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and the mind of man is fitted to receive pleasure equally from both.
Uniformity and variety are interwoven in the works of nature with surprising art: variety, however great, is never without some degree of uniformity; nor the greatest uniformity without some degree of variety : there is great variety in the same plant, by the different appearances of its stem, branches, leaves, blossoms, fruit, size, and colour; and yet, when we trace this variety through different plants, especially of the same kind, there is discovered a surprising uniformity: again, where nature seems to have intended the most exact uniformity, as among individuals of the same kind, there still appears a diversity, which serves readily to distinguish one individual from another. It is indeed admirable, that the human visage, in which uniformity is so prevalent, should yet be fo marked, as to leave no room, among millions, for miftaking one person for another : thefe marks, though clearly perceived, are generally so delicate, that words cannot be found to describe them. A correspondence so perfect between the human mind and the works of nature, is extremely remarkable. The opposition between variety and uniformity is so great, that one would not readily imagine they could both be relished by the fame palate ; at least not in the same object, nor at the same time : it is however true, that the pleasures they afford, being happily adjusted to each other, and readily mixing in intimate union,
are frequently produced by the fame individual object. Nay, further, in the objects that touch us the most, uniformity and variety are constantly combined; witness natural objects, where this combination is always found in perfection : it is for that reason, that natural objects readily form themselves into groups, and are agreeable in whatever manner combined: a wood with its trees, shrubs, and herbs, is agreeable: the music of birds, the lowing of cattle, and the murmuring of a brook, are in conjunction delightful; thongh they strike the ear without modulation or harmony. In short, nothing can be more happily accommodated to the inward constitution of man, than that mixture of uniformity with variety, which the eye discovers in natural objects : and, accordingly, the mind is never more highly gratified than in contemplating a natural landscape.
AN is fuperior to the brute, not more by his rational faculties, than by those
of perception and feeling. With respect to the grofs pleasures of sense, the brutes probably yield not to men; and they may also have fome obfcure perception of beauty : but the more delicate perceptions of regularity, order, uniformity, and congruity, being connected with morality and religion, are referred to dignify the chief of the terrestrial creation. Upon that account, no discipline is more fuitable to man, nor inore congruous to the dignity of his nature, than that which refines his taste, and leads hin to diftinguish in every subject, what is regular, what is orderly, what is suitable, and what is fit and proper *.
* Nec vero illa parva vis naturæ eß rationisque, quod unum hoc animal sentit quid fit ordo, quid fit quod deceat in factis dictisque, qui modus. Itaque eorum ipforum, quæ aspectu sentiuntur, nullum a. liud animal, pulchritudinem, venuftatem, convenientiam partium sentit. Quam similitudinem natura ratioque ab oculis ad animum transferens, multo etiam magis pulchritudinem, conftantiam, ordinem, in consiliis factisque conservandum putat, cavetque ne quid indecorè effeminatève faciat; tum in omnibus et opinionibus et faCtis ne quid libidinosè aut faciat aut cogitet. Quibus ex rebus conflatur et efficitur id, quod quærimus, honestum. Cicero de offi. ciis, b. 1.
It is clear from the very conception of the terms congruity and propriety, that they are not applicable to any single object : they imply a plurality, and obviously signify a particular relation between different objects. Thus we say currently, that a decent garb is suitable or proper for a judge, modeft behaviour for a young woman, and a lof. ty style for an epic poem: and, on the other hand, that it is unsuitable or incongruous to see a little woman funk in an overgrown farthingale, a coat richly embroidered covering coarse and dirty linen, a mean subject in an elevated style, an elevated subject in a mean style, a first minister darning his wife's stocking, or a reverend prelate in lawn fleeves dancing a hornpipe.
The perception we have of this relation, which seems peculiar to man, cannot proceed froin any other cause, but from a sense of congruity or propriety; for fupposing us destitute of that sense, the terms would to us be unintelligible *.
* From many things that pass current in the world without being generally condemned, one at first view would imagine, that the sense of congruity or propriety hath scarce any foundation in nature; and that it is rather an artificial refinement of those who affect to distinguish themselves by a certain delicacy of taste and behaviour. The fulsome panegyrics bestow'd upon the great and opulent, in epistles dedicatory and other such compositions, lead naturaly to that thought. Did there prevail in the world, it will be said, or did nature suggest, a taste of what is suitable, decent, or proper, would any good writer deal in such compositions, or any man of sense receive them without disguft? Can it be fupposed, chat Lewis XIV.
It is a matter of experience, that congruity or propriety, where ever perceived, is agreeable; and that incongruity or impropriety, where-ever perceived, is disagreeable. The only difficulty is, to ascertain what are the particular objects that in conjunction suggeit these relations; for there are many objects that do not : the sea, for example, viewed in conjunction with a picture, or a man viewed in conjunction with a mountain, suggest not either congruity or incongruity. It seems natural to infer, what will be found true by induction, that we never perceive congruity nor incongruity but among things that are connected together by some relation ; fuch as a man and his actions, a principle and its accessories, a subject and its ornaments. We are indeed so framed by nature, as among things fo connected, to require a certain fuitableness or correfpondence, termed congruity or propriety; and to be displeased when we find the opposite relation of incongruity or impropriety *.
of France was endued by nature with any sense of propriety, when, in a dramatic performance purposely composed for his entertainment, he suffered himself, publicly, and in his presence, to be styled the greatest king ever the earth produced? These it is truc are strong facts; bat luckily they do not prove the sense of propriety to be artificial : they only prove, that the sense of propriety is at times overpowered by pride and vanity; which is no singular case, for this sometimes is the fate even of the sense of justice.
* In the chapter of beauty, qualities are distinguished into primary and secondary : and to clear some obscurity that may appear