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poet takes care to inform his reader, that Dido's
nurfe was dead. To this I mull oppofe a beauti-
ful paflage in the fame book, where, after Dido's
laft ipeech, the poet, without detaining his readers
by defcribing the manner of her death, hallens
to the lamentation of her attendants :

Dixerat : atque illaiu media inter talia ferro
CoUapfam afpiciunt coJniteSj enfemque cruore

* Lib, 4, L 632.

Y 3 Spumsmtem,



334 NARRATION AND Ch.XXL

Spumantem, fparfafque manus. It clamor ad alta
Atria, concuflam bacchatur fama per urbem ;
Lamentis gemituque et foemineo ululatu
Teda fremunt, refonat magnis plangoribus aether.

Lib. 4. /. 663.

As an appendix to the foregoing rule, I add the
following obfervation, That to make a fudden
and flrong impreflion, fome fingle circumftance
happily felecled, has more power than the moft
laboured defcription. Macbeth, mentioning to
his lady fome voices he heard while he was n^ur-
dering the King, fays,

There's one did laugh in fleep, and one cry'd Murder 1
They wak'd each other ; and I flood and heard them ;
But they did fay their prayers, and addrefs them
Again to fleep.

Lady. There are two lodg'd together.

Macbeth. One crj*d, God blefs us ! and Amen the
other ;
As they had feen me with thefe hangman's hands.
Liflening their fear, I could not fay Amen,
When they did fay, God blefs us.
, Lady. Confider it not fo deeply.

Macbeth. But wherefore could not I pronounce Amen }■
I had mofl need of blefling, and Amen
Stuck in my throat.

■ Lady. Thefe deeds muft not be thought
After thefe ways •, fo it will make, us mad.

Macbeth. Methought, I heard a voice cry.
Sleep no more !
Macbeth doth murder fleep, i^c. AB i.fc. 3=

Alphonfo;j



Ch. XXI. DESCRIPTION. 335

Alphonfo, in the Moisming Brzde^ Hint op ie the
iame prifon where his father had been coiaSned :

In a dark comer of my cell I fomid
This paper, wliat it is this ligfet will ihaw,

** If my Alphonfo"- — Ha I \^RimSng.

** If my Alpbonfo livcj refiore him, Heav^j! ;

** Give me miore weight, cnilh my decliiiisig years

** With boItSj with chains, imprifonment, and want j

" But blefs my fon, "vifit sot him for me."

It is bis hand ; this was his pray'r- — Yet more :

*^ Let ev'ry hair, which forro^sr hj the roots {^Resding,

** Tears from my hoary and devoted head,

** Be doubled m thy jfnercies to my fon t

** Not for myfelf, but him, hear mcj ali-gracious" — -

*Tis wanting what ihould follow — Heav'a IJiouIJ

follow.
But -tis torn off — Why iliould that word alone
Be torn ^qvo. his petition ? 'Twas to H^^tv'o,
But Heav'n was deaf, Heav'n heard him not ; but thusj
Thus as the name of Heav'n from this is torn.
So did it tear the ears of mercy from
His voice, Ihutting the gates of prayer againil him.
If piety be thus debarred accefe
On high, and of good men the very beft
Is fingled out to bleed, and bear the fco^lrge,
What is reward ? or what is punifiiment ?
But who fliall dare to tax eternal juftice ?

Mourning Brides a£i ^>fc, i.

This incident is a happy invention, and a mark
pf miicommon genius.

y 4 Defcribinsc



336 NARRATION ANp Ch. XXJ,

Defcribing Prince Henry :

I faw young Harry, with his beaver on,
His cuifTes on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,
Rife from the ground like feather'd Mercury j
And vaulted with fuch eafe into his feat,
As if an angel dropt down from the clouds.
To turn and wind a fiery Pegafus,
And witch the world with noble hprfemanfliip.

Firji part Hen^yYV. a£i Of.fc. 2.

King Henry. Lord Cardinal, if thou thinl^'ft on
Heaven's blifs,
Hold up thy hand, make fignal of thy hope.
He dies, and makes no fign !

Second part Hemy ^1. aSi ■^. fc. IQ.,

The fame author fpeaking ludicroufly of an army
debilitated with difeafes, fays,

Half of them dare not fhake the fnow from off their
caffocks, left they fhake thernfelves to pieces.

