Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

not to be strained : this observation supported by instances. $ 16. Metaphors most beautiful when they admit a double or treble resemblance, with examples.

$ 1,

A
Metapbor * is a Trope, by which a word

is removed from its proper signification into another meaning upon account of Comparison t.

§ 2. A Metaphor is distinguishable from a Trope; or rather, shews itself to be only a species of the Trope, by this property essential to its nature, that it is used upon account of Comparison, Was it not for this peculiarity, a Metaphor would not differ from the general nature of a Trope ; but by this additional article in its definition, it is evidently only a particular fort of Trope : as for instance, the Metaphor differs from the Synecdoche, which, though a Trope, yet is not at all designed for comparison ; as when by the word roof, we intend an house, we have no idea of similitude, but only make a part of a thing stand for the whole.

$ 3. Though a Metaphor is a Trope, by which a word is removed from its proper signification upon the account of comparison, yet it is not to

be

• From putamgw, I translate, or transfer.

+ Metaphora est Tropus, quo verbum à propriâ significatione in alienam transfertur ob fimilitudinem. Voss, Rhetor. Contract. lib. iv. cap. 4. $ 1.

be considered

as a comparison (by a comparison understanding a Figure in rhetorić) or at least is distinguishable from it, as it drops the signs of comparison.“ A Metaphor, says QUINTILIAN, 6 is shorter than a comparison, and differs from " it in this particular, that the one is compareď

to the thing we design to express, and the * other is put for it. It is a comparison, when " I say of a man that he acted like a lion, and a “ metaphor, when I say he is a lion *.”

§ 4. In every comparison three things are re“quisite, two things that are compared together, and a third in which the similitude or resemblance between them consists. To keep to the example of QUINTILIAN, if we say of a foldier that he acts like a lion, or that he is a lion, the sense is plainly this, that as a lion opposes his enemy with an undaunted firmness, so the foldier fights with a like invincible bravery. Here are three ideas, a soldier, a lion, and the likeness between them. We may add farther from the example, that it is evident, according to what we just now observed, that the real difference between a Metaphor and a Comparison lies in this, that a Metaphor has not the signs of comparison which are expressed in that figure of rhetoric, which is

called

C 4

* In totum autem Metaphora brevior eft

similitudo ; coqué diftat quod illa comparatur rei quam volumus exprimere; hæc pro ipsa re dicitur. Comparatio eft, cum dico fecise quid Hominem uc Leonem ;, translatio, cum dico de Homine Leo ell. QUINTIL, lib. viii, cap. 6. $1.

quam

called a Comparison : or, as CICÉRO says, “a 6 Metaphor is a Comparison reduced to a single * word .

$5. If we were to inquire which of the two is to be preferred, the Metaphor or the Comparifon, Mr MELMOTH, with his usual elegancy, would answer us. “ I prefer, says he, the Mestaphor to the Simile, as a far more pleasing " method of illustration. In the former, the 66 action of the mind is less languid, as it is ems ployed at one and the same instant in compar“ ing the resemblance with the idea it attends ; 56 whereas in the latter, its operations are more 6 šlow, being obliged to stand still as it were, in “ order to contemplate first the principal object, « and then its corresponding image 7."

*$ 6. Instances of Metaphors from Scripture might be produced in vast variety. Thus our blessed LORD is called a vine, a lamb, a lion, &c. Thus men, according to their different dispositions, are stiled wolves, sheep, dogs, serpents, &c. And indeed Metaphors not only abound in the sacred Writings, but they overspread all language; and the more carefully we examine Authors, not only Poets but Philosophers, the more Thall we discover their free and large use of Me

taphors,

* Similitudinis eft ad verbum unum contracta brevitas.

i bud". Cicer, da Orat. lib. iii. $ 39. + Fitz-OSBORNE's Leiters, vol

. ii. page 45, 46.

taphors, taken from the arts and sciences, the cuftoms of mankind, and the unlimited fields of nature.

[ocr errors]

$ 7. It may not be amiss to recollect what high and superlative encomiums have been be. Itowed by some of the greatest Authors upon Metaphors, and for what reasons. Cicero fays,

that amidst the greatest riches of language, t men äre more especially charmed with Metato phors, if they are conducted with a happy

judgment.” He resolves this * pleasure into " the display we hereby make of our own genius, " in that we pass over what is common, to ac

quire what is new and foreign; or to the na

ture of the Metaphor, in that it raises hew ** ideas, and yet does not lead off our minds « from our subject; or because every Metaphor « is addressed to the senfes, and efpecially to at the sight, which is the keenest of them all +. As an echo to this great Writer of antiquity, a celebrated Modern says, “ that the pleasures of bc the imagination are not wholly confined to

* such

+ In suorum verborum maxima copia, tamen homines aliena multò magis, fi funt ratione translata, delectant, accidere credo, vel quod ingenii specimen eft quoddam, tranfilire ante pedes pofita, & alia longè repetita fumere; vel quod is qui audit, aliò ducitur cogitatione, neque tamen aberrat; quæ maxima eft delectatio ; vel quod singulis verbis res, as totum fimile conficitur ; vel quod omnis tranflatio quæ quidem sumta ratione eft, ad sensus ipsos admovetur, maximè oculorura quž el acerrimus. Cicer, de Orat. lib. iii. $ 40.

[ocr errors]

« such particular authors as are conversant in

material objects, but are often to be met with

among the polite masters of Morality, Critiu cism, and other speculations abstracted from

matter, who, though they do not directly treat “ of the visible parts of nature, often draw from “ them their Similitudes, Metaphors, and Allea gories. By these allusions, a truth in the un« derstanding is as it were reflected by the ima“ gination; we are able to see something like “ colour and shape in a notion, and discover a « scheme of thoughts traced out upon matter. " And here the mind receives a great deal of sa« tisfaction, and has two of its faculties grati« fied at the same time, while the fancy is co

pying after the understanding, and transcrib

ing ideas out of the intellectual world into the “ material. Allegories, when well chosen, are « like so many tracks of light in a discourse, that « make every thing about them clear and beau“ tiful. A noble Metaphor, when it is placed “ to advantage, cafts a kind of glory round it, “ and darts a lustre, through an whole fen66 tence *.!

LONGINUs shews, “ that Tropical expressions To contain a grandeur in their own nature, and s6 that Metaphors constitute the sublime, and are “ more especially adapted to enliven pathetic, 6 and ennoble descriptive compositions t.”

I shall * Spectator, Vol. vi. N° 421. ή Αποχρη δε τα δεδηλωμενα, ως μεγαλαι την φυσιν εισιν κι

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »