Obrazy na stronie


"yet it is an absurdity of that monstrous and mafsy weight, that no human authority or "wit are able to fupport it. It will make the very pillars of Saint Peter's crack, and requires more volumes to make it good than would fill the Vatican †." If I was to propofe any alteration, in this passage, it should be towards the end of the paragraph, and in the room of faying, it requires more volumes to make it


good, I would rather fay, it requires more volumes to maintain its reputation, or fupport its faith in the world. With fome fuch amendment the Me


[ocr errors]


taphors are not only quite similar, but the passage affords as juft and ftriking a description of the na ture and future fate of Tranfubftantiation, as can well be conceived to be in the power of language. Mr ADDISON has given us a very proper and perfectly consistent Metaphor in the following passage: "And if there be fo much art, fays "he, in the choice of fit precepts, there is much "more required in the treating of them, that "they may fall in with each other by a natural " and unforced method, and fhew themselves in

the best and moft advantageous light. They «fhould be all fo finely wrought together in the fame piece, that no coarse seam may discover where they join, as in a curious brede of nee

dle-work, one colour falls away by fuch juft <degrees, and another rifes fo infensibly, that "we fee the variety, without being able to diftinguish



+ Difcourfe on Transubstantiation. Vol. iii. p. 359. Octavo edition.

"tinguish the total vanishing of the one, from "the first appearance of the other *."

As to CICERO, to tranfcribe his beauties, would be a task in a manner the fame with that of tranfcribing his Works; but to fhew how complete á mafter he was of Metaphor, take the two following inftances. "So it happens," fays he in one of his Orations," that I, whose busi "nefs it is to repel the javelins and heal the "wounds, am obliged to appear in this manner "before the adverfaries have so much as thrown "a dart; and they are allowed that time to "make the attack, when it will not be in our "power to avoid the assault; and if they throw "out fome falfe charge, like an impoisoned "dart, as they seem prepared to do, we fhall "have no opportunity to apply a remedy +." Nor is the next inftance at all inferior for pro priety and harmony of Metaphor. "Nor was I “fo timorous, I who had steered the ship of the "commonwealth amidst the fierceft hurricanes " and billows, and had conducted her fafe to "port, as that I fhould ftand in awe of the cloudiness of your afpect, or your collegue's peftilential


[ocr errors]

Effay on Virgil's Georgics, Vol. i. p. 259. Octavo edit. + Ita fit ut ego, qui tela depellere, & vulneribus mederi de, beam, tum id facere cogor, cum etiam telum adverfarius nullum jecerit; illis autem id tempus impugnandi detur, cum & vitandi illorum impetus poteftas adempta nobis erit: & fi qua in re, id quod parati funt facere, falfum crimen, quafi venenatum aliquod telum jecerint, medicinæ faciendæ locus non erit. Pro P. QUINCTIO, § 2.


peftilential breath. I perceived other winds; "I forefaw other ftorms; I did not withdraw "from other impending tempefts, but for the "common fafety I expofed myself alone to their "fhock *"

[ocr errors]


To thefe inftances of uniform and coherent Metaphors, let me add another from a very great Writer: It fhould be endeavoured, fays he, that "the passions which are not to be rooted up, "because they are of nature's planting, be yet "fo discreetly checked and depressed, that they "grow not to that enormous tallness, as to over"top a man's intellectual power, and caft a "dark fhadow over his foul +." Was ever Metaphor carried on with happier fuccefs? and where is so much as the single word through the whole fentence that could be with advantage exchanged for another?

[ocr errors]

If I might not be thought unnecessarily profufe in the citation of well-conducted Metaphors, I should add that of Mr PRIOR, in his Dedication before his Works to the Earl of DORSET: "Wit, "fays he, in moft Writers is like a fountain in at garden,


Neque tam fui timidus, ut qui in maximis turbinibus ac fluctibus reipublicæ navem gubernaffem, falvamque in portu collocaffem, frontis tuæ nubeculam tum collega tui contaminatum fpiritum pertimefcerem. Alios ego vidi ventos; alias profpexi animo procellas; aliis impendentibus tempeftatibus non ceffi, fed his unum me pro omnium falute obtuli. CICER. in PISONEM, $ 9.

+ Howe's Vanity of Man as Mortal, Vol. i. page 655Folio edition.

[ocr errors]

garden, fupplied by several streams brought "through artful pipes, and playing fometimes "agreeably. But the Earl of DORSET's was a "fource rising from the top of a mountain, "which forced its own way, and with inexhauf "tible fupplies delighted and inriched the country through which it passed."


[ocr errors]


§ 14. Having fhewn that Metaphors are not to be in the least degree inconsiftent, and produced examples both of incoherent and coherent Metaphors, it remains that I fhould fhew,

That Metaphors are not to be purjued too far. Metaphors are not to be drawn out to fuch an excessive length, as fhall make it appear that we are rather labouring to let others fee how far we can refine them, and how long we can play with them, than that we are folicitous about real benefit and improvement. It may be hard for fome perfons to know when they have faid enough; and for want of obferving that limit, they may enervate and debase a sentence or difcourse, that would otherwise have had a considerable merit. Weak and languid minds feldom rife to a noble Metaphor; but, on the other hand, fome lively fancies, especially if there is a strong turn towards wit, may not leave a good Metaphor till they have fhewn it in fo many lights, as to make it quite irkfome and insipid. We may in a rhetorical, as well as in a moral fenfe, fay with HORACE,


There is a mean in all things; mark its bounds:
An error here all rectitude confounds †.

"Whenever you ftart a Metaphor," fays Mr POPE, most ironically, in his Art of Sinking in Poetry," you must be fure to run it down, and purfue it as far as it can go. If you get the fcent of a state-negotiation, follow it in this


The ftones and all the elements with thee,

Shall ratify a ftrict confederacy:
Wild beafts their favage temper fhall forget,
And for a firm alliance with thee treat;
The finny tyrant of the spacious feas,
Shall fend a fcaly embaffy for peace;
His plighted faith the Crocodile fhall keep,
And seeing thee for joy fincerely weep.

"Or if you reprefent the Creator denouncing "war against the wicked, be fure not to omit "one circumstance usual in proclaiming and le" vying war:

Envoys and agents, who, by my command,
Refide in Paleftina's land,

To whom commiffions I have giv❜n

To manage there the interefts of Heav'n,

Ye holy heralds, who proclaim

Or war or peace, in mine your master's name;
Ye pioneers of Heav'n, prepare a road,
Make it plain, direct and broad,
For I in perfon will my people head,


+ Eft modus in rebus; funt certi denique fines:
Quos ultra citraque nequit confiftere rectum.
HORAT. Sat. lib. i. fat. 1:

« PoprzedniaDalej »