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Maxime. Quoi, trahir mon ami?

Euphorbe.- -L'amour rend tout permis,

Un veritable amant ne connoît point d'amis.-Cinna, act 3. sc. 1

Cesar. Reine, tout est plaisible, et la ville calmée.
Qu'un trouble assez leger avoit trop alarmée,
N'a plus à redouter le divorce intestin
Du soldat insolent, et du peuple mutin.
Mais, ô Dieux! ce moment que je vous ai quittée,
D'un trouble bien plus grand à mon ame agitée,
Et ces soins importuns qui m'arrachoient de vous,
Contre ma grandeur même allumoient mon courroux.
Je lui voulois du mal de m'être si contraire,
De rendre ma presence ailleurs si necessaire.
Mais je lui pardonnois au simple souvenir
Du bonheur qu'à ma flâme elle fait obtenir.
C'est elle dont je tiens cette haute espérance,
Qui flate mes desirs d'une illustre apparence,
Et fait croire à César qu'il peut former de vœux,
Qu'il n'est pas tout-à-fait indigne de vos feux,
Et qu'il peut en pretendre une juste conquête,
N'ayant plus que les Dieux au dessus de sa tête.
Oui, Reine, si quelqu'un dans ce vaste univers
Pouvoit porter plus haut la gloire de vos fers;
S'il étoit quelque trône où vous pouissiez paroître
Plus dignement assise en captivant son maître,
J'irois, j'irois à lui, moins pour le lui ravir,
Que pour lui disputer le droit de vous servir:
Et je n'aspirerois au bonheur de vous plaire,
Qu'après avoir mis bas un si grand adversaire.
C'étoit pour acquerir un droit si précieux,
Que combattoît par-tout mon bras ambitieux ;
Et dans Pharsale même il a tiré l'epee

Plus pour le conservir, que pour vaincre Pompee.
Je l'ai vaincu, Princesse, et le Dieu des combats
M'y favorisoit moins que vos divins appas;

Ils conduisoient ma main, ils enfloient mon courage,
Cette pleine victoire est leur dernier ouvrage,
C'est l'effet des ardeurs qu'ils daignoient m'inspirer :
Et vos beaux yeux enfin m'ayant fait soûpirer,
Pour faire que votre ame avec gloire y réponde,
M'ont rendu le premier, et de Rome, et du monde ;
C'est ce glorieux titre, à présent effectif,

Que je viens ennoblir par celui de captif;
Heureux, si mon esprit gagne tant sur le vôtre,

Qu'il en estime l'un, et me permette l'autre.-Pompee, act 4. sc. 3.

The last class comprehends sentiments that are unnatural, as being suited to no character nor passion. These may be subdi. vided into three branches: first, Sentiments unsuitable to the constitution of man, and to the laws of his nature; second, Inconsistent sentiments; third, Sentiments that are pure rant and extra. vagance.

When the fable is of human affairs, every event, every incident, and every circumstance, ought to be natural, otherwise the imitation is imperfect. But an imperfect imitation is a venial fault, compared with that of running cross to nature. In the Hippolytus of Euripides,*

*Act 4. sc. 5.

Hippolytus, wishing for another self in his own situation, How much (says he) should I be touched with his misfortune !-as if it were natural to grieve more for the misfortunes of another than for one's own.

Osmyn. Yet I behold her—yet—and now no more.
Turn your lights inward, eyes, and view my thought.
So shall you still behold her-'twill not be.
O impotence of sight! mechanic sense!
Which to exterior objects ow'st thy faculty,
Not seeing of election, but necessity.
Thus do our eyes, as do all common mirrors,
Successively reflect succeeding images.

Nor what they would, but must: a star or toad;

Just as the hand of chance administers !—Mourning Bride, aet 2. sc. 8.

No man in his senses ever thought of applying his eyes to discover what passes in his mind, far less of blaming his eyes for not seeing a thought or idea. In Moliere's L'Avare,* Harpagon, being robbed of his money, seizes himself by the arm, mistaking it for that of the robber. And again he expresses himself as follows:

Je veux aller querir la justice, et faire donner la question à toute ma maison; à servantes, à valets, à fils, à fille, et à moi aussi !

This is so absurd as scarce to provoke a smile, if it be not at the author.

Of the second branch the following are examples:

Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible,

Yea, get the better of them.-Julius Cæsar, act 2. sc. 3.

Vos mains seules ont droit de vaincre un invincible.

Le Cid, act 5. sc. last.

Que son nom soit beni. Que son nom soit chanté,
Que l'on celebre ses ouvrages
Au dela de l'eternité.-Esther, act 5. sc. last.

Me miserable! Which way shall I fly,
Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell :-myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep, a lower deep

Still threatening to devour me, opens wide;

To which the hell I suffer seems a heav'n.-Paradise Lost, book 4.

Of the third branch take the following samples: Lucan talking of Pompey's sepulchre,

Romanum nomen, et omne
Imperium Magno est tumuli modus. Obrue saxa
Crimine plena deum. Si tota est Herculis Œte,
Et juga tota vacant Cromio Nyseia; quare
Unus in Egypto Magno lapis: Omnia Lagi
Rura tenere potest, si nullo cespite nomen
Hæserit. Erremus populi, cinerumque tuorum,
Magne, metu nullas Nili calcemus arenas.-L. 8. 1. 798

* Act 4. sc. 7.

Thus, in Rowe's translation,

Where there are seas, or air, or earth, or skies,
Where'er Rome's empire stretches, Pompey lies,
Far be the vile memorial then convey'd!
Nor let this stone the partial gods upbraid.
Shall Hercules all Eta's heights demand,
And Nysa's hill for Bacchus only stand;
While one poor pebble is the warrior's doom
That fought the cause of liberty and Rome?
If Fate decrees he must in Egypt lie,
Let the whole fertile realm his grave supply,
Yield the wide country to his awful shade,
Nor let us dare on any part to tread,
Fearful we violate the mighty dead.

The following passages are pure rant. Coriolanus, speaking to his mother,

What is this?

Your knees to me ?-to your corrected son?
Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach
Fillop the stars! Then let the mutinous winds
Strike the proud cedars 'gainst the fiery sun:
Murd'ring impossibility to make

What cannot be, slight work.-Coriolanus, act 5. sc. 3.


That Cæsar is more dangerous than he.
We were two lions litter'd in one day,

And I the elder and more terrible.-Julius Cæsar, act 2. sc. 4.

Danger knows full well,

Almahide. This day

I gave my faith to him, he his to me.

Almansor. Good Heav n! thy book of fate before me lay

But to tear out the journal of this day.

Or if the order of the world below

Will not the gap of one whole day allow,

Give me that minute when she made that vow;

That minute ev'n the happy from their bliss might give,

And those who live in grief a shorter time would live;
So small a link if broke, th' eternal chain

Would, like divided waters, join again.-Conquest of Granada, act 3,


I'll hold it fast

As life! And, when life's gone, I'll hold this last!
And if thou tak'st it after am slain,

I'll send my ghost to fetch it back again.

Conquest of Granada, part 2. act. 3.

Lyndiraxa. A crown is come, and will not fate allow;
And yet I feel something like death is near.
My guards! my guards!

Let not that ugly skeleton appear.
Sure Destiny mistakes! this death's not mine!
She doats, and means to cut another line.
Tell her I am a queen!-But 'tis too late;
Dying, I charge rebellion on my fate.
Bow down, ye slaves!-

Bow quickly down, and your submission show;
I'm pleas'd to taste an empire ere I go.


Conquest of Granada, part 2. act 5.

Ventidius. But you, ere love misled your wand'ring eyes,
Were, sure, the chief and best of human race;

Fram'd in the very pride and boast of nature

So perfect, that the Gods who form'd you wonder'd
At their own skill, and cried, A lucky hit

Has mended our design.-Dryden, All for Love, act 1.

Not to talk of the impiety of this sentiment, it is ludicrous instead of being lofty.

The famous epitaph on Raphael is no less absurd than any of the foregoing passages:

Raphael, timuit, quo sospite, vinci

Rerum magna parens, et moriente mori.

Imitated by Pope in his epitaph on Sir Godfrey Kneller :

Living, great Nature fear'd he might outvie

Her works: and dying, fears herself might die.

Such is the force of imitation; for Pope, of himself, would never have been guilty of a thought so extravagant.

So much upon sentiments. The language proper for expressing them comes next in order.



AMONG the particulars that compose the social part of our nature, a propensity to communicate our opinions, our emotions, and every thing that affects us, is remarkable. Bad fortune and injustice affect us greatly; and of these we are so prone to complain, that if we have no friend nor acquaintance to take part in our sufferings, we sometimes utter our complaints aloud, even where there are none to listen.

A man

But this propensity operates not in every state of mind. immoderately grieved seeks to afflict himself, rejecting all consolation. Immoderate grief accordingly is mute: complaining is strug gling for consolation.

It is the wretch's comfort still to have

Some small reserve of near and inward woe,

Some unsuspected hoard of inward grief,

Which they unseen may wail, and weep, and mourn,

And glutton-like alone devour.-Mourning Bride, act 1. sc. 1.

When grief subsides, it then, and no sooner, finds a tongue : we complain, because complaining is an effort to disburden the mind of its distress.*

* This observation is finely illustrated by a story which Herodotus records, b. 3. Cambyses, when he conquered Egypt, made Psammenitus, the king, prisoner; and, for trying his constancy, ordered his daughter to be dressed in the habit of a slave, and to be employed in bringing water from the river: his son also was led to execution with a halter about his neck. The Egygtians vented their sorrow in tears and lamentations; Psammenitus only, with a downcast eye, remained silent. Afterward meeting one of his companions, a man advanced in

Surprise and terror are silent passions for a different reason: they agitate the mind so violently as for a time to suspend the exercise of its faculties, and among others the faculty of speech.

Love and revenge, when immoderate, are not more loquacious than immoderate grief. But when these passions become moderate, they set the tongue free, and, like.moderate grief, become loquacious moderate love, when unsuccessful, is vented in complaints; when successful, is full of joy expressed by words and gestures.


As no passion hath any longer uninterrupted existence,* nor beats always with an equal pulse, the language suggested by passion is not only unequal, but frequently interrupted: and even during an uninterrupted fit of passion, we only express in words the more capital sentiments. In familiar conversation, one who vents every single thought is justly branded with the character of loquacity; because sensible people express no thoughts but what make some figure; in the same manner, we are only disposed to express the strongest pulses of passion, especially when it returns with impetuosity after interruption.

I formerly had occasion to observe,† that the sentiments ought to be turned to the passion, and the language to both. Elevated sentiments require elevated language: tender sentiments ought to be clothed in words that are soft and flowing when the mind is depressed with any passion, the sentiments must be expressed in words that are humble, not low. Words being intimately connected with the ideas they represent, the greatest harmony is required between them to express, for example, an humble sentiment in high sounding words, is disagreeable by a discordant mixture of feelings; and the discord is not less when elevated sentiments are dressed in low words:

Versibus exponi tragicis res comica non vult.
Indignatur item privatis ac prope socco
Dignis carminibus narrari cœna Thyestæ.

Horace, Ars poet. l. 8.

This however excludes not figurative expression, which, within moderate bounds, communicates to the sentiment an agreeable elevation. We are sensible of an effect directly opposite, where figura. tive expression is indulged beyond a just measure the opposition between the expression and the sentiment, makes the discord ap pear greater than it is in reality.‡

At the same time, figures are not equally the language of every passion pleasant emotions, which elevate or swell the mind, vent years, who, being plundered of all, was begging alms, he wept bitterly, calling him by his name. Cambyses, struck with wonder demanded an answer to the following question; "Psammenitus, thy master, Cambyses, is desirous to know, why after thou hadst seen thy daughter so ignominiously treated, and thy son led to execution, without exclaiming or weeping, thou shouldst be so highly concerned for a poor man, no way related to thee?" Psammenitus returned the following answer; "Son of Cyrus, the calamities of my family are too great to leave me the power of weeping; but the misfortunes of a companion, reduced in his old age to want of bread, is a fit subject for lamentation."

*See chap. 2 part 3.
+ Chap. 16.
See this explained more particularly in chap. 8.

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