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cially those which are most oily, taken fre- the same manner, nothing very suddenly vaquently, or in a large quantity, very much ried, can be beautiful; because both are oppo enfeeble the tone of the stomach. Sweet site to that agreeable relaxation which is the smells, which bear a great affinity to sweet characteristic effect of beauty. It is thus in tastes, relax very remarkably. The smell of all the senses. A motion in a right line, is flowers disposes people to drowsiness; and that manner of moving next to a very gentle this relaxing effect is further apparent from the descent, in which we meet the least resista prejudice which people of weak nerves receive ance; yet it is not that manner of moving, from their use. It were worth while to exa- which, next to a descent, wearies us the least. mine, whether tastes of this kind, sweet ones, Rest certainly tends to relax: yet there is a tastes that are caused by smooth oils and a species of motion which relaxes more than rest; relaxing salt, are not the originally pleasant a gentle oscillatory motion, a rising and falling, tastes. For many, which use has rendered Rocking sets children to sleep better than ab such, were not at all agreeable at first. The solute rest; there is indeed scarce any thing way to examine this is, to try what nature has at that age, which gives more pleasure than to originally provided for us, which she has un- be gently lifted up and down; the manner of doubtedly made originally pleasant; and to playing which their nurses use with children, analyse this provision. Milk, is the first sup- and the weighing and swinging used afterwards port of our childhood. The component parts by themselves as a favourite amusement, evinco of this are water, oil, and a sort of a very sweet this very sufficiently. Most people must have salt, called the sugar of milk. All these when observed the sort of sense they have had on blended have a great smoothness to the taste, being swiftly drawn in an easy coach on a and a relaxing quality to the skin. The next smooth turf, with gradual ascents and declivie thing children covet is fruit, and of fruits those ties. This will give a better idea of the beauprincipally which are sweet; and every one tiful, and point out its probable cause better, knows that the sweetness of fruit is caused by than almost any thing else. On the contrary, a subtile oil, and such salt as that mentioned when one is hurried over a rough, rocky, broin the last section. Afterwards, custom, ha- ken road, the pain felt by these sudden inequal. bit, the desire of novelty, and a thousand other ities shews why similar sights, feelings, and causes, confound, adulterate, and change our sounds, are so contrary to beauty: and with palates, so that we can no longer reason with regard to the feeling, it is exactly the same in any satisfaction about them. Before we quit its effect, or very nearly the same, whether, for this article, we must observe, that as smooth instance, I move my hand along the surface of things are, as such, agreeable to the taste, and a body of a certain shape, or whether such a are found of a relaxing quality; so, on the body is moved along my hand. But to bring other hand, things which are found by experi- this analogy the senses home to the eye: if ence to be of a strengthening quality, and fit to a body presented to that sense has such a waybrace the fibres, are almost universally rough ing surface, that the rays of light reflected from and pungent to the taste, and in many cases it are in a continual insensible deviation from rough even to the touch. We often apply the the strongest to the weakest, (which is always quality of sweetness, metaphorically, to visual the case in a surface gradually unequal,) it objects. For the better carrying on this re- must be exactly similar in its effects on the eye markable analogy of the senses, we may here and touch; upon the one of which it operates call sweetness the beautiful of the taste. directly, on the other indirecuy. And this
body will be beautiful if the lines which compose its surface are not continued, even so
varied, in a manner that may weary or dissiSECTION XXIII.
pate the attention. The variation itself must
be continually varied. VARIATION, WHY BEAUTIFUL.
