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scription thus reprobated. Contrary to all the ancient canons of criticism, his comparisons themselves (which are intended for illustration) required notes of explanation. But success with such daring was the result of no ordinary genius. Dr. Darwin not only pleased, but created his admirers. Nearly forty years have now elapsed since the first appearance of “ The Botanic Garden”; but these years have not passed in vain. So much more generally has science been cultivated, that, we believe, the beauties of the following extract will not pass unobserved even by the Readers of an elementary work:

“ Nymphs! you first taught to pierce the secret caves

Of humid earth, and lift her ponderous waves;
Bade, with quick stroke, the sliding piston bear
The viewless columns of incumbent air:-
Press’d by th' incumbent air, the floods below,
Through opening valves, in foaming torrents flow;
Foot after foot, with lessen'd impulse, move,
And rising seek the vacancy above:-
So, when the mother, bending o'er his charms,
Clasps her fair nurseling in delighted arms;
Throws the thin kerchief from her neck of snow,
And half unveils the pearly orbs below;
With sparkling eye, the blameless plunderer owns
Her soft embraces, and endearing tones:
Seeks the salubrious fount, with opening lips,
Spreads his enquiring hands, and smiles, and sips.”

The attempt to illustrate a subject by comparing it with one still less known is the crying sin of young poets. It is a Bathos, or sinking of the thought, which is always disagreeable to a cultivated taste. For example,

“ The silent moon, with her locks of light,

Peep'd through the shadowy veil of night;
And the sparkling stars began to shine,
Like scatter'd gems in a diamond mine”

Granting the facts, that there are silent moons,' and Diamond mines,' that are lighted with 'scatter'd gems, it is really no compliment to the stars to liken them to precious stones. Besides the Simile is useless; for the twinkling of the stars is as generally observed as the radiations of the diamond.

Another class of Similes to be avoided is that of endevouring to illustrate the known by the unknown. In this respect the following lines seem faulty:

from behind
Those Persian hangings, that but ill could screen
The Haram's loveliness, white hands were seen
Waving embroider'd scarfs, whose motion gave
A perfume forth ;—like those the Houris wave
When beckoning to their bowers thimmortal Brave."

Nothing is more common than for a young


poet to compare his Mistress to an Angel; or rather to a seraph, which he, somehow, supposes to be more decidedly feminine. The plants watered by her hands are such as scent the gardens of Elysium; and her song is the music of the Spheres.--He forgets that the bowers of Paradise have been reared by mortals; and that they do not contain a single shrub, or flower, which has not been transplanted from the Earth.

ANTITHESIS. An Antithesis, from the Greek antitithemi, I oppose, is the counterpart of a simile. It presents two subjects in opposition to one another, for the purpose of rendering their distinction more apparent : as,

“A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.”

And the following from the Guardian:

“True Honour, though it be a different principle from Religion, is that which produces the same effects. The lines of action, though drawn from different parts, terminate in the same point. Religion embraces virtue as it is enjoined by the laws of God; Honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature. The religious man fears, the man of honour scorns, to do an ill action. The latter considers vice as something that is beneath him; the former as something that is offensive to the Divine Being the one as what is unbecoming, the other as what is forbidden."

Antithesis, by placing subjects in contrast, prompts the judgment, and is, therefore, a common figure in logical Rhetoric. It is, probably, on this account, that it is such a favorite with Mr. Pope; for, whether right or wrong, he always

In the · Essay on Man'this figure occurs in every page: the following lines, from his Characters of Women,' are of a lighter kind:


“ See how the world its veterans rewards!

A youth of frolics,-an old age of cards;
Fair to no purpose,-artful to no end;
Young without lovers--old without a friend;
A fop their passion,-but their prize a sot;
Alive, ridiculous, and dead, forgot!"


The gradual ascent of a subject, from a less to a higher interest, is termed a Climax, a Greek word signifying gradation. The speaker makes an assertion which, he feels, is not strong enough for his thought;--he adds another, and another, until he reaches that point which his mind contemplates to be sufficiently expressive ; and then the climax (or climbing) ends. Shakspeare furnishes some fine examples:

“ You all do know this Mantle, I remember

The first time euer Cæsar put it on,
'Twas on a Summer's Euening in his Tent,
That day he ouercame the Neruij.
Looke, in this place ran Cassius Dagger through,
See what a rent the enuious Caska made:
Through this, the well-beloued Brutus stabb’d,
And as he pluck'd his cursed Steele away:
Marke how the blood of Cæsar followed it,-

This was the most unkindest cut of all.
For when the Noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong then Traitors armes,
Quite uanquish'd him: then burst his Mighty heart.”

Julius Cæsar.

“ Our Reuels now are ended : These our actors,

(As I foretold you) were all Spirits, and
Are melted into Ayre, into thin Ayre,
And like the baselesse fabrieke of this uision
The Clowd-capt Towres, the gorgeous Pallaces,
The solemne Temples, the great Globe it selfe,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolue,
And like this insubstantiall Pageant faded
Leaue not a racke behinde,"



The descent from great things to small is an

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