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The cheering and enlivening power of rhyme, is still more remarkable in poems of short lines, where the rhymes return upon the ear in a quick succesfion; for which reason rhyme is perfectly well adapted to gay, light, and airy subjects. Witness the following:
O the pleasing, pleasing anguish,
Rosamond, act 1. sc. 2. For that reason, such frequent rhymes are very improper for any severe or ferious passion : the diffonance between the subject and the melody is very senfibly felt. Witness the following :
Ardito ti renda,
Metaftasi. Artaferse, act 3. sc. 3.
Now under hanging mountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
And calls her ghost,
Now with furies surrounded,
Pope, Ode on Music, l. 97
Rhyme is not less unfit for anguish or deep distress, than for subjects elevated and lofty ; and for that reason has been long disused in the English and Italian tragedy.
In a work where the subject is serious though not elevated, rhyme has not a good effect ; because the airiness of the melody agrees not with the gravity of the subject : the Equy on Man, which treats a subject great and important, would make a better figure in blank verse. Sportive love, mirth, gaiety, humour, and ridicule, are the province of rhyme. The boundaries alligned it by nature, were extended in barbarous and illiterate ages, and in its usurpations it has long been protected by custom : but taste in the fine arts, as well as in morals, improves daily, and makes a progress toward perfection, flow indeed but uniform ; and there is no reafon to doubt, that rhyme, in Britain, will in time be forc'd to abandon its unjust conquests, and to confine itself within its natural limits.
Having said what occurred upon rhyme, I close the section with a general observation, That the melody of verfe so powerfully enchants the mind, as to draw a veil over very gross faults and imperfections. Of this power a stronger example cannot be given than
the episode of Aristæus, which closes the fourth book of the Georgics. To renew a stock of bees when the former is loft, Virgil asserts, that they may be produced in the entrails of a bullock, flain and managed in a certain manner. This leads him to say how this strange receit was invented; which is as follows. Aristæus having lost his bees by disease and famine, never dreams of employing the ordinary means for obtaining a new stock: but, like a froward child, complains heavily to his mother Cyrene, a water-nymph. She advises him to consult Proteus, a sea-god, not how he was to obtain a new stock, but only by what fatality he had lost his former stock: adding, that violence was necessary, because Proteus would say nothing voluntarily. Ariftæus, satisfied with this advice, though it
gave him no prospect of repairing his loss, proceeds to execution. Proteus is caught sleeping, bound with cords, and compelled to speak. He declares, that Ariftæus was punished with the loss of his bees, for attempting the chastity of Euridice the wife of Orpheus ; lhe having been ftung to death by a ferpent in flying his embraces. Proteus, whose sullenness ought to have been converted into wrath by the rough treatment he met with, becomes on a sudden courteous and communicative. He gives the whole history of the expedition to hell which Orpheus undertook in order to recover his spouse: a very entertaining story, but without the least relation to what was in view. Ariftæus, returning to his mother, is advised to deprecate by sacrifices the wrath of Orpheus, who was now dead. A bullock is facrificed, and out of the entrails spring' miraculoufly a swarm of bees. Does it follow, that the fame may be obtained without a miracle, as is supposed in the Teceit?
A LIST OF THE DIFFERENT FEET, AND OF THEIR
NAMES. 1. PYRRHICHIUS, consists of two short syllables.
Examples: Deus, given, cannot, hillock, running. 2. SPONDEUS consists of two long syllables : omnes,
poless, forewarn, mankind, sometime. 3. IAMBUS, composed of a short and a long : pios,
intent, degree, appear, consent, repent demand, re
port, Suspect, affront, event. 4. TROCHAEUS, or CHOReus, a long and short :
fervat, whereby, after, legd, measure, burden,
holy, lofty. 5. TRIBRACHYS, three short: melius, property. 6. Molossus, three long : deleitant. 7. ANAPAESTUS, two short and a long : animos,
condescend, apprehend, overheard, acquiesce, im
mature, overcharge, serenade, opportune. 8. Dactylus, a long and two short : carmina,
evident, excellence, estimate, wonderful, altitude,
burdened, minister, tenement. 9. Bacchius, a short and two long : dolores. 10. HYPPOBACCHlus or AntiBACCHIUS, two long
and a short : pelluntur. 11. Creticus, or AMPHIMACER, a short fyllable
between two long : insito, afternoon. 12. AMPHIBRACHYs, a long syllable between two Mort: honore, consider, imprudent, procedure, at
tended, proposed, respondent, concurrence, appren
tice, respective, revenue. 13. PROCELEUSMATICUS,
four short fyllables : bon inibus, necessary. 14. DISPONDEUS, four long syllables: infinitis. 15. DIIAMBUS, composed of two Iambi : feveritas. 16. DITROCHAEUS, of two Trochæi : permanere,
procurator. 17. Ionicus, two short fyllables and two long :
properabant. 18. Another foot passes under the same name, com
posed of two long syllables and two short : cal
caribus, polelory. 19. CHORIAMBUS, two short fyllables between two
long : nobilitas. 20. ANTISPASTUS, two long fyllables between two
short : Alexander.
21. Paeon ist, one long syllable and three short :
temporibus, ordinary, inventory, temperament. 22. Paeon 2d, the second syllable long, and the
other three short: rapidity, folemnity, minority, considered, imprudently, extravagante, respectfully,
accordingly. 23. Paeon 3d, the third syllable long and the other
three short : animatus, independent, condescendence, facerdotal, reimbursement, manufacture.