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Dryden, I think, somewhere remarks, that rhyme often helped him into a thought; an observation, which, probably, Spenser's experience had likewise supplied him with. Spenser, however, must have found more assistance in this respect, from writing in rhyme, than Dryden, in proportion as his stanza obliged him to a more repeated use of it.

In speaking of Spenser's rhymë, it ought to be remarked, that he often new-spells a word to make it rhyme more precisely.

Take these specimens.

And of her own foule entraileş makes her meat, Meat fit for such a monster's monstrous dieut.

6, 12. 31,

Timely to joy, and carry comely cheare,
For though this clowd have now me overcast;
Yet do I not of better time despeare.

5., 5. 38.


Though when the term is full accomplishid,
Then shall a sparke of fire which hath long while
Bene in his ashes raked up and hid.,

3. 3. 47.

Then all the rest into their coches clim,
And through, &c.
Upon great Neptune's necke they softly swim.

3. 4. 42.

Mightily amate,
As fast as forward earst, now backward to retrate.

4. 3. 26.

Shall have that golden girdle for reward,
And of, &c.
Shall to the fairest lady be prefar'd.

4. 2. 27.

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Into the hardest stone,
Such as behind their backes, &c.
Were thrown by Pyrrha and Deucalione.

5. Introd. 2.

And, to be short, we meet with ycled for yclad, darre for dare, prejudice for prejudice: sam for same, lam for lamb, denay for dený, pervart for pervert, heare for haire, and numberless other instances of orthography age upon it.

destroyed for the sake of rhyme. This was a liberty which Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate frequently made use of; and it may not be improper in this place to exhibit the sentiments of a critic in Queen Elizabeth's

“ Now there cannot be'in a maker a fowler fault than to falsifie his accent to serve his cadence; or by untrue orthography to wrench his words to help his rhyme; for it is a sign that such a maker is not copious in his own language*." ever, he seems afterwards to allow the deviation from true spelling, in some measure. “ It is somewhat more tollerable to help the rhyme by false orthographie, than to leave an unpleasant dissonance to the eare, by keeping trewe orthographie and losing the rime; as for example, it is better to rime dore with restore, than in his true orthographie which is doore,—Such men were in ef


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The author of the Arte of English Poesie, supr. cïtat.

fect the most part of all your old rimers, and 'specially Gower, who, to make up his rime, would for the most part write his terminant syllable with false orthographie ; and many times not sticke to put a plaine French word for an English ; and so by your leave do many of our common rimers at this day*

We find in many passages of our author the orthography violated, when the rhyme, without such an expedient, would be very exact; thus bite, when made to rhyme with delight, is sometimes spelt bight, as if the eye could be satisfied in this case as well as the ear.

Instances of this sort occur often in Harrington's Ariosto, and more particularly of the word said, which is often occasionally written sed. This practice was continued as far down as the age of Milton.

B. 2. c. 8.

Besides what the grim wolf, with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing sed.

Said is thus printed sed in the edition of 1645, that it might appear to rhyme, with greater propriety, to the preceding spread : later editors, not knowing the fashion of writing said, upon some occasions, sed, altered it to fed, which utterly destroyed the

The same spelling is found again in the same edition, and for the same reason, in L'Allegro.


She was pincht and pull'd she sed,
And he by friers lantern led*.

* I shall here take occasion to illustrate the lines immediately following:

Tells how the drudging goblin swet
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When, &c.
Then lies him down the Lubbar-fiend ;
And stretcht out all the chimney's length,
Baskes at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
E'er the first cock his matin rings.

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