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fancy that the initiative is from within -that his thought, being already in rhythmic movement from its own impulse, arrives at the rhymes; and not that the rhymes, being fixed beforehand, pull his thoughts towards them. But, while we are bound to believe this, do we not also know it as a fact, that frequently even the best poets, when their thoughts are in flow, have to seek for their rhymes-that sometimes a thought, having arrived at or about its sonorous harbour from the sea, can't get in at first, but has to bob about outside, till the little pilot-tug of some rhyme comes out with the steam up and the flag flying, and takes it in tow to its moorings; nay, that sometimes, after one or two pilottugs have come out, a bargain can't be made, or the bar is dangerous for the tonnage, and the vessel makes for another port? Are there not such things as Rhyming Dictionaries; and have we not the confessions of good poets-Byron, for example-that they have used these helps, and that, in their absence, they have been glad to revert to a kind of mental substitute, chasing out a suitable rhyme to the word pine, for example, by running through the alphabet thus:-aine, bine, cine, dine, fine, &c.? But, on the other hand, is not at least a mixture of the opposite practice-that of conforming the reason to the rhyme, or allowing the rhymes to bring the thought into motion from the first-confessed to by poets? We call this more mechanical than the other plan; but, if there be a law of a priori connexion or identity between certain fundamental ideas and certain vocal roots or articulations-if, for example, the sound str always carries with it the idea of stretching, or of something which is a metaphor of stretching, and if language is organic through and through with such identities-then, does it matter so very much at which end the initiative acts? It is not, however, to such organic or à priori identities between certain recurring sounds in human speech and certain ideas as frequently recurring in the human mind, but rather to those more hackneyed associations be

tween ideas and rhymes which the mere past practice of poets has established, that Leigh Hunt alludes in some remarks which Mr. Wheatley quotes from him apropos of bouts rimés. It is curious, Mr. Hunt observes, what a number of words there are so invested already with connected clusters of associations that the mere succession of them, arranged in rhyming pairs, or as the ends of rhyming stanzas not yet in existence, tells the story almost as well as if the blank couplets or stanzas were filled up. For example, repeat these words slowly, with a pause after each, and a longer pause after each four-dawn, plains, lawn, swains; each, spoke, beech, yoke; fair, mine, hair, divine-and have you not a pastoral love-scene before you quite as touchingly as if, instead of these ends, you had the three elegiac stanzas which they suggest? What a saving of time there would be if poets were to act on this hint, and give us only these ends of their verses, omitting the unnecessary filling up! Mr. Wheatley tells of one French poet, Dulot, who let the cat out of the bag in a manner to suggest this irreverent thought to the Parisian world. He was complaining one day of the loss of more than 300 sonnets by a fire or some other accident; when, on some one expressing his surprise at his having so many sonnets in his répertoire, he explained that they were not exactly the completed sonnets, but only their prearranged ends, drawn out in groups of fourteen. All Paris was in a roar next day over Dulot's lost sonnets; and for months bouts rimés, as the new invention was called, was the favourite amusement of the salons. But what will the reader think of Mr. Wheatley's story-for which he gives his authority

that Campbell's poem of "Lochiel (by the bye, Campbell, being a true Celt, pronounced "Lochiel" as a trisyllable, and was dreadfully grieved at the universal perversity which would make a dissyllable of it) was composed from bouts rimés? We gather, however, that in addition to the bouts rimés, or even before them, the poet had a kind of grand inarticulate hum about Lochiel

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“ Lochíel, Lochíel, awów-ow-a dáy,

Wow-ów-ow-ow-ów-ow-ow-ów-ow array."

