Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address)
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Pianta crudel! The tenor of his life is uniform. His ambition is conceived to be without policy, and his love without intrigue. He is the original, of which Virgil is the imitator. Sannazarius, indeed, a famous Latin Poet, in the age of Leo X. Of all the Moderns, M.
Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, First Edition
He has introduced into his Idylls as he entitles them many new ideas. Pope's nor Mr. On this is formed the peculiar character of the Ode. Cecilia, is well known. In his Anacreontic Odes, he is much happier. Cowley's Poems. IT may be executed in different manners. Horace's Style has not much elevation.
He thinks in a peculiar train, and he thinks always as a man of genius. Ode, In chapter xxv. Declare his glory among the heathen—his wonders among all the people. BESIDES the natural objects of their own country, we find the rites of their religion, and the arts and employments of their common life, frequently employed as grounds of imagery among the Hebrews.
In the Prophecies of Daniel and Jonah, there is no Poetry. It is remarkable, that this book has no connection with the affairs, or manners of the Jews, or Hebrews. I begin with the Epic. HE that can believe Homer to have proceeded in this manner, may believe any thing. They are, undoubtedly, all Epic; that is, poetical recitals of great adventures; which is all that is meant by this denomination of Poetry. The predominant character of the Epic, is admiration excited by heroic actions.
The rules regarding them are the following:. Ancient and Modern. What he is to expect, is a picture of the ancient world. He withdraws accordingly. And, accordingly, the two great characters of the Homeric Poetry are, Fire and Simplicity. Here, he is without a rival. There is much more dialogue in Homer than in Virgil; or, indeed, than in any other Poet. What Virgil informs [ Every one who reads him, becomes familiarly and intimately acquainted with his heroes. He is, as we would expect him, a mixture of gallantry and effeminacy. He was the Architect of his own Palace. The age of the Trojan war approached to the age of the Gods, and Demigods, in Greece.
They can have no conception of his manner, who are acquainted with him in Mr. Virgil gives us the nod of Jupiter with great magnificence. Annuit; et totum nutu tremefecit Olympum. Oeuvres de la Motte. Tome 2de. But, to imagine that he carried a political plan in his view, through the whole Poem, appears to me, no more than a fanciful refinement. Num lumina flexit? Num lacrymas victus dedit? As to the pre-eminence in judgment, though many Critics incline to give it to Virgil, yet, in my opinion, it hangs doubtful.
It has two defects. This renders the thread of his narration broken and interrupted, and makes him hurry us too often from place to place. Lucan recounted no fiction. He carries every thing to an extreme. ON the whole, however, he is an Author of lively and original genius. He never allows us to be tired by mere war and fighting. HE abounds very much with machinery; and in this part of the work his merit is more dubious. This recital takes up three Cantos, or Books. THE whole work is conducted according to the Epic Plan. This was the genius, or guardian, of that hitherto unknown ocean.
A full account of it is given by Mr. THE plan of the work is, in general, well contrived; and is deficient neither in Epic grandeur, nor unity of object. The action of the Poem, properly includes only the Siege of Paris. But the imitation was injudicious. Louis gives to Henry in a dream, in the Seventh Canto. It has led him into very difficult ground. He is brave and faithful to his troops. In this, perhaps, he excels Homer; as there is no doubt of his leaving Virgil, and every other Poet, far behind him. Beauties, however, there are, in the concluding [Page ] Books, of the tragic kind.
It is a direct imitation of human manners and actions. To regulate this conduct.
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DE ART. WE have a clear example of this defect in Mr. The Stage was never empty, nor the curtain let fall. And Mr.
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In order to render the Unity of Action more complete, Critics have added the other two unities of Time and Place. It is refuted by facts.
To the Ancient Theatre, it was in a manner wholly unknown. In few of their Tragedies is it ever mentioned; and I remember no more than one which turns upon it, the Hippolitus of Euripides. Thus, in Mr. This makes his whole reply to Lucia. They render the play pedantic and declamatory. I AM not, however, of opinion, that moral reflections ought to be altogether omitted in Tragedies. Much of the merit of Mr. For monotony is, above all things, to be avoided by a Tragic Poet. It admitted of few incidents.
