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can be derived from any other Latin word, since all is choice that is elegant. Elegance is the result of regularity and grace.
This word is employed in speaking of painting and sculpture. Elegans signum is opposed to signum rigens,
-a proportionate figure, the rounded outlines of which are expressed with softness, to a cold and badlyfinished figure.
The severity of the ancient Romans gave an odious sense to the word elegantia. They regarded all kinds of elegance as affectation and far-fetched politeness, unworthy the gravity of the first ages. “ Vitii, non laudis fuit,” says Aulus Gellius. They called him an elegant man, who in these days we designate a petitmaître (bellus homuncio) and which the English call a beau ; but towards the time of Cicero, when manners received their last degree of refinement, elegans was always deemed laudatory. Cicero makes use of this word in a hundred places, to describe à man or a polite discourse. At that time even a repast was called elegant; which is scarcely the case among us.
This term among the French, as among the ancient Romans, is confined to sculpture, painting, eloquence, and still more to poetry: it does not precisely mean the same thing as grace.
The word grace applies particularly to the countenance; and we do not say an elegant face, as we say elegant contours; the reason is, that grace always relates to something in motion, and it is in the countenance that the mind appears: thus we do not say an elegant gait, because gait includes motion.
The elegance of a discourse is not its eloquence; it is a part of it; it is neither the harmony nor metre alone; it is clearness, metre, and choice of words, united.
There are languages in Europe in which nothing is more scarce than an elegant expression. Rude terminations, frequent consonants, and auxiliary verbs grammatically repeated in the same sentence, offend the ears even of the natives themselves.
* It is, however, naturalised in England.-T.
CA discourse may be elegant without being good, elegance being, in reality, only a choice of words; but a discourse cannot be absolutely good without being elegant. Elegance is still more necessary to poetry than eloquence, because it is a part of that harmony so necessary to verse.
An orator may convince and affect, even without elegance, purity, or number; a poet. cannot really do so without being elegant: it is one of the principal merits of Virgil. Horace is much less elegant in his satires and epistles, so that he is much less of a poet sermoni proprior.
The great point in poetry and the oratorical art is, that the elegance should never appear forced; and the poet in that, as in other things, has greater difficulties than the orator; for harmony being the base of his art, he must not permit a succession of harsh syllables. He must even sometimes sacrifice a little of the thought to elegance of expression, which is a constraint that the orator never experiences.
It should be remarked, that if elegance always appears easy, all that is easy and natural is not, however, elegant.
It is seldom said of a comedy that it is elegantly written. The simplicity and rapidity of a familiar dialogue exclude this merit, so proper to all other poetry, Elegance would seem inconsistent with the comic. A thing elegantly said would not be laughed at; though most of the verses of Moliere's Amphitrion, with the exception of those of mere pleasantry, are elegantly written. The mixture of gods and men in this piece, so unique in its kind, and the irregular verses, forming a number of madrigals, are perhaps the cause.
A madrigal requires to be more elegant than an epigram, because the madrigal bears somewhat the nature of the ode, and the epigram belongs to the ..comic. The one is made to express a delicate sentiment, the other a ludicrous one.
Elegance should not be attended to in the sublime : it would weaken it. If we read of the elegance of the Jupiter Olympus of Phidias, it would be a satire. The elegance of the Venus of Praxiteles may be properly alluded to.
ELIAS OR ELIJAH, AND ENOCH. Elias and Enoch are two very important personages of antiquity. They are the only mortals who have been taken out of the world without having first tasted of death. A very learned man has pretended that these are allegorical personages. The father and mother of Elias are unknown. He believes that his country, Gilead, signifies nothing but the circulation of time. He proves it to have come from Galgala, which signifies revolution. But what signifies the name of the village of Galgala !
The word Elias has a sensible relation to that of Elios, the sun. The burnt sacrifice offered by Elias, and lighted by fire from heaven, is an image of that which can be done by the united rays of the sun. The rain which falls, after great heats, is also a physical truth.
