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We have a worse attempt in Homer, where Ulysses makes Polypheme believe his name was OTTIE ; and where the dull Cyclops, after he had lost his eye, upon being asked by his brethren who had done him so much mischief, replies, it was done by OTTIE; that is, by nobody."

Enigmas are of a more complicated nature, being involved either in pun or metaphor, or sometimes in both.

"Ανδρ' είδον πυρί χαλκών επ' ανέρι κολλήσαντα,
“I saw a man, who, unprovokd with ire,

Stuck brass upon another's back by fire."A
This enigma is ingenious, and means the operation of cupping,
performed in ancient days by a machine of brass.

In such fancies, contrary to the principles of good metaphor and good writing, a perplexity is caused, not by accident, but by design, and the pleasure lies in the being able to resolve it.

Aulus Gellius has preserved a Latin enigma, which he also calls a sirpus or sirpos, a strange thing, far below the Greek, and debased with all the quibble of a more barbarous age.

Semel minusne, an bis minus, (non sat scio)
An utrumque eorum (ut quondam audivi dicier)
Jovi ipsi regi noluit concedere ?

Aul. Gell, xii. 6. This, being sifted, leaves in English the following small quantity of meaning.

“ Was it once minus, or twice minus, (I am not enough informed) or was it not rather the two taken together, (as I have heard it said formerly,) that would not give way to Jove himself, the sovereign?"

The two taken together, (that is, “once minus and twice minus,") make, when so taken, thrice minus ; and thrice minus in Latin is ter minus, which, taken as a single word, is Terminus, the god of boundaries.

Here the riddle, or conceit, appears. The Pagan legend says,
that, when in honour of Jove the capitol was founded, the other
gods consented to retire, but the god Terminus refused.
The story is elegantly related in the Fasti of Ovid, iii. 667.

Quid nova cum fierent capitolia ? nempe deorum
Cuncta Jovi cessit turba, locumque dedit.
Terminus (ut veteres memorant) conventus in æde

Restitit, et magno cum Jove templa tenet.
The moral of the fable is just and ingenious; that boundaries
are sacred, and never should be moved.
The poet himself subjoins the reason, with his usual address.

Termine, post illud levitas tibi libera non est ;

Qua positus fueris in statione, mane.
Nec tu vicino quicquam concede roganti,

Ne videare hominem præposuisse Jovi.
And so much for the subject of puns and enigmas; to which,
m Homer, Odyss. i. 366—408, &c. n Arist. Rhetor. I. iii. c. 2. p. 121. edit. Sylb.

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like other things of bad taste, no age or country can give a sanction.

Much still remains upon the subject of diction, but, as much has been said already, we here conclude.




The four constitutive parts of dramatic poetry, which properly belong to the poet,” have appeared to be the fable, the manners, the sentiment, and the diction; and something has been suggested to explain the nature of each.

Should we be asked, to which we attribute the first place, we think it due to the fable.

If the fable be an action, having a necessary reference to some end, it is evident that the manners and the sentiment are for the sake of that end; the end does not exist for the sake of the manners and the sentiment."

Again, the finest unconnected samples either of manners or of sentiment, cannot of themselves make a drama without a fable. But, without either of these, any fable will make a drama, and have pretensions (such as they are) to be called a play.®

A third superiority is, that the most affecting and capital parts of every drama arise out of its fable; by these, I mean

" See chapters ii. iii. iv.

colouring ; the dramatic fable to drawing ; p Sup. p. 428.

and ingeniously remarks, ei gáp tis eva9 'Αρχή μεν ουν, και οιον ψυχή και μύθος λείψεις τους καλλίστοις φαρμάκοις χύδην, της τραγωδίας: «The fable therefore is the ουκ αν ομοίως ευφράνειεν, και λευκoγραφήprinciple, and (as it were) the soul of σας εικόνα: “if any one were to make a tragedy." And not long before, after the confused daubing with the most beautiful constituent parts of the drama have been colours, he would not give so much delight, enumerated, we read, ubylo rov de TOÚTW as if he were to sketch a figure in chalk dotly Ý TW #payudto:v Júotaois : “but alone.” Arist. Poet. c. 6. p. 231. edit. the greatest and the most important of all Sylb. these is the combining of the incidents, "Ετι εάν τις εφεξής θη ρήσεις ηθικάς, και that is to say, the fable.” Arist. Poet. Réters, kal Slavolas, e Tetoinuévas, oủ cap. 6. p. 23). edit. Sylb.

