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CONTRACTIONS in pronunciation not expressed in writing

Sometimes the spelling does not indicate the contracted pronunciation. For instance, we spell nation as though it had three syllables, but pronounce it as though it had two. In such cases it is impossible to determine whether two syllables coalesce or are rapidly pronounced together. But the metre indicates that one of these two processes takes place.

Syllables ending in vowels are also frequently elided before vowels in reading, though not in writing. Thus: “Prosp. Agaínst | what shoúld | ensúe. |
Mir. How cáme | we ashóre?” Temp. i. 2. 158. “You gíve | your wífe | too unkínd | a cáuse | of grief.” M. of V. v. 1. 175. “No (i)mpéd | imént | betwéen, | bút that | you múst.” Coriol. ii. 3. 236. “There wás | a yíeld | ing; thís | admíts | no (e)xcúse.” Ib. v. 6. 69. Here even the Folio reads "excuse." “It ís | too hárd | a knót | for mé | to untíe.” T. N. ii. 2. 42.

The is often elided before a vowel, and therefore we may either pronounce this is, this' (461), or write th' for the, in “O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil.” T. A. v. 1. 40.

Remembering that "one" was pronounced without its present initial sound of w, we shall easily scan (though "the" is not elided in many modern texts)-- “Th' one swéet | ly flátt | ers, th' óth | er féar | eth hárm.” R. of L. 172. “One hálf | of mé | is yóurs, | th' óther | half yóurs.” M. of V. iii. 2. 16. “Ránsom | ing hím (217) | or píty | ing, thréate | ning
th' other.Coriol. i. 6. 36. And this explains “And óf | his óld | expér(i) (467) | ence the) ón | ly dárling.” A. W. ii. 1. 110. “Has shóok | and trém | bled át | the ill néigh | bourhóod.” Hen. V. i. 2. 154. “Whére should | this mú | sic bé? | I' the áir, | or the éarth?Temp. i. 2. 387, 389. (Folio "i' th' air, or th' earth.")

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