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finest thread. There are Amplifiers who can extend half a dozen thin thoughts over a whole Folio; but for which, the tale of many 4 vaft Romance, and the substance of many a fair volume might be reduced into the fize of a primmer.
In the book of Job are these words, “ Haft « thou commanded the morning, and caused the “ day-spring to know his place ?" How is this extended by the most celebrated Amplifier of our age.
Canst thou set forth ib'etherial mines on high,
As all my stars and lavish funs can waste. The same author hath amplified a passage in the civth Pfalm; “ He looks on the earth, and it trem66 bles. He touches the hills, and they smoke.” † The hills forget they're fax’d, and in their flight
Cast off their weight, and ease themselves for flight:
And leave the heavy, panting hills bebind. You here see the hills not only trembling, but shaking off the woods from their backs, to run the faster : After this you are prefented with a foot-race of mountains and woods, where the woods distance the mountains, that, like corpulent pursy fellows, come puffing and panting a vast way behind them.
* Job, p. 108.
CH A P.
Of Imitation, and the Manner of Imitating.
HAT the true authors of the Profund are
to imitate diligently the examples in their own way, is not to be questioned, and that divers have by this means attained to a depth whereunto their own weight could never have carried them, is evident by sundry instances. Who fees not that De Foe was the poetical fon of Withers, Tate of Ogilby, E. Ward of John Taylor, and E-n of Blackmore? Therefore when we fit down to write, let us bring some great author to our mind, and ask ourselves this question; How would Sir Richard have said this? Do I express myself as simply as Amb. Philips? Or flow my numbers with the quiet thoughtlessness of Mr. Welsted ?
But it may seem somewhat strange to affert, that our Proficient should also read the works of those famous Poets who have excelled in the Sublime: Yet is not this a paradox ? As Virgil is said to have read Ennius, out of his dunghill to draw gold, so my our author read Shakespear, Milton, and Dryden for the contrary end, to bury their gold in his own dunghil. A true Genius, when he finds any thing lofty or shining in them, will have the skill to bring it down, take off the gloss, or quite discharge the colour, by some ingenious Circumstance or Periphrase, some addition or diminution, or by some of those Figures, the use of which we shall shew in our next chapter.
The book of Job is acknowledged to be infinitely sublime, and yet has not the father of the Bathos reduced it in every page? Is there a palfage in all Virgil more painted up and laboured than the description of Ætna in the third Æneid?
Horrificis juxta tonat Ætna ruinis,
(I beg pardon of the gentle English reader, and such of our writers as understand not Latin ) Lo! how this is taken down by our British Poet, by the single happy thought of throwing the mountain into a fit of the colic. * Ætna, and all the burning mountains, find
Their kindled stores with inbred storms of wind Blown up to rage ; and, roaring out, complain, As torn with inward gripes, and tort'ring pain : Lab'ring, they cast their dreadful vomit round, And with their melted bowels spread the ground.
Horace, in search of the Sublime, struck his head against the Stars † ; but Empedocles, to fathom the Profund, threw himself into Ætna. And who but would imagine our excellent Modern had also been there, from this description ?
Imitation is of two forts; the first is when we force to our own purposes the Thoughts of others; the second consists in copying the Imperfections, or Blemishes of celebrated authors. I have seen a Play profeftedly writ in the style of Skakespear; wherein the resemblance lay in one single line,
And so good morrow t'ye, good master Lieutenant. And sundry poems in imitation of Milton, where with the utmost exactness, and not so much as one exception, nevertheless was constantly nathless, em
* Pr. Arthur, p. 75.
broider'd was broider'd, hermits were eremites, disdain'd was ’sdeign’d, shady umbrageous, enterprize emprize, pagan paynim, pinions fennons, sweet dulcet, orchards orchats, bridge-work pontifical ; nay, her was hir, and their was thir thro' the whole poem. And in very deed, there is no other way by which the true modern poet could read, to any purpose, the works of such men as Milton and Shakespear.
It may be expected, that, like other Critics, I should next speak of the Pasions : But as the main end and principal effect of the Bathos is to produce Tranquillity of Mind, (and sure it is a better design to promote seep than madness) we have little to say on this subject. Nor will the short bounds of this discourse allow us to treat at large of the Emollients and Opiats of Poesy, of the Cool, and the manner of producing it, or of the methods used by our authors in managing the Passions. I shall but transiently remark, that nothing contributes so much to the Cool, as the use of Wit in expressing passion: The true genius rarely fails of points, conceits, and proper fimiles on such occasions : This we may term the Pathetic epigrammatical, in which even puns are made use of with good fuccess. Hereby our best authors have avoided throwing themselves or their readers into any indecent Transports.
But as it is sometimes needful to excite the paffions of our antagonist in the polemic way, the true students in the law have constantly taken their methods from low life, where they observed, that, to move Anger, use is made of scolding and railing ; to move Love, of bawdry ; to beget Favour and Friendship, of gross flattery; and to produce Fear, of calumniating an adversary with crimes obnoxious to the State. As for Shame, it is a fully pas
fion, of which as our authors are incapable themfelves, so they would not produce it in others.
CH A P. X.
Of Tropes and Figures : And first of the
variegating, confounding, and reversing Figures.
UT we proceed to the Figures. We can
not too earneftly recommend to our authors the study of the Abuse of Speech. They ought to lay it down as a principle, to say nothing in the usual way, but (if poffible) in the direct contrary. Therefore the Figures must be so turn’d, as to manifest that intricate and wonderful Cast of Head which distinguishes all writers of this kind ; or (as I
may fay) to refer exactly the Mold in which they were formed, in all its inequalities, cavities, obliquities, odd crannies, and diftortions.
It would be endlefs, nay impoffible to enumefate all such Figures; but we shall content ourfelves to range the principal, which most powerfully contribute to the Bathos, under three Classes. 1. The Variegating, Confounding, or Revers
ing Tropes and Figures. II. The Magnifying, and III. The Diminishing.
We cannot avoid giving to these the Greek or, Roman Names; but in tenderness to our countrymen and fellow-writers, many of whom, however exquisite, are wholly ignorant of those languages, we have also explained them in our mother tongue.