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[293] says, ‘gives almost as many proofs of it in his “ Paradise Lost” as there are lines in the poem.’1 But when Mr. Masson tells us that

Self-fed and self-consumed: if this fail,


Dwells in all Heaven charity so rare,

are ‘only nine syllables,’ and that in

Created hugest that swim the ocean-stream,

‘either the third foot must be read as an anapoest or the word hugest must be pronounced as one syllable, hug'st,’ I think Milton would have invoked the soul of Sir John Cheek. Of course Milton read it

Created hugest that swim tha ocean-stream,

just as he wrote (if we may trust Mr. Masson's facsimile)

Thus sang the uncouth swain to tha oaks and rills,

a verse in which both hiatus and elision occur precisely as in the Italian poets.2Gest that swim’ would be rather a knotty anapoest, an insupportable foot indeed! And why is even hug'st worse than Shakespeare's

Young'st follower of thy drum?

In the same way he says of

For we have also our evening and our morn,

that ‘the metre of this line is irregular,’ and of the rapidly fine

Came flying and in mid air aloud thus cried,

that it is ‘a line of unusual metre.’ Why more unusual than

As being the contrary to his high will?

What would Mr. Masson say to these three verses from Dekkar?—

1 Letter to Rev. W. Bagot, 4th January, 1791.

2 So Dante:—

Ma sapienza e amore e virtute.

So Donne:—

Simony and sodomy in churchmen's lives.

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