Home » Historical Manual of English Prosody by George Saintsbury
Historical Manual of English Prosody George Saintsbury

Historical Manual of English Prosody

George Saintsbury

Published September 12th 2013
ISBN : 9781230263588
Paperback
108 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1919 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER III LATERMoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1919 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER III LATER NINETEENTH-CENTURY PROSODISTS Discussions on the Evangeline hexameter. The amount of prosodic writing during the last seventy years has been very large. In the earliest and latest parts of the period it was principally devoted to the subject of English hexameters--in the first, in regard to the accentual attempts of Longfellow, to which Evangeline gave immense popularity- in the last, to the counter-attempts at quantitative versification, in which the feet are constructed, not with reference to accent or to the way in which the words are ordinarily pronounced, but to independent and even opposed temporal value derived from the special sound attached to the vowel ( Idol, long- fiddle, short, etc.), or, on semi-classical principles, to what is called position. To analyse the individual views of critics on these two bodies of questions would be here impossible, and reference must be made to the larger History, to Mr. Omonds treatises, or to the original works, the most important of which will be found duly entered in the Bibliography. But we may summarise results under three heads. I. The accentual or Evangeline hexameter has, as has been said, been at times far from unpopular- but it has always dissatisfied nicer ears by a certain inappropriateness which has been differently appraised, but which is evidently pointed at by the apology of its first extensive practitioner, Southey, that he could not get spondees enough, and had to be content with trochees. This inappropriateness has since been characterised by an unsurpassed expert in theory and practice--Mr. Swinburne --in the blunt assertion that to English all dactylic and spondaic forms of verse are unnatural and abhorrent. II. On the other hand, the...