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BLANK VERSE. 187
line in three has the full number of emphatic accents, about two in four have four, and one out of fifteen three.
Mr. Conway* has drawn out with elaborate precision a table in which he gives thirty-five different arrangements of the accents found in heroic lines of approved authors, seven with the full number of five, fifteen with four, eleven with three, and ten with two. Now, if to all these allowable variations in the arrangement of the accented syllables we add the practically limitless change that may be made in the position of the pauses in successive lines, we shall at once realise the boundless capabilities of rhythmical variety that this measure presents. Well may it be selected as the most suitable form of verse for lofty and continuous poetical utterance.
2.—EPIC OR HEROIC BLANK VERSE.
The singular excellence of Milton's blank verse being generally admitted, we will here point out some of its causes, or at least some of those qualities which are most apparent and eminent in his versification. He has availed himself of the use of mixed metre to the utmost possible extent, such as these:
* Gilbert Conway, " Treatise on Versification," p. 24. (Longmans. London, 1878.)