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LENGTHENING OF WORDS. Apparent Alexandrines, doubtful

Alexandrines doubtful. There are several apparent Alexandrines, in which a shortening of a preposition would reduce the line to an ordinary line. "Upon," for instance, might lose its prefix, like "'gainst" for "against." “To lóok | upon my sóme | time más | ter's róy | al fáce.” Rich. II. ii. 5. 75. “Forbíds | to dwéll up | on; yét | remém | ber thís.” Rich. III. v. 3. 239.Upon óur | house('s) (471) thátch, | whíles a | more fróst | y
péople.” Hen. V. iii. 5. 24.Upon the sís | terhóod, | the vó | tarists óf | St. Cláre.” M. for M. i. 4. 5.Brut. "Is líke | to láy upon us (on's). |
Cass. I'm glád | that mý | weak wórds.” J. C. i. 2. 176. “Is góne | to práy | the hó | ly kíng | upon his (on's) áid.” Macbeth, iii. 6. 30.

So "to" (or "in," 457a) in "into" may be dropped in “Fall ínto | the cóm | pass óf | a præ<*> | muníre.” Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 340. “The wátches | on únto | mine éyes | the óut | ward wátch.” Rich. II. v. 4. 52. (?) “Ráther | a dítch | in E'gypt
Be géntle | grave únto | me. Ráther | on Ní | lus' múd.” A. and C. v. 2. 58.

"Gentle" is a quasi-monosyllable, see 465; "rather," see 466.

So Walker reads "to" for "unto" in “Unto a póor, | but wórth | y gént | lemán. | She's
wédded,” Cymb. i. 1. 7. and observes, "Unto and into have elsewhere, I think, taken the place of to."

Perhaps the second line of the rhyming couplet is purposely lengthened in “I' am | for the áir; | this níght | I'll spénd
Un'to | a dís | mal ánd | a fát | al énd.” Macb. iii. v. 21.

In “Better to leave undone, than by our deed
Acquire too high a fame when him we serve's away,” A. and C. iii. 1. 15. we might arrange

Better léave | undóne, | than bý | our déed | acqúire.
Or the latter line might be (but there is not pause enough to make it probable) a trimeter couplet. (See 501.) “At Má | rián | a's hóuse | to-níght. | Her cáuse | and yóurs,” M. for M. iv. 3. 145. must be an Alexandrine, unless in the middle of the line "Mariana" can be shortened like "Marian," as "Helena" becomes "Helen" (M. N. D. i. 1. 208). Compare “For Már | iana's sáke: | but ás | he adjúdg'd | your bróther.” M. for M. v. 1. 408.

The following seem pure Alexandrines, or nearly so, if the text be correct:-- “How dáres (499) | thy hársh | rude tóngue | sound thís |
unpléas | ing néws.” Rich. II. iii. 4. 74. “Suspíc | ion, áll | our líves, | shall bé | stuck fúll | of éyes.” 1 Hen. IV. v. 2. 8. “A chér | ry líp, | a bón | ny éye, | a páss | ing pléas | ing
tóngue.” Rich. III. i. 1. 94. “Tó the | young Ró | man bóy | she hath sóld | me ánd |
I fáll.” A. and C. iv. 12. 48. “And thése | does shé | applý | for wárn | ings ánd | porténts.” J. C. iii. 1. 23. This is the Shakespearian accent of "portent" (490), but perhaps "and" should be omitted. “Oút of | a gréat | deal óf | old ír | on I' | chose fórth.” 1 Hen. VI. i. 2. 101.

It is needless to say that Shakespeare did not write this line, whether it be read thus or

Oút of | a great déal | of óld | iron I' | chose fórth.

In “'Tis hé | that sént | us híth | er nów | to slaugh | ter thée,” Rich III. i. 4. 250. "hither" (466) may be a monosyllable, and then we can read

'Tis hé | that sént us | .

The latter line in the following couplet seems to be an Alexandrine: “Of whát | it ís | not: thén, | thrice-grác | ious quéen,
Móre than | your lórd's | depárt | ure wéep | not: móre's
| not séen.” Rich. II. ii. 2. 25, v. 4. 110.

Sometimes apparent Alexandrines will be reduced to ordinary lines, if exclamations such as "O," "Well," &c. be considered (512) as detached syllables. “Vol. That théy | combíne | not thére. |
Cor. (Tush, tush!
Men. A góod demánd.” Coriol. iii. 2. 45.Coriol. The óne | by the óther. |
Com. (Well,) | O'n to | the márk | et pláce.” Ib. iii. 1. 112.Sic. 'Tis hé, | 'tis hé: | (O,) he's grówn | most kínd | of
láte.” Ib. iv. 6. 11. “Upón | the Brít | ish párty. | (O,) untíme | ly déath.” Lear, iv. 6. 25.

In the last two examples "O" might coalesce with the following vowel. But see also 503 and 512.

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