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[agent] and, after that, the French immediately join the action of the subject; after this, the other circumstances are expressed. If cause and effect are indicated, the French style begins with the effect; and the cause is related afterwards. The German language is quite different; it requires much more attention than the French. It begins also, ordinarily, with the subject; then follow the expressions of the relations between the subject and the object, which are mentioned; and, lastly, the action of the subject upon the object is expressed. Moreover, if a fact and its cause are spoken of, the cause is ordinarily denoted first, and the fact after it. It is known that certain languages admit a great number of inversions, others very few. It appears to me, that the former are more logical; for, it seems natural that attention should be directed first to the most important object. The French language begins almost always with the fact; hence French understandings consider the fact as the most important. From these observations relative to languages, we may easily conceive that the spirit of any one language cannot become general. I am of opinion that the spirit of the French language never will please Germans; and that Frenchmen, on the other hand, will always dislike the spirit of the German; because the manner of

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thinking, and the concatenation of ideas, are quite different in the two nations."

The unfettered state of the arrangement of the subordinate parts, in an English sentence, gives us some advantages over the formal (though differing) constructions of the French and German. A teacher of English Composition ought not to hold forth any particular style of writing as a pattern to his pupils. He who gives "his days. and nights to the study of Addison," cultivates only one branch of his art: the gentle murmuring of the stream, that wanders through the vale, is soothing to the ear; but there are moments in which we are not unwilling to be roused by the precipitous dashing of the mountain torrent.

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CHAPTER VIII.

OF METAPHORS.-SYMBOLS.

METAPHOR (Greek metaphora, from phero, I carry, and meta, beyond) is that form of speech by which a word, or phrase, is extended beyond its original acceptation, and applied to something else which the mind conceives to be, in a certain respect, similar, or analogous. Thus, a stone is the general name of a class of minerals, better known, perhaps, than defined; and the phrase, “a pillar of stone" describes what we consider as a reality; but when a man is said to have " a heart of stone," we allude to some imaginary likeness, and speak in the language of metaphor: " his heart is hard and impenetrable,"-" it is cold and unfeeling."

The fact is, that speech is almost entirely composed of metaphor. There are but few objects, or relations, in nature with which mankind are acquainted; and yet it must be solely from these few that our ideas can be formed. Abstract thoughts are the shadows of reality; but shadows cannot exist without the substances on which

they depend. The structure of language, however aerial it may appear, is not a palace of enchantment. The materials of which it is built are taken from the palpable objects around us. They are rude and common in their appearance, while the beauty and fairy elegance of the fabric are owing entirely to the illusions of imagination. Things and actions, the most ordinary and obvious, are, in the most eminent degree, stretched in their signification; and we compare the primary and consequent meanings of the term with a portion of incredulity, when we are told that the distinction has been produced solely by custom and usage. Examples may be easily adduced: To SIT and TO STAND are common actions of the human body, but their figurative significations are uncommonly extensive. A SEAT is that on which we sit, but it also denotes a villa or country residence. SITUATION is literally the action of sitting, but it expresses our manner of existence, whether in body or mind. The Latin status, like our STATE and the French estat or état, in its first sense, is merely a standing, or the particular posture of the body which to STAND recals to our mind. These words, however, signify condition of whatever kind; as, also, a government, and the country so governed. When we follow the French spelling, ESTATE, it is used for a

quantity of land in the possession of a proprietor. The word stand is, likewise, subject to a similar figure; and we say of an advocate, who has had long and extensive practice, that he is of considerable STANDING at the bar. STATION is the place where any thing stands;-it is, also, the rank held in society.

The nature of our language (made up, in a great degree, of compounds, the parts of which exist only in other tongues,) serves to hide, from common eyes, many of the metaphors that would, otherwise, be obvious. The last written word (OBVIOUS), for instance, is a Latin compound, (from ob and via) and denotes that the thing spoken of stands in the WAY; and that, consequently, it cannot escape notice. Now a man, an animal, or any material substance, may, naturally, be in the way; but to such as these the word obvious is never applied: it is confined to metaphorical usage. The church is obvious,'-meaning that it is before my eyes,—would be reckoned a strange application of the word. It is obvious that he hates me,' would pass without notice, although it is obvious that there is no real OBJECT, (Latin objectus),-nothing thrown before me, to be seen.

As a farther illustration, we shall take a sentence from Mr. Lindley Murray's "Address to

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