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being natural, and without effort, tends rather to quiet the mind than to rouse it: upward motion, on the contrary, overcoming the resistance of gravity, makes an impression of a great effort, and thereby rouses and enlivens the mind.
The public games of the Greeks and Romans, which gave
so much entertainment to the spectators, consisted chiefly in exerting force, wrestling, leaping, throwing great stones, and fuchlike trials of strength. When great force is exerted, the effort felt internally is animating. The effort may be fuch, as in some measure to overpower the mind : thus the explosion of gunpowder, the violence of a torrent, the weight of a mountain, and the crush of an earthquake, create astonishment rather than pleasure.
No quality nor circumstance contributes more to grandeur than force, especially as exerted by sensible beings. I cannot make this more evident than by the following quotations.
Him the almighty power
Paradise Lost, book I.
Now storming fury rose, And clamour such as heard in heaven till now Was never; arms on armour clashing bray’d VOL.I.
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Ibid, book 6.
They ended parle, and both address'd for fight Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue Of angels, can relate, or to what things Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift Human imagination to such height Of godlike pow'r? for likest gods they seem'd, Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms, Fit to decide the empire of great Heav'n. How wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air Made horrid circles: two broad suns their fhields Blaz'd opposite, while Expectation stood In horror : from each hand with speed retir'd, Where erst was thickest fight, th'angelic throng, And left large field, unsafe within the wind Of such commotion; such as, to set forth Great things by small, if Nature's concord broke, Among the constellations war were sprung, Two planets, rushing from afpect malign Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound,
Ibid, book 6.
We shall next consider the effect of motion and force in conjunction. In contemplating the planetary system, what strikes us the most, is the spherical figures of the planets, and their regular motions; the conception we have of their activity and enormous bulk being more obfcure : the beauty accordingly of this system, raises a more lively emotion than its grandeur. But if we could comprehend the whole system at one view, the activity and irresistible force of these immense bodies would fill us with amazement : nature cannot furnish another scene so grand.
Motion and force, agreeable in themselves, are also agreeable by their utility when employ'd as means to accomplish fome beneficial end. Hence the superior beauty of some machines, where force and motion concur to perform the work of numberless bands. Hence the beautiful motions, firm and regular, of a horse trained for war : every single step is the fittest that can be, for obtaining the end proposed. But the grace
of motion is visible chiefly in man, not only for the reasons mentioned, but also because every gesture is significant. The power however of agreeable motion is not a common talent: every limb of the human body has an agreeable and disagreeable action; some motions being extremely graceful, others plain and vulgar; some expressing dignity, others meanness. But the pleasure here, arising not singly from the beauty
of motion, but from indicating character and sentiment, belongs to different chapters *.
I should conclude with the final cause of the relish we have for motion and force, were it not so evident as to require no explanation. We are placed here in such circumstances as to make industry essential to our well-being; for without industry the plainest necessaries of life are not obtained. When our situation therefore in this world requires activity, and a constant exertion of motion and force, Providence indulgently provides for our welfare by making these agreeable to us: it would be a blunder in our nature, to make any thing disagreeable that we depend on for existence; and even to make them indifferent, would tend to make us relax greatly from that degree of activity which is indispen. fable.
* Chap. II. and 15.
Novelty, AND THE UNEXPECTED APA
PEARANCE OF OBJECTS.
F all the particulars that raise emotions,
not excepting beauty, nor even great
ness, novelty hath the most powerful influence. A new object produceth instantaneously an emotion termed wonder, which totally occupies the mind, and for a time excludes all other objects. Conversation among the vulgar never is more interesting, than when it runs upon strange objects and extraordinary events. Men tear themselves from their native country in search of things rare and new; and novelty converts into a pleasure, the fatigues, and even perils, of travelling. To what cause thall we afcribe these singular appearances ? Curiosity is the cause, which is a principle implanted in human nature, for a purpose extremely beneficial, that of acquiring knowledge; and the emotion of wonder raised by new and strange objects, inflames our curiosity with respect to such objects. This emotion is different from admiration : novelty where ever found, whether in a quality or action, is the cause of wonder; admiration is directed upon the operator who performs any thing wonderful.