Puslapio vaizdai

O modo nate, damus. Quo poftquam carmine dicto
Exceffere deæ; flagrantem mater ab igne
Eripuit torrem: fparfitque liquentibus undis.
Ille diu fuerat penetralibus abditus imis;
Servatufque, tuos, juvenis, fervaverat annos.
Protulit hunc genitrix, tædafque in fragmina poni
Imperat; et pofitis inimicos admovet ignes.
Tum conata quater flammis imponere ramum
Cœpta quater tenuit. Pugnat materque, fororque,
Et diverfa trahunt unum duo nomina pectus.
Sæpe metu fceleris pallebant ora futuri:
Sæpe fuum fervens oculis dabat ira ruborem,
Et modo nefcio quid fimilis crudele minanti
Vultus erat; modo quem mifereri credere poffes:
Cumque ferus lacrymas animi ficcaverat ardor;
Inveniebantur lacrymæ tamen. Utque carina,
Quam ventus, ventoque contrarius æftus,
Vim geminam fentit, paretque incerta duobus :
Theftias haud aliter dubiis affectibus errat,
Inque vices ponit, pofitamque refuscitat iram.
Incipit effe tamen melior germana parente;
Et, confanguineas ut fanguine leniat umbras,
Impietate pia eft. Nam poftquam peftifer ignis
Convaluit: Rogus ifte cremet mea viscera, dixit.
Utque manu dirâ lignum fatale tenebat ;
Ante fepulchrales infelix adstitit aras.

Pœnarumque deæ triplices, furialibus, inquit,
Eumenides, facris, vultus advertite veftros.
Ulcifcor, facioque nefas. Mors morte pianda eft;
In fcelus addendum fcelus eft, in funera funus :
Per coacervatos pereat domus impia luctus.
An felix Oeneus nato victore fruetur,
Theftius orbus erit? melius lugebitis ambo.
Vos modo, fraterni manes, animæque recentes,
Officium fentite meum; magnoque paratas


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Accipite inferias, uteri mala pignora noftri.
Hei mihi! quo rapior? fratres ignofcite matri.
Deficiunt ad cœpta manus. Meruiffe fatemur
Illum, cur pereat: mortis mihi difplicet auctor.
Ergo impune feret; vivufque, et victor, et ipfo
Succeffu tumidus regnum Calydonis habebit ?
Vos cinis exiguus, gelidæque jacebitis umbræ ?
Haud equidem patiar. Pereat fceleratus; et ille
Spemque patris, regnique trahat, patriæque ruinam.
Mens ubi materna eft; ubi funt pia jura parentum ?
Et, quos fuftinui, bis mensûm quinque labores?
O utinam primis arfiffes ignibus infans ;
Idque ego paffa forem! vixifti munere noftro:
Nunc merite moriere tuo. Cape præmia facti ;
Bifque datam, primum partu, mox ftipite rapto,
Redde animam; vel me fraternis adde fepulchris.
Et cupio, et nequeo. Quid agam? modo vulnera fra-


Ante oculos mihi funt, et tantæ cædis imago;
Nunc animum pietas, maternaque nomina frangunt.
Me miferam! male vincetis, fed vincite, fratres:
Dummodo, quæ dedero vobis folatia, vofque
Ipfa fequar, dixit: dextraque averfa trementi
Funereum torrem medios conjecit in ignes.
Aut dedit, aut vifus gemitus eft ille dediffe,
Stipes; et invitis correptus ab ignibus arfit.
Metamorph. lib. 8. l. 445.

In cafes of this kind, one circumftance always augments the fluctuation: a refolution to prefer one action before another after balancing between them, is an inchoated gratification of the prevailing paffion, which foftens it in fome degree; and this circumftance tends to give a fuperiority


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to the oppofite paffion: another circumftance alfo concurs, that this oppofite paffion has by restraint acquired in the interim some additional force.

Love and jealousy connected by a common object, occupy the mind alternately: when the object is confidered as beautiful, love prevails; when confidered as poffibly unfaithful, jealoufy prevails. A fituation of this kind, affords great fcope for fluctuation of paffion; which is painted to the life by several masterly hands in words as well as in colours. Shakespear handles the fame fubject, but in a manner uncommon, and peculiar to himself in Othello's foliloquy before putting his wife to death, love and jealoufy are reprefented, each exerting its whole force, but without any struggle: Othello was naturally inflexible; and the tendereft love could not divert him from a purpose he approved as right, not even for a moment: but every thing confiftent with fuch a character is done to reconcile the two oppofite paffions; he is refolved to put her to death, but he will not fhed her blood, nor fo much as ruffle her skin:

Othello, It is the caufe, it is the caufe, my foul; -
Let me not name it to you, you chafte stars!
It is the caufe
Yet I'll not fhed her blood.
Nor fcar that whiter fkin of hers than fnow,
And smooth as monumental alabaftar.

[Lays down the fword. Yet the muft die; elfe fhe'll betray more men.


Put out the light, and then-Put out the light! -
If I quench thee, thou flaming minifter,
I can again thy former light reftore,

Should I repent: but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'ft pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat

That can thy light relumine.- [Sets down the taper.
When I have pluck'd thy rose,

I cannot give it vital growth again;

It needs muft wither.- I'll fmell thee on the tree;

[Kiffing her.

Oh balmy breath, that doft almost persuade
Juftice to break her sword!
Be thus when thou art dead,
And love thee after.- One

more, that's the last;
So fweet was ne'er so fatal! I must weep,
But they are cruel tears! this forrow's heav'nly;
It ftrikes where it doth love.-


One more; one more ; and I will kill thee,

Act 5. fc. 6.

In Otway's Orphan, we have an illuftrious example of the addrefs employ'd to gratify oppofite paffions directed upon the fame object. Caftalio and Polydore, brothers and rivals, had fworn mutual confidence: Caftalio broke his faith by a private marriage; which unwarily betrayed Polydore into a difmal deed, that of polluting his brother's bed. Thus he had injured his brother, and was injured by him: juftice prompted him to make full atonement by his own death; refentment against his brother, required a full atonement to be made to himfelf. In coexistent paffions fo contradictory, one of them commonly prevails

prevails after a struggle: but here happily an expedient occurred to Polydore for gratifying both; which was, that he should provoke his brother to put him to death. Polydore's crime in his own opinion merited this punishment; and justice was fatisfied when he fell by the hands of the man he had injured: he wanted at the fame time to punish his brother for breach of faith; and he could not do this more effectually, than by betraying his brother to be his executioner.

If difference of aim prevent the union of two paffions, though having the fame object; much more will it prevent their union, when their objects are alfo different: in both cafes there is a fluctuation; but in the latter, the fluctuation is flower than in the former. A beautiful fituation of this kind, is exhibited in the Gid of Corneille. Don Diegue, an old foldier worn out with age, having received a mortal affront from the Count, father to Chimene, employs his fon Don Rodrigue, Chimene's lover, to demand fatisfaction. This fituation occafions in the breast of Don Rodrigue a cruel ftruggle between love and honour, one of which must be facrificed. The fcene is finely conducted, chiefly by making love in fome degree take part with honour, Don Rodrigue reflecting, that if he loft his honour he could not deferve his mistress: honour triumphs; and the Count, provoked to a fingle combat, falls by the hand of Don Rodrigue.

This produceth another beautiful fituation re


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