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“A writer in the Edinburgh Review,” to quote the words of Professor Newman, “thus remarks on the poetry of Milton :

“ Change the structure of the sentence; substitute one synonyme for another, and the whole effect is destroyed. The spell loses its power; and he who should then hope to conjure with it, would find himself as much mistaken as Cassim, in the Arabian tale, when he cried • Open Wheat,' * Open Barley,' to the door which obeyed no sound but . Open Sesame.'

Here the allusion is to one of the popular plays of the day, and hence it is pleasing and easily understood.

EXERCISES. 159. Neatly transcribe the following Examples, underlining the words exemplifying the Figure, and subjoining to each Example a few Remarks tending to show the propriety of each :1. Allegory; — Wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,

But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood ?
Yet lives our pilot still. Is't meet that he
Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad,
With tearful eyes add water to the sea,
And give more strength to that which hath too much ;
While in his moan the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have sav'd.

2. Antitheses ; -a. Alfred seemed born not only to defend his bleeding country, but even to adorn humanity.


b. Fame floats on the breath of the multitude ; honour rests on the judgment of the thinking. Fame may give praise, while it withholds esteem; true honour implies esteem, mingled with respect.


c. Robertson sums up the character of Martin Luther in the following words:

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“ Zeal for what he regarded as truth, undaunted intrepidity to maintain his own system, abilities, both natural and acquired, to defend his principles, and unwearied industry in propagating them, are virtues which shine so conspicuously in every part of his behaviour, that even his enemies must allow him to have possessed them in a very eminent degree. To these may be added, such purity and even austerity of manners, as became one who assumed the character of a reformer ; such sanctity of life as suited the doctrine which he delivered ; and such perfect disinterestedness as affords no slight presumption of his sincerity.” Remarks. d. How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,

How complicate, how wonderful, is man !
Midway from nothing to the Deity!
An heir of glory! a frail child of dust!
Helpless immortal ! insect infinite !
A worm ! a god ! I tremble at myself,

And in myself am lost !
e. Two principles in human nature reign ;

Self-love to urge, and reason to restrain ;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call ;

Each works its end to move or govern all.

LESSON 77. HYPERBOLE, TRONY, PARALEPSIS. 160. An HYPÉRBŐL? is a figure that represents things as greater or less, better or worse, than they are in reality ; thus, David, speaking of Saul and Jonathan, says, “They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions."

161, a. Hyperbolical language is frequently the effect of passion; for, the passions, whether love, terror, amazement, indignation, anger, or grief, throw the mind into confusion, and exaggerate their objects.


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hyperboles generally appear in tragedy during the storms of passion, or in the higher kinds of poetry and oratory.

b. An hyperbole should never be used in prose in the description of any thing ordinary or familiar; and when used, it should be expressed as briefly as possible. In instances, however, of humour and drollery, hyperboles are frequently introduced purposely to magnify or degrade the subject. In poetry, also, a greater latitude may be allowed than in prose, but even here, we should be on our guard lest the figure degenerate into bombast.

162. a. IRONY is a figure in which we utter the very reverse of what we intend should be understood, with a view to add force and pungency to our observations. Thus, when we style a thief, A mighty honest fellow indeed,” we speak ironically. The real sentiments of the speaker are evinced by the sneering accent, the air, the extravagance of the praise, contrasted with the wellknown character of the person or thing addressed.

b. This figure is generally employed in satirizing the vices and fillies of mankind; for, those individuals on whose minds the soundest arguments would have no effect, are not proof against the poignancy of lery. We therefore find, that the most serious persons have, on proper occasions, had recourse to the use of this figure. Thus, the prophet Elijah, sneeringly challenges the priests of Baal to prove the truth of their deity in these words, –“ Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked."

163. Sarcasm, a kind of irony, is a keen satirical expression, intended to insult and mortify a person ; thus, The Jews, when they derided Christ, insultingly said, “ He saved others; himself he cannot save.”

164. Paralepsis or omission is a figure by which we pretend to omit what we are really desirous of enforcing; as, “ Your idleness, not to mention your impertinence and dishonesty, disqualifies you for the situation.”

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EXERCISES. 165. Neatly transcribe the following Examples, underlining the words exemplifying the Figure, and subjoining to each Example a few Remarks tending to show the propriety of each :

1. Hyperbole ; a. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. -- Genesis, ch. xiii.


b. To possess cities great, and fenced up to heaven. Deut. ch. ix.

c. The (mariners) mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble.

Psalm cvii. 26.
d. Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews,

Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans forsake

Unsounded deeps to dance on sands.

2. Irony; a. Burke, in a speech delivered before the House of Commons in 1790, thus ironically speaks of the French

“ The French have shown themselves the ablest architects of ruin that have hitherto appeared in the world ; in one short summer they have pulled down their monarchy, their church, their nobility, their law, their army, and their revenue.”

b. Solomon thus ironically exposes the follies of youth, Eccles. xi. 9:

“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth ; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes : but know thou,

hyperboles generally appear in * the higher kinds of poetry and

b. An hyperbole should nev: thing ordinary or familiar; and u as possible. In instances, howe's are frequently introduced pur In poetry, also, a greater latit:? here, we should be on our gu?r!

162. a. IRONY is a very reverse of whai stood, with a view ily our observations. A mighty honest f cally. The real evinced by the sr. vagance of the known character o

b. This figure is generally. mankind; for, those indiy would have no effect, are lery. We therefore find. occasions, had recourse Elijah, sneeringly challe deity in these words, or he is pursuing, or he is in must be awaked.”

163. Sarcasm, expression, inten! thus, The Jew, sultingly said, “? not save.'

164. Paralep: we pretend to o enforcing; as, “T impertinence the situation."

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