Imágenes de páginas

passion, these concomitant and secondary emotions are called forth by separation, the apprehension of inconstancy, and the absolute belief of disaffection. On separation, , they dispose us to sorrow and regret; on the apprehension of inconstancy, they excite jealousy or solicitude ; and the certainty of disaffection begets despondency. These three situations shall direct the order and arrangement of the following dis


I. Cymbeline, instigated against his daughter, by the insinuations of her malicious step-dame, and incensed against Posthumus Leonatus, who was secretly married to Imogen, banishes him from his court and kingdom. The lovers are overwhelmed with sorrow; and the princess, informed by Pisanio of the particular circumstances of her husband's departure, expresses herself in the following manner:

I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack'd 'em, but To look upon hiin, till the diminution Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle: Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted froin

The smallness of a gnal to air; and then
Have turn'd mine

eye, and


These lines express the reluctance of the heart to part with the object of its affections, and the efforts of passion struggling with disappointment. That the sentiments they convey are natural, and agreeable to the conduct of the passions, may very easily be illustrated.

The secret wishes and desires of Imogen's heart recalled Leonatus to her remembrance. But though objects suggested by memory may be exceedingly lively, though they entertain the mind with various and unusual

* There is a passage very similar to this in Ovid's story of Ceyx and Halcyone.

Sustulit illa Humentes oculos, stantemque in puppe recurva, Concussaque manu dantem sibi signa, maritum Prima videt; redditque notas: Ubi terra recessit Longius, atque oculi nequeunt cognoscere vultus, Dum licet, insequitur fugientem lumine pinum. Hæc quoque, ut haud poterat, spatio submota, videri; Vela tamen spectat summo fluitantia malo : Ut nec vela videt, vacuum petit anxia lectum; Seque toro ponit. Renovat lectusque locusque Halcyones lacrymas.

images, and are capable of cherishing and inflaming the most vehement passions, yield little enjoyment, compared with actual sensation. The conviction of present existence distinguishes, in an eminent manner, those things that strike immediately on our senses, from the operations of memory, and the illusions of fancy. Fancy may dazzle and amuse: but reflection, and the consciousness of our present situation, are for ever intruding; and the vision vanishes at their approach. In the present instance, however, the figure of Leonatus can hardly be distinguished; and the sensation received by Imogen is imperfect, and consequently painful. This leads us to a second observation. A thought never fluctuates in the mind solitary and independent, but is connected with an assemblage, formed of thoughts depending upon one another. group or assemblage, some objects are preeminent, and some subordinate. The principal figure makes the strongest impression; and the rest are only attended to, on account of their relation to the leading image. The mention of sun-rising, not only sug

In every

gests a luminous body ascending the eastern sky, but the view also of party-coloured clouds, meadows spangled with dew, and mists hovering on the mountains. Writers, whose works are addressed to the imagination, studying to imitate the various appearances of nature, and, at the same time, sensible that a complete enumeration of every circumstance and quality of an object would be no less tiresome than impossible, are diligent to select those leading circumstances to which the greatest number of inferior particulars


be said to adhere. The choice of circumstances, and skill in their arrangement, are, according to Longinus, the principles of true description. Now, we 'observed above, that the reality of an object enhances the pleasure of the perception; and therefore that the perceptions we receive by the senses are preferred to representations merely fancied. But suppose we receive a single perception from an object exceedingly interesting ; this single, and even imperfect perception, makes a lively impression, and becomes the leading circumstance of an assemblage. Though all the subordinate and adventitious images are the mere coinage of fancy; yet, on account of their intimate union with the primary object, they operate on the mind as if their archetype really existed. They receive the stamp of reality from the primary perception upon which they depend; they are deemed legitimate, and are preferred to the mere illusions of fancy. In this manner, the distant, and even imperfect view of Leonatus suggests a train of objects more agreeable than a mere imaginary picture: and it is not till this transient consolation is removed, that Imogen would have “ turned her


and wept.”

The propriety of the following sentiments depends on the same principles with the former; for the belief that Leonatus, at certain fixed periods, was employed in discharging the tender offices of affection, would give the ideal the authority of actual perception, and its concomitant images would be cherished with romantic fondness.

I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him,
How I would think of him at certain hours,

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