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128
ORTHOMETRY.
The licences here taken are so many that they exceed the number of iambic feet in these lines.
Another kind of licence permitted to the heroic verse, is to have an additional syllable at the end, as:
or even two, as:
But all such syllables must be unaccented; for an accent upon the last syllable, when two are added, would make an A lexandrine, which is another species
* This line is quoted because it has been called an Alexandrine; Mitford's " Essay on the Harmony of Language," p. 133,1st edition, where an Alexandrine is defined to be " a verse of the heroic cadence, and con­sisting of six feet." By heroic cadence is meant such measures (or feet) as an heroic verse is made of. It is true that an Alexandrine must contain six iambic feet; but it is not true that every verse of six such feet, the last being unaccented, must be an Alexandrine. If it must, then it follows that a line of five such feet must be an heroic verse; and these in Hudibras:
She laid about in fight more busily,
Than th' Amazonian dame Penthesile,
P. i. c. 2
are not doggerel, as is commonly supposed, but of a higher order, and may claim to be ranked with the heroics of Pope and Dryden. The line in Milton is exactly like the following in Othello:
and like numberless others that occur in our tragedies, which were never yet reckoned as Alexandrine, but as heroic verses with two redundant syllables.