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Such were the games by azure 'Thetis given, 1:5 First bleeds Antinous: thick the shafts resound:
Aad such thy honours, oh beloved of heaven!

And heaps on heaps the wretches strew the ground
Dear to mankind thy fame survives, nor fades

This way, and that, we turn, we fly, we fall; its bloom eternal in the Stygian shades.

Some god assisted, and unmann'd us all: But what to me avail my honours gone,

Ignoble cries precede the dying groans ;

210 Successful toils, and battles bravely won ?

120 And batter'd brains and blood besmear the stones. Doom'd bv stern Jove at hoine to end my life,

Thus, great Atrides : thus Ulysses drove
By curst Ægysthus, and a faithless wife!

The shades thou seest, from yon fair realms above
Thns they: while Hermes o'er the dreary plain Our mangled bodies now deform'd with gore,
Led the sad mnmbers by Ulysses slain.

Cold and neglected, spread the marble floor.

215 On pach majestic form they cast a view,

125 No friend to bathe our wounds! or tears to shed And timorous pass'd, and awfully withdrew.

O'er the pale corse! the honours of the dead. But Agamemnon, through the gloomy shade,

Ob blest Ulysses! (thus the king express'd His ancient host Amphimedon survey'd;

His sudden raptnre) in thy consort bless'd! Son of Melanthius! (he began) O say!

Not more thy wisdom than her virtue shined

220 What canse compellid so many. and so gay, 130 Not inore thy patience than lier constant mind. To tread the downward, melancholy way?

Icarius' daughter, glory of the past, Say, could one city yield a troop so fair?

And model to the future age, shall last: Were all these partners of one native air?

The gods, to honour her fair fame shall raise Or did the rage of stormy Neptune sweep

(Their great reward) a poet in her praise.

225 Your lives at once, and whelm beneath the deep? 135 Not such, oh Tyndarus; thy daughter's deed, Did nightly thieves, or pirate's cruel bands,

By whose dire hand her king and husband bled;
Drench with your blood your pillaged country's sands? Her shall the Muse to infamy prolong,
Or well defending some beleaguer'd wall,

Example dread, and theme of tragic song!
Say, for the public did ye greatly fall?

The general sex shall suffer in her shame,

230 Inform thy guest: for such I was of yore

140 And even the best that bears a woman's name. When our triumphant navies touch'd your shore;

Thus in the regions of eternal shade Forced a long month the wintry seas to bear,

Conferr'd the mournful phantoms of the dead; To move the great Ulysses to the war.

While from the town, Ulysses and his band O king of men! I faithful shall relate

Pass'd to Laërtes' enltivated land.

235 Replied Amphimedon) our bapless fate.

145 | The ground himself had purchased with his pain, Ulysses absent, our ambitious aim

And labour made the rugged soil a plain. With rival loves pursued his royal dame;

There stood his mansion of the rural sort, Her coy reserve, and prudence mix'd with pride, With nseful buildings round the lowly court; Our common suit nor granted, nor denied ;

Where the few servants that divide his care

240 But close with inward hate our deaths design'd; 150 Took their laborious rest, find homely fare; Versed in all arts of wily womankind.

And one Sicilian matron, old and sage, Her band, laborious, in delusion spread

With constant duty tends his drooping age. A spacious loom, and mix'd the various thread.

Here now arriving to his rustic band Ye peers (she cried) who press to gain my heart, And martial soni, Ulysses gave command.

245 Where dead Ulysses claims no more a part,

155 Enter the house, and of the bristly swine Yet a short space your rival suit suspend,

Select the largest to the powers divine. Till this funereal web my labours end :

Alone, and unattended, let me try Cease, till to good Laërtes I bequeathe

If yet I share the old man's memory: A task of grief, his ornaments of death :

If those dim eyes can yet Ulysses know

250 Lest, when the Fates his royal ashes claim, 160|'(Their light and dearest object long ago), The Grecian matrous taint my spotless fame:

Now changed with time, with absence and with woe.
Should he, long honour'd with supreme command, Then to his train he gives his spear and shield;
Want the last duties of a daughter's hand.

The house they enter; and he seeks the field,
The fiction pleased, our generous train complies, Thro' rows of shade, with various fruitage crown'd, 255
Nor fraud mistrusts in virtue's fair disguise. 165 The labour'd scenes of richest verdure round.
The work she plied, but studious of delay,

Nor aged Dolius, nor his sons were there, Each following night reversed the toils of day.

