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LENGTHENING OF WORDS. Trimeter couplet in dialogue

Trimeter Couplet. Apparent Alexandrines are often couplets of two verses of three accents each. They are often thus printed as two separate short verses in the Folio. But the degree of separateness between the two verses varies greatly. Thus perhaps-- “Whére it | may sée | itsélf; || thís is | not stránge | at áll.” Tr. and Cr. iii. 3. 111. “That hás | he knóws | not whát. || Náture, | what thíngs |
there áre.” Ib. iii. 3. 127. And certainly in the following:-- “Anne. I wóuld | I knéw | thy héart. || Glou. 'Tis fíg | ured ín |
my tóngue.
Anne. I féar | me bóth | are fálse. || Glou. Then név | er mán |
was trúe.
Anne. Well, wéll, | put úp | your swórd. || Glou. Say thén |
my péace | is máde.” Rich. III. i. 2. 193.Jul. I wóuld | I knéw | his mínd. || Luc. Perúse | this pá | per,
mádam.
Jul. 'To Jú | lia.' Sáy, | from whóm? || Luc. Thát the |
conténts | will shéw.
Jul. Say, sáy, | who gáve | it thée?” T. G. of V. i. 2. 33-7.Luc. Go tó; | 'tis wéll; | awáy! || Isab. Heaven kéep | your
hón | our sáfe.” M. for M. ii. 2. 156.Isab. Sháll I | atténd | your lórdship? || A. At án | y tíme |
'fore nóon.” Ib. 160-9; ii. 4. 104, 141.Ros. The hóur | that fóols | should ásk. || B. Now fáir | befáll |
your másk.
Ros. Fair fáll | the fáce | it cóvers. || B. And sénd | you má | ny
lóvers.” L. L. L. ii. 1. 123.Ang. Why dóst | thou ásk | agáin? || Prov. Lést I | might
bé | too rásh.
Prov. Repént | ed ó'er | his dóom. || Ang. Go tó, | let thát |
be míne!
Ang. And yóu | shall wéll | be spáred. || Prov. I cráve | your
hón | our's párdon.” M. for M. ii. 2. 9-12; Othello, iii. 3. 28-31; Temp. iii. 1. 31, 59.

Shakespeare seems to have used this metre mostly for rapid dialogue and retort. But in the ghost scene in Hamlet:Ghost. To whát | I sháll | unfóld. ||
Ham. Speak; I' | am bóund | to héar.” Hamlet, i. 5. 6.

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