ποιήσει και ήν της τραγωδίας έργον, αλλά τ Ουκ ουν όπως τα ήθη μιμήσωνται, πολύ μάλλον η καταδεεστέροις τούτοις πράττουσιν, αλλά τα ήθη συμπεριλαμβά- κεχρημένη τραγωδία, έχουσα δε μύθον και νουσιν διά τάς πράξεις: “The persons of σύστασιν πραγμάτων: Were any one to the drama do not act, that they may ex- arrange in order the best formed expressions hibit manners, but they include manners, relative to character, as well as the best on account of the incidents in the fable.” diction and sentiments, he would not attain Arist. Poet. c. 6. p. 230. edit. Sylb. what is the business of a tragedy ; but

• The Stagirite often illustrates his poetic much more would that tragedy attain it, ideas from painting, an art at that time which, having these requisites in a very cultivated by the ablest artists, Zeuxis, inferior degree, had at the same time a just Polygnotus, and others. In the present fable, and combination of incidents.” Arist. case, he compares the dramatic manners to Poet. c. 6. p. 230. edit. Sylb.

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every unexpected discovery of unknown personages, and every unexpected revolution from one condition to another. The revolutions and discoveries in the Edipus and the Fatal Curiosity have been mentioned already. We add to these, the striking revolution in the Samson Agonistes; where, while every thing appears tending to Samson's release, a horrible crash announces his destruction."

These dramatic incidents are properly tragic; but there are others of similar character, not wanting even to comedy. To refer to a modern drama: what discovery more pleasing than that, where, in the Drummer of Addison, the worthy lost master is discovered in the supposed conjuror? or, to refer still to the same drama, what revolution more pleasing, than where, in consequence of this discovery, the house of disorder and mourning changes into a house of order and joy? Now these interesting incidents, as well comic as tragic, arise neither from manners, nor from sentiment, but purely from the fable.

It is also a plausible argument for the fable's superiority, that, from its superior difficulty, more poets have excelled in drawing manners and sentiment, than there have in the forming of perfect fables. *

But although we give a superiority to the fable, yet the other constitutive parts, even supposing the fable bad, have still an important value; so important, indeed, that through them, and them alone, many dramas have merited admiration. And here, next to the fable, we arrange the manners.

The manners, if well formed, give us samples of human nature, and seem in poetry as much to excel sentiment, as the drawing in painting to excel the colouring.

The third place, after the manners, belougs to the sentiment, and that before the diction, however they may be united : it being evident that men speak, because they think; they seldom think, because they speak.

After this, the fourth and last place falls to the diction.

Having settled the rank of these several constitutive parts, a few cursory remarks remain to be suggested.

One is this: that if all these parts are really essential, no drama can be absolutely complete which in any one of them is deficient.

Another remark is, that though a drama be not absolutely complete in every part, yet from the excellence of one or two

1 “A revolution," TEPITÉTELA ; a dis- tempt to write dramatically, are first able covery," avayvópois. See before, what is to be accurate in the diction and the mansaid about these two, p. 429, 430.

ners, before they are able to combine inu Sams. Agon. 481, and 1452 to 1507. cidents, (and form a fable,) which was

* Οι εγχειρούντες ποιείν, πρότερον δύναν- indeed the case of almost all the first Tai Nétel Kal Tois Koeriv åkpißoûv, 9 tà poets.” Arist. Poet. c. 6. p. 230. edit. πράγματα συνίστασθαι, οίον και οι πρώτοι Sylb. ποιήται σχεδόν άπαντες: “ Those who at


parts it may still merit praise. It is thus in painting, there are pictures admired for colouring, which fail in the drawing; and others for drawing, which fail in the colouring.

