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ideas. And it is for a reason of this kind, that of the figure. Here the anatomist observes what Homer and the oriental writers, though very fond the painter had not observed; and he passes by of similitudes, and though they often strike out what the shoemaker had remarked. But a want such as are truly admirable, seldom take care to of the last critical knowledge in anatomy no have them exact; that is, they are taken with the more reflected on the natural good taste of the general resemblance, they paint it strongly, and painter or of any common observer of his piece, they take no notice of the difference which may than the want of an exact knowledge in the be found between the things compared.
formation of a shoe. A fine piece of a decollated Now, as the pleasure of resemblance is that head of St. John the Baptist was shewn to a which principally Aatters the imagination, all men Turkish emperor; he praised many things, but he
are nearly equal in this point, as far as their observed one defect; he observed that the skin did ; knowledge of the things represented or compared not shrink from the wounded part of the neck.
extends. The principle of this knowledge is very The sultan on this occasion, though his observamuch accidental, as it depends upon experience tion was very just, discovered no more natural and observation, and not on the strength or weak- taste than the painter who executed this piece, or ness of any natural faculty; and it is from this than a thousand European connoisseurs, who prodifference in knowledge, that what we commonly, bably never would have made the same observathough with no great exactness, call a difference tion. His Turkish majesty had indeed been well in taste proceeds. A man to whom sculpture is acquainted with that terrible spectacle, which the new, sees a barber's block, or some ordinary piece others could only have represented in their imagiof statuary; he is immediately struck and pleased, nation. On the subject of their dislike there is because he sees something like a human figure; a difference between all these people, arising from and, entirely taken up with this likeness, he does the different kinds and degrees of their knownot at all attend to its defects. No person, I ledge; but there is something in common to the believe, at the first time of seeing a piece of imita- painter, the shoemaker, the anatomist, and the tion ever did. Some time after, we suppose that Turkish emperor, the pleasure arising from a this novice lights upon a more artificial work of natural object, so far as each perceives it justly the same nature; he now begins to look with imitated; the satisfaction in seeing an agreeable contempt on what he admired at first; not that he figure; the sympathy proceeding from a striking admired it even then for its unlikeness to a man, and affecting incident. So far as taste is natural, but for that general though inaccurate resemblance it is nearly common to all. which it bore to the human figure. What he ad- In poetry, and other pieces of imagination, the mired at different times in these so different figures, same parity may be observed. It is true, that one is strictly the same; and though his knowledge is man is charmed with Don Bellianis, and reads mproved, his taste is not altered. Hitherto his Virgil coldly: whilst another is transported with mistake was from a want of knowledge in art, and the Eneid, and leaves Don Bellianis to children. this arose from his inexperience; but he may be These two men seem to have a taste very different still deficient from a want of knowledge in nature. from each other; but in fact they differ very little. For it is possible that the man in question may stop in both these pieces, which inspire such opposite bere, and that the master-piece of a great hand sentiments, a tale exciting admiration is told; both may please him no more than the middling per- are full of action, both are passionate ; in both formance of a vulgar artist; and this not for want are voyages, battles, triumphs, and continual of better or higher relish, but because all men do changes of fortune. The admirer of Don Bellianis not observe with sufficient accuracy on the human perhaps does not understand the refined language nzure to enable them to judge properly of an of the Eneid, who, if it was degraded into the imitation of it. And that the critical taste does not style of the Pilgrim's Progress, might feel it in all depend upon a superiour principle in men, but its energy, on the same principle which made him upon superiour knowledge, may appear from several an admirer of Don Bellianis. instances. The story of the ancient painter and
In his favourite author he is not shocked with the shoemaker is very well known. The shoe- the continual breaches of probability, the conmaker set the painter right with regard to some fusion of times, the offences against manners, the mistakes he had made in the shoe of one of his trampling upon geography; for he knows nothing fires, which the painter, who had not made such of geography and chronology, and he has never afurate observations on shoes, and was content examined the grounds of probability. He perhaps with a general resemblance, had never observed. reads of a shipwreck on the coast of Bohemia : But this was no impeachment to the taste of the wholly taken up with so interesting an event, and trainter; it only showed some want of knowledge only solicitous for the fate of his hero, he is not in the art of making shoes. Let us imagine, that in the least troubled at this extravagant blunder. in anatomist had come into the painter's working-For why should he be shocked at a shipwreck on PMm. His piece is in general well done, the figure the coast of Bohemia, who does not know but in question in a good attitude, and the parts well that Bohemia may be an island in the Atlantick ajisted to their various movements; yet the ana- ocean? and after all, what reflection is this on the : mist, critical in his art, may observe the swell of natural good taste of the person here supposed ? sume muscle not quite just in the peculiar action So far then as taste belongs to the imagination, its principle is the same in all men; there is no their relations, their virtues and vices, they come difference in the manner of their being affected, within the province of the judgment, which is imnor in the causes of the affection ; but in the de- proved by attention, and by the habit of reasoning, gree there is a difference, which arises from two All these make a very considerable part of what causes principally ; either from a greater degree are considered as the objects of taste; and Horace of natural sensibility, or from a closer and longer sends us to the schools of philosophy and the world attention to the object. To illustrate this by the for our instruction in them. Whatever certainty is procedure of the senses, in which the same differ- to be acquired in morality and the science of life ; ence is found, let us suppose a very smooth marble just the same degree of certainty have we in what table to be set before two men; they both perceive relates to them in works of imitation. Indeed it to be smooth, and they are both pleased with it it is for the most part in our skill in manners, and because of this quality. So far they agree. But in the observances of time and place, and of suppose another, and after that another table, the decency in general, which is only to be learned in latter still smoother than the former, to be set those schools to which Horace recommends us, before them. It is now very probable that these that what is called taste, by way of distinction, men, who are so agreed upon what is smooth, and consists; and which is in reality no other than a in the pleasure from thence, will disagree when more refined judgment. On the whole it appears they come to settle which table has the advantage to me, that what is called taste, in its most general in point of polish. Here is indeed the great differ- acceptation, is not a simple idea, but is partly ence between tastes, when men come to compare made up of a perception of the primary pleasures the excess or diminution of things which are judged of sense, of the secondary pleasures of the imagiby degree and not by measure. Nor is it easy, nation, and of the conclusions of the reasoning when such a difference arises, to settle the point, faculty, concerning the various relations of these
, if the excess or diminution be not glaring. If we and concerning the human passions, manners, and differ in opinion about two quantities, we can have actions. All this is requisite to form taste, and the recourse to a common measure, which may decide ground-work of all these is the same in the human the question with the utmost exactness; and this, mind; for as the senses are the great originals of I take it, is what gives mathematical knowledge all our ideas, and consequently of all our pleasures, a greater certainty than any other. But in things if they are not uncertain and arbitrary, the whole whose excess is not judged by greater or smaller, as ground-work of taste is common to all, and theresmoothness and roughness, hardness and softness, fore there is a sufficient foundation for a concludarkness and light, the shades of colours, all these sive reasoning on these matters. are very easily distinguished when the difference Whilst we consider taste merely according to is any way considerable, but not when it is minute, its nature and species, we shall find its principles for want of some common measures, which per- entirely uniform ; but the degree in which these haps may never come to be discovered. In these principles prevail
, in the several individuals of nice cases, supposing the acuteness of the sense mankind, is altogether as different as the prinequal, the greater attention and habit in such ciples themselves are similar. For sensibility and things will have the advantage. In the question judgment, which are the qualities that compose about the tables, the marble-polisher will unques- what we commonly call a taste, vary exceedingly tionably determine the most accurately. But not- in various people. From a defect in the former withstanding this want of a common measure for of these qualities arises a want of taste; a weaksettling many disputes relative to the senses, and ness in the latter constitutes a wrong or a bad one. their representative the imagination, we find that There are some men formed with feelings so blunt, the principles are the same in all, and that there is with tempers so cold and phlegmatick, that they no disagreement until we come to examine into can hardly be said to be awake during the whole the pre-eminence or difference of things, which course of their lives. Upon such persons the most brings us within the province of the judgment. striking objects make but a faint and obscure
So long as we are conversant with the sensible impression. There are others so continually in the qualities of things, hardly any more than the ima- agitation of gross and merely sensual pleasures, of gination seems concerned ; little more also than so occupied in the low drudgery of avarice, or 80 the imagination seems concerned when the passions heated in the chace of honours and distinction. are represented, because by the force of natural that their minds, which had been used continually sympathy they are felt in all men without any to the storms of these violent and tempestuous pasrecourse to reasoning, and their justness recog- sions, can hardly be put in motion by the delicate nised in every breast. Love, grief, fear, anger, and refined play of the imagination. These meo. joy, all these passions have, in their turns, affected though from a different cause, become as stupid every mind; and they do not affect it in an arbi- and insensible as the former; but whenever either trary or casual manner, but upon certain, natural, of these happen to be struck with any natural and uniform principles. But as many of the works elegance or greatness, or with these qualities of imagination are not confined to the represen- any work of art, they are moved upon the same tation of sensible objects, nor to efforts upon the principle. passions, but extend themselves to the manners, The cause of a wrong taste is a defect of judathe characters, the actions, and designs of men, ment. And this may arise from a natural weak
ness of understanding, (in whatever the strength of
Molle meum levibus cor est violubile telis, that faculty may consist,) or, which is much more
Et semper causa est, cur cgo semper amem. commonly the case, it may arise from a want of a proper and well-directed exercise, which alone can One of this character can never be a refined judge ; make it strong and ready. Besides that ignorance, | never what the comick poet calls elegans formainattention, prejudice, rashness, levity, obstinacy, rum spectator. The excellence and force of a in short, all those passions, and all those vices, composition must always be imperfectly estimated which pervert the judgment in other matters, from its effects on the minds of any, except we prejudice it no less in this its more refined and know the temper and character of those minds. elegant province. These causes produce different The most powerful effects of poetry and musick opinions upon every thing which is an object of have been displayed, and perhaps are still disthe understanding, without inducing us to suppose played, where these arts are but in a very low that there are no settled principles of reason.
