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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, fo neither fhould 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 dung bil, 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, fqueezing of parables, thrusting religion by, Sharking shifts, and the world at the last Judgment cracking about our ears; all which expressions appear to be miferably disproportioned to the facred
Δημοσθενικον μεν ουκ αν λάβοις, ουδε γαρ εσι. Παρα δε τους υποξύλοις του τοισι σοφισαις παμπολλα ευροις αν. Ταφος τε γαρ εμψυχους τους γυπάς λέγουσιν, ων περ εισι μάλιςα αξιοί, και αλλα 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 re
8. 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 runninate, when they should gain from our difcourfes clear and profitable ideas. If a man, speaking of an houfe of debauchery, fays, it is à 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 ob fcure, 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 snow*" 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 persons in a popular difcourse to make
Sunt & duræ, id eft, à longinquâ fimilitudine ducta; ut Capitis nives, & Jupiter hybernas cana nive confpicuit Alpes, Lib. viii. cap. 6. § 1.
ufe of Tropes beyond the reach of common ca pacities.
$9. Another fault of Tropes consifts 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, fays 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 stripling, 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 chosen a word
Δεν δε και τα επιθετα, και τας μεταφορας αρμότλυσας λέ γειν τύτο δ' ες αι εκ τg ανάλογον, ει δε μη, απρεπές φαίνεται, Για το παράλληλα τα ενάντια μάλισα φαίνεοθαι αλλά δεν σκου πειν ὡς νέῷ φοινικις, έτω χερούλι τι ου γαρ η αυτή πρέπει εύθης. ARISTOT. Rhetor, lib. iii. cap. 2. § 3.
+ Εςι δε και εν ταις συλλαβαις αμαρτία, εαν μη ήδειας η σημεία φωνης· οιον Διονυσίου προσαγορεύει ο χαλκους εν τοις ελεγείοις, κραύδην Καλλιοπης. AgisToT. Rhetor. lib. iii. cap.
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 fpread,. And ftill fresh freams the gazing deluge fed, r
and intending nothing more by this circumlocutory manner of exprefsion, than there was a great troud of people.
I have seen a Sermon upon thofe 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 devifed, 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
produced by ARISTOTLE from GORGIAS, who,
10 B 10 AL
- Ασαφείς δε αν πορρωθεί οιον Γοργίας “ χλωρα και εναιμα ra ngayμára.” ARIST. Rhetor. lib. iii. cap. 3. § 4.
Επι γαρ τύτοις και τον Πλάτωνα εχ ήκισα διασύρεσι, πολύ λακις ώσπερ υπο βακχείας της των λόγων, εις ακρατες και απηνεις μεταφοράς και αλληγορικοι συμβον εκφερόμενον. γαρ, ραδιον επινοειν, φησιν, ότι πολιν είναι δει δικην κρατηρα κεκραμένην ; ο μαινόμενο μεν ουν ο εγκεχυμενα ζει, κολαζομε δε υπο νηφονlΘ- ετερω θεό, καλην κοινωνίαν λαβων, αγαθόν σαμά και μετριον απεργαζέλα." Νηφόντα* γαρ, φάση, σε θεον" τα υδωρ λέγειν, * κολάσιν” δε την κρασιν, ποιήτε τι UIT EST LONGINUS de Sublimitate,