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Mes geus be royaient plus, je ne pouvais parter ; In this description we see the poet

Je sentis tout mon corps et iransir et brûler;
Ny eyes grew dim--my tongue refused its office ; wishing to surprise his readers with the
I based--and shwered ;-

relation of a shipwreck, rather than the What can be a finer imitation of Sappho? man who seeks to avenge his father and These lines, though imitated, flow as

his friend-to kill the tyrant of Argos, from their first source ; each word moves

but who is at the same time divided beand penetrates the feeling heart: this is tween love and vengeance. not amplification, it is the perfection of

Several men of taste, and among nature and of art.

others the author of Telemachus, have The following is, in my opinion, an in- considered the relation of the death of stance of amplification, in a modern trage-Hippolytus, in Racine, as an amplificady, which nevertheless has great beauties. tion : long recitals were the fashion at Tydeus is at the court of Argos; he is in that time. The vanity of actors makes love with a sister of Electra; hé laments them wish to be listened to, and it was the fall of his friend Orestes and of his { then the custom to indulge them in this father; he is divided betwixt his passion way. The archbishop of Cambray says, for Electra and his desire of vengeance :

that Theramenes should not, after Hipwhile in this state of care and perplexity, polytus' catastrophe, have strength to he gives one of his followers à long de- speak so long ; that he gives too ample a scription of a tempest, in which he had description of the monster's threatening been shipwrecked some time before. horns, his suffron scules, &c. That he Tu sais ce qu'en ces heux nous venions entreprendre ;

ought to say in broken accents, HippolyTa sais que Palamede, avant que de s'y rendre, tus is dead monster has destroyed him Ne voulut point tenter son retour dans Argos, Qu'il n'eût jaterrogé l'oracle de Délos.

-I beheld it. A de si jastes soins on souscrivit sans peine:

I shall not enter on a defence of the Nous partimes, combles des bienfaits de Thyrrène ; Tout nous favorisait; nous voyaguàines long-terms threatening horns, &c.; yet this piece of Au grerle nos désirs, bien plus qu'au gré des vents; Mals, signalaut bientot toute son inconstance,

criticism, which has been so often reLa mer en un moment se mutine et s'elance;

peated, appears to me to be unjust. You L'air mugit, le jour furt, nne épaisse vapeur Couvre d'un voile adieux les vagues en fureur ;

would have Theramenes say nothing more La foudre, éclairante seule une nuit si profunde,

than, Hippolytus is killed-- 1 saw himn die A sillons redoubles ouvre le ciel et l'onde, Et comme un tourbillon, enbrassant nos vaisseaur, -ull is over. This is precisely what he Semble en sources de feu bouillouner sur les eaux ; Les vagues quelquefois, nous portant sur leurs cimes,

does say ;-Hippolyte ii'est plus! (HipNous font rouler aprés sous de vastes abimes,

polytus is no more!) His father exclaims Ou les éclairs pressés, pénétrans avec nous, Dans des goudres de feu semblaient nous plonger tous; aloud; and Theramenes, on recovering Le pilote effrayé, que la famme environne, Aux rochers qu'il fuyait lui-même s'abandonne ;

his senses, says, A traven les écueils notre vaisseau poussé,

J'ai vu des mortels périr le plus aimable. Se brise, et nage entin sur les eaux dispersé.

I liave seen the inost amiabl: of mortals perish. Thou know st what parpose brought us to these sho: es; Thon know'st that Palamed would not attempt

and adds this line, so necessary and so Again to set his foot within tbese walls Untille'd questioned Delos' oracle.

affecting yet so agonizing for TheseusTo his just care we readily subscribed ; We sailed, and favouring gales at first appeared

Et j'ose dire encore, Seigneur, le moins coupable, To an ounce a prosperous voyage

And, Sire, I may truly add, the inost innocent.
Long time we held our course, and held it rather
As our desires tban as the winds impelled;

The gradations are fully observed ; But the inconstant ocean beaved at last

each shade is accurately distinguished. Its treacherous bosom ; howling blasts arose; The heavens were darkened ; vapours black and dense The wretched father asks what God Spread o'er the furious waves a frightful veil, Pierced only by the thunderbolts, which clove

what sudden thunder-stroke has deprived "The waters and the firmament at once,

him of his son ? He has not courage to And whirling round our stip, in horrid sport Cbased one another o'er the boiling surge;

proceed; he is mute with grief; he awaits Now rose we on some watery mountain's summit, Now with the lightening plunged into a gulph

the dreadful recital, and the audience That seemed to swallow all. Our pilot, stitick

await it also. Theramenes must answer : Powerless by terror, ceased to steer, and left us Abandoned to those rocks we dreaded most;

he is asked for particulars; he must give soon did our vessel dash upon their points,

chem, And swim in scattered fraginents on the billows.

