« ForrigeFortsæt »
those that consist in an affected resemblance, and a kind of a play of words Amari jucundum est, si curetur ne quid insit amari. Avium dulcedo ad avium ducit. Ex oratore arator factus. [y] The bare name of Verres, which in Latin signifies a boar, gave rise to a great many allusions. Hinc illi homines erant, qui etiam ridiculi inveniebantur ex dolore: quorum alii, ut audistis, negabant mirandum esse, jus tam nequam esse Verrinum: alii etiam frigidiores erant, sed quia stomachabantur, ridiculi videbantur esse, cum sacerdotem execrabantur, qui Verrem tain nequam reliquisset (the prætor of Sicily whom Verres succeeded, was called Sacerdos.) Quæ ego non commemorarem (neque enim perfacetè dicta, neque porrò hac severitate digna sunt,) nisi, &c. [z]Ex nomine istius quid in provincia facturus esset perridiculi homines augurabantur. ... ad everrendam provinciam venerat. [a] Quod unquam, judices, hujusmodi everriculum ulla in procinciâ fuit? At the same time that Cicero mentions these puns, which it is impossible to translate, he informs us how flat and puerile he found them; by which he teaches youth what judgment they are to form of them, and warns against a vicious taste, which young people are but too apt to give into, who imagine that there is some wit in this kind of Figures.
But we must not, however, condemn allusions in general, some being really ingenious, and giving a ́grace to a discourse; and they must appear such, when they are judicious, and founded on a solid thought, and a natural resemblance. Cicero had related the equitable and disinterested conduct of Verresin a certain affair; and adds the following reflection. [b] Est adhuc id quod vos omnes admirari video, non Verres, sed Q. Mucius. Quid enim facere potuit elegantius ad hominum existimationem? æquius ad lerandam mulieris calamitatem? vehementius ad quæstoris libidinem coercendam? Summè hæc omnia mihi videntur esse laudanda. Sed repentè è vestigio ex ho
[y] Verr. 3. n. 2.
[a] Verr. 6. n. 53.
mine, tanquam aliquo Circæo poculo, factus est Verres, Redit ad se, ad mores suos. Nam ex illâ pecuniâ magnam partem ad se vertit: mulieri reddit quantulum visum est. Methinks this allusion, which is founded on what fiction relates of Circe, who by certain draughts changed men into boars or swine (which Verres signifies in Latin) is happily and very naturally used in this place.
[c] It appeared by Cicero's examination of the journals of a certain trader in Sicily, that the last five letters of this word Verrutius, which were frequently mentioned in those journals, were always obliterated, and that the four first only remained, Verr. This was a fictitious name under which Verres concealed himself, to carry on an abominable usury. Cicero produced those journals on the trial; [d] ut omnes mortales, says he, istius avaritiæ non jam vestigia, sed ipsa cubilia videre possint. [e] Videtis Verrutium ? videtis primas literas integras? videtis extremam partem nominis, caudam illam Verris, tanquam in luto, demersam esse in liturá? Can any one condemn such a play of words, especially on an occasion where the orator thought it was necessary to divert the judges, and at the same time intended to make Verres ridiculous and contemptible?
Sometimes the resemblance between words, or the bare changing a preposition, or the same word used in various significations, produces a kind of beauty not to be despised. [f] Hanc reipublicæ pestem paulisper reprimi, non in perpetuum comprimi posse
[g] non emissus er urbe, sed immissus in urbem esse videatur... [h] Civis bonarum artium, bonarum partium. One of the ancients said of a slave that pilfered in the house, that every thing was open to him: [i] solum esse cui domi nihil sit nec obsignatum, nec occlusum : which might likewise be said of a faithful servant in whom we repose an entire confidence. [g] N. 7.
[c] Verr. 4. n. 186, &c.
[d] Ver. 4. n. 190.
[e] N. 191.
Catil. n. 30.
[b] Pro Coel. n. 77.
Figures with regard to Thoughts.
I shall only mention some of the most remarkable among these.
The interrogation, apostrophe, and exclamation, are very common Figures; and yet may render discourse more efficacious, lively, and affecting.
[k] Usque adeo ne mori miserum est? Is death "then so great a calamity ?" With this tone of voice a man speaks, who is going to battle; whereas an old man, who is sick, and near death, would say coldly: non est usque adeo miserum mori.
