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bull, we have little reason to fear that the candid and enlightened reader should object to our major.

Major.—Those who use figurative language are disposed to make bulls.

Minor.-The Irish use figurative language.

Conclusion.—Therefore the Irish are disposed to make bulls.

We proceed to establish the truth of our minor, and the first evidence we shall call is a Dublin shoeblack. He is not in circumstances peculiarly favourable for the display of figurative language; he is in a court of justice, upon his trial for life or death. A quarrel happened between two shoeblacks, who were playing at what in England is called pitch-farthing, or heads and tails, and in Ireland, head or harp. One of the combatants threw a small paving stone at his opponent, who drew out the knife with which he used to scrape shoes, and plunged it up to the hilt in his companion's breast. It is necessary for our story to say, that near the hilt of this knife was stamped the name of Lamprey, an eminent cutler in Dublin. The shoeblack was brought to trial. With a number of significant gestures, which on his audience had all the powers that Demosthenes ascribes to action, he, in a language not purely Attic, gave the following account of the affair to his judge.

“Why, my lard, as I was going past the Royal Exchange I meets Billy. Billy,' says I, will you sky a copper ?'Done,' says he, · Done,' says I; and done and done's enough between two jantlemen. With that I ranged them fair and even with my

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hook-em-snivey-up they go.

Music !' says he, Skulls !' says I; and down they come three brown mazards. By the holy ! you flesh'd em,' says he.

You lie,' says I. With that he ups with a lump of a two year old, and lets drive at me. I outs with my bread-earner, and gives it him up to Lamprey in the bread-basket.”

To make this intelligible to the English, some comments are necessary.

Let us follow the text, step by step, and it will afford our readers, as lord Kames


of Blair's Dissertation on Ossian, a de. licious morsel of criticism.

As I was going past the Royal Exchange I meets Billy.

In this apparently simple exordium, the scene and the meeting with Billy are brought before the eye by the judicious use of the present tense.

Billy, says I, will you sky a copper ?

A copper! genus pro specie! the generic name of copper for the base individual halfpenny.

Sky a copper.

To sky is a new verb, which none but a master hand could have coined: a more splendid metonomy could not be applied upon a more trivial occasion : the lofty idea of raising a metal to the skies is substituted for the mean thought of tossing up a halfpenny. Our orator compresses his hyperbole into a single word. Thus the mind is prevented from dwelling long enough upon the figure to perceive its enormity. This is the perfection of the art. Let the genius of French exaggeration and of eastern hyperbole hide their diminished heads—Virgil is scarcely more sublime.

Ingrediturque solo et caput inter nubila condit.” - Her feet on earth, her head amidst the clouds."

Up they go, continues our orator.
Music! says heSkulls ! says I.

Metaphor continually: on one side of an Irish halfpenny there is a harp; this is expressed by the general term music, which is finely contrasted with the word scull.

Down they come, three brown mazards.

Mazards ! how the diction of our orator is enriched from the vocabulary of Shakspeare ! the word head, instead of being changed for a more general term, is here brought distinctly to the eye by the term mazard, or face, which is more appropriate to his majesty's profile than the word skull or head.

By the holy! you flesh'd'em, says he.

By the holy! is an oath in which more is meant than meets the ear; it is an ellipsis--an abridgment of an oath. The full formula runs thus-By the holy poker of hell! This instrument is of Irish invention or imagination. It seems a useful piece of furniture in the place for which it is intended, to stir the devouring fames, and thus to increase the torments of the damned. Great judgment is necessary to direct an orator how to suit his terms to his auditors, so as not to shock their feelings either by what is too much above or too much below common life. In the use of oaths, where the passions are warm, this must be particularly attended to, else they lose their effect, and seem more the result of the head than the heart. But to proceed

By the holy ! you flesh'd 'em.

To flesh is another verb of Irish coinage; it means, in shoeblack dialect, to touch a halfpenny, as it goes up into the air, with the fleshy part of the thumb, so as to turn it which way you please, and thus to cheat your oppone at. What an intricate explanation saved by one word !

You lie, says I.
Here no periphrasis would do the business.

With that he ups with a lump of a two year old, and lets drive at me. He ups

with.A verb is here formed of two prepositions-a novelty in grammar. Conjunctions, we all know, are corrupted Anglo-Saxon verbs; but prepositions, according to Horne Tooke, derive only from Anglo-Saxon nouns.

All this time it is possible that the mere English reader may not be able to guess what it is that our orator ups with or takes up.

He should be apprised, that a lump of a two year old is a middle-sized stone. This is a metaphor, borrowed partly from the grazier's vocabulary, and partly from the arithmetician's vade

A stone, to come under the denomination of a lump of a two year old, must be to a less stone as a two year old calf is to a yearling; or it must be to a larger stone than itself, as a two year old calf is to an ox. Here the scholar sees that there must be two statements, one in the rule of three direct and one in the rule of three inverse, to obtain precisely the thing required ; yet the untutored Irishman, without suspecting the necessity of this operose process, arrives at the solution of the problem by some short cut of his own, as he clearly evinces by the propriety of his metaphor. To be sure, there seems some incongruity in his throwing this lump of a two year old calf at his adversary. No arm but that of Milo could be strong enough for such a feat. Upon recollection, however, bold as this figure may seem, there are precedents for its use.


“ We read in a certain author,” says Beattie, “ of a giant, who, in his wrath, tore off the top of the promontory, and flung it at the enemy; and so huge was the mass, that you might, says he, have seen goats browsing on it as it flew through the air.” Compared with this, our orator's figure is cold and tame.

I outs with my bread-ear ner,” continues he.

We forbear to comment on outs with, because the intelligent critic immediately perceives that it has the same sort of merit ascribed to ups with. What our hero dignifies with the name of his bread-earner is the knife with which, by scraping shoes, he earned his bread. Pope's ingenious critic, Mr. Warton, bestow's judicious praise upon the art with which this poet, in the Rape of the Lock, has used many “ periphrases and uncommon expressions," to avoid mentioning the name of scissars, which would sound too vulgar for epic dignity-fatal engine, forfex, meeting points, &c. Though the metonymy of

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