Page images
PDF
EPUB

flees, Madmenah wanders” (Is. x. 29, 31), in which these names of places are put for their inhabitants.

The metonymy is founded on an intimate connexion of that to which the borrowed name is given with that from which it is transferred; not, like the metaphor, on a resemblance between them. There is no likeness between a city and the inhabitants that reside in it; between a country and its population; nor between the head and the mind that animates it. It is a verbal figure, therefore, or lies in the artificial use of a word, not in the use of a thing

The figure occurs frequently in the Scriptures ; as,

“ Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify; he shall be your fear, and he your dread(Is. viii. 13), where fear and dread are put for their object. “Is this the man that made the earth shake, that made the kingdoms tremble” (Is. xiv. 16)? It was not in the

power of the king of Babylon to make the earth shake, or kingdoms tremble; they are used, therefore, by metonymy for the population of the earth, and the rulers of the kingdoms. “And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim; and his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind ” (Is. vii. 2). Here house is put for Ahaz the king, and his family, the descendants

[graphic]

of David; Syria for its population, or rulers; and heart for the mind. The figure is employed also by the poets, as in the following, in which world is used for its inhabitants :

“The world may dance along the flowery plain,
Chased as they go by many a sprightly train."

THOMSON.

In the following, heaven is put for God who reigns there:

" Inquirer cease ; petitions yet remain

While Heaven may bear, nor deem religion vain :
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
But leave to Heaven the measure and the choice."

JOHNSON.

In the following, year is put for the products of

the year :

“Blossoms, and fruits, and flowers, together rise; And the whole year in gay confusion lies.”

ADDISON,

“ In these green days Reviving sickness lifts her languid head, Life flows afresh, and young-ey'd health exalts related

The whole creation round ; contentment walks
The sunny glade, and feels an inward bliss
Spring o'er his mind, beyond the power of kings
To purchase."

THOMSON.

Here sickness, health, and contentment, are put for persons who are subjects of them.

In the following, the heart, which grief assails, is put for the person who grieves :

“ The silent heart which grief assails

Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales ;
Sees daisies

open,
rivers

run,
And seeks, as I have vainly done,
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude's the nurse of woe.”

PARNELL.

Age, in the following passage, is put for the aged:

Age should fly concourse, cover in retreat
Defects of judgment and the will subdue ;
Walk thoughtful on the silent solemn shore
Of that vast ocean it must sail so soon."

YOUNG.

The figure is often used in conversation; as, “ Did he pay you in paper or in coin ?” “He paid me in paper;" where paper, the name of the material, is put for the promises printed on it; that is, for bank bills.

What is metonymy! How does it differ from the metaphor ? Give examples from the Bible. Give examples from the poets Give examples from conversation.

[blocks in formation]

whole person.

THE Synecdoche is the use of a term that properly denotes only a part of a thing, or one of a kind, in place of one that denotes the whole; or of one that denotes the whole instead of one that signifies only a part; as a species for a genus, or a genus for a species ; a day for time, the hand for the

Thus, in the following passage, swords and spears are put for military weapons generally: “And he shall judge among the nations, and rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Is. Ü. 4). As iron and steel are used in many other battle weapons, and the discontinuance of war will as naturally lead to their appropriation to the arts of peace, swords and spears, which, in

« PreviousContinue »