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William Shakespeare, prosody and text; an essay in criticism, being an introduction to a better editing and a more adequate appreciation of the works of the Elizabethan poets online

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B. A. P. VAN DAM, M.D.



-.S-^^ rt /Si\ T)^^a)



LEYDEN — 1900.





Century i^ The Century Dictionary.

D. O. E. r. E. li. ^^ Dodsley's Old English Plays, Editio

Ed. :^ Editio.

E. H. =:= Editio Hazlitt.

F. = Folio. Used with reference to Shakespeare's works,
"F." always denotes the first Folio of 1623. References to
any of the later Folios are in every case expressly marked
as such in the text.

Murray ^ A New English Dictionary on Historical
Principles, edited by Dr. James A. H. Murray.

p. = page.

Q. = Quarto ; by which always the first Quarto is meant,
to the exclusion of the surreptitious Quartos. (Thus, in the
case of Hamlet, for instance, Q. denotes the second Quarto
of the year 1604).

Q. S. -^ Surreptitious Quarto, by which are meant the
first Quartos of II H 6., Ill H 6., R. & J., H 5., Wives, and Ham.

R. A. = Arber's Reprint.

R. N. Shak. S. = Reprint of the New Shakespeare Society.

R. S. S. =^ Reprint of the Spenser Society.

Trans. - =■ Transactions.

The references to Ben Jonson are to a copy of his first
Folio of 161 5 in the Royal Library at the Hague, this
volume being indicated by i ; or to a copy of the second
volume of the second Folio, also at the Hague. Since the
volume last mentioned has no continuous paging, quotations
from it in our text are always accompanied by the title of
the play or the work cited from.



The references to Edmund Spenser are to the reprints of
the Spenser Society. As a rule, the pecuhar line-numbering
used in these reprints in the case of the F. Q. (The Fairie
Queene), may be reduced to the more usual line-numbering
as found in the Globe Edition for instance, by subtracting
5 from the last number in our references, and dividing the
remainder by 9; the quotient -^- i then gives the number
of the stanza, and the remainder of the division the number
of the line in it.

As regards Gorboduc, we have made use of the edition
in Karl Vollmoller's Englische Sprach- und Literaturdenk-
male des 16., 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, by Miss L. Toulmin
Smith. Heilbronn, 1883.

The quotations from the remaining old texts, not marked
as reprints, are from copies in the British Museum.

In all our quotations from old texts we have made it a
rule to substitute v for the old ;/, wherever the latter re-
presents the modern v. We have besides normalised the
numerous cases of italicisation and "capitalization" in the
old texts, because their retention might unduly direct the
reader's attention to things immaterial to our purpose.
With these exceptions we have to the best of our ability
conscientiously reproduced all the letters and signs of the
printed texts. Here and there, however, an old i may,
accidentally and against our will, have been replaced by
by the modern j\

Unless the reverse is expressly stated, all our references
to Shakespeare's works are to the division in acts and
scenes and the line-numbering of the Globe Edition, 1895.

For the titles of the plays and poems the following ab-
breviations are employed :

A. &^ C. = The Tragedie of Anthonie, and Cleopatra.

yido = Much adoe about Nothing.

As = As you Like it.

A. W. = All's Well, that Ends Well.

Covip. = A Lovers Complaint.

Cor. = The Tragedie of Coriolanus.

Cym. = The Tragedie of Cymbeline.

Errors = The Comedie of Errors.

Gent. = The two Gentlemen of Verona.

Ham. — The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke.


17/4. = The History of Ilenrie the Fourth; With the battell at Shrews-
burie, bctwecne the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Henrie Hotspur
of the North. With the humorous conceits of Sir lolin Falstaffe.

H 7/4. = The second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death,
and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of sir lohn Falstaffe,
and swaggering Pistoll.

775. = The Life of Llenry the Fift.

IH6. = The first Part of Henry the Sixt.

11116. = The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with tlie death of the (lood
Duke LIumfrey.

IH lie. - The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Duke of Yorke.

JI8. = The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight.

y. C. = The Tragedic of Julius Cassar.

yo/iu = The life and death of King John,

Leirr = The Tragedie of King Lear.

L. L. L. = Loves Labour's lost.

Liter. = The Rape of Lucrece.

Mac. — The Tragedie of Macbeth.

M. for AT. = Measure for Measure.

AI. of J''. = The Merchant of Venice.