Nor servants, absent on another care; Unheard, unseen, three years her arts prevail;

To search the woods for sets of flowery thorn. The fourth, her maid reveal'a the amazing tale,

Their orchard bounds to strengthen and adorn. 260 And show'd, as unperceived we took our stand, 170 But all alone the hoary king he found ; The backward labours of her faithless band.

His habit coarse, but warmly wrapp'd around; Forced, she completes it; and before us lay

His head, that how'd with many a pensive care, The mingled web, whose gold and silver ray

Fenced with a double cap of goatskin hair: Display'd the radiance of the night and day.

His buskins old, in former service torn,

2.15 Just as she finish'd her illustrious toil,

175 But well repair'd; and gloves against the thorn. Ill fortune led Ulysses to our isle,

In this array the kingly gardenerstood, For in a lonely nook, beside the sea,

And clear'd a plant, encumber'd with its wood. At an old swine-herd's rural louge he lay:

Beneath a neighbouring tree, the chief divine Thither his son from sandy Pyle repairs,

Gazed o'er his sire, retracing every line

270 And speedy lands, and secretly onniers.

180 The ruins of hiinself! now worn away They pian our future ruin, and resort

With age, yet still majesticin decay ! Confederate to the city and the court.

Sudden his eyes released their watery store; First came the son; the father next succeeds,

The much-enduring man could bear no more. Clad like a beggar, whom Eumæus leads;

Doubtful he stood, if instant to embrace

275 Propp'd on a staff, deform'd with age and care, 185 His aged limbs, to kiss his reverend face, And hung with rags that flutter'd in the air.

With eager transport to declare the whole, Who could Ulysses in that form behold?

And pour at once the torrent of his soul Scorn'd by the young, forgotten by the old,

Not so: his judgment takes the winding way Ill-used by all to every wrong resign'd,

Of question distant, and of soft essay:

290 Patient he suffer'd with a constant mind.

190 More gentle methods on weak age employs: But when, arising in his wrath to obey

And moves the sorrows to enhance the joys. The will of Jove, he gave the vengeance way:

Then, to his sire with beating heart he moves, The scatter'd arms that hung around the dome

And with a tender pleasantry reproves; Careful he treasured in a private room :

Who digging round the plant still hangs his head, 295 Then to her snitors bade his queen propose

195 Nor aught remits the work, while thus he said. The archer's strife, the source of future woes,

Great is thy skill, oh father! great thy toil,
And omen of our death! In vain we drew

Thy careful hand is stamp'd on all the soil,
The twanging string, and tried the stubborn yèw : The squailron’d vineyards well thy art declare,
To none it yields, but great Ulysses' hands;

The olive green, blue fig, and pendant pear;

290 In vain we threat; Telemachus commands: 200 And not one empty spot escapes thy care. The bow he snatch'd and in an instant bent;

On every plant and tree thy cares are shown, Through every ring the victor arrow went.

Nothing neglected, but thyself alone. Fierce on the threshold then in arms he stood;

Forgive me, father, if this fault I blame; Pour'd forth the darts that thirsted for our blood,

Age so advanced may some indulgence claim. 295 And frown'd before us, dreadful as a god!

205 Not for thy sloth I deem thy lord unkind:

Nor speaks thy form a mean or servile mind;

I read a monarch in that princely alr,

Yet by another sign thy offspring know; The sanie thy aspect, if the same thy care ;

The several trees you gave me long ago, Soft sleep, fair garments, and the joys of wine,


While, yet a child, these fields I loved to trace, 390 These are the rights of age, and should be thine.

And trod thy footsteps with unequal pace; Who then thy master, say? and whose the land

To every plant in order as we came, So dress'd and managed by thy skilful hand?

Well-pleased, you told its nature and its name, But chief, oh tell me! (what I question most)

Whate'er my childish fancy ask'd, bestow'd; Is this the far-famed Ithacensian coast?

305 Twelve pear-trees, bowing with their pendant load, 395 For so reported the first man I view'd ..

And ten, that red with blushing apples glow'd; (Some surly isiander of manners rude),

Full fifty purple figs; and many a row Nor further conference vouchsafed to stay;

Of various vines that then began to blow. Heedless he whistled, and pursued bis way.

A future vintage! when the Hours produce But thou, whom years have taught to understand, 310 Their latent buds, and Sol exalts the juice.

400 Humanely hear, and answer my demand:

Smit with the signs which all his doubts explain, A friend I seek, a wise one and a brave:

His heart within him melts: his knees sustain Say, lives he yet, or inoulders in the grave?

Their feeble weight no more: his arms alone Time was (my fortunes then were at the best)

Support him, round the loved Ulysses thrown ; When at my house I lodged this foreign guest; 315 He faints, he sinks, with mighty joys oppress'd : 405 He said, from Ithaca's fair isle he came,

Ulysses clasps him to his eager breast. And old Laërtes was his father's name.

