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other restraints, which must add wonderfully to the difficulty of versification, and which appear to us to be perfectly arbitrary and capricious. If that really be the case, the whole pleasure of the reader or hearer arises from his surprise at the facility of the Poet's composition under these complicated restraints,—that is, from his surprise at the command which the Poet has acquired over his thoughts and expressions. In our rhyme, I acknowledge that the coincidence of sound is agreeable in itself, and only affirm, that the pleasure which the ear receives from it is heightened by the other consideration.


There is another habit of association which, in some men, is very remarkable—that which is the foundation of Poetical Fancy: a talent which agrees with Wit in some circumstances, but which differs from it essentially in others.

The pleasure we receive from wit, agrees in one particular with the pleasure which arises from poetical allusions,—that in both cases we are pleased with contemplating an analogy between two different subjects. But they differ in this, that the man of wit has no other aim than to combine analogous ideas ;? whereas no allusion can, with propriety, have a place in serious poetry, unless it either illustrate or adorn the principal subject. If it has both these recommendations, the allusion is perfect. If it has neither, as is often the case with the allusions of Cowley and of Young, the Fancy of the Poet degenerates into wit.

If these observations be well-founded, they suggest a rule with respect to poetical allusions, which has not always been sufficiently attended to. It frequently happens that two subjects bear an analogy to each other in more respects than one; and where such can be found, they undoubtedly furnish the most favourable of all occasions for the display of wit. But, , in serious poetry, I am inclined to think, that however striking these analogies may be, and although each of them might with propriety be made the foundation of a separate allusion, it is improper, in the course of the same allusion, to include more than one of them, as, by doing so, an author discovers an affectation of wit, or a desire of tracing analogies, instead of illustrating or adorning the subject of his composition."

"I speak here of pure and unmixed wit-and not of wit blended, as it is

most commonly, with some degree of humour.

I formerly defined Fancy to be a power of associating ideas according to relations of resemblance and analogy. This definition will probably be thought too general, and to approach too near to that given of wit. In order to discover the necessary limitations, we shall consider what the circumstances are which please us in poetical allusions. As these allusions are suggested by Fancy, and are the most striking instances in which it displays itself, the received rules of critics with respect to them, may throw some light on the mental power which gives them birth.

1. An allusion pleases, by illustrating a subject comparatively obscure. Hence, I apprehend, it will be found, that allusions from the intellectual world to the material, are more pleasing than from the material world to the intellectual. Mason, in his Ode to Memory, compares the influence of that faculty over our ideas, to the authority of a general over his troops :


these double allusions as more allied to wit than to the language of serious passion, appears from the style of poetry ascribed to Paridel in the Pastoral Ballad.

*[In the following stanza of Shenstone, for example, “ How pale was then his true-love's cheek

When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her ear! For never yet did Alpine snows

So pale, or yet so chill appear;" the double allusion unquestionably borders on conceit. The same double allusion occurs in the translation of Mallet's “William and Margaret,” by Vincent Bourne,

“ Candidior nive, frigidiorque manus."

How inferior in pathetic simplicity to the original,

"And clay-cold was the lily band," &c. That Shenstone himself considered

“ 'Tis his with mock passion to glow;

"Tis his in smooth tales to unfold, How her face is as bright as the snow,

And her bosom, be sure, is as cold."

Mr. Addison's opinion is of still higher value. “When a poet tells us, the bosom of his mistress is as white as snow, there is no wit in the comparison ; but when he adds, with a sigh, that it is as cold too, it then grows into wit.” -Spectator, No. 62.]

"" thou, whose sway
The throng'd ideal hosts obey;
Who bidst their ranks now vanish, now appear;

Flame in the van, or darken in the rear.” Would the allusion have been equally pleasing, from a general marshalling his soldiers, to Memory and the succession of ideas?

The effect of a literal and spiritless translation of a work of genius, has been compared [by Cervantes] to that of the figures which we see, when we look at the wrong side of a beautiful piece of tapestry. The allusion is ingenious and happy; but the pleasure which we receive from it arises, not merely from the analogy which it presents to us, but from the illustration which it affords of the author's idea. No one, surely, in speaking of a piece of tapestry, would think of comparing the difference between its sides, to that between an original composition and a literal translation !

