AND OUR LADIESOFSORROW" CHIEFLY ON ITS SPROE RHYTHM. Thomas De Quincey(i78s-i8sg),

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1 AND OUR LADIESOFSORROW CHIEFLY ON ITS SPROE RHYTHM DE QUINCEYS`cLEVANA l}j,shozo Ko]AyAsHI Thomas De Quincey(i78s-i8sg), of who iswell known to you all as the author of T;eetknjlessionsan iet({v7sh Qpinne Eaterznd T;beEngthshMati Coacb,stands inthe historyof English literature conspicuously apatt from Lamb, Hazlitt, LeighHunt, hiscontemporary essayists, and Coleridgeand Wordsworth,the contemporary Lake Poets. He `Cgave himselfup wholly and solely to prose, in a fashionso rare as to be almost unigue. He tried to restore the traditions of Jeremy Taylorand SirThomas Browne, the great prose rnasters of the i7th centuty. He isindeed the writer of that impassioned prose, or the re-creator fbr the igth century of that particular prose abandoned by the i8th century writers. Impassioned ptose, the term which he applied to the third of tiheclasses intowhich he dividedhis works, isthe very medium to express hisimagination,as itishalfway betweenprose and poetry. De Quincey, the author of colossal wofks, mostly fbr magazines, dividesthem intothree classes : those intended to amuse, those to instruct,and`impassioned prose. The lastmentionea he considered his most important contribution to litetature, works producedin the years i843-so, which mark the third stage inhisliterary career, and the perfection of his powers. Levanaewd Our Ladiesof Sorrozvisone ofthe greatest of hisfantasies in poetic-pfoseor prose-poetry, in which work representing the high watermark of hisgeniusisfbund, VUho islevana? Levana, whom the authot says he often saw at Oxford in hisdreams,

2 ss6 SHOZO KOBAYASHT was the Rornan goddess that petfbrmed fbr the new-born infant the earliest othce of ennobling kindness.... At the very moment of birth,just as the infanttasted fbr the fitsttime the atmosphere of our troubled planet, itwas laid on the ground...but immediately, lest so gtand a crelatgre should grovel therefbrmore than one instant, either the paternal hand, as proxy fbrthe goddesslevana, ot some near kinsman,as proxy forthe father,raised it upright, bade itlook erect as the king of all thisworld, and presented itsfbreheadto the $tars, saying, perhaps,in hisheatt: Behold what is greater than yourselves! This symbolic act represented the function of Levana. Our Ladies of Sorrow, the sortows, the ministers, ` the powers that shake mans heart seen conversing with Levana are three in number, as are the Graces,the Parcae,and the Futies,and as the Muses once were, The eldest of the three sisters isnamed Mater Lachtymatum, Our Lady of Tears. The second sister is called Mater Suspiriorum, Our Lady of Sighs. The third sisters name ismater Tenebrarum, Our Lady of Darkness.These thtee ladiesof sorrow with their peculiar figuresand kingdoms,representing to the human mind the vatieties and degrees of misety that are in the world, and the proportions of their distribution among mankind, may be said to be ` a permment addition to the mythology of tihe human race. So much is given in ari explanation of Levama and OevrLad?esof Sonowby De Quincey himsel Now, instead of treating the work in it$entirety, letme take the passage of the third sister and talk about itsrhythm as fu11yas Befbte possible. starting, however, itwi11be worth while to quote just a remark or two on prose rhythm in general. All thirgs, says Aristotle, are He detetminedby number. is speaking, writes Oliver Eitonin his Effgi7sh ProseNuatheas, of Greek prose, which hc says should haverhythm, but not metre. The rhythm, however,should not be strict ; itshould only go a certain lentgh, Rhythm in poetrydepends upon the recurrence of stressed and unstressed syllables, in a regular order, In prosethe effect is ptoduced by the same means, butthe metre isnot cornplete. We have to deal with two principlcs, vjz. that of recurrence and that ofvariety. Saints-

3 c`levana AND OUR LADIES OF SORROV ss7 bury appears to attribute too much importanceto variety, which, if not moclified by some sort of system, however loose,results in chao$ 1 (A.C. Clatke) To be neither too metrical nor too loosein rhythm is what is foundto be necessaty in good, beautifu1 prose. The ThirdSisterfrom Levana`md OtirLa`liks ofsomow : (i) But the thitd (2) sister, (3) who isalso (4)the youngest!... (j) Hush! (6) whisper (7) while we talk (8) of het. (g) Her Kingdom (io) is not (n) large, (i2) or else (is) no flesh (i4) could live; (is) but whithin (i6) that kingdom (i7) all powet (is)is hers. (ig)her head,(2o)turreted (zi)likethat (22) of Cybele, (23) rises (24) almost (2s)beyond (26)the reach (27) of sight, (28)She droops not; (2g) and her eyes, (3o) rising (3i) so high, (32)might be hldden (3s) by distance. (34) But being (3s) what they are, (s6) they cannot (s7) be hidden; (38) through the treble (3g) veil (4o) of crape (4i) that $he wears, (42) the fierce (43) light(44) ofa bla2ing (4s) misery (46) that rests not (47) fbr matins (48) or vespers, (4g) fbr noon (so) of day (y) or noon (s2) of night, (s3) fbt ebbing (s4) or fbr flowing (ss) tide, (s6) may be read (s7)from the very (s8)ground. (sg)she (6o) is the defier(6i) of God. (62) She also (63)isthe mother (64) of lunacies, (6s) and the suggestress (66) of suicides. (67)Deep (68) liethe roots (6g) of her power; (7o) but narrow (7i)isthe nation (72)that she rules. (73)For she (74) can approach (7s) oniy (76) those (77) in whom (78) aprofound (7g) natute <8o) has been upheaved (8i) by central (82) convulsions, (83) in whqm (84) the heart (8s) trembles and (86) the brain (87) rocks (88) under (8g) conspiracies (go) of tempest (gi) from without, (g2) and tempest (g3) from within. (g4) Madonna (gs) moves (g6) with uncertain (g7) steps; (g8)fast (gg) ot slow, (ioo)but still (ioi) with tragic (io2)gtace. (io3) Out Lady (io4) of Sighs (ios) creeps (io6) timidly (io7) and stealt{hily. (ios) But this youngest (iog) sister (no) moves with (iti) incalculable (in) motions, (ii3) boundin.or(ii4) and with a tigers (ns) leaps. (Ti6)She carties (n7) no key; (ii8)fbr,though coming (iig) rarely (i2o)amongmen (izi)shestorms (m2)alldoors (T23)at which (iz4)sheis permitted (i2s)toenter (i26)atall (i27)and her name (i28) is Mater (i2g) Tenebrarum (i3o) Our Lady

4 ss8 SFIOZO KOBAYASHI (i3r) of Darkness. This is the vety piece about which Professot Saintsburysays : There ishere hardlya faultin rhythm or sound; if there be any they are.very small, andit is,from itsmastery of rhythm, hardlyinfetiorto anything of the same lengthin English Iiteratute. There are here i3i feetof is kinds, 34s syllables falling according to scansion intothe fo11owing groups : Monosyllables(-) (s) Hush (n) large (3g) veil (4s) (ss) light tide (s8)gtound (sg)she (67)Deep (76) (87) those tocks (gs) moves (g7) steps (g8) fast (io2)grace (ios) creeps (IIs) leaps i6 in all...i6 syllables Iambs (t-) (8) of her (iz) or else (i4) couid live (i8) is hers (2s) beyond (z6) the reach (27) of sight (3i) so high (4o) of crape (42)the fierce(4g) fbr noon (so) of day (si) or noon (s2) of night (6i) of God (73)For she (77) in whom (83) in whom (84) the heart (8 (gg) or slow (ioo) but sti]1 (io4) of Sighs (i2i) she storms (i23) at which (i26) at all 26 inall..,...j2 syllables SpondeesG- ---) (i3) no flesh (ig) Her head key. (i22) all doors. 6) the,brain (zi)likethat(ti7)no s in all...,...,...to syllables Trochees (-,) (2) sistet (6) whisper (io)is not (z3) (24) rises almost (3o) rising (7s) only (7g) nature (88) (iog)sister <ito)moveswith (ii2)motiens under (n3)bounding (i!g) rarely i4 in all...28 $yllables Amphibrachs (t-t)(4) the youngest (z6) that kingdom (33)by distance(34) But being (37) be hidden (46)that rests not (47) fbrmatins (48) or vespers (s3)fbt ebbing (7o)but natrow (Si) by central (82) convulsions (go) (g2)andtempest (g4)madonna(ioi)withtragic oftempe$t (i2f)to enter (i28) ismater (i3i) of Darkness ig in al1....s7 syllables Anapaests(t,-) (i)butthethird (is)butwithin (2g)andhereyes (4i)that she wears (s6) may be read (72) that she rules (74) (78) can approach a profound (gi) from without

