"The concourse of people that were assembled in Edinburgh at that time was prodigious; and, as they were all actuated by political motives, they wanted only a ready-blown coal to set the mountain on fire" (23) (Metaphor)
The Editor writes about the conflict between George and Robert being the catalyst for the mob violence in the city by using the metaphor of coals and a fire. The metaphor gives a sense of the spontaneity melded with the inevitability of the conflict.
"A mob is like a spring tide in an eastern storm, that retires only to return with more overwhelming fury" (24) (Simile)
In the same passage as above, in which the Editor describing the rising tension of mob conflict, he compares the ceaseless, mounting violence to the natural forces of an eastern storm.
"Its eyes were fixed on him, in the same manner as those of some carnivorous animal fixed on its prey; and yet there was fear and trembling in these unearthly features, as plainly depicted as murderous malice" (34) (Simile)
The Editor here describes the haunting spirit that George encounters at Arthur's Seat: the simile emphasizes the animalistic nature of the spirit, who resembles Robert--thus the description of the spirit, in large part, reflects Robert's own nature.
"But the ways of heaven are altogether inscrutable, and soar as far above and beyond the works and the comprehensions of man as the sun, flaming in majesty, is above the tiny boy's evening rocket" (45) (Simile)
The Editor makes this remark after describing the religious celebrations that followed Robert's acquisition of his father's estates, following the deaths of his brother and father. The Editor is criticizing the apparent antinomianism of Reverend Wringhim's religious doctrines, reminding readers that we cannot know or make sense of the ways of heaven.
Hogg's use of Antinomianism (Metaphor)
The critic Cates Baldridge writes, "in Hogg's hands Antinomianism becomes a metaphorical weapon by means of which he critiques two intimately related practices of Romantic periodicals: intemperate denunciations of the literary productions of those organs' perceived ideological foes, and shameless 'puffing' of the works of their political allies and personal friends." Clearly, the Antinomian Robert denounces his foes and is shortsighted in his admiration of his friend, Gil-Martin.
Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.