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have a tremendous effect. Voltaire's farewell to Holland is a classic: "Adieu, canaux, canards, canaille." Very good, too, is the following from Mortimer Collins, characterizing a bishop in "The Princess Clarice" as one "who had the respect of rectors, the veneration of vicars, the admiration of archdeacons, and the cringing courtesy of curates." Grattan, denouncing the British monarchy, said, "Their only means of government are the guinea and the gallows." One of Lord Salisbury's happiest phrases was, "The dreary drip of dilatory declamation." Byron's lines also will recur to the memory:

Beware, lest blundering Brougham destroy the sale,
Turn beefs to bannocks, cauliflower to kail.

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.

The following epigram upon Bishop Pretyman (afterwards known as Bishop Tomline) has merit:

Prim Preacher, Prince of Priests and Prince's Priest,
Pembroke's pale pride in Pitt's præcordia placed,

Thy merits shall all future ages scan,

And Prince be lost in Parson Pretyman.

That the ear finds a natural comfort in this species of assonance is evidenced by the fact that many of our compound words are formed on this principle. There is no other ground for saying milkmaid in lieu of milk-girl, or butcherboy in lieu of butcher-man. Fancy-free, hot-headed, browbeaten, heavyhanded, and the like, might also be instanced. Nay, the alliterative tendency is continued in our proverbs, which derive therefrom much of their pith and point: as, Where there is a will there is a way, Money makes the mare to go, Many a mickle makes a muckle, Love me little, love me long, etc. The same trick is observable in the proverbial literature of other countries.

But alliteration becomes a defect when excessively and injudiciously employed. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was allowed to run riot. Trapp's Commentary on the Bible offers the following gems: "As empty stomachs can hardly sleep, so neither can graceless persons, till gorged and glutted with sweetmeats of sin, with murdering morsels of mischief," and "Such a hoof is grown over some men's hearts as neither ministry, nor miracle, nor mercy can possibly mollify."

About this time, too, books were sent out into the world burdened with such curious alliterative titles as "Seven Sobs of a Sorrowful Soul for Sins," and "A Sigh of Sorrow for the Sinners of Zion." But, indeed, even Dr. Johnson published a pamphlet under the title of "Taxation no Tyranny,"-" a jingling alliteration," says Macaulay, "which he ought to have despised."

It is in ridicule of this alliterative affectation that Shakespeare in “Love's Labor's Lost" makes Holofernes say,

I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility:

The playful princess pierced and pricked a pretty, pleasing pricket.

Of parody of this sort, however, the most astonishing example may be found in a certain poetical skit, anonymous and unacknowledged, yet none the less the undoubted handiwork of Swinburne, and therefore all the more notable, because the author parodied is Swinburne himself!


From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine,

Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float, Are the looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of mystic, miraculous moonshine?

These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and threaten with throbs through the throat?

Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor's appalled agitation,

Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the promise of pride in the past;

Flushed with the furnishing fulness of fever that reddens with radiance of rathe recreation, Gaunt as the ghastliest of glimpses that gleam through the gloom of the gloaming when ghosts go aghast?

Nay, for the nick of the tick of the time is a tremulous touch on the temples of terror, Strained as the sinews yet strenuous with strife of the dead who is dumb as the dust-heaps of death;

Surely no soul is it, sweet as the spasm of erotic, emotional, exquisite error,

Bathed in the balms of beatified bliss, beatific itself by beatitude's breath.

Surely no spirit or sense of a soul that was soft to the spirit and soul of our senses

Sweetens the stress of suspiring suspicion that sobs in the semblance and sound of a sigh; Only this oracle opens Olympian in mystical moods and triangular tenses,

"Life is the lust of a lamp for the light that is dark till the dawn of the day when we die." Mild is the mirk and monotonous music of memory, melodiously mute as it may be,

While the hope in the heart of a hero is bruised by the breach of men's rapiers, resigned to the rod;

Made meek as a mother whose bosom-beats bound with the bliss-bringing bulk of a balmbreathing baby,

As they grope through the graveyard of creeds under skies glowing green at a groan for the grimness of God.

Blank is the book of his bounty beholden of old, and its binding is blacker than bluer:

Out of blue into black is the scheme of the skies, and their dews are the wine of the blood. shed of things;

Till the darkling desire of delight shall be free as a fawn that is freed from the fangs that pursue her,

Till the heart-beats of hell shall be hushed by a hymn from the hunt that has harried the

kennel of kings.

And this brings us to all that class of triflers who have used alliteration. not as an ornament, but as an exercise of more or less misplaced ingenuity. Latin literature probably affords the very earliest instance in this line of Ennius:

O Tite, tute Tati tibi tanta tiranne tulisti.

