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But if the lines be of a measure shorter than the heroic, the continued rhimes suit not so well with grave, as with light subjects: as this,
His helmet was a beetle's head,
Yet it did well become him :
Drayton's Court of Fairy. In some burlesque poems may be found more than three lines rhiming together, but our serious versification admits of no such licence.
OF THE CESURA, OR PAUSE, IN VERSE. By cesura, or pause, is meant the ancient English critic and poet had rest which the voice makes in pro- not only noticed the cesura, or pause, nouncing a verse, especially of many but also had pointed out in general syllables. It has been said of the where it might best stand, and the pause “ that it remained, till later variety of place which it admitted. times unnoticed :" but in fact, one of To what he has said we shall add the earliest writers on English ver- something respecting the iambic sification (Gascoigne) expressly men- verses of ten and twelve syllables : tions it, and gives these rules con- i. e. the heroic and alexandrine. cerning it. “In mine opinion, in a In the heroic verse, if taken singly, verse of eight syllables, the pause the pause will be most grateful to will stand best in the midst; in a the ear, when at the middle, or near verse of ten, it will best be placed at it ; viz. at the fifth, fourth, or sixth the end of the first four syllables, in syllable : so likewise in a couplet ; a verse of twelve in the midst; in and so generally in poems of that verses of twelve in the first and four sort, i. e. in couplets and rhime : but, teen in the second, we place the for the sake of variety, it may be put pause commonly in the midst of the at any syllable, from the first to the first, and at the end of the first eight ninth. Pope, so eminent for the syllables in the second. In rhime smoothness and regularity of his royal it is at the writer's discretion." verse, admits a pause upon each ; for
From hence it appears that this example, on the first.
racter of W. Browne's poetry, but also as a proof that before Waller began to compose there existed examples of English versification, not inferior in smoothness to the most polished of his.
To his friend, Mr. Browne.
The Author, Thomas Wenman ; about the year 1613. The sonnet at p. 31, is another instance of smoothness before Waller's time.
George Gascoigne's Instructions concerning Verse, &c. ; edited by Haslewood, $ 13. Rhime royal is the stanza of seven heroic lines rhiming after a certain rule: thus ...
Strange! by the means defcated of the ends : and, to omit others, on the ninth,
But an inferior not dependant, worse.—Moral Essays, Epist. 2.
That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent --Essay on Man, Epist. 1. These lines have been praised and censured upon the same account, namely, the pause. The censure was that they wanted variety because of the repetition of the pause upon the same syllable, in every line, the last only excepted. On the contrary it was said, that this repetition gave to the lines a good and proper effect. Without deciding any thing here, we shall apprize the reader that in this same poem, and likewise in others of Pope, above half the lines have the pause at the fourth syllable, which we consider as too frequent a recurrence.
The heroic line admits of more than one pause, especially if it occurs near the beginning or the end ; as in this,
Die, and endow a college, or a cat. For the place, or number of these pauses there is no rule. But it is a rule, observed by careful versifiers, that, in general, there should be some pause at the end of each couplet. It is a fault to terminate the couplet in the middle of a sentence, as here,
He spoke; the heavens seem'd decently to bow,
Cowley's David, Book 1. A principal reason why this construction of the couplet is faulty, is, that, for want of a pause, the rhime is nearly lost: it does not dwell upon the ear to produce that effect which is the purpose of making rhime. This fault, which since the time of Pope had almost disappeared from our poetry, seems to be returning at the present day. In the last century it was seldom admitted, but by those who valued themselves upon the rough structure of their verse. Such was Churchill; and the following is one instance of many in his satires.
By Him that made me, I am much more proud,
And live but in the motion of my eye. ---Churchill. Independence. Another fault respecting the cesura is made, when the line is so constructed that the sense does not terminate where the pause falls; i. e. the measure requires a pause, an the sense would reject it, as in these,
Is the great chain that draws | all to agree.-- Pope's Essay on Man, Ep. 1.
And from about her shot | darts of desire.—Milton's Paradise Lost. If, in pronouncing either of these lines, the pause were to be made where
the sense requires it, the iambic measure would be changed for another of a very different character, viz. the dactylic, ex. gr.
Is the great chain that draws | all to a gree. This forced pause therefore, though countenanced by such high authorities, is hardly within the bounds of poetical licence.
For the alexandrine verse it has been laid down as a rule, without any exception, that the pause must be at the sixth syllable. That certainly is the best place ; but it may stand at the seventh without impairing the measure, if the next syllable be strongly accented : examples,
And Cupid's self about her | Autter'd all in green. Spencer's Fairy Queen.
Milton's Christ's Nativity. But, if that syllable (the eighth) be not accented, the measure will suffer in some degree; as,
And birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.-Milton, ibid.
Swindges the scaly horror | of his folded tail.-Ibid. On any other syllable of the alexandrine verse, except these two, the pause is not to be endured ; as from a few instances will be evident.
She strikes an universal peace | through sea and land.
Isis and Orus , and the dog Anubis | haste. -Milton, ibid.
