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commonly measured, such as the dactylic, trochaic, anapæstic, and iambic. The last of these is most frequently used.


Of Iambic verse there are two kinds. The one consists of four feet, and is called by a Greek name Dimĕter; the other consists of six feet, and is called Trimeter. The reason of these names is, that among the Greeks two feet were considered only as one measure in iambic verse; whereas the Latins measured it by single feet, and therefore called the dimeter quaternarius, and the trimeter senarius. Originally this kind of verse was purely iambic, i. e. admitted of no other feet but the iambus; thus,

Dimeter, Inar- | sĭt æ- | stŭō- suis. Horat.

Trimeter, Suis et i-psă Rō- | mă vi- | rìbūs | ruit. Id.

But afterwards, both for the sake of ease and variety, different feet were admitted into the uneven or odd places; that is, in the first, third, and fifth places, instead of an iambus, they used a spondee, a dactyle, or an anapæstus, and sometimns a tribrachys. We also find a tribrachys in the even places, i. e. in the second place, and in the fourth; for the last foot must always be an iambus; thus, Dimeter, Canidĭ | ă tră- | ctăvit | dăpės. Horat.

Vidē- | rě propĕ- | rântēs | domum. Id.

Trimeter, Quoquo | scělē- | sti rŭi- tis aut | cur dēx- tĕrīs. Id.
Păvidum- | que lěpõ- | r' aūt ād- ¦ vēnām | lăquèó | grùēm. Id.
Alĭti- bus at- què cănỉ | bŭs homi- | cid' Hě- | ctorem.

In comic writers we sometimes find an iambic verse consisting of eight feet, therefore called Tetrameter or Octonarius.


The several changes made upon words to adapt them to the verse are called Figures in Scanning. The chief of these are the Synalapha, Ecthlipsis, Synærěsis, Diærěsis; Systŏle, and Diastole. 1. SYNALEPHA is the cutting off a vowel or diphthong, when the next word begins with a vowel; as,

Conticuere omnes, intentique ora tenebant. Virg.

to be scanned thus,

Contĭcŭ-er' ōm- | nēs in- | tēnti | qu' ōră te- | nēbānt.

The Synalapha is sometimes neglected; and seldom takes place in the interjections, ô, heu, ah proh, væ, vah, hei; as,

O pater, ô hominum, Divûmque æterna potestas. Virg.

Long vowels and diphthongs, when not cut off, are sometimes shortened; as,

Insulæ Ionio in magno, quas dira Celano. Virg

Credimus? an, qui amant, ipsi sibi somnia fingunt? Ia.

Victor apud rapidum Simoënta sub Ilio alto.

Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam.

Glauco et Panopeæ, et Inoo Melicertæ.

2. ECTHLIPSIS is when m is cut off, with the vowel before it in the end of a word, because the following word begins with a vowel; as,

O curas hominum? O quantum, est in rebus inane! Pers.


O cũ- | rās hòmi- | n’, ô quản- | t’ ést in | rēbăs ăn- | ane. Sometimes the Synalopha and Ecthlipsis, are found at the end of a verse; as,

Sternitur infelix alieno vulnere, cœlumque

Adspicit, et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos. Virg.
Jamque iter emensi, turres ac tecta Latinorum

Ardua cernebant juvenes, murosque subibant. Id.

These verses are called Hypermetri, because a syllable remains to be carried to the beginning o the next line; thus, qu' Adspicit; r' Ardua.

3. SYNÆRESIS is the contraction of two syllables into one, which is likewise called Crasis; as, Phathon, for Phaethon. So, ei in Thesei, Orphei, deinde, Pompei; ul, in huic, cui; öi, in proinde; ëâ, in aured; thus,

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So in antehac, cadem, alvearia, deest, deerit, vehemens, anteit, eodem, alveo, graveolentis, omnia, semianimis, semihomo, fluviorum, totius, promontorium, &c. as,

Una eâdemque via sanguisque animusque ferentur. Virg.
Seu lento fuerunt alvearia vimine texta. Id.
Vilis amicorum est annona, bonis ubi quid deest. Hor.
Divitis uber agri, Troiæque opulentia deerit. Virg.
Vehemens et liquidus puroque simillimus amni. Hor.
Te semper anteit dira necessitas. Alcaic. Hor.
Uno eodemque igni, sic nostro Daphnis amore.
Cum refluit campis, & jam se condidit alveo. Id.
Inde ubi venêre ad fauces graveolentis Averni. Id.



Bis patriæ cecidere manus: quin protinus omnia. Id ・
Cædit semianimis Rutulorum calcibus arva.
Semihominis Caci facies quam dira tenebat. Id.
Fluviorum rex Eridanus, camposque per omnes.
Magnanimosque duces, totiusque ex ordine gentis. Id.
Inde legit Capreas, promontoriumque Minervæ. Ovid.


To this figure may be referred the changing of i and u into j and v, or pronouncing them in the same syllable with the following vowel ; as in genva, tenvis, arjetat, tenvia, abjete, pitvita, parjetibus, Nasidjenus; for genua, tenuis, &c. as,

Propterea qui corpus aquæ naturaque tenvis. Lucr.
Genva labant, gelido concrevit frigore sanguis. Virg.
Arjetat in portas & duros objice postes. Id.
Velleraque ut foliis depectant tenvia Seres. Id.
Edificant, tectâque intexunt abjete costas.
Præcipuè sanus, nisi cum pitvita molesta est.
Parjetibusque premunt arctis, & quatuor addunt.
Ut Nasidjeni juvit te cœna beati. Hor.




4. DIERESIS divides one syllable into two; as, aulai, for aule; Tröiæ, for Troja; Perseus, for Perseus; miltus, for milvus; soluit, for solvit; voluit, for volvit; aquæ, suetus, suasit, suevos, relanguit, reliquas, for aquæ, suetus, &c. as,

Auläi in medio libabant pocula Bacchi. Virg.
Stamina non ulli dissoluenda Deo. Pentam. Tibullus.
Debuerant fusos evoluisse suos. Id. Ovid.
Quæ calidum faciunt aquæ tactum atque vaporem.
Cum mihi non tantum furesque feræque süetæ. Horat.
Atque alios alii inridant, Veneremque suadent. Lucr.
Fundat ab extremo flavos Aquilone Suevos. Lucan.
Imposito fratri moribunda relangüit ore. Ovid.
Reliquas tamen esse vias in mente patenteis. Lucr.

5. SYSTŎLE is when a long syllable is made short; as the penult in tulerunt; thus,

Matri longa decem tulĕrunt fastidia menses. Virg.

6. DIASTOLE is when a syllable usually short is made long; as the last syllable in amor, in the following verse;

Considant, si tantus amōr, et monia condant. Virg.

To these may be subjoined the Figures of Diction, as they are called, which are chiefly used by the poets, though some of them likewise frequently occur in prose.

1. When a letter or syllable is added to the beginning of a word, it is called PROSTHĕsis; as gnavus for navus; tetuli for tuli. When a letter or syllable is interposed in the middle of a word, it is called EPENTHESIS; as, relligio, for religio; induperator, for imperator. When a letter or syllable is added to the end, it is called PARAGOGE; as, dicier for dici.

2. If a letter or syllable be taken from the beginning of a word, it is called APHÆRĕSIS; as, natus for gnatus; tenderant for tetenderant. If from the middle of a word, it is called SYNCOPE; as, dixti for dixisti; deûm, for deorum. If from the end, APOCŎPE; as, viden' for videsne ; Antoní for Antonii.

3. When a letter or syllable is transposed, it is called METATHĕSIS; as, pistris for pristis: Lybia for Libya. When one letter is put for another, it is called ANTITHĕsis; as, faciundum for faciendum, olli for illi; voltis for vullis.


Any work composed in verse is called a Poem, (Poema, or Carmen.)

Poems are called by various names, from their subject, their form, the manner of treating the subject, and their style.

1. A poem on the celebration of a marriage is called an EPITHALAMIUM ; on a mournful subject, an ELÉGY or LAMENTATION; in praise of the Supreme Being, a HYMN; in praise of any person or thing, a PANEGYRIC or ENCOMIUM; on the vices of any one, a SATIRE or INVECTIVE; a poem to be inscribed on a tomb, an EPITAPH, &c.

