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Cornell university Library

Longinus On the sublime.

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LONGINUS ON THE SUBLIME

HENRY FROWDE,

M.A.

POBUSHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

LONDON, EDINBURGH

NEW YORK AND TORONTO

LONGINUS

ON THE SUBLIME
TRANSLATED BY

A. O.

PRICKARD,
NEW

M.A.

LATE FELLOW OF

COLLEGE, OXFORD

WITH INTRODUCTION, APPENDIX, AND INDEX

OXFORD
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
1906

OXFORD
PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
BY HORACE HART, HJU

PRINTER TO THE ONIVERSITV

PRINTED

IN

ENGLAND.'

INTRODUCTION
In a copjr of the
first

edition of the treatise knovni

since the revival of letters as Longinus an the Sublime,

which

is

now

in the Library of the British

Museum,
'A

may be

read a few lines, written in Latin, by the great

scholar Isaac Casaubon, beginning with the words

golden book.'
written of
It is
it as

Quite recently Professor Butcher has

an ' essay of unique value and


its

interest.'

unique, partly, because pf


;

rare intrinsic excel-

lence

which gives
from

it

a place

among the remains

of

Greek

criticism, only shared


it

so diderent

in

by the work of Aristotle. every respect, on the Art of


is

Poetry.

This high quality


critics

allowed to

it

long series of

and
it

scholars,

from

by a

Addison,

who

first

recommended

to a large public of English

readers, to Professor Saintsbury.

But we need not


is

appeal to authority

the true test

to read the

little

work through, and to ask from how many wo'iters, ancient or modern, we could have borne the continuous development of the one theme, Be great live with
' !

great minds!

'

how we should have


Treatise for the

felt if

the wise and

humane

Plutarch, or the careful and sound-beaded

Dionysius of Halicarnwsua, had tried to enforce it ? Yet

no one reads the


feeling that

first

time without

he has found a
to
invigorate,

literary guide of rare ability

to

direct,

to

ennoble his thought.


critics.

Moreover,

it

has inspired other

Burke had the

Ti

Introduction

older study before him, though he only once directly


refers to it,

when he wrote

his Philosophical Inquiry

into the Origin


\

of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful,


us,

an early work, interesting to

not only for

its

strong

and dignified

style,

but

also as

being a charaaeristic

attempt to base upon principles our judgements on


matters of taste and opinion
;

important

also, as

having

had much to do with the conception by Lessing of the


ideas contained in his Laocoon.
Sir Joshua

Reynolds

draws from our author many of the precepts laid down


in the Discourses,

and often

all

but quotes his words.


of the Treatise in on

Bishop
his It

Lowth applied the teaching own fresh and vigorous Lectures


quoted again and again,

Hebrew

Poetry.

is

vrith evidently

genuine

enjoyment, by numbers of English writers in poetry

and prose
ciation,

by none more
its

often, or

with livelier appre-

than by Fielding

*-

Over and above


Treatise unique.
generis, often

singular attractiveness

and

solid

worth, there are other considerations which make the


It
is

written in a style which


in

is

sui

more Latin than Greek, both

rhythm

and in conception, yet sometimes neither Latin nor Greek, and always impressed with the strong personality of the writer.

The
is

interest in authors

and

books, other than Greek,

unusual, but must have

appeared

also in

the work of Caecilius upon the same


it
is,

subject, to

which

in effect, an answer.

The

' See an article in the Quarterly Review of October| 1900, which the reader should consult (or Prof. Churton Collins' Studies

in Poetry

and

Criticism, 1906).

Introduction
range from which
its

vii

abundant metaphors are drawn


to our

is

both wide and remarkable.


history

Lastly, its strange literary


curiosity.
It

appeals

strongly

has

reached us through a copy written in the tenth century,


itself so

mutilated in various parts that about a third


is

of the original contents

wanting, without a single

word of

earlier

comment
cast

or notice vouchsafed to us by
stern waters of

antiquity

a babe

up by the

Time,
comes

without father or mother or any credentials of origin,


but of features which assure us certainly that
of noble line.
it

Questions of date and authorship meet us at the


outset,
lie.

and we will

at once try to see clearly

how they

make too much of such uncertainties. Any ancient critical work coming from an author who had the great Greek books in his hands, just as we have, only in a more complete form,
In a sense,
it is

possible to

and who read them in the language of


life

his

own

daily
it

and from

Greek point of view, has that about


;

which no modern estimate can supply

century or
the other

two

earlier or later is

no great matter.

On

hand, the general conditions of thought and of modes


of expression
interval.

may change

very greatly within such an

Moreover, we naturally speak of a book, and


all

use

it,

with much greater confidence when we know


it

about

who

wrote

it,

and when, and with what


are all unknovra quantities.

purpose

than when these


as

Take such a writer


circumstances

Horace, one whose personal


familiarly,

we know so

and whose judge-

ment worked

so evenly, that

he may be trusted to say

viii

Introductim

the same thing under the same conditions at almost

any period of

his life.

Yet we

feel

on much firmer
say, of

ground when we are considering the contents,


the First Book of Epistles, than
if

we turn to the Second Book or to the Ars Poetica, where so many preliminary doubts must be settled or left by agreement svh iudice, before we are free to deal with the contents. So the
critical

student enters upon Hamlet or Coriolanus with


steadier

mind

and

less

preoccupied than he brings

to the study of, say, The Tempest or

Romeo and

Juliet.

The

facts are briefly these.

In the old manuscript


is

already mentioned, the treatise

headed in Greek
printed in the

words: OfDionysiusLanginus concemingSublimity. This

was reproduced in the

earliest editions
it

middle of the sixteenth century, and

seems never to

have been doubted that the author was the same person
as Cassius

Longinus, a great teacher of philosophy and


d.,

language in the third century a.


to

who was

adviser
life

Queen Zenobia
xi).

of Palmyra, and paid with his

for his share in her unfortunate rising against Aurelian

(Gibbon, chap.
it

Early in the nineteenth century

came to be known, in the first place by a discovery made by an Italian scholar, Amati, in the Vatican
Library, that the title was variously given
;

that the

old tenth-century Paris copy

itself,

though

it

bore the

name
'

of Dionysius Longinus above the text, yet con-

.tained

an index

in

which the

treatise

was ascribed to

Dionysius or Longinus.'

A copy at

Florence, dating

from the fifteenth century, is headed simply OfLonginus


on Sublimity if Language, and has, on a slip of parch-

Introduction
ment
affixed

ix

to the cover, words both of Greek and


'

Latin, ascribing the work to an


certain author.'

anonymous ' or

'

un-

As no

syllable of information has reached us


earlier

from

any source

than the old manuscript

itself, it

seemsreasonable, unless a presumption can be established


in favour of any

one of these

traditions, to conclude

that

all

are so

many

hypotheses or guesses, excepting

that one which leaves the author uncertain.


certain
his,

So a

work attributed to Aristotle, but certainly not was also attributed, in ancient times, to Plato,

another to Theophrastus.

The

difficulty

long

felt as

to the combination of the Greek and


'

Roman names
;

Dionysius-Longinns

'

may

not be insuperable

but,

when the names

are those of

two of the best-known


ask us to believe that

critics of antiquity, it is

much to
life

they were ever borne in real

by one man. by
this

The further hypothesis which grew up, not suggested


by any
tradition, that the person described

double name was in fact the historical Cassius Longinus,


should, if correct, be readily supported

by some such pre-

we have suggested since the philosopherstatesman left many writings, both on philosophy, and on literary subjects, of which we possess considersumption
as
;

able fragments

yet no passage has been alleged which

can
able

fairly
is

be quoted in this sense.

The most

favour'

one occurring in the Rhetoric of Longinus : Such


is,

language
ments.'

as it
is

were, the light of thoughts and argusufficiently like


'

This

beautiful words are,

in all truth, a light peculiar to

mind'

(p.

55),

but

Introduction
:

the image finds a counterpart also in Plutarch '


'

As

light

to those

who
and

see,
is,

so

speech

is

good

to those

who

hear,'

in fact, familiar in the


;

phraseology of the Latin

critics

while the idea of


is

some words being


Dionysius
his
as

intrinsically beautiful

quoted by

from Theophrastus, three centuries before

own time.
is

On some particular points the presumptwo persons


would not be
classification of

tion

actually against identifying the

such are the

the 'figures,' and the


it

estimate of particular orators, though


fair

to press these discrepancies too closely.

It

may seem somewhat

strange that

we cannot

speak with more decision as to the internal evidence

bearing on the question whethe r the treatise was

composed in the
and whether
it

first

century or the third of our era,

tiie same hand as the by the great scholar D. Ruhnken, and the other undoubted work of Cassius 'Longinus, for these are the two issues really before us.

was or was not by

parts of the Rhetoric recovered

Such

internal evidence

would

naturally present itself

under the heads of

persons or events mentioned, voca-

bulary and style, and general point of view, whether


literary or philosophical.

In glancing at these three

points,

we must remember that more cogent evidence is


;

required to set aside a tradition already existing, even


a faint one, than to establish a claim de novo

and we

therefore repeat that the inscription of the Treatise on


the Sublime,

which

is

the sole source of any tradition,

leaves the authorship entirely uncertain.


'

Df

rec: rat. aud:

c. 5.

Introduction
Of the numerous
discussed
orators,

li

poets,
Treatise,
;

and historians
the
latest

and quoted in the


(p. 6)

in

date
is

is

probably Matris

at

any

rate,

no one

named who
It

belongs to a period later than the

Au-

gustan.

was formerly thought that Ammonius,

named on
is

p. 30, was an exception, but it turns out to

be anexceptionwhich'proves the rule,'for thereference


certainly not to Ammonius Saccas,one of the teachers

of Cassius Longinus, but to a critic

the time of Augustus, and

who lived before who wrote on the particular


Again, the Treatise
title

subjects indicated in the passage.


is

based upon a work with the same

by

Caecilius, a

critic
A.D.,

who

enjoyed great reputation in the


in its earlier years.

first

century
possible,

and himself lived

It

is

but seems very unlikely, that an answer

(for all

the men-

tions of Caecilius are unfavourable) should be


so

made

in

much
;

detail to a

work written

several generations
at least that

back

and the words used suggest

the

author and the younger friend addressed read the

work of Caecilius together when


pen.

it

was fresh from his

The

notice of dwarfs (p, 79) and of the Pythian

oracle (p. 30)

make

for the earlier date,

and

also the

mention, in the imperfect tense, of a practice of Theodorus of Gadara, tutor of the Emperor Tiberius (p. 7). Of Postumius Terentianus nothing is known. From
the terms in which he
is

addressed, he appears to have

been a younger friend, and a close friend, of the author.


'

Excellent

'

(p.

70) should imply official rank (see


xxvi. 25),

Acts

xxiii. z6,

and

and the author has in


life (p. i).

view readers among

men

in public

How-

m
hails

IntretdueUm

ever, tie ' Complaisant

man

'

of Tbeopiifastus {char, v)
as
'

an ordtoary sequaintance

Exeellent.'

The style
structions

of the Trf^Hse-f that

is,

of the

Greek con-

and idioms used, does not seem to give any tangible criterion. The Greek used by writers of the
time of the
with
little

Roman Empire was


-ritality

fixed

and

artificial,

growth or

of

its

own, but capable

of immense variation, according to the individuality of authors so different as Dionysins, Plutarch,

Dion
it

ChrysQstom, Lucian.
'the subject

Vocabulary does

offer a test:

caimot be profitably discussed here, bnt

may be

said that a careful analysis has

been made by

M. Louis Vaueher', who finds that there are few terms,


not quite common-place, which are used both in the
Trfatise large

and

also

by

Cassius Longinus, while a very


characteristic of the former

number of words

seem to have fallen out of use

when the

latter wrote,

or had changed their meaning. We may mention, as a term of some general interest, the word Allegory (p. 17) ; it is used, as it is by Quintilian and Cicero,
in the sense familiar to us, whereas in the RhftorU of

Iionginus

it

means the substitution,

for the sake of

variety, of one word or phrase for another.

That

M.

Vaucher went on, strangely

as it has

seemed to

most people, to argue that the author of onr Treatise was no other than Plutarch, does not in any way
impair the cogency of his negative conclusion, nor yet
the great value and interest of his excellent studies.

The attitude of Cassius Longinus to the great authors


'

Etudeti eriH^Ms, 1854.

Introduction
is

xiii

widely different from that of our Treatise.

Both

write as
intellect,

men

of vast reading

and of a high ordef of


intelligently

both admire profoundly and

the masters of Greek letters.

But the former thints of


as

them, and recommends them,


latter as containing

models of

style,

the

and inspiring great thought.

Both

Were sincere admirers of Plato, and both found, or allowed the existence of certain shortcomings; but the oae
critic

most enjoys

his felicity of language

and
their

harmony

of composition, the other the richness and

grandeur of his conception.


feeling to the world of

Equally different
outside.

is

men

The

Minister

of Z^nobia was a Neo-PlatoBist teacher, perhaps


at

more

home,

as

was said of him by Plotinus, in philology

than in philosophy, yet concerned with questions of


the soul and of Being.

The
life
;

Treatise

is

written for

men engaged
life is,

in public

the one worthy end of

in the author's eyes, not speculation but service,

the

relief of

man's

estate.

The word

is

common

in

Plato, though used rather of service to friends and comrades than to humanity; we recognize it as the aim

of a Prometheus, a Hercules, a Socrates.

To

Cicero

and to the
teaching.
as

later Academics, as well as to the Stoics, it


it

was familiar, but

had no place in Neo-Platonic


life is,
;

In other respects, the outlook upon

much that of Tacitus the complaint of the paucity of men of genius or greatness, the observation that we disparage what is virith us and
has been remarked,
eitol the past, the

demand

for liberty as for the air

essential to great thought.

And the ideas

in it belong.

xiv

Introduction
and character,
as

in conception

has been ktely ex-

plained with great force

hj

a scholar of authority
free,
its

(G. KaibeP), to an age

when thought was

and

when great
system.

questions were daily thrown into

glow-

ing crucible, not to one of cramped formulae and rigid

We
which

part very unwillingly with a tradition which

assigns so interesting a
associates it

book to so barren a period, and


will always
little

with the name of a great and unit

fortunate man.

Probably

be known
will

under the name of Longinus, and


done.
I

harm

be

have stated the conditions of the problem, of

course, in very brief outline.


'

As the author

says

Let every one take the view which pleases him, and
it.'

enjoy

The
self,

nature and quality of the criticism contained in

the Treatise will be best learned from the author him-

and we need not

anticipate.

Two

points are

especially conspicuous.

One

is

the sureness of the

judgement with which he


writers

fixes

on the

really great

and the
is

real causes of their greatness.

His

steady eye

never dazzled by the glare of some merely


'

ephemeral reputation.

Every college youth,' says a


'

speaker in the Dialogue of Tacitus,

hugs the opinion

that he

is

a better speaker than Cicero, though of


this

course far below Gabinianus,' and

pardonable

enthusiasm

is

a really distracting

element in criticism.

Yet our

critic

does not disparage his contemporaries,

and recognizes the infirmity, apparent to Horace and to


'

Hermes,

vol. xxxiv.

Introduction
Tacitus, which, makes us prone to that pettiness.
result
is

iv

The

that his verdict

is

at

one with that recorded


places,

by the universal voice of men, of all


age.

and in every

The other point is his constant endeavour one which we have already noticed in Burke to rest his

judgement upon

settled principles

the true

criteria

of greatness, the necessity of selecting

and combining
the forms of

salient points, the relation of passion to

speech, the value of harmonious composition.

Of
will

his

own
he

style

we need add

little.

The

reader

notice how,
falls

unconsciously following his


into the vein of the author

own

principles,
is

whom he

for

the time discussing, and seems to reproduce

the profuse imagery of Plato, the grace of Hyperides, the condensation of Demosthenes, and the
'

perils

'

of

the mighty periods of the same supreme orator.

Two
One

particular metaphors call for a

lies

in the elaborate series of images

word of notice. drawn from

the craft of the mason (pp. 26, 74, &c.). To us they seem familiar enough, though the expressions

used are

difficult,

perhaps because they have

entered into our language through the New Testament,

and ultimately from the Old.

In Greek poets

we
one

have frequent reference, in connexion with Fate, to the


coping-stone, a rudimentary feature of the art
reference to
;

more elaborate structures in Euripides' Hifpolytus, 468 ; and one to a splendid temple-front
in Pindar.

But, in fact. Architecture did not rank as

one of the Fine Arts, and perhaps did not greatly stir the

Greek mind; one of

its

purposes was to provide a

XVI

Introduction
it-

framework for beautiful earring or pictures, but in


of Poetry and Fine Art,
in

sdf it was merely ' useful ' (see Butcher, Aristotle's Theory
c. ii).

Nor was

it far

otherwise

Roman ideas. The


and

imagery repeatedly drawn from

walls

their constituents in this Treatise touches

on something new. Another remarkable image


who, in the old age of
the Odyssey,
is

is

that applied to

Homer,

his genius,

which gave birth to


limits,

likened to the sea at ebb tide, confined

within the solitude of his

own

proper

but leav-

ii^ pools and creeks about which the retiring waters

meander.

This personal conception of Ocean, an old

man with a proper home of his own, recalls the romantic


character in the Prometheus of Aeschylus, and
it is

strange that critics have found diflSculty in the words

used in our text.

But the

tides

were not, and could

not be, within the observation of Greek writers,

who

have therefore contributed

little

to the science or to

the poetry connected with them.


litde

The Romans have


to Caesar

more to
in

tell us, till


;

we come
describing

and

his

experiences in Gaul
lines
Silius

and there are some

really striking

Italicus

the surprise of

Hannibal,

when he aad found the new


Atlantic coast.

passed the Straits of Gibraltar,

expeiieace awaiting
also,

him on the

Tacitus

in th Agricola, expresses
of Britain.

his

wonder at the great tidal rivers phenomenon is one which woold be


his

The

sure to appeal to
is

our author, with

awe

at all that

vast in

Nature

but we should
his

like

to

know in w&at part


it.

of the

worM

own

eyes had seen

Introduction

rvii
is

A characteristic feature of the


dance of quotations.

Treatise

the abunones,

Many

passages,

some long

are quoted for the purpose of literary criticism, from

Homer,
writers.

Plato,

Demosthenes, and numerous other


liberties are

Great

taken with the text

two

or

more

passages of

Homer
There

are rolled into one, sen-

tences of Demosthenes are curtailed, and words or


phrases are altered.
at in this
j

is

nothing to he surprised
is

the precise Aristotle

a very loose quoter.

Apart from these, the writer often glides into the words
of a poet or of Plato,

and makes them

his

own

in

many
81)
;

cases

we

can recognize the passage

(see

pp. 40,

in others the metrical run of the words, and their

poetical colouring (sometimes, as

on

p. 64, the dialect),

make

it

probable that they are borrowed.

This habit

of unacknowledged quotation,

though not unparalleled

in Greek and Latin writers, has a strangely


effect
;

modern

still

more

so

when

there

is

a touch of senti-

ment,

as

when we

are told (p. Bj), in the

words of a
is

well-known epigram, that the fame of great writers


safe

and inalienable

As long

as
'

waters flow and poplars bloom.

The word

sublime,'

which
is

is

now

inseparably

associated with this treatise,

a somewhat embarrassing
analysis
all

one in English, but perhaps its


us

need not trouble

much.

It

is

not found at
is

in Shakespeare, nor

apparently in Spenser, but

used freely by Milton

probably Boileau and Addison have had

much

to do

home in our language. Coleridge, who has elsewhere examined the word more fully, is reported
with making it
at
LONG. TR.
}q

xviii

Introduction
:

in the Table Talk as saying

'

Could you ever discover


Sublimity

anything sublime, in our sense of the term, in the


Classical
is

Greek Literature ?
birth.'

I never could.

word more properly applied to certain parts of the Old Testament than to anything else to the account of the
Certainly V7e feel that the
is

Hebrew by

Creation, to the Book of Job.

There are passages of Greek literature, wluch any of us could name as almost
it is

equally deserving to be called sublime, but


able that, with the exception of the

notice-

Death

of Oedipus,

and perhaps of some others, they are not among those


mentioned in the
term.'
Treatise.

We
'

should like to ask

Coleridge the exact meaning of

in our sense of the

When

so correct a writer as Goldsmith makes


us

Dr. Primrose

tell

how he thought
'

proper to exhort

his family before the

Vicar a ' comedy '


ing,

happy marriages which make the I told them of the grave, becomthe
last adjective

and sublime deportment they should assume upon


seems to
far

this mystical occasion,'

have travelled
Certainly the

from any Hebrew assodations.

in possessing a

German language may be held fortunate word of home growth to express the

sublime.
'

Best leave these things to take their chance,' as our


(p. 8i),

author quotes
the original.

and turn to the word used in


'

It

means simply

height,'

and we have
fixed literary

no reason to think
it

that, before the treatise of Caecilius,

or

its

adjective

had been used in any

sense.

The Latin equivalent, sublimis, is

often so used,

but perhaps always with some feeling of the original

;'

Introduction

XIX

meaning of height as a dimension in space. In the ff^atw, sublimity is almost equivalent to greatness, but
the author expressly
tells

us that there

ness without sublimity.


'

may be greatThe two words sublimity


'

and greatness ' are used in the singular and the


baffling to a translator.

plural,

in an abstract and in a concrete sense, in a manner often

For the greatness which


shares.

is

so

near sublimity the author has a profound respect,

which the true Greek hardly


a certain size

Size

is

a factor

of beauty in Aristotle's view, but primarily because


is

perceptible

of the awe-inspiring

needed to make the symmetry of parts wonder which raises

the beautiful to the sublime he gives no hint.


dotus wonders at the Nile
curiosity as to
its
;

Hero-

but with the wonder of


rivers of

hidden origin and mysterious periods


its

of fullness,

and

symmetry with
'

Europe,

want to know,' not the wonder which hears a voice warning him that the ground is holy ; a true Greek would feel the same if brought in sight of the Victoria Falls or the Golden
the wonder which says
I
'

Throne.'

Our author

speaks with

things in Nature, because they are great

awe of the great ; of Nile and

Ister and Ocean, and of that Aetna which to Pindar was merely a piUar of dazzling snow planted on the shaggy breast of the foe of Zeus, vomiting fire un-

approachable.

So of
afraid,
if

intellectual greatness

the test of

it

isjthe-awehis hearer

whict-itanspires.

Hyperides never'makes
is

Demosthenes

terrible as

a thunderstorm

Homer falls

ofi in his

Odyssey,

it is

because he pleases

b2

XX
and
interests,

Introduction
but no longer awes.
This point of view
there were
it all.

is

pressed throughout the treatise with an intensity and


if

\ earnestness which would be monotonous

mot

so

much
is,

power, expressed and latent, under


;

No

sense of

tinction

humour relieves the tension little disin fact, made between prose and poetry,
(p. 33)

though the author recognizes


separate treatment
;

that they require

he scolds Plato for his imagery,


is

without allowing for the fact that Plato


quoting poetry.

avowedly

Yet the sheer greatness of the arguit,

ment

invariably saves

and

it is

the greatness of a

good man. In this short and fragmentary pamphlet of an austere and strenuous critic, we hear sometimes
the notes of that wisdom which
is
'

kind to man,' and


is
'

catch gleams of that intellectual light which


of love.'

full

Some apology may seem


translation of a book

to be required for a

new

which has been so excellently


can only offer the old one, that
author
is final,

translated already,

no translation of a

classical

and that a
an author's

new translator may bring out some


sented,
I

sides of

meaning which have not perhaps been already repre-

hope that

have not carried independence

too far in replacing (on p. 63) a singularly happy


phrase of Sir R. C. Jebb's, which
to borrow, by inferior words.
reflection, that
I

had
it

at first

wished

But

appeared, on

a brilliant phrase,

when borrowed,
;

becomes something other than


to say, a second intention, and
its

itself
is

it

acquires, so

more

rightly left in

own

surroundings.

To the

complete and scholarly

Introduction

xxi

work of Professor Rhys Roberts, which has done so much


to make the study of the Treatise possible to others,

and to the

brilliant translation of

Mr.

Havell, I feel

myself constantly indebted.

Perhaps the translation


fine

on which

have most relied for help has been the

"u^atin version of Bishop Pearce.


I have a more personal debt of obligation, which warmly and gratefully acknowledge, to my friends Mr. E. D. A. Morsheai^and Mr. H. E. Butler, for J VSucffTnvalSaSii^i^^and to the Rev. A. H. CruickI

shank for guidance in a matter of special

difficulty.

For any omissions or

errors I

am solely

responsible.

The

text used has been that of the Oxford Classical

Texts, 1906, to the notes of which I


to refer any scholar into

may be

allowed

whose hands

this translation

may come. The


Worsley's
those from other

passages

from Homer are quoted in

translation (completed

by Osnington)

authors in standard translations


division into sections (an extrais

where

available.

The

ordinarily perverse one)


I

due to an edition of 1569.

have usually referred to pages. In the Appendix will be found specimen passages

translated

from various

later

Greek
is

critics,

of

whom
on

the historical Cassius Longinus


certain Latin critics considered

one

a note

in relation to the

subject-matter of the Treatise; and some extracts

from Bishop Lowth's Professorial Lectures on Hebrew


Poetry, translated from the Latin.

ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS
Sect.
is i.

The

treatment of the Sublime by CaecUius


tell

inadequate, and fails to

practical

men how

its

Sublime is ' an eminence and excellence of language,' and its aim both in poetry and in prose is to carry men out of themselves : this is done by a single powerful and well-timed stroke.
effects are attained.

The

Sect.

2. Is there an art

of Sublimity,

i.

e.

can the
;

what is natural ? Yes for Nature herself does not work at random, and the greatest natural forces are the most dangerous unless regulated (Nature comes first. Art is second, but no less essential). Also it requires Art to estimate genius
to
aright.

word Art be applied

[/i gap equal to about 6 pages of this lool^

[The

special dangers to
3.
(i)

which

great genius

is

exposed.]

Sect.
all

TurgUity (instance from Tragedy)


It is a fault to

this is ajhrtiori a fault in prose.

which
its

greatness is liable, and easily works round to

opposite,

comes out of a straining for what is artificial and high-flown, (iii) Parenthyrsus, i. e. passion out of
ness
season.

(ii)

PueriKty

the very opposite of great-

Sect.
others.

4.

(iv)

Frigidity,

a.

straining after
;

novelty.

Instances quoted out of Timaeus

but see Caecilius for

Plato and
5.

Xenophon
faults

are not

wholly

free.

Sect.

All these

come

out of a craze for

novelty, misdirected.

Sect. 6. Can we find a rule for avoiding them ? Yes, if we can frame a complete working definition of
'

Sublimity.'


Analysts of Contents
Sect.
repetition,
7.
i.

xxiH

Test.
e.

If

the

if

when

repeated

thought does not bear it does not raise the

thoughts upwards, but itself falls more flat on the ear each time, it is no true Sublime. The verdict of all men through all ages is final.

Sect. 8. Five sources of the Sublime (power of : viz. A. Natural, (i) grasp of great thoughts, (ii) passion ; B. Artificial, (iii) 'Figures,' whetherof thought or of language; (iv) diction; (v) composition. (Caecilius gives an incomplete list, omitting passion, which is not co-extensive with sublimity, but
speech being presupposed)
is its

powerfid ally.)

\A gap
Sect.
of
9. (i)

of \% pages^

a great soul.'

The

' Sublimity rings Great thoughts. from Sublimity of Silence The Silence

Ajax

but lowers gods to men. The pure divine in Homer. Illustration from Genesis. The human sublime, in Homer the Prayer of Ajax for light. (Digression on the Odyssey, the work of Homer's old age. His genius compared to the setting sun, or the ebbing Ocean, but always the genius of Homer. Hence the ' Marchen,' the story telling and character sketches.)
is
:

instance

The

in the

Lower World
Battle of the

{Odyssey xi).

Homeric

Gods

sublime,

Sect. 10. Rule for the application of great thoughts the most essential, and combine them into a whole, omitting secondary detail. So Sappho portrays the lover. Homer a storm, Archilochus a shipwreck, Demosthenes the arrival of the news of Elateia. Build with squared blocks, no rubble between them.
select

Sects, ii and 12. 'Amplification,' the enhancing


a thought in successive stages of the treatment,
ful, but,
is

use-

unless helped by sublimity,


elevation.

is

working by mass, not by

merely mechanical, Exceptions, when

xxiv
the object
is

AnalyAs of Contents
to excite pity or depreciation.
is irrelevant.

