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for a far-fetched figure. Lastly, it ought to be remembered how much the whole of this matter is everywhere under the dominion of caprice, and how little the figurative part of the language of any people is susceptible of a literal translation, that will be accounted tolerable, into the language of any other. If these things were properly attended to, I imagine we should, on these subjects, be more diffident of our own judgment, and, consequently, less captious and decisive.

So much for the nature of tropes in general, and those universal principles on which in every tongue their efficacy depends; and so much for the distinction naturally consequent on those principles into grammatical tropes and tropes rhetorical. Part II. The different Sorts of Tropes conducive to Vivacity.

I now consider severally the particular ways wherein rhetorical tropes may be rendered subservient to vivacity.

1. THE LESS FOR THE MORE GENERAL. The first way I shall mention is when, by means of the trope, a species is aptly represented by an individual, or a genus by a species. I begin with this, because it comes nearest that speciality in the use of proper terms, from which, as was evinced already, their vivacity chiefly results. Of the individual for the species I shall give an example from our celebrated satirist, Mr. Pope :

May some choice patron bless each gray goose quill!

May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo still !"* Here, by a beautiful antonomasia, Bavius, a proper name, is made to represent one whole class of men ; Bufo, also a proper name (it matters not whether real or fictitious), is made to represent another class. By the former is meant every bad poet, by the latter every rich fool who gives his patronage to such. As what precedes in the Essay secures the perspicuity (and in introducing tropes of this kind, especially new ones, it is necessary that the perspicuity be thus secured), it was impossible in another manner to express the sentiment with equal vivacity.

There is also a sort of antonomasia to which use hath long ago given her sanction, and which, therefore, needs not to be introduced with much precaution. Such is the following application of famous names: a Solomon for a wise man, a Cræsus for a rich man, a Judas for a traitor, a Demosthenes for an orator, and a Homer for a poet. Nor do these want a share of vivacity, when apposite and properly managed.

That kind of synecdoche by which the species is put for the genus, is used but sparingly in our language. Examples,

* Prologue to the Satires.

however, oceur sometimes, as when an assassin is termed as cut-throat, or a fiction a lie, as in these words of Dryden:

" The cock and fox the fool and knave imply,

The truth is moral, though the tale a lie. In like manner, slaughter, especially in battle, is by poets sometimes denominated murder, and legal prosecution persecution. Often, in these instances, the word may justly be said to be used without a figure. It may, however, in general, be affirmed of all those terms, that they are more vivid and forcible for this single reason, because they are more special

There is one species of the onomatopeia which very much resembles the antonomasia just now taken notice of. It is when a verb is formed from a proper name, in order to express some particular action for which the person to whom the name belonged was remarkable. An example of this we have in the instructions which Hamlet gave the players who were to act his piece before the king and the queen. He mentioned his having seen some actors who in their way outheroded Herod, intimating that by the outrageous gestures they used in the representation they overacted even the fury and violence of that tyrant. This trope hath been admirably imitated by Swift, who says concerning Blackmore, the author of a translation of some of the Psalms into English verse,

** Sternhold himself he out-sternholded;" How languid in comparison of this would it have been to say, that in Sternhold's own manner Sir Richard outdid him. But it must be owned that this trope, the onomatopeia, in any form whatever, hath little scope in our tongue, and is hardly admissible except in burlesque.

2. THE MOST INTERESTING CIRCUMSTANCE DISTINGUISHED. The second way I shall take notice of, wherein the use of tropes may conduce to vivacity, is when the trope tends to fix the attention on that particular of the subject which is most interesting, or on which the action related, or fact referred to, immediately depends. This bears a resemblance to the former method; for by that an individual serves to exhibit a species, and a species a genus ; by this a part is made to represent the whole, the abstract, as logicians term it, to suggest the concrete, the passion its object, the operation its subject, the instrument the agent, and the gift the giver. The tropes which contribute in this way to invigorate the expression are these two, the synecdoche and the metonymy.

For an illustration of this in the synecdoche, let it be observed, that by this trope the word hand is sometimes used for man, especially one employed in manual labour. Now in such expressions as the following,

“All hands employ'd, the royal work grows warm,' it is obvious, from the principles-above explained, that the trope contributes to vivacity, and could not be with equal advantage supplied by a proper term. But in such phrases as these, “ One of the hands fell overboard”—“All our hands were asleep," it is ridiculous, as what is affirmed hath no particular relation to the part specified. The application of tropes in this undistinguishing manner is what principally characterizes the contemptible cant of particular professions. I shall give another example. A sail with us frequently denotes a ship. Now to say “ We descried a sail at a distance,” hath more vivacity than to say “.We descried a ship,” because, in fact, the sail is that part which is first discovered by the eye; but to say “ Our sails ploughed the main,” instead of “ Our ships ploughed the main,” would justly be accounted nonsensical, because what is metaphorically termed ploughing the main is the immediate action of the keel, a very different part of the vessel. To produce but one other instance, the word roof is emphatically put for house in the following quotation:

“Return to her? and fifty men dismiss'd ?

No; rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,
To wage against the enmity o'th' air

Necessity's sharp pinch.”+ The notion of a house as a shelter from the inclemencies of the sky, alluded to in these lines, directly leads the imagination to form a more vivid idea of that part of the building which is over our hcads.I

It was observed that the metonymy also contributes in this * Dryden.

