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engagement, is in a great measure proportioned to the figure that the injured person makes; the vows and protestations of lovers are an illustrious example of this observation, for these commonly are little regarded when made to women of inferior rank.
HAT motion is agreeable to the eye with
out relation to purpose or design, may
appear from the amusement it gives to infants: juvenile exercises are relished chiefly upon that account.
If a body in motion be agreeable, one will be apt to conclude, that at rest it must be disagreeable: but we learn from experience, that this would be a rash conclusion. Rest is one of those circumstances that are neither agreeable nor disagrecable, being viewed with perfect indifferency. And happy it is for mankind that the matter is so ordered: if rest were agreeable, it would disincline us to motion, by which all things are performed: if it were disagreeable, it would be a source of perpetual uneasiness; for the bulk of the things we see, appear to be at rest. A similar instance of designing wisdom I have had occasion to explain, in opposing grandeur to littleness, and elevation to lowness of place *. Even in the simplest matters, the finger of God is conspicuous: the happy adjustment
• Sce chap. 4
of the internal nature of man to his external circumstances, display'd in the instances here given, is indeed admirable.
Motion is certainly agreeable in all its varieties of quickness and flowness; but motion long continued admits fome exceptions. That degree or continued motion which corresponds to the natural course of our perceptions, is the most agreeable *. The quickest motion is for an in1tant delightful: but it soon appears to be too rapid: it becomes painful, by forcibly accelerating the course of our perceptions. . Slow continued motion becomes disagreeable for an opposite reason, that it retards the natural course of our perceptions t.
There are other varieties in motion, beside quickness and slowness, that make it more or less agreeable : regular motion is preferred before what is irregular ; witness the motion of the planets in orbits nearly circular: the motion of the comets in orbits less regular, is less agreeable.
Motion uniformly accelerated, resembling an ascending series of numbers, is more agreeable than when uniformly retarded: motion upward is agreeable by the elevation of the moving body. 'What then shall we say of downward motion regularly accelerated by the force of gravity, com
* See chap. 9.
+ This will be explained more fully afterward, ch. 9.
pared pared with upward motion regularly retarded by the same force? Which of these is the most agreeable? This question is not easily solved. - Motion in a straight line is agreeable : but we prefer undulating motion, as of waves, of a flame, of a ship under fail : such motion is more free, and also more natural. Hence the beauty of a serpentine river.
The easy and sliding motion of Auids, from the lubricity of their parts, is agreeable upon that account: but the agreeableness chiefly depends upon the following circumstance, that the motion is perceived, not as of one body, but as of an endless number moving together with order and regularity. Poets struck with this beauty, draw more images from fluids in motion than from solids.
Force is of two kinds; one quiescent, and one exerted in motion. The former, dead weight for example, must be laid aside; for a body at rest is not by that circumstance either agreeable or disagreeable. Moving force only belongs to the present subject ; and though it is not separable from motion, yet by the power of abstraction, either of them may be considered independent of the other. Both of them are agreeable, because both of them include activity. It is agreeable to see a thing move: to see it moved, as when it is dragged or pushed along, is neither agreeable nor disagreeable, more than when at rest. It is agreeable to see a thing exert force; but it makes
not the thing either agreeable or disagreeable, to fee force exerted
it. Though motion and force are each of them agreeable, the impressions they make are different. This difference, clearly felt, is not easily described. All we can say is, that the emotion raised by a moving body, resembling its cause, is felt as if the mind were carried along: the emotion raified by force exerted, resembling also its cause, is felt as if force were exerted within the mind.
To illustrate this difference, I give the following examples. It has been explained why snioke afcending in a calm day, suppose from a cottage in a wood, is an agreeable object * ; fo remarkably agreeable, that landscape-painters introduce it upon all occasions.
all occasions. The ascent being natural, and without effort, is delightful in a calm state of mind: it resembles a gently-flowing river, but is more agreeable, because ascent is more to our taste than descent.
A fire-work or a jet d'eau rouses the mind more; because the beauty of force visibly exerted, is fuperadded to that of upward motion. To a man reclining indolently upon a bank of flowers, afcending smoke in a Itill morning is deligütful; but a fire-work or a jet d'eau rouses him from this fupine polture, and puts him in motion.
A jet d'eau makes an impression distinguishable from that of a water-fall. Downward motion
* Chap. I.