To whom thus Belial in like gamesome Mood: Leader, the Terms we sent were Terms of Weight, Of hard Contents, and full of force urg’d home; Such as we might perceive amus’d them all, And stumbled many: who receives them right, Had need, from Head to Foot, will understand; Not understood, this Gift they have besides, They shew us when our Foes walk not upright.
Thus they among themselves in pleasant
Stood scoffing ——
[Footnote 1: It is in Part II. of the Poetics, when treating of Tragedy, that Aristotle lays down his main principles. Here after treating of the Fable and the Manners, he proceeds to the Diction and the Sentiments. By Fable, he says (Sec. 2),
I mean the contexture of incidents, or the Plot. By Manners, I mean, whatever marks the Character of the Persons. By Sentiments, whatever they say, whether proving any thing, or delivering a general sentiment, &c.
In dividing Sentiments from Diction, he says (Sec.22): The Sentiments include whatever is the Object of speech, Diction (Sec. 23-25) the words themselves. Concerning Sentiment, he refers his reader to the rhetoricians.]
[Footnote 2: [argues or explains, magnifies or diminishes, raises]]
[Footnote 3: [these]]
[Footnote 4: Rene le Bossu says in his treatise on the Epic, published in 1675, Bk, vi. ch. 3:
What is base and ignoble at one time and in one country, is not always so in others. We are apt to smile at Homers comparing Ajax to an Ass in his Iliad. Such a comparison now-a-days would be indecent and ridiculous; because it would be indecent and ridiculous for a person of quality to ride upon such a steed. But heretofore this Animal was in better repute: Kings and princes did not disdain the best so much as mere tradesman do in our time. Tis just the same with many other smiles which in Homers time were allowable. We should now pity a Poet that should be so silly and ridiculous as to compare a Hero to a piece of Fat. Yet Homer does it in a comparison he makes of Ulysses... The reason is that in these Primitive Times, wherein the Sacrifices ... were living creatures, the Blood and the Fat were the most noble, the most august, and the most holy things.]
[Footnote 5: [such Beautiful]]
[Footnote 6: Longimus on the Sublime, I. Sec. 9. of Discord, Homer says (Popes tr.):
While scarce the skies her horrid head
She stalks on earth.
Of horses of the gods:
Far as a shepherd from some spot on high
O’er the wide main extends his boundless eye,
Through such a space of air, with thundring sound,
At one long leap th’ immortal coursers bound.