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is extraordinary and surprising; whence it is, that we regard not the proof so much as the grandeur and lustre of the Image, which quite eclipses the proof itself. This bias of the mind has an easy solution ; since, when two such things are blended together, the stronger will attract to itself all the virtue and efficacy of the weaker.
These observations will, I fancy, be sufficient, concerning that Sublime which belongs to the Sense, and takes its rise either from an Elevation of Thought, a choice and connexion of proper Incidents, Amplification, Imitation, or Images.
THE Pathetic, which the author, Sect. viii. laid down for the second source of the Sublime, is omitted here, because it was reserved for a distinct treatise. See Sect. xliv. with the note.
The topic that comes next in order, is that of Figures; for these, when judiciously used, conduce not a little to Greatness. But since it would be tedious, if not infinite labour, exactly to describe all the species of them, I shall instance only some few of those which contribute most to the elevation of the style, on purpose to shew that we lay not a greater stress upon them than is really their due.
Demosthenes is producing proofs of his upright behaviour whilst in public employ. Now which is the most natural method of doing this? (“ You were not in the wrong, “ Athenians, when you courageously ven
your lives in fighting for the liberty “ and safety of Greece, of which
have “ domestic illustrious examples. For neither
ere they in the wrong who fought at " Marathon, who fought at Salamis, who
fought at Platææ.") Demosthenes takes another course, and filled as it were with sudden inspiration, and transported by a god
like warmth, he thunders out an oath by the champions of Greece: “ You were not in the
wrong, no, you were not, I swear, by " those noble souls, who were so lavish of " their lives in the field of Marathon*, &c." He seems, by this figurative manner of swearing, which I call an Apostrophé, to have deified their noble ancestors; at the same time instructing them, that they ought to swear by persons, who feel so gloriously, as by so many gods. He stamps into the breasts of his judges the generous principles of those applauded patriots ; and by transferring what was naturally a proof, into a soaring strain of the Sublime and the Pathetic, strengthened by ' such a solemn, such an unusual and reputable Oath, he instils that balm into their minds, which heals every painful reflection, and assuages the smart of misfortune. He : breathes new life into them by his artful encomiums, and teaches them to set as great a value on their unsuccessful engagement
* Orat. de Corona, p. 124. ed. Oxon.
* The observations on this oath are judicious and solid. But there is one infinitely more solemn and awful in Jeremiah xxii. 5.
“ But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolastion.”-See Genesis xxii, 16. and Hebrews vi. 13.
ON THE SUBLIME. with Philip, as on the victories of Marathon and Salamis. In short, by the sole application of this Figure, he violently seizes the favour and attention of his audience, and compels them to acquiesce in the event, as they cannot blame the undertaking.
Some would insinuate, that the hint of this oath was taken from these lines of ? Eupolis.
No! by my labours in that glorious * field,
3 But the grandeur consists not in the bare application of an oath, but in applying it in the proper place, in a pertinent manner, at the exactest time, and for the strongest rea
Yet in Eupolis there is nothing but an oath, and that addressed to the Athenians, at a time they were flushed with conquest, and consequently did not require consolation.
* Eupolis was an Athenian writer of comedy, of whom nothing remains at present, but the renown of his name.
This judgment is admirable, and Longinus alone says more than all the writers on rhetoric that ever examined this passage of Demosthenes. Quinctilian indeed was very sensible of the ridiculousness of using oaths, if they were not applied as happily as the orator has applied them; but he has not at the same time laid open the defects, which Longinus evidently discovers, in a bare examination of this oath in Eupolis.-DACIER.
Besides, the poet did not swear by heroes, whom he had before deified himself, and thereby raise sentiments in the audience worthy of such virtue ; but deviated from those illustrious souls, who ventured their lives for their country, to swear by an inanimate object, the battle. In Demosthenes, the Oath is addressed to the vanquished, to the end that the defeat of Chæronea
be no longer regarded by the Athenians as a misfortune. It is at one time a clear demonstration that they had done their duty; it gives occasion for an illustrious example ; it is an oath artfully addressed, a just encomium, and a moving exhortation. And whereas this objection might be thrown in
“ You speak of a defeat partly oc“ casioned by your own ill conduct, and “then you swear by those celebrated victo“ ries;” the orator took care to weigh all his words in the balances of art, and thereby brings them off with security and honour. From which prudent conduct we may infer, that sobriety and moderation must be observed, in the warmest fits of fire and transport. In speaking of their ancestors, he says, “ Those who so bravely exposed themselves to danger in the plains of Marathon, those