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3. “ The discord will burst forth into a conflagration which will deluge the sea of politics with an earthquake of heresies."
4. “Virtue alone can save us from the hosts of evil when they roll in upon us.”
5. “He alone can manage the storm-tossed ship of state on its march."
Addison's rule for testing Metaphors will be found serviceable: “ Try and form a picture of them.” “If the parts,” says Macbeth, “when pictured out by a painter, be incongruous, put your Metaphor in the fire, lest there should stand before you a goddess, horse, and ship, all in one."
The mixing of literal and figurative language produces the same confusion as the mixing of metaphors, and sometimes a ludicrous descent from the elevated to the mean, called Bathos. These three examples used by De Mille will illustrate the nature of this error:
1. “ The fiend Intemperance is marshaling his hosts, so as to poison the minds and bodies of poor inebriates.”
2. “Sailing on the sea of life, we are often in danger from the temptations around us.”
3. “If we put on the whole armor of righteousness, we shall be less likely to yield to the allurements of sin."
of life. Door inebaling hi
In “I” the image of an armed body of men is intermingled with the literal effect of poison - an effect the mind did not expect from marshaling hosts. In “2” literal temptations are not the dangers which a mind occupied by the image of a voyage would expect. In “3” the image of an armed man is confused with literal allurements — confused because allurements are not expected to be met with arms. Here, as in the mixed Metaphor, the law which requires unity of impression is violated; and, as a result, the mind is interrupted and its energies diverted in the process of interpretation.
Let the following Metaphors be expanded into Similes, and then explained as were Similes. Test each as to the unity of impression, the gain over literal expression, and over the corresponding Simile:
1. “ The clouds of adversity soon pass away.”
In the prison cells of pride.”.
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
The Christian pearl of charity.” 5. “ For gentleness and love and trust
Prevail o'er angry wave and gust;
Something immortal still survives.” 6. “ Thus did that poor soul wander in want and cheerless
discomfort, Bleeding, barefooted, over the shards and thorns of
existence.” 7. “ They (my observations) have convinced me that, however the surface of character may be chilled and frozen by the cares of the world, or cultivated into mere smiles by the arts of society, still there are dormant fires lurking in the depths of the coldest bosom, which, when once kindled, become impetuous, and are sometimes desolating in their effects.”
8. “ She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection; and if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless -- for it is a bankruptcy of the heart.”
9. “Her lithe mind winds itself with surprising grace through the metaphysical and other intricacies of her subject.”
10. “ Dante's opinions have life in them still, because they were from living sources of reflection and experience, because they were reasoned out from the astronomic laws of history and ethics, and were not weather-guesses snatched in a glance at the doubtful political sky of the hour."
11. “ His (Dante's) is the first keel that ever ventured into the silent sea' of human consciousness to find a new world of poetry.”
12. “He wrote too much to write always well; for it is not a great Xerxes-army of words, but a compact Greek ten thousand, that march safely down to posterity.”
The Metaphor often assumes inanimate things to have life; as, the thirsty ground, a pitiless stone, a raging storm, a frowning precipice, winged words. In these, some quality of living things is attributed to inanimate objects; but sometimes there is a more complete identification of human attributes, endowing the object with personality — sex, speech, thought, emotion, and purpose; as, “Good-bye, proud world. I'm going home. Thou 'rt not my friend, and I'm not thine.” When the personal element becomes prominent the Metaphor is called Personification. Arising by such imperceptible gradations from the Metaphor, there is a broad and very indefinite boundary to which either the name Metaphor or Personification is applied with equal propriety. Personifications of the lowest degree, which consist in merely attributing some quality of living beings to things inanimate, are usually classed under Metaphors also. But Personification, even of the highest degree, may be explained and classed as M. .- for it assumes identity of attributes.
The foundation of this figure is obviously in the intuition of the mind which feels a community of life with all objects about it. The mind naturally animates inanimate things. The child elevates into a companion of its life the most common and trivial object; and in the lower phase of the mind's development every object and every phenomena is explained by attributing to it intelligence, feeling, motive. Man never, perhaps, entirely frees himself from the impression that the most common object has personality like himself. Although in his cultured state he does not thus explain them, yet whatever touches him with emotion, he, for the moment, unconsciously bestows upon it the idea of life.
The nature of this figure suggests the source of its efficiency. It gives concreteness and animation to style. It makes all objects our companions, and touches us with the joy of human sympathy by the life with which the object is endowed. This figure thus serves to please and to impress.
Let the following be explained, stating why they are both Metaphors and Personifications. Note also the grade of Personification, whether they attribute some quality of living beings to inanimate things or entire personality, — sex, speech, human feelings, or purpose, — and the gain over literal statement: – 1. “ Build me straight, O worthy master,
Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle. 2. “ With thy red lips, redder still
Kissed by strawberries from the hill."
3. “ Yet Love will dream and Faith will trust,
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must." 4. “True it is that Death's face seems stern and cold,
When he is sent to summon those we love." 5. “In vain Faith blows her trumpet to summon back her scattered troop.”
6. “ Philosophy is a noble lady, partaking of the divine essence by a kind of eternal marriage.” 7. “ Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
Then leaped her cable’s length.”
The thrill of life along her keel,
She leaps into the ocean's arms.” 10. “ Yonder snow-white cloud that floats in the ether above
me, Seems like a hand that is pointing and beckoning me over
the ocean. There is another hand that is not so ghost-like Holding me, drawing me back, and clasping mine for
The last figure above constitutes the highest degree of Personification, — the degree in which the inanimate object is introduced as speaking or listening. This is proper only under the most intense feeling. Nothing but violen tion can stimulate the mind to conceive an inser object as listening to what we say or as