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imiter. Le langage & la poesie, environ cent ans après, se polirent encore."
The conclusions, which we draw from what has been thus far said, on the subject of rhyme among the northern nations are these. (1) The use of rhyme, was known to them, before the arrival of the Moors in Spain. (2) If not known to them, at so early a date, yet it was certainly in use, before any possible communication could have taken place, between them and the Arabians, so as to account for its origin from this source. (3) It is very probable, the Goths laid the foundations of modern rhyme, in the vernacular languages of France, Spain and Italy; though the latin rhymed versification to be next examined, doubtless acted concurrently in producing the same effect. (4) If the northern nations did not send rhyme with their armies into the south and west of Europe, yet they could not have thence derived it, as mere channels for the transmission of Arabian rhyme; because there were no obvious means of communication at so early a day above all, because the emigrants from the north to the south settled or perished there, and never returning, the inhabitants of their native woods could never have received from them any knowledge or improvement, acquired in Italy or the Roman provinces. (5) If the northern people, neither had rhyme themselves, nor yet borrowed it from their southern neighbours, as links between them and the Moors; they must have received it from the latin poets, who are to be next considered.
We shall open this part of our subject with some preliminary observations. Although it is impossible to trace with historical accuracy, the rise and progress of this species of versification; yet we may gather many interesting particulars respecting it, some of which have not been noticed at all, or not in connection with our present inquiry, as far as we know.
That there was a time when, and a person by whom, rhyme was first used designedly in the Latin language, as a distinct species of versification, cannot be doubted. We can never know what person acted the like part, in Arabic or Persian literature, in the
* Muratori, Sarmiento & Sanchez (2 Andrès, p. 199.) and the Dict. des Sciences (Tom. xiv. p. 436) suppose that the Latin rhymes were derived from the Goths.This, however, is incredible. Latin rhyme is evidently the offspring of the fourth century, and the Goths did not invade Italy until the fifth: besides, the Goths had much to do with ecclesiastics, who must have known their language, in order to promote their conversion. Now, the Priests were already acquainted with rhyme, through the Christian poets and church hymns: and through them, therefore, rhyme might have passed to the Goths, settled in Italy, &c. but not for several centuries after to the Gothic people in their native wilds. If, however, the Goths had earried rhyme with them, each would assist the other in extending and perpetuating it, both in tradition and in writing. And this we believe to have been the true state of the casa.
poetry of Northern Europe or in that of Provençal France. But, considering the series of Latin writers, who have come down to us, it does not seem a difficult task to determine the question, as to Latin rhyme. Let us then prepare the way for ascertaining the author of this invention, by some considerations intended to show, how rhyme may have been eventually adopted, as a peculiar species of versification.
"The first verses, of which we have any knowledge," says Bielfield, "are not written in distinct lines, but in continuance like ordinary prose,y" of which a very curious specimen occurs in Aldhelm "de Laud. Virgin" where eighteen short rhyming lines occur, written as prose, and the Abbé Batteux tells us, in a note to his translation of the work of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, on the arrangement of words, that his author not only finds numerous instances of poetical rhythm in prose; but even of verses in disguise. "Nihil est in prosâ scriptum," says Quintilian, "quod non redigi possit in quadam versiculorum genera, vel in membra." And this, among the classics, seems to be pretty much what Andrès" remarks of the Arabians, unless, indeed, he means to refer to such works, as the "Voyage de Chapelle et Bachaumont," or the "Voyage d'Eponne."-" La rima era talmente in uso, presso gli Arabi, fino da piu antichi tempi, che anche negli scritti prosaici si vede frequentemente adoperata." We are so little accustomed to attend to prose, except as such, that we do not notice numerous instances, which exist in all prose. That such sentences must occur in every language, is obvious, and more or less frequently, according to the greater or less facility, afforded by each language. Swift has written some odd verses (if verse they may be called), Mrs. Francis Harris's petition, consisting of entire prose sentences, of two, three or four lines, and rhyming only at the end of the sentence, and there is a very curious instance of the same kind, comprising twenty lines, in the Latin poetry of Alcuin. If these, instead of being separate, were printed as prose, we believe that not more than one out of hundreds of readers would notice the rhymes. Something similar to this were probably the rhyming periods of the ancients, referred to by Howard,e and an account of which, extracted from Rees, will be found below. The very term omoi
y Univ. Erud. vol. i. p. 184. a Tom. ii. p. 201.
≈ Princ. de Literat. tom. vi. p. 195. b Vol. xiv. Wks. (Ed. of Scott) p. 52. c Vol. iii. Cyclop. p. 1092.
Some authors will have it, that the English, French, &c. borrowed their rhyme from the Greeks and Latins. The Greek orators, they say, who endeavoured to tickle the ears of the people, affected a certain cadence of periods, which ended alike and called them, ομοιοτέλευτα. The Latins, who imitated them, called these chiming terminations, similiter desinentia. This affectation increased, as the Latin
oteleuta is used by Ottfrid, as we have seen, for rhymes; and Fabriciusd evidently refers to correspondence of sounds, when he says, "omoioteleuta improbata et vitata a bonis poetis, probatur Aul. Gell. xviii. 8. & Juven. sat. 10, v. cxxii. & Casaub. Pers. p. 135. Scaligerf gives us in his Poetics, some curious instances as the ispεudev dev of Homer, the capia pia of Thucydides, the ilicibus sus of Virgil, the pares res of Horace, the malis lis of Ausonius, and all remember the ridiculus mus in the Art of Poetry. The repetition of the identical sound, so immediately and remarkably, cannot be expected to occur very often; but the recurrence of two corresponding sounds, in the same line, is, we should say, not uncommon, of three more rare, and of four very seldom found, though occasionally met with, as in the following line of Aratus:
“ Γίγνονται, κορυφαι σε βοώμεναι κρέον ακραι.”
