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Versisica- and we have now only to make some observations on paces of the voice, as the long syllables wure by thcir Versifica

their particular effects in the formation of metre. quantity among the Romans. Tience it follows, that tion.

“ No scholar is ignorant that quantity is a term which our accepted syllables corresponding to their long ones,
relates to the length or the shortness of syllables, and and our unaccented to their short, in the structure of
that a long syllable is double the length of a short one. poetic feet, an accented syllable followed by one unac-
Now the plain meaning of this is, that a long syllable cented in tlie same foot will answer to their trochee ;
takes up double the time in sounding that a short one and preceded by an unaccented one, to their iambus ;
does; a fact of which the ear alone can be the j.idge. and so with the rest.
When a syllable in Latio ends with a consonant, and “ All feet used in poetry consist either of two or
the subsequent syllable commences with one, every three syllables; and the feet among the ancients were
school-boy knows that the former is long, to use the denominated from the number and quantity of their
technical term, by the law of position. This rule was syllables. The measure of quantity was the short
in pronunciation strictly observed by the Romans, who syllable, and the long one in time was equal to two short.
always made such syllables long by dwelling on the A foot could not consist of less than two times, because
vowels ; whereas the very reverse is the case with us, it must contain at least two syllables; and by a law re-
because a quite contrary rule takes place in English specting numbers, which is explained elsewhere (see
words so constructed, as the accent or stress of the voice Music), a poetic foot would admit of no more than
is in such cases always transferred to the consonant, four of those times. Consequently the poetic feet were
and the preceding vowel being rapidly passed over, necessarily reduced to eight; four of two syllables, and
that syllable is of course short.

four of three. Those of two syllables must either con-
“ 'The Romans had another role of prosody, that sist of two short, called a pyrrhic; two long, called a
when one syllable ending with a vowel, was followed spondee; a long and a short, called a trochee; or a short
by another beginning with a vowel, the former syllable and a long, called an iambus. Those of three syllables
was pronounced short; whereas in English there is

ge were, either three short, a tribrach ; a long and two
nerally an accent in that case on the former syllable, short, a dactyl; a short, long, and short, an amphibrach;
as in the word pious, which renders the syllable long. or two short and a long, an anapæst (Y).
Pronouncing Latin therefore by our own rule, as in the We are now sufficiently prepared for considering what
former case, we make those syllables short which were feet enter into the composition of an English heroic vers
sounded long by them; so in the latter we make those The Greeks and Romans made use of but two feet in
syllables long which with them were short. We say the structure of their hexameters; and the English be-
ar'ma and virum'que, instead of arma and virumqúe; roic may be wholly composed of one foot, viz. the iam-
scio and túus, instead of sció and tuus'.

bic, which is therefore the foot most congenial to that
“ Having made these preliminary observations, we species of verse. Our poetry indeed abounds with verses
proceed now to explain the nature of poetic feet. Feet into which no other foot is admitted. Such as,
in verse correspond to bars in music: a certain number

The pow’rs I gave éar and gránsted hálf | his práy's,
of syllables connected form a foot in the one, as a cer-

The rest' | the winds | dispérs'd | in emp'sty áir.
tain number of notes make a bar in the other. They
are called feet, because it is by their aid that the voice

Our heroic line, however, is not wholly restrained to the
as it were steps along through the verse in a measured

use of this foot. In the opinion of Mr Sheridan, it ad. pace; and it is necessary that the syllables which mark

mits all the eight before enumerated; and it certainly this regular movement of the voice should in some

excludes none, unless perhaps the tribrach. It is known measure be distinguished from the others. This di- to every reader of English poetry, that some of the finest stinction, as we have already observed, was made among

heroic verses in our language begin with a trochee ;
the ancient Romans, by dividing their syllables into long and that Pope, the smoothest of all our versifiers, was
and short, and ascertaining their quantity by an exact

remarkable for his use of this foot, as is evident from
proportion of time in sounding them; the long being the following example, where four succeeding lines out
to the short as two to one ; and the long syllables, being of six have a trochaic beginning,
thus the more important, marked the movement of the Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
verse. In English, syllables are divided into accented Quick as her eyes , and as untix'd as those :
and unaccented ; and the accented syllables being as Favours I to none | to all she smiles extends,
strongly distinguished from the unaccented, by the pe O'ft she i rejects | but never once offends.
culiar stress of the voice upon them, are as capable of Brîght as the sun | her eyes the gazers strike,
marking the movement, and pointing out the regular And like the sun she shines on all alike.



