« AnteriorContinuar »
other. Prophetically to dull and stupify their senses thus, was to predict that they would be as insensible to the messages of God, from their unbelief and impiety, as the blind are insensible to colors, and the deaf are to sounds.
The figure, though seldom occurring in the poets and orators in these bold and imposing forms, is often employed by them:
"Where'er I roam, whatever realms I see,
Dragging a chain, that grew longer and heavier as he advanced on his journey, is used to signify that his regrets increased as the distance became greater that separated him from his friend.
"The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Here soul is used for self, and grappling friends to one's self with hooks of steel, is put for attaching
them to one's self indissolubly, by the means that naturally excite and perpetuate friendship.
"I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness;
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
By an elliptical metaphor, his highest official station is called his greatness, as though it had elevation and breadth, like a triumphal arch; and his touching its uppermost point is put for his reaching his greatest power. In like manner, his hasting to his setting is put for his loss of office and influence.
And, with a seer-like majesty, poured forth
His holy adoration to the God
Who o'er time's broken wave had borne his bark
Bearing his bark safe over time's broken wave is put for guiding and protecting him amidst the dangers of life.
"When men once reach their autumn, sickly joys
At every little breath misfortune blows;
Till, left quite naked of their happiness,
Expiring in the chill blasts of winter, from want of protection to the body, is here put for dying under storms of mental sorrow, from want of intellectual or spiritual supports.
His milk-white hand. The palm is hardly clean;
Foh! 't was a bribe that left it. He has touched
A stain of the hand, by the touch of a polluting object, is put for the defilement of the mind by a guilty action.
"Self-flattered, unexperienced, high in hope,
When young, with sanguine cheer, and streamers gay, We cut our cable, launch into the world,
And fondly dream each wind and star our friend."
Cutting a cable, and launching into the world with streamers gay, acts that are peculiar to mari
ners, are put for entering on the active pursuits of life in a bold and sanguine expectation of success.
The figure is very frequently employed in narratives, letters, and conversation; and our language owes to it many of its most pointed and emphatic expressions.
Thus one who falsely assumes that others, who have an interest in the measures he is pursuing, will give him their sanction and support, is said to reckon without his host.
A person who gives an exorbitant price for a trifle, or labors hard to gain an object that yields him little benefit, is said to pay dear for his whistle.
A person who, having engaged in an undertaking that proves to be more difficult than he had expected, and likely to issue in disaster, regrets that he had attempted it, is said to count the cost too late.
Persons who take precautions against a misfortune after it has befallen them, are said to lock the stable after the horse has been stolen.
When one's affairs are disastrous, it is said to be ebb tide with him; when he is successful, he is said to have a flood tide.
A man who meets great difficulties and dangers in the conduct of an undertaking, especially from rivals and antagonists, is said to have a head wind,
and a tempestuous time; and one who encounters no obstacles, but is favored by events in the management of his business, is said to have a clear coast, a favoring tide, and a fair wind.
Those who are sanguine of success, and elated with the prospect of happiness, are said to see fair weather ahead; while those who are habitually distrustful, and anticipate evil, are said always to have a storm brewing, or the future is always dark to them.
When it is necessary for a person to make a skilful and strenuous effort to accomplish an object, it is said he must put his best foot foremost.
When a person has nearly reached the end of life, it is said of him: he has nearly got through his journey; he is nearing his port; he is to meet but one tempest more.
A person who is engaged in an undertaking of great difficulty and responsibility, is said to have a great load to carry; one whose pursuits involve little risk, and require only slight exertion, is said to have but a light burden.
A person who adopts the principles and theories of another, and makes them the rule of his conduct, is said to sail by that man's chart; to take his latitude and longitude from him; and to follow his reckoning. Thus a late chief magistrate of the