Soon as returning life rcgains its seat, To him, whatever to a guest is owed

And his breath lengthens, and his pulses beat; I paid, and hospitable gifts bestow'd:

Yes, I believe (he cries) almighty Jove! To him seven talents of pure ore I told,

320 Heaven rules as yet, and gods there are aboye. 410 Twelve cloaks, twelve vests, twelve tunics stiff with gold; 'Tis so--the suitors for their wrongs have paid-A bowl, that rich with polish'd silver pames,

But what shall guard us, if the town invade? And, skill'd in female works, four lovely dames.

If, while the news through every city flies, At this the father, with a father's fears

All Ithaca and Cephalenia rise? (His venerable eyes bedimm'd with tears). 325 To this Ulysses: As the gods shall please

415 This is the land ; but ah! thy gifts are lost,

Be all the rest; and set thy soul at ease. For godless men, and rude, possess the coast :

Haste to the cottage by the orchard's side, Sunk is the glory of this once famed shore!

And take the banquet which our cares provide: Thy ancient friend, oh stranger, is no more!

There wait thy faithful band of rural friends, Full recompense thy bounty else had borne; 330 | And there the young Telemachus attends.

420 For every good mau yields a just return:

Thus having said, they traced the garden o'er,
So civil rights demand; and who begins

And stooping
enter'd at

the lowly door. The track of friendship, not pursning, sins.

The swains and young Telemachus they found, But tell me, stranger, be the truth confessid, 334 The victim portiou'd, and the goblet crown'd. What years have circled since thou saw'st that guest? The hoary king, his old Sicilian maid

425 That hapless guest, alas! for ever gone!

Perfumed and wash'd, and gorgeously array'd. Wretch that he was! and that I am! my son !

Pallas attending gives his frame to shine If ever man to misery was born,

With awful port, and majesty divine; 'Twas his to suffer and 'tis mine to mourn!

His gazing son admires the godlike grace Far from his friends, and from his native reign, 340 And air celestial dawning o'er his face.

430 He lies a prey to monsters of the main;

What god, he cried, my father's form improves ? Or savage beasts his mangled relics tear,

How high he treads, and how enlarged he moves? Or screaming vultures scatter through the air:

Oh I would to all the deathless powers on bigli, Nor could his mother funeral unguents shed ;

Pallas and Jove, and him who rules the sky! Nor wailid his father o'er the untimely dead: 345 (Replied the king elated with his praise).

435 Nor his sad consort, on the mournful bier,

My strength were still, as once in better days : Seal'd his cold eyes, or dropp'd a tender tear!

When the bold Cephalens the leaguer formid, But, tell me who thou art? and what thy race? And proud Nericus trembled as I storm'd. Thy town, thy parents, and thy native place?

Such were I now, not absent from your deed Or, if a merchant in pursuit of gain, 350 When the last sun beheld the suitors bleed,

410 What port received thy vessel from the main?

This arm bad aided yours, this hand bestrown Or camest thou single, or attend thy train ?

Our shores with death and pash'd the slaughter on; Then thus the son. From Alybas I came,

Nor had the sire been separate from the son. My palace there: Eperitus my name.

They communed thus; while homeward bent their way Not vulgar horn; from Aphidas, the king

355 The swains, fatigued with labours of the day: 4 45 Of Polyphemon's royal line, I spring,

Dolius the first, the venerable man; Some adverse dæmon from Sicania bore

And next his sons, a long succeeding train. Our wandering course, and drove us on your shore; For due refection to the bower they came, Far from the town, an unfrequented bay

Call’d by the careful old Sicilian dame, Relieved our wearied vessel from the sea.

360 Who nursed the children, and now tends the sire ; 450 Five years have circled since these eyes pursued They see their lord, they gaze, and they admire. Ulysses parting through the sable flood;

On chairs and beds in order seated round, Prosperons he saild, with dexter auguries,

They share the gladsome board; the roofs resound, And all the wing'd good onens of the skies,

While thus Ulysses to his ancient friend : Well hoped we then to meet on this fair shore, 365 Forbear your wonder, and the feast attend :

455 Whom Heaven, alas! decreed to meet no more.

The rites have waited long. The chief commands
Quick through the father's heart these accents ran; Their loves in vain; old Dolius spreads his bands,
Grief seized at once, and wrapp'd up all the man : Springs to his master with a warm embrace,
Deep from his soul he sighd, and sorrowing spread And fastens kisses on his hands and face;
A cloud of ashes on his boary head.

370, Then thus broke out: Oh long, oh daily mourn'd! 460 Trembling with agonies of strong delight

Beyond our hopes, and to our wish return'd! Stood the great son, heart-wounded with the sight: Conducted sure by Heaven! for Heaven alone He ran, he seized him with a strict embrace,

Could work this wonder: welcome to thy own! With thousand kisses wander'd o'er his face,

And joys and happiness attend ty throne! I, I am he; oh father, rise! behold

375 Who knows thy bless'd, thy wish'd return? oh say, 465 Thy son, with twenty winters now grown old ;

To the chaste queen shall we the news convey? Thy son, so long desired, so long detain'd,

Or hears she, and with blessings loads the day? Restored, and breathing in his native land:

Dismiss that care, for to the royal bride These floods of sorrow, oh my sire, restrain!

Already is it known, (the king replied, The vengeance is complete ; the suitor-train, 380 And straight resumed his seat); while round him bows Stretch'd in our palace, by these hands lie slain.

Each faithful youth, and breathes out ardent vows: 471 Amazed, Laërtes. Give some certain sign

Then all beneath their father take their place, (If such thou art) to manifest thee mine,

Rank'd by their ages, and the banquet grace. Lo here the wound (he cries) received of yore,

Now flying Fame the swift report had spread The scar indented by the tusky boar, 385 Through all the city, of the suitors dead.

475 When, by thyself, and hy Anticlea sent,

In throngs they rise, and to the palace crowd; To old Autolycus's realms I went.

Their sighs are many, and the tumult loud.

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Weeping they bear the mangled heaps of slain, Bach futuro day Increase of wealth shall bring,
Inhume the natives in their native plain,

And o'er the past Oblivion stretch her wing.
The rest in ships are wafted o'er the main.

480 Long shall Ulysses in his empire rest, Then sad in council all the seniors sate,

His people blessing, by his people bless'd. Frequent and full, assembled to debate:

Let all be peaceHe said, and gare the nod

560 Amid the circle first Eupithes rose,

That binds the Fates; the sanction of the god :
Big was his eye with tears, his heart with woes : And prompt to execute the eternal will,
The bold Antinoüs was his age's pride,

485 Descended Pallas from the Olympian hill. The first wbo by Ulysses' arrow died.

Now sat Ulysses at the rural feast, Down his wan cheek the trickling torrent ran,

The rage of hunger and of thirst repress'd :

565 As mixing words with sighs he thus began:

To watch the foe a trusty spy he sent: Greatdeeds, oh friends! this wondrous man has wrought, A son of Dolius on the message went, And mighty blessings to his country brought! 490 Stood in the way, and at a glance bebeld With ships he parted, and a numerous train,

The foe approach, embattled on the field. Those, and their ships, he buried in the maiii


With backward step he bastens to the bower, 570 Now he returns, and first essays his hand

And tells the news. They arm with all their power. In the best blood of all his native land.

Pour friends alone Ulysses' cause embrace, Haste then, and ere to neighbouring Pyle he flies, 495 And six were all the sons of Dolius' race: Or sacred Elis, to procure supplies;

Old Dolius too his rusted arms put on; Arise (or ye for ever fall) arisel

And, still more old, in arms Laërtes shone.

575 Shame to this age, and all that shall succeed!

Trembling with warmth, the hoary heroes stand,
If unrevenged your sons and brothers bleed.

And brazen panoply invests the band.
Prove that we live, by rengeance on his head, 500 The opening gates at once their war display:
Or sink at once forgotten with the dead.

Fierce they rush forth: Ulysses leads the way.
Here ceased he, but indignant tears let fall

That moment joins them with celestial aid,

580 Spoke when he ceased: dumb sorrow touch'd them all. In Mentor's form, the Jove descended maid : When from the palace to the wondering throng The suffering hero felt his patient breast Sage Medon came, and Phemius came along 505 Swell with new joy, and thus his son address'd. (Restless and early sleep's soft bands they broke); Behold, Telemachus! (nor fear the sight), And Medon first the assembled chiefs bespoke:

The brave embattled, the grina front of tight!

585 Hear me, ye peers and elders of the land,

The valiant with the valiant must contend : Who deem this act the work of mortal hand;

Shame not the line whence glorious you descend. As o'er the heaps of death Ulysses strode,

510 Wide o'er the world their martial fame was spread; These eyes, these eyes beheld a present god,

Regard thyself, the living, and the dead.
Who now before him, now beside him stood,

Thy eyes, great father! on this battle cast, 590
Fought as he fought, and mark'd his way with blood: Shall learn from me Penelope was chaste,
In vain old Mentor's form the god belied;

So spoke Telemachus! the gallant boy
'Twas Heaven that struck, and Heaven was on his side. Good old Laërtes heard with panting joy;.