(Y) For the convenience of the less learned reader we shall here subjoin a scheme of poetic feet, using the marks
(-o) in use among the Latin grammarians to denote the genuine feet by quantity; and the following marks
(-) to denote the English feet by accents, which answer to those.
Roman English







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Versifica. The use of this foot, however, is not necessarily con measure of a whole line, constructed in the former man- Versiica. tion. fined to the beginning of a line. Milton frequently ner, must be shorter than that of another line construct.

introduces it into other parts of the verse ; of which ed in the latter; and that the intermixture of verses of take the following instances :

such different measures in the same poem must have a

bad effect on the melody, as being destructive of proporThat all was lost' | back' to / the thick'set slunk

tion. This objection would be well-founded, were not Of E've whose ey'e dárted contágious fire.

the time of the short accented syllables compensated by The last line of the following couplet begins with a a small pause at the end of each word to which they bemyrrhic:

long, as is evident in the following verse :
She said, I and mél ting as in tears she lay,

Then rus'stling crack'lling crash ing thun' i'r down.
În ă | soft silver stream dissolv’d away.

This line is formed of iambics by accent upon conso

nants, except the last syllable; and yet by means of But this foot is introduced likewise with very good ef

these soft pauses or rests, the measure of the whole is fect into ot! er parts of the verse, as

equal to that of the following, which consists of pure
Pánt on / thy lip' | and tě | thy heart | be prest. iambics by quantity.
The phantom lies me 1 ås ún|kind as you.

O'er beaps of ruin stālk'd | the stately hīvd.
Leaps o'er the fence with ease | into | the fold.

Movement, of so much importance in versification, re-
And thě slırill'sounds (ran echoing through the wood.

gards the order of syllables in a foot, measure their quanIn this last line we see that the first fout is a pyrrhic, tity. The order of syllables respects their progress from and the second a spondce; but in the next the two first short to long or from long to short, as in the Greek and feet are spondees.

Latin languages ; or from strong to weak or treak to Hill's peép | o’ér hill's I and Alps | on Alps | arise. strong, i. e. from accented or unaccented syllables, as in

our tongue. It has been already observed that an EngIn the following verse a trochee is succeeded by two spon- lish heroic verse may be composed wholly of iambics; dees, of which the former is a genuine spondee by quan- and experience shows that such verses have a fine metity, and the latter equivalent to a spondee by accent. lody. But as the stress of the voice in repeating verses See thě | bõld youth | stráin up' the threat/'ning steep. such uniformity would disgust the ear in any long suc

of pure iambics, is regularly on every second syllable, We shall now give some instances of lines containing cession, and therefore such changes were sought for as both the pyrrhic and the spondee, and then proceed to might introduce the pleasure of variety without prejuthe consideration of the other four feet.

dice to melody ; or which might even contribute to its Thăt on / vēāk wings | from far pursues your flight. improvenient. Of this nature was the introduction of

the trochee to form the first foot of an heroic verse, Thro’ thě | faīr scēne roll slow | the lingʻring streams.

which experience has shown us is so far from spoiling On her / whīte breast' | a sparkling cross she wore. the melody, that in many cases it heightens it. This Of the four trisyllabic feet, the first, of which we shall foot, however, cannot well be admitted into any other give instances in heroic lines, is the dactyl; as

part of the verse without prejudice to the melody, beMur'muring, and with him' fled the shades of night. other directly opposite. But though it be excluded

cause it interrupts and stops the usual movement by an
Hov'ering on wing I un'der | the cape , of hell.
Tim'orous 1 and slothful yet he pleas'd thic ear.

with regard to pure melody, it may often be admitted

into any part of the verse with advantage to expression,
Of truth in word mightier than they in arms.

as is well known to the readers of Milton.
Of the anapast a single instance shall suffice ; for ex “ The next change admitted for the sake of variety,
cept by Milton it is not often used.

without prejudice to melody, is the intermixture of The great | hiěrár|chal standard was to move. pyrrhics and spondees; in which two impressions in the

one foot make up for the want of one in the other; and The amphibrach is employed in the four following ver

two long syllables compensate two short, so as to make
ses, and in the three last with a very fine eflect.

the sum of the quantity of the two feet equal to two
With wheels / yet hóversing o'er the ocean brim. iambics. That this may be done without prejudice to
Rous'd from their slumber on thăt fíěry | couch. the melody, take the following instances :
While the promis'cú'ous crowd stood yet aloof.

