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or deceit, shall be imputed to me as a merit. - Treachery! what treachery? Love cancels all the bonds of friendship, and sets men right upon their first foundations.

Act II. Sc. 8. In French plays, love, instead of being hid or disguised, is treated as a serious concern, and of greater importance than fortune, family, or dignity. I suspect the reason to be, that, in the capital of France, love, by the easiness of intercourse, has dwindled down from a real passion to be a connection that is regulated entirely by the mode or fashion.* This may in some measure excuse their writers, but will never make their plays be relished among foreigners:

Maxime. Quoi, trahir mon ami ?

Euphorbe. -L'amour rend tout permis,
Un veritable amant ne connoît point d'amis.

Cinna, Act III. Sc. I.
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 fâme 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 veux,
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 quelq' 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 combattoit par tout mon bras ambitieux,
Et dans Pharsale même il a tiré l'epée
Plus pour le conservir, que pour vaincre Pompée.
Je l'ai vaincu, princesse, et le Dieu de combats
My 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 rendy 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.

Pompée, Act IV. Sc. 3. * A certain author says humorously, “ Les mots mêmes d'amour et d'amant sont bannis de l'intime société des deux sexes, et relegués avec ceux de chaine et de flame dans les Romans qu'on ne lit plus.” And where nature is once banished, a fair field is open to every fantastic imitation, even the most extravagant,

The last class comprehends sentiments that are unnatural, as being suited to no character nor passion. These may be subdivided 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 extravagance.

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 contrary to nature. In the Hippolytus of Euripides, * 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, Act II. 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'Avaret 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, a fille, et a moi aussi.

This is so absurd as scarcely to provoke a smile, if it be not at the author. Of this 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 II. Sc. 3.
Vos mains seules ont droit de vaincre un invincible.

Le Cid, Act V. Sc. last.
Que son nom soit beni. Que son nom soit chanté,
Que l'on celebre ses ouvrages
Au de la de l'eternité.

Esther, Act V. Sc. last.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath and infinite despair ?
Which way I Ay is hell: myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatning to devour me, opens wide;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heav'n.

Paradise Lost, Book IV.
* Act IV. Sc. 5.

+ Act IV. Sc. 7.

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 Oete,
Et juga tota vacant Bromio Nyseia ; quare
Unus in Egypto Magno lapis į Omnia Lagi
Rura tenere potest, si nullo cespite nomen
Hæserit. Erremus populi, cinerumque tuorum,

Magne, metu nullas Nili calcemus arenas. L. 8. 1. 798.
Thus in Rowe's translation:

Where there are seas, or air, or earth, or skies,
Where-e'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 Oeta'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
Fillip 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 V. Sc. 3.
Cæsar.

-Danger knows full well,
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 II. Sc. 4.
Almahide.

- This day
I gave my faith to him, he his to me.

Almanzor. Good heaven, 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 e'en 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 Grenada, Act III.
Almanzor.

I'll hold it fast
As life: when life's gone, I'll hold this last,
And if thou tak'st after I am slain,
I'll send my ghost to fetch it back again.

Conquest of Grenada, Part 2. Act III.
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.

(Dies.
Conquest of Grenada, Part 2. Act v.
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 formed you wonder'd
At their own skill, and cry'd, a lucky hit
Has mended our design.

Dryden, All for Love, Act I. 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:

Raphel, 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.

CHAPTER XVII.

LANGUAGE OF PASSION.

Man has a propensity to communicate his passions and emotions-Venting a

passion gives relief-Immoderate grief is silent, because it fills the mind-Immoderate love and revenge silent-Surprise and terror silent-They express in words, only the capital circumstances—Language should be adopted to the sentiment and passion-Elevated sentiments require elevated language-Tender sentiments, soft and flowing language-Figures give an agreeable character to sentiment-Gross errors, of passions expressed in flowing in an unequal course -The language of violent passion, interrupted and broken, soliloquies particularly-Authors apt to use language above their tone of mind—To use language too figurative for the dignity and importance of the subject, an error Language too light and airy for a serious passion-A thought that turns upon one expression instead of the subject-Expressions which have no distinct meaning

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.

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

It is the wretch's comfort still to have
Some small reserve of near and inward wo,
Some unsuspected hoard of inward grief,
Which they unseen may wail, and weep, and mourn,
And glutton-like alone devour.

Mourning Bride, Act I. 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.*

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 has any long uninterrupted existence,t 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

* 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 Egyptians 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 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 weep ing; 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.

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