Puslapio vaizdai

plied; and it must be indifferent in what manner they be furveyed; witnefs the fheep that make a flock, or the trees in a wood. But in things of unequal rank, order is a regulating principle: thus our tendency is, to view the principal fubject before we defcend to its acceffories or ornaments, and the fuperior before the inferior or dependent we are equally averfe to enter into a ́minute confideration of conftituent parts, till the thing be first furveyed as a whole. It need fcarce be added, that our ideas are governed by the fame principle; and that in thinking or reflecting upon a number of objects, we naturally follow the fame train that obtains when we actually furvey them.

The principle of order is confpicuous with refpect to natural operations; for it always directs our ideas in the order of nature: thinking upon a body in motion, we follow its natural courfe; the mind falls with a heavy body, defcends with a river, and afcends with flame and finoke in tracing out a family, we incline to begin at the founder, and to defcend gradually to his latest pofterity on the contrary, mufing on a lofty oak, we begin at the trunk, and mount from it to the branches: as to hiftorical facts, we love to proceed in the order of time; or, which comes to the fame, to proceed along the chain of caufes and effects.

But though, in following out an historical chain, our bent is to proceed orderly from cauB 3


fes to their effects, we find not the fame bent in matters of fcience: there we feem rather difpofed to proceed from effects to their caufes, and from particular propofitions to those which are more general. Why this difference in matters that appear fo nearly related? I anfwer, That the cafes are fimilar in appearance only, not in reality. In an hiftorical chain, every event is particular, the effect of fome former event, and the cause of others that follow: in fuch a chain, there is nothing to bias the mind from the order of nature. Widely different is the cafe of fcience, when we endeavour to trace out caufes and their effects: many experiments are commonly reduced under one caufe; and again, many of thefe under fome one still more general and comprehensive: in our progrefs from particular effects to general caufes, and from particular propofitions to the more comprehenfive, we feel a gradual dilatation or expansion of mind, like what is felt in proceeding along an afcending feries, which is extremely delightful: the pleasure here exceeds what arifes from following the courfe of nature; and it is this pleasure which regulates our train of thought in the cafe now mentioned, and in others that are fimilar. These observations, by the way, furnish materials for inftituting a comparison between the fynthetic and analytic methods of reafoning: the fynthetic method, defcending regularly from principles to their confequences, is more agreeable to the strictness of order;

order; but in following the oppofite courfe in the analytic method, we have a fenfible pleasure, like mounting upward, which is not felt in the other: the analytic method is more agreeable to the imagination; the other method will be preferred by those only who with rigidity adhere to order, and give no indulgence to natural emotions *.

It appears then that we are framed by nature to relish order and connection. When an object is introduced by a proper connection, we are confcious of a certain pleafure arifing from that circumftance. Among objects of equal rank, the pleasure is proportioned to the degree of connection: but among unequal objects, where we require a certain order, the pleasure arifes chiefly from an orderly arrangement; of which one is fenfible, in tracing objects contrary to the course of nature, or contrary to our fenfe of order the mind proceeds with alacrity down a flowing river, and with the fame alacrity from a whole to its parts, or from a principal to its acceffories; but in the contrary direction, it is fenfible of a fort of retrograde motion, which is unpleasant. And here may be remarked the great influence of order upon the mind of man: grandeur, which makes a deep impreffion, inclines us, in running over any feries, to proceed from

A train of perceptions or ideas, with refpect to its uniformity and varicty, is handled afterward, chap. 9.

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fmall to great, rather than from great to fmall; but order prevails over this tendency, and in paffing from the whole to its parts, and from a fubject to its ornaments, affords pleafure as well as facility, which are not felt in the oppofite courfe elevation touches the mind not less than grandeur doth, and in raifing the mind to elevated objects, there is a fenfible pleasure ; the course of nature, however, hath still a greater influence than elevation, and therefore the pleasure of falling with rain, and defcending gradually with a river, prevails over that of mounting upward. But where the courfe of nature is joined with elevation, the effect must be delightful; and hence the fingular beauty of smoke afcending in a calm morning.

I am extremely fenfible of the disgust men generally have to abstract speculation; and for that reafon I would avoid it altogether, were it poffible in a work which profeffes to draw the rules of criticism from human nature, their true fource. There is indeed no other choice, but to continue for fome time in the fame train, or to abandon the undertaking altogether. Candor obliges me to notify this to my readers, that such of them as have an invincible averfion to abstract fpeculation, may stop short here; for till principles be unfolded, I can promise no entertainment to those who fhun thinking. But I flatter myfelf with a different tafte in the bulk of readers: fome few, 1 imagine, will relish the abstract part for

its own fake; and many for the ufeful purposes to which it may be applied. For encouraging the latter to proceed with alacrity, I affure them beforehand, that the foregoing fpeculation leads to many important rules of criticifm, which fhall be unfolded in the courfe of this work. In the mean time, for fome prefent fatisfaction, they will be pleased to accept the following fpeci


Every work of art that is conformable to the natural courfe of our ideas, is fo far agreeable; and every work of art that reverfes that course, is fo far difagreeable. Hence it is required in every fuch work, that, like an organic fyftem, its parts fhould be orderly arranged and mutually connected, bearing each of them a relation to the whole, fome more intimate, fome lefs, according to their destination: when due regard is had to these particulars, we have a sense of juft compofition, and fo far are pleased with the performance. Homer is defective in order and connection; and Pindar more remarkably. Regularity, order, and connection, are painful reftraints on a bold and fertile imagination; and are not patiently fubmitted to, but after much culture and difcipline, In Horace there is no fault more eminent than want of connection: inftances are without number. In the firft fourteen lines of ode 7. lib. 1. he mentions feveral towns and diftricts which by fome were relifhed more than by others in the remainder of the ode, Plancus


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