תמונות בעמוד

mind; in which state, it is disagreeable to contract the mind to a minute object, however elegant. The resembling an object to one that is greater, .has, on the contrary, a good effect, by raising or swelling the mind: for one passes with satisfaction from a small to a great object; but cannot be drawn down, without reluctance, from great to small. Hence the following similes are faulty.

Meanwhile the troops beneath Patroclus' care,

Invade the Trojans, and commence the war.

As wasps, provok'd by children in their play,

Pour from their mansions by the broad highway.

In swarms the guiltless traveller engage,

Whet all their stings, and call forth all their rage;

All rife in arms, and with a general cry

Assert their waxen domes, and buzzing progeny:

Thus from the tents the fervent legion swarms,

So loud their clamours, and so keen their arms.

Iliad, xvi. 311,

So burns the vengeful hornet (soul all o'er)
Repuls'd in vain, and thirsty still of gore;
(Bold son of air and heat) on angry wings
Untam'd, untir'd, he turns, attacks and stings^
Fir'd with like ardour fierce Atrides flew,
And sent his soul with ev'ry lance he threw.

Iliad, xvii. 642,

Instant ardentes Tyrii: pars ducere muros,
Molirique arcem, et manibus subvolvere saxa;
Pars aptare locum tecto, et concludere sulco.


Jura magistratusquc legunt, sanctumque senatum.
Hie portus alii effodiunt: hie alta thcatris
Fundame»ta locant alii, immanesque columnaa
Rupibus excidunt, scenis decora alta futurii.
Qualis apes æstate nova per florea rura
Exercet sub sole labor, cum gentis adultos
Educunt foetus, aut cum liquentia mella
Stipant, et dulci distendunt nectare cellas,
Aut onera accipiunt venientum, aut agmine facto
Ignavum fucos pecus a præsepibus arcent.
Fervet opus, redolentque thymo fragrantia mella.

Æneid. i. 417.

To describe bees gathering honey as resembling the builders of Carthage, would have a much better effect *.

Turn vero Teucri incumbunt, et littore celsas
Deducunt toto naves: natat uncta carina;
Frondentesque serunt remos, et roborasylvis
Infabricata, fugæ studio. •

Migrantes cernas, totaque ex urbe^uentes.
Ac veluti ingentem formic* farris acijrvum
Cumpopulant, hyemis memores, tectoque reponunt 1
It nigrum campis agmen, prsedamque per herbas
Convectant calle angusto: pars grandia trudunt
Obnixæ frumenta humeris: pars agmina cogunt,
Castigaotque moras: opere omnis semita serves.

Æneid. iv. 397.

• And accordingly Demetrius Phalercus (of Elocution, sect. 8j.) •bserves, that it has a better effect to compare small things to great than great things to small.

The following simile has not any one beauty to recommend it. The subject is Amata the wife of JCing Latinus.

Turn vero infelix, ingentibus excita monstris,
Immensam sine more furit lymphata per urbem:
Ceu quondam torto volitans sub verbere turbo.
Quern pueri magno in gyro vacua atria circum
Intent! ludo exercent. Ille actus habena
Curvatis fertur spatiis: stupet infcia turba,
Impubefque manus, mirata volubile buxum;
Dant animos plagæ. Non cursu segnior illo
Per medias urbes agitur, populosque feroces.

Æneid. vii. 376.

This simile seems to border upon the burlesque.

An error opposite to the former, is the introducing a resembling image, so elevated or great as to bear no proportion to the principal subject. Their remarkable disparity, being the most striking circumstance, seizes the mind, a.nd never fails to depress the principal subject by contrast, instead of raising it by resemblance: and if the disparity be exceeding great, the simile takes on an air of burlesque; nothing being more ridiculous than to force an object out of its proper rank in nature, by equalling it with one greatly superior or greatly inferior. Ttiis will be evident from the following comparisons.

Fervet opus, redolentqse thymo fragrantia mella. ^c yeluti lentis Cyclopes fulmioa maffis

Cum properant: aliitaurinis follibus aurai

Accipiunt, redduntque: alii linden tia tingun(

Æra lacu: gemit impolitis incudibus Ætna:

Illi inter sese magna vi brachia tollunt;

In numerum; versantque tenaci sorcipe ferrum.

Non aliter (si parva licet cpmponere tpagnis)

Cecropias innatus apes amor urget habendi,

Munere quamque suo. Grandævis oppida curse,

Et munire favos, et Dædala fingere tecta.

At feflae multa referunt fe nocte minores, +&,

Crura thymo plenæ: paseuntyr et arbuta paffim,

Et glaucas salices, casiamque fcrocumque rubentem.

Et pinguem tiliam, et ferrugineos hyacinthos.

Omnibus una quics operum, labor omnibus unus. *.

Georgic. iv. 169,

Turn Bidan ardentem oculis animisque frementem;
Non jaculo, neque enim jaculo vitam ille dedisset;
Sed magnum stridens contorta falarica venjt
Fulminis acta modo, quam nee duo taurea terga,

* Tke Cyclopes make a better figure in the following simile;

fofti'' The Thracian leader prest,

With eager courage, far before the rest j

Him Ajax met, inflam'd with equal rage;

Between the wond'ring hosts the chiefs engage; 'Their weighty weapons round their heads they throw,

And swift, and heavy, falls each thund'ring blow.

As when in Ætna's caves the giant brood,

The one-ey'd servants of the Lemnian god,

In order round the burning anvil stand,

And forge, with weighty strokes, the forked brand- j.

TJje making hills their fervid toils confess,

And echoes rattling through each dark recese:

{|o ragsd, the fight. Efigoniad, *. 8.

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Nee duplici squama lorica fidelis et auro
Sustinuit: collapsa ruunt immania membra:
Dat tellus gemitum, et clypeum super intonat ingent.
Qualis in Euboico Baiarum littore quondam
Saxea pila cadit, magnis quam molibus ante
Constructam jaciunt ponto: sic ilia ruinam
Prona trahit, penitusque vadis illisa recumbit:
Miscent se maria, et nigrx attolluntur arenas:
Turn sonitu Prochyta alta tremit, durumque cubile
Inarime Jovis imperiis imposta Typhoeo.

Æneid. ix. 703.

Loud as a bull makes hill and valley ring,
So roar'd the lock when it releas'd the spring.

Odyssey, xxi. 51.

Such a simile upon the simplest of all actions, that of opening a lock, is pure burlesque.

A writer of delicacy will avoid drawing his comparisons from any image that is nauseous, ugly, or remarkably disagreeable; for however strong the resemblance may be, more will be lost than gained by such comparison. Therefore I cannot help condemning,|though with some reluctance, the following simile, or rather metaphor,

O thou fond many! with what loud applause
Did'st thou beat heav'n with blessing Bolingbroke
Before he was what thou wou'dst have him be?
And now being trimm'd up in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up.


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