M.N.D. — A Midsommer Nights Dreame.

O. = The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice.

Per. = Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

Phoeuix = The Phoenix and the Turtle.

Pilgr. = The Passionate Pilgrime.

R 2. = The Tragedie of King Richard the second.

K '}). = The Tragedy of King Richard the third.

R. &= y. = The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet.

Shrew = The Taming of the Shrew.

So/in. = Shakespeares Sonnets.

T. A. = The Tragedie of Titus Andronicus.

T. o^ C. = The Famous Historic of Troylus and Cresseid.

Tim. = The Life of Timon of Athens.

Tp. = The Tempest.

Tw. N. = Twelfe Night, or. What you will,
Vejitts = Venus and Adonis.
JV. T. = The Winters Tale.


Speaking technically, the rhythmical arrangement of syl-
lables is the sole essential principle that determines the
outward character of poetry as compared with prose.

Every rhythmical system involves a certain regularity of
recurrence. This regularity is not necessarily absolute; it is
often modified by definite rules, of whose existence poets
as well as lovers of poetry are quite aware, although it does
not follow that either the poet or his admirer must be able
to formulate them in exact terms.

Before, however, we proceed to explain the laws of
rhythm, we shall have to treat of syllables, accents, and

A syllable is a word or a part of a word, uttered by a
single effort of the voice.

There would be no difficulty if every word consisted of
a fixed number of syllables. But many words vary the
number of their syllables to suit the whim of the speaker,
the rhythm of the poet, or, may be, the general practice
of a later time.

The variations in the number of pronounced syllables in


Elizabethan verse, as compared with the standard pro-
nunciation of Victorian English, fall under three heads:

I. A word may get an additional syllable ;

II. A word may lose a syllable;

III. Two adjoining syllables, belonging to different words,
may coalesce into one syllable.


An additional syllable is found in Shakespeare's verse in
the following cases:

i). There are a few cases of syllabic -{e)s, as the termination
of the genit. sing., and of the plural, of words not ending
in a hissing sound.

Examples of the gen. sing. :

Bertrames A. H^. i, i, 94. mannes Cor. i, 9, 83. ropes Errors iv, i, 98.

DiomedesT". 6^C. iv, 2,67. moones yT/". iV. /?. ii, i, 7. Vulcanes 7^.^^.11,1,89.

Goddes \ H 6.\^ 2, 102. nightes M. N. D. iv, i, whales L. L. L. v, 2,
knaves II i/ 6. ii, 3, 94. 100. 332.

Examples from other writers in verse :

Round about the Brides-stake.

Ben Jonson.^ ii. Underwood, p. 278.
That he vouchsafe, even for his Christes sake,

(e'en) Gascoigne.^ The Steele Glas, 876.

The nightes chair the stars about doth bring.

Surrey.^ Ed. Nott, vol. i, p. 20.
Is lightly stricken with some stones throw ;

Spenser.^ F. Q. v, i, 192.
You know my mind. Come, He to Turfe's house,

Ben Jonsoji.^ ii. Tub, p, 100.
And eke through feare as white as whales bone :

Spenser.^ F. Q. iii, i, 136.

Innumerable corruptions , which at various periods have
been allowed to vitiate the text of Shakespeare's works, are
directly traceable to the somewhat surprising fact that all
Shakespearian editors have been ignorant of nearly every
rule of prosody. We shall clearly enough show this in the
sequel, but, while on the subject of prosody, cannot go out
of. our way to point this out in each individual case. Still,


in order to convince the reader at the very outset of the
importance of these rules, we shall here illustrate the said ■
ignorance by instancing three obvious examples of it.
The textus receptus of M. of V. ii, 5, 43 :

Will be worth a Jewess' eye

simply originates in a mistake of Pope's. The oldest text
rightly reads Jewes, i. e. the dissyllabic gen. sing, of Jew,
The word Jewess does not occur in Shakespeare, as is
proved by M. of V. ii, 3, 11, and ii, 6, 51. The same
may be said of the modern heiress, for which Shakespeare
invariably uses heir. Nor is this feminine use of Jew in
any way pecuhar to Shakespeare only. The scholarly Ben
Jonson, for instance, has in Volpone (i, p. 462) :

Corv. Has he children?

Mos. Bastards,

Some dozen ', or more, that he begot on beggers,

Gipseys, and Jewes, and black-moores, when he was '- drunke.

