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the seventh place, is, that they be not too far pursued. If the resemblance, on which the figure is founded, be long dwelt upon, and carried into all its minute circumstances, we make an allegory instead of a metaphor; we tire the reader, who soon becomes weary of this play of fancy; and we render our discourse obscure. This is called straining a metaphor. Cowley deals in this to excess; and to this error is owing, in a great measure, that intricacy and harshness, in his figurative language, which I before remarked. Lord Shaftesbury is sometimes guilty of pursuing his metaphors too far. Fond, to a high degree, of every decoration of style, when once he had hit upon a figure that pleased him, he was extremely loth to part with it. Thus, in his advice to an author, having taken up soliloquy or meditation, under the metaphor of a proper method of evacuation for an author, he pursues this metaphor through several pages, under all the forms of discharging crudities, throwing off froth and scuin, bodily operation, taking physic, curing indigestion, giving vent to choler, bile, fatulencies, and tumours;' till, at last, the idea becomes nauseous. Dr. Young, also, often trespasses in the same way. The merit, however, of this writer, in figurative language, is great, and deserves to be remarked. No writer, ancient or modern, had a stronger imagination than Dr. Young, or one more fertile in figures of every kind. His metaphors are often new, and often natural and beautiful. But his imagination was strong and rich, rather than delicate and correct. Hence, in his Night Thoughts, there prevails an obscurity, and a hardness in his style. The metaphors are frequently too bold, and frequently too far pursued; the reader is dazzled, rather than enlightened ; and kept constantly on the stretch to keep pace with the author. We may observe, for instance, how the following metaphor is spun out:
Thy thoughts are vagabond; all outward bound,
Fancy still cruises, when poor sense is tir'd.
Walk thoughtful on the silent, solemn shore
That shortly blows us into worlds unknown. The two first lines are uncommonly beautiful; walk thoughtful on the silent,' &c. but when he continues the metaphor, 'to putting good works on board, and waiting the wind,'it plainly becomesstrained, and sinks in dignity. Of all the English authors, I know none so happy in his metaphors as Mr. Addison. His imagination was neither so rich nor so strong as Dr. Young's; but far more chaste and delicate. Perspicuity, natural grace and ease, always distinguish his figures. They are neither harsh nor strained: they never appear
to have been studied or sought after: but seem to rise of their own accord from the subject, and constantly embellish it.
I have now treated fully of the metaphor, and the rules that should govern it, a part of style so important, that it required particular illustration. I have only to add a few words concerning allegory.
An allegory may be regarded as a continued metaphor; as it is the representation of some one thing by another that resembles it, and that is made to stand for it. Thus, in Prior's Henry and Emma, Emma, in the following allegorical manner, describes her constancy to Henry: ·
Did I but purpose to embark with thee
When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar ? We may take also from the scriptures a very fine example of an allegory, in the 80th Psalm; where the people of Israel are represented under the image of a vine, and the figure is supported throughout with great correctness and beauty ; Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt, thou hast cast out the heathen and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it; and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs into the sea, and her branches into the river. Why hast thou broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her! The boar out of the wood doth waste it; and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. Return, we beseech thee, O God of Hosts, look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine! Here there is no circumstance, (except, perhaps, one phrase at the beginning, thou hast cast out the heathen') that does not strictly agree to a vine, whilst, at the same time, the whole quadrates happily with the Jewish state represented by this figure. This is the first and principal requisite in the conduct of an allegory, that the figurative and the literal meaning be not mixed inconsistently together. For instance, instead of describing the vine, as wasted by the boar from the wood, and devoured by the wild beast of the field, had the Psalmist said, it was afflicted by heathens, or overcome by enemies, (which is the real meaning) this would have ruined the allegory, and produced the same confusion, of which I gave examples in metaphors, when the figurative and literal sense are mixed and jumbled together. Indeed, the same rules that were given for metaphors, may also be applied to allegories, on account of the affinity they bear to each other. The only material difference between them, besides the one being short and the other being prolonged, is, that a metaphor always explains itself by the words that are connected with it in their proper and natural meaning; as when I say • Achilles was a lion;' an "able minister is the pillar of the state.' My lion and my pillar are sufficiently interpreted by the mention of Achilles and the minister, which I join to them; but an allegory is, or may be, allowed to stand more disconnected with the literal mean
mg; the interpretation not so directly pointed out, but left to our own reflection
Allegories were a favourite method of delivering instructions in ancient times; for what we call fables or parables, are no other than allegories; where, by words and actions attributed to beasts or inanimate objects, the dispositions of men are figured ; and what we call the moral, is the unfigured sense or meaning of the allegory. An ænigma, or riddle, is also a species of allegory; one thing represented or imagined by another; but purposely wrapt up under so many circumstances, as to be rendered obscure. Where a riddle is not intended, it is always a fault in allegory to be too dark. The meaning should be easily seen through the figure employed to shadow it. However, the proper mixture of light and shade in such compositions, the exact adjustment of all the figurative circumstances with the literal sense, so as neither to lay the meaning too bare and open, nor to cover and wrap it up too much, has ever been found an af. fair of great nicety; and there are few species of composition in which it is more difficult to write so as to please and command attention, than in allegories. In some of the visions of the Spectator, we have examples of allegories very happily executed.