To

the

sublime, quantity

[Gap of 6 pages.^
and Demosthenes compared : Plato often affects us by quantity, Demosthenes by intensity.] Cicero and Demosthenes compared in a somewhat
[Plato
similar sense.

Sect. 13. The (from RepubUc ix).

real

greatness

of Plato

illustrated

Plato points us the road to greatness, viz. the imitation of great predecessors. Plato steeped himself in Homer : he entered the lists against

him.

Sect. 14.
or
:

We too should think how Homer, Plato,

Demosthenes would have expressed this or that thought how they would have endured this or that expression of ours. Nay, how will all future ages
endure those expressions. cowardice to shrink.

great issue,

but

it

is-

use

Sect. 15. Imagination and Images defined. Their in oratory and in poetry distinct. Employment by Euripides, Aeschylus, Sophocles. Misused in modern the right use illustrated from Demosthenes oratory and Hyperides.

Sect. 16. [The second source of Sublimity Passion is not treated here ; see above, Sect, iii, and the last words of the Treatise.] (iii) The Figures. Only a few Adjuration, illustrated from the can be mentioned. De Corona of Demosthenes, where the circumstances make the oath sublime (contrast its bare use by the Comic Poet Eupolis).
Sect,
i 7.

The Author

quotes from himself a con-

clusion that the Figures help Sublimity, but Sublimity

and Passion are essential to the Figures, which otherThe oath by ' the dead of wise are so many tricks.


Analyns of Contents
Marathon

xxv

' would be but an artifice, if the artifice did not pass in the fierce light of the speaker's feeling.

Sect. i8.

Answer.

The Figures continued. Instance from Herodotus.

Question

and

[A gap
Sect. 19.
words).

of 4
(i.e.

pages."]

Asyndeton

omission of connecting

Sect. 20. Combination of Asyndeton with other Instance from the Midias of Demosthenes,
figures often effective.

Sect. 21. Introduce the missing conjunctions in such instances of Asyndeton, and the passage is spoiled.
effect

Sect. 22. Hyperbata (inversion of order) give the of reality and passion. Thucydides, Demosthenes.

Sect. 23.

Polyptota

interchange of case, &c.

Plural for singular.

Sect. 24. Singular for Sect. 25. Present for

plural.

past.

Sect.

26.

Change of person

To

the

Second.

Instance from Herodotus.

Sect. 27. To the First. and Hecataeus.

Instances from

Homer

Sect. 28. Periphrasis enriches style. from Xenophon, Thucydides, Herodotus.

Instances

Sect. 29. Periphrasis requires more discretion than any other Figure. Sect. 30. Choice of words, a potent factor
pression.
in

ex-

certain judgeSect. 31. ments of Caecilius upon (i) homeliness of phrase, which may be justified by its vigour; (ii) number of metaphors: as to this, the practice of Demosthenes is the standard,

[A gap of 12 pages.] The author is challenging


xxvi

Analysis of Contents
intensity

and the

of the passion

the

justification.

(Aristotle and Theophrastus rightly

commend

the use

of qualifying words.)

Metaphors are also effective in laboured description. Instances from Xenophon and Plato (Timaeuj). Plato's excess in Metaphor is a fault, and Caecilius therefore prefers the faultless Lysias,
but wrongly.

Sect. 33.
are

We

must argue
?

this point out.

Which
claims to

we

to prefer

greatness with faults, or faultlessness

which stops there


excellence,

And

again
?

the most

can have no doubt. Remember that (i) Genius has a special risk of falling (ii) Men mark failures and often omit to mark greatness. To be Homer or ApoUonius ? Bacchylides or Pindar ? Ion or Sophocles ?
or the greatest
I

Sect. 34. Hyperides or Demosthenes ? The two Orators are elaborately compared. Demosthenes makes up for the powers he lacks by the terrible intensity of those which he has.

Sect. 35. Plato or Lysias (to return to them)

But Lysias has fewer merits than Plato, and worse faults. Nature herself has made Man with aspirations and affinities towards greatness. He admires the
stupendous things in Nature rivers, ocean, volcanoes not things useful and ordinary.

Sect. 36. Thus it is sublimity, not faultlessness, which brings Man near to the divine Homer, Demo:

sthenes,

Plato

have their
set

failures,

but these are as

nothing

when

against

their greatness

Objection. faulty statue is they are the immortals. In Art correctness not redeemed by its size. Ans'wer. But language is is the first thing, in Nature greatness.

therefore

a natural

gift.

Sect. 37. Similes, &c. \A gap of 6 pagesl\

Analysts of Contents

xxvii

Sect. 38. Hyperbole in excess becomes ridiculous. rightly used it should be unnoticed that it is hyperbole : and this will be so when there is passion to support it. So comic exaggeration is supported by being ludicrous (for laughter is a passion, but one which goes with pleasure, not pain).

When

the

Sect. 39. Arrangement of words (Composition): fifth and last constituent of Sublimity (see sect. 8). great factor not only of persuasion but also of passion : as great as music but not as enthralling. This illustrated from a famous passage of Demosthenes.

sentence or a period is an organic Sect. 40. words and phrases contribute to a whole, which is greater than their mere sum. Writers of limited ability may touch greatness by rhythm and
structure
:

arrangement.

Sects. 41-3. Causes of sinking in style, broken and jingling rhythm, scrappy phrases (like rubble in
masonry), condensation or difiuseness in excess, vulgar idioms and words (instance from Theopompus) all the opposites of what we have found to be factors of

sublimity.

Sect. 44.

The

question has been raised

Why have
?

we many
is

clever

reason political

men now,

but no great
are

men

Is the

that the stimulus given

now wanting, and that we

by democracy cramped and checked by

(i) Men always think their despotism ? The answer : own times the worst, (ii) It is not the peace of the world which levels us down, but our own habits ; our love of getting, and of spending on our pleasures, both

and causes of others and worse corruption, Being what we are, and such like. perhaps we are better in servitude than if our vices had the passions. free vent. Better pass to the next subject
deadly
evils,

will-hunting,

CONTENTS
PAGE
Introduction

Analysis of Contents

....
.
.

v
xxii
i

Concerning Sublimity

Appendix I. Specimen Passages translated from Greek Writers of the Roman Empire on Literary Criticism
. .

83

Appendix

II.

The Treatise on
.
.

Sublimity
.

AND Latin Critics

.105

Appendix

III.

Passages translated from

Bishop Lowth's Oxford Lectures on

Hebrew Poetry
Appendix IV.
phones

114

Additional Note on Para126

Index of Proper Names occurring in the

Text

127

CONCERNING SUBLIMITY
I

THE

treatise
'

written

by Caecilius

'concerning

Sublimity

appeared to us, as you will remember,

dear Postumius Terentianus,

when we looked
vital points

into

it

together, to fall below the level of the general subject,


failing especially in grasp

of

and to give

his readers but

little

of that assistance which should be In any technical


the
first,

the

first

aim of every writer.


;

treatise

two, points are essential

that

the

writer
is

should

show what
tell

the thing proposed for inquiry

the second, but in effect the more important, that he

should
be
us
as

us by what specific methods that thing

may

made our own. Now Caecilius endeavours to show by a vast number of instances what the sublune is,
though

we

did not

know

the process by which

we
in

may
scale

raise our natural

powers to a required advance

he unaccountably passed over as unnecessary.

So
the

far as

he

is

concerned, perhaps

we ought

to praise

man

for his ingenuity

and

pains, not to

blame him

for the omissions.

Since, however, you lay your

com-

mands upon me,

that I should take up the subject in


fail

my

turn,

and without
a

put something on paper about


to
yourself,
is

Sublimity as

favour

give

me

your

company

let

us see whether there

anything in the

views which I have formed really serviceable to


LONG. TR.
T>

men

in


2
public
life.

'

A
.

"Treatise
will help

Sect. I

You, comrade,

me by

passing
;

judgement, with perfect frankness, upon

all particulars

you can and you ought.

It

was well answered by one


'in

who wished

to

show wherein we resemble gods:


'

doing good,' said he,

and

in speaking truth.'

Writing to you,

my

dear friend, with your perfect


study, I

knowledge of

all liberal

am

almost relieved at

the outset from the netessity of showing at any length


that Sublimity is always an eminence and excellence in

language

and that from

this,

and

this

alone,

the

greatest poets
first

and writers of prose have attained the


'

place and have clothed their fame with immortality.


it is

For

not to persuasion

but to ecstasy that passages


:

of extraordinary

genius carry the hearer


is

now

the

marvellous, jvith its power to amaze,


necessarily stronger than that

always and

which seeks to persuade


rests

and

to

please

to

be~4)eisuaded

usually

with

ourselves, genius brings force sovereign


to bear"*upon

and
its

irresistible

every hearer, and takes

stand high

above him.

Again,

skill

in

invention and

power of

orderly arrangement are not seen from one passage nor

from two, but emerge with


context;
Sublimity,

effort

out of the whole


out
at

we know,
all

brought

the
that,

happy moment, parts


'
'

the matter this

way and

Pythagoras used to say that the two


to speak truth and to

fairest gifts

of gods to

men were
similar
'

do good, and would add that each


Aelian,
vii. 1 1,

of the two resembles the works of gods.'

59.

remark

is

attributed to Demosthenes.

Rhetoric

is

defined

by

Aristotle as

'

a faculty of discovering all

the possible means of persua$ion in any subject.'

Rhei.

i.

c. i,

Tr. Welldon.

Sect. I

Concerning Sublimity
a stroke and

3
in its

and

like a lightning flash, reveals, at

entirety, the

power of the orator *.


I
think,

These and suchlike


that

considerations

my

dear Terentianus,

your

own

experience might supply.

II

WE,
its

however, must at once raise this


;

fiirther

question
? ^

is

there any art of sublimity or of


far as to think all

opposite

For some go so
'

who

would-bring,_such terms under technical rules to be


entirely mistaken.

Genius,' says one,


for

'

is

inbred, not

taught
to be

there is one art

the

things

of

genius,

bom

with them.'

All natural

effects are spoilt,

they think, by technical rules, and become miserable


skeletons.

I assert that the reverse will prove true on


if

examination,
^
'

we

consider

that Nature,

a law to

The
it is

Sublime impresses the mind at once with one great

idea

a single blow

the Elegant, indeed,

may be

produced

by

repetition,

by an accumulation of many
'

circumstances.'

Sir J.

Reynolds, Fourth Discourse.


' If these words (literally
translated above. Pope's
'

of height or of depth
'

*)

are rightly

Art of sinking

is also right,

though he

was taken to task by


suggested to

scholars for the phrase.

It

was probably
omits the

him by a

friend, perhaps

Arbuthnot ; since Boileau, in

his translation, the only one, apparently,

known to Pope,

second noun.

The

alternative

is

to render 'of sublimity, or

(which

is

the same thing) of profundity.'

But the idea in the

context seems to be that of rising or sinking at will to a given


point in the scale
:

the phrase would naturally


art.

come from an
Sections

opponent who derided the existence of such an

XLstyle

XLII, at the end of the Treatise, deal with the question how

may

be lowered.

B 2

4
lofty, yet is

A treatise
all
;

Sect. II

herself as she mostly is in

that is passionate

and
in

no creatAe of random unpiilse delighting

mere absence of method


the
first

that she is indeed herself

and originating

principle

which underlies
fitting

all

things,

yet rules of degree,

of

occasion,

of

unerring practice, and of application can be determined

by method and
greatness
itself
is

are its contribution

in ,a

sense

all

exposed to a danger of
science
to
control,

its
'

own,

if left to

without

unsteadied,

un-

ballasted','

abandoned to mere velocity

and uninit

structed venture;
also needs the bit *. true of the

greatness needs the spur often,

What Demosthenes shows


life

to be

common
is

of

men

that

of all good things

the greatest
to the
is

good

fortune, but a second, not inferior

first, is

good counse^_and
is at
;-

that

where the

latter

wanting the former

once cancelled'
here Nature

we may
the place

properly apply to literature

fills

of good fortune, Art of good counsel.


this
is

Also,

and

most important,

it

is

only ^fromj^rt -that. jye


efifects in literature

can learn the very fact that certain


rest

on Nature and on her alone *.

If, as

I said, the

p.

The latter of the two adjectives is applied by Plato i^Thtaet. 144 A) to boats, which word possibly stood in the text here. ' Words said to have been used by Plato about Xenocrates and Aristotle, and by Aristotle himself about two pupils; also by
'

Isocrates,

as Cicero twice tells us (Brutut,

305 and Letters

to

Attieus, 6, i) about
'

Theopompus

(see p.

55) and Ephorus.

Demosthenes, Aristocr. 113.

the Brutus (181, &c.), discusses the question whether the opinion of the general public or of the expert upon
the merits of an orator
is

' Cicero, in

the

more important.

The

answer

is

Sect. II
critic
all

Concerning
finds fault with earnest students,

who

would take

these things into his account, he

would

in

my opinion

no longer deem inquiry upon the subjects before us


to be unnecessary or unfruitful.

[Here the equivalent of about six pages of this translation


has been lost^

III
Stay they the furnace ! quench the far-flung blaze For if I spy one crouching habitant, I'll twist a lock, one lock of storm-bome flame, And fire the roof, and char the halls to ash :
!

Not

yet, not

now my
tragic
'

noble strain

is raised '.

ALL
\,
turned
pression,

this
;

is
'

no longer, but burlesque of


to vomit

tragic

locks,'

up

to heaven,' 'Boreas

flute player,'

and the

rest.

It is turbid in ex;

and confused

in imagery, not forcible


light,

and

if

you examine each detail in clear

you see a gradual

sinking from the terrible to the contemptible.

Now

when

in tragedy,

which by_its nature


is

is

pompous and
could be In

admits bombast, tasteless rant


able", I should be

found to be unpardonit

slow to allow that

that on the question of effectiveness in speaking the verdict of

the public

is

final, that

of the specialist

is still

required to determine

the causes of effectiveness or failure, also to pronounce whether the orator is absolutely excellent, or only appears to be so in the

absence of his betters.


1

From
'

the lost Oreithyia of Aeschylus (p. 381, Nauck).

'

What can

be so proper for Tragedy as a set.of big-sounding


'

tf

A
' '

Treatise
Thus we

Sect.

HI
'

^lace in true history.


Leontini for writing

laugh at Gorgias

of

Xerxes the Zeus of the Persians


and
at

and

vultures, those living tombs,'

some passages
and even

in Callisthenes ' as being stilted, not sublime,

more

at

some

in Cleitarchus

he

is

a mere fantastic,

he ' puffs,' to apply the words of Sophocles, ' on puny pipes,


hut with

no mellowing gag
'
;

*.'

So with Amphicrates,
no inspired
it

Hegesias, and Matris

they often appear to themselves


revellers but

to be possessed, really they are

children at play.
;'*

We may take
weak and

that turgidity is
"a

of all
of

faults

perhaps the most

difficult to avoid. ~It is

fact

Nature tKalTmen'wHoraiiTi^at grandeur,


the reproach of being
dry, are,

in avoiding

we know

not

how, borne off

into turgidity, caught

by the adage :

'To
I shall

lapse from~greatness were a generous fault'.'

As
which

words, so contrived together as to carry no meaning?

one day or other prove to be the Sublime of Longinus.'


Fielding, Introduction to

Tom Thumb.

'

A Sicilian teacher of rhetoric (about B.C. 480-3 J^o), a speaker


which bears
his

in the dialogue of Plato


'

name.

Philosopher, historian, and rhetorician, a pupil of Aristotle

(died about B.C. 328).


' *

Cleitarchus, Historian of Alexander the Great.

Sophocles bad written

'

he

fa& no

longer on

puny

pipes, but

irith fierce

bellows and no mouthpiece (to modify the sound).'


in
their
ii.
:

The lines, Pompey (ad


'

original

form, are quoted by Cicero of

Alt.

16, 2).
sophist,

Amphicrates

an Athenian rhetorician and

who

died

at the

Court of Tigranes, about B.C. 70.

Hegesias: a rhetorician,

native of Magnesia, probably of the third century B. c,

who wrote

on Alexander the Great.

Matris of Thebes:

author of an

encomium on Hercules
'

mentioned by Diodotus Siculus, and


in

therefore not later than the Augustan period.

proverb,' doubtless familiar

a metrical form.

Com-

'

'

Sect. Ill

Concerning Sublimity

in bodies, so in writings, all swellings which are hollow and unreal are bad, and very possibly work round to the

opposite condition, for

'

nothing,' they say,

'

so dry as a

man with dropsy.' While tumidity


in

thus tends to overshoot the sublime,

puerility is the direct opposite

of

all

that is great;

it is

every sense low and small spirited, and essentially a


fault.

most ignoble
it

What
'

then

is

puerility

Clearly

is

a pedantic conceit, which overdoes


frigid at the last.

itself

and

becomes

Authors glide

into this

when

they make for what is unusual, artificial', above all, agreeable,

and so run on the reefs of nonsense and


the side of these
is

aifectation.

By

a third kind of vice, found in passages

of strong feeling, and called by Theodoras ' ' Parenthyrsus.

This
is

is

pa^on out of lace and

unmeaning,, where there


is

no

call for passion,

or unrestrained where restraint

needed.

Men are carried aside, as if under strong drink,


of
feeling

into expressions

which have nothing to do with

the subject, but are personal to themselves and academic-

then they play clumsy antics before an audience which

has never been moved;

it

cannot be otherwise,

when

the

speakers are in an ecstasy, and the hearers are not.

But

we
pare

reserve
Ovid's

room
fine

to speak of the passions elsewhere.


lines

on

the

fall

of Phaethon {Mel.

ii,

325)
His limbs, yet reeking from that lightning flame, The kindly nymphs entomb, and grave his name Phaethon lies here, who grasped the steeds of Day, Then greatly fell, yet from a great essay I
'

^ Of Gadaia, or Rhodes : a rhetorician, and Emperor Tiberius (Suetonius, 7V6. 57).

instructor of the

Treatise

Sect,

iv

IV

OF
acute,

the second fault which


is full;

we

mentioned,

frigidity,

Timaeus*

an able author in other respects,


in greatness

and not always wanting


but extremely

of

style

learned,

critical

of the

faults

of others,

while insensible to his

own;

often sinking into mere

childishness from an incessant desire to start

new notions.
of

I will set

down one

or two instances only from this

author, since Caecilius has been before

me with most

them.

Praising Alexander the Great, he writes:


all

'who

annexed

Asia

in

fewer years than Isocrates ' took to

writehis/'<wjf^rifBjin support ofwaragainstthePersians.'

Truly a wonderfiil comparison between the Macedonian

and the Sophist


monians were
far

yes,

Timaeus, clearly the Lacedae-

out-matched by Isocrates in valour, for

they took Messene in thirty years, he composed his

Panegyrkus

in

ten

Then how he

turns upon the

Athenians captured

in Sicily:

'Because they committed

imjnety against Hermes, and defaced his images, they


suffered punishment for
it,

largely

on account of one
of the injured

man, a descendant, on the

father's side,

god, Hermocrates, son of Hermon.'

This makes me

wonder, dear Terentianus, that he does not also write of


the tyrant Dionysius
*
:

'

He

had shown impiety towards

A A
'

Sicilian historian

(about B.C. 353-256), severely criticized

by Polybius.
'

great, but

somewhat
eloquent

tedious,
'

Athenian orator

(B. c.

436-

338),

the old

man

of Milton's sonnet.

See p. 44. The


festival

Pantgyrieus was originally composed for the Olympic

of 380.

Sect.

IV

Concerning Sublimity

' and Heracles ; therefore he was deprived of his kingdom hy Dion and Heraclides.' What need to speak of Timaeus, when those heroes Xenopbon and Plato,

Zeus

although they were of Socrates'

own

school, sometimes

forgot themselves in such paltry attempts

to. please. Thus Xenophon writes in the Constitution ofthe Lacedaemonians:


'

mean

to say that you can

no more hear
stone,

their voices
their

than if they were

made of

no more draw
brass
;

eyes aside than if they were

made of

you might

think them more modest than the maiden-pupils in their


eyes.' It

was worthy of Amphicrates', not of Xenophon,


'

to call the pupils in our eyes

modest maidens

' :

but

what a

notion, to believe that the eyes of a

whole row
in parti-

were modest, whereas they say that immodesty


cular persons is expressed

by nothing so much as by the

eyes.

Addressing a forward person, 'Wine laden, dogif clutching

eyed! 'says Homer''- Timaeus, however, as


at stolen goods, has not left to

Xenophon even

this point

of

frigidity.

He

says, speaking

of Agathocles, that he
been given in

even carried off his cousin,

who had
this,

marriage to another man, from the solemnity of Unveiling


'

Now who
'

would have done


?
*

who had

maidens,

not harlots, in his eyes

Nay, Plato, the

divine, as at

Zeus gives in the genitive Dios, &c.


In our Athenian soldier and historian (about B.C. 444-354). of the work quoted the words run : ' than maidens in their
eyes.'

'

texts

chambers' instead of 'than maidens in the


often loose in his quotations, but this
is

Our Author

is

a strange variation.
'

The

same play on the Greek word Yit. Pud. i. 538 E).


' //.
i.

for

'

pupils

occurs in Plutarch (De

225.

'

10
other times he
'

A
is,

Treatise

Sects.
tablets,

IV,

wishing to mention

says

they will write and store in the temples memorials of


'

cypress wood,' and again

concerning walls,

O Megillus,

I would take the Spartan view, to allow our walls to


sleep

on the ground where they


'

lie,

and not be raised


fault,
'^

again.'

And

Herodotus

is

hardly clear of this


'

when he

calls beautiful

women
:

pains to the eyes

'

though he has some excuse, for the speakers in Herodotus


are barbarians

and

in

drink

still,

not even through the

mouths of such characters


ness, to cut

is it

well, out jof sheer pettiall time.

a^luiH^' figure before

V
A LL
novelties,

these undignified faults spring up in literature


single cause, the craving for intellectual
all else,

Jr\. from a
goes wild.
sources of
the bad.
all

on which, above
It

our

own

generation

would almost be

true to say that the


all

the good in us are also the sources of


beauties of expression, and
all
all

Thus

which

is

sublime, I will add,

which
;

is

agreeable, contribute to

success in our writing

and yet every one of these


to be said of changes
;

becomes a
of
its

principle

and a foundation, as of success, so


the same
is

opposite.

Much

of construction, hyperboles, plurals for singulars


will

we

show

in the sequel the

danger which seems to


necessary at once to raise

attend each.

Therefore

it is

the question directly, and to

show how

it

is

possible

for us to escape the vices thus intimately mingled.with

the sublime.
'

Plato, ian/s, vi. p.

778 D.

Herodotus, v. 18.

1;

Sects.

VI, VII

Concerning Sublimity

VI

IT

is

possible,

my

friend, to
at

do

this,

if

we

could

firs^

of

all

arrive

a clear
is.

and discriminating

knowledge of what true sublimity


to grasp
:

Yet

this is

hard

judgement of

style is the last


Still,

and

ripest fruit

of much experience.
language of precept,
it

if I

am

to speak in the

is

perhaps not impossible, from


follow, to
attain

some such remarks

as

to

a right

decision upon the matter.

VII

WE
it

must, dear friend,

know
nothing

this
is

truth.

As
which
things

in

our ordinary

life

great

is

ofRces,

mark of greatness to despise ; honour^ kingdoms, and such

as fortunes,
like,

which are praised so pompously from without, could


never appear, at least to a sensible man, to be sur-

passing1^_good, since actual contempt for them

is

good of no mean kind


than those

men admire, more who have them, those who might have them,
(certainly

but in greatness of soul let

them pass); even so

it is

with

all

that is elevated in poetry to ask whether


it

and prose writings

we have

may

be that they have that


is

image of greatness to which so much careless praise


attached, but on a close scrutiny

would be found vain

and hollow, things which


to admire.

it is

nobler to despise than


is

For

it is

a fact of Naturethat thesoul

12
raised

A
by
true sublimity,
it

Treatise
it

Sect.

VII

gains a proud step upwards,


itself liad

it is filled

with joy and exultation, as though


hears.

produced what
is

Whenever

therefore anything

heard frequently by a
but does

man of

sense and literary

experience,

not dispose his mind to high


it

thoughts, nor leave in

material for fresh reflection,


it

beyond what
carefiilly at

is

actually said; while

sinks, if

you look

the whole context, and d\snndles away, this

can never be true sublimity, being preserved so long


only as
it is

heard.

That

is really great,
;

which pves
is Tiard,

much food
and

for fresh reflection

which If

nay

impossible, to resist; of
indelible.

which thejnwmory js_strong


it

You may take

that those are beautiful

ancTgenuine effects of sublimity which please always,

and please

all.

For when men of


all

different

habits,

lives, ambitions, ages,

take one and the

same view

about the same writings', the verdict and pronouncement

of.juch dissimilar individuals give a powerful assurance,

beyond
admire.

all

gainsaying, in favour of that

winch they

VIII

Now
ductive
;

there are five different sources, so to call

them, of lofty "style, which are the most pro-

power o f expression being presupposed as a

foundation
'
,

common

to

all

five types,

and inseparable

The words

are doubtful

the rendering given above follows

Bishop Pearce, a contributor to the Spectator, and a scholarly and


accomplished editor and translator of this treatise.
order of the Greek words has been disarranged.

Probably the

:'

Sect.

VIII

Concerning Sublimity

13^
it

from any.
worlc on

First and most potent is the faculty of'"in

grasping great con ceptions^ as I have defined

my

Xenophon,

4nd_impetuous.
are in

Second comes passion, strong These two constituents of sublimity--,

most cases native-bom,, those

which now

follow

come through _art ; the proper handling of figures, which again seem to fall under two heads, figures of
thought, and figures of diction
;

then noble phraseology,

with itssiibdivisions, choice of words, and use of tropes

'

and of elaboration
which includes

and

fifthly, that

cause of greatness
it,

in itself all that

preceded

dignified

and
at

spirited composition.
is

Let us now look together

what

included under each of these heads, premis-

ing that Caecilius has passed over for instance,


that sublimity

some of the

five,

passion.

If he did so under the idea

and

feeling are one

and the same thing,

common origin, he is entirely wrong. For some passions may be found which are distinct
coexistent and of

from sublimity and are humble, as those of


fear;

pity, grief,

and

again,
;

in

many

cases,

there

is

sublimity

without passion
the poet's

take, besides countless other instances,

own

venturesome lines on the Aloadae


Ossa, leafy Pelion
pile,

Upon Olympus

On

Ossa would they

a stair to heaven
:

and the yet grander words which follow

Now

had they worked

their will.

In the Orators, again, speeches of panegyric, pomp,

Od.

xi.

315 and 317.

14
display, exhibit

A Treatise
commonly
lack passion
:

Sect.

VIII

oh every hand majesty and the sublime,


hence Orators of much

but

passion succeed least in panegyric, and again the panegyrists are not strong in passion
*.

Or

if,

on the other

Han d,"

Caeciltgydia" not ISink


is

that passion ever conit

tributes to sublimity, and, therefore, held

undeserving

of mention, he
fidence
in

quite in error.

I shotdd feel con-

maintaining

that

npdiing

reaches

great

eloquence so surely as genuine passion in the nght


placej_jt breathes the vehemence of frenzy and divine
possession, and

makes the very words

inspired.

IX
A FTER
all,

however, the

first

element, great natural


:

^~V

genius, covers far

more ground than the others


it

therefore, as to this also, even if

be a

gift jasJier

than a thing acquired, yet so far as


nurture our souls to
all

is

possible

we must

that is great,

and make them,

as

it

were,

teem with noble endowment.

How^

you

will ask.

to this effect:

I have

myself written
is

in another place

'Sublimity

the
it

note which rings


that,

from a great mind'.'

Thus

is

without any

utterance, a notion, unclothed

and unsupported, often


is

moves our wonder, because the very thought


the silence of

great

,:

Ajax

in the

book of the Lower World

'

See Spectator, no. 389 (Addison). 'Eloquence is the ring of a great soul' (Dr. G. H. Kendall,

Classical Rivieui, vol. xiii, p. 40a).

'

'

Sect.

IX

Concerning Sublimity
and more sublime than any words*.
is quite

is great,

First,

then,

it

necessary to presuppose the principle


:

from which

this springs
spirit,

the true Orator must have no


it is
fit

low ungenerous

for

not possible that they

who
them
and

think small thoughts,

for slaves,

and

practise

in all their daily life, should put out anything to

deserve wonder and immortality.


it

Great, word s

issue,

cannot be otherwise, from those whose thoughts

are weighty.
spirit that

So

it is

on the

lips

of men of the highest

words of

rare greatness are found.

Take
said

the answer of Alexander to Parmeriio,


'

who had

were content

'

\Here about
.
.

eighteen

paget have been

/oj/.]

the distance from earth to heaven,

a measure one

may

call

it

of the stature as well of

Od.

xi.

543.

But never Aias, child of Telamon Came near me, but with gloomy brows and bent
Stood far aloof, in sternness eminent, Eating his heart for that old victory Against him given by clear arbitrament, Concerning brave Achilleus' arms.

The scholiast on Homer

observes

'

His silence
'

is

clearly a finer

thing than the speeches in the tragic poets

a principle recognized

by Aeschylus, insomuch that he was sometimes rallied upon his habit of keeping his characters silent, as though it had passed into a mannerism (Aristophanes, Frogs, 911). ' 'The story runs that Parmenio said to Alexander that, had
he been Alexander, he would have been content to stop the war on those terms, and run no further risks; and that Alexander
answered that he too, had he been Parmenio, would have done
the same.'

Arrian,

ii.

25,

2.

6
1

^Treatise
as

Sect.

IX

Homer

of

Strife

'.

Unlike
(if
'

this is the passage of


is

Hesiod about Gloom


assigned to Hesiod),
in

The Shield

really to

be

From
'

out her nostrils rheum

streams was poured

'

he has made the picture

hatefiil,

not

terrible.

But how does Homer make


?

great

all

that belongs to gods

Far as the region of blank air in sight Of one who sitting on some beacon height Views the long wine-dark barrens of the deep, Such space the horses of the realm of light Urged by the gods, as on they strain and sweep, While their hoofs thunder aloft, bound over at one leap'-

He

measures their leap by the interval of the boundaries

of the world.
he marked

Who

might not justly exclaim, when

this extravagance in greatness, that, if the

horses of the gods


will

make two

leaps, leap after leap,

they

no longer
too

find

room within the world.

Passing

great

Gods:

are

the

appearances in the Battle of the

Heaven

sent

its clarion

forth

Olympus

too

Trembled too Hades

in his

gloomy

reign.

And
'

leapt

up with a scream,

lest o'er his

head

//. iv.

44a

(a description of Strife)
'

small of stature, a low head

At first she rears, but soon with loiiier claim, Her forehead in the sky, the earth doth tread.'
'

The Shield of Hercules, 267: the authorship of the poem


Hesiod

was much disputed in antiquity.


in the eighth century b.

may

probably be placed

c,

his poetry belongs to

a later date than

any

substantial part of

Homer.
388, perhaps mixed up with
v,

' //. V.

770.

'//. zxi.

75a

Sect.

IX

Concerning Sublimity

Poseidon cleave tJie solid earth in twain, And open the pale kingdom of the dead Horrible, foul widi blight, which e'en Immortals dread '.

You
its

see,

comrade, how, when earth

is

torn up from

foundations, and Tartarus itself laid bare, and the


all

Universe suffers overthrow and dissolution,


at once,

things

heaven and

hell,

things mortal and immortd,


fight.

mingle in the war and the peril of that

Yet

all

this is terrible indeed, though, unless taken as allegory,

thoroughly impious and out of proportion.

For when
all

Homer
factions,

presents to us woundings of the gods, their

revenges, tears, bonds, sufferings,


it

massed

together,

seems to

me

that,

as he has

done his
gods, so

uttermost to

make

the

men of the Trojan war


Only
for us,
is
ills

he has made the gods men.

when we

are miserable, a harbour from our

reserved in

death; the gods, as he draws them, are everlasting,


not in their nature, but in
better than the
'

their

unhappiness.
'

Far

Battle of the
divinity as

Gods

are the passages

which show us
truly great,

something undefiled and


for instance, to take

with no admixture;

a passage which has been


us, the lines

worked out by many before

on Poseidon
wild woods,

Tall mountains and


height,

from height to
. . .

The

city

and the vessels by the main

Rocked
. . .

to the ii^mortal feet that, hurrying, bare

Poseidon in his wrath . . . the light wheels along the sea-plain rolled
'

//.

XX. 5i-s.

LONG. TR.

A
From
cave and
lair

Treatise

Sect.

IX

the creatures of the deep round him, and the crystal heap Of waters in wild joy disparting know . Their lord, and as the fleet pair onward sweep '

Flocked

to sport

Thus too the lawgiver of the Jews, no common man when he had duly conceived the power of the Deity, showed it forth as duly. At the very beginning of
'',

his

Laws,
light,

'

God

said,'

he writes
light,

What

'

Let there

be

and there was


earth.'
if I

let

there be earth, and

there

was

Perhaps I shall not seem wearisome,

comrade,

quote to you one other passage from the

poet, this time

on

human theme,

that

you may

learn

how he
majesties

accustoms his readers to enter with him into

which

are

more than human.

Gloom and

impenetrable night suddenly cover the battle of the

Greeks before him

then Ajax, in his helplessness.

Zeus,

sire,

do thou the

veil

of darkness rend.

And make
Then
*

clear daylight, that our eyes

in the light e'en slay us

may

see

'.

These
'

lines are

taken from

//. xiii.

18-29, ^^'^ omissions,


is

and with the exception of the second, which


'

The

best general that ever

Moses was.'
'

Letter of General
.
.

was

read in zx. 60.


I

for such

really think

Sir Charles Napier,

1844.

With

conceived

showed

forth,'

words which cause some

difficulty

in the original, cf. Josephus, Antiquities


desire future readers of these

of the Jews, v. 21. 'I books to apply their thoughts to God,


legislator worthily

and to examine whether our


nature, and always assigned to

apprehended His

Him

actions

becoming His power.'

With
'

regard to the passage generally, see Introduction.

II. xvii.
:

Burke

'To 645. make anything

With

this

passage compare the remarks of

very

terrible,

obscurity seems in


Sect.

IX
is

Concerning Sublimity
the very truth of the passion of

Here
for

Ajax:_he
he

does not pray to live such a petition were too _humble

^e hero but

when

in impracticable darkness

could _dispose_hK^

y^om

tq_no good purpose, chafing

that he stands idle for the battle, he_praj[S

^or light
the

at

the speediest,

sure of findmg^ therein

at

worst

a burial worthy of his valour, even if


against

Zeus be arrayed
goes along
;

him.

Truly the

spirit

of

Homer

with every struggle,

in full
'

and carrying gale


rages
;

he

feels

the very thing himself, he

Not fire in densest mountain glade, Nor spear-armed Ares e'er raged dreadfiiller

Foam

started

from his

lips,

..."
Qdj/ssey (for there

Yet he shows throughout the

are

many

reasons

why we must
also), that,

look closely into passages


a gggt
is gepi]|}$

from that poem

when

bggins to
age.

decline, the love


It is clear

of sto ry-teUi ng

mark ofusold
this

from many other indications that


particularly

work
fact

was ^he^secondl" but more


the~siifferings

from the

that he introduces throughout tlje

Odyssey remnants of

before

Dium,~"as so
;

many

additional
to its

episodes of the Trojan war

aye,

and renders

heroes fresh lamentations and words of pity, as though

When we know the full extent of any when we can accustom our eyes to it, u great deal of the apprehension vanishes.' On the Sublime and Beautiful, ii, 3. Buike quotes Milton's description of Death in the Second Book of Parageneral to be necessary.

danger,

dise Lost,

and observes

'

In this description

all is

dark, uncertain,

confnsed, terrible, and sublime to the


'

last degree.'

/;.

XV. 605.

C 2


'

20
awarded
is

A
in

Treatise

Sect.

IX

some

far distant time.

Yes, the Odyssey

nothing but an epilogue of the Iliad :

Patroclus there,

There the brave Aias and Achilleus lie whose wisdom matched the gods on
;

high;

There too Antilochus

my

son.

From

the same cause, I think, writing the ITtad^ in the


spirit,

heyday of his

he made the wfiole

^structiye
is

draniatis.and_ combative^; that of the

O^jjgy

in the

main naiTOtivej^whkhLis.JbgLSpecid,.|ga]^54ja.ge,
it

So
to

IS that in
;

the Odyssey one might liken

Homer

a setting sun

the intensity is gone, Jbut_jtherejnains

the greatness.

Here

the tone of those great lays of

Ilium
level

is

no longer maintained

the passages on one

of sublimity with no sinking anywhere, the same

stream of passion poured upon passion, the readiness of


turn, the closeness to life,

the throng of images


retires

all

drawn from the truth: as when Ocean


himself,

into

and

is

left

lonely around his proper bounds,


left to

only the ebbings of his greatness are

our view,

and a wandering among the shallows of the fabulous and the incredible ".

While I say

this,

I have not for-

gotten the storms in the Odyssey, nor the story of the

Cyclops

^,

nor certain other passages

am

describing
Still in all

an old age, but the old age of


*

Homer,

Od.

iii.

109.

'

The

rich imagery of this passage

must have been drawn from


tideless

a knowledge of seas other than the almost

Mediterranean.

Compare
3

Tacitus' description of his

wonder
c,

at the tides

and

tidal

rivers of Britain in the

Agricola (end of

x), and see Introduction.

CW.Bookix.


Sect.

IX

Concerning Sublimity

these, as they follow


action.

one another, fable prevails over

I entered upon this digression, as I said, in

order tp

show howj^ry^

easily great_geniuSjWlien^,the

PGBeisji^ji_iOmed..aid.J;ilJrifl^
by Circe to swine
tears'),
'

there are

the stories of the wine-ikin, of the companions turned

(whom ZoUus

called

'

porkers in

of Zeus fed by doves

like a

young bird', of
-

Ulysses ten days without food on the wreck*, there


are the incredible details of the slaying of the Suitors

What
Zeus
* '
'

can
? '

we

call

these Jjut in very truth

'

dreams of

second reason

why

the incidents of the

Od.

X. 17,

&c

229, &c.

A grammarian of uncertain date, probably of the fourth century


He was
Od.
xii.

B.C.

a bitter and malignant

critic,

and earned the name

of

Scourge of Homer.'
62.
*

' '

03.

xii,

end.

Od.

xxii.
lies

Aristotle claims for


' ;

Homer

that he 'shows

how

should be

told

in other words, that

he so manages the
c.

irrational,

a potent

element in the marvellous (Poet.


it,

xxiv), that the reader accepts


all

feeling that if such things

happened at

they would happen


Horace,

as they are described,

and content to ask no questions.

Homer, after noticing the modest opening of the Odyssey, goes on to speak of
a

warm and

also a very discriminating admirer of

these marvels

Not smoke from

fire his

object

is

to bring.

But fire from smoke, a very different thing Yet has he dazzling miracles in store, Cyclops, and Laestrygon, and fifty more . . . And all this glamour, all this glorious dream. Truth blent with fiction in one motley scheme. He so contrives, that, when 'tis o'er, you see Beginning, middle, end alike agree.' A. P. 143, &c., Conington's translation.
If

we

conclusion that the Odyssey was the


natural one.

assume a single author for the Iliad and Odyssey, the work of his old age is a very

familiar instance of the tendency of great writers


22
Odytsey
also

A
should
reco gnize ho

Treatise
is

Sect.
this
;

IX
yo u

be discussed

that_

may

the decline of passion

in

great
:

writers

and poets passes away


life

intojjhargff.^e^'-t^ rawin g

the sEetcHes of the

in the

household of Ulysses

much resemble

comedy ofxhatactSC-

X
WILL
now ask you
to consider with

me whether
which
Sin ce with

I
all

we may

possibly arrive at anything further,

has power to make our writings sublime.

things are associated certain elements, constituents

which are eSBetSfiallyTnherennir the substance of


eachy one factor of sublimity must necessarily be the

power "of choosing the most

vital

of the included elements,

^i of making
it

these,

by mutual superposition, form as

were a single body.

On one side the hearer is attracted


advancing years

towards the mythical


in

spirit in their

may be

found

(1829), of which Lockhart writes : 'The various play of fancy in the combination of persons and events, and the airy liveliness of both imagery and diction, may

Atme of

Geierstein

well justify us in applying to the author

what he

beautifully says

of his

King Ren4

man he was ; the snows of age but they did not chill him Gaiety, Even in life closing, touch'd his teeming brain With such wild visions as the setting sun Raises in front of some hoar glacier. Painting the black ice with a thousand hues.' Life of Sir W. Scotl, vol.
mirthful
Fell,

vii.

On

the

relations of the Odyssey to the Iliad see the

late
foil.,

Dr. D. B. Monro's Odyssey


and, with special reference

13-24 (igot), Appendix, p. 289 to this Treatise, p. 334 foil.

Sect.

X
wKch

Concerning Sublimity
ideas,

23

bythe choice of
those

on another by the accumulation of

Ijave

been chosenr~Thus Sappho, in "all

cases, takes the emotions incident to the frenzy of love

from the attendant symptoms and from actual

truth.

But wherein does she show her great excellence ? In her power of first selecting and then closely combining those
which are conspicuous and intense
Blest as the immortal gods
is
:

he

The youth whose eyes may look on thee, Whose ears thy tongue's sweet melody

May

still

devour.
!

Thou smilest too sweet smile, whose charm Has struck my soul with wild alarm. And, when I see thee, bids disarm
Each
vital

power.
the flame within

Speechless I gaze

Runs

swift o'er all

my
;

quivering skin

My

eyeballs

My
And
I

with dizzy din brain reels round


fall
;

swim

cold drops

Seize every limb

grow ; and then together fail Both sight and sound '.
not marvel

and tremblings ; and grassy pale

frail

Do you
'

how

she seeks to gather soul and

body into one, hearing and tongue, eyes and complexion


This ode of Sappho, the great woman-poet of Lesbos (about
B.

600

c), written in the metre which bears her name, has only
this treatise.
It

been preserved to us in

has been partly translated

by Catullus
text
is

into Latin, in the

same metre.

The

version in the

by

J.

Herman Merivale (1833).

For another ode by the


the critic

same author, which has only reached us through


Dionysius, see Appendix.


24'
all

now, by a

;:

A
she
it

Treatise
:

Sect.
series

X
of

dispersed and -strangers before

contradictions, she is cold at once


is sensible (for

and bums,

is irrational,

is either in terror

or at the point of

death)^, so that

may not

appear to be a single passion


?

which
the

is

upon

her, but an assemblage of passions


in lovers
;

All

symptoms are found severally

to the choice

of those which are conspicuous, and to their concentration


into one, is

due the pre-eminent merit here.

So

it is,

I think, with the

Poet and his storms; he picks out the

grimmest of the attendant circumstances.


of the AnmaspAa thinks these
lines terrible

The
:

author

Here

too

is

Mid

seas

men

mighty marvel for our thought dwell, on water, far from land

Wretches they are, for sorry toil is theirs Eyes on the stars, heart on the deep they fix. Oft to the gods, I ween, their hands are raised. Their inward parts in ewl case upheaved '.

Any

one, I think, will see that there is


it all.

more emtake one

broidery than terror in


instance out of

Now for Homer;

many :

As when a wave swoln by the wild wind's blore ' Down from the clouds upon a ship doth light,
^

The

text of the original appears to be faulty here.

' Aristeas,

an early poet of Proconnesus, wrote an epic on the


far

Arimaspi (a one-eyed people of .the


Herodotus,

North,

mentioned by
the
'

who

says,

iv.

26, that their

name was formed by

Greeks from two Scythian words, 'Arima,' one, and

spous,'

an eye).
'

blore, it e. blast.

Ci.

'

a sudden blore,'

Chapman,
one.

The west wind and the north join The word is approved by Johnion

in as

an

'

expressive

'

Sect.

Concerning Sublimity

2f

And And

the whole hulk with scattering foam is white, through the sails all tattered and forlorn Roars the fell blast : the seamen with affright

Shake, out from death a hand-breadth they are borne '.

Aratus has attempted to transfer

this very notion

Tiny the plank which Only the

thrusts grim death

away '.
terrible.

result is petty

and smooth, not

Moreover, he makes the danger limited, by the words ' the


plank thrusts death away
' :

and so

it

does

Again

our Poet does not limit the terror to one occurrence

he gives us the picture of men meeting destruction conUnuaily, wellnigh in every wave.

Yet

again,

by forcing

together prepositions naturally inconsistent, and compelling

them

to

combine (I

refer to the

words

'

out from

death

'),

he has so strained the verse as to match the


fell

trouble

which

upon them

has so pressed

it

together
;

as to give the very presentment of that trouble

has

stamped, I had almost said, upon the language the form

and features of the

peril:

'out from death a hand-

breadth they are borne.' Just so Archilochus' in describing the shipwreck, and Demosthenes,

when

the news of

Elateia comes:
^

'For

it

was

evening,' he says*.

They

II. XV.

6*4.

'

Aratus, living about

270

B.C.,

the

author of two Greek

astronomical poems, one of which was translated

by Cicero.

The

words quoted by
another poet.
'

St. Paul,

Acts

xvii. 28,

occur in Aratus, and also in

Archilochus of Pares (about 800 B.C.), the reputed inventor of

the iambic metre.


*

Two

extant fragments describe shipwreck.

The

passage which follows

{De Cor. 169)

is

perhaps the most


context.

famous in Demosthenes, and should be read in

its

26
merit (if one

A
may use
trivial,

Treatise
real

Sect.

chose the expressions of

eminence, looking only to

the word), took them out clean,

and placed them one upon another, introducing between

them nothing
things

or undignified, or low.
effect,

For such
in

mar the whole

much

as,

building,

massive, blocks, intended to cohere and hold together in


one, are spoilt

by stop-gaps and rubble '-

XI

CLOSELY connected with the excellencies which


I have

named

is

that called Amplification;

in

which, when the facts and issues admit of severaTTresh


iieginnings and~fresh"iiaKIng-places, in periodic arranger

mentj^reat phrases come rolling upon others which have


gonebefore, in a^continuouslj^ascendingorderr
this

Whether

be done by

way of

pilarging upon commonplace

topics, or

of exaggeration, or of intensifying facts or

reasoning, or of handling
'

deeds^one or

suffering

endured
;

The words

are difficult, and in their details uncertain


is

the
the

rendering in the text

a paraphrase.

With

the general

drift,
'

reader should compare chapters xzi, xl (end), xli (end).


walls of Messene,

The

on the

slopes of

Mt. Ithome, are among the

most perfect remains of Greek building in the Peloponnese, and are a beautiful example of Hellenic masonry during the best period.

They

are wholly built of neatly-dressed blocks, regularly

without mortar in horizontal courses.'


Murus.'

hedded

Smith's Diet. Ant., 'Art.


(ii.

On

the other hand, Vitruvius

8) recommends the

use of small
crete,

stones as better preserving the mortar


filled

and con-

which

the interstices.

A comparison between

Greek

masonry

at its

best

and that of the Romans under the empire

appears to bring out our author's point.

Sect.

XI

Concerning Sublimity

27

(for there are numberless varieties of amplification), the

orator must in any case

know

that none of these can


a;;;perfect

gosahl^stand^bj jt|^ without snWiiraty.as

The depreciatio n^^e


structure.

flnlj^exceptions_are_ where pity or


required
;

in

all

other processes of

amplification, take

away the
;

sublime, and you will take

soul out of body they are effective no longer, and become nerveless and hollow unless braced by passages

of sublimity.

But, for clearness' sake, I must shortly lay


the difference
lies

down wherein
precepts,

between

my

present

and what I said above (there I spoke of a

sketch embracing the principal ideas and arranging them


into one)
;

and the broad difference between Amplification

and Sublimity.

XII

AM
I

not satisfied with the definition given by the


is,

technical writers. Amplification

they say,^ language

which jnyestsjthe suBject^ltli


this definition

greatness.

Of

course

may

serve in

common

for sublimity,

and

passion,

and

tropes, "siSceTKeyTloo, invest

theianguage
it

with greatness of a particular kind.


that they differ

To me

seems

from one another

in this, that

Sublimity
;

lies in intensity.

Amplification also in multitude

conse-

queri3ysuBrimity^ofteii,exists in a single idea, amplification

necessarily implies quantity


tion Js;;7-to define
it

and abundance. ~Aihplifica-

in outline

an accumulation of
;

all

the partj andtOTJcsinherent


the fabric

in.

a subject, strengthening

ofAe^argument_by

insistence

and

differs in

28
this

"Treatise
latter

Sect.

XII

from rhetorical proof that the


. .
.

seeks to

demon-

strate the point required.

\Here about six pages have been

lostJ\

In richest abundance, like a very sea, Plato often


pours into an open expanse of grandeur.
I think, that, if

Hence

it is,

we

look to style, the Orator, appealing

more strongly
and of
spirit

to passions, has a large element

of fire
and

aglow

Plato,

calm

in

his stately

dignified magnificence, I will not say, is cold, but is

not so intense '.


as
it

It is

on these and no other


is,

points,

seems to me, dear Terentianus (that


are allowed to

if

we

as

Greeks
and

form an opinion), that Cicero


in
_

Demosthenes
of Cicero

differ
is in

their

grand^

passages.

Demosthenes' strength
that
in

sheer height of sublimity,


,

^^

diffiisifijj,

Our countryman,
his violence, swift,

because he
strong,

bums and ravages all in terrible, may be compared

to a lightning fl^h

or a thunderbolt.

Cicero, like a spreading conflagration,,


;

ranges and rolls over the whole field

the

fire

which

burns

is

within him, plentiful and constant, distributed

at his will

now
:

in

one

part,

now

in another,

and fed

with fuel in relays. can best judge


'

These. are points on which you

certainly .the

moment

for the sublimity

If a brilliint, but unsupported, conjecture of Bentley's should


.

be right here, the passage would run


but has not the same lightning
(end).
flashes,'

I will

not

say, is cold,

with which compare c.xxxiv

The conjecture, which


is

involves a change or interchange of


excellent

several vowels in the

Greek word, has been approved by

scholars, but the point here

the concentration of Demosthenes,

not, as

on p. 34,

his brilliance.


Sect.

XII

Concerning Sublimity
is

29
and generally

and tension of Demosthenes


invective

where accumulated

and strong passion are


is

in play,
:

where the hearer


difRision is

to be hard struck
is to

the

moment

for
it

where he

be flooded with detail, as

is

always appropriate * in enlargement upon commonplaces,


in

perorations

and digressions,

and

in

all

passages

written for the style and for display, in scientific and


physical exposition, and in several other branches of
literature.

XIII

THAT
greatness,
'

Plato (to return to him) flowing


' ^,

'

in

some

such noiseless stream

none the

less reaches

you

will not fail to recognize, since

you have

read the RepuhRc, and

know

this

typical passage:
virtue,'
it

Those who

are unversed in
all their

wisdom and

runs,

'and spend

days in feastings and the


life.

like, are

borne downwards, and wander so through

They
pure

never yet raised their eyes to the true world


lifted up,

above them, nor were


pleasure;
to earth
but,

nor tasted of solid or


looking

like

cattle,

down, and
and
fill

bowed

and

to the table, they feed


;

themselves and gender


desires they kick

and

in the greediness

of these

and butt one another with horns and


kill

hoofs of iron, and

because they cannot be satisfied


us, if

'.'

This author shows

we would

choose not to

' Plutarch (i/e of Demosthenes, iii) severely blames Caecilius for venturing on a comparision of the two Orators, and quotes a pioveib

corresponding to one of our


'
^

own

about the whale and the elephant.

quotation from Plato {Theaetetus, p. 144).

Plato, Republic, iz.

586 A.

30
neglect the lesson, besides
all

A
that

Treatise
is

Sect.

XIII

that there

als,o_aEatlj; road,

we have

mentioned, whigb. leads to the


?

sublime.
''Imitation

Whatj^^and what manner^of_jroad^ that

and em\]Jatjgn,of,grgat writers and poets who

KaveT)een before us.


let

Here
it
:

is

our mark,

my

friend,

us hold closely to

for

many

are borne along

inspired

by a breath which comes from another ; even as


a
the ground, inhales, so

the story is that the Pythian prophetess, approaching

the tripod, where

is

cleft in

they say, vapour sent by a god; and then and there,

impregnated by the divine power, sings her inspired


chants
'
;

even so from the great genius of the

old do streams pass off to the souls of those

men of who

emulate them, as though from holy caves

inspired by

which, even those not too highly susceptible to the god


are possessed

by the greatness which was


'

in others.
?

Was

Herodotus alone

most Homeric '

There
;

was Stesichorus " before him, and Archilochus


more than
any,

but,

Plato drew into

himself from that

Homeric
water.

fountain countless runlets

and channels of had

(Perhaps

we ought

to have given examples,

not
'

Ammonius ' drawn up


The

a selection under headings.)

author follows the same account of the Pythian oracle

419) ; but Plutarch, who lived on the spot, makes no mention of the mephitic vapour, and indeed uses words (JDe defeetu Orac. c. xlii) incompatible with its existence. For the bearing of
as Strabo (ix.

this passage

upon the date of the


disciple

treatise see Introduction. B. c.)

' Stesichorus,
'

an early poet (about 600

of Himera.

Ammonius, a

of Aristarchus, the great Alexandrian

critic,

who

wrote on words borrowed by Plato from

Homer

(not,

as

was formerly thought, Ammonius

Saccas, a teacher of Cassius

Longinus).

Sect.

XIII
is

Concerning Sublimity
theft, but

31
is

,Jiere

no

such a rendering as

made from
as

beautifd spectaSes of from carvings or other worKs of


art._ I

do not think that tJiere would be such aTBloom

we find on some of his


expressions, unless he
against

philosophical dogmas, or that he

could have entered so often into poetical matter and

had entered
with
all

for the first place


soul,

Homer,

aye,

his
;

young

champion against one long approved


yet not without his reward
'

and

striven for

the mastery, too emulously perhaps and in the spirit of

the

lists,

for

'

good,' says

Hesiod,
for

is this strife

for mortals.'

Yes, that contest

fame

is fair,

and

its

crown worthy of the winning,


is

wherein even to be defeated by our forerunners


inglorious
'.

not

XIV
THEREFOI^E
greatness

even we,

when we
to

are working

out a theme which requires lofty speech and

of thought,

do

well

imagine

within
said

mirggllps h"'"^) 'f " ppd wfre,


this

Homerjvould have

same

thing,

how

Plato or Demosthenes, or, in

histojj;,

The

Thucydides would have made it sublime. figures of those great men will meet us on the
vie with them, they will stand out before

way while we
'
'

In a word,

Homer

fills

his readers

with sublime
all

ideas, and,

I believe,

has 'raised the imagination of


after

the good poets that

have come
ately takes

him.
fhe

I shall only instance Horace,


first

who immediHomer
in

fire at

hint of

any passage from the Iliad or


see also no.

Odyssy, and always


view.'

rises

above himself when he has


;

Spectator, no.

417 (Addison)

339.

32
Qur_eyes,

A
if

Treatae

Sect.

XIV

and lead our souls upwards towards the

measure of
SSn'inore so

thr~^iC0Eb. w^ %V6
.

conjured up.
;

we add
?

to our mental picture this


here,

how
they

would HomcTj^^ were he


phrase of mine

have listened to this


?

or Demosthenes

how would
this

have

felt

at

this?

Truly great

is

competition,
jury,

where we assume for our own words such a


an
audience,

such

and pretend that

before

judges

and

witnesses of that heroic build

we undergo

a scrutiny of

what we
be
if

write.
:

jou add

'

IF

Yet more stimulating_tJian_aUwill it T write this, in what spirit wll all

future ages

hear

quence, that he

beyond his
must
dull
;

me?| If any man Tear" tffis1S(5asemay say something which shall pass own day and his own life, then needs
fulfilment.

all

which such a soul can grasp be barren, blunted,


it

for

posthumous fame can bring no

XV

WEIGHT,
fiStEer

grandeur, and energy of speaking are


in

produced

very

high "degree,

young

friend,

by appeals

to Imagination, called
is

Ey some

'rmage making^.'

