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derstanding it, we must suppose what history related of this matter; viz. that Dido fled to Africa with all her wealth, after Sicheus had been killed; and also what poesy feigns, viz. that the killed herself after Æneas had left her.
Infelix Dido, nulli bene nupta marito:
Pauvre Didon, où t'a réduite
L'autre, en fuiant, cause ta mort.
Plutarch, who was a man of folid understanding, condemns the celebrated thought of an historian upon the burning of the temple of Ephesus : That it was no wonder this magnificent temple, dedicated to Diana, should be burnt the very night Alexander was born;
because, as the Goddess afifted at Olympia's delivery, -? she was so very busy, that she could not extinguish the
fire. 'Í'is furprising that Cicero looked upon this as a pretty thought ; he who always thinks and judges right. But it is still more surprising that fo austere a judge as Plutarch had so far forgot his severity, as to add, that the historian's reflection was cold enough to extinguish the fire, p. 49, 50.
Quintilian laughs very justly at certain orators, who imagined there was something very beautiful in sayr Aufon.
noéte natus Alexander esset, eadem f On a remarqué ici une faute Dianæ Ephesiæ templum de flagracontre la langue, qui demande rée ville : adjunxje, minimè id effe duit au masculin, parce que le mirandum, quòd Diana, cùm in nominatif eft après le verbe. partu Olympiadis adelle voluiffet,
i Concinnè, ut multa; Timæus, abfuiffet domo, De pac. Deor. qui cùm in bistoria dixiffet, qua l. 2. . 69. F 3
ing, That great rivers were navigable at their springs, and that good trees bore fruit at their first shooting out of the ground. [" These comparisons may dazzle at first, and were very much cried up in Quintilian's time; but when we examine them narrowly, we dif cover the false in them,] p. 72.
II. To think justly, it is not enough that the thoughts have nothing falfe in them, for they fometimes become trivial by being true; and when Cicero applauds Craffus on this subject of thoughts, after saying that orator's were so just and true, he adds, they are so new and so uncommon : w Sententiæ Crasi tam integræ, tam vera, tam nove, Viz. that besides truth, which always satisfies the mind, something more is wanting to strike and surprize it..... Truth is to a thought, what foundations are to buildings; it fupports and gives it solidity : but a building, which had nothing to recommend it but folidity, would not please those who are skilled in architecture. Besides folidity, in well-built houses, magnificence, beauty, and even delicacy are required : and this I would have in the thoughts we are now speaking of Truth, which pleases so much on other occasions without any em. bellishment, requires it here; and this ornament is sometimes no more than a new turn given to things. Examples will shew the reader my meaning. Death spares none.
This is a very true thought, but it is very plain and common. In order to raise it, and make it new in some respect, we need only turn it as Horace and Malherbe have done. The former every body knows has it thus: Pallida mors æquo pede pulsat pauperum tabernas,
Regumque turres. Carm. lib. 1. od. 4.
" Quorum utrumque in iis eft, finris arboris ftatim planta cum quæ me juvene ubique cantari fo. frustu eft. Quint. 1. 8. c. 3. Jebant : Magnorum fluminum na- w De Orat, l. 2. n. 188. vigabiles fontes func: &, genero
« Death « Death overthrows equally the palaces of Kings *5 and the huts of the poor,
The fecond gives it a different turn.
Eft sujet à ses loix.
N'en défend pas nos Rois. The turn of the Latin poet is more figurative and lively; that of the French poet more natural and delicate. There's something noble in both, p.75, 78, 79.
1. [Elevated y thoughts, which represent nothing but what is great to the mind, principally heighten a discourse.] It is the fublimity and grandeur of a thought which properly transports and ravishes us, provided it be conformable to the subject. For it is a general rule, that our thoughts must suit our matter; and nothing is more inconsistent ? than to introduce fublime thoughts upon a mtan subject, which requires only those of the mediate kind. It were almost bet ter to introduce mediate thoughts upon a great subjed, which required fublime ones, p. 80.
