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description. Because that union of affecting words, which is the most powerful of all poetical instruments, would frequently lose its force along with its propriety and consistency, if the sensible images were always excited. There is not perhaps in the whole Eneid a more grand and laboured passage than the description of Vulcan's cavern in Etna, and the works that are there carried on. Virgil dwells particularly on the formation of the thunder, which he describes unfinished under the hammers of the Cyclops. But what are the principles of this extraordinary composition?

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Tres imbris torti radios, tres nubis aquosæ Addiderant; rutili tres ignis, et alitis austri: Fulgores nunc terrificos, sonitumque, metumque Miscebant operi, flammisque sequacibus iras.

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This seems to me admirably sublime; yet if we attend coolly to the kind of sensible image which a combination of ideas of this sort must form, the chimeras of madmen cannot appear more wild and absurd than such a picture. Three rays of twisted showers, three of watery clouds, three of fire, "and three of the winged south wind; then mixed they in the work terrifick lightnings, and sound "and fear, and anger, with pursuing flames." This strange composition is formed into a gross body; it is hammered by the Cyclops, it is in part polished, and partly continues rough. The truth is, if poetry gives us a noble assemblage of words corresponding to many noble ideas which are connected by circumstances of time or place, or related to each other as cause and effect, or associated in any natural way, they may be moulded together in any form, and perfectly answer their end. The picturesque connexion is not demanded; because no real picture is formed; nor is the effect of the description at all the less upon this account. What is said of Helen by Priam and the old men of his council, is generally thought to give us the highest possible idea of that fatal beauty.

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Here is not one word said of the particulars of her beauty; nothing which can in the least help us to any precise idea of her person; but yet we are much more touched by this manner of mentioning her, than by those long and laboured descriptions of Helen, whether handed down by tradition, or formed by fancy, which are to be met with in

some authors. I am sure it affects me much more than the minute description which Spenser has given of Belphebe; though I own that there are parts in that description, as there are in all the descriptions of that excellent writer, extremely fine and poetical. The terrible picture which Lu

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cretius has drawn of religion, in order to display the magnanimity of his philosophical hero in opposing her, is thought to be designed with great boldness and spirit :

Humana ante oculos fœdè cum vita jaceret,
In terris, oppressa gravi sub religione,
Que caput e cali regionibus ostendebat
Horribili super aspectu mortalibus instans ;
Primus Graius homo mortales tollere contra
Est oculos ausus.-

What idea do you derive from so excellent a picture? none at all, most certainly: neither has the poet said a single word which might in the least serve to mark a single limb or feature of the phantom, which he intended to represent in all the horrours imagination can conceive. In reality, poetry and rhetorick do not exceed in exact description so well as painting does; their business is, to affect rather by sympathy than imitation; to display rather the effect of things on the mind of the speaker, or of others, than to present a clear idea of the things themselves. This is their most extensive province, and that in which they succeed the best.



HENCE We may observe that poetry, taken in its most general sense, cannot with strict propriety be called an art of imitation. It is indeed an imitation so far as it describes the manners and passions of men which their words can express; where animi motus effert interprete lingua. There it is strictly imitation; and all merely dramatick poetry is of this sort. But descriptive poetry operates chiefly by substitution; by the means of sounds, which by custom have the effect of realities. Nothing is an imitation further than as it resembles some other thing; and words undoubtedly have no sort of resemblance to the ideas for which they stand.


Now, as words affect, not by any original power, but by representation, it might be supposed, that their influence over the passions should be but light; yet it is quite otherwise; for we find by experience, that eloquence and poetry are as capable, nay indeed much more capable, of making deep and lively impressions than any other arts, and even than nature itself in very many cases. And this arises chiefly from these three causes.

