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not to be ftrained: this obfervation fupported by inftances. § 16. Metaphors most beautiful when they admit a double or treble resemblance, with examples.
Metaphor is a Trope, by which a word is removed from its proper fignification into another meaning upon account of Comparison +.
§ 2. A Metaphor is distinguishable from a Trope; or rather, fhews itself to be only a species of the Trope, by this property essential to its nature, that it is ufed upon account of Comparison. Was it not for this peculiarity, a Metaphor would not differ from the general nature of a Trope; but by this additional article in its definition, it is evidently only a particular fort of Trope: as for inftance, the Metaphor differs from the Synecdoche, which, though a Trope, yet is not at all designed for comparison; as when by the word roof, we intend an house, we have no idea of similitude, but only make a part of a thing stand for the whole.
§ 3. Though a Metaphor is a Trope, by which a word is removed from its proper signification upon the account of comparifon, yet it is not to
From rape, I tranflate, or transfer.
+ Metaphora eft Tropus, quo verbum à propriâ fignificatione in alienam transfertur ob fimilitudinem. Voss. Rhetor. Contract. lib. iv. cap. 4. § 1.
be considered as a comparison (by a comparison understanding a Figure in rhetoric) or at least is diftinguifhable from it, as it drops the signs of comparison. "A Metaphor, fays QUINTILIAN, "is fhorter than a comparison, and differs from "it in this particular, that the one is compared to the thing we design to exprefs, and the other is put for it. It is a comparison, when "I fay of a man that he acted like a lion, and a metaphor, when I fay he is a lion *."
§ 4. In every comparison three things are requisite, two things that are compared together, and a third in which the similitude or resemblance between them consifts. To keep to the example of QUINTILIAN, if we fay of a foldier that he acts like a lion, or that he is a lion, the sense is plainly this, that as a lion opposes his enemy with an undaunted firmness, fo the foldier fights with a like invincible bravery. Here are three ideas, a foldier, a lion, and the likeness between them. We may add farther from the example, that it is evident, according to what we just now obferved, that the real difference between a Metaphor and a Comparifon lies in this, that a Metaphor has not the signs of comparison which are expressed in that figure of rhetoric, which is called
In totum autem Metaphora brevior eft quam fimilitudo; eoque diftat quod illa comparatur rei quam volumus exprimere; hæc pro ipfa re dicitur. Comparatio eft, cum dico feciffe quid Hominem ut Leonem; tranflatio, cum dico de Homine Leo eft. QUINTIL, lib. viii, cap. 6. § 1.
called a Comparison: or, as CICERO fays, "a Metaphor is a Comparison reduced to a single *word *"
$5. If we were to inquire which of the two is to be preferred, the Metaphor or the Comparifon, Mr MELMOTH, with his ufual elegancy, would anfwer us. "I prefer, fays he, the Me
taphor to the Simile, as a far more pleasing method of illuftration. In the former, the "action of the mind is lefs languid, as it is em❝ployed at one and the fame inftant in compar<ing the resemblance with the idea it attends; whereas in the latter, its operations are more slow, being obliged to stand still as it were, in "order to contemplate firft the principal object, "and then its correfponding image †‚”
$6. Inftances of Metaphors from Scripture might be produced in vaft variety. Thus our blefsed LORD is called a vine, a lamb, a lion, &c. Thus men, according to their different difpositions, are ftiled wolves, sheep, dogs, ferpents, &c. And indeed Metaphors not only abound in the facred Writings, but they overspread all language; and the more carefully we examine Authors, not only Poets but Philofophers, the more hall we discover their free and large ufe of Metaphors,
Similitudinis eft ad verbum unum contracta brevitas.
CICER. de Orat. lib. iii. § 39.
+ FITZ-OSBORNE's Letters, vol. ii. page 45, 46.
taphors, taken from the arts and fciences, the cuftoms of mankind, and the unlimited fields of
§ 7. It may not be amifs to recollect what high and fuperlative encomiums have been beItowed by fome of the greateft Authors upon Metaphors, and for what reasons. CICERO fays, "that amidst the greatest riches of language, "men are more especially charmed with Metaน phors, if they are conducted with a happy judgment." He refolves this "pleasure into "the difplay we hereby make of our own genius, "in that we pass over what is common, to acquire what is new and foreign; or to the nature of the Metaphor, in that it raifes hew ideas, and yet does not lead off our minds "from our fubject; or becaufe every Metaphor "is addrefsed to the fenfes, and efpecially to "the sight, which is the keeneft of them all +." As an echo to this great Writer of antiquity, a celebrated Modern fays, "that the pleafures of the imagination are not wholly confined to
+ In fuorum verborum maxima copia, tamen homines aliena multò magis, fi funt ratione tranflata, delectant. Id accidere credo, vel quod ingenii fpecimen eft quoddam, tranfilire ante pedes pofita, & alia longè repetita fumere; vel quod is qui audit, aliò ducitur cogitatione, neque tamen aberrat; quæ maxima eft delectatio; vel quod fingulis verbis res, ac totum fimile conficitur; vel quod omnis tranflatio quæ quidem fumta ratione eft, ad fenfus ipfos admovetur, maximè oculoruma quæ eft acerrimus. CICER. de Orat. lib. iii. § 40.
"fuch particular authors as are converfant in "material objects, but are often to be met with
among the polite masters of Morality, Criti"cifm, and other fpeculations abstracted from "matter, who, though they do not directly treat "of the visible parts of nature, often draw from "them their Similitudes, Metaphors, and Alle"gories. By these allusions, a truth in the un"derstanding is as it were reflected by the ima"gination; we are able to fee fomething like "colour and fhape in a notion, and discover a "scheme of thoughts traced out upon matter. "And here the mind receives a great deal of fa
tisfaction, and has two of its faculties grati"fied at the fame time, while the fancy is copying after the understanding, and tranfcribing ideas out of the intellectual world into the "material. Allegories, when well chofen, are "like fo many tracks of light in a discourse, that "make every thing about them clear and beau"tiful. A noble Metaphor, when it is placed "to advantage, cafts a kind of glory round it, and darts a luftre through an whole fen"tence *."
LONGINUS fhews, "that Tropical expressions «contain a grandeur in their own nature, and "that Metaphors conftitute the fublime, and are "more especially adapted to enliven pathetic, ❝and ennoble defcriptive compositions †."
Spectator, Vol. vi. No 421.
Η Απόχρη δε τα δεδηλωμένα, ως μεγαλοι την φυσιν εισιν αι