« PreviousContinue »
the age of the prophet, were the chief weapons employed in battle, are obviously put for the instruments of war generally that are capable of being converted to peaceful uses. In like manner, ploughshares and pruning-hooks are put for the instruments generally of husbandry and other unwarlike arts. In the following passage, the implements of agriculture and of war are used in the opposite order: “ Prepare war; wake up the mighty men ; let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears ” (Joel iii. 9, 10). In the following passage day is used by the figure : “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. ii. 4). As the creation occupied six days, the term is here used synonymously with days, or time. It is employed in the same manner in the expressions, “ the day of power,” “the day of temptation,” “the day of trouble,” “the day of adversity,”. “ the day of wrath.” Inbabitant is sometimes used by the figure for inhabitants, and man for men; as, “And now, O inhabitant of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard” (Is. v. 3), in which the appeal is made to the whole population of Jerusalem and Judea. In Isaiah vii. 18, 19, the fly and
the bee, as names of genera, are used for swarms and multitudes of those insects: “ And it shall be in that day that Jehovah will hiss to the fly which is at the end of the rivers of Egypt, and to the bee which is in Assyria, and they shall come and rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the clefts of the rocks, and in all thorn-hedges, and in all pastures." In passages like the following, man is put for mankind : “As for man, his days are as grass ; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth, for the wind passeth over it and it is gone” (Ps. ciii. 15, 16). “Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job v. 7). Hand is sometimes put by the figure for the person; as, “ My hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols ;” and “My hand hath found as a nest the wealth of the nations” (Is. x. 10, 14), for I have found them.
In expressions like the following, “ The Indians hunt the buffalo, the bear, and the wolf,” the genera are put for individuals of those animals. So also in numerous expressions used in common life; as, man tames the horse, the ox, the mule, the elephant; he cultivates the potatoe, the melon, the apple, and the orange, the genus is put for individuals in great numbers and multitudes.
The synecdoche is a verbal figure. It is not founded, like the metaphor, on resemblance; nor like the metonymy, on the connexion of place with that which occupies it, of a cause with its effect, or of an instrument with the agent who uses it; but of the relation of a part of a thing, or one of a kind, to the whole, or of the whole to a part. It is used much less frequently even than the metonyiny, and far less than the metaphor and simile.
What is the synecdoche ? On what is it founded? How does it differ from the metaphor, simile, and metonymy! Give examples of it.
THE Hyperbole is an exhibition of things as greater or less in dimensions, more or less in number, or better or worse in kind than they really are: as it is said of a large man he is a giant; of a small one he is a pigmy; of an elegant and expensive house it is a palace; and of a small, cheap, and unfashionable one it is a hovel. The figure is of rare occurrence in the sacred volume.
There is an example (Job xl. 23), “ He trusteth that he can draw
Jordan into his mouth.” There are several in Isaiah; as, “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures ; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots; their land also is full of idols" (chap. ii. 7, 8), where the land is said to be full of those objects, to denote that they were very abundant.
Expressions like the following—he is the first orator of the age; he is the greatest of the living poets ; she is the most elegant woman of the time -are often used of those who are only distinguished for oratory, poetry, and beauty, not the most eminent for them.
The objects to which the figure is applied actually have the qualities that are ascribed to them; as it is only those who are truly beautiful who are said to be most beautiful, only those who are large who are called giants, and only those who are dwarfish who are said to be pigmies; and the figure lies in representing their.peculiarities as greater than they are. It differs, accordingly, from the comparison and metaphor, which are founded on resemblance; from the metonymy, which is founded on the relation of different things to one another; and from the synecdoche, which is founded on the relation of a part to the whole, or of the whole to a part.
What is the hyperbole! What is its peculiarity compared to the simile, metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche? Give examples of it.