time a 
Kke change in all the kindred dialects, save the most 
northerly, which, safe from their influence amid the snows 
of Iceland and of Sweden, long retained {and indeed still 
retain) many of the earliest features of our language. The 
Old English runs side by side with the later German dia* 
fccia, and the change it underwent in the fifteenth century 
would doubtless have been theirs also, but for an event 
*hich no one could have foreseen, and whose consequences 
tven the experience of four centuries has not enabled ua to 
calcnlate. As it is, our modem dialect stands alone. 
A difference is always to be found between the written 
d the spoken language of a people. The look, the tone, 
Ike action, are means of expression which the speaker may 
employ, and the writer cannot ; to make himself understood, 
the latter must use language more precise and definite than 
Uie former, There is also another reason for this difference. 
Vhcn a language has no writtt^n literature, it is ever subject 
to change of pronunciation, and so determinate is the (Uree- 
Hon of these changes, that it may be marked out between 
tnitts much narrower than any one has yet ventured to lay 
lown. But with a written literature a new element enters 
nto the calculation. A standard for composition now exists, 
rhich the writer will naturally prefer to the varying dialect 



of the people, and, as far as he safoly may, will do 
best to follow. Id this way the written and the Bpol 
languages will act and react upon oach other ; and it niua 
depend upon the value of the Ufcerature and the readia 
habits of the people, which of them shall at last prevail. 

Ah to Anglo-Saxon literature, scanty as are the relic 
which have been left us, enough remains to show its beAatv 
and its worth; and vainly shall we search our annals fo( 
any thing its equal,^ till we come to the gifted men wb 
immortalized the era of Elizabeth. Taught in the mon 
tery, said fixed in the literature of the country, the forms i 
Anglo-Saxon grammar remained without a change for ce 
turiea. Local dialects there certainly were, and the diale 
of the poet varied from that of the prose writer; buti 
changes have been yet pointed out, which can fairlj 
considered a^ owing to the mere lapse of time. Oversighfti 
are, however, sometimes met with in the carelessly writt< 
MSS. of the eleventh century, which show that, although 
the written language might be fixed, the popular dialect 
was still following out its natural tendencies. The language 
of our earlier literature fell at last a victim, not to 
Norman Conquest, for it siu-vived that event at least a cei 
tury — not to the foreign jargon which the weak but ^ 
meaning Edward first brought into the country, for Frend 
did not mix with our language till the days of Chaucer — ^ 
fell before the same deep and mighty influences, whvd 
swept every living language from the literature of Europe* j 

When the south regained its ascendancy, and Rome ono 
more seized the wealth of vassal provinces, its favouritt 
priests had neither the knowledge requisite to under8taB(| 
nor tiiste.H fitted to enjoy, the literature of the countri^ 
into which they were promoted. The road to their fsvoil 
and their patronage lay elsewhere ; and the monk, giv 
up his mother-tongue as worthless, began to pride him^ 
only upon his Latinity. The legends of his patron saint 1 
Latinized, the story of his monastery he Latinized ; in " 

' I Ho not fiirgpt Chaiitier imd Lcinglnnd (i/Langknd be the name); Init t 
miMi of gi*nins do (ml tiiuke a litrrnture. 




lie wrote history^ in Latin he wrote satires and romaEces. 
Amid these labours, he had little time to study the niceties 
of Anglo-Saxon grammar j and the Hocailies^ the Engli^sh 
Scriptures, Caedmon's Paraphrase, the national songs, the 
fflignificeDt Judith, and other treasares of native genius, 
mast soon have lain on the shelves of his cloister as little 
fead, or, if read, almost as little understood ^ as if they had 
keen written in a foreign tongue. When he addressed 
Umaelf to the unlearned, noble ^ or ignoble^ he used the 
nilgar dialect of his shire, with its idioms, which the written 
Iiagaage had probably rejected as wanting in precision, and 
with its corrupt pronunciation, which alone would requii*5 
new forms of grammar. In this way, many specimens of 
oiir old English dialects have been handed down to ua ; and 
these, however widely they differ from each other, agree in 
one particular — in confounding the characteristic endings of 
Ike Anglo- Saxon* 

For want of a standard literature none of these dialects 
could pc its grammar. Every century brought with it 
freah changes; and the student, who aits down to Robert 
of Gloucester, will derive but little aid from his previous 
knowledge of Layamon. In the fourteenth century, the 
Snal e began to waver ;^ and during the following century 
onr language may be considered as once more in a state of 
iborganization. It is a singular fact, that several of the 
other European languages were shortly after tbi'eatened 
•Ml a revolution of the very same nature ; when the press 
ttane to their aid, and by doubling the intiuence of their 
fiinhire pot a stop to further changes/ 

* S«e the refsion of Uie BruiiifciibijrgL War-Btnig, tnucle ur rather attempted 
Biffiror/ of Haiiemgdnn, 

^^nAjamon wrotcj tiis history expn?Hsly for Uie nitfdef ; ami Robert of Brunno 
^^Hlired his inglbi '* tbr tlie *' torrir^ lewed/' 

^^f^brre are two rlatc^Sj whitb* as rej^ards ihe history of our Iftnguag'e^ it \s 

■porfifit to imve fixetJ — Uiv earlit'st p^-rtud when the fiiml *■ became mule^ and 

*iaQ the period wh«n it n a* iirst used for mere [)urp<:jses of orthography — to 

kn^gtliriii^ fur extiiupJo. the vowel iif the preceding !»yliabh\ B^tlb thet$e dat4*a 

viil, I tikiok, be found in the fbnrtconth eeutury ; the firsi uear the be^inningi 

laciBr probably near I bo dotie. 

TW filial € ia still tcry <»nimon1y liropt in the hoof-speteh of Germany, aitd 
I in th« cJASiieal ]ang;nii^ ther? anp misny traces of the same mutilation. 

l> D 




Hitherto little mention has been made of 
the French. The various ways in which 
influenced our own, have never yet been clearl 
by Bome writers have been most strangely misui 
There are not wanting those, who look upon tl 
tongue as a mongrel jargon, invented for pnrposei 
courao between tho Xorman and bis Saxon serf; 
which can only be matched by the theory, that was (H 
as to the origin of the Sanscrit, The Latin and t 
deranged the vocabulary of our language, but nevi 
and structure; and the streams which snccessi^ 
from these two sources flowed through various 
and at periods widely separated from eiich other. 

Latin words are found in Anglo-Saxon MSSw 
early date ; especially when the subjects are conn< 
the economy and discipline of the church, Thi 
mymter, a minater, nionaaterium ; portic^ a porch, 
cluster f a cloister, clau strum ; munue^ a monk J^ 
hiseeop, a bishopj episcopua ; arcebisceop^ an an 
archiepiscopus ; sanet, a saint, sanctus ; prnfaM, i 
praeposifcus ; pwH, a pall, pallium ; calie, a chalii 
candelj a candlej candela; psalter, a psalter, p$| 
niiBise, a mass, missa ; pisielf an epistle, epistola ; pii 
to preach, proodio-are; prof-iaTif to prove, prob-ar| 
From the Latin also came the names of foreign ani 
plants, as lean, the lion, leo ; eamell, the camel j 
ylp^ the elephant, elephas ; fic-beam, the fig- tree, ficj 
fugej the fever-few, febrifugia ; peterselige, parsl^ 
selinum, &c. Ac, and of many articles of mercha^ 
growth or manufacturo of distant countries, aa pipof^ 
piper; pttrpumj purple^ purpura; pumk-stan, thoj 
stone, pumex, &c, &c. | 



e accoiiEt of careless, or ratlier of pedantic translation.' 

latinized style was looked upon as a. 'proof of derkship ; 

the scholar was always ready with such easy proof of his 

^earning. We have but little Bpace to follow the corrnp- 

ons, which flowed from this soureo at later periods, 

Norman-Romance became the court knguage in the reign 
f the Confessor; and the law appears to have been the 
hannel, through which it first mixed with the native Ian- 
uage of the country. The Aula regia, or King's house- 
old- court, enrolled its proceedings in Latin, but in its 
pleadings, Ac. used the language of the Palace. Those, who 
feared local influence in the county courts, purchased the 
jndgmont of the sovereign ; and the King^s court, by de- 
grees, became that of the nation. Hence its legal terms 
grew familiar, and early in the thirteenth century we find 
Bprinkled through our MSS* such words as cancelerej a 
chancelour } curt, a court ; pleitt a plea ; prlsun, a prison ; 
battel f a conflict (originally trial by combat) ; dame, a 
claim ; fit, an end, &c, &c. As this source of corruption 
was peculiar to our country, few words of this class are to 
b© mot with in the other Gothic dialects. 

From the court-dialect were also taken many terms 
relating to courtly pastime and pageantry ; more parti- 
cularly those of the chase ; and sometimes we have French 
salutations and exclamations, introduced much in the same 
way as in our fashionable novels, though certainly with 
leas of impropriety. But it was not till the rage for trans- 
lation came upon us, during the latter half of the four- 
teenth century, that foreign words overspread the lan- 
guage. It IS painful to think how many men of genius 
have forwarded the mischief. Perhaps we might point to 
the "ballades'' and ^' envoys ^^ of Chaucer and his school, 
as oifering the worst French specimen of our language ; 
and to Johnson as the writer, who has moat laboured to 
swamp it in the Latin. 

' Hanipnk*, in his veminti c*f the Pimlms, which w^la writk*n ahout the middle 
of the fourtpentii centurj^ plainly iells us he ywd words^ *'^ roost like unto the 
I^tjBc, no that thai that knoweti nogbt the Latvno, bi the Toglis may come ta 
niftni 1 41 ty tin word 5.^ 



1. m. 

The evils resulting from these importations kat^ I 
think^ been generally underrated in this countnr. Wbi 
a language must draw upon its o^vn wealth for » 
term, ita form and analogies are kept fresh in the mtai 
of those, who so often use them. But with the intnJor 
tion of foreign terms, not only la the symmetry- — the i^ino 
— of the languagG injured, but it8 laws are broogkl l» 
frequently under notice, and are the less used^ u 4* 
application becomes more difficult. If a new word •«» 
added to any of the purer languages, such as the Snwal 
the Greek, or the Welsh, it would soon be the root^ 
nnmorous offshoots, substantives, adjectives, verbs, ir.^ ^ 
formed according to rule, and modifjnng" the meaniagrf 
their root according to well known analogies* Bat in* 
mixed and broken language few or no such conseqo^TKi 
follow, Tho word remains barren, and the langiuigli 
" enriched,^' like a tree covered over with wreaths tiki 
from the boughs of its neighbour ; which earriea a gooft 
show of foliage, and withers beneath the shade. 

The language of Layamon may perhaps (at \e^\ 
substance) be considered as the dialect spoken in Soil 
Gloucestershire during the twelfth century. One of il 
most striking peculiarities is its nurmatian, if wo may I 
allowed to use a term, already familiar to the sdMib 
Many words end in n, which are strangers to that letH 
not only in the Anglo-Saxon, but in all the later diakc 
of our language ; and as this letter assists in the dedi 
sion of nouns, and the conjugation of verbs, the gramm 
of this dialect becomes, to a singular degree, compU 
and difficult. 

Perhaps the following changes of termination mar 
a tolerably correct notion of the masculine declension* 

N. A. God 
ih God-e« 
D. G<Ki>« 


■ Th« lidlwLki ta m ta aHmy* k aattar of gimt 
Mhrit* M^Mlt* MoMJBMM endi ita nominatiTc in -r. 

C. III. 



The neuter nouoa are declined in the same way^ but 
Wee no inflexion in the plural save the e of the genitive, 
wd perhaps the en of the dative. In both genders the e 
of the dative singular is often omitted,* 

The feminine nouns take e^aa their only inflexion in either 
Bumber, but, I think, in some few instance.^, make the 
dative plor. in en. Some feminines have the genitive 
ibpilar in e*, as in the Aoglo- Saxon. 

There is also what mav be termed the n declension, 
common to all the three genders. The singular ends in e, 
iad the plnral in en; the genitive, however, sometimes 
dicing ene. As some nouns have the ti even in the nomina- 
five singular, it is difficult to say whether ?i be used as an 
inflexion in that number. 

The indefinite adjective has almost the same declension 
as in the Anglo-Saxon. 

m* f, n. m. f. n. 

N, god pod god g(»<l-e 

6. god-es god- re god-en j^otbre 


D. god-e god-re grKJ-e gml-en 

-en * -en * *e 

A. god -lie god-e god god-e 

When the adjective is definite (that is, connected with 
tie definite article, a possessive pronoun, or a genitive 
case), it takes an e and is indeclinable. Sometimes, how- 
' fVBf, the definite adjective appears to take en. 

The verbs are conjugated much in the same way as in 
] Anglo-Saxon ; the endings a and e, an and en^ ath and 
I being, of course, confounded. The i conjugation is 
clearly distinguished, as depien to call, ic clcpie, I 
, Ac.; and the gerund in enne is sometimes met with, 
I points in which Laysmon's verb difl'ers from the Anglo- 
Koa may, I think, be ranged under three heads. 
1. The plural of the present indicative sometimes ends 
en, instead of elk ; and the first and third persons sin- 



gular, in the past tense of the ^' complex '^ verb, sometimeB 
take an e. Both these peculiarities maj, I think, be traced 
to the same cause — ^the use of the subjunctive mood instead^ 
of the indicative. In some of our dialects the former mooA. 
seemsj at length, entirely to have supplanted the latter. 

2, The plural of the past tense, and also the paat par-- 
ticiple sometimes ends in e, instead of en. But, I believe, 
that in neither of these cases was the vowel-ending quite 
unknown even to the Anglo- Saxon* 

3. The first person singular of the present indicative, and 
the third person aingular of the past tense indicative, and 
of the present optative or imperative, sometimes end in en 
instead of e. The en in the first person of the present 
reminds one of the Prankish ; but its occurrence in the 
other cases is, I believe, peculiar to this singular and 
perplexing dialect. 

The third person of the present indicative sometimes eui 
in ethe instead of ethj but I can only consider this as 
blunder of the ti'anscriber. 

Among tlie possessive pronouns we fijid mln and M 
and also mi and thl^ The vowel of the definite article 
singularly varied, but in other respects its inflexions clo! 
resemble the Anglo-Saxon, As it is constantly occumi 
1 will here give its declension* 

Gul|clik' rhe Kjii|sero * [ biwon| : al | timt he Ink | ede oii|. 
He I iitiin sum I er-set I e : ant] ] he num | rltirsct|e . 
Ai«l I al (leu'ene* ft<'ir|e ; that | yoIl* jtl | ffir-ferd'e . 
And I lie wil [ tun-gcii' | e : mid witb [ ere * | igrajt | te . 
lie I noui id j le tlia Innd | cf : in | to thier | e sae " strou | de. 
Tlia I a^t than last | e : tlm let. { te beo blaw | en . 

^ I cannot agree with ^fr. Thorpe iti ponsidering these latter pronotnitl 
mere corrupUonH of the ibrmer 5 I believe them to be distinct words, iinil j 
bablj oK tar higher antiquity. 

^ [This alliidcij to Sir F. Madden, whose exeeJlent edition of LajAtnoti I 
peared in 1847.— W. W. S,] 

^ I can Brid no pnriiib or hamkt at ihia name on tfio blinks of the Severn. J 

* tk halt boQu Eiuljfititiited for the Angli^-Soxoo characters ^ and ^ as ( 
facilities thus afforded to thts English reader aetMned to outwei;^h any inwi 
DJf^ncM?, which mi^ht rt'sult trnm confounding these two letters. But tb«* ( 
Engli&h 3 tun be repre^nied by no letter of our modem al|^iabec. wil 









in. f. D. 

N. tlie 




G. the.s 




B. tliuij 

f lie re 



A. tbeue 




That this slight sketch is venj imperfect, and in some 
points probably inaecuratGj I am well aware. It would 
inquire a much better acquaintance with the MS. than I 
can lay claim to, always to distingni&h between blunders of 
tPMiacription and peculiarities of dialect, between the syl- 
lable which makes part of the rootj and that which is merely 
h inflexion. The whole MS. will, however, bo pub- 
faked ; and by a gentleman who, I have little doubt, will 
do justice to a very difficult subject.' 

Layamon informs us that he was a priest, and lived at 
tBmley/ by Severn. The books from which he compiled 
lus history, were '^ the English book *' which Bcde wrote, 
» book in Latin composed by St. Austin and St. Albin, and 
tie book of the Frankish clerk Wace. The extract ^ which 
fcUows, describes the famous battle of Bath [begiunin^^ at 
1.21.011]. The '* Kaiser,'* it should be observed, had 
•ly^y been once in Arthur^s power, had agreed to quit 
tie country for ever, had broken his pledge, and was now 
lasting the land with fire and sword. 

Childric the Kuiser won : alt that lie looked on, 

He torik Siimentet : ami he took Dorset^ 

And all the.Devon-shire : — that ft4k were all deetroj^d ; 

And he Wi I ton -shire : with eruelty opprei?ii'd* 

He tocik idl the land[H] : unto the sea-Ktrand. 

Then, at the hint : eaiised they Iratker^ he] Ut blow 

duger of anm« mistake. It is ftiimd answering^ to ^, in h, to *^ and ut th ; and 

ilia m\\ probaUiliLy, pmnrjunccd aa & stroti^^ (Kintal brcaihing. anil inay d&w 

I as e^u te obsolete. This charaA-lerj will therefore i»c UAeci, in siich 

l£lij^luli extrnctft, aa thi*re mny he ocvwsumx to quote. 

* Ihtene is the g«?n. pi. uf Dcftwn, wlikh answers to the Anghr-Saxoa D^an, 

iW raeo of Deronshire. 

^ I itave never met with this subutuiitire t'lsewhere, hut there ean l>e Httte 

I of it* meaning'. [Sir F. Madden has—'' with hoMtilitj he greet^Ml."] 
^ S^, tt bcre tlie gemtive cJiae siingular ; in which niimbt^r thin aubstandve is 
I declined, even in the Anglo-Saxon. 


Horn I es and bem | en : and bon | nien { his ferd | en . 

And forth | he wol | de bu5 1 en : and bath { en al | bilig { gen . 

And aec | bristow | e : abut | en birouw | en . 

This I was heor | e ibeot { : ser heo | to bath { e com | en . 

To bath I e com { the kceiser | e : and | bilei | thene cas | tel ther ! e . 

And I tha men | within | nen : oht | liche | agun | nen . 

Step I en up { pen ^ stan | ene wal | : wel | iwep | ned ou | er al { . 

And wer I eden | tha rich | e : with { than strong { e childrich j e . 

Ther hii { the Kaiser { e : and Col | grim his | iuer | e . 

And bal | dulf his broth | er : and mon | i an oth | er . 

Arth I ur wes | bi north | e : and noht | her of nus 1 te . 

Fer I dc geond al | scotlond : | and set | te het an | his ag | ere hond | \ 

Or I canei | e and Gal \ ewei | e : man | and mure | ne . 

And al | le tha lond { es : the ther | to Ise i ien . 

Ar I thur hit wen { de : to | iwis | lichen thing | e . 

That chil | dric ilith | en weor | en : to | his ag { ene Ion j de . 

And that | he nau ! ere mser | e : nolde cum [ en her j e . 

Tha com | en tha tid | ende : to Ar | thure King j e . 

That Chil | dric tha ksei { sere : icum | en wes | to lond | en . 

And I i than suth | -ende : sor { 5en ther worht { en . 

Tha Ar | thur seid | e : a?th | elest king | en . 

Wal I a wa wal | awa : that | ich spar j ede min | e ina I . 

That I ich nau | ede | on hoi | te : mid hun I gere hin ] e adef j ed . 

Oth I er mi^ swcord { e : al hin { e to swug { en [^or to swungen] . 

Nu he I me gilt med j e : for mir | e god-ded | e . 

Ah I swa me haelp | en drih | ten : thse scop I thses dse j ies lih | ten . 

Ther for | e he seal | ibid | en : bit | terest al ] re bal | uwen . 

Hard | e gom ! enes : his bon e ich wul | le iwur | then . 

Col j grim and Bal | dulf : bei ene ich wul { le aquel ! Ien . 

And I al heor | e du5 1 etbe : daeth | seal ithol | ien . 

Gif I hit wul ! e iun | neu : wald | ende haef | nen . 

Ich wul I Ic wurth | liche wrck { en : al | le his with | er-ded { en . 

5if I me mot | ilas j ten : that lif | amir | e breos | ten . 

And I hit wul| le me | iun | ne : that | iscop mon | e and sun | nc . 

Ne I seal naeu , ere chil | dric : asft | me bichar | ren . 

Nu clcop I ede Arthur : a?th | elest king | en . 

Whar I beo 3e min | e cniht j es : oht | e men | and with j te . 

To hors ] e . to hor | se : 3e [MS. he] hal | ethes god | e . 

* The preposition uppfn governs both an accusative case and a dative. If 
wal be the accusative, the adjective ought, according to rule, to have been 
stanenntr; but we sometimes find the definite adjective in cases where the 
ordinary rules of grammar would seem to require the indefinite — in sneh 
phrases as, ffnne Sttxisce cniht. Sometimes, though very rarelj, we find the 
indefinite, where we might look for the definite adjective, as in the words, tlm 

layamon's rhythms. 409 

id trumps : and their [his] soldiers to be boon [assembled] ; 
h he wished to fare : and the Baths all beset, 
Bristow : round about to row ; 
I their threat : ere to Bath they came. 

came the Kaiser : and beset the castle there ; 

men within : gallantly began 

»n the stonem wall : well yweapon'd over all, 

tnded them the great ones [the place] : gainst the strong Childric. 

y the Kaiser : and Colgrim his fere, 

dulf his brother : and many an other. 

ras in the north : and nought hereof wist he ; 
ley'd over all Scotland : and brought it under his own hand ; 
and Galoway : Man and Morey, 
ihe lands : that thereby lay. 
reen d it : as a settled thing, 
ildric was gone : to his own land ; 
; he never more : would come here, 
ne the tidings : to Arthur King, 
ildric the Kaiser : was y-come to laud, 
he south qnart^r : sorrows there wrought. 

thur said : (noblest of kings,) 

a ! walawa ! : that I spared my foe ! 

had not on the holt ' : with hunger killed him ! 

h the sword : him all silenced [cut to pieces] ! 

oes he pay me back the meed : for my good deed ! 

» help me the Lord : that shaped the light of day, 

3re he shall bide : the bitterest of all bale ! 

ull grieyons ! : his bane I will be. 

1 and Baldulf : both I will quell, 

I their nobles : death shall suffer. 

II grant : He that wields the heavens, — 
By will I wreek : all his misdeeds ; 

ife may last : within my breast, 

e will grant it : that shaped sun and moon, — 

c shall never : again slip by me I '* 

'd out Arthur : (noblest of kings), 
be ye my knights : gallant men and wight ? 
"se, to horse : ye nobles good ! 

re*. If these be not mere blunders on the part of the transcriber, I can- 

ictorily account for them. 

is here the dative singular, in which case it is often found without in- 

the Old English. 

ioU refers to the wood of Caledon, into whose hilly recesses Arthur, 

to the history, drove Childric before his submission. 


And I we scul ; led bu3 ] en : ton | ward Batli | e swith | e . 

Let ! eth up fus | en : hej | e fork ! en . 

And bring | eth her | tha gaef ', les : bifor | en ur | e eniht | es . 

And I heo scul | len hong | ien : on h8e5 1 e treow { en . 

Ther | he let | te fordon | : feow | er and twe | ti child | erren ' . 

Al I emain | isce men | : of swith { e he3 1 e cun { nen . 

Tha com { en tid | ende : to Ar | thure | than king : e . 

That seoc | wes how | el his miei | : ther for | e he | wes sar | i . 

I clud I lig I ginde : and ther | he bin j e bilaef | de . 

Hi5 1 enlich | e swith { e : forth | he gon lith | e . 

That he | behal | ues bad | e : beh I to an | e uel { de . 

Ther | he alih | te : and | his cnih | tes al | le . 

And on j mid heor | e bum \ en : beom | es stum | e . 

And he ( a fif ^ | dtele : dael | de his feord | e . 

Tha I he haf | de al | iset | : and | al hit | isem | ed . 

Tha dud I e he on | his burn ' e : ibroid | e of stel | e . 

The mak | ede { on al | uisc smith { : mid ath { elen | his craf | te . 

He I wes ihat I en wyg | ar : the wit e3e wurh | te . 

Ilis sconk | en he hel | ede : mid hos en of stel | e . 

Cali I beom | e his sweord | : he cwem | de \_rather sweinde] bi | hi 

Hit I wes iworht | in au | alun : mid wi3 1 ele-ful [ le craf j ten . 

Halm I he set | on haf | de : hseh * \ of stel | e . 

Ther on | wes mon | i Sim-ston | : al | mid gol | de bi-gon | . 

He I wes ud { eres : thas ath | elen king | es . 

He I wes ihat { en Gos | whit : a;l { chen oth | ere un \ ilic j . 

He heng | an his sweor | c : a^n | ne sceld deor | e . 

His nom I e wes | on brut | tisc : prid { -wen ihat | en . 

Ther | wes in | nen igrau | en : mid red | e gol | de stau \ en . 

An on I -licnes deor | e : of driht | enes mod | er . 

His sper | e he nom | an bond | e : tha ron | wes ihat | en . 

Tha he haf j den al | his iwed|en : tha leop | he on | his sted 

Tha he miht | e bi | hald | en : tha | bihal | ues stod | en . 

Then | e utei | reste cniht | : the verd | e scol j de led | en . 

Ne I isaeh na'u | ere na | man : sel | ere | cniht nen | ne . 

Then | e him | wes Ar j thur : ath | elest cun | nes . 

Tha cleop | ede Ar | thur : lud | ere sta?f | ne . 

Lou I war * her | bifor j en us | : heth | ene hund | es . 

The slo5 1 en ur I e al , deren : mid luth | ere heor I e craf! ten . 

^ This is the earliest instance I know, of the plural ending erm in 
gaage. In the Dutch there are many such plurals, blad-o'cn^ leaves ; 
songs; A-iW-rrtfi, children ; «;'-«-6'W . eggs ; A*fl/t>-<rr»w, calves; &c. &c. 

^ The humie seems to have been a kind of breastplate, aocommodai 

cm. layamon's rhythms. 411 

"And we mnst turn us : tow'rd Bath quickly ; 

"Let them haste up : the high gallows, 

" And hring here the pledges : before our knights, 

" And thej shall hang : on the high trees/* 

There he caused them slay : four-and- twenty youths, 

Alemannish men : of right noble kins. 

Then came tidings : to Arthur the king, 

That sick was Howel his kinsman : (therefore was he sorry) 

In Clyde lying : and there he left him. 

With foil great speed : forth gan he fare. 

Till beside Bath : he tum*d him to a field. 

Where he alighted : and his knights all ; 

And on with their bumies * : the barons stem ; 

And he in five portions : dealt out his army. 

When he had all set out : and it all array'd. 

Then don'd he his bumie : wide-spread with [fashioned of] steel ; 

An elvish smith it made : with his noble crafl, 

(He was hight Wygar : the soothsaying smith) ; 

Hi« shanks he covered : with hosen of steel ; 

^bam his sword : he fitted [swung] by his side ; 

^ was wrought in Aralon : with arts of grammary . 

Hehn he set on head : high-rais'd of steel ; 

Thereon was many a gem-stone : all with gold beset ; 

*twa8 Uther's : the noble king's ; 

« was hight Goewhit : — to every other unlike. 

Be hong on his neck : a precious shield, 

Itj Dame in British : Thridwen [Pridwen] was hight ; 

Therein was graven : with red gold stones [tracings], 

A precious likeness : of our Lord's mother. 

His spear he took in hand : that Ron was hight. 

When he had all his weeds : then leapt he on his steed. 

Then might they behold : who beside him stood, 

The fairest knight : that host could lead. 

And ne'er saw man : better knight any. 

Than was Arthur : — he of noblest kin. 

Then cried out Arthur : with loud voice, 

^Lo! every where here before iis : the heathen hounds, 

''That slew our elders : with their loathed [wicked] arts ; 

■■I annonr of the period. The word is constantly occurring in the Old 
hlfitk romances. [A. S. bt/me]. ^ See p. 349, n. 7. 

' This adjective takes no inflexion, according to thf> rule on p. 321. 
' Boea this word answer to the Anglo-Saxon la aghwerl [No \ '* lo ! where 
» here," &c.— W. W. S.] 


And I heo us beoth | on Ion | de : IsBth | est al | re thing | e . 

Nil fus j en we | bom to | : and stserc { licbe | beom leg | gen on | . 

And wr{ek {en wun | derlich { e : ur | e cun | and ur | e rich [ e . 

And wrek I en then | e much | ele scom | e : that heo | ns iscend | h: 

beoth . 
That heo | ouer uth j en : com | en to dert | e-muth j en . 
And al \ le heo beoth | for-swor | ene : and al | le heo beoth | forlor ' en 

Heo I beoth for-dem | ed al { le : mid driht | tenes fuls | te . 

Fus I e we | nu forth | -ward : uas | te to som | en . 

^f I nc al I 8wa sof | te : swa we [ nan uf j el ne thoh | ten . 

And then ' ne we | heom cum \ eth to | : mi seolf | ic wul ! len onfon . 

An al j re freom | cste : that fiht | ich wul | le bigun | nen . 

Nu I we soul I len rid j en : and ou { cr land glid \ en . 

And na I man bi | his liu ', e : lud j e ne wurch j en . 

Ah far \ en fajst , liche : driht | en us fulst ] en . 

Tha rid | en agon J : Ar | thur the rich | e mon | . 
Beh I ouer wjvl j de : an Bath j e wol | de isech | en . 

Tha tidjende com | to childrichje : than strongmen and | « 

rich I en . 
That Ar | thur mid ferd | e com | : al 3ar | u to fib | te . 
Chil I dric and { his oht | e men | : leop | en heom 1 to hors j en . 
Igrip I en heor | e wep | nen : heo wus | ten heom | ifsei | ed . 

This I isaeh Ar | thur : ath | elest king | e . 

Isteh I he acn I nc ha?th | ene ^ eorl | : hael j den him | to Sein | es . 

Mid seou | en bun { dred . cniht | en : al 5ier { ewe | to fiht | en . 

The orl | him seolf ferd | en : bifor | en al | his geng | e . 

And Ar | thur him | seolf am | de ; biuor | en al | his ferd | e . 

Ar I thur the rm | e : ron | nom an hon j de . 

He strah | te scaft staerc | ne : stith | imod j en ^ king | . 

His hors { he let | te ir | nen : that { tha eorth | e dun | ede . 

Sceld I he braid | on breos | ten : the king | wes abol | jen . 

He I smat bor | el then | e eorl | : thurh ut { tha breos | ten . 

That I thae heor | te to chan | : and | the king cleop j ede | anan ' . 

The for | meste | is faei | e : Nu ful | sten us drib | te . 

And I tha hef j enlich | e quen | e : tha drib | ten aken | de . 

Tha cleop | ede ar | thur : ath | elest king | e . 

Nu I heom to nu | heom to | : that for | mest is wel | idon . 

Brut I tes bom leid | en on : swa me | seal a luth | ere don ! . 

* Seep. 408, n. 1. 

' I am not satisfied as to the meaning of this word. In the fuUowi 

Thensajde that rich ra^e, 
I will have that fajr Maj, 
And wcdde her to my quene. — Emare, 430. 

c. in. layamon's rhythms. 413 

** And to ua they be, on earth : loathed most of all things ; 
**^(m haste we to them : and stoutly on them lay, 
** And wondrously avenge : oar kin, and our realm ; 
* " And wreek the mickle shame : that they have done us, 
"For that o'er the waves : they came to Derte-mouth; 
** And they be all forsworn : and they [shall] be all forlorn ! 

* They [shaU] be doomed all : with the Lord's help ! 

" Haste we forward : quickly together, 

" £*en all as softly : as we no evil thought, 

"And when we to them come : myself will take [commence] 

"The bravest of them all [First of all] : — that fight I will begin. 

" Now must we ride : and o'er the land glide, 

"And no man for his life : must loudly work ; 

" But fare we stoutly ! : the Lord assist us ! " 

"^ gan to ride : Arthur the mighty man. 

He tum'd him o'er the weald : and the Baths would seek. 

Then came tidings to Childric : the strong and the mighty, 
Tbt Arthur with army came : all yare for the fight ; 
^dric and his gallant men : lept on their horses, 
^ griped their weapons : — they wist themselves feymen ! 

This saw Arthur : (noblest of kings !) 

^^ saw a heathen earl : bending his course against him, 

''ith seven hundred knights : all yare for the fight. 

The earl himself went : before all his troop, 

^ Arthur himself ran : before all his army. 

^ur the ray * : took Ron in hand, 

He levell'd the strong shaft : (stemhearted king !) 

His horse he let run : that the earth shook ; 

^ield he spread on breast : — the king was wrath — 

He smote Borel the earl : out through the breast, 

That the heart split : — and the king cried anon, 

'The foremost one is fey ! : Now help us the Lord, 

'And the heavenly Queen : that bare the Lord." 

Then cried out Arthur : (noblest of kings !) 

"Xow on them ! now on them! : the first part is well done." 

The Brits laid on them : as on villain man should do, 

tt night be taken as closely conD<H*ted with the Old English roi/f a king; 
wt, as used in Piers Ploughman, a familiar, if not a low meaning is attached 
> it [Rayea in P. Plowman, B. v. 21 1, is a difffercnt word.— W. W. S.] 
' Here we have the definite adjective, with »» in the nominative singular. 
be definite adjective was frequently used to express admiratii)n ; and we still 
le the definite article for that purpose, as, Alfred, the good king ! 




Heo bit I tere awip | en jef | uen : mid ax | es and \ mid Bweord | 

Tlier feol | le clit I j dricbea men | : ful | le twa | ihiisend | . 

8wa neu | ere ar | tliur ne les | : niEii | ere sen [ ue ni' his j - 

Tber weor | en sses \ isee | men : folk | en al ] re asrm | e«t . 

And I tha al | eniain | isce men | : jeoni j erest al | re leod | en . 

Ar thiir mid | hia Bweord | e : f»i | e-ndp | e wurh | te ♦ 

Al I tlmt he | sraat U) | : litt | wes son ] e fordon | . 

Al wfe» I the king \ abol{3en r Bwa bith | ihe wiljde barj. 

Then 1 ne he | i than mics | te : mon \ ie iniet ] eth . 

This I iisieh Chil |dric : and gon \ him to ehar| ren 

And beh | him on | er au ene : to bur \ Jen him Beol | uen . 

And ar j thnr him Itec | Uy : swa hit | a li | nn weor | en . 

And fna { de heom { to flod [ e : mon | ie ther weor | en fast | e . 

Ther sunk j en to | than jrrund | e : fif ] and twen | ti hundred . 

Tha al | wes au | ene stram : raid ntel | e ibrug pe<l . 

Chel I drie ou ; er that wat | e fla»h | : mid fif tene han j dred cniht jeill 

Tboh te forth sith [ en : and on | er sa* Htb j en . 

Ar I thnr ipseh | Col ! cfrim : dim j ben to munt | en . 

Bu5 I en to | than hul \ le : tha ou | er bath | en stond j etb , 

And Bald jnlf beh \ him Bf| ter '. mid seouje thus I end cniht {i 

ITeo thobt I en i I than hul | le : hcch | liebe | at ston [ den . 

Weor I ien het>m | mid wep | nen : and Ar ] thur awiem | men . 

Tha I iBseh Ar | tliur : ath | eiest king | en . 
Whar CiA \ grim at ato+J | : and | ipc stal ] wpoht€ , 
Tlia I'lop I ede | the kinj^ | : ken | liche hid [ e . 
Bahl e min | e thein [ e^ : buh \ 3eth to | than hul ] lea , 
For jers j teuda^i | wffs Col | grim : mon | nen ni | re ken ] nest . 
Nu him I i» al I swa ther | e gat | : ther | he then | e hul wat | . 
.Haih I uppeii hiil'le :sehtjeth Irrad fehteth] raid bom | en . 
Then | ne eom | ed the wlf wil ] de : touw | ard hir | e wind | en. 
Theb I the wulf be cm an e : but ' en rclc | iman | e . 
And I ther weor | en in an | e lok 1 en : fif lurn j tired gat | en . 
The wulf I heom to | iwit | eth : and al j le heom | abit [ eth , 
Swa I ich \vul|le nu | to diei | : Col) grim al | fi>rdemen . 
Ich I am \riilf | & he | is g»t : the gum | e seal be | on fap.i | e . 

Many of Lajamon's couplets have both alliteration 
the middle rimo ; wry few — originEilly, it may be, noi 
are without either one or the other. The relative val 
which he held his rime and his alHteratioii| deserves 
notice. In Anglo- Saxon verse, the syllables, which 

* Wl was used for tool in English M8S. and even for mtl in lAtiv 
during (he I2l1i i't^tuury, na yjtpf^s for vtdpejtf wUim for vultus^ &c. 

latamok's rotthms, 413 

Bitter blows they gave : with axej* and with swords. 

thtre fell Chili1rif*s men : full two thousand, 

Iv» never Arthur lost : never one of hb. 

"Hierf! were Sexish lucn : of all folks most wreteljed,/ 

And the Alenianni-h men : jiuddest of all people 1 

Artlmr with his sword : death-doings wrousfht. 

All that he smote against : quickly was it done for. 1- 

Hn! kjug was enraged : all aa the wild boar, 

^^ Wn, mill his mawt : many he meeteth. 

TKl»?iuw CMiildric : and ^an him to turn, 

Arwl ln'iit Ills way o'er Avene : hiraj<Ldf to save ; 

Aq«1 .Arthur gave them play [flf w towards tlietn] : as *twere a Hon, 

And drove theiB to the flood : —many there were fey i 

Th^re ?ank to the proimd : five and twenty liundred ; 

TWii was Avene-stream : all briil<:ed with »teeh 

ChBtJric (tver that water fled : with fifteen luindred knights ; 

u« tbnutrht to haste henee : ami over sea aiill, 

Arthur saw Colgrira : clind> up the mountains^ 

Mtimi Lim to the hill : thui o*er tlie Bathi* stJindelh, 

Aid fiildiiir gat him at^er : and seven rhouj-iaod knightd ; 

iWglit they on the hill : aloft to ataud out, 

Wtiid them with their wca^K)na ; and Arthur scare [injure], 

•wataw Arthur : f noblest of Icings 1) 
^b«Je Colrrrim stoml out : and form'd eke his array, 
^en caird out the king : with keen cry, 
l|*% bold thaties : turn ye to the liills, 
^wyesterdaj was Colgrim : of all men the keenest, 
;lfiiw \9t with hitn, as with the goat : where she keep^ the hill ; 
%b upon (h«/ bill ; she sitteth [fighteih] with her boms, 
.Then coineth the wild wtdf : t*>vvard3 her trail [approaching her], 

««ugh the wolf be ahme : without any fellow, 
And there should l»e in cme flock [fob!] : five bnudred goat«, 
"Tlie Wolf to tbeui wendetb : and all of thtm it biteth. 
''Soinj^t wUl I to-day : Colgrini all dtxnn, 
" I iiu wolf, and he is goat : — that man shall be fey ! ** 


alliteration, are always accented ; but the sectional rime, 
lad in one or two instances even the roiddle rime, may be 
baud resting upon a syllable which lias no accent. When 
te Utter alliterative metres take the final riitie, the riming 
^liable imperatively demands the accent; and the allitera- 
m is often thrown upon an unaccented syllable. Lay am on 
|ieara to take a middle course. It would Kcem, he gave 
^ta both to his riming and his alliterative syllables; 





but the former were often obliged to content themseWes 
with a false accent— the proper rhythm of the sentence 
being sacrificed for that purpose* We very seldom find the 
riuje and the aUiteration placed upon adjacent syllables, and 
each striving for the accent, as is often the in later 

The struggle between alliteration and final rim© began 
later, and coutinaed much longer in this country than on 
the continent. King Edgar's death-song has one or two 
couplets, in which allitemtion appears to be forgotten ; bat 
the MS. is so faulty, and in eoine parts of the poem so 
ob^aously corrupt, that no one can safely speculate on such 
doubtful premises. On the other hand, Otfrid's Erangeley, 
which may date about the year 870, has few or no traces of 
alliteration. Its rimes often rest upon a false accent, and 
its rhythm strongly resembles such as may be found in some 
of our early sectional metres. It afibrds us a curions ia- 
fitance, how like will often he the changes of two kindred 
dialects, long after thoy ceaso to influence each other. Tbe 
following extract is taken from the opening cf the second 
[section of the first] book. 

\''iiol ] a *lniht in min | 

m I bin ih | sea to tliin | 
Tbiu aiiti a muat ! er uiin | 

eig I an tliiii ist | si thin 
Fing I fir thin I mi 

dua all a inuiid min | an 
Tljen ciuli I haul tliin ( a 

in I thia 7Amg | un min [ a 

Oh I my Ix>rd I 

truly he I slave of thine ? 
Wretrhetl mother' mine 

thine own IiandmHJden is she ! 
Finger thine 

place within nij inoittli. 
Lift up [Lay] eke thine hand 

upon my t^ingue^ 

Hwan I thu ^ixst | €\n leod|e : kinof | that is wil \ ful 
And duine&moii [uiniinde] ^ : procst | that is wil ' de , 
Biseh , op slon | : old ] -moo lerh | ur . 


mon lie5 \ er ; wim | ninn seliom | eles . 

nn I theatid : thral | un | bux«um . 
Ath leiing brith \ el'mg : loud | willmt |e hij |e 
Al I so seid j e Bed e : wo ther | e tbeod | e 

* That b, the Church. 

* [Tliisi word )B omitted In tht» fnrintT t»djiion, its place being •unplied ^tf\ 
astroke.-W. W. a] ' 


Tbi ih I lob thin | az That I thy praise 

n I Inden { taz be singing — 

GUmrt I sunes thin { es The birth of thy son 

dniht I ines min | es my Lord ! 

lob ih I bigin | ne red | inon Yea, that I begin to tell 

luio er | bigon J da bred | igon how he began to preach ; 

IW ih I giuuar | si har | to That I be right heedful 

ther I o sin I ero uuor { to of his words ; 

Uiid| chan thin | er det | a tho | Yea, signs that he did then 

thes I uair bir | un nu | so fro | (whence we are now so glad) ; 

loh iiiiio I thin sel { ba hei J li Yea, how the self salvation 
mut nuorj olti | simein [i now to the world is common ; 

I Thtz ih I ouh hiar | giscrib { e That I eke here may write 
; nos I zi reht { emo lib | c (to further our righteous life) 

Uaio I fizdan | ^ er un { sih fand | How sinful he us found, 

tfao I er sel I bo doth | es ginand | when of death himself he tasted ; 

U Qoio I er fbar | ouh than | ne Yea, eke how he fared then 

ab I ar him { ila al | le over the heavens all, 

yb|ar sun { nan lioht | Over the sun^s light, 

ioh il I Ian thes { an uuor | olt-thiot | and all this world*s rout ; 

Hiaz I ih druh { tin than { ne That, O Lord ! I then 
in ther | o sag | u ne | firspir { ne in this tale err not, 

Noh j in them { o uuah { en Nor in this recital 
^a uuort I ni miss | ifah { en any words missay. 

The poor monk then prays^ that he may sing to God^s 
landj and (with needless scruple) not for his own glory. 

The reflection contained in the following extract^ seems 
to haye been a favourite one ; for it may be found in diffe- 
rent MSS. and with considerable variations. As here given 
Erom a Cotton MS.* it is probably of the 12th century. 
Alliteration seems to bet quite neglected^ and there is but 
me line that rimes. 

Wben thou see'xt 'mongst a people king that is wilful, 

And jnsticer [talking bribes;] priest that is wild ; 

Bishop sluggish ; old man a lechur ; 

Young man a liar ; woman shameless ; 

Child not thriving ; thrall disobedient ; 

Nobleman pro<ligal; a land without law — 

E'en as Bede said, " Wo to that people ! " 

' This word (if indeed it be rightly rendered) does not take the plural in< 

* Layamon MS. Cal. A. ix. [The extract is printed at the end of Wright's 
a£tkm of the Owl and Nightingale, p. 80.— W. W. S.] 

E £ 


For the most part^ however, those poems, which reject 
alliteration, took the rime. The Romance of Horn m 
afford us an example ; and may at the same time teach t 
liow long it was before the sectional verse was generally i 
cognised as such in our manuscripts. In the Cambrid 
MS.^ indeed, though some of the couplets are written co 
tinuously, most of them are divided into two short verse 

Al I le be I on he bllth { e : that | to mj | 8onge lith | e . 

A sang I ihc schal | 50U sing { e : * of mar | rj * the king | e . 

King j he was | biwes | te : so lang { e so | hit last { e . 

Grod I hild het | his quen | : ' faire ' ne mi5 1 te non ben | . 

He had { de a son | e that | het horn | : fair | er ne mist { e * non | beo bon 

Ne I no rein | upon | birin : e : ne sun | ne upon | bischin | e 

Fair | er nis | non than { e he was j : he | was brijt j so the glas ' . 

He I was whit | so the flur | : ros | e-red | was his | colur | . 

In non | e king | e rich | e : nas non { his ilich | e . 

Twelf fer | en he had | de . that alle ^ with him ladde . 
Al I le rich | e man | nes son j es : and alle | hi wer { e fair | e gom j es . 
With I him for | to plei { e : and mest | he luu | ede twei | e . 
That on | him het hath | ulf child | : and | that oth | er ffik { enild | . 
Ath I ulf was I the bes j te : and fik | enylde | the werst | e . 

so ihc I jou tel | le may | 
pleingi . 

Hit was I upon | a som | eres daj | : al 

Mur I ri the god { e king | : rod | on his 

Bi I the se sid { e : as | e he was won { ed rid | e . 

He fond { bi the strond | e : ariu | ed on | his lond | e . 

Schip 1 es fiflen | e : with sar | azins ' ken | e . 

He ax I ede what | iso3 { te : oth | er to Ion | de bro5 j te . &c. 

We will now pass, with Warton, to the education 

The kyng { com in { to hal { le : among { his kni5 1 tes al I le . 
Forth I he clup | ede ath | elbrus { : that | was stiw | ard of | his hiis' 

* Univ. Lib. Gfr. 4. 27. 

'^ [Printed in King Horn, ed. J. R. Lumby, for the Earlj English T« 
Society, 1866. The extract comprises 11. 1-40.— W. W. S.] 
^ No metrical point. 

* The difTerence of names in the two MSS. will not escape notice. It wc 
be easy to show the greater correctness of the Cambridge copy, bat spac 


but in the HarL MS. which is later by three fourths of a 
century, the poem is written after the old fashion, in 

I make the following extracts from the Cambridge MS. 
The reader may compare them with those, which Warton 
has taken from the Harleian.* 

All they be blithe : that to my song li»ten ! 

A 8ong I will you sing : of Murry the King 

King be was by west : (as long sjs it laafeed) ; 

OodliDd higlit bis iiueen : — fairer noiiid none be ; 

He liad a son tlmt bight Honi : — * fairer could none be bom^ 

Nor rain rain upon : nor son shine upon ; 

F&irer is there none than he whk : he wils bright %r the glass, 

Tie was white as the flow'r : rosy- red was his colour ; 

In no king's realm : was any his like ! 

Twelve feres he had : that he with him led, 

(All great meirs sons : and all of them were fair men) 

Witli him ff>r to play : and most he loved two. 

The one by him was calfd child Athidf : and the other Fikenild: 

Athulf was the best : and Fikenild the worst. 

It was upon a sitmraer's day : (as I you may tell) 

Mnrry the good king : rode for hxa sporty 

By the sea aide : as bp was wont to ride. 

He found by the strand : arrived in his land, 

Ships fifteen i of Sarazins keen. 

He asked what they sought : ur what to land they brought, Ac. 

Horn, and the love of poor Rjmenhild [//, 223-326]. 

The king came in to hall : among all his knightfl. 

Forth he called Athelbrua ; that was steward of hia house, 

* This is prchably a misrake for/atn 

* Herei» = x = 5. 

^ Here the Harl. MS, reads, thai he %e%ih him kdd* : I have construed 

" If this be not m m^re hi under for Sarajrinett/it is one of the earliest instances 
I have met with of the contitu^ted plural-ending. 


Stiw I ard tak | nu her | e : mi fund | Ijng for | to ler | e . 

Of thin I e metster { e : of wud | e and of | riuer \ e . 

And tech { him to harp | e ^ : with | his nay | les scharp { e . 

Beuor j e me | to keru j e : & of | the cup 1 e seru | e . 

Thu tech | him of al | le the lis | te : that thu eu I re of wis ' te . 

In ^ I his feir | en thou wis j e : in | to oth j ere { serais | e 

Horn I thu un \ deruong ', e : & tech | him of harp { e & song \ c . 

Ath I ilbrus | gan ler j e : horn | and his | yfer { e . 
• Horn I in hert { e la5 j te : al | that he | him ta5 ' te . 
In I the curt { and ut | e : and el | les al ! abut j e 
Luu I ede men | horn child | : and mest | him lou | ede Rym j enhild ' 
The kyng | es 05 j ene dos | ter * : he | was mest | in tho5 1 te . 

Heo lou I ede so | horn child | : that ne3 | heo gan wex | e wild i . 

For heo | ne mi5 j te at bord j e : with | him spck | e no word | e . 

Ne no5t I in the hal | le : among | the kni5t | es al | le . 

Ne no I whar in | non oth | er sted | e : of folk | heo had | de dred ' e . 

Bi dai { e ne | bi ni5t | c : with | him spek | e ne mij ! te . 

Hir I e sor | e5e ne | hire pin | e : ne mi3t j e neu | re fin j e . 

In heort | e heo had | de wo | : and { thus hir j e bitho5 { te tho | . 

Heo send { e hir | e son | de : Athelbrus | to bond | e . 

That I he com | e hir i e to | : and al j so schold | e horn do { . 

Al I in to bur j e : fur | heo gan | to lur | e . 

And I the sond | e seid | e : that sik | lai that maid | e . 

And bad | him com | e swith | e : for | heo nas noth j ing blith | e . 

The stu I ard was | in hert | e wo | : for | he nus \ te what | to do j . 
Wat rym | enhild hur j e tho5t j e : gret wun | der him thu3 1 te . * 
Abut ! e horn | the yong | e : to bur j e for | to bring | e . 
He tho3tc upon | his mod | e : hit nas | for non | e god | e . 
He tok I him anoth | cr '^ : ath | ulf horn ! es broth | er . 

Ath I ulf he sed | e rijt | anon j : thu | schalt with | me to bur ' c gc* 
To spek I e with rym , enbild stil . le : and wit \ en hur , e wil j le . 
In horn j es ilik | e : thu | schalt hur | e biswik | e 
Sor j e ihc me | of-dred | e : he wol ] de horn | mis-red '■ e . 

Ath I elbrus | gan Ath j ulf led ' e " : and in j to bur ! e with | him 30^ 
Anon I upon Ath | ulf child j : Rym , enhild | gan wex ' e wild . 
He wend | e that horn | hit wer | e : that | heo hau | ede ther c . 

* No metrical point. 

^ I^^tegl A.S. was a kind of pledrum, with which the harper struck the stf 
of his instrument. 

3 [Read And] J. R. Lumby.] 

* Here we have dos/er written for doyer—vk, clear proof how close was 


'* Bte'^roid, take dow here : my foundling to teach him 

** ^^ tilij mystery : of wood and of river. 

** Ami t«ach him to harp : with his nails ^ sharp, 

** ^^fox-e me to carve : and with the cup to serve. 

*' ^^ "tliou teach him all the arts : that ever thou wist of. 

" "^s feres do thou instruct : in other service — 

*' Horn take to thee : and teach him harp and song." 

AthelVn^g gan teach : Horn and his feres ; 

Horn by heart caught : all that he him taught. 

^ ^he court and out : and every where else about, 
Men lov'd child Horn : and him most loved Rymenhild, 
^"^ king's own daughter : — he was most in her thought. 

^® so lov'd child Horn : that she gan nigh wax wild 
^P*" •he could not, at table : with him speak one word, 
^^i* in the hall : among all the knights, 
^^ nowhere in other place : — of people she had dread ; 

y day or by night : with him speak she could not ! 
j^ sorrow and her pain : never might have end ; 
*4eart she had woe : and then bethought her thus. 


^^ sent her message : t-o the hand of Athelbrus, 

^^t to her he should come : and also should make Horn 

*^e aU to her bow*r : for she gan to sadden. 
T*^^ the message said : that sick lay the maid, 
^^^ bade him come quickly : for she was nothing blithe. 

^'S steward was sad in heart : for he wist not what to do. 

^ *^»t Rymenhild was thinking of: great wonder seem*d to him — 

^*^*^^ut the youth Horn : — the bringing him to bow'r ; 

*J^ 'thought in his mind : it was for no good ; 

^^ took him another man : Athulf, Horn's brother. 

y^ttulf," he said right anon : " Thou shalt wend with me tobowV, 
^ ^ o speak to Rymenhild quietly : and learn her will. 

f ^ likeness of Horn : thou shalt her deceive, 

"^^K>re I fear me : she would Horn mislead." 

^^o^lbrus gan Athulf lead : and to bow'r with him he went, 
^^On, upon child Athulf : Rj-menhild gan wax wild. 
^^^ ween*d that it was Horn : that she had there. 

WMW^ between the two letters 5 and 3. So also doster, daughter 5 Prompt. 
ftt'-P-m. See p. 419, n. 6. 

"**^ A.S. is the past tense of thencan to seem — thohte the past tense of 
''«"*'** to think. The distinction is preserved in the words thu'Si^ and thoUe 
"• Mw oonfonnd these verbs. 
* A toetncal point. 


Heo set | tc him | on bed | de : with Ath j ulf child | he wed j de . 
On hir I e arm | es twey \ e : Ath { ulf heo | gan lei | e . 

Horn I quoth heo | wel long | e : ihc hab | be the lu | ued strong | e . 
Thu I schalt thi trewth | e pli3t | e : on { myn hond | her ri3 1 te . 
Me I to spus I e hold | e : and ihc | the lord | to wol j de . ^ 

Ath I ulf sed ' e on hir { e ir j e : so stil j le hit wer I e 

Thi tal I e nu | thu lyn | ne : for horn | nis no5t | her in | ne . 

Ne beo | we no3t | ilich [e : horn | is fair 'er and rich |e . 

Fair | er bi on I e rib \ be : thane an j i man | that lib ! be . 

The5 horn | were un | der mold \ e : oth | er el | les wher ( he wold \ c . 

0th i er hen [ ne a thus | end mil | e : ihc nol | de him | ne the | bigil | e . 

Rym ! enhild hir | e biwen \ te : and ath | elbrus ful | e heo schent \ e . 

Hen I nes thu go | thu ful ! e theof | : ne wurs | tu me neu | re mor e leof . 

Went ut I of my bur | : with much j el mesau \ entur j . &c. &c. 

I fiilly agree in the opinion advanced by Price, as to the 
origin of this Romance. In its present shape it may be of 
later date than the Norman version, but the original was in 

' In the Harl. MS. wolde and holde change places, as they certainly ought to 
do. One might almost think they were misplaced in this MS. from a spirit of 




She set him on the seat : with child Athulf went she mad ! 
Within her arms two : Athulf gan she lay. 

** Horn," quoth she, " full long : I have loved thee strongly. 

" Thou shalt thy troth plight : here on my hand rightly, 

** Me as thy spouse to rule : and I thee as my Lord to hold.*' 

Athulf said in her ear : as softly as might be, 

** Cease now thy tale : for Horn is not here, 

** Nor be we in aught alike : Horn is fairer and is rich, 

** Fairer by a rib ^ : than any man that lives. 

•* Though Horn were under ground : or else where'er he would, 

** Or hence a thousand miles : I would not him nor thee beguile.'' 

Kjmenhild tum'd her round : and foully Athelbrus she shent, 

** Hence go thou, thou foul thief : nor shalt thou to me ever more 

be dear, 
•* Wend out of my bow'r : with mickle mesaventurey &c. &c. 

all probability Anglo-Saxon. The notions which Ritson held 
on this subject^ have been long since losing ground ; and 
IDBJ now be considered as exploded. 

» That is, I suppose, taller by a rib. I never met with the phrase else- 



a. HI. 


But for the rnne is Ugfat uid lewde. 
Yet mftke it somewluU agreadife^ 
Though some verx/a^U in a dUMt^ 
And duat I do no ditigencf, 
To flhewe cnfle, but seoleiice. 


has its origin involved in mach obscurity. It may be 
doubted, in the first place, whether it originated in the 
Latin rhythm of four accents, or is of native growth ; and 
secondly, supposing it of English origin, whether it be i 
sectional metre, or one that has sprung from the alliterative 

The metre of four accents and eight syllables was lami* 
liar to our LaiinisU at a very early period. In their Teroe&j 
as in our later English rhythms, we find not only the fiilse 
accent, but alliteration subordinate to the rime, and often 
resting upon unaccented syllables. Of this character ar© 
the well-known verses of Aldhelm, written aboot the close 
uf the seventh century ; 

Lee I tor eas I te oub \ oik \ e 

At I que ob \ ses ath ; letic I e 

Tu I is pul satiis I preci ! bus 

Ob nixe | llagi \ tanti bus 

MjQi nista | canueti { eeci ni, &c.^ 

' Tbe«e ftcsreniaAl reraes are not modolled on the Trochftic Dimeter, whidi as 
not mentiotied hy Bedc, »wl teems lio hate be^n tuiknown to bU <3uiiteiiipo- 
rmries; but on llie Dimeter ** Iambic Colopbonr (Bede calls it Ut!mm€i€r\ ouo^ 
si&ting of an anapvst, two iambics, and a stip«rnumejmrjr sjrlJable. 
rbjthmti^ is used io k staff of four verst^ with continoons riin«^ bj Mmm 
p. 48 ; vrith interworen rime, Keliq, Antiq. L 30 ^ also bj Mapt%, in ^ 
witb ail indefinite nnmber of verses and oontinnoos rime« p. 64, It waa n 
faYoiirite m«trp« in the 6th and ?th centuries. The wraes of Bonifies msm 
iDodeUed on the cununon Iambic Dimeter. 


and those of his friend^ the great apostle of Germany. 

Vale I frater { floren I tibus | 
Juven I tiitis | cum vir ; ibus ' 
Ut flor I eas | cum Dom j ino ' 
In sem | pitcr | no so | lio | , &cJ 

Now we have early Norman poems, which closely follow 
the rhythm of these Latin verses ; but I have hitherto 
vainly searched for it in any English poem. As soon as 
the vnriter tarns to his mother- tongue, the tale of syllables 
is no longer counted, and the rhythm is measured by the 
ear. As English and Norman poems are often found in 
the same MS. the contrast is brought distinctly under the 
eye of the reader, and may, probably, convince him that, 
although these Latin rhythms may have forwarded the de- 
Telopment of our English metre, they were not the source 
whence it took its origin. 

Whether this metre be sectional or not, is a question of 
greater difficulty. The Gothic dialects of Northern Europe 
had a metre of four accents, which was clearly of this 
character ; and our own sectional metres abound in verses 
of four accents, and occasionally exhibit almost all the 
peculiarities of the metre before us. Still however the 
position of the stops,^ the general flow of the rhythm, and 
even what remains of the alliteration, all tend to throw 
donbt on the conclusion, to which these facts would seem 
to lead us. 

For instance, we often find stops in the midst of a verse 
— sometimes even such as close a period. 

And lyghten of heore justeris gode 

And yeod | en on fot ' e : men | they met ; ten 

And everiche othir faire gretten. 

And tliey lighted from their chargers good, 
And went on foot. Men they met 
And each the other fairly greeted. 

Alisaunder (erf. Weber), 6801. 

> See the lune, in an interwoven staff of eight lines, Mapes, pp. 93, 185 ; in 
mm indefinite itaff, id, 131. 

^ See MS. Cotton, Nero D. xi. And see Wynloans Chronicle, 2. 444. 


The subordinate stops are of constant occurrence. 

Nis non { so hot | : that hit | ne col | ath 

Ne no3t 
Ne no3t 
Ne no3t 

80 hwit I : that hit | ne sol j ath 
80 leof { : that hit | ne aloth j ath 
so glad I : that hit | ne awroth | ath 

There is nought so hot, that it cooleth not ; 
And nought so white, that it soileth not ; 
And nought so dear, that it doth not disgust. 
And nought so pleas'd, that it is not angry. 

HuU and Ni'^tingale, 126^ 

Mi son I e heo sed | e : hav { e this ring \ . 
Whil I he is thin | : ne du | te nothing | . 
That ^ir | the bren | ne ^ : ne adren | che se. 
Ne ire ne stcil ne mai the sle. 

Mj son, she said, take thou this ring, 
Whilst it is thine, fear nothing. 
That fire bum thee, or sea drown — 
Nor iron nor steel may slaj thee. 

Floriz and Blauncheflwr^ 1. 3. 

Again^ in such poems as show traces of alliteration, ^^ 
have the riming letters varying, for the most part, tf 
each verse. Were the metre sectional, I think they woulc 
be found, more frequently, running through the couplet 
As it is, not only is the alliteration confined to the verae 
but such verse often fulfils all the conditions of the allite 
rative couplet, and this, sometimes, through passages o 
considerable length. In Twaine and Gawaine nine out o 
the twelve first ^ verses are of this character. 

Almygh ' ti god ! : that ma ; de mankyn , , 
lie scbil I de ^ his ser | vandes : out | of sin { ! 
And mayn | tene them | : with might { and mayne 
That her | kens * Y ' waine : and | Gawayne | ! 

' A metrical point in MS. 

^ In poems of the 14th and 15th centuries, the opening lines often betray t 
model, which the author had in view, though he widely deviates from it, as i 
poem advances, and he becomes careless in his versification. 

^ 3rd pers. pres. opt. " May he keep his servants,** &c. 

* 3rd pers. pi. pres. ind. North. Dialect. '* That barken to," &c. An in 
cation of blessings upon the hearers was a common mode of introduction, b 
to the Romance and the Mystery. 




Thai war knightes : of tlie tabyl rownde 
Tharfor | e Hs j ten« ^ : a lyt | el stownd | e . 

Ar I ttur the kjng ' : of Yju I gland , ' 

That wan al Wales with his hand 

And I al Scot I laud : ala .saves) | tiie buke | 

And man t i mo | : if men | will lukti | 

Of al knightes be bar the prjae 

In werld | was non|: bo war | no wise | &c. {IL 1-12.] 

The old eat English poem, I know ofj in this metre is the 
Hole and Nijtengale. It is found both in the Layamon 
MS/^aod in an Oxford MS.'* of later date; and was pro- 
wbljr written not long after the year 1200. Its author, 
I We little doubtj was John of Guildford; for it follows 
the Oxford MS.) a poem^ that was avowedly written 

f him ; and the praises it bestows upon Nichol of Guild- 

di could only have proceeded from one, who was an 
Itimate and friend. The two were probably fellow- 

This poem has certainly been underrated by Warton/^ 
I do not think it wanting either in " invention ^^ or 
'^poetry'*; but the quality which most distinguishes it, is 
*kt John of Guildford would doubtless have termed its 
wwdowi. The contrast he draws between the useful and the 
"rilhant, occasiondiy shews both depth of observation and 
wuBdness of judgment* 

I shall, however^ take those passages which make men- 
Jion of " Nichole of Guidevorde/^ 80 little is known of 
OUT earlier writers, that almost any allusion to them must 

' 2ijd pors. phir. imperative. Northern Dialect. 

* Yynffland wbls donbtlfss intended tr* have three iiy II abJe^. The Anglo - 
^'^^'R Enql4^ hint/ hnd in the Old Kngli.nh Homeiiniefl twt*, sometimes three 
ffilibi€«, and wils written both Enyltktnd and E)hjlami. These wei'o ofieti 

' (-otion MS. CaL a. ix. 

* JesiiiMS. 86. 

It 14 pretty clear, fmro hi 11 obserration upon the rimeB,j and also fmni hiM 
•otiwof ihe contetitB, that Warton nev<*r read the poem. He seems, indeed, 
lfci« ippldom lo ha%e opened a MS, \ ami when he ^ives an extmetr or venliirea 
icnfjeisin. both extract and criiifism will generally be fuutid in the Catahgne, 
rpnn rhe a7cura<:r of the note in the Catalegu** he r«liod in the present cane ; 
and it has niisJed nim. 




be iiiattcr of interest, Nichol appears to Iiave written ia 
praise of the nightingale — probably in some work on tie 
nature of animals/ 

Ich wot I wel qufltli { : the mjt | in^al 1 e . 

Ne lUar f thar j of : bo | no tal e . 

Mais I ter iiicli | ole : of guUJ j eford | e - 

He I h wis I : an war | of word e . 

He I is of flom | e : suth | e glen j , 

And liitii I h loth | : eu | rich uritheu ! • 

He I wot in | sijt : in ech | e song | e , 

Wo Hinjj I et wel : wo ^ing | et wrong \ e . 

And lie | can sclied c : vrom | the ri^ te . 

Tliat woj ^ e, that thus | ter ; from | the Wz ' te 

The hill I e one wil e : hi | bi-tlio^ I le . 
And tif ter tliaii : this word | up^broj { te . 
J eh ^nm ti %vel : that he | tis dem j e . 


he wer e : wil e brem I e 

And lof I hiiD wtT ' e : ni-^ i ungal | e . 
And otii er wi3 te ; gen te and smal \ e , 
h h wot I he k | nu : suth | e aeol | eil _ 
N iH I he vor | the : uo^t | afol | ed , 
That he | for thin ' e : ol 

Mc I adun lcg;ge : and 
Nc Melmi l tu tieu ! r43 : so 

de lu ' 
the bu ! ue . 
him quern | e , 

That I he for | the : fals | dom <lem | e 
He I is him rij* j e : and | fa8t-re<l e , 
Ne In.^t f him 3iu : to nun | g unrefl i e . 

Nu lii 


\m inor e pie le 


He wil , e gou \ : a rijt e wei ] e . 

From the next passage we learn Nichol's residence and 
circuraHtance^s. An inquiry after the former obtains tic 
following anawer, which shows that if the scholars of the 

Hwat, 003 te 5e ! : cwath heo | his hoin | 

He wunetb at portes-hora , 

At on 1 e tun j e : in | e doreet | e . 

Bi thar I e see h i« or I e ut-let I e . 

* Works an this Hiitijoet, or ^' B«stlariei '' ai they were called, *eeiii ii> h&m 
b^fn very pofudar duTiiip rlie J 2th and laih wntudea. 

* (But thi' *Jtht»r US. fau^ leof, I &. « luid the nightiogale waa dear lo ^mjm 
W, W. S, I 


The two rivals are selecting a judge, to decide between 
em [Cotton MS., 11. 189-214] : — 

I wot wel, quoth the Nightingale, 

Thereof need there be no diRpute. 

Master Nicliole of Guldevorde, 

He is wise, and wary of wokIs ; 

lie in judging is right skilful, 

And hateful to him is every wrong ; 

He has insight in all songs — 

Who sings well, who sings badly : 

And he can distinguish from the right 

The wrong — the darkness from the light. 

The Owl awhile bethought her, 

And aflerwanls this word she spake. 

I well agree that he should judge us, 

For though he was whilom proud, 

And his was the praise '^ of the Nightingale, 

And of other creatures gent and small, 

I wot he is now greatly cooled. 

For thee he is no longer fooled. 

So that he, for thy old love, 

Should put me down, and thee above. 

Nor shalt thou ever so liim please. 

That he for thee false judgment give ; 

He is ripe and strong in judgment. 

Nor welcome to him is any folly ; 

NotD pleaseth hun no more to play, 

He will go a rightful way. 

h century were sometimes neglected, they were, by no 
ins, backward in obtruding their merits and resenting 
affront [11. 1749-1776]. 

What ! know ye not, quoth she, his home ? 
He wonneth at Portesham, 
At u town in Doi-set, 
Hy the sea, at an outlet,' 

*ortiaham is a parish near Weymouth. The manor and advowsun be- 
i to the monastery of Abbotshury. 


Thar | he dem \ eth man | ie : 1*13 1 te dom j . 

An diht | an writ { : man | i wisdom { . 

An thar ^ | his muth { e : an thar ^ | his houd { e . 

Hit I is the bet | ere : in | to scot-Ion | de . 

To sech I e hin | e ; is liht | lich thing ] . 

He nau ' cth but { e : on | e woning | . 

That his bisch | open : much { el scham | e . 

An al le than | that : of | his nom ! e . 

Hab I beth ihert | : an of | his ded | e . 

Hwi nul I leth hi nim { en : heom | to red i e . 

That I he wer | e : mid heom | ilom | e . 

For to teoh j e heom | : of his | wisdom j e . 

An giu I e him ren | te : a ual { e sted | e . 

That he | mi5te heom : ilom | e be nud | e .' 

Cer I tes cwath { the hul { e : that | is soth I . 
Theos rich | e men | : wel much | e misdoth | . 
That let eth than { e : god | e mon I . 
That of so feo | le : thing { e con | . 
An giu I eth rent | e : wel | mislich j e . 
An I of him let | eth : wel | lihtlich | e . 
With heor | e cun \ ne : heo | beoth mil | dre . 
An giv I eth rent | e : lit { le chil | dre . 
Swo heor | e wit | : hi demth | adwol j e . 
That eu I er abid ! : mais I tre nichol ' e . 

As the thirteenth century advanced^ many English poems 
were written in this metre. Unfortunately the manuscripU 
are for the most part of later date, and as our language be- 
gan to change in the fourteenth century, few of them can 
be implicitly relied on, in any question relating to the 
rhythm. A Cambridge MS. of the thirteenth century* 
contains a fragment of Floriz and Blancheflur, and also a 
poem on the Assumption of the Virgin.^ The rhythm is 

Among I the lef I (lis : in | the sted '■. e . 
God I to ser | vi : he hir \ e dud | e . 

^ [Read tkurh, as in Morris's edition ; and translate it by ; literally " through.' 
In the next line, Hit is means " it is." — W. W. S.] 

^ That is — his spoken judgments and his written works. Nichol seems H 
have presided in some ecclesiastical coiu*t. 

^ [Head mide, as in Morris's edition, and tmnslate— thai he miff ht often hewitk 
fhem.—W. W. S.] 

* University Libr. Gg. 4. 27. See p. 418, n. 1. 


There lie giveth many a juclgmen* jiiat. 

And Tiialcptli and writeth many a pici'e of wisdom^ 

And there bis mouth, ftntl there his band * — 

They &re the bevt^ m far as Scotland ! 

To seek him is an ensy thing. 

He bath l»ut one (Iwellinji ; 

That livAS liirt bishops greatly shame, 

(And hUi when they of his name 

Have heard, and of hi.s works !) ; 

Why wriil they not tuke thought together 

That he with them might often be. 

For til Icaeb them of hiH wisdom P 

And give him I lie rent of some good place 

That be to them might oft be iisefid ? 

Certeii, qimtb the Owl, that is true ; 

Theue rieh men do miieb amis* ; 

They pass by the good man, 

That knoweth of so many things; 

And give rents with very diiTerent view, 

And o( him think very lightly ; 

To their kinsmen they be moi-e indulgent, 

Anil they give rentii to little c bildren I 

So their wit they deem but liide, 

Whosoever wait for Master Nieho1e< 

much looser than in the Hale and Nyj^tingale, often varying 
from the common to the triple measure ; and the number of 
accents is much more uncertain. The following extract, from 
the second of these poema, shows ua the part^ which the monks 
signed to the A^irgin, after the resurrection [11. 55-77], 
St, Johuj wo are told, took her to the temple, and when she 


Aiiiojig the Iflilies/' in that place^ 
God to serve she miule her ruadv 

' There i«t anotbt*r copy r>f this pi»etn, but with ifmsiVterahk variaiions, in 
ono of the tiitely piirthasml MSS. tif tli« MujM^um. The MS, is of the I4tb 
t*onairy. [It is the Addiiiofml MS. Ii)03*i, Both copit?a of this poem were 
print«4 by Mr; Lumby, in tht? same volume with his edition oF King Horn, — 
W. W. S,] 

* In the later MS. thetie ladies bm-otne Aw»** 


Thar | bilef ! te heo : al hur ; e lif | . 

Ne lou I ecle he ' : nother fi3t { ne strif | . 

Theo I that in | : the tem j pie wer | e . 

Ne mi3 ' te no3t | : hir | e forber | e . 

With al I hure mijt j e : the whil 1 e heo was thor • e . 

Ileo scr I vede botli ' e : las | se and mor | e . 

Pour I c and sik | e : he dud | e god • . 

And scr j vede hem | : to hond { and fot { . 

Pour I e and hung '■ ric : wel fair \ e he fed | de . 

And sik | e heo broj > te : in | here bed j de . 

Nas I ther non | : so hoi | ne fer | . 

That I to her | : nad ' de mcster | . 

Hi lou I ede hur | e al , ic : with her { e mi5 ' te . 

For I heo ser [ uede : hem wel rij | te . 

He wak | ede mor \ e : than e slep ! . 

Hire son | e to ser | ui : was al | hire kep | . 

To I him heo clup | ede : with mur | ie ' stev ] ene . 

And hir j e he sen | te : an aun j gel fram hev | ene . 

To glad j ie hir ] e : him-self | he cam | . 

Crist I that fless j : of hir | e nam ; . 

Seint Jon hire kepte, &c. 

Several poems were written in this metre during the tl 
teenth century, among which may be reckoned the roman 
of Iporaydon, Richard, Kyng Alisaunder, and Havelok;2 1 
in all probability that curious satire called the land 
Cockaigne/^ and the Harrowing of Hell.* I doubt, howcT 
if there be a MS. of any of these poems, which can d 
earlier than the year 1300. The rhythm in all of then 
loose, and remarkably so in the Alisaunder. The differ 
fyttes in this poem are divided by a few lines, contain 
some general reflection or description, and for the m 

' The meaning of this word murie has been fully discussed in the ** Ohst 
tions upon Mr. Fox's letter to Mr. Grey/' a wtirk, which was printed at ( 
bridge some twenty or thirty years back, for private circulation. In this t 
elep:ant i>\ece of criticism, it is shown, that the merry note, whioJi Cha 
attributes to the nif^htingale, implied nothiiig more than 8we€tnes$ of sound, 
that it is, by no means, inconsistent with the plaintive character, which o\ 
of our great poets assign to the " nocturnal note." The arguments ol 
airomplished scholar who wTote it might receive (if they needed any) st 
confirmation from the text, for the word muric is actually replaced in the ( 
MS. by riiffuL 

'^ The three first of these poems were printed by Weber in his Mel 



There liv'd she all her life, 

Nar lov'd she eitber fi|fht or stnfo ; 

Thev, that in the temfile were. 

Could not with her dispense. 

With aJI her mit;ht the while f^he was there, 

She serve*! both humble and frwat ; 

To poor and sick she did gijod, 

And served them with hand autl foot ; 

The poor and hungry ri^ht fairly she fe*i, 

And the sick she brought unto their bed ; 

Was there none so whole or fair, 

Tliat need of her had not ; 

They lov'd her all, with all their mi^ht, 

For j^he eerv d thoui ri^ht well ; 

She watch*d more than she !?lept ; 

Her son to serve wa.s all her care ; 

To him she e ailed with sweet voice. 

And to her he sent an au^el from heaven \ 

To pleasure her himself he came — 

Chrittt ! that of her U»ok flesh ! 

St. John maintained her, &c. 

I ending with the same rime. In these passages, the 
i very generally incliBes to the triple measure. TIjo 
following is a specimen. 

IAv I eril is meor \j : and long ' ith the day j 
Lad I iefi lov | en : »ot as and play [ 
Swayn | es, juj* | tes : knvgh | tis, tuniay | 

The hot \ e 8 tin I ne : chong | eth the clay [ 
Aa I ye well : jse | en may ] 

April h merry, and length' neth the day ; 
Ladies love solace and play ; 

s, and the last e<lited by Sir F. Madden (or t\\v Roxburghe Chib [and 
•"ffinted for Uje Early English Text Society by Sir F. Maditon and myiielf. — 

* Hkkw pnhlishe<l this pooro in his Thcsaiinta [vol i. p. 2;U]* from a MS. of 
W IHend Tanner — the inori, by all antiqoarie^, ** nummo cum honore nomi- 
l*Aii.' There can be liltle doubt that this MS. is now the llarh MS. 913 ; 
iOfcAi with the satine. [Sine** reprinted in Early English Pnems, ©d, F. J. 
hin«Vall, 1862, p. 156; imd in Matter's Altenfjlim-he SprachpniWii, i. 147. 


253, The pofim was piiblished in (Hr ArchaioloR^ia. [Sec* iheeditroti 
I in MS. If arl. 2253, by Df. Boditekep.— W. W. S.] 

F F 


Swaina the jousts ; knights tlic tourimY ; 

Siugetb tlje niohtinpale ; f^crefiuieth the jaj ; 

The hot Aim tibangelh the clajr ; 

As ye well maj sec* — Alisaunder (edL Wei>er% 139* 

The gradual cbango to tbe common measure ia cbanc* 
teristic of tlio author's rhythm. 

In thia romaDce, the sectional rime ia common ; and, as 
regards the final rime, there ia a peculiarity whicli deserves 
notice. When the verso is lengthened, the writer ofien 
contents himself with a rime between the accented sjUablea; 
making carpiih answer to harpe, h 5990, and deonttM to 
tent) 1. 1848. This kind of rime is occasionally found ia 
other poems of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, 
among others in Havelok* 

The Alisaunder was translated partly frotn the French, 
and partly from the Latin; the Kichard appears to be i 
loose translation of an earlier Norman poem, and the stant 
was the case with the Ipomjdon ; ' but there can be Utile 
doubt, that both the Norman and the English versions of 
Havelok are founded on an older poem, of Engliah growliif 
and probably belonging to the Anglo-Saxon period. The 
romance (in its present form) appears to have been written 

Hwan t he was hos ^ led and sliriv | en 

Hk qnh I te mak eel : and for | him gyv { eii 

His knic { tes ded | e : he al | le sit | o 

For fhor w tbem | : he wold ' e wit | e 

Ilwo inic I te yem ! e : his | c chil ; dreu jxtnpi | e 

Till I that he kouth | eu : »pek | en wit tiuig | e 

Bpek I en and gaii^ ! eu : on hors | e rid | eii 

Knict I es an swejn ] es : bi her j e * std | en 

He ^pok ' en ther-ofie : and chos \ en son | e 
A rich , e man was I : that * \m der mon 1 e 

* The AbrMan poem was written bj Hugh of Hntland { fliie dp Hotclaiid)^ 

* Laud* 106 [see p. 12 of mj edition.-- W. W. S.]. The Uym ot tiMi *-fa*^ 
and Um other posms whidi ^1 np tlie MS. « are mottl/ written in itm aovdMR 

* *l1iii is clearly a misiakp for htrt, (Tliis note refara «o iImi &c«t Umt Uk 

C. IV. HAVELOK. 435 

by a Lincolnshire man, and in the dialect of that county ; 
but the manuscript * was probably written in a religious 
louse of some southern county, and to the transcriber may 
perhaps be imputed such traces of the southern dialect, as 
•re occasionaDy met with. 

This romance has all that interest for an English reader, 
rtich must ever attach to an old English sfcory. Whether 
i be founded on historical fact or not, we know it was 
BK)gt devoutly received as history ; and, I take it, not many 
generations have passed, since the good folks of Grimsby 
^nld but ill have borne any scepticism on the subject. 
He tale is but a short one, and, in this matter-of-fact age 
*e cannot calculate on the reader's knowledge of such 
Wfles. Grim the fisherman finds a child floating on the 
^ters; he grows up a hero, and after various adventures 
tons out to be the son of a Danish king, and marries the 
ittghter of a king of England. The foster-father, with 
■is aid, builds Grimsby. Upon this myth is founded 
fte romance, which has some merit merely as a poem, and 
ikone time appears to have enjoyed extraordinary popu- 
■rity. The following extract may give the reader some 
>otion of its style. It describes the deathbed of King 
Birkabeyn [11.364-397]. 

When he was houslcd and shriven, 
His bequests made, and for him given, 
His knights he made all sit, 
For from them would he know, 
Who should keep his children young, 
Till they knew how to speak with tongue. 
To speak, and walk, and ride on horse, 
Knights and servants by their side. 

They spoke thereof and chosen soon 

Was a rich man, that, under moon, 

i WBS prinked hete in the former edition of this book. But the MS. itself 

mOj ]m hme, correctly.— W. W. S.] 
' [Bot the word that is not in the MS. ; it was evidently caught up from the 
le fcUrvwing. The best sense would be made by inserting that here (omitting 
v), and hj readmg of for that in the next line ; *^ a rich man, that under moon 

% tlie truest, as they thought."— W. W. S.] 

On meg ] ae bok \ : tUe pre!«t | on sing- J es 

That thou I mine chil|dreu : shah j we^ yenile" 

That hir | e kin I : be fii! | wel qucm [ e 

Til I mi son j e : mow , e ben knictb | 

Than \ ne bitecli \ e him : tho | his ricth I 

Den I emark ! : ami that | thertil long | es 

Cas j teles and touii | es : wod | es and wong | es, St^, 

Earlj in the fourteenth century was written^ in nc«rl 
the same dialect as Havelok^ a version of the psalms '- 
many of them in the metre of four accents. It woold m 
be extravagaDt praise, to call this one of the best of oi 
English versions ; it is indeed a work of singular men 
and some of the psalms are translated with a nerve iS 
spirit, that might do credit even to one of our cl 


* When the verac ia length pned, we sometimes find the rime ctHifiii«d to t 
locsented sjllablc, as in the A1 maunder} ^ee p. 433. H^end^ has elearlfl^ 
sjllabks, but I never remember stemg/rend with more th«n ooe. Thee it fl 
hably a blundrT of the (ranacribpr» 

^ One pet'uliurity of the diaU^t [a the freqneht foas of iHf> | fin^ fi^^ 0gg 

fur uvil [or ntlKT, for well, 

' Vosp, 1). VII. [Printed by Mr Stovensim (nr f he Siirlec^ f;^^^. ] 
W.W. ».] 

* If ever onr nrihoj^iphy he reformed, the beat. I)«caujie Ui* i 


Was the true>;t that they knew — 

GodarcL, the king's uwn friend ; 

Atid said they, he might best them kee[> 

If their charge he undertook, 

'Till his son mij:iht bear 

Helui cm head, and loud out host, 

(In liiB hand n i«tnrily ^jieiir) 

And king of DLnmmrk siioiiltl be made. 

He trusted wel to what thej sfiid. 

And on Uoddard haficls he Uid, 

And said, '* Here I entrust to thee 

** My childreu all three, 

" All Denmark, and all my fee, 

*' Till tliat offlfre my gon shall be. 

** But I would, til at thou swear, 

"On altar anil cm the maas-ffcari 

*' Oti the LelL*^ that men t'hi^, 

"And on man a -book trom wbiidi the priest stngn^ 

'* That my c^hildrcn i\uni shalt well keep, 

^' So that their kinsmen be well uonteut, 

** Till my son may he knight — 

** Then give thou him hi;* right, 

** Denmark, and what therctn pertains, 

** Castlea and towui*, wotxh and plains," &c. 


In the MS., which contains this version, the vocal th 
represented by jj^ as 2^01*^ yi^ yai^ &c. for ihou^ thy^ th&y, 

fcc. This is the earliest instance I have met with, of a 

lode of spelling which still survives ; for instance in the 

ibbroviations y'j y'^^ &c. for thet ihemy &c^ 

The following is the version of the sixth psalm, [See 

5tevenson'B edition, p. 13.] 

entmlivG of the voral th will be v. Hur prefleot y mif^ht resume iti old 
1 1^ and so prevent all fears of a mistake, 
I ihitik there can he little doubt ihut tlie t hanuier of this klter has beta 
mifitakc^n, and that too, by one of the most cuutiouH and least BpecuLative of our 
moiiern editors. Sir Frarleric Madden tt?lls us in his cjdition of Hnvelok, thftt 
he altered auch letters as were '* manifestly false,*' as ** th {\f) for iff (p), y for th 
(Is)." There is t-very likelihotKl of his having confounded the vocal and the 
whisper letters* [See the reaaarks in my preface to Havelok, p. xxxvi.] 


Lau I erd ne tbret | e me : in | yi * wreth | 

Ne ou I er tak { e me : in { yi breth | 

Lau I erd haue | : mercj | of me | 

For I jat sek e : am I { to se | 

Hel I e me lau erd : best | jon mai | 

For al ' le mi ban { es : drou | ed ar jai 

And I my saule { : mikel drou | ed isse 

Bot I jou lau I erd : towhen | al jiase 

Tom lau | erd and | : mi saule | outtak | e 

For I yi mer | cy : sauf | me mak | e 

For uoght I es in ded | e : yat is myn | ed of ye | 

And in hel | le hwa to | ye : schryv { en sal be | 

I swank { in mi sigh { ing sted | e 

I sal waseh | c bi | : al night | es mi bed { e 

With I mi ter I es : in { mi bed | e 

Sal I i wet | e : mi lig | ging sted | e 

Let I es fra wreth | : myn egh | for-yi | 

Betwex | my faes | : al el | ded 1 1 

Wit I es fra me I : al yat work | es wyk thing | 
For iau | erd herd steu | en : of mi | wepyng 
Herd lau | erd besek | ing of me | 
Lau I erd mi bed | e : kep { id has he | 

Yai sham | e and to-dreu j e : al my faes | swiftely ! 
Yai biwent { and sham | e : swith rad j dy j 

The verses of three accents^ which occur in this and ii 
other poems of the same metre, oppose a formidabb 
obstacle to the hypothesis, which has been suggested a 
the opening of the chapter. They may be attributed t< 
the influence either of the sectional metres, or of certai 
very peculiar rhythms which we shall notice more at large 
in Chapter IX. The Anglo-Saxon writers sometimes gav 
a very definite rhythm to their prose, and occasionall 
afiTected rime in the syllables, which closed the differei 
members of a sentence. We have an example in tl 
following passage, which, there is reason to believe, w 
written by the sainted Wulstan — the good and venerab 

[Here yi is printed for thi ; and so on, throughout the extract. — W. W. 1 
That is, received it. 

C. IT. 



Lord ! threaten me not in thy wratb, 

Nor ovt*rtake me witli tiiine anger [ 

Lord ! bfive inercy on me, 

For that I ftm skk to see \ 

Ileal mo^ Lord ! (best thou may*i»fe) 

F'or all my boiu^s vexed arc ihvy I 

And mj soul right vexed i;!. 

But thoii Lonl ! cbanLre all this ; 

Turn, Lord ! and snat^^b forth my aoul, 

For tliy mercy make me whole ! 

For notiijht is there in dcatli, that i? mindful of thee, 

And in hell who before thee shriveo shall be ? 

[ have labour d in my plaee of sighing, 

I must wash ev'ry ni^ht my bed ; 

With my tears, in my bed, 

Must I wet my jdure of lying. 

Closed therefore is mine eye for wrath. 

Amongst my foc*i all aged am I ! 

Hie from me all ye, that work the wieked thing — 
For the Lorrl heard the cry of my weeping, 
The Lord heard my bcBeeehing, 
The Lord my prayer — ^be hm kept it * I 

Maj they be sham'd ami wide-driven, all my foes swiftly I 
May they he turn'd back, and «ham*d right speediJy I 

Lgfiliop of Worcester. As it containa a very atrildng notice 

PPBdag William [Anno 10813 ]j and as it is curious to see 

^OW the writer gradually raises his style, till he gives to 

pix)8e almost the rhythm of poetry, I shall quote it at some 

^■o copy of the Chronicle, within reach, containing the 
iPnagej I have extracted it from Dr. Ingram^s Edition.' 
'Tlbe riming syllables are marked in ItalicSj and when two 
memhers of a sentence, or (if we may use the term) two 
B^dioHS seem closely knit together by the rhythm, their 
accents are defined in the same way as if they formed a 

■ [Cbrrecied by the later edition by the Rev. Prof. Eorle, pp. 22 L 



B. m* 

Gif hwa gewiliugetli to pewitane hu gedon tn&n be w«. 

oibtlie liwilcne wurtlmcipe be litefde • oththe ha feU lande he wwxf 
hMovd . thonne wi\le we be hixn awriUn swa swa we hme ngcatcm . the 
him oiila^oiloii . and otbre hwile on his hirecle wunedon. S* cjn^ 
Willcbn the we embe sprecath wabs switbe wia mail . and swithc rice, 
ftiid wurilifiilre and strcngere tbone aenig bin fore-gengra wsere. lie 
WHjd mllde than god urn maimiim the God Infedon , and ofer ealle geme^ 
«tearc tbaiu maimum the with-cwoedon hu willan. On thain iktt 
utcode I he God him geuthe thet he mofite Engleland geg4n . ht ncrde 
iiuL're mynster , &e. 

Eac he wies swythe wiirthful . thriwa he bier hia cyne*helm «3ce 
geare • swa afi »w& he waa^ od Englelande . on eastron he hine bsr oil 
Winoeastre . on penteeoittea on Westmvnstre . on mide wimcr «» 
Gleawe ceastre . and thamne wscron mid him ealio iha rice menn ofer 
eall Engln land . arce biscopas . and lend bkcopas abbodas and eorfat . 
thegnas and cnibtas. Swrlce he wss eac swjtlie stearc man inil 
rii^the . swa thet man ne dorsie nan thing ongean hi^ willan dciii. He 
hmUle eorlas in his benduni . the dydau ongean his vrillan. Hiaco]iiS he 
BBDtte of hoora bbcoprice . and abbodas of heora abbodrice . and theg^ 
nos on cweartern . and ast nextan be ne sparode hia agenne briithor, kc, 

Betwyx othrum thingnm ny« tm to forgytaiie tUet gode frith the 
maccHie on thisan lande , swa thet an man the bimsylf abt wicrc mihi 
larau ofer Ids rice mid his bosom lul] goldej* ungederad . and nan 
no dorsto slean otUeme man . na»tvle he na*fi-e swa mycel yfel gedoo 
with tbniie otlieme . t^c. 

Ho rixade ofer Eugltt* land . and hit mid his geapj^cipe aira tbufh 
smeade , tbet mvn an hid lande«^ iiman Eugla* lande , thet he njste hwa 
heo hn^rde « uititbe huies heo wurth wii'«i . and E«itbthaTi on his gewTil 
geaictt. liiyi laiid him wass on gewealde , and ht; thier inne castdai 
gcworhto . luul thet Man cjno tnid eaUe gewealde, Swylce eac 
hind hi! Iiim uiiderthiedde far his tnjcele strengthe. Nortuatidige th 
buul wii'H hi* gecjrnde , and ofer thoue eoHdome the Mans is gehaten 
riviidc . and gif lie mo^te tha gji twa gear lybban . he h»file Yrhuu 
mid his werscipe gewunnon . and wit hu ton Eel con wsepnon. 

WiiiKllice on his timan htefdon men mjeel geswinc . and swithe mantj 
teouan* Ca» { telt?^ | be l<?t wjrc | ean . and earm | e men s with | e m 
ean . ae eyng wivs Bwa swithe $tearc . and benam of hh underthi 
nuiti minig marc gohte^ . and ma hundred punda aeolfres . thet 
nam I be riht t . and { mid mjc letan { unriht e . of | his Uodle 
lit { t<elre n«od [ e . he | wa^s on git sunge [ hv/eul , hm . and gned i inea | ee 
\w luf'iHle I mid eai\le^ 

He »iL't , tc myc el iUor | frith . and | he laegj de lag | a tAmr | 

1^ ■ 

of his bounty to the charefa« 
" HooMi account of i>clo. 

* The A.S. aAI U opposed to the A.S. mt$kt Yik, naught It is the 4 K Iv 
and the modern owt at Lam'ashire— ii««^ iktU *» mpI, naught that 'a good.— Tum 





If any wish to know wbat maimer of man he was, or what state 

Ue held, or tjf bow many Imuh he was Lord — tlipii will we of liiiii write, 
fc« i»re hiiii knew,, we that have waited on hinij and other whilei? In hin 
court have woiined. The kirig Willelm, of wliom we speak, was a vety 
wi^ niiLo and very rich, aii<l more stately and pnwerfid than any *>f bit* 
predecessors were. He was mild to the good men, that lovi^l (Jod, and 
beyond all measure stem to the men that witbaaid his wiU. In the 
^tane place, where God granted liiin tbut he might England gatn^ he 
tc^'d a mighty minster, Slc,^ 

£ke he was right stately, Thriee he bare hin crown cajch year, as 

Q^ as he wag in Enjuland ; at Eanter he bm'e it in Winchester, at pente- 

^^i in Westminster, at midwinter in Gh.mre.ster ; and then were with 

uiin all the rich men over all En«;land — ari"hbii*bnpg and folk-bishtipa, 

, 4>boU and earl^, thanes and knights. So wat^ be a right ^teiii inau 

I Ifid hot, 60 that anything agiiinst his will durst no man do ; he kept 

^■Hlf b hifl custody, that did aught agaiust hii* will. Bishops he put 

from their bishopric, and abbot-s from their abbacy, and thanes into 

Pnaom a&d at la«t he spared not Im own brother, ^c."^ 

Amongst other thiug,M shouW not be forgotten tlie good peace that 
I* Slide within this land^ so that a man, that himself were aught,^ might 
Pm through his kingdom, with bi& bosom fidl of gold, nninjured. And 
Bo man durht aiay his fellow-man, had he dune never su micklc evil 
*g»iafit that other, &c. 
Ue ruled over England, and by hh skill so thoroughly ycrutiuiscd il, 
il there was not a hide of land in England, that he wit^t nnt who bad 
"iiodwhat it was worth and then put it in his book. Brithind wttH in 
^ power* and he therein built ca^tltii, and the Man-people be ruled 
*«W, So eke Scotland he subdued by ln?i mickle ntreugth. The land 
m Nomumdy was his by birth ; and over the earldom, that is bight 
|iui»,he reigned; and if he might yet have lived two years, he bad 
Wonlrehuid by his prudence,* and without any weaptuis. 

Atmredly, in his time, had the people much toil, and very many 
Wenagg. Castles he let nit^n buihl, and the poor people sorely harass. 
Tnekliig was so very stern! And he it^ok fivm liis liege* man many a 
"iw^k of gold, and moreover many a bnudred of pounds of isilvcr. That 
l^« took, with right — and with mickle unrighl — from hi.H people, with 
little need. He was fallen into covetouimesi*, and greedy ncss beloved 

Ul' Uid out a mickle dear-forest, and he laid down laws therewitli — 

'^Wipf may mean the reputation of one's manhood, useorlsdpf means the 
"fpoiilion of a gi'eat lender or earl ; see ji. 377, n* 19. But I rather think, in 
UHfprejeiji case, that it is merely u eorruplioa o£ Wifr»cipc. 

J (lank the proper acreotualion would be (hmr v^Uk\, but the writer clearly 
utendbd it to rime with dear \/rUh. 


Thct swa I hwa swa slog I e heort | oththe hind | e. Thet bin { e man 
sc'eoljde blend |iaTu He | forbead | tha heort | as . Bwylcje eac | tha 
bar I as . swa swith | e be luf | ode | tha hea \ dedr . swjlc | e be waer e 
beor|a/<zti[er. Eac | besfetjtebe | tham Aarj on . Tbet | bi most- 
ten freo /ar | an . his ric | c men | bit msend | on . and | tha earm | e men | 
bit be<'eor { odon . ac { be (wsbs) | swa sUth \ } tbet { be ne robt j e 
beora eall | ra nith { . ac | hi mos | ton mid eal { le . thes cjng j es wil ' le 
folg I ian . gif I hi wol | don lib \ ban . oth | the land hah \ ban. . land | 
oththe eah | ta . oth | the wel | bis seht \ a. Wa { laird . ^ tbet sen I ig man 
sceol I de mod | igan swa . bin | e self ( upp abeb | ban and o | fer eal ' le 
men tel { Ian . Se selmibtig | a Grod cjtb | sb bis saul { e mild | bcortiii> I se . 
and do | him his sjn | na forgif { ones \ se . 

I cannot help thinking that this rhythmical prose wag 
(ytie of the instruments in breaking up the alliterative 
system of the Anglo-Saxons. Its influence may be tracec 
in the rhythm of Layamon ; and I think it must also, in 
some instances, have modified the metre, whose propertie 
we are now investigating. The connexion between theizj 
may perhaps be made plainer, if we examine the rhythm cd 

Sain I te Mar | ie | virgin | e 

Mod I er Jhes | u Cris | tes Naz | aren | e 

Onfo I schild | help | thin Godric| 

Onfang | bring beg | elicb with | the in God | es rich j e 

Sain I te Mar | ie cris | tes bur | 
Maid I enes clen | had mod | eres flur | 
Dil I ie min sin | ne rix | in min mod | 
Bring | me to win | ne with the | self god j 

In the second of these staves (if we may so term them) 
each verse divides itself into two regular sections ; * but the 
rhythm of the first stave can hardly be distinguished from 
that of the prose we have just been noticing. In this kind 
of rhythm wore also written the verses, which are found in 

^ No metrical point. [The MS. omits VDas; according to Prof. Earle, there 
M a metrical point, both after stith and walatDa.—W, W. S.] 
^ I have taken my copy from the Kings MS. 6 F. VIL 

C. rv. GODRIC'S HYMN. 443 

t^at whoso slew hart or hind, that him they shonid hlind. He forbade 
to kill the harts, so also the boars. As strongly he lovM the great 
gune, as though he had been their father. Eke he made laws for the 
Wea, that they should freely pass. His rich men bemoan'd it, and the 
poor men murmured at it ; but he was so stem, that he reckM not all 
l^eir hate ; but they must, withal, the king*s will foUow, if they would 
lite, or land have — ^land or possessions, or even his piece. Walawa! 
tliat any man should be so proud ! himself uplift, and over all men 
^tontl may the almighty God show to his soul mercy, and grant him of 
lu8 sins forgiveness ! 

certain verses^ that were written in the early half of the 
twelfth century. 

The following hymn to the virgin is attributed ^ to St. 
Godric, who died at Finchale near Durham in the year 1174, 
*fter living the life of a hermit, in that sheltered and leafy 
^ook, some sixty years. 

Saint Mary ! Virgin ! 

Mother of Jesu Christ the Nazarene ! 

Take, shield, help thy Godric ! 

Take, briug him speedily with thee to God's realm. 

Saint Mary ! Christ's bower ! 
Maiden's purity ! the mother's flower I 
Hide my sin ! reign in my heart ! 
Bring me to joy, with thyself good ! 

AeBook of Ely. The monk, who wrote the MS. in 1170, 
^« us they were made by king Knnt, as he approached the 
law, on one of the great festivals ; they were probably com- 
posed not long after the year 1100. 

In the two last verses we should also notice the rime between sinne and 
feinne; if this be not accidental, it is the first instance, I have met with, of an 
interwDTen rime in our language. 


Mcr { ie sung | en the mnn | echcs bin | nen Ely | 
Tha Cnut { ching reu | ther by { 
Row I etb knibt | es noer | tbe lant | 
And ber | e we | tbes mun | ecbes sang | 

After all^ the formation of this metre shows itself imder 
such different aspects^ when seen from different points of 
view, that a writer, who should exclusively adopt any one 
hypothesis, might give better proof of his courage, than of 
his prudence. Whatever be its origin — whether the stream 
has flowed from one source, and coloured its waters with 
the strata over which it passed — or resulted from the union 
of two or more independent streamlets, which, in blending^ 
their waters, have mixed their properties — ^it will be ad- 
mitted, on all hands, that no license should be granted in. 
any classical metre, which is clearly adverse to the usual 


Sweetlj song tbe monks in Elj, 
When Knat king row'd thereby, 
^ Row, knights, near the Und, 
^ And hear we these monks* song. 

flow of the rhythm^ or strikingly inconsistent with its 
^neral character. On this groond, I would still ventore to 
uphold the criticism^ which was hazarded in a former chapter.' 
I most still think that the middle pause is essential to this 
metre ; or — to say the least — that when, as in the Allegro 
and Penseroso, the rhythm has brought it prominently 
under notice, it cannot be, at pleasure, abandoned. Witii 
this exception, the versification of these poems is as exquisite 
as the poetry ; and as to that there can be but one opinion 
— had Milton written nothing else, his name must have been 

Pages 148 to 157 




In the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 
many poems were written in a metre, which exhibits all the 
more essential properties of our Anglo-Saxon rhythms. 
Each verse may be divided into two sections ; the first of 
which contains tivo, and the latter one accented syllable, 
marked with the alliteration.^ It differs from the allitera- 
tive couplet of the Anglo-Saxons in the nature of its pauses, 
the middle pause being always subordinate to the final ; in 
its greater length, the number of accents being generally 5 
or 6, very seldom indeed so few as 4 ; and in the greater 
comparative importance of the first section, which has 
generally more accents than the second. All these points 
of difference may, I think, be attributed to the influence of 
the Psalm-metres, of which we shall have more to say in the 
next chapter. 

That an alliterative metre, like the present, should have 
resulted from the causes which were then in action, might 
have been expected; but the sudden manner in which it 
seems to have started into existence, is by no means easy 
to account for. The year 1360 is the earliest date we can 
liositively assign to any poem in this metre ; and I know 
of none which we can, with any show of reason, suppose to 
have been written more than twenty or thirty years earUer. 
If we consider Layamon as an alliterative poet, here is a gap 

* In place of an obscure or obsolete word, the copyists would of^en substitute 
some glo88 ; and, from the liberty thus taken, the alliteration has in many cases 
suffered. The rule p^iven in the text agrees with that laid down by Crowley, in 
his edition of Piers Plowman, A. D. 1530, that there must be " thre^ wordes, at 
the leaste, in every verso, whiche beginne with some one letter." We seldom 
find the rule violated in the older MSS. 


of nearly two centuries ; and, if we deny him that character, 
of more than two centuries and a half, since the last known 
date of any regular alliterative poem. 

It is, I think, not improbable that alliterative rhythm 
may have yielded, in the south,^ to the more fashionable 
novelties of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries ; and have 
kept its place in the north and west, till the success of 
Langland again made it one of our classical metres. This 
hypothesis would account for the blank, which breaks in 
npon the series of our alliterative poems ; and must, if ad- 
mitted, in some measure lessen our hopes of regaining what 
is lost. 

There are, however, critics who go much further, and 
consider this metre an invention of the fourteenth century. 
Warton, with some hesitation, would yield the honour to 
Langland ; but, as William and the Werwolf was certainly 
written before the Vision of Piers Ploughman, the claim, 
which its editor * seems half inclined to make in favour of 
it» author, is certainly the better founded of the two. In 
J»ia preface he quotes the following verses [p. xxii. of Skeat's 

In this wise hath William al his werke ended, 

As fully as the Frensche fully wold aske, 

And as his witte him wold serve thou3h it were febul. 

out though the metnr be nou5t made at eche mannes pave, 

'j ite him noujt that it wrou3t ; he wold have do beter, 

5" is wite in eny wei3es wold him have served. 

Jn this way hath William ended all his work, 

Y* 'nlly as the French text would require it to ])e done ; 

And as hig wit would serve him (though that indeed be feeble). 

^« though the metre be not made to each mans content, 

*>wne not him that made it, he would have done better, 

^ "^ wit, in any way, would have served him. 

from which he infers, that " the alliterative form of Alexan- 

*« leader need hardly be reminded of Chaucer^s lines, 
But trusteth wel, I am a southern roan, 

I cannot gestc rim, ram, ruf, by letter. Cant. TaleSf 17353. 

[Sir F. Madden. The poem was re-edited by myself for the Early KngUsh 
Text Society in 1867, with the title William of Palerne.— W. W. S.] 


drine verse had not yet become popular^ and was, in fact 
but lately introduced/' But surely the language of the 
poet is not that of a man, who is beforehand with his hearers 
He seems rather to fear the censures of a critical audience 
— one, that might be ill-satisfied with an old-fitshioned 
rhythm, or at any rate alive to the slightest violation of a 
metre, that had probably been familiar to them from child- 

William's patron, Humphrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford, i 
twice mentioned as still living. As he succeeded to th. 
earldom in 1335, and died in 1361, the romance must ha^ 

Hit I bifcl I in that for { est : ther { e fast | bj sid { e 
Ther won | ed a wel | old cherl | : that was | a cou | herde 
That fel | e win | terres in | that for | est : fayr | e had ke | pud 
Men I nes ken | of the cun { tre : as | a com { en herd | e, 
And thus | it bitid | e that tim { e : as tel { len our { e bok | es 
This cow I herd com | es on | a tim | e : to kep | en is bes { tes 
Fast I by sid | e the bor | w3 : ther | e the bam | was in | ne 
The herd { had with | him an hound | : his hert | to li5t | 
For I to bay | te on his bes { tes : wan | ne thai { to brod ', e went | 
The herd | sat than | with hound j : a5en e the hot | e sun | ne 
Nou3t fill I ly a fur | long : fro | that fayr e child | 
Clou3 > tand kynd ! ely { his schon | : as | to here crafl | fal | les 
That whil | e was | the wer | wolf : went | a bout | e his pray j e 
What I beho | ued to | the bam | : to bring | as he mi5t | 

The child | than dark ! ed in | his den | : dern | ly him on | e 

And was | a big | bold bam | : and brem | e of his ag | e 

For spak | ly spek | e it couth | e tho | : and sped | elich | e to-waw I e 

Lou I ely lay | it along ! : in | his Ion | ely den \ ne 

And bus | kede him out | of the busch | ys : that | were blow ' ed gren 

And leu | ed ful lov ] ely : that lent | grete schad I e 

And brid | des ful brem | ely : on | the bow | es sing j e 

What I for mel | odye that | thei mad | e : in | the mey | se j soun 

That lit I el child lis \ tely : lork | ed out | of his cau | e 

Fair | e flour | es for \ to fecch | e : that he | bi-for \ e him sey [ e 

And I to gad I ere of | the gras \ es : that gren | e wer ' e and fayr e 

And whan { it was | out went 
The sa | uor of | the swet | e se 

: so wel I hit him lik j ed 

soun : and song | of the brid j des 

* By command of " La Contesse Yolent,'' daughter of Baldwyn, Earl of 
Hainault. One MS. of the French version, and I believe the only one now 

C, V. 



been written sometime between these two dates. It was a 
translation of a French tale, which had itself been translated 
from the Latin in the twelfth century ; ^ and raay, perhaps, 
be looked upon as the oldest specimen of this metre, that has 
yet been discovered. 

The MS, is of the fourteenth century. The middle pause 
ianot marked ; and the opening of the tale is missing. The 
cUld, who plays the hero, has been carried off by the Wer- 
wolf to a distant forest^ and hidden in the beast^s den. His 
<liscovery by the cowherd is told as follows [U. 3-53]. 


It chanced in that forest (fkst beside it) 

There dwelt a ritjlit nld idiurl, tiiat was a i-owherfl, 

That miiny winters, in that forest, had fairly tended 

Men*g cattle, of the neiwlibourhood, as a romuion lierd* 

^d thus it chaiu-ed that time (a** nur Iwokn tell u.s) 

this ei3^v]j,errl ccjiiie**, nii a time, to tend \i'\s beai^^ts, 

^^l beside the lude, wherein the child wa.*. 

ibif herdsman had with him n hcmnd, to (flad bia heart, 

Aad to fet on his beasts, when they ranged too widely. 

Ib^ berdjiman sat then with his houml in the warm snnshiJie, 

"^^ quite a furhmfj Prom tlmt fair child, 

^wilting as usual hh j^hoon (as h the eu^^tom of their craft). 

*n*t time was the werwolf gone about his prey* 

T^o brings as he might* what was netHlfnl for the cliihi. 

Jh« fhiUl thon lurkM in bis den, all sceretly alone, 

■^^ ^^ a biir boh I hann and jstrong tor ids age; 

^^ rearbly eoukl it sj>eak then, and rjuirkly move about. 

***"ely lay it aloiif^ in its lonely den ! 

Ajid he gat him oot of the Imshes, tbal were itrei'idy blaw'd» 

^^ ^eaveii full lovely, mo that they pave jrrc>at shade. 


bLi'iU right shrilly hhii; on tlin bouj^h^ ! 

^JTSf^fitb ft»r ibe nieh jdy tlmt ihey made in the [May] season, 
i^l^t Uttle child, with joj, crept out of Ids cavci 
**^ flowers tcj fetch that be aaw before him ; 

* Ui ^rather »imic of the t;raase»^, tliat were green and fair, 
^^^ when he bad ^onc fnrth, #o well it jdeas'd him, 


^SiVoiir of the sweet scaMOii^ uod the soiif; of the birds. 

^xjmnf J! i,i ^^, |^i„g'jj library at I'ariH, [It hsis liet-n tdiu>il hy M. Mklieiant, 

Q V, 



B. Ill* 

That I it war nei^ 
And com I seil than 

That fend | e faat | a bout | e : flour | en to gad | ere 

And layk \ ed him long | while : to lest | en that merth | e 

The coil ] herdes hound | that tim | e : as hap | pe by-tid Me 
Feld font { e of the child | : and fa^st { thider ful ) wes 
And son | e aa { he it 8ei5 ; : sotli | e for | to tel ' le 
He gan | to berk | e on that bfun | : and t«:> bai | e it hold | 
of his witt I ; wod | for fex | e 
to ery ( e : so ken | ly and ^hil | le 
And wep | te 5t> won | der fast | : wit | e thou | for aoUi | e 
That I the son | of the cry | : com | to the cow | herdu en j ene 
That I he wiat wit { eriy [ i it was { the voys | of a child | e 

Than ros | he up rad j ely : and ran | thider swith j e 
And drow | liini tuward | the den | : by | his dog | ges noyc \ e 
Bi I thnt lini j e was | the barn 1 r for ber | o of that hoiin ] de 
Draw I e him in ] to hu den \ : and d&rk | ed ther sti \ le 
And wept | eu | ere as | it wol | de : a-wed \ e for fer | e 
And en j ere the dog | ge at the hoi | e : held | it at | a-bay | e 
And wliim | the kon | herd com | thiLle(r) ; he kcmr | ed hiwje 
To I bi I hold I in at | the bol|e ; whi | his hound | l>erk jd 
Than | ne of-saw | he ful son | e ; that sem | liche child | 
That I flo h>u I elicb I e lay | and wep | : in that loth \ \y can [ e 
Cluth ' eti ful I'om | ly : for an \ j knd king | es son | e 
In god I e cloth ! es of gold | : a-greth | ed ful rich | e 
With per | rey and pel I lure, &c. 

Many otter alliterafcive romances appear to have been 
written in the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies. One of the earliest of these may be the poem, which 
is found at the end of the Roman d' Alexandre, in the Bod- 
leian Library.^ Its subject is Alexander's visit to the 
Gymnoaophists, and it was avowedly added for the purpose 
of auppljring an omission in the French romance. It con- 
tains more than 1200 v^erses; and was probably written not 
long after the French poem was transcribed, perhaps about 
the middle of the fourteenth century* Another alliterative 

^ Bodl. MSS. B. 204. Tlie poem I have merely glanced over, but hare wwH 
eii0ii*;h to show me the gross inftccaraey of Wtirton*B iiuotation. Vurse* are 
rom inln eiich or her, sitid the rommon word ht*m (tbeui) i» rendered krvi! lYic* 
sliouM have t'orreoted theAC bliiitders. [Se^ my tMlttioti of this poem^ publisbeJ 
for the Karly Enji^lifib Text Society in 1878, with the title Alexander aod Dindi* 
mus.">W. W. S.] 

* Adim. MSS. 44. Thij« MS. I have not seen. Aeeordifig to Worton it ii 

C, V. 



'^^ he rambled tiiBt about, dowers to gatlier, 

AM Kmuaed him long while with listening to that merry-making, 

T«e cowhertl's bound that time, us cliaiie'd to hapfM?n, 

Ciogk scent of the child, and folkwM tkst tbitherward. 

And goon as he sees him, the sooth to tell, 

"6 gin to bark upon that child, and to hold it at baj, 

8<>th&t it was nigh out of its wits, mad ibr fear; 

And gan then to cry so keenly and shrdlr, 

AtwJ wept so wondrously tiist (lor sooth believe it) 

TWi the sound of tlie cry reached even to the cowherd, 

^timt he knew right well it was the voice of a child. 

Then rose he up speedily, and ran tliifher ijuickly, 

And drew him toward the den, ^icieil hy the noise of his do4/. 

"J that time fia*l the chihl, on account of the hound's bayin*^, 

"ithdrawu him into the den, and tliere lurk'd without »tirring, 

And wept ever as it would po mud for fear ; 

And ever the dog at the hole held it at bay. 

AjJd when the cowherd came thither, he cower d low, 

To look in at the hole, why hia do^r barked. 

Tbensaw he full soon that beautifid ehild, 

TKat so lovely lay and wept, in that loathly care. 

Clothed full comely, fit for any far-famed king's «on, 

^n l^ood clothes of gold trick'd out fiill richly 

With jeweifi and fur, ike. 

n, relating to Alexander, ia found among the Ashmolean 
ISS.* Warton [erroneoosly] " believed '' this to bo tho 

D6 as the one last mentioned ; but it does not appear 
that his belief was fonnded on anj examination of the manu- 

One of the Cotton MSS,^ contains a string of Scripture 
UstorieB^ written in this metre ; auch as the story of Noah, 
<>f Abraham and the three Angela, of Daniel, and of Jonah. 
The poem is, for several reasona, curious, and cHpeciaMy so 
fcothe philologist; but I do not think it of much earlier 

Mwidai mto S7 paaaoB, an.'oriting to Whitaker (or rather Conjh«are}, into 
H eanKift. Bee Fri^face to Whitukera Piers PhiUghoian. [Kdited by Mr. 

Stet dw ro for the n<jxburgbe Club in 18-*y 5 and now being reprinted by my- 

«if,_W. W. 8.] 
• N««>, A. X. [Printed by Dr. Morris for tlic^ Early Englinh Text Society^ 

18 I864.-W.W. S,] 




date than the manuscript, which certainly belongs to the 

latter half of the fourteenth century. Another Cotton MS.* 
the date of which may be some forty or fifty years later, 
furniahcH us with two alliterative romancesj the *' Chevalerd 

Vaapasianc dresscflc bvm fro his bedde : and nrnjdp bim fajre 
Fro the fni>te to t!ie forhedde : in fy ne cloth of t^^ohle 
And &i\nr putteili that priiii f : ubt>ue hia puy ft ray 
An liabiiiione browderi'Ll thikke i wit m brt^ijt plate 

The grate on tlie grave stool : was nf golde ryche 
Ther on easte^le ho a eoto ; of oolur of his nrmcs 
And a grete gyrdell of guldo : wit uute gore more 
He lejfde on his lendes : wit lachettes full oitmye 

A bryjte burnysche<l sworde : lio ^rdeth bun a l>owie 
Of pure polywbed golde : lnotlie poiiiiill and liylte)^ 
A brodc sbynynge Beheldo : on bis sL-hiddor be banged 
And bokeled wit bry5te golde : a bonen at the nekkc 

The glove« of graye Steele : wit golde were hemmed 
Wlicn be wtis a rayde thus : hi« hors Bone he asked 
The goldo beweid Indine : him wtcs browjte thenne after 
Wit visor and ventayle : avysod for the nones 

And ft crowne of elene golde : was closed a bouen 
Kayled munde a boiitc the hclme : full of ryehe stones 
Py te prowdely wit perils : the helme rounde a bowte 
And with safyres setie : the sythes to and fro 

He strycletti on a stitfe steede : and styred on the ground© 
Ly^te as a lyon were losed * : of his elieyne 
His menne syje byra echo oone : and euery raanne ^ayde to otlirr 
Tbia is a komely kynge ; kny3tes to lede. 

He pryked to the barres : ere he a byde wolde 
And bctetb on wit bis swerde : that the brasse ryngedde 
Cometh ont 5** kaytyfos bo seyde : that cryste ulewe 
And knowe bym for 5or god : ore ye eaecbe more. 

3e may fette ^on no foode : tho;ib ^e dye sohulde 
And aljio to jor watyr : wynne ^e maye nevere 

' CftLA.n. 

^ Tbt*rc 18 anoiher vt-rsion of this jioem in the metre of 4 aeoetics, whki# 
appears to have been made by Adam Davie, early in the fonrteenth centuij-^ 
[In MS. Laud G22. Tber« i» no reason for attributing it to Adam Davy; ae^ 
preface fc^ Adam Davy's Five Dreams, &c., ed, F. J, Fwrnivalb I€i7*, p. 7- 
The albtomtive Sege of Jenisalcm ii? still unprinted (1881).— W. W. S.) 

C. V, 



AsfiigDe/^ and the " Sege ^ of Jerusalem." A short extract 
fbrn the latter will enable us to compare the costly habili- 
ments of the fifteenth century with the simpler toilet, which 
contented *' fair knighthood '' in the twelfth.^ 

Vespasian ^t him from liia bed, and arraj'd him fairly* 
Frfim the foot to tlie forehead, with fine cloth of gold. 
And afterwards that prince putteth above \m ^ay array 
A habergeon thickly embroider d, nntl a breastplate ; 

The prit^* on the gray Bteel, was *if rieh gold. 
Thereon he t^a^t a coat, of the ecjlour of his arms; 
And a great girdle of gold, without nit>re appiirel, 
He laid on his loin» with ties full many. 

A bright burnished Hword he girdeth about him 
Of pure ptjli^h'd gold, both pommel iukI hilt. 
A broad shining shield on his shoulder lie hung. 
And buckled with bright gold above at his neck. 

* iTie gloves of gray steel with gold were heramM. 
\Vhen he wa-n thus arrayed his horse soon he aak'd for* 
The gold-colour'd helm wjis then afterward:? brought him, 
With visor and ventaile, pi*epared for the nonce. 

And a crown of elear gold was encircled above, 
CJireled round about the helm, full of rich stonea ; 
r*roudly fixM with pearls, round about the helm, 
-And set with aapbyrs to and fro the i»ide^. 

^e aleppeth upon a Bti^ steedi and pranced on the eartli, 
X~«ight as a lion, that were loosed from hia chain, 
^dis men «aw him tfuch *nie, and every man eaid to other, 
** This h a eonudy king, knights to lead.*' 

I~le prick'd to the gates, ere he would stop, 

^nd beateth on them with hi8 sword, bq that the brass rung again^ 

** Come out ye cuitift, that slew Christ, 

** And know him for your God, ere ye fulfer more 

I Ye nmy fet^di you no foo<l, though ye shouhl die for t, 
** And also to your water never may ye get. 

The ^t was the met&l worked into the steel. 
Her« the middlo patue 10 misplaced in the MS 
»^ »ord lym. 

It ought to hsru followed 


A droope thogb 3e dye schulde : dajes in 3or Ijue 
Tbe pale^ that here pjght i& : passe who so may. 

It is full bygge at tbe banke : and batb Jor cjte closed 
For that fowrty menne to fy3te : a3ens five boundred 
Tliogh 3e were deiieles ecbon ; a3e3rn tume 3e scbull 
And 3ette more worshyppe bit were : mercy to be seche. 

Then for to marre meteless : tber no mygbt belpyth 
Ther were none to speke on worde : but waited her tyme 
If any styrte out a strayc : wit stones to kylle 
Wroth as a wylde bore : be wendetb bis brydell 

Thogh 3e dye as dogges : tbe devell have that rekketb 
And thogh I wende fro tbe wall : 3e sbull a byde me here 
And ofte spedelyer speke : ere I 3or specbe here §fc. 

The right scansion of these verses is a matter of diffi- 
calty^ owing to tbe license taken in the nse of the e final. 
This letter is sometimes used for the mere purposes of 
orthography, and sometimes forms an integral portion of 
the word ; and, in the latter case, it is sometimes pro- 
nounced and sometimes mute. As there are other difficul- 
ties arising from blunders of transcription,^ I thought it 
safer to leave these verses without scanning them. 

The poem is divided into staves, after the model, it 
would seem, of the psalm-metres ; but as the rhythm is 
very slightly, if at all, afiected by this division, I have 
treated it as a specimen of the common alliterative metre. 

The latest alliterative tale yet discovered, is the '' Scot- 
tish Field,'^ written by Leigh of Baguleigh, soon after the 
year 1515. It was found in the Percy MS.; and, accord- 
ing to the editor, contains a very curious and detailed account 
of the Scottish invasion, which ended with the battle of 
Flodden. It were to be wished he had been more copious 
in his extracts.' 

But the most valuable specimens of this metre are to be 
found in the satires and allegories, which the success of 

^ Paky (peel, in the northern dialc(;t,) originally meant an earthen work; 
but was afterwards used for any small fortalii^, of whatever materials con- 

C, V. 



**5otidrop (though ye should die for*t) all the days of your life, 
" The pftle ^ that here is fix'd, let him pass whoso may ; 

** It is fill] large at the bank, and hath your city enclosed, 

** ^ that forty meo miuht fi^rht against five hundred, 

" iboiigh ye were deyila each one, turn and meet me ye &hoald| 

** AnrJ jet more worthy thing it were to ask for mercy, 

** Thto to waste without meat, wheje no strength availeth." 
Tliert* were none to speak one word, but they waited their time, 
Iftnvatray'd ont from shelter, with stones to kill him. 
" rotb AS a wild boar he tiimeth his bridle, 

** Thoagh ye die a^ dogs, the devil have liim that reeketh, 
" And though I turn from the wall, ye shall abide me here, 
" AikI speak often and more readily, ere I your speech hear.'* 

Langland appears to have called into existence. They are 
valuable not only as pictures of manners, but as showing 
the prevailing modes of thinhingj and the cyrrent^ of public 
opinion* The work of Langland is also curious^ as being 
the product of a rich and powerful mind, drawing upon ita 
own stores, unaided (perhaps I might have said unfettered) 
by nde and precedent. When carefully examinedj it will 
not be fonnd wanting in the important t|uality of unit}/^ tko 
abaence of which so much lessens our enjoyment of many 
contemporary poems ; but the execution of the work is 
certainly superior to its conceptioDj and shows indeed a 
wonderful versatility of genius. A high tone of feeling ia 
Muted to the most searching knowledge of the world ; sar- 
castic declamation is succeeded by outpourings of the most 
delicate poetry; and broad humour or homespun mother- 
wit by flights, which neither Spenser nor Milton have dis- 
tuned to follow. 

The author's name ia first mentioned by Bale, in the year 
l^M. This writer styles him Robert Langland, a native of 
^lortimers Cleobury, in Shropshire j and is confirmed, both 
^ to name and birth-place^ by Holinshed, who also calla him 

' Bow faulty this copy mu^t be, we may partly leant from tlie imperfeet 
•fiHwation. [There are other copiea.— W. W. S. ] ' 

' [It is all printed in ihe edition of the Percy Fijlio MS.^ ed, H«le& cknd 
Fomitalh— W. W S.] 




B. III. 

a secular priest. But according to Stow and Wood, ho waa 
imtned Johti Malvern, and was Fellow of Oriel ; and,accord- 
ing to the latter, a Worcestershire man. Wood also tells 
us, that he became a Benedictine at Worcester, and was by 
some persons called Robert Langland* 

It is very unlikely that the name and history of our mc 
popular poet (after Chaucer) should be matter of dispnt 
within a century and a half of his death. Both these, 
seemingly conflicting, accounts may be true, and may be 
reconciled, as it appears to me, without much difEculty. 
The poet's christian name of Robert may, according to a 
common practice, have been changed into John when he 
entered the monastery. As to his surname of Langland^ 
this may have been taken from the farm where he was bom|H^ 
and as he makes Malvern (which was then as important att" 
ecclesiastical station as it still is a striking object in the 
landscape) the scene of his vision, we may readily under- 
stand how the surname, derived from an obscure homestead, 
was supplanted by one so familiar to his fellow-monks of 
Worcester. Aa Clcobury, moreover, lies on the borders of 
Worcestershire, Wood's mistake, in calHng him a native of 
that shire, is easily accounted for. 

Another difficulty was started by Tyrwhitt In som6 
MSS. the title of the work is Vlsio WiV de Piers Plouhman^ 
and the sleeper throughout is addressed by the name of 
WilleJ To wi"ito however in a fictitious character was agree- 
able to the spirit of the age j and the dreamer's name of 
William, his house on Cornhill,and his daughters, Kitty and 
(.alot, are, I believe, as much inventions of the poet, as the 
dream itself. 

The popularity of this writer is shown by the many copies, 
which are still extant, of his Visions, But the variations 


* Hits^in atteinpted, very mgietiiouily, to^^'t tJt^r the difllicultj', by melting 
down Wilic ioto an al>sti-actioTi, *' a personificatjoQ c»f the mental faculty/' nnd 
by uim^iderlng the fille n mistaki", uririinjc;^ from tbe misapprt^bfjiDBion of tht 
copyist. Butj uotoniifijitely, in nomv MSS. in^iU^tid of Wiilc, we have the nftoie 
at full leng-ih, UHlwm. [The r*:'adfr Nhnnld corisolt my editions of 
PIi>\Nman, cj^pei-iftllj Hie prt'fttce to the ertition of the I'mlogiifi and Pttmus ] 
VII. J aA pubiL*ihetl lor the CJiLrendon Press. — W. W. S.| 

C. V. 



between them are so many and important, that neither 

difference of dialect, nor carelessness on the parfc of the 

copyiat, will satisfactorily account for thorn. One set of 

these MSS. agTee[a] well with the early printed editions ; and 

a aecond may be repressenied by the modern edition of Mr. 

Whitaker. Ab there are copies, in both sets^ which clearly 

belong to the fourteenth century, and were probably written 

during the lifetime of the author, it has been conjectured, 

that Langland himself revised the poem ; and, according to 

Wbitaker, his copy exhibits the poem as it first came from 

the hands of its author. But Price found this satire, as it 

were, in outline/ in the HarL M8* 6041. Though the copif 

be a late one, the poem shows all the freshness? of invention ; 

few of the episodes are inserted, and many passages but 

^iightly touched, which, in all the printed editions, are worked 

up with much particularity of detail. 

From this copy I have hitherto quoted;'* and, had space al- 
lowed, it was my intention to have extracted the ^r^t passus, 
"•Wch answers to the first and second of the printed editions. 
In the fifth passus are to be found the verses ^ which refer 
to the *' south-west wind, on Saturday at eve ; " and which 
4i the date of the poem,* There is therefore little doubt 
wt the poem, even in this its earliest form, was not written 
before the year 1362. 

Piers Plouhraan's Crede is generally coupled with Lang- 
tiad'g Visions. It must have been written after the year 
l*i84, for Wiclif is mentioned as no longer living. This 

[*^t ia^ there arc tvaUy fhrte versions of the pieni. All three have Wn 
•^by me for the Early EnfjIbU Ti?xt Society.— W. W. S.] 

[It ii 6o piior a MS. tliiit I bave ucrusioniLlly rarrecLed the quotatiuDs by 
^ij^uf better Cippiys,— \V. \V. S.] 
' Thtjr are found in tKe Kirfh pj\saiU4 of tht* printerl editions. 
Tjrwliilt, ^itti the sii4piL-ity tiiat was natural lo hini, lind which, if it bad 
ttigid)7 shown in hid philological aijcculttlions, woald have fully entitled 
I (oWhitftker's epithet iC|iwr*rwrnrttr» |x*inted uut a pussagr-in the I>ef'«n*> St'np- 
!i»t:. 21, kc. wbicU reoirda, that on the 15th day of January, 1362, '*circii 
hanm resperartim venius veheraena noins austral in afpitus tantd rabie erupit, 
SUL^ The 15th of Jaiiunry was a Saturddty : and Liin^lund, we muj infer, 
daring llit« » inter was writin^^ hid ViBinritJ. [ But t)\is only fixtH the dute uf the 
f Jfmf ifT itiflitM version. -W. VV. 8, j 



B. III. 

however is the extent of our knowledge ; the author's name 
or circumfitances are alike unknown.^ 

With these poems may be classed the allegory in the 
Percy MS. called Life and Death ; and the Vision, which 
the learned editor extracted from "a small 4to MS. in 
private hands/* The former of these poems was probably 
written a short time before^ and the latter a short time after 
the year 1400.^ Dunbar's Twa ntarriit Women and the Wed^, 
may liave been written about the year 1500. Its wit is more 
than equalled by its grossness. 

Besides the alliterative poems already mentioned, tliere 
are otliers which are divided into staves. Strictly, perhaps, 
these ought not to be noticed in the present book ; but, as 
it is important to take one general view of our alliterative 
metre, the rule may, I think, in this instance, be departed 
from with more advantage than inconvenience. 

Of these poems one of the most curious is found in the 
Cotton MS. Nero, A. x. It is quoted by Mr, Stevenson 
and Sir F. Madden, imder the title of ** Gawayn and the 
Green Knight,'^ and is referred to by Price, as *' the Aunter 
of Sir Gawain/^ All reference to their MS. is carefully 
avoided by these writers,^ and possibly there may be copies 

Ful er I \j befor | e the day | : tlie folk | uprjs | en 
Gg8 I test that go I wokle ; Ivor grom | es they jcal | dcu 
And I tlmy bus j ken up | bily [iie : bloiik | kcj to sad | el 
Tyf fell lier tak | lea : tnia | sen lier mal j es 
RiL'b I en liein j the rycb | cat : to ryd | e alle arayd | e 
Lep I en up ly Jtl I y : kch | en lier bryd | eJes 

^ [The d»te m nbont 1394. I hnvc proved that the antlior wms the ome 
persiiu tL» the uuthor of the PJowmau^fi Tale once aCtribnted to Chmncer. but 
certttinly noi his. I have edited the pi>eni for the EarJy English Ti«xt Socifty. 
^W. W.S.] 

' [N©t BO. Life and Death, now printed by Holes and FumiTmB in t^elr 
edition of ihe Pertly Folio M^S.Ji!^ hy the author o{ Ff.o(Um Fields and thcffilbn 
bebnga t« the reign of Henry VIII. Set? p. 454. Again, the *' Vtsion ^ bpw 
mentioned i« the pi H3ni of the Crawnet! King, written in 1415. It haa b«i»n 
printed by me from the IKjul^ MS. 95 {now in the BorUeinn Library), ftC lh«fJkd 
of the C text of Piers Pkiwrnan. — W. W. S.] 

^ Prii>e certainly intended to pubfifih thi^ poem, and therefore his jmiJhm^ 


of the poem, which have escaped mj notice. As Price uses 
a title, which ia found in Wynton's Chrooiclei he would 
probably, like Wynton, have attributed the poem to 
**Hachown/' or Hugh. The riming chronicler quotes the 
*' Gest hystoriale/' of one '* Huchown of the Awle ryale/' 


inade tbe gret Geat of ATtimre, 

Ami the Awnttjre of Gawat^n^ 
Tlie l^iatil als of Swete Susane. 
lie we3 curjows in bis style, 
Fmr of Fajcuiid^ and Bubtile ; 
And ay to [ilesans of delyte, 
Made in nieeter tneit bis* dyte. 

Aa Wynton wrote about the year 1420, Hugh may have 
flourished at the close of the fourteenth century.^ He is 
certainly the oldest English poet, born north of Tweed, 
whose works have reached ua. His atave is peculiar to 
Um ; and consists of an irregular number of verses, sepa- 
rated by a kind of wheel, or burthen. The following passage 

\}\, 112*)-1177], which describes a grand hunting party, 
r contains two of these staves ; and will give the reader a more 
I Correct notion of their peculiarities than any description. 

Tbe middle pause ia not marked in the M S. 

Full eai^y before the day^ the folk uprise ; 
Guests, tbat wi^hM to tjo, tbeir gn)oms tUey calPd, 
And tliey busk up cjuickly, tlieir grey^ " to [aadtile]. 
They tiff" tbeir tuckle-^ear, truss their males, 
Kig tbems^elves out rau.«<t ricblvt to ride all array*d ; 
TLey leap up lightly, and eatch their bridles, — 

*fth n«prct U) the MS, ia readily understood ; may we mTer that tbe otlii»r two 
l^vf the nnme intention "/ [Tbe inft'n'nce, in one instance, proved correct . It 

*»• priuled by Sir K. Maddun. It bus been reprinted by Dr. Morris for the 

£.E.T. S,— W. W. S] 
* flTi* RUthorship of Gftwain and the Grene Knig^bt is still onsettled. We 

oolf hiKW that hi? wrote the tbrti? Alliterative Poems, edited by l>r. Morris iti 

• TW word hionk means properly a grey horse 5 but it was afterwank used 
m » p^n^Tftl natne for that animai 

* To ti^. to deck out, to dj-es,s. ia aiiH a common word iq aeveml of ottr 



B, II 

Uc'li I e wyj I e on his way \ : tber 
The leu | e lord | of the Ion | de : watj 
Amy I ed t«r | the ryd | yng : with reuk 

hym weJ | liked 

not the last | 
ke5 ful mun jy 

Kt I e a Kop h[i5 1 tyly : when ] he bad j e herde urns [ 
With bii I gle to bent | -fekle : he \m» ke^ by-lyn ' e 
Hy that I that an y dtty-ly5t | : leni i ed up , ou erth ] e 
He I with bis bath [ eles : on byj | e bora ( ses wer i en 
Then | ne tbifie rach | eres that ec»uth | e : cowp h*d hor houn ] 
Unclos I ed the ken el ck>r e : Jiricl vol ' de hem ther-out ' e 
Blwe byg [ ly iti biitj I le^ : tbre bar \ e-raot | e 
Bracb 1 e& bay ed therefor | e ; and breni | e noys | e mak | ed 
And I they ehiis | tysed | and eliar I'ed : on ebas ', }Tig tliat went | 
A hun|dreth of bun ^ teres : as | Ihafheitle' | tdjle 
of I the best [ 

To try 9 [ iors vew | tera 5^ I 

Conp les bun I tes of-keM | 

Ther ru8 | for bias t tej god le 

Gret nird | in that | forest | 
At I the first qneth ' e of the quest | : quak | ed the wyl |d© 
Der drof | in thu dal : e : dot j ed for dred I e 
lli5 ed (x> I the hy5 j e : bot het eriy | tliay werje 
Heiitay | ed witli | the stab lye : that stout | ly ascry | ed 
Thay let | the herl [ tCR }jaf | the gat | e : with | the hy5 [ e h 
Tbc brem | e buk i kes al | po : with | bor brod | e paum | ej 
For I the fre | lordo bad | e de-feiide| : in fer|mysoun tyml 
That ] tber tsehnl | de no ] mon men , e : to [ tbc mal | e der 
The hin |de5 were bal den in : with hay [ and war | 
The do I eg dry j uen with | jTret ilyn | : to | the dep|e dadjej 
Ther | iny3t mon se | as thay slyp te : slen | tyng of ar| we» 
At neb | e wen | de under wan \ de : wap | ped a flone | 
That big j ly bote on the bronu | : with | ful brod | e hed | ca 
TrVbat I thay bray en and l>led | en : hi bonk | kes thay dey | cu 
And I ay racb | cbes in | a re» | : rad ] ly he-m fol ; J^es 
Hun I teres | wy th hy^ | e horn | e ; has | ted hem aft , er 
Wyth such I a crak { kande krj { ; as klyf | fe« had | en bnist | en 
What wyj j de so | at-wap | ed : wy5 1 es that schot | ten 



' Ilcjii is the ooane wiry grass which i^wa upon the npland. It wj 

sr>meiimei« used ibr the uplandfi themselves* 

"^ Baretnote apjienrs to be th« rianie gpven to some note on the bugk. 
last syllable is deiu*ly the old English word moot. [Rather, F. menie.] 

' There is a mysitery wkh respect to the tiunJ r, sometiiDes found at Ib**^ 
of the past participle. In thia cafie, however, I do not think it was 
[Certainly not. It \a ih« scribe's error. — W, W. S.] 

* The tteitters Beem to be the same as tht' /eufer^t of our dramatists— I 
I he men who led the lime-houad* in couples, 

' The quej^ \Mis the opeuiu^ cry of the bounds. 


Each man on the way, where him best pleased. 
The dear Lord of the land was not the last, 
Arrav'd for the riding, with fellows fiill many. 
He eats a sop hastily, when he had heard mass ; 
With bugle to the bent-field,^ he bnsketh quickly. 
By the time any daylight gleamed upon earth. 
He with his nobles upon high horses were. 
Then these drivers (that well knew how) coupled their hounds, 
Unclosed the kennel -door, and called them thereout. 
They blew loudly on bugles three haremotes ; '"* 
The braches bayed therefore, and a furious noise made ; 
And they chastised and drove them back, (they that went to the chase) — 
A hundred of hunters, as I have heard tell, 
of the best ! 
To the stations the dog-keepers * went. 
Their couples the huntsmen cast off. 
On account of the good blasts there rose 
A great din in that forest. 
At the first sound of the quest ^ quaked the wild deer ; 
They drove along, in the dale, mad for fear ; 
Hied to the heights, but eagerly were they 
Stopp'd at [rather^ by] the stably e^^ that stoutly Iialloo'd. 
They let the harts have the road, with their high heads ; 
The fierce bucks also, with their broad palms ; ^ 
^wthe good Lord had forbidden, in fermyson time,"* 
That any man shoidd make an attempt on the male deer. 
The hinds were holden in with the hedge and fear ; ® 
The does cbiven with great din to the deep slades. 
*We might man see, as they slipt, glancing of arrows. 
At each, that went under bough, wapp*d a shaft, 
^t Bank deep in the bro\%Ti deer, with full broad heads, 
"ow they bray and bleed ! beside hillocks they die, 
^ ay lurchers,^** with a rush, quickly follow them, 
Hunters with long horns hasted after them, 
With such a cracking C17, as if the cliffs had bursten. 
"l>»t game soever escaped the men that shot 

The marksmen at the station, towards whom the game was driven. 
"Hie pa/ma was a word used by our dramatists for the broad part of a deer's 

The winter season. The bucks were kept for summer killing, as at that 
**thty were fat and in good plight. 
* [RaUier, " with hry! and ware ! " cries used in hunting.— W. W. S.] 
Whether there was any, and what difference, between a rack and a br<ichy I 
^^ not; both appear to have hunted by the scent. Rack seems to have been 
^ chiefly in the northern dialect. 


Wat3 all I to-rac { ed and rent| : at | the res | ajt 
Bi I thay were ten { ed at | the hj^ \ e : and tajs | ed to | the watt | re3 
The led { 93 were | so lem { ed : at | the I03 { e trjs | teres 
And I the gre | houndes | so gret { e : that get | en hem | byly | ue 
And hem | to fylch { ed as hat \ : as frek | es my3t lok | e. 


The lorde | for blys | abloy | 

Ful oft I con laun | ce and I j3t | 

And drof | that day | with joy | 

llms I to the derk | ' ny3t 

That this poem is the " Awntyre of Grawayn,*' which 
Wynton attributes to Huchown, or Hugh^ is probable^ for 
several reasons ; and there is one which seems almost deci- 
sive — at the head of the MS. is written, in a hand which 
belongs to a period not much later than the year 1500,' 
what appears to be the unfinished name of its author — llugo 
de. Hugh's other work, the " Pistill of Swete Susane/' is 
probably the poem entitled Svssan, in the Cotton MS. 

Hyr kynrade hyr cousyns : and alle that her knewe 
Wrongon hondys ywys : and wepten fill sare 
Certys for Sussan sothfast : and semyly of hewe 
All wyues and wydowes : awondred they were 
They dyde hyr in a downgon : wher never day dewe 
Tyll domes mon haddc dempte : the dede to declare 
Marred wit manacles : that mcde were newe 
Meteles fro the mom : till midday and mare 

In drede 
Tho come her fadyr so fre 
With all hys affynyte 
The prestos were with out pyte 
And full of fidshede 

In the same kind of stave are written the two poems 
which Pinkerton published under the titles of " Sir Gawan® 

* Tlie remyf aj)pcar8 to mean the stations in the valley, near the ri^* 
The game was driven from the woody hills towards the ttablyey and when tb*/ 
had slipt by, on their roud to the valley, they were chased by the men at "^ 
low stations/' The whole pats one in mind of the hunting scenes in G«noi>/' 
thoiigli probably a more zealous sportsman might see important difSneBCi' 
between them. 

C. V. 



Waa mil pulled down and torn at the rexa^tj^ 
Af^er they were baited at the hedpe and driven to the waters*— 
Tbe people were «o .skiltul at the low stations ! 
And the greyhounds so great, that got them fpiickly, 
And filch'd them (as fa^t as people could look at them). 
There, right well ! 

The Lord for bliss [cried ablo^ /] 

Full oft ^an be leap and and l>e nierrv ; 

And the dtiy drove on [be pa«}sed the day] with joy. 

Thus to the dark night. 

CaL A. IL ;* and there are reasons for believing that oven 
'*the gret geat of Arthnre^' would be forthcoming, if dili- 
gently looked for, 

Tbe poem of Sussan ia written in staves, which are 
formed bj joining to the stave of 8 lines with alternating 
rime, a certain kind of wheel or bnrthon, of which we 
shall have mnch to say hereafter. The following is a 
specimen : 

Her kindred^ her cousins, and all that knew her, 
Wrunof their hands ywiss, and wept lull storely — 
Certes for rigliteons Susan, f*o Reemly of hew ! 
All wives anc! widows^ aittoiindetl were they ! 
They put her in a dungeon, where never day dawn'd, 
(Till the doomster ^ave judgment, to prfinounce on the deedj 
Oppressed with raanaclea, that were m^ide new, 
ileailess froiu the morn till midday and more — 
All ill dread ! 

Then came her father so gooth 

And' all hh kimsmen. 

The prients were without pity, 
Ant I full of falshood ! 


^^i Sir Galaron/'* and " Gawane and Gologras : ** also Rol- 
and's satiriciil fable called TheHowlat; and Gawin Douglases 

* The MS. was written about the year 1400. 

* A tti«*r« perfet^t eopy iimy be foiuiil in the Vernon JLS. oC tht* RxiUian 
**il*niry, and n third copy in one of Wbitaker a MSS, Seu VVbitaker's Prel', 
^ Vmn Ploughman. 



B. IIT. 

woU-known Prologue to the 8th j^neid. Bat there is one 
peculiarity in these poerns which should not pass unnoticed, 
Tho short lino, or in technical language the boh, which in- 
troduces the wheel, is lengthened out into a full altiterativo 
verse ; and is always cloaelj connected with the wheel, in- 
stead of being separated from it by a stop. The same 
peculiarity is found in every Scotch poem of the fifteenth 
century^ that admits a wheel of this kind^ — a strong argu- 
ment to nhow, that the poems, from which we have quoted, 
are of earlier date, Thia notion is also, in some measurej 
countenanced by Dunbar. In his *' Lament for the death 
of the Makars/^ he mentions. 

The glide 8chir Hew of Egleuloiuj, 

who was probably Wynton's Huchown ; and afterwards 
laments for another writer, who may have written the tales 
which Pinker ton published, 

Chrk of Tramnt eik he (Deiitii) lies tane 
Tliiii made tike auntris of (iawane. 

DoQglas^B Prologue, whether we look to its subject, or i 
its present waning popularity^ may well take for its text 
*^ all is vanity .^^ Its merit is not easy to estimate under 
the disadvantages of an obsolete dialect, bygone idioms, 
and a reference to a state of life and manners so unlike our 
own. Many strokes of satire, which at the time may have 
had a direct and personal application, are now sunk into 
vapid generalities, or lost from our ignorance of locaL 
circumstances. Still enough remains to excuse, if not to 
justify, the praises that were once lavished on this favourite 
poem. The crowd of images, and the grotesque combinar— 
tions, produce almost the same effect on the mind as th^ 
noise, and hubbub, and confusion of anothGr vanity -fair upon 
the ear of Bunyan^s pilgrim. The broken and sketchy styte# 
and the curious idiomatic turns, must, even at the time, hare 
given the work a character of quaiotness and oddity ; and 
may have recommended it to many, who otherwise were 
little likely to pay attention to the lessons it read theic* 
Want of space alone pre vent's me from extracting it. 


C. V. 



There are also alliterative poems, written in the com- 
mon ballei-stave of eight verses. One of these, entitled 
" Little John Nobody/' * was composed aa late as the year 

I have, in the course of this chapter, called Hugh the 

oldest English poet, bom north of Tweed, whose worka 

have reached ua. Tyrwhitt, on the faith of a passage in 

Robert of Bnmne, which he thought attributed the Qest of 

Tristrem to ErceldoD and Kendale, gave theso writers, or 

rather the first of them, the credit of it'i authorship ; and 

Sir Walter Scott supported the claim in an elaborate criti- 

ciam. Were this criticism sound, Erceldon would precede 

Hugh by at least a century. I think, however, that the 

general opinion, both at home and abroad, is against it. 

Tome it always seemed, that the first stave of the poem [of 

Sir Tristrem] went far to exclude Erceldon from all share in 

ita composition, 

1 was at Eroelfloune 
Willi Tomo*; spak Y tharct 
Tlier hcr<i Y redo in routie 
Who IVistreiiv gut ftiui bare « 
Wlici waa klnvr with crmin ; 
Ami who Ijim fosterd yare; 
And wht» wiks huUi baroim 
A« tliair elders ware 
Bi yere — 
Tomai? tell« iti town 
This aiieiitoiirs as tliui ware . 

Now the story of Tristrem (aa we shall preseDtly see) 
**8yarionaly told ; and it was a common practice to solicit 
^ ^De confidence of the hearer by quoting some well-known 
fie as authority. The earlier " diseur *' sheltered himself 
^<ler the nam© of Breri; the Germans preferred the story 
^^ Thomas the Cornish Chronicler ; and Kendah, it appears, 
followed Thomas of Erceldon. Whether Erceldon toM the 
**i«m English or Eomance, in prose or verse, we have no 
^6&ns of ascertaining. From him the Westmoreland poet 
^Canted the story^ and this seems to be the extent of his 

See Perc/i Reliqiieg. 
« H 



B. III. 

obligations* Had the poem been a mere copy, we sfaoald 
doubtless have heard something of the original — of the 
" boc '' or the " parchemin." 

The dispute as to the authorship of Tristrem involved 
another (and one of much greater interest )j as to the origin 
of Britiish romance. This cycle of fictitious narrative has 
exerted bo powerful an influence on the early literature of 
Europe, that I shall probably be forgiven if I lay before the 
reader some speculations on the subject. 

The early romances, which relate to our race or country, 
may be divided into two classes — -English stories/ such as 
the Fall of Fins-burgh ^ Beowulf, Byrthnoth, Horn, Have- 
lok, &c. ; and British, or such as treat of Arthur^ and other 
knights of Wales, Cornwall, or Britany. The first class 
may be traced up to the fifth century, and perhaps to a 
period even more remote; but we have no specimen of the 
second^ in our mother- tongue, till the latter half of the 
thirteenth century. These two cycles of romantic fiction 
exhibit a striking contrast, not only as to style, but also in 
their incidents, the state of manners which they unfold, and 
their general moral tendencies. Our present inquiry relates 
only to the British cycle. 

The earliest names recorded, in connexion with the 
authorship of these tales, are those of three Englishmen,' 
Luke Gast, who ia said to have lived near Salisbury ;^ Walter 
Mapes, the jovial, witty, and satirical Archdeacon of Oxford ; 
and Robert Borron. The first of these is said to have ti'ans- 
lated the Tristrem from Latin into Romance / the second 

^ In this class I would range all ibo romance^^ which the Engle ftppev to hsTe 
brought with them from the Coiifini'tit, thotigh the merit of their invmiicmmMy 
possibly belong to tether Grothic races— suvb as the* ta.1*?* of Mth, of 'Hi^cdrir, 
and perhaps of Welantl Etiglibh nunanrt'S on these subjects were osrtainly 
extant in the eleventh century, hut it h now imposiiible to say how fiur Ihey 
agreed with the talcs on the same subjocCs, which are ttill extant in the lot- 
landic and the Germaa. 

'^ Two t>r thn?e (ttljcr persons ar« said to hav« fl.Wv*W in the HTifing ^f ttinn 
tales, all t*f whom appear to have U^eii attached to iho English court* 

• la the nei^hlwMiriirHKl of thiu city wita the royal paliiBD of Clarendon ^ wliicli 
may m'count tiir the impnrtaoce giren to it in soma of these romaneea. 

* Bibl du Roi, CchL 6776, wid Cod. 6966, See Monifaiicon. 

C. V. 



to have written, in Latin, the Birtit and Life of Arthur, the 
Launcelot, the Saint Graal, and the Death of Artlmr, the last 
at the express suggestion of our Henry tlio Seeoml ; ^ and, 
by command of the same monfu^ch, Robert Borron is said to 
haire translated into Romance, from Walter Mapes's Latin, 
the Launcelot and the Saint Gra^iL' There is still extant a 
copy of the Tristrom,^ which cannot be later than the early 
half of the thirteenth century, and may be the version of 
Luko Gast; also a MS. of the Launcelot,* of the twelfth 
century, which, as far as it goes, agrees with the French 
printed copy,^ and is probably Robert Borron's translation 
above referred to j but the Latin versions of Walter Mapes 
seem utterly to have perished. 

With one doubtful exception,^ all tales appear to 
have been written in prose. But before the year 1200 the 
Tristrem was certainly versified by the French poet. Chris- 
tian of Troyea ; and also, it has been conjectured, by a poet 
named Thomfj^f round whose name has gathered a cloud of 
mystery, which has misled not a few who have endeavoured 
t-o pierce it. 

The French government has lately published the early 
romances which relate to Tristrem ; and, among others, a 
Norman >f S.' of the thirteenth century, and the well-known 
Douce MS. which probably belongs to the same period. 

» Hiaioire flu Kov' Artns, kc, Rouen, A. I). t488. 

* Dibl cin lioi.tV»d. 6783, at the <>nd. The Vatiran MS. 1687, sajH he tmns- 
Utcd the S»int Graul I'mni Ijuliii into mmaiice h^ offffT of hoi^ Church. The 
Satnt Grojil, it may l»e observid, waa the niiniotikiiiEi t'up whit h rweivetl our 
L«ryr<J'* Wood, and the adventurer undergone in search afit lire thesnhjectof iIji* 

*Tha9 sre some rtaMina for beliering tbat Luke Gu^t bewail thii Iran!) tat ion, 
ftiMl that Robert Borron merely Knkh&d it. 
' Uiirl 20. D. 2. 

* llarl. 20, P. 3. 

* Tlic- Uiatoir* dii Fioy Artus, &e. («ce n. I), contains the Jife of I^auntH*- 

* One *?djtion of the Saint Graal ( Paris, A, D. ID16), states that Roljert 
Ilorrnn ^^aB^lated the Saint Graul firnt into rhnf, and then intoprrise. 

' Some «jf the French eritits c<in]eetiire, that tliia ia the version of Chrbtiuii 
of Troyea; but, ns the diakHt is elearJy Noriuan, they would meet with great 
difiicaUk'S in mitintainin^ this eriticmm. 



B. III. 

The former refers to Berox^ as the best authority for th© 
storj, and the latter to Breri^ 

WTio knew the gests and tales 
Of all the kings— of all the coimtii| 
Who had been ^* en Brctagwc." 

The Douce MS. also tells us, that Thomas would not admit 
certain parts of the Btory, but undertook to prove them 
false. Now Godfrey of Strasburg, who translated the 
Tristrem into German soon after the year 1200, mentions 
Thomas of Britanma, aa being well-read in British books, 
and the best authority upon the subject. As Godfrey pro- 
fesses to follow him, and as it is clear, from his use of French 
words and phrases, that the German had a French original 
before him, it has been supposed that Thomas wrote the 
life of Tristrem in French. Were this so, our first conjecture 
would naturally be, that Thomas of Erceldon was the man ; 
butj as it is impossible to reconcile the dates, the opinion of 
Sir P. Madden may bo entitled to some weight, which attri- 
butes a Norman version of the tale to Thomas of Kent — 
the same who assisted in composing the Roman d' Alexandre, 
and who may probably claim an interest in the Norman 
versions of Horn and Havelok, both of which refer to a 
Thomas as thoir author.' 

But, as if to double the confusion, another German poet, 
Wolfram von Eschenbach, mentions Thomas of Britany'a 
Chronicle of GornwaU, as the authority he followed in one 
of his romances. Hence it would appear, that Thomas was 
a chronicler ; and unless we conclude that a Welsh Tlioinas 
chronicled the story, which an English Thomas versified, 
and a Scotch Thomas most strangely appropriated, it would 
be diflScnlt to admit the hypothesis above stated* 

On the whole, it may perhaps be safest to conclude, that 
Godfrey had before him the Romance poem of some name- 
less author, which professed to give the story of Thomas 
the Chronicler, rather than the highly wrought tale which 

^ Frtym the intmduction of English phrases, and alluaioii to English ciistomi* 
it is clear that the Norman v eraion of Horn, HarL 587, was the work of aa 

a V. 



Luke Gast had put to^efcher ; but I cannot tell in what way 
Thomas of Erceldon was connected with the story^ except 
aa being one of the famous "seggers^' of the thirteenth 

A like preference of the Chronicler to the mere story- 
teller ia met with in other romances. In the fifteenth cen- 
tury Henry Skynner gave an English version of the story, 
which '^Maister Robert of Borrown *^ translated into French ; 
but he tells^ those, that 

will knnwen in sertajgne 
Wlmt kyiigt\** tliat wereii iq grett; Bretaygiie 
Sitban that Christendom tliedyr wii^ bmwht 
They stholon b<*iti tyiide ha.s ^o that it sawht 
Li the is to rye of lirwttes hook 
There scholen ve it fyiide and ye weten look 
Which that Murtyn de Betcre trnnslatwl here 
From Latyn into Homaunee in his manere. 

I incline to think the '^ Brwttea book ^^ here attributed 
to Martin of Bury^ is still extant. The Harl. MS» 1605 
contains the fragments of a British History^ written in the 
same language and metre as Langtoft^a ChroniclOj that is, 
in Norman Alexandrines, with the rime running through 
fifteen or twenty verseB.* The poem was probably written 
before the year 1200, for the manuscript cannot be of much 
later date ; by an ecclesiastic^ from the frequent allusions to 
Scripture history ; and by an Englishman^ from the intimate 
knowledge displayed of the English language. It shows 
all the learning of the cloister, and the skill of the practised 
vefTsifier, andj moreover, an imagination to the full as active 
as the ** manere '' is curious. It may have given rise to 
much of the romantic fiction of the thirteenth century ; and 

* Nftimyth, as quoted by Warton, furnishes the extract Either the MS. or 
llis Umisenpt of it^ must have bwn very carelessly written. [1 lie MS. is very 
cftrpktdly whiu-n. A hir^e jiurtion of it lb printed in Mr. Fumivull's edition 

The Uolj Grail; hut the txtrat^t here eited occurs in & laier portion, in the 

rj of Merlin.— W. W.S.J 

^ De la Rue Ima ad\ani'cd some strong arguments to show that Geoffrey 
Gaimar mtist^ like Waie, bavi* versified the Brut; and (hat hi^hiHtory of the 
Angb-Saxon Kings is merely the setjuel. But the poem referred to in the text 
has BfiiliiAr his mitrft uur, if I muy be allowed lo juilgej bis sf^^ie. 



B. TIT, 

is, I think, full as likely to be the *^^ British History ^' re- 
ferred to by French and Geraian romauncers, as the Latin of 
Geoffrey J or the cold and prosaic nan'ativc of Wace, Per- 
haps it would not be so difficulty as might appear at first 
sight, to connect this Martin of Bury with the Breri and 
the Berox, whom we have seen quoted as authorities, on 
the subject of Triatrem, Breri may be a Norman blunder 
(perhaps the usual and recognized corruption,'} for Beri, a 
mode of spelling which i^i sometioies met with in the thir- 
teenth century ; and in the old EngUsh dialect of that and 
the preceding century, the writer would also be termed 
Martin Burigs,^ (or according to diversity of spelling, Beroir) 
that is Martin of Bury. I would say then, (if we may be 
allowed to apeculaio on such slender premises,) that Martin 
of Bury may have left some account'* of Tristrem, which 
agreed with that afterwards given by Thomas the Chronicler, 
and generally followed by later and more scmpnlous 

Where the property in those tales lay originally is a 
question not very easily answered* Many Welsh copies of 
the Brut are met with in our libraries ; and in one of them, 
wT-itten in the year 1470^ by a Welsh poet named Gnttym 
Owen, the Brut is ascribed to Tyssilio, a bishop, and son of 
Brocmael Yscy throe. King of Powis* It has been con* 
jectured, indeed, that these Welsh copies may be transla- 
tions from Geoffi'ey's Latin ; but, as seveml of the namea 
Lear a close analogy to those which figure in history, while 
the corresponding names in the Latin can only be recon- 
ciled to history, by supposing them to be the latinized forms 
of the Welsh names — the Welsh version is probably the 
original Briity Brenlmiedy which Geoffrey translated. There 

' Like Dtm^sme for Diinholm, aii<i Niehoh for Lincoln, Durbtyn is ooe of 
the few instances in whieh tho Norman mrruption has permanenlljr got the 
Wtter of the EnjifHsh name. Brifttol, I beliove, m iinother instance. 

