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the most distant approaches to it: the in a very ingenious and elaborate way to two ideas are utterly irreconcileable. account for the sense of pain by suppo.
To suppose that thought and feeling sing it to arise from the solution of conti are only matter and motion disguised in a nuity, or violent separation and straining particular way, is, as if we were to believe of the parts of which the nerves are that a circle inay be composed of straight composed, which communicates the like lines, or that a tune inay be reflected disorder to the brain. Now this separafrom the colours of the rainbow. This tion of parts or solution of physical conargument has been often insisted on, but tinuity does not give me the smallest inI do not think it has ever been satisfacto- sight into the nature of pain. I cammot torily answered. The only answer which understand what there is in common behas ever been attempted is an appeal to tween the two things. It might as well, qur ignorance, which comes a little awk- I conceive, be said that the tearing asunwardly from those who would give an der the limbs of a wax doll gives one account of every thing. They say that the idea of pain ; or that the trunks of snatter in itself undergoes many changes the enchanted trees in Tasso or in Virgil and modifications; and produces many might have felt the same grief and reresults, altogether unlike any thing that morse when their branches were lopped we could predict beforelrand, and that off, though they had not been inhabited mind may be one of those remote and sub- by a human soul. As far as matter and tle modifications, in other words, that it motion are concerned, it must be quite inis matter so organized as to produce the different whether certain parts of a body finer, moreetherial, operations of thought. are in one position or another, whether But I would ask, whether by a modifica- they are in a state of separation or tion of matter, be meant any thing more union, or violently thrust backwards and than a certain combination of the pro- forwards from one to the other. As mere perties of matter, and whether any com- dull inanimate matter, they can neither hination of these can represent the na- know nor feel any thing of the jerks, the ture of thought? In all the changes pro- twitchings, the jostlings, or blows they duced by matter and motion, there is encounter in these sudden commotions. nothing but matter and motion still: di- Nor does it alter the case or advance vide, sub-divide, multiply them how you the argument one jot to say that the subwill, you get nothing but some modifica- stance of the brain or nerves is of a finer tion of the same qualities; the form, the and subtler texture, that it is curiously orarrangement, the degree, the quantity, ganized, or endued with wonderful actiand direction are different, but the vity. Let us suppose the arrangement of things themselves are just the same. the parts to be as exquisite as it will, still All the experiments that have been it is only an arrangement of unteeling tried on various substances have never matter. This arrangement may produce discovered them to be any thing else an infinite difference in its mechanical but the old original properties of mat- motions, but what you want to produce ter, such as extension, figure, soli- is the power of distinguishing pleasure dity, motion, &c. conibined under differ- and pain where there was none. It is a ent circumstances. There is some ana- transition from insensibility to sensation, logy still lett, which determines the class from death to life, that is to be accounted to which they belong; indeed, if it were for; and a change of place, size, or form, not for something of this sort, it would in a parcel of physical atoms does not be hard to say, in what turnace or alem- make the least alteration in this respect. bic they could be found. When an in- In short, we can never conceive of stance is met with of inatter having by thought or feeling as implied in any of its compositions and decompositions re. the simple, known properties of matter; tined itself into any thing which was not and this being granted, as I think it inust, matter, or of its having acquired any other it seems very unphilosophical to argue, real distinguishing properties besides that mind is notwithstanding only some those which it had at first, it will ihen be modification of matter, since no moditime enough to consider whether thoughtfication of matter can entirely change and conception may not be anong the its nature, or produce a distinct result number. It is perhaps casier to explain from a ridiculous combination of a numthis distinction in matters of feeling, ber of particles, not one of which could than with respect to our ideas. Thus contribute any thing towards it. There the sense of pain is surely very different is not, as it seems to me, the same absur-from the prick of a pin by which it may dity in supposing the mind to be united be occasioned. Hartley has endeavoured to matter, or to be acted upon by it, aş
in supposing that it is matter. For the For the Monthly Magazine. immaterialist, in saying that the mind is LYCÆUM OF ANCIENT LITERAnot matter, does not pretend to under
TURE.-No. XX. stand its nature thoroughly, or to know
LYRIC POETRY. what relations it niay have to other THE most just and comprehensive things: whereas, the materialist under:
be takes to define what it is, and in saying given of Poetry, is, that it is the language that the mind is nothing but matter, and of passion, or of an enlivened imaginathat thought is motion, affirms not only tion, formed most commonly into regular what is unintelligible, but what is contrae numbers. The historian, the orator, the ry to the fact. In the one case we are philosopher, address themselves for the considerably at a loss to know how the
most part primarily to the understandthing can be; in the other, we have suffi- ing: their direct aim is to inform, to incient evidence to believe that it is not so. struct, to persuade. But the first aim There is one other view of the subject of the poet is to please, and to move; which I shall just mention. It may be and therefore, it is to the imagination said that thought itself is a simple body and the passions, that he speaks.
