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nem ac timidam verecundiam. If 'we change fome words in Cicero's description, and change the place of others, making it, f.etit Verres in littore. . liere colloquens, this excellent picture will lose a great part of its vivacity and colouring. The chief beauty confifts in painting a Roman prætor in the attitude Cicero represents him, leaning in a careless and indolent manner on a woman. These two words, muliercula nixus, are a speaking picture, which presents to the eye and the mind all that Quintilian fees in it. In littore reserved for the close, adds the last touch, as we have already observed in another place; and displays the ungovernable licentiousness of Verres, who by appearing in so indecent a posture upon the shore, and before a multitude of spectators, seemed infolently to setall decency and publick decorum at defiance.
Our poets are full of these short and lively descriptions.
Son coursier écumant sous fon maître intrepidé, Nage tout orgueilleux de la main qui le guide.
Englished, “ His foaming steed, beneath his dauntless rider, “ Swims, proud of the glorious hand which guides him. And again, Quatre boeufs attelés d'un pas tranquille & lent Promenoient dans Paris le Monarque indolent.
Drag the lethargic Monarch about Paris.
La Mollesse oppressée
“ This word oppresses sloth; • Instant her tongue is frozen in her mouth: “Now dead to speech, finking beneath her efforts ; “She stretches, fighs, the shuts her eyes and sleeps.
2. The descriptions I have hitherto given are short, and only exhibit a single object. But there are others of a greater length and more circumstantiated, which resemble those pictures where several figures are represented, all the attitudes of which strike and command our attention. Such is that description of a riotous entertainment, mentioned in an harangue of Cicero which is loft. Videbar mihi videre alios intrantes, alios autem exeuntes, partim ex vino vacillantes, partim heAterna potatione ofcitantes. Verfabatur inter hos Gallius unguentis oblitus, redimitus coronis. Humus erat immunda, lutulento vino, coronis languidulis & fpinis com sperta piscium. Quintilian, who preserved this beau. tiful fragment, displays its beauty and value by a very lively expression, which comprizes the whole.' i Quid plus videret, qui intrasset? He himself gives an excellent description of a town taken by storm and plundered, which is well worth reading. We find a great number of this kind in Cicero, which will not escape the observation of a diligent master. Our French poets, as well as orators, abound also with a multitude of these.
Josabeth in Racine’s Athaliah, gives us a wonderful description of the manner in which the faved Joas from the slaughter. * Hélas ! l'état horrible où le ciel me l'offrit, Revient à tout moment effraier mon esprit, De princes égorges la chambre. étot remplie. Un poignard à la main l'implacable Athalie Au carnage animoit ses barbares soldats. Et poursuivoit le cours de ses assassinats. Quint. 1. 8. c. 3.
Joas laissé pour mort frapa soudain ma vûe.
Englished, 66 Alas! the state in which heav'n gave him to me, " Returns each moment to my frighted soul ; « The room was fill'd around with murther'd Princes, “ Dread Athaliah, with her sword unsheath'd, “ Rouz'd her barbarian soldiers to the flaughter, “ And still pursued the series of her murthers. " Joas, now left as dead ! ftruck, strong, my sight: « Methinks I still behold his weeping nurse, “ Kneeling, in vain, before the bloody hangmen ; 66 The tender babe upon her breast reclined. “ I took him, bloody: bathing then his face, “ Soon did my tears recall his feeting breath. " Whether 'twas fear, or whether to embrace me, “ I felt him press me with his tender arms.
M. Flechier's description of hospitals may serve as a model in this kind. 'Tis in the Queen's funeral oration. " Let us behold her in these hospitals, where " the practised her publick acts of piety; in those “ places, where all the infirmities and accidents of “ human life are assembled’: where the groans and " complaints of those who suffer, and are in pain, “ fill the foul with sympathetic sadness; where the os smell that exhales from the bodies of so many dis“ eased patients, makes those who attend upon them
ready to faint away; where we see pain and po
verty exercising their fatal empire ; and where the “ image of misery and death strikes almoft every
sense. It is there that raising herself above the “ fears and delicacies of nature, to satisfy her charity,
“ though at the hazard of her health, she was seen
every week drying up the tears of this object; pro“ viding for the wants of that; procuring remedies « and comforts for the evils of some, and consolations 6 and ease of conscience for others.”
