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Style by Sir Walter Raleigh

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1904 Edward Arnold edition

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f consonants and vowels from syllable to syllable? Those few artificial restrictions, which verse invents for itself, once agreed on, a necessary and perilous license makes up the rest of the code. Literature can never conform to the dictates of pure euphony, while grammar, which has been shaped not in the interests of prosody, but for the service of thought, bars the way with its clumsy inalterable polysyllables and the monotonous sing-song of its inflexions. On the other hand, among a hundred ways of saying a thing, there are more than ninety that a care for euphony may reasonably forbid. All who have consciously practised the art of writing know what endless and painful vigilance is needed for the avoidance of the unfit or untuneful phrase, how the meaning must be tossed from expression to expression, mutilated and deceived, ere it can find rest in words. The stupid accidental recurrence of a single broad vowel; the cumbrous repetition of a particle; the emphatic phrase for which no emphatic place can be f

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