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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 r, 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 fórth," 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; and at 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. “As knóts | bý the | conflúx | of méet | ing sáp.” Tr. and Cr. i. 3. 7.

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