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to Polygnotus among the painters: for Polygnotus was excellent in expressing manners, in which the pictures of Zeuxis were deficient. If a set of moral sentences should be put together with the language and sentiment well executed, it would by no means produce the effect of tragedy, which would be much rather obtained by a tragedy, that, possessing these in an inferior degree, had a fable, and combination of incidents. It must further be added, that the peripetia, or sudden revolution of fortune, and the discovery, which are the principal causes of a tragedy being interesting, are parts of the fable. And, besides, those who first attempt to write dramatically, can sooner excel in the language and the manners, than in combining the incidents, as was the case of almost all the earliest poets.

"The fable, then, is the chief part, and, as it were, the soul of tragedy. The manners hold the second place, which we may compare to the colouring of a picture; the finest colours, laid on promiscuously, will not please so much as a figure only in chalk. The professed end of tragedy is to imitate an action, and chiefly by means of that action to shew the qualities of the persons acting."

PYE'S ARISTOTLE, 4to Edit. p. 18.

Mr. Pye, commenting on the above passage, remarks, that the opinion of Aristotle " is undoubtedly founded on nature, and is not only applicable to tragedy, but to every other kind of imitative composition, whether dramatic or narrative.

"Perhaps there is no circumstance in which the tragedies of the present day are so deficient, as in the want of interesting action. This is, in à great measure, owing to the strict adherence to the French rule, of not suffering the supposed time of action to exceed the real time of representation. Dramatic poetry is, by this regulation, almost confined to the boundary of painting, and can only represent a single scene of any great event. And this is attended by another inconvenience; for the allotted space of five acts becomes as much

too great for that single scene, as the confined period of three hours would be too small for the whole action; and hence the poet is obliged to spin out his tragedy by means of the dialogue, and falls under the same inconvenience as would attend a proper and complete dramatic fable, without episodic parts, if swelled to the size of the epopee,"



In the Allegoric, Descriptive, Alliterative, Epithetical, Fantastic, Hyperbolical, and Diabolical Style of our modern Ode-Wrights and Monody-Mongers.

Ferreus ingruit Horror.


O Goddess of the gloomy scene,

Of shadowy shapes thou black-brow'd queen;
Thy tresses dark with ivy crown'd,

On yonder mould'ring abbey found;

Oft wont from charnels damp and dim,
To call the sheeted spectre grim,
While, as his loose chains loudly clink,
Thou add'st a length to ev'ry link:
O thou, that lov'st at eve to seek
The pensive pacing pilgrim meek.
And sett'st before his shudd'ring eyes
Strange forms, and fiends of giant-size,
As wildly works thy wizard will,

Till fear-struck fancy has her fill:

Dark pow'r, whose magic might prevails
O'er hermit-rocks, and fairy-vales;

O goddess, erst, by Spenser * view'd,
What time th' enchanter vile embru'd
His hands in Florimel's pure heart,
Till loos'd by steel-clad Britomart:
O thou that erst, on fancy's wing,
Didst terror-trembling Tasso + bring
To groves where kept damn'd furies dire
Their blazing battlements of fire;

Thou that through many a darksome pine
O'er the rugged rock recline,
Didst wake the hollow-whisp'ring breeze
With care-consumed Eloise:

O thou with whom, in cheerless cell,
The midnight clock pale pris'ners tell;
O haste thee, mild Miltonic maid,
From yonder yew's sequestered shade;
More bright than all the fabled Nine,
Teach me to breathe the solemn line!
O bid my well-ranged numbers rise
Pervious to none but Attic eyes;
O give the strain that madness moves,
Till every starting sense approves!

What felt the Gallic traveller, +
When far in Arab-desert drear,
He found within the catacomb,
Alive, the terrors of a tomb?

* Spenser's Fairy Queen, Book iii. Canto 12. Gier, Liberat, B. xiv.

Alluding to a story of a French gentleman (mentioned by several Oriental travellers) who, going into the catacombs, not far from Cairo, with some Arabs his guides, was there robbed by them, and left; a huge stone being placed over the entrance. I do not remember that apy poetical use has been made of this story,

While many a mummy, through the shade,
In hieroglyphic stole array'd,
Seera'd to uprear the mystic head,
And trace the gloom with ghostly tread;
Thou heardst him pour the stifled groan,
Horror! his soul was all thy own!

O mother of the fire-clad thought,
O haste thee from thy grave-like grot!
(What time the witch perform'd her rite)
Sprung from th' embrace of Taste and Night!
O queen! that erst did thinly spread

The willowy leaves o'er Isis' head,
And to her meek mien didst dispense
Woe's most awful negligence;
What time, in cave, with visage pale,
She told her elegiac tale:

O thou! whom wand'ring Warton saw,
Amaz'd with more than youthful awe,
As, by the pale moon's glimmering gleam,
He mus❜d his melancholy theme:
O curfeu-loving goddess haste!
O waft me, to some Scythian waste,
Where, in Gothic solitude,
Mid prospects most sublimely rude,
Beneath a rough rock's gloomy chasm,
Thy sister sits, Enthusiasm:

Let me with her, in magic trance,
Hold most delirious dalliance;
Till I, thy pensive votary,
Horror, look madly-wild like thee;
Until I gain true transport's shore,
And life's retiring scene is o'er,
Aspire to some more azure sky,
Remote from dim mortality:

At length, recline the fainting head,
In Druid dreams dissolv'd and dead!

STUDENT, vol. ii. P


This Ode, though intended as a ridicule on the school of the Wartons, possesses so much merit in point of imagery, that were it not for its alliterative extravagance, it might pass for a serious effort of descriptive poetry; the allusion to the story of the Egyptian catacomb is highly poetical.

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