Imágenes de página

If there is no Poetry without Verse, there can be none in

the English Version of the Psalms of David, the Book of Job, the Song of Solomon, or in any part of the Old Testament

ibid. The beautiful Simplicity of Fenelon's Style bas, perhaps,

degraded him in the eyes of the injudicious, tho' he is admir'd for it by the best Judges

ibid, Some Defects and Beauties pointed out

359 The Scheme of Minerva's assuming the form of Mentor, taken from the History of Tobias

ibid. Of Voltaire's Henriade

ibid. The Portion of History on which this Poem is founded ibid. The Characters agreeably diversified and well supported 363 The Thoughts, Style and Numbers elegant and graceful, and often noble and sublime

ibid. Some Defects in the Fable

ibid. The Machinery extravagant

ibid. The Hero's changing his Religion, absurd 364 His other Works admirable

ibid. Of Mr. Glover's Leonidas

365 The Portion of History on which this Poem is founded ib. The Poem excellently calculated to inspire the Reader with

the Love of Liberty, public Virtue, and Patriotism 369 Tho' theFable is taken from an ancient GrecianStory which

would have admitted of cæleftial Machinery, the Author

has prudently avoided that kind of Ornament ibid, The Heroes of Homer and Virgil lessen'd by their Ma. chinery

ibid. No judging which was the greatest Hero, Hector or Achilles, without estimating the Aid each received from the Deities

ibid. The Abfurdity not removed, by giving those Passages an al

legorical turn, for many of them will not admit of either moral or physical Explication

370 The Beauty and Propriety of his Fictions, Incidents, and Episodes

ibid. Of the Fable

371 The close of this Poem, as well as that of the Iliad and Æneid, seemingly deficient

ibid. The Characters well sustained, and some of them finely contrafted

ibid. Of the Character of Leonidas

372 His Address to the Spartans, on receiving the Answer from the Oracle

ibid. His Reply to the Persian Ambassador

373 The affecting manner in which he takes Leave of his Wife and Children

ibid. Of the Character of Xerxes

375 The Poet has more exalted his Heroes the Greeks, by making some of the Persian Leaders valiant and amiable Characters


Of the Character of Teribazus

ibid. Lessen'd by the manner of his Death

377 The Adventure of Ariane to the Grecian Camp ibid. Her Conference with Leonidas

378 Lamentation over the Body of Teribazus, and her Death 380 The Sentiments of the Poem are consistent with the Characters, always proper, and often noble and sublime

381 The Language is for the most part elegant, expressive, and agreeably elevated

ibid. The Numbers are in some places dissonant, and in harmonious

ibid. Reflections on Shakespeare

ibid. His Volumes a Repository of true Wit, and of the sublimest Beauties in Composition

ibid. His Numbers as harmonious as those of any modern Poet ibid. His Diction so elegant and expressive, that he seems to

have been considered as a Standard, and to have fixed the volatile Fluctuations of a living Language, to which the frequent Representation of his Plays has not a little contributed

ibid, The Power he has over the Mind is not wholly owing to the

Force of his Wit and Fancy; but to his having in greater Proportion than other Men that Power of Feeling or Senfibility resulting from Nature and accurate Observation, which we call good Taste

ibid. As he consulted Nature more than Books, his Thoughts are,

for the most part, new and noble, whereas other Dramatic Poets of his Time, by having ancient Authors too much in View, lost the Spirit of Originality

382 An Apology for the Defects in Shakespeare The Character of a Book not to be estimated by the number of its Defects, but of its Beauties

ibid. Reading compared to Conversation ----He who frequents

Company to observe only absurd and vicious Characters will obtain little Benefit ; but he who observes and imitates the Polite, may become a Fine Gentleman

ibid. E R R Α Τ Α Τ ο VOL. I. Page 41, Line 7. dele We come now to. P. 49, 1. 12. for tbat read which. P. 53, 1. 39. for Poctry r. Poetry. P. 84, in the Note, for Tibia r. Tibi. P. 85, 1. 15. for where r. were, P. 168, 1. 10. dele in. P. 174, 1. 12. for assimulated read asembled. P. 175, 1. 13: for ever r. over. Ibid. Line 37, for white As, read wild Asb. P. 189, 1. 36. for Hair read Hare. P. 205, 1. 10. for Paise read Praise. P. 214, 1.

