blank verse, it is exhibited in his translation of Virgil in a very imperfect state. It is formal and stiff. It reads as if it had originally been written in rhyming couplets, and the terminations subsequently altered. This measure was afterwards adopted by a still more distinguished ornament of the English aristocracy, who, as the author of the first tragedy in our language that at all deserved that name, and from his sublime Induction to the Mirror for Magistrates, may be considered as, in some degree, the precursor both of Shakspeare and Spenser. To him we owe the application of blank verse to the drama. Yet still, even in the hands of Sackville, it was heavy and pompous. The first who attempted to introduce any variety of pauses, was a writer whose name can never be mentioned without pain. If Marlowe had not led a life of profligate dissipation, which, perhaps, hastened his death, he would probably have held a very high rank among the poets of his country. He who was at the same time celebrated for his "mighty line," and could produce that exquisite specimen of pastoral sweetness, The Shepherd to his Love, was capable, under better auspices, of the greatest efforts of genius. In his Edward III. we occasionally meet with passages which exhibit the varied flow of succeeding poets:

"A heavy case;

"When force to force is knit, and sword and gleave
"In civil broils make kin and countrymen

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Slaughter themselves in others, and their sides

"With their own weapons gore! But whats the help?
Misgovernd kings are cause of all this wreck :
"And Edward, thou art one among them all
"Whose looseness hath betrayd thy land to spoil,
"And made the channel overflow with blood
"Of thine own people."

His translation of the
spirited performance;

first book of Lucan, is a very and as I know of no other

copy but that which is in Mr. Malone's collection, I will produce a specimen. It is from the speech of Lalius, the centurion. See Lucan. lib. i. 1. 361:

"What, doubtst thou us? even nowe when youthful bloud
"Pricks forth our lively bodies, and strong armes
"Can mainly throw the dart; wilt thou endure
"These purple groomes? that senates tyranny?
"Is conquest got by civill war so hainous ?

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Well, lead us then to Syrtes desart shoare;
"Or Scythia; or hot Labiae's thirsty sands.
"This hand that all behind us might be quail'd
"Hath with thee past the swelling ocean;
"And swept the foming brest of Articks Rhene.
"Love overrules my will, I must obey thee;
"Cæsar, he whom I heare thy trumpets charge
"I hould no Romaine; by these ten blest ensignes,
"And all thy several trumphs, shouldst thou bid me
"Intombe my sword within my brothers bowels;
"Or fathers throate; or womens groning wombe;
"This hand (albeit unwilling) should performe it.'

But although these and similar passages evince that Marlowe's ear had sometimes taught him to release blank verse from the fetters which had been imposed upon it, yet the general strain of his versification resembles that of Surrey and Sackville. At last Shakspeare arose, who was destined to carry the drama in all its parts to the highest state of perfection; and even in the structure of his verse, not only left all his predecessors far behind him, but exhibited to those who came after him, a model of harmony which no one has ever surpassed. Perhaps no species of metrical excellence can be mentioned, which is not exemplified in his plays. He has equally avoided the formal monotony of those who went before him, and the laxity of his contemporaries; his metre is generally correct; but the inexhaustible variety of his modulation never palls upon the ear. Whether "that spirit of his, in aspiration, lifts him from the earth;" or humbler topicks require a more subdued tone; whether he is

sublime, pathetick, familiar, or gay, the colours of
his style, and the musick of his cadence, are adapted
with the most exquisite skill to the character which
he designs to paint, or the sentiment which he wishes
to express :

"So on the tip of his subduing tongue

"All kinds of arguments and questions deep,
"All replication prompt and reason strong,
"For his advantage, still did wake and sleep,
"To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep.
"He had the dialect and different skill,
"Catching all passions in his craft of will."

I have withdrawn from the Index, which will be
found at the close of this work, those references which
relate to the topicks discussed in the foregoing Essay,
that the reader may have the materials, upon which
he is to form his opinion, at once before him.
have not put down every exemplification of what has
been stated, but have thought it would be sufficient
to produce as much as would establish the principle.

Particles omitted:

listen, listen to, xi. 105.
serve, serve for, vi. 24.

other instances of particles omitted, xii. 23, 83.

Particles redundant:

command upon, command, xi. 137.
drink in, simply drink, viii. 116.
drink up, simply drink, vii. 480:
other instances, vi. 70.

xiv. 58.

xiii. 228, 390.

xiv. 131.

xv. 33, 282.

xix. 142.


Particles employed contrary to modern usage:

for catching cold, lest they should catch cold, iv. 26.
for blunting, for fear of blunting, xx. 273.

guilty to, guilty of, iv. 214.

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charge with, i. e. charge for, xii. 172.

xvi. 134.

xviii. 427.

I desire you of more acquaintance, v. 255.
I desire you of the like, vi. 498.

whom we intreated of succour, xvii. 349. *

Adjectives used adverbially :

damnable, for damnably, x. 438.

xiv. 318.

honourable, for honourably, xiv. 288, 395.
voluntary, for voluntarily, viii. 286.

Double comparative:

more wider, viii. 416.
more richer, x, 11.

Double superlative :

most best, vii. 272.

*For a multitude of particles similarly misapplied in the
writings of the age of Queen Anne, see Lowth's Grammar,
p. 166. Edit. 1775.

Double negative, ix. 11.

xi. 122.

Negative used to assert a thing strongly:

here's no vanity, xvi. 395.

Present tense of a verb used for the passive parti-


heat, for heated, xi. 342.

fast, for fasted, xii. 172.

frustrate, for frustrated, xii. 38.

other instances, xv. 36, 225.

xix. 119.

Active participle, used for passive:
discontenting, discontented, xiv. 383.
longing, longed for, iv. 66.

multiplying, multiplied, xiii. 354.
all obeying, all obeyed, xii. 326.

Passive participle for active:

brooded, for brooding, xv. 293.
deformed, deforming, iv. 262.
becomed, becoming, vi. 192.
delighted, delighting, ix. 282.
professed, professing, x. 27.

Adjectives used for active participle:

estimable, esteeming, xi. 379.
penetrative, penetrating, xii. 375.

Adjectives used for passive participle:

dividable, for divided, viii. 263.
corrigible, corrected, xii. 375.

Participle passive instead of adjective:

unavoided, for unavoidable, xix. 183.

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