Imagination

no doubt a name

given gener^ly to anythmg^wEich suggests, no matter


howi,i a

thought which engenders speech

hiit_rfie_wprd

has in our time come to be applied specially to those


cases, wherei
'

moved By enthusiasm

"and "passion,
'

ypu

With

this section
',

compare Addison's papers


Spectator,

On

the pleasures
:

of the Imagination

411 and following numbers


i.

also

the magnificent passage of Pascal beginning ' Cette superbe puissance,

ennemie de

la raison

'

{Pensies;

p. 16, ed. Molinier).


Sect.

'

'

XV

Concerning Sublimity

3 3

seem to

see the things of

which you speak, and place


Imagination

t^em_jjfiaer"tEe~ey^rTjf^'youF~hearers.

means one thing

in rhetoric,
'

another with the poets


tttar

andTyou cannoT"feH~tS"ob b CTve


-

the oB5ect df the

fatter is to

amaze, of the former to give distiactness


stir

both, howeveiT^eek to

the

mind

strongly.

My mother,
Of bloody
Here
and
!

never hound these maids on me.

visages and snaky locks


I

here

upon me, nearer yet they leap

Alas

she'll slay

me

whither

may

I flee
his

There the poet saw the Furies with


his hearers to behold.

own

eyes,

and what his imagination presented he almost compelled

Now

Euripides

is

most pains-

taking in employing for the purposes of

Tragedy the
and
is

two passions
others;
efforts

of madness

and

love,

more

successful with these than, so far as I

know, with any

not that he lacks boldness in essaying other

of

imagination.
far

Though
great,
:

his

own

natural
it

genius

was

from being

he yet forced
in every detail

in

many

instances to

become

tragic

of his

great passages, as the poet has

it,

Sides and loins he lashes to and fro

With
Thus
says
:

his swift

tail,

and

stirs

up

battle's thirst

'.

Helios,

handing

over the

reins

to

Phaethon,

But drive thou not within the Libyan

clime,

Th' unmoistened burning


'
'

air will split


'

thy car.

Euripides, Orestes, 255.


II.

Iphigenia in Tauris, 291.

XX. 170.
T^

LONG. TR.


34
Then he
goes on
:

Sect.

-^ Treatise

XV

Right for the seven Pleiads shape thy course : So spake the sire ; the son now grasped the reins,

And lashed the flanks of those winged coursers.


Set
free,

They,
air
:

sped onwards through th' expanse of


great Sirius
'
:

The

sire, astride

Rode, and the boy instructed

in the rear,

thither drive

Here wheel thy

car,

yea here

Would you

not say that the soul of the writer treads


peril,

the car with the driver, and shares the

and wears

wings, as the horses do

such details could never have


it

been imagined by
heavenly
display,
'

it,

if

had not moved

in in

that

and kept even pace.


horse loving Trojans
.

So
.'
.

his

Cassandra ',

Ho, ye

Now, whereas Agscbylus haz ards


flights

the most heroic


chieftains

of imaginagQO) as where the Seven


in the play

against Thebes,

of that name

Seven impetuous warriors, captains bold,

And

Slaying the sacred bull o'er black-rimm'd shields touching with their hands the victim's gore,

Ares, Enyo, and blood-thirsting Fear * Invoked, and swear ...


swearing to one another oaths of death, each
his

man

of

own, with

'

no word of ruth

*
' ;

yet sometimes proleft in

duces thoughts which are not wrought out, but


^

So the MS.
a trace-horse
'.

An

alteration

is

suggested which gives the sense


is

of

'

Either image

sufficiently extravagant.

'
'

From the Phaelhon, a lost play of Euripides (Nauck 779). From another lost play, perhaps the Alexander, in which
Aeschylus,

Cassandra figured.
'

Swen

against Thebes, 42.

Swanwick's

tr.

Line 51 of the same play.


Sect.

XV

Concerning Sublimity
;

ij

the rough, and harsh

Euripides in emulation forces

himself upon the same


palace

perils.
is

Thus

in

Aeschylus the
in

of Lycurgus
passing
:

troubled

by the Gods
is

manner
manifest

strange

when Dionysus

made

See

how the
all

palace is possessed,
.
.

its halls

Are
Euripides
differently

a revel

has
;

smoothed

this

over and worded

it

And
Oedipus
^,

all

the mountain joined their revelry

'-

Sophocles has used imagination finely about the dying

wEen "e"
;

passes to his

own

burial

aimidst

elemental portents

and again where Achilles, as the


appears"%' them
above

GreeEi^are saiEng" aw^'^


his tomb, just

when they were


*

standing oiif to sea*, an

appearance which no one has


vivid imagery than Simonides
;

expressed
but
it is

with

more
,

impossible to

put

down

all

instances.

We may,

however, say gener-

allyjthat_^wse_found_in_ poets admit an excess which


passes Jntp_the_mydiical and
credible
it
; ^

goes^e^nd

all

that is
in

in rhetorical imagination that

which has

reality

and

tru th is

always best.

Deviations from

this rule

become strange and exotic when the texture


is

of the speech
'

poetic

and mythical, and passes


The
line

into

Euripides, Bacchae, 726.

of Aeschylus

is

from

a lost tetralogy, or set of four plays, called the Lycurgeia.


'
' '

Sophocles, Oedipus Coloneus, 1586, &c.

The

reference

may be to the Polyxena, a lost play of Sophocles.


B.

Simonides of Ceos, 556-467

c, a

great lyric and elegiac

poet.


$6
impossibility

'

A
than to
our

Treatise
surely
clever

Sect.

XV
like

of every sort;

we need look no
who,

further

own

orators,

tragedians, see Furies,

and cannot, honest gentlemen,

learn so

much

as this, that
;

when Orestes

says
;

Unhand me one of my own Furies thou Dost grasp my waist, to thrust me down to
he imagines
all

hell

this because

he
?

is

mad.

What_then
and passion

can imagination in rhetoric do


tribute
faii

It can probably con-

much

else to our speeches in energy

r^ertaini yin passages


it

deding with

facts an admixture

of

not only persuades_a listener, but makes


'

him
'

its

slave,

Now

mark me,' says Demosthenes,

if at

this very

moment a

cry should be heard in front of our

courts,

and then one said that the prison has been


is

opened, and the prisoners are escaping, there

no one,
all

be he old or young, so careless but will help


can.

he

But

if

one were to come forward and say, that

the man who released them is now before you, that man would have no hearing, and would instantly die ^,' So Hyperides when put on his trial, because he had proposed, after our defeat, to make the slaves free This proposal,' he said, was moved not by the Orator,
; ' '

but by the battle at Chaeroneia

'
' ;

here, while

he deals

with the
'

facts,

he at the same time has used imagination,

Euripides, Orestes, 264.

'

Demosthenes, Timoerates, 208.


great Athenian orator, on

* Hyperides, a

whom

see p.
'

6 a.
the

Plutarch
disaster

tells

us that

he was accused of
' '

'

illegality

after

of Chaeroneia, and pleaded

the arms of the Macedonians

made darkness in my eyes,' and not I, made that proposal.'

it

was the

fight at Chaeroneia,

'

Sect.

XV

Concerning Sublimity

the audacity of the conception has borne

him outside and


it is

beyond persuasion.
nature that

In

all

such instances

a fact of

we

listen to that

which

is strongest.

We

are therefore

drawn away from mere


in
it

denjonstration to

that

which has
fact

imagination and surprise, the ele-

ment of

being wrapped and lost amid the light


it.'

which shines around

This process

is

only what

we might

expect

when two

forces are combined in

one, the stronger always attracts into itself the potency

of the other.

What

I have

now

written about the sublime effects


are pro-

which belong to high thoughts, and which


duced by the greatness of man's
imitation, or
soul,

and secondarily by
'.

by imagination,

will suffice

XVI

HERE comes
'

the place reserved fo r Figu res


;

',

our next topic

for these, if handled as they


said,

ought to be, should, as I

jorm_no_jninor element

Some words may have been lost here. Jhe ' Figures,' partly of words, partly of thoughts (see p. 13) Were idols of the rhetoricians, who nearly all wrote treatises upon them. The bondage in which the orators stood to these ' Figures
' is

well

shown

in

story

preserved

by Seneca (Controv.
but

Ill,
self-

Introduction).
critical

Albucius,

an

excellent

anxious and

member of the Roman


results

bar,

was chased out of the profession

by the unfortunate

of his use of a single figure, the Omotic.

The
oath.

other side had proposed to settle a certain matter by a form of


'

Swear,'

replied

Albucius,

intending by

the figure to

disclose all his opponent's iniquities, 'but I will prescribe the oath,

Swear by the ashes of your

father,

which

lie

unbnried.

Swear by

38
in greatness.

A
As
we
will

Treatise
it

Sect.

XVI

however

would be a

laborious, or

rather an unlimited task to give an accurate enumeration

of

all,

go through
in

few of those productive

of greatness of speech,
assertion,

order to
thus.

make good
Demosthenes
'

my
is
'.

and

will

begin

offering a demonstration in defending his public acts

Now

what was the


mistake,

natural

way

to deal with

it ?

You
:

made no

men of Athens, when you took upon


this near

yourselves the struggle for the freedom of the Greeks

you have examples of

home.

For they

also

made no mistake who fought at Marathon, at Salamis, at Plataea.' But when, as one suddenly inspired and
possessed, he breaks out with that oath by the bravest

men of Greece
no,

'

It

cannot be that you

made

a mistake

by those who bore the brunt at Marathon,' he appears


figure, that

by use of a single
I
call

of adjuration (which here


deified

apostrophe),

to have

those

ancestors

suggesting the thought that

we ought

to swear, as

by

gods, by

men who
spirit

died so;

and implanting

in the

judges the
the

of the
I '

men who
He
:

there hazarded their


and
rose.

memory

of your father

finished his period,


'

L. Aruntius for the other side, said

We

accept your proposal,

my
'

client will swear.'


figure.'

'

made no

proposal,' shouted Albucius,

employed a

Aruntius insisted

the court began to fidget.

Albucius continued to protest that, at that rate, the Figures were


ruled out of the Universe.
shall

'Rule them
his

out,' said Aruntius,

'we

be able to

live

without them.'

The

court took his view,


I

and Albucius never opened


reference to this

mouth

in public again.
in

owe the
the

good story to Prof. Saintsbury,


vol.
i,

whose History

of Literary Criticism,
'

will

be found

much mention of

Figures.'
'

De

Corona, 208.


Sect.
lives

XVI
of old
;

Concerning Sublimity

1 9

changing the very nature of demonstra-

tion into sublimity

and passion of the highest order,

and the assured conviction of new and more than natural


oaths
;

and,

withal,

infusing

into

the

souls of his
;

hearers a plea of sovereign and specific virtue


relieved

that so,

by the medicine of

his

words of

praise,

they

should be brought to pride themselves no less on the


battle

against

Philip

than on the

triumphs
all

won

at

Marathon and
his hearers up

at Salamis.

Doing

this,

he caught

and bore them with him, by his use of

a figure.
It is said,

know, that the germ of


*
:

this oath is

found in Eupolis

I swear by Marathon, the fight,

my

fight,

No man
But then
which
is

of them unscathed shall vex


it

my

heart.

is
;

not the mere swearing by a name

great

place,

manner, occasion, purpose are


is

all essential.

In these lines there

an oath, and that

is

all

it is

addressed to Athenians
;

when

prosperous

and needing no comfort

besides the poet

has not

made immortals of
so he
a

the men, and sworn by them, that

may

implant within the hearts of his hearers


their valour;

worthy record of

he has passed away

from the men


the battle.

who bore

the brunt to the inanimate thing,

In Demosthenes the oath has been framed

to suit beaten

men, that so Chaeroneia might appear


;

a failure no longer
stration
'

it is,

as I said, at once a

demon-

that

they

made no

mistake,

an example, an

Eupolis, Athenian poet of the Old

Comedy, contemporary of

Aristophanes.

The

lines are

from the Demis,


40
assurance
resting

A
on

Treatise
oaths,

Sect.

XVI
an be

word of

praise,
liable to

exhortation.

And

whereas the orator was


:
'

met by

this objection

You

are speaking of a defeat

under your administration,


victories,'

and

yet

you

swear

by

in the

next words he squares his phrase


safe, giving

by

rule,

and makes his very words


'

us a

lesson that

even in Bacchic transports


those

we must

yet be

sober
*

who bore the brunt,' are his words, who fought on sea by Salamis and off Artemisium, by those who stood in the ranks Nowhere does he say who conquered,' at Plataea
'.'
'

By

at

Marathon, by those
!

'

'

but throughout he has furtively kept back the word

which should give the

result,

because that result was

a happy one, the contrary to that of Chaeroneia. Therefore


'

he gives his hearer no time, and


all

at

once adds

To

of whom the

city

gave public

burial,

Aeschines,

not to those only

who

succeeded.'

XVII AT
l\.
given
this point I
state

must not omit,

my

dear friend, to
It shall be

one of

my own
and

conclusions.
is

quite

concisely,

this.

As

though by

nature, the_fig!sss jJIyjEltfrnselves with sublimity,


in

and

turn

are

marvellously .supported
this is so,

by the

alliance.

Where and how


is
tl\e

I will explain.

There
of

a peculiar prejudice against a promiscuous use


figures
:

it
;

suggests a

suspicion

of ambuscade,
is
all

plot,

sop histry

and the more so when the speech

addressed to a judge with absolute powers, above


'

Adapted, and partly quoted, from Euripides, Bacchae, $ij.

Sect.

XVII

Concerning Sublimity
:

41
any
feels that

to tyrants, kings, magistrates of the highest rank

of these at once becomes indignant,


there
is

if

he

an attempt to outwit him, like a


;

silly child,

by

the paltry figure of a skilled orator


to be used in
like a

he takes the fallacy

contempt for himself, and either rages


or, if

wild beast,

he master his wrath, yet

is

wholly disinclined to be convinced by the arguments.

Accordingly a
it

figure is^bestj_when the_ very fact that

is

a figure passes unnoticed.

Therefore sublimity

and" passion are a help against the suspicion attaching


to

the use of figures, and a

resource " of marvellous


art,

power; because the treacherous


with what
is

being once associated

beautiful

and

great, enters

and remains,
is sufficiently

without exciting the least suspicion.

This
'

proved in the words quoted above,


fought at Marathon
concealed the figure
!

By

the

men who

'

By what
by

device has the orator

Clearly,

its

very light.

Much

as duller lights are extinguished in the encircling beams

of the sun, so the

artifices

of rhetoric are obscured by

the grandeur poured about them.

An

effect not far

removed from
are used,

this occurs in painting.


light

When
lie

colours

and the

and the shadow

upon the
meets the
only more

same surface beside one another, the


eye
before

light

the shadow,

and seems
nearer.

not
it is

prominent, but also

much

So

in

speeches

sublimity and passion,, lying closer to our souls, always

come
I

into

view sooner than the


natural kinship,

figures,

because of what
brilliance
;

may call

and also of

the

artfulness of the figures is


it

thrown into shadow, and, as

were, veiled.

42

A
are

Treatise

Sect.

XVIII

XVIII

WHAT
that,

we
',

to say of the Questions

and

Interrogations

which come next


this

Is

it

not true
our

by the very form which


and vehement

figure

takes,
it

orator gives intensity to his language and

makes

much
"is
this,

more
me,

effective

'Or do ye wish (answer


:

sir !)

to

go round and inquire one of another


greater

there any
that a Philip

news ? " What can be

news than

dead

man of Macedonia is subduing Greece? Is ? Not dead. Heaven knows, but sick.
?

What

matter to you

if

anything happen to him, you


Philip
''.'

will quickly

make you another


?

Again,

'

Let
ever

us sail to Macedonia.
find to put into

"What

harbour shall

we
'.'

" asked some one.

War

will discover

for itself the

weak

points in Philip's resources


quite inadequate
:

The
it is,

thing put simply

would be

as

the rush and swift return of, question and answer, and the meeting of his
another,

own make the words

difficulty as if it

came from

not only more sublime by his

use of the figure, but actually more convincing.


U

For

passionate language is

more

attractive

when

it

seems to

|be

bom

of the occasion, rather than deliberately adopted


:

'by the speaker a

question and answer carried on with

man's self reproduce the spontaneity of passion.

Much

as those
'

who

are questioned

by

others,

when

spurred by
it

As all the examples


'

are of Question

and Answer

seems not

improbable that one of the two substantives has replaced the word
'

Answers
'

in the original.
i.

Philippie,

lo.

'

Id.

i.

44.


Sect.

XVIII Concerning Sublimity

43

the sudden appeal, meet the point vigorously and with the plain truth, so
it is

with the figure of question and

answer;

it

draws the hearer off till he thinks that each

point in the inquiry has been raised and put into

words

without preparation, and so imposes upon him.


(for the instance

Again

from Herodotus has passed for one of


it

the most sublime), if

be thus

\Here about

six

pages have been

/oj/.]

XIX

THE
self.
'

words drop unconnected, and

are,

so to say,

poured forth, almost too fast for the speaker him-

Locking

their shields,' says

Xenophon,

'

they

pushed, fought, slew, died'.'

Or

take the words of

Eurylochus in

Homer
bad'st,

E'en as thou

we

ranged the thickets through,


^.

We found a house fair fashioned in a glade

Phrases cut off from one another, yet spoken rapidly,


carry the impression of a struggle, where the meaning
is

at

once checked and hurried on.


has produced by his Asyndeta.

Such an

effect

Homer

XX
/yN
excellent and stirring effect
figures,
is

often given

by

Jr\. the concurrence of


mingled
in

when two
in

or three
fiind

one coinpany throw into a


cogency, beauty.'
Hist. iv. 3. 19.

common
the

their force,

Thus
'

speech

'

Xenophon,

Od. x. 251.

44
against Midias'
repetitions

-^ Treatise
we have Asyndeta
'

Sect.

XX

interwoven with

and vivid presentation.

There

are

many

things which the striker might do, yet


the person struck could never
tell

some of which
passage

another, by gesture,

by look, by

voice.'

Then,

in order that the

may

not continue travelling in the same track (for rest


is

shows calm, disarrangement passion, which


and a
fresh
stirring

a rush

of the mind), he passes with a bound to


to repetitions
: '

Asyndeta and
;

by

gesture,

by look,

by voice
fists,

when

in insult,

when

in enmity,

when with
of the

when

as slave.'

In these phrases the orator does

what the

striker did,

he belabours the

intellect

judges by the speed of blow following blow.

Then

he goes back from


as gusts of
face,'

this point,
; '

and makes a fresh onset,


fists,

wind do

when with

he goes on, 'these things

stir,

these

when on the make men

frantic, to

whom

insult is not

familiar.

No

one by

telling

of these things could possibly represent their

atrocity.'
//

Thus he keeps up

in essence

throughout the passage

jhis repetitions and Asyndeta, while he continually varies

them

so that his order


it

is

disorderly,

and again

his

violation of order has in

order of a kind.

XXI

Now

insert,

if

you

will,
:

conjunctions, as
"''~A"gam

the

school of Isocrates does

we must

not

omit this point

either, that there are


first
'

many

things which

the striker might do,

by

gesture,

and then by look,

Midias, 72.

Sect.

XXI

Concerning Sublimity
'
:

^s
how
the

and yet further by his very voice


passage in
full

if

you rewrite the

sequence, you will recognize

press and rough effectiveness of passion,


to

when smoothed
one should
tie

one level by conjunctions,


its fire at

fails

to pierce the ear,

and

once goes out.

For

as, if
is

up the limbs of runners, their speed

gone, so passion

cha fes to be shackled by conju nctions and other d^tions.

The

freedom of running

is

destroyed, and the

moniSum

as of bolt from catapult.

XXII

UNDER

the same head

we must
is

set

cases

of

Hyperbaton.

This

is

a disturbance of the proper the surest impress


really angry,

sequence of phras esw^tHbugEjS, and

oTvehement passion.

For

as those

who are

orln fearTormSignant, or who

fall

under the influence

of jealousy or any other passion (for passions are many,

nay countless, past the power of man to reckon), are seen


to put forward one set of ideas, then spring aside to

another, thrusting in a parenthesis out of

all logic,

then

wheel round to the

first,

and

in their excitement, like a

ship before an unsteady gale, drag phrases

and thoughts

sharply across,

now

this

way,

now

that,

and so divert
is it in

the natural order into turnings innumerable; so


best writers
:

the

imitation of nature leads


effects

them by way of
art is perfect

Hyperbata to the
just

of

nature.

For

when it seems to be when the art underlies it


^

nature,

and nature successful

unnoticed.

Take
:

of Dionysius of Phocaea in Herodotus'


Herodotus,
vi.

'Our

the speech
fortunes

ir.

4<J
rest

A
on the edge of a
to take

Treatise

Sect,XXii

razor,

lonians, whether

we
for

are

to be free or slaves, aye


if

runaway slaves. Now,

therefore,

you choose

up hardships, there
will be able to
'

is toil

you

in the present, but

you

overcome your
lonians,

enemies.'

The

natural order was,


toils,

now

is

the time for you to accept


the edge of a razor.'
'

for our fortunes rest on

He
at

has transposed the words

Men

of Ionia,' starting

once with the mention of

the fear, and entirely omitting, in view of the pressing


terror, to find

time to

name

his audience.

Then he

has

inverted the order of the thoughts.

Before

sajring that

they must endure


tation)
'

toil

(which

is

the point of his exhor-

he

first
',

assigns the cause

why they

should do so
'

our fortunes

he says,

'

rest

on the edge of a razor

so that his words seem not to have been prepared, but


to be forced out of him.

Even more marvellous

is

E'hucydides in the skill with which he separates, by the le of Hyperbata, things which nature has made one and
separable.

Demosthenes

is

not so arbitrary as he; yet


all its

he

is

never tired of the use of this figure in

applica-

tions ;

the effect of vehemence which he produces by

transposition is great,
call

and also that of speaking on the


all this

of the moment; besides

he draws his hearers

with him to face the hazards of his long Hyperbata.

For he

often leaves suspended the thought with

which

he began, and interposes, as though he struck into a trdn of reasoning foreign to he


rolls
it

and
all

dissimilar, matter

which

upon other matter,


till

drawn from some source


with fear that an entire

outside,

he

strikes his hearer

collapse of the sentence will follow,

and forces him by


Sect.

; : ;

XXII

Concerning Sublimity

47
he makes

mere vehemence to share the

risk with the speaker: then,

when you

least expect, after a long interval,

good the -thought which has so long been owing, and works in his own way to a happy conclusion making
:

the whole a great deal more impressive by the very hazard

and imminenceof failure which goes with his Hyperbata '.

Let us

spare

more instances

there are so many.

XXIII

NEXT
effective,

come jthe

figures

of many cases, so-called

groupings, changes, gra dations,


as

which

are very

youTiiow, and work


tense,

in

with ornament,

^\jHteitty^of e veiy TSnd, an d passion.


variations

Only look

at

of

case,

person,

number,

gender
!

how

they embroider and enliven our expressions

Of

those which are concerned with number, I assert that

not only are those instances ornamental where the form


is singular, is

and the meaning, when you look into them,


:

found to be plural

At

once the people in its multitude Break man from man, shout ' tunny !
but the other class deserves even
'

'

o'er the beach

"

more

attention, because

In this long period the writer has fallen, as he often does, into

the vein of the author


"

whom

he

is

considering.
fish,

The tunny

is

a Mediterranean

a large mackerel.

'

The

fishermen place a look-out or sentinel on some elevated spot, who makes the signal that the shoal of tunnies is approaching, and
points out the direction in
a great

which

it

will

come.

Immediately
line,

number of boats

set off,

range themselves in a curved

and, joining their boats, drive the tunnies towards the shore, where

they are eventually killed with

poles.*

From

The Sea and Ut

Living Wonders, by Hartwig.


48

; :

Treatise
fall

Sect.XXllI

there are cases where plurals


effect,

on the ear with grander


effect

and catch our applause by the


gives.
' :

of multitude

which the number

Take' an instance from

Sophocles in the Oedipus

O
That gave me

marriage

rites

and having borne me, gave To me in turn an offspring, and ye showed Fathers and sons, and brothers, all in one, Mothers and wives, and daughters, hateful names. All foulest deeds that men have ever done.
birth,

All these express one name, Oedipus, and on the


other side Jocasta
;

but for

all that,

the number, spread

out into plurals, has


or in another case

made the misfortunes plural also of many for one : Forth Hectors
'

issued and Sarpedons


Plato,

^.'

And

there is the passage of

which I have quoted


'
:

also in another place, about

the Athenians
'

No

Pelopses, nor Cadmuses, nor Aegyptuses, nor

Danai, nor other of the natural-bom barbarian dwell


here with us
;

pure Greeks with no cross of barbarian


in the land,'

blood are
things

we that dwell

and so

forth.

For
effect

strike

on the ear with more sonorous

when

the names are thus piled upon one another in

groups.

Yet

this should be

done

in those cases alone

where the subject admits of enlargement, or multiplication,


or hyperbole, or passion, either one of these, or several
for

we know
'

that to

go everywhere
*.

'

hung about with

ibells
'

is

a sophist's trick indeed

Oedipus Tyrannus, 1403.

'

Unknown.
bells

" *

Menexenus, 245 D. ' Other men take their misfortunes quietly, he hangs out

Sect.

XXIV Concerning Sublimity

49

XXIV

YET, on the other hand, contraction from


sublime.
'

plural to (
I

singular sometimes produces an effect conspicuously

Then all Peloponnesus was ranged on different /


the Orator*.
exhibited
his

sides,' says

And
fell

look at
the

this,

'when[
of

Phrynichus
Miletus, the

drama,

Taking

whole theatre

into tears'.'

Where

separate individuals are compressed into unity the notio n

of a single body

is

produced.

In both cases the cause

of the ornamental

effect is the

same

where terms are

properly singular, to turn


into

them
is

into plurals
;

shows emotion
plural, to
is

which the speaker

surprised

where

bring several individuals under one so norous head

change

in

the opposite direction, and equally unexpected.

XXV
A GAIN,
where you introduce things past and done as
in the actual present,
\

jr\. happening

you

will

make your

account no longer a narrative but a living action.

'A man

whohasfallen under thehorse of Cyrus,' says Xenophon',


'

and

is

being trampled, strikes his sword into the belly


:

of the horse he
falls.'

the horse plunges and unseats Cyrus, and


in
it.'

So Thucydides
life

most

instances.

in his daily
i.

a next thing to

Demosthenes, Arislogeilon,
in the translation are

go.
1
"

De Corona,
Herodotus

i8.
21.

vi.

The words used


treatise has:

taken

from Herodotus.
tears,'
'

Our
vii. 1.

'the spectators burst into


is

by which the point of the 'figure'


37.

missed.

Cyropaedeia,
LONG. TR.


fo

Treatise

Sect.

XXVI
EFFECTIVE
described
:

also in the

same way

is

the trans-

position of persons,

which often makes a hearer

think that he is moving in the midst of the dangers

Thou

Of toughest kind wouldst have called those hosts, so manfully Each fought with each '.
Aratus
'

And

has

Not

in that

month may

seas about thee surge


: '

In much the same way Herodotus

You will

sail

up

stream from the city Elephantina, and then you will

come

to a level plain.

Passing through this


sail

tract,

you

will again

embark on another and


city,

for

two days
is

then you will reach a great

whose name

Meroe'.'

You

see,

comrade,

how he

takes your spirit with

him
All

through the place, and turns hearing into seeing.

such passages, being addressed to the reader in his


person,

own

make him

take his place at the very centre of

the action. Again,

when you speak as though


:

to a single

individual, not to all

Nor of the son of Tydeus


you
also
will render

couldst thou If he with Trojans or Achaians were *

know

him more moved by the passions and


he
is

more

attentive;
is

filled

fiill

of the combat,

because he

roused by being himself addressed.

11. XV.

697.
(see above

"

Phaenomma, 287
/;. V.

on p. 35).

'

ii.

29.

85.


