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2 02                               ORTHOMETRY.
increase to one in two in Cymheline and The Winter's Tale. According to Professor Ingram there is no single light or weak ending in the Tivo Gentlemen of Verona and The Comedy of Errors, and only one in Midsummer-Night's Dream. They begin to appear plentifully in Macbeth, and in the later plays they amount to from five to seven per cent, of the whole number of endings. Again, in his early plays the youthful poet made free use of rhyme, but gradually discarded it as his skill in rhythmic melody grew. In Love's Labour's Lost there are two rhymed lines to each one without; but in the Tempest there is only one couplet throughout, and in Winter's Tale not one.
The blank verse of Shakspere's latest plays, we thus see, is the result of careful labour and ripened judgment, directed by an instinctive sense and faculty divine for beauty and melody. His choicest efforts are inimitable, and remain unique in our literature, for they defy analysis; their beauty must be felt rather than reasoned out. The clear sweet ring of his lyrics is perhaps equalled by some of his contemporaries, and nearly approached by Burns and Shelley, but the grace and ever-varying music of his rhythmic numbers must be regarded as a lost art.