I have feen the walls of Balclutha, but they were de-
folate. The flames had refounded in the halls ; and the
voice of the people is heard no more. The ftream of
Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the
wallso The thiftle' fliook there its lonely head : the mofs
whiftled to the wind. The fox looked out from the
windows : and the rank grafs of the wall waved round
his head. Defolate is the dwelling of Morna : filence is
in the houfe of her fatherSo

Fingal.



Ch. XXI. DESCRIPTION. 337

To'draw a character is the mailer- flroke of de-
fcription. In this Tacitus excels : his portraits are
natural and lively, not a feature wanting nor mif-
placed. Shakefpear, however, exceeds Tacitus in
livelinefs, fome charaderiltical circumftance be-
ing generally invented or laid hold of, which
paints more to the life than many words. The
following inftances will explain my meaning, and
at the fame time prove my obfervation to be juft.

Why ihould a man, whofe blood is warm vvithin,

3it like his grandfire cut in alabafter ?

Sleeg when he wakes, and creep into the jaimdice,

By being peevifli ? I tell thee what, Anthonio,

(I love thee, and it is my love that fpeaks).

There are a fort of men, whofe vifages

Do cream and mantle like a Handing pond ;

And do a wilful ftillnels entertain.

With purpofe to be drels'd in an opinion

Of wifdom, gravity, profound conceit ;

As who ftiould fay, I am Sir Oracle,

And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark !

P my Anthonio, I do know of thofe.

That therefore only are reputed wife,

For faying nothing.

Merchant of Venice ^ aB i.fc. 2,

Again :

Gratiano fpeaks ,an infinite deal of nothing, more
f;han any man in all Venice : his reafons are two grains
of wheat hid in two bufhels of chaff; you Ihall feek
all day ere you find them, and when you have them
they are not worth the fearch. I6zd.

In



338 N A H R A T I ON and Ch. XXI.

In the following paflage a charad^r is completed
by a fingle ftroke.

Shallow, O the mad days that I have fpent j and t®
fee how many of mine old acquaintance are dead.

Silence. We fiiall all follow, Coufin.

Shallow. Certain^ 'tis certain, very fure, very fiire ;
Death (as the Pfalmift faith) is certain to all : all fhall
die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair ?

Slender. Truly, Coufin, I was not there.

Shalloiv. Death is certain. Is old Double of youf-
town living yet ?

Silence. Dead, Sir.

Shallow. Dead ! fee, fee j he drew a good bow : and
dead. He ihot a fine flioot. How a fcore 0/ ewes now ?

Silence. Thereafter as they be, A fcore of good ewes
may be worth ten pounds.

Shallow, And is old Double dead r

Second part Henry IV. aH 3'Jc.^^

Defcribing a jealous huiband :

Neither prefe, coiFer, ?hefl;, trunk, well, vault, but-
he hath an abftra6l for the remembrance of fuch places,
and goes to them by his note, There is no hiding you i^,
the houfe.

Merry Wives of Windfor^ aB 4. fc. ^.

Congreve has an inimitable ftroke of this kind in
his comedy of Love for Love :

Ben Legend. Well, father, and how do all at home ?
how does brother Dick, and brother Val ?

^.ir Sampfon, Dick : body o' me^ Dick has been dead

thefc



Ch. XXL DESCRIPTION, 339

thefe two years. I writ you word when you yrere at
Leghorn.

Ben. Mels, that's true: marry, I had forgot. Dick's
4ead, as you fay.

FalftafF fpeaking of ancient Piltol :

• He's no fwaggerer, hoftefs : a tame cheater i 'faith ;
you may ftroak him as gently as a puppy-grey -hound \
lie will not fwagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers
^n. back in any fliew of refiftance.

$econ4 Part Henry IV. a£i 2.fc.^,

Offian, among his other excellencies, is emi-
nently fuccefsful in drawing chara6lers ; and he
never fails to delight his reader with the beauti^

I ful attitudes of his heroes. Take the following

I inftances.

