And airy tongues that syllable men's namesverses that hiss like Medusa's head in wrath, and who was, I think, fonder of the sound than any other of our poets. Indeed, in compounds of the kind we always make a distinction wholly independent of the doubled s. Nobody would boggle at mountainside; no one would dream of saying on the fatherside or motherside. Mr. Masson speaks of ‘the Miltonic forms vanquisht, markt, lookt, etc.’ Surely he does not mean to imply that these are peculiar to Milton? Chapman used them before Milton was born, and pressed them farther, as in nak't and saf't for naked and saved. He often prefers the contracted form in his prose also, showing that the full form of the past participle in ed was passing out of fashion, though available in verse.1 Indeed, I venture
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses,
So in his seed all nations shall be blest,
And seat of Salmanasser whose success,
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1 Chapman's spelling is presumably his own. At least he looked after his printed texts. I have two copies of his ‘Byron's Conspiracy,’ both dated 1608, but one evidently printed later than the other, for it shows corrections. The more solemn ending in ed was probably kept alive by the reading of the Bible in churches. Though now dropped by the clergy, it is essential to the right hearing of the more metrical passages in the Old Testament, which are finer and more scientific than anything in the language, unless it be some parts of ‘Samson Agonistes.’ I remember an old gentleman who always used the contracted form of the participle in conversation, but always gave it back its embezzled syllable in reading. Sir Thomas Browne seems to have preferred the more solemn form. At any rate he has the spelling empuzzeled in prose.
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