Cicero, and after him Mr. Locke, in illustrating the difficulty of attending to the subject of our consciousness, have compared the Mind to the Eye, which sees every object around it, but is invisible to itself. To have compared the Eye, in this respect, to the Mind, would have been absurd.

Mr. Pope's comparison of the progress of youthful curiosity, in the pursuits of science, to that of a traveller among the Alps, has been much and justly admired. How would the beauty of the allusion have been diminished, if the Alps had furnished the original subject and not the illustration !

But although this rule holds in general, I acknowledge that instances may be produced from our most celebrated poetical performances, of allusions from material objects, both to the intellectual and the moral worlds. These, however, are comparatively few in number, and are not to be found in descrip


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'["For all that, I cannot but be of opinion, that translating out of one language into another, unless it be from those queens of the languages, Greek and Latin, is like setting to view the wrong side of a piece of tapestry, where,

though the figures are seen, they are full of ends and threads, which obscure them, and are not seen with the smoothness and evenness of the right side."Don Quixote, chap. lxii. Jarvis's Translation.]

tive or in didactic works, but in compositions written under the influence of some particular passion, or which are meant to express some peculiarity in the mind of the author. Thus, a melancholy man who has met with many misfortunes in life, will be apt to moralize on every physical event, and every appearance of nature; because his attention dwells more habitually on human life and conduct, than on the material objects around him. This is the case with the banished Duke in Shakespeare's As you like it; who, in the language of that poet,

" Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in every thing." But this is plainly. a distempered state of the mind; and the allusions please, not so much by the analogies they present, as by the picture they give of the character of the person to whom they have occurred.

2. An allusion pleases, by presenting a new and beautiful image to the mind. The analogy or the resemblance between this image and the principal subject, is agreeable of itself, and is indeed necessary to furnish an apology for the transition which the writer makes, but the pleasure is wonderfully heightened, when the new image thus presented is a beautiful

The following allusion, in one of Mr. Home's tragedies, appears to me to unite almost every excellence :


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Here the analogy is remarkably perfect, not only between light and hope, and between darkness and fear, but between the rapid succession of light and shade, and the momentary influences of these opposite emotions, while at the same time the new image which is presented to us, recalls one of the most pleasing and impressive incidents in rural scenery.

The foregoing observations suggest a reason why the principal stores of Fancy are commonly supposed to be borrowed

from the material world. Wit has a more extensive province, and delights to display its power of prompt and unexpected combination over all the various classes of our ideas; but the favourite excursions of Fancy are from intellectual and moral subjects to the appearances with which our senses are conversant. The truth is, that such allusions please more than any others in poetry. According to this limited idea of Fancy, it presupposes, where it is possessed in an eminent degree, an extensive observation of natural objects, and a mind susceptible of strong impressions from them. It is thus only that a stock of images can be acquired, and that these images will be ready to present themselves whenever any analogous subject occurs. And hence probably it is, that poetical genius is almost always united with an exquisite sensibility to the beauties of nature.

Before leaving the subject of Fancy, it may not be improper to remark, that its two qualities are liveliness and luxuriancy. The word lively refers to the quickness of the association. The word rich or luxuriant, to the variety of associated ideas.


To these powers of Wit and Fancy, that of Invention in the Arts and Sciences has a striking resemblance. Like them it implies a command over certain classes of ideas, which in ordinary men are not equally subject to the will ; and like them too it is the result of acquired habits, and not the original gift of nature.

Of the process of the mind in scientific invention, I propose afterwards to treat fully, under the article of Reasoning; and I shall therefore confine myself at present to a few detached remarks upon some views of the subject which are suggested by the foregoing inquiries.

Before we proceed, it may be proper to take notice of the distinction between Invention and Discovery. The object of the former, as has been frequently remarked, is to produce something which had no existence before; that of the latter, to bring to light something which did exist, but which was

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