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"thee, even all the chief ones of the earth: it "hath raised up from their thrones all the kings "of the nations. All they shall speak and say "unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? "Art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is
brought down to the grave, and the noise of "thy viols; the worm is spread under thee, and "the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen "from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! "how art thou cut down to the ground, which "didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in "thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will "exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will "sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in "the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most “ High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to "hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see "thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider
thee, saying, Is this the man that made the "earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms? "that made the world as a wilderness, and de"stroyed the cities thereof? that opened not the "house of his prisoners? All the kings of the
nations, even all of them lie in glory, every "one in his own house. But thou art cast out of "thy grave, like an abominable branch: and as "the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the "stones of the pit, as a carcass trodden under "feet." This whole passage is full of sublimity.
Every object is animated; a variety of personages are introduced: we hear the Jews, the fir trees and cedars of Lebanon, the ghosts of departed kings, the king of Babylon himself, and those who look upon his body, all speaking in their order, and acting their different parts without confusion.
COMPARISON, ANTITHESIS, INTERROGATION, EXCLAMATION, AND OTHER FIGURES OF SPEECH.
WE are still engaged in the consideration of figures of speech, which, as they add much to the beauty of style, when properly employed, and are at the same time liable to be greatly abused, require a careful discussion. As it would be tedious to dwell on all the variety of figurative expressions which rhetoricians have enumerated, I chose to select the capital figures, such as occur most frequently, and to make my remarks on these : the principles and rules laid down concerning them will sufficiently direct us to the use of the rest, either in prose or poetry. Of metaphor, which is the most common of them all, I treated fully; and in the last Lecture I discoursed of hyperbole, personification, and apostrophe. This Lecture will nearly finish what remains on the head of figures.
Comparison, or simile, is what I am to treat of first; a figure frequently employed both by poets and prose writers, for the ornament of composition. In a former Lecture I explained fully the difference betwixt this and metaphor. A metaphor is a comparison implied, but not expressed as such; as when I say, "Achilles is a lion," meaning that he resembles one in courage or strength. A comparison is, when the resemblance between two objects is expressed in form, and generally pursued more fully than the nature of a metaphor admits; as when I say, "The ac"tions of princes are like those great rivers, the course of which every one beholds, but their
springs have been seen by few." This slight instance will shew, that a happy comparison is a kind of sparkling ornament, which adds not a little lustre and beauty to discourse; and hence such figures are termed by Cicero, "" orationis "lumina."
The pleasure we take in comparisons is just and natural. We may remark three different sources whence it arises. First, from the pleasure which nature has annexed to that act of the mind by which we compare any two objects together, trace resemblances among those that are different, and differences among those that resemble each other; a pleasure, the final cause of which is, to prompt us to remark and observe, and thereby to make us advance in useful knowledge. This ope
ration of the mind is naturally and universally agreeable; as appears from the delight which even children have in comparing things together, as soon as they are capable of attending to the objects that surround them. Secondly, the pleasure of comparison arises from the illustration which the simile employed gives to the principal object; from the clearer view of it which it presents; or the more strong impression of it which it stamps upon the mind: And, thirdly, it arises from the introduction of a new, and commonly a splendid object, associated to the principal one of which we treat; and from the agreeable picture which that object presents to the fancy; new scenes being thereby brought into view, which, without the assistance of this figure, we could not have enjoyed.
All comparisons whatever may be reduced under two heads, explaining and embellishing comparisons. For when a writer likens the object of which he treats to any other thing, it always is, or at least always should be, with a view either to make us understand that object more distinctly, or to dress it up, and adorn it. All manner of subjects admit of explaining comparisons. Let an author be reasoning ever so strictly, or treating the most abstruse point in philosophy, he may very properly introduce a comparison, merely with a view to make his subject better understood. Of this nature is the following in Mr Harris's