I O Ofcar ! bend the ftrong in arm j but fpare the
feeble hand. Be thou a ftream of many tides againft
the foes of thy people ; but like the gale that moves the
grafs to thofe who alk thine aid. — So Tremor lived ;
fuch Trathal was ; and fuch has Fingal been. My arm
was the fupport of the injured ; and the weak relied
behind the lightning of my fleel. ,

We heard the voice of joy on the coaft, and we
thought that the mighty Cathmore came. Cathmore the
friend of ftrangers ! the brother of red-haired Cairbar.
But their fouls were not the fame ; for the light of hea-
ven was in the bofom of Cathmore. His towers rofe on
the banks of Atha : feven paths led to his halls : feven

chiefs



NARRATION and Chap.XXL

chiefs flood on thefe paths, and called the ftranger to
the feaft= But Cathmore dwelt in the wood to avoid the
voice of praife,

Dermid and Ofcar were one : thej reaped the battle
together^ Their friendfhip was flrong as their fteel;
and death walked between them to the field. They
rufh on the foe like two rocks falling from the brow of
Ardven, Their fwords are flained with the blood of
the valiant : warriors faint at their name. Who is equal
to Ofcar but Dermid ? who to Dermid but Ofcar ?

Son of Comhal, replied the chief, the ftrength of
Morni's arm has failed ; I attempt to draw the fword of
my youth, but it remains in its place r I throw the fpear,
but it falls Ihort of the mark i and I feel the weight of
my fhieldo We decay like the grafs of the mountain,
and our ftrength returns no more. I have a fon, O
Fingal, his foul has delighted in the aftions of Morni's
youth ; but his fword has not been fitted againft the foe,
neither has his fame begun, I come with him to battle,
to diredl: his arm. His renown will be a fun to my foul,,
in the dark hour of my departure.. O that the name of
Morni were forgot among the people ! that the heroes
would only fay, ^^ Behold the father of Gaul."- ;

Some writers^ through heat of imagination, fall '
into contradiction ; fome are guilty of downright
abfurdities ; and fome even rave like madmen.
Againft fuch capital errors one cannot be more
efFedually warned than by collecling inftances 5
and the firft fhall be of a contradidlion, the moft
venial of all, Virgil Ipeakiqg of Neptune,

Interes



Ch. XXI. DESCRIPTION. 341

Interea magno mifceri munnure pontum,
Emiflamque hyemem fenfit Neptunus, et imls
Stagna refufa vadis : gramter commotus, et alto
Profpiclens, fumma placidnm caput extulit unda.

^neid, L 128.

Again :

When firll young Maro, In his boundlefs mind,
A work t' outlall immortal Rome defign'd.

EJfay on Criticlfm^ L 130.

The following examples are of abfurdities.

Alii pulfis e tormento catenis difcerpti fe6lique, di-
midiato corpora pugnabant fibi fuperftites, ac peremptte
partis id tores.

Stradoy Dec, 2. /. 2.

II pove'r huomo, che non fen' era accorto,

Andava combattendo, ed era morto. Ber?ii,

He fled j but flying, left his life behind.

J/zWxi. '433,

Full through his neck the weighty falchion fped :
Along the pavement roll'd the mutt'ring head.

Odyjfsy xxii. ^6s,

The laft article is of raving like one mad. Cleo-
patra fpeaking to the afpic,

— — Welcome, thou kind deceiver,

Thou bell of thieves ; who, with an eafy key,

Dofl



^44 NARRATION ANi) Ch.XXL

Doft open life, and unperceiv'd by us,
Ev'n fteal us from ourfelves ; difcharging fo
Death's dreadful office, better than himfelf ;
Touching our limbs fo gently into flumber,
That Death ftands by, deceiv'd by his own imagCj
And thinks himfelf but Sleep.

Drjden^ All for Love, a£i 5;

Reafons that are common and known to every
one, ought to be taken for granted : to exprefs
them is childifh, and interrupts the narration.
Quintus Curtius, relating the battle of Iflus,

Jam in confpefhi, fed extra teli ja6tum, utraque
acies erat ; quum priores Perfae inconditum et trucem
fuftulere clamorem. Redditur et a Macedonibus major,
exercitus impar numero, fed jugis montium vaftifque
faltibus repercuffus : quippe femper circumjeBa nemora
petrceque, quantumcunque accepere vocem^ multiplicato fono
referunt.

Having difcuffcd what obfervations occurred up-
on the thoughts or things exprelTed, I proceed to
what more peculiarly concern the language or ver-
bal drefs. The language proper for expreffing
paffion being handled in a former chapter, feveral
obfervations there made are applicable to the pre-
fent fubjedl ; particularly, That as words are inti-
mately connected with the ideas they reprefent,
the emotions raifed by the found and by the fenfe
ought to be concordant. An elevated fubjed: re-
quires an elevated ftyle \ what is familiar, ought

to



Ch. XXL DESCRIPTION. 343

to be familiarly expreffed : a fubjedt that is ferious
and important, ought to be clothed in plain ner-
vous language: a defcription, on the other hand,
addrefled to the imagination, is fufceptible of the
higheft ornaments that founding words and figu-
rative expreffion can bellow upon it.
I I Ihall give a few examples of the foregoing
rules. A poet of any genius is not apt to drefs a
high fubjedl in low words ; and yet blemilhes of
that kind are found even in claffical works. Ho-
race, obferving that men are fatisfied with them-
felves, but feldom with their condition, introduces
Jupiter indulging to each his own choice :

Jam faciam quod vultis : eris tu, qui modo mileSj
Mercator : tu, confultus modo, rufticus : hinc vos,
Vos hinc mutatis difcedite partibus : eia.
Quid ftatis ? nolint : atqui licet efle beatis.
Quid caufae eft, m,erito quin illis 'Jupiter ambas
Iratas huccas inflet / neque fe fore pofthac
Tarn facilem dicat, votis ut praebeat aurem ?

Sat. lib. I. fat. I. /. 16.

Jupiter in wrath puffing up both cheeks, is a low
and even ludicrous expreffion, far from fuitable
to the gravity and importance of the fubjed: :
every one mufl feel the difcordance. The fol-
lowing couplet, finking far below the fubjedt, is
no lefs ludicrous.



Not



344 N A R R A T i O N AND Ch. XXI.

Not one looks backward, onward ftill he goes^
Yet ne'er looks forward farther than his nofe^

EJJay on Man, ep. iv. 223.

Le Rhin tremble et fremit a ces trifles nouvelles 5

Le feu fort a travers fes hiimides prunelles.

Cell done trop pen, dit-il, que I'Efcaut en deux mois

Ait appris a couler fous de nouvelles loix ; '

Et de miUe remparts mon onde environnee

De ces fleuves fans ncm fuivra la deftinee ?

Ah ! periffent mes eaux, ou par d'illuftres coups

Montrons qui doit cedar des mortels ou de nous.

A ces mots effuiant fa barbe limonneufe,

II prend d'un vieux guerrier la figure poudreufe.

Son front cicatrice rend fon air furieux,

Et I'ardeur du combat etincelle en fes jeux.

Boileau, epitre 4. l. 6i6

A god wiping his dirty beard is proper for bur-
lefque poetry only ; and altogether unfuitable to
the {trained elevation of this poem.

On the other hand, to raife the exprellion a-
bove the tone of the fubjedt, is a fault than which
none is more common. Take the following in-
ftances.

Orcan le plus fidele a ferver fes delTeins,

Ne fous le ciel brulant des plus noirs Affricains.

Baja%et, aB 3. fc. 8.

Les ombres par trois fois ont obfcurci les cieux
Depuis que le fommeil n'eft entre dans vos yeux ;

Eti



Ch. XXI. DESGRIPTION, 345

Et le jour a trois fois chaffe la nuit obfcure
Depuls que votre corps languit fans nourriture.

Phedra, a£i 1. fc. 3.

AJfuerus. Ce mortel, qui montra tant de zele pour
moi, Vit-il encore ?

Afaph. ■■ II voit I'aftre qui vous eclaire.

EJiher, a£i 1. fc. 3,

Oui, c'efh Agamemnon, c'eil ton roi qui t'eveille •,
Viens, reconnois la voix qui frappe ton oreille.
k Iphigenie,

No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-daj,
But the great cannon to the clouds Ihall tell ;
And the King's rowfe the heav'ns ihall bruit again,
Refpeaking earthly thunder.

Hamlet, aB i.fc. 1.

~ — .. : — In the inner room

I fpy a winking lamp, that weakly ftrikes
The ambient air, fcaixe kindling into light.

Southern, Fate of Capua, a£i 3,

In the funeral orations of the Bifhop of Meaux^
the following paiTages are raifed far above the
tone of the fubjed: :

L'Ocean etonne de fe voir traverfe tant de fois, en
des appareils li divers, et pour des caufes fi differentes,
i^c. p. 6.

Grande Reine, je fatisfais a vos plus tendres defirs,

quand je celebre ce monarque ; et fon coeur qui n'a ja-

inais vecu que pour lui, fe eveiUe, toiit poudre qu'il eft,

Vol. IL Z et



34*5 MARRATION and Ch, XXL

et devient {cnGhl&f ineme fous ce drap mortuaire, an
aom. d'un epous li cher. p, 32.

