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fancy that the initiative is from within tween ideas and rhymes which the mere -that his thought, being already in past practice of poets has established, rhythmic movement from its own im- that Leigh Hunt alludes in some remarks pulse, arrives at the rhymes; and not which Mr. Wheatley quotes from him that the rhymes, being fixed beforehand, apropos of bouts rimés.
It is curious, pull his thoughts towards them. But, Mr. Hunt observes, what a number of while we are bound to believe this, do words there are so invested already with we not also know it as a fact, that fre- connected clusters of associations that quently even the best poets, when their the mere succession of them, arranged thoughts are in flow, have to seek for in rhyming pairs, or as the ends of their rhymes—that sometimes a thought, rhyming stanzas not yet in existence, having arrived at or about its sonorous tells the story almost as well as if the harbour from the sea, can't get in at blank couplets or stanzas were filled up. first; but has to bob about outside, till For example, repeat these words slowly, the little pilot-tug of some rhyme comes with a pause after each, and a longer out with the steam up and the flag flying, pause after each four-dawn, plains, and takes it in tow to its moorings ; nay, lawn, swains; each, spoke, beech, yoke; that sometimes, after one or two pilot fair, mine, hair, divine—and have you tugs have come out, a bargain can't be not a pastoral love-scene before you quite made, or the bar is dangerous for the as touchingly as if, instead of these ends, tonnage, and the vessel makes for you had the three elegiac stanzas which another port ? Are there not such they suggest ? What a saving of time things as Rhyming Dictionaries; and there would be if poets were to act on have we not the confessions of good this hint, and give us only these ends of poets—Byron, for example—that they their verses, omitting the unnecessary have used these helps, and that, in filling up! Mr. Wheatley tells of one their absence, they have been glad to French poet, Dulot, who let the cat out revert to a kind of mental substitute, of the bag in a manner to suggest this chasing out a suitable rhyme to the irreverent thought to the Parisian world. word pine, for example, by running He was complaining one day of the loss through the alphabet thus:-aine, bine, of more than 300 sonnets by a fire or cine, dine, fine, &c. ? But, on '
the some other accident; when, on some one other hand, is not at least a mixture of expressing his surprise at his having so the opposite practice—that of conform- many sonnets in his répertoire," he exing the reason to the rhyme, or allowing plained that they were not exactly the the rhymes to bring the thought into completed sonnets, but only their premotion from the first-confessed to by arranged ends, drawn out in groups of poets? We call this more mechanical fourteen. All Paris was in a roar next than the other plan; but, if there be a day over Dulot's lost sonnets; and law of d priori connexion or identity for months bouts rimés, as the new between certain fundamental ideas and invention was called, was the favourite certain vocal roots or articulations—if, amusement of the salons. But what for example, the sound str always carries will the reader think of Mr. Wheatley's with it the idea of stretching, or of some- story—for which he gives his authority thing which is a metaphor of stretching, —that Campbell's poem of "Lochiel and if language is organic through and (by the bye, Campbell, being a true through with such identities—then, does Celt, pronounced "Lochiel” as a triit matter so very much at which end the syllable, and was dreadfully grieved at initiative acts? It is not, however, to the universal perversity which would such organic or à priori identities be- make a dissyllable of it) was composed tween certain recurring sounds in human from bouts rimés ? We gather, however, speech and certain ideas as frequently that in addition to the bouts rimés, or recurring in the human mind, but rather even before them, the poet had a kind to those more hackneyed associations be- of grand inarticulate hum about Lochiel
a course or
in his head, which he expressed pro- known to exist.
The words orange, visionally in a kind of wow-wow till the month, and step are the examples chiefly precise words should come. The follow
insisted on. The writer himself did, by ing may suggest the process, bouts rimés means of information elicited by his included :
challenge, manage to dispose of the first * Lochiel, Lochứel, awpw-ow-a dáy,
two in a manner which, though acknowWow-ów-ow-ow-ów-ow-ow-ów-ow array.” ledged by himself to be evasive or illegitiAh, reader! there is the difference be- mate, is still very creditable. Finding tween the poetry of a true poet and that there is a hill or a set of hills in that of an ordinary prose-dog like you Wales called the Blorenge, and that the or me!