These passages are very well adapted to the taste of youth. We must observe to them, that the most certain way of succeeding in descriptions of this kind is to consult nature, to study her well, and to take her as a guide; so that every one, inwardly sensible of the truth of what is fpoke, may find within himself the sentiments expressed in the discourse. For that purpose we must represent to ourselves, in a lively manner, all the circumstances of the thing to be described, and bring it before us by the strength of our imagination; as if we had been spectators of it.
And why, says Quintilian, should not the imagination perform as much for the orator on this occafion, as she does for people, who are addicted to any kind of passions, as, for instance, misers or ambitious men, who in this kind of pleasing dreams, in which they form a thousand chimerical projects of fortune and riches, abandon themselves so much to the object of their darling passion, and are so strongly possessed with it, that they really believe they see and posless it.
Quintilian himself furnishes us with a model of this way of making a defcription, which I will quote at length, because it fhews youth how they must pro
1. 8. c. 3.
Naturam intueamur, hanc fe- qui Gbi res, voces, actus secundum quamur. Omnis eloquencia circa verum optimè finget. Quintil. l. opera vitæ est: ad se refert quisque 6. cap: 3. quæ audit : & id facillimè accipiunt n Nam fi inter otia animorum, animi, quod cognofcunt. Quint. & fpes inanes, & velut fomnia
quædam vigilantium, ita nos hæ de m Per quas (Pertasías) imagines quibus loquimur imagines prosererum abfentium ita repræsentan- quuntur, ut peregrinari, navigare, tur animo; ut eas cernere oculis præliari, populos alloqui, divitiaac præsentes habere videamur. rum quas non habemus usum videHas quisquis bene conceperit, is amur disponere, nec cogitare, sed erit in affectibus potentiffimu:. facere: hoc animi vicium ad utiliHunc quidam dicunt iupartcoiwtor, tatem non cransferemus? Ibid. VOL. II,
ceed in it, in order to compose well. Ut hominem occifum querar, non omnia, quæ in re præsenti accidille credibile eft, in o ulis habebo? Non percussor ille fubitus erumpet ? non expavescet circumventus ? exclamabit, vel rogabit, vel fugiet? non ferie: tem, non concidentem videbo ? 'non animo fanguis, & pallor, & gemitus, extremus denique expirantis hiatus infidet? This pafiage seems to be copied from Cicero, who thus describes a like action. P Nonne vobis hæc, quæ audistis, cernere oculis videmini, Judices? Non illum miserum ignarum casus sui, redeuntem a cæna videtis? non pofitas insidias ? non impetum repentinum ? Non verfatur ante oculos vobis in cæde Glaucia? Non adeft ifte Rofcius? non suis manibus in curru collocat Automedontem illum, fui sceleris acerbisimi nefariæque victoriæ nuncium?
I M AGES, The last words of the description I have here cited, direct me to point out to youth in this place one of the most common sources of oratorial beauties, which confists in giving, as it were, body and reality to the things we are speaking of; and painting them by visible strokes, which may strike the senses, move the imagination, and present a sensible object. This method has some relation to the precedent figure, the hypotyposis, and perhaps is a part of it. Non suis manibus in curru collocat Automedontem illum? These words, suis manibus, produce here the effect I am speaking of, and present an image to the mind. The same obser:
be made on the two verses above cited. Un poignard à la main l'implacable Athalie Au carnage animoit ses barbares soldats.
Englished, « Fierce Athaliah, in her hand a poinard,
Prompted her savage soldiers to the slaughter, This touch, with a poinard in her hand, forms all the • Quint. 1. 6. C. 2 P Pro Rufi, Amer, n. 98.