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The table and bis furniture; and the pure candlestick with all his furniture. Exod. xxxi. 8.


The brazen altar, and bis grate of brafs. Exod. xxxix.

Look not upon the wine, when it giveth his colour in the cup. Prov. xxiii. 31.

If the falt hath loft bis favour. Mat. v. 13.

Here the pronoun bis is ufed inftead of its, which does not occur either in the Old or New

Teftament; but this mode of expreffion is now obfolete.

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An epic poem is a poetical narrative of fome great action, performed by a hero. It is not a regular detail of facts, like a history; but a ftory, dignified and embellished by marvellous and heroic events, by the introduction of gods and goddeffes, or some other fupernatural agents. The poet however fhould keep within the bounds of probability; otherwise his work beThe action fhould be one;

comes a romance.

for two actions would divide the reader's attention. The characters fhould be diverfified and contrafted; the plot and the unravelling, natural and eafy; the moral, obvious and striking; and the ftyle, equal to the grandeur of the subject. At the beginning, the poet invokes a muse, a celeftial perfonage, who is fuppofed to give him information, concerning every circumftance, which does not come within the sphere of his knowledge; and he immediately launches out into the middle of the fubject. Preceding events are usually related by the hero himself. No god or goddess should be introduced in trifling inci


dents. The epifodes, that is, the little fubordinate stories, should be connected with the principal action.

The most celebrated epic poems are, the Iliad and Odyffey of Homer-the Æneid of VirgilMilton's Paradife Loft, publifhed in 1669Taffo's Jerufalem, written about the year 1505, and translated into English by Mr. Hoole-The Lufiad of Camoëns, a Portuguese poet, who wrote about the year 1505, translated into English by Mr. Mickle *— And the Henriade of Voltaire, which appeared for the first time, in 1723, under the title of the LEAGUE. The London quarto edition, in 1726, altered the title to that, which it has ever since retained, in a multitude of subsequent editions.

* Les Luciades font les Portugais, nommes Luciades, difent | les conteurs de fables, ou de Lufus dix-feptieme roi d'Espagne, ou de Lufus fils, ou compagnon de Bacchus, qui conquit les Indos." Baillet, Ingemens de Savans, tom. iv. p. 294. "The Luciad, in the original Os Lufiadas, the Luciads, from Lufitania, the Latin name of Portugal, derived from Lufus or Lyfas, the companion of Bacchus, in his travels, who is fabulously reported to have planted a colony in that country." Mickle See Plin. iii. c. I. The fubject of the Lufiad is the discovery of the East Indies by the Portuguese, under the conduct of Vafco de Gama.



THE drama, or dramatic poetry, derives its name from a Greek word, dpaw, which fignifies to act; because in this kind of poetry, the action is not related, as it is in the epic poem ; but performed on the stage.

In the drama there are three kinds of unity; the unity of action, the unity of time, and the unity of place *. But thefe unities are not much regarded.

The language of the drama fhould be fuitable to the perfons introduced; their characters fhould be diverfified; the ftory interefting; the plot artfully contrived; the unravelling eafy, the event natural, but striking and unexpected.

*Thefe unities, in the ftricteft fenfe imply, that one action fhould be confined to one place, and one day, or even to the time of representation,


In comedy, vice, folly, and affectation ought to be ridiculed and expofed. In tragedy, the heart fhould be melted, the tender paffions excited, and virtue properly encouraged and rewarded.

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