On her white breasts a sparkling cross she wore.-
Throws his steep flight | in many 1 ăn ailry whirl.

Nor the deep trāct of hell say first what canse. -
Having thus sufficiently proved that the English heroic This intermixture may be employed ad libitum, in any
verse admits of all the feet except the tribrach, it may part of the line ; and sometimes two spondees may be
be proper to add, that from the nature of our accent we

placed together in one part of the verse, to be compen-
have duplicates of these feet, viz. such as are formed by sated by two pyrrhicz in another; of which Mr Sheri-
quantity, and such as are formed by the mere ictus of the dan quotes the following lines as instances :
voice; an opulence peculiar to our tongue, and which may
be the source of a boundless variety. But as feet formed

Stood rul'd stööd vast infinitude confined.
of syllables which have the accent or ictus on the conson-

She all night long her monous děs cant sung. ant'are necessarily pronounced in less time than similar That the former is a proper example, will not perhaps feet formed by quantity, it may be objected, that the be questioned; but the third foot in the latter is certain.




Versifica. ly no pyrrhic. As it is marked here and by hin, it is tence which is an incomplete one ; and by disjoining Versiication.

a tribrach ; but we appeal to our English readers, if it the sense as well as the words, often confounds the
ought not to have been marked an amphibrach by ac meaning. Others again, but these fewer in number,
cent, and if the fourth foot be not an iambus. To us and of the more absurd kind, drop their voice at the
the feet of the line appear to be as follow :

end of every line in the same note which they use in

marking a full stop; to the utter annihilation of the She all I nīght long ler am’ofrous des'cănt sun'g.

Some readers (continues our author) of a more It is indeed a better example of the proper use of the enthusiastic kind, elevate their voices at the end of all amphibrach than


which he has given, unless per. verses to a higher note than is ever used in the stops haps the two following lines.

which divide ihe meaning.

But such a continued re-
Up to the fiery con căve tow'erling high

petition of the same bigh note becomes disgusting by its

monotony, and gives an air of chanting to such recita-
Throws his steep flight | in man'ý | ăn áiry whīrl.

tion. To avoid these several faults, the bulk of readers
That in these three lines the introduction of the amphi- have chosen what they think a safer course, which is that
brach does not hurt the melody, will be acknowledged of running the lines one into another without the least
by every person who has an ear; and those who have pause, where they find none in the sense; but by this
not, are not qualified to judge. But we appeal to mode of recitation they reduce poetry to something
every man of taste, if the two amphibrachs succeeding worse than prose, to verse run mad.
each other in the last line do not add much to the But it may be asked, if this final pause must be mark-
expression of the verse. If this be questioned, we have ed neither by an elevation nor by a depression of the
only to change the movement to the common iambic. voice, how is it to be marked at all? To which Mr
and we shall discover how feeble the line will become. Slieridan replies, by making no change wliatever in the

voice before it. This will sufficiently distinguish it from
Throws his | steep flight | in mansy ai ry whirls.

the other pauses, the comma, semicolon, &c. because
This is simple description, instead of that magical power some change of note, by raising or depressing the voice,
of numbers which to the imagination produces the ob- always precedes them, whilst the voice is here only suis-
ject itself, whirling as it were round an axis,

