Imágenes de página

lable, either at the beginning, middle, or end of a word. Elision thus consists of three kinds, usually denominated Aphaērēsis, Syncopě, and Apocopě.

a. Aphaērēsis takes away a letter or syllable from the beginning of a word; as, 'gan for began ; 'gainst for against ; 'plaint for complaint.

b. Syncopě rejects a letter or syllable from the middle of a word; as, lov'd for loved ; se'nnight for sevennight.

c. Apocăpă cuts off a letter or syllable from the end; as, th' for the ; morn for morning ; vale for valley ; scant for scanty.

119. Prosthésis adds a letter or syllable to the beginning of a word; as, en-chain, dis-part, for chain, part.

120. Paragõgě adds a letter or syllable to the end ; as, awaken for awake.

121. Synaērēsis is the contraction of two vowels or of two syllables into one ; as, ae in Israel, ie in alienate, pronounced as if written Is-ral, Al-yenate. Two words, also, are frequently contracted into one; as, 'Tis for it is; 'twas for it was ; we'll for we will.

122. Diaērēsis is the division of one syllable into two, by placing the mark over the latter of two vowels; as, in zoology. This figure very rarely occurs in English.

123. Tmesis separates a compound word, by putting a word between ; as, To God ward,that is, “ Toward God.”

The preceding figures are exclusively confined

to Poetry, consequently, they must not be introduced into Prose. 124. 2nd. FIGURES OF SYNTAX.

The Figures of Syntax are Ellipsis, Pleonasm, Enallăge, and Hyperbăton.

125. Ellipsis is the omission of words which are necessary to complete the full syntactical construction of a sentence, but not requisite to convey the meaning. - An Ellipsis must not be employed either when the meaning of the sentence would be rendered obscure, or its energy weakened.

126. a. Pleonasm is the use of superfluous words, and is allowable only in expressions of earnestness on some interesting subject,-in solemn language,or in poetical description; thus, we may say, “ We have seen with our eyes, we have heard with our ears.“ The sea-girt isle."

b. Polysynděton, or the repetition of a conjunction, is a figure employed when we wish to dwell on each particular; as, "Power, and wisdom, and goodness, shine forth in the works of creation.”

c. Periphrăsis is the use of several words to denote one object; as, " The juice of the grape,"

“ for wine. This figure is frequently necessary to render our meaning distinct.

127. Enallăge is the employment of one part of speech for another, and is entirely confined to Poetry; as, “ Slow rises merit, when by poverty depressed."

128. Hyperbăton is the transposition of words ; as, “ Come, nymph demure,for “ demure nymph.” This figure is very common in poetry, and, when judiciously employed, imparts energy to a sentence.

EXERCISES.—- 1. What Figures of Orthography do the following words illustrate ?

Plaint for complaint; wail for bewail; eve for evening; fount for fountain ; dread for dreadful ; ope for open ; arise for rise ; stoľn for stolen; disparted for parted ; 'tis ; 'twill; adown his beard.

2. Name the Figure of Syntax illustrated by the clauses in Italic:

a. Blessing and honour and glory and might and thanksgiving be unto our God.

6. There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

c. They fall successive and successive rise.
d. He wanders earth around.
e. Come, Philomelus; let us instant go,

O’erturn his bow'rs, and lay his castle low.




129. The FIGURES OF RHETORIC are deviations from the proper and literal meaning of a word or phrase. — A word is said to be used literally, when it is employed to describe anything according to the ordinary mode of expression; and figuratively, when, though retaining its usual signification, it is applied in a manner different from its common application. Thus, when I use the word pillar as supporting an edifice, I employ it literally; but, when speaking of a man, I say “ He is the pillar of the state," I use it figuratively; because, in this latter instance, I apply it to an object different from that to which it is usually applied.

130. Figurative Language is, in general, the expression of a lively imagination, employing words which, originally, were descriptive of sensible objects only, but which, from an apparent affinity, are equally applicable to mental perceptions. Thus, we speak of a piercing judgment, a clear head, a soft or a hard heart. We also say inflamed by anger ; swelled with pride; melted with grief; and these terms are almost the only significant words which we have for such ideas.

131. CAUTION IN THE APPLICATION OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE. — Figurative Language must always rise spontaneously, as it were, from the subject itself, and be based on solid thought and natural sentiment. When thus introduced, it contributes most powerfully to instruct the understanding and interest the heart. To acquire skill in its application, sound sense and careful practice will be essential.

132. The following are the principal Figures of Rhetoric:

Simile or Comparison, Metaphor, Allegory, Antithěsis, Allusion, Hyperbole, Irony, Paralepsis, Metonymy, Synecdoche or Comprehension, Personification or Prosopopēia, Apostrophe, Interrogation, Exclamation, Vision, Climax.

133. a. A SIMILE or FORMAL COMPARISON is the resemblance in some one particular between two




objects of different kinds or species. This resemblance is expressed by the words like or as ; thus, we can say of a horse, “ He is as swift as the wind;." and of a man, “He is as firm as a rock.

Here, the resemblance between a horse and the wind is in swiftness ; and between a man and a rock in strength.

6. As Comparisons must be instituted between objects of different species, it is improper to compare one man with another, one arbour with another, one river with another, or one army with another, &c. objects must always be attached to different species; thus, we can properly compare“ A hero to a lion," -"night to old age,"-life to an ocean,"

an army to a torrent," &c. So, we may compare a mighty poet who pours his thoughts in the violence and rapidity of verse to a river swollen with rain hurrying all before it.

C. As Comparisons imply some degree of deliberation, they appear in. consistent with the expression of violent passion. On such occasions, metaphors may, with propriety, be introduced.

134. a. RULE FOR THE APPLICATION OF SIMILES. - A Simile must be striking, natural, and suitable to the subject and the occasion; as, “ The music was like the memory of joys that are past, pleasant and mournful to the soul.” Here, the comparison is made not between one kind of music and another, but, between music and the memory of joys that are past. The resemblance is therefore happy and striking, and awakens all the tender sensibilities suggested by the objects of comparison.

b. The preceding rule will exclude all comparisons that are too trite and obvious, too faint and remote, too difficult for ordinary apprehension, or not suitable either to the subject or the occasion.

C. A due regard must, of course, be had to the class of readers whom we are addressing. What is trite to well-informed persons, may possibly be

« AnteriorContinuar »