Montefquieu, in a didad:ic work, Vefprit des
Loix^ gives too great indulgence to imagination :
the tone of his language fwells frequently above
his fubjed. I give an example :

Mr le Comte de Boulainvilliers et Mr TAbbe Dubos
ont fait chacun un fjiteme, dont I'un femble etre une
conjuration contre le tiers-etat, et Tautre une conjura-
tion centre la nobleiTe. Lorfcjue le Soieil donna a
Phaeton fon char a conduire, il lui dit, Si vous mon-
tez trop hautj vous bmlerez la demeure celefte 9 ii vous
defcendez trop bas, vous reduirez en cendres la terrer
n'allez point trop a droite, vous tomberiez dans la con-
llellaticn du ferpent j n'allez point trop a gauche, vous
iriez dans celle de I'autel : tenez-vous entre les deux.

L. 30. ch. 10.

The following palTage, intended^ one would ima-
gine, as a receipt to boil water, is altogether bur-
lefque by the laboured elevation of the didion :

A maliy caldron of f^upendous frame
They brought, and plac'd it o'er the riling flame :
Then heap the lighted wood ; the flame divides
Beneath the vafe, and climbs around the fides :
In its wide womb .hey pour the rulbing ftream :.
The boiling water bubbles to the brim.

//fW, xviii^ 405.

la



Ch. XXI. DESCRIPTION. 347

In a paflage at the beginning of the 4th book of
Telemachus, one feels a fudden bound upward
without preparation, which accords not with the
fubjed :

Calypfd, qui avoit ete jufqu' a ce moment immobile
et tranfportee de plaifir en ecoatant les avantures de
Telemaque, I'interrompit pour lui faire prendre quel^ue
repos. II eit terns, lui dit-elle, qui vous alliez gouter
la douceur du fommeil apres tant de travaux. Vous
h'avez rien a traindre ici ; tout vous efi favorable*
Abandonnez vous done a la joye^ Goutez la paix, et
tous les autres dons des dieux dont vous aUez etre com-
ble. Demain, qiland rAurore avec fes doigts de rofes
entr' ouvrira les partes dorees de l" Orient, et que te Chevaux
du Soleil Jortans de I'onde amere repandront les fiames du
jour, pour chaffer devaitt eux ioutes les etoiles du ciet^
nous reprendrons, mon cher Telemaque, I'hiiloire de
Vos malheursi

This obviouily is copied from a fimilar paflage iri
the ^neid, which ought not to have been copied^
becaufe it lies open to the fame cenfure ; but the
force of authority is great :

At regina gravi jarndudum faucia cufa
Vulnus alit venis, et caeco carpi tur igni.
Multa Viri virtus animo, naliltufque rectirfat
Gentis honos : hasrent infixi pedtore vultus,
Verbaque : nee placidam membris dat cura quietem,
Pojiera Phcebea lujlrahat lampade terras,
Humentemque Aurora polo dimoverat umhram ;
Cum lie unanimera alloquitut malefana fororem.

Lib^ iv. \i

X 2 Take



348 N A R R A T I O N AND Ch. XXL

Take another example where the words rife above
the fubjed: :

Ainfi les peuples y accoururent bientot en foule de
toutes partes ; le commerce de cette ville etoit femblable.
au flux et au reflux de la mer. Les trefors y entroient
comme les flots viennent I'un fur I'autre. Tout y etoit
apporte et en fortoit librernent ; tout ce qui y entroit,
etoit utile v tout ce qui en fortoit, lailToit en fortant
d'autres richeffes en fa place. La luftice fevere prefi-
doit dans le port au milieu de tant de nations. La
franchife, la bonne foi, la candeur, fembloient du haut
de ces fuperbs tours appeller les marchands des terres le
plus eloignees : chacun de ces marchands, foit quHlvint
des rives orientales ou le foleil fort chaque jour du fein des
ojides, foit qii'il flit parti de cette grande nier oil le foleil
lajfe de fon cours va eteindre fes feux, vivoit paifible et en
furete dans Salente comme dans fa patrie !

'Telemaquej Liz.

