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and then again turns to his writing. The last you see of him for the night, he is alone, kneeling on the floor of his prison; he is alone, with God."
For another example, see the quotation from the same writer in chap. xxiv.
Q. What do you mean by Alliteration?
A. The use of such words, at certain intervals, as begin with or contain the same letter.
Q. Is this figure much in use?
A. It is very much in use by our best poets, and even sometimes by prose writers.
Q. On what is this figure founded?
A. On that pleasure which the ear feels in the recurrence of similar sounds at regular and stated dis
Q. Can you give any examples?
A. "Ruin seize thee, ruthless king."
Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone."
66 Softly sweet in Lydian measures,
"To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.
Q. Is this figure always the effect of study?
A. In some instances it may be purely accidental, and on these occasions it is always most natural, and its effects are then by far the most pleasing.
Q. What is the best and most general rule for all the figures of speech?
A. It is, never to make a deliberate search after them; use them only when they rise spontaneously out of the subject; never pursue them too far; and let them always be such as enforce and illustrate, as well as embellish a subject.
OTHER SECONDARY TROPES.
Q. What are secondary tropes?
A. Those which may be resolved into the primary which are metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony.
Q. What is Antonomasia?
A. It is a sort of synecdoche which we use when we put
a general term for a proper name, or a proper name for a general term: as when Aristotle calls Homer, the poet; as when we call a great warrior, an Alexander; a great orator, a Demosthenes; a great patron of learning, a Macenas. This trope may also be used when we intend to convey a lively image to the mind, as in that line of Milton,
"O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp."
Q. What is to be said of the use of this figure?
A. When too frequent, it makes language obscure, affected, or ostentatious of learning. It should never be used when the character alluded to may be supposed to be unknown to the reader or hearer.
Q. What is meant by the trope that is called communication?
A. It is when, from modesty, or respect to our hearers, we say we instead of I or you. It is a trope which puts many for one.
Q. What is Litotes or Extenuation?
A. It is used when we do not express so much as we mean, and which, therefore, may also be resolved into synecdoche, as when we say, "I can not commend you for that," meaning, "I greatly blame you." "The news I have to communicate will not be very agreeable" means "will be very disagreeable."
Q. What trope is nearly related to litotes?
A. Euphemism, as when it is said of the martyr Stephen that “he fell asleep,” instead of “he died," the euphemism partakes of the nature of metaphor, intimating a resemblance between sleep and the death of such a person.
Q. What is Catachresis or Abusio?
A. It means improper use, and is any trope, especially a metaphor, so strong as to border on impropriety by seeming to confound the nature of things, as when we call the young of beasts "their sons and daughters;" or the instinctive economy of bees "their government;" or when the goat is called in Virgil "the husband of the flock;" when Moses calls wine "the blood of the grape;" for nothing but an animal can have blood; and sons, daughters, husbands, government, belong to rational beings only. We sometimes use this figure from necessity, because we have no other way so convenient to express our meaning, as when we say, a silver candle stick, a glass ink horn
MISCELLANEOUS FIGURES OF SPEECH.
Q. What is the difference between Tropes and Figures? A. A trope is the name of one thing applied emphatically to express another thing; a figure is a phrase, expression, sentence, or continuation of sentences, used in a sense different from the original and proper sense, and yet so used as not to occasion obscurity. Tropes affect single words chiefly; figures affect phrases and sentences.
Q. What is Asyndeton?
A. It is the omission of connective words in a sentence
to give the idea of rapidity and energy. "I came, saw, con
Q. What is Polysyndeton?
A. It is the full insertion of connectives for the purpose of retarding the progress of the narrative, that every partie ular may be considered by the mind. "You have ships, and men, and money, and stores, and all other things which constitute the strength of the citv." Dr. Chalmers is fond of the use of this figure.
