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dignify by partial representations, but to hold out the light of reason, whatever it may discover; and to promulgate the determinations of truth, whatever she shall dictate.

N° 94. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1751.

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Bonus atque fidus
Judex-per obstantes catervas

Explicuit sua victor arma.
Perpetual magistrate is he

Who keeps strict justice full in sight;
Who bids the crowd at awful distance gaze,
And virtue's arms victoriously displays. FRANCIS.

The resemblance of poetick numbers to the subject which they mention or describe, may be considered as general or particular; as consisting in the flow and structure of a whole passage taken together, or as comprised in the sound of some emphatical and descriptive words, or in the cadence and harmony of single verses.

The general resemblance of the sound to the sense is to be found in every language which admits of poetry, in every author whose force of fancy en. ables him to impress images strongly on his own mind, and whose choice aod variety of language readily supply him with just representations. To such a writer it is natural to change his measure with his subject, even without any effort of the une derstanding, or intervention of the judgmont. To

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revolve jollity and mirth necessarily tunes the voice of a poet to gay and sprightly notes, as it fires his cye with vivacity; and reflection on gloomy situa. tions and disastrous events, will sadden his numbers, as it will cloud his countenance.

But in such pas. sages there is only the similitude of pleasure to pleasure, and of grief to grief, without any immediate application to particular images. The same flow of joyous versification will celebrate the jollity of marriage, and the exultation of triumph : and the same languor of melody will suit the complaints of an absent lover, as of a conquered king.

It is scarcely to be doubted, that on many occasions we make the musick which we imagine our. selves to hear, that we modulate the poem by our own disposition, and ascribe to the numbers the effects of the sense. We

may observe in life, that it is not easy to deliver a pleasing message in an unpleasing manner, and that we readily associate beauty and deformity with those whom for any reason we love or hate. Yet it would be too daring to declare that all the celebrated adaptation of har. mony are chimerical, that Ilomer had no extraor. dinary attention to the melody of his verse when he described a nuptial festivity;

Νύμφας δ' εκ θαλάμων, δαίδων υπολαμτόμινάω»,
Hyireoy avà ásu, modus di úniranos ógúgu;
Here sacred pomp, and genial feast delight,
And solemn dance, and hymeneal rite;
Along the street the new-inade brides are led,
With torches flaming, to the nuptial bed;
The youthful dancers in a circle bound
To the soft flute, and cittern's silver sound.

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that Vida was merely fanciful, when he supposed Virgil endeavouring to represent by uncommon sweetness of aumbers the adventitious beauty of Æneas :

Os, humerosque Deo similis: namque ipse decoram
Cæsariem nato genitrit, lumenque juventæ

Purpureum, d. lætos oculis afftárat honores ;
The Trojan chief appear'd in open sight,
August in visage, and serenely bright,
His mother goddess, with her hands divine,
Had form’d his curling locks, and made his temples shine ;
And gir'n his rolling eyes a sparkling grace,

And breath'd a youthful vigour on his face. DRYDEN. or that Milton did not intend to exemplify the har. mony which he mentions:

Fountains! and ye that warble as ģe flow,
Melodious murmurs! warbling tune bis praise.

That Milton understood the force of sounds well adjusted, and knew the compass and variety of the ancient measures, cannot be doubted; since he was both a musician and a critick ; but he seems to have considered these conformities of cadence, as either not often attainable in our language, or as petty excellencies' unworthy of his ambition: for it will not be found that he has always assigned the same cast of numbers to the same objects. He has given in two passages very minute descriptions of angelick beauty ; but though the images are nearly the same, the numbers will be found upon comparison Tery different:

And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smild celestial, and to ev'ry limb
Suitable grace diffus'd, so well he feign'd;
Under a coronet his flowing bair.
In curls on either cheek play'd : wings he wore
Of many a colourd plume, sprinkled with gold,


Some of the lines of this description are remark. ably defective in harmony, and therefore by no means correspondent with that symmetrical elegance and easy grace which they are intended to exhibit. The failure, however, is fully compensated by the representation of Raphael, which equally delights the ear and imagination:

A seraph wing'd : six wings he wore to shade
His lineaments divine ; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament: the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs, with downy gold,
And colours dipp'd in heav'n : the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctar'd grain ! like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heav'nly fragrance filla
The circuit wide.

The adumbration of particular and distinct images by an exact and perceptible resemblance of sound, is sometimes studied, and sometimes casual. Every language has many words formed in imitation of the noises which they signify. Such are Stridor, Balo, and Beatus, in Latin; and in English to growl, to buzz, to hiss, and to jar.' Words of this kind give to a verse the proper similitude of sound, without much labour of the writer, and such happiness is therefore to be attributed rather to fortune than skill; yet they are sometimes combined with great propriety, and undeniably contribute to en. force the impression of the idea, We hear the passing arrow in this line of Virgil;

Et fugit horrendum stridens elapsa sagitta ;

Th’ impetuous arrow whizzes on the wing.


and the creeking of hell-gates, in the description by Milton;

-Open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
Th’infernal doors; and on their hinges grate

Harsh thunder. But many beauties of this kind, which the moderns, and perhaps the ancients, have observed, seem to be the product of blind reverence acting upon fancy. Dionysius himself tells us, that the sound of Homer's verses sometimes exhibits the idea of corporeal hulk: is not this a discovery nearly approaching to that of the blind man, who, after long inquiry into the nature of the scarlet colour, found that it represented nothing so much as the clangour of a trumpet? The representative power of poetick barmony consists of sound and measure; of the force of the syllables singly considered, and of the time in which they are pronounced. Sound can resemble nothing but sound, and time can measure nothing but motion and duration.

The criticks, however, have struck out other similitudes; nor is there any irregularity of numbers which credulous admiration cannot discover to be eininently beautiful. Thus the propriety of each of these lines has been celebrated by writers whose opinion the world has reason to regard:

Vertitur interea cælum, fruit oceano
Meantime the rapid heav'ns rowlid down the light,
And on the shaded ocean rush'd the night. DRYDEN.

Sternitur, eranimisque tremens procumbit humi bos.-
Down drops the beast, nor needs a second wound;
But sprawis in pangs of death, and spurns the ground.


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