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whether long or short; which is evidently proved, because a word may have several long syllables, and yet it shall have but one accent; as, on the contrary, it may be composed entirely of short ones, and yet shall have its accents, as Asia, Dominus," &c. P. R. b. II. p. 354.

The latter thus expresses himself, p. 67: “No man can read

prose or verse according to both accent and quantity; for every accent, if it is any thing, must give some stress to the syllable upon which it is placed; and every stress that is laid

upon a syllable, must necessarily give some extent to it: for, every elevation of the voice implieth time, and time is quantity. : Ουτε χρονος χωρις τον8 ευρισκεται, ετε τονος χωρις χρονο. MS. Bib. Reg. Ang. p. 2. : To be plain, then, there is much weight in the last argu. ment; and the observations of Dr. Forster, although made upon Greek accent, are, in many instances, applicable to Latin. And here, let us not conceive that the present is a mere question of words, and therefore undeserving of notice; since, upon a just knowledge of the beauties* of pronunciation depends much of that exquisite pleasure which we derive from polite literature. If we may judge of the difficulty of any accomplishment by the rarity of its attainment, to pronounce Latin is more difficult than to translate it. For one person who can read it correctly, even according to present rules, we find about five who can translate it so.

To what shall we attribute this defect? Shall we say that men, considering the pronunciation of Latin as a secondary and inferior acquisition, pay, all their attention to the .construing of it; as we sometimes meet with great writers who cannot spell? But what is more unworkmanlike, or inele gant; than to see scholars by profession stumble at the very threshold of the Muses? And herein, I think, consists one advantage, amongst many, of public schools; namely, that in such seminaries boys are well grounded in the principles of quantity, although by some they have been thought to spend too much time upon this pursuit.

Our rules of quantity give us, accurately, enough, the

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* As we politely accommodated our continental neighbours by adopting, anno 1752, their method of ceckoning time, so of late we seem disposed to accommodate them still farther, by adopting, in part, their method of pronouncing Latin. This is chiefly observable in the full and open enunciation commonly given to the vowel A. We are told of Milton, that he affected the foreign pronunciation ; and was accustomed to observe, that “to read Latin with an En. glish mouth is as ill a hearing as low French.” Lives of the Poets, vol. 1. p. 174.

proportion of sound that syllables bear to each other in the two extremes of long and short; but this knowledge will not give us the general time. They teach us that two short syllables are equivalent to one long one; but can we hence collect, whether the whole movement was quick or slow, the tone variable or monotonous ?

Port Roral conceives, and with great appearance of probability, that the discriminating ears of the Romans were not contented with the present arrangement of long and short syllables only, but that they had an intermediate mea. sure, consisting of a time and half, upon which the accent in polysyllables* often lay. He farther observes, that there was a considerable distinction in pronunciation between syl. lables short by nature and short by position. As the matter at present stands, it does not appear that learners derive any material advantage from mere accents. The compound A may indeed be of some service, because it is noro connected with quantity; but the grave and the acute seem but little to facilitate true pronunciation. In autographs or MSS. they are rarely used, and readers find no great loss of them.

What then, the intelligent reader will observe, do you altogether reject the use of accents, so generally received ? And would you reduce pronunciation to one dull monotony? Certainly not; although I conceive, with submission, that accents, as they are now managed, may in some cases be nugatory, and in some detrimental. I would distinguish, however, between the use and abuse of these modern signs of sound, and would assign to them their proper merit. It is true, I believe, that accents, by encroaching on quantity, may enable a judicious Latin reader to introduce some slight distinction into the sound of his voice. But it is also true, that they are highly inadequate to convey to us any just conception of the variety, the richness, and the extreme accue racy, of tone and time, with which the Romans, we are in. formed, pronounced their language.

* Is it lawful to suggest, without offending Latin ears, that, strictly speak. ing, there can be no such thing as a polysyllable consisting wholly of short feet, that is, of feet of equal times ? Danaides, Periphrasis, Hominibus, Opiparus. In pronouncing a word of many syllables, it has been observed, that there must necessarily be some foundation for the voice to rest on; to which point of support all the other parts of the sound recur, as to a conimon centre. On the other hand, to consider any syllable as absolutely long, which the poets have agreed to consider as short, would be to contradict their authority, and to fall into fatal heresy. What, therefore, remains in this merciless dilemma between accent and quantity, but to agree with P. R. respecting the intermediate measure of a time and half? Upon these grounds we shall treat our polysyllables and choriambics hanılsomely; and not, tike Bays, having introduced them or the stage, leave them to get off again as they can.

It now only remains to consider our first proposition, namely, that accents in some cases are nugatory, and in some detrimental. They are nugatory, then, when they are not of suiticient weight to excite attention, and so teach nothing. They are detrimental where they tend to introduce confusion into the minds of learners, or lead them to make false quantities. On the other hand, they are useful where they come in aid of quantity; they are useful where they serve to distinguish one word from another, spelt in the same manner, or different inflexions of the same verb. They are also useful where they serve to mark prepositions and adverbs. 1800, July.

WENMAN LANGTON.

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PHILOSOPHY

AND

NATURAL HISTORY.

I. The Causes of Dreams.

MR. URBAN,

Whitby, Dec. 26, 1753. DREAMS are one of the most extraordinary phenomena of the human frame; they are hy some, perhaps, too little, by others too much, regarded: some are continually torturing them into meaning, and converting them into presages and predictions, whilst others utterly slight them as the capricious workings of a wanton fancy let loose from the restraints of reason and judgment.

There are persons, and those of no inconsiderable note in the republic of letters, who have maintained, that dreams are not the creatures of our own fancy, nor the effects of the operation of ourown minds; but the suggestions and infusions of spiritual beings which surround us. They say, that the soul cannot think or act without being conscious of its thinking and acting, and as all the various scenes and adventures which present themselves in sleep seem to us to be external and not our own production, it is therefore impossible that it should: they urge further, that it is not at all likely the soul should take pleasure in tormenting itself, and yet in dreams we are often tossed, or pursued by mad bulls or wild beasts; we fall over precipices, sink in rivers, and are involved in a variety of distresses as exquisitely afflictive for the time they last as if they were real. To the first of these arguments it may be answered, that every thought is not attended with consciousness; every one who has been absent, or in a reverie, knows that we often think without reflecting that we do so; we fall into trains of thought and eagerly pursue them a long time, without attending to the objects about us, or reflecting upon the operations of our

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