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Examples. 1. Wit and humor are like those volatile essences, which, being too delicate to bear the open air, evaporate almost as soon as they are exposed to it.
2. Like birds whose beauties languish, half concealed,
Till mounted on the wing their glossy plumes
And in the smoke the pennons flew,
Then marked they dashing broad and far
She never told her love,
7. This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction ; once I loved
8. They are the native courtesies of a feeling mind, showing themselves amid stern virtues and masculine energies like gleams of light on points of rocks.
9. I never tempted her with word too large;
But as a brother to a sister showed
Bashful sincerity and comely love. 10. Curses, like chickens, always come home to roost.
11. As no roads are so rough as those which have just been mended, so no sinners are so intolerant as those that have just turned saints.
12. True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.
Adversity, with a storm.
sparkling of the diamond.
they are approaching. The style of two writers; one with a convex
mirror, scattering the light, — the other with
to a focus.
Antithesis is the counterpart of comparison, and is founded or the contrast or opposition of two abjects. By contrast. objects opposed to each other appear in a stronger light, and their peculiar beauties or defects appear in bold relief.
Antitheses, like comparisons, must be subjected to some rules. They must take place between things of the same species. Substantives, attri butes, qualities, faculties of the same kind, must be set in opposition. To constitute an antithesis between a man and a lion, virtue and hunger, figure and color, would be to form a contrast where there is no opposition. But to contrast one man with another, virtues with virtues, fig. ures with figures, is pertinent and proper, because in these cases there must be striking opposition.
Antithesis makes the most brilliant appearance in the delineation of characters, particularly in history. The historian, in the performance of this delicate part of his task has a good opportunity for displaying his discernment and knowledge of human nature; and of distinguishing those nice shades by which virtues and vices run into one another. It is by such colors only that a character can be strongly painted, and antithesis is necessary to denote those distinctions.
Antithesis, also, by placing subjects in contrast, prompts the judge ment; and is therefore a very common figure in argumentative writing.
Antithesis is also used with great advantage in descriptions or representations of the power and extent of a quality, as follows.
“I can command the lightnings, -and am dust." Again. In the description of the power of the steam-engine, a late writer says: “The trunk of an elephant, that can pick up a pin or rend an oak, is as nothing to it. It can engrave a seal and crush masses of obdurate metal before it, — draw out, without breaking, a thread as fine as gossamer, and lift up a ship of war like a bauble in the air. It can embroider muslin and forge anchors, - cut steel into ribands, and impel loaded vessels against the fury of the winds and waves.”*
1. Behold my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty ; behold my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed.
2. Religion and Superstition, contrasted.
Religion is the offspring of Truth and Love, and the parent of Benevolence, Hope and Joy. Superstition is the child of.
* The author of Lacon very justly remarks: “To extirpate antithesis from literature altogether, would be to destroy at one stroke about eight tenths of all the wit, ancient and modern, now existing in the world. It is a figure capable not only of the greatest wit, but sometimes of the greatest heauty, and sometimes of the greatest sublinity.”
prwinient, and her children are Fear and Sorrow. The former invites us to the moderate enjoyment of the world, and all its tranquil and rational pleasures. The latter teaches us only that man was born to mourn and to be wretched. The former invites us to the contemplation of the various beauties of the globe, which heaven has destined for the seat of the human race; and proves to us that a world so exquisitely framed could not be meant for the abode of misery and pain. The latter exhorts us to retire from the world, to fly from the enchantments of social delight, and to consecrate the hours to solitary lamentation. The former teaches us that to enjoy the blessings sent by our benevolent Creator is virtue and obedience. The latter informs us that every enjoyment is an offence to the Deity, who is to be worshipped only by tha mortification of every sense of pleasure, and the everlasting apercise of sighs and tears. B. Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull.
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing, full. 4. Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one,
Have oft-times no connection. Knowledge dwells
5. An upright minister asks what recommends a man ; & porrupt minister asks who recommends him.
6. When the million applaud, you ask what harm you have done; when they censure you, what good.
7. Contemporaries appreciate the man rather than the merit; but posterity will regard the merit rather than the man. 8. Contrasted faults through all his manners reigii,
Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain,
The student may now write a list of subjects in pair which can be presented in antithesis, and present one or more of them accordingly.
A parallel, considered as a composition, is a kind of compai. ison made to exhibit the resemblance between two characters or writings, to show their conformity as it is continued through many particulars, or in essential points. The parallel is sometimes diversified by antitheses, to show in a strong light the points of individual distinction.
PARALLEL BETWEEN POPE AND DRYDEN.
Pope professed to have learned his poetry from Dryden, whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised through his whole life with unvaried liberality; and perhaps his character may receive some illustration if he be compared with his master.
Integrity of understanding, and nicety of discernment, were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poetical prejudices, and the rejection of unnatural thoughts and rugged numbers. But Dry. den never desired to apply all the judgment that he had. He wrote, and professed to write, merely for the people; and when he pleased others he contented himself. He spent no time in struggles to rorse latent powers; he never attempted to make that better which was already good, nor often to mend what he must have known to be faulty. He wrote, as he tells us, with very little consideration; when occasion or necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present moment happened to supply and when once it had passed the press, ejected it from his mind; for when he had no pecuniary interest, he had no further solicitude.
Pope was not content to satisfy; he desired to excel, and therefore al. ways endeavored to do his best; he did not court the candor, but dared the judgment of his reader, and, expecting no indulgence from others, he showed
none to himself. He examined lines and words with minute and punctilious observation, and retouched every part with indefatigable dili. gence, till he had left nothing to be forgiven. For this reason he kept his pieces very long in his hands, while ne considered and reconsidered