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XV.

LECT. namely, that we should try to form a picture

upon them, and consider how the parts would agree, and what sort of figure the whole would present, when delineated with a pencil. By this means, we should become sensible, whether inconsistent circumstances were mixed, and a monstrous image thereby produced, as in all those faulty instances I have now been giving; or whether the object was, all along, presented in one natural and consistent point of view,

We may

As Metaphors ought never to be mixed, so,
in the sixth place, we should avoid crowding
them together on the same object. Supposing
each of the Metaphors to be preserved distinct,
yet, if they be heaped on one another, they
produce a confusion somewhat of the same
kind with the mixed Metaphor.
judge of this by the following passage from
Horace :

Motum ex Metello confule civicum,
Bellique causas, et vitia, et modos,

Ludumque fortunæ, gravesque

Principum amicitias, & arma
Nondum expiatis uncta cruoribus,
Periculofæ plenum opus aleæ,

Tractas, et incedis per ignes
Suppositos cineri doloso *.

Lib. II. 1.

This

* Of warm commotions, wrathful jars,

The growing seeds of civil wars ;

Of

XV.

This paffage, though very poetical, is, how. LECT. ever, harsh and obscure; owing to no other caufe but this, that three diftinct Metaphors are crowded together, to describe the difficulty of Pollio's writing a history of the civil wars. First, “ Tractas arma uncta crucribus nondum “ expiatis ;” next, Opus plenum periculofæ $6 aleæ ;” and then, “ Incedis per ignes, fup« positos doloso cineri.” The mind has difficulty in passing readily through so many different views given it, in quick succession, of the same object.

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The only other rule concerning Metaphors, which I shall add, in the seventh place, is, that they be not too far pursued. If the resemblance, on which the Figure is founded, be long dwelt upon, and carried into all its minute circumstances, we make an Allegory instead of a Metaphor; we tire the reader, who soon becomes weary of this play of fancy; and we render our discourse obfcure. This

Of double fortune's cruel games,

The specious means, the private aims,
And fatal friendships of the guilty great,
Alas! how fatal to the Roman ftate!

Of mighty legions late subdu'd,
And arms with Latian blood embru’d;
Yet unatoned (a labour vast !

Doubtful the die, and dire the cast!)
You treat adventurous, and incautious tread
On fires with faithless embers overspread. FRANCIS.

is

XV.

every deco

LECT. is called, straining a Metaphor. Cowley deals

in this to excess; and to this error is owing,
in a great measure, that intricacy and harsh-
ness, in his figurative Language, which I be-
fore remarked. Lord Shaftsbury is fome-
times guilty of pursuing his Metaphors tog
far. Fond, to a high degree, of
ration of style, when once he had hit upon a
Figure that pleased him, he was extremely loth
to part with it. Thus, in his Advice to an
Author, having taken up soliloquy, or medi-
tation, under the Metaphor of a proper me-
thod of evacuation for an author, he pursueş
this Metaphor through several pages, under
all the forms ( of discharging crudities,
“ throwing off froth and scum, bodily opera-
« tion, taking physic, curing indigestion,
“ giving vent to choler, bile, flatulencies,
“ and tumours;'? till, at last, the idea be-
comes nauseous. Dr. Young also often tret?
paffes in the same way. The merit, however,
of this writer, in figurative Language, is
great, and deserves to be remarked. No
writer, antient or modern, had a Atronger
imagination than Dr. Young, or one more
fertile in Figures of every kind. His Meta-
phors are often new, and often natural and
beautiful. But his imagination was strong

and rich, rather than delicate and correct. · Hence, in his Night Thoughts, there prevails an obscurity, and a hardness in his style.

The

XV.

The Metaphors are frequently too bold, and L E C T.
frequently too far pursued; the reader is
dazzled rather than enlightened; and kept
constantly on the stretch to keep pace with the
author. We may observe, for instance, how
the following Metaphor is spụn out:
Thy thoughts are vagabonds ; all outward bound,
Midst sands and rocks, and storms, to cruise for pleasure,
If gain’d, dear bought; and better miss’d than gain'd,
Fancy and sense, from an infected shore,
Thy cargo brings; and pestilence the prize;
Then such the thirst, insatiable thirst,
By fond indulgence but inflam’d the more,
Fancy still cruises, when poor sense is tired.

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Speaking of old age, he says, it should
Walk thoughtsul on the silent folemn fhore
Of that valt ocean, it must fail so soon;
And put good works on board; and wait the wind
That shortly blows us into worlds unknown.

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The two first lines are uncommonly beautiful; “ walk thoughtful on the Glent, &c." but when he continues the Metaphor, “ to

putting good works on board, and waiting “ the wind,” it plainly becomes strained, and sinks in dignity. Of all the English authors, I know none fo happy in his Metaphors as Mr. Addison. His imagination was neither so rich nor so strong as Dr. Young's; but far more chaste and delicate. Perspicuity, natural grace, and ease, always distinguish his

Figures.

XV.

LE C T. Figures. They are neither harsh nor strained;

they never appear to have been studied or sought after; but feem to rise of their own accord from the subject, and constantly embellish it.

I have now treated fully of the Metaphor, and the rules that should govern it, a part of style so important, that it required particular illustration. I have only to add a few words concerning Allegory.

An Allegory may be regarded as a continued Metaphor; as it is the representation of some one thing by another that resembles it, and that is made to stand for it. Thus, in Prior's Henry and Emma, Emma in the following allegorical manner describes her conftancy to Henry;

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

We may take also from the Scriptures a very fine example of an Allegory, in the 8oth Psalm; where the people of Israel are repre. fented under the image of a vine, and the Figure is supported throughout with great coc

rectness

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