The cesura, besides giving variety to the numbers, is sometimes introduced to give expression to the sentiment. Under this head it may be suffi. cient, for the present, to observe, that, when placed at the fourth syllable, it is suitable to what is brisk and sprightly ; when at the sixth, to that which is more grave and dignified.
Slow roll-swift fleet-the years. How heavily
This is certainly a most extra- think it is Puck who promises to ordinary book. Or perhaps we “ put a girdle round the earth," should rather say, that the writer is but this, it would appear, is no great a most extraordinary person. His feat for a fairy : had Captain Cochtitle-page does not explain half his rane had the power of spinning a merits, a fault of modesty not very thread from his own body, like a usual with travellers. From the spider, he, though a mere mortal gulph of Finland to the Peninsula of of sizeable dimensions, and without Kamtchatka, a longitudinal extent of wings (for aught we know to the 135°, was but half his peregrination. contrary), might have actually done He set out from Dieppe, in the year half at least what the ouphe only of our Lord 1820, and arrived at promised to do. But even the latOstrovnoi, a village in the most ter statement of our author's pernorthern part of Siberia, about 20° formance does him very inadequate from the north-east coast of America, justice: to give the reader some idea before the end of the eleventh month, of its real magnitude, we will exhaving thus performed a tour of hibit an outline of the journey in as nearly half the terrene globe! We few words as possible. From Dieppe,
Narrative of a Pedestrian Journey through Russia and Siberian Tartary, from the Frontiers of China to the Frozen Sea and Kamtchatka ; performed during the Years 1820, 1821, 1822, and 1823, by Captain John Dundas Cochrane, R.N. Murray, London, 1824.
through Paris, Berlin, Petersburgh, might have ventured a denial, our and Moscow, he penetrated to To- author's lady never having visited bolsk, the capital of Western Siberia. England till after his marriage with From thence he directed his course her, being in fact a native Kamtsouthward to Ubinsk, on the borders chatdale. The book itself indeed of China; and from thence again, supplies an answer to this riddle to inclining northwards, to Irkutsk on which we cannot but allow some the Baikal Lake, about the middle plausibility; beg leave to of Asia. From Irkutsk he passed give it literatim :-(speaking of his along the river Lena through Yuketsk departure from Petersburg,) « The and Lashiversk to the Frozen Ocean, night was beautifully clear, though near Shelatskoi Noss, the interval rather cold from the effects of a northbetween which and Cape Northern breeze; while the moon was near (about 50) is the only coast of the her full. I looked at the beautiful old world which has never yet been luminary, and actually asked myself traversed. This, as we have said whether I were, as had been asserted, before, is near the extremity of Asia, under the baneful influence of that approaching the New Continent. planet.” Captain Cochrane is, bow, From the Frozen Ocean our pedes- ever, as well as we can judge, as trian again turning his back upon far perhaps from a genuine madman, the North Pole, travelled downwards as any of those who call him so; he to Okotsk, and crossing the gulf of is certainly a little eccentric in his that name, visited Kamtchatka. After disposition, and this, probably comhaving surveyed the whole length of bined with a jot of vanity, in being this peninsula, he again crossed to the first to accomplish such an ada Okotsk, and passing a second time venturous journey, really might have through Irkutsk, (from which latter developed itself in a promenade of town he makes a retrograde move- fifteen thousand miles, or so, withment upon the Chinese territory,) he out any external inducement. Howreturned through Tobolsk and Moscow ever this may be, he is at least to Petersburgh, exactly three years a man of an inextinguishable thirst and three weeks from the time he for experimental knowledge, and of had been there before. Our readers an incorrigible propensity towards have only to look at their maps to locomotion, in proof of which bis acknowledge the extraordinary length own words may stand : “After such of this journey, the greater part of a journey I might be supposed cured which was performed on foot, through of the spirit of travelling, at least in a wilderness of snow. They may,
so eccentric a way; yet the suppoperhaps, be tempted to inquire of sition is far from the fact, for as I us the motive which prompted this am conscious that I never was so extensive undertaking. Was it bu- happy as in the wilds of Tartary, so siness or science ?-ÑO; the author have I never been so anxious to enis a captain in the royal navy, and ter a similar field as at this moment.” for science, he professes his utter ig- Except as a biographical curiosity, norance of it. Were the Lords Com- however, the Narrative can scarcely missioners of the Admiralty at the be considered either profitable or bottom of the business? Or the amusing to the reader. Those who Missionary Society? Or the Royal are very inquisitive, or those who Society ?-No; none of them. Was look with an eye of science towards it love? the reader will ask, in des- farther discoveries in the yet parpair of conjecturing a more reason- tially-known regions of the north, able motive, and well knowing the those also who are at the head of immoderate lengths to which that governments, (especially the Autopassion will carry us? To this crat of the regions themselves,) query (improbable as it might seem) might peruse this volume, and derive we are not equally prepared to re- from it some instruction; but to the turn the simple negative, inasmuch general reader, from the uniformity as it appears that our author was of its details, and their insignificance, really « netted” (as he himself de- it would after a few pages become clares)-in Kamtchatka! But it is tedious and oppressive. This, we more than likely that even here we are aware, is more chargeable upon JOLY, 1824.