* Fortune has given you nothing greater, than the power to preserve the lives of such multitudes; nor nature any thing better than the will to do so. Thus the Roman orator speaks to Cæfar; and an historian fpeaks of the former in the following words. He owed his excellent endowments solely to himself ; and his great genius prevented the conquered nations from having the same advantage over the Romans by genius and knowledge, the Romans had over them by valour, But Seneca the elder says something nobler and greater on this occasion, That Cicero's understanding alone was equal to the Roman empire, p. 83, 84:
Non ad persuasionem, fed ad tua melius quàm ut velis conftuporem rapiunt grandia. Long. servare quàm plurimos. Orat. de fublim. sect. l.
pro Lig. 8, 38. ¿ A fermone cenui sublime dir- o Omnia incrementa sua sibi cordat, fitque corruptum, quia in debuit : vir ingenio maximus, plano tumet. Q. 1.8. c. 3. qui effeçit ne, quorum arma vi
a Nihil haber nec fortuna cua ceramus, eorum ingenio vincere. majus, quam ut pollis, nec nacura
Vell. Paterc. lib. I.
Cicero speaks very nobly of Cæfar, by saying there was no occasion to oppose the Alps against the Gauls, nor the Rhine against the Germans; that though the highest mountains (hould be levelled, and the deepest rivers dried up, Italy would have nothing to fear, and that the brave actions and victories of Cæfar would defend it much better than the ramparts with which nature had fortified it, p. 87.
Pompey having conquered Tigranes King of Armenia, would not suffer him to continue long at his feet, but put the crown again upon his Head. He restored him to bis former condition, fays an hiftorian, thinking there was as much glory to make, as to conquer Kings, p. 88.
The funeral oration of Henrietta of France, Queen of England, and that of Henrietta Anne of England, Dutchess of Orleans (by M. Bofluet) are full of thoughts which Hermogenes calls majeftic.
“ Her great soul was superior to her birth; any other place but a throne had been unworthy of her.
“ As gentle, familiar, and agreeable, as firm and
couragious, fhe knew as well how to perfuade " and convince, as to command; and could make " reason no less prevalent than authority.
“ Notwithstanding the ill fuccess of his arms (speak“ ing of King Charles I.) though he could be over
come, he could not be compelled; and as he never "refused any thing just and reasonable when a con
queror, he always rejected whatever was inglorious " and unjust when a prisoner, p. 105."
+ Illud ingenium, quod folum rebusque geftis Italiam munitim populus Romanus par imperio suo haberemus. Contra Pil. n. 62. habuit. Controv. lib. I.
€ In priftinum fortunæ habitum • Perfecic ille, ut fi monces re• reftituit i æquè pulchrum effe u• fudiflent, amnes exaruiflent, non dicans, & vincere reges, & facere, na uræ præfidio, fed vi&oria fua Val. Max. lib. 5. c. 1..
Thoughts of this kind carry their own convi&ion along with them, seize the judgment in a manner by force, move our passions, and fire our souls.
2. This is then a first fpecies of thoughts which not only gain belief, as being true, but excite admiration, as being new and extraordinary. Those of the second fpecies are the agreeable which surprize, and strike us sometimes as inuch as the noble and fublime, but effect that by their beauty, which the others do by grandeur and fublimity. Sublime thoughts are also agreeable, but it is not their agreeableness that forms their character. They please, because they have something great, which always charms the mind; whereas the others please only because they are agreeable. What is charming in the latter is like the soft, tender and graceful touches we observe in some paintings. It is partly that soft and facetious the molle atque facetum, which Horace attributes to Virgil, and does not consift in what we call humourous, but in fome inexpreflible grace, which cannot be defined in general, and of which there is more than one kind, P. 131, 132.
Comparisons taken from forid and delightful subjects form agreeable thoughts, in like manner as those we take from grand fubjects form noble ones. «think, fays Coftar, it is a great advantage for a & perfon to be naturally inclined to good; which un" forced disposition is like a gentle rivulet that fol" lowing its own natural course, runs without oba “stacle between two flowery banks. Methinks, on " the contrary, those who are good from reflection, * who perform sometimes more virtuous actions than " the former, are like those fountains in which art “ does violence to nature ; and which after having " spouted their waters to the skies, are often ftopg'd.
by the least obftacle.
# Satyr. 1o. lib m