XXVII
Concerning Sublimity

'

fi

XXVII

THEN
there
is

there are other cases where the writer is

giving a narrative about a person, and


transition himsel f pass es into that

by a sudden
in this class/
/

p erson

an outburst of passion

To

But Hector warned the Trojans with loud cry, rush upon the ships, and pass the plunder by But whom elsewhere than at the ships I sight, Death shall be his that moment*.'
'

Here the
without

poet

has assigned the narradve part to


:

himself, as is fitting

the sharp threat he has suddenly,


attached
to the angry
inserted

previous explanation,
it

chieftain:
'

would have been cold had he


said so and so,* whereas

Hector then

now

the change

of construction has anticipated the poet's change of


speaker.

Hence
occasion

the proper use of the figure


is

is

where

th

short and sharp, and does not allow the

writer to stop, but forces

him
'
: '

to hurry

from person

t(

person, as in Hecataeus
at

Ceyx, indignant

at this,

once commanded the Heraclidae of the


:

later genera-

tion to leave the country

"

for I have

no power to help

you and

therefore,

that

you may not perish yourselves,


depart to another people."

infiict

wound on me,

Demosthenes,
*
'

in his Aristogeiton speech', has

found

n. XV. 346-9.
Hecataeus of Miletus (living about B.c. 520), historian and
Aristogeiton,

geographer.
'
i.

27.


fi
this

A
change of persons
'

Treatiie

Sect.

a different method to throw passion and swiftness into


: '

And

will

none of you be

found,' he says,

to entertain wrath or indignation at


;

the violence of this shameless miscreant


foulest

who, thou
is

of mankind, when thy effrontery

stopped,

not by barriers nor by gates, such as


'

man might open

He

has not finished what he intended, but pass-

ing quickly aside, and, I had almost said, splitting a


single sentence

angry

between two persons, because he


thou foulest of mankind,'

is

so

'

Who,

he says

with the result that, having turned his speech away

from Aristogeiton, and having done with him, you tliink, he directs it upon him again with far more
intensity through the passion.

Much

in the

same way Penelope

What brings thee, herald, thee, the pioneer Of these imperious suitors ? Do they send To bid the servants of my husband dear

Of their appointed task-work to make And on their lordly revelries attend ?


Never elsewhere may they survive

end,

to meet

Here

in these halls, while our estates they rend,

May

Who

they their latest and their last now eat, thus with outrage foul Telemachus entreat. Ye to your parents heedful ear lend none, Nor hearken how Odysseus lived of yore '.

Orf. iv.

68i.

XXVIII

Concerning Sublimity

j-j

XXVIII

NO
if
it

one I think would be

in

doubt as to eii^

phrasis being a factor of sublimity.

For as

in!

musicTarapKones' make the principal melody sweeter *,


so Periphra5is_o ftenshnesJaJi3thjh^^

anathe concurrence adds


pleasantly j;gt[^)aUQded.
sufficient to

to the be auty,

more
this

especially

have not a ny windy, unmusical ef&ct, but be

In proof of

it

will be

Speech':

quote Plato at the beginning of the Funeral


'

Of all

that

we

can give, these have


received
it,

now
they

what
the

is

rightly theirs, and, having

pass on their appointed journey, escorted publicly by


city,

personally each

man by
'

those of his kin.'

Here he has
by

called death an

appointedjoumey,' and

the bestowal of the ii^3T'"??<wjTjiiiHiy_ pstiMt..givg"


their country.'

Is the dignity

added to the thought

'^

these

tums^ut a

smatPrriatter^

Or

fiSTierather
it

takeir laiiguuge ^lam

SH~una3oimed, and made


it

melodious by pouring around

the harmonies which


again
:

came of
toil to

periphrasis

Xenophon

'

Ye

reckon
it

be the guide to happy

life,

and have received


an obscure one.
It

'

Paraphones,

The

musical term

is

has

been suggested that our Author means to contrast the rich effect of a chord with the thinner sound of a single note, and thus to
illustrate,

through the notion of musical accompaniment, the

relation of a periphrasis to a

ample word or

phrase.
'

The

phrase
'

has been sometimes identified with Cicero's

iaisae vocuiae

{de

Orat.
'

iii.

98).

See the authorities quoted in the Appendix.

Menexenus, 336 D.

^4
all

-^ Treatise
and the most

Sect,
gallant

into your souls as the fairest

of

possessions: for ye take


'.'

more

delight in being praised


'

than in any other thing

By
like

calling toil

the guide to

happy
points,

life,'

and giving a

expansion to the other

he has attached to his words of praise a great

and

definite thought.
:

Herodotus

And
those

that inimitable phrase of

'

On

of

the

Scythians

who

plundered the temple the goddess sent a plague which

made them women.' ^

XXIX

YET
ear,

Periphrasis is exposed tp_5pecial iisks^_inore

special than

any of the

figures, if

used by a writer_

withour"Sefi'se

"STpfSpsniotrr for ttfalls feebly on the


stupidity.

and savours of tHHing and of rank


Plato, (for

So

when
"

he always employs the of season,) says

figure

with great

force, occasionally out

in the

Laws '
mocking

we must not allow

wealth, either of silver or of gold,

to be established in the city


critics

and

settle there,'

say that, if he had wanted to forbid them to


'

possess sheep, he would clearly have talked of

wealth

of sheep and wealth of

cattle*.'

Enough however of this


ducing sublime
'

disquisition

(which came

in

by way of parenthesis) on the use of


effects, all

figures in pro-

those which
'
i.

we

have men-:
vii.

Cyropaedia,
It

i.

5. la.

105.

'

Laws,
is

80. I.

has been pointed out by Dr. Verrall (Class. Rev, xix.


fact that Plato

p.

303) that the writer ignores the

avowedly

quoting from poetry.

(See Introduction.)

XXIX
tioned

Concerning Sublimity
make speeches more

ff

passionate and stirring

an(Ppassionris aTlarge^^n^^^reHK^'ih sUUimity as


sense oTcEracter in an agreeable style.

XXX
NEXT,
I
will

since the thoug ht_and^ the diction of a

speech are in most cases mutually interlaced,

ask you to consider with

me

whether any
..^li^SBiain.

partiS[aT oF what concerns^ expression

That a choice of the


wonderfully attracts

right

words and of grand words

and charms hearers

that

this

stands very high as a point of practice with

all

orators
it

and

all writers,

because, of
beauty,

its

own

inherent virtue,

brings

greatness,

raciness,
all its

weight,

strength,

mastery, and an exultation


as though they
to

own, to grace our words,

were the

fairest statues

mere

facts a soul

which has speech

that
it

it

imparts

may

perhaps

be superfluous to set out at length, for


it.

my

readers

know

words are, in a real and sp ecialsense, - VVf-Tt;pir^nj:|ji^<ity is n^t; the light of i^iiniight qf spryice and details grand trifling apply to to in jjCpiaces,!.

For

beautiful

solemn words would appear much the same as if one were to fasten a large tragic mask upon a little child '.

Yet

in poetry

[Here about twelve pages have been

lostJ\

The same

figure is used

by Quintilian

(vi. I. 36).


ftf

Treatise

Sect.

XXXI
. . .

very rich and pithy

and this of Anacreon


has no more

'

The
So too

Thracian

filly

my

care.

the novel phrase of

Theopompus' has
it

merit,

from the closeness of the correspondence

appears to

me most
fault

expressive, yet Caecilius has strangely found


it.
'

with

Philip,'

he says,

'

has a rare power of

down facts perforce.' So vulgar idiom is sometimes much more expressive than ornamental
swallowing
language; itis recogniz,4j?tpncas"atoucff^jpmmon
life;

a nd

what

is

familiar is

on the way to be crediUe^

Therefore,

when

applied to a
is

man who
'

patiently puts

up with and enjoys what

mean and
in

repulsive in order

to better himself, the phrase adopted,


perforce,' is very telling.

to swallow
'
:

So
until

Herodotus

'

down Then

Cleomenes went mad, and cut his own


knife into
little

flesh with the

strips,

he had made collops of


'Pythes held on to his

himself and so died.'


ship

And

and fought

until

he was chopped to pieces*.'


but they

These

scrape the corner of vulg ar idiom,


Becailse they are so expressive.

"Sei^t vulgar

' Anacreon of Teos, a lyric poet who died about B.C. 4^8. Most of the well-known poems which bear his name are spurious.

Theopompus, an
vi.

historian of Chios, born about B.c, 37S.

see p. 75.
'

75.

* vii.

181.

XXXII

Concerning Sublimity

S7

XXXII
AS
to

number of Metaphors, Caecilius appears

to

.ijf"agree"witli those wHo'Tay

Hown

a rule allowing

two, or at the most three, applied to the same object.

About such

figures

again

Demosthenes
is,

is

the true
passions

standard, and the time for their use

when

are driven onwards like a torrent, and

draw with themof

selves, as necessary to the passage, the multiplication

metaphors.
'

Men

foul

and

flatterers,'

he says,

'

having mutilated

their fatherlands,

every one of them, having pledged


in

away

their

freedom

wine,

first

to Philip,

now

to

Alexander, measuring happiness by their belly and by


the appetites which are most shameful, having thrown
to the

ground that freedom and that

life

without a

master, wherein the Greeks of old found their very

standard and definition of good

'.'

Here

the orator's

wrath against the


metaphors used.
phrastus
"

traitors screens the

number of the

Accordingly Aristotle and Theo-

say that bold metaphors are softened by such


'as
it

devices as the insertion of 'as though,' and


were,' and
in using
'

if I

may speak
bold

thus,'

and
;

'

if I

am

right

somewhat venturesome phrase*


'

for 'censure,'

they say,
accept
figures,
'

cures
;

expression.'

For

myself, I

all

these

yet I afiirm, as I said in speaking of

ij^at

bursts of passion, being seasonable and

De

Corona, 296.

'

Theophrastus, of Lesbos, Aristotle's successor as head of the

Peripatetic School at Athens.

f8

Treatise

Sect.

vehement, and sublimity when genuine, are sure speci-fics~foF numerous ^an3~Haring metaphors
;

because as

they surge and swepj_they^ naturaUy^^aw everything

their_own way, and force


say, they require

it

onwards, rather, I would

and exact bold metaphors, and do not

allow the hearer leisure to go into questions of their

number, because the speaker's excitement


further, in

is his.

Yet
and
in
is

speeches _about commonplaces and in set

descriptions, nothing ig,aoejgjressive as contiuBsd,

succ^sise^ tropesv

It is

by means of these that


tabernacle
still

Xenophon ' the anatomy of man's bodily


painted

with so much magnificence, and


^.

more

admirably in Plato

The
to

head he

calls

the citadel

between this and the chest an isthmus has been constructed,

the

neck,
;

which vertebrae have been

attached like hinges


their hurt,

pleasure is a bait tempting


test

men
;

to

and the tongue supplies the

of taste

the

heart

is

the knot of the veins, and the fountain of the


is

blood which courses violently around,


be the guard-house.
'

appointed to

The passages or pores

he

calls lanes.

For the

beating of the heart, in the expectation of


it

danger or on the summons of wrath, because


fiery organ,

is

they devised a resource, introducing the

structure

of the lungs, which are soft and bloodless,


cavities like

and perforated with


that,

a sponge, in order
it,

when wrath

boils

up within

the heart

may

beat upon a yielding substance, and so receive no hurt.'

The chamber where


women's chamber,
'

the appetites dwell he styled the

that

where the passions, the men's


'

Memorabilia,

i.

4. f

Timaeus, 69 D.

XXXII
chamber.
filled

Concerning Sublimity

S9

The

spleen is a napkin for the parts within


it

with their purgings


this,'

grows

large

and unsound.
all

'After

he goes on, 'they enshrouded


front,

with

fleshy parts, placing the flesh in


tection

to be a pro-

from matter outside,

like layers

of

felt.'
'

He
for

called blood the food

of the fleshy
they

parts.

And

the

sake

of

nourishment

made

water-courses

through the body, like water-courses cut in gardens,


that the currents of the veins might run as

from an

inflowing stream, the

body being a narrow

canal.'

But
go

when the end


free.

is at

hand, he says that the cables of the

souls are loosed, as though of a ship,

and
:

it is

let

Countless similar details follow


set

those which
in their

we have
nature

down

suffice to

show how grand

tropical

expressions are7~and

how metaphors
that the use

produce sublimity, and that impassioned and descriptive


passages admit them most readily.

Yet

of tropes,

IJEe aff other beauties

of

style, leads writers

on

to neglect proportion, is clear without


it is

my

saying

it.

For

upon these
is

especially that critics pull Plato to

pieces,

he

so often led on, as though his style were

possessed, into untempered and harsh metaphors and

portentous allegory.
says,
into
'

'

For

it is

not easy to realize,' he


like a cup,

that a city ought to be


is

mixed
;

where-

wine

poured and boils

yet,

when chastened by
For
to call

another and a temperate god, in that fair partnership

forms an honest and a sober draught.'


water
' '

temperate

god,' they

say,

and admixture
is

chastening,' is the

mark of a poet who

anything but

sober.

Caecilius however, taking up such

weak

points

6o

Treatise
',

Sect.
actually

as this in his pamphlets in praise of Lysias

dared to make out Lysias better

all
:

round than Plato,


for loving Lysias

mixing up two

different feelings

more than he loved himself, he yet hates Plato more


thoroughly than he loves Lysias.

Only he

is carried

away by combatireness, nor


as he thought

are his premisses admitted

them to

be.

For he puts forward


mistakes.

his

orator as without a fault and clear in his record, as


against Plato
is

who had made many


it.

The

fact

not so, nor anything like

XXXIII

COME now
clear
it^

let

us find

some

writer

who

is really

and beyond

criticism.

Upon

this point, is

not worth while to raise the question in a general

f^rm, whether in poems and prose writings a greatness

with some

failings is the better,

or a genius which

is

limited in its successes, but is always sound and never

drops
first

Aye, and

this further question

whether the

prize should be carried off

by the most numerous

excellences in literature or by the greatest?

These
part,

questions are germane to the subject of Sublimity, and


absolutely require a decision.
^ Attic orator (about B.C.

I know, for
'

my own

459-380).

His distinctive qualities


a subtle power of

are a delicate mastery of the purest Attic,

expressing character, a restrained sense of humour, and a certain


flexibility

of mind which enables

him under
him.*

the most diverse

circumstances to write with almost unfailing tact and charm with


that

x<V"

which the old

critics felt in

Prof. Sir

R. C.

Jebb, SeUcliotu from Attic Orators, p. 186.

XXXIII
that

Concerning Sublimity

6\

genius of surpassing greatness has always the least

clear record.

Precision in every detail comes perilousry


;

near littleness
there

"JsqgTea.natureSi as In great ibrfunesi

"

ought to be something which


Further, this

may even

be

"neglected.

may

perhaps be a necessary

law, that humble or modest geniusT" wliicK never runs a risk, and never aims at excellence, remains in most
cases without a failure and in comparative safety
that
;

but

what

jj^

great js hazardous

by very reason of the

greatness.
that
their
all

Not that I fail to recognize this second law, human things are more easily recognized on
the'

worse sTdF;" that

memory of

failures

remains

indeliBle,

while that of the good points passes quickly

away.

have myself brought forward not a few

failures in

Homer and

in others

of the very

greatest,

yet never take pleasure in their slips,


call

which I do not

voluntary mistakes, but rather oversights caused by

the random, haphazard carelessness of great genius,

and passed unmarked by

it

and

I remain

unshaken in

my

opinion, that in all cases great excellence, although


fevel^

not kept up to one


bear off
first

throughout,

should always

award, if for nothing


intellectual

else,

yetfbr the

sake of simple
instance,

greatness.

To

take

an

ApoUonius

in the Argonautae ^ is a poet


'

who
most

never drops, and Theocritus


successful, except as to a

in his Pastorals is
:

few extraneous matters

now

ApoUonius of Rhodes (bom about B.C. 335), an Alexandrian

poet, to

whom

Virgil is

much

indebted.

' Theocritus,

the great pastoral poet, living at Syracuse about

380 B.C.

62
this being so,

Treatise

Sect.

would you not rather be Homer than


in the Erigone,
is

ApoUonius ? Take again Eratosthenes '


a
little

poem with nothing


matter along
in

in

it

to blame;

he a
ill-

greater poet than Archilochus ,

who

drags

much

arranged
inspiration

that outpouring

of divine
?

which

it

is difficult

to range under a law

In lyrics again, would you choose to be Bacchylides


rather than Pindar,
in

'

Sophocles himself?

Tragedy Ion of Chios than These poets no doubt never drop,


smooth and the writing beautiful,
at

their language is always

whereas Pindar and Sophocles


in their rush, but the fire is

one time set

all

ablaze
least

quenched when you

expect

it,

and they

fail

most unhappily.
in his senses, if

Am

I not

right in saying that

no man
in

he put the

works of Ion together

a row, would value them


?

against a single play, the Oedipus


*

Eratosthenes of Cyrene.

great astronomer and scientific

geographer, born about B.C. 276.

He

also

wrote on

Homer and
'

on the Old
less

Attic

Comedy.
is

Nothing

else is

known

of this

fault-

poem,' but he

said to

have been a pupil of Callimachus, and

to have written an astronomical


' '

poem, Hermes.

Archilochus, see above, p. 25.

Bacchylides of Ceos, a lyric poet, contemporary with Pindar,


his rival.

and

His works, other than mere fragments, have been


1

known

to us since

897,

when they were


critic as

published

by Dr. F. G.
Interesting

Kenyon from
value,
'
is

a recently discovered Egyptian papyrus.

as they are, the

judgement of our

to their relative poetic

confirmed.

Ion of Chios, a tragic poet of considerable merit, contemporary


:

with Sophocles

he attempted

literature in almost all its branches,

and was famous as an anecdotist. ' With this judgement on Sophocles, which comes to us
thing of a surprise, compare Plutarch (fin hearing poets,

as

some-

c. xiii),

XXXIV

Concerning Sublimity

6^

XXXIV
IFweighed;
far

successful passages were to be numbered,

not

~Hyperides ' would, dn

jTijs

reckonuig,
^,

surpass "DemdstHenes.

He

sounds more notes


;

andT)as"Tnore pomts of excellence

he wins a second

place in pretty well every competition, like the hero

of the Pentathlon,

being beaten for the

first

prize

by some trained competitor


of the non-professionals.

in each, but standing first


certainly, besides

Hyperides

matching the successful points in Demosthenes, always


excepting composition, has included, over and above
these,

the virtues and graces of Lysias.

He

talks

with simplicity,

when

it is

required, not in a sustained

monotonous manner
sense

like

Demosthenes, and he shows

of character, a fiavouring added with a light


;

hand

he has indescribable graces, the wit of a man


life,

who knows
great

good breeding, irony with readiness


ill-bred

of fence, jokes not vulgar nor


Attic
orators,

as

in

those

but

appropriate,

clever

raillery,

comic power

in plenty, the sting


all

which goes with wellcall

aimed
charm.

fun,

and with

this

what I may

inimitable

He

has a strong natural


telling

gift for

compassion,

and also for

a story fluently, running through

a description before a flowing breeze with admirable

who says that


understands
it

Sophocles

may be blamed

'

for his inequality.'

Bergk

with reference to such passages as Antigone, 904, &c., which many good judges hare felt unable to accept as genuine.
'
'

Hyperides, an Attic orator, born about B.C. 396, died 322,


Sir

the Sheridan of Athens.'


c.
'
'

R. C. Jebb

in Atlie Orators, vol.


translated.

ii.

22, where this passage of our text

is

He

has more tones in his voice,' Jebb,

54
ease in tacking
:

-^ "Treatise
for instance, the story of

Sect.

Latona he

has treated rather as a poet, the Funeral Speech as


a set, perhaps an unmatched, effort of the oratory of
display.

Demosthenes has no touches of


style
;

character,

no

flowing

certainly

he

is

not supple,

and
list

cannot speak for

display:

he lacks the whole


:

of

qualities

mentioned above

when he

is

forced to

be witty and smart, he raises a laugh against, rather


than with himself;

when he wants

to approach
it.

charm

of manner he passes farthest from


sure that if he

We
little

may be
speech

had attempted

to write the

on Phryne or that on
established even

yithenogenes,

he would have

more

firmly the

fame of Hyperides.
:

As

see

it,

the case stands thus

The
are

beauties

of the

latter

though they be many,


'

devoid of

greatness \ dull

to a sober

man's heart,* and allow the


feels fear

hearer to rest

unmoved (who
'

when he
tale ','

reads

Hyperides

?)

Demosthenes taking up the

adds

excellences of the highest genius and of consummate


perfection,

sublimity of tone,

passions in living

em-

bodiment, copiousness,
is

versatility,

speed

also,

which
beyond
to

his

own

prerogative,

ability

and

force

approach.

Now

whereas, I say, he has drawn

himself in one
gifts,

all

those marvellous and heaven-sent


call

for

human we may not

them, therefore by
all

the beauties which he has he surpasses

other

men

'

Similar words occur in a passage of Plutarch (2)

Garr. 4)
minstrel

where they appear to be a poetical quotation.


'

An Homeric

phrase {Od,

viii.

500), used

when one

succeeds another.

XXXV
thunder,
orators of
in the face

Concerning Sublimity
not.

6$
With down
his

and outmatches those which he has


with
all

his
;

lightning,

he

bears

the

time

sooner might one open one's eyes


full

of thunderbolts as they rush, than gaze upon


passions

upon the passions which follow

in

Demosthenes.

WHEN
is

XXXV
we come
in

to Plato, there

is,

as I said,

another kind of pre-einmence.


far

For Lysias, who


in

below him

the number, as well as in the


is

magnitude of his good points,

yet

more

excess of

him

in faults

than in defect as to good points.

then did those immortals see, the writers


at
all

What who aimed


other

which
lies

is

greatest,
detail

and scorned the accuracy


?

which
things,

in every

They saw many


;

and they also saw

this, that

Nature determined
but introducing

man

to be
life

no low or ignoble animal


and

us into

this entire universe as into

some

vast

assemblage, to be spectators, in a sort, of her contests,

and most ardent competitors


in

therein, did then implant

our souls an invincible


is

and

eternal

love

of that
divine.

which which

great and, by our


it

own

standard,

more

Therefore

is,

that for the speculation

and thought
all

are within the scope

of human endeavour not

the universe together


pass

is sufficient,

our conceptions often


limit
it ;

beyond the bounds which


life
all

and

if

one
all

were to look upon

round, and see

how

in

things the extraordinary, the great, the beautiful stand

supreme, he will at once

know

for

what ends we have

been bom.

So

it is

that, as

by some physical law, we

66

A
far

Treatise

Sect.

admire, not surely the

little

streams, transparent though

they be, and useful too, but Nile, or Tiber, or Rhine,

and

more than

all,

Ocean

nor are

we awed by
it

this little flame


light clear,

of our kindling, because

keeps

its

more than by those heavenly


it

bodies, often

obscured though they be, nor think than the


craters

more marvellous

of Etna, whose eruptions bear up

stones and entire masses,


rivers
all

and sometimes pour forth


fire.

of that Titanic and unalloyed

Regarding
is

such things

we may

say this, that what

serviceable

or perhaps necessary to man,

man can

procure; what

passes his thought wins his wonder.

XXXVI
HENCE,
in

when we speak of men of great genius


where the greatness does not
and service of man,

literature,

necessarily fall outside the needs

we must
this
fection,

at

once arrive at the conclusion, that

men of

stature,

though
all rise

far

removed from
:

flavyless ^per-

yet

above the mortal

other qualities

prove those
raises

wHo

possess them to be men, sublimity


intellectual

them almost to the


need

greatness~3^od.

No failure,
What
is

no blame ; but greatness has our very wonder.


still

to add, that each

of these great men

ofti_ seen to

redeem
;

all

his failures
further,

by a
is

single

sufiimity, a single success

and

which
all

most

convincing, that if we were to pick out

the failures

of Homer, Demosthenes, Plato, and the other greatest


writers,

and to mass them together, the

result

would

be a small, an insignificant fraction of the successes

XXXVI

Concerning Sublimity

67
exhibit.
itself

which men of that heroic build everywhere


Therefore every age and
can never prove to be in
its all

time,

which envy

dotage, has bestowed upon


;

them the assured


them
to this

prizes

of victory

it

guards and keeps

day safe and

inalienable,

and

will as

it

seems, keep them

As To
Colossus

long as waters flow and poplars bloom'.

the writer, however,


is

who

objects that the faulty

not better work than

the

Spearman of
In

Polycleitus * I might say much, but I say this.

Art
a

the most accurate

work is jdmired,
it is

in the

works of
is

Nature greatness.

Now
man,

by Nature that man


therefore in statues

bemg endowed" with speech;


is like

we

seek what
said,

in speech

what

surpasses, as I

human

st andard s.

Yet

it is

right (for our precept

returns to the early

words of
is in

this treatise), because the

success of never failing

most cases due

to Art, to
in

the success of high


Geniusj_.that,
to aid Nature

aldiou^ not uniform excellence, therefore. Art should ever be brought


where they
It

are reciprocal

the result
far

sliould be perfection.

was necessary

to

go thus

towards a decision upon the points raised :

let

every one

take the view which pleases him, and enjoy


*

it.

From an epigram on Midas, quoted by Plato (Phatdna, The somewhat sentimental character of the quotation here may be noticed.
264 C).
^ Perhaps the famous Colossus of Rhodes, perhaps a later
Polycleitus,

work.
His

an

artist

of Sicyon of the
as the
'

fifth

century B.

c.

Spearman was known


in Art.

Canon ' or Standard of proportion


is

Copies have reached us, of which the best

probably

a figure from Herculaneum

now

at Naples.

F 2

6i

Treatise

Sect.

XXXVII
neighbourhood to INgoclose back to them, come
Metaphors, for we must
Illustrations
. .

and Similes,

which

differ

from them

in this respect

[Here about six pages have been

lostJ\

XXXVIII

SUCH
less

Hyperboles as

this arealsojudjcrous, in your

'

un-

you~wear'your"Brains

heels to be

trampled down'.'
ly

I^nce we ought

to

know

exact-

how

far each should go, Tor^ sometimes to limits destroys the hyperbole
;

advance
in such

beyond these
cases

extreme

tension

brings
its

relaxation,

and even
Isocrates

works right round to


fell

opposite.

Thus

into

a strange puerility owing to his ambition to


all

amplify at

points.

The Argument

of his Pane-

gyricus is that the state of the Athenians surpasses


that of the

Lacedaemonians in services to the Greeks


very beginning he has
it

but

at

the

this

'

More-

over words are so potent, that


to

is

possible thereby
to

make what
a
*
'

is

great
is

lowly,

and

throw greatold things

ness
in
/

about what

small,

and to

treat

new
The

fashion,
is

and those which have recently


a metaphor, the difference between them
says of Achilles that

simile too
slight.

'

being only

Thus where Homer


it is

" he

rushed on like a lion,"

a simile

but

when he

says that

rushed on, a very lion,"


c. iv, tr.

it is

a metaphor.'

"he

Aristotle, Rhetorie, 3,

Welldon.
attributed to

'

From the Halonnesus, a speech once

Demosthenes.

XXXVIII
happened
in

Concerning Sublimity
an
old fashion.'
'

6^
Isocrates
',

'

'

What,

some one

will say,

do you mean then to change the

parts of the
this set praise
at

Lacedaemonians and Athenians^'

For

of speech goes near to an open warning


Possibly then the

the outset not to believe him.

best hyperboleSj as
are those

we

said above in speaking of figures,


at
all.

which are not noticed as hyperboles jvhen they are uttered

This

result is^ obtained

in an

outburst of strong feeling and in

harmony widb a

certain

grandeur in the
is

crisis described, as

where Thucydides
'

speaking of the
Syracusans',

men
he

slaughtered in Sicily.
'also

For
and

the

says,

came down
the

butchered

them, but especially those in


spoiled,

water,

which was thus immediately

but which they


all,

went on drinking
as
it

just the same,

mud and

bloody

was, even fighting to have

it.' '

That blood and

mud were drunk together, and yet were things fought over,
passes for credible in the intensity of the feeling and
in

the

crisis.

The

passage in Herodotus about the


is

men of Thermopylae
says,
is,
'

similar

'

On

this spot

',

he

while defending themselves with daggers, that

those

who

still

had them
they

left,

and also with hands


alive
'

and

with

teeth,

were buried
'

under the
sort of

missiles

of the Barbarians.'
it',

Here
'

What

thing

is

you

will
',

say,

'to fight with very teeth

against
missiles

armed men
'

or what to be

buried alive under


;

But

it

passes for true like the other

for

the fact does not appear to be introduced for the sake

of the hyperbole, but the hyperbole to pass because


'

c. viii.

'

vii.

84.

'

vii.

225.


70
fathered

A
by the
fact.

Treatise
For, as I

Sect.

am

never tired of

sajnng, every bold experiment in language finds a solvent

and a
frenzy.

specific in

deeds and passions which approach

So, in

Comedy,

utterances

which approach
:

the incredible pass for true because of the ludicrous

He
For

had a

field

no bigger than the sheet


letter.'

Which

holds a Spartan

laughter too is a passion, a passion

which

lies in

pleasure.

There

is

an hyperbole on the side of excess,

and also one on the side of defect: the common point


is

a straining of the truth.

And,

in

a manner of

speaking, satire is an exaggeratjan^namdy of pettiness.

XXXIX

THE
already

fifth

of the factors which we mentioned


still

at the

outset, as contnbuting to Sublimity,

remains

to be considered,

my

excellent friend

compositipn. in
I have
in

words, or the precise manner of arran^ng them.


published

two

treatises

on

this

subject,

which

I have rendered full account


;

of such theoretical
therefore, only add,

views as I could form

and need,

as necessary for our present purpose, that melody is

not only an instrument natural to


persuasion and pleasure ;
it is

man^ which produces


him
free.

a marvellous instriuneoit,

which produces
'

passion,

yet leaves

Does
by the

The

brevity of Spartan letters

may be

illustrated

famous dispatch reporting the disaster of Cyzicus (410 B.C.): ' Honour is lost Mindarus is gone : the men starve we know not
: :

what to

do.'

' ;

XXXIX

Concerning Sublimity

71

not the flute implant within the hearers certain passions,

and place them out of

their senses, full

of wild revelry ?

Does
them

it

not set a certain rhythmical step, and force


it,

to keep step with

and

to
'

conform themselves
no music
in

to the air,

though a man have

him

'

Do

not the notes of the harp, which in themselves

signify nothing, yet

by the interchange of sounds, the


you well know, often marvellous

mutual accompaniment, the mingled harmony, cast upon


us a spell, which
is,

although these are but images and bastard copies of


persuasion, not genuine forces operative

upon human
that

nature

position

And

then are
is,

we

not to

think

com-

^being as it

a special melody of words,


nature and ^vhich reach
stirring, as
it

words whi^h
his very soul,

are in

man by
his

and not

ears, alone;

does, manifold ideas of words, thoughts, actions, beauty,


tunefulness, all of

them things

bom and

bred within us

cairyiig. moreover, by the very commixture and multiplicity

of

its

own

sounds, the passion which is present

to the speaker into the souls

of the bystanders, and


;

bringing

them

into partnership with" hfinself

building

phrase on phrase and so shaping whole passages of

gTeatness

^t "CompositionT^
we
contains with

say7 must by

all

these

means

at

once soo^gjjs as

hear and also dispose to

stateliness,

and high mood, and sublimity, and ^veryit

thingwhich
mere

itself, in

eachand
?

every
it

direction gaining the mastery over


is

minds

Although

folly to raise

problems about things which are so


proof
lost

fully admitted, for experience is


'

sufficient, I

am

Quoted from the Sthmehoea, a

play of Euripides.

72
marvellous indeed
his decree
:

-A Treatise

Sect.

XL
to

sure that you will think that a sublime thought, and

This
'

it is,

which Demosthenes applied

decree

made

the danger, which


'.'

then encompassed the city, to pass away like a vapour

But the harmony of the thought, no


thought
itself,

less

than the

has given

it

voice.

For the whole exmost noble


structure

pression rests upon the dactylic rhythms^the

and productive of grandeur, which make the


of heroic metre the noblest known to us.

Take any
where you
the danger

word out of
will
:

its

own

place,

and

transfer

it

'

This proposal,

like a vapour,
'

made

of that day to pass away


syllable only will learn
:

or,

again, cut off one


'

'

made

it

to pass like vapour

and you

how

closely the
'

rhythm echoes the


vapour
'

sublimity.

For
first

the actual phrase

like a

moves with the


Cut out
you
',

rhythm

long, if

measured by four times.^

the one syllable, you have 'as vapour', the curtailment


mutilates the grandeur
;

as,

on the other hand,

if

lengthen

it

out,

'

made

to pass

away

like to a

vapour

,the sense is the same, but not the effect on the ear,

because by the length of the times at the end of the


phrase,
its

sheer sublimity

is

broken up and unstrung.

XL
1ANGUAGE
_> "degree
is

made .grand
which

in

the

highest
to

by

that

corresponds

the
if

collocation of limbs in the body, of


'

which no one,
The
difficult

Dt

Corona, l88.
metrical

'i.e. equivalent to four short syllables.


questions raised in the passage are discussed

by Dr.

Verrall (^Class.

Rev.

xix. p. 354).


Sect.

XL

Concerning Sublimity

73
itself,

cut off from another, has anything noticeable in

yet

all in

combination produce a perfect structure.

So

great passages,

when

separate and scattered in diifeient


;

parts, scatter also the sublimity

but if they are formed

by partnership into a body, and also enclosed by the

bond of rhythm, the

limits

wfich

encircle
fliat

them
fund

give

them new voice


within
a

one might put


contribute
it

it

grand effects

period

to

common

of
that

grandeur.

However
writers

has been already

shown

many prose

and poets of no

natural sublimity,

possibly themselves altogether wanting in grandeur, and

using in general

common and

popular words, such as

contribute nothing remarkable, have yet,

by mere arrangedisso,

ment and adjustment, attained a real dignity and tinction of style, in which no pettiness is apparent;
amongst many others,
Philistus,

Aristophanes

in certain

passages, Euripides in most.

After the murder of his

children Hercules cries


I

am

full

fraught with

ills

no stowing

more.'

The
subject.

phrase

is quite popular,

but has become sublime

because the handling of the words conforms to the


If you place the wbrdFln"otEer combinations,

you

wTll see clearly that Euripides is a poet

of comis

position rather than of intellect.

When
it

Dirce

being

Jragged~a'way"byThe bull

Where'er

chanced.

Rolling around he with him ever drew Wife, oak-tree, rock, in constant interchange.''
'

Hercules Furens, 1245,

tr.

R. Browning.

From

the Aniiope, a

lost play.

74
The
more
borne
forcible

-^ Treatise
conception in itself
is

Sect.

XL

a noble one, but has

become

from the rhythm not being hurried, nor


as

along

on

rollers

the

words are

solidly

attached to one another,


syllabic quantities,

and checks caused by the

which

result in stability

and grandeur.

XLI

THERE
esccited

is

nothing

which introduces

pettiness

into sublime passages so

much

as a broEen~and

rhythm, as pyrrhics, trochees, and dichorees,


fall

which

into a thorough dancing measure.

For

in

pn5se~complSEe" rhythm appears dainty and


entirely lacks passion, because the
superficial.

trivial,

and
it

sameness makes
about this
is,

The

worst point of

all

that,

as ballad-music draws

away

the hearers perforce from


is

the subject to

itself,

so prose which

made
some

over-

rhythmical does not give the hearers the effect of the


prose but that of the rhythm
;

so that in

cases,

knowing beforehand the endings as they become due,


people actually beat time with the speakers, and get
before them, and render the

movement too

soon,

as

though

in a dance.
lie

Equally devoid of grandeur are


too close, cut up into scraps and

^passages which
'

minute syllables, and bound together by clamps between


piece and piece in the
'

way of

socket and insertion.'

Here again

(as

on

p.

a6) the terms of masonry are obscure,


of the simile
is

though the general

drift

apparent.

Sect.XLII

Concerning Sublimity

7S

XLII

ANOTHER
X\.
phrase
cessive
is

means of lowering sublimity


of expression
is
;

is

ex-

conciseness

grand

inaiineS

when

it

gathered into too short


refer
is

a compass.

I must be understood to

not to

mere undue compression, but to what


small and comminuted
' :

absolutely

contraction stunts the sense,

a short cut goes straight.


clear

In the other direction


is
'.'

it

is

that

what

is

spun out

lifeless,

all

'

which

conjures up unseasonable length

XLIII

PETTINESS of words, again,


making
fine passages

is

strangely potent in
in

mean.

Thus

Herodotus
spirit,

the storm' has been finely described with great

so far as the ideas go, but certain words are included

which

are surely too ignoble for the subject;

this in

particular,

'when the
'

sea boiled', the

word 'boiled'
;

greatly spoils the sublimity, being so poor in sound

then he has

the wind flagged

',

and again
it

'

were about the wreck and clutching

Those who met an un-

welcome end ',


and
'

'

flagged
is

'

is

an undignified vulgarism,

unwelcome '

an inadequate word for such a


in

disaster.

So

also

Theopompus*,

brilliant

and

elaborate account of the descent of the Persian


'

army
'

Perhaps

this should

read

'

not to proper compression

(if

a negative be omitted in the original).


'

Apparently a poetical quotation,


vii. 1

'

88.

See

.p.

56.

7<J

A
'For
send
did
not

Treatise

Sect.XLIII
spoilt the

upon Egypt, by a few paltry words has

whole passage:
tribe,

what

city

of Asia, or what

envoys to

the

King?
him?

What
or art

beautiful

or costly thing which

earth grows,

produces, was not brought as a gift to


there not

Were

many and

costly coverlets
pieces,

and cloaks, purple,

and
gold,

variegated,

and white
with
all
?

and many tents of


serviceable
;

furnished

things

many

costly robes

and couches
silver,

There were

also vessels of

wrought gold and

drinking cups and bowls, of

which you might have seen some crusted with precious


stones, others

worked with

elaborate and costly art


quantities

besides these were untold

of arms, some
in exceedingly

Greek, some barbarian, beasts of burden


great numbers,

and victims fatted for slaughter, many

bushels of spices,

many
other
all

sacks and bags and sheets of

papyrus

and

all

commodities;

and so

many

pickled carcases of

sorts

of animals, that the size of


distance
as

the heaps

think that they were


Jostled one another
'.

made those who approached from a mounds and hillocks

they

He

runs off from the loftier to

the more humble details, whereas he ought to have

made

his description rise in the other direction.

With

his marvellous account of the

whole provision he has


and has drawn to the
really

mixed up
placed

his bags

and

spices,
!

imagination

cook-shop

Suppose one had

among those

things of show, in the middle of

the gold and the


vessels,

gem-crusted cups

and the

silver

common

bags and sacks, the effect to the eye


;

would have been unseemly

so in a description each of

!,

'

Sect.

XLIII

Concerning Sublimity
is

77
was open
as he has

such words placed there out of season


and, so to say, a blot where
to
it

^n ugliness
It
:

stands.

him

to

go through

all in

broad outline

told us of heaps taken to be hillocks, so he might have

given

us

all

the

rest

of the

pageant,
all

camels,

multitude of beasts of burden carrying

supplies for

luxury and the enjoyment of the

table,

or he might
all

have specified heaps of every sort of grain and of


that is best for confectionery

and daintiness

or, if

he

meant, at
list,

all costs,

to put the whole


'

down

in

an inclusive

he might have said

all
'

the dainties

known

to
in

victuallers

and confectioners

'.

For we ought not

sublime passages to stoop to

mean and

discredited!
;

terms unless
but
it

we are compelled by some


in

strong necessity

would be proper even

words to keep to those


subject,

which sound worthy of the


Nature
less

and to copy

who

fashioned

man

for she did not place our


all

honourable parts in front, nor the purgings of

gross matter, but hid


and, as

them away so
us
",

far as she could,

Xenophon

tells

removed the channels of

such things to as great a distance as possible, nowhere


disfiguring the beauty
is

of the whole animal.

But there

no present need to enumerate by their kinds the


pettiness
;

means of producing

when we have once make them


in

shown what things make


it is

writings noble and sublime,

clear that their opposites will

most

cases
'
*

low and uncouth.


The critic complains
of bathos, but the passage reads like the

intentional bathos of satire.'^G. Murray, Hist, of Ancient Greek

Literature, p. 390.
'

Memorabilia,

i.

4. 6.

78

Treatise

Sect.XLIV

XLIV

ONE
This
to
is to

point remains,

which

in

view of your

dili-

gence in learning, I shall not hesitate to add.


give a clear answer to a question lately put

me by
'

one of our philosophers: 'I wonder', he

said,

as assuredly

do many

others,

how
is

it

is

that in

our age

we have men whose

genius

persuasive and
;

statesman-like in the extreme, keen and versatile

but

minds of a high order of sublimity and greatness are no


longer produced, or quite exceptionally,

such

is

the

world-wide barrenness of literature that now pervades our


life.

Are we indeed ', he went on, to believe the common voice*, That democracy is a good nurse of all
'

that is great

that with free government nearly

all

power-

ful orators attained their prime,

and died with

it ?

For
hand
their

Freedom, they
spirits
;

say,

has the power of breeding noble


in

it

gives

them hopes, and passes hand


strife

with them through their eager mutual


ambition to reach the
first

and

prizes.
in

Further, because

of the prizes offered to competition

commonwealths,

the intellectual gifts of acators,.are^kept in exercise and

whetted by use

the rub of poli&cs,

irTTnay

use~3ie

word, kindles them to fire ; they shine, as shine they must,


with the light of public freedom.

But we in our day ',

he went on, of a
'

'

seem

to be
;

from our childhood scholars


customs and practices
'

dutiful slavery

in its

we

Compare Tacitus, DicUogut, 40.

But the great and memorlicense,

able eloquence of

which men tell is the foster child of


(Materaus, the poet,
is

which

foolt used to call liberty,'

summing up.)


Sect.
are

XLIV Concerning Sublimity

79

enwrapped and swathed from the very infancy of our

thoughts, never tasting that fairest and most abundant


fount of eloquence, I

mean Freedom

^yherefore

we

turn out.nothing but flatterers of j)ortentous growth.'.

Other

faculties,

he

asserted, might be the portion of

mere household

servants,

but no

slave

becomes an

orator; for instantly there surges up the helplessness


to speak out, there
is

the guard on the lips enforced by


'.

the cudgel of habitude

As Homer

has

it

Half that man's

virtue doth

Zeus take away.


^

Whom
'

he surrenders
he went on,

to the servile day.'


'

As

then

',

if

what

I hear is to be be-

lieved,

the cages in which the Pygmies, also called


',

dwarfs
those

are reared, not only hinder

the growth of

who

are shut up in them, but actually shrivel


their bodies, so
it

them because of the bonds lying about


one might show that
dutiful, is
all

slavery,

though

be never so
prison.'
it

a cage of the

soul

and a public
'it is easy,
fault

Here _I_reJ2ined :
present

'Sir,' I said,

and

is

man's special habit,_ always to find


:

with things

but consider whether

it

may

not be that what

spoils noble natures is, not the peace

of the universal

world, but
desires,
*

much

rather this

war which masters our


set, aye,
is

and to which no bounds are


rare verb used here in the original
i,

and more

The
Od.

found in a passage
also of slaves.

of the Jewish writer Philo (de tmul,


'
'

p.

387 A),
at

xvii.

322.

There was a fashion of keeping dwarfs


Augustus himself,

Rome

under the

early emperors.
strosities,

who

abhorred freaks and

mon-

took pleasure in them (Suetonius, Life of Augustus,

c.

83).

8o
and make
spoil

A
of
it

Treatise

Sect.
life

XL IV

than that, these passions which keep our


altogether
?

a prisoner

The

love of money,

which cannot be

satisfied

and

is

a disease wTth'u's'all,

and the love of pleasure both lead us into slavery, or


rather, as oneraight put it,'thrust our lives

and ourselves

down
utterly

into the depths


little,

the love of money, a disease the love of pleasure, which


it

which makes us
ignoble.

is

I try to reckon
is

up, but I cannot

discover

how

it

possible that

we who

so greatly
truly,

honour boundless wealth, who, to speak more

make

it

a god, can

fail

to receive into our souls the


it.

kindred evils which enter with

There follows on
it

unmeasured and unchecked wealth, bound to

and

keeping step for step, as they say, costliness of living

which,

when wealth opens

the

way

into cities

and

houses, enters and settles therein.

When
to

these evils

have passed
the

much
us,

time in our

lives,

they build nests,

wise

tell

and soon proceed


vapouring,

breed and
;

engender boasting, and


spurious brood, but
all
;

and luxury

no
this

too truly their own.

For

must perforce be so

men

will

no longer look

up, nor
;

otherwise take any account of good reputation

little
;

by

little

the ruin of their whole

life

is

effected

all

greatness of soul dwindles" and withers, and ceases to

be emulated, while

men admire

their

own

mortal parts,

and neglect to improve the immortal.


for his verdict could never be a free

A judge bribed
and sound judge

of things just and good, for to the corrupted judge the


side
just.

which he

is

to take

must needs appear good and


rule our

Even

so,

where bribes already

whole

Sect.
lives,

XL IV

Concerning Sublimity

8i

and the hunt for other men's deaths, and the


their wills,

lying in wait for

and where we purchase


it

with our soul gain from wherever

comes, led captive


amidst

each by his
this ruin

own

luxury, do

we

really expect,

and undoing of our

life,

that any is yet left

a free and uncorrupted judge of great things and things

which reach to

eternity

and that we

are not downright

bribed by qur_ desire JxtiettecoiHselses.-?


as

Fo r such m en

we

are, it

may

possibly be better to be governed than

to be free; since greed

and grasping,

if let loose together

against our neighbours, as beasts out of a den,

would

soon deluge the world with

evils.'

gave the general


characters
all

explanation that what eats up our


the indolence in which, with
live,

modem

is

few exceptions^ we

now

never working or undertaking work save for the

sake of praise or of pleasure, instead of that assistance


to others

which

is

a thing worthy of emulation and of

honour.
'

Best leave such things to take their chance

'
',

and

pass

we

to the next topic

this

was

to be the passions,
in

about which

promised beforehand to write

separate paper, inasmuch as they cover a side of the


general subject of speech, and of sublimity in particular.
'

From

Euripides, Electro, 379.

APPENDIX
I

Specimen

Passages

translated

from

Greek Writers of the legman Empire


on Literary Criticism

DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS
Dionysius of Halicarnassus (about 78-7 B.C.), a learned writer

on history and

criticism.

Under the

latter

head come the

Thru

Literary Leilers, dealing with Demosthenes, Plato, and Thucydides,

Dd Notes on the Ancient Orators (the former work translated and


edited by Professor

from which our extract

Rhys Roberts), and the treatise On Composition, is taken. The style is pure and the criticism

marked by good judgement and taste, and of real value. There are many phrases which he uses in common with the writer of the
Treatise on the Sublime
;

but the difference in point of view

may

be seen in the differing conclusions which they respectively

illustrate

by the two Odes of Sappho which we owe to them.


here selected, see Jebb's Attic Orators,
ii.

On

the passage

56-8.

ON THE SMOOTH STYLE

THE
this

smooth and

florid

mode of

composition,

which I placed second


characteristics
:

in order,

has the following

It

does not seek to be seen in clear

light in its every

word, nor always to move on a broad

safe platform, nor to have long intervals between

words

slow balanced procedure

is
is

not at
in

all

to

its taste, it

asks for a vocabulary which

motion and

activity,

84
all

appendix I
half,

where half the words lean upon the other


streams which run without a tremor.
several

and

find steadiness in the mutual support, like flowing


It requires that its

members be included and interwoven


and produce, so

in

one

another,
effect.

far as that is possible, a visible

This

is

done by accurate junctures, admitting


between the words
stuffs,
;

no perceptible
side
it

interval

upon

this

resembles fine-woven

or paintings wherein
It

the lights melt into the shadows.

would have

all its

words euphonious and smooth, tender and maidenish.

Rough

strident syllables are its special aversion


is

it is

always shy of what

bold and hazardous.

It not only desires that the

words be

fitly

joined

with words and fitted, but also that clauses be woven in


with clauses, and that
all

take final form in a period

it

must have clauses of a length neither longer nor shorter


than what
is

moderate, and a period shorter than a


it

man's completed breath:

could not endure to turn out

a passage without periods, or a period without clauses, or a clause without symmetry.

Of rhythms
which
its

it

employs,
or

not

the

longest,

but those
;

are moderate

comparatively short

the ends of

periods must be
level.

rhythmical and firm, as though by square and

In the joinings of periods and of words


different rules
it
;

it

takes

two

words

it

makes

glide into one, periods


clear

forces

apart,

they must present a

view

all

round.

It

will

have no figures of the

most old-

fashioned kind, none to which any solemnity attaches,


or ponderousness, or the dust of ages
to use those
;

it

mostly loves

which are dainty and soft^in which there


DionyAus of Halicarnasms
is

%f

so

much theatrical

beguilement.

To use plainer words,

this style is

on most important points the opposite of

that mentioned before *, but of these points I need not

speak again.

those

The next thing would naturally be who have reached the first place in
Hesiod most
of
character
;

to
it.

enumerate

Of

Epic

poets, I think myself that


its

fully

developed

of

lyric poets
;

Sappho, and, next to her,


tragic poets

Anacreon and Simonides


alone;

Euripides
detail,

of historians, no one in perfect

but

Ephorus and Theopompus


of
orators
Isocrates.
I

better than the majority


will

add

the

following

specimens of the cadence, selecting Sappho for the


poets, and Isocrates for the orators
:

I will begin with

the lyricist

Immortal Venus, throned above In radiant beauty, child of Jove, skilled in every art of love

And
Release

artful snare;

Dread power,

to

whom
and
set

I bend the knee,


it

my

soul

free

From bonds of

piercing

agony

And gloomy care. Yet come thyself, if e'er, benign


Thy
listening ears thou didst incline

To my rude lay, the starry Of Jove's court leaving.

shrine

In chariot yoked with coursers fair, Thine own immortal birds that bear

Thee swift to earth, the middle With bright wings cleaving.


'
i.

air

e.

the Austere,


Sd

appendix 1
Soon they were sped and thou, most blest, In thine own smiles ambrosial dressed. Didst ask what griefs my mind oppressed What meant my song What end my frenzied thoughts pursue For what loved youth I spread anew My amorous nets ' Who Sappho, who Hath done thee wrong ? What though he fly, he'll soon return Still press thy gifts, though now he spurn Heed not his coldness soon he'll bum. E'en though thou chide.' And saidst thou thus, dread goddess ? Oh, Come then once more to ease my woe ; Grant all, and thy great self bestow, My shield and guide ! *

Here

the beauty and grace of the language lies in

the connexion of the


junctures.

words and the smoothness of the


words
lie

For

the

by the side of one


though there were

another, and are


in

woven
are

into one, as

each case a natural

affinity fitted

or a marriage between the

letters.

Vowels

on to mutes and semi-

vowels through nearly the entire Ode, these in a leading


place, those in a subordinate.

Of concurrences of semi-

vowels with semi-vowels, or of vowels with vowels, to


trouble the

smooth waters of the cadences, there are


I have looked carefully through the whole
all

very few.

Ode
six,
'

and among

that

number of nouns,

verbs, and

other parts of speech, I find only five cases, or possibly

of the combination of semi-vowels not naturally

Translated by J. Herman Merivale, 1833. The original is in the same metre, the Sapphic, as the Ode quoted in sect, 3 of

the Treatise.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus
suited

87
do
not

to

be

commingled,

and even these


in

roughen the flow of language

any great degree.

[De

Compos'ttione Verborum, c. xxiii.]

PLUTARCH
Plutarch (about

40-120
life,

a.d.), a

native of Cbaeroneia
:

ia

Boeotia, where, in later

he held a priesthood
other parts of

he spent many
Besides his
in

years in

Rome, and
he
is

visited

Italy.

great work, the Parallel Lives


his later years,

of Greeks and Romans, written

the author of

many

miscellaneous essays on

historical,
title

ethical,

and

literary subjects,

which bear the general

of Moralia.

All his writings are distinguished


feeling, amiability

by strong
:

good sense, right


style
is

and a love of anecdote

his

cumbrous, but has much individuality.


is

The
:

Treatise ftom

which our extract

taken deals with the question

How a

young

man

should be introduced to Poetry in preparation for Moral


Plutarch

Philosophy.

may

be read in Amyot's French translation,

or in English in Philemon Holland's.

HOW A YOUNG MAN SHOULD READ POETRY


Still more
as soon as
carefully will

we

impress upon him,

we

introduce

him

to poems, a conception
in
its

of poetry as an art of imitation,


sponding to painting.
old jingle, that Poetry

scope corre-

Do
is

not let his lesson stop at the

Painting which speaks, and


is

Painting

is

Poetry which

mute

let

us teach

him

further that,

when we

see a lizard painted, or an ape,

or the face of a Thersites,

we
it

enjoy and admire


beautiful.
j

it

because

it is like,

not because

is

In

itself

the ugly can


imitation if
it

never become beautiful


effects a likeness,

but

we
it

praise

whether the subject


present

be bad or good.
a beautiful

On

the other hand, if


it

copy of an ugly form,

has failed to render

88
a proper likeness.
natural actions, as

jippendix
There are Timomachus

I
artists

painted

who paint unMedea slaying


Our
pupil

her children, and

Theon Orestes
all

slaying his mother,

and Parrhasius Ulysses feigning madness.


should be made familiar with
these
;

we must

teach

him

that

we do

not praise the action, of which the

imitation is before him, but the art

which has imitated

the action properly


tells us,

that accordingly,

when Poetry also

in imitative

form, of bad actions and vicious


is

feelings

and characters, he

not to accept as true

what

is

admired and successful therein, nor yet to


it

approve
as
as
it

as beautiful, but only to prdse

it

in so far

is suitable

and proper to the given person.

Just

when we

heair

the squealing of a pig, and the dull

noise of a windlass, and the whistling of winds, and

the roar of the sea,


if

we

are troubled

and disgusted, but

any one imitate these

naturally, as

Parmeno used

to

give the sow, and


it.

Theodoras the windlass, we enjoy


a

Again,

we shun

man

stricken

by sickness and
;

full

of sores, as being a disagreeable spectacle

but

we

look with pleasure at the Philoctetes of Aristophon,

and the Jocasta of Silanion, represented and dying men.


Just so,
the

like

wasted
reads

when

a young or a

man

what

Thersites

buffoon,

Sisyphus,

or

a Batrachus, has been exhibited saying or doing, let

him be taught to

praise the art

and the power which

imitated such things, but as for the disposition and the

conduct described, to repudiate and think meanly of


them.
It is

one thing to imitate a beautiful object,


beautifully.

and another to imitate an object

For


Plutarch
'

8 9

beautifully
fit

'

means

fitly,

suitably, but to the

ugly the
the

only

and

suitable things are the ugly.

Why,
lost,

shoes of

Demodocus

the cripple,
fit

which he

and

then prayed that they might


well,

the feet of the thief

were shabby
lines
:

affairs,

but they fitted him.

The

an^

If thou must sin at all, take courage man, Sin where a kingdom is the prize, [Eur. Phoen. 245.] thou thy credit angel-white, thy deeds both for gain dark as desperation

Make

As ad_ To

ylnon.

(tr.

E. M.)

take or not to take?


just

a talent

talent I can pass, yet live

As sleep the Down there,


are so

and

humph
sleep,
groat.'

no,

never shall they say

'he

lost his soul

and won a

uinon.

many

vicious

lies,

but good enough for Eteocles per cent.


Poetis, c.
iii.]

and Ixion and a hoary

artist in sixty

\De Audiendis

DION CHRYSOSTOM
Dion Chrysostom (about 50-117 *!>.), a native of Prusa in a famous rhetorician and sophist ; in philosophy an Bithynia

eclectic,

with a strong attraction to Stoic and Platonic views.

His Orations, really Essays on literary and philosophical subjects,

have charm of thought and purity of


or seriousness of aim.

style,

with
is

little

severity

The
art

passage translated

an interesting

comparison of the methods of Poetry and Sculpture, put into the

mouth of Phidias, whose

is

supposed to be put upon

its

defence.