2. A short poem adapted to the lyre or harp, is called an ODE, whence such compositions are called Lyric Poems; a poem in the form of a letter is called an EPISTLE; a short witty poem, playing on the fancies or conceits which arise from any subject, is called an EPIGRAM; as those of Catullus and Martial. A sharp, unexpected lively turn of wit in the end of an epigram, is called its Point. A poem expressing the moral of any device or picture, is called an EMBLEM. A poem containing an obscure question to be explained, is called an ENIGMA or RIDDLE.

When a character is described so that the first letters of each verse, and sometimes the middle and final letters express the name of the person or thing described, it is called an ACROSTIC · as the following on our Saviour.

I nter cuncta micans I gniti sidera cæl I,
Expellit tenebras E toto Phœbus ut orb E;
Sic cacas removet JESVS caliginis umbra S,
V ivificansque simul V ero præcordia mot V
S olem justitia, S ese probat esse beati S.

3. From the manner of treating a subject, a poem is either Exegetic, Dramatic, or Mixt.

The Exegetic, where the poet always speaks himself, is of three kinds, Historical, Didactic or Instructive, (as the Satire or Epistle,) and Descriptive.

Of the Dramatic, the chief kinds are COMEDY, representing the actions of ordinary life, generally with a happy issue; and TRAGEDY, representing the actions and distresses of illustrious personages, commonly with an unhappy issue. To which may be added Pastoral Poems or BUCOLICS, representing the actions and conversations of shepherds; as most of the eclogues of Virgil.

The Mixt kind is where the poet sometimes speaks in his own person, and sometimes makes other characters to speak. Of this kind is chiefly the EPIC or HEROIC poem, which treats of some one great transaction of some great illustrious person, with its various circumstances; as the wrath of Achilles, in the Iliad of Homer; the settlement of Æneas in Italy, in the Æneid of Virgil; the fall of man, in the Paradise Lost of Milton, &c.

4. The style of poetry, as of prose, is of three kinds; the simple, ornate, and sublime


In long poems there is commonly but one kind of verse used. Thus Virgil, Lucretius, Horace in his Satires and Epistles, Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Lucan, Silius Italicus, Valerius Flaccus, Juvenal, &c. always use Hexameter verse; Plautus, Terence, and other writers of Comedy, generally use the Iambic, and sometimes the Trochaic. It is chiefly in shorter poems, particularly those which are called Lyric poems, as the Odes of Horace and the Psalms of Buchanan, that various kinds of verse are combined.

A poem which has only one kind of verse, is called by a Greek name MONOCOLON, SC. poema, v. carmen; or MONOCOLOS, Sc. ode: that which has two kinds, DICOLON; and that which has three kinds of verse, TRICOLON.

If the same sort of verse return after the second line, it is called DICOLON DISTROPHON; as when a single Pentameter is alternately placed after a HEXAMETER, which is named Elegiac verse, (carmen Elegiăcum,) because it was first applied to mournful subjects; thus,

Flebilis indignos Elegeia solve capillos;
Ah! nimis ex vero, nunc tibi nomen erit.


This kind of verse is used by Ovid in all his other works except the Metamorphoses; and also, for the most part, by Tibullus, Propertius, &c.

When a poem consists of two kinds of verse, and after three lines returns to the first, it is called Dicolon Tristrophon: when after four lines, Dicōlon Tetrastrophon: as,

Auream quisquis mediocritatem
Diligit, tutus caret obsoleti
Sordibus tecti; caret invidendâ
Sobrius aulâ.


When a poem consists of three kinds of verse, and after three lines always returns to the first, it is called Tricolon Tristrophon: but if it returns after four lines, it is called Tricolon Tetrastrophon: as when after two greater dactylic alcaic verses are subjoined an archilochian iambic and a lesser dactylic alcaic which is named Carmen Horatianum, or Horatian verse, because it is frequently used by Horace; thus,

Virtus recludens immeritis mori
Cœlum, negatâ tentat iter viâ;
Cœtusque vulgares, et udam

Spernit humum fugiente pennâ.

