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Labentem pietas, nec Apollinis insula texit !" The poems of Ossian are full of the most beautiful instances of this figure: “Weep on the rocks of roaring winds, O maid of Inis. tore! Bend thy fair head over the waves, thou fairer than the ghosts of the hills, when it moves in a sunbeam at noon over the silence of Morven! He is fallen ! Thy youth is low; pale beneath the sword of Cuchullin !'t Quintilian affords us a very fine example in prose; when in the beginning of his sixth book, deploring the untimely death of his son, which had happened during the course of the work, he makes a very moving and tender apostrophe to him. Nam quo ille animo, qua medicorum admiratione, mensium octo valetudinem tulit? ut me in supremis consolatus est? quam etiam jam deficiens, jamque non noster, ipsum illum alienatæ mentis errorem circa solas literas habuit? Tuosne ergo, O meæ spes inanes ! labentes oculos, tuum fugientem spiritum vidi? Tuum corpus frigidum, exangue complexus, animam recipere, auramque communem haurire amplius potui ? Tone, consulari nuper adoptione ad omnium spes honorum patris admotum, te, avunculo prætori generum destinatum; te, omnium spe Atticæ eloquentiæ candidatum, parens superstes tantum ad pænas amisi !'| In this passage Quintilian shows the true genius of an orator, as much as he does elsewhere that of the critic.
For such bold figures of discourse as strong personifications, addresses to personified objects, and apostrophes, the glowing imagination of the ancient oriental nations was particularly fitted. Hence, in the sacred scriptures, we find some very remarkable instances:'0 thou sword of the Lord! how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put thyself up into thy scabbard, rest and be still! How can it be quiet, seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea-shore? there he hath appointed it.'ll There is one passage in particular, which I must not omit to mention, because it contains a greater assemblage of sublime ideas, of bold and daring figures, than is perhaps any where to be met with. It is in the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, where the prophet thus describes the fall of the Assyrian empire: Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, how hath the oppressor ceased! the golden
* Nor Pantheus! thee, thy mitre, nor the bands
DRYDEN. + Fingal, B. I.
1 With what spirit, and how much to the admiration of the physicians, did he bear throughout eight months his lingering distress? With what tender attention did he study, even in the last extremity, to comfort me? And when no longer himself, how affecting was it to behold the disordered efforts of his wandering mind, wholly employ ed on subjects of literature? Ah! my frustrated and fallen hopes! Have I then eheld your closing eyes, and heard the last groan issue from your lips? After naving embraced your cold and breathless body, how was it in my power to draw the vital air, or continue to drag a miserable life? When I had just beheld you raised by consular adoption to the prospect of all your father's honours, destined to be son-in-law to your uncle the Prætor, pointed out by general expectation as the successful candidate for the prize of Attic eloquence, in this moment of your opening honours must I lose you for ever, and remain an unhappy parent, surviving only to suffer wo!'
Jer xlvii. 6, 7.
city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke; he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, a and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet : they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir-trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming : it stirreth up the dead for thee, even' all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak, and say unto thee, art thou. also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols; the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations ! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee sball narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners ? All the kings of the nations, even all of them lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave, like an abominable branch : and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, as a carcass trodden under feet.' This whole passage is full of sublimity. Every object is animated ; 'a variety of personages are introduced; we hear the Jews, the fir-trees, and cedars of Lebanon, the ghosts of departed kings, the king of Babylon himself, and those who look upon his. body, all speaking in their order, and acting their different parts, without confusion..
