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"various, how rich, how fublime, and how "wonderful in strength, in words, in figures, "and fentiments, are here collected together? "We hear the Jews, the ghofts of deceased Kings, the King of Babylon, the persons who "find his dead body, and, laft of all, the great God himself, we hear these fpeaking, " and, as it were, performing their parts in the
drama! A kind of perpetual action is con"tinued; or rather, a various and manifold fe"ries of many different actions is woven toge"ther. The Profopopeias are numerous, but " without confusion; bold, but not harsh. A "free, lofty, and truly divine spirit reigns "through the whole poem: nor is there any "thing wanting that might give a perfection to "the ode in grandeur and beauty. There is no "piece of Grecian or Roman poetry, to speak "my mind freely, that may once pretend to "ftand a comparifon with its merit *."
• Quæ imagines, quam variæ, quam denfæ, quam fublimes, quanta vi, quibus verbis, figuris, fententiis, elatæ, in unum locum coacervantur! Judæos, cedros Lebani, defunctorum regum umbras, regem Babylonium, eofque qui in cadaver ejus incidunt, ipfum poftremo Jehovam, loquentes audimus, & partes fuas pene quafi in dramate agentes intuemur. Continuatur actio quædam perpetua, feu potius diverfarum actionum varia ac multiplex feries contexitur, Crebræ funt perfonæ, nec tamen confufæ ; audaces, nec tamen duræ: viget per totum fpiritus liber, verequé divinus; neque decft quidquam ad fummam hujufce odæ fublimitatem abfoluta pulchritudine cumulandam; cui, ut planè dicam quod fentio, nihil habet Græca aut Romana poefis fimile aut fecundum. LoWTH. Fraleat. Acad. p. 122.
§ 7. We fhall add some remarks and observations upon this Figure.
1. The transformation of the good or bad qualities of the mind into persons, or the clothing with corporeal forms, or endowing with corporeal speech and action mere abftracted ideas and general notions, may afford our audience very rich entertainment, and make a very deep impression upon them. The personifying, the imbodying what is merely ideal, or of itself not the object of our senses, may very much delight and strike the mind, as hereby it is not confined to simple and dry fpeculations, but fees every thing upon which it is called to contemplate, rising into being, living, and acting, and extending abroad its power and influence. For us to fay, that a good or virtuous man will be useful and happy, is cold and languid in comparison with faying, that Virtue renders us beneficial to mankind, and is the parent of felicity. To affirm, that a bad or vicious man is burtful and miferable, carries not near fo much force and vigour as to affirm, that Vice is the plague of our race, and the author of our miseries. In like manner to speak of Time, as that portion of duration comprehended between the making and dissolution of the world, is flat and spiritless, if compared with that defcription which Doctor YOUNG gives of it, under the notion of a real and active being.
Not on those terms was Time (Heav'n's stranger) sent
That memorable hour of wondrous birth,
Was Time cut off, and caft beneath the skies;
Hours, days, and months, and years, his children play,
In his immutability to nest,
When worlds, that count his circles now, unhing'd,
So if we fpeak of an whole nation's or a fingle perfon's dying, or the union between the foul and body being broken, and the body's becoming a breathless corps, and the fpirit's departing to another state, how little do we feel of the folemn truth, in comparison with the perfonification of Death, and when fuch things are faid of C c
*Night Thoughts, book ii.
him, or ascribed to him, as we meet with in the following lines?
When with his chill Gorgonean frown,
And keen to reap the nations down,
Ufurp'd from Time's delaying hands †,
Or in that speech put into the mouth of Death?
Now from yon black and fun'ral yew,
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Thus fpeaking from among the bones.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
2. When by the Profopopeia we introduce perfons filent as speaking, we should be careful that they express nothing but what is consistent with, and indeed perfectly adapted to their ages, characters,
Poem on the Death of FREDERICK Prince of WALES.
racters, &c. otherwise we deviate from nature, and can expect, instead of an advantage, rather an injury to our difcourfes. HORACE very judiciously directs us upon this head, when he fays,
Diftinction must be made between the ftile
And an impetuous youth; of a grave dame,
And rough-hewn fwains untutor'd from the plough:
And in another place,
The manners of each age must be observ'd.
In horfes, and the range of woods and fields:
* Intererit multum Divufne loquatur, an heros;