« AnteriorContinuar »
First he is a PAINTER,
Sometimes the Lord of nature in the air
Now he is a CHEMIST.
Th' almighty chemist does his work prepare;.
Now he is a WRESTLER.
Me in his griping arms th' Eternal took,
Now á. RECRUITING OFFICER,
For clouds the sun-beam's tevy fresh supplies,
Now a peaceable GUARANTEE.
Then he is an ATTORNEY.
Job, as a vile offender, God indites,
• Black. opt. edit. duod. 1936. p. 172.
** P. 70.
In the following lines he is a Gold-BEATER. TV ho the rich metal beats, and then with care Unfolds the golden leuves to gild the fields of air
Then a FULLER:
th' exhaling reeks, that secret rise,
A MERCER, or PACKER.
Didst thou one end of air's wide curtain hold,
He measures all the drops witb'wondrous skill,
And a BAKIR.
God in the wilderness his table spread,
c H A P. VI..
of the several kinds of geniuses in the profound, and the
marks and characters of each.
DOUBT not, but the reader, by this cloud of ex.
amples, begins to be convinced of the truth of our affertion, that the bathos is an art; and that the genius of no mortal whatever, following the mere ideas of na
* P. 174. * Black, Pf. civ. p. 181. # P.135. ** Black. Soug of Moses, p. 218.
# P. 18.
ture, and unallifted with an habitual, nay, laborious pe. euliarity of thinking, could arrive at images so wonderfully low and unaccountable. The great' author, from whole treasury we have drawn all these instances, (the faiber of the bathos, and indeed the Homer of it), has; like that immortal Greek, confined his labours to the greater poetry, and thereby lett room for others to acquire a due share of praise in inferior kinds. Many pain ters, who could never hit a nose or an eye, have, with a felicity, copied a finall" pox, orbeen admirable at a toad or a red-herring: and feldom are we without geniuses for Still-life, which they can work up and stiffen with incredible accuracy:
An universal genius rifes not in an age; but when he rises, armies rise in him ! he pours forth five or fix epic poems with greater facility, than five or ssx pages can be produced by an elaborate and fervile copier afier nature ur the ancients. It is affirined by Quintilian, that the lame genius which made Germanicus so great a general, would with equal application have made him an excel. lent heroic poet. In like manner, realoning from the af kaity there appears between arts and sciences, I doubt not, but an active catcher of butterfies, a careful and fanciful pattern drawer, an industrious collector of theils, a labo. rious and tuneful big piper, or a diligent breeder of tame rabbits, might leverally excel in their relpective parts of the bathos.
I shall range these confined and less copious geniuses under proper classes, and (the better to give their pictures to the reader) under the names of animals of foine fort or other ; whereby he will be enabled, at the first. Sght of such as shall daily come forth, to know to what kind to refer, and with what authors to compare thein.
1. The flying fishes: these are writers, who now and tben rise upon their lins, and fly out of the profound; but their wings are soon dry, and they drop dowo to the bottom. G. S. A. H. C.G.
2. The swallows are authors, that are eternally skim. ming and Hottering up and down, but all their agility is employ to catch flies. L. T. W. P. Lord. H.
3. The offriches are such, whose beaviness rarely pera. mits them to raise themselves fro:n the ground ; their
wings are of no use to lift them up, and their motion is between flying and walking ; but then they run very fast. D. F. L. E. the Hon, E. H.
4. The parrots are i hey, that repeat another's words in such a horse odd voice, as makes them seem their own. W.B. W.S.C. C the Rev. D. D:
5. The didappers are authors, that keep themselves tong out of light, under water, and come up now and then, where you least expected them. L. W. G: D. Elqithe Hon. Sir W.Y.
The porpoises are unwieldly and big ; they put alltheir numbers into a great turmoil and tempelt, but whenever they appear in plain light (which is feldom). they are only shpeless and ugly monsters. 1. D. C. G. IO,
7. The frogs are fuch, as can neither walk nor flv, but can leap and bound to admiration : they live general. ly in the bottom of a ditch, and make a great coile, whenever they thrust their lieaus above water. E. W. 1. M. Efq; T. D. Geni.
8. The eels are obscore authors, that wrap themselves op in their own mud, but are mighty nimble and pert. L. W, L. T. P; M. General C.
9. The tortoise's are now and chill, and, like pastoral writers, delight inuch in gardens: they have, for the most part, a fine embroidered shell, and underneath it a heavy lump. A, P. W. B. L. E. the Right Honour. able E. of S.
These are the chief characteristics of the bathos, and in each of thele kinds we have the comfort: to be blessed with fundry and manifold choice spirits in this our illand.
CH A P. VII..
Of the profound, when it consists in the thought:
E have already laid down the principles upon W
which our author is to proceed, and the inaoner of forming his thought by familiarizing his mind to the lowest cbjects; to which, it may be added, that vulgar conversation will greatly contribute, There is no questi
on, but the garret, or the printer's boy, may often be discerned in such compositions made in such scenes and company; and much of Mr Curl himself has been insen. libly infused into the works of his learned writers.
The phyfician, by the study and inspection of urine and ordure, approves himself in the science; and in like fort should our author accustoin and exercise his imagination upon
the dregs of nature.. This will render his thoughts truly and fundamentally low, and carry him many fathoms beyond mediocrity, For, çertain it is (though some lukewarm heads imagine they may be safe by temporizing between the extremes), that where there is not a triticalness or nediocrity in the thought, it can never be funk into the genuine and per. fylt bathos by the most elaborate low espression: it can, at molt, bé only carefully obscured, or metaphorically debased. But, it is the thought alone that strikes, and gives the whole that spirit, which we admire aud stare at. For instance, in that ingenious piece on a lady's driok. ing the bath waters :
She drinks. je drinks ! behold the matchless dame !
What can he more easy and unaffected, than the diction of these verses? it is the turn of thought alone, and the variety of inagination, that charm and surprise us. And when the fame lady goes into the bath, the thought (as in justness it ought) goes ftill deeper :
Venus beheld her, 'midst her croud of Naves,
How much out of the way of common sense is this reMe&tion of Venus, not knoxving herself from the lady?
Of the same nature is that noble miltake of a frighted Atag in a full chace, who (faith the poet,)