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O modo nate, damus. Quo poftquam carmine dicto
Pœnarumque deæ triplices, furialibus, inquit,
Accipite inferias, uteri mala pignora noftri.
Ante oculos mihi funt, et tantæ cædis imago;
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
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; -
[Lays down the fword. Yet the muft die; elfe fhe'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then-Put out the light! -
Should I repent: but once put out thy light,
That can thy light relumine.- [Sets down the taper.
I cannot give it vital growth again;
It needs muft wither.- I'll fmell thee on the tree;
Oh balmy breath, that doft almost persuade
more, that's the last;
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