Page images

LESSON LXXX.-EXERCISES IN CLIMAX AND ANTITHESIS. I. In each of the following passages, arrange the parts so as to form a Climax :—

EXAMPLE.-Improperly arranged. What a piece of work is man! in action how like an angel! how noble in reason! in apprehension how like a god! how infinite in faculties! in form and motion how expressive and admirable

Arranged in the form of a Climax. What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and motion how expressive and admi. rable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!

1. Nothing can be more worthy of us than to contribute to the happiness of those who have been once useful and are still willing to be so; to be a staff to their declining days; to make the winter of old age wear the aspect of spring; to prevent them from feeling the want of such pleasures as they are able to enjoy; and to smooth the furrows in their faded cheeks.

2. The history of every succeeding generation is this. New objects attract the attention; new intrigues engage the passions of man; new actors come forth on the stage of the world; a new world, in short, in the course of a few years, has gradually and insensibly risen around us; new ministers fill the temples of religion; new members, the seats of justice.

3. It is pleasant to command our appetites and passions, and to keep them in due order, within the bounds of reason and religion, because that is empire; it is pleasant to mortify and subdue our lusts, because that is victory; it is pleasant to be virtuous and good, because that is to excel many others; it is pleasant to grow better, because that is to excel ourselves.

II. Represent the following subjects in Antithesis, remembering the principle stated in § 374:

EXAMPLE.-A Wise Man and a Fool. A wise man endeavors to shine in himself; a fool, to outshine others. The former is humbled by the sense of his own infirmities; the latter is lifted up by the discovery of those which he observes in others. The wise man considers what he wants; the fool, what he abounds in. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation; and the fool, when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him.

Summer and Winter.
Modesty and Prudery.
Gratitude and Ingratitude.
Morality and Religion.
Knowledge and Ignorance.
Geography and History.

Pride and Humility.

Moderation and Intemperance.
Peace and War.
Discretion and Cunning.
Cheerfulness and Melancholy.
Spring and Autumn.


A Parallel is a comparison showing the points of simili

tude and difference between two persons, characters, or objects that resemble each other either in appearance or in reality. In this variety of composition, individual peculiarities are often contrasted by means of Antitheses with fine effect. From Dr. Johnson's Life of Pope, we extract the following fine specimen of the Parallel :



"In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Dryden, whose educa tion was more scholastic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science. Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope. Poetry was not the sole praise of either, for both excelled likewise in prose; but Pope did not borrow his prose from his predecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the va ried exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and levelled by the roller.

"Of genius,—that power which constitutes a poet; that quality without which judgment is cold, and knowledge is inert; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates;-the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. It is not to be inferred, that of this poetical vigor Pope had only a little, because Dryden had more; for every other writer, since Milton, must give place to Pope: and even of Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems. Dryden's performances were always hasty, either excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic necessity; he composed without consideration, and published without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or gather in one excursion, was all that he sought, and all that he gave. The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might produce, or chance might supply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual delight."

Draw Parallels, in the style of the example just given between,

1. Napoleon and Washington,

2. Lafayette and Howard.


Draw Parallels between,

1. Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victor.a.
2. The United States and England.


Draw Parallels between,

1. The Torrid and the Temperate Zone.

2. The European and the Oriental.

3. The Eloquence of the Bar and that of the Pulpit.
4. A Plain and a Florid Style.


Analogous to the drawing of Parallels is the defining of the shades of difference between synonymous terms, models of which will be found on pp. 280, 281. In a similar manner, show the distinction between the following synonymes, and illustrate their use in different sentences:

1. Invention, Discovery.

2. Genius, Talent.

3. Pride, Vanity.

4. Handsome, Pretty.

5. Wit, Humor.

6. Poison, Venom.

7. Peaceful, Peaceable.

8. Continuation, Continuance.

Show the difference between the following synonymous


1. Associate, Companion. 2. Idle, Lazy, Indolent. 3. Great, Large, Big. 4. Sick, Sickly, Diseased. 5. Contemptible, Despicable, Pitiful. 6. Right, Claim, Privilege. 7. Disregard, Slight, Neglect. 8. Anec dote, Tale, Story, Novel, Romance.


