« PoprzedniaDalej »
What fhall I do? What must I then recal
For all the hofpitality I fhow'd,
And they fo well their fenfe of favour prov'd.?
Would they not drive me from their haughty fhips,
And breathing vengeance, drive them thro' the deep?
Die then as thou deferv'ft; and let the fword,
Sic adeo infiftit, fecumque ita corde volutat.
Here DIDO is reprefented in the greatest perplexity, and gloomy vicifsitude of mind. Her first thought is to make her addrefses to her former lovers, that, with their assistance, as we may suppose, she might be able to revenge herfelf upon ÆNEAS. Her next fuggeftion is to fly to the Trojan hips, but he is deterred by the fear of affront and abufe. Her third propofal is to go after the Trojans, but this by no means fuits her dignity. Prefently the changes her project to that of arming her people, and purfuing the Trojans with the whole force of her kingdom, but this fhe judges to be impracticable therefore dropping all these schemes, fhe at last proposes to kill herself, and so put an end to her diftresses.
Livy has given us a very fine example of this Figure in a speech of SCIPIO AFRICANUS to his foldiers, when, calling them together after a fedition, he thus befpeaks them: "I never thought "I fhould have been at a lofs how to addrefs my army. Not that I have applied myself "more to words than things; but because I "have been accustomed to the genius of fol"diers, having been trained up in the in the camp al❝ most
Quid tum? Sola fuga nautas comitabor ovantescop
"most from my childhood. But I have now "neither wisdom nor words in which to speak
to you, nor do I know what name to give you. "Shall I call you citizens, who have revolted "from your country? or fhall I call you foldiers, you who have renounced the authority "and aufpices of your General, and violated "your military oath? or shall Istile you ene"mies? I own you have the form, the look, "the habit of citizens; but I observe in you the "actions, the words, the designs, and the fpirit «of enemies t..
§ 3. This Figure frequently occurs in ScripThe following inftances taken from it fhall fuffice: 1 Cor. xi. 22. " What shall I fay ssunto you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise " you not." So Lam. ii. 13. What thing fhall " I take to witness for thee? What thing fhall I * liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem ? What "fhall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, $50
Nunquam mihi defuturam orationem qua exercitum meum alloquerer credidi, non quod verba unquam potius quam res exercuerim, fed quia prope à pueritia in caftris habitus affueveram militaribus ingeniis, apud quos quemadmodum loquar, nec confilium, nec oratio fuppeditat, quos nec quo nomine quidem appellare habeam, fcio. Cives! qui à patria veftra defciviftis. An milites? qui imperatoris imperium aufpiciumque abnuiftis, facramenti religionem rupiftis. Hof. tes? corpora, ora, vestitum, habitum civium agnofco; facta, dicta, confilia, animos hoftium video. Liv, lib. xxviii. cap. 27....
O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great, like the fea, who can heal thee? So Pfalm cxxxix. 7..." Whither fhall I go from thy
fpirit? or whither fhall I flee from thy pre" fence? If I afcend up into heaven, thou art "there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou ss art there. If I take the wings of the morn
sing, and dwell in the uttermoft parts of the ss fea; even there fhall thine hand lead me, and "thy right hand fhall hold me." The devout Pfalmift, overwhelmed with the fenfe of the divine Omniprefence, looks round the universe, and afks, whither he can fly to escape his God? but neither heaven, earth, nor hell, throughout their vaft unknown spaces, can provide him with a retreat from the all-pervading presence of Deity
$ 4. As to the use of this Figure, when it refpects the Orator's perplexity where to begin his difcourfe, it may be a mean of making his audience more readily believe that what he fays is true **, and filling them with an apprehension of the weight of his fubject. Or this Figure, at the entrance of an address, may fhew a diffidence of mind; and this is so far from being unbecoming, that it may fometimes be graceful;
• Affert aliquam fidem veritatis & dubitatio, cùm fimulamus quærere nos incipiendum, ubi definendum; quid po. tiffimum dicendum, an omnino dicendum fit. QUINTIL. lib, ix. cap. 2.
and, as it carries in it an air of modefty, may very much tend to engage the affections of the audience. When this Figure expresses our doubtfulness upon a pressing difficulty, it is a true picture of nature; for what is more common, than for a man in a diftrefsing ftrait to take up a purpose, and then lay it aside, and afterwards to think of another expedient, as for a moment he fuppofes, and then as fuddenly to change it; and thus to undergo conflict and struggle, till he comes to a final determination? I will only add, that this Figure keeps the foul in eager attention, and raises the tendereft compafsion and fympathy for affliction. And it is no wonder, that, as CICERO informs us, the above-mentioned fpeech of GRACCHUS, being uttered with the advantages of a proper look, voice, and gefture, made even his enemies burft into tears t
+ Quæ fic ab illo acta effe conftabat oculis, voce, gestu, inimici ut lacrimas tenere non poffent. CICER. de Orat.
lib. iii. § 56.