Page images
PDF
EPUB

(4) This Figure, when addressed to an adversary, carries powerful conviction into his confcience, and makes him as it were condemn hinnself. A finer instance of which sort perhaps we cannot find, than in the expostulation of God himself with an ungrateful and difobedient people, in Mal. i. 6. ss A son honours his father, and ss a servant his master: if I then be a father, ss where is my fear? and if I be a master, where ss is my honour ? ss Common language only. glances like an arrow, and lightly rafes the fkin; but this Figure, like a dagger, plunges at once into the heart,

I shall conclude with the account Vossius gives of this Figure, in which you will observe a coincidence with the sentiments that have already been passed upon it. " This Figure, says he, is “ well adapted to a vindication of ourselves, and “ carries a great deal of probability with it: it " is especially of service in shewing our confi“dence in our cause, and in pushing our adver, “ fary; for if we confer with our adversary, we ." take the ready method to press and extort a « confession; or if we discourse with our judges, t we influence their minds, while they see that 66 we rest our cause upon their equity *.” .

* Aptum eft hoc fchema purgationi, multumque habet probabilitatis. Imprimis vero utile eft confidenti & refellenti. Nam si cum adversario communicemus, valebit ad urgendam atque extorquendam confeffionem. Sin autem judicibus prodeft ad eorum animos movendos, dum vident nos in ipfo. rum æquitate fiduciam noftram collocarę. Vossui Rhetoric. dib. iv. $ 16.

CHAPTER VIII.

The AnASTROPHE considered.

§ 1. The definition of the Aņaftrophe. § 2. Exam- :

ples of this Figure from MỊlton, Virgil, and HORAÇE. $ 3. An instance from the- Apostle

Paul, in Romans i. I---7. $ 4. The 114th · Psalm considered as an Anastrophe, with Doctor Watts's remarks and version. § 5. An obsero vation upon the Anastrophe, and cautions. concerning the use of it.

§ 1. Nastrophe *, or inversion, is a Figure

11 by which we suspend our sense, and the hearer's expectation ; or a Figure by which we place last, and perhaps at a great remove from the beginning of the sentence, what, according to common order, should have been imentioned first.

6.2. We have a charming instance of this kind in the following lines, which are part of a speech of Eve to Apam in the state of innocence:

Sweet

* Frori aras fecw, I invert.

Sweet is the breath, of morn, her rising sweet,
But neither breath of morn, when she afcends ?

With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun'',);
. On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flow'r, *"
Glift'ring with dew, nor fragrance after show'rs,"
Nor grateful ey’ning mild, nor filent night
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by noon,' i.
Or glitt'ring star-light, without thee is sweet *. :

“ The ancients," says the Archbishop of CAMBRAY, “ by frequent inversions made the sweetest • cadence, variety, and passionate expressions, “ easy to the Poet. Inversions were even turned cc into noble Figures, and kept the mind susc.pended in expectation of something great. We c. have an instance of this in VIRGIl's eighth Eclogue, which begins, i.is

Pastorum mufam, Damonis & Alphesibæi, ra
Immemor herbarum quos eft mirata juvenca,
Certantes, quorum stupefactæ carmine Lynces,
Et mutata fuos requierunt Aumina cursus : pa
Damonis mufam dicemus, & Alphesibæi, in

“ If you take away this inversion,” says the Archbishop, " and place the words according to “ the grammatical order and construction, you “ destroy all their force, and grace, and har“ mony 1:".

: Horace,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Milton's Paradise Lost, book iv. line 641.
I Letter to the French Academy. '*

Horace, in an ode of his that celebrates the praises of DRUSUS, the son-in-law of the Emperor AUGUSTUS, bears us away in his fublime ardor, without fhewing us whither we are going, or giving us time to broathe, and we cannot find the great character he designs to applaud till the 18th line, though he is raising our ex: pectations, and paying honours to his Hero throughout the long preface. . Such as the bird, that from above

Lanches th' avenging bolt of Jave;
To whom the Lord of earth and hear'n
The empire o'er the fowls has giv'n,
Rewarding high his duteous deed

The rape of lovely GANYMEDE,
Whom youth and his paternal fire
To tempt him from his neft conspire,
Stranger to toils; whom, when no stain,
Nor skirts of vernal clouds remain,
The strong impetuous gales invite,
While his heart quivers at the fight
To his first onset. On the fold,
Upon his pinions swift and bold; ..
Now down he sweeps: his next delight,
Roaming for prey, and fond of fight,
T'attack the dragon's dreadful fires,
And in his talons grafp his fpires.
Or fuch as some ill-fated fawn,
Browsing along the flow'ry lawn, .
Beholds, all trembling with surprise,
A lion in his terrors rise,
Just wean'd, and bent to rend, to flay...
With his young tooth his helpless prey; ..

Such, Such, such our enemies beheld,

With virtue not to be repelld, .: Young Drusus plung'd in glorious fight,

Where the Alps tow'r beyond the fight, &c. *.

$ 3. The first seven verses of the Apostle Paul's Epiftle to the Romans is but one period, and seems very irregular and intangled, though it is quite reconcilable to the analogy of rational grammar. The preface, s Paul, a servant of * Jesus CHRIST,“ waits for its complete sense till the seventh verse, " to all that are in Rome, &c. So long is the parenthesis, and so great is the transposition. But whoever will duly consider the passage will find, that every inter,

vening Qualem miniftrum falminis alitem,

in
(Cui Rex Deorum regnum in aves vagas -
Permisit, expertus fidelem
Juppiter in Ganymede flavo)
Olim juventas, & patrius vigor
Nido laborum propalit inscium;.
Vernique, jam nimbis remotis,.
Insolitos docuere nifus
Venti paventem ; mox in ovilia
Demifit hoftem vividus impetus :
Nunc in reluctantes dracones
Egit amor dapis atque pugnæ :
Qualemve lætis caprea pascuis
Intenta, fulvæque matris ab ubere
Jam lacte depulfum leonem,
Dente novo peritura, vidit.
Videre Rhæti bella fub Alpibus
Drusum gerentem, & Vindelici, &c.

Horat. Od. lib, iv. od, 4

« PreviousContinue »