We remain always in the state holy books of the Affghans go by the of Wow-ow-ow-ow—no amount of effort name of Grunth, he proposed thisbringing out the meaning of that dumb “ From the Indus to the Blorenge dog-like mass of feeling into clear and
Came the Rajah in a month, exquisite articulation. We have the
Sucking now and then an orange,
Conning all the way his Grunth." vowels, which belong even to the brute animals; the consonants, which are the
The same writer, however, rejects all the truly human things in speech, we can
rhymes that have been yet offered him not com pass. Never mind! The Wow
for the word step. Will this suit him ? – 01-0w-ow is, not the less, that which Who comes with that uneven step ? tones all and on which all rests; it is
Who but the drunken demirep? the fund of infinite, simple feeling, XIV. PALINDROMES (from the Greek already metrical, of which all translation palin, “ back," and dromos,“ into words is but a finite though com- race") are words or sentences, which plex expression. Nay, perhaps there is may be read backwards as well as fortoo little of Campbell's or of Nature's wards, letter by letter, or sound by inarticulate hum, preceding all words, in
sound, -not merely word by word as our present poetry. Much of it may be Lyon Verses. Such English words as defined as fine intellectual shuttling Anna, Hannah, noon, civic, tenet, are
, , with no song in or to the loom—as all palindromes ; but the feat is to arrange consonants and no vowels. But what a number of such words in a sentence so have we to do with what our present
that the whole shall be a palindrome. poetry is or is not? Are we anxious to Here is a pretty Latin one cited by Mr. be murdered by the genus irritabile ? Wheatley—“ Allata at alba” (“Out of Not we; and so, to get out of the sight, but still white"), which may be scrape, and to end this little essay on applied to the moon behind a cloud, bouts rimés, let us just note the addi- and which was applied metaphorically tional zest that may be given to that to a lady of Elizabeth's time banished amusement by selecting queer or difficult
from court under false imputations on rhymes. For example, can you make a
her character. But the very first words perfect rhyme to the word i'imbuctoo— spoken by man in this world, it seems, not to the last syllable only, but to all were a palindrome. What did Adam the three ? If you tried, you would say when he first saw Eve? He bowed have to give it up; but some ingenious and said, “ Madam, I'm Adam." person lately has solved the problem in a rhyme which has been going about in
It remains now that we speak of the the London clubs
Anagram proper. The Logogram, which "I would I were a cassowary
is the only other of the oddities of On the plains of Timbuctoo;
Mr. Wheatley's title-page left unnoticed, Then I would eat a missionary,
is, in fact, only a particular developHead, legs, and arms, and hymn-book too.”
ment of the Anagram. Taking breath In the Athenæum, lately, a writer has here, therefore, let us assail, with due been calling attention to certain simple deliberation, this last stronghold of English words, to which no rhymes are man's reason on this side of Limbo.
Indeed, though the front gate of the through all the stipulated dinners. So Anagram is towards the rational world, don't you be led into a wager on any there is an extensive view of Limbo such terms. If you make a wager of itself from all the back windows; and the kind about five persons, your cook many a man, who has entered at the has her work cut out for her for about front gate sane and sober enough, has four months; if for six persons, for gone out at one of those back windows about two years ; but, if the party much and never been heard of after.
exceeds six, there is a chance that the The ANAGRAM, then, may be defined, world will be in another geological broadly and generally, as any rearrange- epoch, and you yourself will be a fossil ment of all the component letters of before you are off your bargain. one or more given words. To indicate To apply this to words : The letters of all that this definition involves, how- a word of two letters may be arranged ever, some explanation is necessary. in two different ways; of a word of three
By a very simple rule of calculation, distinct letters, in six different ways ; given in our common books of Arith- of a word of four letters, in twenty-four metic, it is known that the number of different ways; of five, in 120 different possible arrangements of any given ways; of six, in 720 different ways ; series of objects-i. e. the number of of seven, in 5,040 different ways; and different ways in which these objects so on till you reach a word of twelve may be arranged among themselves so distinct letters, the letters of which may as never twice to be in exactly the same be arranged in more than 479 millions order-increases enormously as the num- of different ways. Now, every possible ber of the objects increases. Thus, while arrangement of the letters of any word one object (A) has of course only one is, according to our present broad arrangement (A), and while two objects definition, an anagram of that word ; (A and B) admit of only two arrange- so that the number of possible anagrams ments (AB or BA), three objects (A, B, of any word increases immensely acand C) admit of six arrangements (ABC, cording to the number of distinct letters ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA); and, in the word. Such a word as John when the number of objects exceeds yields exactly twenty-three anagrams; three, the numbers of their possible such a word as Smith yields exactly 119 arrangements are as follows
anagrams; if you add Junior, then the No. of objects.
possible anagrams of that word alone 4
are 719; and, if you take into account 5
the circumstance of his being a pawn6
5,040 broker, then out of that word alone (if 40,320 you count the two r's as separate letters) 362,880
anagrams to the number of 3,628,799 10
. 3,628,800 11 39,916,800
are showered upon you. You can't, of 12
479,00),600 course, ask me to verify these figures by And so on, with enormous increase at every giving you a list of the anagrams; so step.
you must take my word for it. That is to say, reader, that, suppose But “Nature mercifuily imposes twelve persons were to agree to dine limits," as the baker said when he together every day, but never exactly in undertook to count the snow-flakes the same order round the table, they within a given area, but, the area being would have to eat over 479 millions of immediately above his oven, the heat dinners before they could get through had melted the remaining flakes just as all the possible arrangements in which he was getting tired, and relieved him of they could place themselves with respect his engagement. Even the logicians are to each other, and, at the rate of one in the position of this fortunate baker. dinner a-day, it would take them more By their calculation according to mode than thirteen millions of years to get and figure (we speak of the old Logic,
Possible variations of order.
before Sir William Hamilton, or Pro- proportion of meaningless anagrams is fessor De Morgan, or both, had quantified much less than usual. It may be obthe predicate, and so revolutionized the served, too, that at least one of the scholastic Logic), the number of possible meanirgless anagrams is quite prosyllogisms or valid shapes of reasoning nounceable-to wit Tra. If this hint was exactly sixty-four; but, when they is duly expanded, it will be seen that actually came to go over these sixty-four what we have called Meaningless Anaone by one, they found, to their comfort, grams are subdivisible into two kindsthat forty-five of them turned out to (1) Meaningless Unpronounceable Anabe utterly unthinkable-deliquesced and grams, and (2) Anagrams which, though became untangible like the baker's snow- meaningless, are yet pronounceable, and flakes—and that only nineteen remained therefore capable, if once set a-going, of about which they need concern them- becoming established words. And in selves. And so with anagrams. Not the history of Anagrams there are inonly are the possible anagrams of most stances of both these kinds. of our words considerably reduced in (1.) A very common mode of connumbers by the fact that individual cealing one's name in writing, and yet letters frequently occur twice or thrice using a signature, is simply to sign by
a in the same word; but there are other any rearrangement of the letters comlimits which make themselves felt at posing one's name. The most common once in practice. We cannot, indeed, perhaps of all is simply to put the in the case of a word of more than four letters in the reverse order; and it or five letters, actually go through all its very rarely, indeed, will happen that anagrams one by one, so as to see what the combination so arising will be anyeach is worth ; but a very little ex- thing pronounceable. Thus, if John perience, or a very little thought, shows Smith signs himself Htims N hoj, no us that only a small percentage of the organs of speech, unless they be those possible anagrams
of an Ojibbeway under chloroform, will themselves intelligible or even pro- grapple with the vocal monster; and nounceable. Take John, for example. though, of course, he will be detected, You might make something of Jhon, or it will not be on this ground. His even of Jnoh; but, when you come to chances of concealment will be greater Ojhn, Ohjn, Onjh, &c., nature relieves if, instead of adopting the mere reverse you by melting the letter-flakes. And arrangement of the letters, he takes any out of this whole consideration springs other of the possible arrangementsa very obvious classification of
anagrams. especially if he mixes the John and the 1. Meaningless Anagrams. The vast Smith together as one word. Now, not majority of the possible anagrams of any a few of the anagrams that have actually given word are totally meaningless- been made use of as pseudonyms have that is, they do not form any other been of this kind-mere unpronounceexisting words in the same or in any able rearrangements of the letters of other known language ; but are sheerly
Almost, but not quite, a new and arbitrary combinations of letters. sample is the title under which M. de Take, for example, the fore-mentioned Montalembert's pamphlet, “Un Débat anagrams of John.