and imperfect state. The rude hearer is affected And indeed on the whole one may observe, that by the principles which operate in these arts even there is rather less difference upon matters of taste in their rudest condition; and he is not skilful among mankind, than upon most of those which enough to perceive the defects. But as the arts depend upon the naked reason; and that men advance towards their perfection, the science of are far beiter agreed on the excellence of a de- criticism advances with equal pace, and the pleascription in Virgil, than on the truth or falsehood sure of judges is frequently interrupted by the of a theory of Aristotle.
faults which are discovered in the most finished A rectitude of judgment in the arts, which may compositions. be called a good taste, does in a great measure
Before I leave this subject I cannot help taking depend upon sensibility; because if the mind has notice of an opinion which many persons enterno bent to the pleasures of the imagination, it will tain, as if the taste were a separate faculty of the never apply itself sufficiently to works of that mind, and distinct from the judgment and imagispecies to acquire a competent knowledge in them. nation ; a species of instinct, by which we are But, though a degree of sensibility is requisite to struck naturally, and at the first glance, without form a good judgment, yet a good judgment does any previous reasoning, with the excellencies, or not necessarily arise from a quick sensibility of the defects, of a composition. So far as the imapleasure; it frequently happens that a very poor gination and the passions are concerned, I believe judze, merely by force of a greater complexional it true, that the reason is little consulted; but sensibility, is more affected by a very poor piece, where disposition, where decorum, where conthan the best judge by the most perfect; for as gruity are concerned, in short, wherever the best every thing new, extraordinary, grand, or passion- taste differs from the worst, I am convinced that ate, is well calculated to affect such a person, and the understanding operates, and nothing else ; and that the faults do not affect him, his pleasure is its operation is in reality far from being always 1.91e pure and unmixed; and as it is merely a sudden, or, when it is sudden, it is often far from fieasure of the imagination, it is much higher than being right. Men of the best taste, by considerazny which is derived from a rectitude of the judg- tion come frequently to change these early and rent; the judgment is for the greater part em- precipitate judgments, which the mind, from its fined in throwing stumbling-blocks in the way aversion to neutrality and doubt, loves to form on of the imagination, in dissipating the scenes of its the spot. It is known that the taste (whatever it
chantment, and in tying us down to the dis-is) is improved exactly as we improve our judgareeable yoke of our reason: for almost the only ment, by extending our knowledge, by a steady theasure that men have in judging better than attention to our object
, and by frequent exercise. thers, consists in a sort of conscious pride and they who have not taken these methods, if their periority, which arises from thinking rightly; taste decides quickly, it is always uncertainly; and It then, this is an indirect pleasure, a pleasure their quickness is owing to their presumption and which does not immediately result from the object rashness, and not to any sudden irradiation, that in pich is under contemplation. In the morning a moment dispels all darkness from their minds. four days, when the senses are unworn and ten- But they who have cultivated that species of ies, when the whole man is awake in every part, knowledge which makes the object of taste, by nd the gloss of novelty fresh upon all the objects degrees, and habitually attain not only a soundil at stirround us, how lively at that time are our ness, but a readiness of judgment, as men do by pisations, but how false and inaccurate the the same methods on all other occasions. At first oments we form of things! I despair of ever they are obliged to spell, but at last they read
riving the same degree of pleasure from the with ease and with celerity; but this celerity of ut excellent performances of genius, which I its operation is no proof that the taste is a disIr at that age from pieces which my present judg- tinct faculty. Nobody, I believe, has attended sot regards as trifling and contemptible. Every the course of a discussion, which turned upon matPrial cause of pleasure is apt to affect the man of ters within the sphere of mere naked reason, but x) sanguine a complexion : his appetite is too must have observed the extreme readiness with oy-n to suffer his taste to be delicate; and he is in which the whole process of the argument is carried Il respects what Ovid says of himself in love, on, the grounds discovered, the objections raised
and answered, and the conclusions drawn from This matter might be pursued much farther; premises, with a quickness altogether as great as but it is not the extent of the subject which must the taste can be supposed to work with; and yet prescribe our bounds, for what subject does not where nothing but plain reason either is or can be branch out to infinity? It is the nature of our suspected to operate. To multiply principles for particular scheme, and the single point of view in every different appearance, is useless, and unphilo- which we consider it, which ought to put a stop to sophical too in a high degree.