Eneas says, that, if a certain event had been regarded, Troy would have not been taken.
 Trojaque, nunc stares: Priamique arx alta, ma
"Troy, thou hadst stood, and Priam's power remained."
This apostrophe makes us feel the great love a good citizen bears to his country. Change a letter, staret maneret, and the sentiment is gone.
Thus Cicero concludes the narrative he made of the punishment of a Roman citizen: [m] O nomen dulce libertatis! O jus eximium nostræ civitatis! O lex Porcia, legesque Sempronia! O graviter desiderata, & aliquando reddita plebi Romanæ, tribunitia potestas! Huccine tandem omnia reciderunt, ut civis R. in provincia populi R. in oppido fœderatorum, ab eo qui beneficio populi R. fasces & secures haberet, deligatus in foro virgis cæderetur? "O thou lovely "sound of liberty! O thou justice of my country! "O ye Portian and Sempronian laws! O thou tri"bunitial power, often wished for and sometimes obtained, have ye all come to this, that a Roman citizen, in a Roman province, in a confederate town, among a people that owe their honour and their liberty to Rome, should be beaten with rods in the
[k] Æn. l. 12. v. 646.
 Æn. 1. 2. v. 56.
[m] Verr. 7. n. 161, 162.
public forum?" These are the just expressions of grief and indignation.
Cicero joins and unites the greatest part of these Figures, and adds others to them, in a very lively passage. [n] Quia enim, Tubero, tuus ille districtus in acie Pharsalicâ gladius agebat? cujus latus ille mucro petebat? qui sensus erat armorum tuorum? quæ tua mens? oculi? manus, ardor animi? quid cupiebas? quid optabas ? "What, Tubero, was thy "sword employed upon at the battle of Pharsalia? "Whose was the side it pierced? who felt the weight "of your arms? on whom was thy mind, thy hands, thy eyes employed? What were your desires, what your wishes?" All this is only to declare, that Tuhero was present at the battle of Pharsalia, and had fought against Cæsar.. But what strength does this thought receive from so many and such lively Figures, crouded one upon the other? Do not they seem to insinuate, that Tubero's sword fought every where for Cæsar? For Cicero had said immediately before, contra ipsum Cæsarem est congressus armatus.
[o] O princess! whose destiny is so great and glorious, must you be born in the dominions of "those who are the enemies of your house? O eternal God, watch over her! Holy angels, draw your "invisible squadrons round her, and guard the "cradle of so great, so hapless a princess!
[p] Ye gloomy retreats, where shame obliges poverty to shroud herself, how often has she made "her consolation and her charity flow even to you ; she, who was so strongly affected with your wants and afflictions, and more industrious to conceal her "beneficence, than you were to hide your misery?” [q] O fortuné sejour! O champs aimés des cieux ! Que pour jamais foulant vos prés délicieux, Ne puis-je ici fixer ma course vagabonde,. Et, connu de vous seul, oublier tout le monde?
[*] Pro Ligar. n. 9.  Bossuet.
"O charming spot! O fields beloved by heaven,! "Why cannot I here fix my roving steps, "Wander for ever in your winding shades, "And, known to you alone, forget the world?"
[r] O rives du Jourdain ! O champs aimés des cieux! Sacrés monts, fertiles valées
Par cent miracles signalées!
"O banks of Jordan! fields belov'd by heav'n
"From the delicious country of our fathers?"
Abner having complained, that no more miracles were seen; Joab, full of an holy indignation, answers
Et quel tems fut jamais si fertile en miracles?
Quand Dieu par plus d'effets montra-t-il son pouvoir? Auras-tu donc toujours des yeux pour ne point voir, Peuple ingrat? Quoi toujours les plus grandes merveilles,
Sans ébranler ton cœur, fraperont tes oreilles?
"What age in miracles so much abounded? "When e'er did God so bright his power display? "O wilt thou still have eyes, and yet not see,
"Ungrateful people? still shall mighty wonders "Strike strong thine ear, yet not affect thy heart?"
The prosopopoeia is a figure that communicates action and motion to inanimate things; makes persons speak, whether present or absent, and sometimes even the dead.