^ Thu Hunm idiom is eitill mot wiLh in I he names of ploees, u Loutilngtoii 
Priors, Leamington of the Prior, St. Saviour Overieij St* SHriotir of ibo OviT, 
or Btrfiud. 

' Poeaibly interpnIatcJ into some pari of his '* Brwtte« bcJi*" which is now 


is also a Welsh San Graal ; but, as the Welsh certainly 
translated some English romances, this may possibly have 
been of the number. 

Perhaps we may come nearest to the truth, by supposing 
that our early English romancers invented some of these 
tales from the scanty notices which they found in the Brut 
and other works of the same kind ; and translated others 
either from the Welsh, or from Latin stories written by 
Welshmen. The Morte Arthur may have been the inven- 
tion of Walter Mapes, but the story of the San Graal is 
certainly of earlier date ; and we have some faint notices of 
a " British Hermit," who lived at the beginning of the 
eighth century, and is said to have written a book entitled 
Sanctum Oraal, de Rege Arthure et rebus gestis ejus, de 
mensd rotunda, Sfc} This work was probably in Welsh. 
The Latin Tristrem, from which Luke Gast translated, may 
have been a version from the same language. 

TiitB, p. 222 ; Bale, x. 21 ; Usser, I'rimord. p. 17. 




By this name we have hitherto designated a class of 
metres, which seem to have been borrowed from the Church- 
hymns, and used, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
chiefly for purposes connected with the Church-service. 
The name of Church-metres, however, would have been too 
comprehensive ; and the present title was thought not in- 
appropriate, inasmuch as the staves, which are commonly 
used in our versions of the Psalms, may be directly traced 
to these metres, as their origin. 

The Church-hymns may be divided into two classes, 
accordingly as the rhythm is measured by quantity or 
accent. The versification of the first class seems to have 
been known by the name of '^ metrum,^^ and that of the 
latter by the name of " rhythmus.'' Bede, in his work De 
Metris, after noticing such of the classical metres as were 
popular in his time, has a chapter upon " Rhythmus.'' It 
presents us with difficulties, arising as well from the nature 
, of the subject, as from the discrepancies which are found 
to exist between the difi'erent copies. I think however we 
may gather, that in '* rhythmus ^' quantity was disregarded, 
and the number of syllables fixed — so that, although in 
" metrum ^' a foot of three syllables might, in some cases, 
be used for one of two, this license was not allowed in the 
corresponding ** rhythmus.'^ He quotes as an instance of 
accentual verse, made in imitation of the Iambic metre, 
'* that celebrated hymn, 

" Rex a'terne Domine,^ 
Rerum Creator onmium, 

* This verse is deficient by a syllable. Must we split the diphthong, and 
read aeterne ? [No ; rather take rex as constituting a foot by itself. — W. W. S.] 

C. VL 



Qui f ran jiiite ,*H-'njlrt 
Semper cum Vtiirv: FiJius, &c. 

and many others of Ambrosius,'^ * "They sing/* he also 
tells us, " in the same way ay the trochaic inetre^ the 
hymn on the day of judgment, running through the 

Ajiparebit repentina <lies nia«rna Domini, 

Fur obacurd velut Docte iniprovLsus occupans/' *&€, 

Some critics are of opinion, that the laws, which governed 
these accentual verses^ corresponded with those that regu- 
lated ihe accentufi, or sharp tones of the classical metres ; 
while others consider their accents as substitutes for the 
metrical ictus, I shall not venture to discuss a question, 
which Bentloy and Dawes and Foster have failed in, answer- 
ing satisfactorily — more especially as there still exist MSS, 
which treat expressly of the structure and peculiarities of 
this class of verses. "* It may, however, be observed, that, 
as the later Latin poets seem to have preferred, and in some 
feet required, the coincidence of the sharp tone with the 
tetus, the question whether the accent of the *^rhythmus " 
represented the iclus or the accenius of the *^ metrum,^^ is 
not of that verij great importance it would appear at 
first sight. I incline also to think, that some of these 
"rhythmi^' had their accents determined by causes, which 
were wholly independent both of the one and of the other. 

The Iambic "rhythmus,'' noticed by Bede, was a favourite 
one during the middle ages; and is probably the origin of 
the common metre of eight syllables, now so common 

' The eelebrftted Bbhop of Milan. 

* The first verne, it will be seen, begins witU A. Compare — 

Tres I cento] ruin cubitojnnn : an:rh|n? longjitu|do, 
Sed I frt (|um [qnies | deno| mm ; e|jus Jii| Litii|do, 
Se3t( ie» I qiiciiiut? I quino] rum : e [jus &l | litu| do. 

Mapes, p. 210. 

* Wben we remember how little is known, and what different opinions hare 
been bolden, on the subject id uT»h and tkrstjf, «ikI luaw much light must neces- 
wuilf be thrown u|ion it by an exjimi nation ol' th^st' MSS., it js hy no mc:uii5 
credit&bl^ k» modern scholarship, that tbej \mve been so long neglocU^d. 


throughout Europe.* His trochaic ''rhythmua^' was mo- 
delled on the Catalectic Tetrameter ; and^ in his verses on 
the year, was used with final rime. 

* An I nus su { lis con | tine 1 tur : quat { uor | tempor { ibus | 
Ac I dein { de ad j imple | tur : du { ode | cim men | sibus | 
Quin I quagin | ta et | dua \ bu8 : cur { rit heb | domad { ibus | 
Tre I cente ; nis sex | agin | ta : at | que quin | que di { ebus { &c.' 

From the sixth to the fourteenth century, this '' rhy th- 
mus '' was common throughout Europe. The complete tetra- 
meter (though little, if at all, known to the monks) was 
doubtless the classical metre, on which St. Austin modelled 
his verses against the Donatists. 

A I bundan | tia^ pec { cator | um : so | let fra | tres con { turba { re 
Prop I ter hoc | Domin | us nos | ter : vo | luit I nos prae { mone | re 
Com I parans | regnum | coelo | rum : ret \ icu | lo mis | so in mar | e 
Con I gregan | ti mul \ tos pis | ces : om | ne ge | nus hinc | et in | de * 
Quos I cum trax | issent { ad lit | tus : tunc | coepe { runt sep | ara { re 
Bon 1 08 in | rasa | mi8e|runt: rejliquos { malos | inmajre, &c. 

In one of the letters ^ of the Irish Saint Columban, we 
find a rhythmus, which, from its pause and cadence, seems 
to have been formed upon the trochaic septenaritM. It was 
written about the year 600. 

Mun I dus is | te tran | sit et | : quotid | ie | decres { cit 


mo vi I vcns man | ebit | : nullus { vivus | reman | sit 
turn hu I manum | genus | : ortu | uti | tur pa \ ri, 
de sim { ili { vit& | : fine | cadit { sBqua ! li,*' &c. 

Another rhythmus, closely resembling the last, was very 
popular in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, particularly 

^ See Muller's Deutsche Dichter, 1 ; Gryphius, pp. 196, 200, 206. Whethc-^^* 
our English metre of four accents originated in this " rhythmus," or was meivk J2 
influenced by it, has been discussed in Chapter IV. 
'^ Gallias Cfesar subegit ; Niooinedes Ciesarem ; 

Ecce Csesar nanc triumphat, qui subegit Gallias, 
Nicomedcs non triumphat, qui subegit Csesarem. 

Suetonius ; JuHus, c. 49. See also capp. 51, 80 • 
•"' Among the licenses taken by the writers of " rhythmus," crafts appear^i* t^ 
have been one of the most frequent. 
^ Here is no rime. 

■^ See Usher's Vet. Epist. Hib. Sylloge, p. 9. 
*^ Here we have a specimen of the Irish or vowel rime. 


among our countrymen. The first stave of Walter Mapes* 
celebrated drinking song may serve as an example* I can- 
not satisfactorily connect it with its " metrum/^ 


Mi 111 est I propos I itum j : in | taber na mo | ri 
Vi num ^\t j appos I itum | : nio rien ; tis o ' n 
I't I tlicaiit I cum vcii | crint [ : an i gelo ' rum elio ri 
De 113 sil I propi | tine | : hii ie po [ tuto ' d.' 

But no '' rhythm us " has left more traces in our English 
versification, than that which was borrowed from the Greek 
church in the twelfth century^ and modelled on the Cata- 
lectic Iambic Tetrameter. One of the earliest specimens is 
the work of Psellus on the Civil Law, addressed to Michael 
Dncas, the ** Royal Kaisar,'^ or heir apparent. As he 
ascended the throne in 1071, it must have been written 
before that year. It opens thus, 

IToXt) «at ivftOiutpifroP t6 fia9r}fia rov v6fwv^ 
*Ej' wKartl SvinripiXii7rToi\ dnafu^ h' mnm^j/ttf 
Kni Xriym ivaipfJirfVtVTQi'j tkXX' oputt^ dvdyKmoP^ 
Kai Uti Toy aliroicpdropa rovTtiv fiuXkov fpopriZuv^ 
AucttititQ yap Tt ^iicaiov Iv iitcat^ i^XaicTfov* 
"OBiv iyitf ttoi rd TroXKd rov Xoyoti m'vo^'i&a^t 
EvBifparov u nvvTfiY^a jriwoirjKa nhv vojputi'^ 

WhIc srpread ami hard to thcurizc : tlic T-^aw'^ imprirtaiit ncience ! 
Hijth liard in fuU to comprehend : and darkenM hy abridgement^ 
And liard in worils to cnnstnie ri^ht : hut nevertheless 'tia needful — 
And most an EmiiVor it behoves : to weigh well aU tta hearings, 
For justly in his judgements he : should ever deal out justice; 
So now in LMjmpai*s small I Ve liroiight : full tnany ihingj* to<rether. 
Ami of our laws a simple sketch : have made for thee to study. 

Strange to say, Foster, whose learning and good sense 
^0 man will question, considered the (jTtyjH wftXiTiKot not as 
'iatubics regulated by accent, but loose trochaics, as inde- 
pendent of it as any in Euripides ; *^ and a writer in one of 
^^^ Reviews,^ who acknowledges them as accentual, never- 
^^k$g connects them with the Trochaic metre. Were they 

^ » BtaflF with interwoven rime, Mapea, p. 20S ; a staff of tlirp«, closed 
*•"* » liexametL-r, I'ulil. SongH, ed. Wrijy^ht, p. 27 ; a stuff of tour, eljscd wilh 
*''*XMTietftr &r pentameter^ with &c<.'tioniil riiiie, I*olit. SungB^ p. 182» 
' Urn. Ittfv. %\u ta 



SO connected, we should have the Trochaic *' rhythmus " of 
the Latins accented on the odd^ and that of the Greeks on 
tho evefi syllables^ — a diBcrepancy that might well startle as» 
The Reviewer asserts, that the Iambic Tetrameter has not 
the same division, and but rarely the same cadence. I be- 
heve neither of these a,ssertions will bear examination. The 
cadence of the Catalecfcic Tetrameter, or in other words the 
position of its sharp -toned syllables, is very commonly 
found to be the same, as in these accentual verses; and, 
both in the metrum and rhythmus, the pause imme- 
diately follows tho close of the second metre* The full 
tetrameter, indeed, divided after the first syllable of the 
third metre, and this very probably led to the Reviewer's 

In the same rhythm as these Greek verses, was written, 
during the latter half of the twelfth century, a very long 
and curious English poem. The writer tells ua, he was 
christened by tlie name of Ormifi ; and, in another place, he 
gives the title of Ormulum to his work, " because that Orrn 
it made/^ Of his mode of spelling we have already 
spoken;* it appeared to some of our critics so barbarous,* 
that they at once denounced him as a Dane, and fijied him 
as a native in one of our eastern counties. A later writer, 
who entertains ju^ter notions of his orthography, tells us ' 
nevertheless, that " Orm's dialect merits, if any, to be 
called Dano'Saxon ; his name also betrays a Scandinavian 

Why his name should be ^' Scandinavian," I cannot tell, | 
unless it be that the Banish word orm answers to our 
English worm ! But is not Orm the abbreviation of Ormin, 
like Will for William, or Rob for Robert ? and is not Ormin 
the German Herman, and the Latin Arminius ? ^ We need 

^ S4»ep. 104. 

^ What would f >rinm Imre said to the orthography^ in which these g«iiUem«tt| 
conveyt*d their t'cnsurta ? 

^ Analet'ta Aii^lo-SftXCmiciiT P- ^- [edited by Thorpe )- 

* It nmj p*^rhiipi be questioned, if Herman be not the Angb-Sa&on Here' 
man, and a different name from Arminius; but there can be littie fjnubt that 
Armiuiiis was the aam# as Ormin. [Yet I doubt it very much. — \\\ W. S.J 

C. VI. 



not, however, rest content with speculation. Reginald of 
Durham, who lived in the reigns of Stephen and of Henry, 
having occasion to mention this name of Orni, expressly 
calls it an English name^ and thus he distinguishes it from 
the Northern or Danish name of Wilhelm/ 

To the native purity of his language the poet himself 
bears witness* In one place^ he terms it "thisa Enn- 
glissh j ^* in another, " thiss Enngliashe writt ; " and in a 
third, he tells us that he wrote, '' Ennglisahe menn to lare/' 
that is, for the lore or instruction of Englishmen. I con- 
sider it as the oldest, the purest, and by far the most 
valuable specimen of our Old English dialect, that time has 
left us. Lay am on seems to have halted between two lan- 
guages, the wintten and the spoken. Kow he gives us what 
appears to be the Old English dialect of the West; and, a 
few sentences further, we find ourselves entangled in all 
^ the peculiarities of the Anglo-Saxon. But Ormin used the 
dialect of his day ; and, when he wanted precision or unifor- 
mity, he followed out the principles on which that dialect 
rested. Were we thoroughly masters of his grammar and 
vocabulary, wo might hope to explain many of the difficul- 
ties, in which blunders of transcription and a iransitmnal 
state of language have involved the syntax and the prosody 
of Chaucer, 

In taking even a rapid view of oor literature, we cannot 
fail being struck with the varying forms, through which 
our language passes. To notice all these changes, would 
leave us little room for any other inquiry ; but wholly to 
pass them by, might deprive the reader of information, 
which, in some cases, may be necessary, for the fiiU elucida- 
tion of passages that will be laid before him. So far as the 
changes have been effected by lapse of itmey they have 
alraady furnished matter for speculation ; " I would now offer 
some remarks on the influence of j?/flte€f,aB the subject of local 

' Reginald i Monochi Dtrnclm. Libel his, kc. p. lOd. This curious book wsa 
pufaliihed bj the Surte^i? Society in lf^35. [1 shnuH «iill Withelm Fr&nkish, 
snd therefore quit© difFtrent from th-min^ wliirh I «liou]fi call Northi-ni Engliah 
of ScAndinavian origin. See notes nt the end of the volume.— W, W. S.] 

* See p. 399. 



B. IJT, 

dialect is more directly brought before our notice, by the 
work of Or mill. 

In a late article,^ upon our " English dialects/' waa quoted 
the following passage from HigdeUj written about the year 
1350. "Although the Euglish, as being descended from 
three German tribes, at first had among them three different 
dialects^ namely Southern, MidLaad, and Northern ; yet 
being luixod^ in the first instance with Danes, and after- 
wards mth Normans, they have in many respects corrupted 
their own tongue, and uow tiflcct a sort of outlandish babble 
(peregrines captant boatus et garritue). In the above thro^ 
fold Saxon tongue, which has barely survived among a fe^ 
country people, the men of the ea^it agree more in speech 
with those of the west— as being situated under the aame 
quarter of the heavens — than the northern men with the 
southern. Hence it is that the Mercians or Midland English 
— partaking as it were the nature of the extremes — under- 
stand the adjoining dialects, the northern and the southern, 
better than those last understand each other* The whole 
speech of the NorthumbriaDS, especially in Yorkshire, is so 
harsh and rude, that we southern men can hardly under- 
stand it.'' 

With this division of our dialects the Reviewer is dissatis- 
fied 'f he thinks it " certain ^ that there were in his (Higden^s) 
time, and probably long heforGf Jive distinctly marked famu^ 
which may be classed as follows : First, Southern or stan- 
dard English, which in the fourteenth century was perhaps 
best spoken in Kent and Surrey, by the body of the inhabi- 
tants. Secondly, Western English, of which traces may be 
found fi*om Hampshire to Devonshire, and northward as far 
as the Avon/- Thirdly, Mercian, vestiges of which appear 
in Shropshire, Staftbrdshire, south and west Derbyshire, 
becoming distinctly marked in Cheshire, and still more in 


' Quart. Hev. No. HO, An. 3. fl suppose it wtus wriUeii by R* G&mett. 
The passage from Trevisn^a translation of Ilii^eti h pntitefi m Sp^cimeM 
of English* e<L Murrts and Skmi, pp. 241, 242. Hie original Latin U 
in the edition of Higden printed in the Record Series, toI Li, p. 157.— 
W. W, S.] 

^ The Avon of Bristol, or of Warwirkshire ? 

C. VI. 



south Lancashire. Fourthly, Anglian^ of which there are 
three subdivisions — the East Anglian of Norfolk and Suffolk 
— the Middle Anglian of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, 
and east Derbyshire — and the North Anglian of the west 
riding of Yorkshire, spoken most purely in the central 
part of the mountainous district of Craven. Fifthly^ 
Northumbrian, of which we shall apeak more fully in the 

It were to be wished, the Reviewer had told us, what were 
the distinctive peculiarities ' of his five dialects, and by what 
process of reasoning and investigation he arrived at the re- 
sults here stated. I have myself been led to very different 
conclusions. So far from '' southern or standard English *' 
being the language generally spoken in Kent and Surrey, 
doring the fourteenth century, I think it may be shown, 
very satisfactorily, that till the beginning of the seventeenth 
" western English '' was to be met with at the very gates of 
London. By western English, I presume, is meant that 
dialect, which still prevails in Wiltshire and Somerset, and, 
with greater purity, in Devonshire; which prefers the vocal 
letters t', z, dh, to the whisper-letters /, s, th ; which ends 
the third person of its verb in th,^ — he lovihj he zeeth, &c. j 
and takes ich or ch for its first personal pronoun, chUid, 
ch*am^ ch\dl, &c. 

There are marks of this dialect^ in the poems of John of 

' He onlj miai alTudles to these peculinrit ien — he malces A" chmracteristic nf 
i ** Anglimi,'' ancl ch of the " Meixnan "* dialect. I incline to think, tliitt eh 
rhu been sabstituted for ^% s^itnewIiHt more ge-n^riilly in tiie wetstern, than in the 
emsdem coutitrios; hat to make it a test of dmiect, is very hazardous trifH'isin* 
Have we not Aarl a churl, kinAUonAi a rhincoiighj sAriking shrieking', Jiitk a 
flitch, &c, in the ^' Merciun "' diulLH't of South Lftneiishire ? und pi^n^h a ptunk, 
mUcher a tnilker, &t\ in the *■* Anghan " dlah rt of Sutfolk ? Hob. of Brunne, 
thooffa &fi ** Angiian," seems to have pri^ferrefl the rA, wiincss bis bUhaprtche a 
biihopric, olickc ahke, heiech to betake, cheitiff a caitilf, Chain Cain, &c. [It ia 
ffaffieieiit to conaider only three dialects, Nortlit?rn, Midland, nnd Sfituhem ; »«© 
Pl4B^. The South'WeHlern dialect agirea sufliciently with the Southern. The 
true leat of dialect is grammar ; see p. 482. St^e Intro4uition to Specimens of 
EngliBh. ed. Morris and Skeat, p. xviii.— W. W. S.] 

* Tbia verbal inflexiun is no longer heard, east of the Plarret (aee Jenning^a 
Ofaft.011 the Western Btaleets) ; but, at an earlier peritxl, it was used through- 
oat tbe KMith uf England, eren in the fonnnticm of the plural verb. 



B. III. 

Guildford f^ almost aa decided as in those of Robert of Olou' 
tester; and in the " Ayenbyfce of Inwy t/^ ^ which waa written 
"mid Englis of Kent/^ a. d, 1340, we see ita pecdiariti^B 
even moro clearly developed. But we need not dwell upon 
these early instances, for we find it overspreading the south 
of England, as late aa the sixteenth and seventeenth cen* 
tories. It is put into the mouth of the Essex peasantry ^ by 
the author of Gammer Gurton^s Needle; of the Middlesex 
yeomanry by Jonson ; * of the men of Kent by Sir Thomas 
More ^ and Shakespeare.'^ It seems, indeed, to have reached 
from Devon over all England south of Thames ; over south 
Gloucestershire ; and north of the river, over Essex and 
Middlesex. It may, I think, be tairly considered as the Old 
English dialect of the Sejse ; and seems to have overmn (if 
ever they were diflforent) the dialects of the Cant-ware and 
the Wiht'ware — that is of the lufcish settlers in Kent and 


' See p. 427. 
'' Arunilel MS. 67. 

■' TTiaf ibt; scene of tlna play was hid north of Tlmmes, we lenLTu frtmi j*Tor 
Hoclge, Act 3, J?c. 4, 

ich knoft^ that's not* vyitkiH this land, 

A miirrainer rnt than Gib is, hetmxt the Thames and Tynf^ 
Sh'tise VL& mucU wit in her head, almost tui ch^oro in miDe. 
John Still, the author (thf future Master of St. John*** and Trinity) wss Kctor 
of HadlRigh, which m aboat four mjk h from Eftsex \ and Caoibrtdge, where tbe 
play was acted, is aottie twelve. The Gammer a St. Sith \a cluarly the virgin 
«aint of Essex — the queenly Osith : and in the language? we may trie* * 
mixture of the northern di&lort, (the third [K^rson of the verb sometimes eodiiig 
in j| iniitefed of th, and the second in s in^teotl 4>f at) just as we zntgbl expec-t on 
tbe borders of the two counties, E^ex and 8uffulk. There can be little doabt, 
that Still used the dialect, which he heard spoken tuotind him — in other wordi, 
th« diak«t of North Essex. 

• See hifl Tale of a Tiih, The speakers, it shrmld be obsened, txnnt from llw 
\eTy auhnrbs of London — from Kilbum, Islington, ond St. PiuicrasL 

• In his well-known story of the Tentcrden Steeple. 

• Lear, 4. 6. Shakeapeare gives to Pst the force of a future— w fry, HI 
try; and in Gamnipr Giirtoti'it Needle, we have iie tmck, I'll teach, w/m ha^ 
we'll have^ &c. In the Northern dialect this form generally indieateg faturt 
time, but, I believe, always preamt tim& in the dialiM!t of DeTonuhire. It is horn* 
ever sometimes used in Lancashire, a& in Devon ; jtee we think, I think, in Tm 
BohhtHfMt. 7. fThe country di&lect, as exhibited In dromu, is very eonventkiDal, 
and not mnch to be depended on, — W. W. S.] 

a vr. 





Thero are raanj eircuniatiDces, which might Imd us to 
expect a differencej between the dialocts apokea nortb and 
Boath of Thames. The Gothic mcoa are described, in the 
third and fonrth centnries, ks forming one people, and apcak- 
ing one language ; bnt a compariaon between the Meoso- 
Gothic and the Anglo- Sixon will convince us, that even 
thus early there were dialeeU; which probably melted, the 
one into the other, and showed more marked peculiarities of 
structure, aa the races j which spoke them, were more widely 
separated* These dialects have long since ranged them- 
selves into four great classes — -the Kortheru, the English, 
the Low- Dutch, and the High -Dutch, The English con* 
nects the Northern dialects with those spoken by the Low- 
Dutch or Netherlandors ; and the latter link in with tho 
various dialects of the High- Dutch or German. Now tho 
Sexe ^ came from the south-western comer of tho ancioot 
" Ongle/' and were parted only by tho Elbe from the Nether- 
landish racea ; while tho Engle, who landed at Bamboroughj 
came from the north-eastern coast, and wore neighbours to 
the Dane. We might thoreforo expect, that the dialects of 
the Engle would partake more of tho northern character, 
and those of the Sexeof the Netherlandish ; and moreover, 
that the distinction would be the more marked, inasmuch as 
a whole century elapsed, before the kindred races again mot 
each other, on tho banks of Thames. 

That tho dialects spoken north of this river, di^i posBCsa a 

common character^ which long distinguished them from the 

m flouthern dialectSj may^ I think, be shown even at this late 

H * There is reason to iKjlievcv that rhls won! Stj-c meani nothing more iIihu 
^kSHmeJi, And that it wgs fimt given to sm-li of the Englt\ a« maik piniej^ tht'ir 
^^^■It. Bat ftftfir these Sexe settled in Britain, though, m it would seisin, thej 
' nnetUDC* cmJled their speoi:h Ett^ltJffi^ their new country Euf/ltlanifj and them- 

taetves the Engk-kin^ yet t!iey were, fur the moat piift, distingnished fmm tho 
Engte of the Xortli— tlio phrase Enifle and Scxc being made use of, when tlio 
writer would intrlude the entire English population of the islanfL 
TbAt the Sexe itwre a tribe of Kngle, I think there tan be littlf d«'>ubl. Every 
thing tends to show, that at the beginning of the tifth century there were only 
^v€ great Gothic rocea in the Nc^rth of Europe— the iSW^t, the Dene^ the Geatu^ 
the Eu^t^f and the Sif*efe. [In what lang^uage Sexe mesnfl uam^ny I do not 
kaow,— W.W.S] 

I t 




B. in. 

period ; but tho changea thej have Tindergoiie are so many, 
that it is now very difficult to point out the peculiarities, 
which once bound them together aa one great dialect. 

One of those peculiarities I take to be the conjugation of 
the verb. To what extent its inflexions differed from those 
of the southern verb, will be seen in the following table. 
The vowels are accommodated to that stage of our langoagej 
which has been called the Old English. 

Indk. Pres. 

Indie. Perf, 
liiiper* Prcp. 
Infill. I're«. 

Souih Did. 
Jell liop-e 
Thim hop -est 
lie hop*etli 
We I 

Ye hop-etli 
Hi I 

Til oil luijietl-est 
bnp-etb je 
Xi} hop -en 

I Imp-es 

Thon hop-es r i( 

He hop-cs 

We j 

y*i • hop-es 

Hi ) 

Thou lio[>ed-e« 
bup-es ve 
to hope 

In the Northern inflexions we msLy^ detect those of a con* 
jugation, which is fully developed in the Swedish. They 
were used by Aldred^ in his version of the Durham Bihlej 
which Wanlej assigns to the age of Alired ; at a later period 
by the author of Havelok, Robert of Brunne, and other men 
of Lincolnshire and the adjoining counties; by the men of the 
west, one of whom^ I take it, turned William and the Wer- 
wolf into English ; and generally by Scottish writers of the 
fourteenth, fifteen thj and sixteenth centuries. Churchyard, 
a Shrewsbury man and one of Elizabeth^a courtiers, often 
ends his third person plural in s ; and the same form may 
be found in Shakespeare, The peasantry of the midland 
countdea not un&equently use this inflexion, in the first 
person singular and the third person plural ; and the 
Quakers, who are not an uneducated body, use it in the 
second person singulai* both of the present and perfect 

Other peculiarities of the Northern dialect seem to be, a 
less frequent use of the articles, the conjunctions, and the 



personal pronouns;^ a dislike of the n decloaaion ; and the 
use of a very curious inflexion es' in the plural adjective or 
participle, as " the godt?* briJdea/' the good birds, *' the 
kn/chtis were t&nys/^ the knights were ta^en. 

Our northern dialect also, not unfrequently, added er to 
the substantives of the south (in this particular again re- 
sembling the languages of northern Europe) as umlfer a 
wolf, hunker a haunch, heather he&th, fiUcher a flitch, teanier 
a team, plmicher a plank^ fresher a frog — in the dialect of 
Essex froshJ^ 

Aa to the changes of the letters^it is probable, that the 
vowels varied too capriciously to form any safe test, whereby 
to distinguish between the two dialects; but I have little 
doubt, that a preference of the vocal letters was, from the 
first, a marked feature of the southern English. It will, I 
think, explain some apparent inconsistencies of Anglo-Saxon 
orthography, and especially as regards the use of the |^ and 
the ^. Again, the use of the t fur th appears to have been 
&p more common in the northern than the southern coun- 
ties ; and seems at last to have given rise, in the northern 
dialect, to two verj curious laws of euphony. 

In some MSS/ Hs substituted for th, whenever it follows, 
in the same verse or member of a sentence, a wor^l that end?* 
in d or t; and in other MSS/^ the same change takes place, 

' Why have ihey heen so Atudiauslp inserted in those extrocrts froi#the Diir- 
hfttD Bible, whleb Hppeaif In the AniiLe<in ? 

* I have only seen this inflexion in MSS. whiith belong^ni to the Nrn'tln^rn 


* Compare btmkcr, m bench {.Iftraieson) ; firster, first, otX-^r, an iiak or water- 
newt (Halliwell); hnfer, a calf, in Buk-helor'a l>ialcct of Beiltbrdshir**, p, 126. 

' Se« the Onunlura ; the CJimnirlp from 1132 \n INO^ and the Li^esof St. 
CkthBrine^ St. Marfmret, anil St. Jnliano. King's Lib. A. 27. The Ijtps of the 
three tt&intti 4eem to have Ix^^n tranMlntod by one iTohn Thayer. 

* See the Legend of bt. Catharine, and the Inntitutio Monialiiim [Ant»ren 
Riwie], Ttt. I). 18. The Inwt. Mon. is a very curious work, both «s to subjet*l 
tAd diaJect. There in n later i-opy in the Siutliem dinleett in Nero, A. 10; 
and an aneient one in Ch'op, C. vi. whieh 1 think nnisl Ijo written in the Mid- 
land dialect. The Latin orijo^nal, I bs^lieve, ia at Magil, CVilL Oxford. 

Thi» change of th into / wns» in snme few cjise^, to be met with in Southtm 
MHS. ; and in tite modern dialect of Somerset we may dtill occanioncilly hear the 
East Hjt-Kng land phi'^se, ** now and tan.*' 




both when the preceding word ends with one of these two 
letters, and also when it ends with s. I incline tfO think, the 
firat-mentioned MSS. must have been written in the eastern 
and midland counties, and the second set in Lincolnshire 
or north of Trent. Those, who know Lancashire or the 
rival county, will readily call to mind such phrases, as 
''does io/' '* hond teh tongue," and other illustrations of 
these two rules. 

It is a curious fact, that both our universitdes are situated 
close to the boundary line, which separated the northern 
from the southern English ; and I cannot help thinking, 
that the jealousies of these two races were consulted, in 
fixing upon the sites. The histories of Cambridge and 
Oxford are filled with their feuds ; and more than once has 
the kingfa authority been interposed, to prevent the nortieni 
men retiring, and forming within their own limits a university, 
at Stamford or Northampton. 