THE DEFENCE OF PHIDIAS

To
man

all

this Phidias

might perhaps

reply, being

no

without a tongue, a citizen of no city without


90
a

Appendix 1
and moreover a friend

tongue,
:

and

intimate

of

Pericles
'

Men

of Greece, the issue


;

is

the greatest which has

ever been tried

for

it is

not about power or office in

a single city, nor about numbers of navy or of army,

and

their right or

wrong

administration, that I

am

put

upon
rules

my
all,

defence this day; but about the

God who

and his

likeness,

whether
life,

it

has been wrought

handsomely and with truth to


the best rendering which
or whether
that
it

wanting nothing of
give of the divine,

man can
to

be unworthy and
first

unfit.

But consider
expounder and

was not the

be

the

teacher of truth
early days

among you. For I. was not bom in the when Greece had still no clear and steady
;

principles about these things


elderly,

she was already in a sort

and had convictions about the gods, which she

held with vehemence.

Of

the works of stone-cutters

and masons which are older than

my own

handiwork,
finish,

harmonious enough unless as to accuracy of


I have nothing to say.

But

found your opinions old


possible,

and immovable, to which no opposition was and I found other


artists in divine things,

much

older

than myself, and claiming to be


the poets
to full
;

much

wiser, I

mean

able,

they said, to lead us by their poetry


divine,

knowledge of the

whereas our works

have only just this passable resemblance.

For

divine
all

appearances, those of the sun and moon, and

the

heaven, and the stars, are most wonderful in their


selves,

own
if a

but their imitation

is

simple and artless,

man were

to try to copy the phases of the

moon

or

Dion Chrysostom
the disk of the sun.
are full of character

91

Again, the objects themselves


in their likenesses

and of thought,
exhibited.

nothing of the

sort is

Accordingly the

Greeks of old took

this view.

For mind and wisdom,


will

as they are in themselves,

no sculptor or painter

ever be able to represent, they are absolutely unable


to see such things or to search

them

out.

not guess at that wherein this originates,

But we do we know it,

and therefore

we have

recourse to

it,

attaching a

human

body

to a god, as a vessel
;

which contains wisdom and

reason
so

we

have no pattern and despair of getting one,


intelligible

we

seek to exhibit under a visible and


is

form that which


visible
;

beyond our
the
aid

intelligence

and

in-

and we use
than some

of

symbol,

more
us,

effectually

barbarians,

who, they
trifling

tell

liken the divine to

animals upon

and absurd

pretexts.

He who
by
it

most

greatly excels in a sense of

beauty, dignity, and magnificence should be the best


artificer

far

of images of the gods.


.better that

Nor can

it

be

said that a

were

no shrine, no likeness of

god should be exhibited among men, as though we


All those

ought to gaze only on the heavenly things.

heavenly things are honoured by a sensible man,

who
is

deems them
afar.

to be blessed gods, beholding


feeling

them from

But because of our

towards what

divine, ail

men have

a strong desire to have the deity


;

near them, to honour and to care for

approaching, and

addressing themselves to
incense,

it

with conviction, burning

and placing crowns.

For

just

as

young
feel

children

when

torn from

father and

mother


92
strange yearning

Appendix I
and
desire,

and often stretch out their

hands

in

dreams to those
to

who

are not there, so also

do men

gods

they rightly love them because of


kinship,

benevolence

and

and

are

eager

to

do

anything to follow and be with them.

Accordingly
their

many
art,

barbarians, in the poverty


hills,

and meagreness of
trees,

call

and motionless

and unmarked

stones by the

name of gods, though


form.
If I

in

no way nearer to blamed about

gods than

is their

am

to be

the figure, you cannot be too prompt in directing your

wrath against

Homer

first

he not only imitated the


art,

form

in a

manner most closely resembling and

mention-

ing the hair of the god,

his beard too, at the very

beginning of the poem,

when he speaks of Thetis


;

entreating for the honour of her son


this,

but, besides all

he ascribes to the gods meetings, deliberations,

harangues,

how

they came from Ida and arrived at


their

Olympus and heaven,


their

sleeping,
loftiness

their

drinking,

courting,

with great
yet

no

doubt,

and
to

ornament of

verse,

keeping

closely

always

a mortal likeness.

Yes, and when he dared to compare

Agamemnon
butes
'
:

to the

god

in

his

most sovereign

attri-

In eyes and head

like thunder-loving

Zeus '.

But the work of


view of beauty or

my

handicraft no man, no lunatic,


if fairly

could ever compare to mortal man,


in
size.

examined

So

it

comes

to this, that if

I do not appear to you a far better and wiser poet than

Homer, whom you have decided

to be a peer of the


Dion Chrysostom
gods
in

93

wisdom, I
I

am

ready to undergo any penalty

you choose.

am

speaking with the powers of


is
it

my

own
it

art in view.

For poetry
;

a copious undertaking,

resourceful and independent

wants a tongue to help


it

and a supply of words, and then


express
its all

can,
:

of

its

own
it

self,

the wishes of the soul

whatever

be

which

thought perceives, figure or


it

fact,

passion or

grandeur,

can never be
all this

at fault for a

speaking voice

to announce
'

very distinctly.
lightly,

Man's tongue wags


these are

and his words o'erflow

',

Homer's own words

'Full swift: and wide their range to

move

in to

and

fro'.

For the human


laid

race

is likely

to

go short of everything
;

sooner than of speech and language

of

this alone

it

has

up marvellous great wealth.

Nothing reaches the

senses,

which

it

has

left

unspoken or unstamped; down

goes upon the conception the clear seal of a word, often


several

words

for

one thing

speak any one of them,


less powerful than the
in

and you convey a thought scarcely


reality.

So man has very


is

great

power and resource

language to express what occurs to him.

But the

art
all

of the poets
that of

very wilful and irresponsible, most of


is

Homer, who

bolder than they

all

he did not
all

choose one type of language, but mixed up


Hellenic language, long distinct in
its parts,

the

Dorian
all

and Ionian, and Athenian


into one as dyers

too,

he mixed them

up

mix

colours, only

more

freely;

he did

not stop at his


tors
;

own

generation, but
out,

went back to ancesit

had a word dropped

he was sure to pick

94
all

appendix I
of an uncldmed treasure-house,

up, like an old coin out

for love of

words ; and again many barbarian terms,

sparing no single

word which seemed


;

to

have in

it

enjoyment or intensity

and, besides

all

these,

he drew

in metaphors, not only


at

neighbour-words or those lying

hand, but the very most remote, to charm his hearer,

and astonish and bewitch him.


allow to keep their

Even
all

these he did not

own

ground, but lengthened here,

and contracted

there,

and altered

round ; and at

last

came out
inventing

as a

maker not of verses

only, but also of

terms, speaking out of his inner

self,

sometimes just

names

for things,

sometimes giving a new

sense to standard words, as if he were impressing upon

a seal a clear and yet more distinct


alone, but, in a

seal, leaving

no sound

word, imitating sounds of river and wood,

of wind, and

fire,

and

sea.'

\0r.

xii,

Olympicui.^

LUCIAN
Lucian (about

120-200

a.d.), of Samosata, the capital of


writer,
is

CommagenS.

A brilliant and witty


The

who

has

left
is,

works on
generally
'

a great variety of subjects. speaking, a pure Attic.

His style

excellent,

and

treatise

on the question

How

History should be written,' shows, as do

many of

his writings,

much

discrimination and literary feeling.

HOW NOT TO WRITE


There
'

HISTORY'
It began

is

a story of a curious epidemic at Abdera,

just after the accession of

King Lysimachus.
is

by the kind permission irom the translation of Lucian by H. W, Fowler and F. O. Fowler (Clarendon Press, 4 vols., 1905).
extracted,

The

passage which follows

of the

translators,

; ;

Lucian
marked and
from the very

9f

with the whole population's exhibiting feverish symptoms,


strongly
attack.
in

uninterraittent

first

About
by

the seventh day, the fever


violent flow of blood

was

relieved,

some cases by a

from the nose,

in others
effects,

perspiration not less violent.


;

The

mental
all

however, were most ridiculous

they were

stage-struck,

mouthing blank verse and ranting

at the

top of their voices.

Their favourite

recitation

was the

Andromeda of Euripides ; one


was
of pale ghosts,

after another
;

would go

through the great speech of Perseus


full

the whole place

who were

our seventh-day

tragedians vociferating,

Love, who
rest

lord'st

it

over

Gods and men,


for

and the

of

it.

This continued

some

time,

till

the coming of winter put an end to their madness with a sharp frost. I find the explanation of the form
:

it

took in this fact


actor,

Archelaus was then the great tragic


middle of the summer, during some

and

in the

very hot weather, he had played the Andromeda there

most of them took the fever


valescence

in the theatre,

and con-

was followed by a
their

relapse

into tragedy, the

Andromeda haunting
ing,

memories, and Perseus hovermind's eye.

Gorgon's head

in hand, before the


like

Well, to compare
educated class
epidemic.
is

with

like,

the majority of our

now
are

suffering

from an Abderite
that

They

not

stage-struck, indeed;
infatuation

would have been a minor

to be possessed

with other people's verses, not bad ones either 5


but from the beginning of the present excitements

no
the

9<J
barbarian war, the
victories

appendix I
Annenian
meet
disaster, the succession
is

of

you cannot find a man but


is

writing history;

nay, every one you

a Thucydides, a Herodotus,

a Xenophon.

The

old saying must be true, and war


things,

be the father of
historians
it

all

seeing

what a

litter

of

has

now teemed

forth at a birth.

Such sights and sounds,

my

Fhilo, brought into

my
all

head that old anecdote about the Sinopean.


that Philip

A report

was marching on the town had thrown


;

Corinth into a bustle

one was furbishing his arms,

another wheeling stones, a third patching the wall, a


fourth

strengthening a battlement, every one making

himself useful nothing to do


a job

somehow

or other.

Diogenes having

was moved by

of course no one thought of giving htm


the sight to gird up his philosopher's
;

cloak and begin rolling his tub-dwelling energetically up

and down the Craneum


got, the explanation
: '

an acquaintance asked, and


to be thought die

do not want
;

only idler in such a busy multitude


tub to be like the rest.'
I too

am

rolling

my

am

reluctant to be the only


;

dumb man
;

at so

vociferous a season

I do not like walking across the

stage, like a 'super,' in gaping silence


roll

so I decided to

my cask

as best I could.

do not intend to write


;

a history, or attempt actual narrative

am

not coura-

geous enough for that; have no apprehensions on


account
;

my
of

I realize the danger of rolling the thing over


it

the rocks, especially if


brittle

is

only a poor
I
find

little

jar

earthenware like

mine;

should very soon

knock against some pebble and

myself picking up

Lucian
the pieces.

97
my idea for campaign-

Come,

I will tell you

ing in safety, and keeping well out of range.

Give a wide berth

to

all

that

foam and

spray,

and to the anxieties which vex the historian


shall
little

that I

be wise enough to do
advice,

but I propose to give a

and lay down a few principles for the


I shall have a share
;

benefit

of those who do venture.

in their building, if not in the dedicatory inscription


finger-tips will at least

my

have touched their wet mortar.


see no need for advice here;
seeing,

However, most of them


there might as well be

an art of talking,

or eating i
is

history-writing

is perfectly easy,
is

comes natural,

uni-

versal gift ; all that

necessary is thefaculty of translating

your thoughts
it

into

words.

But the

truth
it is

is

without

my telling,

old friend

you know

not a task to be

lightly undertaken,

or carried through without effort;


care as any sort of composition

no,

it

needs as

much
calls
it.

whatever, if one means to create


as

a possession for ever,'

Thucydides

a hearing from

know I shall not get many of them, and some will be seriously
Well, I

offended
their
able,

especially any
in cases

who have finished and produced


its first

work;
it

where

reception

was favournot almost

would be
it

folly to

expect the authors to recast or


is it

correct; has

not the stamp of finality?


?

a State document

Yet even they may


our enemies

profit

by
;

my
we

words

we

are not likely to be attacked again


all
;

have disposed of

but there might be

a Celto-Gothic or an Indo-Bactrian
friends' composition

war

then our

might be improved by the applica-

98
tion of

appendix I
my
measuring-rod

always
all

supposing that they

recognize

its

correctness; failing that, let

them do

their

own mensuration

with the old foot-rule

the doctor will


insists

not particularly mind, though


spouting the Andromeda.

Abdera

on

Advice has two provinces


of avoidance;
avoid
let

one of

choice, the other


is

us

first

decide what the historian

to

of what

faults

he must purge himself

and

then proceed to the measures he must take for putting


himself on the straight high road.

This

will include

the manner of his beginning, the order in which he

should marshal his

facts, the questions

of proportion, of

discreet silence, of full or cursory narration,

of comment
on
;

and connexion.
the present
are liable.

Of

all

that,

however,

later

for

we

deal with the vices to


to those faults

which bad writers

As

of diction, construction,

meaning, and general amateurishness, which are


to every kind of composition, to discuss

common
neither

them

is

compatible with

my

space nor relevant to

my

purpose.

But

there are mistakes peculiar to history; your

own

observation will

show you

just those

which a constant

attendance at authors' readings has impressed on

me

you have only to keep your ears open


tunity.
It will

at every oppor-

be convenient, however, to refer by the

way
a

to a

few

illustrations in recent histories.

Here

is

serious fault to

begin with.

It

is

the fashion to

neglect the examination of facts,

and give the space


;

gained to eulogies of generals and commanders

those

of their

own

side they exalt to the skies, the other side

they disparage intemperately.

They forget

that between

Lucian
history

^^
two things
are

and panegyric there

is

a great galf fixed, barring

communication;

in musical phrase, the

a couple of octaves apart.

The

panegyrist has only

one concern

to commend and

gratify his living

theme

some way or other ;

if misrepresentation will serve his

purpose, he has no objection to that.

History, on the

other hand, abhors the intrusion of any least scruple of

falsehood
tell

it

is like

the windpipe, which the doctors

us will not tolerate a morsel of stray food.


to

Another thing these gentlemen seem not


that poetry

know

is

and history

offer different wares,

and have

their separate rules.


it

Poetry enjoys unrestricted freedom

has but one law

the

poet's fancy.
;

He

is

inspired

and possessed by the Muses


his car with

if

he chooses to horse

winged

steeds, or set others a-galloping

over the sea, or standing com, none challenges his right;


his Zeus, with a single cord,

may haul up

earth and sea,


is

and hold them dangling together


cord

there

no

fear the

may

break, the load


to

come tumbling down and be

smashed

atoms.
there
is

In a complimentary picture of
nothing against his having Zeus's

Agamemnon,

head and eyes, his brother Posidon's chest, Ares's belt

in fact, the

son of Atreus and Aerope will naturally


all

be an epitome of

Divinity;

Zeus or Posidon or Ares

could not singly or severally provide the requisite perfections.

But, if history adopts such servile arts,

it is

nothing but poetry without the wings; the exalted tones


are missing
;

and imposition of other kinds


is

virithout

the
It

assistance
is

of metre

only the more easily detected.

surely a great, a superlative weakness, this inability to

"
appendix 1

loo
distinguish history
like her sister,

from poetry ; what, bedizen history,


tale

with

and eulogy and

their attendant

exaggerations

as well take

some mighty
powder

athlete with

muscles of

steel, rig

him up with purple drapery and


his cheeks

meretricious ornament, rouge and

faugh, what an object


defilements

would one make of him with such


1-8.]

[Quoffist/o Historia contcribenda sit, sect.

CASSIUS LONGINUS
Cassius Longinus
literary teacher,

(113-273 a.d.)

great philosophical and

bom, according
a

to varying accounts, at Palmyra,

Emesa

in Syria, or

Athens, where his uncle, Phronto, taught


great

rhetoric.

He was

student

and interpreter of Plato,


teachers, being called

and did not

satisfy the Neoplatonist

by

Plotinus a philologer and no philosopher.

Porphyrins the com-

mentator on Homer was one of his most distinguished pupils. He became the teacher, and afterwards the political adviser, of Queen

Moved by a genuine love of liberty, he encouraged the Queen to assert her independence of the Emperor Aurelian ; and for his share in the rising he paid with his life, when Palmyra was taken and destroyed. Considerable fragments of his works
Zenobia.
remain, the most notable being a part of his Rhetoric, which had

been intermixed in MSS. with a similar work by Apsines, and

was extricated by the insight of the great scholar D. Ruhnken, though not published till after his death by W. Bake.

LONGINUS ON THE TIMAEUS OF PLATO


'

One, two,

three

but where, dear Timaeus,

is

the

fourth of our guests of yesterday, our entertainers of

to-day

where
*

is

he

The opening words of the Timaeus

of Plato.

; '

Cassius Longinus
Longinus the
critic,
it

loi

considering this passage as to

language, says that

is

composed of three members


trivial

of which the

first

is

somewhat

and ordinary,
is

because the expression wants connexion, but


dignified

rendered

by the second, through the

variation in the
;

wording, and the continuity of the phrases

that both,

however, receive a
elevation^
three,'

much
third.

greater accession of grace

and

from the

Thus

the clause, 'One, two,


style
is
flat.

composed of unconnected terms, made


'

The next clause,


is

our fourth, dear Timaeus, where


'

he ?

varied by the ordinal

fourth

'

as against the cardinal

numbers used before;

it is

also constructed

of words

in

an effective manner, and in both ways makes the expression

more

dignified.

But the words, 'of our guests

of yesterday, our entertainers of to-day,' over and above


the grace and beauty of the words used, give spirit and
elevation to the

whole period by the fresh

turn.

\_From the Commentary of Proclus, Voucher, p. 274.]

LONGINUS ON STYLE
Not the least important Art of Rhetoric is Style;
Style
light

part of an inquiry into the


for the arguments

and

all

the parts of Discourse appear to the hearers just what

makes them.

Such Discourse may be

called a

of thoughts and of trains of reasoning, illuminating

for the judges the

cogency of the proof.


;

Accordingly,

Style

is

not to be neglected

on the contrary, the


it,

greatest care should be given to


1
'

and those orators

The Greek word

is

that used in the Treatise to express

Sublimity.'

I02
taken as

Appendix I
models
have

who

have excelled in
their

this

depart-

ment,

and

invested

delivery
will

with

the

utmost beauty and variety.


slightest

There

not be the

use in a ready and nimble wit applied to

the judgement, the discrimination, the sagacity of a

whole
you

train

of reasoning, and

its individual

steps,

if

fail

to set the thoughts to the best expression,

and

to use those cadences

which are most


there are

suitable, attending

to the selection

and arrangement of nouns, and to the

number of
charm a

verbs.

For

many

things which

hearer, wholly apart

from the thought, and the

treatment of facts, and a study of character which


carries conviction.

Music and harmony of expression


which herd together,
and possessing
is
it

are found even in those animals

much more
a sense

in

one social and

rational,

of symmetry.

If then you could produce what

musical, harmonious, and rhythmical, and elaborate

to the utmost nicety, cutting out here, and adding there,

taking the measure of

what the

time, the needs of the

passage, the sense of beauty require, your discourse will

be truly convincing and eloquent ; even as the poetry of

Homer, who did not reckon this a paltry or a cheap matter, for each of his poems has a good and easy style. Take again Archilochus of Paros, for he, too,
has taken great pains with
poets in a body, or those of
this.

Or

take the Tragic

Comedy, or the Sophists


been

not even those

who

write of philosophy have

careless or disdainful

of style: Plato and Xenophon,

Aeschines and Antisthenes have been extraordinarily


careful,

and have used

all

due pains.

To

the great

Cassius

Lmginus
to surpass
all

io|
who

leader of the choir of orators this merit belongs as his

own

by

this

he would seem

others

come within

the same class.

The

office

of style

is

to give our hearers a clear,

clean, intelligible, rational account; and, while doing so,

never to drop proper dignity, but to appear to use and

combine the same elements of speech, the same symbols,


to express the subject of thought, with
all

the rest of
is

mankind
strange,

but to mingle with the familiar that which


is

and also that which

novel and beautiful in

the utterance;

here are two marks to set before us,

clearness in statement,

and with clearness

pleasure.

If

you should use Hyperbata out of season, forcibly sepa^


rating words, breaking the events,

and disturbing the


irritate,

sequence,

you

will

displease

and

and your

language will be ambiguous and


if

show

great gaps, even


its

the period be unseasonably extended, and


all

limits

exceed

measure.

You

will not carry

men with

you,

unless you are a wizard with grace and pleasure in your


gift,

changing and embroidering your terms.


staining
its

Avoid
breaking

the

body of your discourse and


will not

continuous texture by words too archaic

and unfamiliar.

Again,

it

be without service

to observe the injunctions

of Isocrates; not to make

your style rough by the juxtaposition and concurrence

of vowels, so

called,

which do not admit of combination


to the ear smoothly and

and therefore seem to make the texture of the language


discontinuous, not passing
it

without a

trip,

but arresting the breath and staying the

flow of voice.

I04
The
any one
distinctive

appendix I
mark of good rhythm
turned and
is

clear

to

who

has been accustomed to the effect of

rhythmical, well
discoverers

rounded sentences, the

of which,

those

who

first

exhibited

specimens of beautiful language, I enumerated above.


If you give your

mind

to the matter,

you

will see

how

they discriminate and apportion their study of euphonious


speech.

Now

they add a detail to the common, plain,

dull phrase, the

one in prevailing use among the mass


in every

of ordinary people, and found

mouth.

Anybut

body

the
all

first

person you meet

can say

irait,tis,

naii^eic

cxuv presents a
;

distinctive type

of language and

phraseology
nearly

there are

the parts of speech,

many such redundant additions, down to single letters.

They even add two

such parts, or even more; but with

these you must take care, and observe the standard of

language; for you must not introduce or appoint yourself


as a law of your

own

making, to which to refer


rest

the

law of language does not


the law.

upon

us,

but

we upon

[Rhetoric of Long'mus, ch. 3.J

II

The

Treatise on Sublimity
Critics

and Latin

A
tained

COMPARISON of the

Treatise

on

the

Sublime

with the specimens of the later


in

Greek

critics

conin

Appendix

I shows a

wide divergence

style, treatment,
is

and conception.

Even more

striking

the contrast, if

we

turn back to the

works of Aristotle
is

on Rhetoric and Poetic Art.


analytical,

Aristotle

business-like,

ready with a shrewd anecdote or a point


literature,

of caustic humour; he deals with

much

as

Bacon does,
the

as a part

of the

intellectual

equipment of

human

race,

and

it

does not come in his way to touch


elevation,

upon that quality of sublimity, or


present before us.
Plato,
in

which

is at

his

own
his

writings, and
is,

notably in his

'

Myths,' strikes a note which


sublime
;
;

in

any
is
it

sense

of the word,

but

criticism

whimsical and intangible


actually existed,

he disparages poetry as
ideal poet

and places the

one degree,

on a scale of nine, above the


tyrant
;

artisan,

and two above the

he exhibits the eloquence of Pericles and Cimon

as ineffectual, if not mischievous.


Treatise venerates Plato,

The

author of the

and copies him, but they do not


critics.

meet on any common ground as

Thus we

cannot but be aware of a certain non-Greek

character in the

work ;

it

may have been


to write
:

partly a sense

of this which led

Mommsen


J0(S
'

Appendhc II
dissertation

The

on the Sublime, written

in the first

period of the Empire by an


finest aesthetic

unknown

author, one of the


antiquity,

works preserved to us from


if

certainly

proceeds,

not from a Jew,

at

any rate

from a man

who

revered alike

Homer and

Moses.'
ch. il.J

\The Provinces, Bk.

viii.

And
'

again

that treatise on the Sublime, which Homer's Poseidon, shaking land and sea, and Jehovah, who creates the shining sun, side by side, and the beginnings of the Talmud which belong

The gulf between

ventures to place

to this epoch,

marks the contrast between the Judaism


[Ibid.]

of the

first

and that of the third century.'


to be

Assuming, for there seems


question
it,

no special reason to

the substantial integrity of the text in the


is

passages to which reference

made,

we

observe that,

if

the writer had been himself a Jew, he would not have

quoted the opening words of the

Law

incorrectly.

Nor
the

can

we

speak with any certainty in the absence of


Caecilius
;

work of

many of whose

illustrations are

repeated in the Treatise, and


Suidas, a Jew.
It remains to ask

who

was,

if

we may

believe

whether the language and thought

of the Treatise betray the influence of the Latin basis of the great

Empire under which the author


'

lived.

His

latest

English editor

has pointed out Latinisms of

construction and rhythm, which

we cannot usefully follow

out here, but which seem undeniable.

We notice also

the frequent lists of words unconnected by conjunctions.


'

See

Rhys Roberts, pp. ii and iS8.


Sublimity
Such
lists

Critics

'

and Latin
in

107

may be found

Longinus and Dionysius,

but not so framed as to give the sense of intensity and


fervour of which
especially

we

are often aware in the Treatise,

when

the terms, by a device familiar in Latin


or other combinations
'.

Rhetoric,

fall into pairs,

Coincidences of detail with the

critic Quintilian

(about
:

40-118
'

A. D.)

have been pointed out.

Such
;

are

Some

are pleased with these obscurities


in,

have taken them

they are delighted with their

when they own

penetration, enjoying

them as though they had discovered,


{Quint,
viii.

not heard them.'


'

2.

21

cp. p. 12.)
call

What

the Greeks call fantasies

we may

visions

whoever has conceived these well


matters of feeling.'
'

will be

most effective

in

{Quint,

vi. z.

The

turning of the speech

29; cp. p. 32, &c.) away from the judge,


stirring.'

which

is called

Apostrophe,

is

wonderfully

{Quint, ix. 2.
'

38

cp. p. 38.)

As
If

though you were to attach the mask and buskins


infants.'

of Hercules to
'

{Quint,

vi.

i.

36

cp. p. 55.)

we

are likely to have

gone to hazardous lengths


to the rescue with certain
like.'

in expression,
specifics,

we must come
to speak,"

" so

and the
viii.

{Quint,
'

3,
'

37;

cp. p. 57.)
'

in

The treatment of the Figures and of Composition Quint, ix may be compared with pp. 70-2 of the
These
instances
are

Treatise.

drawn from Vahlen's


and add
:

notes,

See also Vaucher,


'

p. 85,

Although these luminous

effects appear to shine

and

See pp. 17, 23-4.

id8

appendix II
show
in relief,
it

to a certain extent to
true to

would be more
midst

compare them to sparks


;

glittering in the
all

of smoke than to flame

they are not seen at

when the

whole speech
shine,'

is in light,
viii.

just as stars disappear in sun-

{Quint,

6.

29;
lost in

cp. p. 41.)

It is possible that these details

may have been borrowed


Caecilius.

by both writers from the


rate there is not

work of

At any

much

common between
many of

Quintilian,

the professional

critic,

writing with a limited educational


his judgements go

purpose in view, though

deeper than this and are admirably expressed, and the

exponent of the Sublime, writing for men already in public


life.

If

we

look for the most characteristic views of the


the purpose of comparing them with anjrthing

latter, for

to be found in Latin authors,

we may

select

two of a

general kind, the love of civil liberty, and the sense of

greatness in Nature.

Others, which more immediately


stated as precepts
:

concern

literature,

may be

^Think
to look

great thoughts

live with great authorsform your own

standard with reference to their practice

dare

beyond your own contemporaries for applause.

The blessings
and

of

liberty,

and the numbing depression

of the imperial system are commonplaces in Tacitus,


are specially prominent in the Dialogue on the Causes
'

of the Decay of Oratory.


fan
it,'

Eloquence requires motion to


life,

that stir of free civil


in

which

is

so forcibly
is

described
fanatic
;

the
is

Treatise.

Yet

neither author

each

aware of the weakness which makes

men

praise the past, at the expense of

what

is

within

Sublimity
reach.

and Latin

Critics

109

Tacitus reminds us that the boasted liberty of

the Republic
that

dignified opportunism

was often turmoil and lawlessness; he allows may be more patriotic


and
that

than a pretentious death,

examples were

needed that even under bad emperors there might be


great

men.

Both

writers look

beyond mere

political

status to the

freedom which character alone gives

the
'

emancipation from distracting desires and fears.


are slaves besides
'
;

All

and perhaps for such

it is

better to

be ruled than to
latter

live free.

Here Cicero and Horace


felt

(the

of

whom

thought and

more earnestly on these


credit for doing),

subjects than

he sometimes receives

Persius
opinion.

and Juvenal, are vehemently with them


presence of what
great in Nature

in

The awe
familiar to

in the

is

is

Romans.

