Page images
PDF
EPUB

cour effeminée, auront bien de la pein a egaler ces heros, qui faifoient leur cuisine aux-memes.

En un mot, Homere avoit a reprefenter un Ajax & un Hector; non un courtisan de Versailles, ou de faint James." *

13. A prudent chief not always must display His pow'rs in equal rank, and fair array. †

may

THE fame be faid of mufic: concerning which a discerning judge has lately made the following observation. "I do not mean to affirm, that in this extenfive work [of Marcello] every recitative, air, or chorus, is of equal excellence. A continued elevation of this kind no author ever came up to. Nay, if we confider that variety, which in all arts is neceffary to keep up attention, we may perhaps affirm with truth, that INEQUALITY makes a part of the character of excellence: that fomething ought to be thrown into fhades, in order to make the lights more

Voltaire, Effay fur la Poefie Epique. Les Oeuvres. Tom. ii. pag. 354, 355. This Effay is very different from what formerly appeared in England.

+ Ver. 175.

[blocks in formation]

ftriking. And, in this refpect, Marcello is truly excellent: if ever he seems to FALL, it is only to RISE with more astonishing majesty and greatness." * It may be pertinent to fubjoin Rofcommon's remark on the fame fubject.

Far the greatest part

Of what fome call neglect, is ftudy'd art.
When Virgil feems to trifle in a line,

'Tis but a warning piece, which gives the fign
To wake your fancy, and prepare your fight
To reach the noble height of fome unusual flight. †
14. Hail Bards triumphant born in happier days. ‡

DOCTOR Warburton is of opinion, that "there is a pleasantry in this title, which alludes to the state of WARFARE, that all true genius must undergo while here on earth.” Is not this interpretation of the word triumphant very far-fetched, and foreign to the author's meaning? Who, I conceive, used the word, to denote merely the TRIUMPH, which arofe from fuperiority.

* Avifon's Effay on Musical Expreffion, edit. ii. pag. 103. † Essay on Transl. Verse.

+ Ver. 189.

15. The

15. The laft, the meaneft of your fons inspire.

"THIS word laft, fays the fame commentator, spoken in his early youth, as it were by chance, seems to have been OMINOUS." I am not perfuaded that all true genius died with POPE and prefume that the Seasons of Thomson, the Pleasures of Imagination, and Odes, of Akenfide, the Night-thoughts of Young, the Leonidas of Glover, the Elegy of Gray, together with many pieces in Dodfley's Miscellanies, were not published when Dr. Warburton delivered this infinuation of a failure of poetical abilities.

16. So pleas'd at firft the towring Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' eternal fnows appear already past,

And the first clouds, and mountains feem the laft:
But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way;
Th' increasing profpect tires our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise. †

* Ver. 196.

+ Ver. 225.

THIS

THIS comparison is frequently mentioned, as an instance of the ftrength of fancy. The images however appear too general and indiftinct, and the laft line conveys no new idea to the mind. The following picture in Shaftesbury, on the fame fort of fubject, appears to be more full and striking. "Beneath the mountain's foot, the rocky country rifes into hills, a proper bafis of the ponderous mafs above: where huge embodied rocks lie piled on one another, and feem to prop the high arch of heaven. See! with what trembling fteps poor mankind tread the narrow brink of the deep precipices! From whence with giddy horror they look down, mistrusting even the ground that bears them; whilft they hear the hollow found of torrents underneath, and fee the ruin of the impending rock; with falling trees, which hang with their roots upwards, and feem to draw more ruin after them." See Livy's picturesque

*

description of Annibal paffing the Alps.

The MORALISTS. Characteristics, vol. II. pag. 253.

17. A per

17. A perfect judge will read each work of wit, With the fame spirit, that it's author writ.

To be able to judge of poetry, fays Voltaire, a man must feel strongly, must be born with some sparks of that fire, which animates the poet whom he criticises. As in deciding the merit of a piece of mufic, it is not enough, it is indeed nothing, to calculate the proportion of founds as a mathematician, but we must have an ear and a foul for mufic. +

upon

18. Thus when we view fome well-proportion'd dome, (The world's juft wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!) No fingle parts unequally surprise,

All comes united to th' admiring eyes;

No monftrous height, or breadth, or length appear,
The Whole at once is bold, and regular. +

THIS is justly and elegantly expreffed; and though it may seem difficult to speak of the same subject after fuch a description, yet Akenfide has ventured, and nobly fucceeded.

* Ver. 233.

+ Ubi fupra, pag. 361.

Ver. 247.

Mark,

« EelmineJätka »