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“ secrets of the law, wherein I: assure you the las ges

of the law in formér times have had the " deepest reach. And as the bucket in the depth " is easily drawn to the uppermost part of the “ water, (for nullum elementum in fuo proprio " loco est grave), but take it from the water it - cannot be drawn up but with a great difficulty; " fo, albeit beginnings of this study seem diffi"cult, yet when the professor of the law cari “ dive into the depth, it is delightful, eafy, and

without any heavy burden, so long as he keep " himself in his own proper element *." Shakefpear with much wit ridicules this disposition to simile-making, by putting in the mouth of a weak man, a resemblance much of a piece with that now mentioned :

Fluellen. I think it is in Macedon where Alexander is porn: I tell you, Captain, if you look in the maps of the orld, I warrant that you fall find, in the comparisons between Macedon and Monmouth, that the fituafions, look you, is both alike. There is a river in Macedon, there is also moreover a river in Monmouth : it is called Wye at Monmouth, but it is out of my prains what is the name of the other river; but it is all one, 'tis as like as my fingers to my fingers, and there is salmons in both.

mark Alexander's life well, Harry of Monmouth's life is come after it indifferent well; for there is figures in all things. Alexander, God knows, and you know, in his rages, and his furies, and his wraths, and his cho“ lers, and his moods, and his displeasures, and his indig.

If you

• Coke upon Littleton, p. 71.


nations, and also being a little intoxicates in his prains, did, in his ales and his angers, look you, kill his peft friend Clytus.

Gower. Our King is not like him in that; he never kill'd any of his friends. .

Fluellen. It is not well done, mark you now, to take the tales out of my mouth, ere it is made and finished. I speak but in figures, and comparisons of it : As Alexander kill'd his friend Clytus, being in his ales and his cups ; so also Harry Monmouth, being in his right wits and his good judgments, turn'd away the fat knight with the great belly doublet; he was full of jefts, and gypes, and knaveries, and mocks: I have forgot his name.

Gower. Sir John Falstaff.

Fluellen. That is he: I tell you, there is good men porn at Monmouth.

K. Henry V. acl 4. fc. 13.

Instruction, no doubt, is the chief end of comparison; but that it is not the only end, will be evident from considering, that a comparison may be employ'd with success to put a subject in a strong point of view. A lively idea is formed of a man's courage, by likening it to that of a lion; and eloquence is exalted in our imagination, by comparing it to a river overflowing its banks, and involving all in its impetuous course. The same effect is produced by contrast: a nian in prosperity, becoines more sensible of his happiness, by. opposing his condition to that of a person in want of bread. Thus comparison is subservient to poetry as well as to philofophy; and

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with respect to both, the foregoing observation holds equally, that resemblance among objects of the fame kind, and dissimilitude among objects of different kinds, have no effect : such a comparison neither tends to gratify our curiosity, nor to set the objects compared in a stronger light: two apartments in a palace, similar in thape, size, and furniture, make separately as good a figure as when compared; and the same observation is applicable to two similar compartments in a garden : on the other hand, oppose a regular building to a fall of water, or a good picture to a towering hill, or even a little dog to a large horse, and the contrast will produce no effect. But a resemblance between objects of different kinds, and a difference between objects of the fame kind, have remarkably an enlivening effect. The poets, such of them as have a just taste, draw all their similes from things that in the main differ widely from the principal subject; and they never attempt a contrast, but where the things have a common genus, and a resemblance in the capital circumstances : place together a large and a small fized animal of the fame species, the one will appear greater, the other less, than when viewed separately: when we oppose beauty to deformity, each makes a greater figure by the comparison

That resemblance and dissimilitude have an enlivening effect upon objects of sight, is made fufficiently evident; and that they have the same ef



fect upon objects of the other senses, is also certain. Nor is this law confined to the external senses ; fór characters contrasted, make a greater figure by the opposition : lago, in the tragedy of Othello, says,

He hath a daily beauty in his life,
That makes me ugly.

The character of a fop, and of a rough warrior, are no where more successfully contrasted than by Shakespear :

Hotspur.:My liege, I did deny no prisoners ;
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword;
Came there a certain Lord, neat, trimly drefs'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new-reap'd,
Shew'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
He was perfumed like a milliner ;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose; - and still he smild, and talk'd ;
And as the soldiers bare dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly, unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd me: among the rest, demanded
My pris’ners, in your Majesty's behalf.
I then all sinarting with my wounds; being gall
To be so pester’d with a popinjay,
Out of my grief, and my impatience,


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Answer'd, neglectingly, I know not what :
He should, or should not; for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds; (God save the


mark !)

And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was parmacity, for an inward bruise ;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villanous faltpetre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good, tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly: and but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier. -

First part Henry IV. a 1. st. 4.

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Passions and emotions are also inflamed by comparison. A man of high rank humbles the bystanders even to annihilate them in their own opinion: Cæsar, beholding the statue of Alexander, was greatly mortified, that now at the age of thirty-two, when Alexander died, he had not performed one memorable action.

Our opinions also are much influenced by comparison. A man whose opulence exceeds the ordinary standard, is reputed richer than he is in reality; and wisdom or weakness, if at all remarkable in an individual, is generally carried beyond the truth.

The opinion a man forms of his present distress is heightened by contrasting it with his former happiness:


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