Having thus shown that the iambus, spondee, pyr Now this pause of suspension is the very thing want-
rhic, and amphibrach, by accent, may be used in our ing to preserve the melody at all times, without inter:
measure with great latitude; and that the trochee may fering with the sense. For it perfectly marks the bound
at all times begin the live, and in some cases with ad of the netre: and being made only by a suspension, not
vantage to the melody; it now remains only to add, by a change of note in the voice, it can never aflect the
that the dactyl, having the same movement, may be in sense; because the sentential stops, or those which affect
troduced in the place of the trochee; and the anapæst the sense, being all made with a change of note, where
in the place of the iambus. In proof of this, were not there is no such change the sense cannot be affected.
the article swelling in our hands, we could adduce many Nor is this the only advantage gained to numbers by
instances which would show what an inexhaustible fund this stop of suspension. It also prevents the monotony
of riches, and what an immense variety of materials, are at the end of lines; which, however pleasing to a rude,
prepared for us, “ to build the lofty rhyme.” But we is disgusting to a delicate ear. For as this stop bas no
hasten to the next thing to be considered in the art of peculiar note of its own, but always takes that which
versifying, which is known by the name of pauses. belongs to the preceding word, it changes continually

“Of the poetic pauses there are two sorts, the ce with the matter, and is as various as the sense.
sural and the final. The cesural divides the verse into Having said all that is necessary with regard to the
equal or unequal parts; the final closes it.

In a verse

final, we proceed now to consider the cesural, pause. To
there may be two or more cesural pauses, but it is evi- these two pauses it will be proper to give the denomi-
dent that there can be but one final. As the final pause nation of musical, to distinguish them from the comma,
concerns the reader more than the writer of verses, it semicolon, colon, and full stop, which may be called sen-
has been seldom treated of by the critics. Yet as it is tential pauses; the office of the former being to mark
this final pause which in many cases distinguishes verse the melody, as that of the latter is to point out the
from prose, it cannot be improper in the present article sense. The cesural, like the final pause, sometimes co-
to show how it ought to be made. Were it indeed a incides with the sentential ; and sometimes takes place
law of our versification, that every line should terminate where there is no stop in the sense. In this last case, it
with a stop in the sense, the boundaries of the measure is exactly of the same nature, and governed by the same
would be fixed, and the nature of the final pause could laws with the pause of suspension, which we have just
not be mistaken. But nothing has puzzled the bulk of described.
readers, or divided their opinions, more than the manner The cesure, though not essential, is however a great
ia which those verses ought to be recited, where the ornament to verse, as it improves and diversifies the
sense does not close with the line ; and wbose last words melody, by a judicious management in varying its situ-
have a necessary connection with those that begin the ation; but it discharges a still more important office than
subsequent verse. “Some (says Mr Sheridan) who see this. Were there no cesure, verse could aspire to no
the necessity of pointing out the metre, pronounce the higher ornament than that of simple melody; but by
last word of each line in such a note as usually accom means of this pause there is a new source of delight
panies a comma, in marking the smallest member of a opened in poetic numbers, correspondent in some sort
sentence. Now this is certainly improper, because it to harmony in music. This takes its rise from that act
makes that appear to be a complete member of a sen of the mind which compares the relative proportiops




that the members of a verse thus divided bear to each the latter part of the verse leaves the strongest and most Versięcs.
other, as well as to those in the adjoining lines. In or- lasting impression on the ear, where the larger portion tion.
der to see this matter in a clear light, let us examine belongs to the latter part of the line, the impression
what effect the cesure produces in single lines, and must in proportion be greater; the effect in sound be-
afterwards in comparing contiguous lines with eaching the same as that produced by a climax in sense,

where one part rises above another.
With regard to the place of the cesure, Mr Pope and Having shown in what manner the cesure improves
others bave expressly declared, tbat no line appeared and diversifies the melody of verse, we shall now treat
musical to their ears, where the cesure was not after of its more inportant office, by which it is the chief
the fourth, fifth, or sixth syllable of the verse. Some source of harmony in numbers. But, first, it will be
have enlarged its empire to the third and seventh syl- necessary to explain what we mean by the term har.
Jables ; whilst others have asserted that it may be ad mony, as applied to verse.
mitted into any part of the line.

