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Trope lies in the word Rock, which is changed from its original sense, as intending one of the strongest works and fureft shelters in nature, and is employed to signify that God by his faithful-nefs and power is the fame fecurity to the foul that trusts in him, which the Rock is to the man that builds upon it, or flies for fafety to its impenetrable recefses. So our LORD, fpeaking of HEROD, fays, "Go ye and tell that Fox *35 Here the word Fex is alienated from its proper meaning, which is that of a beast of prey and of deep cunning, to denote a mifchievous or crafty Tyrant, or both. In like manner VIRGIL calls the two SCIPIO's, Thunderbolts of war;
Or the two SCIPIOS, thunderbolts of war,
The word Thunderbolt is not to be understood in its original fenfe, but, being transformed into a Trope, signifies the martial terrors, and the rapid and irresistible conquests of those two renowned generals, the SCIPIONES AFRICANI.
2. A Trope may extend farther than a word, and make up a sentence; or an whole fentence may be tropical. This obfervation QUINTILIAN juftifies, when he calls a Trope, "a change of a word
•Luke xiii. 32.
Aut geminos duo fulmina belli
Scipiadas, cladem Libya Aneid. vi, ver. 842.
word or fentence *". Thus, for instance, if I call an Hero a Lion, the Trope consists in a single word; but if I fay to a perfon, to fhew him the vanity of his labour, that he is washing the Ethiopian white, or cafting his feed upon a rock, or bestowing his breath upon the wind, the whole fentences, Subftantives, Adjectives, and Verbs, are tropical.
§3. The true diftinction between Tropes and Figures may be easily conceived. A Trope is a change of a word or fentence from one sense into another, which its very etymology imports; whereas it is the nature of a Figure not to change the fenfe of words, but to illuftrate, enliven, ennoble, or in fome manner or another embellish our discourses: and fo far, and fo far only, as the words are changed into a different meaning from that which they originally signify, the Orator is obliged to the Tropes, and not to the Figures of Rhetoric.
§ 4. As Tropes infufe a dignity into our language, and fhed a luftre over our expressions, when they are well-chofen and applied; fo, on the other hand, when they are mean in themselves, when they are thrown out without judgment, or are in any other refpect defective and faulty, they B 2 render
• Tropus eft verbi vel fermonis à propriâ fignificatione in aliam cum virtute mutatio. QUINTIL. lib. viii. cap. 6. ab Init.
render our difcourfes mean and contemptible,
$5. Tropes may be fown too thick, or disgust by being injudiciously and profufely clustered. Of writers reprehensible for this excefs, it may be faid, as Mr ADDISON does of Mr COWLEY,
Great CowLEY then, a mighty Genius, wrote,
I believe an hungry ftomach would not choofe to make a meal upon fine fauces and delicious tweetmeats, without any fubftantial food and an hearer of tafte will as little approve of a difcourfe that has no reafon nor argument in it, but is crouded from beginning to end with rhetorical Tropes and Figures.
CAUSSINUS, having quoted fome passages in which he apprehends a redundance of Metaphors, cries out, "Consider and examine, accu"rately each of thefe exprefsions. In which of "them is there not an Allegory or Similitude? "O the extravagance of ftile! But it may be "faid, thefe are beautiful Metaphors; but are "there no limits to be prefcribed to what is "beautiful? It is granted they have honey in CL them, but will not the fweetnefs of honey fa"tiate
"tiate us? They are gems indeed, but gems "fhould not compofe, but adorn our work. "Metaphors were designed to render our lanσε guage pleasant, but not for common constant "ufe; and if you will be always infusing them "into your compositions, they will no longer be "natural, but monftrous. The Painter's art is "very fine, and by a strong resemblance imitates "the wonders of nature; but is there any per"fon fo mad as to think that the works of na"ture should be abolished, because he can be"hold the exact images of them in curious paint
ings? True it is, that these pictures give us à "transient entertainment, but the works of na"ture fill us with a nobler and more permanent delight, as we may particularly obferve in fuch "who behold the painting, for example, of a Landscape, or the different colours of Birds. "At first view the fpectator is excessively charmed, and he feems as if he would devour the "pleasure of them with his eyes; but after he "has looked at the pictures a while, the tranf66 port dies away; while what is natural and
great, as the expanded face of the ocean, the "falls of cool fountains, the fhades of woods, ❝and the verdant array of the hills, affect us with "an ever new delight. The cafe is much the "fame as to ftile; for these embroideries of language (Metaphors) become difagreeable by "excefs; while proper words, with a due regard "to measure and harmony, afford us, if not fo
"exquisite, yet a more durable and useful en"tertainment *."
I might add, that an injudicious multitude of Tropes, instead of enlightening and enlivening, in which consifts their great fervice, cloud and obfcure, and it may be fometimes even what I might call strangle our meaning, and therefore
* Expende fingula, & accurate defpice. quid fine allegoria ? Quid fine fimilitudine dictum inveries? O ftyli importunitatem! At dices, pulchræ funt Metaphora; fed & pulchrorum modus eft. Melleæ funt, & mellis fuavitas affert fatietatem. Gemmeæ funt; diftinguant igitur opus, non obruant. Ad orationis delicias, non ad communem quotidiani fermonis ufum inventæ funt Metaphoræ ; quas fi ubique velis intrudere styli monftrofum corpus facias neceffe eft. Venuftiffima quidem eft ars Picturæ, quæ expreffis rerum imaginibus opulentas mulatur naturæ dotes: nemo tamen adeo demens eft inventus, qui naturæ opera de medio tolienda effe cenferet; quod eorumdem, picturis ufque perelegantibus expreffa fimulacra intueri liceret; fiquidem manufactorum decor brevi admodum voluptatis delinimento pafcit fenfus; naturæ dona diutius & folutius oblectant. Quod licet quidem animadvertere in iis qui pici ruris fimilitudinem, aut avium verficolores plumas fpectant in tabulis. Primo quidem afpectu quafi totam hauriant oculis voluptatem, afficiuntur quam fuaviffime; paulatim vero diu occupatis eadem imagine fenfibus, jucunditatis gratia confenefcit. At quæ naturalia funt, & magna, ut maris exporrecta facies, gelidorum fontium lapfus, umbræ nemorum, montiumque veftibus viridiffimi, novo femper voluptatis aucupio fuos recreant amatores. Haud quidem diffimile eft quod in hac ftyli materia evenire folet; nam illa fermonum picturata (ut appellant) diademata, fua crebritate faftidiofa, aures ftatim obruunt. Verba vero propria accurate orationis dulcibus illigata numeris, fi non acriori, diuturniori tamen atque aut utiliori delectatione, fenfus retinent auditorum. CausSIN. de Eloquent. lib. ii. § 11.