AFTER the preliminary observationsmetaphor more nearly approach than made relating to figurative language any other figure; and what is its pecuin general, of what does our author|liar effect? In order to produce this efcome to treat ? With which does he fect, what is required; and why? begin; and on what is it founded? What, therefore, is necessary? But beHence, of it, what is observed? How fore entering on these, what does our is this remark illustrated? Of the com-author propose to do; and why? parison betwixt the minister and a pil- Whence is the instance taken ? Relar, what is remarked ? This, therefore, peat it. Of it, what is observed? On is what; and how does it affect the fan- this passage, what two remarks are cy? Of the mind, when thus employed, made? By what arrangement would what is observed ? At what, therefore, the sentiment have been enfeebled ? need we not be surprised; and what Having mentioned with applause this remark follows? How is this illustrated, instance from Lord Bolingbroke, what from the words here casually employ-does our author think it incumbent on ed? Why is the metaphor commonly him here to notice ? Of his writings, ranked among tropes, or figures of what is our author's opinion? What thought? But provided the nature of it merit have his political writings? Of be well understood, what matters but his philosophical works, what is oblittle; and to what has our author con served? Of what is this author an unfined it? In what sense, however, is happy instance ? Returning from this the word metaphor sometimes used? digression, to what does our author proFrom what example is this illustrated ; ceed? What is the first? Of this diand or it, what is observed? How does rection, what is observed ? How is this Aristotle, in his Poetics, use metaphor ? illustrated? What must we remember? But to tax him with what would be What remark follows? Of the excesunjust; and why? Now, however, sive employment of them, what is obwhat is inaccurate? To what does served ? What air does it give to com
position; and how does this appear ? As, rule which Horace applies to characthe affectation and parade of ornament ters, what is observed ? Repeat it; and detract as much from an author as they also Mr. Pope's lines addressed to the do from a man, what follows? What King? Of the latter, what is observed ? is most unnatural? For what do we re- What is said of the works of Ossian? spectively look, when he reasons, when What examples are given ? What do he describes, or when he relates ? What they, however, afford; and what is it? is one of the greatest secrets in compo- or the metaphor in this passage, what sition? What does this give ? What is is observed ? If it be faulty to jumble the effect of a right disposition of the together metaphorical and plain lanshade? What says Cicero on this sub-guage, what, in the fifth place, is still ject? By whom should this admonition more so? What is this called ; and be attended to? What does the second what is said of it? What instance is rule given, respect? How extensive is given ? What does this make? What the field of figurative language? says Quintilian on this subject? What What objects may be introduced into example is given from Shakspeare's figures with propriety? But of what Tempest; and of it, what is observed ? must we beware; and even when? In What one is given from Romeo and what subjects is it an unpardonable Juliet ? Here, how is the angel reprefault to introduce mean and vulgar sented ? What inaccuracy of the same metaphors ? What do we find in the kind is given from Mr. Addison ; and treatise on the Art of Sinking, in Dean what is observed of it? What does the Swift's works? Authors of what cha- same author, in one of his numbers of racter, have fallen into this error ? the Spectator, say; and of it, what is What instance is given? Of Shaks- observed ? In what passages is Horace peare, what is here observed ? What also incorrect; and what is said of example is given from his Henry V.? them? What illustration of this rule is In the third place, about what should given from Mr. Pope? What good rule particular care be taken? The trans- has been given for examining the progression of this rule, makes what; and priety of a metaphor ? By this means, what is said of them Whoabounds with of what should we become sensible metaphors of this kind ? What did he, As metaphors ought never to be mixed, and some of the writers of his age, seem so, in the sixth place, what should we to consider the perfection of wit ? This avoid? How may they produce a conmakes a metaphor resemble what; fusion of the same kind with the mixand