A sudden horror all the assembly shook, 516 And bless'd! thrice bless'd this happy day he cries,
Wben slowly rising, Halitherses spoke

The day that shews me, ere I close my eyes,

595 (Reverend and wise, whose comprehensive view

A son and grandson of the Arcesian naine At once the present and the future knew):

Strive for fair virtue, and contest for fame! Me tou, ye fathers, hear! from you proceed

520 Then thus Minerva in Laërtes' ear: The ills ye mourn; your own the guilty deed.

Son of Arcesius, reverend warrior, hear! Ye gave your sons, your lawless sons, the rein

Jove and Jove's daughter first implore in prayer,

600 (Oft warn’d by Mentor and myself in vain);

Then, whirling bigh, discharge thy lance in air.
An absent heru's bed they sought to soil,

She said, infusing courage with the word.
An absent hero's wealth they made their spoil; 525 Jove and Jove's daughter then the chief implored,
Immoderate riot, and intemperate lust!

And, whirling high, dismiss'd the lance in air.
The offence was great, the punishment was just. Full at Eupithes drove the deathful spear:

605 Weigh then my counsels in an equal scale,

The brass-cheek'd helmet opens to the wound;.
Nor rush to ruin. Justice will prevail.

He falls, earth thunders, and his arms resound.
His moderate words some better minds persuade: 530 Before the father and the conquering son
They part, and join him; but the number stay'd. Heaps rush on heaps, they fight, they drop, they run.
They storm, they shout, with hasty phrenzy fired, Now by the sword, and now the javelin fall 610
And second all Eupithes'rage inspired.

The rebel race, and death had swallow'd all;
They case their limbs in brass; to arms they run; But from on high the blue-eyed virgin cried;
The broad effulgence blazes in the sun.

535 Her awful voice detain'd the headlong tide: Before the city, and in ample plain,

Forbear, ye nations, your mad hands forbear They meet: Eupithes heads the frantic train.

From mutual slaughter; Peace descends to spare. 615 Fierce for his son, he breathes his threats in air ;

Fear shook the nations : at the voice divine
Fate hears them not, and Death attends him there. They drop their javelins, and their rage resign.

This pass'd on earth, while in the realms above 540 All scatter'd round their glittering weapons lie;
Iinervà thus to cloud-compelling Jove:

Some fall to earth, and some confusedly fly.
May I presume to search tliy secret soul?

With dreadful shouts Ulysses pour'd along,

620 Oh Power supreme, oh Ruler of the whole!

Swift as an eagle, as an eagle strong. Say, hast thou doom'd to this divided state

But Jove's red arm the burning thunder aims; Or peaceful amity, or stern debate ?

545 Before Minerva shot the livid flames; Declare thy purpose, for thy will is fate.

Blazing they fell, and at her feet expired; Is not thy thought my own ? (the god replies

Then stopp'd the goddess, trembled, and retired. 625 Who rules the thunder o'er the vaulted skies);

Descended from the gods! Ulysses, cease; Hath not long since thy knowing soul decreed,

Offend not Jove: obey, and give the peace. The chief's return should make the guilty bleed? 550 So Pallas spoke:

the mandate from above "Tis done, and at thy will the Fates succeed.

The king obey'd. The virgin-seed of Jove, Yet hear the issue ; since Ulysses' hand

In Mentor's form confirm'd the full accord,

Has slain the suitors, Heaven shall bless the land. And willing nations knew their lawful lord.
None now the kindred of the unjust shall owu;
Forgot the slaughter'd brother and the son:



Upon the whole, hé Afirms the Odyssey to have less sublimity and fire than the Iliad, but he does not say it

wants the sublime or wants fire. He affirms it to be a POSTSCRIPT.

narrative, but not that the narration is defective. He

affirms it to aboundin fictions, not that those fictions are BY MR. POPE.

ill invented, or ill executed. He affirms it to be nice and particular in painting the manners, but not that those

manners are ill painted. Jf Homer has fully in these I CANNOT dismiss this work without a few observa. points accomplished his own design, and done all that

tions on the character and style of it. Whoever reads the nature of his poem demanded or allowed, it still rethe Odyssey with an eye to the Iliad, expecting to find mained perfect in its kind, and as much a master-piece it of the same character or of the same sort of spirit, will as the Iliad. be grievously deceived, and err against the first princi- The amount of the passage is this: that in bis own ples of criticism, which is, to consider the nature of the particular taste, and with respect to the sublime, Longipiece, and the intent of its author. The Odyssey is a nus preferred the Iliad: and because the Odyssey was moral and political work, instructive to all degrees of less active and lofty, he judged it the work of the old men, and filled with images, examples, and precepts of age of Homer. civil and domestic life. Honrer is bere a person,

If this opinion be true, it will only prove, that Homer's

age might determine him in the choice of bis subject, not • Qui didicit, patriæ quid debeat, et quid amicis,

that it affected him in the execution of it; and that which Quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus, et hospes: would be a very wrong instance to prove the decay of Qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non, his imagination, is a very good one to evince the strength Plenius et melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit.'

of his judgment. For had he (as Madam Dacier ob

serves) composed the Odyssey in his youth, and the Iliad The Odyssey is the reverse of the Iliad, in moral, subject, in his age, both must in reason have been exactly the manner, and style; to which it bas no sort of relation, same as they now stand. To blame Homer for his but as the story happens to follow in order of time, and choice of such a subject, as did not admit the same incias some of the same persons are actors in it. Yet from dents and the same pomp of style as his former, is to this incidental connection many have been misled to take offence at too much variety, and to imagine, that regard it as a continuation or second part, and thence to when a man has written one good thing, he must ever expect a purity of character inconsistent with its nature. after only copy himself.

It is no wonder that the common reader should fall The Battle of Constantine, and the School of Athens, into this mistake, when so great a critic as Longinus are both pieces of Raphael: shall we censure the School seems not wholly free from it; although what he has of Athens as faulty, because it has not the fury and fire said has been generally understood to import a severer of the other? or shall we say that Raphael was grown censure of the Odyssey than it really does, if we consider grare and old, because he chose to represent the manthe occasion on which it is introduced, and the eircum- ners of old men and philosophers? There is all the stances to which it is confined.

silence, tranquillity, and composure in the one, and all The Odyssey (says he) is an instance how natural it the warmth, hurry, and tumult in the other, which the is to a great genius, when it begins to grow old and subject of either required : both of them had been imdeeline, to delight itself in narrations and fables. For perfect, if they had not been as they are. And let the that Homer composed the Odyssey after the Iliad, many painter or poet be young or old, who designs or performs proofs may be given,' &c. •From hence, in my judg- in this manner, it proves him to have made the piece at ment, it proceeds, that as the Iliad was written while his a time of life when he was master not only of his art, but spirit was in its greatest vigour, the whole structure of of his discretion. that work is dramatic and full of action; whereas the Aristotle makes no such distinction between the two greater part of the Odyssey is employed in narration, poems: he constantly cites them with equal praise, and which is the taste of old age: so that in this latter draws the rules and examples of epic writing equally piece we may compare him to the setting sun, which has from both. But it is rather to the Odyssey that Horace still the same greatness, but not the same ardour or gives the preference, in the Epistle to Lollius, and in the force. He speaks not in the same strain; we see no Art of Poetry. It is remarkable how opposite his opinion niore that sublime of the Iliad, which marches on with a sis to that of Longinus: and that the particulars he constant pace, without ever being stopped or retarded: chooses to extol, are those very fictions, and pictures of there appears no more that hurry, and that strong tide the manners, which the other seems least to approve. of motions and passions, pouring one after another: Those fables and manners are of the very essence of the there is no more the same fury, or the same volubility of work: but even without that regard, the fables themdiction, so suitable to action, and all along drawing in selves have both more invention and more instruction, such innumerable images of nature. But Homer, like and the manners more moral and example than those of the ocean, is always great, even when he ebbs and the Iliad. retires; even when he is lowest, and loses himself most In some points (and those the most essential to the in narrations and incredible fictions: as instances of epic poem) the Odyssey is confessed to excel the Iliad; this, we cannot forget the descriptions of tempests, the and principally in the great end of it, the moral. The adventures of Ulysses with the Cyclops, and many conduct, turn, and disposition of the fable is also what others. But though all this be age, it is the age of the critics allow to be the better model for epic writers Homer.-And it may be said for the credit of these to follow; accordingly we find much more of the cast of fictions, that they are beautiful dreams, or if you will, this poem than of the other in the Æneid, and (what the dreams of Jupiter himself. I spoke of the Odyssey, next to that is perhaps the greatest example) in the only to shew, that the greatest poets, when their genius Telemachus. In the manners it is no way inferior: wants strength and warmth for the pathetic, for the Longinus is so far from finding any defect in these, most part employ themselves in painting the manners. that he rather taxes Homer with painting them too This Honier has done in characterising the suitors, and minutely. As to the narrations, although they are describing their way of life; which is properly a branch more numerous as the occasions are more frequent. of comedy, whose particular business it is to represent yet they carry no more the marks of old age, and are the manners of men.'

