Imágenes de páginas

“ rages.

" things exasperate men unused to such out

Nobody, in giving a recital of “ these things can express the heinousness of “ them.” By frequent variation, he every where preserves the natural force of his Repetitions and Asyndetons, so that with him order seems always disordered, and disorder carries with it a surprising regularity.

SECTION XXI. To illustrate the foregoing observation, let us imitate the style of Isocrates, and insert the Copulatives in this passage,

wherever they may seem requisite. “ Nor indeed is one “ observation to be omitted, that he who “ commits violence on another, may do many

things, &c.-first in his gesture, then in “ his countenance, and thirdly in his voice, “ which,” &c. And if you proceed to insert the Conjunctions, you will find, that


'No writer ever made a less use of Copulatives than St. Paul. His thoughts poured in so fast upon him, that he had no leisure to knit them together, by the help of particles, but has by that means given them weight, spirit, energy, and strong significance. An instance of it may be seen in 2 Corinth. chap. vi. From ver. 4, to

by smoothing the roughness, and filling up the breaks by such additions, what was before forcibly, surprisingly, irresistibly pathetical, will lose all its energy and spirit, will have all its fire immediately extinguished. To bind the limbs of racers, is to deprive them of active motion and the power of stretching. In like manner the Pathetic, when embarrassed and entangled in the bonds of Copulatives, cannot subsist without difficulty. It is quite deprived of liberty in its race, and divested of that impetuosity, by which it strikes the very instant it is discharged.

SECTION XXII. HYPERBATONS also are to be ranked among the serviceable Figures. An Hyperbaton' is a transposing of words or thoughts

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

10, is but one sentence, of near thirty different mem-
bers, which are all detached from one another; and if
the Copulatives be inserted after the Isocratean man-
ner, the strength will be quite impaired, and the sedate
grandeur of the whole grow flat and heavy.
Virgil is very happy in his application of this Figure.
-Moriamur, & in media armà ruamus.

Æneid. l. ii. ver. 348.
And again,
Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum.
Id. lib. ix. ver. 427.


out of their natural and grammatical order, and it is a figure stamped as it were with the truest image of a most forcible passion 2. When men are actuated either by wrath, or

In both these instances, the words are removed out of their right order into an irregular disposition, which is å natural consequence of disorder in the mind.


There is a fine Hyperbaton in the vth Book of Paradise Lost: Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds: pleasant the sun, When first on this delightful land he spreads His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r, Glist'ring with dew : fragrant the fertile earth After soft show'rs: and sweet the coming on Of grateful evening mild: then silent night, With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train. But neither breath of morn, when she ascends, With charms of earliest birds: nor herb, fruit, flow'r, Glist'ring with dew: nor fragrance after show'rs: Nor grateful ev'ning mild: nor silent night, With this her solemn bird: nor walk by noon, Or glitt'ring star-light, without thee is sweet.

Longinus here, in explaining the nature of the Hyperbaton; and again in the close of the section, has made use of an Hyperbaton, or (to speak more truly) of a certain confused and more extensive compass of a sentence. Whether he did this by accident, or design, I cannot determine ; though Le Fevre thinks it a piece of art in the author, in order to adapt the diction to the subject. —DR. PEARCE. .



fear, or indignation, or jealousy, or any of those numberless passions incident to the mind, which cannot be reckoned up, they fluctuate here, and there, and every where; are still upon forming new resolutions, and breaking through measures before concerted, without any apparent reason: still unfixed and undetermined, their thoughts are in perpetual hurry ; till, tossed as it were by some unstable blast, they sometimes return to their first resolution: so that, by this flux and reflux of passion, they alter their thoughts, their language, and their manner of expression, a thousand tiines. Hence it comes to pass, that 3 an imitation of these



This fine remark may be illustrated by a celebrated passage in Shakespeare's Hamlet, where the poet's art has hit off the strongest and most exact resemblance of nature. The behaviour of his mother makes such impression on the young prince, that his mind is big with abhorrence of it, but expressions fail him. He begins abruptly; but as reflexions crowd thick upon his inind, he runs off into commendations of his father. Some time after his thoughts turn again on that action of his mother, which had raised his resentments, but he only touches it, and flies off again. In short, he takes up nineteen lines in telling us, that his mother married again in less than two months after her husband's death. But two months dead! nay not so much, not twoSo excellent a king, that was to this


Trunspositions gives the most celebrated writers the greatest resemblance of the inward workings of nature. For art may then be termed perfect and consummate, when it seems to be nature ; and nature then succeeds best, when she conceals what assistance she receives from art.

In Herodotus*, Dionysius the Phocean speaks thus in a Transposition: For our « affairs are come to their crisis ; now is the

important moment, Ionians, to secure your “ liberty, or to undergo that cruelty and op

pression which is the portion of slaves,


Hyperian to a Satyr: so loving to my mother,
That he permitted not the winds of heav'n
Visit her face too roughly. Heav'n and earth!
Must I remember?-why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had
By what it fed on; yet within a month
Let me not think-Frailty, thy name is woman!
A little month-or ere those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe all tears-why she, ev'n she
Oh heav'n! a beast that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer-married with mine uncle,
My father's brother, no more like my father,
Than I to Hercules. Within a month!
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing of her galled eyes,
She married. Oh most wicked speed!
* Herod. 1. 6. c. 11.


« AnteriorContinuar »