« ForrigeFortsæt »
The Queen of England's escape by sea. “ The queen was obliged to leave her king. dom. She sailed out of the English ports in sight of the rebel fleet, which pursued her close. This voyage was far different from that she had made on the same sea, when she went to take possession of the sceptre of great Britain. At that time every thing was propitious; now all the reverse.”
66 * The queen was obliged to leave her kingdom. And indeed she sailed out of the Eng. lish ports in sight of the rebellious navy, which chased her so close, that she almost heard their cries and insolent threats. Alas! how different this voyage
from that she made on the same sea, when, coming to take possession of the sceptre of Great Britain, she saw the billows smooth themselves, as it were, under her, to pay homage to the queen of the seas! Now chased, pursued, by her implacable enemies ; who had been so audacious as to draw up an accusation against her: sometimes just escaped,
* The queen of England's funeral oration, by M. Bossuet.
sometimes just taken; her fortune shifting every quarter of an hour, having no other assistance but God, and her own invincible fortitude, she had neither winds nor sails enough to favour her precipitate flight."-ROLLIN.
Perhaps the following instance from Mr. Burke will be still more pleasing, and I am sure it is more eloquent than those I have just quoted. You will observe that he might have said the whole in few words—that Mr. Howard evinced his philanthropy in foregoing every comfort, and despising every danger, for the sake of relieving the distresses of his fellow creatures
“ I cannot name this gentleman without remarking, that his labours and writings have done much to the
and hearts of mankind. He has visited all Europe-not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces, or the stateliness of temples ; not to make accurate measurements of the remains of antient grandeur ; nor to form a scale of the curiosity of modern art; nor to collect medals, or collate manuscripts : but to dive into the depth of dungeons; to plunge into the infection of hospitals; to survey the mansions of sorrow and pain; to take the gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and contempt; to remember the forgotten, to attend to the neglected, to visit the forsaken, and to compare and collate the distresses of all men in all countries. His plan is original; and it is as full of genius as it is of humanity. It was a voyage of discovery; a circumnavigation of charity. Already the benefit of his labour is felt more or less in every country: I hope he anticipates his final reward, by seeing all its effects fully realized in his own. He will receive, not by retail but in gross, the reward of those who visit the prisoner ; and he has so forestalled and monopolized this branch of charity, that there will be, I trust, little room to merit by such acts of benevolence hereafter."-ADDRESS TO ELECTORS OF BRISTOL.
The beauty of this last quotation depends not entirely on the lively detail of circumstances connected with the subject, but on allusions to matters really foreign to it; and of these I shall treat in my succeeding letter.
Figurative Language.-Comparisons and Si.
MY DEAR JOHN, A vivid imagination is not satisfied with bringing before the reader's mind all the circụmstances immediately connected with the principal subject, and placing them in a strike ing point of view; it borrows colours and forms from other objects to diversify and adorn the picture it draws
“ The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling, “ Doth glance from heav'n to earth, from earth to hea
ven; “ And, as imagination bodies forth “ The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen “ Turns them to shape,” &c.
You will easily perceive that I am now going to speak of figurative language. It is called figurative, because the author's meaning is expressed, not by the strict and proper phrases, but under the image or appearance of something else. Thus figurative language, if taken according to the literal sense of the words, would usually mislead.
It is extraordinary, however, that what appears a deviation from nature or reason should be so extremely common, that scarcely a sentence occurs without some word in it used in a figurative sense. Indeed if you will read with attention Mr. Tooke's “ Epea Pteroenta” (a work which every one ought to read) you will find that our most common particles are words distorted from their natural and primitive meaning. Dr. Blair used to remark on this subject, that at the mement he was speaking on a didactic subject, he was addressing his audience in figurative language.
The origin of figures has been referred to the poverty of language; but I rather consider them either as the sport of the fancy, or as the expression of passion or enthusiasm. We see imagery, and especially from natural objects, employed by the rudest and most savage nations, not from necessity, but from choice. The few specimens which we have had transa lated of Indian eloquence are abundantly figurative, and no writings can be more conspicuous