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whelmed with forrow : And the princess, informed by Pisanio of the particular circumstances of her husband's departure, expresses herself in the following manner :
I would have broke mine eye-strings ; crack'd 'em, but To look upon him; till the diminution Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle : Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from The smallness of a gnat to air ; and then Have turn'd mine eye, and wept *.
These lines express the reluctance of the heart to part with the object of its affec
There is a passage very similar to this in Ovid's fory of Ceyx and Halcyone.
Sustulit illa Humentes oculos, ftantemque in puppe recurva, Concussaque manu dantem fibi figna, maritum Prima videt; redditque notas : Ubi terra receffit Longius, atque oculi nequeunt cognoscere vultus, Dum licet, insequitur fugientem lumine pinum. Haec quoque, ut haud poterat, spatio submota, videri ; Vela tamen fpectat summo Auitantia malo : Ut nec vela videt, vacuum petit anxia lectum; Seque toro ponit. Renovat lectusque locuique Halcyones lacrymas.
tions, and the efforts of passion struggling with difappointment: That the sentiments they convey are natural and agreeable to the conduct of the passions, may very easily be illustrated.
Some portion of the complacency and delight we receive from the presence of those we love and admire, is annexed to their idea, or to our thoughts concerning them when they are absent. The idea of Leonatus would be, of all others, the most agreeable to Imogen; and the secret wifhes and desires of her heart would for ever recall him to her remembrance. But ideas of memory and imagination, though they may be exceedingly lively, though they entertain the mind with various and unusual images, and are capable of cherishing and inflaming the most vehement parfions, yield little enjoyment, compared with actual sensation. The conviction of present existence distinguishes, in an eminent manner, the ideas received from ob
jects striking immediately on our senses, from the operations of memory, and the illusions of fancy. Fancy may dazzle and amuse : But reflection, and the consciousness of our present situation are forever intruding; and the vision vanishes at their approach. In the present instance, however, the figure of Leonatus can hardly be distinguished : And the sensation received by Imogen iš ih perfect, and consequently painful. This leads us to a second obfervation. A thought never fluctuates in the mind solitary and independent, but is connected with an assemblage, formed of thoughts depending upon one another. In every group or assemblage, some ideas are pre-eminent, and some subordinate. The principal figure makes the strongest impression; and the rest are only attended to, on account of their relation to the leading image. The mention of sun-rifing, not only excites the idea of a luminous body ascending the eastern sky, but suggests M
the images of party-coloured clouds, meadows spangled with dew, and mists hovering on the mountains. Writers, whose works are addressed to the imagination, studying to imitate the various appearances of nature, and, at the same time, senfible that a compleat enumeration of every circumstance and quality of an object would be no less tiresome than impossible, are diligent in selecting the leading and capital ideas, upon which the greatest number of other images are dependent. Discernment, in the choice of circumstances, and skill in their arrangement, are, according to Longinus, the principles of true description, Now, we observed above, that the reality of an object enhances the pleasure of the perception ; and therefore that the perceptions we receive by the senses are preferred to representations merely fancied. But suppose we receive a single perception from an object exceedingly interesting; this single, and . even imperfect perception, makes a lively impression, and becomes the leading idea of an assemblage. Though all the subordinate and adventitious images are the mere coinage of fancy; yet, on account of their intimate union with the primary idea, they operate on the mind, as if their architype really existed. They receive the stamp of reality from the primary perception upon which they depend; they are deemed legitimate, and are preferred to the mere illusions of fancy. In this manner, the distant, and even imperfect view of Leonatus suggests a train of ideas more agreeable than those of memory and imagination: And it is not till this transient consolation is removed, that Imogen would have “ turned her eye and wept."