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And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends, To Man's low passions, or their glorious ends, 376
friend, will furnish a critic with examples of every one of those five Species of elocution, from which, as from its sources, Longinus deduceth the Sublime.*
1. The first and chief is a grandeur and sublimity of conception :
“ Come then, my Friend ! my Genius! come along ;
To Man's low passions, or their glorious ends”2. The second, that pathetic enthusiasm, which, at the same time, melts and inflames :
“ Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
Intent to reason, or polite to please.”
“ Oh! while along the stream of time thy name
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ?" 4. A splendid diction :
“ When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
* – πέντε πηγαί τινές εισιν της υψηγορίας. 1. Πρώτον μεν και κράτιστον το περί τας νοήσεις αδρεπήβολον. 2. Δεύτερον δε το σφοδρών και ενθουσιαστικών πάθος. 3. Ποια των σχημάτων πλάσις. 4. Η γενναία φράσις. 5. Πέμπτη δε μεγέθους αιτία, και συγκλείουσα τα προ εαυτής άπαντα, ή εν αξιώματα και διάρσει σύνθεσις.
Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
385 Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ? When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose, Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy foes, Shall then this verse to future age pretend Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend? 390 That urg'd by thee, I turn’d the tuneful art From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart;
5. And fifthly, which includes in itself all the rest, a weight and dignity in the composition :
“ That REASON, Passion, answer one great AIM;
And all our Knowledge is, OURSELVES TO KNOW.” W. I find by a memorandum, written at the time, that it was on the 20th of January 1767, that Lord Bathurst informed me of the fact above mentioned; that he had read the outline of the Essay on Man, the scheme and tenor of its doctrines, in the hand-writing of Bolingbroke, which sketch he greatly commended.
Ver. 383. Oh! while along] From the Silvæ of Statius, c. v.
“ immensæ veluti connexa Carinæ Cymba minor, cum sævit hyems—
et eodem volvitur Austro." Ver. 391. I turn'd the tuneful art] Ought the lovers of true
For Wit's false mirror held up Nature's light;
That just to find a God is all we can,
NOTES. genuine poetry to be obliged to his friend, for being instrumental in making Pope forsake works of imagination for the didactic! Which of the two species of composition may be the more useful and instructive, is entirely beside the question; but, in point of poetic genius, the Rape of the Lock, and The Eloisa, as far excel the Essay on Man, and the Moral Epistles, as the Gierusalemme, so unjustly depreciated by Boileau, does all his Satires and his Art of Poetry; and as the second and fourth books of Virgil excel the Georgics. To be able to reason well in verse is not the first nor the most essential talent of a poet, great as its merit may be.
Ver. 398. OURSELVES TO KNOW.] How unfortunate has our learned commentator been, in all the five examples he has produced, of the five species of elocution mentioned by Longinus !
In the first example there is little grandeur and sublimity of conception.
In the second, not one stroke of the pathetic.
In the third, not that formation and use of figures which, in the 16th section, Longinus insists upon.
In the fourth example, nothing that can be called TPOTKY) każ TETOIN Névn Nécs; dictio tropis plena atque facta; i. e. artificio quodam elaborata.
In the fifth and last, the bare enumeration of the subjects treated of in these four epistles cannot be justly given as an example of weight and dignity of composition, which Longinus calls ή έν αξιώματα και διάρσει σύνθεσις; magnifica elataque compositio.
After all, why would the commentator produce these five examples of the sources of the sublime, when, in another work, his Doctrine of Grace, he has laboured exceedingly to prove, that there is no such thing as sublimity, considered in itself; that sublimity is only the application of such images as arbitrary and casual connexions, rather than their own native grandeur, have dignified and ennobled ; thus stripping, what ages have admired as elegant and great, of its imaginary value, and resolving it into chance, caprice, and fashion. This paradox, and the Defence of it, have been completely confuted by the learned and ingenious Dr. Leland, in a Dissertation on the Principles of Human Eloquence. So truly is Warburton characterized by a nervous writer, who says, "he had an eager propensity to start aside from the regular and common orbit of opinion, upon every plain, every abstruse, every trifling, and every important subject.” The same writer, with a spirit of impartiality that does him credid, adds, “ The Bishop of Gloucester, amidst all his fooleries in criticism, and all his outrages in controversy, certainly united a most, vigorous and comprehensive intellect, with an open and a generous heart." I will just add, that the antiparadisiacal state mentioned by this prelate in the additional book of the Div. Legation, published by the Bishop of Worcester, has displeased many serious and able judges.
If, after all, the Divine Legation is a work, as Dr. Hurd assures us it is, “ of the most transcendent merit, whether we consider the invention or execution ; a work so embellished by a lively fancy, and illustrated from all quarters by exquisite learning and the most ingenious disquisition, that, in the whole compass of modern or ancient theology, there is nothing equal or similar to this extraordinary performance ;" if, to the authority of Hooker, the acuteness of Chillingworth, and the perspicuity of Locke, he added more than all their learning; if these rare and admirable qualifications shone out in him with greater lustre than in any other ornament of our church, Stillingfleet, and Barrow, and Taylor himself not excepted ; if, I say, this high encomium of Dr. Hurd, on his all-accomplished friend, be just and well-founded, it surely is of small consequence to an author of such exalted and extraordinary merits to say, that his notes on Shakspeare and Pope are conceited, futile, and frivolous.
In the very last edition of Bishop Law's excellent translation of the Origin of Evil, is the following remarkable passage: “I had now the satisfaction of seeing, that those very principles
which had been maintained by Archbishop King, were adopted by Mr. Pope in his Essay on Man: this I used to recollect, and sometimes to relate, with pleasure, conceiving that such an account did no less honour to the poet than to our philosopher; but was soon made to understand, that any thing of that kind was taken highly amiss by one (i. e. Dr. Warburton), who had once held the doctrine of that same Essay to be rank atheism, but afterward turned a warm advocate for it, and thought proper to deny the account above mentioned, with heavy menaces against those who presumed to insinuate that Pope borrowed any thing from any man whatsoever.
Marmontel, in his Poetique, has given the following judgment on the Essay on Man: “Pope, dans les Epitres qui composent son Essai sur l'Homme, a fait voir combien la poesie pouvoit s'élever sur les ailes de la philosophie. C'est dommage que ce Poete n'ait pas eu autant de methode que de profondeur. Mais il avoit pris un systeme ; il falloit le soutenir. Ce systeme lui offroit des difficultés épouvantables ; il falloit ou les vaincre, ou les eviter : le dernier parti etoit le plus sur et le plus commode; aussi pour repondre aux plaintes de l'homme sur les malheurs de son etat, lui donne-t-il le plus souvent des images pour des preuves, et des injures pour des raisons.”
Still more contemptuous and degrading, than the opinion of this French critic, are the terms in which Dr. Johnson has spoken of this Essay, in which are so many splendid and highly-finished passages. “The subject," he says, “is perhaps not very proper for poetry; and the poet was not sufficiently master of his subject: metaphysical morality was a new study; and he was proud of his acquisitions; and, supposing himself master of great secrets, was in haste to teach what he had not learned. When these wonder-working sounds sink into sense, and the doctrine of the Essay, disrobed of its ornaments, is left to the powers of its naked excellence, what shall we discover? that we are, in comparison with our Creator, very weak and ignorant; that we do not uphold the chain of existence; and that we could not make one another with more skill than we are made. We
may more; that the arts of human life were copied from the instinctive operations of other animals ; that if the world be made for man, it may
be said that man was made for geese.” This sort of burlesque abstract, which may be so easily but so unjustly made of any composition whatever, is exactly similar to the imperfect and unfair representation which the same critic has