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or, in other words, the some thing may be expressed by different metaphors. But the mischief is, that an unskilful author shall run these metaphors so absurdly into one another, that there shall be no simile, no agreeable picture, no apt resemblance, but confusion, obscurity and noise. Thus I have known a hero compared to a thunderbolt, a lion, and the sea; all and each of them proper metaphors for impetuosity, courage, and force. But by bad management it hath so happened that the thunderbolt hath overflowed its banks, the lion hath been darted through the skies, and the billows have rolled out of the Lybian deserts.
The absurdity in this instance is obvious. And yet every time that clashing metaphors are put together, this fault is committed more or less. It hath already been said, that metaphors are images of things which affect the senses. An image, therefore, taken from what acts upon the sight, cannot, without violence, be applied to the hearing ; and so of the rest. It is no less an impropriety to make any being in nature or art to do things in its metaphorical state which it could not do in its original. I shall illustrate what I have said by an instance which I have read more than once in controversial writers. The heavy lashes, saith a celebrated author, that have dropped from your pen, i!fc. I suppose this gentleman, having frequently heard of gall dropping from a pen, and being lashed in a satire, he was resolved to have them both at any rate, and so uttered this complete piece of nonsense. It will more effectually discover the absurdity of these monstrous unions, if we will suppose these metaphors or images actually painted. Imagine then a hand holding a pen, and several lashes of whip-cord falling from it, and you have the true representation of this sort of eloquence. I believe, by this very rule, a reader may be able to judge of the union of all metaphors whatsoever, and determine which are homogeneous, and which heterogeneous; or, to speak more plainly, which are consistent, and which inconsistent.
There is yet one evil more which I must take notice of, and that is, the running of metaphors into tedious allegories, which, though an error on the better hand, causes confusion as much as the other. This becomes abominable, when the lustre of one word leads a writer out of his road, and makes him wander from his subject for a page together. I remember a young fellow of this turn, who having said by chance, that his mistress had a world of charms, thereupon took occasion to consider her as one possessed of frigid and torrid zones, and pursued her from the one pole to the other.
I shall conclude this paper with a letter written in that enormous style, which I hope my reader hath by this time set his heart against. The epistle hath heretofore received great applause; but, after what hath been said, let any man commend it if he dare.
« After the many heavy lashes that have fallen from your fien, you may justly expect in return all the load that my ink can lay upon your shoulders. You have quartered all the foul language upon me that could be raked out of the air of Billingsgate, without knowing who I am, or whether I deserve to be cufified and scarified at this rate. I tell you once for all, turn your eyes where you please, you shall never smell me out. Do you think that the fiamcs, which you sow about the parish, ever build a monument to your glory? No, sir; you may fight these battles as long as you will, but when you come to balance the account, you will find that you have been fishing in troubled waters, and that an ignis fatuus hath bewildered you, and that indeed you have built upon a sandy foundation, and brought your hogs to a fair market. I am, sir,
No. 596. MONDAY, September 20, 1714.
-JVtolle meum levibus cor est violabile telis.
Ovid.Ep. IS. v. 79.
Cupid's light darts my tender bosom move. Pope.
T HE case of my correspondent, who sends mc the following letter, has somewhat in it so very whimsical, that I know not how ta entertain my readers better than by laying it before them.
"I Am fully convinced that there is not upon earth a more impertinent creature than an importunate lover; we are daily complaining of the severity of our fete, to people who are wholly unconcerned in it; and hourly improving a passion which we would persuade the world is the torment of our lives. Notwithstanding this reflection, sir, I cannot forbear acquainting you with my own case. You must know. then, sir, that even from my childhood, the most prevailing inclination I could perceive in myself was a strong desire to be in favor with the fair sex. I am at present in the one-and-twentieth year of my age, and should have made choice of a she bed-fellov many years since, had not my father, who has a pretty good estate of his own getting, and passes in the world for a prudent man, been pleased to lay it down as a maxim, that nothing spoils a young fellow's fortune so much as marrying early ; and that no mar, ought to think of wedlock till six-and-twenty. Knowing his sentiments upon this head, I thought it in vain to apply myself to women of condition, who expect settlements; so that all my amours have hitherto been with ladies who had no fortunes; but I know not how to give you so good an idea of me as by laying before you the history of my life.
"I can very well remember, that at my school-mistress's, whenever we broke up, I was always for joining myself with the miss who lay-in, and was constantly one of the first to make a party in the play of husband and wife. This passion for being well with the females still increased as I advanced in years. At the dancing-school I contracted so many quarrels by struggling with my fellow-scholars for the partner I liked best, that upon a ball-night, before our mothers made their appearance, I was usually up to the nose in blood. My father, like a discreet man, soon removed me from this stage of softness to a school of discipline, where I learnt Latin and Greek. I underwent several severities in this place, till it was thought
convenient to send me to the university ; though, to confess the truth, I should not have arrived so early at that seat of learning, but from the discovery of an intrigue between me and my master's house-keeper; upon whom I had employed my rhetoric so effectually, that, though she was a very elderly lady, I had almost brought her to consent to marry me. Upon my arrival at Oxford, I found logic so dry, that instead of giving attention to the dead, I soon fell to addressing the living. My first amour was with a pretty girl, whom I shall call Parthenope : her mother sold ale by the town-wall. Being often caught there by the proctor, I was forced at last, that my mistress's reputation might receive no blemish, to confess my addresses were honorable. Upon this I was immediately sent home ; but Parthenope soon after marrying a shoemaker, I was again suffered to return. My next affair -was with my tailor's daughter, who deserted me for the sake of a young barber. Upon my complaining to one of my particular friends of this misfortune, the cruel wag made a mere jest of my calamity, and asked me with a smile, Where the needle should. turn but tothe pole (a)? After this I was deeply in love with a milliner, and at last with my bed-maker; upon which I was sent away, or, in the universityphrase, rusticated for ever.
"Upon my coming home, I settled to my studies so heartily, and contracted so great a reservedness by being kept from the company I most affected, that my father thought he might venture me at the Temple.
"Within a week after my arrival I began to shine again, and become enamoured with a mighty pretty creature, who had every thing but money to recommend her. Having frequent opportunities of uttering all the soft things which an heart formed for love could inspire me with, I soon gained her consent to treat of marriage ; but, unfortunately for us all, in the absence of my charmer I usually talked the same