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282
ORTHOMETRY.
proposed to surmount, by " excepting against the observance of position, and certain other of their rules." Still there remained various difficulties; and it is amusing to hear him relate his distress, when composing in the new fashion, "he found most of our monosyllables to be long," when, to serve his purpose, they should have been short: he wanted "some direction for such words as fall not within the compass of Greek or Latin rules, and thereof he had great miss." He was forced " to omit the best words, and such as would naturally become the speech best," to avoid breaking his Latin rules. Under all these discouragements, however, he translated two of Virgil's Eclogues into English hexameters, and transformed a part of the Shepherd's Calendar into sapphics; and these pieces make a conspicuous portion of his book.
The next was George Gascoigne, an eminent poet of the same age. He included Certain Notes of Instruction concerning the making of Verse or Rhyme in English in an edition of his works published in 1575, and again in 1587. This sensible treatise, by one who was a poet himself, is certainly one of the earliest attempts in our language to establish fixed rules for the modulation of verse. It is con­cise ; the conclusions are neither singular nor forced, and though from the dates the whole might ' be expected to have acquired an obsolete character, it still retains such a*-}ust proportion of fact with the precepts forming a close alliance to the natural order of our language, that while we hesitate to