Q. What is Repetition?
A. It occurs when the same word in sound and sense is repeated, or one of a like sound or signification, or both.
The following is a fine specimen of repetition in reference to the Bible. "The book of the world's Creator and the world's Governor, the record of the world's history and the world's duty, the world's sin and the world's salvation, it will endure while that world lasts, and continue to claim its present authority as long as that government over the present world may continue."
The above is an instance also of Pleonasm, which, though often enfeebling to style, as has been shown heretofore, is yet often a figure of great beauty. So, also, sometimes is ellipsis, its opposite. The latter hurries over its objects, the former detains them as long as possible; and though at first sight it may appear strange that such opposite modes of speech should both be ornamental to style, they are alike founded in nature, and alike available to the purposes of the poet and the orator. They can not, indeed, both be beautiful in the same situation; but each has its proper place, which could not be supplied by the other. Pleonasm employs a redundancy of expression, not, however, wit
intention and effect. I saw it with my eyes. see it with your mouth?" replies the cynic. Both nature and the most correct taste interpret such phraseology, and give important meaning to the apparent redundancy.
Sometimes, after a general statement, various particulars are enumerated to express the deep impression made on the mind of the speaker. Milton speaks thus with respect to his blindness:
"Nor to these idle orbs does day appear,
Or sun, or moon, or stars, throughout the year,
After stating that he did not perceive the light of day, we needed not to be informed that he could not discern these other objects. But the person who should call this tautology would be as devoid of soul as an orang-outang. We can participate in the feelings of the poet, and brood with him over the objects of his regret. It soothes his melancholy to dwell on his bereavement, and it gives us a sad pleasure to accompany him.
It is from a like principle that earnestness expresses its object again and again in nearly the same words, as in the Psalms of David; also in his lament over Absalom, than which, nothing could be more affecting.
STYLE is much improved and embellished by reference to what is found in writers of established reputation-to facts in history-in art-commerce, and other departments of human effort. The reference is not so formal as in comparison, but is founded on the same principles, and is followed by equally pleasing results in the mind of the reader, by awakening grateful associations. What we mean may be exhibited most clearly by examples.
1. Scriptural Allusions.
These should be sparingly and chastely introduced. The practice of some writers, both in periodical and other literature, of introducing them on trifling and low subjects
for the sake of giving point to their wit, ridicule, or satire, can not be too severely condemned for its demoralizing influence in bringing the solemn truths of Scripture into an unhallowed familiarity; but no allusions, when judiciously introduced, are more happy in their influence on the mind.
John Q. Adams, in the close of his discourse on the Con stitution of the United States, after describing the facts of sacred history relative to the curse put upon Mount Ebal, and the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, happily adds:
"Fellow-citizens, the ark of your covenant is the Declaration of Independence. Your Mount Ebal is the confederacy of separate state sovereignties, and your Mount Gerizim is the Constitution of the United States. In that scene of tremendous and awful solemnity, narrated in the Holy Scriptures, there is not a curse pronounced against the people upon Mount Ebal, not a blessing promised them upon Mount Gerizim, which your posterity may not suffer or enjoy, from your and their adherence to, or departure from, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, practically interwoven in the Constitution of the United States. Lay up these principles, then, in your hearts, and in your souls-bind them for signs," &c., &c.
"Now it is a melancholy pity, when a man's philosophy, instead of being the angel that steps down into the Bethesda of his speculations, to trouble its waters to effect a cure, only perplexes the depth of his being, and turns up mire and dirt."
"If those alone who 'sowed to the wind, did reap the whirlwind,' it would be well."
"Hypocrisy is a cruel stepmother, an injusta noverca' to the honest, whom she cheats of her birthright, in order to confer it on knaves, to whom she is indeed a mother. "Verily, they have their reward.'"
The first part of the above quotation is a classica} allusion and belongs to the next head.
2. Classical Allusions-(ancient).
"The mob is a monster with the hands of Briareus, but the head of Polyphemus-strong to execute, but blind to perceive."
"The learning of Burke was something which he always carried with ease and wielded with dexterity. At one time it was the rattling quiver of Apollo, from which he drew many