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figurative language is very wide. All nature opens her stores and allows us to collect them without restraint. But we must beware of using such allusions as raise in the mind disagreeable, mean, low, or dirty ideas. To render a metaphor perfect, it must not only be apt, but pleasing, it must entertain as well as enlighten. Dryden ft.erefore can hardly escape the imputation of a very unpardonable breach of delicacy when he observes to the Earl of Dorset, that: " some, "bad pocms carry their owners' mark about them; "some brand or other on this buttock, or that ear; "that it is notorious who are the owners of the cattle." The most pleasing metaphors are derived from the frequent occurrences of art and nature, or from the civil transactions, and customs of mankind. Thus, how expressive, yet at the same time how familiar, is the image which Otway has put into the mouth of Metellus in his play of Caius Marius, where he calls Sulpicius

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That mad wild bull, whom Marius lets loose

On each occasion, when he'd make Rome feel him,
To toss our laws and liberties in the air.

In the third place, a metaphor should be founded on a resemblance, which is clear and striking, not far fetched, nor difficult to be discovered. Harsh or forced metaphors are always displeasing, because they perplex the reader, and instead of illustrating the thought, render it intricate and confused. Thus, for instance,


Cowley, speaking of his mistress, expresses himself in the following forced and obscure verses:

Wo to her stubborn heart; if once mine come
Into the self-same room,

'Twill tear and blow up all within,

Like a grenado, shot into a magazine.

Then shall love keep the ashes and torn parts
Of both our broken hearts;

Shall out of both one new one make;

From her's the alloy, from mine the metal take;
For of her heart he from the flames will find
But little left behind;

Mine only will remain entire;

No dross was there, to perish in the fire.

Metaphors, borrowed from any of the sciences, es pecially from particular professions, are almost always faulty by their obscurity.

In the fourth place, we must never jumble metaphorical and plain language together; never construct a period so, that part of it must be understood metaphorically, part literally; which always produces confusion. The works of Ossian afford an influence of the fault we are now censuring. "Trothal went forth "with the stream of his people, but they met a rock ;'

for Fingal stood unmoved; broken, they rolled back "from his side. Nor did they roll in safety; the " spear of the king pursued their flight." The metaphor at the beginning is beautiful; the "stream,"

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the unmoved rock," the waves rolling back broken," are expressions in the proper and consistent language of figure; but in the end, when we are told,' "they did not roll in safety, because the spear of the "king pursued their flight," the literal meaning is injudiciously mixed with the metaphor; they are at the same moment presented to us as waves that roll, and as men that may be pursued and wounded by a spear.

In the first place, take care not to make two different metaphors meet on the same object. This, which is called mixed metaphor, is one of the grossest abuses of this figure. Shakespeare's expression, for example,

to take arms against a sea of troubles," makes a most - unnatural medley, and entirely confounds the imagin ation. More correct writers than Shakespeare, are

sometimes guilty of this error. Mr. Addison says,

"There is not a single view of human nature, which "is not sufficient to extinguish the seeds of pride." Here a view is made to extinguish, and to extinguish scrds.

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In examining the propriety of metaphors it is a good rule to form a picture of them, and to consider how the parts agree, and what kind of figure the whole presents, when delineated with a pencil.

Metaphors, in the sixth place, should not be crowded, together on the same object. Though each of them be distinct, yet, if they be heaped on one another, they

produce confusion. The following passage from Horace will exemplify this observation:

Motum ex Metello consule civicum
Bellique causas, et vitia, et modos,
Ludumque fortunæ, gravesque
Principum amicitias, et arma
Kondum expiatis unctà cruoribus,
Periculosæ plenum opus alex,
"Tractas, et incedis per ignes
Suppositos cineri doloso.

This passage though very poetical, is rendered harsh and obscure by three distinct metaphors crowded together. First, "arma uncta cruoribus nondum expiatis ¿” next, "opus filenum periculosa alee;" and then, "ince"dis per ignes suppositos cineri doloso."

The last rule concerning metaphors is, they should not be too far pursued. For, when the resemblance, which is the foundation of the figure, is long dwelt upon, and carried into all its minute circumstances,. an allegory is produced instead of a metaphor; the reader is wearied, and the discourse becomes obscure. This is termed straining a metaphor. Dr. Young, whose imagination was more distinguished by strength, than delicacy, is often guilty of running down his metaphors. Speaking of old age, he says, it should

Walk thoughtful on the silent, solemn shore
Of that vast ocean, it must sail so soon:

And put good works on beard and wait the wind
That shortly blows us into worlds unknown."

The two first lines are uncommonly beautiful; but when he continues the metaphor by "putting good "works on board, and waiting the wind," it is strained and sinks in dignity.

Having treated of metaphor, we shall conclude this chapter with a few words concerning allegory.

An allegory is a continued metaphor; as it is the representation of one thing by another that resembles it. Thus Prior makes Emma describe her constancy to Henry in the following allegorical manner:

Did I but purpose to embark with thee
On the smooth surface of a summer's sea,
While gentle zephyrs play with prosperous gales,
And fortune's favour fills the swelling sails;
But would forsake the ship, and make the shore,
When the winds whistle, and the tempests roar?

The same rules that were given for metaphors, may be applied to allegories on account of the affinity between them. The only material difference beside the one being short and the other prolonged is, that a metaphor always explains itself. by the words that are connected with it in their proper and literal meaning; as, when we say, "Achilles was a lion;"" an able "minister is the pillar of the state." Lion and pillar are here sufficiently interpreted by the mention of Achilles and the minister, which are joined to them;


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