Melody in music regards only the effects produced by
“ There needs but a little distinguishing (says Mr successive sounds; and harmony, strictly speaking, the
Sheridan), to reconcile these different opinions. If me effects produced by different co-existing sounds, whicla
Hody alone is to be considered, Mr Pope is in the right are found to be in concord. Harmony, therefore, in
when be fixes its seat in or as near as may be to the this sense of the word, can never be applied to poetic
middle of the verse. To form lines of the first melody, numbers, of which there can be only one reciter, and
the cesure must either be at the end of the second or consequently the sounds can only be in succession. When
of the third foot, or in the middle of the third between therefore we speak of the harmony of verse, we mean
the two of this movement take the following exam nothing more than an effect produced by an action of

the mind in comparing the different members of verse 1. Of the cesure at the end of the second foot. already constructed according to the laws of melody Our plenteous stréams || a various race supply;

with each other, and perceiving a due and beautiful The bright-ey'd per'ch || with fins of Tyrian dye;

proportion between them.
The silver eel || in shining volumes rollid;

The first and lowest perception of this kind of bar-
The yellow carp' || in scales bedrop'd with gold.

mony arises from comparing two members of the same

line with each other, divided in the manner to be seen 2. At the end of the third foot.

in the three instances already given; because the beauty With tender billet-doux || be lights the pyre,

of proportion in the members, according to each of these And breathes three amorous sighs || to raise the fire. divisions, is founded in nature. But there is a percep

tion of harmony in versification, which arises from the
3. Between the two, dividing the third foot. comparison of two lines, and observing the relative pro-

The fields are ravish'd || from the industrious swains, portion of their members ; whether they correspond ex-
From men their cities, || and from gods their fanes. actly to each other by similar divisions, as in the couplets

already quoted; or whether they are diversified by ce-
These lines are certainly all of a fine melody, yet they sures in different places. As,
are not quite upon an equality in that respect. Those

See the bold yonth || strain up the threatening steep,
which have the cesure in the middle are of the first or-

Rush thro' the thickets || down the valleys sweep.
der; those which bave it at the end of the second foot
are next; and those which have the pause at the end of Where we find the cesure at the end of the second foot
the third foot the last. The reason of this preference it of the first line, and in the middle of the third foot of
may not perhaps be difficult to assign.

the last.
In the pleasure arising from comparing the proportion
which the parts of a whole bear to each other, the more

Hang o'er their coursers heads || with eager speed,
easily and distinctly the mind perceives that proportion,

And earth rolls back || beneath the flying steed.
the greater is the pleasure. Now there is nothing which Here the cesure is at the end of the third foot in the
the mind more instantaneously and clearly discerns, than former, and of the second in the latter line.The
the division of a whole into two equal parts, which alone perception of this species of harmony is far superior to
would give a superiority to lines of the first order over the former ; because, to the pleasure of comparing the
those of the other two. But this is not the only claim members of the same line with each other, there is so-
to superiority wbich such lines possess. The cesure be- peradded that of comparing the different members of
ing in them always on an unaccented, and the final the different lines with each other; and the barmony is
pause on an accented syllable, they have a mixture of enriched by having four members of comparison instead
variety and equality of which neither of the other orders of two. The pleasure is still increased in comparing a
can boast, as in these orders the cesural and final pauses greater number of lines, and observing the relative pro-
are both on accented syllables.

portion of the couplets to each other in point of simila-
In the division of the other two species, if we respect_rity and diversity. As thus,
quantity oply, the proportion is exactly the same, the
one being as two to three, and the other as three to two;

Thy forests, Windsor, || and thy green retreats,

At once the monarch's || and the muse's seats,
but it is the order or movement which bere makes the

Invite my lays. || Be present sylvan maids,
difference. In lines where the cesure bounds the second
foot, the smaller portion of the verse is first in order, the

Unlock your springs || and open all your shades,
greater last; and this order is reversed in lines which Here we find that the cesure is in the middle of the
have the cesure at the end of the third foot. Now, as verse in each line of the first couplet, and at the end of


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Versisca- the second foot in each line of the last ; which gives a John Denham's Cooper's Hill, where he thus describes Versification.

similarity in each couplet distinctly considered, and a the Thames :
diversity when the one is compared with the other, that
has a very pleasing effect. Nor is the pleasure less where

Tho' deep 1 yet clear || tho' gentle yet not dull.
we find a diversity in the lines of each couplet, and a

Strong without rage || without o'erflowing | full. similarity in comparing the couplets themselves. As in This description has great merit independent of the

harmony of the numbers ; but the chief beauty of the Not half so swift || the trembling doves can fly,

versification lies in the happy disposition of the pauses When the fierce eagle | cleaves the liquid sky;

and semipauses, so as to make a fine harmony in each Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves,

line when its portions are compared, and in the couplet When thro’ the clouds || he drives the trembling doves.

when one line is compared with the other.

