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in this view, that Ruifdale's waters, and Claude Lorrain's skies, are fo admirable.
..40.CUI LECTA POTENTER ERIT Res.) Potenter, i. e, xala dúveysv, Lambin: which gives a pertinent fenfe, but without justifying the expression. The learned editor of Statius proposes to read pudenter, a word used by Horace on other occasions, and which suits the meaning of the place as well. A fimilar paffage in the epistle to Auguftus adds some weight to this conje&ture ;
nec meus audet REM tentare PUDOR, quam vires ferre recufent.
45. Hoc AMET, HOC SPERNAT, PROMISSI CARMINIS AUCTOR-IN VERBIS ETIAM TENUIS CAUTUSQUE SERENDIS.] Dr. Bentley hath inverted the order of these two lines; not merely, as I conceive, without sufficient reason, but in prejudice also to the scope and tenor of the poet's sense; in which case only I allow.myself to depart from his text. The whole precept, on poetical distribution, is delivered, as of import tance ; :
. . . . [Ordinis haec -virtas-erit et venus, aut ego fallar. And!fuch indeed it is : for, 1. It respects to lefs than the constitution of a whole, i. e. the Tea dudtion of a subject into one entire, confiftent
plan, pfan, the moft momentous and difficult of all the offices of invention, and which is more imme diately addressed, in the high and fublime fence of the word, to the Port. 2. It is no trivial whole, which the Precept had in view, but, as the context fhews, and as is further apparent froin l. 150, where this topic is refumed, and treated more at large, the epos and the drama, With what propriety then is a rule of such dignity'inforced by that strong emphatic concldfion,
Hoc amet, hoc fpernat, promisli-carminis auctor : i. e. “Be this rule held sacred and inviolate by K him, who hath projected and engaged in a * work, deserving the appellation of a poem." Were the subject only the choice or invention of words, the solemnity of such an application must be ridiculous.
As for the construction, the commoneft reader can find himself at no lofs to defend it against the force of the Doctor's objections.
46. IN VERBIS ETIAM TENUIS, &c.] I have Faid, that these preparatory observations, concerning an unity of design, the abuse of language, and the different colourings of the several species of *poetry, whilft they extend to “poetic composition *at large, more particularly respect the case of the drama. The first of these articles lias been illuf
trated trated in note on 1. 34. The last will be con fidered in note, l. 73. I will here shew the same of the second, concerning the abuse of words, For, 1. the style of the drama representing real life, and demanding, on that accounr, a peculiar eafe and familiarity in the language, the practice of coining new words must be more insufferable in this, than in any other species of poetry. The majefty of the epic will even sometimes require to be supported by this means, when the commonest car would resent it, as downright affectation upon the stage. Hence the peculiar propriety of this rule to the dramatic writer,
In verbis etiam tenuis cautusque ferendis. 2. Next, it is necessary to keep the tragic style, though condescending, in somne fort, to the familiar cast of conversation, from sinking beneath the dignity of the personages, and the folemnity of the representation. Now no expedient carr more happily effect this, than what the poet prefcribes concerning the position and derivation of words. For thus, the language, without incurring the odium of absolutely invented terins, sustains itself in a becoming stateliness and referve, and, whilft it seems to stoop to the level of conversation, artfully eludes the meanness of a trite, prosaic style. There are wonderful infances of this management in the Samson Age
nifles of Milton; the most artificial and highly finished, though for that reason, perhaps, the least popular and most neglected, of all the great poet's works..
47. DIXERIS EGREGIÉ, NOTUM SI CALLIDA VERBUM REDDIDERIT JUNCTURA NOVUM.] This direction, about disposing of old words in such a manner as that they fhall have the grace of new ones, is among the finest in the whole poem. And because Shakespeare is he, of all our poets, who has most successfully practised this secret, it may not be amiss to illustrate the precept before us by examples taken from his writings.
But first it will be proper to explain the prea cept itself as given by Horace.
His critics seein not at all to have apprehended the force of it. Dacier and Sanadon, the two best of them, confine it merely to the formation of compound words; which, though one way in which this callida junctura shews itself, is by no means the whole of what the poet intended by it.
Their mistake arose froin interpreting the word junctura too strictly. They suppose it to mean only the putting together two words into one; this being the most obvious idea we have of the joining of words. As if the inoft literal construction
of ternis, according to their etymology, were always the most proper.
But Mr. Dacier has a reason of his own for confining the precept to this meaning. “ The question, he says, is de verbis ferendis ; and therefore this junctura must be explained of new words, properly so called, as compound epithets are; and not of the grace of novelty which single words seem to acquire from the art of difposing of them.” . By which we understand, that the learned critic did not perceive the scope of his author; which was manifestly this. “The invention of “ new terms, says he, being a matter of much " nicety, I had rather you would contrive to « employ known words in such a way as to give " them the effect of new ones. It is true, 'new “.words inảy sometimes be necessary : And if “ fo,” &c. Whence we see that the line,... - In verbis etiam tenuis cautusque ferendis, is not given here in form as the general rule, and the following line, as the example. On the other hand, the rule is just mentioned carelesly and in passing, while the poet iş hastening to another confideration of more importance, and ivhich he even opposes to the former. “Instead " of making new words, you will do well tó “ confine yourfelf merely to old ones. What