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Shakespear compares adverfity to a toad, and flander to the bite of a crocodile; but in fuch comparisons these abftract terms must be imagined fenfible beings.

I now proceed to illuftrate by particular inftances the different means by which comparison can afford pleasure; and, in the order above established, I fhall begin with those instances that are agreeable by fuggesting some unusual resemblance or contrast:

Sweet are the uses of Adverfity,

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in her head.

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


Gardiner. Bolingbroke hath feiz'd the wasteful
What pity is't that he had not so trimm'dir
And drefs'd his land, as we this garden drefs, n
And wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees;
Left, being over proud with fap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself. A
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 waste and idle hours have quite thrown

Richard II. alt 3. Sc. 7.

See, how the Morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious fun;
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trim'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 straight is cold again.

Julius Cæfar, alt 4. fc. 3.

Thus they their doubtful confultations dark
Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief:
As when from mountain-tops the dufky 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


If chance the radiant fun with farewell fweet
Extend his ev❜ning-beam, the fields revive,


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The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds.
Atteft their joy, that hill and valley rings.
Paradife Loft, book 2.

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

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.


None of the foregoing fimiles, as it appears to me, have the effect to add any luftre to the principal fubject; and therefore the pleasure they afford, must arise from fuggefting refemblances that are not obvious: I mean the chief pleasure; for undoubtedly a beautiful fubject introduced. to form the fimile affords a feparate pleafure, which is felt in the fimiles mentioned, particularly in that cited from Milton.

The next effect of a comparison in the VOL. III. B order

order mentioned, is to place an object in a strong point of view; which I think is done fenfibly in the following fimiles.

As when two scales are charg'd with doubtful loads,

From fide to fide the trembling balance nods,
(While fome laborious matron, just and
With nice exactnefs weighs her woolly ftore),
Till pois'd aloft, the resting beam fufpends
Each equal weight; nor this nor that defcends:
So ftood the war, till Hector's matchlefs might,
With fates prevailing, turn'd the fcale of fight.
Fierce as a whirlwind up the walls he flies,
And fires his hoft with loud repeated cries.
Iliad, b. xii. 521,

Ut flos in feptis fecretis nascitur hortis,
Ignotus pecori, nullo contufus aratro,
Quem mulcent auræ, firmat fol, educat imber,
Multi illum pueri, multæ cupiere puellæ.
Idem, cum tenui carptus defloruit ungui,
Nulli illum pueri, nullæ cupiere puellæ.
Sic virgo, dum intacta manet, dum cara fuis; fed
Cum caftum amifit, polluto corpore, florem,
Nec pueris jucunda manet, nec cara puellis.



The imitation of this beautiful fimile by Ariofto, canto 1. ft. 42. falls fhort of the original. It is alfo in part imitated by Pope *.

Lucetta. I do not feek to quench your love's hot fire,

But qualify the fires extreme rage,

Left it should burn above the bounds of reafon. Julia. The more thou damm'ft it up, the more it burns:

The current, that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'ft, being stopp'd, impatiently doth


But when his fair courfe is not hindered,

He makes sweet mufic with th' enamel'd ftones
Giving a gentle kifs to every fedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage.
And fo by many winding nooks he strays
With willing fport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course;
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a paftime of each weary step

Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll reft, as, after much turmoil,
A bleffed foul doth in Elyfium.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, alt 2. f. 10.

Dunciad, b. 4. 1. 405.

B 2


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