Horace speaks of those who could


clear that

look ' with no fear ' on the mighty regularity of the heavenly
bodies
;

but he makes

it

he is not a good enough

Epicurean to be one of them.

He

laughs at the

man
river

who likes to draw his pint of water from a great but or who cuts his mouthfuls from a great mullet
;

then

he

is

dealing with the avaricious man,


stick is

and the

glutton,

and any

good enough
he

to belabour them.

Cicero's

mind was impressed by the vastness of Nature and of


the Universe
;

felt

as a poet, and in his philosophical

works often makes


than in the

this clear,

nowhere

in

more

detail

Dream of Scifio,
down from

a fragment of his

work On
in
it

the Republic preserved

by Macrobius.
the
cliffs

We hear

of

Nile thundering

and deafening the

dwellers around, of Ganges, of Ocean, in his different

1 1

Appendix II
and under his
;

parts,

diflerent

names, of the great barrier


in relation to the
so,

of Caucasus
Solar

all

dwarfed when seen

system and the Universe, yet, even

vast

and wonderful.
awfiil, in their

The

heavenly bodies themselves are

immensity, and in the regularity of their

courses, especially in the conception of that great cycle

of time of which the years then recorded by history were


not a twentieth part, which was to bring the heavens

back to their ancient order.

As

critics,

Cicero and Horace have not much in comCicero was profoundly interested

mon with

one another.

in the history

and prospects of
it,

Roman

oratory

Horace

never mentions
Latinity which

unless to express approval of the pure

it

exacts.

Horace was deeply concerned


poetry
;

for the future of

Roman

Cicero loved poetry,

especially that of his countrymen,


in his

and had much poetry

own

genius, but he does not contemplate poetical

literature as a critic.

In both authors, however,


in

we have
is

ideas

which meet us also

the Treatise.

Horace

constantly exhorting the young poets of

Rome

to study

Greek models, and of them

the greatest

his

own were

Homer,

Pindar, Alcaeus, Sappho,

Alcman

not

the

Alexandrians.

He

is

himself, as
p.

Addison has well

pointed out (see note on


inspiration

31), singularly responsive to

drawn from Homer. Cicero, besides giving


of

us in the Brutus a series of careful and sympathetic


portraits

Roman
the

orators,

reproduced

in

Latin

the

Speeches

of Aeschines against

Ctes'tphon

and

Demosthenes On

Crown,

as an orator,

he

tells us,

not as a translator, thus meeting the question,

How

Sublimity

and Latin

Critics

III

would these masters of language have


had they spoken
in

said this or this,

Latin? Horace, proud of his supre-

macy as lyric poet of Rome, assured to him by the voice of


his contemporaries, yet looked to a
in

more

lasting

reward
history.

fame which should be part of

Roman
^ for

Cicero thanks Brutus in touching terms

reminding

him of performances
their

'

which
is

will speak with a voice

of

own when mine

silent,

and

live

when

am
is

dead.'

The most
that in

remarkable judgement in the Treatise

which the author expresses his preference for

great excellence, though marred

by
It

failure, to

moderate

excellence,

however

flawless.

was hardly to be
to send abroad in

expected that Horace should proclaim the same view,

and indeed

it

was a dangerous one

Rome.
it

His anxiety was

to impress

upon men of his

generation the truth that a happy gift of verse, even if

should amount to genius, would not ensure them

success without study of the


art,

grammar of the

poetic

whatever might have been the case with Greeks


plastic material
;

working upon their more

that slovenly

work

is

bad work; and that a poem which declines


at

from the highest,

once sinks to the lowest.

Cicero, in

the person of Antonius, requires perfection in an orator,


since any failure
is

taken to

come of

'

stupidity.'

Yet

both writers would allow,

we may be
Certainly

sure, unstinted

praise to actual genius, even if it flagged palpably or spoke

with a stammering tongue.

Horace discusses

with excellent good sense the old question of Genius


^

Brutus, end.

112
and Art
:

Appendix II
he allows that
at

Homer can be
this

drowsy, though

he himself chafes

every nod.

Even more remarkable than


Perfection
is to
is

judgement

itself is
it.

the basis upon which the author of the Treatise rests

be exacted in a statue, for that

is

a work

of art;

it

not to be found in literature,_/or words

are an endowment luhich comes

from Nature,

This
But

might seem to contradict Aristotle's view that Poetry

and Painting, or Sculpture, are

alike imitative arts.

Aristotle expressly distinguishes arts which, like

Music

(and he ranks Poetry with Music), reproduce action and


character themselves from arts which, like Painting or
Sculpture, imitate the features or gestures accompanying
action or character
;

between the imitation of nature in

her processes, and the imitation of nature in her effects.

Burke touches on the point


Essay, but
is

in the last chapter


;

of his

hardly explicit
it.

Shelley, in his Defence of

Poetry, goes nearer to

So

far as ancient literature is concerned, the reasoning

remains

unique,
in

and we cannot expect


Latin,

to

find

it

anticipated

Yet

Latin

literature

itself

furnishes a practical
essential, link
is

commentary on the

strange, yet
'

between greatness and imperfection.


'

It

a noticeable result,' writes Professor Sellar,

of the

vastness of the task


itself,

which Roman genius

sets before

that

two such works

as the didactic
left

poem of
unfinished

Lucretius and the Aeneid of Virgil were

by

their authors,

and given to the world

in a

more or

less

impwfect condition by other hands.'

No poem was

ever projected upon lines more likely to produce the

Sublimity and Latin Critics


'

113
was the

legitimate

poem ' which Horace


poem needs

desires, than

Aenad, none was more


all,

faithfully elaborated, and, after

the great

to be studied with allowances,

over and above those due to failing time.

Yet, if Horace

had been consulted by Varius and Tucca, he would


certainly
poet,

have given his voice against that of the dying

and preserved to the world so much greatness,


its

with

inseparable imperfections.

It is not desired to

draw any conclusion from these


would any be
possible.

observations, nor indeed

Future

research

may have some


its

discovery in store for us as to


its

the Treatise in

complete form, or as to
in the nature

authorship,
surprise.

and any discovery may be


It

of a

may

therefore not be wholly idle to point out certain

afEnities to

Latin thought, to remind ourselves that


his literary life

Horace began

by writing Greek

lyrics,

and to add that the professions of Greek nationality


implied on p. 28
conventional,

may have been understood


thin disguise

to be merely

which

need

deceive

no one.

114

III

Passages translated from Bishop Lowth^s

Oxford Lectures on Hebrew Poetry

ROBERT LOWTH
Robert Lowth (1710-87), a native of Winchester, and educated in the College there, and at New College, Oxford, of which he was
a Fellow (1729-50). He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford (1741-50), and from that Chair delivered in Latin the Lectures on

Hebrew Poetry from which our extracts are tramlated. An argument used in this course drew on him an attack from Warburton, which he answered in a letter which has become a classic. In later life
(1778-9) he published Isaiah, a New Translation with notes. He was Bishop successively of St. Davids (1 766), Oxford (l 'j66-'j'),
and London (1767-87). The extracts have been chosen
and as showing
in the thoughts

solely for their literary interest,

how
'

the Treatise on the Sublime was constantly


critics
;

of eighteenth-century
the Figures
if
'

also because

many
It is

points relating to
possible,

receive illustration in them.

however, that,

the arguments and illustrations were

checked by a competent Hebrew Scholar, the contents of the


Lectures would even

now be

found of value.

OF SUBLIMITY IN DICTION
I

the

HERE word not only the


;

understand Sublimity in the widest sense of


sublimity

which puts forward


and elaborate

great

subjects with magnificent images

words, but that indescribable power in style which


strikes the
feelings,

mind through and through, which

stirs

the

which expresses ideas with clearness and

l^ohert
distinction,

Lowth

iif
the words

never

thinking whether

be

simple or ornate, choice or vulgar: and in this I follow

Longinus, the greatest authority upon Sublimity,

its

meaning and treatment.


Sublimity
lies either in
it

the diction or in the feelings.

In most cases

arises

from both causes simultaneously,


it its

the one helping the other, and sharing with

own
This

force and weight, in a sort of friendly partnership.

does not prevent our being able to treat each separately


without

much

inconvenience.

We will

therefore

first

look into the poetic diction of the Hebrews, in itself

and as compared with prose, and ask what


deserve a

it

has

in it to

name given

in virtue

of sublimity.

Poetry, in whatever language, has a diction peculiarly


its

own

vigorous, grand, sonorous, in

its

words
and

full to

exaggeration, in their arrangement choice


far

artistic,

removed from vulgar usage by

its entire

form and

complexion, often, in the freedom which indignation


gives,

breaking the

barriers

which confine common

speech.

Reason speaks with a low, temperate, gentle


is

voice;

orderly in arranging

its

subjects,

plain

in
it

setting terms to

them, distinct in their exposition;

studies first

of

all

perspicuity, careful to leave nothuig

confused, obscure, involved.


is

With
;

the Feelings, there

not

much

care for

all

this

ideas flow tc^ether in

swollen stream, they struggle within; of these the more vehement burst out as chance wills it, wherever they may; whatever has life and glow and speed they snatch
up, they

do not seek

out.

In a word. Reason uses

unassisted speech, the Feelings utter the language of

t 2


ii(J
poetry.

Appendix III
Whatever be the
feeling

which

stirs

the mind,

the

mind goes deep down

into that
it

which

stirs it
it it

and
not

clings there, labouring to give

utterance;

is

enough to express a thing barely and as


is;
tion,
it

actually

must express
splendour,

it
it

according to

its

own
by

concep-

with

may

be, or

melancholy, or
their

exultation, or horror.
natural force are borne

For the

feelings

own

towards fullness of speech; they


all
it

marvellously enhance and exaggerate

that is within

the mind, they strive


magnificence, distinction
principal
itself

to express
;

with elevation,

and

this they effect


illustrating

by two

methods;

either

by

the subject

with splendid images drawn from elsewhere, or

by introducing new and strange forms of speech; which


have great power just because they copy, and in a manner
reproduce, the actual condition of the

mind

at the time.

Hence

those Figures of which rhetorical writers

make
all

so much, attributing to

Art
:

the one thing which of

others belongs to Nature

For Nature forms our spirits to receive Each bent that outward circumstance can give; She kindles pleasure, bids resentment glow. Or bows the soul to earth in hopeless woe; Then, as the tide of feeling waxes strong. She vents it through her conduit pipe, the tongue. Horace, A. P.

What
poetry.

is true

of the nature of

all

poetry will be at

once acknowledged to hold specially good of

We have already seen how

Hebrew much power it has

in transferring

and adapting Images, and what great

J^bert Lowth
brilliance,

117
this.

majesty, elevation

it

has drawn from

Then,

in diction,
is

we have

observed what power to adorn


it

and dignify

possessed by the poetic dialect which

often employs,

and also by the

artistic

arrangement of

sentences, so closely connected with a metrical system,

which

is

itself entirely lost.

We
it

have

whether there are any other potent elnents


poetic
diction,
?

now to ask in Hebrew


that

which separate

off from

of

prose

Nothing can be conceived simpler than the ordinary

Hebrew

language:

all

in

it

is

bare,

straightforward,

sane, simple;

the words are neither far-fetched nor


;

carefully chosen

there

is

no
;

attention to periods, not


is

even a thought about them


for the
first,

the very order of words

most part constant and uniform, the verb comes

then the noun which denotes the agent, the rest


separate phrases express separate things, the
are subjoined

follow;
adjuncts

by themselves, the parts are


;

never involved, and do not obstruct one another


important of all, a single particle

most

may carry the connexion


apparent.

unbroken from beginning to end, so that no struggling,


or abruptness, or confusion
is

Thus

the
its

whole order of the writing, and the conUnuity of


condition

connected parts, are such as to show an even mental


in

the

writer,
spirit.

to

reflect

the

image

of

a calm and tranquil


the case
is

But

in

Hebrew

poetry

quite different.

The

spirit

dashes on un-

checked, having no leisure or will to attend to minute

and

frigid details

its

conceptions are often not clothed


;

or adorned by language, but laid open and hare

veil

; ;

ii8
is

Appendix III
aside,

drawn

so that

we

look straight into every


the

condition

and movement of the mind,

sudden

impulse, the

onward

rush, the manifold turnings.

Any one who wishes


sure, see
it

to be satisfied of this will, I

am

for himself, if he will only

make an

experi-

ment.

Let him take up the book of Job,

first

read

through the historical preface, and then pass on to the


metrical part, and carefully examine Job's
first

speech.

I think that he will

now
what

allow that something has

happened

when he came

to the poetry, he felt himself


is

carried suddenly into

almost another language

the difference in style appeared to him greater than


if

he passed from Livy


to

to

Virgil,

or

even

from
to

Herodotus

Homer,

or

put

down Xenophon

plunge into a chorus of Sophocles or Euripides.


so indeed
that
:

It is

this passage imitates a passion so

vehement

no poet has ever attempted anything more burning

and intense: not only are thoughts and images admirable


in force, beauty,

and sublimity, but the whole

style

and

character are such, the verbal colouring so vivid, the


piling

up of matter so abundant, the sentences so close


in their multitude, the

and continuous
spirited

whole

fabric so

and passionate, that Poetry herself has nothing

more

poetical.

Most of
relating
in

these points are so clear that


;

they cannot possibly escape a diligent reader


especially those
to

others,
lie

form and
cases,

structure,
is

somewhat deeper ;
effect,

some

what

powerful in

and easy to take


into

in mentally, is

hard to explain
handle
it,

when you look


is

it, it

seems
it is

clear

and

it

found to vanish.

As

much

to our point, I shall


T{ohert Lovoth

119

endeavour, with your indulgence, to put before you a

specimen of these beauties of

style.

The

reader should

first

notice

how violently the

grief

of Job, long boiling within his bosom, and forcibly


confined there, breaks out
:

Let

the day perish

And

I was to be born on it (i.e. on which I was to be born) the night (which) said, There is a man child

conceived '.

Observe the concise, abrupt structure of the

first line,

and the bold


the second.

figure,

and

still

more abrupt

construction, in

Ask

yourself whether so sharp a contor-

tion of language could have been


style,

endured in any prose

or even in verse, without underlying passion of the


it.

strongest kind to support


I think, that the sense

Yet you

will acknowledge,

of the period

is

thoroughly

clear,

so clear that, if the expression were fuller


explicit, it

and more
of the

would give the thought and


fitly

feeling

speaker less
accident

and

less distinctly.

By

a fortunate
for

we

are able to put this

to

the proof;

Jeremiah has a passage so like this one, being so to


say
its
is

twin, that

it

might seem to be copied.


;

The
but

sense

the same, and the words not very unlike

Jeremiah has filled in the gaps in the structure, smoothing


out the broken language of Job, and expanding the short
distich into a pair of long lines, such as he often uses:

Cursed be the day wherein I was bom: Let not the day wherein my mother bare
blessed.
'

me

be

Job

iii.

3.

I20
father,

appendix III
who
bringing glad tidings to

Cursed be the man


Saying,

my

man

child is born unto thee,

made him

very glad'-

The

result is that Jeremiah's imprecation is rather

querulous

than indignant;

it

is

more

gentle,

quiet,

plaintive, so

framed as to arouse pity


is

in a

high degree,

a feeling in which this Prophet

especially strong

whereas Job does not

stir pity,
little.

but inspires terror.

Let us move on a
points
slight
;

We

pass over obvious


following
in

the

closely

set

thoughts,

but

connexion, and bursting with impetuosity and

force from a burning breast ; the grand and magnificent

words

rolled along in a headlong stream of indignant


;

eloquence
as

we have

four,

in

a
it

space

of

twice
in

many
;

short lines,

only used,

would seem,

poetry

at least,

two of them constantly occur in


it,

poetry,

and never out of

the others are


this,

still

more

unfamiliar.

Not

to dwell

on

all

what

is

the meaning of the

fullness

of language, which takes the place of the former


:

curtness, in this

That
In
this, again,

night

let

darkness have

it.

we have an

indication of strong feeling

and mental disturbance.


the sentence thus

No

doubt he

first

conceived

Let
But,

that night be darkness.

when he had started, he caught up his own words,


result is increased spirit

and the

and

intensity.

'

Jeremiah xx. 14, 15,


We return
He
finger.

'

1{ohert LoToth
to

121

Job
let that

Lo,
seems to

night be barren

set before his eyes the


it,

form and image


it

of that night, to look into


'

to point to
'

with his

The doors of my womb ' for the doors of my mother's womb (v. lo) is an ellipsis which is easily
'

to be supplied, but

which no one when

tranquil

and

master of himself would venture.

Not

to take

up too

much of your
Wherefore

time, I will only quote

one passage

towards the end of this speech

And

will he give light to him that is in misery. unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; And would dig for it more than for hid treasures;
life

Which would rejoice exceedingly, and exult. They would triumph if they could find the grave To a man whose way is hid from the sight of God,

And whom God hath hedged in For my sighing cometh before I eat, And my roarings are poured forth with my
?

drink'.

The
let

composition of the whole passage


'

is

admirable
will

us touch briefly on single points.


is in

Wherefore

he give light to him that

misery?'

Who

will give?

God, no doubt
in

whom
before.

the speaker had in mind, and

failed to notice that

no mention had been made of

Him

what went

He

seems to speak of the

miserable in general terms, but by an abrupt turn of

thought he applies these to himself:

'for

my

sighing
all

cometh before

I eat':

from which

it

appears that

the

foregoing expressions are to be understood specially of


'

Job.

iii.

7.

Job

iii.

ao-4.

22

appendix III

himself.

He

passes from singular to plural, and back


first

from

plural

to singular,

introducing that grand

expansion of phrase by which he expresses the desire


for

death,

a bold and powerful

passage

then

he

suddenly resumes and continues the original thought

which he seemed
it is

to have

done with.

From

all

this

clear, I think, that the

excitement and disturbance

in

the speaker's mind are expressed, not only by happy


in

boldness

thoughts

and images,

and the

use

of

weighty words, but even more by the whole


tenor of the speech.

drift

and

What
of
all

I have thus far tried to point out in this noble

passage, holds good, in

my

opinion, in a high degree

Hebrew

Poetry, regard being had to the subjects


uses a language of an active, ardent
feelings.

and matter;
character,

it

and one naturally adapted to mark the

Hence

it is full

of turns of speech from which their

own
but

prose style shrinks, and which sometimes seem to have


a hard and unfamiliar, even a barbarous sound;

which, as

we may
it

reasonably conjecture, have their

own

force and purpose, even

when

least patent to us.

Going

a step further,

will

perhaps be worth our while to

venture our experiments on other points of the kind, in


the hope of clearing up

some of them.
[Lecture xiv.J

OF SUBLIMITY IN DICTION
In order
characteristic

{continued)

to bring out

more

clearly Sublimity as a

of Hebrew poetry contrasted with prose,

I sent the reader to the

Book of

Job, where he

may

I^obert

Lowth

123
and

easily observe the great difFerence, both in matter

also in diction, between the historical preface, and the

metrical sequel.

As

the comparison
if

may seem

unfairly

drawn upon a passage where, even


subject-matter
style, let

both parts had been

written in metre or both in plain prose, the difFerence in

would have required

a great difference in

us

now make

the experiment on another place,

taking one where the


prose,

same subject-matter

is treated in

and

also with a poetical setting.

We

shall find

an excellent example in the

Book of Deuteronomy,
parts

where Moses takes the two


First, in

of orator and poet.

a most

impressive speech, he exhorts the

Israelites to observe the

Covenant, setting before them

the richest rewards, and deters

them from breaking


5

it

by threats of the greatest

penalties

then, that this

may

sink deep and remain fixed within their hearts, he sets

out the same theme, by the express


in a

command of God,
In both passages

poem which

is essentially

sublime.

we perceive every quality of force, grandeur, magnificence, possessed by the Hebrew language in either style, and and we see meanwhile the its great power in both
;

points of difference between the two, in thoughts, images,

arrangement of subjects, form and colouring of the


diction.

Any

one

who may wish

to look closely into

the nature and genius of poetical expression in


will

Hebrew

do well to compare these passages

carefully with

one another, and see the great difference between the one
style,

grand, no doubt, and vehement, and


all

full,

but

also orderly, flowing, consecutive, and, for

its

rush
its

and vehemence, moving evenly on, and poetry, with


124

appendix III

sharp, swift, thrilling sentences, elevated in thought,

glowing in words, novel in their arrangement, varied


in

structure,

as the spirit of the prophet once and

again hurries itself from this to that, and never rests


stationary.

Most of these points


it

are such that

it is

much

easier for a careful reader to note

them from

his

own
how-

observation, than
to understand

is

to explain

them

intelligently, or

them

as explained.

Certain points,

ever, call for notice in this noble

poem, which belong to

a class
force,

common

in

Hebrew

poetry, yet

by

their great

and sometimes by their extreme


careful examination.
first

difficulty,

demand

more

point which I wish to notice as of general

application, taking

my example

from

this passage, is the


in addresses, for

frequent change of persons; I

mean

of

the introduction of various speakers I have already spoken


sufficiently.

Near the beginning of the poem, Moses


and
;

sets out the absolute truth

justice observed in all the

counsels and doings of

God

and he takes the oppor-

tunity to inveigh suddenly agdnst the criminal perfidy of

the ungratefiil People

first,

as though they were not

present

They have

corrupted themselves, they are not his


it is

children,

their blemish

Then he

addresses them directly

A
Do

perverse and crooked generation.


foolish people

ye thus requite the Lord, and unwise ? Is not he thy father, that hath bought thee He hath made thee and established thee.

'

Dent, xxxii, 5.

:'

'Robert Lorvth
Then, as
most
his burning indignation abates a

lay
little,

and
in

he looks more deeply into the matter, he sets out


beautiful terms the indulgence

of

God

and his

more than
them to be
turned

fatherly affection

towards the

Israelites,

witnessed continually since the day


his

when he chose
in

own

people,

and
;

all this

language

away from the

Israelites

then he marvellously

emphasizes the dullness and stupidity of the ungrateful

and impious people, or rather sheep.

Now

mark with

what a burst the indignation of the prophet once again


breaks forth
:

But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art become sleek; Then he forsook God which made him. And lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation '.

Thou

In one brief sentence the speech


to the Israelites,

is

suddenly directed

and then turned from them afresh,


it

with admirable effect;

is

fervid,

forcible,

pointed,

charged with hate and indignation.


pared with this passage of
less burning but
traitor

Worthy to be comapostrophe,

Moses

is Virgil's

most

ingenious,

where he taunts the

with his crime, and at the same time clears the

king of the odium of cruelty

'Not

far off

Mettus had already been torn asunder by

the chariots driven apart but a keeper of your

^ah,

false

Alban, were you

word

[Lecture xv.]

Dent, xxxii. 15.

Aen.

viii.

642.


I2<J

IV
[p. f3).
autres

Additional Note on Paraphones


'Deux
d'accords:

musicistes grecs postfirieurs i I'ere

chrftienne font mention d'une catfigorie intermSdiaire


les paraphones, expression

qu'on pourrait
Thrasylle, conL'dcrivain le
:

rendre en franjais par demi-comonances.

temporain de N^ron, donne la qualification de paraphones

aux

intervalles

de quinte

et

de quarte.

plus recent, Gaudence, difinit les paraphones

" sons

[accouplls] tenant le milieu entre les symphonies et les


diaphonies, et qui, dans le jeu hStfaophone des instru-

ments, paraissent consonants ".


I'accord

Tels sont,
la

ajoute-t-il,

parhypate et de la paramese, ainsi que la tierce majeure compose de la diatonique et de la paramese.' (Gevaert et VollgrafF,

de

triton, formfi

de

Problhnes musicaux d'Aristote, Gand, 1899.)

The
tion
is

date of Gaudentius
quite satisfactory

is uncertain.

No

explana-

which does not imply the


of one or

resolution of one

sound

into several, since periphrasis is


in place

essentially the use

of many words

few.

It

may

therefore be

of interest to add an explana-

tion quoted

from the Abb6

Amaud

(1721-84):

'Je suis convaincu que, par les sons paraphones, Denys Longin n'entend autre chose que ces notes que nous appelons de gofit et de passage, et qui, loin de

d&aturer la subsistance du chant, I'enrichissent et Foment infiniment. De mSme que les variations musicales, qui portent dans un air un beaucoup plus grand norabre de sons, sans en altfirer le sens et le theme, lui prStent plus d'agrlment et de vie, ainsi la piriphrase, qui consiste i expliquer une chose par un certain, nombre de mots au lieu de la d&igner par son terme propre, donne souvent i cette chose plus d'&ergie et de grice. Des lors il n'y a plus d'obscuritfi; la comparaison devient on ne peut pas plus juste.'

127

INDEX OF PROPER NAMES OCCURRING IN THE TEXT


(TA references are
Achilles, 35.

to pages.')

Aegyptus, 48. Aeschines, 40.


Aeschylus, 5, 34-5. Agathocles, 9. Ajax, 14, 18. Alexander, 8, 15, 57. Alvadae, 13.

Danaus, 48. Demosthenes, 4, 25, 28-9, 31-2, 36, 38, 46, 49, 51, 57, 63, 66, 72. Dion, 9.
Dionysius, 8, 35, 45. Dirce, 73.
Elateia, 35,

Ammonius, 30,
Amphicrates, 6, 9, Anacreon, 56.
Apollonius, 6r-3.

Aratus, 25, 50. Archilochus, 25, 30, 62.

Elephantina, 50. Eratosthenes, 62. Erigone, 62. Etna, 66.


Eupolis, 39. Euripides, 33, 35, 73.

Arimaspeia, The, 24. Aristeas, 24.


AristogeitoD, gl-a.

Aristophanes, 73Aristotle, 57.

Gorgias, 6.

Artemisium, 40.
Bacchylides, 62.
Boreas, 5.

Hecataeus, 51. Hector, 48, 51.


Hegesias, 6. Helios, 33.
Heraclidae, 51. Heraclides, 9.

Cadmus, 48.
Caecilius, 1,

8,13,14,56,57,

Hercules,

*j^,

59Callisthenes, 6.

Cassandra, 34. Ceyx, 51.


Clvieroneia, 36, 39-40. Cicero, 28.
Circe, a I.

Hermocrates, 8. Herodotus, 9, 10, 13, 45, 50, 54. 56> 69> 75Hesiod, 16.

Homer,

16-22, 24, 61-2, 66, 79. Hyperides, 36, 63-5.


Iliad,

32,

43,

Cleitarchus, 6.

Cleomenes, 56. Colossus, The, 67.


Cyrus, 49.

The, 20.

Ion Chius, 62.


lonians, 46.

128
Ister,

Index of Proper Names


68-9.
Polycleitus, 67.

Isocrates, 8, 44,

The, 66.

Poseidon, 17.

Lycurgus, 35. Lysias, 60, 63, 65.

Postumius Terentianus, Pygmies, The, 79.


Pythes, 56. Pythia, The, 30.

Marathon, 38-41.
Matris, 6.

Rhine, The, 66.


Salamis, 38-40.

Megillus, 9. Meidias, 44.

Meroe, 50,
Miletus,

Taking

of,

49.

Moses, quoted, 18.


Nile,

Sappho, 23. Sarpedon, 48. Simonides, 35.


Sirius,

34.

Socrates, 9.

The, 66.

Ocean, 66. Odyssey, The, 19-22. Oedipus Tyrannus, 48, 61. Oedipus Coloneus, 35,
Orestes, 36.

Sophocles, 6, 48. Spearman, The, 67. Stesichorus, 30.

Terentianus, I, 3, 8. Theocritus, 61.

Parmenio, 15. Pelops, 48.


Peloponnesus, 49. Penelope, 52.

Phaethon, 33.
Philip, 42, 56, 57.
Philistus, 73.

Theodorus, 7. Theophrastus, 57. Theopompus, 35-7, 75. Thermopylae, 69. Thucydides, 31, 46, 49, 69. Tiber, The, 66. Timaens, 8, 9.
Ulysses, 21, 22.

Phocaea, 45. Phrynichus, 49. Pindar, 62.


Plataea, 38, 40. Plato, 9, 28, 29, 31, 48, 53>
Pleiads,

Xenophon,
58. 77Xerxes, 6.

9, 13,

43, 49, 53,

58-60, 65, 66. The, 34.

Zeus, 21.
Zoilus, 21.

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