A PHILOSOPHICAL ENQUIRY, &c.
SECT. II.-PAIN AND PLEASURE.
The first and the simplest emotion which we It seems then necessary towards moving the discover in the human mind, is. Curiosity. By passions of people advanced in life to any concuriosity, I mean whatever desire we have for, or siderable degree, that the objects designed for that whatever pleasure we take in, novelty. We see purpose, besides their being in some measure new, children perpetually running from place to place, should be capable of exciting pain or pleasure from to hunt out something new: they catch with other causes. Pain and pleasure are simple ideas, great eagerness, and with very little choice, at incapable of definition. People are not liable to whatever comes before them ; their attention is be mistaken in their feelings, but they are very engaged by every thing, because every thing has, frequently wrong in the names they give them, in that stage of life, the charm of novelty to re- and in their reasonings about them. Many are vf commend it. But as those things, which engage opinion, that pain arises necessarily from the us merely by their novelty, cannot attach us for removal of some pleasure ; as they think pleasure any length of time, curiosity is the most super- does from the ceasing or diminution of some pair. ficial of all the affections ; it changes its object For my part, I am rather inclined to imagine, that perpetually, it has an appetite which is very pain and pleasure, in their most simple and natural sharp, but very easily satisfied ; and it has always manner of affecting, are each of a positive nature, an appearance of giddiness, restlessness, and and by no means necessarily dependent on each anxiety. Curiosity, from its nature, is a very ac- other for their existence. The human mind is tive principle; it quickly runs over the greatest often, and I think it is for the most part, in a state part of its objects, and soon exhausts the variety neither of pain nor pleasure, which I call a state of which is commonly to be met with in nature; the indifference. When I am carried from this state same things make frequent returns, and they re-into a state of actual pleasure, it does not appear turn with less and less of any agreeable effect. In necessary that I should pass through the medium short, the occurrences of life, by the time we come of any sort of pain. If in such a state of indifto know it a little, would be incapable of affecting ference, or ease, or tranquillity, or call it what the mind with any other sensations than those of you please, you were to be suddenly entertained loathing and weariness, if many things were not with`a concert of musick; or suppose some objera adapted to affect the mind by means of other of a fine shape, and bright, lively colours, to be powers besides novelty in them, and of other presented before you ; or imagine your smell is passions besides curiosity in ourselves. These gratified with the fragrance of a rose; or if withpowers and passions shall be considered in their out any previous thirst you were to drink of some place. But whatever these powers are, or upon pleasant kind of wine, or to taste of some sweet what principle soever they affect the mind, it is meat without being hungry; in all the several absolutely necessary that ihey should not be ex- senses, of hearing, smelling, and tasting, you userted in those things which a daily and vulgar use doubtedly find a pleasure; yet if I enquire site have brought into a stale unaffecting familiarity. the state of your mind previous to these gratificaSome degree of novelty must be one of the mate- tions, you will hardly tell me that they found ta rials in every instrument which works upon the in any kind of pain; or, having satisfied them mind; and curiosity blends itself more or less several senses with their several pleasures, will yuz with all our passions.
