תמונות בעמוד

Tum mihi cæruleus supra caput astitit imber,
Noctem hyememque ferens : et inhorruit unda tenebris.

Æneid, lib. iii. 191.

Hinc tibi copia
Manabit ad plenum benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.

Horat. Carn. lib. 1. ode 19:

Videre fessos vomerem inversum boves
Collo trahentes languido. .

Horat. epod. ïi. 63.

Here I can luckily apply Horace's rule against himself:

Ett brevitate opus, ut currat fententia, neu se
Impediat verbis laffas onerantibus aures.

Serm. lib. 1. fat x. g.


I close this chapter with a curious inquiry. An object, however ugly to the sight, is far from being so when represented by colours or by words. What is the cause of this difference? With respect to painting the cause is obvious: a good picture, whatever the subject be, is agreeable, because of the pleasure we take in imitation; and this pleafure overbalancing the disagreeableness of the subject, makes the picture upon the whole agreeable. With respect to the description of an ugly object, the cause is what follows. To connect individuals in the social ftate, no particular contributes more than lan


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guage, by the power it possesses of an expeditious communication of thought, and a lively representation of transactions. But nature hath not been satisfied to recommend language by its utility merely: independent of utility, it is made susceptible of many beauties, which are directly felt, without the intervention of any reflection *. And this unfolds the mystery; for the pleasure of language is so great, as in a lively description to overbalance the disagreeableness of the image raised by itt. This lowever is no encouragement to deal in disagreeable subjects; for the pleasure is incomparably greater where the subject and the description are both of them agreeable.

The following description is upon the whole agreeable, though the subject described is in itfelf dismal :

Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquilh'd, rowling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded though immortal: but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him ; round he throws his baleful eyes
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,

Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate; - :* : At once as far as angels ken he views

The dismal situation waste and wild: Luis ;
A dungeon horrible, on all fides round :

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As one great furnace flam'd; yer from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover fights of wo,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconfum'd!
Such place eternal justice had prepard
For those rebellious. Paradise Lost, bcok i. 1. 5e.

An unmanly, depression of spirits in time of danger is not an agreeable light; and yet a fine defcription or representation of it will be relished:

K. Richard. What must the King do now? must he

The King fhall do it: must he be depos’d?
The King shall be contented : mult he lose
The name of King ? o'God's name, let it go;
I'll give my jewels for a set of beads;
My gorgeous palace, for a hermitage;
My gay apparel, for an almíman's gown;
My figur'd goblets, for a dish of wood;
My sceptre, for a palmer's walking staff;
My subjects, for a pair of carved laints ;
And my large kingdom, for a little grave;
A little, little grave; - an obscure grave...
Or I'll be bury'd in the King's highway;
Some way of common tread, where subjects feet
May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;
For on my heart they tread now, whilst I live;
And, bury'd once, why not upon my head ?

Richard II. act 3. fc. 6.
Z 4

Objects Objects that strike terror in a spectator, have in poetry and painting a fine effect. The picture, by raising a slight emotion of terror, agitates the mind; and in that condition every beauty makes a deep impression. May not contrast heighten the pleasure, by opposing our present security to the danger we would be in by encountering the object represented ?

The other shape,
If shape it might be call'd, that shape had none
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Or substance might be call’d that shadow seemid,
For each seem'd either ; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,
And shook a dreadful dart.

Paradise Lost, book 2. I. 666.

Now storming fury rose,
And clamour such as heard in heaven till now
Was never, arms on armour clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd ; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over-head the difmal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
And flying vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rush'd
Both battles main, with ruinous affault
And inextinguishable rage ; all heav'n
Resounded, and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook.

Paradise Lost, book 6. I. 207.
Gheft. - But that I am forbid

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To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotty and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine :
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. Hamlet, act 1. fc. 8.

Gratiano. Poor Desdemona! I'm glad thy father's

dead : Thy match was mortal to him; and pure grief, Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now, This fight would make him do a desp'rate turn: Yea, curse his better angel from his side, And fall to reprobation. Othello, act 5. fc. 8.

Objects of horror must be excepted from the foregoing theory; for no description, however lively, is sufficient to overbalance the disgust raifed even by the idea of such an object. Every thing horrible ought therefore to be avoided in a description. Nor is this a severe law: the poet will avoid such scenes for his own fake, as well as for that of his reader; and to vary his descriptions, nature affords plenty of objects that dif. gust us in some degree without raising 'horror. I am obliged therefore to condemn the picture of Sin in the second book of Paradise Lost, though drawn with a masterly hand : the original would be a horrid spectacle; and the horror is not much softened in the copy :

mannesmanne Penfive

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