« ForrigeFortsæt »
It is usual with the poets to give indignation and admiration to rivers, trees; sadness to beasts, &c. [s] Atque indignatum magnis stridoribus æquor.
Pontem indignatus Araxes. Miraturque novas frondes, & non sua poma.
It tristis arator,
The elder Pliny often paints his descriptions in almost as strong colours as a poet would do. He describes wonderfully, in a very few words, the grief and shame of a peacock, which having lost its tail
, sought only to hide itself. [u] Cauda amissá pudibundus ac mærens quærit latebram. In another place he gives a sensation of joy to the earth, which anciently had seen itself cultivated by victorious generals, and broken
up with a plough-share adorned with laurels :  Gaudente terrů romere laureato, & triumphali aratore. He says elsewhere, that the houses where the statues of heroes nobly descended were ranged in order, still triumphed, as it were, afier they had changed their masters; and that the walls reproached a coward who dwelt in them, with daily entering a place made sacred by the monuments of the virtue and glory of others. [y] Triumphabant etiam dominis mutatis ipsce domus ; & erat hæc stimulatio ingens, exprobrantibus teçtis quotidie imbellem don [:] Virgil.
[*] Lib. 18. c. 3. Despreaux.
] Lib.35. C. 1. (*) Lib. 19. C. 20.
minum intrare in alienum triumphum. This passage was translated by Father Bohours, who, being unable in French to express the ingenious brevity of the last thought, intrare in alienum triumphum, employed another turn, which indeed is very beautiful, but longer, and consequently not so lively.
Cicero employs the same thought, but extends it, as an orator should do: it is when he speaks of the palace of Pompey the great, which Antony had seized.
He asks the latter, if he thought he was entering his own house, when he entered this porch adorned with the spoils of the enemies, and the prows of the ships taken from them. He afterwards uses the Figure we are now speaking of, and says, he pities the very roofs and walls of that unfortunate house, which had neither seen nor heard any thing but what was wise and honourable, when Pompeydwelt under them; but was now become an obscure retreat for Antony's debaucheries:  An tu illa in vestibulo rostra, 8 hostium spolia cùm asperisti, domum tuam te introire putas ? Fieri non potest. Quamvis enim sine mente, sine sensu sis, ut es; tamen & te, & tu, & tuos nósti.
Me quidem miseret parietum ipsorum atque tectorum. Quid enim unquam domus illa viderat nisi pudicum, nisi ex optimo more of sunctissima disciplina ? ... Nunc in hujus sedibus pro cubiculis stabula, pro tricliniis popina sunt.
This Figure, which gives life, as it were, to inanimate things, adds a prodigious grace and vivacity to orations. When Cicero was pleading for Milo, he observed, that the law of the twelve tables allowed the slaying of a robber in some cases; whence he draws this conclusion : [a] Quis est qui, quoquo modo quis inter fectus sit, puniendum putet,cum videat aliquando gladium nobis ud occidendum hominem abipsis porrigi legibus? lle might have said barely, cùm videat licere nobis aliquando per leges hominem occidere. But instead of that, he transforms the law into persons, as it were, and represents them as running to the assistance of a man attacked by robbers, and putting a sword [<] 2. Philip. n. 68, 69.
[a] Pro. Mil. n. 9.
into his hand to defend himself. He again employs the same Figure some lines after: [b] Silent enim leges inter arma, nec se expectari jubent : cum ei, qui erpectare velit, ante injusta pæna luenda sit, quàm justa repetenda. “ The laws are silent in camps and tumults
, nor are they to be waited for; he that “ would wait for them, will suffer an unjust punish"ment before he can claim their just protection.”
[c] At these cries Jerusalem shed a flood of tears, " the arches of the temple shook, the river Jordan " was troubled, and all its rivulets echoed the sound " of these mournful words: What! is this powerful man, who saved the people of Israel, dead ? “ 'Tis well known, that victory is naturally cruel, insolent, and impious; but M. Turenne made her gentle, rational, and religious, “ Ever since justice has groaned beneath the weight of laws, and knotty formalities, and that to ruin one another with chicane, became a trade, kings were not able to support the fatigue of presiding over them.
Has not her beauty been always guarded by the most scrupulous virtue?
