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design of the daughters, the widow-woman Naomi again began to dissuade them, and
hime, in many cafes, and in some (as in the present instance) total science is more expressive and characteristic than the most feeling or forcible sentence.
There is a kind of mournful eloquence
In a dumb grief, which shames all clam'rous
Or, as a bard who better understood the operations of the human heart, more poetically hat it,
My grief lies all within;
When words are too weak, fays the critic, or colours too faint to present a pathos, as the poet will be silent, so the painter will hide what he cannot shew :—Mr. Smith hath offered a very fine example of this, wherein the skill of Timanthes, the painter, is shewn in marking the gradations of sorrow in a groupe of characters, till he bad exhausted the passions, and silence became necessary to the last figure in the distressful climax; but nothing can furnish a finer illustration than Orpah and Ruth.
Lord Kames, however, in his chapter upon the Language of Passion, after having observed/that immoderate
to press their speedy return. She painted the various disasters they would be liable to, in her company—told them she had no
grief is mute, because complaining is struggling for consolation, hath illustrated that remark by so apt a story from the 3d book of Herodotus, that I am sure the reader will not be displeased with me for setting it down amongst the notes for his service.'
"Cambyscs, when he conquered Egypt, took Psam« *• menitus the king prisoner j and for trying his constancy* *« ordered his daughter to be dressed in tiie habit of a slave, "and to be employed in bringing water from the lives | "hit ion also wa» led to execution with a hither about hi* M neck, The Egyptians vented their sorrow in teart and «' lamentations; Psamraenitui only with a downcast eye, «« remained silent. Afterward meeting one of his compa«' nions, a man advanced in years, who, being plundered •' of all, was begging alms, he wept bitterly, calling him "by his name. Cambyscs, struck with wonder, demand"ed an answer to the following question :" ' Psammeni4 tus, thy master Cambyscs is desirous to know, why, 'after thou hadst seen thy daughter so ignominiously treat« ed, and thy son led to execution, without exclaiming or
* weeping, thou fliculdst be so highly concerned for a poor .' man, no way related to thee V "Psammenitus re"turned the following answer 1" 'Son of Cyrus, the
* calamities of my family are too great to leave me the pow«
* er of weeping; but the misfortunes of a companion, re« duced in his old age to want of bread, is a fit subject foe « lamentation.*
more sons to give them for husbands— nor even a hut, however uncheary, and forlorn, to accommodate them with in her own country—and furthermore, that she had not wherewithal to repose her own head upon, if, after the fatigues of travel, she should haply arrive safe. And, now she once more pressed the women in a farewel embrace, whilst she closed her arguments with another blessing, more melting .even than the first. "Nay—my daugh." ters—weep not I entreat you. It gritv44 tth me more for your fakes than my own, ** that the hand of the Lord hath gone «* out against me." This was the touchstone : she had now fairly discovered all the horrors of her situation, and shewed herself a woman without accommodation —a traveller without hope of rest at the end of her journey, and a widow, without one to take her by the hand, and say unto her, Welcome unfortunate—welcome again to thine own country. The picture was too darkly shaded for Orpah. The dread of poverty, and all its fable catalogue of
terrors, terrors, struck her at once: she shed the tribute of a few more tears—sacrificed a few more sighs, and went her way. Not so the affectionate Ruth. How excellently marked, and that, by a single word, is the conduct of each. "Orpah kijsed her m.o"ther-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her." The sentence though thus compressed, is emphatically copious in point of meaning: but, indeed, the muUum in parvo, should be one characteristic of the sacred writings. «« Orpah kijsed her mother-in-law," i. e. she gave her a farewel embrace, wept a woman's sorrow, and left her mother to wander over the world. *l But Ruth clave "unto her." Struck to the heart at the prospect of seeing her friend and parent no more, and still calling to mind the thousand endearments which had formerly made precious her society, and even feeling some additional sympathy from being involved in a calamity, which arose from the mischances of one house, and one family, (he endured not the idea of her departure: so far otherwise, indeed, that she " clave■un
"to 44 to her," i. e. clung round her neckkissed her with an ardour, as if she designed to leave the seal of her very soul impressed on her lips for ever. In vain did the nobleminded Naomi exhibit to her the various miseries which were at hand, and against which, there was no comfortable provision —In vain did she point to the example, the politic and prudent example of Orpah, her sister—In scorn of such conduct, and to close at once all future dissuasions, she thus declared, to the eternal honour of her sex, the glowing resolutions of her soul. "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return "from following after thee, for whither "thou goest, I will go; and where thou "lodgest, I will lodge : thy people shall "be my people, and thy God my God." The whole beauty and force of this passage is not seen at once: it is a very fine climax, and there is amazing elegance in the gradations. The full sense implied, seems to branch out in this manner. She begins with desiring Naomi to urge the subject of separation no longer, since she has completely