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ity and dubiety of scansion by syllables. Results reached on these lines seem to carry their own warrant, and to make English Prosody more real and helpful than it is generally esteemed.

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The present volume builds on and supersedes certain essays and magazine articles of a mainly tentative character published from five to six years. ago. These received a welcome which encouraged me to attempt a more systematic handling of the whole subject, in doing which-not without interruption from other work-I have revised and restated my own views as well as paid attention to those of others.

A sarcastic letter sent by Mr. Swinburne to the "Academy" of January 15th, 1876, some words from which appear on my title-page, contains the following pronouncement. "Of word-music, the technical quality of metre, the executive secret and inner method of the poetic art, it is admittedly for scholiasts alone to judge; and their teaching is undoubtedly not as that of the scribes or poets." The first part of this sentence I accept seriously, save indeed for the word "alone." As regards the second, I trust these pages may show that it is possible for a mere grammarian to expound doctrines according with both the theory and the practice of poets, and drawing their whole meaning and authority from the latter.

I had hoped to subjoin to this study a short historical and bibliographical sketch of English metrical criticism, providing some halfpennyworth of fact to relieve what may seem an intolerable amount of theorizing. The dimensions to which this soon attained forbade its inclusion, and it is reserved for possible future issue. In its stead will be found an appendix on hexameter and other forms of wouldbe Classical metre, consideration of which seemed germane to my subject.

14, CALVERLEY PARK, TUNBRIDGE WELLS, January, 1903.

T. S. OMOND.

τεκμήριον μέτρου ἀκοή

("Hearing tests metre ").

"LONGINUS" ON HEPHAESTION.

Aurem tuam interroga

(“Question thy ear").

PROBUS APUD A. GELLIUM.

"Poetry utters words in time."

LESSING, Laocoon.

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METRE is the body of verse, as emotional thought is the soul. Etymologically, metre means simply measure. Some writers use it in specialized senses, but it is better to keep it as a term of general connotation. Why do we want to measure verse? For the same reason that we study laws of colour, or laws of musical harmony. In each case we seek to analyze results which have pleased us in the work of poet, painter, or musician. By measuring, by dividing this into its units, we hope to throw light on its architecture. Such knowledge is not necessary to the artist, nor even to his intelligent admirer. It will not make a genius, nor teach us infallibly to detect one; we can but judge of results, not lay down laws for the future. Great poets undoubtedly sing by ear, and their practice is so far a law to itself. Yet it must in every case obey the principles of its art; the highest freedom is conditioned by the laws of its being. Metrical science should train us to detect bad verse, and aid us to appreciate good, unless the latter present combinations too novel for an unprepared taste to relish. What, then, are the

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