And Arthur Golding has in his translation of Ovid's Meta-
morphoses, Editio 1587, p. 66\

And so did bastard Astrey too, whose mother was a Jew :

The Globe edition has the following arrangement of Mac.
ii, 3, 108 — I II:

So were their daggers, which unwiped we found
Upon their pillows :

They stared, and were distracted; no man's life
Was to be trusted with them.

This unlucky breaking-up of the lines is one of Steevens's
mistakes. The First Folio rightly gives the lines thus:

So were their Daggers, which unwip'd, we found
Upon their Pillowes ^ : they star'd, and were distracted,
No mans Life was to be trusted with them.

If Steevens had printed mann'es instead of mans, no such
disarrangement would have been necessary.

Why so : now have I done a good dales work.

is the Folio-reading of R 3. ii, i, i, followed, we beHeve,
by all modern Editors.

1 Read doz\ 2 Read Wivas. 3 Read pilVs.


But the older Quarto of 1597 has:

So, now I have done a good dales worke,

Whence this change in the FoHo?

We feel sure that it has been introduced by some editor
who, finding himself unable to scan the line, tried to set
the metre right according to some system of his own. The
"correction" cannot have been made by Shakespeare him-
self, who, as shown by the instances cited from Mac. and
Cor., used syllabic -es also in his later plays ; the less so,
since the Folio-reading must sound decidedly weaker than
the Quarto one, at least to such as know how to read the
latter. "So" would seem to be Shakespeare's; "why so"
somebody else's.

Examples of the plural :

daies III H d. ii, 5, 38. husbandes 111^^6. v,6,4i. saintes^3.iv,4, 75(roaer).
eyes T. ^^ C. i, 3, 366 '. roes Z. L. L. v, 2, 309. thousandes Mac. iv, 3, 44.

Examples from other writers in verse :

Then up he tooke her twixt his amies twaine,

Spenser.^ F. Q. vi, 3, 252.
That the bright glister of their beames cleare

Spenser.^ F. Q. iii, I, 292.
How's the nioone, now ? Eight, nine, ten dayes hence

Be7i Joiison^ i. p. 639.
Be your eyes, yet, Moone-proofe ?

Ben jfonson^ i, p. 979.
Likewise unequall were her handes twaine,

Spenser^ F. Q. iv, i, 258.
Like as a flowre, whose silken leaves small,

Spenser.^ F. Q. vi, 2, 318.

The following examples furnish additional evidence that
the -es of the gen. plur. may also constitute a syllable by

These dukes power can hardlie well appease

Sackville.^ Gorboduc, ISOO-

The worldes spie, all ages observer.

All mens feare, fewe mens flatterer.

Th. Bastardy Chrestoleros, ii, i, 9 «& 10.

For both our honour and our shame in this
Are dogg'd with two strange followers.
Nest. I see

Them not with my old eyes : what are they ?


The plural form aches, Tp. i, 2, 370 ; Tim. i, i, 257, and
V, T, 202 is always dissyllabic, in accordance with the old
pronunciation aitches; cf. Ado iii, 4, 56.

The additional syllable just discussed is a well-known ar-
chaism, which, however, was not, as has been pretty generally
assumed, an archaism already in Shakespeare's time. In
proof of this we may cite the following from Logonomia
Anglica. Qua gentis serino Faciluis addiscitiir . Conscripta ab
Alexayidro Gil Paulmce scJiolce Magistro Priniario. Londini
Excudit Johannes Beale i6i() :

Dicitur in binas separare Diaeresis unam.

Ut Sp. Wu/idcs^ kiondes^ handes\ pro tvundz^ Jdotidz^ handz. Huic
cognata est.

The authority of Gil, the well-kown head-master of St. Paul's
School in Milton's schooldays, is above suspicion.

In Shakespeare's time, then, the old full plural forms
were in use by the side of the syncopated ones, whereas
in our day only the shorter forms are employed, except of
course in the case of words ending in a hissing sound.

