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L. E. Kastner, M.A.
Assistant Lecturer in French Language and Literature
In the present work I have endeavoured to apply the historical and scientific methods of Tobler's Versbau to a concise yet complete history of French versification, without any pretence, however, of rivalling his minute scholarship or his wealth of detail. But instead of confining myself to the treatment of certain phases of the subject only \ and of devoting my attention chiefly to the Old French period, I have dealt most fully with the period extending from Marot to the present day, and have included several chapters omitted by Tobler, and discussed fully certain points in others which he has only skimmed or to which he is content to give a passing reference.
Yet, though the character of the work I proposed to myself precluded any detailed examination of medieval French versification, the continuity of the subject seemed to require a complete if succinct exposition of the laws of Old and Middle French versification. In this part of my work I found, as was to be expected, that Tobler's results had almost invariably to be accepted, yet I considered it necessary to make them my own and to corroborate them by new examples from my own reading in order properly
1 Apart from the Introduction, Tobler's Versbau contains only four chapters, dealing respectively with syllabism, the interior structure of the line, hiatus, and rime.