neither more prolix, nor more circumstantial, than the We must first observe, it is the sublime of which Lon- conversations and dialogues of the Iliad. Not to men. ginus is writing: that, and not the nature of Homer's tion the length of those of Phoenix in the ninth book, poem, is his subject. After having highly extolled the and of Nestor in the eleventh (which may be thought in sublimity and fire of the Iliad, he justly observes the compliance to their characters), those of Glaucus in the Odyssey to have less of those qualities, and to turn more sixth, of Æneas in the twentieth, and some others, must on the side of moral, and reflections on human life. Nor be allowed to exceed any in the whole Odyssey. And is it his business here to determine, whether the elevated that the propriety of style, and the numbers, in the spirit of the one, or the just moral of the other, be the narrations of each are equal, will appear to any who greater excellence in itself.

compare them. Secondly, the fire and fury of which he is speaking, To form a right judgment, whether the genius of cannot well be meant of the general spirit and inspira- Homer had suffered any decay; we must consider, in tion which is to run through a whole epic poem, but of both his poems, such parts as are of a similar nature, that particular warmth and inspetuosity necessary in and will bear comparison. And it is certain we shall some parts, to image or represent actions or passions, of find in each the same vivacity and fecundity of invention, haste; tumult and violence. It is on occasion of citing the same life and strength of imagining

and colouring, the some such particular passages in Homer, that Longinus particular descriptions as highly painted, the figures as breaks into this reflection; which seems to determine his bold, the metaphors as animated, and the numbers a3 meaning chiefly to that sense.

harmonious, and as various.


The Odyssey is a perpetual source of poetry: the thoughts, is the true sublime of Don Quixote. Howlar stream is not the less full for being gentle; though it is unfit it is for epic poetry, appears in its being the per. true (when we speak only with regard to the sublime) | fection of the mock epic. It is so far from being the that a river, foaming and thundering in cataracts from sublime of tragedy, that it is the cause of all bombast: rocks and precipices, is what more strikes, amaz-s, and when poets, instead of being as they imagine) confills the mind, 'than the same body of water, flowing stantly lofty, only preserve throughout a painful equality afterwards through peaceful vales and agreeable scenes of fustian: that continued swell of language (which runs of pasturage.

indiscriminately even through their lowest characters, The Odyssey (as I have before said) ought to be con- aud rattles like some mightiness of meaning in the most sidered according to its own nature and design, not with indifferent subjects) is of a piece with that perpetual an eye to the Iliad. To censure Homer, because it is elevation of tone which the players have learnt from it; unlike what it was never meant to resemble, is as if a and which is not speaking, but vociferating. gardener, who had purposely cultivated two beautiful There is still more reason for a variation of style in trees of contrary natures, as a speciinen of his skill in epic poetry than in tragic, to distingnish between that the several kinds, should be blamed for not bringing language of the gods proper to the muse who sings, and them into pairs : when in root, stem, leaf, and flower, is inspired; and that of men, who are introduced speak each was so entirely different, that one must have been ing only according to nature. Farther, there ought to spoiled in the endeavour to match the other,

be a difference of style observed in the speeches of hu Longinus, who saw this poem was 'partly of the na. man persons, and those of deities; and again, in those ture of comedy,' ought not, for that very reason, to have which may be called set barangues or orations, and considered it with a view to the Iliad. How little any those which are only conversation or dialogue. Homer such resemblance was the intention of Homer, may ap- has more of the latter than any other poet; what Virgil pear from bence, that, although the character of Ulysses does by two or three words of narration, Homer still was there already drawn, yet here he purposely turns to performs by speeches : not only replies, but even rejoinanother side of it, and shows him not in that full light of ders are frequent in him, a practice almost unknown to glory, but in the shade of common life, with a mixture Virgil. This renders his poenis more animated, but less of such qualities as are requisite for all the lowest acci. grave and majestic : and consequently necessitates dents of it, struggling with misfortunes, and on a level the frequent use of a lower style. The writers of tra. with the meanest of mankind. As for the other persons, gedy lie under the same necessity if they would copy none of them are above what we call the higher comedy: nature ; whereas that painted and poetical diction which Calypso, though a goddess, is a character of intrigue; they perpetually use, would be improper even in orations the suitors yet more approaching to it; the Phæacians desigued to move with all the arts of rbetoric: this is are of the same cast: the Cyclops, Melanthius, and Irus, plain from the practice of Demosthenes and Cicero; and descend even to droll characters; and the scenes that Virgil in those of Drances and Turnuis, gives an emiappear throughout are generally of the comic kind; nent example, how far removed the style of them ought banquets, revels, sports, loves, and the pursuit of a to be from such an excess of figures and ornaments;