Ah, reader! there is the difference between the poetry of a true poet and that of an ordinary prose-dog like you or me! We remain always in the state of Wow-ow-ow-ow-no amount of effort bringing out the meaning of that dumb dog-like mass of feeling into clear and exquisite articulation. We have the vowels, which belong even to the brute animals; the consonants, which are the truly human things in speech, we cannot compass. ow-ow-ow is, not the less, that which tones all and on which all rests; it is the fund of infinite, simple feeling, already metrical, of which all translation into words is but a finite though complex expression. Nay, perhaps there is too little of Campbell's or of Nature's inarticulate hum, preceding all words, in our present poetry. Much of it may be defined as fine intellectual shuttling with no song in or to the loom-as all consonants and no vowels. But what have we to do with what our present poetry is or is not? Are we anxious to be murdered by the genus irritabile ? Not we; and so, to get out of the scrape, and to end this little essay on bouts rimés, let us just note the additional zest that may be given to that amusement by selecting queer or difficult rhymes. For example, can you make a perfect rhyme to the word Timbuctoonot to the last syllable only, but to all the three? If you tried, you would have to give it up; but some ingenious person lately has solved the problem in a rhyme which has been going about in the London clubs

Never mind! The Wow

"I would I were a cassowary

On the plains of Timbuctoo;
Then I would eat a missionary,

Head, legs, and arms, and hymn-book too." In the Athenæum, lately, a writer has been calling attention to certain simple English words, to which no rhymes are

known to exist. The words orange, month, and step are the examples chiefly insisted on. The writer himself did, by means of information elicited by his challenge, manage to dispose of the first two in a manner which, though acknowledged by himself to be evasive or illegitimate, is still very creditable. Finding that there is a hill or a set of hills in Wales called the Blorenge, and that the holy books of the Affghans go by the name of Grunth, he proposed this"From the Indus to the Blorenge Came the Rajah in a month, Sucking now and then an orange, Conning all the way his Grunth." The same writer, however, rejects all the rhymes that have been yet offered him for the word step. Will this suit him Who comes with that uneven step? Who but the drunken demirep? XIV. PALINDROMES (from the Greek palin, "back," and dromos, a course or race") are words or sentences, which may be read backwards as well as forwards, letter by letter, or sound by sound, not merely word by word as Lyon Verses. Such English words as Anna, Hannah, noon, civic, tenet, are palindromes; but the feat is to arrange a number of such words in a sentence so that the whole shall be a palindrome. Here is a pretty Latin one cited by Mr. Wheatley" Ablata at alba" ("Out of sight, but still white"), which may be applied to the moon behind a cloud, and which was applied metaphorically to a lady of Elizabeth's time banished from court under false imputations on her character. But the very first words spoken by man in this world, it seems, were a palindrome. What did Adam say when he first saw Eve? He bowed and said, "Madam, I'm Adam."


It remains now that we speak of the Anagram proper. The Logogram, which is the only other of the oddities of Mr. Wheatley's title-page left unnoticed, is, in fact, only a particular development of the Anagram. Taking breath here, therefore, let us assail, with due deliberation, this last stronghold of man's reason on this side of Limbo.

Indeed, though the front gate of the Anagram is towards the rational world, there is an extensive view of Limbo itself from all the back windows; and many a man, who has entered at the front gate sane and sober enough, has gone out at one of those back windows and never been heard of after.

The ANAGRAM, then, may be defined, broadly and generally, as any rearrangement of all the component letters of one or more given words. To indicate all that this definition involves, however, some explanation is necessary.

By a very simple rule of calculation, given in our common books of Arithmetic, it is known that the number of possible arrangements of any given series of objects-i. e. the number of different ways in which these objects may be arranged among themselves so as never twice to be in exactly the same order-increases enormously as the number of the objects increases. Thus, while one object (A) has of course only one arrangement (A), and while two objects (A and B) admit of only two arrangements (AB or BA), three objects (A, B, and C) admit of six arrangements (ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA); and, when the number of objects exceeds three, the numbers of their possible arrangements are as follows

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through all the stipulated dinners. So don't you be led into a wager on any such terms. If you make a wager of the kind about five persons, your cook has her work cut out for her for about four months; if for six persons, for about two years; but, if the party much exceeds six, there is a chance that the world will be in another geological epoch, and you yourself will be a fossil before you are off your bargain.

