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one or other sort, I shall have occasion to remark afterward.

Not only subjects, but qualities, actions, effects, may be expressed figuratively. Thus, as to subjects, the gates of breath for the lips, the watery kingdom for the ocean. As to qualities, fierce for stormy, in the expression Fierce winter: Breathing for perspiring; Breathing plants. Again, as to actions, The sea rages, Time will melt her frozen thoughts, Time kills grief. An effect is put for the cause, as light for the sun; and a cause for the effect, as the labors of oxen for corn. The relation of resemblance is one plentiful source of figures of speech; and nothing is more common than to apply to one object the name of another that resembles it in any respect. Height, size, and worldly greatness, resemble not each other; but the emotions they produce resemble each other; and, prompted by this resemblance, we naturally express worldly greatness by height or size: one feels a certain uneasiness in seeing a great depth; and hence depth is made to express any thing disagreeable by excess, as depth of grief, depth of despair: again, height of place, and time long past, produce similar feelings: distance in past time, producing a strong feeling, is put for any strong feeling: shortness with relation to space, for shortness with relation to time: suffering a punishment resembles paying a debt: in the same manner, light may be put for glory, sunshine for prosperity, and weight for importance.

Many words, originally figurative, having, by long and constant use, lost their figurative power, are degraded to the inferior rank of proper terms. Thus, the words that express the operations of the mind, have in all languages been originally figurative: the reason holds in all, that when these operations came first under consideration, there was no other way of describing them, but by what they resembled: it was not practicable to give them proper names, as may be done to objects that can be ascertained by sight and

touch. A soft nature, jarring tempers, weight of woe, pompous phrase, beget compassion, assuage grief, break a vow, bend the eye downward, shower down curses, drowned in tears, wrapt in joy, warmed with eloquence, loaded with spoils, and a thousand other expressions of the like nature, have lost their figurative sense: Some terms there are that cannot be said to be either altogether figurative, or altogether proper: originally figurative, they are tending to simplicity, without having lost altogether their figurative power.


Give examples of the figure which, among related objects, extends the properties of one to another.

What remarks are made on them?

From what principle is this figure derived?

Give examples of this figure.

Which is the more agreeable species of this figure?

What is the difference between a metaphor and an allegory?

Give an illustration of this.

From what does the pleasure arise?

Illustrate this by examples.

What is a metaphor?

What is an allegory?

Give an example of an allegory.

To what is an allegory compared?

How does a figure of speech differ from a metaphor, and how from an allegory?

How is a figure of speech defined?

Illustrate this.

What examples are given to illustrate the nature of an alle


To what two figures do the same rules apply?
What is the rule with respect to resemblance?
Give examples of its violation.

What is the rule with respect to proportion?

What is the rule with respect to minute circumstances?

What poet violates this rule?

What is the rule with respect to the words of a metaphor?
Give an example of its violation.

What is a mixed metaphor?—is it allowable?

Is it proper to join distinct metaphors in one period?

What is the effect of jumbling metaphorical and natural expressions.

Give examples.

When is an allegory very attractive?

Why is allegory more difficult in painting than in poetry?

Why are mixed allegories intolerable in a picture?
What examples are mentioned?

When is a metaphor improper?

Why is Macbeth's speech faulty?

Why are the speeches of Calista and Chamont faulty?

Point out the metaphors in the speeches of Gonsalez and Macduff.

Why is the metaphor in Wolsey's speech commended?

What is meant by Figure of Speech?-by figurative sense?
What is the rule concerning the figurative sense?

What are the two objects presented by a figurative expression called?-how are they signified?

Analyze the sentence "youth is the morning of life.”—“ Imperi

ous ocean."

What power has this figure?

How do words acquire beauty?

Of what use is this acquired beauty in figures?

How may the familiarity of proper names be prevented?

Give an example.

What is the effect of this figure on language?

What besides subjects may be expressed figuratively?

Give examples of subjects—of qualities of actions--of an effect

for the cause of a cause for the effect-of the relation of resemblance.

Give examples of words which have lost their figurative power.


Narration and Description.

HORACE, and many critics after him, exhort writers to choose a subject adapted to their genius. Such observations would multiply rules of criticism without end; and at any rate belong not to the present work, the object of which is human nature in general, and what is common to the species. But though the choice of a subject comes not under such a plan, the manner of execution comes under it; because the manner of execution is subjected to general rules, derived from principles common to the species. These rules, as they concern the things expressed, as well as the language or expression, require a division of this chapter into two parts; first of thoughts, and next of words. I pretend not to justify this division as entirely accurate :

for, in discoursing of thoughts, it is difficult to abstract altogether from the words; and still more difficult, in discoursing of words, to abstract altogether from the thought.

The first rule is, That in history the reflections ought to be chaste and solid; for while the mind is intent upon truth, it is little disposed to the operations of the imagination. Strada's Belgic History is full of poetical images, which, discording with the subject, are unpleasant; and they have a still worse effect, by giving an air of fiction to a genuine history. Such flowers ought to be scattered with a sparing hand, even in epic poetry; and at no rate are they proper till the reader be warmed, and by an enlivened imagination be prepared to relish them; in that state of mind they are agreeable but while we are sedate and attentive to an historical chain of facts, we reject with disdain every fiction. This Belgic History is indeed wofully vicious both in matter and in form: it is stuffed with frigid and unmeaning reflections; and its poetical flashes, even laying aside their impropriety, are mere tinsel.

Second, Vida,* following Horace, recommends a modest commencement of an epic poem; giving for a reason, that the writer ought to husband his fire. This reason has weight; but what is said above suggests a reason still more weighty: bold thoughts and figures are never relished till the mind be heated and thoroughly engaged, which is not the reader's case at the commencement. Homer introduces not a single simile in the first book of the Iliad, nor in the first book of the Odyssey. On the other hand, Shakspeare begins one of his plays with a sentiment too bold for the most heated imagination.

Bedford. Hung be the heav'ns with black, yield day
to night!

Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,

And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,

*Poet. lib. 2. 1. 30.

That have consented unto Henry's death!
Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.


The passage with which Strada begins his history, is too poetical for a subject of that kind; and at any rate, too high for the beginning of a grave performance. A third reason ought to have no less influence than either of the former, That a man, who, upon his first appearance, strains to make a figure, is too ostentatious to be relished. Hence, the first sentences of a work ought to be short, natural, and simple. Cicero, in his oration for the poet Archias, errs against this rule; his reader is out of breath at the very first period; which seems never to end. Burnet begins the History of his Own Times with a period long and intricate.

A third rule or observation is, That where the subject is intended for entertainment solely, not for instruction, a thing ought to be described as it appears, not as it is in reality. In running, for example, the impulse upon the ground is proportioned in some degree to the celerity of motion; though in appearance it is otherwise; for a person in swift motion seems to skim the ground, and scarcely to touch it.

Fourth, In narration as well as in description, objects ought to be painted so accurately as to form in the mind of the reader distinct and lively images. Every useless circumstance ought indeed to be suppressed, because every such circumstance loads the narration; but if a circumstance be necessary, however slight, it cannot be described too minutely. The force of language consists in raising complete images; which have the effect to transport the reader as by magic into the very place of the important action, and to convert him as it were into a spectator, beholding every thing that passes. The narrative in an epic poem ought to rival a picture in the liveliness and accuracy of its representations:/no circumstance must

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