Any one of these parts of a poem, in which the different kinds of verse are comprehended when taken by itself, is called a Strophe, Stanza, or Staff.


1. ODES and PSALMS of one kind of verse.

1. Asclepiadsan, See N° 3. p. 208. Hor. L. 1. III. 30. IV. 8.- -Buch. Ps. 28. 40. 80.

2. Choriambic Alcaic Pentameter, consisting of a spondee, three choriambuses, and a pyrrhichius or iambus: Hor L. 11. 18. IV. 10.

3. Iambic trimĕter, No 11.- -Hor. Epod. 17.-Buch. Ps. 25. 94. 106.

4. Hexameter, N° 1. Hor. Satires and Epistles.-Buch. Ps. 1. 18. 45. 78. 85. 89. 104. 107 132. 135.

5. Iambic Diměter, N° 11.

6. The Greater Dactylic Alcaic, N° 8.- -Buch. Ps. 26. 29. 32. 49. 61. 71. 73. 143.

-Buch. Ps. 13. 31. 37. 47. 52. 54. 59. 86. 96. 98. 117. 148. 149. 150.

7. Trochaic, consisting of seven trochees and a syllable; admitting also a tribrachys in the uneven places, i. e. in the first, third, fifth, and seventh foot; and in the even places, a tribrachys, spondee, dactyle, and anapestus.- -Buch. Ps. 105. 119. 124. 129.

8. Anapestic, consisting of four anapestuses, admitting also a spondee or dactyle; and in the last place, sometimes a tribrachys, amphimăcer, or trochee.- -Ps. 113.

9. Anacreontic Iambic, consisting of three jambuses and a syllable; in the first foot it has sometimes a spondee or anapestus, and also a tribrachys.--Ps. 131.

II. ODES and PSALMS of two kinds of verse following one another alternately.

1. Glyconian and Asclepiadean, No 4. and 3.- -Hor. I. 3. 13. 19. 36. III. 9. 15. 19. 24. 25. 28. IV. 1.3.-Buch. Ps. 14. 35. 43.

2. Every first line, (Dactylico-Trochaic,) consisting of the first four feet of a hexameter verse

then three trochees or a spondee for the last; every second verse, (Iambic Archilochian,) consisting of an iambic or spondæus, an iambus, à cæsura, and then three trochees.Hor. I. 4.

3. The first line, Hexameter: and the second, Alemanian Dactylic, consisting of the four last feet of a hexameter. Hor. I. 7. 28. Epod. 12.- -Buch. Ps. 4. 111.

4. Every first line, Aristophanic, consisting of a choriambus, and bacchius or amphimacer: every second line, Choriambic Alcaic, consisting of epitritus secundus, two choriambuses, and a bacchius Hor. I. 8.

5. The first line, Trochaic, consisting of three trochees, and a cæsura; or of an amphimacer, and two iambuses. The second line, Archilochian Iambic, No 9. Hor. II. 18.

6. The first line, Hexameter; the second, Dactylic Archilochian, two dactyles and a cæsura, Hor IV. 7.Buck. Ps. 12.

7. The first line, Iambic Trimeter; and the second, Iambic Dimeter; No 11.-Hor. Epod. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.—Buch. Ps. 3. 6. 10. 21. 22. 27. 34. 38. 39. 41. 44. 48. 63. 62. 74. 76. 79. 87. 92. 110. 112. 115. 120. 127. 133. 134. 139. 141.

8. The first line, lambic Dimeter; the second Sapphic, consists of two dactyles, a cæsura, and four iambuses, admitting also a spondee, &c. But this verse is commonly divided into two parts; the first, the latter part of a pentameter, N° 2. and the second, iambic dimeter, N° 11. Hor. Epod. 11.

9. The first line, Hexameter; the second, Iambic Dimeter. Hor. Epod. 14, 15.-Buch. Ps. 81. 10. Hexameter and Iambic Trimeter. Hor. Epod. 16.-Buch. Ps. 2. 20. 24. 57. 60. 69. 83. 93. 95. 97. 108. 109. 118. 126. 136. 147.