Was it for him who had made Mentor times were much better than the present. and all the rest of his personages dis-? Nestor, in the Iliad, wishing to insinuate course at such length, sometimes even himself, like a wise mediator, into the tediously,—was it for him to shut the good spinion of Achilles and Agamemmouth of Theramenes! Who among non, begins with saying, I have lived with the spectators would not listen to him ? better men than you; never have I seen, Who would not enjoy the melancholy nor shall I ever see again, such great perpleasure of hearing the circumstance of sonages us Dryas, Caneus, Erudius, PolyHippolytus' death? Who would have so phemus equal to the gods, &c. Posterity much as three lines struck out! This is no has made ample amends to Achilles for vain description of a storm unconnected ( Nestor's bad compliment, so vainly adwith the piece-no ill-written amplifica- mired by those who admire nothing but tion; it is the purest diction—the most what is ancient. Who knows anything affecting language; in short, it is Racine. ( about Dryus? We have scarcely heard

Amplification, declamation, and exag- of Erudius or of Caneus ; and as for Polygeration, were at all times the faults of phemus equal to the gods, he has no very the Greeks, excepting Demosthenes and high reputation, unless, indeed, there was Aristotle.

something divine in his having a great eye There have been absurd pieces os poe- in the middle of his forehead, and eating try on which time has set the stamp of the raw carcases of mankind. almost universal approbation, berause Lucretius does not hesitate to say that they were mixed with brilliant flushes nature has degeneratedwhich threw a glare over their imper- Ipsa dedit dulces fuetus et pabula loeta,

Quae nunc vix nostro grandescunt aucta labore; fections, or because the poets who came

Conterimusque boves, at vires agricolarum, &c. afterwards did nothing better. The ride Antiquity is full of the praises of an beginnings of every art acquire a greater other antiquity still more remotecelebrity than the art in perfection; he Les hon mes, en tout tems, opt pensé qu' autrefois who first played the fiddle was looked

La lune était plus grande, et la nuit moins obscure; upon as a demi-god, while Rameau had

L'biver se couronnait de fleurs et de verdure; only enemies. In fine, men, generally

L'homme, ce roi du monde, et roi tres fainéant,

Se contemplait à l'aise, admirait son néant, going with the stream, seldom judge for Et, formé pour agir, se plaisait à rien faire, &c.

Men have, in every age, believed that once themselves, and purity of taste is nost

Long stress of milk ran winding through he woods ; as rare as talent.

The moon was larger, and the night less dark;

Winter was crowned with Huwers and trod on verdure; At the present day, most of our ser- Man, the world's king, hud nothing else to do mons, funeral orations, set discourses, and Than contemplate his utter worthlessness,

And, formed for action, touk delight io sloth, &c. harangues in certain ceremonies, are tedi

Horace combats this prejudice with ous amplifications—strings of cominonplace expressions repeated again and again equal force and address, in his fine epistle

“Must our poems, then,"

to Augustus. a thousand times. These discourses are only supportable when rarely heard. Why} oldest are always preferred ?" lie after

says he,“ be like our wines, of which the speak when you have nothing new to

wards It is high time to put a stop to this exces

says

Indignor quidquam reprehendi, non quia erasse sive waste of words, and therefore we

Compusitum iilepideve putetur, sed quia nup-r; con lude our article.

Nec veniam antiquis, sed honorem et praemia posci.

Ingeniis non ille favet plauditquo sepultis,
ANCIENTS AND MODERNS Nostra sed impugnat, nos nostraque lividus odit.

I feel my honest indignation rise',
The great cause of the Ancients versus When, with atfe ted air, a coxcomb cries

"The work, I own, has elegance an est, the Moderns is not yet disposed of; it has But sure no modern hould presume to please." been at issue ever since the silver age, which succeeded the golden one. Men

Not pardon only, but rewards and fame. have always pretended, that the good old

Not to the illustrious dead his homige pays,
But envious robs the living of their praise. - Itaris.

De longs ruisstaux de lait serpentaient dans nos bois

say?

Thns for his favourite rocients dared to claun.

Or towards us more avaricious
Than to our Greek and Roman sires-

Wbile in their ehildren she would smother

On this subject, the learned and inge- And pray, why must I bend the knee

To these pretended Gods of ours : nious Fontenelle expresses himself thus : The same intelligence in me “ The whole of the question of pre

Gives vigour to the self-same powers.

Think ye tbat nature is capricious, eminence between the ancients and moderns, being once well understood, redu- To them an idolizing mother, ces itself to this :-Were the trees which

The sparks of intellectual tires ? formerly grew in the country larger than those of the present day? If they were, He might be answered thus :-Esteem Homer, Plato, and Demosthenes cannot your ancestors, without adoring them. be equalled in these latter ages ; but, if You have intelligence and powers of inour trees are as large as those of former vention, us Virgil and Horace had; but times, then can we equal Homer, Plato, perhaps it is not absolutely the same inand Demosthenes.

telligence. Perhaps their talents were “But to clear up the paradox :-If the superior to yours; they exercised them, ancients had stronger minds than our- too, in a language richer and more harselves, it must have been that the brains monious than our modern tongues, which, of those times were better disposed, were are a mixture of corrupted Latin, with the formed of former or more delicate fibres, horrible jargon of the Celts. or contained a larger portion of animal Nature is not capricious; but it is posspirits. But how should the brains of sible that she had given the Athenians a those times have been better disposed ? soil and sky better adapted than WestHad such been the case, the leaves would phalia and the Limousin to the formation likewise have been larger and more beau- of geniuses of a certain order. It is also tiful; for if Nature was then more youth- likely that the government of Athens, seful and vigorous, the trees, as well as the conding the favourable climate, put ideas brains of men, would have borne testi- into the head of Demosthenes which the mony to that youth and vigour." air of Clamaf and La Grenouillére, com

With ourillustrious academician's leave, bined with the government of Cardinal this is by no means the state of the ques= } De Richelieu, did not put into the beads tion. It is not asked whether Nature can of Omer Talon and Jerome Bignon. at the present day produce as great ge

Some one answered La Motte's lines niuses, and as good works, as those of by the following :Greek and Latin antiquity, but whether we really have such. It is doubtless pos- Ces Dieux dont tu ne descends pas;

Si tu crois qu' Horace est ton pere, sible, that there are oaks in the forest of Chantilly as large as those of Dodona ;

La nature n'est point bizarre ; but supposing that the oaks of Dodona

Mais Racine en fut bien traité ;

Tiballe était guidé par elle, could talk, it is quite clear that they had

Mais pour notre ami La Chapelle, a great advantage over ours, which, it is

Hélas ! qu'elle a peu de bonić ! probable, will never talk.

Revere and imitate, La Motte, La Motte, a man of wit and talent, who

Those Gods from whom thou'rt nyt descended;

Jf thuu by Horace wert begot, has merited applause in more than one His children's manners might be mended.

Nature is not at all capricious; kind of writing, has, in an ode full of happy lines, taken the part of the moderns.

Sbe used Tibullus very well,
We give one of his stanzas :-

Though to our good frieud La Chapelle,
Et pourquoi reut-on que j'encense
Ces prétendus Dieux dont je sors?
En mi la même intelligence

This dispute, then, resolves itself into a
Croit-on la nature bizarre,

Cher la Motte, imite et revere

Il a fait des enfa s ingrats.

Pour Danchet eile est fort avara,

"To Dancbet she is avaiicious,
But she was liberal to Racine;

Alas! sbe is extremely mean!

question of fact. Was antiquity more Pour nous aujourd'hui plus avare

fertile in great monuments of genius of De nos ainé mère idolâtre,

every kind, down to the time of Plutarch, N'est-elle plos que la mâratre Dur este grossier des humains?

than modern ages have been, from that of

Fait mouvoir le mêmes ressorts.

Que pour les Grecs et les Romains ?

the house of Medicis to that of Louis XIV. ders of his contemporaries, and opened inclusively ?

them only to admire ancient ignorance. The Chinese, more than two hundred He even goes so far as to regret that years before our Christian era, built their we have nothing left of the magic of the great wall, which could not save them Indians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians. By from invasion by the Tartars. The this magic, he understands a profound Egyptians had, four thousand years be- knowledge of nature, which enabled them fore, burthened the earth with their asto- to work miracles of which, however, he nishing pyramids, the bases of which does not mention one, because the truth covered ninety thousand square feet. No is, that they never worked any. “What," one doubts that, if it were thought advisa- says he, "has become of the charms of ble to undertake such useless works at that music which so often enchanted men the present day, they might be accom- and beasts, fishes, birds, and serpents, and plished by lavishing plenty of money. even changed their nature ?" This eneThe great wall of China is a monument my to his own times believed implicitly of fear; the pyramids of Egypt are monu- Ş in the fable of Orpheus, and, it should ments of vanity and superstitions: both seem, had never heard of the fine music testify the great patience of the two people, of Italy, nor even of that of France, which but no superior genius. Neither the Chi- do not charm serpents, it is true, but nese nor the Egyptians could have made which do charm the ears of the connoisa single statue like those formed by our { reur. living sculptors.

