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where the "whole year" is plainly intended to signify the effects or productions of all the seasons of the year. At other times, again, the effect is put for the cause; as " grey hairs" frequently for old age, which causes grey hairs; and "shade," for trees that produce the shade. The relation between the container and the thing contained, is also so intimate and obvious as naturally to give rise to tropes :
-Ille impiger hausit
Spumantem pateram et pleno se proluit auro.
Where every one sees that the cup and the gold are put for the liquor that was contained in the golden cup. In the same manner, the name of any country is often used to denote the inhabitants of that country; and Heaven very commonly employed to signify God, because he is conceived as dwelling in heaven. To implore the assistance of Heaven, is the same as to implore the assistance of God. The relation betwixt any established sign and the thing signified, is a further source of tropes. Hence,
Cedant arma togæ ; concedat laurea linguæ.
The "toga," being the badge of the civil professions, and the "laurel," of military honours, the badge of each is put for the civil and military characters themselves. To "assume the sceptre," is a common phrase for entering on royal authority. To tropes, founded on these several relations of
cause and effect, container and contained, sign and thing signified, is given the name of Metonymy.
When the trope is founded on the relation between an antecedent and a consequent, or what goes before and immediately follows, it is then called a Metalepsis; as in the Roman phrase of "Fuit," or "Vixit," to express that one was dead. "Fuit Ilium et ingens gloria Dardanidum,” signifies, that the glory of Troy is now no more.
When the whole is put for a part, or a part for the whole; a genus for a species, or a species for a genus; the singular for the plural, or the plural for the singular number; in general, when any thing less, or any thing more, is put for the precise object meant; the figure is then called a Synecdoche. It is very common, for instance, to describe a whole object by some remarkable part of it; as when we say, "a fleet of so many sail,' in the place of" ships;" when we use the "head" for the "person," the "pole" for the "earth," the "waves" for the "sea." In like manner, an attribute may be put for a subject; as "youth "and beauty" for "the young and beautiful ;" and sometimes a subject for its attribute. But it is needless to insist longer on this enumeration, which serves little purpose. I have said enough to give an opening into that great variety of relations between objects, by means of which the
mind is assisted to pass easily from one to another; and by the name of the one understands the other to be meant. It is always some accessory idea which recalls the principal to the imagination; and commonly recalls it with more force than if the principal idea had been expressed.
The relation which is far the most fruitful of tropes, I have not yet mentioned; that is, the relation of similitude and resemblance. On this is founded what is called the Metaphor; when, in place of using the proper name of any object, we employ, in its place, the name of some other which is like it; which is a sort of picture of it, and which thereby awakens the conception of it, with more force or grace. This figure is more frequent than all the rest put together; and the language, both of prose and verse, owes to it much of its elegance and grace. This, therefore, deserves very full and particular consideration; and shall be the subject of the next Lecture.
AFTER the preliminary observations I have made relating to figurative language in general, I come now to treat separately of such figures of speech. as occur most frequently, and require particular attention; and I begin with Metaphor. This is a figure founded entirely on the resemblance which one object bears to another. Hence it is much allied to simile, or comparison; and is indeed no other than a comparison, expressed in an abridged form. When I say of some great minister, "that "he upholds the state, like a pillar which sup
ports the weight of a whole edifice," I fairly make a comparison; but when I say of such a minister, "that he is the pillar of the state," it is now become a metaphor. The comparison betwixt the minister and a pillar is made in the mind; but is expressed without any of the words that denote comparison. The comparison is only insinuated, not expressed; the one object is supposed to be so
like the other, that, without formally drawing the comparison, the name of the one may be put in the place of the name of the other. "The minis"ter is the pillar of the state." This, therefore, is a more lively and animated manner of expressing the resemblances which imagination traces among objects. There is nothing which delights the fancy more than this act of comparing things together, discovering resemblances between them, and describing them by their likeness. The mind, thus employed, is exercised without being fatigued; and is gratified with the consciousness of its own ingenuity. We need not be surprised, therefore, at finding all language tinctured strongly with metaphor. It insinuates itself even into familiar conversation; and, unsought, rises up of its own accord in the mind. The very words which I have casually employed in describing this, are a proof of what I say: tinctured, insinuates, rises up, are all of them metaphorical expressions, borrowed from some resemblance which fancy forms between sensible objects and the internal operations of the mind; and yet the terms are no less clear, and, perhaps, more expressive, than if words had been used which were to be taken in the strict and literal sense.
Though all metaphor imports comparison, and therefore is, in that respect, a figure of thought; yet, as the words in a metaphor are not taken literally, but changed from their proper to a figu