A Paraphrase is the amplified explanation of a passage in clearer terms than those employed by its author. Paraphrases frequently occur in versions from foreign languages; when, instead of a literal translation of the original text, the

substance is given in an amplified form and in a style which is regarded as more intelligible.

Maxims, Aphorisms, Proverbs, and Saws, are often paraphrased. A Maxim is a proposition briefly expressed, which teaches a moral truth and is susceptible of practical applica tion. An Aphorism (which corresponds with the Apophthegm of the ancients) is a speculative rather than a practical proposition, embodying a doctrine or the principles of a science. A Proverb or Saying (the Adage of the ancients) is a terse proposition current among all classes, relating to matters of worldly wisdom as well as moral truth. A Saw is a vulgar proverb. The following examples will show the difference between them.

Maxim.-Forgiveness is the noblest revenge.
Aphorism.-Originality in Art is the individualizing of the uni


Proverb. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Saw. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

Paraphrase the following Maxims, Proverbs, &c. :

EXAMPLE.Wealth begets want.

Paraphrase. The desires of man increase with his acquisitions. Every step that he advances, brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. When necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with every thing that nature can demand, than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.

1. Either never attempt, or persevere to the end.
2. Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.

3. Good news doeth good like medicine.

4. No pains, no gains.

5. Fear is the mark of a mean spirit.

6. One swallow does not make a summer.

7. Nothing venture, nothing have.

8. Between two stools one comes to the ground.

9. One good turn deserves another.

10. Money makes the mare go.

11. It never rains but it pours. 12. Penny wise, pound foolish.


Paraphrase the following passages:

1. Make no man your idol, for the best man must have faults; and his faults will innsibly become yours, in addition to your own.

2. He that argues for victory is but a gambler in words, seeking to enrich huisolf by another's loss.

8. Distress and difficulty are known to operate in private life as the spurs of dili gence.

4. The love of gain never made a painter; but it has marred many.

5. Complaints and murmurs are often loudest and most frequent among those who possess all the ternal means of temporal enjoyment.

6. The want of employment is one of the most frequent causes of vice.

7. A wound from a tongue is worse than a wound from the sword: for the latter affects only the body; the former, the soul.

8. Trust him little who praises all; him less, who censures all; and him least, who ie indifferent about all.

9. He that finds truth, without loving her, is like a bat; which, though it hath eyes to discern that there is a sun, yet hath so evil eyes, that it can not delight in the sun.

10. They who have never known prosperity, can hardly be said to be unhappy; it is from the remembrance of joys we have lost, that the arrows of affliction are pointed.

11. Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding.

12. The strongest passions allow us some rest, but vanity keeps us in perpetual motion. "What a dust do I raise!" says the fly upon a coach-wheel "At what a rate do I drive!" says the fly upon the horse's back.


Abridging (sometimes called Epitomizing) is the opposite of Amplification, and consists in expressing the substance of a passage, article, or volume, in fewer words.

EXAMPLE.-Tradition says, that Foo-tsze, the Chinese philosopher, was in his youth of so impatient a temper, that he could not endure the drudgery of learning, and determined to give up literary pursuits for some manual employment. One day, as he was returning home with a full determination to go to school no longer, he happened to pass by a half-witted old woman, who was rubbing a small bar of iron on a whetstone. When the young student asked her the reason of this strange employment, she replied, "Why, sir, I have lost my knitting-needle, and just thought I would rub down this bar to make me another." The words acted like magic on the young phi losopher, who returned to his books with tenfold diligence; and, whenever he felt impatient and despondent, would say to himself, "If a half-witted old woman has resolution enough to rub down a bar of iron into a needle, it would be disgraceful in me to have less perseverance, when the highest honors of the empire are before me." He lived to see the justice of these reflections. His acquirements, in process of time, made his name a proverb, and procured for him those very honors, which, but for this fortunate incident, he would have thrown away, and which without exertion none can hope to attain.

Abridged Foo-tsze, the Chinese philosopher, was possessed of so little diligence in his youth that he determined to abandon literary pursuits. Returning from school with the resolution of at once seeking some manual employment, he observed a halfwitted old woman rubbing a bar of iron on a whetstone. Asking the reason of this strange proceeding, he learned from her that she had lost her knitting-needle and was

« PreviousContinue »