which indeed fits only that language of the gods we From the nature of the poem, we shall form an idea have been speaking of, or that of a muse under inspira. of the style. The diction is to follow the images, and to tion. take its colour from the complexion of the thoughts. To read through a whole work in this strain, is like Accordingly the Odyssey is not always clothed in the travelling all along the ridge of a bill; which is not half majesty of verse proper to tragedy, but sometimes des so agreeable as sometimes gradually to rise, and some ceuds into the plainer narrative, and sometimes even to times gently to descend, as the way leads, and as the end that familiar dialogue essential to comedy. However, of the journey directs. where it cannot support a sublimity, it always preserves Indeed the true reason that so few poets have imitated a dignity, or at least a propriety.

Homer in these lower parts, has been the extreme diffiThere is a real beauty in an easy, pure, perspicuous culty of preserving that mixture of ease and dignity description, even of a low action. There are numerous essential to them. For it is as hard for an epic poem to instances of this both in Homer and Virgil: and perhaps stoop to the narrative with success, as for a prince to those natural passages are not the least pleasing of their descend to be familiar, without diminution to bis greatworks. It is often the same in history, where the repre- ness. sentations of common, or even domestic things, in clear, The sublime style is more easily counterfeited than plain,

and natural words, are frequently found to make the natural: something that passes for it, or sounds the liveliest impression on the reader.

like it, is conimon to all false writers: but nature, purity, The question is, how tar a poet, in pursuing the des- perspicuity, and simplicity, never walk in the clouds; cription or image of an action, can attach himself to they are obvious to all capacities; aná wben they are little circumstances which contribute to form a full, and not evident, they do not exist. yet not a confused, idea of a thing.

The most plain parration not only admits of these, Epithets are of vast service to this effect, and the right and of harmony (which are all the qualities of style), use of these is often the only expedient to render the but it requires every one of them to render it pleasing. narration poetical.

On the contrary, whatever pretends to a share of the subThe great point of judgment is to distinguish when to lime, may pass, notwithstanding any defects in the rest; speak simply, and when figuratively: but whenever the nay, sometimes without any of them, and gain the admipoet is obliged by the nature of his subject to descend to ration of all ordinary readers. the lower manner of writing, an elevated style would be Homer, in his lowest narrations or speeches, is eren affected, and therefore ridiculous; and the more he was easy, flowing, copious, clear, and harmonious. forced upon tigures and letters to avoid that lowness, the shows not less invention in assembling the humbler, more the image would be broken, and consequently than the greater, thoughts and images: nor less judg: obscure.

ment in proportioning the style and the versification to One may add, that the use of the grand style on little these, than to the other. Let it be remembered, that the subjects, is not only ludicrous, but a sort of transgres- same genius that svared the highest, and from whom the sion against the rules of proportion and mechanics : it is greatest models of the sublime are derived, was also he using a vast force to lift a feather.

who stooped the lowest, and gave to the simple narrative I believe, now I am upon this head, it will be found a its utmost perfection. Which of these was the harder just observation, that the low actions of life cannot be task to Homer himself, I cannot pretend to determine; put into a figurative style, without being ridiculous; but but to his translator I can affirm (however unequal all things natural can. Metaphors raise the latter into his translations must be) that of ihe latter has been dignity, as we see in the Georgics : but throw the for much more difficult. mer into ridicule, as in the Lutrin. I think this may Whoever expects here the same pomp of verse, and the very well be accounted for: laughter implies censure; same ornaments of diction, as in the Iliad, he will, and inanimate and irrational beings are not objects of cen- he ought to be disappointed. Were the original othersure; therefore they may be elevated as much as you wise, it had been an offence against nature; and were please, and no ridicule follows: but when rational beings the translation so, it were an offence against Homer, are represented above their real character, it becomes which is the same thing. ridiculons in art, because it is vicious in morality. The It must be allowed that there is a majesty and har. bees in Virgil, were they rational beings, would be ridi- mony in the Greek language, which greatly contribute culous by having their actions and manners represented to elevate and

support the narration. But

I must also on a level with creatures so superior as men; since it observe that this is an advantage grown upon the lanwould imply folly or pride, which are the proper objects guage since Homer's time for things are removed from of ridicule.

vulgarity by being out of use; and if the words we The use of pompous expressions for iow actions or could find in any present language were equally sono

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