He delights in the marvellous. Both Euripides and Sophocles, however, have very high merit as Tragic Poets. The actors in Tragedy wore a long robe, called Smyrna, which flowed upon the Stage. Few Poets indeed, are more tender and moving than Racine. Racine has formed two of his plays upon plans of Euripides.
Rapido fluit impete vena, Vena Sophocleis non inficianda fluentis. Templum Tragoediae, per FR. He was naturally learned. He needed not the Spectacles of Books to read Nature. He looked inward, and found her there. But this is a fault, not owing to the nature of Comedy, but to the genius and turn of the Writers of it.
It is only by laying his plan in this manner, that he can add weight and dignity to the entertainment which he gives us. Plautus, it is true, and Terence, did not follow this rule. In after times, it is known that the Romans had the "Comoedia Togata," or what was founded on their own manners, as well as the "Comoedia Palliata," or what was taken from the Greeks. In the latter, the plot, or the action of the Play, is made the principal object.
His morality is, in general [Page ] unexceptionable. From the account which M. One Play often includes many years, nay, the whole life of a man. He is acknowledged not to be happy in the unravelling of his Plots. Hence Comedy has a more ample field, and can flow with a much freer vein in Britain, than in France. His chief fault as a Comic Writer, is, that he overflows with wit.
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By what name then can it be called? University of O xford T ext A rchive. Lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres: By Hugh Blair, In three volumes. Page 1 LECT. The Poetry of the Hebrews. Epic Poetry.
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Dramatic Poetry—Tragedy. So Lucan informs us: Vos quoque qui fortes animos, belloque peremptos. Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,. Achilles, his character in the Iliad, examined, iii. And by ancient orators and players, Fundamental rule of propriety in, ii. His general character as a writer, ii. Character of his Spectator, His tragedy of Cato critically examined, Adjectives, common to all languages, i. Aeneid of Virgil, critical examination of that poem, iii. Action, Is deficient in characters, And on that by Sir Richard Blackmore, Ages, four, peculiarly fruitful in learned men, pointed out, iii.
Allegory, explained, i. The efforts of genius greater among the antients, Fine one from Cicero, ii. Arabian poetry, its character, iii. Arrangement of, Are not to be too much multiplied, Athenians, ancient, character of, ii.
Eloquence of, ib. Ballads, have great influence over the manners of a people, iii. Bar, the cloquence of, defined, ii. Why more confined than the pleadings before ancient tribunals, Barrow, Dr. Beaumont and Fletcher, their characters as dramatic poets, iii. Is a term of vague application, ibid. Colours, ib. Figure, Motion, The human countenance, Works of art, Novelty, Imitation, ib.
Blackwall, his character as a writer, ii. Boileau, his character, as a didactic poet, iii. A beautiful climax from A beautiful metaphor from, C Cadmus, account of his alphabet, i. Camoens, critical examination of his Luciad, iii. Celtic language, its antiquity and character, i. The remains of it, where to be found, Poetry, its character, iii.
And writing, Chivalry, origin of, iii. Was the origin of tragedy, Inconveniencies of, How it might properly be introduced on the modern theatre, Cibber, his character as a dramatic writer, iii. Very attentive to the beauties of climax, His account of the origin of figurative language, His own character as a writer, His character of the Grecian orators, His [Page ] own character as an orator, His method of preparing introductions to his orations, Excelled in narration, His defence of Milo, , Character of his Dialogues, Clarke, Dr.
Rules for the conduct of, The book seeks to generate a renewed interest in Blair by provoking new inquiries into the tradition of belletristic rhetoric and by serving as both aid and incentive to others who may join in the project of improving understanding of this landmark rhetorical scholarship. This edition contains forty-seven lectures and remains faithful to the text of the London edition.
The bibliography of works by and about Blair is an invaluable aid, surpassing previous research on Blair. Linda Ferreira-Buckley is an associate professor of English and rhetoric at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses in writing, the history of rhetoric and English studies, and Victorian literature. Michael Halloran, answers the need for a complete, reliable text. The book seeks to generate a renewed interest in Blair by provoking new inquiries into the tradition of belletristic rhetoric and by serving as both aid and incentive to others who may join in the project of improving understanding of this landmark rhetorical scholarship.
This edition contains forty-seven lectures and remains faithful to the text of the London edition. The bibliography of works by and about Blair is an invaluable aid, surpassing previous research on Blair.