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kind, and motion, yet, in the imagination, there is a strong one; as appears from the connection between music and dancing. And therefore, here it is in the poet's power to give us a lively idea of the kind of motion he would describe, by means of sounds which correspond, in our imagination, with that motion. Long syllables naturally give the impression of slow emotion; as in this line of Virgil :

Olli inter sese magna vi brachia tollunt. A succession of short syllables presents quick motion to the mind; as,

Quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum. Both Homer and Virgil are great masters of this beauty, and their works abound with instances of it; most of them, indeed, so often quoted and so well known that it is needless to produce them. I shall give one instance, in English, which seems happy. It is the description of a sudden calm on the seas, in a Poem intitled, The Fleece.

With easy course The vessels glide; unless their speed be stopped By dead calms, that oft lie on these smooth seas When every zephyr sleeps ; then the shrouds drop; The downy feather on the cordage hung Moves not; the flat sea shines like yellow gold Fus'd in the fire, or like the marble floor Of some old temple wide. The third set of objects, which I mentioned the sound of words as capable of representing, consists of the passions and emotions of the mind. Sound may, at first view, appear foreign to these; but, that here, also, there is some sort of connection, is sufficiently proved by the power which music has to

awaken, or to assist certain passions, and, according as its strain is varied, to introduce one train of ideas, rather than another. This indeed, logically speaking, cannot be called a resemblance between the sense and the sound, seeing long or short syllables have no natural resemblance to any thought or passion. But if the arrangement of syllables, by their sound alone, recal one set of ideas more readily than another, and dispose the mind for entering into that affection which the poet means to raise, such arrangement may, justly enough, be said to resemble the sense, or be similar and correspondent to it. I admit, that, in many instances, which are supposed to display this beauty, of accommodation of sound to the sense, there is much room for imagination to work; and, according as a reader is struck by a passage, he will often fancy a resemblance between the sound and the sense, which others cannot discover. He modulates the numbers to his own disposition of mind; and, in effect, makes the music which he imagines himself to hear. However, that there are real instances of this kind, and that poetry is capable of some such expression, cannot be doubted. Dryden's Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, affords a very beautiful exemplification of it, in the English language. Without much study or reflection, a poet describing pleasure, joy, and agreeable objects, from the feeling of his subject, naturally runs into smooth, liquid, and flowing numbers :

Namque ipsa decoram
Cæsariem nato genetrix, lumenque juventæ
Purpureum, et lætos oculis afflârat honores.

Æn. I.

Or,

Devenêre locos lætos & amæna vireta,
Fortunatorum memorum, sedesque beatas ;

Largior hic campos æther, & lumine vestit

Purpureo, solemque suum, sua sidera nôrant. Æn. VI. Brisk and lively sensations exact quicker and more animated numbers :

Juvenum manus emicat ardens
Littus in Hesperium.

Æn. VII. Melancholy and gloomy subjects naturally express themselves in slow measures, and long words:

In those deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heavenly pensive contemplation dwells,

Et caligantem nigra formidine lucum. I have now given sufficient openings into this subject: a moderate acquaintance with the good poets, either ancient or modern, will suggest many instances of the same kind. And with this, I finish the discussion of the Structure of Sentences; having fully considered them under all the heads I mentioned; of Perspicuity, Unity, Strength, and Musical Arrangement.

LECTURE XIV.

ORIGIN AND NATURE OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE.

Having now finished what related to the construction of sentences, I proceed to other rules concerning Style. My general division of the qualities of Style, was into Perspicuity and Ornament. Perspicuity, both in single words and in Sentences, I have considered. Ornament, as far as it arises from a graceful, strong, or melodious construction of words, has also been treated of. Another, and a great branch of the ornament of Style, is, Figurative Language; which is now to be the subject of our consideration, and will require a full discussion.

Our first inquiry must be, what is meant by Figures of Speech ? *

In general, they always imply some departure from simplicity of expression; the idea which we intend to convey, not only enunciated to others, but enunciated in a particular manner, and with some circumstance added which is designed to render the impression more strong and vivid. When I

for instance, “ That a good man enjoys comfort in the “ midst of adversity ;" I just express my thought in the simplest manner possible. But when I « the upright there ariseth light in darkness ;' the same sentiment is expressed in a Figurative Style; a new circumstance is introduced ; light is put in the place of comfort, and darkness is used to suggest the idea of adversity. In the same manner to say, “ It is “ impossible by any search we can make, to explore “ the divine nature fully," is to make a simple proposition. But when we say, “ Canst thou, by “ searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the

say,

say, “To

* On the subject of Figures of Speech, all the writers who treat of rhetoric or composition, have insisted largely. To make references, therefore, on this subject, were endless. On the foundations of Figurative Language, in general one of the most sensible and instructive writers appears to me to be M. Marsais, in his Traité des Tropes pour servir d' Introduction à la Rhetorique, & à la Logique. For observations on particular Figures, the Elements of Criticism may be consulted, where the subject is fully handled, and illustrated by a great variety of examples.

Almighty to perfection? It is high as Heaven, “ what canst thou do? deeper than Hell, what canst 6 thou know?” This introduces a Figure into Style; the proposition being not only expressed, but admiration and astonishment being expressed together with it.

But, though Figures imply a deviation from what may be reckoned the most simple form of Speech, we are not thence to conclude, that they imply any thing uncommon or unnatural. This is so far from being the case, that on very many occasions, they are both the most natural, and the most common method of uttering our sentiments. It is impossible to compose any discourse without using them often; nay, there are few sentences of any length, in which some expression or other, that may be termed a Figure, does not occur. From what causes this happens, shall be afterwards explained. The fact, in the mean time, shews that they are to be accounted part of that Language which nature dictates to men. They are not the inventions of the schools, nor the mere product of study: on the contrary, the most illiterate speak in Figures, as often as the most learned. Whenever the imaginations of the vulgar are much awakened, or their passions inflamed against one another, they will pour forth a torrent of Figurative Language, as forcibly as could be em. ployed by the most artificial declaimer.

What then is it, which has drawn the attention of critics and rhetoricians so much to these forms of Speech? It is this: They remarked, that in them

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