Text extracted from opening pages of book: CHAPTERS ON BNG-LISH METBE BY JOSEPH B. J1AYOK, M. A. HONORARY FELLOW OF ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. SECOND EDITION REVISED AND ENLARGED. CAMBRIDGE: AT THE UNIVERSITY PBESS. 1901 PBINIBD BY J. AND C. F, CLAY AT THE UNIVERSITY PBKS8 PREFACE TO THE FIRBT EDITION. MY attention was first drawn to the exact study of English prosody many years ago in lecturing on Shakespeare to classes both male and female. As a rule I found those who attended the classes devoid of any but the vaguest ...
Text extracted from opening pages of book: CHAPTERS ON BNG-LISH METBE BY JOSEPH B. J1AYOK, M. A. HONORARY FELLOW OF ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. SECOND EDITION REVISED AND ENLARGED. CAMBRIDGE: AT THE UNIVERSITY PBESS. 1901 PBINIBD BY J. AND C. F, CLAY AT THE UNIVERSITY PBKS8 PREFACE TO THE FIRBT EDITION. MY attention was first drawn to the exact study of English prosody many years ago in lecturing on Shakespeare to classes both male and female. As a rule I found those who attended the classes devoid of any but the vaguest idea of metre; and I knew of no book which I could recommend to them as giving an entirely satisfactory account of the matter, the books of the highest authority seeming to me to start from assumptions which were inconsistent with the practice of English poets from the time of Shakespeare downwards. I endeavoured to point out these inconsistencies and, at the same time, to give the outline of what I thought to be a truer system, in three papers, which were read before the London Philological Society be tween the years 18* 74 and 1877. The substance of those papers, greatly modified and expanded, appears in the chapters which follow, numbered I. to v. vui. XL; the remaining chapters are altogether new. My own views have naturally undergone some change in the interval which has elapsed since the first paper was written. For instance, I have now no doubt ( see examples from Shelley in p. 242) that we must recognize the substitution of tribrachs for iambs in English blank verse, a point which was still an VI PREFACE. open question to me when pp. 71 and 75 were written. I am now less disposed to agree with Dr Abbott in his attempt to explain away Shakespeare's trisyllabicfeet by the process of slurring, than I was when I wrote my paper oix Macbeth ( pp. 174 foil). On the other hand, I have given in p. 200 the reasons which have finally decided me to adopt Dr Abbott's, rather than Mr A. J. Ellis's view, in reference to the feminine caesura, of which I had spoken doubtfully in my earlier paper. As far as I know, these are the only points in which any dif ference of view will be found; should there be any others, a reference to the Index will at once enable the reader to compare together all that is said on any given subject. There is another matter on which I should like to add a word to what is stated in the text. Prof. H. Sidgwick, who has most kindly looked over some of the proof-sheets, suggests, in reference to the chapter on Metrical Metamoiphowiw, that it would be well to make it more clear to the reader, that it is not a mere verbal question, whether, for instance, a line should be called an iambic with initial truncation or a trochaic with final truncation; and asks me how I would propose to answer the real and interesting aesthetic question, whether the type ( La the normal line) so far predominates in the reader's mind, that he feels the particular line ( which doparta from the normal line) rather as a variant than as a distinct change of type. To this I would reply ( 1) that my chief aim will be accomplished, if I can get my readers to observe the different metrical effects of the, lines which they read, and to describe them in clear and definite terms, and that this will not be interfered with, even though we should allow of alternative expressions for the same fact; ( 2) that a certain number of variants have now become established, as itwore, by universal consent, such a& the feminine iambic and truncated PREFACE. Vll trochaic, ( 3) that when a question arises about the scansion of a line which cannot be referred to any such recognized sub class, it is not ordinarily a matter of indifference which of two possible explanations we shall adopt, bat that we have first to compare such a line with the other lines of the poem in which it occurs, and see whether we can discover any similar irregularities, as for instance in regard to Milton's use of the double trochee ( p. 38); and must reject any the
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