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RHYME.
151
and hackneyed. Examples will be given of all these.
According to what has been already said of rhyme, it is evident that a word may fail of making an exact one, in three parts :
(i) In the letters which go before the vowel.
(ii) In the vowel itself.
(iii) In the letters (if any) that follow it.
By failing in the first part, viz. by making no difference before the vowel, the rhyme will be in­admissible, because it will form an assonance. A failure in either of the other parts may yet give a rhyme which is passable, though defective. And as it is this particular defect, more than any other imperfection, that mars our poetry, as far as rhyme goes, it will not be unfit to enlarge thereon. By a broad computation of the possible rhyming com­bination of our vowels, diphthongs, and conso­nants, it has been ascertained that there are upwards of six hundred of them at the rhymester's disposal. Yet, notwithstanding this ample field for choice and variety, there will not be found one, among all our poets, who within the compass of thirty rhymes, does not usually make some repetition upon an average taken of the whole of his works in rhyme.
In support of this assertion, which perhaps may surprise some readers, we will exhibit a specific account of such repetitions, and also of imperfect rhymes, taken from a considerable number of poets, from Dryden to Goldsmith. These have been pitched upon for two reasons; one, to obviate what otherwise might be objected, that such






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