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ing lost by repetition their power of pleasing, they will be passed by unnoticed. Novelty is not then to be regarded as a source of emotions of taste ; but the want of novelty will prevent such emotions from being felt. Example 2. Burke in his description of Atheists says,
They abhor the author of their being. He never presents himself to their thoughts, but to menace and alarm them. They cannot strike the sun out of the Heavens, but they are able to raise a smouldering smoke that obscures him from their eyes."
From the connexion, we learn, that this last sentence is not meant to convey what is expressed by the words as they are usually applied. This leads us to enquire, in what way they are designed to be understood, and imagination at once traces out a resemblance between the sun in the heavens, and that glorious Being, who shines forth in the brightness of his persections ; and we continue to trace the resemblance between the attempt of mortals, to obscure the brightness of the sun to their own view by raising a smouldering smoke, and the attempt of Atheists, to obscure to their own minds the existence of the Deity, by their darkening speculations. As this is a representation of objects of thought by objects of sense, the effect in giving increased distinctness of view is favorable,
Example 3. Byron has the following striking metaphor.
66 Man! Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and tear.”
Here is evidently an implied comparison, and one that pleases us from the unexpectedness and appropriateness of the resemblance on which it is founded. The example also brings to notice a characteristic trait of the
Metaphor. I refer to its boldness. The writer, under a deep impression of the varieties in the life of man, in a sudden, striking manner, calls him a pendulum, and leaves it to the excited imagination of the reader to trace out the resemblance. Hence it is, that the use of the Metaphor is not approved in a calm, deliberate, reasoning state of mind. In this respect it differs from the Comparison, which is sometimes called the figure of description, while the Metaphor is termed the figure of passion.
Example 4. Irving while wandering amidst the silent and gloomy scenes of Westminster Abbey, hears the sound of busy existence without. He thus describes the effect on his feelings.
“ The contrast is striking ; and it has a strange effect, thus to hear the surges of active lise hurrying along and beating against the very walls of the sepulchre."
“ The surges hurrying along and beating," at once suggests to the imagination the comparison here implied, and there is a sublime emotion which takes possession of the mind, as the resemblance is traced.
These examples are sufficient fully to shew the nature of the Metaphor, or Implied Comparison. With the design of exhibiting the skill which is requisite, when language is thus used figuratively, a few more examples will now be given.
Example 4. Of Mr. Roscoe it is said in the Sketch Book,
“He found the tide of wealth flowing merely in the channels of traffick; he has diverted from it invigorating rills to refresh the gardens of literature."
This is an example of a well supported metaphor, If we notice the different words, by the unusual appli
cation of which the metaphor is here implied, we shall find, that they are in agreement with each other, and all tend to aid the imagination in bringing up the object of comparison, and tracing out the resemblance. We have before our view the “tide flowing in channels," and then the “rills are diverted to refresh the gardens.” In saying that these words are in agreement with each other, reference is had to the use of them in their common application, and this is necessary, that the metaphor be well supported. Let us suppose, that the writer had said, “ He found the tide of wealth flowing merely in the channels of traffic, and took out large sums to support and encourage literature.' in this case have made out his meaning, but what confusion is there in the attempt of the imagination to trace out the comparison which is implied. The reason of this confusion is obvious. In the former part of the sentence, the words are implied figuratively, and in the latter literally. Hence then we derive the following rule. That in metaphors we guard against uniting together language applied figuratively and literally.
Example 3, A writer in the Edinburgh Review, with the design of shewing in what way the early state of society is favorable to poetical excellence, says,
“ Poetry produces an illusion on the eye of the mind, as a magic lantern produces an illusion on the eye of the body. And as a magic lantern acts best in a dark room, poetry effects its purpose best in a dark age. As the light of knowledge breaks in upon its exhibitions, as the outlines of certainty become more and more definite, and the shades of probability more and more distinct, the lines and linear ments of the phantoms which it calls up, grow fainter and fainter."
This example commences with a formal comparison, and afterwards changes into a metaphor, It is intro
duced to shew the admirable skill which is displayed in the application of words. “The breaking in of light,”the "outlines becoming more and more definite,” the " shades more and more distinct," and the “ lines and lineaments of the phantoms growing fainter and fainter," are expressions, which may be literally applied to the objects presented by the magic lantern, and at the same time, as applied by the imagination to the creations of poetry, they present a distinct and complete view. There can be no doubt, that part of the pleasure derived from reading this passage, results from the skill displayed in this happy application of language, continued as it is through several clauses. Suppose that the latter part of this example had read, “ As the light of knowledge breaks in upon its exhibitions, as the outlines of certainty become more and more definite, as the weight of probability increases, the lines and lineaments of the phantoms which it calls up, grow fainter and fainter." Here would be what is called a confusion of metaphor. The imagination in its attempt to trace out the resemblance, and bring a distinct image before the mind, when it comes to the clause--"the increasing weight of probability,” is led astray, and the whole image becomes confused.
This then suggests the caution, that in continued metaphors, we should guard against applying words in such a manner, as to bring up two or more different resemblances, and thus produce confusion in the view presented by the imagination.
Example 6. The same writer, in describing the sophistry and unfair statements of those, who tell us to judge of Civil Liberty from the outrages and violent acts which attend revolutions, says,
“ It is just at this crisis of revolution that its enemies love to exhibit it. They pull down the scaffolding from the ball finished edifice; they point to the flying dust, the falling bricks, the comfortless rooms, the frightful irregularity of the whole appearance ; and then ask in scorn, where the promised splendour and comfort is to be found.”
This example is different from the preceding. It is only in the first part of it, that the words are designed to be figuratively applied to the system of government, by which civil liberty is secured. We may speak of civil government as an edifice, and of the helps used in rearing it, as scaffolding. But if we try to trace out that which may correspond to the flying dust, the falling bricks, the comfortless rooms, and other circumstances mentioned, it is without success. Still the comparison strikes us favorably, for though the imagination cannot trace out the particulars, it is aided in bringing to the mind a general view of the effect. Let us now suppose that the comparison had read, “They pull down the scaffolding from the half finished edifice,they point to the dust of dispute, the falling bricks of contention, the comfortless rooms of an exhausted treasury, the frightful irregularity of the whole appearance of government; and then ask in scorn, where the promised splendour and comfort is to be found.” This would have been pursuing the metaphor too far ; it would have been called forced, and good taste would condemn it. Hence then we derive the caution, not to pursue the figurative application of language too far.
Example 7. The celebrated passage, in which Burke describes the fall from power of Lord Chatham, and the rise of Charles Townsend, unites in it all the excellencies of the most perfect metaphor.
“ Even then, before this splendid orb was entirely set, and while the western horizon was in a blaze with his des