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description. Because that union of affecting words, cretius has drawn of religion, in order to display which is the most powerful of all poetical instru- the magnanimity of his philosophical hero in ments, would frequently lose its force along with opposing her, is thought to be designed with great its propriety and consistency, if the sensible images boldness and spirit: were always excited. There is not perhaps in the
Humana ante oculos fædè cum vita jaceret, whole Eneid a more grand and laboured passage In terris, oppressa gravi sub religione, than the description of Vulcan's cavern in Etna, Quæ cuput ë cæli regionibus ostendebat and the works that are there carried on. Virgil Horribili super aspectu mortalibus instans ;
Primus Gruius homo mortales tollere contra dwells particularly on the formation of the thunder,
Est oculos ausus. which he describes unfinished under the hammers of the Cyclops. But what are the principles of What idea do you derive from so excellent a picthis extraordinary composition ?
ture ? none at all, most certainly: neither has the
poet said a single word which might in the least Tres imbris torli radios, tres nubis aquosa
serve to mark a single limb or feature of the phanAddiderant ; rutili tres ignis, et alitis austri :
tom, which he intended to represent in all the Fulgores nunc terrificos, sonitumque, metuinque Miscebant operi, fiamnisque sequucibus irus.
horrours imagination can conceive. In reality,
poetry and rhetorick do not exceed in exact deThis seems to me admirably sublime; yet if we scription so well as painting does ; their business attend coolly to the kind of sensible image which is, to affect rather by sympathy than imitation; a combination of ideas of this sort must form, the to display rather the effect of things on the mind chimeras of madmen cannot appear more wild and of the speaker, or of others, than to present a absurd than such a picture. “Three rays of twisted clear idea of the things themselves. This is their “ showers, three of watery clouds, three of fire, most extensive province, and that in which they “ and three of the winged south wind; then mixed succeed the best. “ they in the work terrifick lightnings, and sound “ and fear, and anger, with pursuing flames.” This strange composition is formed into a gross body; it is hammered by the Cyclops, it is in part polished, and partly continues rough. The HENCE we may observe that poetry, taken in truth is, if poetry gives us a noble assemblage of its most general sense, cannot with strict propriety words corresponding to many noble ideas which be called an art of imitation. It is indeed an are connected by circumstances of time or place, imitation so far as it describes the manners and or related to each other as cause and effect, or passions of men which their words can express ; associated in any natural way, they may be where animi motus effert interprete lingua. There moulded together in any form, and perfectly it is strictly imitation ; and all merely dramatick answer their end. The picturesque connexion is poetry is of this sort. But descriptive poetry, not demanded; because no real picture is formed; operates chiefly by substitution ; by the means of nor is the effect of the description at all the less sounds, which by custom have the effect of realities. upon this account. What is said of Helen by Nothing is an imitation further than as it resemPriam and the old men of his council, is generally bles some other thing; and words undoubtedly thought to give us the highest possible idea of have no sort of resemblance to the ideas for which that fatal beauty.
SECT. VI.POETRY NOT STRICTLY AN IMITATITE
VII.- HOW WORDS INFLUENCE THE
Ου νεμεσις Τρωας και ευκνημιδας Αχαιας, ,
Now, as words affect, not by any original
power, but by representation, it might be
supShe moves a godless, and she looks a queen.
posed, that their influence over the passions should Pope. be but light; yet it is quite otherwise ; for we
find hy experience, that eloquence and poetry are Here is not one word said of the particulars of her as capable, nay indeed much more capable, of beauty; nothing which can in the least help us to making deep and lively impressions than any other any precise idea of her person ; but yet we are arts, and even than nature itself in very many much more touched by this manner of mentioning cases. And this arises chiefly from these three her, than by those long and laboured descriptions causes. First, that we take an extraordinary part of Helen, whether handed down by tradition, or in the passions of others, and that we are easily formed by fancy, which are to be met with in affected and brought into sympathy by any tokens some authors. I am sure it affects me much more which are shewn of them; and there are no tokens than the minute description which Spenser has which can express all the circumstances of mest given of Belphebe; though I own that there are passions so fully as words ; so that if a person parts in that description, as there are in all the speaks upon any subject, he can not only convey descriptions of that excellent writer, extremely the subject to you, but likewise the manner in fine and poetical. The terrible picture which Lu- which he is himself affected by it. Certain it is,
that the influence of most things on our passions not presentable but by language; and an union is not so much from the things themselves, as from of them great and amazing beyond conception ; our opinions concerning them; and these again if they may properly be called ideas which present depend very much on the opinions of other men, no distinct image to the mind :—but still it will be conveyable for the most part by words only. difficult to conceive how words can move the Secondly, there are many things of a very affect- passions which belong to real objects, without reing nature, which can seldom occur in the reality, presenting these objects clearly. This is difficult but the words that represent them often do; to us, because we do not sufficiently distinguish, and thus they have an opportunity of making a in our observations upon language, between a clear deep impression and taking root in the mind, expression and a strong expression. These are whilst the idea of the reality was transient; and to frequently confounded with each other, though some perhaps never really occurred in any shape, they are in reality extremely different. The forto whom it is notwithstanding very affecting, as mer regards the understanding; the latter belongs war, death, famine, &c. Besides, many ideas have to the passions. The one describes a thing as it never been at all presented to the senses of any is; the latter describes it as it is felt. Now, as there men but by words, as God, angels, devils, heaven, is a moving tone of voice, an impassioned counand hell, all of which have however a great in- tenance, an agitated gesture, which affect indeHuence over the passions. Thirdly, by words we pendently of the things about which they are have it in our power to make such combinations exerted, so there are words, and certain dispositions as we cannot possibly do otherwise. By this power of words, which being peculiarly devoted to pasof combining, we are able, by the addition of well- sionate subjects, and always used by those who are chosen circumstances, to give a new life and force under the influence of any passion, touch and to the simple object. In painting we may repre- move us more than those which far more clearly sent any fine figure we please ; but we never can and distinctly express the subject matter. give it those enlivening touches which it may yield to sympathy what we refuse to description. receive from words. To represent an angel in a The truth is, all verbal description, merely as naked picture, you can only draw a beautiful
description, though never so exact, conveys so winged: but what painting can furnish out any poor and insufficient an idea of the thing described, thing so grand as the addition of one word, “ the that it could scarcely have the smallest effect, if the angel of the Lord ?" It is true, I have here no speaker did not call in to his aid those modes of clear idea; but these words affect the mind more speech that mark a strong and lively feeling in than the sensible image did ; which is all I contend himself. Then, by the contagion of our passions, for. A picture of Priam dragged to the altar's foot, we catch a fire already kindled in another, which and there murdered, if it were well executed, probably might never have been struck out by the would undoubtedly be very moving ; but there are object described. Words, by strongly conveyvery aggravating circumstances, which it could ing the passions, by those means which we have never represent :
already mentioned, fully compensate for their
weakness in other respects. It may be observed, Sunguine fædantem quos ipse sacraverat ignes. that very polished languages, and such as are
praised for their superiour clearness and perspiAs a further instance, let us consider those linescuity, are generally deficient in strength. The of Milton, where he describes the travels of the French language has that perfection and that defect. fallen angels through their dismal habitation : Whereas the oriental tongues, and in general the
languages of most unpolished people, have a great -O'er many a dark and dreary vale
force and energy of expression; and this is but They passid, and many a region dolorous ; O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp;
natural. Uncultivated people are but ordinary obRocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death,
servers of things, and not critical in distinguishing A universe of death.
them ; but, for that reason, they admire more,
and are more affected with what they see, and Here is displayed the force of union in
therefore express themselves in a warmer and
more passionate manner. If the affection be well Rocks, caves, lakes, dens, bogs, fens, and shades ; conveyed, it will work its effect without any clear
idea ; often without any idea at all of the thing which yet would lose the greatest part of their which has originally given rise to it. effect, if they were not the
It might be expected from the fertility of the
subject, that I should consider poetry, as it regards Rocks, caves, lakes, dens, bogs, fens, and shades- the sublime and beautiful, more at large; but it - of Death.