11. The first line, Sapphic, No 5. and the second, Iambic Dimeter, N° 11. Buch. Ps. 8.

12. Sapphic and Glyconian. Buch. Ps. 33. 70. 121. 142.

13. Iambic Trimeter and Pentameter. Buch. Ps. 36. 63.

14. The first line, Hexameter; and the second line, the three last feet of a hexameter, with a long syllable or two short syllables before, Buch. Ps. 68.

15. Hexameter and Pentameter, or Elegiac verse. Buch. Ps. 88. 114. 137.

16. The first line, Trochaic, three trochees and a syllable, admitting sometimes a spondee, tribrachys, &c. The second line, Iambic Dimeter. N° 11. Buch. Ps. 100.

III. ODES and PSALMS of two kinds of verse, and three or four lines in each stanza.

1. The three first lines, Sapphic; and the fourth, Adonian, N° 5. Horat. Carm. I. 2. 10. 12. 20. 22. 25. 30. 32. 38. II. 2. 4. 6. 8. 10. 16. III. 8. 11. 14. 18. 20. 22. 27. IV. 2. 6. 11. Carmen Secul. Buch. Ps. 5. 17. 51. 55. 65. 67. 72. 90. 101. 103.

2. The three first lines, Asclepiadean, and the fourth, Glyconian. Hor. Carm. I. 6. 15. 24. 33. II. 12. III. 10. 16. IV. 5, 12.- -Buch. Ps. 23. 42. 75. 99. 102. 144.

3. The two first lines, Ionic Trimeter, consisting of three Ionici minores; the third line, Ionic Tetrameter, having one Ionicus minor more. Hor. III. 12.

4. The two first lines have four trochees, admitting, in the second foot, a spondee, dactyle, &c. The third line, the same; only wanting a syllable at the end. Buch. Ps. 66.

5. The three first lines, Glyconian, N° 4, admitting also a spondee, or iambus, in the first foot; the fourth line, Pherecratian, No 6. Buch. Ps. 116. 122. 128.

IV. ODES and PSALMS of three kinds of verse, and three or four lines in each stanza.

1. The two first lines, Asclepiadean, N° 3, the third line, Pherecratian, N° 6, and the fourth, Goyconian, No 4. Hor. Carm. I. 5. 14. 21. 23. III. 7. 13. IV. 13.-Buch. Ps. 9. 64. 84. 130.

2. The two lines, the Greater Dactylic Alcaic, N° 8. The third, Archilochian Iambic, N° 9. The fourth, the Lesser Alcaic, N° 10. Hor. Carm. I. 9. 16. 17. 26. 27. 29. 31. 34. 35. 37. II. 1. 3. 5. 7. 9. 11. 13. 14. 15. 17. 19. 20. III. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 17. 21. 23. 26. 29. IV. 4. 9. 14. 15.-Buch. Ps. 7. 11. 15. 19. 30 46. 50. 56. 58. 77. 82. 91. 123. 125. 140. 146.

3. The first line, Glyconian; the second, Asclepiadean; the third a spondee, three choriambuses and an iambus or pyrrhichius. Buch. Ps. 16.

4. The first line, Hexameter; the second, Iambic Dimeter; and the third, two dactyles and a syllable; Hor. Epod. 13.-Buch. Ps. 138. Sometimes the two last verses are joined in one or inverted; as, Buch. Ps. 145


Of Punctuation, Capitals, Abbreviations, Numerical Characters, and the Division of the Roman


The different divisions of discourse are marked by certain characters called Points.

The points employed for this purpose are the Comma (,), Semicolon (;), Colon (:), Period, Punctum, or full stop (.).

Their names are taken from the different parts of the sentence which they are employed to distinguish.

The Period is a whole sentence complete by itself. The Colon, or member, is a chief constructive part, or greater division of a sentence. The Semicolon, or half member, is a less constructive part or subdivision of a sentence or member. The Comma, or segment, is the least constructive part of a sentence in this way of considering it; for the next subdivision of a sentence would be the resolution of it into Phrases and Words.

To these points may be added the Semiperiod, or less point, followed by a small letter. But this is of much the same use with the Colon, and occurs only in Latin books.

