A recollection of his fearful sufferings, from misapprehension of a single text in the Scriptures, relative to the question of election, we may suppose gave a milder tone to the theology of his Pilgrim than was altogether consistent with the Calvinism of the seventeenth century. "Religion," says Macaulay, "has scarcely ever worn a form so calm and soothing as in Bunyan's allegory."
Another Dantean allegory, and fully equal in power to any Canto in Dante's "Inferno," is the story of "Ethan Brandt," or "The Unpardonable Sin."
Side by side, he and the gaunt, fierce-eyed old man presented no mean allegory of spirit and body. A table was before them, and in the middle of it a toy the like of which I had never seen in this house or elsewhere a globe of crystal, perhaps the size of an orange, held up on a little bronze pedestal.
Pagan Religion is indeed an Allegory, a Symbol of what men felt and knew about the Universe; and all Religions are symbols of that, altering always as that alters: but it seems to me a radical perversion, and even inversion, of the business, to put that forward as the origin and moving cause, when it was rather the result and termination.
Fate looks devilish well after you, loves you or hates you, and in either case sticks to you and ruins you. Like your wife. To complete the little allegory, you can have as many chances as you like, but only one fate. Needless to say, though my chances have been many and charming, I naturally prefer my fate."
Mr Chivery, by some artful exercise of his power of clearing the Lodge, had contrived to rid it of all sauntering Collegians; so that Clennam, coming out of the prison, should find him on duty alone. 'I am going over the Bridge. He saw in Mr Chivery, with some astonishment, quite an Allegory of Silence, as he stood with his key on his lips.
The tale was so told, in such twists of thought and turns of phrase, that it might, if you chose, be taken as an allegory or the vision of a dream; but, for my own part, I prefer to believe that it came about just as I shall set it down, for the world is merrier for a spice of the marvellous in its composition, and, for myself, I could believe anything of that same painted image.
The fables of Aesop are such allegories or examples; and they are useful because they make their point more interestingly than other arguments and more clearly. The other sort of allegory, says Bacon, instead of illuminating the idea, obscures it. "That is, when the Secrets and Misteries of Religion, Pollicy, or Philosophy, are involved in Fables or Parables."
Louisa Alcott had a story that at first she refused Lowell's offer on account of what people might say; and that then he composed a poem answering her objections in the form of an allegory, and that this finally convinced her. If he had considered material interests he would have married differently.
Psyche, then, is the human soul, which is purified by sufferings and misfortunes, and is thus prepared for the enjoyment of true and pure happiness. In works of art Psyche is represented as a maiden with the wings of a butterfly, along with Cupid, in the different situations described in the allegory.