We would here draw attention to the word noise which
occurs in Elizabethan poetry as a dissyllable, though we
have not up to now found it as such in Shakespeare's works.
Both the metre, and the spelling of the word in the following
line prove that the word must have been pronounced in
two syllables:

And quiver loaste : great noyese makes with violence sent out

J. Heyivood^ Here, furens, R. S. S., p. 34.

We have, besides, found it in other poets as a dissyllable.
The explanation we take to be as follows. As we shall see
further on, the pronunciation of final jt was optional. If,
therefore, noise could be sounded noy, the plural of the word
might become noy-es, so that we should have a simple case
of confusion between the regular singular also ending in s,
and the plural formed in the way just described. A similar
confusion has given rise to the cumulative plurals, such as
fisteses, posteses, claivses, pazuses, which are still in great
favour with vulgar speakers.


2). The ending -{i')s^ of the 2n(l p. sing. pres. of verbs not
ending in -/c or in a hissing sound, is sometimes syllabic.
Examples :

aimcst II 7/6. ii, 4, 58. lookest I //6. i, I, 38. ridest Z. L. L. iv, 3, 35.

comest i'? 2. i, 3, 33. meanest II ZT 6. v, i, 14. standest Z. Z. Z. iv, 1,91.

lightest I Z'' 6. i, 2, 105. o'rmasterest John ii, i, threatest II H d. i, 4,51.
laughest I Z''6. ii, 3, 44. 109.

This archaism hardly requires illustration by examples from
other poets, since — as a rule — it is clearly shown by
the presence of the e, which otherwise is dropped. In the
same way, in the case of the termination -eth the mode of
printing clearly shows the cases in which the -eth of the
3i'tl pers. sing, counts as an additional syllable.

3). The verbal ending -ed, in the case of verbs whose
infinitive does not end in -d or -t, often constitutes a sepa-
rate syllable.

This lengthening is also frequently met with in modern
poetry, but we now call it a poetical licence, whereas for-
merly this -^(^-ending was a legitimate syllable, which in
many cases was much more distinctly sounded than other
syllables of the word of which it formed part. It is easy
enough to prove this from Elizabethan verse. In Venus 6^,
for instance.

So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies 5

the genuine reading of the first Q. is fastned. This means
that in Shakespeare's time the -^^/-syllable was more distinctly
sounded than the preceding -^//-syllable, and that accordingly
it was the -^/^-syllable — and not the -ed one — • that was
syncopated by the poet. Hundreds of similar examples
might be adduced, but the matter is placed in a still
stronger light by such instances as exhibit an -<?<^-syllable
rhyming with another word, e.g. with dead in Sonn. 31, 4:

And all those friends which I thought buried.

The line just quoted may at the same time serve to exem-
plify the rule that in the majority of cases the additional
syllable is found at the verse-end.



4). Certain words in which / is preceded by another con-
sonant, are sometimes to be pronounced with an obscure
vowel-sound (identical with that of the second syllable of
fennel) between these two consonants. In Elizabethan spel-
ling this additional syllable is often marked by an inter-
calary e, as in dazzeled, riijfeling, etc., a practice that might
with advantage be followed by Shakespearian editors in the
cases referred to :

Examples :

assembely Ado v, 4, 34.
dazzeled Gent, ii, 4, 210.
disabeled Sonti. 66, 8.
dissembelers R. &= J. iii,

2, 87.
embatteled JoJdi iv, 2,

enfeebeled i Hd. I, 4, 69.
fiddeler Shmv ii, i, 158.

handeling II H \. iv, i,

humbeler \ H 6. iii, i, 56.
juggeler M. N. D. iii, 2,

juggeling I Hj). v, 4, 68.
nobeler Cor. iii, 2, 6.
Dobely Lear v, i, 28.
redoubeled R 2. i, 3, 80.

resembeleth Gent, i, 3, 84.
sembelance Errors v, i,

tackelings III Hd. v, 4, 18.
tickeliug Ado iii, I, 80.
unmingeled T. &^ C. i, 3,

woreld Cor. v, 3, 125.
wresteler As ii, 2, 13.

Examples from other writers:

A Diadem once dazeling the eye,

Drayton.^ Heroic. Epistles, R. S. S. p. 364.
Are woonted in such wretched case, discomfortably,

Ar. Golding.^ Metamorph. 1587, p. 22.
May lay their haire out, or weare doublets :

Ben Jonson.^ i, p. 638.

(prose) and after was slainte by the Errell of Arundell in the battell.

