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But true Expression, like th’unchanging Sun, 2.
Notes. Thould not hide, but only heighten the native complexion of the objects. And false Eloquence is nothing else but the straining and divaricating the parts of true expresion; and then daubing them over with what the Rhetoricians very properly term coLOURS ; in lieu of that candid light, now loft, which was reflected from them in their natural state while sincere and entire.
VER. 324, Some by old words, etc.] “ Abolita et abrogata re. “ tinere, infolentiæ cujufdam est, et frivolæ in parvis jactan« tiæ.” Quint. lib. i. c. 6. P.
“ Opus est, ut verba à vestutate repetita neque crebra fint “ neque manifesta, quia nil est odiofius affectatione, nec utique « ab ultimis repetita temporibus. Oratio cujus fumma virtus “ eft perspicuitas, quam sit vitiofa, fi egeat interprete ? Ergo « ut novorum optima crunt maxime vetera, ita veterum - maxime nova.” Idem. P.
Unlucky, as Fungoso in the Play,
These sparks with aukward vanity display s
But most by Numbers judge a Poet's song; And smooth or rough,with them, is right or wrong: M. 179 In the bright Muse tho’thousand charms conspire, Her Voice is all these tuneful fools admire; 340 Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, 2 Not mend their minds; as some to Church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there. :) These equal syllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire; 345 While expletives their feeble aid do join ; And ten low words oft creep in one dull line:
VARIATIONS. Ver. 337. But most by Numbers judge, etc.) The last fort are those (from x 336 to 384.] whole ears are attached only to the Harmony of a poem. Of which they judge as ignorantly and as pervertely as the other sort did of Eloquence; and for the very same reason. He first describes that false Harmony with which they are so much captivated; and shews, that it is wretchedly flat and unvaried : For
Smooth or rough with them is right or wrong. Ile then describes the true. 1. As it is in itself, constant; with a happy mixture of strength and sweetness, in contradiction to the roughness and flatness of falle Harmony: And 2. as it is
Quis populi fermo eft ? quis enim ? nisi carmina molli
COMMENTARY. varied in compliance to the subject, where the found becomes an echo to the sense, so far as is consistent with the preservation of numbers ; in contradiction to the monotony of false Harmony : Of this he gives us, in the delivery of his precepts, four fine examples of smoothness, roughness, Powriefs, and rapidity. The first use of this correspondence of the found to the sense, is to aid the fancy in acquiring a perfecter and more lively image of the thing represented. A second and nobler, is to calm and subdue the turbulent and selfish passions, and to raise and warmi the beneficent: Which he illustrates in the famous adventure of Timotheus and Alexander : where, in referring to Mr. Dryden's Ode on that subject, he turns it to a high compliment on that great poet.
NOTES. Ver. 345. Tho' oft the ear, etc.] “ Fugiemus crebras voca“ lium concursiones, quæ vastam atque hiantem orationem red“ dunt. Cic. ad Heren. lib. iv. Vide etiam Quintil. lib. ix. 6.4. P.
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line : ] From Dryden. “He creeps along with ten little words in every line, « and helps out his numbers with [for][to] and [unto) and all “ the pretty expletives he can find, while the fer fe is left half “ tired behind it.” Ejay on Dram. Poetry,
While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes,
join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an Echo to the sense: 365
The found must seem an Echo to the sense :) The judi. cious introduction of this precept is remarkable. The Poets, and even some of the best of them, have been so fond of the beauty arising from this trivial precept, that in their praci main
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
Notes. tice, they have violated the very End of it, which is the en, crease of harmony ; and so they could but raise an Echo, did not care whose ears they offended by its dissonance. To remedy this abuse therefore, the poet, by the introductory line, would infinuate, that Harmony is always presupposed as observed; tho' it may and ought to be perpetually varied, so as to produce the effect here recommended.
Ver. 365. The found must seem an Echo to the sense,] Lord Roscommon says,
The found is still a comment to the sense. They are both well expressed : only this supposes the sense to be allifted by the sound ; that, the found affifted by the sense,
IMITATIONS, Ver. 366. Soft is the strain, etc,]
Tum fi lætá canunt, etc, Vida Poet. I. iii, 1403, Ver. 368. But when loud surges, etc.)
Tum longe sale saxa fonant, etc. Vida ib. 388. Ver. 370. TVhen Ajax strives, etc.]
Atque ideo si quid geritur molimine magno,etc. Vida ib.417. Ver. 372. Not so, when swift Camilla, etc.]
At mora si fuerit damno,properare jubebo,etc. Vida ib. 420.