The union of these t%vo races, at the university, must 
have favoured tho growth of any intermediate dialect; aod 
to such a dialect the circumstances of the country, during 
the ninth and tenth centuries, appear to have given birth. 
While the North was sinkiug beneath its own feuds, and 
the ravages of tho Northman, the closest ties knit together 
the men of the midland and the southern counties ; and this 
fellowship seems to have led, among the former, to a certain 
modification of the Northern dialect. 

The change seems to have been brought about, not so 
much by adopting the peculiarities of southern speech, as 
by giving greater prominence to such parts of the native 
dialect, as were common to the south. The southern con- 
jugations must, at all times, have been familiar (at least in 
dignified composition ^) to the natives of the northern coun- 
ties^ but other conjugations were popniarly nsed, and in tho 
gradual disuse of those, and other forma peculiar to the 
north, the change consisted. Wo have MSS. of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries^ in which the more marked features 

' If notf we must look on our copy of Cffidmoti, as anljr a Southern ^ 
thp fxipm. [It is certainly a Smithnm version,— W. W. S,] 

C. VI. 



of the northern dialect are studioosly avoided ; but generally 
tlie inti'usion of some verbal inflexion cs^ or of some other 
popular idiora^ shows the country of the writer as effectually, 
as the misplacing of a single iinll betrays the unfortunate 

These are some of the reasons, which, independently of 
Higden's authority/ would lead me to the conclusionj that 
in the middle of the fourteenth century, there were ihree 
great English dialects — the Northern, the Midland, and the 
Southern; and, I think, that even amid the multiplied 
varieties of tho present day, theae three divisions may yot 
be traced. What in the fourteenth century wore tho Ihnifs 
of the Midland English, is a question of difficulty; The 
Trent seems to have been long a boundary. Surrounding 
with a deep and rapid stream a thinly-peopled district— tho 
felU of Derbyshire and the wilds of Shirewood— this river 
opposed physical obstacles, which were but very slowly sur- 
mounted. The new dialect seems to have spread over the 
plains of Staffordshire, and the rich flats of Lincoln, long 
before it penetmted the sister-counties of Derby and Notting- 
ham. Both those, I believe, would have been excluded by 
Higden j and probably too, the adjacent counties of Stafford 
and Lincoln. 

As the northern dialect was retreating northwards, two 
vigorous efforts were mad© to fix it as a literary language j 
the first, in tho thirteenth century, by the men of Lincoln- 
shire^ — the same, whoso tasto and genius yet Uve in their 
glorious churches ; and a second, in the fifteenth century, 
by the men of Lothian. But tho convenienco of a dialect, 
essentially the same as the northern, and far more widely 
understood, its litei-ary wealth, and latterly the patronage 

* Not that I tUink his authority of sligUt moment, m n case, Jike tbr prest'Tit. 
Wliaitever wc muj' tliiiik of Uis phiiosoph^^ bis testimony to a Tttft, dlrviily 
fvitbiD bia owD knowledge I and c'OtiQGCted with a subject which he b&<l evideiitlj 
timditd^ is of grnit Tulue. 

' Tb« mimbor of MSS. wrilteti akmt tbo year 1300, which (judging fmm 
^aJect, anii other cjivuinstaHi'es} muai be rtfl-rrffl lo this county^ or one ot*thc 
n^i^hbuurinj^ shines, is airipilarly great, lis littTory univity jw^ems to have 
Wrn chiefly owing to its Houriahjng raoiuLsttries, Croylaiul, SempringUam, &c* 



B. III. 

of the court J gave the Midland English am ascendancy^ that 
gntdonMy swept all rivalry before it. 

The southern dialect kept its ground more firmly than 
the northern. Little more than two centuries have gone 
by, since it first began to give way before the midland 
dialect; and the extent to ivhich it has yielded in different 
counties, is, even at this day, the best means we have of 
tlistingnishing its several varieties, The eaatemio est variety 
has now lost all the more marked features of the Southern 
English ; and is chiefly remarkable for that confusion ^ of 
the V and the t/?, which is sometimea thought peculiar to the 
Londoners. As we go westward, we gradually fall in with 
the Wiltshire variety ; with the zb and the vb, thick that, 
mid ick I ; with that curious form of the verb substantive, 
he'iii^ we'm, yoiifu, thtn/m^^ and the infinitive in y^ to sowi/, 
to reap3/, to nursT/,^ &c, ; with dr^ instead of the initial thr, 
as droo^ drash, (Jrongf drawl, drub^* &c. ; and with that 
singular, but very ancient misplacing of the r and the s, in 
in girif pirty, hirehf hirn^ burshj hursk^^ &c. claps, hap ft , aps^ 
&t\ The Anglo-Saxon diphthong ea is changed into ya. 

' The TawSt whifh i^giilato tho usp of the letters w, rs to, y, thioaghout the 
i?-a«t of Eiiglaiidj have If^eii little sturlle*!, iind are exceeiliiigljr punling. I have 
rried to bring these Ii'it*?rH umler riili% hut without mnrh .sutxifi^ 5 and as the y 
utkI the «' are oot vtTT reiidily dislin^uishiible m our MSS» I fear I may scto**- 
1 ime« have miBtahen chetn, in such exirajita us ha\c betfn laid before the readcT. 

It may Im obeerved, that the chaii|je oft? into u or w% in ihe niidtile of words^, 
ibi euH even, ctmmg evening, fitc. ower over, ewU evil, &c is oonrnion in most of 
(wr con 11 ties, 

' This verb is also ftmnd in BiHlforflahirp. I will vpnfnrc' to iisitert, that the 
whote range of the Gothif diuh'eis di^n not c«jatatn a word, mure inatnictive so 
the philologist ont% that promiseti to be a more iin|>ortant link in the history 
und philosophy of laiiguaf^. 

^ This inrtexion seems to be a reiic of the i coujugalion. In our older MSS, 
it is written i>. 

* Thiit i8» tfifo\ Ihrash^ thronfj^ throat j throb, Ace, At^cording to Forby, a like 
change i>f letters is met with in Norfulls, save that, instead of the cf, its wluipcr- 
letter 18 \\%lh\^ hs might be expected. He gives as es^amples, iroat^ tread^ irmtm^ 

* That iH, ffffntj pretfff^ rich, run, hru^h^ tu^h^ &c. Gift and pirty are common 
in other jiarts of the kingdom^ but the tninsposition of the r before othi*r lertcrs 
I ban /, is rarely mer with, hut in the south, 

* CUtsp^ ha,^p. aj^p. 

C. VI. 



and the later diplithonga oa and oi into wo and m (tlong), 
as yarth^ yarmj yaker, yal, yd^ &c. wotk^ wockj whot, dimnt, 
gwon, &c. Bpwile, bwile, pmnt, pwison, bway, &c. ; ay is re- 
placed by if and the long o, by auj as pa, wdf sid, zd, &c. 
zaWy paw J gawld, hawld, dawze^ suppawse^ Ac. When we 
cross the Parret, we find ourselves in the midst of the 
Devonshire variety, which, beside poseessing almost all the 
peculiarities already noticed, retains yet stronger marks of 
the pEireat language — for instance ees for I, and the verbal 
inflexion ih, he zeeth, &c. 

»Tbe midland dialect (supposing it to reach the Humber) 
znayj I think, be convemently divided into six varieties. 
The easternmost ia noted for a very general narrowing of its 
vowels, as haeve, gaetker, raedish, saeck, waex, &c. creedle, 
eheen, dreen, keeve, &c* kivmt, ikrid, riddy, hrui^ f^ind^ Ac. 
hyUf syle, spyle, jyne, desfrye, &c. fide, slide, fuune, spune^ 
bute, smuthey &c. ; for the omission of the definite article 
after verbs implyiog motion to or from a place, as walk into 
hcnise, go up chamber, come out of barn, put theiji into bashet, 
&c. ; for the use of ta instead of it, and the apparent want 
of inflexion in the third person singular of its verb, aa ta 
deWj it does.^ It is found in Norfolk, Suflblk, and Cam- 
bridgeshire; and, at no distant period, must have Rpread 
over Huntingdonshire, and up the valley of the Ouse into 
the heart of Bedfordshire. The Worcester variety ^ spreads 


« See Mooi^B " Suffolk Wor^i and Phmsea,*' nnd Forbj's ** Vocahulary of 
'Ernst Anglia**' &-)me notice of t!ie lli'flfordiihirf dialect may he found in Bnt- 
chelors *^ Orlboepical Analysis of the English Language/* 

• le rhinc-ombe'a Hiatory of Here for diihiro, ther*" is a aeaoty liat of provin- 
HhI phrases ximA in tbjtt eounty ; and I am told, tlmt a work on the Shropahire 
diftlect, written by Mr, H[irtsbomt% is now in the press ut Cambridge. It werts 
to be wi«hed tbise dialcH*u wore more widely sttiditHl. GloucesterMbire is full 
of words and pbriuses, as yet unrecordud j and, when we lefim that in some of 
ihe Uitfordsbire villages, the abepberd yet tdh km tale^ (that isocounts his flock) 
excry marningj wesot^ ut once, tbe meaning of tbotte much abused lines, 

And ev'ry shepberd ftlh his tale^ 
Under tbe bawthom, in the dale. 

Mid, at the same time, tbe importance of these inqtiiries. 

In one of the little volumes of Old English jKKJtry, lately published by ricker- 
mg, the ingeuiuus editor ^* susp««-tts/^ that the tales of *' ihe Basynj*" and ^* tb*? 



B. irr. 

west from Oxfordshire, over the greater part of which it is 

spokon. Like the last, it has a marked peculiarity of io-tw, 
but, unlike the whiniug drawl of the eastern counties, its 
prouuneiation is quick and decided. The intermediate 
variety/ which may perhaps be termed the Leicestershire, is 
remarkable for its want of tone. It has contributed, more 
than any of our living dialects, to the formation of our 
present st^mdard English^ 

It may be worth while observing (though 1 do not lay 
any very great stress upon the fact) that these divisions 
agree, pretty accurately, with the limits assigned to three 
races, well known to our early history- — the East-Engle^ 
the Middle-Engle, and the Wic-ware. 

Frerc and the Boy,** were written in ihe Skrcp^ir* dialect. The frequent use 

tif yf and uo (tts in t/essce, yetktTf ^fmrychtmej &c. Widhrr^ ttHmr, us^nly^ &c,J and 
the u&e nfy for th in afftirnt, nre the rcastmSf wbioh !e<l liim to tUis concJnston. 
But tlH'jAi* dij>htliLmjCfBj/«' and w*y are common, all ovtT the West of England, f nun 
€unil«!rlfliid to Somerset ; Had fht' uswof/for the initial /A is also very general. 
Ill SnftVdk, BiMJfurdahire, and other counties, the^* still say fill-Horff for thill- 
huTntyJJAtie for tliiHt1e,/mf^ew fur ihrvuri-n, &t\ ; and a like cbanee of leltereiB 
found both in tlic northern and in the snuthorn diatet-t. 

1 shoyld huvc iixml on a n^^re northern eounty. The use of fly for the long 
c, Ah fmyf fur both, »oyi \\*t s<iith> raytt for tw^, tpyi for goes, itt% p<iinl» to the 
Wpst Hiding, fjf one i>f the noighhiiuriog shines | and the- western dipbthonps 
(if we may <*o leim them) ye iind wo, din^ct us to the adjtdning county of liuicm- 
ishire. Whi?n, in addition to tliis, wt" find that, in laler versions, the scene of 
hoth iii4L«H' tuh'H iii laid m Lanc<n.^hire, I cuuiioi Itebitate in HAsigning tbe dialtol 
tu the soiith<*m purt of iliat t'onnty. 

' I'ew of our dialects have btn^n mort' nej^Wtefl thnn the present one, thmigb 
<forftevt*riil rcBj^nus) one t»f ihu mofit importtint* A slight notice of its pcciili 
ties^ as spjUen in Leic<\stershire, may Itc found in Watiiulay^s History of Claj 
hrook ^ s|XMiuienHof Korthumpt on shire ttjM.'ii?ii oo.ui* in Clarets poems j and! 
urn toldi thut a hrtok on the Worwit kshiri^ dj^dLH.'! may be fthartly expected, &ORi 
the |>enof a gonthnmn, now living nt LiitiHttld. 

We have a minute examiimtion «f the Ikdfordshire dialect, in Batcbelor'B 
^* t irrhoepicnl Analysis/' &c". bal the greater part of this county may be fairly 
asisignod to thr i-astern dialwt. 

In the prefin^e lo the Exraocir Scolding, jiublished a.I). 1775t we have the fol- 
lowing givf-n im as a speeinien of llitj ^^"^ Buclutgham^hire farmeni*'' speech^ ** 1 
ken a steg gnhhlin at our leer deer }" that is, '^ I see a gander Jeeding at our 
barn-<U->or.*' Stty n gander* ken see, Utr and Icath a bam* are words now only 
bt'urd in the northern li^untieK ; and^ if tlie whole be not a blunder on l^ie part 
*yi the editor, (whiiii I think mofet probable) the northern di&leit inu&t h»Ye left 
Kneh tmiLus buhind if in the agrieultural dintrietji, as will render the eliu&sifica- 
liouafoui" premie nt midhmd diulei td^ a work of great diffiLulty. 



C. VI. 



The Cheahire variety reaches from the Sfcaffordsliire 
collieries to the banks of the Ribble.^ It often uses ya 
and wOf for the diphthongs ea and oa; also oi for the long 
i, ow for au, and eaw for cut, as oi, droy^ wmf, loive, foine, 
moind, noice^ &c. boiL4f fowt^ hroivt, &c. theaWf heaw, keaw^ 
eawt, eawl} &c. i and it inflects the present tense of its verb 

Oi hope 
TlicAw hopea 
He hopes 
We I 
Ye > hop -en 

ThB ) 

In the West Eiding^ the long o is changed into oi, and 
oo into ooi, as coyl^ hoyl, mmte, oits, broidi, chise, «Scc. 
sooin, momn, fooil, cooil, momd, booick, &c. ; the final k 
also (in place of ch) is very prevalent — as hirk, perk^ thiuk, 
benk, pick, ick, &c. ; and the old northern verb {singular 
and plural alike ending in s) ia here more frequently met 
Tvith, than elsewhere.^ The Lincolnshire variety has been 
almost wholly neglected. Its peculiarities, I think, well 

* I make llii« river the boundary of the Cheshire dmiwt, in deference to 
Whituker. In the ilLstm-y of Whalley, we have a li»t of word**, nsirl s<nilh of 
ihe Ribhle^ eom|rttn*d with the synonjins y»cd to the north of it. The eompari* 
8on ahows ui — f^oi (aa Whitaker supposes) thitf the Kibble pnrted Mereta from 
NarthuxoberlaiKJ, for many of tlio northern terma were, a few centuries ago, 
oommon throughout the midicLnd eouoti€-i!i, bul — that this river m the ob^tmde 
wkicb, Aflat© years, ha« stopped the midland dialtjct in ifs profjress north wjirtl. 

The chief works illustriitive of thia diiileet are C4>Hier's Tjnili->hhin, tind Wil- 
braham'a Vocabulary of Cbesliire Words and rhrast***. In Knij^lifss Quarterly 
Mutg, for 1822, then^ is an aectjunt of the StaffordslUro ColUerg, and a short bnt 
exeelleot specimen of tlieir (hiileet. 

It should be obm-rved, that in South Lancoshiro are found many of the peou* 
liartiieiiy which difrtinguisb the ^pei^'h of the West Hiding* espeeially Ihtt use of 
at for the long o. In Macau lay a Hi<it. of CI ay brook ^ we find oi for i, as moire^ 

^» Sec Hunter** HallamBhire dialect^ Watson's dialect of Halifax, and the other 
Rbnlariea puhlished in Mr. Hunter's work* In ihe Towneley My.-*terie8, we 
r an interciitiug i»pecimen of thi^ dialet-t, u.s spoken fr>ur hundred years a^. 
Mr. IXiutv consiflf^red these plays the prrjperty of tkiuth Lancashire; but the 
^joncluaion, at which the editor arrived, by iraeinji; the local allusious, i» fully 
l^tvme out by jui examinatiun of die diulecL They were certain fy written at 
Woudkirk, near Waketield. 




justify a separate classification j some of them will be 
noticed hereafter J 

The Northem dialect may alsOi as it seems to me, be 
conveniently divided into six varieties. The Yorkshire 
spreads over the east and north ridings, over Westmore- 
land, and over North Lancashire. It usea the long a (as 
heard in father) for the long o, and eca for oo, as staaUj 
alaarij haam, saa, maarj saar^ &c,f€eal, skecalfleeak, necak, 
seean^ neeaiif &c." The Durham variety, which, with the 
addition of the hur^ Bpreatla over Northumberknd, uses ac 
for the long o, aw for aw, a for short o, and ui for oo, as sae, 
lae, bane, ntane, atthj haith, aik, maul, 8are,&c.hIaWf knaw, 
aimif said, &c. slrang, sung^ warse, warld^ &c. hilk, huik, cui7, 
fuil, &oJ^ The Cumberiand variety is chiefly distinguished 
from the latter, by the frequent use of the diphthong wo in 
the place of the long o, as cwoach, cwoal, cwoat, divoated, 
fwoal, fwolkf jumkej nvose, whope, wkole^* ic* In both those 
dialects the diphthong ya is common, and owing to the 
narrowing of the vowels is sometimes used^ where other 
dialects have the wo, as yak an oak, yalts oats, byeth both, 
hyel whole, &c. It may be observed, that in these northem 
dialects not only has the k kept its ground very generally 
against the intruding cA, but also d is often used for th, as 
/adder y mudder, anudder, ivheduVf togedur, &c. The initial 
qu is moreover sometimes softened into ivh, as whiet, whiie^ 
whart, wliaker, &€. 

The varieties of tho Northern dialect, spoken north of 

^ See p. 494. Bvn Jf^nson. in bis Snd Shepherd, has imitated the dialect 
s^Kvken two cinlurk's ugo, in the Tutk*' ofBotvoir. It was eleorljr ft bniDcb of tbe 

^ See SpcciinpTifi of the Yorkshire Diak*t't, Knarpslwroiiffb^ 1808 ; mid the 
Westmoreland Dialect, by A, W. (Ann Wallcpr) KendtiK 1790. The Craven 
Dialect, of whii'h tbe Kt<v. Mr, Carr hxm \nih\{%h.ei\ a \!poi\ vomibtilary, fieems ta 
Ik! intrrmediiiti\ between ihe dialix ts of tht- North lunl West Ridings. Tbe dia* 
IcK'i foond in Hayward^s " \Vit*'hfs of Laut^ashire,"* though some ot its pectdiari- 
ties are those of Kortb Lancaiihire, seems* on ibe wliule, to belong to theB^iutberti 
part of rhat tuunl j. It was viTitten in Ift.iB. 

" Se& Rroc'kt^tt'ri Northern Dialect. There are ala'3 specimens of tbis dialeL^t 
ill Brorne'h *' Xfirthern Ijass/^ 

* Seu Ballads; in ihr? I'limhtTlund Dialect, by 1^ iVnderson, Carlisle, i608. 

C. VI. 



Tweedj may perhaps be ranged under the three heads 
- — the Nifchsdale, the Clydesdale, and the Lothian, Burns 
has made the first familiar, and the two latter may readily 
be called to mind, as forming (at least in great measure) 
the brogues of Glasgow and of Edinburgh, With respect 
to the dialects, which prevail beyond the Forth, I shall 
venture no opinion, either as to their origin or affinities— 
the subject ia surrounded with too many difficulties. 

Nothing has been said of the Banhk elements of our 
language, for traces of them ha\re been found neither in our 
AISS. nor in our dialects.* Ko where have I met with those 
grammatical formsj which hind the Northern languages into 
one great family— the r inflexion of the verb, the passive 
voice, the definite affixes of the substantive, the neuter in- 
flexion of the adjective — ^and as to certain words, which 
philologists assure us are the " shibboleth '^ of the '' Dano- 
Englisb/^ such as gar to make, at that or to, &c. these may 
be found in districts, where the Northman never settled, 
and are missing from counties, where he certainly did. His 
language, from the first, must have been little more than an 
English dialect, and his descendants have now been mingled 
with a kindred race for nearly one thousand yeara^ — is it not 

* Doctor Jamipsnn discovereil not only Dani»!i djalect^t but aTso traces of a 
Scandinariiui language^ whitih mtisl have l>een iiitnKluced before tlie Northman 
invaaionji. The Doctor was reaolve<l,. at any cost, to make Puts of his Lyw- 
laodera; and to his theory was too often I'ontent to aacTifiee his dictionary i 
Were ii not for this hapleti^ theory, we should now have had ati excellent 
djctiotuiry of onr ni^rthern dialect. 

The He viewer, whom I have already quottyi [p. 478, n. 1]» considers the 
Rumanice of Ifavelok, *" more Btningly impregnaled with Danish, than any 
known work of the same perioti.*' which appears *' not only in individual words, 
but in variona iB:rammat|cal inflexions, and, most remarkably, in the dropping 
of the final d after liquids— irAel, h^l^ hon. Md—~whu^ exactly aeconis with ihe 
present pronunciation of tho Danes/*^ Quart. Rev. ex, 3. Now in all discus- 
sions, relating to lanfjuoge, it is moat impurtaiil, to illustrate rtde btf tjrample. 
Of the "grammatical inHexions/' the reviewer haj? given us no specimen* 1 can 
find none. An to the di ufvping of the final rf, I would merely auk, if this be a 
tc»t of the Dano-English, where can we escape from that dialect ? If we travel 
tu tile soQlli^ have we not, using^ the orthography of Jenninga, the tfec/, nili 
($iiidceii|iieare'B nieM), chiU^ &c. the Aon, ston, nmn^ffroun^ /niW, bfhine^ &c. of 
Somenet ? If to the north, have we not the ifcawlj warly chid, &e. the haitj stan , 
«it, Jncn^ miftf km, hthin^ &e, of Nirhsthvle ? 



B. III. 

likely that poculiarities of dialect have vanishedj with all 
recollection of their origin ? * 

Some parts, however, of the British islands wore tvJioUy 
peopled with Northmen^ — as the Orkneys, Caithness, and 
much of the eastern coast north of Forth, Harrison,^ 
writing in the year 1576, tells us, that in the Orkneys'^ *' and 
such coasts of Bntaine as do abbut upon the same, the Gottish 
or Danish speech ia altogether in use/' but afterwards* 
qualifies this, by talking of ** some »parks yet remaining 
among them of that language/* Perhaps, if the history of 
these dialects were traced out, and the process investigated 
by which they melted into English, we might by analogy 
discover, if our other dialects had been affected by the in- 
trusion of the Northman, 

In tracing the subdivisions of our three great dialects, I 
have made the vowels the test, rather than the consonants, 
as being, on the whole, less subject to derangement from 
external causes, A word, imported from the written 
language of the period, generally carried with it its own 
peculiar consonants j thus we have fader in the Coventry 
mysteries, though the provincial term is, and probably has 
been for the last thousand years, fad her. But the vowvl 
was generally accommodated to the pronunciation of the 
district; thus spite in Staffordshire became spoite^ noU in 
the West Riding became noitv, and a little further north 
crown became crawn. The districts, however, in which 
these vowel sounds prevail, and the periods to which we 
may refer their origin, can only be marked out within limits 
tlxat leave much room for uncertainty. 

In ancient MSS. (as in provincial speech) we have the 
local dialect almost always more or less modified by the 
written language — aa in Burns' poems, we find his native 

* Seththo hatli Engt'lond y-be jr-weired y-lomo 

Uf the falc of DenL-mark, ihiit beth noglit yet wd y^aoiDe. 

Rob, of Gloucc^o', |i. 3, I 10. 
(The Arundel MS. bos — tliat were tiotiglit welwme)* 
^ Dl»iht. of BrUUniio, c. 6* 

* (M'lbo SiwilaiKlcrs be sttya, "their speiich is GotbiaU," c. 10, 

* Ibiil. c. 10. 

c. vr, 



Ayrshire combining, in almost every proportion, with our 
standard English/ Now, many obaoleto grammatical forma 
(the Southern conjagation for instance) were once well- 
knovm to our liieraiure, and, therefore, will not enable us 
to ^ the country of the writer; but the inflexiona of the 
Northern conjugation, and the Southern v will generally be 
decisive j and aa (before the year 1350} one or other of 
these peculiarities was seldom absent from MSS. written 
elsewhere than in the midland counties, we have, in most 
cases, a ready method of distinguiahing between a northern, 
a midland, and a southern MS. 

Again, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the 
snbjunetive mood seems to have been very widely used, in- 
stead of the indicative j in some MSS.^ indeed^ almost to its 
entire exclusion. The third person singular of the Eastern 
dialect, and the Staffordshire plural, may, very probably, bo 
relics of this usage. They now strike the ear as marked 
peculiarities, but would not, 1 think, justify speculations as 
to radUal, or even very ancient differences of dialect. 

To separate the native growth of any dialect from these 
various importations, to define tho time when, and the 
degree in which it has yielded to the written langnage, re- 
qaires research at once extensive and minute. Tho great 
fanltj however, of our modern philology is that common 
vice of theory — the arguing from too remote analo^im. Our 
critics wander to the dialects of the Heptarchy, or to the 
" Scandinavian," or to the Greek and Latin, when they 
should be diving into our MSS. and seeking illustration in 
our dialects, as spoken some four or five centuries ago. 
Such research may bo obscure labour, and the produce not 

** Forsiith I set my birisj panp^ 
As that I eolith T to mak k braid and plane, 
Keptind na sudmn, tK>t our awjn langage, 
And KpekiH as I loniyt quhtni I wua puge. 
Ka ^t sa L-leyn all sudron I refu^s, 
Bat aiun word I pronunee a» tiyghtbouris dota.'* 

G^. Dotiffias ; ProL to VirffiL 

• Soch MSS. are f&und written betk ia the Southern and ia the Northern 



B. in. 

always very malleable to a theory ; but it holds out good 
promise of loading to the truth, — which will hardly be 
reached by the vagno speculationa of the indolent and 
dreaming antiquary. 

Out older critics and dramatists have left ns occasional 
notices of our dialects, which have, I think, been too much 
neglected. Some of these have been already referred to ; 
l)ut there is one, which is more than usaatly instructive, 
and as it serves in some measure to illustrate the Wews 
already advanced, I shall lay it before tlie reader. It is 
found in the Lotjonmnia Amjiira of Gill, the well-known 
Master of St. Panics;* and was written about the year 1619, 

This scholar divided our language into six dialects. Of 
these, two were the Common and the Foetical. The remain* 
ing four were the Northernj to which he seems to have given 
nearly the same limits we have assigned to it ; the Eastern^ 
in which ho seems to have included the Essex and the 
Middlesex ; the Southern^ which appears to have spread 
over the southern counties east of Wiltshire ; and finally, 
the Western. 

To the men of the midland counties he assigns no par- 
ticular dialect, doubtless conBidering them as speaking that 
variety of English, which he designated as the Common 
dialect. He thus begins his notice of our Northern 

" Ai is used, in the north, for the long i, as faier for 
fier (fire) ; and au for ow, as gann or even geaun for goum, 
and also for the sound of oo, as wannd for wound. They 
also often use ea for the long e, as weai — (with the diph- 
thong clearly pronounced) ; and for Oj as heath for both. 
Even in mj own county of Lincoln, you may hear toaz and 
hoaz, for toes and hose. They aay also, kest or even kussn, 
instead of cast ; fulla instead of follow ; Moth with a long 
0, instead of cloth ; and on the contrary, spohn with a short 

^ The master, too, who taught Milton ! 

' Ab we have to translate from a verypci'ulinr oriho|r"iph,v into our ordinmrr 
modes of spelling, 1 have been oliligi»d ta take o«a«ional liberties with the Laim, 
to make the pronunciation of jionie w^rda intelli^iblif. 

C. VL 








a, instead of spoken ; doon for douB ; and loom for time ; ^ 
rick ^ with a long i, instead of rich ; thore instead of ikerB ; 
breeks instead of breeches, seln instead of self; hez ^ inatead 
of hath; au8 for also; sud for should; 11, 1st and even Ait 
and Aist for I wiJl ; and so in the other persons thoult or 
tkotLst, &c. In ay they throw away the i, as paa for pay ; 
9aa for say ; and for said they nse sed.* Some worda they 
inventj* in place of the more common ones^ as struni and 
runt for rump, and sark for shirt. Gang in the place of go 
(whence gangrel a beggar), and yeed or yode for wmit, they 
got from their anceatora, 

" The people of the south nse oo for the long e, as hoo for 
he; also v for/, as m7i tov fill, vetch for fetch ;^ and on the 
contrary / for v, B^finegar Skudficear for vinegar and Wear/ 
They use also o for ft, as ronk for ran^ ; z for a, as amj^ for 
Hng ; and icft for /, diam for J am, chill for J mH^ cAi voor 
ye for J irarraw^ ye. They alao resolve the diphthong ay, 
and most odiously lengthen the firat vowelj aa paa-y, thaa-y, 
for pay and they.^ 

* I sal yow telj if I liftve /o^>f^, 

Of the s<»iien Sages of Home. — The Stuyn Sages j L 4. 
Weber suppoB4?s the word to have lieen akt?red *' for Uje ^ake of the rime." 
[The truth is very difTertmt. The M. E. (oniB^ Lincolnshire tomn, meaning 
^' leiinire/^ is a totally different wordfi^m time. Moreover, toom ia Scandiniivjan ; 
tiM b English.— W. \\\ S.l 

* This word in South Lancashire becomes roiick^ according to the unalogy 
whicb regulates the vowels of thut cliiitrict. 

■ Lung after the so at hem conjugation bad generally yielded to ibe northera, 
it \wpt pofisesjsion of the auxiliary verb tG hai^e. Even at, the close of tLe 
eigbtcenth century, Fielding alwuy a puts hufh into the mouth of his fine gentle- 
flien and ladiet> ; and, I lielieve, this word in Btill ubed in &ome parta of the South 
of England, even by the educated classes. 

* Here is another provincial term, whicb has now become licensed. 

' The reader will often see reason to dissent from the spfictdaiiotts &t the 

* This me of «? for /, s for »^ and ich for /^ clearly shows tliat^ at. ihe be- 
frjTuiiiig of the seventeenih century, the western dialet^t was spoken *f>«M of 

^ In Bedlbrdisbire, they slJll ^t^j fenumwnd foluntin$ for venom and valeiUine* 
OUier miCanccs of this change should he collei-ted. 

* It is to be regrettedi that this diakH-t has been so much neglected Tho 
W^ftl^oCKenl and Sussex abound in peL^uliarities of idiom, which, if collected. 



B* ITT. 

'* On the other hand, the men of the eastern countiet* 
narrow thoir vowola, for they my feet instead o( fier (fire) ; 
kiver instead uf cover ; and uau ea for the long a, n& deavs 
for dance ; tr for /, ati vellow {ot fellow ; 2 for «, as sai for stajf,- 
Our Mopst© jrvyofTToXoi particularly affoct thia tef\vuTi}v,^ 
and narrow their It-ttora to liuch a dogree, that it wouUl 
seem they hated an or an a, hs much as Appius Claudiuii 
a 2. Thus our daiiiea do not buy hmn and aimhrit, but 
hen and kecmbrie ; nor do they oat a capon, but a ke^pn ; 
nor does their mouth water for huie.her»* meat, but hiichers* 
meat. And as they are all gcntlimmcn (not (^entlynmmmi) , 
they call their servants, not niauls, but rn^eedg, I must how- 
ever retract what 1 have aaid of the a, for whenever a fidU 
Bounding ahould bo heard, thoy make it give place to this 
letter, and many a time do they come mincing to me, I prec 
ya gee yar skaU&rs leev la plee, that i^, I pray you ^ive your 
scholar H hmve to play. 