ANOTHER principal property of beautiful objects is, that the line of their parts is conti
SECTION XXIV. nually varying its direction ; but it varies it by a very insensible deviation ; it never varies it so quickly as to surprise, or by the sharpness of
། its angle to cause any twitching or convulsion To avoid a sameness which may arise from of the optic nervo. Nothing long continued in the too frequent repetition of the same reason
ings, and of illustrations of the same nature, I greeable image. But should a man be found will not enter very minutely into every parti- not above two or three feet high, supposing cular that regards beauty, as it is founded on such a person to have all the parts of his body the disposition of its quantity, or its quantity of a delicacy suitable to such a size, and otheritself. In speaking of the magnitude of bodies wise endued with the common qualities of other there is great uncertainty, because the ideas of beautiful bodies, I am pretty well convinced great and small are terms almost entirely rela- that a person of such a slature might be consitive to the species of the objects, which are dered as beautiful; might be the object of love; infinite. It is true, that having once fixed the might give us very pleasing ideas on viewing species of any object, and the dimensions com- him. The only thing which could possibly mon in the individuals of that species, we may interpose to check our pleasure is, that such observe some that exceed, and some that fall creatures, however formed, are unusual, and short of, the ordinary standard: those which are often therefore considered as something greatly exceed, are by that excess, provided monstrous. The large and gigantic, though the species itself be not very small, rather great very compatible with the sublime, is contrary and terrible than beautiful; but as in the ani- to the beautiful. It is impossible to suppose a mal world, and in a good measure in the vege- giant the object of love. When we let our table world likewise, the qualities that consti- imagination loose in romance, the ideas we tute beauty may possibly be united to things of naturally annex to that size are those of tyrangreater dimensions; when they are so united, ny, cruelty, injustice, and every thing horrid they constitute a species something different and abominable. We paint the giant ravaging both from the sublime and beautiful, which I the country, plundering the innocent traveller, have before called fine; but this kind, I ima- and afterwards gorged with his half-living gine, has not such a power on the passions, flesh: such are Polyphemus, Cacus, and either as vast bodies have which are endued others, who make so great a figure in rowith the correspondent qualities of the sub- mances and heroic poems. The event we lime; or as the qualities of beauty have when attend to with the greatest satisfaction is their united in a small object. The affection pro- defeat and death. I do not remember, in all duced by large bodies adorned with the spoils that multitude of deaths with which the Iliad of beauty, is a tension continually relieved; is filled, that the fall of any man, remarkable for which approaches to the nature of mediocrity. his great stature and strength, touches us with But if I were to say how I find myself affected pity; nor does it appear that the author, so upon such occasions, I should say, that the well read in human nature, ever intended it sublime suffers less by being united to some of should. It is Simoisius, in the soft bloom of the qualities of beauty, than beauty does by be- youth, torn from his parents, who tremble for a ing joined to greatness of quantity, or any courage so ill suited to his strength; it is anoother properties of the sublime. There is ther hurried by war from the new embraces of something so overruling in whatever inspires his bride, young, and fair, and a novice to the us with awe, in all things which belong ever so field, who melts us by his untimely fate. remotely to terrour, that nothing else can stand Achilles, in spite of the many qualities of in their presence. There lie the qualities of beauty, which Homer has bestowed on his beauty either dead or unoperative; or at most outward form, and the many great virtues with exerted to mollify the rigour and sternness of which he has adorned his mind, can never the terrour, which is the natural concomitant make us love him. It may be observed, that of greatness. Besides the extraordinary great Homer has given the Trojans, whose fate he in every species, the opposite to this, the has designed to excite our compassion, infidwarfish and diminutive ought to be consi- nitely more of the amiable social virtues than dered. Littleness, merely as such, has nothing he has distributed among his Greeks. With contrary to the idea of beauty. The humming- regard to the Trojans, the passion he chooses bird, both in shape and colouring, yields to to raise is pity; pity is a passion founded on none of the winged species, of which it is the love; and these lesser, and if I may say domeslcast; and perhaps his beauty is enhanced by tic virtues, are certainly the most amiable. his smallness. But there are animals, which But he has made the Greeks far their supewhen they are extremely small are rarely (if riors in the politic and military virtues. The ever) beautiful. There is a dwarfish size of Councils of Priam are weak; the arms of Hecmen and women, which is almost constantly tor comparatively feeble ; his courage far below so gross and massive in comparison of their that of Achilles. Yet we love Priam more than height, that they present us with a very disa- Agamemnon, and Hector more than his con
THE END OF THE FOURTH PART.
queror Achilles. Admiration is the passion soul that feeling, which is called love. Their which Homer would excite in favour of the causes have made the subject of this fourth Greeks, and he has done it by bestowing on part. them the virtues which have but little to do with love. This short digression is perhaps not wholly beside our purpose, where our business is to shew, that objects of great dimensions are incompatible with beauty, the more incompatible as they are greater; whereas the PART VSECTION I. small, if ever they fail of beauty, this failure is Dot to be attribuled to their size.
NATURAL objects affect us, by the laws of
that connection which Providence has estaSECTION XXV.