He of matter, an original attribute with may, and Ise ought to, have it in his which it is endowed, or the result of the view, to instruct and reform—but it is same ultimate principle or substance in indirectly, and by pleasing and moving, which the other properties of matter, as that he accomplishes his end. His mind hard and soft, round and square, are is supposed to be animated by some in. supposed to inhere. But this is not the teresting object which fires his imaginaDotion of materialism. It is not account- tion, or engages bis passions--and which, ing for mind from the vulgar and known of course, communicates to his style å properties of matter, but from an en- peculiar elevation suited to his ideas; tirely unknown and undefined principle, very different from that mode of express which may be called spirit as well as sion which is natural to the mind in its matter. For we have only to reverse calm and undisturbed state. The Greeks, the reasoning, and say that the common fond of attributing to their own nation properties and operations of matter orie the invention of every art and science, ginate in the same power or substance, have ascribed the origin of poetry to of which thought is a characteristic pro- Orpheus, Linus, and Musæus. - There perty, that is, in an intellectual or spiri- were perhaps such persons as these, who tual substance, and that they ought there. were the first distinguished bards in their fore to be called spiritual. It is only en- own country. But long before such Jarging the sense in which we use the names were heard of, and among nations word matter, and making it stand for God where they were never known, poetry or nature, or substance in general. The certainly existed. It is a great error to question is, whether thought is a primary, imagine, that poetry and music are arts distinct, essential, quality of some sub- which belong only to polished nations. stance, or, whether it is merely a second- They have their foundation in the very ary, artificial result of the known proper- nature of man, and belong to all nations, ties of matter organized in a particular and to all ages, though, like other arts manner. We can only say, in propriety founded in nature, they have been more of speech, that mind is the same thing with cultivated, and, from a concurrence of famatter when we mean that its laws and vourable circumstances, carried to greatoperations are the same with those of gross er perfection in some countries than in matter, as these are cognizable to our others. senses, and the objects of physical sci- These general observations upon the ence. Otherwise we come to no expla- nature of poetry, in its first acceptation, nation at all, but are left as much in the lead us to the consideration of the Ode dark as ever; and very improperly apply a word, which in itself signifies song. It to an arbitrary abstraction of our own, a is not, however, our intention to enter term,which is never used but in connection into a lengthened discussion upon the with certain definite ideas, or the known lyre of the ancient Greeks--the associaDature of matter. This letter has run to tion of music and dancing among that a greater length than I intended; and I people, their Strophe, Antistrophe, and will resume the subject in another letter, Peristrophe, which marked the moveif you should deem what I have already ments adapted to accompany the person written worth the attention of your read who held the instrument--the freedom ETS. Yours, &c. W.H. with which they ran from one strophe to
another, another, so that the sense by which they temporary execution, nor were they combegan the first, was completed only in pelled to the adoption of a subject steril, the second-nor upon the possibility of uninteresting, or frivolous. They media according these, suspensions of the poet's tated, beforehand, the subject of their meaning with the measure of the music songs; they proposed to themselves the I and the steps of the dancers. All these most grave and sublime compositions; difficulties have sufficiently exercised the their enthusiasm was not excited to please learned; and many are yet unexplained. a circle of idle auditors ; but, in the midst The history of the arts and sciences of armies, to the sound of warlike instruamong the ancients, may be compared ments, they sang of valour, the love of to an immense country, overspread with their country, the charms of freedom, the monuments and ruins with specimens hope of victory, or the glory of dying in of the most finished architecture, inter- battle. It was among a people to whom mingled with every symptom of decay they celebrated the majesty of laws and and fallen splendour. The ancients them- the empire of virtue in funereal games, selves have left us no traditions, by which wbere, before a tomb covered with trowe can ascertain the history of the origin phies and decorated with laurels, they reand progress of art among then. They commended to posterity the memory of appear to have taken no precaution some personage who had lived and died against time or future barbarity. It in the service of his country-in'feasts, would seem, that they dreaded neither where, seated by the side of kings, they the one nor the other; and when we applauded the deeds of heroes, and sticonsider the long and brilliant part they mulated the monarch to the laudable deacted in the annals of mankind, we can sire of being celebrated in his turn by readily excuse their having been lulled future poets equally eloquent--or in a into security, by this high opinion of temple, where the sacred bards seemed their glory, and the immortality of their inspired by those gods whose power they works.
