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pearance, one should never press the enemy too clofely; for this would discover the weakness which we ought to conceal from them.

The episode of Patroclus most admirably furnishes us with these two instructions. For when he appeared in the arms of Achilles, the Trojans, who took him for that prince now reconciled and united to the confederates, immediately gave ground, and quitted the advantages they had before over the Greeks. But Patroclus, who should have been contented with this success, presles upon He&tor too boldly, and, by obliging him to fight, soon discovers that it was not the true Achilles who was clad in his amour, but a hero of much inferior prowess. So that Hector kills him, and regains those advantages which the Trojans had lost, on the opinion that Achilles was reconciled.

S E C T. III.

THE FABLE OF THE ODYSSEY.

THI

HE Odyssey was not designed, like the Iliad, for

the instruction of all the states of Greece joined in one body, but for each state in particular. As a state is composed of two parts; the head which commands, and the members which obey; there are instructions requisite to both, to teach the one to govern, and the others to submit to government.

There are two virtues necessary to one in authority; prudence to order, and care to see his orders put in exe.

cution.

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y other place ; but his reed against his will. This ives us of it. His hero te island, fitting upon the i tears in his eyes, he looks i had so long opposed his from revisiting his own dear

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rced delay might more na

to such as make voyages icioully made choice of a is in an illand. has feigned all this action, i in years, because years are 1 in prudence and policy.

obliged to forsake his native an army of his subjects in a Having glorioufly performed , marching home again, und 's to his own state. But fpite ith which the eagernels to re, he was stopt by the way by cars, and cast upon several om each other in manners und fe dangers, his companions,

his orders, perished through The grandees of his country fence, and raise no finail dira rey consume his estate, conspire

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Odyssey v.

pearance, one should never press the enemy too closely; for this would discover the weakness which we ought to conceal from them.

The episode of Patroclus most admirably furnishes us with these two instructions. For when he appeared in the arms of Achilles, the Trojans, who took him for that prince now reconciled and united to the confederates, immediately gave ground, and quitted the advantages they had before over the Greeks. But Patroclus, who should have been contented with this success, preses upon Hector too boldly, and, by obliging him to fight, soon discovers that it was not the true Achilles who was clad in his amour, but a hero of much inferior prowess. So that Ilcctor kills him, and segains those advantages which the Trojans had lost, on the opinion that Achilles was reconciled.

SE CT. 111.

THE FABLE OF THE ODYSSEY.

THE Odyssey was not designed, like the Iliad, for

one body, but for each state in particular. As a state is composed of two parts; the head which commands, and the members which obcy; there are infructions requisite to both, to teach the one to govern, and the others to submit to government.

There are two virtues neceflivry to one in authority; prudence to order, and care to fuc his orders put in exe.

cution.

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eution. The prudence of a politician is not acquired but by a long experience in all sorts of business, and by an acquaintance with all the different forms of governments and states. The care of the administration fuffers not him that has the government to rely upon others, but requires his own presence : and kings, who are absent from their states, are in danger of losing them, and give occasion to great disorders and confusion.

These two points may be easily united in one and the same man. A king forsakes his kingdom to visit the « courts of several princes, where he learns the man

ners and customs of different nations. From hence “ there naturally arises a vast number of incidents, of “ dangers, and of adventures, very useful for a political “ inftitution. On the other fide, this absence gives

way to the disorders which happen in his own « kingdom, and which end not till his return, whose « presence only can re-establish all things.” Thus the absence of a king has the same effects in this fable, as the division of the princes had in the former.

The subjects have scarce any need but of one general maxim, which is, to suffer themselves to be governed, and to obey faithfully; whatever reason they may imagine against the orders they receive.

It is easy to join this instruction with the other, by bestowing on this wife and industrious prince such subjects, as in his absence would rather follow their own judgment than his commands; and by demonstrating the misfortunes which this disobedience draws upon them, the evil consequences which almost infallibly atttend these

particular

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particular notions, which are entirely different from the general idea of him who ought to govern.

But as it was necessary that the princes in the Iliad should be choleric and quarrelsome, so it is necessary in the fable of the Odyssey that the chief person should be fage and prudent. This raises a difficulty in the fiction ; because this person ought to be absent for the two reasons above mentioned, which are essential to the fable, and which constitute the principal aim of it: but he cannot absent himself, without offending against another maxim of equal importance, viz. That a king should upon no accounts leave his country.

It is true, there are sometimes such necessities as sufficiently excuse the prudence of a politician in this point. But such a necessity is a thing important enough of itself to supply matter for another poem, and this multia plication of the action would be vicious. To prevent which, in the first place, this necessity, and the departure of the hero, must be disjoined from the

poem ;

and in the second place, the hero having been obliged to absent himself, for a reason antecedent to the action, and placed distinct from the fable, he ought not so far to embrace this opportunity of instructing himself, as to absent himself voluntarily from his own government. For at this rate, his absence would be merely voluntary, and one might with reason lay to his charge all the disorders which might arise.

Thus in the constitution of the fable he ought not to take for his action, and for the foundation of his poem, the departure of a prince from his own country

nor

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