" But of all our dialocta none equal the Western in bar- 
barism, especially if yoo hoar it spoken by the country people 
of Somerset ; for one might well doubt, whether they apoko 
English, or soino foreign idiom. They still use certain 
anti(|uated wordsj as sctx a knife, and nem or nim to take. 
Others of their own they palm upon us for English, as laj; «■ 
part, iiiii a settle, and soiiie oiherB. Rut even genuin^^l 
words they con-upt, either by giving them a fabo meaning, 
or by thoir mo46 of pronouncing them, as weezimn a bridle; 
weefpot a saQsage;'^ ha vang, throw here, or catch what is 
thrown ; hee vang tu me at vmit, he nndertook for me at foot 
(baptism) ; * tsU a/m, sit ; m^drauih^ essay thereofj that is, 

mi^bt throw the moflt im])ortaat 1tg!it oti thu struet^iiro of our Inngiiivge. IncWml 
any of i\w ttpfnciiUurnl iliMiricta rotind Ijoiidon would wclj ri'pny ih« fttlcntkiii 
of the philohtgiiit. 

^ Hence it apjiOAni} (hat, at the b«*giiinin^' of the mni^ntcH'nth eonttif^?, (M*ro»» 
of tlio ouuntiot 0r/«^of London ii^r'iI tho v nnd th«' s, iriHlrnH of the c>:»nv»puiit1tTiK^ 
wliliper'leUQrs. £«iiex and Middltf^ex w«re no doiilit In tha satbor^f ejo. See 
p. 480. 

• [Rather, *<fxv«r»rra, thintioa.-i.— W, W. 8.] • Fikf cimm , 

* 8«?® H**iurnt*'» GloHsury to liobert of Gloucester, 8,v, vmgt, 
' Pfero we have dt for ihr^ seo p« 486 \ and ih for/, sa in L^iiTMU^rvhirc lbf>j 

atilt Bay, thu/rrom (or furrow. We might write the wurda ** u drauth/" 


C. VI^ 


hee iz gone avtst, he is gone a fishing. So also they 
liviy ihroUemt for thirteen, narger for narrower, sorger for 
aore sorrowful- They alao prefix i to those participles, 
[which begin with a consonant, as if rare or ivrore for frozen ; 
hav ye idoo, have ye done ; they aleo vary, in the plural, 
those nouns ending in sb, which in the common dialect 
remain unchanged, as Aozn, peezn, instead of hose and 
pease. '^ ^ 

Lengthy as this digression has proved^ it has been much 
too short for the full discussion of a question, ao intricate 
^mnd diflScult, as that of our local dialects. The peculiarities^ 
rhich characterize these dialects, are not easily confined, 
or preserved within bounds Mid limits. They spread 
occasionally to the neighbouring shires ; andj in some cases, 
are only to be gleaned from such scattered and remote 
villages, as have not yet been reached by the ravages of the 
schoolmaster. It is however hoped, that some assistance 
haa been rendered to the student ; and that he will be 
enabled to form, at least, some loose notion of the dialectj 
in which a particular MS. has been written. But if he be 
wise, he will aid his judgment with all the helps that can be 
fomished by the history of such MS., the nature of its 
contents, and the notices which may have been taken of 
them by other writers. 

In Ormin's dialect, we find none of those features which 
mark distinctively either the northern or the southern 
dialect. He changes the th into i, when it follows a word 
ending with d or t; ^ but this seems to have been the only 
peculiarity in his pronunciation. His verb takes the 
southern inflexions, but eth is always used in the third 
person, never, I think, th ; the i conjugation seems to have 
been unknown to him, and he drops the e of the second 
peraon singular in the past tense of the " complex '' verb, 
as 0tu badd, thou bad^st, thu hekeit, thou promised'st. 
The declensions of his substantives are very simple. The 

' The BubsUntivea in *€, very oomuicmlj^ form their plaml in m, €T»n in Um 
oid]*iMl oooDties ; tbni we hear, Ad«f«n, pltLg^n, chten^ uid eren kcram, 
* 8*e p. 483, n, 4. 

K K 


B* III- 

masculines and neuters take es in the plural and genitive 
singular^ and sometimes^ it would seem, t?in the dative 
singular; the neuters, however, sometimes have their 
plural without inflexion, as in the Anglo-Saxon. The 
feminine nouns take e, in the genitive, dative, and accusa- 
tive of both numbers ; but, in the genitive singular, have 
sometimes the ea, as is also the case with the older dialect. 
The definite adjective ends in e^ and occasionally, as it 
would appear, in en ; the indefinite adjective forms its 
plural in e, but takes no other inflexion. 

His nouns are sometimes formed with endings different 
from those which are found in the Anglo-Saxon, Thus the 
ending nis becomes a dissyllable nesse, whence our modem 
n€8s ; and the adjectival ending lic^ though sometimes 
represented by -Ivjg^ seems more generally to take two 
syllables, -lice. 

It may he observed, that the final e is always elided 
before a word beginning with a vowel or with h ; and that to 
coalesces with its verb, as iunnderrBianndenn, to understand. 

Nu bro j tlierr Wall | terr* bro | thear min [ : aflFterr | the flttsb | ess kin | de , 
And bro I ib err min | i criss [ tenndoui | : thurrh ful |bihbt and I thurrh 

trovirw I the . 
And brtJ J therr niiii | i god | &» bus | ; ^et o | the thrid | e wis | e . 
Thurrh thatt | witt haf ] enn tak | eiin ba | : aw re^h [ ell -hoc | to foil | - 

ghciin . 
Vniiderr | karmnn | kess had | , and lif J i swa summ ] sanut Awvrs ] tin . 

flette . 
Ic€ hafje don | swa sonim | thii badd | : and forth [eddte* | thin 

wil I le . 
Itr hafje wemid | inntUJ | EnngliBiih | : g(xhlspell ; esj* hall I irhc lar|e . 
AfiteiT I that lit j tie witt | tatt me [ : mindnhhjtin haf ethtb len edd 

It would seem, this plan was not much favoured by 


* This word I havp apelt with two rs, bur in I be MS, it is written with the 
«x>mTnoii ronlraction wnllC ; iso also ffffi\ and snine others. I wotdd hor^ observe, 
there are certain marks in the MS, the use and objeet of which I do not fully 
undemtand. It ought to tw? publishiHt, and ail its pecuiliaxitiea investitfrnted. 
[It has now been twice eilited ; onci' by Di". Wbite, in 1852; and iveenUj by 
MnHolr.^W. W. S.] 

C. VK 



If I wero called upon to say, in what part of England 
a dialect such as Ormin's was over spoken, I should fix 
upon some county north of Thames, and south of Lincoln- 
«hire» That portion of the Chronicle, which contains the 
same permutation of the tk, as wo find in tbe Oromlum, 
' was^ in al! probability, written by one of the monks of 
Peterborough ; and it is, by no means, unlikely, that Ormin 
lived in one of the neighbouring shires. The critics, who 
made hira a native of the east of England, though they 
aessed in the dark, may not have guessed wrongly. 
Ormin professes to have collected together in his 
Ormulum, *^nigh all the Gospels, that aro in the mass- 
book, through all the year, at mass,'^ and to have accom- 
panied each '^ Gospel," with an exposition of it^ meaning. 
Hia brother, who like himself appears to have been a 
Kegiilar Canon, suggested to him this plan, as wo learn 
from the following affectionate address [at the coramence- 
inent] : 

Now brnther Walter, brother mine : after nature of the rtejsli, 
Aik! brother mine, in Chriwtenfhmi : by biiptwni and Iiy faith. 
And brother mine in Cioti's house : yet in the thinl wise^ 
For that we twu have taken both : one rule-book t-o follow, 
In the Canon's rank and lift- : e*eii a^ iStuiit Aniittn rnlecl — 
1 have done e'en «-*? thou batrst : and forwarded thy will ; 
1 have tupn'd into En«flij^h : the gospeFs holy lore, 
AAer the little knowledge that : to me my Lord hath tent. 

i?^ was 

some of his brother churchmen ; but Ormin*s firmno*^ 
equal to hia piety [Ih 715-00 of the Introdnction] . 

* I pTMome this is a mm pounds forlkfid ie, that is, fmnarded for thse, Mr* 
Thnqje. who has fjuaied this passage in his Anahxta, &nf\iio>»^A/orthMte to rf- 
prewnt the Anp^lo-Saxoa /or^A'^y^ ; but in thi8 jdae© we want not ibe perfect 
tenae, but the partioiple. [The MS. ha» foriA^d tt, two sepamt*- words ; see 
Uw ftjC^aimite in Dr. White's pdition. — \V* W. )^,] 


Witt shtil I enn tred | eiin unn | derrfott | : and all | thwerrt iit | forrwerr | - 

penn . 
The dom | off all | thatt lath | e flocc | : that iss | thurrh nith | forr- 

blen I dedd . 
Thatt tsl I etbth thatt | to lof { enn iss | : thurrh nith | fnll mod | igness | e. 

Thegg shul { enn let { enn heth | elig | : off unn { ker swinnc | lef bro | therr . 
And all | thegg sbid | enn tak { enn itt { : onn un | nitt and | onn i deU . 
Ace nohbt { thurrh skill | ace all | thurh nith|: and all thurrh 

thegg { re sin I ne . 
And unne | birrth bid|denn Grodd | tatt he|: fon^je hemm herje 

sin I ne • 
And unne | birrth bath | e lof | enn Grodd | : off thatt | itt wass | bigun | - 

nenn . 
And thannk | enn Godd | tatt itt | iss brohht { : till en | de thurhh | hiss 

hellpje . 

The following are the reflections suggested by the 
miracle at Cana. They may afford us a fair sample of 
Ormin's style ; aad^ at the same time^ a carious specimen 

This mid | dellerd { ess aid | iss all | : o sex | e dal { ess del { edd . 
Fra thatt I tatt ad | am sha | penn wass { : anan | till noth | ess ti | me . 
All thatt I fresst off | thiss werrl { dess aid { : wass all | the forr { me 

tim I e . 
And all | thiss firrs | te ti | mess fresst I : wass o | pennlig | bitac | nedd . 
I ca I na gal I ile | thurrh an | : off tha | stanen { e fet | less . 
And all { thiss firrs | te ti | me wass | : thurrh hall | ghe wit { ess fill j edd . 
Off staff I lig wit I eghunn { gess drinnch | : thurrh writ | ess • and | thurrh 

werr|ke8S . 
Rihht swa | summ all { thatt tijmess fresst | : off wajterr filjledd 

W8B I re . 
And itt I wass turr | nedd inn | till win | : thurhh ie | su cris | tess com { e . 
Thurrh thatt | het ^ gaff | hiss hall j ghe folic { : gastlik | e tunn { derr- 

stann | denn . 

And her | iss o | thiss boc { off that | : stafflik { e wit { eghunng { e . 
That all | thatt forr {me ti { me wass | : tburrh wit | ess fil | ledd off { e . 
Swa sunun | the firrstje fet | less wassj : brerdfull | off wa|terr 

fill I edd. 
And her | I se | summdel | off thatt | : stafflik | e wit { eghunng | e . 
And ice | itt wil { e shsew { enn guw | : all forr | ure all | re ned \ e . 

' I suspect, in this place, some error in my copy of the MS. [The MS. has 
heft ^ith two accents over the e ; Dr. Guest printed k§et in the former edition. 

C. VL 



We two fibould tre&d under oiir foot : and out all from us ctist 
The notion of all lliat bateful crew : that is with malice blimled. 
That blanieth what deserveth prai:*e : in their malieioiis pride. 

The^ would binder in their hate : our laliour ! brother dear. 
And all they wnuld look nn it : as useless and aa idle I 
With reason not, but all in hate : and all through their sina 1 
* And us befite to pray to God : that be forgive their sins ; 
And ii» befits both God to praise : tor that it was begun, 
And God to tliank that it is brought : to end, all by hb help. 

of the manner in which Scripture was allegorized tluring the 
twelfth century [11. 14426-14507]. 

The age of th'ui mid earth h all : into six parts diridcd. 
From thenee that Adam shape n wm : right on to Noah's time, 
All the course of this world*s eld : was all the earliest period. 
Ami all thin firat period's eourae : waa openly betokened, . 
In Cana Galilee^ by one ; of the stoneifi vessels. 
And all this fii-nt periwi was : by holy eagea fill*d 
With drink of letter" cl prophecy : by writings and by works ; 
Right a^ if all that period's course : with water filled were, 
Aiid it wa.«5 turned into wine : by Jesu Christ his coming. 
For that [be gave it] bis holy folk wi sp'rtt to undert^taad it. 

And here is somewhat (in this book) : of that lettered prophecy, 
Whereof all that first perio<l : by sage^ fiUed was, 
Like as the first vesiel was : briraful with water filFd, 
And here I see some portion : of that letter'd prophecy ; 
And I will shew it unto you : all for our common wants. 

with the translation " it gave J 
into on*.— W. W. S,] 

The word means ke it, two words twing ran 



Ciivni I iidAm | es ton | e toe { : nith gten \ 

> bfft) I tberr , 

00* ihat I he sahh { that be | wan gtd[ : iod wThht[ 

Forr def I less ibeww { ess haf | enn agg I : strmng mtli | gvn ens ; ttm 

theww ] e«g . 
And cm | tess tbeww | ess bid { denn crist { : tbat be { tlicggiit tbttrrb | 

hiss ar ' e . 
Aiifi tburrli | hk mill ' ce gif c uiabht : to bet | eim tlicg^ [ re am | oe . 
Aiifl Ca )m U>c \ thurrh be te and iilth | : abc^l | bias agblenii brntj 

til err . 
And led de himui ui | iipp o tbe feld : and sloh 1 himiu boli 

gillt I € . 

Aud giet I tbu bk | ne tak | cdu willt j : off thias { e tweg^ , 

breth | re , 
To foU I ghenn god \ e«s tlieww | abwl | : and hj«* | mtniskjith , uieme . 
And to I forrwfirr ' penn liet| e and nitb : and all | cajm | ca bw ne ♦ 
Tim tak ; esst in \ thatt witt | tu wcl : vt off | tbe forr me ti ' tne . 
Stufflik e flrinncb | j^'a to | tlun lif | : ga to | tbin sawl e batb , e . 
Tlmtt mi k ell magg | tbe gegglnenn ber|:to wmnleiin bcff|»e 

bliss ' e , 
Alls ill" I tbu drunnke wa I terr * driimcb | : vt off I the fim^i 

fetilese . i 

Tliatt magg | the slekk;€tin wel | thin thirrst | : giff tkatt ] u» tbatCT 

te thirrs I tc^tli 

And giiF | thn thlm \ tburrli lial , ig ga*t | : deplik | err uim I dc 

Ktaim ' dcsfit . 
Thatt a I lid thait | all gill | teles j« | : waas sUglcnn tbiirrh j bias bro| 

therr , 
Hitac I netlitU n re kf tTrd i^ri^^t:: tbatt nagg|led wasa | o rodfe . 
Tlinrrb tbatt { hitlhR | kenn hmi edd folio | : thatt be | wmm bor ' 

of fc . 
And wu.Hs I himm unu | hU^ mo i dcrr baUf| : Bibb alls | In «nc|| 

hifts bro I tberr . 
Tba tak { east tu | gastlik { v witt { : off staff li^ wit { egbuiing | e : 
And t]nnnk|esst ta | thatt win | thatt iss | : ut off | tbe wati 

vvliarfl-ecld . 
That win | tbatt tumi ' eiin magi: [ tldn tboblit | : tburrb gasi j j 

clriinnk ] cnnes | f^e , 
Al fra I tlie v¥orrlJde*i8 Inf e and Inst | : and ftn | the titewh' 

wil i le . 
To fciU ifhi^n a^r*! I miwherr ' fedleggc : to win ' nenii beff | uess lilies j e 
Fra uotli ens Hod | till ab raliam | : waas all { thatt o [ tberr ti | me, ^e. 

* Thi.H nnmc wm tliiis written with an m, even so late as the tifteeatb oeoturrl 
» ib<? Towneley Mysteries, liirik-imn, p, :jl7. 

Ye eiirwiti car yfri of Kam€$ kjn* 


Caym ^ Adam's son conceived : hate gainst his brother Abel, 

For that he saw that he was good : and righteous man and pure ; 

(For the devil's ministers have aye : strong hate 'gainst Christ his 

servants ! 
And Christ his servants Christ beseech : that he them — through hb 

And through his pity — may give strength : to amend their sins !) 
And Caym in his hate and malice : took Abel his own brother, 
And led him out upon the field : and slew him — without guilt ! 

And if thou wilt example take : by these brethren twain — 

To follow God's own servant Abel : and his guiltlessness, 

And far cast from thee hate and malice : and all Caym*s example — 

Then takest thou (that wot thou well) : from out of the first period, 

Scripture-drink, both for thy life : and for thy soul both, 

That much may gain thee here : tow'rds winning heaven's bliss ; 

As if thou had'st drunk water-drink : from out of the first period. 

That well for thee may slake thy thirst : if so be that thou thirstest. 

And if thou this by the holy ghost : more deeply nnderstandest — 
That Abel, who all guiltless was : slain by his own brother, 
Betokeneth our Lord Christ : that nail'd was on the rood, 
By that Jewish tribe : whereof he was bom, 
And was to him on's mother's side : kin, as it were a brother, 
Then takest thou the sp' ritual sense : of scripture prophecy. 
And drinkest then the wine that is : fi'om out the water changed — 
The wine that may convert thy thought : through sp'ritual drunken- 
All from this world's love and lust : and from the fiesh's will, 
To follow aye unchangingly : to win thee Heaven's bliss. 
From Noah's flood to Abraham : was all the second period, <&c. 



B. HI. 

As our limits are natrow, we will omit the story of tlie 
Delage ; and proceed^ with Ormin^ in search of the moral 

Godd liegg I de thnas | till sb ^ raliAm \:iMej\ raae | tlim wean | chell , 
And mith | ttt mlU \ itt wie[re ui tliep| : and legg | itt upp | onn 

all terr . 
And brenn | itt all | tiU ass ' kess tliasr j : and of j fre itt me | to Uk ' e . 
And ab raham | waas forrth { rihlit bun ' : to don [ dribhtm es wil j le * 
And toe I h]s& »uii e sou | e anan | : and band | iu fet | and band | e . 
And legg|de itt upp | onn all^tcrr gwa| : and drob | hits awerd | off 

siiii^tb e . 
And lioflf [ the swerd | upp withth [ hiss banndj : to smitjenn itt | 

ici dafd j e . 
Fun-that I he woll , de ben { till godd | : herrsumiu | onn all ' e wis | e . 

And godd | sahh that { he woll de eUen | : tlie child | withth 

iiwerd I esfl egg | e . 
And 8egg|de thnss { till hab ! raham : thatt witt | tii wel { to 8otli|e . 
Hald ab raham { bold upp { thin hand | : ne ala | thu nohbt | tin 

wean { chell . 
Nu wat I 1 thatt | tu drted | eat godd : and luf 1 e«8t godd | withtli berr | te . 
Tucc th«r I an iihep | bafftenn j thin baec | : and off re itt forr | the 

wenu ! chell . 
And ftb ] i-aham | tha uniitli | thatt sht^pj : and let | Iiia hun \ e libb enn . 
FoiT thatt I he wolkl , e ben | till gudd : h errs u mm | onn al | le wiale. 

And ^iflf I thu nim I est mi | kel goni | : till ab ' raham | es ded | e . 

And ^'iff I thu tak | esst biB | ne att himm | : to foil | ghenu herr { aumm- 

nem | c » 
To wmTltheiin herr 'Mumm till | drihhtinj : to theww i tenn himm | to 

rwi^in 1 e . 
To Jak I enn hi mm { wtthth thatt j tatt himm j : iss lefl east off | thin 

ahht|e * 
To wtirr j then herr' su mm to | thin prest' : and till | thin tun | est 

Inf i*rnl , 
Till id I It" thu I that hufjenu the | : tope^nunm and | to sterlenn • 
To bcTi I hcrrsiinHn [ till al | le thu | : inn al [ le |rod | e thing | e . 
Forr nis» | nan herr | nnnuuness ; e »ett i : to for , thenn if | ell -ded | e , 
f» iff thatt I tu foll'ghcsst tn^s | the sbth : off a braham iea biajne » 
Tha tMk I ef«t tu { thatt witt | tu wel [ vt off { the thridd | e ti | me . 
StafHik je driunch | gml to | thin Hf| : and to [ thin sawl | e bathe . 
That magg | the mik ell geng ' enn her | kc. 

And gifl' I tlni thii!*^ I thiirrh lia lig giist| : deplik err unn | derrstan ' - 

di\Ht , 
Thatt rtb, raham | onn h«f|edd h$\ : the falderr upp | offheflrjnc 
And tatt | huw wenn | chel y [ saac | : iw* eri» j tcss godd [ eunndncs | se 
And tail \ hUh nhop | thatt o^ \ rcdtl wa^ ] : ks> ens \ tef^s menn ^ l^c^ 

nDtftle * 

C. VI. 



and type furnished us by the events of the tJdrd period 
[IL 14664-14716, 14722-14740]. 

God Baici thus to AbrQhflm : *' take Isaac thy little one, 

** And slay hlm^ as lie wero a sheep : and lay him on an altar, 

** And burn him nil to iisIjc.^ tbore : and off'r him a gift to me/* 

And AViraham was straightway boon : to *1(> the Lord bis will^ 

And took bis aon (luickly anon : and btniiid him feet and hands, 

And laid him on an altar so : and drew his sword from ^beatb. 

And raisM the «word u[> witb his hand : to smite him to the death — 

For that he woulil he unto God : obedient in all wise I 

And God saw that he would .^lay : the child with edge of sword, 
And said thus to Abralmm : (that wot them well as »tioth) 
" Hold, Abraham, hold np thine hand : do not thou slay thy little one, 
** Now wot 1 that thou dreadest Uad : and lov'st God with thine heart; 
** Take there a .sheep behinil thy bm-k : and off*r it for thy chddJ* 
And Abraham then slew the sheep : and his son let live — ^ 

For that he would be unto God : obetlient in all wbe I 

And if thon takest mtckle heed : unto Abraham'.^ ac*t, 

And tak'st example by him : obedience tti follow, 

To be obecjierit to the Loixl : to serve and ao to please him, 

To offer him what to him h i dearest of all thy goods, 

To be obedient Ui thy priest : and to thy liousehold's master, 

To all those, who.Ho have thee : to care for, and to govern — 

To be obedient to all thene : in all nghtemut thingi^ 

Kor no obedieoee hi enjoinVl : to further evil deeds- — 

If that tlion fulloweHt thus the track : of Abrabanr« example^ 

Tlieji take»l thou (tluit wot thou well) : fro in out of the third period, 

Script ure^drirjik ^rtod for thy life : and for thy soul both 

That raueh may gain thee here ; tow*nls winning heaven** blisSf 

A« if thou badst drunk water-drink, l^^c* 

And if thiiu this, by the holy ghofit : more deeply nnderstandest. 
That Abrivham, in Jirfd pktce f ' is : the Father on high of Heaven, 
And that hiJ* young ehild Isaac : is Chriat*8 divinity. 
And that his sheep that off 'red was : is Clirist's humanity, 

^ [Lit, in ehief, p»|>etinlly,— W. W. S.] 



B* III- 

Ui tbo I leno daetb 1 o 

all cwiccj . and ill 

Tliftl ofF'iretld wass [ forr all ] mauiikiim 

rod|e , 
Swa tbatt | hiBS godd | tumidness | e wasi 

unnpiti I edd . 
Alhwa I summj|saac | ftttbrE89t|:unnwtm|deddand | untiwemiii { edd« 
Tlia tak | csst tu | giiatUk | e witt ^ : off sf aflT, Tig wit { eghming | e 
And drimi | kesst ta | tlmtt win | thatt iss | : vt off | tlie wa 

wliarrf I edd . 
Thatt wb I thatt tun- 1 ncim magg | ihin tbobbt | &c 

If a judgment may be formed from such extracts as I 
liave made^ (andj though certainly a very small portion of 
the wholej they are nevertheless copiousj I would siiy that 
the doctrines of the Ormulum are siugolarly free from those 
latal errors, which the policy of Rome had^ at length, sue- 
ceeded in forcing upon our Church. To appreciate this 
merit at its full value, we must remember that there are 
still extant the sermons of contemporary bishops, in which it 
is hard to aayj whether folly or blasphemy moat predominate* 
Lawrence, prior of Durham — a churchman neither mean in 
station nor in talents — had already clothed his favourite 
Saint with all the attributes of our Saviour ; and Walter 
Mapes, while lashing with fearless hand the ignorance and 
the vices of the Romish clergy, seems nevertheless to have 
holdon the worship of the Virgin as the first duty of a priest. 
Amid heathenism like this, we may forgive Ormin, if, in 
the honesty of his zeal, he sometime strain a text of scrip- 

01 1 de aiit yong | e i | preit * ou | : owrc fol | ies for | U> let [ e 
Thencb | et on god | that yef | on wit I : otire sun | ne« to bet , e 
Her I e i I nmi te! i len ou | : wid word ) es feir | e ant awct [ e 
Tbe yi I e of on I e mei \ dan : was hot | en I^lar | egret { e 

C. VI. 



That ofT'red wm Ibr aU mnnkind : on the cross to suiFer deuth — 
So thjit Ills godlj nature vr^A : ull livmij^ anil uupaiued, 
K'en tso m Is^c ei^caped : lio wounded and uninjiLrcd : 
Tben tafeest thou the spntwtl sense : of sLTjjitiire-prt>pheey, 
And driiikcst then the wine that is : from out the water chanjjcd, 
The wiiie that may convert thy thought; <!tc. 

to . . 

m ttxTOf or lose hiiniself in the subtleties/ with which man had 

■ eDCunibored the plain trntbg of Revelation, Tho Church, 

that could rank him in the number of its ministers, had not 

I wholly lost its chriistianitj. 
The reader need hardly bo told, that Ortnin*s rhythm is 
the *^ common metre/' which ia so often met with in our 
hymn-books. Tho only change is, that each yerse 13 there 
divided into two. 
The Psalm-metres seemj at a verj early period^ to have 
been infloenced by our native rhythms ; and their flow ia 
sometimes so loose, that it is difficult to aay which of the 
Latin '^rhythmi'' they wore meant to imitate* Traces of 
the ** common metre ^' may, I think, be found in the Life of 
Saint Margaret, an early metrical legend, which Hickcs has 
published in Ids Theaaurua [vol. i. p. 224]. It opeui* with 
the following staves : 

Old and youiig I pray you : yonr follies for to leave ; 
Think tm GimI whu gavu you wit : \ nur «in« U) amend, 
Here may I tell yon : with words lair and sweet, 
The liiti of a maiden : watt called Maregrete. 

Her father wa.** a patrician : a.s I may tell to you, 
In Aotiot'h a wife ho choise : in the tklse law ; 
iX'af yocls and dnndj : he aervetl ni<;ht and day, 
Jk> did many others : that 8ing — W'elaway I 

qiimr(er» t<f iht* wotiH^AfW/olia or the east, Dmis or the west, Arktos at the 
north. Me^vthiria or thi^ south. 
' « The wunis prfit^ /oli«, vkf are a clear p^J<lf that thin Legt^nd was tran»- 
|«I<h1 from ih« IttsnianLv. J Pfei( ib ohvimisly an crrur h>r [treic. — W. W. S. | 




The I odo | biub waa | i« nom | e : on crist | ne lev \ ede he noufct | 
He lev I ede on j the fal | se god | es : ihut wer | en wid bond en wroutt | 
Tho I that child j*cid \ de chrifi [ tine ben | : it com | him well | in thoutt] 
E bed I wen it wer | e ibor | e : to deth | e it wer | e ibroutt | &c. 

This rh)i;hni is more clearly traced in another poenii 
which Hickua has published. It appears to have been 
written in the first half of the thirteenth century ; and is 
found both in an Oxford, and in a Cambridge MS.* The 
latter has each verse written at length , in one line ; but the 


Ic I am el | der thun { ne ic weft | : ft win ' tre tiiid cc | a lor | e 

Ic eal I di mor j e than | ne ic ded { e : mi wit | oghte to { be mor \ e 

Wei long 5 e ic hab ] be chiid | ibieti | : on word | e and I on ded I e 
Thegh I ic bi I on win \ tru * eald [ : to giiing | ic am ( on red | c 

Un I net lif I ie hub ] de iled ' : and giet | me thiiicb | ie letl j e 
Than | ne ic me | bithench | c wel \ : wd aor { c ic me { odred \ e kc. 


The Cambridge MS. though on the whole less accurate 
than the Oxford, seems to have preserved the two first 

verses more correctly. 

le am [ nn el [ der than | ne ie wa*ji ] : a win tre and a lore 

Ic weal I de mor | e than | i dud | e : mi wit | oh to | be mor | e 

If we restore the ee^ which seems to have dropped, by 
accident J from the first line, we shall have the rhythm of 
these two verses, as perfect as any in the Ormulum, except 
that the second verse lengthens its first section — a license 
which is very commonly taken in all the early imitationa of 
the Latin "rhythmi.^' 

Besides several detached lives of Saints, in oar Old- 
English dialect, there was also a collection of tbese metrical 



* That is* " He had a !*upeniatiira! prpspntiment." 

''' [And in other MSS., viz. M8. Lambeth 487, MS. Egerton 613, Bm Old 
English Homilies, ed. Morris, i. 15S, 288.— W. W. S.l 
' Digby, 4, 

* That is, ''I ha^e morQ t^wbt sad inHuence," ficc. [The right reading tn 
ircatde or ittldc* — W. W. S-l 

C. VI, 



Tbei^Hlosius w&a bb name : on ChriMt believed he not, 

He believed in tlie false gods : thiit were with hands y wrought! 

Then, that the chdd woidd a Christian be : 'twas borne full into hiii 

thouofht '— 
He bade when it was bom : to death it eboidd be brought, &c. 

other MS. divides each verse into two. The following is 
the opening of the poenij according to my own copy of the 
Oxford MS.^ save only that the verses are here written at 

I am older than I was : in win ten and ete in lore, 
I wield * more than I did : my wit trngiit to be more. 

Full long I have a child y-been : in won! and in deed, 
Though 1 be in winter^i okl : too young 1 be in jodgment, 

A UBclesa life I have y-led : and yet methiftk« I lead, 
When I well bethink me : full »ore am I afear*(j, &c. 

legends, which may possibly date Boon after the year 1200. 
The lives appear to have been the work of diflferent writers, 
and their number is not always the same in different MSS.** 
They are mostly written in a tumbling rhythm, which is 
seemingly an imitation of the Catalectic Iambic Tetrameter. 
Copious extracts may be found in Warton, 

The rhythm, which Robert of Gloucester uses in his 
Chronicle, is of the same kind. Specimens of it have been 
already given, in book ii. ch, 7,^ 

It is sometimes hard to say, whether this apeciea of 
tumbling verse be the rhythm originally designed by the 
aatbor^ or merely the coarse caricature to which it has been 
reduced by accumulated blunders of transcription. It is 

• This wrjnl is written in my vopy winfu^ but the last letter may possibly he 
mnn* In sach cmse, we should read U"iii4rt^i. [Read unnCrCt ub in other MSS. j 
s^ the 6rfit line of the quo! atiort.— W. W. S.J 

• The life of fc>t. Mar^ret, already