First, that we take an extraordinary part in the passions of others, and that we are easily affected and brought into sympathy by any tokens which are shewn of them; and there are no tokens which can express all the circumstances of most passions so fully as words; so that if a person speaks upon any subject, he can not only convey the subject to you, but likewise the manner in which he is himself affected by it. Certain it is,

that the influence of most things on our passions
is not so much from the things themselves, as from
our opinions concerning them; and these again
depend very much on the opinions of other men,
conveyable for the most part by words only.
Secondly, there are many things of
a very affect-
ing nature, which can seldom occur in the reality,
but the words that represent them often do;
and thus they have an opportunity of making a
deep impression and taking root in the mind,
whilst the idea of the reality was transient; and to
some perhaps never really occurred in any shape,
to whom it is notwithstanding very affecting, as
war, death, famine, &c. Besides, many ideas have
never been at all presented to the senses of any
men but by words, as God, angels, devils, heaven,
and hell, all of which have however a great in-
fluence over the passions. Thirdly, by words we
have it in our power to make such combinations
as we cannot possibly do otherwise. By this power
of combining, we are able, by the addition of well-
chosen circumstances, to give a new life and force
to the simple object. In painting we may repre-
sent any fine figure we please; but we never can
give it those enlivening touches which it may
receive from words. To represent an angel in a
picture, you can only draw a beautiful young man
winged but what painting can furnish out any
thing so grand as the addition of one word, "the
angel of the Lord?" It is true, I have here no
clear idea; but these words affect the mind more
than the sensible image did; which is all I contend
for. A picture of Priam dragged to the altar's foot,
and there murdered, if it were well executed,
would undoubtedly be very moving; but there are
very aggravating circumstances, which it could
never represent:

Sanguine fædantem quos ipse sacraverat ignes.
As a further instance, let us consider those lines
of Milton, where he describes the travels of the
fallen angels through their dismal habitation :

-O'er many a dark and dreary vale They pass'd, and many a region dolorous; O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp;


not presentable but by language; and an union
of them great and amazing beyond conception;
if they may properly be called ideas which present
no distinct image to the mind :—but still it will be
difficult to conceive how words can move the
passions which belong to real objects, without re-
presenting these objects clearly. This is difficult
to us, because we do not sufficiently distinguish,
in our observations upon language, between a clear
expression and a strong expression. These are
frequently confounded with each other, though
they are in reality extremely different. The for-
mer regards the understanding; the latter belongs
to the passions. The one describes a thing as it
is; the latter describes it as it is felt. Now, as there
is a moving tone of voice, an impassioned coun-
tenance, an agitated gesture, which affect inde-
pendently of the things about which they are
exerted, so there are words, and certain dispositions
of words, which being peculiarly devoted to pas-
sionate subjects, and always used by those who are
under the influence of any passion, touch and
move us more than those which far more clearly
and distinctly express the subject matter.
yield to sympathy what we refuse to description.
The truth is, all verbal description, merely as naked
description, though never so exact, conveys so
poor and insufficient an idea of the thing described,
that it could scarcely have the smallest effect, if the
speaker did not call in to his aid those modes of
speech that mark a strong and lively feeling in
himself. Then, by the contagion of our passions,
we catch a fire already kindled in another, which
probably might never have been struck out by the
object described. Words, by strongly convey-
ing the passions, by those means which we have
already mentioned, fully compensate for their
weakness in other respects. It may be observed,
that very polished languages, and such as are
praised for their superiour clearness and perspi-
cuity, are generally deficient in strength. The
French language has that perfection and that defect.
Whereas the oriental tongues, and in general the
languages of most unpolished people, have a great
force and energy of expression; and this is but
natural. Uncultivated people are but ordinary ob-
servers of things, and not critical in distinguishing

Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death, them; but, for that reason, they admire more,
A universe of death.-

Here is displayed the force of union in

Rocks, caves, lukes, dens, bogs, fens, and shades;

and are more affected with what they see, and therefore express themselves in a warmer and more passionate manner. If the affection be well conveyed, it will work its effect without any clear idea; often without any idea at all of the thing

which yet would lose the greatest part of their which has originally given rise to it. effect, if they were not the

Rocks, caves, lakes, dens, bogs, fens, and shades— of Death.

