Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

§ 2. Many examples might be produced of this Figure. CICERO thus addresses himself to the foldiers of the Martian legion, who fell in a fuccefsful engagement against MARK ANTONY: "I consider you as born for your country, who ❝ also derive your appellation from MARS; fo "that the fame Deity feems both to have raised "up this city for the world, and you for this "city death in a retreat is accompanied with

fhame, in victory with glory. Those impious "wretches therefore whom you have slain are gone to the infernal fhades, to suffer the vengeance due to their parricide: but you, who "have facrificed your lives to gain this victory, have reached the feats and mansions of the blefsed. Short is the date which nature allots us, but the remembrance of a life gloriously "resigned will be everlasting t.”

The fame Orator furnishes us with another Apostrophe, when he says, fpeaking in the praife of POMPEY," I call upon you, mute regions, you

<<

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

mirè movet; five adverfarios invadimus. five ad invocationem aliquam convertimur-five ad invidiofam implorationem. QUINTIL. lib. ix. cap. 2. § 2.

+ Vos verò patriæ natos judico; quorum etiam nomen à Marte eft: ut idem Deus urbem hanc gentibus, vos huic urbi genuiffe videatur. In fuga fœda mors eft; in victoria gloriosa. Etenim Mars ipfa ex acie fortiffimum quemque pignerari folet. Illi igitur impii, quos cecidiftis, etiam ad inferos pœnas parricidii luent; vos vero, qui extremum fpiritum in victoria effudiftis, piorum eftis fedem, & locum confecuti Brevis à natura nobis vita data eft; at memoria bene redditæ vitæ, fem

piterna. CICER. Philip. xiv. cap. i2.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

you most distant countries, you feas, havens, "islands, and fhores: for what coast, what land, "what place is there, in which the lively traces "of his courage, humanity, greatness, and wif"dom, are not extant * ?"

[ocr errors]

I fhall mention another inftance of this Figure from the fame great Author. In his speech in defence of MILO, accused for killing CLODIUS, he thus fpeaks: "O ye judges, it was "not by human counfel, nor by any thing "less than an extraordinary care of the im"mortal Gods, that this event (the death of

CLODIUS) has taken place. The very Divinities "themselves, who beheld that monfter fall, feem"ed to be moved, and to have inflicted their "vengeance upon him. I appeal to, I call to

witness you, O ye hills and groves of Alba, you "the demolished Alban altars, ever accounted "holy by the Romans, and coeval with our reli"gion; but which, CLODIUS, in his mad fury, "having first cut down, and levelled the most "facred groves, had funk under heaps of com"mon buildings; I appeal to you, I call you "to witness, whether your altars, your divi"nities, your powers, which he had polluted. " with all kinds of wickedness, did not avenge themfelves when this wretch was extirpated? P 4 "And

[ocr errors]

Vos denique mutæ regiones imploro, & fola terrarum. ultimarum; vos maria, portus, infula, litoraque. Quæ eft enim ora, quæ fedes, qui locus, in quo non exftent hujus cùm fortitudinis, tum vero humanitatis, tum animi, tum confilii impreflà veftigia? CICER. pro BALBO, § 5.

"And thou, O holy JUPITER, from the height "of thy facred mount, whofe lakes, groves and "boundaries, he had fo often contaminated with

his deteftable impurities; and you, the other "Deities, whom he had infulted, at length open"ed your eyes to punish this enormous offender. "By you, by you, and in your sight, was the "slow, but the righteous and deserved vengeance "executed upon him t."

After thefe, I had almost faid, incomparable examples of the Apostrophe from CICERO, inftances of this Figure from other Writers may appear with great difadvantage; but I will cite a few of them, which, in my opinion, are not without their merit.

