ePub 版

current of our difcourfes, by turning the stream as it were for a moment back upon itfelf. This Figure alfo fhews the attention and accuracy of the fpeaker, in that he appears immediately aware of objections that may be made against what he is offering, and fhelters himself from their force. Let me obferve further, that whoever duly examines the inftances that have been given will find that the fenfe is enhanced by these corrections, or at least is more advanta¬ geously received; and it is certainly in fome. Gafes wifer to raise our fenfe by degrees, than crowd it all at once upon our audience. As the ideas gradually open, so the mind also gradually opens by this Figure, till we have agreeably and fully imbibed, and, as it were, absorbed a fpeaker's whole meaning. Water bursting in an hafty flood upon the mouth of a vial will certainly be wasted; and we can only hope to fill it by a gentle and leifurely infusion. I fhall add, with Mr BLACKWALL, that "the unex"pected quickness of the recollection and turn "in this Figure pleasingly furprises the Reader, "and all of a fudden fires him with the Au"thor's own pafsion. The height of this Fi

gure is, when a perfon, having lately declared "an inclination to a thing, presently rejects it

with horror, and vows against it with impre"cations." Of this fort Mr BLACKWALL gives an inftance from DIDO's fpeech in VIR


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

The Queen, deep wounded with the darts of love, Felt the fwift poifon rufh thro' all her veins, And her whole foul imbib'd the fubtil flame. The valour of the man, his high descent, His graceful perfon, his attractive speech, Indelibly were ftamp'd upon her heart, Fill'd all her thoughts, and murder'd her repofe. When the next morning had reftor'd the fun, And scatter'd from the fkies the humid shades, Diftracted to her fifter fhe unfolds The tumults, pangs, and struggles of her foul. "O my dear ANNA, my anxiety "Has chas'd my fleep. What an uncommon guest "Have we admitted to our regal dome! "O what a form! How brave, how great in arms ! " 'Tis paft conjecture; certain 'tis he fprang "From a celeftial ftock: his port, his looks, "His fpeech proclaim his origin divine. "Fear argues vulgar minds; but by what fates "Has he been toft? What wars has he describ'd? "Had not my foul immoveably refolv'd "Never to wear the nuptial bonds again, "From the first hour my dear SICH AUS fell, "And the connubial bed and torch renounc'd, "This man might o'er my prudence so prevail "As to incline me to fecond choice.

"Sifter, I own that fince my husband's death,
"Th' unfortunate SICHEUS, fince the time
"My brother's barb'rous hand with gore diftain'd
"The houshold Gods, this man alone has charm'd
"My gazing fenfe, and wak'd my foul to love:
"And the fame paffion that SICHÆUS rais'd,
"ENEAS now rekindles in my breast.
"But O! may earth afunder burst, and lock

L 2

[ocr errors]


"Me in its clofing jaws, or may the arm
"Of JUPITER dart its refiftlefs fires,
“And drive me headlong to the ghosts below,

"The pale wan ghofts, and dark domains of hell,
"Before I trefpafs upon modefty,
"And with a second match difgrace the first *."

At Regina gravi jamdudum faucia cura,
Vulnus alit venis, & cæco carpitur igni.
Multa viri virtus animo, multufque recurfát
Gentis honos; hærent infixi pectore vultus.
Verbaque nec placidam membris dat cura quietent.
Poftera Phœbea luftrabat lampade terras,
Humentemque Aurora polo dimoverat umbram;
Cum fic unanimam alloquitur malefana fororem.
Anna foror, quæ me fufpenfam infomnia terrent?
Quis novus hic noftris fucceffit fedibus hofpes?
Quem fefe ore ferens! quam forti pectore & armis
Credo equidem, nec vana fides, genus effe Deorum.
Degeneres animos timor arguit. Heu quibus ille
Jactatus fatis! quæ bella exhaufta canebat!


Si mihi non animo fixum immotumque federet,
Ne cui me vinclo vellem fociare jugali,
Poftquam primus amor deceptam morte fefellit;
Si non pertæfum thalami tædæque fuiffet;
Huic uni forfan potui fuccumbere culpæ.
Ama, fatebor enim, miferi poft fata Sichæi
Conjugis, & fparfos fraterna cæde Penates;
Solus hic inflexit fenfus, animumque labantem
Impulit agnofco veteris veftigia flammæ.
Sed mihi vel tellus optem prius ima dehifcat;
Vel Pater omnipotens adigat me fulmine ad umbras
Pallentes umbras erebi, noctemque profundam ;
Ante pudor quam te violo, aut tua jura resolvo.
VIRGIL. Æneid. lib. iv. ver. 1.



The APOSIOPESIS confidered,

§ 1. The definition of the Apofiopefis, § 2. An inftance of this Figure from Bishop FLEETWOOD. § 3. Examples of it from VIRGIL, TERENCE, CICERO, and JUVENAL. § 4. Inftances of this Figure in Scripture, and on what occafions. § 5. The ufe of the Apofiopefis.



Pofiopefis is a Figure whereby a perfon, often through the power of fome passion, as anger, forrow, fear, &c. breaks off his fpeech without finishing the fense.

§ 2. We have a remarkable inftance of this Figure in the following pafsage of Bishop FLEETWOOD; in which, contrafting the former and the latter years of Queen ANNE's reign, he thus speaks, and then closes with a striking Apofiopefis.

Never did feven fuch years together pass over. "the head of any English Monarch, nor cover "it with fo much honour. The crown and fceptre feemed to be the Queen's least orna


L 3


* From aσlaw, I am filent.



"ments: thofe other Princes wore in common "with her; and her great perfonal virtues were "the fame before and since. But fuch was the i fame of her adminiftration of affairs at home; "fuch was the reputation and felicity in choosing Minifters, and fuch was then esteemed "their faithfulness and zeal, their diligence and great abilities in executing her commands: "to fuch an height of military glory did her. great General and her armies carry the Britifa name abroad; fuch were the harmony and "concord betwixt her and her allies; and fuch 66 was the blessing of GOD upon all her councils "and undertakings, that I am as fure as hiftory "can make me, that no Prince of ours was "ever yet so profperous and fuccefsful, fo loved, "so esteemed and honoured by their fubjects " and their friends, nor near fo formidable ta "their enemies. We were, as all the world "imagined then, just entering on the ways that "promised to lead to fuch a peace, as would "have answered all the prayers of our religious "Queen, the care and vigilance of a most able

Ministry, the payments of a willing and obe"dient People, as well as all the glorious toils " and hazards of the Soldiery; when God for "our sins permitted the spirit of discord to go "forth, and, by troubling the Camp, the City, " and the Country (and O! that it had altoge"ther fpared the Places facred to his Worship!) "to fpoil for a time the beautiful and pleasing "profpect, and give us in its ftead, I know


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »