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ton is said to be a Heliogabulus; a courtezan is a Messalina; and a tyrant is a Nero.

SYLLEPSIS, OR COMPREHENSION.. That sort of Trope, by which a word is taken in two different senses (as the literal and the metaphorical) in the same phrase, has the Greek name Syllepsis, equivalent to the Latin Comprehensio. Thus, when we say · His temper is as sour as a Crab-apple, the word sour is used literally as to the Crab-apple; but metaphorically as applied to temper. The following translation, from Ovid, furnishes us with an example:

“ I burn, I burn, as when through ripen'd corn

By driving winds the spreading flames are borne!
Phaon to Ætna's scorching fields retires;
While I consume with more than Ætna's fires !"

This figure requires careful management, without which it is apt to degenerate into a pun. Indeed its distinction from the latter rests solely on the currency of the metaphor, which prevents the comparison from exciting surprise. In the well-known · Epitaph upon a bad Architect,'

“ Lie heavy on him Earth; for he

Laid many a heavy load on thee,” the point consists in the two-fold meaning of the word heavy; but, in the musings of Childe Harold

over the tomb of a Roman Lady, a double appli-
cation of the same word passes unnoticed; being
sunk in the interest of the subject and covered
by the beauties of the stanza :
« Perchance she died in youth: it may be, bowed

With woes far heavier than the ponderous tomb
That weighed upon her gentle dust. A cloud
Might gather o'er her beauty, and a gloom
In her dark eye, prophetic of the doom
Heaven gives its favourite-early death; yet shed
A sunset charm around her, and illume
With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead,
Of her consuming cheek the autumnal leaf-like red.”




Having thus briefly defined the principal divisions of Verbal Metaphors, it will be proper, before proceeding farther, to speak of those forms of expression which are applicable to thoughts rather than to individual words,--to the figures of the mind rather than to Tropes. The phrases • Metaphorical language and Figurative language' are often used synonymously. In an extended sense, Figures of Speech are, metaphorically, the forms, shapes, or figures, in which the thoughts of the speaker are exhibited to his auditors: such as, Allegory, Personification, Irony, or any other mode of expression; and it is his business to shape his discourse, so as it may best suit his purpose: whether it be to amuse, to instruct, or to persuade.

Although we have thus distinguished between Figures of Thought and Tropes which are Figures of Words, the whole structure of language is so interwoven with Metaphor, that we may consider what follows merely as a continuation

of the same subject. Verbal Metaphors, when multiplied, or conjoined, become figurative expressions. In their simple state, they follow the genius of the language; while, in their connected state, they appear to be combined at the will of the writer. Rhetoricians have attempted to classify them, by giving them separate names; but the forms are too numerous and too intermingled for minute classification. They include all the shapes, in which a thought can be embodied, or an auditory addressed; from the delicate forms of politeness or of flattery, to the bitter language of remonstrance or denunciation. The following are what we consider as most deserving of particular notice.


Anacoinosis, a Greek compound, signifying Communication, is a figure of speech in which the orator appeals to the judgment of his audience: as, “What could I do?' • What would you have done in my situation?'

“ He did oblige me every hour,

Could I but faithful be?
He stole my heart, could I refuse

Whate'er he ask'd of me?"

There is an indirect species of Communication

which, being verbal, is generally classed among the Tropes. It is when the speaker includes his audience in his proceedings, by using the plural We in the place of I. It is thus in didactic discourses, where it is generally said •We shall now proceed,' • Let us next consider,' &c. in place of • I shall now proceed,''I shall next consider,'&c. This phraseology is comparatively modern, and seems to have been introduced to avoid the Egotism (Latin ego, I,) of former times. Its first appearance was in those Literary Reviews which purported to be written by a Society of Editors who, individually, chose to be unknown; and thus were enabled to shoot their critical arrows, from behind a covert, without fear of personal retribution. In a work, such as the present, to which the author prefixes his name, the 'solemn we' apo pears, abstractedly, to be improper, if not ridiculous; and yet so much has it become an idiom of the language that, to most readers, the substitution of the I would seem impertinent.


EXAGGERATION. Liptores, or DIMINUTION, (Greek leipo, to be deficient) is a figure by which, in seeming to lessen, we increase the force of the expression. Thus, when we say . The man is no fool,' we are

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