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And crown what I profess with kind event;
I am a fool To weep at what I'm glad of.
Tears of gladness are not uncommon ; but, Miranda, from her particular education, could have no knowledge of the passions in their extremes ; she is therefore surprised at this apparent confusion in their fymptoms: her surprife is a spring to ours ...
This leads us, you see, to an essential point in the pathetic, namely, when a fenti. ment springs with a peculiar happiness from the character and the occasion
Thus the Poet The Heats and Minutes of affairs are
watch'd, And the nice Points of Time are met, and
As these lines were written in praise of Fletcher, I shall give you an example of the thing described, from his Maid's Tragedy-Melantius, on his arrival at Court, hears that his friend Amintor was that morning married. He knew that he was contracted to Aspasia; but did not know that the had been deserted by him : in this inftant Aspasia comes across him .
;. . Melantius.
. ..... Hail, maid and wife Thou fair Afpafia! may the holy knot That thou haft ty’d to day, last 'till the hand
Of age undo it! may'st thou bring a race
When We know that Afpafia thought herself insulted by the brother of her happy rival, this sentintenc becomes to affe&ting, that our hearts mélt, and our eye's fill in the instant, ::
The uniformity ih bur feelings on fimilar motives, though it be the ground:work of the pathetic, yet, at the same time, it naturally produces in us an indifference to all fuch indications of passion as are obvious. and general. i. .
· The business therefore of the Poet, is to give fome unexpected advantage to these general feelings ; either, by a happiness in the incidents from which they spring; or Some peculiarity in the situation and character of the person affected : of this we have a complete example, when the Daughters of Lear press hard upon him to reduce the number of his Knights : :
. . . If you come to me, **For now I fpy a danger) I intreat you
To bring but five and twenty ; to ng more Will I give place or notice . * Lear." I gave you all.
The ingratitude of a daughter, who owed every thing to a father's generosity, might
naturally produce such a reproach as this but it receives an additional tenderness from the violent character of Lear, and the age gravating circumstances of his children's conduct.
If the Pathetic, as should seem from these proofs, must owe its effect to the occasion which produced it; the fame may be affirmed, in part, of the fublime : I say in part, because though great sentiments, when produced in the Dramma, must, in common with the pathetic, derive a particular and spe. cific beauty from a happiness in their application ; yet there will be this difference between then, that if a pathetic sentiment be considered independent of the occasion which produced it, it lofes its pathetic force, On the other hand, if a sublime sentiment be considered in the same light, it loses the