This idea or this affection caused by a word, which nothing but a word could annex to the others, raises a very great degree of the sublime; and this sublime is raised yet higher by what follows, a "universe of Death." Here are again two ideas

It might be expected from the fertility of the subject, that I should consider poetry, as it regards the sublime and beautiful, more at large; but it must be observed that in this light it has been often and well handled already. It was not my design to enter into the criticism of the sublime and beautiful in any art, but to attempt to lay down such principles as may tend to ascertain, to distinguish, and to form a sort of standard for them; which purposes I thought might be best effected by an

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THE late administration came into employment, under the mediation of the Duke of Cumberland, on the tenth day of July 1765; and was removed, upon a plan settled by the Earl of Chatham, on the thirtieth day of July 1766, having lasted just one year and twenty days.

In that space of time

The distractions of the British empire were composed, by the repeal of the American stamp act; But the constitutional superiority of Great Britain was preserved, by the act for securing the dependence of the colonies.

Private houses were relieved from the jurisdiction of the excise, by the repeal of the cyder-tax. The personal liberty of the subject was confirmed, by the resolution against general war


The lawful secrets of business and friendship were rendered inviolable, by the resolution for condemning the seizure of papers.

The trade of America was set free from injudicious and ruinous impositions-its revenue was improved, and settled upon a rational foundation -its commerce extended with foreign countries; while all the advantages were secured to Great Britain, by the act for repealing certain duties, and encouraging, regulating, and securing the trade of this kingdom, and the British dominions in America.

That administration was the first which proposed and encouraged publick meetings and free consultations of merchants from all parts of the kingdom; by which means the truest lights have been received; great benefits have been already derived to manufactures and commerce; and the most extensive prospects are opened for further improvement.

Under them, the interests of our northern and southern colonies, before that time jarring and dissonant, were understood, compared, adjusted, and perfectly reconciled. The passions and animosities of the colonies, by judicious and lenient measures, were allayed and composed, and the foundation laid for a lasting agreement amongst them.

Whilst that administration provided for the liberty and commerce of their country, as the true basis of its power, they consulted its interests, they asserted its honour abroad, with temper and with firmness; by making an advantageous treaty of commerce with Russia; by obtaining a liquidation of the Canada bills, to the satisfaction of the proprietors; by reviving and raising from its ashes the negociation for the Manilla ransom, which had been extinguished and abandoned by their predecessors.

They treated their sovereign with decency; with reverence. They discountenanced, and, it is hoped, for ever abolished, the dangerous and unconstitutional practice of removing military officers for their votes in parliament. They firmly Materials were provided and insured to our adhered to those friends of liberty, who had run manufactures-the sale of these manufactures was all hazards in its cause; and provided for them in encreased the African trade preserved and ex-preference to every other claim. tended-the principles of the act of navigation pursued, and the plan improved-and the trade for bullion rendered free, secure, and permanent, by the act for opening certain ports in Dominica and Jamaica.

With the Earl of Bute they had no personal connexion; no correspondence of councils. They neither courted him nor persecuted him. They practised no corruption; nor were they even suspected of it. They sold no offices. They obtained

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no reversions or pensions, either coming in or going out, for themselves, their families, or their dependents.

In the prosecution of their measures they were traversed by an opposition of a new and singular character; an opposition of placemen and pensioners. They were supported by the confidence of the nation. And having held their offices under many difficulties and discouragements, they left them at the express command, as they had accepted them at the earnest request, of their royal master. These are plain facts; of a clear and publick nature; neither extended by elaborate reasoning,

nor heightened by the colouring of eloquence. They are the services of a single year.

The removal of that administration from power is not to them premature; since they were in office long enough to accomplish many plans of publick utility; and, by their perseverance and resolution, rendered the way smooth and easy to their successors; having left their king and their country in a much better condition than they found them. By the temper they manifest, they seem to have now no other wish, than that their successors may do the publick as real and as faithful service as they have done.

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