« ПретходнаНастави »
II. A Collection of the most Natural,
III. A Dictionary of RHYMES.
By EDW. B Yss H E. Gent.
The Fourth Edition.
Little Britain, MDCCX.
many are the Qualifications, as well natural as acquir'd, that are
essentially requisite to the making of a good Poet, that 'tis in vain for any Man to aim at a great Reputation on account of his Poetical Performances, by barely following the Rules of others, and reducing their Speculations into Practice. It may not be impossible indeed for Men, even of indifferent Parts, by making Examples to the Rules hereaftergiven, to compofe Verses smooth and well-founding to the Ear ; yer if such Verses want strong Sense, Propriety and Elevation of Thought, or Pu. rity of Diction, they will be at best buc what Horace calls them, Versus inopes rerum, nugeque canor&; and the Writers of them not Poets, but versifying Scriblers. I pretend not therefore by the following Sheets to teach a Man to be a Poer in spight of Fate and Nature, but only to be of help to the few who are born to be so, and whom audit vocatus Apollo.
To this End I give in the first Place Rules for making English Verse: And these
Rules I have, according to the best of my Judgment, endeavour'd to extract from the Practice, and to frame after the Examples of the Poets that are most celebrated for a fluent and numerous Turn of Verse.
Another Part of this Treatise, is a Dictionary of Rhymes: To which having prefix'd a large Preface shewing the Method and Usefulness of it, I shall trouble the Reader in this place no farther than to acquaint him, that if it be as useful and acceptable to the Publick, as the compofing it was tedious and painful to me, I shall never repent me of the Labour.
What I shall chiefly speak of here, is the largest part of this Treatise, which I call a Colletion of the most natural' and sublime Thoughts that are in the best English Po
And to be ingenuous in the Discovery, this was the Part of it that principally induc'd me to undertake the Whole: The Task was indeed laborious, but pleasing'; and the sole Praise I expected from it, was, that I made a judicious Choice and proper Disposition of the Pal
sages I extracted. A Mixture of so many different Subje&ts, and such a Variety of Thoughts upon them, may possibly not satisfy the Reader so well, as a Composition perfect in its Kind on one intire Subject ; but certainly it will divert and amuse him better; for here is no Thread of Story, nor Connexion of one Part with another, to keep his Mind intent, and constrain him to any Length of Reading. I detain him therefore only to acquaint him, why it is made a Part of this Book, and how Serviceable it may be to the main Design of it. Having drawn
Rules for making Verses, and a Dictionary of Rhymes, which are the Mechanick Tools of a Poet ; I came in the next Place to consider, what other human Aid could be offer'd him ; a Genius and Judgment not being mine to give. Now I imagin’d that a Man might have both these, and yet sometimes, for the sake of a Syllable or two more or less, to give a Verse its true Measure, be at a stand for Epithets and Synonymes, with which I have seen Books