Having now said all that is necessary upon pauses and There is another mode of dividing lines well suited semipauses, we have done the utmost justice to our subto the nature of the couplet, by introducing semipauses, ject which the limits assigned us will permit. Feet and which with the cesure divide the line into four portions. pauses are the constituent parts of verse; and the proper By a semipause, we mean a small rest of the voice, dur- adjustment of them depends upon the poet's knowledge ing a portion of time equal to half of that taken up by of numbers, accent, quantity, and movement, all of the cesure ; as will be perceived in the following fine which we have endeavoured briefly to explain. In concouplet :

formity to the practice of some critics, we might have Warms | in the sun || refreshes in the breeze,

treated separately of rhime and of blank verse; but as Glows l in the stars

the essentials of all heroic verses are the same, such a and blossoms | in the trees.

division of our subject would have thrown no light That the harmony, and of course the pleasure, result- upon the art of English versification. It may be just ing from poetic numbers, is increased as well by the se worth while to observe, that the pause at the end of a mipause as by the cesure, is obvious to every ear; be- couplet ought to coincide, if possible, with a slight pause cause lines so constructed furnish a greater number of in the sense, and that there is no necessity for this coinmembers for comparison : but it is of more importance cidence of pauses at the end of any particular blank to observe, that by means of the semipauses, lines which, verse. We might likewise compare our heroic line with separately considered, are not of the finest barmony, the ancient hexameter, and endeavour to appretiate their may yet produce it when opposed to each other, and respective merits ; but there is not a reader capable of compared in the couplet. Of the truth of this observa- attending to such a comparison who will not judge for tion, the following couplet, especially as it succeeds that himself; and it may perhaps be questioned, whether immediately quoted, is a striking proof:

there be two who will form precisely the same judgeLives | thro' all life || extends | thro' all extent,

ment. Mr Sheridan, and all the mere English critics, Spreads | undivided || operates , unspent.

give a high degree of preference to our heroic, on ac

count of the vast variety of feet which it admits : whilst
What we have advanced upon this species of verse, the readers of Greek and Latin poetry prefer the hexa-

contribute to solve a poetical problem thrown out meter, on account of its more musical notes and ma-
by Dryden as a crux to his brethren: it was to account jestic length.
for the peculiar beauty of that celebrated couplet in Sir


PoG Posze

POGGE, the MAILED or ARMED GURNARD, or form part of a chain of islands which stretch along the Poggy COTTUS CATAPHRACTUS. See Cottus, ICHTHYOLO

See Cottus, ICHTHYOLO- whole length of Sumatra, in the East Indies, and lie at islands. Poggy GY, p. 89.

the distance of twenty or thirty leagues from the west islands.

POGGIUS BRACCIOLINUS, a man of great parts coast of that island.
and learning, who contributed much to the revival of The northern extremity of the northern Poggy lies.
knowledge in Europe, was born at Terranuova, in the in latitude 2° 18' S. and the southern extremity of the
territories of Florence, in 1380. His first public em southera island in latitude 3° 16' S. The two are sepa-
ployment was that of writer of the apostolic letters, rated from each other by a very narrow passage

which he beld 10 years, and was then made apostolić the strait of See Cockup, in latitude 3° 40' S. and lon-
secretary, in which capacity he officiated 40 years, un- gitude about 100° 38' east from Greenwich.—The
der seven popes. In 1453, when he was 72 years of number of inbabitants in these islands amounts to no
age, he accepted the employment of secretary to the re more than 1400. Mr Crisp, who staid about a month
public of Florence, to which place he removed, and died among them, carefully collected many particulars re-
in 1459. He visited several countries, and searched specting their language, customs, and manners. He ad-
many monasteries, to recover ancient authors, numbers verts to one circumstance relative to this people, which
of which he brought to light: bis own works consist of may be considered as a curious fact in history:
moral pieces, orations, letters, and A History of Flo “ From the proximity of the islands (says he), to Su-
rence from 1350 to 1455, which is the most consider. matra, which, in respect to them, may be considered as
able of them.

a continent, we should naturally expect to find their in-
POGGY ISLANDS, otherwise called Nassau islands, habitants to be a set of people originally derived from
VOL. XVII. Part I.




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