In more modern times we are told of a monk named Hugbald who wrote an "Ecloga de Calvis," every word beginning with e, and of a certain "Publium Porcium, poetam," who so signed a Latin poem of one hundred lines,-to be found in the Nuga Venates,-every word of which begins with a p. Here is a single couplet :

Propterea properans Proconsul, poplite prono,
Precipitem Plebem, pro patrum pace proposcit.

We even hear of a more prodigious effort, extending to one thousand lines, each word beginning with c, the "Christus Crucifixus" of Christianus Pierius: Consilebratulæ, cunctorum, carmine, certum, etc.

The famous English couplet on Cardinal Wolsey has somewhat more than this mere verbal dexterity to recommend it:

Begot by butchers, but by bishops bred,

How high his honor holds his haughty head!

Here the very uncouthness in the persistent recurrence of similar sounds gives the effect of cumulative scorn and contempt. No such allowance, however, can be made for the eccentric traveller Lithgow, who wrote a poem in which every word begins with a g. Here are the first two lines:

Glance glorious Geneve, gospel-guiding gem,

Great God govern good Geneve's ghostly game.

A curious little volume called "Songs of Singularity, by the London Hermit," published quite recently, contains the following tour de force:


In M flat. Sung by Major Marmaduke Muttinhead to Mademoiselle Madeline Mendosa


My Madeline! my Madeline!

Mark my melodious midnight moans,

Much may my melting music mean,

My modulated monotones.

My mandolin's mild minstrelsy,
My mental music magazine,
My mouth, my mind, my memory,
Must mingling murmur " Madeline."

Muster 'mid midnight masquerade,

Mark Moorish maidens, matrons' mien, 'Mongst Murcia's most majestic maids, Match me my matchless Madeline.

Mankind's malevolence may make
Much melancholy music mine;
Many my motives may mistake,
My modest merits much malign,

My Madeline's most mirthful mood
Much mollifies my mind's machine;
My mournfulness's magnitude

Melts-makes me merry, Madeline!

Match-making ma's may machinate,
Manoeuvring misses me misween;
Mere money may make many mate;
My magic motto's "Madeline."

Melt, most mellifluous melody,

'Midst Murcia's misty mounts marine, Meet me by moonlight-marry me, Madonna mia !-Madeline.

A famous example of alliterative poetry is the following, in which the initial letters of the lines are those of the alphabet in proper sequence, forming a sort of acrostic. It is positively claimed for Alaric A. Watts by his son. There are other claimants, however:


"Ardentem aspicio atque arrectis auribus asto."-Virgil.

An Austrian army, awfully arrayed,

Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade;

Cossack commanders cannonading come,
Dealing destruction's devastating doom;
Every endeavor engineers essay

For fame, for fortune, forming furious fray;
Gaunt gunners grapple, giving gashes good;
Heaves high his head, heric hardihood;
Ibraham, Islam, Ismail, imps in ill,

Jostle John, Jarovlitz, Jem, Joe, Jack, Jill,

Kick kindling Kutosoff, kings' kinsmen kill,

Labor low levels loftiest, longest lines;

Men marched 'mid moles, 'mid mounds, 'mid murd'rous mines.

Now nightfall's near, now needful nature nods,

Opposed, opposing, overcoming odds.

Poor peasants, partly purchased, partly pressed,

Quite quaking, Quarter! quarter! quickly quest.

Reason returns, recalls redundant rage,

Saves sinking soldiers, softens seigniors sage.

Truce, Turkey, truce! truce, treach'rous Tartar train!

Unwise, unjust, unmerciful Ukraine !

Vanish, vile vengeance! vanish, victory vain!

Wisdom wails war-wails warring words. What were

Xerxes, Xantippe, Ximenes, Xavier?

Yet Ya-sy's youth, ye yield your youthful yest,
Zealously, Zarius, zealously zeal's zest.

The above has been often imitated. Here, taken almost at random, are a few specimens that almost equal their great prototype:


Achilles, angered, anxious, and aggrieved,
Beheld Briseis, beauteous but bereaved,
Conducted captive, cautiously conveyed,
Dreading departure, desolate, dismayed,
Escorting envoys earnestly entreat

From frightened fair forbearance, free from fret;
Giving glad gratulations gayly given,

How, heralding her happiness, high Heaven
Immutably involves in its intent

Joys jocund, juvenescent joys, Jove-sent,

King's knabbing knights, kidnapping klepted kid.
Love-lorn, lamenting, lady, lingering, lead,
Meeting Mycena's monarch mournfully
Near nodding navies numerously nigh.
"O opulent o'erruler, owned, obeyed,
Propitious prove, "Pelides' princess prayed.

"Quench quarrellings, quit quaking quarry's quest,
Receive rich ransom, ravishment resist.

Supremely selfish, stubborn sovereign sought
To tyrannize that timid trembler's thought,
Until Ulysses, undismayed, uncowed,

Vindictive vengeance vehemently vowed.
Whereat worn warrior, wild with wonderment,
'Xhibiting 'xtremity's 'xtent,

Yields yearningly ye yokemate youthful yet,
Zeus-fearing, Zeus-obeying, Zeus-beset.