The next remark is, in fact, a caution; a caution not to mistake one constitutive part for another, and still, much more, not to mistake it for the whole. We are never to forget the essential differences between fable, manners, sentiment, and diction.

If, without attending to these, we presume to admire, we act, as if in painting we admired a Rembrandt for grace, because we had been told that he was capital in colouring.

This caution, indeed, applies not only to arts, but to philosophy. For here if men fancy, that a genius for science, by having excelled in a single part of it, is superlative in all parts ; they insensibly make such a genius their idol, and their admiration soon degenerates into a species of idolatry.

Decipit exemplar, vitiis imitabile. It is to be hoped that our studies are at present more liberal, and that we are rather adding to that structure which our forefathers have begun, than tamely leaving it to remain, as if nothing further were wanting.

Our drama, among other things, is surely capable of improvement. Events from our own history (and none can be more interesting) are at hand to furnish fables, having all the dramatic requisites. Indeed, should any of them be wanting, invention may provide a remedy, for here we know poets have unbounded privilege.

In the mean time, the subjects, by being domestic, would be as interesting to us, as those of Ajax or Orestes were of old to the Greeks. Nor is it a doubt, that our drama, were it thus rationally cultivated, might be made the school of virtue even in a dissipated age.

And now, having shewn such a regard for dramatic poetry, and recommended so many different rules, as essential to its perfection; it may not, perhaps, be improper to say something in their defence, and, when that is finished, to conclude this part of our inquiries.

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y This is a case expressly decided by Which may be thus paraphrased : that able critic, Horace, as to the manners “A fable (or dramatic story) of no and the sentiment.

beauty, without dignity or contrivance, if it Speciosa locis, morataque recte, excel in sentiment, and have its characters Fabula nullius veneris, sine pondere et well drawn, will please an audience much

more than a trifling piece barren of inciValdius oblectat populum, meliusque mo- dents, and only to be admired for the harratur,

mony of its numbers.” See p. 449. Quam versus inopes rerum, nugæque ca- Infra, 449.

Art. Poet, 320.







Having mentioned rules, and indeed our whole theory having been little more than rules developed, we cannot but remark upon a common opinion, which seems to have arisen either from prejudice or mistake.

Do not rules, say they, cramp genius? Do they not abridge it of certain privileges ?

It is answered, if the obeying of rules were to induce a tyranny like this, to defend them would be absurd, and against the liberty of genius. But the truth is, rules, supposing them good, like good government, take away no privileges. They do no more than save genius from error, by shewing it, that a right to err is no privilege at all.

It is surely no privilege to violate, in grammar, the rules of syntax; in poetry, those of metre; in music, those of harmony; in logic, those of syllogism; in painting, those of perspective; in dramatic poetry, those of probable imitation.

If we enlarge on one of these instances, we shall illustrate the rest.

The probable imitation just now mentioned, like that of every other kind, is, when the imitation resembles the thing imitated in as many circumstances as possible ; so that the more of those circumstances are combined, the more probable the resemblance.

It is thus in imitation by painting the resemblance is more complete, when to the outline we add light and shade; and more complete still, when to light and shade we add the colours.

The real place of every drama is a stage; that is, a space of a few fathoms deep, and a few fathoms broad. Its real time is the time it takes in acting, a limited duration, seldom exceeding a few hours.

Now imagination, by the help of scenes, can enlarge this stage into a dwelling, a palace, a city, &c.; and it is a decent regard to this which constitutes probable place.

Again, the usual intervals between the acts, and even the attention paid by the mind to an interesting story, can enlarge without violence a few hours into a day or two; and it is in a

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