« AnteriorContinuar »
GENERAL LITERATURE AND LITERARY BIOGRAPHY.
Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste. By ARCHIBALD ALISON, LL. B., F. R. S.,
Prebendary of Sarum...
De la Littérature considérée dans ses Rapports avec les Institutions Sociales. Par Mad.
de STAEL-HOLSTEIN. Avec un Précis de la Vie et les Ecrits de l'Auteur......
The Complete Works, in Philosophy, Politics, and Morals, of the late Dr. Benjamin
Franklin. Now first collected and arranged. With Memoirs of his Early Life,
written by Himself....
The Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. Containing Additional
Letters, Tracts, and Poems, not hitherto published. With Notes, and a Life of the
Author, by WALTER SCOTT, Esq....
~Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship: a Novel. From the German of GOETHE....
The Correspondence of Samuel Richardson, Author of Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles
Grandison; selected from the original Manuscripts bequeathed to his Family. To
which are prefixed, a Biographical Account of that Author, and Observations on his
Writings. By ANNA LETITIA BARBAuld..
Correspondance, Littéraire, Philosophique et Critique. Adressée à un Souverain d'Alle-
magne, depuis 1770 jusqu'à 1782. Par le BARON DE GRIMM, et par DIDEROT
Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Victor Alfieri. Written by Himself..
The Life and Posthumous Writings of William Cowper, Esq. With an Introductory
Letter to the Right Honourable Earl Cowper. By WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esq..... 154, 163
Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, Governor of Nottingham Castle and Town,
Representative of the County of Nottingham in the Long Parliament, and of the
Town of Nottingham in the First Parliament of Charles II. &c.; with Original Anec-
dotes of many of the most distinguished of his Contemporaries, and a summary
Review of Public Affairs: Written by his Widow, Lucy, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley,
Lieutenant of the Tower, &c. Now first published from the Original Manuscript,
by the Rev. JULIUS HUTCHINSON, &c. &c. To which is prefixed the Life of Mrs.
Hutchinson, written by Herself, a Fragment....
Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe, Wife of the Right Honourable Sir Richard Fanshawe,
Baronet, Ambassador from Charles the Second to the Court of Madrid in 1665.
Written by Herself. To which are added, Extracts from the Correspondence of Sir
Mémoires de Madame la Marquise de LAROCHEJAQUELEIN; avec deux Cartes du Théatre
de la Guerre de La Vendée......
Mémoires de Frederique Sophie Wilhelmine de Prusse, Margrave de Bareith, Sœur de
Frederic le Grand. Ecrits de sa Main......
History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. By WASHINGTON IRVING.... 259
Memoirs of Zehir-ed-din Muhammed Baber, Emperor of Hindustan, written by Himself,
in the Jaghatai Turki, and translated partly by the late JOHN LEYDEN, Esq. M. D.,
partly by WILLIAM ERSKINE, Esq. With Notes and a Geographical and Historical
Introduction: together with a Map of the Countries between the Oxus and Jaxartes,
and a Memoir regarding its Construction, by CHARLES WADDINGTON, Esq., of the
East India Company's Engineers..
Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems. By JOHN KEATS, author of
Records of Women: with other Poems. By FELICIA HEMANS..
The Forest Sanctuary: with other Poems. By FELICIA HEMANS..
Academical Questions. By the Right Honourable WILLIAM DRUMMOND, K.C., F.R.S.,
F.R.S.E. Author of a Translation of Persius....
An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D., late Professor of Moral
Philosophy and Logic in the Marischal College and University of Aberdeen: includ-
ing many of his original Letters. By Sir W. FORBES of Pitsligo, Baronet, one of the
Executors of Dr. Beattie.....
Philosophical Essays. By DUGALD STEWART, Esq., F.R.S. Edinburgh, Emeritus Pro-
fessor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, &c. &c...
Rob Roy. By the Author of "Waverley," "Guy Mannering," and "The Antiquary" 535
Ivanhoe. A Romance. By the Author of "Waverley," &c....
The Novels and Tales of the Author of "Waverley;" comprising "Waverley," "Guy
Mannering," "Antiquary," "Rob Roy," "Tales of My Landlord, First, Second, and
Third Series;" New Edition, with a copious Glossary..
Memoirs of the Private and Public Life of William Penn. By THOMAS CLARKSON, M. A. 651
A Selection from the Public and Private Correspondence of Vice-Admiral Lord Colling-
wood: interspersed with Memoirs of his Life. By G. L. NEWNHAM COLLINGWOOD,
Esq., F. R. S.....
Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India from Calcutta to Bombay,
1824, 1825 (with Notes upon Ceylon); an Account of a Journey to Madras and the
Southern Provinces, 1826; and Letters written in India. By the late Right Rever-
end REGINALD HEBER, Lord Bishop of Calcutta....
Sketches of India. Written by an Officer, for Fire-Side Travellers at Home
Scenes and Impressions in Egypt and in Italy. By the Author of "Sketches of India,"
and "Recollections of the Peninsula"
Letters from a late eminent Prelate to one of his Friends
Memoirs of the Political and Private Life of James Caulfield, Earl of Charlemont, Knight
of St. Patrick, &c. &c. By FRANCIS HARDY, Esq., Member of the House of Com-
mons in the three last Parliaments of Ireland...
An Inquiry whether Crime and Misery are produced or prevented by our present Sys-
tem of Prison discipline. Illustrated by Descriptions of the Borough Compter, Tot-
hill Fields Prison, the Jail at St. Albans, the Jail at Guilford, the Jail at Bristol, the
Jails at Bury and Ilchester, the Maison de Force at Ghent, the Philadelphia Prison,
the Penitentiary at Millbank, aud the Proceedings of the Ladies' Committee at
Newgate. By THOMAS FOWELL BUXTON.....
Memoirs of Richard Cumberland: written by Himself. Containing an Account of his
Life and Writings, interspersed with Anecdotes and Characters of the most distin-
guished Persons of his Time with whom he had Intercourse or Connection........ 707
The Works of the Right Honourable Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Including her Cor-
respondence, Poems, and Essays
Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste.-By ARCHIBALD ALISON, LL. B., F. R. S., Prebendary of Sarum,* &c. 2 vols. 8vo.
the colour of grass, and red of roses or of blood, it is plain that we do not in any respect explain the nature of those colours, but only give instances of their occurrence; and that one who had never seen the objects referred to could learn nothing whatever from these pretended definitions. Complex ideas, on the other hand, and compound emotions, may always be defined, and explained to a certain extent, by enumerating the parts of which they are made up, or resolving them into the elements of which they are composed: and we may thus acquire, not only a substantial, though limited, knowledge of their nature, but a practical power in their regulation or production.
THERE are few parts of our nature which I define what green or red is, say that green is have given more trouble to philosophers, or appeared more simple to the unreflecting, than the perceptions we have of Beauty, and the circumstances under which these are presented to us. If we ask one of the latter (and larger) class, what beauty is? we shall most probably be answered, that it is what makes things pleasant to look at; and if we remind him that many other things are called and perceived to be beautiful, besides objects of sight, and ask how, or by what faculty he supposes that we distinguish such objects, we must generally be satisfied with hearing that it has pleased God to make us capable of such a perception. The science of mind may not appear to be much advanced by these responses; and yet, if it could be made out, as some have alleged, that our perception of beauty was a simple sensation, like our perception of colour, and that the faculty of taste was an original and distinct sense, like that of seeing or hearing; this would be truly the only account that could be given, either of the sense or of its object;-and all that we could do, in investigating the nature of the latter, would be to ascertain and enumerate the circumstances under which it was found to indicate itself to its appropriate organ. All that we can say of colour, if we consider it very strictly, is, that it is that property in objects by which they make themselves known to the faculty of sight; and the faculty of sight can scarcely be defined in any other way than as that by which we are enabled to discover the existence of colour. When we attempt to proceed farther, and, on being asked to
The greater part of this paper was first printed th the Edinburgh Review for May 1811; but was afterwards considerably enlarged, and inserted as a separate article (under the word BEAUTY) in the supplement to the Encyclopædia Brittannica, pubished in 1824, and subsequently incorporated into The new edition of that great work in 1841, from which it is now reprinted in its complete form, by the liberal allowance of the proprietors.
It becomes of importance, therefore, in the very outset of this inquiry, to consider whether our sense of beauty be really a simple sensation, like some of those we have enumerated, or a compound or derivative feeling, the sources or elements of which may be investigated and ascertained. If it be the former, we have then only to refer it to the peculiar sense or faculty of which it is the object; and to determine, by repeated observation, under what circumstances that sense is called into action: but if it be the latter, we shall have to proceed, by a joint process of observation and reflection, to ascertain what are the primary feelings to which it may be referred; and by what peculiar modification of them it is produced and distinguished. We are not quite prepared, as yet, to exhaust the whole of this important discussion, to which we shall be obliged to return in the sequel of our inquiry; but it is necessary, in order to explain and to set forth, in their natural order, the difficulties with which the subject is sur rounded, to state here, in a very few words, one or two of the most obvious, and, as we think, decisive objections against the notion of beauty being a simple sensation, or the object of a separate and peculiar faculty.
The first, and perhaps the most consiler