blished between certain motions and configurations of bodies, and certain consequent feelings in our mind. Painting affects in the same
manner, but with the superadded pleasure of With regard to colour, the disquisition is imitation. Architecture affects by the laws of almost infinite; but I conceive the principles nature, and the law of reason; from which latter laid down in the beginning of this part are result the rules of proportion, which make a sufficient to account for the effects of them all, work to be praised or censured, in the whole or as well as for the agreeable effects of transpa- in some part, when the end for which it was rent bodies, whether Auid or solid. Suppose designed is or is not properly answered. But I look at a bottle of muddy liquor, of a blue or as to words; they seem to me to affect us in a red colour: the blue or red rays cannot pass manner very different from that in which we clearly to the eye, but are suddenly and une- are affected by natural objects, or by painting qually stopped by the intervention of little or architecture; yet words have as consideraopaque bodies, which without preparation ble a share in exciting ideas of beauty and of change the idea, and change it too into one the sublime as any of those, and sometimes a disagreeable in its own nature, conformable to much greater than any of them; therefore an the principles laid down in sect. 2A. But when inquiry into the manner by which they excite the ray passes without such opposition through such emotions, is far from being unnecessary the glass or liquor, when the glass or liquor are in a discourse of this kind. quite transparent, the light is sometimes softened in the passage, which makes it more agreeable even as light; and the liquor reflecting all the rays of its proper colour evenly, it
SECTION II. has such an effect on the eye, as smooth opaque bodies have on the eye and touch. So that the THE COMMON EFFECT OF POETRY, NOT BY pleasure here is compounded of the softness of
RAISING IDEAS OF THINGS. the transmitted and the evenness of the reflected light. This pleasure may be heightened by The common notion of the power of poetry the common principles in other things, if the and eloquence, as well as that of words in ordishape of the glass which holds the transpa- nary conversation, is, that they affect the mind rent liquor be so judiciously varied, as to pre- by raising in it ideas of those things for which sent the colour gradually and interchangeably, custom has appointed them to stand. To exaweakened and strengthened with all the variety mine the truth of this notion, it may be requiwhich judgment in affairs of this nature shall site to observe that words may be divided into suggest. On a review of all that has been said three sorts. The first are such as represent of the effects, as well as the causes of both, it many simple ideas united by nature to form will appear, that the sublime and beautiful are some one determinate composition, as man, built on principles very different, and that their horse, tree, castle, &c. These I call aggreaffections are as different: the great has ter- gate words. The second, are they that stand rou for its basis; which, when it is modified, for one simple idea of such compositions, and causes that emotion in the mind, which I have no more; as red, blue, round, square, and the called astonishment ; the beautiful is founded like. These I call simple abstract words. The on mere positive pleasure, and excites in the third, are those, which are formed by an union,
an arbitrary union of both the others, and of rise to them; yet the sound, without any an-
GENERAL WORDS BEFORE IDEAS. be natural, and enough for our purpose ; and they are disposed in that order in which they MR. Locke has somewhere observed, with are commonly taught, and in which the mind his usual sagacity, that most general words, gets the ideas they are substituted for. I shall those belonging to virtue and vice, good and begin with the third sort of words ; compound evil, especially, are taught before the particular abstracts, such as virtue, honour, persuasion, modes of action to whicn they belong are predocility. Of these I am convinced, that what- sented to the mind; and with them, the love ever power they may have on the passions, of the one, and the abhorrence of the other ; they do not derive it from any representation for the minds of children are so ductile, that a raised in the mind of the things for which they nurse, or any person about a child, by seeming stand. As compositions, they are not real pleased or displeased with any thing, or even essences, and hardly cause, I think, any real any word, may give the disposition of the child ideas. Nobody, I believe, immediately on a similar turn. When afterwards, the several hearing the sounds, virtue, liberty, or honour, occurrences in life come to be applied to these conceives any precise notions of the particular words, and that which is pleasant often appears modes of action and thinking, together with the imder the name of evil; and what is disagreemixt and simple ideas, and the several relations able to nature is called good and virtuous; a of them for which these words are substituted; strange confusion of ideas and affections arises neither has he any general idea, compounded in the minds of many; and an appearance of of them; for if he had, then some of those no small contradiction between their notions particular ones, though indistinct perhaps, and and their actions. There are many who love confused, might come soon to be perceived. virtue and who detest vice, and this not from But this, I take it, is hardly ever the case. hypocrisy or affectation, who notwithstanding For, put yourself upon analysing one of these very frequently act ill, and wickedly in particuwords, and you must reduce it from one set of lars without the least remorse ; because these general words to another, and then into the particular occasions never came into view, simple abstracts and aggregates, in a much when the passions on the side of virtue were so longer series than may be at first imagined, warmly affected by certain words heated oribefore any real idea emerges to light, before ginally by the breath of others; and for this you come to discover any thing like the first reason, it is hard to repeat certain sets of words, principles of such compositions; and when you though owned by themselves unoperative, with have made such a discovery of the original out being in some degree affected, especially ideas, the effect of the composition is utterly if a warm and affecting tone of voice accompalost. "A train of thinking of this sort, is much nies them, as suppose, 100 long to be pursued in the ordinary ways of conversation, nor is it at all necessary that it
Wise, valiant, generous, good, and great. should. Such words are in reality but mere These words, by having no application, ought sounds ; but they are sounds which being used to be unoperative; but when words commonly on particular occasions, wherein we receive sacred to great occasions are used, we are some good, or suffer some evil; or sec others affected by them even without the occasions. affected with good or evil; or which we hear When words which have been generally so applied to other interesting things or events; applied are put together without any rational and being applied in such a variety of cases, view, or in such a manner that they do not that we know readily by habit to what things rightly agree with each other, the style is called they belong, they produce in the mind, when- bombast. And it requires in several cases ever they are afterwards mentioned, effects much good sense and experience to be guarded similar to those of their occasions. The sounds against the force of such language ; for when being often used without reference to any propriety is neglected, a greater number of these particular occasion, and carrying still their first affecting words may be taken into the service, impressions, they at last utterly lose their con- and a greater variety may be indulged in comnection with the particular occasions that gave bining them.
