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that beauty is, for the greater part, some quality in gardens; smooth streams in the landscape; in bodies acting mechanically upon the human smooth coats of birds and beasts in animal beaumind by the intervention of the senses. We ought | ties; in fine women, smooth skins; and in several therefore to consider attentively in what manner sorts of ornamental furniture, smooth and polished those sensible qualities are disposed, in such things surfaces. A very considerable part of the effect as by experience we find beautiful, or which excite of beauty is owing to this quality; indeed the in us the passion of love, or some correspondent most considerable. For take any beautiful object, affection.
and give it a broken and rugged surface; and
however well formed it may be in other respects, SECT. XIII.-BEAUTIFUL OBJECTS SMALL,
it pleases no longer. Whereas, let it want ever
so many of the other constituents, if it wants not The most obvious point that presents itself to this, it becomes more pleasing than almost all the us in examining any object, is its extent or quan- others without it. This seems to me so evident, tity. And what degree of extent prevails in that I am a good deal surprised, that none who bodies that are held beautiful, may be gathered have handled the subject have made any mention from the usual manner of expression concerning of the quality of smoothness, in the enumeration it. I am told that, in most languages, the objects of those that go to the forming of beauty. For of love are spoken of under diminutive epithets. indeed any ruggedness, any sudden projection, It is so in all the languages of which I have any any sharp angle, is in the highest degree contrary knowledge. In Greek the twv and other diminu-to that idea. tive terms are almost always the terms of affection and tenderness. These diminutives were com
SECT. XV.-GRADUAL VARIATION. monly added by the Greeks to the names of persons with whom they conversed on terms of But as perfectly beautiful bodies are not comfriendship and familiarity. Though the Romans posed of angular parts, so their parts never conwere a people of less quick and delicate feelings, tinue long in the same right line. They vary yet they naturally slid into the lessening termi- their direction every moment, and they change nation upon the same occasions. Antiently in the under the eye by a deviation continually carrying English Īanguage the diminishing ling was added on, but for whose beginning or end you will find to the names of persons and things that were the it difficult to ascertain a point. The view of a objects of love. Some we retain still, as darling, beautiful bird will illustrate this observation. (or little dear,) and a few others. But, to this Here we see the head increasing insensibly to the day, in ordinary conversation, it is usual to add middle, from whence it lessens gradually until it the endearing name of little to every thing we love: mixes with the neck; the neck loses itself in a the French and Italians make use of these affec- larger swell, which continues to the middle of the tionate diminutives even more than we. In the body, when the whole decreases again to the tail ; animal creation, out of our own species, it is the the tail takes a new direction ; but it soon varies small we are inclined to be fond of; little birds, its new course : it blends again with the other parts; and some of the smaller kinds of beasts. A great and the line is perpetually changing, above, below, beautiful thing is a manner of expression scarcely upon every side. In this description I have before ever used; but that of a great ugly thing is very me the idea of a dove; it agrees very well with common. There is a wide difference between most of the conditions of beauty. It is smooth admiration and love. The sublime, which is the and downy; its parts are (to use that expression) cause of the former, always dwells on great ob- melted into one another; you are presented with jects, and terrible; the latter on small ones, and no sudden protuberance through the whole, and pleasing; we submit to what we admire, but we yet the whole is continually changing. Observe love what submits to us; in one case we are forced, that part of a beautiful woman where she is perin the other we are flattered, into compliance. In haps the most beautiful, about the neck and breasts; short, the ideas of the sublime and the beautiful the smoothness; the softness; the easy and insensistand on foundations so different, that it is hard, I ble swell; the variety of the surface, which is never had almost said impossible, to think of reconciling for the smallest space the same; the deceitful maze, them in the same subject, without considerably through which the unsteady eye slides giddily, lessening the effect of the one or the other upon without knowing where to fix or whither it is the passions. So that, attending to their quantity, carried. Is not this a demonstration of that beautiful objects are comparatively small. change of surface, continual, and yet hardly per
ceptible at any point, which forms one of the great SECT. XIV.-SMOOTHNESS.
constituents of beauty? It gives me no small
pleasure to find that I can strengthen my theory The next property constantly observable in such in this point, by the opinion of the very ingenious objects is * Smoothness : a quality so essential to Mr. Hogarth ; whose idea of the line of beauty I beauty, that I do not now recollect any thing take in general to be extremely just. But the idea beautiful that is not smooth. In trees and flowers, of variation, without attending so accurately to the smooth leaves are beautiful; smooth slopes of earth manner of the variation, has led him to consider • Part IV. sect. 21.