WHAT is the next figure of which ence, and more cultivated society? our author is to treat called ; and in What scarcely strike us as hyperboles; what does it consist? How may it be and why? When does it rise into a considered; and what remark follows? figure of speech which draws our atWhether we call it trope or figure, I tention? What is it necessary here to what is plain; and why? How is this observe; and why? Hence, what folillustrated ? In what manner has the lows? Why is it on some occasions imagination a tendency to gratify it-proper? When they are unseasonable, self? According to what will more or what is their effect? Of what authors less of this hyperbolical turn prevail ? are they the resource? Of what two Hence, 'what consequences follow ? kinds are hyperboles ? Which are the What is the effect of greater experi-) best; and why? Of all the passione,
what is observed ? Hence, of the fol- | easily be seen ? On innumerable occalowing sentiments of Satan, in Milton, sions, what is it; and therefore, what what is observed ? Repeat the passage. does it deserve ? How many degrees In simple description how must hyper- of this figure are there; and why is it boles be used; what do they require; necessary to distinguish them? Repeat and why? When can we bear strong them. Where the lowest degree of this hyperboles without displeasure ? But, figure is used, in what is it most comwhen is it impossible not to be disgust-monly done; what examples are given; ed? What example is given; and of land what is its effect? Of this degree it what is observed ? Who might, and of personification, what is observed? who might not be permitted to hyper- When happily, however, what is its bolize thus strongly; and for what effect? What example is given; and reason? What cannot be ascertained what is said of it? What is the next by any precise rule? What must de- degree of this figure; and what is said termine the point; and what follows? of it ? According to what, is the strength Of Lucan, what is observed ? Among of this figure? When pursued to any the compliments paid by the Roman length, to what only does it belong; poets to their Emperors, what had be- and when slightly touched, into what come common? What illustration of may it be admitted ? To illustrate this this remark have we from Virgil ? Re- remark, what instance is given from solved to outdo all his predecessors, Cicero? Where may such short perwhat does Lucan very gravely request sonifications be admitted; and under of Nero ? Repeat the passage. What what circumstances do they have a do che French call such thoughts; and good effect upon style ? from what do they always proceed? Why does the genius of our language What writers are remarkable for being give us an advantage in the use of this fond of them; and what is sometimes figure? In what discourse may this their effect? On what do epigrammatic often be done to good purpose? To illus writers frequently rest the whole merit trate this remark, what example is of their epigrams? What example is given, and what do we see in it ? At given ? To what figures do we now the same time, what must be noticed ? proceed? Among these, to what is the Whom is the author comparing togefirst place due? Why is personification ther? Repeat the passage. Of it, what used instead of prosopopoeia ? Of the is observed? What circumstance, also, use of this figure, what is observed ; contributes to its effect ? Did any Engand where is its foundation laid? At lish sermons affold us many passages first view, and when considered ab-equal to this, what would be the consestractly, how would it appear; and quience? Where are personifications of why? What might one imagine this to this kind extremely frequent; and be; but, on the contrary, what is re- what are they? In the descriptions of marked of it? What abounds with it; a poet who has a lively fancy, what do and from what is it far from being ex- we expect; accordingly, what follows? cluded? What instances of its use in com- What are alive in his writings; and mon conversation are mentioned, and with whom is the case the same? what do such expressions show? Indeed, What is said of Milton's personification what is very remarkable? What remarks of Eve's eating the forbidden fruit? follows? How is this remark illustrated ? Repeat the passage. What are capaWhat further illustrations are given ? ble of being personified in poetry, with With what do they seem endowed; of great propriety? Of this, where do we what do they become objects; and in meet with frequent examples ? What the moment of parting, what scarcely is one of the greatest pleasures we seems absurd ? Or what is it probable, receive from poetry? What is perhaps that this strong impression of life was the principal charm of this kind of figuone cause? In the early ages of the rative style? Where is this exempliworld, what easily arose from this turn fied ? Repeat the passage. In what of mind ? How is this illustrated ? By passage of Milton, is the same effect llius gaining what, was the imagina- remarkable? What is the third and tion highly gratified; and what follow- highest degree of this figure? Or this ed? From this deduction, what may I what is observed; and why? When
can a slight personification of some in- what are frequent; and what example animate thing, be relished? But, what is given? Of the poems of Ossian, what follows? What, however, have a ten- is observed; and what example is given? dency to use this figure; what exam- Under what circumstances does Quinples are given; and why? Hence, tilian make a very moving apostrophe? what follows? In what does Milton Repeat the passage; and in it, what afford an extremely fine example of does he show? For such bold figures this? Repeat the passage; and of it of discourse as strong personification, what is observed? What is here ob- what was particularly fitted ? Hence, servable? What affords a very fine ex- where do we find some very remarkaample? Repeat it. Of what are there ble instances ? Repeat the following frequent examples in real life? Of the passage? Why must our author not two great rules for the management of omit to mention the passage in the fourthis figure, what is the first; and why?|teenth chapter of Isaiah ? Repeat it. What is the second? Where is the ob- of what is this whole passage full; servation of this rule required ? How and what further remarks are made is this illustrated ? For this reason, I upon it ? what passage does our author condemn? What remarks are made upon it? How does this figure require to be
ANALYSIS. used in prose composition? What there 1. Hyperbole. is not allowed; and what cannot be A. Hyperboles employed in descripascertained? However, what follows;
** tion. and how is this illustrated ? But what B. Hyperboles suggested by the must we remember; and why? Of all
warmth of passion. frigid things, what are the most frigid ?
