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Personifications.--Men are liable to certain feelings, such as shame, fear, repentance and the like, which seem not to be originated by the person, but to come upon him from without. For this reason such impersonal feelings are in some languages represented by impersonal verbs. In Latin these verbs are numerous, "pudet," "piget," "tædet," "pœnitet," "libet," &c. In Early English they were still more numerous, and even now we retain not only "it snows," "it rains," but also (though more rarely) "methinks," "meseems," "it shames me," "it repents me." Men are, however, not contented with separating their feelings from their own person; they also feel a desire to account for them. For this purpose they have often imagined as the causes of their feelings, Personal Beings, such as Hope, Fear, Faith, &c. Hence arose what may be called Personification. In later times men have ceased to believe in the personal existence of Hope and Fear, Graces and nymphs, Flora and Boreas; but poets still use Personification, for the purpose of setting before us with greater vividness the invisible operations of the human mind and the slow and imperceptible processes of inanimate nature. Def. Personification is the creation of a fictitious Person in order to account for unaccountable results, or for the purpose of vivid illustration.
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