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the first place, we never meet with other dissyllables -such, I mean, as are incapable of contractionplaced in a similar situation; the apparent exceptions not being really exceptions (see S. V.passim). Another argument is founded on the unpleasant ripple wbich the common pronunciation occasions in the flow of numberless lines, interfering with the general run of the verse; a harshness which, in some passages, must be evident to the dullest ear. Add to this the frequent substitution of spright or sprite for spirit (in all the different senses of the word, I mean, and not merely in that of ghost, in which sprite is still used); also spreet, though rarely (only in the ante-Elizabethan age, I think, as far as I have observed); and sometimes spårit and sprit. (For the double spelling, spright and sprite, one may compare despight and despite ; which in like manner subsequently assumed different meanings, despight being used for contempt, despectus ; Coriolanus, iii. 1,

Thou wretch ! despight o’erwhelm thee!" Perhaps, too, it would be better to write spight in Milton, L'Allegro, l. 45,

“ Then to come in spite of sorrow,

And at my window bid good morrow;' in joyous scorn of it.) Spright or sprite. Sackville, Gorboduc, iv. 2, ed. 1800 (I think;64 the same edition which is referred to in my other quotations from this play),–

64 The edition of 1820 reads spirit; Dodsley, ed. 1825, which apparently preserves the old spelling, reads sprite. In Porrex’s speech above, “If my owne servant hired to this fact, (i.e., to poison me)

And moved by trouth with to work the same," &c. ;

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Many can yield right grave


sage advice Of patient sprite to others wrapt in woe,” &c. Fairfax's Tasso, B. xiv. St. xlv.,

“So learned, cunning, wise, myself I thought,

That I suppos’d my wit so high might climb
To know all things that God had fram’d or wrought,

Fire, air, sea, earth, man, beast, sprite, place and time.” Heywood, Woman Killed with Kindness, Dodsley, ed. 1825,

p. 285,

“But when my tears have wash'd my black soul white,

Sweet Sariour, to thy hands I yield my sprite." Tempest, i. 2, fol. p. 4, col. 2,

“I will be correspondent to command,

And doe my spryting, gently." Harrington's Ariosto, B. xvi. St. xxxiv.,

“ This speech, by him utter'd with so good spright,

With voice so audible, with comely grace,

Incensed them with such desire to fight,” &c. Sidney, Arcadia, B. ii. p. 113, 1. 23,

“O Chastity, the chief of heavenly lights,

Which makes us most immortal shape to wear, (i.e., which most of all mak'st us; quæ potissimum facis, ut nos, &c.)

Hold thou my heart, establish thou my sprights :

To only thee my constant course I bear."
Astrophel and Stella, Sonnet xlvii., -

am I borne [i.e., born] a slave,
Whose neck becomes such yoke of tyranny ?
Or want I sense to feel my misery ?
Or sprite, disdain of such disdain to have ?

surely we ought to read, not “truth with hate," as the ed. 1590 has it, but “moved by oath withal.-Ed.

Spenser, Hymne in Honour of Love, St. xvi.,

“ For, having yet in his deducted spright

Some sparks remaining of that heavenly fire,

He is enlumind with that goodly light.” (Spenser's evidence is perhaps less adducible on account of his love of antique forms.) Spright for spirit occurs with a similar rhyme, Hymne in Honour of Beautie, Sts. xvi. xxxiv.; Hymne of Heavenly Love, vi. vii. xvi. xl.; of Heavenly Beautie, i. ii. xxxvii. xliii. Shakespeare, Tarquin and Lucrece, St. xviii.,

“For then is Tarquin brought unto his bed,

Intending weariness with heavy spright;" rhyming with night and fight. Venus and Adonis, St.cxlvii.,

“Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds

Appals her senses, and her spright confounds." xxxi.,

“And now Adonis, with a lazy sprite,” &c. rhyming to sight. Fletcher, Faithful Shepherdess, iv. 2, where Alexis recovers from fainting ; Moxon, vol. i. p. 278, col. 1,

“See, he gathers up his sprite,

And begins to hunt for light.” ii. 3, vol. i. p. 271, col. 1,

I'll swear she met
Me'mongst the shady sycamores last night,
And loosely offer'd up her flame and spright

Into my bosom." Jonson, Poetaster, iii. 1, near the beginning, Gifford, vol. i. p. 431,

“I drink as I would write,

In flowing measure fill'd with flame and sprite."

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Id., Underwoods, lix. Elegy, Gifford, vol. viii. p. 409,

“ Yet should the lover still be airy 'and light

In all his actions, rarified to sprite."
Epigram xix. p. 162, “On Sir Cod, the Perfumed,”-

" That Cod can get no widow, yet a knigh

I scent the cause: he woos with an ill spite.”
Daniel, Cleopatra, iv. 2, p. 472, ed. 1623,-

“ Look how a stray'd perplexed traveller


his tired sprites." In the First Part of Jeronimo, Dodsley, vol. iii. p. 83,

“ This should not be 'mong men of virtuous sprit :

Pay tribute then, and receive peace and writ :" read spright and right. I have quoted some of the above passages for the sake of the rhyme, which proves that there can be no erratum in the case. Spright continued in use some time after the Elizabethan age. Cowley, Davideis, B. i. 1. 93, of Satan,

“Once gen’ral of a gilded host of sprights,

Like Hesper leading forth the spangled nights." Cotton, Voyage to Ireland (performed about 1670), C. i. Chalmers’s Poets, vol. vi. p. 273, col. 2,“From thence we set forth with more mettle and spright,

Our horses 64* were empty, our coxcombs were light.” Spreet. Bishop Bale, God's Promises, v. Dodsley, vol. i. p. 31; David is addressing the Almighty,3

thy godly sprete, which thu [i.e., thou] in me didst plant." vi. vol. i. p. 35, speaking of Christ,

“ Upon whom alwayes the sprete of the lorde shall be,
The sprete of wysdome, the sprete of heavenly practyse,
And the sprete that wyll all godlynesse devyse."

64* Qu., purses. See context. Horses occurs two lines below.-Ed.

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Gammer Gurton's Needle, printed from the edition of 1575, i. 2, Dodsley, vol. ii. p. 10,

“By Gog's soule, there they syt as still as stones in the streite, As though they had ben taken with fairies, or els with some

ill spreet." ii. l, p. 28, rhymes, meete-spreete. Poem by Churchyard, 1593, quoted in Var. Shakespeare, vol. vii. p. 187,

“Her colour changde, her cheerfull lookes

And countenance wanted spreete;
To sallow ashes turnde the hue

Of beauties blossomes sweete." Historye of Romeus and Juliet, 1562, Var. Shakespeare, vol. vi. p. 318, l. ult.,

“Beside the great contentednes my sprete abydeth in.” But everywhere else in this poem it is printed sprite. I am not sure that I have noticed this spelling in the Eliza

65 there are several passages, however, in which euphony seems to require that the word should be so pronounced, although sprite must have been the ordinary pronunciation. Yet I doubt. Sprite and night were not exactly the same. Merchant of Venice, v. 1,

“The notions of his spirit are dull as night." Love's Labour's Lost, iv. 3,

“Devils soonest tempt resembling spirits of light.Sonnet lxxx.,

“0, how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
And in the praise thereof spends all his might."

bethan age;

65 Perhaps Walker omitted elsewhere, as the last two examples belong to the reign of Elizabeth.-Ed.

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