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particulars should be embodied as give completeness to the similitude, and heighten its force and beauty.
What is a simile? How many classes of similes are there? How do they differ? Which is the most elegant, and contributes most to dignify and adorn a composition? What is the first chief characteristic of a comparison? What is the second! What are the rules by which they should be framed !
The questions that follow respecting the poetical passages of the chapter, assume that the learner, as recommended in the preface, will study chapters xvii. and xviii., on the structure and modulation of verse, before proceeding to the Comparison.
What lines begin with a trochee in the passage from Homer, “But his days were few,” p. 18! What is it that gives beauty to the close Where does the cæsura fall in the several lines of the
passage “Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow”? Where does it fall in the quotation from Milton, “He above the rest”? Which of the lines commence with a trochee? What effect has that foot on the modulation Designate the cæsura in the next quotation from Milton, and point out the lines in it that begin with a trochee. What is there in the structure of the last line of the passage from Homer, “ Commotion shook,” that gives a peculiar force and beauty to the cadence? Of what feet is the stanza from Scott formed? Of what feet is the verse formed, “Like a boat on the wave"?
In order to familiarize learners still further with the figure, and prepare them to employ it in conversation and writing, the following, and other similar lessons, may be given :
1. There are two comparisons in the first Psalm. Point them out, and show to what class they belong.
2. How many comparisons are there in the second Psalm
3. Are there any in the third or fourth?
5. How many are there in the first three verses of Revelation, chap. x 1
6. How many are there in the first seven verses of Revelation, chap. iv.
7. Which is the most sublime in Job, chap. xi. ! 8. Which is the most beautiful in Job, chap. xii. I
When lessons are thus set the scholar should give the answers in writing.
To lead the learners to observe and express resemblances, and discipline their taste, they should be required to form comparisons; and, to assist them, subjeots may be suggested, as: What do the motions of a field of grain, under a rapid wind, resemble? What is the slow movement of a cloud along the air like? To what object would you compare a beautiful child? What passes through the mind that is like a flash of lightning glancing across the sky ? What resembles an expiring taper ?
Scholars should be allowed, if they choose, to select their own subjects; they should be required to form comparisons of both classes, and to write them, that they may be better criticised.
It will be highly useful to scholars to transcribe in a book the finest comparisons that occur in the Scriptures, and in the orators, poets, historians, and other writers; and to accustom themselves to express, in prose or verse, the fine resemblances that are suggested to them by their own observation of the natural and moral world, and the operations of their own minds.
A Metaphor is an affirmation, or representation by words, that an agent, object, quality, or act, is that which it merely resembles; as “God is” called “ a shield to them that trust in him," to signify that he protects them, as a shield protects a person who holds it, from the arrows or javelins that are shot at him. “Joseph” is called "a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall” (Gen. xlix. 22), to indicate his advantageous position and great prosperity. It is said of wisdom, “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her” (Prov. iii. 18); and of Zion, “ Thou shalt be a beautiful crown in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the grasp of thy God” (Isa. lxii. 3). A bird is said to sail when it flies without moving its wings, to signify that its motion is like that of a ship driven forward with its out-spread canvas by the wind; and a ship sailing rapidly is said to fly, to show that in ease and celerity its motion is like that of a bird.
The metaphor is thus a verbal figure, and differs from the simile by directly ascribing to agents and objects the natures, the characteristics, or acts, of other beings and things, which, in the comparison, are themselves the medium of the figure; as in the following passages : “I am thy shield” (Gen. xv. 1); and “Thou Lord wilt bless the righteous, with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield” (Ps. v. 12); in the first of which the word shield is used by a metaphor, in the other the shield itself is used by a simile. The meaning of a metaphorical expression, accordingly, is precisely what that of a comparison would be if the things, the names of which are used by the metaphor, were employed to illustrate the same object by a comparison. Thus the sentences : God is a rock, and God is like a rock, are in sense the same.
So also the metaphor, “I will make thee a fenced brazen wall” (Jer. xv. 20), is equivalent to the simile, I will make thee like a fenced brazen wall. The metaphor is the most bold and emphatic; the simile, as it admits a fuller exhibition of the resemblances, is often the most illustrative and elegant.
Metaphors, like comparisons, are of two kinds. In the first, that to which the figure is applied, is directly declared to be that, of which the word used by the figure is the proper name; as “God is a sun and shield” (Ps. lxxxiv. 11); “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Prov. xii. 4); “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother; for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck” (Prov. i. 8, 9); “I will make my words in thy mouth fire” (Jer. v. 14);“ I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round about” (Zech. xii. 2); “I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. iv. 19).
Verbs, the names of acts, are also metaphorized in the same manner as nouns: “Thou crownest the year with goodness ;” “The fields smile ;” “The skies frown."
In all metaphors of this class the persons or things to which the figure is applied, are expressly named as the subject of the metaphor.
In the second class, there is an ellipsis of the direct affirmation that the person or object to which the figure is applied, is that which the term used by the metaphor denotes, and it is spoken of as though that affirmation had been previously made; as when the prophet, addressing the rulers and people of Jerusalem, says, “ Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah” (Isa. i. 10); the import of which is the same as though the expression had