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Here Eloisa glances with great modesty and delicacy, at the irreparable misfortune of her mutilated lover, which she always mentions
A Hint in the Letters has been beautifully heightened, and elevated into exquisite poetry, in the next paragraph. Eloisa says only, “ Inter ipfa miffarum folemnia, ubi purior esse debeat oratio, obscena earum voluptatum phantasmata ita fibi penitus miserrimam captivant animam, ut turpitudinibus illis, magis quam orationi, vacem. Nec folum quæ egimus, fed loca pariter & tempora*,” &c.—Let us fee how this has been improved.
What fcenes appear, where'er I turn my view t,
Then follows a circumstance peculiarly tender and proper, as it refers to a particular excellence of Abelard,
* Epift. ii. Heloiff. pag. 67.
+ V. 251.
Thy VOICE I seem in every hymn to hear *,
To which succeed that sublime description of a high mass, which came from the poet's soul, and is very striking.
When from the censer clouds of fragrance roll to st! And swelling organs lift the rising soul,
One thought of thee puts all the pomp to fight,
Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my sight, i In seas of fame my plunging foul is drown’d,
While altars blaze, and angels tremble round.
I BELIEVE few persons have ever been present at the celebrating a mass in a good choir, but have been extremely affected with awe, if not with devotion; which ought to put us on our guard, against the insinuating nature of fo pompous and alluring a religion as popery. Lord Bolingbroke being one day present at this solemnity, in the chapel at Versailles, and seeing the archbishop of Paris elevate the host, whispered his com
panion the Marquis de *** • If I were king of France, I would alway's perform this ceremony myself.”
ELOISA now acknowledges the weakness of her religious efforts, and gives herself up to the prevalence of her paffion.
Come, with one glance of those deluding eyes *,
Suddenly, religion rushes back on her mind, and the exclaims eagerly,
No; Aly me, Ay me! far as pole to pole!
* V. 280.
+ V. 300.
This change is judicious and moving. And the following invocation to hope, faith, and christian grace, to come and take full poffeffion of her soul, is solemn, and suited to the condition of her mind; for it seems to be the poet's intention to thew the force of religion over passion at last, and to represent her as a little calm and resigned to her destiny, and way of life.
of life. To fix her in which holy temper, the circumstance that follows may be supposed to contribute. For the relates an incident to Abelard, which had made a very deep impression on her mind, and cannot fail of making an equal one, on the mind of those readers, who can relih true poetry, and strong imagery. The scene she paints is awful: lhe represents herself lying on a tomb, and thinking the heard some spirit calling to her in every low wind,
Here as I watch'd the dying lamps around to
• V. 303.
+ Virgil may however have given the hint.Hinc exau. diri voces, & verba vocantis visa viri–L. iv. 460.
ESSAY ON THE GÉNIUS edisy 90101 olin ai 19 fint s lo lleida TA
Once like thyself trembled, wept and do pray'd Love's victim then, but now a Painted maid.
is studio IV 19. dowoThis scene would make a fine subject for the pencil; and is worthy a capital painter. He might place Eloisa in the long ile of a great Gothic church; a lamp should hang over her head, whose dim and dismal ray should afford only ļight enough to make darkness visible, She herself should be represented in the ins fant, when The first hears this aerial voice,
, and in the attitude of starting round with astonishment and fear. ''And this was the method a very great master took, ta paint a found, if I may be allowed the expression. This subject was the baptism of Jesus Chrift; and, in order to bring into the piece the re: markable incident of the voice from heaven, which cried aloud ! This is my beloved
" fon," he represented all the assembly that attended on
the banks of Jordan, gazing up into heaven, with the utmost ardor of amazement
sit ** hiIt is well contrived, that this invisible speaker fhould be a person that had been under the very fame kind of misforo funes- with Eloisa.