Dr. Forman^ Book of Plays, Trans. N. Shak. S. 1875 — 76, p. 415.
To thinke how she through guylefull handeling,

Spenser., F. Q. i, 3, 18.
Or strike, or hurle, round in warelike gyre;

Spenser, F. Q. ii, 5, 75.
Said : While that others idely do serve the god of wine,

Ar. Golding.^ Metamorph. 1587, p. 51 bis.
That as a Zone the waste ingirdled,

Drayton.^ Barrens Warres, vi, 32, 4.
Or like a Gipsen, or a luggeler,

Spefiser., Moth. Hubberds Tale, 86.
Himselfe, each day, more nobly, then other:

Be?i Jonson.^ i, p. 362.
The din resouned, with rattling of arms.
(resoun"d) Surrey., Aeneid ii, 383.

Now differed not from Delphick riddling.

Beti 'Jo?ison., ii, Horace, p. 15.
Which when in value he tryde with struggeling.

Spenser., F. Q. i, 1 1, 352.
Which Guyons senses softly tickeled,

Spenser., F. Q. ii, 12, 300.
W^hom (though uncrowned tituled fift Edward) reft his mother,

W. Warner, Albions Engl. 1592, p. 143.


The whiles sweet Zephirus lowd whisteled

Spenser^ F. Q. ii, 12, 298.

With that vaine world, till, as 'twas 'prov'd, after,

Jh'/i Jojisoii^ ii, Mag. Lady, p, 14.

There can hardly be any doubt that in all the above
instances we have to do with archaisms. In our time the
conjugational forms of the verbs in -le — which termination
might just as correctly be, and actually is sometimes, spelt
-el — are invariably syncopated, and this is the whole
mystery of the additional syllable in this case.

Whether we are to write noble or nobel, is a matter of
pure convention. If we were now accustomed to see the
word written nobel, no one would be surprised at hearing
the adverb nobely pronounced in three syllables. And since
Elizabethan printers had by no means generally agreed to
spell words of this class in the way they are spelt now,
we must not think it strange to find such words as nobly
and entitled syncopated in print in the manner following:

A Begger's nob'ly borne, all men will yeeld,

J. Taylor^ F. 1630, p. 109.
Entit'led by the name of Yorke and Lancaster;

Drayto/i^ The Poly-Olbion, R. S. S. p. 391.

5). In certain words the letter r may constitute a syllable
by itself.
Examples :

brcjtheren T. A. i, I, 89. fouerth II H 6. ii, 2, 55. prayer Wives v, 5, 54.

childeren ^rr^;- J- V, 1,360. frusterate y^. <£r= C. v, i, 2. rememberance W. 7". iv,

conterary I jY6. v, 5, 64. hier Errors iv, i, 95. 4, 76.

countery Tw. iV. i, 2,21. , hower So/iu. 5, i, retier A. &^ C. iv, 4, 35.

desier Cym. i, 3, 38. Humphery IIi/6. i, i, 162. sier A. W. ii, 3, 142.

dooer T. A. i, i, 288. inquier Shretv i, 2, 166. sower Errors v, I, 45.

emperess 7". y4. i, I, 320. lerland II ^^6. i, i, 194. thierd I ^¥"6. i, i, 76.

enterance 7*?. <Sr=y. i, 4, 8. ouex Errors \^ i^SQ- thorough Z.Z. Z. ii, 1,235.

fier Tp. i, 2, 5. ouers W. T. ii, i, 170. youer Cy)Ji, i, 3, 38.

The pronunciation Hennery for Henry, although assumed by
many, does not in our opinion occur in Shakespeare's works.
Examples from other authors :

No Mistris, sir, my name is Awdrey.

Ben Jonsoft^ ii. Tub, p. 74.
He called aier darknes : for the aire by kynd is darke

Ar. Golding^ Metamorph. 1587, Dedic. Epistle.


Can the dam'd windfals of base baudery,

y. Taylor^ F. 1630, R. S. S., p. 507.
Franciscus by his bretheren, | Homer by bookes he wraught.

Tim. Ketidall.^ Flowers of Epigr. R. S. S. p. 163.
Then brought before the Memphians, and the men
That dwelt at Zant, the faint-breath'd childeren,
Sylvester.^ F. 162 1, p. 257.
In quarrell of thy Hercules the worlde conspier shall.

J. Sitidiey^ Here. Oetaeus, R. S. S. p. 394.
Vouchsafe to deck the same with Cyparesse ^

Spensc?-^ Daphnaida, 529.
I could desire, Fathers, to be found

Ben yonso/i.^ i, p. 732. (Cat. iv, 209).
And every one that is desirous
(ev'ry) Gascoigjte^ Ed. Hazlitt, i, p. 347.
Let coales devower Hercules, let fyer fry his blould.

J. Shidley^ Here. Oetaeus, R. S. S. p. 428.
Divine Elisa, sacred Emperesse :

Spejiser^ The Teares of the Muses, 579.
T'attempt th'empire of the heavens hight,

Spenser.^ F. Q. vii, 6, 73.
Those keyes, and made himselfe free enterance.

Spjfiser^ F. Q. i, 8, 309.
The joyous Nymphes and lightfoote Faeries

Spenser .^ The Teares of the Muses, 31.
For feare to this wicked deede ? O coward, peasant slave,
y. Studley^ Here. Oetaeus, R. S. S. p. 435.
No foote to foe. The flashing fier flies

Spenser^ F. Q. i, 2, 156.
But Aire turne Water, Earth may Fierize;

Sylvester^ F. 1621, p. 24.
On the same flooer.

Fit. We shall be your servants.

Befi Jonsoji.^ ii, Newes, p. 17.
betweene them foure, three to one, A cruell fight began.
VV. Warner.^ Albions Engl. 1592, p. 31.
And so disrankt great Bullens Godferey

J. Davies in Sylvester's F. 1621, p. 651.
Where so the heavens shall lend me harborough:
(heav's) Gascoignc, Ed. Hazlitt, i, p. 344.
My braine (me thinl^es) is like an houre-glasse,

Ben Jonson.^ i, p. 35.
The title of the good Duke Humfrey ?

Drayton.^ Heroic. Epistles, R. S. S. p. 269.
Two hundered yeares Terah was alive.
And Abr'ham liv'd one hundred seventy five.

J. Taylor, The Old, Old, Very Old Man, p. 25.
Had left it to be' enquir'd, what Rome was.

Ben jfonson, i, p. 762 (Cat. v, 639).
Albania, Gascoyne, Cambria, Ireland?

Drayton, Heroic. Epistles, R. S. S. p. 204.
About a thirtie yeares and five did Leir rule this Land
W. IVarner, Albions Engl. 1592, p. 58.
And lovely Joseph, having had by this
A view of his faire Lady-Misterisse;
Sylvester, F. 1621, p. 819.
Their warlike handes in practise put, and Oers learne to move :
J. Stndley, Agamemnon, R. S. S. p. 305.


Ikit ours the most ignorant. What now?

Ben y 071 son ^ i, p. 628.
Of discontent 5 or that these prayers bee

Ben Jonson^ i, p. 840. (Forest XV).
Will still be iust and pure in his vowcs.

G. Fcelc^ David and Bethsabe, 1599, p. 34.
O for a Quire of these voices, now,
Ben yon son ^ ii, Tub, p. 71.
H'Incallcndred to Fames rememberance :

Anth. Cop/ty, A Fig for Fortune, R. S. S. p. 87.
And much lament those pcrfumd (iloves, which yceld such sower taste 5

Gascoigne^ Ed. Hazlitt, i, p. 90.
The squire and the gentleman they leave the countrye f[uite :

Gascoigne^ Ed. Hazlitt, i, p. 74.
Is found, but mine is gasht and hakt and stricken thorrow quite
Ar. Gelding^ Metamorph. 1587, p. 161 bis.
This good shalt thou learne, with thy ryding about :
the prises of thinges, all the yere thoroughout.
Th. Tnsser^ Husbandrie, 12, i & 2.
Ikit onely vented up her umbriere,
Spenser^ F. Q. iii, I, 382.
When Mars and Venus playing false his wier Net did catch.
W. Warner^ Albions Engl. 1592, p. 135.
Flee is of your bringing, and may stay.

Chapman^ Al Fooles, p. 18.
And one, you may make yours, by the grant.
Ben Jonson^ i, p. 364.

The etymology of a few of these words [brctJieren^ eniperess,
etc.) proves that in their case the additional syllable is a
legitimate archaism. But as regards other words etymological
considerations will not account for the lengthening. The
dissyllabic flooer, thus printed by Ben Jonson, is altogether
different from an archaism. It is a new word-form which

Online LibraryBastiaan Adriaan Pieter van DamWilliam Shakespeare, prosody and text; an essay in criticism, being an introduction to a better editing and a more adequate appreciation of the works of the Elizabethan poets → online text (page 1 of 37)