† Part V. sect. 23.
angular figures as beautiful: these figures, it is Thirdly, if the colours be strong and vivid, they true, vary greatly; yet they vary in a sudden and are always diversified, and the object is never of broken manner; and I do not find any natural one strong colour; there are almost always such a object which is angular, and at the same time number of them, (as in variegated flowers,) that beautiful. Indeed few natural objects are entirely the strength and glare of each is considerably angular. But I think those which approach the abated. In a fine complexion, there is not only most nearly to it are the ugliest. I must add too, some variety in the colouring, but the colours : that, so far as I could observe of nature, though neither the red nor the white are strong and glarthe varied line is that alone in which complete ing. Besides, they are mixed in such a manner, beauty is found, yet there is no particular line and with such gradations, that it is impossible to which is always found in the most completely fix the bounds. On the same principle it is, that beautiful, and which is therefore beautiful in pre- the dubious colour in the necks and tails of peaference to all other lines. At least I never could cocks, and about the heads of drakes, is so very observe it.
agreeable. In reality, the beauty both of shape
and colouring are as nearly related, as we can well SECT. XVI. - DELICACY.
suppose it possible for things of such different na
tures to be. An air of robustness and strength is very prejudicial to beauty. An appearance of delicacy, and
SECT. XVIII.- RECAPITULATION. even of fragility, is almost essential to it. Whoever examines the vegetable or animal creation On the whole, the qualities of beauty, as they will find this observation to be founded in nature. are merely sensible qualities, are the following; It is not the oak, the ash, or the elm, or any of First, to be comparatively small. Secondly, to be the robust trees of the forest, which we consider as smooth. Thirdly, to have a variety in the direcbeautiful; they are awful and majestick; they in- tion of the parts; but, fourthly, to have those spire a sort of reverence. It is the delicate myrtle, parts not angular, but melted as it were into each it is the orange, it is the almond, it is the jasmine, other. Fifthly, to be of a delicate frame, without it is the vine, which we look on as vegetable any remarkable appearance of strength. Sixthly, beauties. It is the flowery species, so remarkable to have its colours clear and bright, but not very for its weakness and momentary duration, that gives strong and glaring. Seventhly, or if it should us the liveliest idea of beauty and elegance. Among have any glaring colour, to have it diversified with animals, the greyhound is more beautiful than the others. These are, I believe, the properties on mastiff; and the delicacy of a gennet, a barb, or which beauty depends ; properties that operate by an Arabian horse, is much more amiable than the nature, and are less liable to be altered by castrength and stability of some horses of war or car-price, or confounded by a diversity of tastes, than riage. I need here say little of the fair sex, where any other. I believe the point will be easily allowed me. The beauty of women is considerably owing to their weakness or delicacy, and is even enhanced by their timidity, a quality of mind analogous to it. The Physiognomy has a considerable share in I would not here be understood to say, that weak- beauty, especially in that of our own species. The ness betraying very bad health has any share in manners give a certain determination to the counbeauty; but the ill effect of this is not because it tenance; which, being observed to correspond is weakness, but because the ill state of health, pretty regularly with them, is capable of joining which produces such weakness, alters the other the effect of certain agreeable qualities of the conditions of beauty; the parts in such a case col- mind to those of the body. So that to form a lapse; the bright colour, the lumen purpureum finished human beauty, and to give it its full injuvente, is gone; and the fine variation is lost influence, the face must be expressive of such gentle wrinkles, sudden breaks, and right lines. and amiable qualities, as correspond with the soft
ness, smoothness, and delicacy of the outward form.
SECT. XIX.—THE PHYSIOG NOMY.
SECT. XVII.-BEAUTY IN COLOUR.
SECT. XX.-THE EYE.
As to the colours usually found in beautiful bodies, it may be somewhat difficult to ascertain I have hitherto purposely omitted to speak of them, because, in the several parts of nature, there the Eye, which has so great a share in the beauty is an infinite variety. However, even in this va- of the animal creation, as it did not fall so easily riety, we may mark out something on which to under the foregoing heads, though in fact it is settle. First, the colours of beautiful bodies must reducible to the same principles. I think then, that not be dusky or muddy, but clean and fair. Se- the beauty of the eye consists, first, in its clearness; condly, they must not be of the strongest kind. what coloured eye shall please most, depends a good Those which seem most appropriated to beauty, deal on particular fancies; but none are pleased are the milder of every sort ; light greens ; soft with an eye whose water (to use that term) is dull blues ; weak whites ; pink reds; and violets. and muddy.* We are pleased with the eye in this
Part IV. sect. 25.
