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authors makes' ample amends for all their defects. And what is most remarkable ; were the errors of Homer, Demosthenes, Plato, and the rest of the most celebrated authors, to be culled carefully out and thrown together, they would not bear the least proportion to those infinite, those inimitable excellencies, which are so conspicuous in these heroes of antiquity. And for this reason has every age and every generation, unmoved by partiality, and unbiassed by envy, awarded the laurels to these great masters, which flourish still green and unfading on their brows, and will flourish, As long as streams in silver mazes rove, Or Spring with annual green renews the grove.
A certain writer objects here, that an illwrought ? Colossus cannot be set upon the level with a little faultless Statue ; for instance, s the little soldier of Polycletus ; but
The Colossus was a most famous statue of Apollo, erected at Rhodes by Jalysus, of a size so vast, that the sea ran, and ships of the greatest burden sailed between
* The Doryphorus, a small statue by Polycletus, a celebrated statuary. The proportions were so finely observed in it, that Lysippus professed he had learned all his art from the study and imitation of it.
the answer to this is very obvious. In the works of art we have regard to exact proportion; in those of nature, to grandeur and magnificence. Now speech is a gift bestowed upon us by nature.
us by nature. As therefore resemblance and proportion to the originals is required in statues, so in the noble faculty of discourse there should be something extraordinary, something more than humanly great.
But to close this long digression, which had been more regularly placed at the beginning of the Treatise ; since it must be owned, that it is the business of art to avoid defect and blemish, and almost an impossibility in the Sublime, always to preserve the same majestic air, the same exalted tone, art and nature should join hands, and mutually assist one another. For from such union and alliance perfection must certainly result.
These are the decisions I have thought proper to make concerning the questions in debate. I pretend not to say they are absolutely right; let those who are willing make use of their own judgment.
SECTION XXXVII. To return. Similes and Comparisons bear so near an affinity to Metaphors, as to differ from them only in one particular
* [The remainder of this Section is lost.] * *** * *
[The beginning of this Section on Hyperbolés is lost. ]
As this Hyperbole, for instance, is exceeding bad, “ If you carry not your “ brains in the soles of your feet, and tread
upon The manner in which Similes or Comparisons differ from Metaphors, we cannot know from Longinus, because of the gap which follows in the original; but they differ only in the expression. . To say that fine eyes are the eyes of a dove, or that cheeks are a bed of spices, are strong metaphors; which become comparisons, if expressed thus, are as the eyes of a dove, or as a bed of spices. These two Comparisons are taken from the description of the beloved in the Song of Solomon (ver. 10—16.) in which there are more of great strength and propriety, and an uncommon sweetness.
“ My beloved is sweet and ruddy, the chief among “ ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold; “ his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. " are as the eyes of a dove by the rivers of water, wash
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upon them *.". One consideration therefore must always be attended to,“ How far " the thought can properly be carried." For over-shooting the mark often spoils an Hyperbole; and whatever is over-stretched loses its tone, and immediately relaxes ; nay, sometimes produces an effect contrary to that for which it was intended. Thus Isocrates, childishly ambitious of saying nothing without enlargement, has fallen into a shameful puerility. The end and design of his Panegyric' is to prove that the Athenians had done greater service to the united body “ed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers ; his lips like lilies, drop“ ping sweet-smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold“ rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright as ivory “ over-laid with sapphire. His legs are as pillars of “ marble set upon sockets of fine gold. His counte“ nance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His “ mouth is most sweet, yea, he is altogether lovely."
* Demosthenis seu potius Hegesippi Orat. de Haloneso, ad finem.
Panegyric.] This is the most celebrated oration of Isocrates, which after ten, or, as some say, fifteen years labour spent upon it, begins in so indiscreet a manner. Longinus, Sect. iii. has censured Timæus, for a frigid parallel between the expedition of Alexander and Isocrates, yet Gabriel de Petra, an editor of Longinus, is guilty of the same fault, in making even an elephant more expeditious than Isocrates, because they breed faster than he wrote.
of Greece, than the Lacedemonians ; and this is his beginning: “ The virtue and efficacy “ of eloquence is so great as to be able to ren“ der great things contemptible, to dress up
trifling subjects in pomp and show, to 66 clothe what is old and obsolete in a new “ dress, and put off new occurrences in an “ air of antiquity.” And will it not be immediately demanded,-- Is this what you are going to practise with regard to the affairs of the Athenians and Lacedemonians?--For thi ill-timed encomium of eloquence is an inadvertent admonition to the audience, not to listen or give credit to what he says,
2 Those Hyperboles in short are the best (as I have before observed of Figures) which
% The whole of this remark is curious and refined. It is the importance of a passion which qualifies the Hyperbole, and makes that commendable, when uttered in warmth and vehemence, which in coolness and sedateness would be insupportable. So Cassius speaks invidiously of Cæsar, in order to raise the indignation of Brutus ;
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world