[d] I will not relate the too happy success of his enterprises, nor his famous victories, which virtue was ashamed of; nor that long series of prosperity "which has astonished the whole world.
[e] Reason guides a man to an entire conviction " of the historical proofs of the Christian religion;
after which it delivers and abandons him to another light, which, though not contrary, is yet entirely “ different froin, and infinitely superior to it.”
There is another kind of prosopopæia, still more lively, and bolder than the first. "Tis when we address ourselves to inanimate things, or make them speak; or when, instead of relating indirectly the discourses of those in question, we make them deliver
 N. 10.
[d] Bossuet speaking of Cromwell,
these discourses; or, lastly, when we even give speech to the dead.
1. To address inanimate Thing's. After Cicero had given a description of Clodius's death, and ascribed it to a particular providence, he says, even religion, and the altars of the gods, were affected with it; and afterwards addresses his discourse to them thus : [f] Religiones mehercule ipsa, araque, cùm illam belluam cadere vederunt, commovisse se videntur, & jus in illo suum retinuisse. Vos enim, Albani tumuli atque luci, vos, inquam, imploro atque obtestor, vosque Albanorum obruta ura, &c.“ Our “ religion, our very aliars seemed moved, when that
savage was slain, and seemed to claim their revenge. For you, ye
For you, ye Albanian altars and groves, you, I say, it is you and your overturned altars " that I inplore,” &c.
 Had it not been for this peace, Flanders ! " thou bloody theatre, where so many tragic scenes “ are exhibited, thou wouldst have increased the “ number of our provinces; and, instead of being “the unhappy source of our wars, thou wouldst now “ be the peaceable fruit of our victories,
“  Sword of the Lord, what a dreadful stroke " is this !"
2. To gire Speech to Things inanimate.  Cicero introduces the country, in one of his invectives against Catiline, and makes it sometimes address Catiline, and sometimes himself. Appius likewise, in his beautiful speech for continuing the siege of Veii, introduces the commonwealth declaring to the soldiers, that, since she pays them for the whole year, they ought to serve her for ihat time. [K] An si ad calculos eum respublica rocet, non meritò dicat : Annuaara habes, annuam operam ede? An tu æquum I) Pro Mil.n. 85.
 1. Catil. n. 18, & 27. [g] Flechier.
[\] Liv. do 5. n. 4.  Bossuet.
censes militia semestri solidum te stipendium accipere? “ If the country should come to account with him,
might it not justly say, you are paid by the year; " then why not work by the year? Do you think it "just for half labour to receive full pay?
3. Speeches put into the mouths of the persons themselves, have quite another effect than if they were barely related ; and are very well adapted to raise either indignation or compassion.
It is by this Figure that Cicero, in his last speech against Verres, paints the cruel avarice of a gaoler, who set a price on the tears and grief of fathers and mothers; made them purchase, at a dear rate, the sad consolation of seeing and embracing their children; and exacted money froin them, for the favour of killing at one stroke those unhappy victims of Verres's cruelty. [l] Aderat janitor carceris, carnifer prætoris
, mors terrorque sociorum & civium, lictor Sextius, cui ex omni genitu doloreque certa merces comparabatur. Ut adeas, tantum dabis : ut tibi cibúin intrò ferre liceat, tantum. Nemo recusabat. Quid, ut uno ictu securis afferam mortem filio ino, quid dabis? ne diu crucietur? ne sæpius feriatur ? ne cum sensu doloris aliquo aut cruciatu spiritus auferatur ? Etiam ob hanc causam pecunia lictori dubatur. 0 magnum atque intolerandum dolorem! () gracem. acerbamque fortunum! Non vitam liberúm, sed mortis celeritatem, pretio redimere cogebantur. “There
was present the lictor Sextius, the goaler and exe
cutioner of the prætor, the terror of the citizens, " and even of his own companions. He received a
upon all the groans and pains that were inflict"ed. If you were to visit your friend in prison, so “ much was to be given. If the prisoner was to have
meat sent in, the goaler must be feed. None ven“ tured to refuse. How much will you give to have
your son's head cut off at one blow? Ilow much " for hastening his tortures ? for diminishing his “stripes ? for making him give up his breath with “the smallest sense of pain ? for all this the execu. [!] Verr. 7. n. 1177