To apply this to words: The letters of a word of two letters may be arranged in two different ways; of a word of three distinct letters, in six different ways; of a word of four letters, in twenty-four different ways; of five, in 120 different ways; of six, in 720 different ways; of seven, in 5,040 different ways; and so on till you reach a word of twelve distinct letters, the letters of which may be arranged in more than 479 millions of different ways. Now, every possible arrangement of the letters of any word is, according to our present broad definition, an anagram of that word; so that the number of possible anagrams of any word increases immensely according to the number of distinct letters in the word. Such a word as John yields exactly twenty-three anagrams; such a word as Smith yields exactly 119 anagrams; if you add Junior, then the possible anagrams of that word alone are 719; and, if you take into account the circumstance of his being a pawnbroker, then out of that word alone (if you count the two r's as separate letters) anagrams to the number of 3,628,799 are showered upon you. You can't, of course, ask me to verify these figures by giving you a list of the anagrams; so you must take my word for it.

But "Nature mercifully imposes limits," as the baker said when he undertook to count the snow-flakes within a given area, but, the area being immediately above his oven, the heat had melted the remaining flakes just as he was getting tired, and relieved him of his engagement. Even the logicians are in the position of this fortunate baker. By their calculation according to mode and figure (we speak of the old Logic,

before Sir William Hamilton, or Professor De Morgan, or both, had quantified the predicate, and so revolutionized the scholastic Logic), the number of possible syllogisms or valid shapes of reasoning was exactly sixty-four; but, when they actually came to go over these sixty-four one by one, they found, to their comfort, that forty-five of them turned out to be utterly unthinkable-deliquesced and became untangible like the baker's snowflakes-and that only nineteen remained about which they need concern themselves. And so with anagrams. Not only are the possible anagrams of most of our words considerably reduced in numbers by the fact that individual letters frequently occur twice or thrice in the same word; but there are other limits which make themselves felt at once in practice. We cannot, indeed, in the case of a word of more than four or five letters, actually go through all its anagrams one by one, so as to see what each is worth; but a very little experience, or a very little thought, shows us that only a small percentage of the possible anagrams of any word are themselves intelligible or even pronounceable. Take John, for example. You might make something of Jhon, or even of Jnoh; but, when you come to Ojhn, Ohjn, Onjh, &c., nature relieves you by melting the letter-flakes. And out of this whole consideration springs a very obvious classification of anagrams.

1. Meaningless Anagrams. The vast majority of the possible anagrams of any given word are totally meaningless that is, they do not form any other existing words in the same or in any other known language; but are sheerly new and arbitrary combinations of letters. Take, for example, the fore-mentioned anagrams of John. Or take another example, where, on account of the shortness of the word, all the anagrams can be tested. The word Art gives the following five anagrams-Atr, Rat, Rta, Tar, and Tra; of which only two, viz. Rat and Tar, are already existing English words, and the other three are meaningless. Yet, in this word, on account of its shortness and form, the

proportion of meaningless anagrams is much less than usual. It may be observed, too, that at least one of the meaningless anagrams is quite pronounceable-to wit Tra. If this hint is duly expanded, it will be seen that what we have called Meaningless Anagrams are subdivisible into two kinds(1) Meaningless Unpronounceable Anagrams, and (2) Anagrams which, though meaningless, are yet pronounceable, and therefore capable, if once set a-going, of becoming established words. And in the history of Anagrams there are instances of both these kinds.

