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scious shame when it becomes immoderate; it is covered from the world, and disclosed only to the beloved object: 0, they love least that let men know their love.
Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.-Act I. Sc. 2. Hence a capital rule in the representation of immoderate passions, that they ought to be hid or dissembled as much as possible. And this holds in an especial manner with respect to criminal passions: one never counsels the commission of a crime in plain terms; the proposal must be made by hints, and by representing the action in some favorable light. Of the propriety of sentiment upon such an occasion, Shakspeare, in the Tempest, has given us a beautiful example, in a speech by the usurping Duke of Milan, advising Sebastian to murder his brother the King of Naples : Antonio.
Act II. Sc. 1. There never was drawn a more complete picture of this kind, than that of King John soliciting Hubert to murder the young Prince Arthur:
K. John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert.
say what good respect I have of thee.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet-
--but let it go;
To give me audience. If the midnight bell
Hubert. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
K. John. Do not I know thou wouldst?
The first class contains faulty sentiments of various kinds; I begin with sentiments that are faulty by being above the tone of the passion : Othello.
O my soul's joy!
OTHELLO.-Act II. Sc. 1. This sentiment may be suggested by violent and inflamed passion, but is not suited to the calm satisfaction that one feels upon escaping danger.
Philaster. Place me, some god, upon a pyramid
Second. Sentiments below the tone of the passion. Ptolemy, by putting Pompey to death, having incurred the displeasure of Cæsar, was in the utmost dread of being dethroned: in that agitated situation, Corneille makes him utter a speech full of cool reflection, that is in no degree expressive of the passion.
In Les Freres Ennemies of Racine, the second act is opened with a love-scene: Hemon talks to his mistress of the torments of absence, of the lustre of her eyes, that he ought to die nowhere but at her feet, and that one moment of absence is a thousand years. Antigone, on her part, acts the coquette; pretends she must be gone to wait on her mother and brother, and cannot stay to listen to his courtship. This is odious French gallantry, below the dignity of the passion of love: it would scarce be excusable in painting modern French manners; and is insufferable where the ancients are brought upon the stage. The manners painted in the Alexandre of the same author are not more just: French gallantry prevails there throughout.
Third. Sentiments that agree not with the tone of the passion; as where a pleasant sentiment is grafted upon a painful passion, or the contrary. In the following instances, the sentiments are too gay for a se rious passion :
No happier task these faded eyes pursue ;
ELOISA TO ABELARD, I. 47.
ELOISA TO ABELARD, 1. 51. Tlacou thoughts are pretty: they suit Pope, but now Eloisa.
Satan, enraged by a threatening of the angel Gabriel, answers thus :
Then when I am thy captive talk of chains,
PARADISE Lost.--Book IV. The concluding epithet forms a grand and delightful image, which cannot be the genuine offspring of rage.
Fourth. Sentiments too artificial for a serious passion. I give for the first example a speech of Percy expiring :
O Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my growth:
FIRST PART HENRY IV.-Act V. Sc. 4. The sentiments of the Mourning Bride are, for the most part, no less delicate than just copies of nature: in the following exception the picture is beautiful, but too artful to be suggested by severe grief.
Almeria. O no! Time gives increase to my afflictions.
Act I. Sc. 1. In the same play, Almeria, seeing a dead body, which she took to be Alphonso's, expresses sentiments strained and artificial, which nature suggests not to any person upon such an occasion:
Had they, or hearts, or eyes, that did this deed ?
Are not my eyes guilty alike with theirs,
Act V. Sc. 11.
Lady Trueman. How could you be so cruel to defer giving me that joy which you knew I must receive from your presence? You have robb'd my life of some hours of happiness that ought to have been in it.
DRUMMER.--Act V. Pope's Elegy to the memory of an unfortunate lady, expresses delicately the most tender concern and sorrow that one can feel for the deplorable fate of a person of worth. Such a poem, deeply serious and pathetic, rejects with disdain all fiction. Upon that account, the following passage deserves no quarter; for it is not the language of the heart, but of the imagination indulging its flights at ease; and thence eminently discordant with the subject. It would be a still more severe censure, if it should be ascribed to imitation, copying indiscreetly what has been said by others:
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace, Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face? What though no sacred earth allow thee room, Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb? Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be drest, And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast: There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow, There the first roses of the year shall blow; While angels with their silver wings o'ershade The ground, now sacred by thy relics made. Fifth. Fanciful or finical sentiments-sentiments that degenerate into point or conceit, may amuse in an idle hour, but can never be the offspring of any serious or important passion.
Armida's lamentation respecting her lover Rinaldo, is of this vicious taste:
Queen. Give me no help in lamentation,