† Shakspeare's Lear. I The Latin example quoted from Tully in a note on the first part of this section affords a good illustration of this doctrine: “Cujus latus ille mucro petebat ?" Mucro for gladius, the point for the weapon, is in this place a irope particularly apposite. From the point the danger immediateiy proceeds; to it, therefore, in any assault, the eye both of the assailant and of the assailed are naturally directed: of the one that he may guide it aright, and of the other that he may avoid it. Consequently, on it the imagination will fix, as on that particular which is the most interesting, because on it the event directly depends; and wherever the expression thus happily assists the fancy by coinciding with its natural bent, the sentiment is exhibited with vivacity. We may remark by the way, that the specifying of the part aimed at, by saying Cujus latus, and not simply quem, makes the expression still more graphical. Yet latus here is no trope, else it had been Quod latus, not Cujus latus. But that we may conceive the difference between such a proper use of tropes as is here exemplified, and such an injudicious use as noway tends to enliven the expression, let us suppose the orator had intended to say " he held a sword in his hand.” If, instead of the proper word, he had employed the synecdoche, and said "mucronem manu tenebat,” he would have spoken absurdly, and counteracted the bent of the fancy, which in this instance leads the attention to the hilt of the sword, not to the point.

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way to vivacity. It doth so by substituting the instrument for the agent, by employing the abstract to represent the concrete, or by naming the passion for its object, the gift for the giver, the operation for the subject. Of the first sort, the instances are very common; as when we say of a poem that it is the production of an elegant pen instead of an elegant writer. In the same way pencil is sometimes used for painter. It must be owned, that the triteness of such expressions considerably lessens their value, and that for a reason explained in the preceding part of this section. It is, however, certain, that what vivacity can justly be ascribed to them ariseth purely from the principle which hath just now been illustrated in the synecdoche; namely, a coincidence in the expression with the bent of the imagination, both pointing to that particular with which the subject spoken of is immediately connected., Nay, so close is the relation between this species of the metonymy and that of the synecdoche above exemplified, that the same expression may sometimes be considered indifferently as belonging to either trope. Thus, in the quotation brought from Dryden, “ All hands employ'd,” it is of no consequence whether we denominate the worú hands one or other, a part for the whole, or the instrument for the agent.

The second species of metonymy mentioned, the abstract for the concrete, occurs much seldomer, but hath also, in the same way, a very good effect. Isaac Bickerstaff, in his lucubrations, acquaints us with a visit which an eminent rake and his companions made to a Protestant nunnery erected in England by some ladies of rank. 6 When he entered,” says the author, “ upon seeing a servant coming towards him with a design to tell him this was no place for them, up goes my grave Impudence to the maid."* Everybody must perceive that the expression would have been incomparably fainter if he had said, “Up goes my grave impudent fellow to the maid." The reason is obvious: an impudent fellow means one who, among other qualities, has that of impudence; whereas, by personifying the abstract, you leave no room for thinking of any other quality ; the attention is entirely fixed on that to which the action related is imputable, and thus the natural tendency of the fancy is humoured by the expression.

The last species of this trope I took notice of, if that can be called one species which is so various in its appearances, presenting us sometimes with the passion instead of its object, sometimes with the operation instead of its subject, and sometimes with the gift instead of the giver, is in very frequent use. By this trope the Almighty hath been styled" the terror of the oppressor, and the refuge of the oppressed ;" which, though the same in sense, is more emphatical than

* Tatler, No. 32.

"the object of terror to the oppressor; and the giver of refuge to the oppressed.” “ The Lord is my song,says Moses ; "he is become my salvation ;'* that is, the subject of my song, the author of my salvation. Dryden makes Lord Shaftesbury style the Duke of Monmouth

The people's prayer, the glad diviner's theme,

The young men's vision, and the old men's dream.”+ Here the terms prayer, vision, dream (for the word theme is literal), are used each for its respective subject. Nothing is more natural or more common among all nations, the simplest as well as the most refined, than to substitute the passion for its object. Such tropes as these, my love, my joy, my delight, my aversion, my horror, for that which excites the emotion, are to be found in every language. Holy Writ abounds in them; and they are not seldom to be met with in the poems of Ossian. “The sigh of her secret soul" is a fine metonymy of this kind, to express the youth for whom she sighs in secret. As the vivacity of the expression in such quotations needs no illustration to persons of taste, that the cause of this vivacity ariseth from the coincidence of the expression with the bent of the imagination, fixing on the most interesting particular, needs no eviction to persons of judgment.

3. THINGS SENSIBLE FOR THINGS INTELLIGIBLE. A third way wherein tropes may be rendered subservient to vivacity is when things intelligible are represented by things sensible. There is no truth more evident than that the imagination is more strongly affected by what is perceived by the senses than by what is conceived by the understanding. If, therefore, my subject be of things only conceivable, it will conduce to enliven the style that the tropes which I employ, when I find it convenient to employ tropes, exhibit to the fancy things perceivable.

I shall illustrate this doctrine first in metaphors. “A metaphor, if apposite, hath always some degree of vivacity, from the bare exhibition of likeness, even though the literal and the figurative senses of the word belong to the same class of objects ; I mean only in this respect the same, that they be both sensible or both intelligible. Thus a blunder in the administration of public affairs hath been termed a solecism in politics, both things intelligible. Again, when the word sails is employed to denote the wings of a fowl, or conversely, when the word wings is adopted to signify the sails of a ship, both objects are of the same class, as both things are sensible ; yet these metaphors have a considerable share of vi

* Exod., IV., 2.

† Absalom and Achitophel.

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