THE SORCERERS LAST WORDS (Prepost Fable Unusual Children)


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Special Delivery {short story} by John Collier | LibraryThing

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This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Where the West Wind Blows. Schattenstaub: Wetterau-Krimi German Edition! Digital Content and Web Technologies! Witch in the House. Search results. Here you'll find a list of student presentations sponsored by the Graduate School. He must, in Truth, turn over the Annals of Time, and Monuments of History; he must trace the Situation of Countries, understand the different Manners of Nations; the Actions and Passions of Mankind in general, must explore the inmost Recesses of the Mind, and secret Avenues to them; survey the whole System of the Universe; in short, make himself Master of all Nature.

Who cannot but see and admire the Learning [Pg 7] of Homer and Horace ; in Virgil especially, his almost universal Extent of Knowledge in both sorts of Philosophy, in History, Geography, and the chief of all Science, Mathematicks? In Lucretius we see how perfectly Natural Philosophy and Poetry agree; and how properly these Schools of ours are appropriated to both: Nor have the severest Philosophers Reason to complain, that the Company of the one reflects the least Dishonour on the other.

This I am sure they have not, if we duly consider the Nature of this admirable Art; from whence it will appear to contain whatever is great or beautiful in Prose, and besides to be distinguished by its own proper Ornaments; which it abundantly displays, whilst it pleases our Ears, and ravishes our Souls with its Harmony; whilst it strongly imprints in our Minds the Images of the Things it represents; by a becoming Fiction sets off Truth to Advantage, and renders it more amiable; and by a decent Liberty keeps those Laws it seems to violate.


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This is a Fact we are very sensible of, and lament: I know not how it is, there's no sort of Learning to which more apply themselves, or fewer attain. Innumerable Pretenders there are, who, in spite of Genius and Nature, are daily troubling the World with their wretched Performances; who write Verse often, that scarce attempt to write any Thing else, and venture upon the most difficult of all Studies, that are unfit for any.


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  7. This profane Mob of Poetasters are deservedly to be condemned, that arrogate to themselves the Credit of a Title, that no ways belongs to them; and which is due only to those who are of elevated Genius, and Souls divine. But so far is this [Pg 8] from fixing any true Mark of Infamy on our Art, that it ought to redound to its Credit. For in this its native Excellence appears, that it is a Mistress, to whom all by natural Impulse, as it were, pay their Addresses, tho' there are so few, upon whom she bestows her Favours. Thus Wit, Wisdom, and Religion, have each those amiable Colours, in which all Mankind endeavour to appear.

    Nor need we wonder it meets with such Esteem, since it excels all other Sciences, by mixing so agreeably Pleasure with Advantage. For it is found experimentally true, that by reading the ancient Poets, but especially by imitating them, the Mind is polish'd, enlivened, and enlarged; is enriched with a Stock of various Erudition, as well sacred as profane; with such Plenty of lofty Ideas, and lively Expressions, as is no small Addition to the Eloquence of even Prose itself.

    This no one will deny, that pays any Deference to Cicero 's Opinion or Authority; who ingenuously tells us he owes no small Assistance to the Poets, runs out largely in their Praises, and seems to give them the first Place among the Learned. But farther, it ought by all Means to be encouraged, because it raises the Mind to Virtue and Honour, by delivering down the Examples of great Men to Immortality. It not only celebrates Heroes, [Pg 9] but makes them; and by lively Copies produces new Originals.

    What, in short, is it else, but the utmost Effort of the Mind of Man, that tries all its Nerves, while it infuses into it a Tincture of universal Learning temper'd with the greatest Sweetness. For its Votaries it affects with no small Pleasure, which its infinite Variety abundantly supplies. What can be more delightful, than to take a Survey of Things, Places, and Persons; what more elegant, than to see them represented in beautiful Pictures?

    Who is not charm'd with the humorous Turns of Epigram, the Softness of Elegy, the bantering Wit of one sort of Satire, the Anger of the other, the Keenness and Poignancy of both? And yet still more the Ode affects us with its daring Colours, its lofty Conceptions, its Choice of Expression, its agreeable Variety of Numbers, and what is the distinguishing Character of the Lyrics that Luxuriancy of Thought, conducted with the severest Judgment, by which it now and then expatiates into new Matter, connects Things it seem'd to separate, and falls by Chance, as it were, into its first Subject.

    Who, I say, is not affected with Pleasure, whether he laughs or weeps with them? For such is the Force of Poetry, that it makes us pleased with our Tears, and from Sorrow [Pg 10] extorts Satisfaction. But far beyond all this, is the Epic Poem, that farthest Extent of the human Soul, the utmost Bounds of Study, and the Pillars, beyond which the Labours of the Mind can never pass.

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    So abundant is it, that, besides its own peculiar Excellence, than which nothing can be greater, it comprehends within its Sphere all other Kinds of Poetry whatever; and is in this Art what the Organ is in Music, which with various Pipes, inflated with the same Breath, charms us not only with its own Harmony, but represents that of every other Instrument. These are not Beauties only in Theory; we have Authors that have shone in each of these Branches of Poetry: Thus Martial pleases with his tart Facetiousness, Catullus with his sound Wit, tho' his Verse is sometimes a little harsh; Ovid , Tibullus , and Propertius , with their Ease and Fluency in both.

    The Man that does not admire the Boldness of Juvenal 's Spirit, the Richness of his poetic Vein, and his fearless Rage in Satire; may he never love, may he never know the genteel and courtly Turns, the pleasant Sneers, the severe, and yet inviting Precepts of Virtue, the Remarks on common Life made with the greatest Penetration, Judgment, and Wisdom, with which the Satires of Horace , and especially his Epistles, are replete.

    In this kind of Writing, as we prefer him before all others; so in Lyric Poetry he stands not only first, but alone. With Regard to Comedy, if there were nothing remaining but what Terence has left us, viz. If Tragedy has receiv'd but small Ornaments from the Latin Writers, as far as they have come to our [Pg 11] Hands; by the Greeks that Loss has been abundantly compensated. The Nature and Limits of this Discourse will not allow me even to touch upon the Characters of all the other Greek and Latin Writers that have excell'd in the several Species of Poetry.

    One, however, it would be unpardonable to omit, who as he is the greatest of all not Homer himself excepted may not improperly bring up the Rear of this shining Host, the immortal Virgil , I mean, beyond all Praises, in all Respects compleat. Who is not in Love with the plain and unaffected Beauty of his Eclogues, the finish'd and chaste Elegance of his Georgics , and in them the entertaining Descriptions with which they abound, with the Variety of their Expressions, the Usefulness of their Precepts in Husbandry, and their noble Excursions, upon every proper Occasion, into Subjects of a sublimer Nature?

    Who can help being astonish'd at that Fire of Imagination temper'd with so cool a Judgment, such Strength united with so much Beauty? To nothing this Work can with Justice be compar'd, unless to that, whose Duration will have the same Period, the great Machine of the Universe. For where shall we find, in any human Composition, so exact a Harmony between the several Parts, and so much Beauty in each of them; such an infinite Fecundity of Matter, without the least Exuberance of Style, or Crowding of Incidents?

    It would be an endless Attempt to recount the different Images of Heroes, and other Personages that appear [Pg 12] up and down in it, the Variety of Manners, the Conflict of Passions, almost every Object of the Imagination beautifully described, all Nature unfolded, the great Events, the unexpected Revolutions, the Incentives to Virtue; in the several Speeches the most finish'd Eloquence; in the Thoughts and Expressions the sublimest Majesty; in short, the most consummate Art, by which all these Things are brought into one uniform Piece?

    After the mention of Virgil and those other great Names, Silence only should ensue; but that our Oration naturally addresses itself to him, to whose Indulgence this Liberty of speaking in the Praise of Virgil , and those other great Names, is owing; our most worthy Vice-chancellor [5] , I mean, who has brought to Light this Poetic Legacy, which had been buried, as it were, for many Years in Oblivion, and has at length placed it upon a Foundation that will make it perpetual.

    Such Attainments, Sir, have you made in your Study of the publick Welfare! I shall not enter into a Detail of the other Virtues, that make up your Character: My Business was to mention that only which relates to our present Function: Permit us, however, to wish you Length of Days in this World, that such Thanks may in Time be due to you, as may exceed the Power of Poetry itself to pay. Before we enter upon the different Branches of the Art we propose to treat of, it may not be improper to clear our Way, by giving, as the Schoolmen speak, a general Idea of it, and laying before you a comprehensive View of whatever is common to all its Parts.

    None, that I know of, has given a just Definition of it; not Aristotle himself, tho' a perfect Master in Definitions : And yet there's nothing in the Subject repugnant to one. To be short, then, Poetry seems in general, An Art of imitating or illustrating in metrical Numbers every Being in Nature, and every Object of the Imagination, for the Delight and Improvement of Mankind. Vossius 's Definition [6] I speak it with humble Deference to so great a Man to me is by no means satisfactory, who makes Poetry consist in being An Art of representing Actions in Metre.

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    This Definition falls too short, and is not comprehensive enough of the Nature of the Thing defined. For I would ask, is it not the Business of Poetry to represent every Thing that is capable of being represented? And are Actions the only Things capable of being represented? This, indeed, is expresly [Pg 14] asserted by Dacier , the French Interpreter of Aristotle : But to any one that considers the Passage, it will abundantly appear, that this Opinion cannot be drawn from Aristotle by a just Interpretation of him.

    Now, can any one, without violating all the Rules of Reasoning this Philosopher has taught, conclude from hence that Actions alone are capable of being imitated? Imitators imitate Actions. But if the Version were true, the Conclusion drawn from it would, however, be false.

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    For All Imitators may imitate Actions, and yet possibly not Actions only. He thought therefore that not only Actions, but Manners and Affections, were capable of being imitated. It is certain, if by Imitation is meant that which impresses upon the Mind a true and genuine Representation of any Thing, it will be no less repugnant to common Sense than to Aristotle 's, to affirm that nothing but Actions can be imitated. This Horace , the best Interpreter of Aristotle , sufficiently intimates, when he uses the Word imitari in the same Sense with describere , pingere , or sculpere : [Pg 15].

    Besides, Vossius 's Definition is short in another Respect; as it makes the Object of Imitation too narrow, so it makes the Essence of Poetry consist solely in Imitation ; whereas there are some Kinds of it that have little to do with Imitation, but much in Illustration; as we shall shew in the Sequel. That Poetry is an Art , is sufficiently plain, and we have no Occasion to use many Words to prove it. It observes certain Laws and Rules, is brought to the Test of right Reason, and, lastly, it aims at some particular End.

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    I cannot but wonder, therefore, why those that fix'd the Number of the Liberal Arts, as they are commonly reckon'd up, should have allowed no Place for Poetry and Oratory among them. They were thought, perhaps, reducible partly to Rhetorick, and partly to Grammar. But this, I think, they are not, with any Propriety. For, not to observe that Poetry and Oratory are in their Merit too good, and in their Extent too great to be included in other Sciences, the Business of Rhetorick is wholly to polish the Style of both of them; and, by the Way, as it is now-a-days managed, tends more, perhaps, to the Detriment and Corruption, than the Credit and Honour of either; but is fully and professedly concerned in neither.

    As to Grammar, they can no more be reduced to that, than all other Sciences whatever; for to all Sciences Words, whether written or spoken, are subservient. Well, then, Vossius and all agree that Poetry is an Art , tho' that great Man has not sufficiently shewn the peculiar Business of it. The Definition we have given above, seems to be full, and every Way compleat, inasmuch as it comprehends [Pg 16] the whole Nature of Poetry, is applicable only to Poetry, and all the Species of it; for all of them are always concern'd, either in Imitation, or Illustration, or both at once.


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    Between these two there is some Difference; for he that beautifully imitates any Thing, always illustrates it; but not on the contrary; the Rule does not hold vice versa. Those Things that relate to Science, and Discipline, such as the Ideas of the Mind, Virtues, Vices, Manners, and the like, are illustrated by being explained; but no one will say, that by being explained they are imitated. But, as I said, it is an undoubted Maxim, that all Kinds of Poetry are employed one or other of these Ways, or both.

    In Descriptions of whatever Kind, in moving the Passions, in Panegyric, in Satire, in Heroics, in Ethics, the Poet either imitates or illustrates something, or does both; unless, perhaps, we ought to except the Writers of those short Sentences, that are mere moral Sayings ; such as Pythagoras , Phocyllides , and the like; who may be said, indeed, to write Verses, but not Poems: They want the Force, the Elegance, the Style, and peculiar Turn of Thought that discriminates Poets from other Writers.

