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Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words.

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the species, as it implies only falling or moving

downwards in a liquid element;' ta fall answers to the genus *; in like manner, lead is the species, metal is the genus.

“ CONSIDER,” says our Lord, “ the lillies how they they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet, " I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory, was “ not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe " the grass which to-day is in the field, and to-mor

row is cast into the oven, how much more will he " clothe you t?” Let us here adopt a little of the tastless manner of modern paraphrasts, by the substitution of more general terms, one of their many expedients of infrigidating, and let us observe the effect produced by this change, Consider the flowers,


how they gradually increase in their size, they do “ no manner of work, and yet I declare to you, that

no king whatever, in his most splendid habit, is

* I am sensible that genus and species are not usually, and

perhaps cannot be so properly applied to verbs; yet there is in the reference which the meanings of two verbs sometimes bear to each other, what nearly resembles this relation. It is only when to fall means to move downwards, as a brick from a, or a pear from the tree, that it may

be denominated a genus

in respect of the verb to sink. Sometimes, indeed, the former denotes merely a sudden change of posture, from erect to prostrate, as when a man who stands upon the ground is said to fall, though he remain still on the ground. In this way we speak of the fall of a tower, of a house, or of a wall.

it Luke xi. 27, 28.

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“ dressed up like them. If then God in his provi

dence doth so adorn the vegetable productions, " which continue but a little time on the land, and

are afterwards pụt into the fire, how much more " will he provide clothing for you?” How spiritless is the same sentiment rendered by these small yariations? The very particularising of to-day and to-morrow, is infinitely more expressive of transitoriness, than any description wherein the terms are general, that can be substituted in its room.

11. + YET to a cold annotator, a man of mere intellection, without fancy, the latter exhibition of the sentiment would appear the more emphatical of the two. Nor would he want some show of reason for this preference. As a specimen, therefore, of a certain mode of criticising, not rarely to be met with, in which there is I know not what semblance of judgment without one partiele of taste, I shall suppose a critic of this stamp entering on the comparison of the preceding quotation, and the paraphrase.“ In the one," he would argue,

" the beauty of only one sort of “ flowers is exalted above the effects of human indus,

try, in the other the beauty of the whole kind. In " the former one individual monarch is said not to “ have equalled them in splendor, in the latter it is “ affirmed that no monarch whatever can equal them.” However specious this way of reasoning may be, we are certain that it is not solid, because it doth not correspond with the principles of our nature. Indeed


Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words.

what was explained above *, in regard to abstraction, and the particularity of our ideas, properly so called, may serve in a great measure to account for the effect which speciality hath upon the imagination. Philosophy, which strictly considered addresseth only the understanding, and is conversant about abstract truth, abounds in general terms, because these alone are adequate to the subject treated. On the contrary, when the address is made by eloquence to the fancy, which requires a lively exhibition of the object presented to it, those terms must be culled that are as particular as possible, because it is solely by these that the object can be depicted. And even the most rigid philosopher, if he choose that his disquisitions be not only understood but relished, (and without being relished they are understoed to little purpose), will not disdain sometimes to apply to the imagination of his disciples, mixing the pleasant with the useful. This is one way of sacrificing to the Graces.

But I proceed to give examples in such of the different parts of speech as are most susceptible of this beauty. The first shall be in the verbs.

It seem'd as there the British Neptune stood,

With all his hosts of waters at command;
Beneath them to submit th' officious flood

And with his trident shov'd them off the sand +.


* Book II. Chap. VII. Sect. 1. + Dryden's Year of Wonders.

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The words submit and shov'd are particularly expressive of the action here ascribed to Neptune. The former of these verbs submit may indeed be called a latinism, in the signification it hath in this passage. But such idioms, though improper in prose, are sometimes not ungraceful in the poetic dialect. If, in the last line, instead of shov'd, the poet had used the verb raised, which, though not equivalent, would have conveyed much the same meaning, the expression had been fainter *.

The next examples shall be in adjectives and participles.

The kiss snatch'd hasty from the sidelong maid,
On purpose guardless-t.


Here both the words sidelong and snatch'd are very significant, and contribute much to the vivacity of the expression. Taken or ta'en substituted for the latter, would be much weaker. It may be remarked, that it is principally in those parts of speech which regard life and action that this species of energy takes place.

I SHALL give one in nouns from Milton, who says

* In this instance Dryden hath even improved on the original he imitated; which is not often the case either of translators or of imitators. Virgil says simply, “ Levat ipse tridenti."

+ Thomson's Winter.

Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words.

concerning Satan, when he had gotten into the garden of Eden,

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If for cormorant he had said bird of prey, which would have equally suited both the meaning and the measure, the image would still have been good, but weaker than it is by this specification.

In adjectives the same author hath given an excellent example, in describing the attitude in which Satan was discovered by Ithuriel and his company, when that malign spirit was employed in infusing pernicious thoughts into the mind of our first mother,

Him there they found
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve f.

No word in the language could have so happily expressed the posture, as that which the poet hath chosen.

It will be easy from the same principles to illustrate a remark of the Stagyrite, on the epithet rosyfingerd, which Homer hath given to the morning. This, says the critic, is better than if he had said purple-finger'd, and far better than if he had said red

* Paradise Lost, B. iv.

# Ibid. B. iv.

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