Figures of thought. In what situation do we see the writer or 2. Personification. speaker; and in what situation do we A. Living properties ascribed to infind ourselves? How have some of the
animate objects. French writers executed this figure ? B. Inanimate objects acting like those For what are their works exceedingly
that have lise. worthy of being consulted ; and for c. Inanimate objects introduced as what reason? Of the apostrophe, what
speaking to us. is observed? What is it? To what is it a. To be employed only when much allied ? However, what is the
prompted by strong passion. proper apostrophe; and why? To what b. Objects of dignity only should rule are both figures subject? What
be personified. example is given ? Among the poets, 3. Apostrophe.
We are still engaged in the consideration of figures of speech ; which, as they add much to the beauty of style when properly employed, and are, at the same time, liable to be greatly abused, require a careful discussion. As it would be tedious to dwell on all the va. riety of figurative expressions which rhetoricians have enumerated, I choose to select the capital figures, such as occur most frequently, and
and make my remarks on these; the principles and rules laid down concerning them, will sufficiently direct us to the use of the rest, either in prose or poetry. Of metaphor, which is the most common of them all, I treated fully, and in the last lecture I discoursed of hy perbole, personification, and apostrophe. This lecture will nearly finish what remains on the head of figures. .
Comparison, or simile, is what I am to treat of first; a figure frequently employed both by poets and prose writers, for the ornament of composition. In a former lecture, I explained fully the difference betwixt this and metaphor. A metaphor is a comparison, implied, but not expressed as such; as when I say, “ Achilles is a lion,' meaning, that he resembles one in courage or strength. A comparison is, when the resemblance between two objects is expressed in form, and generally pursued more fully than the nature of a metaphor admits; as when I say, the actions of princes are like those great rivers, the course of which every one beholds, but their springs have been seen by few. This slight instance will show, that a happy comparison is a kind of sparkling ornament, which adds not a little lustre and beauty to discourse; and hence such figures are termed by Cicero, Orationis lumina.
The pleasure we take in comparisons is just and natural. We may remark three different sources whence it arises. First, from the pleasure which nature has annexed to that act of the mind by which we compare any two objects together, trace resemblances among those that are different, and differences among those that resemble each other; a pleasure, the final cause of which is, to prompt us to remark and observe, and thereby to make us advance in useful knowledge. This operation of the mind is naturally and universally, agreeable; as appears from the delight which even children have in comparing things together, as soon as they are capable of attending to the objects that surround them. Secondly, the pleasure of comparison arises from the illustration which the simile employed gives to the principal object; from the clearer view of it which it presents ; or the more strong impression of it which it stamps upon the mind : and, thirdly, it arises from the introduction of a new, and commonly a splendid object, associated to the principal one of which we treat; and from the agreeable picture which that object presents to the fancy; new scenes being thereby brought into view, which, without the assistance of this figure, we could not have enjoyed.
All comparisons whatever may be reduced under two heads, explaining and embellishing comparisons. For when a writer likens the object of which he treats to any other thing, it always is, or at least always should be, with a view either to make us understand that object more distinctly, or to dress it up and adorn it. All manner of subjects admit of explaining comparisons. Let an author be reasoning ever so strictly, or treating the most abstruse point in philosophy, he may very properly introduce a comparison, merely with a view to make his subject better understood. Of this pature, is the following in Mr. Hari is’s Hermes, employed to explain a very ab