Such instances must be considered as purely accidental; but it is difficult to believe that they were not sometimes observed, though never designed by the writer. We are not surprised at the lis lis of Ausonius; but who would not have doubted whether it were possible to find in Virgil and Horace, the "bus sus" and the "res res" already mentioned. Doubtless, many of the instances, which we have referred to, were altogether accidental, and perhaps unnoticed: others, equally casual, were yet observed by the writer and others again designed. When Cicero repeated his " esse videatur" so often, as to be condemned by good taste, he must have chosen to repeat: and when Martial wrote—
"Nullam dixerit esse nequiorem,
he must have been sensible of the iteration of the same words, and, of course, of the same sounds. The repetition then of the same or of similar sounds, immediately after or adjacent the one to the other, seems to have existed, and to have been, at times, matter of choice, at other times, of accident, among the Greek and Roman writers. The admission of the practice into their literature, as a matter of taste, seems hardly credible; yet Scaliger, adducing the examples of Terence, Horace and Homer, of
tongue declined; so that in the later Latin writers, scarcely any thing is more common than rhyming periods." This is undoubtedly connected with what the author of the Dialogue de causis corruptæ eloquentiæ tells us," Laudis, & gloriæ, & ingenii loco plerique jactant cantari saltarique commentarios suos."
d Bibl. Med. & Infim. Latine Leo. Note a.
Thucydides and Aristotle, against the judgment of Erasmus, concludes by the expression, "quorum auctoritate figura illa commendari possit.g" And a modern writer of Latin or Greek might well justify himself by such examples, in the spirit of Budgell's sentiment,
"What Cato did, and Addison approved,
Still, however, whether recommendable or not, we must expect to find repeated instances in the Greek and Latin writers.
Let us then turn to the classics, and we shall meet with as perfect rhymes, as in modern poets. Thus in the Æneid are these lines::
"Ducere dona jube. Cuncti simul ore premebant
So in the Art of Poetry
"Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto,
These lines occur in Lucretius
"Nunc age, res quoniam docui non posse creari
And the following in Lucans' Pharsalia
"Crimen erit superis, et me fecisse nocentem;
Nor are these rhyming terminations confined to the best authors, for we meet with the following curious instances among the minor poets, who do not certainly abound with more frequent instances of the 'quorsura than Virgil and Homer. In the Diræ of Valerius Cato, are these lines :
"Hæc Veneris vario florentia serta decore
៖ Bufalmaco, being asked by Bruno, how he might improve the expression of his paintings, advised him to represent his figures speaking by the aid of labels. This pleasantry, intended as a quiz, was adopted in good earnest by Bruno, and after him, by other painters. In like manner, these instances of carelessness or of sportive disregard of euphony, seem to have been so much admired by Ausonius, that he has written entire poems ending with monosyllables, in one of which every successive line begins with the monosyllable, that closes the preceding-5 Coll. Pis. p. 134, 5. h Lib. 5. v. 358. i v. 99. j lib. 1, v. 266. k lib. 2, v. 288. 1 Wernsdorf, Poet. Lat. Min. tom. 3, p. 4. VOL. III.-NO. 5.
In Columellam de cultu hortorum, are the following :
Sidereoque polo cedet lyra mersa profundo,
And in Martial" is this epigram, rhyming by hemistichs, besides the final sounds, and all the rhymes being the same:
'Pugio quem curvis signat brevis orbita remis,
Nor is this singularity of occasional rhymes unknown in the Greek poets. In Theocritus, we find the following:
Ηνθέ με μὰν ἁδεῖα καὶ ὁ Κυπρις γελαοισα
And in Anacreon's Ode on Gold, are these verses :
“ Ιν, ἀν Θανειν ἐπέλθῃ,
In Homer also are these
Αι δ' ὅτ' Αλεξανδροιο δόμον περίκαλλέ ἱκον7ο,
̓Αἰδεῖσθε ξενίων κεχρημένον ἠδὲ δόμοιο,
In the life of Homer, ascribed to Herodotus, are the following lines, said there to be the first ever composed by Homer.
ΑΙΑΙ, ταὶ μαλάχαι μὲν ἐπὰν κατα κᾶπον ὄλωνται
In the epitaph of Moschus* on Bion, we find three out of six lines rhyming together by hemistichs:
m Id. tom. 6, p. 50 q II. lib. 3, v. 421.
The modern English poets seldom admit as rhymes single unaccented or double syllables. But most of the rhymes in the classics, consist either of double syllables, like the second line quoted from Moschus, or of unaccented syllables, like the third from the same author. According to English rules, therefore,
« Lib. 14, Ep. 33. o Id. 1, v. 94. p Od. 23, v. 4.