A simple sentence admits only of a full point at the end; because its general meaning cannot be distinguished into parts. It is only in compound sentences that all the different points are to be found.

Points likewise express the different pauses which should be observed in a just pronunciation of discourse. The precise duration of each pause, or note, cannot be defined. It varies according to the different subjects of discourse, and the different turns of human passion and thought. The period requires a pause in duration double of the colon; the colon double of the semicolon; and the semicolon double of the comma.

There are other points which, together with a certain pause, also denote a different modulation of the voice, in correspondence with the sense. These are the Interrogation point (?), the Excla`mation or Admiration point (!), and the Parenthesis (). The first two generally mark an elevation of the voice, and a pause equal to that of a semicolon, colon, or a period, as the sense requires. The Parenthesis usually requires a moderate depression of the voice, with a pause somewhat greater than a comma. But these rules are liable to many exceptions. The modulation of the voice in reading, and the various pauses, must always be regulated by the sense.

Besides the points, there are several other marks made use of in books, to denote references and different distinctions, or to point out something remarkable or defective, &c. These are, the ; Asterisk (*); Hypher (-); Obelisk (†); Double Obelisk (†); Parallel Lines (II);

Paragraph ).;.
(A); which last is only used in writing.

References are often marked by letters and figures.

Capitals or large letters, are used at the beginning of sentences, of verses, and of proper pames. Some use them at the beginning of every substantive noun. Adjectives, verbs, and other parts of speech, unless they be emphatical, commonly begin with a small letter.

Capitals, with a point after them, are often put for whole words; thus, A. marks Aulus, C. Caius, D. Decimus, L. Lucius, M. Marcus, P. Publius, Q. Quinctius, T. Titus. So F. stands for Filius, and N. for Nepos; as, M. F. Marci Filius, M. N. Marci Nepos. In like manner, P. C. marks Patres Conscripti; S. C. Senatûs Consultum; P. R. Populus Romanus; S. P. Q. R. Senatus Populusque Romanus; U. C. Urbs Condita; S. P. D. Salutem Plurimam dicit; D. D. D. Dat, dicat, dedicat; D. D. C. Q. Dat, dicat, consecratque ; H. S. written corruptly for L. L. S. Sestertius, equal in value to two pounds of brass and a half; the two pounds being marked by L. L. Libra, Libra, and the half by S. Semis. So in modern books A. D. marks Anno Domini; A. M. Artium Magister, Master of Arts; M. D. Medicine Doctor; L. L. D. Legum Doctor; N. B. Nota Bene, &c.

Sometimes a small letter or two is added to the capital; as, Etc. Et cætera; Ap. Appius; Cn. Cneius; Op. Opiter; Sp. Spurius; Ti. Tiberius.; Sex. Sextus; Cos. Consul; Coss. Consules; Imp. Imperator; Impp. Imperatores.

In like manner, in English, Esq. Esquire; Dr. Debtor or Doctor; Acct. Account ; MS. Manuscript; MSS. Manuscripts; Do. Ditto; Rt. Hon. Right Honourable, &c.

Small letters are likewise often put as abbreviations of a word; as, i. e. id est; h. e. hoc est; e. g. exempli gratia; v. g. verbi gratiâ.

Capitals were used by the ancient Romans, to mark numbers. The Letters employed for this purpose were C. I. L. V. X. which are therefore called Numerical Letters. I. denotes one, V. five, X. ten, L. fifty, and C. a hundred. By the various combinations of these five letters, all the different numbers are expressed.

The repetition of a numerical letter repeats its value. Thus, II. signifies two; III. three; XX. twenty; XXX. thirty; CC. two hundred, &c. But V. and L. are never repeated.

When a letter of a less value is placed before a letter of a greater, the less takes away what it stands for from the greater; but being placed after, adds what it stands for to the greater; thus,

VI. Six.

IV. Four.
IX. Nine.

XL. Forty.
XC. Ninety.

V. Five.

X. Ten.

L. Fifty.

C. A hundred.


XI. Eleven.

LX. Sixty.

CX. A hundred and ten.

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