particulars to generals, from things to words,
THE EFFECT OF WORDS.
Ir words have all their possible extent of power, three effects arise in the mind of the hearer. The first is, the sound ; the second,
SECTION V. the picture, or representation of the thing signified by the sound; the third is, the affection of EXAMPLES THAT WORDS MAY AFFECT the soul produced by one or by both of the fore
WITHOUT RAISING IMAGES. going. Compounded abstract words, of which we have been speaking, (honour, justice, I FIND it very hard to persuade several that liberty, and the like,) produce the first and their passions are affected by words from the last of these effects, but not the second. whence they have no ideas; and yet harder to Simple abstracts, are used to signify some one convince them, that in the ordinary course of simple idea without much adverting to others conversation we are sufficiently understood which may chance to attend it, as blue, green, without raising any images of the things conhot, cold, and the like; these are capable of cerning which we speak. It seems to be an affecting all three of the purposes of words; as odd subject of dispute with any man, whether the aggregate words, man, castle, horse, &c. he has ideas in his mind or not. Of this, at are in a yet higher degree. But I am of opi- first view, every man in his own forum, ought nion, that the most general effect even of these to judge without appeal. But, strange as it words, does not arise from their forming pic- may appear, we are often at a loss to know tures of the several things they would repre. what ideas we have of things, or whether we sent in the imagination; because, on a very have any ideas at all upon some subjects. It diligent examination of my own mind, and get. even requires a good deal of attention to be ting others to consider theirs, I do not find that thoroughly satisfied on this head. Since I wrote once in twenty times any such picture is formed, these papers, I found two very striking inand when it is, there is most commonly a par. stances of the possibility there is, that a man ticular effort of the imagination for that purpose. may hear words without having any idea of the But the aggregate words operate, as I said of things which they represent, and yet afterwards the compound-abstracts, not by presenting any be capable of returning them to others, comimage to the mind, but by having from use bined in a new way, and with great propriety, the same effect on being mentioned, that their energy,
and instruction. The first instance is original has when it is seen. Suppose we that of Mr. Blacklock, a poet blind from his were to read a passage to this effect: “The birth. Few men blessed with the most perfect river Danube rises in a moist and mountainous sight can describe visual objects with more soil in the heart of Germany, where winding spirit and justness than this blind man; which to and fro, it waters several principalities, cannot possibly be attributed to his having a until, turning into Austria, and leaving the elearer conception of the things he describes walls of Vienna, it passes into Hungary; there than is common to other persons. Mr. Spence, with a vast food, augmented by the Saave and in an elegant preface which he has written tó the Drave, it quits Christendom, and rolling the works of this poet, reasons very ingenithrough the barbarous countries which border ously, and, I imagine, for the most part, very on Tartary, it enters by many mouths in the rightly, upon the cause of this extraordinary Black sea.'
." In this description, many things phænomenon; but I cannot altogether agres are mentioned, as mountains, rivers, cities, with him, that some improprieties in language the sea, &c. But let any body examine him- and thought, which occur in these poems, have self, and see whether he has had impressed on arisen from the blind poet's imperfect concep his imagination any pictures of a river, moun- tion of visual objects, since such improprieties, tain, watery soil, Germany, &c. Indeed, it is and much greater, may be found in writers even impossible, in the rapidity and quick succes- of an higher class than Mr. Blacklock, and who sion of words in conversation, to have ideas notwithstanding possessed the faculty of seeing both of the sound of the word, and of the thing in its full perfection. Here is a poet doubtless represented; besides, some words, expressing as much affected by his own descriptions, as real essences, are so mixed with others of a any that reads them can be ; and yet he is afgeneral and nominal import, that it is imprac- fected with this strong enthusiasm by things of ticable to jump from sense to thought, from which he neither has, nor can possibly have