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O modo nate, damus. Quo poftquam carmine dicto
Accipite inferias, uteri mala pignora noftri.
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;
[Lays down the sword. Yet the muit die ; else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then Put out the light ! -
more, that's the last;
A& 5. fc. 6.
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