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OF TWO DISPUTANTS THE WARMEST IS GENERALLY
IN THE WRONG.
Our experience would lead us to quite an opposite conclusion. Temper, indeed, is no test of truth; but warmth and earnestness are a proof at least of a man's own conviction of the rectitude of that which he maintains. Coolness is as often the result of an unprincipled indifference to truth or falsehood, as of a sober confidence in a man's own side in a dispute. Nothing is more insulting sometimes than the appearance of this philosophic temper. There is little Titubus, the stammering law-stationer in Lincoln'sInn—we have seldom known this shrewd little fellow engaged in an argument where we were not convinced he had the best of it, if his tongue would but fairly have seconded him. When he has been spluttering excellent broken sense for an hour together, writhing and labouring to be delivered of the point in dispute—the very gist of the controversy knocking at his teeth, which like some obstinate iron-grating still obstructed its deliverance-his puny frame convulsed, and face reddening all over at an unfairness in the logic which he wanted articulation to expose, it has moved our gall to see a smooth portly fellow of an adversary, that cared not a button for the merits of the question, by merely laying his hand upon the head of the stationer, and desiring him to be calm (your tall disputants have always the advantage), with a provoking sneer carry the argument clean from him in the opinion of all the by-standers, who have gone away clearly convinced that Titubus must have been in the wrong, because he was in a passion; and that Mr.
-, meaning his opponent, is one of the fairest and at the same time one of the most dispassionate arguers breathing.-Essays of Elia.
EXAMPLE FOR PRACTICE.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
As to the tabor's sound,
And I again am strong.
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
And with the heart of May
Thou child of joy,
Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
My head hath its coronal,
O evil day! if I were sullen
This sweet May-morning,
On every side,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
-But there's a tree, of many, one,
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
Hath liad elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar :
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home : Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy,
He sees it in his joy;
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
Is on his way attended ;
These examples have been given to show how the English Language may be worked. The writer is perfectly aware that different views can be taken of many clauses. His aim has been in all cases to follow the sense in classifying combinations of words; and where the sense was doubtful to be guided by the place of the words in the sentence. It matters little, if this is carefully done, whether views as to the best rendering of any given passage agree or not.
All training in Grammar and Language ought to be based, and can be based, on our own speech. It is idle to teach the unknown by the unknown, as is the case when children are taught(?) Grammar, which they do not understand, in Latin, which they do not understand. Those who love the English Language will find the English Language capable of being made the foundation of all language-knowledge by a little common sense and thought in handling it. And a subject which works by common sense rather than by cut-and-dried rules is fitted on that very account to be a training subject,
FIGURATIVE language is very commonly employed, and is almost unavoidable in speaking or writing of any subject beyond the range of the most ordinary circumstances of life; so much so that nearly every sentence in a book contains some figurative expression, generally a metaphor.
The most common figures of speech are metaphor and simile ; but grammarians have enumerated a great many, minutely distinguished, and called them by Greek names.
The principal Figures of Speech are the following :
Simile illustrates an object by comparing it with another, with which it has some point of resemblance:
She never told her love,
Prey on her damask cheek.' Metaphor is simile without the sign. It is a bolder figure, and instead of saying that one thing is like another, says it is another :
• The moping owl does to the moon complain.'
“The wind murmured in reply.'
• Brave Peers of England, pillars of the state.'
'I bridle in my struggling muse with pain,
Allegory is a simile or metaphor continued through several sentences. Parables and fables are allegories.
Hyperbole is poetical exaggeration :
• The sea rolled mountains high.'
“This hand should rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green-one red.'
Irony is an expression the exact contrary of what we mean, used for the sake of force of language:
* How very obliging!' 'Oh, thank you!' Well done!'
Metonymy is the substitution of one word for another:
Synecdoche puts the part for the whole, or the whole for the part:
* And we far away on the billow' (for the sea).
Prosopopoeia, or Personification, speaks of abstractions, or of inanimate or irrational things, as if they were persons :
"Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.'
Apostrophe addresses an absent person, or an inanimate object, or an abstraction, as if it could hear, in the vocative
Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled !'
Antithesis places opposite ideas in contrast:
His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly.'