(1.) A very common mode of concealing one's name in writing, and yet using a signature, is simply to sign by any rearrangement of the letters composing one's name. The most common perhaps of all is simply to put the letters in the reverse order; and it very rarely, indeed, will happen that the combination so arising will be anything pronounceable. Thus, if John Smith signs himself Htims Nhoj, no organs of speech, unless they be those of an Ojibbeway under chloroform, will grapple with the vocal monster; and though, of course, he will be detected, it will not be on this ground. His chances of concealment will be greater if, instead of adopting the mere reverse arrangement of the letters, he takes any other of the possible arrangementsespecially if he mixes the John and the Smith together as one word. Now, not a few of the anagrams that have actually been made use of as pseudonyms have been of this kind-mere unpronounceable rearrangements of the letters of some name. Almost, but not quite, a sample is the title under which M. de Montalembert's pamphlet, "Un Débat sur l'Inde," was republished so as to elude the police in Paris. It reappeared as "Edni L Rus Tabed nu par Ed. Trebmelatnom;" and the police were never the wiser. Some of the anagrams in which the early scientific men of Europe announced, or rather concealed, their theories and discoveries, were, I believe, directly or indirectly of the same sort.

(2.) But Man tends to the orb of

the pronounceable even when he still avoids the smaller inner orb of the intelligible; and hence all men of sense that have made anagrams of their own names for any permanent purpose have at least adopted anagrams which their fellow-mortals, by more or less effort, could sound. Thus François Rabelais became Alcofribas Nasier, Robertus Fludd became Rudolfus Otreb, Henry Peacham became Ryhen Pameach, Agostino Coltelini became Ostilio Contalgeni, and (by a very imperfect anagram) Horatio Walpole, in his "Castle of Otranto," became Onuphrio Muralto. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and especially in Italy, such anagrams, perfect or approximate, were quite in fashion with persons of celebrity; and some had more than one. Nor did the custom cease then. It is remarkable, however, how few of these anagrams have been really successful hits. Most of them, as may be seen from the instances above, have been, though pronounceable, very uncouth. Two instances of really successful anagrams of this kind may be given by way of counterpoise. The now famous name of Voltaire, as Mr. Carlyle explains in his " Frederick," was not the family name of the great Frenchman, nor any name coming to him by any mode of inheritance from heaven or earth, but was simply an anagram of his right name Arouet, with the two letters 7. j. (le jeune, or "the younger") addedan anagram concocted by himself in a freak or deliberately, and so familiarized by his use of it, that he was known thereafter universally as Voltaire, and will be so for ever. And what is Barry Cornwall, poet, but an imperfect anagram of the name of our real living contemporary, Bryan Waller Procter? Such changes as that of u into v, and that of j into i, or the converse, are legitimate according to the rules of anagram; but it sometimes happens, as in Mr. Procter's instance, that the licence is required of slight additional change or omission. Hence few anagrams of the kind, or indeed of any kind, are absolutely perfect.

2. Significant Anagrams. These are the true, genuine Anagrams, the Anagrams of the real blood-royal; all the others are but Anagrams by sufferance or courtesy. They are the Anagrams in which, by a rearrangement of the letters of a word or of several words, there is produced, not a mere bit of unutterable gibberish, nor yet merely a pronounceable something or other, but an actual known word or set of words different from the original and conveying some sense-nay (and this is the top of the achievement, and what startles gods and men), conveying a sense which reacts upon the original as a comment, a sarcasm, à definition, a revelation. These are the Anagrams in which the Hebrews thought there was something divine; these are the Anagrams which pleased the silver-minded Plato. The notion was that, as there are correspondences between everything and everything else, so there is correspondence of the deepest and most intricate mystery between things and their names; and that by the study of names, by the intense consideration and the turning inside out of the M's and the N's of which they are composed, these correspondences may be evolved and Nature made to flash forth her secrets. And the notion came down into modern times, so that there have been ages when Anagrammatism was all but a sacred art, and men sought in each other's names, and in the names of things of high public import, those prophetic indications of character, of duty, or of destiny, which might possibly lurk in them. This was the proper spirit of Anagrammatism; but what is safe from the encroachments of profane wit and our wretched spirit of modern scepticism? Men from whom better things might have been expected did not hesitate, even at that era of the European Reformation when the truer and purer uses of Anagrammatism ought to have been religiously guarded, to turn it to rude controversial account, and to seek anagrams of each other's names merely for the purposes of satire and Billingsgate.

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