The pleasures of the imagination are not wholly confined to such particular artists as are conversant in material objects, but often are to be met with speculations abstracted from matter who, though they do not directly treat of the visible parts of nature, often draw from them their similitudes, metaphors and allegories.
Recollect that as man can live in one society at a time – his enjoyment in the different states of human society must depend upon the powers of his mind.
JOHN KEATS 1818
By these allusions a truth in the understanding is as it were reflected by the imagination; we are able to see something like colour and shape in a notion, and to discover a scheme of thoughts traced out upon matter. Allegories when well chosen, are like so many tracks of light in a discourse, that make everything about them clear and beautiful.
A noble metaphor, when it is placed to an advantage casts a kind of glory round it. These different kinds of allusion are but so many different manners of similitude and they may please the imagination.
To do this is within the compass of man’s wit and therefore I will attempt the doing of it.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE 1604
It is very certain, there may be found an infinite variety of very agreeable allusions but for the generality, the most entertaining ones lie in the works of nature, which are obvious to all capacities, and more delightful than what is to be found in sciences.
JOSEPH ADDISON 1712