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tred; if he was drunk, or married ; position, and most declares the hand he spoke a fentiment: if a lady was of a master. angry, or pleated ; in love, or out “ By the School for Scandal the of it; a prude, or a coquet; make style of Congreve was again brought room for a sentiment ! If a servant into fashion ; and sentiment made girl was chid, or received a present way for wit, and delicate humour. from her miltress; if a valet re- That piece has indeed the beauties ceived a purse, or a horsewhipping; of Congreve's comedies, without good heavens, what a fine lenti- their faults : its plot is deeply einent!
nough perplexed, without forcing “ This fault I say was infinitely one to labour to unravel it; its inmore absurd than that of Congreve; cidents sufficient, without being too for a peasant may blunder on wit, numerous ; its wit pure ; its tituto whose mind sentiment is totally ations truly dramatic. The chaheterogeneous. Belides, Congreve's raciers however are not quite fo wit is all his own; whereas inoit of strong as Congreve's; which may the said sentiments may be found in be regarded as the principal fault of the Proverbs of Solomon.
this excellent piece. Leffer faults “ No wonder then this way of are Charles's sometimes blundering sriting was soon abandoned even by upon sentiments ; nay sometimes him who was its chief leader. upon what are the worst of all fenGoldsmith in vain tried to stem the timents, such as are of dangerous torrent by oppofing a barrier of low tendency, as when Rowley advises humour, and dullness and absur- him to pay his debts, before he dity, more dull and absurd than makes a very liberal present, and English sentimental comedy itself. so to act as an honest man ere he
“ It is very much to the credit acts as a generous one. of that excellent writer Mr. Col. “ Rowley. Ah, fir, I wish you snan, that, while other dramatifts would remember the proverbwere lost in the fashion of sentiment, “ Charles. Be just before you are his comedies always present the hap- generous.-Why so I would if I piest mediums of nature ; without could, but Justice is an old lame either atfectation of sentiment, or hobbling beldame, and I can't get affectation of wit. That the able her to keep pace with Generofisy translator of Terence should yet for the soul of me.” have fufficient force of mind to keep “ This sentiment, than which his own pieces clear of the decla- nothing can be more false and immatory dulness of that ancient, is moral, is always received by the certainly a matter deserving of much filly audience with loud applause, applaufe. The Jealous Wife, and whereas no reprobation can be too the Clandestine Marriage, with o- severe for it. A lefser blemish lies thers of Nis numerous drarsas, may in the verses tagged to the end of be mentioned as the most perfect the play, in which one of the chamodels of comedy we have: to all racters addrefles the audience. The the other requisites of fine comic verses are an absurdity, the address writing they always add just as a till greater; for the audience is inuchsentiment and wit as does by no good actor supposed to be them good. This happy thedium present: and any circumttance that is the most difficule to bit in all come contributes to deatroy the apparent
reality of theatrical representation, with applauseon our theatre ; which cannot meet with too sharp censure. the actors well express by calling But it gives me pain to remark any sentiments clap-traps
. This trick faults in a piece that in general so of securing applaufe by sentiments well merits the applaufe it constant. lately proved the salvation of the ly receives. I thail only observe very worst tragedy that ever apa that the sentiment putinto Charles's peared on any itage: for the audimouth in the daft icene, though not ence had so much applauded the liable to the objections brought a- two first acts, from the number of gainst the former, is yet incompa. those clap-traps, that they were atible with the character, which is shamed to retract, so that the piece set in strongest opposition to the mook a little run very quietly, to fentimental one of Joseph. The the disgrace of our taste, it being words I mean are, “ If I don't ap- one of those very farragos of non pear mortified at the exposure of sense that the Rcheartal was writmy follies, it is because I feel at
ten to expose to due scorn : and this moment the warmest satisface had it been fabricated before the tion àt seeing you my liberal bene- æra of that witty performance, it factor."
would certainly have had the ho" It may be observed that every nour of being placed in the first thing like a sentiment is sure to meet thelf of absurdity.”
DISCUSSION of the QUESTION, “ In what Quality does the universal and perpetual Excellence of Writing confitt ?”
[From the same Work. ] ERHAPS no question of wisdom or good sense to be the very
criticism may afford room for fountain of perfect composition. morecuriousinvestigation than this: - In what quality does the perpe
Scribendi recte fapere eft et principium et fons.