exalted and whose goodness they proWhen, in Italy, we hear a skilful Im- claimed. In a word, the idea that we provisatore, preluding upon an instru- are to form of an ancient lyric poet in ment, sing a profusion of verses extem- the highest elevation of the ode, is that poraneously upon a given subject—when of a virtuous enthusiast, who, with the we perceive him, as he advances, become lyre in his hand, endeavoured to allay more animated, and accelerate the move- sedition-who, in a period of public ment of the air upon which he composes, disaster, gave hope to those who deand then produce ideas, images, senti- spaired, and courage to those who were ments, and long strains of poetry and ready to sink-who, in the hour of suceloquence, of which he would have been cess, recorded the exploits of his counincapable in moments of greater calm- trymen-owho, in the solemnity of a ness, and sink at last into a state of ex- feast, augmented its interest and splenhaustion similar to that of the Pythian dour-or who, in the games and exercises goddess,--we recognize that principle of peculiar to his nation, excited the emuinspiration and enthusiasm common to lation of the candidates, by the hope of the ancient poets; and are, at once, victory, and the certainty of reward. filled with astonishment and pity. With Such was the ode among the Greeks, astonishment, to find those emotions real. With a people who worshipped their heized, which once were deemed fabulous roes, even more than their gods, the - and with pity, to behold these efforts character of a lyric poet could not fail of nature employed upon a futile and to be highly important. He was revered evanescent art, from which the Improvi- as the friend of the Muses and the favousatore can claim no other success than rite of Apollo. The enthusiasm of the the pleasure of having amused a few cu- people stimulated that of the bard and rious auditors--while all the pictures, all the genius of the country was devoted sentiments, and beautiful verses, which to this divine art. But what contributed escaped hun in the rapid moments of his still more to the character of grandeur delivery, are gone, and leave no other which it assumed, was the use which was inpression but the vibration produced by made of it for political purposes, by colthe sound of his voice. It was thus, no necting it with the establishment of laws, doubt, that the ancient lyric poets were and the reformation of manners. If we animated; but their inspiration was more could suppose in the middle of Rome, worthily and more usefully employed. Pergolese or Somelli, a lyre in his hand, They were not exposed to the hazard ofex- with the voice of Timotheus and the elo
quence of Demosthenes, recalling to the “ All odes," says Dr. Blair, “ may be memory of the modern Romans the splen- comprised under four denominations. dour of their ancient city, and the virtues First, sacred odes; hymns addressed to of their ancestors, we might form an idea God, or composed on religioas subjects. of the lyric poet, among the first inhabi. Of this nature are the psalms of David, tants of Greece. Such was Epimenides which exhibit to us this species of lyric in the middle of Athens, Tbersander or poetry, in its highest degree of pertecTyrtæus in Sparta, Alceus in Lesbos. Not tion. Secondly, heroic odes, which are that the lyric bard always maintained this employed in the praise of heroes, and in serious character-but his language, in the celebration of martial exploits and every variation of his style,
great actions. Of this kind are all Pin. From grave to gay, from lively to severe,
dar's odes, and some few of Horace's,
These two kinds ought to have sublimity was always the language of nature, and and eleration for their reigning character. adapted to the dignity of his subject, or Thirdly, moral and philosophical odes, suited to the peculiarity of his own feel- where the sentiments are chiefly inspired ings and situation. Anacreon sang the by virtue, friendship imd humanity. Of joys of wine and pleasure, because he this kind are inany of Horace's odes, and was a wine-drinker and a voluptuary. Several of our best modern lyric produce Sappho was the poet of love, because tions; and here the ode possesses that she was herself the slave and the victim middle region, which it sometimes occuof love.
pies. Fourthly, festive and amorous odles, We have said, that the word ode is calculated merely for pleasure and amusesynonimous with song. It is from this ment. Of this nature are all Anacreon's; circumstance, of the ode's being supposed some of Horace's; and a great number to retain its original union with music, of songs and anodern productions, that that we are to deduce the proper idea, claim to be of the lyric species. The and the pecaliar qualities of this kind of reigning character of these ought to be poetry. Music and song naturally add elegance, smoothness and gaiety." to the warinth of poetry. By them we A principal object in the consideration can express all the various feelings of of the ode, will be an inquiry into that the soul. The enthusiasm of admiration, species of enthusiasm, which is supposed the delirium of joy and love, the agony to be essential to its composition. An of grief, or the milder emotions of melan- ode, professedly so, is expected to be choly, are all equally within the power of written in a higher degree of elevation song to delineate. In common life, the and spirit than any other. If the poet sharpness of anguish may be softened, as be possessed of genius, he is allowed to well as the transports of joy exalted, by indulge it, in all its warmth and sublisinging—and though the grief which is mity. He is not checked by those severe more fixed and settled in the mind, would principles of correctness and propriety appear to betray repugnance rather than which other poems demand. He may inclination for music, we know that it is give free vent to all the fire and impetuoften soothed by the same effects—as osity of his ideas, not controuled by the Orplieus is said to have calmed his sor- laws of metre, or restrained by the apparow for his loss, by the sound of his lyre: rent incoherency of the thoughts. Tbus, Te, dulcis conjux, te solo in litore secum,
Boileau, speaking of the, ode, has obTe, veniente die, te decadente, canebat.
