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These thoughts are pretty : they suit Pope, but not Eloisa.
Satan, enraged by a threatening of the angel Gabriel, anfwer thus :.
Then when I am thy captive talk of chains,
Paradise tof, look to
The concluding epithet forms a grand and delightful image, which cannot be the genuine offspring of rage.
Fourth. Sentiments too artificial for a serious paflion. I give for the first example a speech of Piercy expiring :
: 0, Harry, thou haft robb'd me of my growth :
I better brook the loss of brittle life,
First part, Henry IV. act 5. fe. g.
Livy inferts the following passage in a plaintive oration of the Locrenses, accufing Pleminius the Roman legate of oppreflion.
In hoc legato vestro, nec hominis quicquam est, Patres Confcripri, præter figuram et speciein ; neque Ro-'
mani civis, præter habitum vestitumque, et sonum linguæ Latina. Peitis et bellua ianmanis, quales fretum, quon dam, quo ab Sicilia dividimur, ad perniciem navigantium circumfediffe, fabulæ ferunt.*
The sentiments of the Mourning Bride are for the most part no less delicate than just copies of nature ; in the following exception the picture is beautiful, but too artful to be suggested by severe grief.
Almeria. O no! Time gives increase to my afflictions. The circling hours, that gather all the woes Which are diffus'd through the revolving year, Come heavy laden with th' oppreflive weight To me ; with me, fircceffively they leave The fighs, the tears, the groans, the testless cares, And all the damps of grief, that did retard their flight ! They thake their downy wings, and scatter all
The dire collected dew's on my poor head ; Then fiy with joy and swiftness from me.
AE 1. fc. I.
In the same play, Almeria seeing a dead body, which she took to be Alphonso's, expresses sentiments ftrained and artificial, which nature suggests not to any perfon upon such an occasion :
Had they, or hearts, or eyes, that did this deed?
I do not weep! The fprings of tears are dryd?
Act 5. ff. II.
Tiius Livius, 1. 19. $17.
Lad: Trueman. How could you be so cruel to defer giving me that joy which you knew I must receive from your presence? You have robb'd my life of fome hours of happinefs that ought to have been in it.
Drunner, alt 5.
Pope's Elegy to the memory of an unfortunate lady, exprelles delicately the most tender concern and forrow that one can feel for the deplorable fate of a perfon of worth. Such a poem, deeply serious and pathetic, rejects with disdain all fiction. Upon that account, the following passage deserves no quarter ; for it is not the language of the heart, but of the imagination, indulging its fights fit ease; and by that means is eminently discordant with the subject. It
would be a still inore severe cenfure, if it should be · ascribed to imitation, copying indiscreetly what has been said by others :
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Fifth. Fanciful or sinical sentiments. Sentiments that degenerate into poiŋt or conceit, however they may amuse in an idle hour, can
never be the offspring any
serious or important paflion. In the Jerufadem of Tasso, Tancred, after a single combat, spent with fatigue and lois of blood, falls into a swoon; in which situation, understood to be dead, he is dis
covered by Erminia, who was in love with him to diftraction. 'A more happy situation cannot be imaga ined, to raise grief in an instant to its height; and yet, in venting her forrow, she descends most abominably into antithesis and conceit, even of the lowe est kind :
E in lui versò d'inefficabil vena
Canto 19. f. 105.
Armida's lamentation respecting her lover Rinaldo, is in the same vicious taste.
Queen. Give me no help in lamentation,
King Richard, III. act 2. sc. 2.
Jane Shore. Let me be branded for the public fcorn, Turn'd forth, and driven to wander dike a vagabond, Be friendless and forsaken, seek my bread Upon the barien wild, and defolate waste, Feed on my highs, and drink my falling tears ; Ere I content to teach my lips injustice, Or wrong the Orphan who has none to save him.
June Sharez act 4
Give me your drops, ye soft-defcending raios,
That * Canto 20. llan, 124, 125. & 186, VOL. I.
That my fad eyes may still supply my duty,
Jane Sbore, aci 5.
Then all is well, and I shall sleep in peace-
Guilford to Lady Jane Gray, when both were condemmed to die :
Thou stand't unmov'd ;
"Lady Jane Gray, act 4: near the end. The concluding sentiment is altogether finical, unsuitable to the importance of the occasion, and even to the dignity of the passion of love.
Corneille in his Excmnen of the Cid,* answering an objection, That his sentiments are sometimes too much refined for persons in deep distress, observes, that if poets did not indulge sentiments more ingenious or refined than are prompted by passion, their performances would often be low, and extreme grief would never suggest - but exclamations merely. This is in plain language to affert, that forced thoughts are more agreeable than those that are natural, and ought to be preferred.
The * Page 316. .