It is still more strange that, having all Sir William Temple, who made a point his life cultivated the belles-lettres, he reaof degrading the moderns, asserts, that sons no better on our good authors than they have nothing in architecture which on our philosophers. He considers Racan be compared to the temples of Greece belais a great man, and speaks of Les and Rome; but, Englishman as he was, į Amours des Gaules (The Loves of the he should have allowed that St. Peter's Gauls), as one of our best works. He at Rome is incomparably more beautiful was, nevertheless, a learned man, a cour ihan the Capitol.

tier, a man of considerable wit, and an There is something curious in the as- ambassador, who had made profound resurance with which he asserts that there fections on all that he had seen; he posis nothing new in our astronomy, nor in sessed great knowledge; one prejudice our knowledge of the human body, er- sufficed to render all this merit unavailing cept, says he, it be the circulation of the Boileau and Racine, when writing in blood. "The love of his opinion, founded } favour of the Ancients against Perrault, on his extreme self-love, makes him for- showed more address than Sir William get the discovery of Jupiter's satellites, of Temple. They knew better than to touch Saturn's five moons and ring, of the Sun's on astronomy and physical science. Boirotation on his axis, the calculation of the } leau seeks only to vindicate Homer against positions of three thousand stars, the de- ; Perrault, at the same time gliding adroitly velopement by Kepler and Newton of the over the faults of the Greek poet, and the law by which the motions of the heavenly slumber with which Horace reproaches bodies are governed, and the knowledge him. He strove to turn Perrault, the of a thousand other things of which the enemy of Homer, into ridicule. Wherever ancients did not even suspect the possi- Perrault misunderstands a passage, or bility. The discoveries in anatomy have į renders inaccurately a passage which he been no less numerous. A new universe i understands, Boileau, seizing this little in miniature, discovered by the micro- advantage, falls upon him like a redoubtscope, went as nothing with Sir William ; able enemy, and beats him as an ignoraTemple; he closed his eyes to the won- mus—a dull writer. But it is not at all

improbable that Perrault, though often the courage to do yourself ? Believe me, mistaken, was frequently right in his re- you ought rather to be silent. You love marks on the contradictions, the repe- } life; others love it no less. Be assured titions, the uniformity of the combats, the that, if you continue to abuse me, you long harangues in the midst of them, the } shall have reproaches, and not false ones, indecent and inconsistent conduct of the in return." gods in the poem-in short, on all the Here he is interrupted by the chorus, errors into which this great poet is asserted with—“ Enough! too much on both to have fallen. In a word, Boileau ridi- sides! Old man, cease this ill language cules Perrault much more than he justi- towards your son. fies Homer.

One would think that the chorus should Racine used the same artifice, for he rather give the son a severe reprimand for was at least as malignant as Boileau. Al-speaking in so brutal a manner to his though he did not, like the latter, make father. his fortune by satire, he enjoyed the plea- All the rest of the scene is in the same sure of confounding his enemies on the { style :occasion of a small and very pardonable Pheres (to his son).—Thou speakest mistake into which they had fallen re- against thy father, without his having inspecting Euripides, and, at the same time, jured thee. of feeling much superior to Euripides Admetus.-Oh! I am well aware that himself. He rallies the same Perrault you wish to live as long as possible. and his partisans upon their critique on

Pheres.—And art thou not carrying to the Alceste of Euripides, because these the tomb her who has died for thee? gentlemen had unfortunately been deceived Admetus.- Ah! most infamous of men ! by a faulty edition of Euripides, and had { 'tis the proof of thy cowardice ! taken some replies of Admetus for those Pheres.—At least, thou canst not say of Alceste; but Euripides does not the she died for me. less appear in all countries to have done Admetus.-Would to heaven that thou very wrong in making Admetus use such wert in a situation to need my assistance ! extraordinary language to his father, Pheres.—Thou wouldst do better to whom he violently reproaches for not hav- think of marrying several wives, who may ing died for him :

die that thy life may be lengthened. " How !" replies the king his father ; After this scene, a domestic comes and “whom, pray, are you addressing so talks to himself about the arrival of Herhaughtily! Some Lydian or Phrygian cules. slave? Know you not that I am free, and "A stranger," says he, a Thessalian? (Fine language, truly, for door of his own accord ; places himself a king and a father!) You insult me as without more ado at table; if I were the meanest of men. Where is cause he is not served quick enough ; fills the law which says, fathers must die for his cup every moment with wine, and their children? Each for himself here drinks long draughts of red and of white; below. I have fulfilied all my obligations constantly singing or rather howling bad towards you. In what, then, do I wrong songs, without giving himself any concern you? Do I ask you to die for me? The about the king and his wife, for whom we light is dear to you : is it less so to me? {are mourning. He is, doubtless, some You accuse me of cowardice! Coward { cunning rogue, some vagabond, or assasthat you yourself are! You were not } sin." ashamed to urge your wife to save you, It seems somewhat strange that llerby dying for you. After this, does it be- cules should be taken for a cunning rogue, come you to treat as cowards those who and no less so that Hercules, the friend of refuse to do for you what you have not } Admetus, should be unknown to the

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