Again Achilles, armed against attack,

Beheld Briseis blushingly brought back.

ADDRESS TO THE AURORA.-An Alliterative Poem. (Lines written op shipboard in mid-ocean.)

Awake, Aurora! and across all airs
By brilliant blazon banish boreal bears.
Crossing cold Canope's celestial crown,
Deep darts descending dive delusive down.
Entranced each eve Europa's every eye
Firm fixed forever fastens faithfully,
Greets golden guerdon gloriously grand;

How holy Heaven holds high his hollow hand!
Ignoble ignorance, inapt indeed,

Jeers jestingly just Jupiter's jereed:

Knavish Kamschatkans, knightly Kurdsmen know,
Long Labrador's light lustre looming low;
Midst myriad multitudes majestic might,

No nature nobler numbers Neptune's night,

Opal of Oxus or old Ophir's ores.

Pale pyrrhic pyres prismatic purple pours,-
Quiescent quivering, quickly, quaintly, queer,
Rich, rosy, regal rays resplendent rear;
Strange shooting streamers streaking starry skies
Trail their triumphant tresses-trembling ties.
Unseen, unhonored Ursa, underneath,
Veiled, vanquished-vainly vying-vanisheth :
Wild Woden, warning, watchful-whispers wan
Xanthitic Xeres, Xerxes, Xenophon,
Yet yielding yesternight yule's yell yawns
Zenith's zebraic zigzag, Zodiac zones.


Americans arrayed and armed attend;

Beside battalions bold, bright beauties blend

Chiefs, clergy, citizens conglomerate,-
Detesting despots,-daring deeds debate;
Each eye emblazoned ensigns entertain,-
Flourishing from far,-fan freedom's flame.

Guards greeting guards grown gray,-guest greeting guest.

High-minded heroes hither homeward haste.
Ingenuous juniors join in jubilee,

Kith kenning kin,-kind knowing kindred key.
Lo, lengthened lines lend Liberty liege love,
Mixed masses, marshalled, Monument-ward move.
Note noble navies near,-no novel notion,-
Oft our oppressors overawed old ocean;
Presumptuous princes, pristine patriots paled,
Queens' quarrel questing quotas quondam quailed.
Rebellion roused, revolting ramparts rose.
Stout spirits, smiting servile soldiers, strove.
These thrilling themes, to thousands truly told,
Usurpers' unjust usages unfold.

Victorious vassals, vauntings vainly veiled,

Where, whilesince, Webster warlike Warren wailed.
'Xcuse 'xpletives 'xtra-queer 'xpressed,

Yielding Yankee yeomen zest.

Alma Mater (L., "fostering mother"), originally the title given by the Romans to Ceres, Cybele, and other goddesses, but in modern use applied by students to the college or seminary in which they have been educated. The student in his turn is frequently called an adopted son.

There is something in the affection of our Alma Mater which change the nature of her adopted sons; and let them come from wherever they may, she soon alters them and makes it evident that they belong to the same brood.-Harvard Register, p. 377.

Almighty Dollar, an Americanism for mammon, the love of gold, seems to have been first used by so classic a writer as Washington Irving: "The Almighty Dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land seems to have no genuine devotee in these peculiar villages." (Wolfert's Roost: A Creole Village.) Yet, after all, as Farmer points out, this is merely an old friend with a new face, for Ben Jonson used the term in its modern sense when speaking of money:

Whilst that for which all virtue now is sold,
And almost every vice, Almightie gold.

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Epistle to Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland. Alone. Never less alone than when alone. Cicero originated this apt and striking paradox in his "De Officiis," lib. iii. ch. i. : 'Nunquam se minus otiosum esse, quam quum otiosus, nec minus solum, quam quum solus esset." ("He is never less at leisure than when at leisure, nor less alone than when he is alone.") Gibbon in his "Memoirs," vol. i., page 117, has borrowed the expression: "I was never less alone than when by myself." And Rogers has versified it in "Human Life :"

Then never less alone than when alone

Byron has slightly varied the phrase in "Childe Harold,” stanza 90 :

In solitude, when we are least alone.

Epictetus ("Discourses," ch. xiv.) may have had Cicero's words in mind when he wrote, "When you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone; but God is within, and your genius is within,—and what need have they of light to see what you are doing?"

Alphabetic Diversions. The twenty-six letters of the alphabet may be transposed 620,448,401,733,239,439,369,000 times. This should be good news to all that class of people known as authors, whose business and profit it is to transpose these letters with more or less brilliant and remunerative result. For all the inhabitants of the globe could not in a thousand million of years write out all the possible transpositions of the twenty-six letters, even sup posing that each wrote forty pages daily, each page containing forty different transpositions of the letters. Of course the transpositions possible to author.

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