Hor, tual and univerfal excellence of writing confift?"or, in other words, And this maxim will be found to “ What property of composition is hold true in every species of writcertain to procure it the claffic and ing whatever. Good sense may be legitimate admiration of all ages and called the fakt that preserves the countries."
cther qualities of writing from cor“ To decide on this point it is ruption. This property is alike recertainly the fureft method to judge quired in every branch of the belles of the future by the past, and to lettres ; but there are others which pronounce that the fiume perfections may be considered as confined to which have secured to an author of one partieular path of writing. three shoutand years standing his Such is imaginary invention due applause, will most infallibly with respect to poetry : I say, ima. effect the same end to a modern wri- ginary invention, to distinguish it ter.
here from that scientific invention “ A poet of sine talents, but of which belongs to the judgment. far fuperior tafle, has pronounced This invention, as the parent of no
velty, is the superlative qualifica- " A work, immoral and unwise, tion of poetry, and nothing can has yet been found to live by its contribute more to procure it per- style, in spite of these defects. Style manent admiration. Yet invention is therefore a quality of writing, eitself is interior to strong sense even qual, if not superior, to good tense: in poetry; for there are poems in for the latter without the former which the invention is rich, yet will by no means preserve a work, disgusts by its futility; not being though the reverle of the rule i conducted by that acer animi vis, true. Indeed a fine style is comthat keen force of mind, which ale nonly joined with good sense; both ways accompanies true genius. being the oilspring of the same lu
“ If good sense is therefore a minous mind. praise superior to invention itself in “ Can a work live long which is poetry, we may with great safety defective in style? Impollibie. Hopronounce it one of the very firit mer's Atyle is the richest in the Greek qualities that ensures applause to language. Style bas preferred Hecomposition.
rodotus in spite of his absurdities. " A beautiful work of genius Every ancient, who has reached us, may be aptly compared to a beau- has an eminent tyle in his reipectiful woman. Good sense may be tive walk and manner. Style has called its health, without which it saved all the Latin writers, who are cannot live, charming as its other only good imitators of the Greeks, powers may be. But though a wo- Terence is only the translator of man has good health, it does not Menander ; Sallust an imitator of follow that he is fair; nay we of. Thucydides ; Horace is an imitator ten applaud a morbidezza, or an ap- and almost a translator in all his pearance of fickly, delicacy, as an odes, as we may boldly pronounce improver of female beauty; and in cn comparing them with iuch very this the comparison fails. A work, minute fragments of Grecian lyric as well as its present parallel, must poetry as bare reached us. Yet it have the bloom and the features of was he who exclaimed beauty, with grace and elegance in its motions, to attract admiration.
O imitatores fervum pecus ! The bloom and fine features, the Style has saved Virgil entirely, who grace and elegance, of a work con- has not the most diitant pretence to lift in its style; which is the part any other attribute of a poet. that is most recommendatory of it, u Good sense I have called the as outward beauty and grace are of health of a work, without which it a woman considered as an object of cannot live ; but a work may live fight.
without much applause: and the " The bloom and the features of first quality of writing that attracts composition lie in the verbage and universal and permanent fame was figures of its style; the grace in the subject of the present discus. the manner and movement of that fion. This we have found to be Atylo.
OBSERVATIONS on MILTON's LATIN POETRY.
(From Mr. Warton's Edition of MILTON'S POEMS on several
first Englishman, who, after cast in the prose-works, but in his the restoration of letters, wrote La- long verse. It is to be wished that tin verses with claffic elegance. But in his Latin compositions of all we must at lealt except fome of the forts, he had been more attentive hendecasyllables and epigrams of to the fimplicity of Lucretius, Viro Leland, one of our first literary re- gil, and Tibullus. formers, from this hafty determi- “ Dr. Johnson prefers the Latin nation.
poetry of May and Cowley to that “ In the Elegies, Ovid was pro- of Milton, and thinks May to be feffedly Milton's model for language the first of the three. May and verhfication. They are not, tainly a sonorous dactylist, and was however, a perpetual and uniform fufficiently accomplished in poetical tissue of Ovidian
phraseology. With declamation for the continuation of Ovid in view, he has an original Lucan's Pharsalia. But May is manner and character of his own, scarcely an author in point. His which exhibit a remarkable perfpi- ikill is in parody; and he was concuity of contexture, a native faci- fined to the peculiarities of an arlity and fluency. Nor does his ob- chetype, which, it may be preservation of Roman models oppress fumed, he thought excellent. As or deltroy our great poer's inherent to Cowley, when compared with powers of invention and sentiment. Milton, the fame critic observes, I value these pieces as much for “ Milton is generally content to their fancy and genius, as for their express the thoughts of the ancients style and expreffion.
in their language : Cowley, with " That Ovid among the Latin out much lots of purity or elegance, poets was Milton's favourite, ap- accommodates the diction of Rome pears not only from his elegiac but to his own conceptions. The ad.
