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Back through the paths || of pleasing sense I rah


Profufe of bliss || and pregnant with delight

After the 5th:

So when an angel | by divine command,
With rifing tempests || shakes a guilty land.

After the 6th:

Speed the foft intercourse || from foul to foul


Then from his clofing eyes | thy form shall part

After the 7th:

And taught the doubtful battle | where to rage


And in the fmooth description || murmur ftill

Befide the capital paufe now mentioned, inferior pauses will be difcovered by a nice ear. Of these there are commonly two in each line; one before the capital pause, and one after it. The former comes invariably after the firft long fyllable, whether the line begin with a long syllable


or a fhort. The other in its variety imitates the capital pause in fome lines it comes after the 6th fyllable, in fome after the 7th, and in fome after the 8th. Of these femipauses take the following examples.

Ift and 8th:

Led through a fad || variety of wo.

ift and 7th:

Still on that breast || enamour'd | let me lie

2d and 8th:

From storms a fhelter || and from heat | a fhade

2d and 6th:


Let wealth | let honour || wait | the wedded dame.

2d and 7th:

Above all pain || all paffion | and all pride

Even from these few examples it appears, that the place of the laft femipaufe, like that of the full paufe, is directed in a good measure by the fenfe. Its proper place with refpect to the melody is after the eighth fyllable, fo as to finish the line with an Iambus diftinctly pronounced, which, by a long fyllable after a ftort, is a preparation


for reft: but fometimes it comes after the 6th, and sometimes after the 7th fyllable, in order to avoid a pause in the middle of a word, or between two words intimately connected; and fo far melody is juftly facrificed to fenfe.

In difcourfing of Hexameter verfe, it was laid down as a rule, That a full pause ought never to divide a word: fuch licence deviates too far from the coincidence that ought to be between the pauses of sense and of melody. The fame rule must obtain in an English line; and we fhall fupport reafon by experiments :

A noble fuperfluity it craves

Abhor, a perpetuity should stand

Are thefe lines diftinguishable from profe? Scarcely, I think.

The fame rule is not applicable to a femipaufe, which being fhort and faint, is not fenfibly difagreeable when it divides a word.

Relentless walls | whose darksome round | contains

For her white virgins || hyme|neals fing

In thefe | deep folitudes || and awful cells

It must however be acknowledged, that the melody here fuffers in fome degree: a word ought to be pronounced without any reft between its component fyllables: the femipaufe


muft bend to this rule, and thereby fcarce remains fenfible.

With regard to the capital paufe, it is fo efsential to the melody, that a poet cannot be too nice in the choice of its place, in order to have it clear and diftinct. It cannot be in better company than with a pause in the sense; and if the fenfe require but a comma after the fourth, fifth, fixth, or seventh fyllable, there can be no difficulty about this musical paufe. But to make fuch coincidence effential, would cramp verfification too much; and we have experience for our authority, that there may be a pause in the melody where the fenfe requires none. We must not however imagine, that a musical pause may come after any word indifferently: fome words, like fyllables of the fame word, are fo intimately connected, as not to bear a separation even by a paufe: the feparating, for example, a fubftantive from its article would be harsh and unpleafant: witnefs the following line, which cannot be pronounced with a pause as marked,

If Delia fmile, the | flow'rs begin to spring.

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But ought to be pronounced in the following


If Delia smile, || the flow'rs begin to spring.

If then it be not a matter of indifferency where to make the paufe, there ought to be rules for determining

termining what words may be separated by a pause, and what are incapable of fuch separation. Ifhall endeavour to ascertain these rules; not chiefly for their utility, but in order to unfold fome latent principles, that tend to regulate our taste even where we are scarce fenfible of them: and to that end, the method that appears the moft promifing, is to run over the verbal relations, beginning with the most intimate. The first that prefents itself, is that of adjective and fubftantive, being the relation of fubject and quality, the most intimate of all and with refpect to fuch intimate companions, the queftion is, Whether they can bear to be feparated by a pause? What occurs is, that a quality cannot exist independent of a fubject; nor is it feparable from the subject even in imagination, because they make parts of the fame idea and for that reafon, with refpect to melody as well as fenfe, it' must be disagreeable, to bestow upon the adjective a fort of independent existence, by interjecting a paufe between it and its fubftantive. I cannot therefore approve the following lines, nor any of the fort; for to my taste they are harsh and unpleasant.

Of thousand bright || inhabitants of air
The fprites of fiery || termagants inflame
The reft, his many-colour'd || robe conceal'd
The fame, his ancient || perfonage to deck

Ev'n here, where frozen | Chastity retires


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