view, on the principle upon which we like dia- | another species. Under this head I rank those monds, clear water, glass, and such like transpa- delicate and regular works of art, that imitate no rent substances. Secondly, the motion of the eye determinate object in nature, as elegant buildings, contributes to its beauty, by continually shifting and pieces of furniture. When any object parits direction ; but a slow and languid motion is takes of the above mentioned qualities, or of those more beautiful than a brisk one; the latter is of beautiful bodies, and is withal of great dimenenlivening; the former lovely. Thirdly, with re- sions, it is full as remote from the idea of mere gard to the union of the eye with the neighbour- beauty; I call it fine or specious. ing parts, it is to hold the same rule that is given of other beautiful ones; it is not to make a strong
SECT. XXIV. -THE BEAUTIFUL IN FEELING. deviation from the line of the neighbouring parts ; nor to verge into any exact geometrical figure. The foregoing description of beauty, so far as Besides all this, the eye affects, as it is expressive it is taken in by the eye, may be greatly illustrated of some qualities of the mind, and its principal by describing the nature of objects, which produce power generally arises from this; so that what we a similar effect through the touch. This I call the have just said of the physiognomy is applicable beautiful in Feeling. It corresponds wonderfully here.
with what causes the same species of pleasure to the sight. There is a chain in all our sensations; they are all but different sorts of feelings calcu
lated to be affected by various sorts of objects, It may perhaps appear like a sort of repetition but all to be affected after the same manner. All of what we have before said, to insist here upon bodies that are pleasant to the touch, are so by the the nature of Ugliness ; as I imagine it to be in slightness of the resistance they maké. Resistance all respects the opposite to those qualities which is either to motion along the surface, or to the we have laid down for the constituents of beauty. pressure of the parts on one another: if the former But though ugliness be the opposite to beauty, it be slight, we call the body smooth; if the latter, is not the opposite to proportion and fitness. For soft. The chief pleasure we receive by feeling, is it is possible that a thing may be very ugly within the one or the other of these qualities; and if any proportions, and with a perfect fitness to any there be a combination of both, our pleasure is uses. Ugliness I imagine likewise to be consistent greatly increased. This is so plain, that it is rather enough with an idea of the sublime. But I would more fit to illustrate other things, than to be illusby no means insinuate that ugliness of itself is a trated itself by an example. The next source of sublime idea, unless united with such qualities as pleasure in this sense, as in every other, is the conexcite a strong terrour.
tinually presenting somewhat new; and we find that bodies which continually vary their surface, are much the most pleasant or beautiful to the
feeling, as any one that pleases may experience. Gracefulness is an idea not very different from The third property in such objects is, that though beauty ; it consists in much the same things. the surface continually varies its direction, it never Gracefulness is an idea belonging to posture and varies it suddenly. The application of any thing motion. In both these, to be graceful, it is re- sudden, even though the impression itself have quisite that there be no appearance of difficulty ; little or nothing of violence, is disagreeable. The there is required a small inflection of the body; quick application of a finger a little warmer or and a composure of the parts in such a manner, colder than usual, without notice, makes us start; as not to encumber each other, not to appear a slight tap on the shoulder, not expected, has the divided by sharp and sudden angles. In this same effect. Hence it is that angular bodies, bodies case, this roundness, this delicacy of attitude and that suddenly vary the direction of the outline, motion, it is that all the magick of grace consists, afford so little pleasure to the feeling. Every such and what is called its je ne sçai quoi ; as will be change is a sort of climbing or falling in miniaobvious to any observer, who considers atten- ture; so that squares, triangles, and other angular tively the Venus de Medicis, the Antinous, or any figures, are neither beautiful to the sight nor feelstatue generally allowed to be graceful in a high ing. Whoever compares his state of mind, on degree.
feeling soft, smooth, variated, unangular bodies,
with that in which he finds himself, on the view of SECT. XXII.-ELEGANCE AND SPECIOUSNESS.
beautiful object, will perceive a very striking
analogy in the effects of both; and which may When any body is composed of parts smooth go a good way towards discovering their common and polished, without pressing upon each other, cause. Feeling and sight, in this respect, differ without shewing any ruggedness or confusion, and in but a few points. The touch takes in the pleaat the same time affecting some regular shape, I sure of softness, which is not primarily an object call it elegant. It is closely allied to the beautiful, of sight; the sight, on the other hand, comprediffering from it only in this regularity ; which, hends colour, which can hardly be made percephowever, as it makes a very material difference in tible to the touch : the touch again has the advanthe affection produced, may very well constitute | tage in a new idea of pleasure resulting from a
SECT. XXII. -GRACE.
