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Califa. Is it the voice of thunder, or my father
Fair Penitent, act 4.
The metaphor I next introduce, is sweet and lively, but it suits not a fiery temper infamed with pasfion : parables are not the language of wrath vent, ing itself without restraint :
Chamont. You took her up a little tender flower, Just sprouted on a bank, which the next frost Had nip'd ; and with a careful loving hand, Transplanted her into your own fair garden, Where the fun always shines : there long the flourishid, Grew sweet to fense and lovely to the eye, Till at the last a cruel spoiler came, Cropt this fair rose, and rified all its sweetness, Then cait it like a loathsome weed away.
Orphan, at 4.
The following speech, full of imagery, is not natural in grief and dejection of mind :
Gonfalez. O my fon ! from the blind dotage
Mourning Bride, alt 5. sc. 6.
There is an enchanting picture of deep distress in Macbeth,* where Macduff is represented lamenting
* A& 4. sc. 6.
his wife and children, inhumanly murdered by the
O, I could play the woman with mine eyes,
Then Heav'n forgive him too.
He hath no children-all my pretty ones !
At one fell swoop!
But metaphorical language is proper when a man struggles to bear with dignity or decency a misfore
tune however great : the struggle agitates and animates the inind:
W'!fey. Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness ; This is the ftate of man ; to-day he puis forth The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blooms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him ; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a ripening, nips his root, And ilien ho falls as I do.
Henry VIII. act 3. fc. 6.
Figure of Speech. In the fection immediately foregoing, a figure of speech is defined, “ The using a word in a sense different from what is proper to it ;” and the new or uncommon sense of the word is termed the figurative sense. The figurative fenfe must have a relation to that which is proper ; and the more intimate the relation is, the figure is the more happy. How ornamental this figure is to language, will not be readily imagined by any one who hath not given peculiar attention ; and therefore I shall endeavour to unfold its capital beauties and advantages. In the first place, a word used figuratively or in a new sense, suggeits at the same time the sense it commonly bcars : and thus it has the effect to present two objects ; one signified by the figurative sense, which may be termed the principal object ; and one signified by the proper sense, which may be termed accessory : the principal makes a part of the thought ; the acceffory is merely ornamental. In this respect, a fig
ure of speech is precisely similar to concordant sounds in music, which without contributing to the melody, make it harmonious. I explain myself by examples. Touth, by a figure of speech, is termed the morning of life. This expression signifies youth, the principal object, which enters into the thought : it suggests, at the same time, the proper sense of morning ; and this accessory object, being in itself beautiful, and connected by resemblance to the principal object, is not a little ornamental. Imperious ocean is an example of a different kind, where an attribute is expressed figuratively : together with stormy, the figurative meaning of the epithet imperious, there is suggested its proper meaning, viz. the stern authority of a despotic prince; and these two are strongly connected by resemblance. Upon this figurative power of words, Vida descants with elegance :
Nonne vides, verbis ut veris fæpe reli&tis
Poet. lib. 3. 1. 44.
In the next place, this figure pofseffes a signal power of aggrandizing an object, by the following means. Words, which have no original beauty but what arises from their sound, acquire an adventitious beauty from their meaning : a word signifying any thing that is agreeable, becomes by that means agreeable ; for the agreeableness of the object is communicated to its name.* This acquired beauty by the force of cuftom, adheres to the word even when used figurgively; and the beauty received from the thing ic properly signifies, is communicated to the thing hich it is made to signify figuratively. Consider the foregoing expression Imperious ocean, how much more elevated it is than Stormy ocean.
Thirdly, This figure hath a happy effect by preventing the familiarity of proper names. The familiarity of a proper name, is communicated to the thing it fignifies by means of their intimate connection ; and the thing is thereby brought down in our feeling:t. This bad effect is prevented by using a figurative word instead of one that is proper ; as, for example, when we express the sky by terming it the blue vault of heaven ; for though no work of art can compare with the sky in grandeur, the expression however is relished, because it prevents the object from being brought down by the familiarity of its proper name. With respect to the degrading familiarity of proper names, Vida has the following palfage :
* See chap, 2. part 1. fea. 5.
* I have often regretted, shat a faétious spirit of opposition to the teigting family makes it neceffary in public worship to diffinguisn the King by his proper name. One will scarce imagine who has not made the trial, how much better it sounds to pray for our Sovereign Lord tbe King, without any addition,