Puslapio vaizdai

O modo nate, damus. Quo poftquam carmine dicto
Excellere deæ; flagrantem mater ab igne
Eripuit torrem : fparfitque liquentibus undis.
Ille diu fuerat penetralibus abditus imis ;
Servatusque, tuos, juvenis, fervaverat annos.
Protulit hunc genitrix, tædafque in fragmina poni
Imperat; et pofitis inimicos admovet ignes.
Tum conata quater flammis imponere ramum
Copta quater tenuit. Pugnat materque, fororque,
Et diversa trabunt unum duo nomina pectus.
Sæpe metu sceleris pallebant ora futuri:
Sæpe fuum fervens oculis dabat ira ruborem,
Et modo nescio 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 sentit, paretque incerta duobus :
Theftias haud aliter dubiis affectibus errat,
Inque vices ponit, pofitamque resuscitat iram.
Incipit effe tamen melior germana parente ;
Et, confanguineas ut fanguine leniat umbras,
Impietate pia eft. Nam postquam peftifer ignis
Convaluit : Rogus iste cremet mea vifcera, dixit.
Utque manu dirâ lignum fatale tenebat ;
Ante fepulchrales infelix adftitit aras.
Pænarumque deæ triplices, furialibus, inquit,
Eumenides, facris, vultus advertite veftros.
Ulciscor, facioque nefas. Mors morte pianda eft ;
In scelus addendum fcelus eft, in funera funus :
Per coacervatos pereat domus impia luctus.
An felix Oeneus nato victore fruetur,
Thestius orbus erit? melius lugebitis ambo.
Vos modo, fraterni manes, animæque recentes,
Offcium sentite meum ; magnoque paratas


[ocr errors]

Accipite inferias, uteri mala pignora noftri.
Hei mihi ! quo rapior ? fratres ignofcite matri.
Deficiunt ad coepta manus.

Meruiffe fatemur
Illum, cur pereat: mortis mihi displicet auctor.
Ergo impune feret; vivusque, 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 est; ubi-funt pia jura parentum ?
Et, quos sustinui, bis mensûm quinque labores ?
O utinam primis arsiffes ignibus infans ;
Idque ego paffa forem! vixisti 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, èt nequeo. Quid agam? modo vulnera fra-

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

Metamorph. lib. 8. 1.445.

In cases of this kind, one circumstance always augments the fluctuation : a resolution to prefer one action before another after balancing between them, is an inchoated gratification of the prevailing passion, which foftens it in some degree; and this circumstance tends to give a superiority


to the opposite passion : another circumstance also concurs, that this opposite passion has by restraint acquired in the interim fome additional force.

Love and jealousy connected by a common object, occupy the mind alternately: when the object is considered as beautiful, love prevails; when considered as possibly unfaithful, jealousy prevails. A situation of this kind, affords great scope for fluctuation of passion; which is painted to the life by several masterly hands in words as well as in colours. Shakespear handles the same subject, but in a manner uncommon, and peculiar to himself: in Othello's foliloquy before putting his wife to death, love and jealousy are represented, each exerting its whole force, but without any struggle : Othello was naturally inflexible; and the tenderest love could not divert him from a purpose he approved as right, not even for a moment: but every thing consistent with such a character is done to reconcile the two opposite passions; he is resolved to put her to death, but he will not shed her blood, nor so much as ruffle her skin :

Othello, It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul;
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars !
It is the cause Yet I'll not shed her blood.
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as inonumental alabastar.

[Lays down the sword. Yet the muit die ; else she'll betray more men.



[ocr errors]

Put out the light, and then Put out the light ! -
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent : but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st 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 must wither. I'll smell thee on the tree;

[Kissing her,
Oh balmy breath, that doft almost persuade
Justice to break her sword !--One more; one more ;
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
And love thee after. One

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

A& 5. fc. 6.

[ocr errors]


In Otway's Orphan, we have an illustrious example of the address employ’d to gratify opposite passions directed upon the fame object. Castalio and Polydore, brothers and rivals, had sworn mutual confidence: Castalio broke his faith by a private marriage; which unwarily betrayed Polydore into a dismal deed, that of polluting his brother's bed. Thus he had injured his brother, and was injured by him: justice prompted him to make full atonement by his own death; resentment against his brother, required a full atonement to be made to himfelf. In coexistent passions so 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 satisfied when he fell by the hands of the man he had injured: he wanted at the same 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 passions, though having the same object; much more will it prevent their union, when their objects are also different : in both cases there is a fluctuation; but in the latter, the fluctuation is slower than in the former. A beautiful situation of this kind, is exhibited in the Gid of Corneille. Don Diegue, an old soldier worn out with age, having received a mortal afront from the Count, father to Chimene, employs his son Don Rodrigue, Chimene's lover, to demand fatisfaction. This situation occasions in the breast of Don Rodrigue a cruel struggle between love and honour, one of which nust be facrificed. The fcene is finely conducted, chiefly by making love in some degree take part with honour, Don Rodrigue reflecting, that if he lost his honour he could not deserve his mistress: honour triumphs; and the Count, provoked to a single combat, falls by the hand of Don Rodrigue. This produceth another beautiful situation re


[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »