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$7. Tropes may become faulty by being too mean and low. As Tropes fhould not fwell into a vain and wild extravagance, so neither should they fhrivel into a minute and contemptible littlenefs. We should neither like children please ourfelves with blowing bubbles, and trying what an ample figure and pompous appearance we can give to what is in itself small and trifling, nor fhould we, like a cold blaft upon the opening buds and expanding blossoms of the spring, debafe a grand and important fubject by the introduction of groveling and inadequate Tropes. To call an hill "a ftony wart," is a diminutive Trope, and condemned by QUINTILIAN *. And may we not range in the fame class the exprefsions concerning the world, that it is an earthly dungbil, and concerning the clouds, that they are an etherial cullendar, because water defcends from them in drops or slender ftreams? We may meet with fuch passages in a theological Writer, as, Squeezing of parables, thrusting religion by, sharking shifts, and the world, at the laft Judgment cracking about our ears; all which exprefsions appear to be miferably disproportioned to the facred
Δημοσθενικον μεν ουκ αν λάβοις, ουδε γαρ εσι. Παρα δε τους υποξύλοις του τοισι σοφιταις παμπολλα εύροις αν. Ταφος τε γαρ εμψυχους τους γυπάς λέγουσιν, ωνπερ εισι μάλιςα αξιοι, και άλλα ταυτα ψυχρεύονται παμπολλα. HERMOGEN, de Ideis, lib. i. in Capit, de Gravit.
Sunt quædam etiam humiles tranflationes; ut, Saxea eft verruca. Lib. viii. cap. 1.
facred and folemn fubjects. to which they relate.
18. We should guard against all far-fetched and obfcure Tropes. Let the materials out of which our Tropes are formed lie within the reach of every perfon's understanding, if possible, and not coft the learned pains to investigate their propriety, and leave the unlearned only a com pany of hard unintelligible words on which to ruminate, when they fhould gain from our discourses clear and profitable ideas. If a man, fpeaking of an houfe of debauchery, fays, it is a dangerous rock of youth, the relation lies eafy to an ordinary understanding; but if he calls it a Syrtes of youth, the Trope is far-fetched and obfcure, becaufe few know that the Syrtes are quickfands on the coaft of Africa, which fwallow up the ships that are caft upon them. QUINTILIAN will not admit that hoary hairs fhould be ftiled the fnow of the head, or that JUPITER fhould be faid to foam the wintry Alps with a white fnow*" If we were to remove into an hut country, where ice and fnow were never known, we fhould fee the impropriety of addrefsing the common people in Tropes, taken from the coldness or brittleness of ice, or from the purity or quick-diffolving quality of the fnow; and just as abfurd is it for perfons in a popular discourse to make
Sunt & duræ, id eft, à longinquâ fimilitudine ducta; us Capitis nives, & Jupiter hybernas cana nive conspicuit Alpes, Lib. viii. cap. 6. § 1.
ufe of Tropes beyond the reach of common capacities.
$9. Another fault of Tropes consists in their being harsh and unfuitable to what they would represent. There ought to be care taken that there be an agreement or analogy between the Trope and the proper word for which it stands; for when there is not this relation, our expres sions will be uncouth and unpleasant, if not abfolutely ridiculous, "It is proper, says ARIS"TOTLE, that our Epithets and Tropes fhould "be fuitable. This fuitablenefs is founded on "proportion. If there is not a suitableness, the beauty of our language is loft; for when contraries are placed together, they become more flagrant. It behoves us to consider, as a purple veft is the proper drefs of a feripling, what is the proper array of an ancient perfon, for the fame habit does not become both *." ARISTOTLE cenfures DIONYSIUS ENEAS for calling Poetry the Noife of Calliope +; and every one perceives that DIONYSIUS fhould have chofen
Δεν δε και τα επίθετα, και τας μεταφορας αρμοτίεσας λέο μείνε τατο δ' εσαι εκ τε ανάλογον, ει δε μη, απρεπές φαινεται, για το παράλληλα τα ενάντια μάλισα φαίνεται αλλά δεν πειν ὡς νεω Φοινικές, στο χεροντι τι ου γαρ η αυτή πρέπει είης. ARISTOT. Rhetor, lib. iii, cap. 2. § 3.
* Εσι δε και εν ταις συλλάβαις αμαρτία, εαν μη ήδειας η σημεία φωνης στον Διονυσια προσαγορεύει ο χαλκους εν τοις πλεο χειρις, κραύτην Καλλιοπης. ARISTOT. Rhetor. lib. iii. cap.z.
a word that exprefsed the foft warbling of a musical voice, and not a word that was as well fitted to defcribe the roar of a tumultuous ocean, or the clangor of a warlike trumpet. Who would think that Nature's confectioner whofe fuckets are moist alchymy, fhould be the defeription of a bee gathering honey? And it may furprise us to hear an admirer of the Mufes faying,.
A waving fea of heads was round me spread, And still fresh ftreams the gazing deluge fed,r: and intending nothing more by this circumlocutory manner of exprefsion, than there was a great croud of people.
I have feen a Sermon upon those words, Ifaiah xxv, 6. in which the Preacher, mentioning feveral difhes in the feaft of fat things fpoken of in the prophecy, introduces one the most improper fure that could be devised, that of the grave and death conquered. How the grave could be considered as a part of an entertainment, or death, above all things, fhould be brought in as a dish at a feast of fat things, is beyond the power of all imagination to conceive.
$10. We fhould guard against every Trope that may appear in the leaft degree finical and fantastical. Our Tropes fhould be bold and manly, free and natural, without being stiffened by affectation, or fubtilised by a puerile and trifling fancy. Among the number of finical or fantastical Tropes, we may reckon an instance
produced by ARISTOTLE from GORGIAS, who, inftead of faying new businesses, calls them green and fresh-bleeding businesses *. LONGINUS tells us, that the following passage of PLATO was cenfured by the Critics: "Is it not eafy to conceive, " fays PLATO, that a city fhould be tempered "like a cup? - The inflaming God of Wine is “infused into the cup, and rages in it, but he "is chaftifed by another fober Deity, mingles " in a lovely fellowship with him, and affords "an healthy and temperate draught. To call, "adds LONGINUs, the Water a fober Deity, and "the infusion of the water into wine chaftifement, "is the language, fay the Critics, of a Poet not
very fober himfelf." To the class of finical and fantastical Tropes, we may refer the following defcriptions of the feveral parts of the Creanon; the emboffings of mountains, the enameling of leffer feas, the open-work of the vast ocean, and the Fret-work of the rocks. They are Tropes that
• Ασαφεις δε αν πορρωθεν" οίον Γοργίας σε χλωρα και εναιμα тa ngayμäta.” ARIST. Rhetor. lib. iii. cap. 3. § 4.
Επι γας τέτοις και τον Πλάτωνα εχ ήκιςα διασύρεσι, πολα λακις, ώσπες υπο βακχειας την των λόγων, εις ακρατές και απήνεις μεταφοράς και αλληγορικου σομφον εκφερομενον. Ои γας ραδιον επινοείν, φησιν, οτι πολιν είναι δει δίκην κρατηρα κεκραμένην ; & μαινομενα μεν ουν ο εγκεχυμενα ζει, κολαζομε. δε υπο νηφον1ω ετερε θες, καλην κοινωνίαν λαβων, αγαθορ αμα και μετριον απεργαζέλα. σε Νηφάνια το γαρ, φασι, σε θεον τα υδωρ λεγειν, * κολάσιν” δε την κράσιν, ποιήτε τι 15 Import ES LONGINUS de Sublimitate,