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The descent from great things to small is termed anticlimax. It is the opposite of climax, and is found principally in ludicrous compositions.
1. And thou, Dalhousie, the great god of war,
Lieutenant-colonel to the Earl of Mar.
2. Under the tropic is our language spoke,
And part of Flanders hath received our yoke.
Allusion is that figure by which some word or phrase in a sentence calls to mind, as if accidentally, another similar or analogous subject.
Allusions, though different in form from comparisons, are of the same nature, and their introduction depends on similar principles, Like comparisons, they are illustrative, and give us pleasure from
the discovery of unexpected resemblances, or coincidences of thought or expression. In making allusions, care should always be taken, that what is alluded to should be generally known.*
1. You cannot be to them “ Vich Ian Vohr," and these
* The student who would see this figure beautifully illustrated, is ro ferred to Newman's Rhetoric.
three magic words are the only “open sesame” to their feel. ings and sympathies.
(Here the words “open sesame” recall to mind the charm by which the sobbors' dungeon, in the Arabian tale, * was opened.]
2. There are many religionists of the present day whú make it their shibboleth to be able to tell the precise moment when the heart was converted to God. †
3. I was surrounded with difficulties, and possessed no clue by which I could effect my escape. I
[Exercises may readily be framed by the student who attentively con siders the close remblance of this figure to Simile or Coraparison.]
Irony is the intentional use of words which express a sense contrary to that which the writer or speaker means to convey, as when we say of one unskilled in grammar, " Admirable grammarian!”
When irony is so strong as to be termed bitter or cutting, it is Sarcasm. Irony turns things into ridicule, in a peculiar
it consists in laughing at an individual, under the disguise of appearing to praise or speak well of him.
The proper subjects of irony are vices and follies of all kinds; and this mode of exposing them is often more effectual than serious reasoning. The figure is, however, sometimes used on the most solemn occasions, as will be seen by the following:
Cry aloud, for he is a god : either he is talking, or he is pur
* The Forty Thieves.
See the Book of Judges, chapter xii., verses 5, 6.
See the story of Ariadne, in Lempriere's Classical Dictionary. In the nse of this figure (Allusion), it may be observed that the subject to which allusion is made, should be readily perceired, and that it recompense, by its beauty or its utility the digression necessarily made in introducing it
Buing, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awakened.
See 1 Kings, chapter xviii., verse 27.
And Job answered and said, No doubt ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
Example of Sarcasm.
In ihu name of common sense, why should the Duke of Bedford think that none but of the House of Russell are entitled to the favor of the crown? Why should he imagine, that no king of England has been capable of judging of merit but King Henry the Eighth? Indeed, he will pardon me; he is a little mistaken: all virtue did not end in the first Earl of Bedford; all discernınant did not lose its vision when his Creator closed his eyes. Let him remit his rigor on the disproportion between merit and reward in others, and they will make no inquiry into the origin of his fortune. They will regard with much more satisfaction, as he will contemplate with infinitely more advantage, whatever his pedigree has been dulcified, by an exposure to thu influence of heaven in a long flow of generations, from the hard, acidulous, metallic tincture of the spring. It is little to be doubted, that several of his forefathers, in that long series, have degenerated into honor and virtue.
Alliteration is the repetition of the same letter at the begin ning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals; as, bug-bear, sea-sick, and the f and g in the following line :
Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green.
And the l in the following: Love laughs at locksmiths.
The return of such sounds, if not too frequent, is agreeable to the ear because the succeeding impression is made with less effort than that which precedes.
Alliteration, as well as rhyme, is useful as an aid to the memory. Hence proverbs have generally one or the other and sometimes both of these auxiliaries. Thus:
Birds of a feather
The lordly lion leaves his lonely lair.
Lean liquid lays, like lightly lulling lakes, &c. Shese instances are not presented as models for imitation, but rather as exemplifications of the meaning of the term alliteration. It will be suffi cient to observe, that alliterations at the present day have fallen into disre pute; and with good reason, lest the writer in pursuit of them should be tempted to sacrifice sense to sound. Occasionally introduced, and sparingly used, they are not perhaps obnoxious to strong objections. Kames, in his “Elements of Criticism," says: “Where two ideas are so connected as to require only a copulative, it is pleasant to find a connexion in the words that express these ideas, were it even so slight as where both begin with the same letter. Thus : •The peacock, in all his pride, does not display half the color that appears in the garments of a British lady when she is dressed either for a ball, or a birth-day.'- Spectator, No. 265. Again: 'Had not my log of a steward run away as he did, without making up his accounts, ? bad still been immersed in sin and seacoal.'-- Ibid, No. 330.
"My life's companion, and my bosom friend,
One faith, one fame, one fate shall both attend."" *
The following is presented as a literary curiosity :
THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT CELEBRATION
Americans arrayed and armed attend;
The student may change the terms in the following expressions, so res to present instances of alliteration. A word of similar meaning may, in eart parak Or sentence, be substituted, so as to exemplify the figure.
The royal lion.
And the blithe grandsire skilled in gestic lore
PARAPHRASE OR EXPLANATION.
A paraphrase is an explanation of some maxim or passage in a book in a more clear and ample manner than is ex
Chiefs, clergy, citizens conglomerate,