say that any pain has succeeded, though the pled
sure is absolutely over ? Suppose, on the other | remote from that which attends the presence of hand, a man in the same state of indifference, to positive pleasure; we have found them in a state receive a violent blow, or to drink of some bitter of much sobriety, impressed with a sense of awe, potion, or to have his ears wounded with some in a sort of tranquillity shadowed with horrour. harsh and grating sound; here is no removal of The fashion of the countenance and the gesture of pleasure; and yet here is felt in every sense which the body on such occasions is so correspondent to is affected, a pain very distinguishable. It may be this state of mind, that any person, a stranger to said, perhaps, that the pain in these cases had its the cause of the appearance, would rather judge rise from the removal of the pleasure which the us under some consternation, than in the enjoyman enjoyed before, though that pleasure was of ment of any thing like positive pleasure. so low a degree as to be perceived only by the removal. But this seems to me a subtilty, that is
Ως δ' όταν άνδρ’ άτη πυκινη λάβη, ός' ενί πάτρη not discoverable in nature. For if, previous to
Φώτα κατακτείνας, άλλον εξίκετο δήμον,
'Ανδρός ες άφνειού, θάμβος δ' έχει εισορόωντας. the pain, I do not feel any actual pleasure, I have
Iliad. A. 480. no reason to judge that any such thing exists ; since pleasure is only pleasure as it is felt. The As when a wretch, who, conscious of his crime, same may be said of pain, and with equal reason.
Pursued for murder from his native clime, I can never persuade myself that pleasure and pain
Just gains some frontier, breathless, pale, umaz'd;
All guze, all wonder ! are mere relations, which can only exist as they are contrasted; but I think I can discern clearly This striking appearance of the man whom Hothat there are positive pains and pleasures, which mer supposes to have just escaped an imminent do not at all depend upon each other. Nothing danger, the sort of mixed passion of terrour and is more certain to my own feelings than this. surprise, with which he affects the spectators, paints There is nothing which I can distinguish in my very strongly the manner in which we find ourmind with more clearness than the three states, of selves affected upon occasions any way similar. indifference, of pleasure, and of pain. Every one For when we have suffered from any violent of these I can perceive without any sort of idea of tion, the mind naturally continues in something its relation to any thing else. Caius is afflicted like the same condition, after the cause which first with a fit of the cholick; this man is actually in produced it has ceased to operate. The tossing of pain; stretch Caius upon the rack, he will feel a the sea remains after the storm ; and when this much greater pain : but does this pain of the rack remain of horrour has entirely subsided, all the arise from the removal of any pleasure ? or is the passion, which the accident raised, subsides along fit of the cholick a pleasure or a pain just as we with it; and the mind returns to its usual state of are pleased to consider it?
indifference. In short, pleasure (I mean any thing
either in the inward sensation, or in the outward *ECT. III.-THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RE- appearance, like pleasure from a positive cause) MOVAL OF PAIN, AND POSITIVE PLEASURE.
I imagine, its origin from the removal
of pain or danger. We shall carry this proposition yet a step farther. We shall venture to propose, that pain
SECT. IV.-OF DELIGIIT AND PLEASURE, AS and pleasure are not only not necessarily depend
OPPOSED TO EACH OTHER. ent for their existence on their mutual diminution or removal, but that, in reality, the diminution or But shall we therefore say, that the removal caning of pleasure does not operate like positive of pain or its diminution is always simply painful ? pain; and that the removal or diminution of or affirm that the cessation or the lessening of pleajajo, in its effect, has very little resemblance to sure is always attended itself with a pleasure ? By positive pleasure. The former of these proposi- no means. What I advance is no more than this ; fans will, I believe, be much more readily allowed first, that there are pleasures and pains of a positive than the latter; because it is very evident that and independent nature; and, secondly, that the pleasure, when it has run its career, sets us down feeling which results from the ceasing or diminuvery nearly where it found us. Pleasure of
every tion of pain does not bear a sufficient resemkind quickly satisfies; and, when it is over, we blance to positive pleasure, to have it considered pelapse into indifference, or rather we fall into a as of the same nature, or to entitle it to be known soft tranquillity, which is tinged with the agreeable by the same name; and, thirdly, that upon the colour of the former sensation. I own it is not at same principle the removal or qualification of pleafirst view so apparent, that the removal of a great sure has no resemblance to positive pain. It is pain does not resemble positive pleasure; but let certain that the former feeling (the removal or us fecollect in what state we have found our minds moderation of pain) has something in it far from upon escaping some imminent danger, or on being distressing, or dis reeable in its nature. This released from the severity of some cruel pain. We feeling, in many cases so agreeable, but in all so have on such occasions found, if I am not much different from positive pleasure, has no name mistaken, the temper of our minds in a tenour very which I know; but that hinders not its being a • Mr Locke (Essay on Human Understanding, I. ii. c. 20. sect. and operates as a pleasure, and the loss or diminishing of pleaM thinks that the removal or lessening of a pain is considered sure as a pain. It is this opinion which we consider here.