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from the music, and scarcely at all from the sentiments: a happy concordance of the emotions raised by the song and by the music, is extremely rare; and I venture to affirm, that there is no example of it, unless where the emotion raised by the former is agreeable as well as that raised by the latter.*
The subject we have run through appears not a little entertaining. It is extremely curious to observe, in many instances, a plurality of causes producing, in conjunction, a great pleasure: in other instances, no less frequent, no conjunction, but each cause acting in opposition. To enter bluntly upon a subject of such intricacy, might gravel an acute philosopher; but taking matters in a train, the intricacy vanishes.
Next in order, according to the method proposed, come external effects; which lead us to passions as the causes of external effects. Two coexistent passions that have the same tendency, must be similar: they accordingly readily unite, and in conjunction have double force. This is verified by experience; from which we learn, that the mind receives not impulses alternately from such passions, but one strong impulse from the whole in conjunction; and, indeed, it is not easy to conceive what should bar the union of passions that have all of them the same tendency.
Two passions having opposite tendencies, may proceed from the same cause considered in different views. Thus a mistress may at once be the cause both of love and of resentment: her beauty inflames the passion of love; her cruelty or inconstancy causes resentment. When two such passions coexist in the same breast, the opposition of their aim prevents any sort of union; and accordingly, they are not felt otherwise than in succession: the consequence of which must be, either that the passions will balance each other and prevent external action, or that one of them will prevail and accomplish its end. Guarini, in his Pastor Fido, describes beautifully the struggle between love and resentment directed to the same object :
Corisca. Chi vide mai, chi mai udi più strana
E più folle, e più fera, e più importuna
Passione amorosa? amore, ed odio
Con sì mirabil tempre in un cor misti,
Che l'un par l'altro (e non so ben dir come)
E si strugge, e s'avanza, e nasce, e more.
S'i' miro alle bellezze di Mirtillo
Dal pié leggiadro al grazioso volto,
Il vago portamento, il bel sembiante,
Gli atti, i costumi, e le parole, e 'l guardo;
M'assale Amore con si possente foco
Ch' i' ardo tutta, e par, ch' ogn' altro affetto
Da questo sol sia superato, e vinto :
Ma se poi penso all' ostinato amore,
* A censure of the same kind is pleasantly applied to the French ballettes by a celebrated writer: "Si le Prince est joyeux, on prend part à sa joye, et l'on danse: s'il est triste, on veut l'ègayer, et l'on danse. Mais il y a bien d'autres sujets de danses; les plus graves actions de la vie se font en dansant. Les prétres dansent, les soldats dansent, les dieux dansent, les diables dansent, on danse jusques dans les enterremens, et tout danse à propros de tout."
Ch' ei porta ad altra donna, e che per lei
Di me non cura, e sprezza (il vo' pur dire)
La mia famosa, e da mill' alme, e mille,
Inchinata beltà, bramata grazia ;
L'odio così, così l'aborro, e schivo,
Che impossibil mi par, ch'unqua per lui
Mi s'accendesse al cor fiamma amorosa.
Tallor meco ragiono: o s'io potessi
Gioir del mio dol dolcissimo Mirtillo,
Sicche fosse mio tutto, e ch' altra mai
Posseder no 'l potesse, o più d' ogn' altra
Beata, e felicissima Corisca!
Ed in quel punto in me sorge un talento
Verso di lui si dolce, e sì gentile,
Che di seguirlo, e di pregarlo ancora,
E di scoprirgli il cor prendo consiglio.
Che più? così mi stimola il desio,
Che se potessi allor l' adorerei.
Dall' altra parte i' mi risento, e dico,
Un ritroso uno schifo ? un che non degna?
Un, che può d'altra donna esser amante?
Un, ch'ardisce mirarmi, e non m'adora?
E dal mio volto si difende in guisa,
Che per amor non more? ed io, che lui
Dovrei veder, come molti altri i' veggio
Supplice, e lagrimoso a' piedi miei,
Supplice, e lagrimoso a piedi suoi
Sosterro di cadere? ah non fia mai.
Ed in questo pensier tant' ira accoglio
Contra di lui, contra di me, che volsi
A seguirlo il pensier, gli occhi a mirarlo,
Che I nome di Mirtillo, e l' amor mio
Odio più che la morte; e lui vorrei
Veder il più dolente il più infelice
Pastor, che viva; e se potessi allora,
Con le mie proprie man l'anciderei.
Così sdegno, desire, odio, ed amore
Mi fanno guerra, ed io, che stata sono
Sempre fin qui, di mille cor la fiamma,
Di mill' alme il tormento, ardo, c languisco:
E provo nel mio mal le pene altrui.*
Pastor Fido, Act I. Sc. 3.
is in lively colors the vibration of mind between two opposite passi as directed to the same object. Althea had two brothers much beloved, who were unjustly put to death by her son Meleager in a fit of passion: she was strongly impelled to revenge; but the criminal was her own son. This ought to have withheld her hand; but the story is more interesting, by the violence of the struggle between resentment and maternal love:
Dona Deûm templis nato victore ferebat;
Cum videt extinctos fratres Althæa referri.
Qua plangore dato, mœstis ululatibus urbem
Implet; et auratas mutavit vestibus atris.
At sinal est auctor necis editus; excidit omnis
Luctus: et a lacrymis in pœnæ versus amorem est.
Stipes esut, quem, cum partus enixa jaceret
Thestias, in flammam triplices posuere sorores;
The editor did not thi ik it necessary to introduce a translation of this pr
sage, as the same principle 's contained in the following illustration.
Staminaque impresso fatalia pollice nentes,
Tempora, dixerunt, eadem lignoque, tibique,
O modo nate, damus. Quo postquam carmine dicto
Excessêre Dex; flagrantem mater ab igne
Eripuit torrem: sparsitque liquentibus undis.
Illediu fuerat penetralibus abditus imis;
Servatusque tuos, juvenis, servaverat annos.
Protulit hunc genitrix, tædasque in fragmina poni
Imperat; et positis inimicos admovet ignes.
Tum conata quater flammis imponere ramum,
Capta quater tenuit. Pugnat materque, sororque,
Et diversa trahunt unum duo nomina pectus.
Sæpe metu sceleris pallebant ora futuri:
Sæpe suum fervens oculis dabat ira ruborem,
Et modo nescio quid similis crudele minanti
Vultus erat; modo quem misereri credere posses:
Cumque ferus lacrymas animi siccaverat ardor,
Inveniebantur lacrymæ tamen. Utque carina,
Quam ventus, ventoque rapit contrarius æstus,
Vim geminam sentit, paretque incerta duobus:
Thestias haud alitur dubiis affectibus errat,
Inque vices ponit, positamque resuscitat iram.
Incipit esse tamen melior germana parente;
Et, consanguineas ut sanguine leniat umbras,
Impietate pia est. Nam postquam pestifer ignis
Convaluit; Rogus iste cremet mea viscera, dixit.
Utque manu dirâ lignum fatale tenebat;
Ante sepulchrales infelix adstitit aras.
Pœnarumque Deæ triplicis furialibus, inquit,
Eumenides, sacris vultus advertite vestros.
Ulciscor, facioque nefas. Mors morte pianda est;
In scelus addendum scelus est, in funera funus:
Per coacervatos pereat domus impia luctus.
An felix Oeneus nato victore fruetur?
Thestius orbus erit? melius lugebitis ambo.
Vos modo fraterni manes, animæque recentes,
Officium sentite meum; magnoque paratas
Accipite inferias, uteri mala pignora nostri.
Hei mihi quo rapior? fratres ignoscite matri.
Deficiunt ad cœpta manus. Meruisse fatemur
Illum, cur pereat: mortis mihi displicet auctor.
Ergo impune feret; vivusque, et victor, et ipso
Successu tumidus regnum Calydonis habebit?
Vos cinis exiguus, gelidæque jacebitis umbræ ?
Haud equidem patiar. Pereat sceleratus; et ille
Spemque patris, regnique trahat, patriæque ruinam.
Mens ubi materna est? ubi sunt pia jura parentum?
Et, quos sustinui, bis mensûm quinque labores?
O utinam primis arsisses ignibus infans:
Idque ego passa forem! vixisti munere nostro ;
Nunc merito moriêre tuo. Cape præmia facti;
Bisque datam, primum partu, mox stipite rapto,
Redde animam; vel me fraternis adde sepulchris.
Et cupio, et nequeo. Quid agam? modo vulnera fratrum
Ante oculos mihi sunt, et tantæ cædis imago;
Nunc animum pietas, maternaque nomina frangunt.
Me miseram! male vincetis? sed vincite, fratres;
Dummodo, quæ dedero vobis solatia, vosque
Ipsa sequar, dixit: dextraque aversa trementi
Funereum torrem medios conjecit in ignes.
Aut dedit, aut visus gemitus est ille dedisse
Stipes; et invitis correptus ab ignibus arsit.
Metamorph. lib. 8. 1. 445
Pleased with the first, unknown the second news;
Althea to the temples pays their dues
For her son's conquest; when at length appear
Her grisly brethren stretched upon the bier;
Pale at the sudden sight she changed her cheer,
And with her cheer, her robes; but hearing tell
The cause, the manner, and by whom they fell,
'Twas grief no more, or grief and rage were one
Within her soul; at last, 'twas rage alone;
Which bursting upwards in succession, dries
The tears, that stood consid'ring in her eyes.
There lay a log unlighted on the hearth,
When she was lab'ring in the throes of birth,
For the unborn chief; the fatal sisters came,
And raised it up, and toss'd it on the flame;
Then on the rock a scanty measure place
Of vital flax, and turned the wheel apace;
And turning sung; To this red brand and thee,
O new-born babe, we give an equal destiny:-
So vanished out of view; The frighted dame
Sprang hasty from her bed, and quenched the flame:
The log, in secret locked, she kept with care;
And that, while thus preserved, preserved her heir.
This brand she now produced; and first she strows
The hearth with heaps of chips, and after blows:
Thrice heaved her hand, and heaved, she thrice repressed:
The sister, and the mother long contest,
Two doubtful titles, in one tender breast.
And now her eyes and cheeks with fury glow,
Now pale her cheeks, her eyes with pity flow:
Now lowering looks presage approaching storms,
And now prevailing love her face reforms;
Resolved, she doubts again; the tears she dried
With burning rage, are by new tears supplied;
And as a ship, which winds and waves assail,
Now with the current drives, now with the gale,
Both opposite, and neither long prevail;
She feels a double force, by turns obeys
The imperious tempest, and the impetuous seas:
So fares Althæa's mind; she first relents
With pity; of that pity then repents.
Sister, and mother, long the scales divide;
But the beam nodded on the sister's side:
Sometimes she softly sighed, then roared aloud:
But sighs were stifled in the cries of blood.
The pious, impious wretch at length decreed,
To please her brothers' ghost, her son should bleed:
And when the funeral flames began to rise,
Receive, she said, a sister's sacrifice;
A mother's bowels burn: high in her hand,
Thus while she spoke, she held the fatal brand;
Then thrice before the kindled pile she bowed,
And the three Furies thrice invoked aloud:
Come, come, revenging sisters; come, and view
A sister paying her dead brothers' due:
A crime I punish, and a crime commit,
But blood for blood and death for death is fit:
Great crimes must be with greater crimes repaid,
And second funerals on the former laid.
Let the whole household in one ruin fall,
And may Diana's curse o'ertake us all!
Shall fate to happy Eneus still allow
One son, while Thestius stands deprived of two?
Better three lost, than one unpunished go.
Take, then, dear ghost, while yet admitted new
In hell, you wait my duty, take your due:
A costly offering on your tomb is laid,
When with my blood the price of yours is paid.-
Ah! whither am I hurried? Ah! forgive,
Ye shades, and let your sister's issue live:
A mother cannot give him death; though he
Deserves it, he deserves it not from me:-
Then shall the unpunished wretch insult the slain,
Triumphant live, nor only live, but reign,
While you, thin shades, the sport of winds are tossed
O'er dreary plains, or tread the burning coast.
I cannot, cannot bear; 'tis past, 'tis done;
Perish this impious, this detested son;
Perish his sire, and perish I with all;
And let the house's heir, and the hop'd kingdom fall!
Where is the mother fled, her pious love,
And where the pains with which ten months I strove!
Ah! hadst thou died, my son, in infant years,
Thy little hearse had been bedewed with tears.-
Thou livedst by me; to me thy breath resign;
Mine is the merit, the demerit thine.
Thy life by double title I require;
Once given at birth, and once preserved from fire;
One murder pay, or add one murder more,
And me to them who fell by thee restore.-
I would, but cannot: my son's image stands
Before my sight; and now their angry hands
My brothers hold, and vengeance these exact,
This pleads compassion, and repents the fact.-
He pleads in vain, and I pronounce his doom:
My brothers, though unjustly, shall o'ercome:
But having paid their injured ghosts their due,
My son requires my death, and mine shall his pursue.
At this, for the last time, she lifts her hand,
Averts her eyes, and, half unwilling, drops the brand.
The brand, amid the flaming fuel thrown,
Or drew, or seemed to draw, a dying groan:
The fires themselves but faintly licked their prey,
Then loath'd their impious food, and would have shrunk away.
In cases of this kind, one circumstance always augments the fluetuation after balancing between two actions, a resolution to prefer one of them is an inchoated gratification of the prevailing passion, which moderates it in some degree; and that circumstance tends to give a superiority to the opposite passion: another circumstance also concurs, that this opposite passion has, by restraint, aequired in the interim some additional force.
Love and jealousy connected by a common object, occupy the mind alternately: when the object is considered as beautiful, love prevails; when considered as possibly unfaithful, jealousy prevails. A situation of that kind affords great scope for fluctuation of passion; which is painted to the life by several masterly hands in words as well as in colors. Shakspeare handles the same subject, but in a manner uncommon, and peculiar to himself: in Othello's soliloquy before putting his wife to death, love and jealousy are represented, each exerting its whole force, but without any struggle: Othello was naturally inflexible; and the tenderest love could not divert him