The chariot of fire and the fiery horses, which bore Elias to heaven, are a lively image of the four horses of the sun.
The return of Elias at the end of the world seems to accord with the ancient opinion, that the sun would extinguish itself in the waters, in the midst of the general destruction that was expected; for almost all antiquity was for a long time persuaded that the world would sooner or later be destroyed.
We do not adopt these allegories; we only stand by those related in the Old Testament.
Enoch is as singular a personage as Elias, only that Genesis names his father and son, while the family of Elias is unknown. The inhabitants of both east and west have celebrated this Enoch.
The holy scripture, which is our infallible guide, informs us that Enoch was the father of Methusala or Methusalem, and that he only dwelt on the earth three hundred and sixty-five years, which seems a very short life for one of the first patriarchs. It is said that he walked in the way of God, and that he appeared no longer, because God carried him away. “It is that," says Calmet, “which makes the holy fathers and most of the commentators assure us that Enoch still lives; that God has borne him out of the world as well as Elias; that both will come before the last judgment, to oppose the antichrist; that Elias will preach to the Jews, and Enoch to the gentiles."
St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews (which has been contested) says expressly, “ by faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death, because death had translated him.”
St. Justin, or somebody who had taken his name, says that Elias and Enoch are in a terrestrial paradise, and that they there wait the second coming of Jesus Christ.
St. Jerome, on the contrary, believes that Enoch and Elias are in heaven. It is the same Enoch, the seventh man after Adam, who is pretended to have written the book quoted by St. Jude. +
Tertullians says that this work was preserved in the ark, and even that Enoch made a second copy of it after the deluge.
This is what the holy scripture and the holy fathers relate of Enoch; but the profane writers of the east tell us much more. They believe that there really was an Enoch, and that he was the first who made slaves of prisoners of war: they sometimes call him Enoc, and sometimes Edris. They say that he was the same who gave laws to the Egyptians under the name of Thaut, called by the Greeks Hermes Trismegistus. They give him a son named Sabi, the author of the religion of the Sabæans.
There was a tradition in Phrygia on a certain Anach, the same whom the Hebrews call Enoch. The Phrygians held this tradition from the Chaldeans or Baby
* Jerome's Commentary on Amos. + See Apocryphal books.
Book i. De cultu fæminarum.
lonians, who also recognised an Enoch, or Anach, as the inventor of astronomy.
They wept for Enoch one day in the year in Phrygia, as they wept for Adonis among the Phenician's.
The ingenious and profound writer, who believes Elias a person purely allegorical, thinks the same of Enoch. "He believes that Enoch, Anach, Annoch, signified the year; that the orientals wept for it, as for Adonis, and that they rejoiced at the commencement of the new year.
That Janus, afterwards known in Italy, was the ancient Anach, or Annoch, of Asia.
That not only Enoch formerly signified, among all nations, the beginning and the end of the year, but the last day of the week.
That the names of Anne, John, Januarius, Janvier, and January, all come from the same source.
It is difficult to penetrate the depths of ancient history. When we seize truth in the dark, we are never sure of retaining her. It is absolutely necessary for a christian to hold by the scriptures, whatever difficulty he may have in understanding them.
ELOQUENCE. ELOQUENCE was created before the rules of rhetoric, as the languages are formed before grammar.
Nature renders men eloquent under the influence of great interests or passions. A person much excited sees things with a different eye from other men. To him all is the object of rapid comparison and metaphor. Without premeditation, he vivifies all, and makes all who listen to him partake of his enthusiasm.
A very enlightened philosopher has remarked, that people often express themselves by figures; that nothing is more common or more natural than the turns
Thus, in all languages, the heart burns, courage is kindled, the eyes sparkle; the mind is oppressed, it is divided, it is exhausted; the blood freezes, the head is turned upside down; we are inflated with pride, intaxi