LENGTHENING OF WORDS. Monosyllables, when prolonged
Monosyllables which are emphatic either (1) from their meaning, as
in the case of exclamations, or (2) from their use in antithetical
sentences, or (3) which contain diphthongs, or (4) vowels preceding
often take the place of a whole foot. This
is less frequent in dissyllabic words. In (1) and (2) as well as (3)
the monosyllables often contain diphthongs, or else long vowels.
In many cases it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to determine
whether a monosyllable should be prolonged or not. Thus, in
“On thís | unwórth | y scáff | old tó | bring
fórth,” Hen. V. Prologue, 10.
many may prefer
to scan " | -old to brí | ng
" and to prolong the following monosyllable rather
than to accent "to;" and in “Came póur | ing líke | the tíde | intó
| a bréach,” Hen. V. i. 2. 149.
it is possible to prolong the preceding
monosyllable, "the tí | de
in | to a
bréach." Such cases may often be left to the taste of the
reader (but for the accent of "into" see 457a
All that can safely be said is, that when a very unemphatic
monosyllable, as "at," "and," "a," "the," &c. has the accent, it
is generally preceded or followed by a very strongly accented
monosyllable, as “Assume the port of Mars;
his heels.” Hen. V. Prologue, 6.
It is equally a matter of taste whether part of the prolonged
monosyllable should be considered to run on into the following foot,
or whether a pause be supposed after the monosyllable, as
“Gírding | with gríev | ous síege
| cástles | and tówns.” Hen. V. i. 2. 152.
| bý the | conflúx | of méet | ing sáp.” Tr. and Cr. i. 3. 7.