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Even Virgil himself is not free from this fault; but is frequently general and indifcriminating, where Homer is minutely circumftantial. She next compares his fituation

with her own:

*For thee the fates, severely kind, ordain
A cool fufpenfe from pleasure and from pain;
Thy life a long dead calm of fix'd repose,†
No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows.

Here Eloifa glances with great modesty and delicacy, at the irreparable misfortune of her mutilated husband, which however she always mentions with regret. I queftion whether it may be improper to alleviate the dryness of these critical remarks, with the following ftory; which I wish had fallen into the hands of Fontaine. "The Greeks waged war upon the duke of Benevento, and made him very uneafy. Thedbald, Marquis of Spoleto, his ally, marching to his affiftance, and ha

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+ The four fimiles that follow, drawn from religion, are admirable.


caftrated, and in that condition, fent them back to the Greek general, with orders to tell him, that he had done it to oblige the emperor, whom he knew to be a lover of eunuchs; and that he would endeavour to fend him, in a short time, a much greater number of them. The Marquis was preparing to be as good as his word, when one day a woman, whofe husband had been taken prisoner, came all in tears to the camp, and begged to speak to Thedbald. The Marquis having asked her the caufe of her grief, my Lord, fays fhe, I wonder that fuch a valiant hero as you fhould trifle away your time in warring with women, when men are unable to refift you. Thedbald replied, that, fince the days of the Amazons, he had never heard that war had been made upon women. My Lord, anfwered the Greek woman, can a crueller be made upon us, than to deprive our hufbands of what gives us health, pleasure, and children? When you make eunuchs of them, it is mutilating us, not them: you have lately taken away our cattle and goods, without any complaint from


from me but this being an irreparable lofs to several of my neighbours, I could not avoid imploring the compaffion of the conqueror. The whole army was fo pleased with this woman's ingenuous declaration, that they restored her husband to her, and all they had taken from her. As he was going away, Thedbald asked her, what she would be willing should be done to her husband, if he was found in arms again. He has eyes, faid fhe, a nofe, hands, and feet: these are his own, which you may take from HIM if he deserves it; but leave him, if you please, what belongs to ME.

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A HINT in the Letters has been beautifully heightened, and elevated into exquifite poetry, in the next paragraph. Eloifa fays only, "Inter ipfa miffarum folemnia, ubi purior effe debeat oratio, obfcœna earum voluptatum phantasmata ita fibi penitus miferrimam captivant animam, ut turpitudinibus illis, magis quam orationi, vacem. Nec folum quæ egimus,

Bibliotheque Univerfelle, Tom. 11. p. 10.


fed loca pariter & tempora."-Let us fee
thow this has been improved.

What scenes appear, where'er I turn my view,
The dear ideas where I fly pursue,

Rife in the grove, before the altar rife

Then follows a circumftance peculiarly tender and proper, as it refers to a particular excellence of Abelard,

+ THY VOICE I feem in every hymn to hear, With every bead I drop too foft a tear.

To which fucceeds that fublime description
of a high mass, which came from the poet's
foul, and is very striking.

When from the cenfer clouds of fragrance roll,
And fwelling organs lift the rifing foul,

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One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight,
Priests, tapers, temples, fwim before my fight,
In feas of flame my plunging foul is drown'd,
While altars blaze, and angels tremble round.


I BELIEVE few perfons have ever been fent at the celebrating a mass in a good choir,

* V. 251.

+ V. 269.

§. V. 259.


but have been extremely affected with awe, if not with devotion; which ought to put us on our guard, against the infinuating nature of fo pompous and alluring a religion as popery. Lord Bolingbroke being one day prefent at this folemnity, in the chapel at Versailles, and feeing the archbishop of Paris elevate the hoft, whispered his companion the Marquis de *****, " If I were king of France, I "If

would always perform this ceremony myself,”

ELOISA now acknowledges the weakness of her religious efforts, and gives herself up to the prevalence of her paffion.

* Come with one glance of those deluding eyes,
Blot out each bright idea of the skies;

Take back that grace, that sorrow, and thefe tears,
Take back my fruitless penitence and pray'rs ; ·
Snatch me juft mounting, from the blest abode,
Affift the fiends, and tear me from my God!

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Suddenly, religion rushes back on her mind, and the exclaims eagerly,

* V. 280.


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