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contribute in this respect to rectify and enlarge the sentiments of the philosopher :' And, if so, they would have the additional merit of conducting us to the temple of truth, by an easier and more agreeable path than that of mere metaphyfics.

We often confound the writer who imitates the passions with him who only describes them. Shakespeare imitates, Corneille describes. Poets of the second clafs, no less than thofe of the first, may invent the most elegant fictions, may paint the most beautiful imagery, may exhibit fituations exceedingly interesting, and conduct their incidents with propriety : Their versification may be harmonious; and, above all, their characters may be judiciously composed, partaking of no incongruous qualities, and free from the discord of jarring principles. But the end of draw matic poetry not only requires that the characters be judiciously moulded and aptly


circumstanced, but that every passion be naturally expressed. There is certainly a wide difference between the description of the fallies, the repulses, and impatience of a violent affection, whether they are described by the agent or the spectator, and their actual imitation and expression. But perfect imitation can never be effectuated, unless the poet in some measure becomes the person he represents, clothes himself with his character, aflumes his manners, and transposeth himself into his situation: The texture of his mind must be exquisitely fine and delicate; susceptible of every feeling, and easily moved by every impression. Together with this delicacy of affection, he must possess a peculiar warmth and facility of imagination, by which he may retire from himself, become insensible of his actual condition, and regardless of external circumstances, feel the very incidents he invents : Like


the votaries of a pagan religion, he must worship idols, the works of his own hands, and tremble before the daemons of his own creation. Nothing affords a stronger evidence of the active, versatile nature of the soul, and of the amazing rapidity of its motions, than these seemingly inconceivable and inconsistent exertions.

Shakespeare, inventing the characters of Hamlet, Macbeth, or Othello, actually felt the passions, and contending emotions ascribed to them. Compare a soliloquy of Hamlet, with one of the descriptions of Roderigue in the Cid. Nothing can be more natural in the circumstances and with the temper of Hamlet, than the following reflections.

0, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!
How weary, ftale, fiat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!





Fie on't! O fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to feed; things rank, and gross in nature
Poffess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead! nay, not so much ; not two
So excellent a king, that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr : So loving to my mother,
That he might not let e'en the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly.--Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month
Let me not think on't-Frailty, thy name is woman
A little month; or ere those shoes were old,
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears.-Why Me, even the
O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer-married with my uncles
My father's brother; but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules. Within a month
Ere yet the falt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her gauled eyes
She married. Oh, most wicked speed, to pofa
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets
It is not, nor it cannot come to good,

In the Cid, Rodirigue, who is the hero of the tragedy, and deeply enamoured of


Chimene, is called upon to revenge a heinous infult done to his father by the father of his mistress; and he delineates the distress of his situation, in the following manner; certainly with great beauty of expression and verfification, and with peculiar elegance of description, but not as a real fufferer.

Percé jusqu'au fond du coeur.
D'une atteinte imprevụe aufli bien que mortelle;
Miserable vengeur d'une trop juste querelle,
Et malheureux objet d'une injuste rigueur,
Je demeure immobile, et mon ame abattue
Cede au coup qui me tue.

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This harangue would better suit a descriptive novelift or narrator of the story, than the person actually concerned. Let us make the experiment. Let us change the verbs and pronouns from the first person into the third ; and, instead of supposing that Rodirigue speaks, let us imagine that the state of his mind is described by

a spec


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