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Today’s Quintilian: 8.6.11-13

XI. Praecipueque ex his oritur mira sublimitas quae audaci et proxime periculum tralatione tolluntur, cum rebus sensu carentibus actum quendam et animos damus, qualis est “pontem indignatus Araxes” et illa Ciceronis: XII. “Quid enim tuus ille, tubero, destrictus in acie Pharsalica gladius agebat? cuius latus ille mucro petebat? Qui sensus erat armorum tuorum”? duplicatur interim haec virtus, ut apud Vergilium: “ferrumque armare veneno”, nam et “veneno armare” et “ferrum armare” tralatio est. XIII. Secantur haec in pluris partis, ut a rationali ad rationale et idem de inrationalibus et haec invicem, quibus similis ratio est et a toto et a partibus. Sed iam non pueris praecipimus, ut accepto genere species intellegere non possint.

11. From the last kind of metaphor, when inanimate things are exalted by a bold and daring figure, and when we give energy and feeling as it were to objects that are without them, extraordinary sublimity is produced, as in Virgil,

Pontem indignatus Araxes,

Araxes that disdained a bridge;
12. in Cicero, “What was your drawn sword, Tubero, doing in the field of Pharsalia? At whose body did its point direct itself? What was the meaning of your arms?” Sometimes this beauty is doubled, as in Virgil,

Ferrumque armare veneno,

To arm the steel with poison,
for to arm with poison and to arm steel are both metaphors. 13. These four might be distinguished into more species, as a word may be taken from one sort of rational animal and applied metaphorically to another, and the same may be done with regard to irrational animals. In like manner, we may apply a metaphor from the rational to the irrational, or from the irrational to the rational, and from the whole of a thing to a part, or from the part to the whole. But I am not now giving directions to boys, or supposing that my readers, when they understand the genus, cannot master the species.

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