The language of Homer is fuited to his fubjedl,
no lefs accurately than the adlions and fentiments
of his heroes are to their charadlers. Virgil, in that
particular, falls Ihort of perfeftion : his language
is Itately throughout ; and though he defcends
at times to the limpleft branches of cookery, roait-
ing and boiling for example, yet he never relaxes
a moment from the high tone*. In adjulting his
language to his fubjed, no writer equals Swift. I
can recolleft but one exception, which at the fame

* See iEneid. lib. i. iS8 — 219.

time



Ch. XXL DESCRIPTION. 349

time is far from being grofs : The journal of a mo-
dern lady is compofed in a ftyle blending fpright-
linefs with familiarity, perfedllj fuited to the fub-
jed : in one paflage, however, the poet deviating
from that ftyle, takes a tone above his fubjed.
The paflage I have in view begins, /. 116. But let
me now a while furvey, &c. and ends at /. 135.

It is proper to be obierved upon this head, that
writers of inferior rank are continually upon the
ftretch to enliven and enforce their fLibje6l by ex-
aggeration and fuperlatives. This unluckily has
an effed: contrary to what is intended ; the reader,
difgufted with language that fwells above the fub-
je6t, is led by contraft to think more meanly of
the fubjecl than it may poffibly deferve. A man
ofprudence, befide, will be no lefs careful to
hufband his ftrength in writing than in walking :
a writer too liberal of fuperlatives, exhaufts his
whole ftock upon ordinary incidents, and referves
no ftiare to exprefs, with greater energy, matters
of importance *.

* Montaigne, refledllng upon die then prefent modes, ob-
ferves, that there never was at any other time io abjeft and
fervile proftitution of words in the addrefles made by people
' of fafliion to one another ; the humbleft tenders of life and
foul, no profeflions under that of devotion and adoration 5 the
writer conflantly declaring himfelf a vafTal, nay a flave : fb
that when any more ferious occafion of friendfhip or gratitude
requires more genuine profeflions, words are wanting to ex-
prefs them.

X 3 Many



350 NARRATION AND Ch.XXL

Many writers of that kind abound fo in epithets^
as if poetry confifted entirely in high-founding
words. Take the following initance.

When black-brow'd Night her dufky mantle fpread,

And wrapt in folemn gloom the fable ilcy :
When foothing Sleep her opiate dev^^s had ihed,

And feal'd in filken flurabers ev'ry eye :
My wakeful thoughts admit no balmy reft,

Nor the fweet blifs of foft oblivion {hare :
But watchful wo diftradts my aching breaft,

My heart the fubje6t of corroding care :
From haunts of men with wand'ring fteps and flow
I folitary Heal, and footh my penfive wo.

Here every fubilantive is faithfully attended bj
fome tumid epithet ; like young mailer, who can-
not walk abroad without having a lac'd livery- man
at his heels. Thus in reading without taile, an
emphafis is laid on every word ; and in linging
without tafte, every note is grac'd. Such redun-
dancy of epithets, inftead of plealing, produce fa-
tiety and difguft.

The power of language to imitate thought, is
not confined to the capital circumfi;ances above
mentioned : it reacheth even the flighter modifica-
tions. Slow action, for example, is imitated by
words pronounced flow : labour or toil, by words
harfh or rough in their found. But this fubject has
been already handled *.

* Ch. 1 8. feft. Jo

III



CJli.XXL DESCRIPTION, 351.

In dialogue-writing, the condition of the fpeaker
is chiefij to be regarded in framing the expreiiion.
The fentinel in Hamlet^ interrogated with relation
to the ghofi whetherhis watch had been quiet, an-
fwers with great propriety for a man in his ilation»
" Not a moufe ftirring *". '

I proceed to a fecond remark, no lefs import-
ant than the former. No perfon of reflection but
muft be feniible, that an incident makes a Wronger
impreffion on an eye-witnefs, than when heard at
fecond hand. Writers of genius, feniible that the
eye is the bell avenue to the heart, reprefent every
thing as palling in our fight ; and, from readers
or hearers, transform us as it were into fpecla-
tors: alkilful writer conceals himfelf, and prefents
his perfonages : in a word, every thing becomes
dramatic as much as poffible. Piutarch de gloria
Athenienjimh, obferves, that Thucydides makes
his reader a fpedlator, and inlpires him wdth the
fame paffions as if he were an eye-witnefs ; and
the fame obfervation is applicable to our country-
man Swift. From this happy talent arifes that
energy of ftyle which is peculiar to him^ : he can-

* One can fcarce avoid rmiiingattbeblindnefs of a certain



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