The verfi- vantage seems to lie on the side of fication of our author's hexameters Cowley.” But what are these con. has yet a different structure from ceptions ? Metaphyfical conceits, that of the Metamorphoses : Mil. all the unnatural extravagancies of ton's is more clear, intelligible, and his English poetry; such as will flowing ; less defultory, less fami- not bear to be clothed in the Latin liar, and less embarrassed with a language, much less are capable of frequent recurrence of periods. admitting any degree of pure LaOvid is at once rapid and abrupt. tinity. I will give a few instances, He wants dig nity: he has too much conversation in his manner of tell. Davideis.
out of a great multitude, from the ing a story. Prolixity of paragraph,
Hic fuciatorum facra constellatio vatum, and length of fentence, are peculiar
Quos felix virtus evexit ad æthera, nu. to Milton. This is seen, not only in some of his exordial invocations
Luxuriz supra, tempeftatcsque laborum. in the Paradise Loft, and in many Again,
his hexametric poetry;
Teminoris ingreditur penetralia celfa fua Te bibens arcus Jovis ebriosus turi,
Mille formotos revomit colores, Implumesque videt nidis cælenibus an- Pave cæleftis, variamque pascie nos.
Lumine caudam. And, to be short, we have the plaif. And afterwards, of the waves of the quam vifus aquilinus of lovers, Na- fea, perpetually in motion. tin verborum, Exuit vitam aeriam,
Lucidum trudis properanter agmen : Mezti auditur symphonia dulcis, Na
Scd relittentum fuper ora rerum tura archiva, Omnes lymmetria fen
Leniter Itaguas, liquidoque inundas Sus congerit, Condit aromatica prohi
Cunda colore : bet que putrefcere lande. Again, where At mare immensum oceanufque Lucis Aliquid is personified, Monogramma
Jugiter cælo fluit empyräo;
Hinc inexhaufto per utrumque mundum exordia mundi.
Funditur ore. " It may be faid, that Cowley is here tranlating from his own Eng.
“ Milton's Latin poems may be lith Davideis. But I will bring ex- justly considered as legitimate clas. amples from his original Latin ppe fical compositions, and are never ems. In praise of the fpring. disgraced with such language and
such imagery, Cowley's Latinity, Et refonet toto musica verna libro; dictated by an irregular and unreUncione laudis odor dulcitimus halet, strained imagination, presents a &c.
mode of diction half Larin and half And in the same poem, in a party English. It is pot so much that worthy of the pastoral pencil of Wat- Cowley wanted a knowledge of the teau.
Latin style, but that he suffered Hauferunt avide Chocolatam Flora Ve- that knowledge to be perverted and nulque.
corrupted by false and extravagant Of the Fraxinella,
thoughts. Milton was a more per
feet scholar than Cowley, and his Tu trzs netropoles humani corporis, ar- mind was more deeply tin&tured mis
with the excellencies of ancient liPrugnas, utcruin, cor, cerebrum
terature, He was a more just think
er, and therefore a more jutt writer. He calls the Lychnis, Candelabrum In a word, he had more taste, and ingens. C'upitis Arbiter forma cri- more true poetry, and consequently tie Ovidis Antiquarire ingens. more propriety. If a fondness for An ill (mell is funnel Oifaons te- the Italian writers has sometimes intricita: fiii And in the same page, fected his English poetry with false is 22,70'crie tofiso rs Put all his faults are confpi- in disjon and sentiinent, at least are
ornaments, his Latin verses, both cuovily and collectively exemplified free from those depravations. in these stanzas, among others, of 66 Some of Milton's Latin poems is Hymn on Lighi,
were writte: in his firit year at CamPuiclira de nigro soboles parente,
bridge, when he was only seven. Quem Chaos fertur peperisse primaire
teen : they must be allowed to be 'Cos ob formam bere risit olim very correct and manly perform, Maffa ferura! ances for a youth of that age.
And Risus ( terra facer et polorum,
considered in that view, they disco. Alçus ve!e p'uvius Tonantis, Quaque de ca lo fuis inquieta
ver an extraordinary copiousness and Gloria rivo! command of ancient fable and hi,