Puslapio vaizdai

deed dictates this leffon: but reafon alone is not fufficient in a matter of fuch importance; and the appetite mentioned is a motive more powerful than reason, to be active in gaining efteem and affection. This appetite, at the fame time, is finely adjusted to the moral branch of our constitution, by promoting all. the moral virtues : for what means are there to attract love and efteem, fo effectual as a virtuous courfe of life? if a man be just and beneficent, if he be temperate, modest, and prudent, he will infallibly gain the esteem and love of all who know him.

The communication of paffion to related objects, is an illuftrious inftance of the care of Providence, to extend focial connections as far as the limited nature of man can admit. This communication is so far hurtful, as to spread the malevolent paffions beyond their natural bounds: but let it be remarked, that this unhappy effect regards favages only, who give way to malevolent paffions; for under the discipline of fociety, these paffions being fubdued, are in a good meafure eradicated; and in their place fucceed the kindly affections, which, meeting with all encouragement, take poffeffion of the mind, and govern our whole actions. In this condition, the progrefs of paffion along related objects, by spreading the kindly affections through a multitude of individuals, hath a glorious effect.

Nothing can be more entertaining to a rational mind, than the economy of the human paffions,

of which I have attempted to give fome faint notion. It must however be acknowledged, that our paffions, when they happen to fwell beyond proper limits, take on a lefs regular appearance: reafon may proclaim our duty, but the Will, influenced by paffion, makes gratification always welcome. Hence the power of paffion, which, when in excefs, cannot be refifted but by the utmoft fortitude of mind: it is bent upon gratification; and where proper objects are wanting, it clings to any object at hand without diftinction. Thus joy infpired by a fortunate event, is diffufed upon every perfon around by acts of benevolence; and refentment for an atrocious injury done by one out of reach, feizes the first object that occurs to vent itself upon. Those who believe in prophecies, even with the accomplishment; and a weak mind is difpofed voluntarily to fulfil a prophecy, in order to gratify its wifh. Shakespear, whom no particle of human nature hath escaped, however remote from common obfervation, defcribes this weakness:

K. Henry. Doth any name particular belong Unto that lodging where I first did swoon?

Warwick. Tis call'd Jerufalem, my Noble Lord.

K. Henry. Laud be to God! ev'n there my life must end.

It hath been prophefy'd to me many years,

I fhould not die but in Jerufalem,

Which vainly I fuppos'd the holy land.


But bear me to that chamber, there I'll lie:

In that Jerufalem shall Henry die.

Second part, Henry IV. at 4. fc. laft.

I could not deny myfelf the amufement of the foregoing obfervation, though it doth not properly come under my plan. The irregularities of paffion proceeding from peculiar weakneffes and biaffes, I do not undertake to justify; and of these we have had many examples *. It is fufficient that paffions common to all, and as generally exerted, are made fubfervient to beneficial purposes. I fhall only obferve, that in a polished fociety, inftances of irregular paffions are rare, and that their mifchief doth not extend far.

Part 5 of the prefent chapter,

M 4,






AVING difcourfed in general of emotions and paffions, I proceed to a more nar row infpection of fome particulars, that ferve to unfold the principles of the fine arts. It is the province of a writer upon ethics, to give a full enumeration of all the paffions; and of each feparately to affign the nature, the cause, the gratification, and the effects. But a treatise of ethics is not my province: I carry my view no farther than to the elements of criticifm, in order to fhow, that the fine arts are a fubject of reafoning as well as of tafte. An extenfive work would ill fuit a design fo limited; and to confine this work within moderate bounds, the following plan may contribute. The obfervation made above, that things are the causes of emotions, by means of their properties and attributes *, furnisheth a hint for diftribution. Instead of a painful and tedious examination of the feveral paffions and emotions, I propofe to confine my inquiries to fuch attributes, relations, and circumftances, as in the fine arts are chiefly employ'd to raise agreeable emotions. Attributes of fingle objects, Chap. 2. part 1. fect. 1. first note.


as the moft fimple, fhall take the lead; to be followed with particulars, which, depending on relations, are not found in fingle objects. Difpatching next fome coincident matters, I proceed to my chief aim; which is, to establish practical rules for the fine arts, derived from principles previously established. This is a general view of the intended method; referving however a privilege to vary it in particular inftances, where a different method may be more commodious. I begin with beauty, the moft noted of all the qualities that belong to single objects.

The term beauty, in its native fignification, is appropriated to objects of fight: objects of the other fenfes may be agreeable, fuch as the founds of musical instruments, the fmoothness and foftnefs of fome furfaces; but the agreeableness denominated beauty belongs to objects of fight.

Of all the objects of external fense, an object of fight is the most complex: in the very simplest, colour is perceived, figure, and length, breadth, and thickness. A tree is composed of a trunk, branches, and leaves; it has colour, figure, fize, and fometimes motion: by means of each of thefe particulars, feparately confidered, it ap pears beautiful; how much more fo, when they enter all into one complex perception? The beauty of the human figure is extraordinary, being a compofition of numberlefs beauties arifing from the parts and qualities of the object, various colours, various motions, figure, fize,

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