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"Mental pleasures never cloy; unlike those creased by repetition, approved by reflection, and strengthened by enjoy

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must be viewed in all situations, or its colors

"Society, like will deceive us."

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"The mob, like is very seldom agitated without some cause superior and exterior to itself; but (to continue the simile) both are capable of doing the greatest mischief after the cause which first set them in motion has ceased to act."


"The beauties and sublimities of nature are like which the storm shuts out, but when the heavens are serene they come out, one after another, to the eye that is watching for them, till the firmament glows with their light."

"Bad books are like

, sailing under false colors in every sea, and delighting in the wreck and conquest of every thing precious."



Q. What do you understand by a Metaphor?

A. A comparison in which the words denoting the similitude are suppressed; as, "I will be to her a wall of fire;" that is, " as a wall of fire."

Q. What is the origin of metaphors?

A. It may be founded on a comparison,

1. Of the qualities of a man with those of a beast; as when we call a rafty and cruel man a fox:

2. Of one inanimate thing with another; as when we say, clouds of dust, Moods of fire:

3. Of a man with an inanimate thing; as when Homer calls Ajax a bulwark of the Greeks:

4. Of inanimate things with what has life and feeling; as when Virgil calls a plentiful crop a joyful one, lætas segetes:

5. Of the qualities of mind with those of matter; as when we say, a solid judgment, a fiery temper, a hard heart, &c. To this head may be referred a number of metaphors common in Holy Writ, which convey, in such a way as our finite natures can comprehend, some faint idea of the operations of the Supreme Being; as when God is said to hear, to see, to repent, to be angry, to open his hand, to hide his face, &c., phrases which nobody understands in the literal sense.

Q. In what respects does the metaphor differ from the simile? A. The former, the most common of all the figures, substitutes one thing for another, and applies to the primary object language which is, strictly speaking, descriptive only of the secondary. Thus, in Wolsey's description of the state of man, To-day he puts forth the tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms," a tree is put for man, and the changes, which can in


strictness be predicated only of the secondary, tree, are attributed to the primary, man.

Comparison, or Simile, is founded on resemblance, as well as metaphor, but it has nothing else in common with it; and though it has been sometimes called a lengthened metaphor, it is altogether a distinct figure. Metaphor always asserts what is manifestly false; comparison asserts nothing but what is true. In metaphor, the resembling qualities in the two objects must be distinguishing qualities of those objects. In comparison, any striking resemblance may be made the subject of the figure. The former asserts that one object has the properties of another; the latter, that one object resembles another. The two figures are, indeed, near akin, but they have a distinct personality; they are sisters, the daughters of Like ness, by different fathers. The one is the child of Fancy, the other of Truth.

Q. Can you illustrate this difference by example?

A. When I say of a minister, "He upholds the state, like a pillar that supports an edifice," I use a comparison; but when I say, "He is the pillar of the state," I then use a metaphor.

Q. What is the first rule in the use of metaphors?

4. Do not employ them too profusely, and let them be such as accord with the natural train of the thoughts.

Q. What is the next?

A. Let the resemblance upon which the figures are founded be clear and perspicuous, and the metaphors drawn from such objects as are easily understood.

Q. On what is this rule founded?

A. On the circumstance that, if a word is unintelligible in a literal, it must be much more so in a metaphorical sense.

Q. What is the next rule?

A. Metaphorical and literal language should never be mixed together.

Q. Can you illustrate this by example?


"To thee the world its present homage pays;
The harvest early, but mature the praise,"

is a mixed metaphor; for harvest is figurative, but praise is literal, in its meaning.

Q. What would it require to be to make it accurate?

A. “The harvest early, but mature the fruit,” which would probably have been the word used, had it suited the poet's rhyme.

Q. What farther have you to remark respecting the use of met aphors?

A. We should neither pursue them too far, nor use, in reference to the same object, two metaphors that are inconsistent with each other.

By the first part of this rule is meant, that we should not seek to trace out a great number of resemblances between the thing illustrated by the figure, and the figure itself; for this would show that the writer's mind is wandering, and less intent upon sense than upon wit; which, when the matter requires seriousness and simplicity, is always offensive. Genius, regulated by correct taste, instead of fatiguing the attention with unnecessary circumstances, chooses rather to leave many things to be supplied by the reader's fancy; and is always too much engrossed by its subject to have leisure to look out for minute similitudes.

Q. Can you give any example of the latter part of the rule!
A. “I bridle in my struggling muse with pain,
That longs to launch into a bolder strain."

Q. What is the error here?

A. The muse is first compared to a horse, held in by a bridle, that it may not launch, an action which belongs properly to a ship; and then it is to launch, not into water, but into a strain or singing, which, being literal, produces a strange jumble of figures, altogether incompatible with correct writing. The nature of the thing expressed by the figure should not be confounded with that of the thing which the figure is intended to illustrate.

When Penelope, in Pope's Odyssey, calls her son a pillar of the state, the figure is good, because it signifies that he assisted in supporting the government; but when, in the next line, she complains that this pillar had gone away without asking leave or bidding farewell, there is a confusion of the nature of a pillar with that of a man:

"Now from my fond embrace by tempest torn,
Our other column of the state is borne,

Nor took a kind adieu, nor sought consent."

Flame is used metaphorically for the passion of love; but to say of a lover that he whispered his flame into the ear of his beloved (meaning that in a whisper he gave her intimation of his love) would be faulty: because it is not the property of flame to be blown into the ear, nor of a whisper to convey flame from one place to another.


Dr. Beattie informs us that he had heard of clergymen, in their intemperate use of figurative expressions in public prayer (in which it should be used as little as possible), committing strange blunders of this kind: as of one who prayed that God would be a rock to them that are afar off upon the sea; and that the British navy, like Mount Zion, might never be moved.

Moreover, figures should not be too frequent. Blackmore, speaking of the destruction of Sodom,

"The gaping clouds pour lakes of sulphur down, Whose livid flashes sickening sunbeams drown." "What a noble confusion!" says a witty critic: clouds, lakes, brimstone, flames, sunbeams, gaping, pouring, sickening, drowning, all in two lines!" See the Art of Sinking in poetry, in which the abuse of figurative language is well illustrated by a variety of examples.

Q. Can you give another example of a faulty metaphor, and correct it?

A. "Well indeed might he love this little mountain flower, for she was the last link of that broken chain which had bound him to the world."


Fill up the blanks with the metaphorical words needed to complete the sense.

"As there are some who have naturally a meager intellect, so there are others whose minds seem to be barren of those finer sympathies and affections of our nature which are of the soul, and upon which the

eye always rests with pleasure."

"In Rome eloquence was a of late growth and of short duration." "Fame is that pays but little attention to the living, but bedizens the dead, furnishes out their funerals, and follows them to the grave."

"Nobility is a that sets with a constant current directly into the great Pacific of time; but, unlike all other it is more grand at its source than at its termination."


of infidelity, bu

"Many causes are now conspiring to increase the materialism is the main root of them all."





Q. What is an Allegory? 1 A. It is generally considered, but incorrectly, as a continuation of metaphor. No continuation of metaphor ever becomes an allegory; indeed, there are several essential properties that distinguish these figures. Allegory presents to immediate view the secondary object only; metaphor always presents the primary also. Metaphor always imagines one thing to be another; allegory, never. Every thing asserted in the allegory is applied to the secondary object; every thing asserted in the metaphor is applied to the principal. In the metaphor there is but one meaning; in the allegory there are two, a literal and a figurative. Allegory is a veil; metaphor a perspective-glass.

One of the finest allegories is to be found in the lxxxth Psalm:

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 unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by 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."

Allegory is more seldom employed than either metaphor or simile. The latter require no study, and but a slight exertion of the imagination; but to form an allegory, the mind must look out for a likeness that will correspond in a variety of circumstances, and form an independent whole.

Q. What is the best occasion for the proper allegory?

A. It is, when it is of importance to gain a man's own judgment against himself, without exciting his suspicions of our intention. We all know the effect of the parable spoken by Nathan to David; and we can not fail to observe that no other form of speech could have supplied the place of allegory. Many of

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