Abbildungen der Seite

18. The hedges are white with May.

19. The prince succeeded to the throne.

20. They keep a good table.

21. The glittering steel descended.

22. The crescent in Europe is waning before the cross.

23. Lead rained upon our ranks.

DIRECTION.- Bring into the class examples of metonymy, and tell out of what relation each arises.


Synecdoche is a figure in which the name of a part is used to represent the whole, or the name of the whole is used to represent a part, or a definite number to represent an indefinite; as, (1) “All hands were at work." (Here a part is put for the whole.) (2) "The world condemns him." (In this, the whole is put for a part.) (3) "Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain." (A definite number represents an indefinite.) In like manner, an attribute may be put for a subject; as, "Youth and beauty," for, "The young and the beautiful"; and sometimes a subject for its attribute.

This figure is somewhat akin to metonymy; they are both founded on the contiguity of two objects of thought. The species for the genus, the genus for the species, and the individual for his class, are all examples of a part for the whole or of the whole for a part.

The advantage of synecdoche seems to lie in its limiting the attention to that particular thing which we wish to emphasize. It is a natural expedient to put a thing well known in place of one less known.

That branch of the figure in which the name of a part denotes the whole is more common and more valuable than the other.


DIRECTION.-Point out the synecdoches in the following sentences; recast the sentences, using plain language instead of figurative:

1. The harbor was crowded with masts.

2. The boy left his father's hearth.

3. The snows of eighty winters whitened his head.

Ten thousand stars were in the sky.

5. Our hero was gray.

6. Forty sail were in the harbor.

7. At present there is no distinction among the upper ten thou sand of the city.

8. Thine eye was on the censer, and not the hand that bore it. 9. Consider the lilies how they grow.

10. They will visit the Old World this summer.

11. The busy fingers toiled on.

12. Youth and beauty shall be laid in the dust.

13. My roof shall always shelter you.

14. He bought fifty head of cattle.

15. It is a city of spires.

16. The enemy are in possession of the walls.

17. Cloth is the product of the shuttle.

18. She has seen sixteen summers.

19. It is a village of three hundred chimneys.

20. Miles of hulls are rotting in the harbor of Portsmouth.

DIRECTION.- Bring into the class examples of synecdoche, illustrating both branches of the figure.


Apostrophe (Gr., meaning "to turn away"), is a figure of speech in which the speaker turns aside from the natural course of his ideas to address the absent or dead as if present, to address former ages, future ages, or the abstract as personal. It is closely allied to Personification, Iwith which it is often combined. In the address to inanimate things-the form of the figure most common-there is of course personification. The principal difference be

tween the two figures is the address. Objects personified are not addressed; objects apostrophized, whether already persons, or made such by the figure, are addressed. The following are examples: "O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee"; "O Rome, Rome, thou hast been a tender nurse to me!"

Apostrophe is expressive of strong feeling; hence, it should be used only when the reader or hearer is already under the influence of some emotion. It is found chiefly in oratory and poetry.


DIRECTION.-Point out the figure, and express the thought in these sentences without it:

I. Advance then, ye future generations!

2. Down, thou climbing sorrow! thy element's below.

3. Blow, Winds, and crack your cheeks.

4. Farewell, happy Fields, where joy forever dwells.

5. Hail, holy Light, offspring of heaven first-born.

6. The Grave, dread thing! men shiver when thou art named:

Nature appalled shakes off her wonted firmness.

7. Come, gentle Spring! ethereal Mildness, come!

8. Hope! thou nurse of young desire!

9. O Winter, ruler of the inverted year!

10. O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird, or but a wandering Voice? 11. All the kings of the nations, even all of them lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave, like an abominable branch.

12. O Hope, with eyes so fair, what was thy delighted measure? 13. Sleep! O gentle sleep! Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down?

14. But, alas, you are not all here; time and the sword have thinned your ranks. Prescott, Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, Pomeroy, Bridge! our eyes seek for you in vain amid this broken band.

DIRECTION.- Bring into the class apostrophes of the kinds given above.


Vision is closely akin to Apostrophe in this, that it represents objects, distant in space or time, as present. In this figure the writer declares himself an eye-witness of some event, and depicts it as taking place in his presence. It is the expression of powerful emotion, and should be used but seldom, and with the greatest caution.

The following are examples:

Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her, as an eagle, mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam; purging and scaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.-Milton.

I seem to myself to behold this city, the ornament of the earth, and the capital of all nations, suddenly involved in one conflagration. I see before me the slaughtered heaps of citizens, lying unburied in their ruined country.—Cicero's fourth oration, translated.

From the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble lord frowns with indignation at the disgrace of his country.—Earl of Chatham.

Methought I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep."-Shakespeare.

Lo! a deer from Dalness, hound-driven, or sullenly astray, slowly bearing his antlers up the glen, then stopping for a moment to snuff the air, then away-away! The rifle-shot rings dully from the scarce echoing snow-cliffs, and the animal leaps aloft, struck by a certain but not sudden death-wound. Oh! for Fingal now to pull him down like a wolf! But laboring and lumbering heavily along, the snow spotted, as he bounds, with blood, the huge animal at last disappears round some rocks at the head of the glen.—Wilson.

Lochiel, Lochiel! beware of the day

When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!

For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,

And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight.
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;-
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!

Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,

And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.—Campbell.

Figures of Emphasis differ from Figures of Intuition in giving prominence and emphasis to logically important thoughts. They are not addressed to the imagination, they present no picture; but they direct the attention to the thought, and convey, at the same time, the feelings which it has excited in the writer's mind. Hence, they are called Figures of Emphasis and Passion.

Of these, Interrogation, Exclamation, Repetition, and Climax, have been discussed under "Strength." The remaining figures of this class are Antithesis, Epigram, Irony, and Hyperbole.


Antithesis is a figure of speech in which things mutually opposed in some particular are set over against each other; it is founded upon the principle that opposites when brought together reflect light upon each other.

The peculiar marks to which attention is directed are brought out more vividly when the opposition of thought is made apparent by the structure of the sentence; hence, the proper form of antithesis is the balanced sentence-a sentence in which the members are constructed on the same plan; as, "Gold can not make a man happy, any more than rags can make him miserable." There may be antithesis of thought, however, without the balanced sentence.

Antithesis is a brilliant and dangerous figure. To be effective, there must always be a real opposition of thought;

« ZurückWeiter »