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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,
As Metaphors ought never to be mixed, so,
Motum ex Metello confule civicum,
Ludumque fortunæ, gravesque
Principum amicitias, & arma
Tractas, et incedis per ignes
Lib. II. 1.
* Of warm commotions, wrathful jars,
The growing seeds of civil wars ;
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.
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,
Of mighty legions late subdu'd,
Doubtful the die, and dire the cast!)
LECT. is called, straining a Metaphor. Cowley deals
in this to excess; and to this error is owing,
and rich, rather than delicate and correct. · Hence, in his Night Thoughts, there prevails an obscurity, and a hardness in his style.
The Metaphors are frequently too bold, and L E C T.
Speaking of old age, he says, it should
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
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
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