must be observed that in this light it has been often
and well handled already. It was not my design This idea or this affection caused by a word, which to enter into the criticism of the sublime and beaunothing but a word could annex to the others, tiful in any art, but to attempt to lay down such taises a very great degree of the sublime ; and this principles as may tend to ascertain, to distinguish, sublime is raised yet higher by what follows, a and
and to form a sort of standard for them; which “ universe of Death.” Here are again two ideas purposes I thought might be best effected by an enquiry into the properties of such things in na- they were capable of being the representatives of ture, as raise love and astonishment in us; and these natural things, and by what powers they by shewing in what manner they operated to pro- were able to affect us often as strongly as the duce these passions. Words were only so far things they represent, and sometimes much more to be considered, as to shew upon what principle strongly.
OY A LATK
The late administration came into employment, That administration was the first which proposed under the mediation of the Duke of Cumberland, and encouraged publick meetings and free consulon the tenth day of July 1765; and was removed, tations of merchants from all parts of the kingdom; upon a plan settled by the Earl of Chatham, on by which means the truest lights have been rethe thirtieth day of July 1766, having lasted just ceived ; great benefits have been already derived to one year and twenty days.
manufactures and commerce; and the most exten
sive prospects are opened for further improvement. In that space of time
Under them, the interests of our northern and
southern colonies, before that time jarring and The distractions of the British empire were com- dissonant, were understood, compared, adjusted, posed, by the repeal of the American stamp act; and perfectly reconciled. The passions and ani
But the constitutional superiority of Great Bri- mosities of the colonies, by judicious and lenient tain was preserved, by the act for securing the measures, were allayed and composed, and the dependence of the colonies.
foundation laid for a lasting agreement amongst Private houses were relieved from the jurisdic-them. tion of the excise, by the repeal of the cyder-tax.
Whilst that administration provided for the The personal liberty of the subject was con- liberty and commerce of their country, as the true firmed, by the resolution against general war- basis of its power, they consulted its interests, rants.
they asserted its honour abroad, with temper and The lawful secrets of business and friendship with firmness; by making an advantageous treaty were rendered inviolable, by the resolution for of commerce with Russia; by obtaining a liquidacondemning the seizure of papers.
tion of the Canada bills, to the satisfaction of the The trade of America was set free from injudi- proprietors; by reviving and raising from its ashes rious and ruinous impositions—its revenue was the negociation for the Manilla ransom, which had improved, and settled upon a rational foundation been extinguished and abandoned by their prede-its commerce extended with foreign countries ; cessors. while all the advantages were secured to Great They treated their sovereign with decency; Britain, by the act for repealing certain duties, with reverence. They discountenanced, and, it and encouraging, regulating, and securing the is hoped, for ever abolished, the dangerous and trade of this kingdom, and the British dominions unconstitutional practice of removing military ofin America.
ficers for their votes in parliament. They firmly Materials were provided and insured to our adhered to those friends of liberty, who had run manufactures- the sale of these manufactures was all hazards in its cause; and provided for them in encreased--the African trade preserved and ex- preference to every other claim. tended-the principles of the act of navigation With the Earl of Bute they had no personal pursued, and the plan improved—and the trade connexion ; no correspondence of councils. They for bullion rendered free, secure, and permanent, neither courted him nor persecuted him. They by the act for opening certain ports in Dominica practised no corruption ; nor were they even susund Jamaica.
pected of it. They sold no offices. They obtained
no reversions or pensions, either coming in or nor heightened by the colouring of eloquence. going out, for themselves, their families, or their They are the services of a single year. dependents.
The removal of that administration from power In the prosecution of their measures they were is not to them premature ; since they were in oftraversed by an opposition of a new and singular fice long enough to accomplish many plans of character; an opposition of placemen and pension- publick utility; and, by their perseverance and ers. They were supported by the confidence of resolution, rendered the way smooth and easy to the nation. And having held their offices under their successors; having left their king and their many difficulties and discouragements, they left country in a much better condition than they them at the express command, as they had accepted found them. By the temper they manifest, they them at the earnest request, of their royal master. seem to have now no other wish, than that their
These are plain facts; of a clear and publick successors may do the publick as real and as faithnature; neither extended by elaborate reasoning, ful service as they have done.