    The Object, then, of Poetry, must be enlarged, and those Bounds extended, that Vossius prescribed to it: For is there any Thing in the real or ideal World, not capable of being described or illustrated? And since it chiefly consists in Imitation, it may not be amiss, perhaps, to make a short Comparison between that and Painting. All Poetry will not admit of this Comparison, but such only as consists in [Pg 17] Description; upon which whatever is in common between them, depends.

    I would here, however, particularly observe, that Poetry consists much more in Description, than is generally imagined. For, besides those longer and set Descriptions of Things, Places, and Persons, there are numberless others, unobserved by common Readers, contained in one Verse, sometimes in one Word, to which the whole Beauty of the Thought is owing; and which wonderfully affect us, for no other Reason but because they are Descriptions, that is, impress a lively Image of somewhat upon the Mind. To this it is, that metaphorical Expressions, when selected with Judgment, owe their Beauty, and their Elegance; every Metaphor being a short Description.

    But to return to our Comparison between Painting and Poetry. They both agree, in representing to the Mind Images of Things, and ought both of them to be govern'd by Nature and Probability. So near is their Affinity, that by a very natural and common Metaphor, Poetry is said to paint Things, Painting to describe them. Both give us Draughts of the Body, as well as the Soul; but with this Difference, that the former is chiefly expressed by Painting, the latter by Poetry. It cannot be denied, but that the Lines of a Face are much more strongly distinguish'd by Light and Shade, than by any Colouring of Words, tho' ever so elegant, or well chosen: Add, moreover, that the Attitudes, the various Positions and Gestures of the Body, the confused Rout and Tumult of a Battle, the Gloominess or Brightness of a Landscape, the Prospect of a Building, and the like, are represented to much greater Perfection by Painters, than Poets; tho', in these Particulars, Description approaches nearer to Painting [Pg 18] than in Portraitures.

    The Reason of these Advantages of the Painter's over the Poet's Art, is obvious; for as the Things represented are the Objects of the Senses, to the Senses Painting exhibits the Images of them, as well as to the Imagination, and that according to the exactest Rules of Optics and Proportion: Whereas the Poet can only apply to the inward Faculties of the Soul, by the fainter Helps of Words and Sound, of Memory and Recollection. In Verse, indeed, we find these Things wonderfully described, and every Way agreeably to Nature; and tho' it is impossible for Words to represent them to the Mind, as graphically as Colours do to the Eyes; yet perhaps less Genius is required in the one than in the other.

    The one can imitate only so much of the Passions, as appears in the outward Man, in his Countenance, and Gesture; the other fetches them from the inmost Recesses of the Heart, describes them as they lurk there, without Disguise, in all their genuine Conflicts. The Representation we see of these, even in Painting as far as Colours can represent them is exquisite, even to Admiration; but, upon the whole, after a fair Comparison between the two Arts, Poetry excels Painting as much as the Soul does the Body, that being best represented by the former, as this is by the latter.

    But this Appellation is given them by way of Eminence, as their Thoughts are more exercised in Invention , and forming Ideas, than any other Writer's; as such Symmetry and Harmony is required in their Compositions; and such Artifice in their Fictions for they not only adorn their Subject, but generally make it and, lastly, such Management and Pains in working up the Machines of their Poem, and conducting the several Parts of it, so as to make them all conspire to one uniform Action.

    In this last Particular Poets remarkably excel other Writers, as all that are versed in them are sensible. But among those that are honoured with the Title of Poets, and are such, all have not an equal Claim to it. To the Epic and Dramatic Writers it is more peculiarly applicable; to the rest, only, as we term it, by Analogy. Their Business is Invention, as well as Disposition; the rest have little to do with the one, much less with the other. So that there are not only different Degrees of Poets, and subordinate Honours; but some who are called so only in an improper Sense: For who would mention Martial and Virgil under the same Predicament?

    THE SORCERERS LAST WORDS (Prepost Fable Unusual Children) THE SORCERERS LAST WORDS (Prepost Fable Unusual Children)
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