is the reverse of what rule? Re-led metaphor ? By what passage from peat the following verses from Cowley, Horace may we judge of this? To in which he is speaking of his mis- what is the harshness and obscurity of tress; and also his address to sleep. this passage owing? What are they? What should be avoided in our meta- In what does the mind here find diffiphors? What is a beauty ? When culty ? What is the only other rule have metaphors the disadvantage of which is to be given concerning metaappearing laboured; and when dophors? How shall we weary the fanthey lose their whole grace? What cy, and render our discourse obscure ? paliative do writers sometimes use for What is this called ? To what is this a harsh metaphor; and what is said of error in Cowley owing? Of Lord it? What metaphors are almost al- Shaftesbury, what is observed? What ways faulty by their obscurity ? illustration is given? Of the merit of
In the fourth place, what must be Dr. Young in figurative language, carefully attended to? What does a what is remarked? Of his metaphors, violation of this direction always pro- and of his imagination, what is obduce? What will make this rule, and served? Hence, in his Night Thoughts, the reason of it, clearly understood ? what prevails ? What is said of the What is the first one given ? Here, in metaphors? In the following metaphor, one line, her son is made to appear like what may we observe? Repeat it. what; and what does he return to be Speaking of old age, what does he say, in the next? To what should the poet and what is remarked of this passages have kept himself? To do what was How does Mr. Addison, in metaphorihe not at liberty; and why? Or the cal language, compare with other
English authors ? How does his imagi-1
ANALYSIS. nation compare with that of Dr. Young? 1. Metaphor. What always distinguish his figures?! A. The metaphor and the compari. Of what has our author now treated son contrasted. fully; and, as a part of style, what is
B. The peculiar properties of the observed of it? How may an allegory metaphor. be regarded ; and why? What exam c. Rules for the conduct of metaphors. ple is given from Prior? What very
a. They should be suited to the fine example of this figure may we take from scripture? Here, what is b. They should be drawn from obnot found? What is the first and prin jects of dignity. cipal requisite in the conduct of an al
c. The resemblance should be clear legory? How is this illustrated ? What
and perspicuous. rules may be applied to allegories? d. Metaphorical and plain lanWhat is the only material difference guage should not be jumbled tobetween them? What illustration is
gether. given? How does it appear that alle e. Two metaphors should not gories were a favourite method of de
meet on the same object. livering instructions in ancient times ?
f. They should not be crowded to What is an ænigma, or riddle? Where
gether on the same object. a riddle is not intended, what follows ?||
g. They should not be too far purWhat has ever been an affair of great sued. nicety; and what is the consequence? 2. Allegory. Where have we examples of allego- A. Its nature. ries very happily executed ? | B. Fables and ænigmas.
The next figure concerning which I am to treat, is called hyperbole, or exaggeration. It consists in magnifying an object beyond its natural bounds. It may be considered sometimes as a trope, and sometimes as a figure of thought: and here, indeed, the distinction between these two classes begins not to be clear, nor is it of any importance that we should have recourse to metaphysical subtilties, in order to keep them distinct. Whether we call it trope or figure, it is plain that it is a mode of speech which hath some foundation in nature. For in all languages, even in common conversation, hyperbolical expressions very frequently occur: as swift as the wind; as white as the snow; and the like : 'and our common forms of compliment are almost all of them extravagant hyperboles. If any thing be remarkably good or great in its kind, we are instantly ready to add to it some exaggerating epithet; and to make it the greatest or best we ever saw. The imagination has always a tendency to gratify itself, by magnifying its present object, and carrying it to excess. More or less of this hyperbolical turn will prevail in language, according to the liveliness of imagination among the people who speak it. Hence, young people deal always much in hyperboles. Hence, the language of the orientals was far more hyperbolical than that of the Europeans, who are of more phlegmatic, or, if you please, of more correct imagination. Hence, among all wri