5 `clevtana AND OUR LADIES: OF SOIUIOLV jsg Anti-bacdhics (9S)from within io in all...so syllables (r - -) (mo) among men (i27) 2 in all...6 syllables And her name Bacchics (- -,) (g)her kingdom (i7) all power (28) She droops not (36) they cannot (62)She also (ios) Our Lady (it6) She carries (i3o)our Lady 8 in all syllables Cretics(-r-)(7) while we talk (3s) what they are (68) Iiethe toots 3 in all...g syllables Dactyls(- (zo)turreted (4s) t) (io6) misery timidly (8s)trembles and 4 in all...i2 syllables Antispast(- -,) for though coming (ii8) M...,...4syllables Di-iambs (r-,-l)(22) ofcybele (66) ofsuicides z in all.,...8 syllables Di-trochee (--,)(32)might be hidden i ,.i...4 syllables Paeons. 2nd Paeens(-)(64) of lunacies (8g) conspitacies (io7) and stealthily (S) srd Paeons (,r-)(3) who is also (38) thtough the treble (44) ofa blazing (s4) or fbr flowing (s7)from the very (63)isthe mother (6g) of her power (7r)isthe nation (g6) with uncertain (!o8)but this youngest (i2g)tenebrarum,..m...hm...(u) 4th Paeons (,-)(8o)has been upheaved...(i) is inall...,...6o syllables Dochmiacs (,-,,,) and (,-,) (iii) incalculable (6o) isthe defier(6s) and the suggestress (ii4) (i24) and with a tigers she is permitted s in all...,...2s syllables is kinds isi feet 34s syllables Though there are no Pyrrhic feet (t,), Molossi (---),

6 56o SHOZO KOBAYASNI Ttibrachs(t Choriambs(-,,),, t -), Di-spondees (--- -), Epitrite(ī - -), (- t - -), (- - t -), (- - -,), IQnic majore (- - t,), o: Ionic,minore ( ț - -), we can findis kinds of feethere. That greatptinciple of foot attangement inprose, and of Prose rhythm, isvariety, says ProfessorSaintsburyas I have mentioned befbre,and itistrue fbrthis passage of De Quinceystoo. 26, or nearly one-fifth, are iambs ; this proportionis probably not above the average fbt English prose. There are xg amphibrachs-feet which Bridges, owing to their frequency, calls ` btitannics ; this always common foot is much favoured by the author too. These features,such zs the freguencyof iamb and amphibrach, are fbundto be those of English prosegenerally. Thefe afe, generally speaking, fbur types of rhythm, irrespective of the number of syllables in the fbot. They are: (i) Rising rhythm; (2)Fallingrhythm; (3)Waved rhythm; (4) Levelrhythm. Of the is kinds of feetfbund inde Quincey, iamb, anapaest. fburthpaeon (r, ( -) and anti-bacchic (, - -), belongto No. i type, whlch begins on an unstressed syllable and ends on a stressed syllable. 26 iambs,io anapaests,! fburth paeon and 2 anti-bacchics make sg feet. Trochee,dactyland bacchicbelongto No. 2 type, which beginson a stressed syllable and hasone or mote unsttessed syllables fbllowing. i4 trochees, 4 dactyls and 8 bacchicsmake 26 feet. Amphibrach, the second and third paeons, cretic, dochmiac, and antispast, belongto No. 3 type, which, consisting of three syllables at least,begins and also ends on an unstressed syllable, the sttessed syllable occutring somewhere in the middle. ig amphibrachs, 3 second and ii thitd paeons, 3 ctetics, s dochmiacs,and i antispast make 42 feet. If 2 di-iambsand i ditrochec are censidered to belong to No. 3 type, though very loose-

7 `c LEVANA AND OUR LADJES OF SORROW s6i ly,they all rnake 4s feet. Monosyllable and spondee belong to No. 4 type, which ismade up of one or two stressed syllables. i6 monosyliables and s spondees make feet. 2i The four types differmuch in frequency,impott,and emphasis, says OliverElton. and waved rhythm ate the working types of foot fbr Rising English prose. Falling rhythn is tarer than rising or waved. Trochee, dactyl,&c., therefbre arrest tihe ear at once, and also afrest the pace, and exist in otder to do so. Level thythm is rarer still. Monosyllablesand spondees therefore arrest the ear and the pace stillmore, and exist inorder to do so. Now when the analysis shows that tihexeare in the piece3g feetof rising and 4s feetof waved rhythn, 84 feetin all, and 26 feetof falling rhythn and 2! feetof levelrhythm, the above statement proves to be true hefe too. If any one doubts the beautyand richness of the English lan-.ouage says Maleolm Elwin, lethim tead the ` Suspiria from which `Levana if and Our Ladies of Sorrow is taken; De Quinceyhad written nothing else, yet hislifeachieved greatness in thqse few thousand words of wonderfu1 liveliness, Professor Daniel Jones kindly gave the fbllowing phonetic transcriptions of tihewords I asked for: Levana levalne MatetLachrymarum English2pproximation ma]telcekrima:rem ma:tosuspiororrem Mater Suspiriotum Englishapproximatien maltetenibra:rem MaterTenebrarum Englishapptoximation Suspiria Englishapproximation suspiorio