served, It is easy, therefore, to distinguish what Son style impétueux souvent marche au are the subjects which more immediately Chez elle, un beau désordre est un effet de belong to the ode. Whatever raises or
l'art. exalts the soul above itself; whatever excites it to heroism, or depresses it into But this observation can be true with languor; whatever has a tendency to in- respect to very few, and can be excused spire emotions spirited, melancholy, or only by genius. What is inspiration in voloptuous; the interesting dreams which one, may be extravagance in a thousand occupy the imagination, and the variety others. The freedom of writing without of descriptions which it summons to its order, method or connection, has infeciaid ;—in a word, all the emotions of ed the ode more than any other species which the mind is susceptible and is ca- of poetry. It is inconceivable to what a pable of describing, are favourable to pitch of absurdity this licentiousness has ihis species of poetry.
been carried. The self-created Pindar
imagines that, to compose an ode, he tem of ode making, will be found also to must set at defiance every rulehe may extend to the versification. The extreme pass from one abrupt transition to ano- length to which the periods are suffered ther, and indulge in every species of ir-, to run the rapidity and abruptness with regularity--provided his language be which one measure is exchanged for anolotty and bis sentiments uncommon, he ther--the varicty of long and short lines may be as obscure and as unintelligible which are made to correspond with each as be pleases. Abrupt expressions of other in rhymne, at so enormous a dissurprize, admiration or rapiure--escla- tance-increase the disorder, by the dismations of love, joy or despair-violent regard to all sense of melody. Why, in distortions of sense, and the most forced lyric compositions, less attention should construction of words and metre, are be paid to beauty of sound, than in any what more particularly distinguish the other, it is difficult to imagine. The modern ode. They are often used to truth is, that no species of poetry decover the most barren and common-place mands it more than the ode; and the sentiments, and rarely convey any distinct versification of those odes, as is remarked idea to the reader, The quotation from by Blair, may be justly accounted the Boileau, founded on the supposed extra- best, which renders the harmony of the vagance of Pindar, has produced the most measure most sensible to every common ridiculous effects, and the most absurd car. misapprehensions. We are not requiring Another custom among the ancients, here that the ode should be as regular in which has also been too much followed its structure as a didactic or epic poem. in the modern ode, is that of not comBut it demands, as well as every other pleting the sense in one section, but purspecies of poetry, that a subject should suing it into another. Thus amung many be proposed as its ground-work—and other instances in Pindar, the three last that the subject, whether it be an address lines of the third strophe in the first to some personage, or descriptive of any Olymp. are these particular passion of the mind, instead of
Προς ευάνθεμον δ' ότε φυαν being forgotten or laid aside after the first
Λαχναι γιν μελαν γένε μου ερεφον, , lines, should be continued and illustrated Ετυμον ανεφρόντισεν γαμου, , through every stanza of the ode. The and he completes the sentence in the transitions from thought to thought are, antistrophe, of course, permitted; but they should be light and delicate, and sufficiently con
Πισάτα παρα παίροςnected with the subject to enable the And in Horace, poet to fall, with ease and propriety, into Districtus ensis cui super impia the same train of ideas with which he
Cervice pendet, non siculæ dapes sets out.
For this incoherence and dis- Dulcem elaborabunt saporem ; order of lyric poetry, the authority and Non avium citharæque cantus example of Pindar have always been
Somnum reducent. quoted, but, as we think, not always with truth or justice. We shall have These singular intersections of a sentence occasion hereafter to examine this point are, at best, injudicious, and may surely more attentively; at present we shall be easily avoided *.
Το only observe, that whoever considers the poems of the Theban bard with regard to
It may noi bc amiss to afford the reader the manners and customs of the age in an idea of the three sianzas used by the Greeks, which they were written, the occasions from the following passage in the last paragraph wbich gave them birtlı, and the places in in the Scholia on Hephæstion." You must which they were intended to be recited, know that the ancients (in their odes, framed will find little reason to censure Pindar rw larger stanzas, and one less; the first of the for the want of order and regularity in large sianzas they called Strof bo-singing iton the plans of his compositions. On the their fesiivals at the altars of the gods, and contrary, perhaps, he will be inclined to dancing at the same time. Tlie second they admire him for raising so many beauties
called Antistrople, in which they inverted the
dance. The lesser stanza was named the from such trivial lints, and for kindling, Erode, which they sang standing still.. The as he sometimes does, so great a flame Strophe, as they say, denoted the motion of from a single spark, with so little matter the higher sphere, the Antistropbe, that of to preserve it.
the planets, the Epode the fixed station and This extravagance and disorder of ideas repose of the earth." From this passage it is of which we complain in the modern sys- evident that the odes were accompanied with