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Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words.

4. Things animate for things lifeless.

À FOURTH way in which tropes may promote vivacity, is, when things sensitive are presented to the fancy instead of things lifeless; or, which is nearly the same, when life, perception, activity, design, passion, or any property of sentient beings, is by means of the trope attributed to things inanimate. It is not more evident that the imagination is more strongly affected by things sensible than by things intelligible, than it is evident that things animate awaken greater attention, and make a stronger impression on the mind than things senseless. It is for this reason that the quality of which I am treating, hath come to be termed vivacity, or liveliness of style.

In exemplifying what hath been now advanced, I shall proceed in the method which I took in the former article, and begin with metaphor. By a metaphor of this kind, a literary performance hath been styled the offspring of the brain ; by it a state or government in its first stage is represented as a child, in these lines of Dryden,

When empire in its childhood first appears,
A watchful fate o'ersees its tender years *.

In the two last examples we have things lifeless exhi

* Almanzor.

Sect. II.

Rhetorical tropes.... Part II. Tropes conducive to vivacity.

bited by things animate... In the following, wherein the effect is much the same, sense, feeling, and affection, are ascribed metaphorically to inanimate matter. Thomson, describing the influence of the sunbeams upon the snow in the valley, thus vividly and beautifully expresseth himself,

Perhaps the vale,
Relents a while to the reflected ray 1:


Every hedge,” says the Tatler, “ was conscious of

more than what the representations of enamoured “ swains admit of t." Who sees not how much of their energy these quotations owe to the two words relents and conscious? I shall only add, that it is the same kind of metaphor which has brought into use such expressions as the following: a bappy period, a learned age, the thirsty ground, a melancholy disaster.

THERE are several sorts of the metonymy which answer the same purpose. The first I shall mention, is that wherein the inventor is made to denote the invention, Ceres, for instance, to denote bread, Bacchus wine, Mars war, or any of the pagan deities to denote that in which he is specially interested, as Neptune the sea, Pluto hell, Pallas wisdom, and Venus the amorous affection. It must be owned, that as this kind seems even by the ancients to have been confin. ed to the discoveries, attributes, or dominions ascrib.

+ Winter. VOL. II.

I Tatler, No. 7.

Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words.

ed in their mythology to the gods, it is of little or no use to 'us moderns *

ANOTHER tribe of metonymies, which exhibits things living for things lifeless, is when the possessor is substituted for his possessions. Of this we have an example in the gospel : “ Wo unto you, scribes and pha

risees, hypocrites, for ye devour the families of wi"dows.”—Here the word families is used for their means of subsistence it. Like to this is an expression in Balaam's prophecy concerning Israel: “ He shall " eát 'up the 'nations 'his enemies 1.".

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A THIRD tribe of metonymies, which often presents us with animate instead of inanimate objects, is, when

* Even when such tropes 'occur in ancient authors, they cán scarcely be translated into any modern tongue, as was hinted on Part First-in regard to the phrase “ Vario Marte pugnatum est.” Another example of the same thing, " Sine Cerrere et Baccbo fri.

get Venus,"

+ Mátt. xxii, 14. The noun olxlas may be rendered either families or houses. The last, though used by our translators, hath here a double disadvantage. First, it is a trope formed upon a trope (which rarely hath a good effect), the house for the family, the thing containing for the thing contained, and the family for their means of living ; secondly, ideas åre introduced which are incompatible. There is nothing improper in speaking of a petson or family being devoured, but to talk of devouring a house' is absurd. It may be destroyed, demolished, undermined, but not devoured.

t Deut. xxiv. 8.

Sect. II.

Rhetorical tropes.... Part II. Tropes conducive to vivacity.

the concrete is made to signify the abstract; as the fool used for folly, the knave for knavery, the philosopher for philosophy. I shall illustrate this by some examples. Dryden hath given us one of this kind that is truly excellent :

The slavering cudden, propt upon his staff,
Stood ready gaping with a grinning laugh,
To welcome her awake, nor durst begin
To speak, but wisely kept the fool within *

The whole picture is striking. The proper words, every one of them, are remarkably graphical as well as the metonymy, with which the passage concludes. Another from the same hand,

Who follow next a double danger bring,

Not only hating David but the king to As David himself was king, both the proper name and the appellative would point to the same object, were they to be literally interpreted. But the oppo. sition here exhibited manifestly shows, that the last term, the king, is employed by metonymy to denote the royalty. The sense therefore is, that they have not only a personal hatred to the man that is king, but a detestation of the kingly office. A trope of this kind ought never to be introduced, but when the contrast, as in the present example, or something in the expression, effectually removes all obscurity and dan.

Cymon and Iphigenia.

+ Absalom and Achitophel.

Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words.

ger of mistake. In the passage last quoted, there is an evident imitation of a saying recorded by historians, of Alexander the Great, concerning two of his courtiers, Craterus and Hephestion : “ Craterus,” said he, “ loves the king, but Hephestion loves Alexander.Grotius hath also copied the same mode of expression, in a remark which he hath made, perhaps with more ingenuity than truth, on the two apostles, Peter and John. The attachment of John, he observes, was to Jesus, of Peter to the Messiah * Accordingly their master gave the latter the charge of his church, the former that of his family, recommending to him in particular the care of Mary his mother. The following sentiment of Swift is somewhat similar:

I do the most that friendship can;
I hate the viceroy, love the man.

The viceroy for the viceroyalty. I shall only add two examples more in this way: the first is from Addison, who, speaking of Tallard when taken prisoner by the allies, says,

An English muse is touch'd with gen'rous woe,
And in th’ unhappy man forgets the foet.

The foe, that is, his state of hostility with regard to us at the time : for the second I shall again recur to Dryden,

Annotations in Johan. Intr.

+ Campaign.

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