In Sir RICHARD BLACKMORE'S excellent poem, intitled, Creation, we fhall find the following lines:

But

+ Non eft humano confilio, ne mediocri quidem, judices, Deorum immortalium cura, res illa perfecta, religiones mehercule ipfæ, quæ illam belluam cadere viderunt commoviffe fe videntur, & jus in illo fuum retinuiffe. Vos enim jam, Albani tumuli, atque luci, vos, inquam, imploro, atque teftor, vofque Albanorum obrute aræ, facrorum populi Romani fociæ, & æquales, quas ille præceps amentia, cæfis, proftratifque fanctiffimis lucis, fubftructionum infanis mollibus opprefferat; veftræ tum aræ, veftræ religiones viguerunt, veftra vis valuit, quam ille omni fcelere polluerat. Tuque ex tuo edito monte Latiari, fan&te Jupiter, cujus ille lacus, nemora, fines que fæpe omni nefario ftupro, & fcelere macularat, aliquando ad eum puniendum cculos aperuiftis; vobis illæ, vobis veftro in confpectu feræ, fed juftæ tamen, & debitæ pœnæ folutæ funt. CICER. pro MILO, § 31.

But then Lucretian wits abfurdly frame,

To fink thofe inbred fears, their impious fcheme;
To chafe the horrors of a confcious mind,
They defp'rate means and wild expedients find.
The hardy rebels, aiming to appeafe

Their fierce rėmorfe, and dream a while at ease;
Of crying guilt th' avenging pow'r disown,
And pull the high Creator from his throne:
That done, they mock the threats of future pain,
As monftrous fictions of the Poet's brain.

Immediately the Poet lanches into this fine ApoStrophe:

Thy force alone, Religion, Death disarms,
Breaks all his darts, and ev'ry viper charms.
Soften'd by thee, the grifly form appears
No more the horrid object of our fears:
We undismay'd this awful pow'r obey,
That guides us thro' the fafe, tho' gloomy way
Which leads to life, and to the bleft abode,
Where ravish'd minds enjoy, what here they own'd,
a God *.

Mr THOMSON, in his poem, intitled, Summer, gives us these lines :

How then fhall I attempt to fing of Him,
Who, Light himself, in uncreated light,
Invested deep, dwells awfully retir'd
From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken;
Whose single smile has, from the first of time,
Fill'd, overflowing all those lamps of heav'n,
That beam for ever thro' the boundless sky:

Creation, book iv.

But

"And thou, O holy JUPITER, from the height "of thy facred mount, whofe lakes, groves and

boundaries, he had fo often contaminated with "his deteftable impurities; and you, the other "Deities, whom he had infulted, at length open"ed your eyes to punish this enormous offender. "By you, by you, and in your sight, was the "slow, but the righteous and deserved vengeance "executed upon him †."

After thefe, I had almost faid, incomparable examples of the Apostrophe from CICERO, inftances of this Figure from other Writers may appear with great difadvantage; but I will cite a few of them, which, in my opinion, are not without their merit.

In Sir RICHARD BLACKMORE's excellent poem, intitled, Creation, we fhall find the following lines:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

But

+ Non eft humano confilio, ne mediocri quidem, judices, Deorum immortalium cura, res illa perfecta, religiones mehercule ipfæ, quæ illam belluam cadere viderunt commoviffe fe videntur, & jus in illo fuum retinuiffe. Vos enim jam, Albani tumuli, atque luci, vos, inquam, imploro, atque teftor, vofque Albanorum obrutæ are, facrorum populi Romani fociæ, & æquales, quas ille præceps amentia, cæfis, proftratifque fan&tiffimis lucis, fubftructionum infanis mollibus oppref ferat; veftræ tum aræ, veftræ religiones viguerunt, vestra vis valuit, quam ille omni fcelere polluerat. Tuque ex tuo edito monte Latiari, fan&te Jupiter, cujus ille lacus, nemora, fines

"

que fæpe omni nefario ftupro, & fcelere macularat, aliquando ad eum puniendum cculos aperuiftis; vobis illæ, vobis veftro in confpectu feræ, fed juftæ tamen, & debitæ pœnæ folutæ funt. CICER. pro MILO, $ 31.

7.

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »