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folely, is transferred to i the words, which by that
inaccurately the present subject is handled by critics :
That there may be a resemblance of articulate sounds to fome that are not articulate, is felf-evident; and that in fact there exist such resemblances fuccefsfully employed by writers of genius, is clear from the foregoing examples, and from many others that might be given, But we may safely pronounce, that this natural resemblance can be carried no farther : the objects of the different senses, differ so widely from each other, as to exclude any resemblance ; found in particular, whether articulate or inarticu. late, resembles not in any degree taste; smell, nor motion; and as ļittle can it resemble any internal fentiment, feeling or emotion. But must we then admit, that nothing but found can be imitated by found? Taking imitation in its proper sense, as importing a resemblance between two objects, the proposition must be admitted ; and yet in many passages that are not descriptive of sound, every one must be sensible of a peculiar concord between the sound of the words and their meaning. As there can be no doubt of the fact, what remains is to inquire into its cause.
Resembling causes may produce effects that have
blance may produce resembling effects. A-magnif. cent building, for example, resembles not in any. degree an heroic action ; and yet the emotions they produce, are concordant, and bear a resemblance to each other. We are still inore sensible of this resem, blance in a song, when the music is properly adapt. ed to the sentiment: there is no resemblance between thought and sound ; but there is the strongest resemblance between the emotion raised by music tender and pathetic, and that raised by the complaint of an unsuccessful lover. Applying this observation to the present fubject, it appears, that in some instances, the found even of a fingle word makes an impresfion resembling that which is made by the thing it signifies : witness the word running, composed of two short syllables ; and more remarkably the words rapidity, impetuosity, precipitation. Brutal manners produce in the spectator an emotion not unlike what is produced by a harsh and rough sound ; and hence the beauty of the figurative expression rugged man
ners. Again, the word little, being pronounced with 1. a very small aperture of the mouth, has a weak and
faint found, which makes an impression resembling that made by a diminutive object. This resemblance of effects is still more remarkable where a number of words are connected in a period : words pronounced in succession make often a strong impreffion; and when this impression happens to accord with that made by the fense, we are fenfible of a complex emotion, peculiarly pleasant ; one proceeding from the sentiment, and one from the melody or found of the words. But the chief pleasure proceeds from having these two concordant emotions combined in perfect harmony, and carried on in the mind to a full close :* Except in the single case where
* See chap. 2. part 4
soundis described, all the examples given by critics of sense being imitated in found, refolve into a resemblance of effects : emotions raised by found and fignification may have a resemblance; but found it. self cannot have a resemblance to any thing but found.
Proceeding now to particulars, and beginning with those cases where the emotions have the strongest resemblance, I observe, first, That by a number of Tyllables in fucceflion, an emotion is sometimes raised extremely similar to that raised by successive motion; which may be evident even to those who are defective in taste, from the following fact, that the term movement in all languages is equally applied to both. In this manner, successive motion, such as walking, running, galloping, can be imitated by a succession of long or Short fyllables, or by a due mixture of both. For example, slow motion may be justly innitared in a verse where long lyllables prevail; especially when aided by a flow proa nunciation.
Illi inter sese magnâ vi brachia tollunt.
Georg. iv. 174.
On the other hand, swift motion is imitated by a succellion of short fyllables :
Quadrupedante putrem fonitu quatit ungula campum.
Radit iter liquidum, celeres neque commovet alas.
Thirdly, A line composed of monofyllables, makes an impreslion, by the frequency of its pauses, fimi. lar to what is made by laborious interrupted motion: E4
With many a weary ftep, and many a groan;
Odyffey, xi. 736.
Iliad, xxiji. 4138. Fourthly, The impression made by rough sounds, • in succession, resembles that made by rough or tu.,
multuous motion : on the other hand, the impresfion of smooth founds resembles that of gentle motion. The following is an example of both.
Two craggy rocks proje&ing to the main,
Odyssey, iii. 118.
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
Ejay on Crit. 366. Fifthly, Prolonged motion is expressed in an Alex, andrine line. The first example shall be of flow motion prolonged
A needless Alexandrine ends the song ;
Essay on Crit. 356. The next example is of forcible motion prolonged :
The waves behind impel the waves before,
Iliad, xiii. 1004
Not so when fwift, Camilla fcours the plain,
Elay on Crit. 373.
Again speaking of a rock torn from the brow of a
lliad, xiii. 197 . Sixthly, a period consisting mostly of long fyllables, that is, of syllables pronounced flow, produceth an emotion resembling faintly that which is produced by gravity and folemnity. Hence the beauty of the following verse :
Olli sedato respondit corde Latinus,
Terence, Eunuchus, act 2. sc. 3. Seventhly, A flow succession of ideas is a circumstance that belongs equally to settled melancholy, and to a period composed of polysyllables pronounced flow : and hence by similarity of emotions, the latter is imitative of the former :
In those deep folitudes, and awful cells,
Pope, Eloisa to Abelard. Eighthly, A long syllable made short, or a short syllable made long, raises, by the difficulty of
pronouncing contrary to custom,' a feeling fimilar to that of hard labour :
When Ajax trives some rock's vast weight to throw,
Efay on Crit. 370. Ninthly, Harsh or rough words pronounced with difficulty, excite a feeling similar to that which proceeds from the labour of thought to a dull writer :