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it strength; while the classical terms, or words derived from the Greek and Latin, are usually polysyllables, and constitute the harmonious, flowing character of sentences.
Observe the contrast of the two forms of expression which follow; of which the meaning is identical :
“The thing has not life enough to keep it sweet.”
“The creature possesseth not vitality sufficient to preserve it from putrefaction.”
The Anglo-Saxon element characterizes the first; and the second abounds in classical terms.
An able modern writer, in defending the principle or discovery which claims to have given rise to a new school of medicine, vindicates the claims of scientific progress in language like the following:
"Shall the researches of studious men never lead to useful results ? Shall science never conduct us to real and practical benefit? find no new law of cure, or ratify any already preferring its claim ?”
Observe the very marked and striking difference in the structure of the last two clauses in this paragraph; the former of them being wholly composed of monosyllables, while the latter, on the contrary, consists of an unbroken succession of dactyles ; each measure being made up of a long and two short syllables, or rather of one heavy and two light ones, thus—
find | no | new | law of cure,
Now, a style of composition worthy to be regarded as a model, would be one in which the properties of strength and beauty should be judiciously blended.
The former would be found to have its origin chiefly in the Anglo-Saxon element; while the latter characteristic, its smooth and flowing quality, would be due to the presence of classical terms, rightly so called.
Witness the prevalence of the Anglo-Saxon element in the following passage from Macbeth :
“That is a step,
In all this most effective passage, only two words which are not monosyllables; and only one Latin word— desires.'
PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATION OF MEASURE.
DOUBLE FUNCTION OF THE LARYNX-NECESSITY OF THE APPORTIONMENT
EXPLAINED-TWO ACCENTED SYLLABLES CANNOT BE UTTERED BY A SINGLE EFFORT OF VOICE-ONE ACCENTED AND FOUR UNÁCCENTED SYLLABLES MAY BE UTTERED BY A SINGLE EFFORT OF VOICE-REQUISITES TO CONSTITUTE A MEASURE-A SINGLE SYLLABLE MAY CONSTITUTE A MEASURE
SYLLABLES OF INDEFINITE QUANTITY-DISTINCTION BETWEEN ACCENTED
SYLLABLES-NOTATION OF MEASURE, OR SCORING OF LANGUAGE-BEATING TIME—DIFFICULTY OF BREAKING UP THE ASSOCIATION-RESOURCE TO OBVIATE THIS DIFFICULTY-REST IN THE SECOND MEMBER OF A MEASURE NOT DIFFICULT TO OBSERVE-REST IN THE FIRST MEMBER DIFFICULT--REASON
THE organ most immediately concerned in speech is called the Larynx. It has a two-fold function to perform : first, that of an air-tube, essential to respiration; and, secondly, it produces the sound, essential to speech. The inspiration of air and the production of speech are incompatible, cannot be performed at the same moment. Therefore speech must be fre
quently interrupted for the purposes of respiration. Language then must be uttered in portions and broken up into little groups of syllables, each of which groups will be sufficient for one impulse, or effort of voice. We will suppose now that the first part of each effort is more vigorous, and calculated to produce more sound than the last part.
On observing the structure of our language, we perceive that it is made up of two kinds of syllables ; those which are heavy and those which are light, called accented and unaccented syllables. Heavy or accented syllables are so scattered throughout language, or so disposed in a paragraph, as to be followed usually by one or more light syllables, which may be uttered by the same impulse ; a single accented syllable may be uttered alone by one impulse, or a single accented with several unaccented syllables may be uttered by one impulse ; but when two heavy or accented syllables follow one another, each of them will require a separate effort of voice to be properly sounded. Let us endeavor, for instance, to pronounce the syllable 'pomp’ twice, under accent; and we shall perceive an hiatus on separating the lips after the first utterance of this syllable. But if we add to the syllable pomp' the unaccented one ous,' we find no difficulty in pronouncing the word
pompous' with a single impulse; so we may add another syllable, as 'ly,' and the word "pompously' is uttered with great facility by a single impulse. The word “spirit,' consisting of two syllables, a long and a short, requires one impulse, and if we add the syllable (ed,' the same force only is necessary, for it is as easy to say “spirited as “spirit.' So with the word spiritual,' of four syllables, and even spiritually,' of five.
We now have some data for the adjustment of our measure. And we say that a measure consists of two parts or members ; one, a heavy or accented portion of syllabic sound, and the other a light or unaccented portion of syllabic sound; both the members to be uttered with a single impulse, or effort of voice.
A perfect measure then consists in one syllable, two, three, four, or sometimes even five syllables; when there are five syllables in a measure, the first or accented syllable constitutes the first member, and the remaining four syllables the second member.
A single syllable may constitute a measure; for if it be extended in quantity, the first portion may be under accent or perceptibly heavy, while the latter portion will be light. Each of the syllables “pail,' orb,"day,' will make a perfect measure; these syllables being susceptible of pronunciation as extended as that of the whole word “temporary,' (which would constitute a measure.)
Syllables of indefinite quantity can be so pronounced as to constitute a measure, or they may be so pronounced as not to fill a measure.
We now revert to the distinction pointed out on page 80, between accented syllables; they being sometimes highly susceptible of quantity, and therefore called long accented syllables, and sometimes not susceptible of quantity, and therefore called short.
We have said a single syllable may constitute a measure ; but if a measure contain but one syllable, and that a short accented one, this short syllable can only fill the first part of