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A numerous brigade haften'd: as when bands
Of pioneers with spade and pick-ax arm'd,
Forerun the royal camp to trench a field
Or caft a rampart.

The next shall be of things contrafted that are of different kinds.

Queen. What, is my Richard both in shape and mind
Transform'd and weak? Hath Bolingbroke depos'd
Thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart!
The lion, dying, thrufteth forth his paw,

And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
To be o'erpower'd: and wilt thou, pupil-like
Take thy correction mildly, kifs the rod,

And fawn on rage with base humility?

Richard II. at 5. Sc. x.

This comparison has scarce any force: a man and a lion are of different fpecies, and therefore are proper fubjects for a fimile; but there is no fuch refemblance between them in general, as to produce any strong effect by contrasting particular attributes or circumstances.

A third general obfervation is, That abstract terms can never be the fubject of comparison, otherwife than by being perfonified. Shakespear compares adverfity to a toad, and flander to the bite of a crocodile; but in fuch comparisons these abstract terms must be imagined fenfible beings.

To have a juft notion of comparisons, they


must be distinguished into two kinds; one common and familiar, as where a man is compared to a lion in courage, or to a horfe in fpeed; the other more distant and refined, where two things that have in themselves no resemblance or oppofition, are compared with refpect to their effects. This fort of comparison is occasionally explained above *; and for further explanation take what follows. There is no refemblance between a flower-plot and a chearful fong; and yet they may be compared with respect to their effects, the emotions they produce in the mind being extremely fimilar. There is as little refemblance between fraternal concord and precious ointment; and yet obferve how fuccefsfully they are compared with respect to the impreffions they make.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon Aaron's beard, and defcended to the skirts of his garment.

Pfalm 133.

For illuftrating this fort of comparison, I add fome more examples:

Delightful is thy prefence, O Fingal! it is like the fun on Cromla, when the hunter mourns his abfence for a feafon, and fees him between the clouds.

Did not Öffian hear a voice? or is it the found of days

P. 86.


that are no more? Often, like the evening-fun, comes

the memory of former times on my


His countenance is fettled from war; and is calm as the evening-beam, that from the cloud of the weft looks ●n Cona's filent vale.

Sorrow, like a cloud on the fun, fhades the foul of Cleffammor.

The mufic was like the memory of joys that are past, pleasant and mournful to the foul.

Pleasant are the words of the fong, faid Cuchullin, and lovely are the tales of other times. They are like the calm dew of the morning on the hill of roes, when the fun is faint on its fide, and the lake is settled and blue in the vale.

These quotations are from the poems of Offian, who deals much in comparisons of this delicate kind, and appears fingularly happy in them *.

I now proceed to illuftrate by particular inftances the different means by which comparifons, whether of the one fort or the other, can afford pleasure; and, in the order above eftablished, I begin with such instances as are agreeable by suggesting fome unusual resemblance or contrast:

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The nature and merit of Offian's comparifons is fully illuftra, ted, in a differtation on the poems of that author, by Dr Blair, profeffor of rhetoric in the college of Edinburgh; a delicious merfel of criticism.


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Sweet are the uses of Adverfity,

Which, like the toad, ugly and venemous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in her head.

As you like it, act 2. fc. 1.

Gardiner. Bolingbroke hath feiz'd the wasteful King.

What pity is't that he had not fo trimm'd

And drefs'd his land, as we this garden dress,

And wound the bark, the fkin of our fruit-trees;
Left, being over proud with fap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself.
Had he done fo to great and growing men,
They might have liv'd to bear, and he to tafte
Their fruits of duty. All fuperfluous branches
We lop away, that bearing boughs may live:
Had he done fo, himself had borne the crown,
Which wafte and idle hours have quite thrown down.
Richard II. at 3. Sc. 7.

See, how the Morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious fun;
How well refembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a yonker prancing to his love.

Second Part Henry VI. act 2. fc. 1.

Brutus. O Caffius, you are yoked with a lamb,
That carries anger as the flint bears fire:

Who, much inforced, fhows a hafty spark,

And ftraight is cold again.

Julius Cæfar, act 4. Sc. 3.

Thus they their doubtful confultations dark
Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief:
As when from mountain-tops, the dusky clouds
Afcending, while the North-wind fleeps, o'erfpread


Heav'n's chearful face, the lowring element

Scowls o'er the darken'd landscape, fnow, and shower;'
If chance the radiant fun with farewell fweet
Extends his ev'ning-beam, the fields revive,
The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds
Atteft their joy, that hill and valley rings.

Paradife Loft, book 2.

As the bright ftars, and milky way,
Shew'd by the night, are hid by day:
So we in that accomplish'd mind,
Help'd by the night, new graces find,
Which, by the splendor of her view,
Dazzled before, we never knew.


The last exertion of courage compared to the blaze of a lamp before extinguishing, Taffo Gierufalem, canto 19. ft. 22.

None of the foregoing fimiles, as they appear to me, tend to illuftrate the principal fubject: and therefore the pleafure they afford muft arise from fuggesting resemblances that are not obvious: I mean the chief pleafure; for undoubtedly a beautiful fubject introduced to form the fimile affords a feparate pleasure, which is felt in the fimiles mentioned, particularly in that cited from Milton.

The next effect of a comparison in the order mentioned, is to place an object in a ftrong point


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