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stood on those paths, and called the stranger to the fcast. But Cathmor dwelt in the wood to avoid the voice of praise.
Dermid and Oscar were one: they reaped the battle together. Their friendship was strong as their steel; and death walked between them to the field. They rush on the foe like two rocks falling from the brow of Ardven. Their swords are stained with the blood of the valiant: warriors faint at their name. Who is equal to Oscar but Dermid ? who to Dermid but Oscar ?
Son of Comhal, replied the chief, the strength of Mor. ni's arm has failed: I attempt to draw the sword of my youth, but it remains in its place: I throw the spear, but it falls short of the mark: and I feel the weight of my thield. We decay like the grass of the mountain, and our strength returns no more. I have a son, O Fingal, his soul has delighted in the actions of Morni's youth; bue his sword has not been fitted against the foe, neither has his fame begun. I come with him to battle; to direct his -arm. His renown will be a sun to my soul, in the dark hour of my departure. Othat the name of Morni were forgot among the people ! that the heroes would only fay, “ Behold the father of Gaul.”
Some writers, through heat of imagination, fall into contradictions; some are guilty of down, right inconsistencies; and foine even rave like madmen, Against such capital errors one cannot be more effectually warned than by collecting instances; and the first shall be of a contradiction, the most venial of all. Virgil speaking of Neptune, Vox. II,
Interea magno misceri murmure pontum
Æneid, i, 128,
When first young Maro, in his boundless mind,
Ejay on Criticism, l. 130.
The following examples are of downright inconsistencies :
Alii pulsis e tormento catenis difcerpti fectique, dimidiato corpore pugnabant fibi superstites, ac peremptą partis ultores.
Strada, Dec, 2. L. 2.
Il povér huomo, che non sen' era accorto,
He fled, but flying, left his life behind.
Tliad, xi. 443.
Full through his neck the weighty falchion sped:
Odysey, xxii. 365
The last article is of raving like one mad, Cleopatra speaking to the afpic,
- Welcome, thou kind deceiver, Thou best of thieves; who, with an eafy key,
Dost open life, and unperceiv'd by us
Dryden, All for Love, ałt 5.
Reasons that are common and known to every one, ought to be taken for granted: to express them is childish, and interrupts the narration. Quintus Curtius, relating the battle of Illus,
Jam in conspectu, sed extra teli jactum, utraque acies erat; quum priores Perfæ inconditum et trucem fuftulere clamorem. Redditur et a Macedonibus major, exercitus impar numero; sed jugis montium vaftisque faltibus repercuffus : quippe femper circumjecta nemora petræquer quantumcumque accepere vocem, multiplicato fona referunt.
Having discussed what observations occurred upon the thoughts or things expressed, I proceed to what more peculiarly concerns the language or verbal dress. The language proper for expressing passion being the subject of a foriner chapter, feveral observations there made are applicable to the present subject; particularly, Thae words being intimately connected with the ideas they represent, the emotions raised by the sound and by the sense ought to be concordant. An elevated subject requires an elevated style; what is familiar, ought to be familiarly expressed: a sub
ject ject that is serious and important, ought to be cloathed in plain nervous language; a description, on the other hand, addressed to the imagination, is susceptible of the highest ornaments that founding words and figurative expression can bestow upon it.
I shall give a few examples of the foregoing doctrine. A poet of any genius will not readily dress a high subject in low words; and yet blemishes of that kind are found even in some classical works. Horace, for example, observing that men perfectly satisfied with themselves, are feldom so with their condition, introduces Jupiter indulging to cach his own choice :
Jam faciam quod vultis : eris tu, qui modo miles,
Quid caufæ est, merito quin illis Jupiter ambas
Serm. lib. 1. sat. 1. l. 16.
Jupiter in wrath puffing up both cheeks, is a low and even ludicrous expression, far froin suitable to the gravity and importance of the fubject: every one must feel the discordance. The following couplet, sinking far below the subject, is not less ludicrous ;
Not one looks backward, onward still he goesi"
Esay on Man, ep. iv. 223:
Le Rhin tremble et fremit à ces tristes nouvelles ;
Boileau, epitre 4. 1.617
A god wiping his dirty beard is proper for burlesk poetry only; and altogether unsuitable to the itrained elevation of this poein.
On the other hand, to raise the expression above the tone of the subject, is a fault than which none is more common. Take the following instances.
Orcan le plus fidéle à server ses desseins,
Bajazet, act 3. Jc. $.
Les ombres par trois fois ont obscurci les cieux