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20
ORTHOMETRY.
advantage in its monosyllables, which it has more than the French in the proportion of five to three."
No single element in a man's native tongue is of difficult pronunciation to him whose organs of speech are naturally perfect; in a foreign language there may be such, as the Welsh and German gutturals, and the French uy to an Englishman. But there are various combinations, either difficult to utter, or unpleasant to hear, and others again of an opposite character, with all of which it is useful for every writer to be acquainted. The maker of verse, who has command of his language, will not feel himself much cramped by these com­binations ; some few there may be which are un­manageable : such is that made by the second per­son singular of the past tense, in verbs ending with a double consonant: as touch, touchedst.*
Let it not be thought degrading to any composer of English verse to attend to the power and effect of these elementary sounds, since Bacon has recom­mended an inquiry into the nature of language for purposes of the same, kind, nor accounted it beneath him to record in hi > works that we cannot pronounce the letter / after m, without inserting^, as a circumstance worthy of notice. Ex. empty, Hampton.
2.—SYLLABLES.
$
A syllable is a word, or a part of a word, uttered by one effort of some of the organs of speech. It may be one elementary sound, or a combination
* See " Poatic Licenses," p. 108.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III