Or take another sur l'Inde,” was republished so as to example, where, on account of the short- elude the police in Paris. It reappeared ness of the word, all the anagrams can
Edni L Rus Tabed nu par Ed. Trebbe tested. The word Art gives the melatnom; ” and the police were never following five anagrams-- Atr, Rat, Rta, the wiser. Some of the anagrams in Tar, and Tra; of which only two, viz. which the early scientific men of Europe Rat and Tar, are already existing Eng- announced, or rather concealed, their lish words, and the other three are theories and discoveries, were, I believe, meaningless. Yet, in this word, on directly or indirectly of the same sort. account of its shortness and form, the (2.) But Man tends to the orb of
the pronounceable even when he still 2. Significant Anagrams. These are avoids the smaller inner orb of the in- the true, genuine Anagrams, the Anatelligible; and hence all men of sense grams of the real blood-royal; all the that have made anagrams of their own others are but Anagrams by sufferance names for any permanent purpose have or courtesy. They are the Anagrams at least adopted anagrams which their in which, by a rearrangement of the fellow-mortals, by more or less effort, letters of a word or of several words, could sound. Thus François Rabelais there is produced, not a mere bit of became Alcofribas Nasier, Robertus unutterable gibberish, nor yet merely Fludd became Rudolfus Otreb, Henry a pronounceable something or other, Peacham became Ryhen Pameach, Agos- but an actual known word or set of tino Coltelini became Ostilio Contalgeni, words different from the original and and (by a very imperfect anagram) conveying some sense-nay (and this is Horatio Walpole, in his “ Castle of the top of the achievement, and what Otranto," became Onuphrio Muralto. startles gods and men), conveying a In the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- sense which reacts upon the original turies, and especially in Italy, such as a comment, a sarcasm, à definition, anagrams, perfect or approximate, were a revelation. These are the Anagrams in quite in fashion with persons of cele- which the Hebrews thought there was brity; and some had more than one. something divine; these are the AnaNor did the custom cease then. It is grams which pleased the silver-minded remarkable, however, how few of these Plato. The notion was that, as there anagrams have been really successful are correspondences between everything hits. Most of them, as may be seen from and everything else, so there is corthe instances above, have been,
though respondence of the deepest and most pronounceable, very uncouth. Two in- intricate mystery between things and stances of really successful anagrams of their names; and that by the study of this kind may be given by way of names, by the intense consideration and counterpoise. The now famous name the turning inside out of the M's and of Voltaire, as Mr. Carlyle explains in the N's of which they are composed, his “ Frederick," was not the family these correspondences may be evolved name of the great Frenchman, nor any and Nature made to flash forth her name coming to him by any mode of secrets. And the notion came down inheritance from heaven or earth, but into modern times, so that there have was simply an anagram of his right been ages when Anagrammatism was name Arouet, with the two letters l. j. all but a sacred art, and men sought (le jeune, or “the younger") added'
in each other's names, and in the an anagram concocted by himself in a names of things of high public import, freak or deliberately, and so familiarized those prophetic indications of chaby his use of it, that he was known racter, of duty, or of destiny, which thereafter universally as Voltaire, and might possibly lurk in them. This will be so for ever. And what is Barry was the proper spirit of AnagramCornwall, poet, but an imperfect ana- matism ; but what is safe from the gram of the name of our real living encroachments of profane wit and our contemporary, Bryan Waller Procter ? wretched spirit of modern scepticism ? Such changes as that of u into v, and Men from whom better things might that of j into i, or the converse, are
have been expected did not hesitate, legitimate according to the rules of even at that era of the European Reforanagram ; but it sometimes happens, mation when the truer and purer uses as in Mr. Procter's instance, that the of Anagrammatism ought to have been licence is required of slight additional religiously guarded, to turn it to rude change or omission. Hence few ana- controversial account, and to seek anagrams of the kind, or indeed of any grams of each other's names merely for kind, are absolutely perfect.
the purposes of satire and Billingsgate.