19. dele vinner. P. 216, l. 21. for male read meal. P. 250, line the last, for barborous read barbarous.

E R R Α Τ Α Τ Ο VOL. II. Page 19, Line 2. for lays read lies. P. 96, 1. 2, of the Note, for Operation read Oppreffon. P. 204, 1. 16. for Wreck read wreak. P. 341, 1. 34. for Oblorance read Abborrence.





F the sciences were to be estimated by their anti

quity, Poetry would undoubtedly bear the palm from all others, since it is, we may suppose, nearly as old as the Creation, and had its being almost with the first breath of mankind.

When Adam came from the hands of his all-boun. tiful Creator, and found himself in the plains of Paradise, amidst an infinite number of creatures, fo fearfully and wonderfully made *; when he saw every herb, plant, and flower rise up for his use and pleasure, and every creature submit to his will; when he heard the morning's dawn ushered in with the orisons of birds, and the evenings warbled down with notes of thanks and gratitude ; when all nature exulted in praise of the omnipotent Creator ; when the morning jlars Jarg together, and all the sons of God souted for joy.t, could man, thus highly favoured of heaven, withold his tribute !--No,

-when all things that breathe
From th earth's great altar send up filent praise
To the Creator, and his nostrils fill
With grateful fmell : forth came the human pair,

[blocks in formation]

And join'd their vocal worship to the Choir
Of Creatures wanting voice.


both flood
Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth and heaven
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole :~Thou also mad's the night,
Maker omnipotent, and thou the day!

Poetry in its infant state was the language of devotion and love. It was the voice and expression of the heart of man when ravished and transported with a view of the numberless bleflings that perpetually dowed from God the fountain of all goodness.

---all things smild IVith Fragrance, and with yoy their hearts o'erflow'd. +

Enraptured thus with the love of God, and filled with an awful idea of his power, glory, and goodness; the soul, incapable of finding words in common language suitable to its lofty conceptions, and disdaining every thing low and vulgar, was obliged to invent a language intirely new. Tropes and figures were called in to express its sentiments, and the diction was dignified and embellished with metaphors, beautiful descriptions, lively images, simílies, and whatever else could help to express, with force and grandeur, its passion and surprise : disdaining common thoughts and trivial expressions, it cxplores all Nature and aspires at all that is sublime and beautiful, in order to approach perfection and beatitude. Nor was this sufficient. The mind dissatisfied with culling only the most noble thoughts, arrayed in forcible and luxuriant terms, and perceiving the tweetness which arose from the melody of birds, called in music to its aid; when these illustrious thoughts, dignify'd and diess'd with pomp and splendor, were

[blocks in formation]

fo placed as to produce harmony : the long and short, the smooth and rough syllables were variously combined to recommend the sense by the found, and elevation and cadence employed to make the whole more musically expreflive.

Hence poetry became the parent of music, and indeed of dancing; for the method of measuring the time of their verses, per Arfin et Thelin, and of beating the bars or divisions of music, gave rise, we may suppose, to this art, and taught the feet also to express the transports of the soulTo the truth of these reflections, which are drawn from nature, every one will affent, who considers how he is affected by poetry and music ; for no man can resist the natural impulse he will have to dance, or agitate the body at certain combinations of words and of sounds, unless he be unhappily possessed of one of those gloomy minds described by Shakespeare t. And this will in fome measure account, not only for the great antiquity of dancing, but for its application to religious ceremonies even in the first ages of the world. Poetry, Music, and Dancing, were used by the Israelites of old in their worship, and are thus employ'd by many of the eastern nations, and by the Indians of Amc. rica to this day.

What we have said of the origin of poetry will account for the necessity there is for that enthusiasm, that fertility of invention, those sallies of imagination, lofty ideas, noble sentiments, bold and figurative expressions, harmony of numbers, and indeed that

* Ducunt Cboreas et Carmina dicunt,


+ The man that hath no music in himself,
That is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils ;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such man be trusted.

SHAKESPEARE's Merchant of Venice,

« AnteriorContinuar »