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‘Epithets’ (including not only single adjectives, but any ornamental or descriptive addition to a plain ὄνομα κύριον, as a sauce to a joint; see Introd. p.289) ‘and metaphors must be made appropriate (in the former, to the subjects to which they are applied, in the latter to those to which we transfer them from something else): this appropriateness will proceed from the proportion’ (between the epithet or metaphor and the thing it is applied to in either case: “si ex proportione duxerimus, observaverimusque ut ipsa sibi mutuo respondeant, similemque rationem inter se habeant.” Victorius): ‘otherwise (εἰ μή εἰσιν ἁρμόττουσαι) the impropriety will be apparent, glaring, (by the juxtaposition), because the opposition of two contraries becomes most apparent when they are placed side by side of one another. But (on the contrary) we must consider, as a scarlet coat is suitable to a youth, so also (what is suitable) to an old man: for the same dress is not becoming to both’.

φανεῖται, φαίνεσθαι] in the emphatic sense, equivalent to φανερὸν εἶναι— which occurs in the parallel passage, II 23. 30—is illustrated in note on II 2. 1, and I 7. 31 [p. 141]. The observation that παράλληλα τὰ ἐναντία μᾶλλον φαίνεται is a favourite one with Aristotle. The parallels from the Rhetoric are quoted in note on II 23. 27. Add Dem. de F. L. § 192, παρ᾽ ἄλληλα γὰρ ἔσται φανερώτερα.

An inappropriate epithet may be illustrated by the substitution of amabile and formosum for horrendum and informe in Virgil's line, Monstrum horrendum informe ingens cui lumen ademptum: a metaphor is inappropriate when you bring some incongruous notion into juxta-position with the object which you ‘invest’ with your metaphor, like an old man with the incongruous dress of a scarlet coat;—although viridis is not inappropriate to senectus, though greenness and old age might seem incongruous, because in this application of the metaphor the proportion or ratio is observed between the freshness implied in the green vegetation and the freshness and vigour of old age, and the two are thus brought under a common genus. When old age is called the evening of life the metaphor is appropriate, because there is a true proportion or analogy; evening: the day :: old age: man's life; evening and old age are under a common genus, viz. the close of a period, ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ γένει, infra; comp. Poet. XXI 10, ταμεῖν, ἀρύσαι: ἄμφω γὰρ ἀφελεῖν τι ἐστίν. But when Shakespeare [Hamlet, III i. 59] speaks of taking arms against a sea of troubles there is neither proportion nor congruity: and in such cases, when the two notions are placed side by side, and so brought directly into contrast, the incongruity becomes at once apparent. This kind of solecism is usually called ‘confusion of metaphor’.

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