moderate degree of warmth; but the eye triumphs | variety of such sounds as are fitted to raise them. in the infinite extent and multiplicity of its objects. It can be no prejudice to this, to clear and disBut there is such a similitude in the pleasures of tinguish some few particulars, that belong to the these senses, that I am apt to fancy, if it were same class, and are consistent with each other, possible that one might discern colour by feeling, from the immense crowd of different, and some(as it is said some blind men have done,) that the times contradictory, ideas, that rank vulgarly under same colours, and the same disposition of colour- the standard of beauty. And of these it is my ing, which are found beautiful to the sight, would intention to mark such only of the leading points be found likewise most grateful to the touch. But, as show the conformity of the sense of Hearing setting aside conjectures, let us pass to the other with all the other senses, in the article of their sense; of Hearing.
SECT. XXV. -THE BEAUTIFUL IN SOUNDS.
SECT. XXVI.-TASTE AND SMELL.
In this sense we find an equal aptitude to be This general agreement of the senses is yet affected in a soft and delicate manner; and how more evident on minutely considering those of far sweet or beautiful sounds agree with our taste and smell. We metaphorically apply the idea descriptions of beauty in other senses, the expe- of sweetness to sights and sounds; but as the quarience of every one must decide. Milton has de- lities of bodies by which they are fitted to excite scribed this species of musick in one of his juvenile either pleasure or pain in these senses, are not so poems.* I need not say that Milton was perfectly obvious as they are in the others, we shall refer an well versed in that art; and that no man had a explanation of their analogy, which is a very close finer ear, with a happier manner of expressing the one, to that part, wherein we come to consider affections of one sense by metaphors taken from the common efficient cause of beauty, as it regards another. The description is as follows:
all the senses. I do not think any thing better
fitted to establish a clear and settled idea of visual And ever against eating cares, Lap me in soft Lydian airs :
beauty, than this way of examining the similar In notes with many a winding bout
pleasures of other senses ; for one part is someOf linked sweetness long drawn out ;
times clear in one of the senses, that is more With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
obscure in another; and where there is a clear conThe melting voice through mazes running ; Untwisting all the chains that tie
currence of all, we may with more certainty speak The hidden soul of harmony.
of any one of them. By this means, they bear
witness to each other; nature is, as it were, scruLet us parallel this with the softness, the winding tinized; and we report nothing of her but what we surface, the unbroken continuance, the easy gra- | receive from her own information. dation of the beautiful in other things; and all the diversities of the several senses, with all their
SECT. XXVII. THE SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL several affections, will rather help to throw lights from one another to finish one clear, consistent idea of the whole, than to obscure it by their in- On closing this general view of Beauty, it natricacy and variety.
turally occurs, that we should compare it with the To the above mentioned description I shall add Sublime; and in this comparison there appears a one or two remarks. The first is; that the remarkable contrast. For sublime objects are vast beautiful in musick will not bear that loudness and in their dimensions, beautiful ones comparatively strength of sounds, which may be used to raise small: beauty should be smooth and polished; other passions; nor notes which are shrill or harsh, the great, rugged and negligent; beauty should or deep; it agrees best with such as are clear, even, shun the right line, yet deviate from it insensibly; smooth, and weak. The second is; that great the great in many cases loves the right line; and variety, and quick transitions from one measure or when it deviates, it often makes a strong deviatone to another, are contrary to the genius of the tion : beauty should not be obscure ; the great beautiful in musick. Such † transitions often ex- ought to be dark and gloomy; beauty should be cite mirth, or other sudden or tumultuous passions; light and delicate ; the great ought to be solid, but not that sinking, that melting, that languor, and even massive. They are indeed ideas of a very which is the characteristical effect of the beautiful different nature, one being founded on pain, the as it regards every sense. The passion excited by other on pleasure ; and however they may vary beauty is in fact nearer to a species of melan- afterwards from the direct nature of their causes, choly, than to jollity and mirth. I do not here yet these causes keep up an eternal distinction mean to confine musick to any one species of between them, a distinction never to be forgotten notes, or tones, neither is it an art in which I can by any whose business it is to affect the passions. say I have any great skill. My sole design in this in the infinite variety of natural combinations, remark is, to settle a consistent idea of beauty. we must expect to find the qualities of things the The infinite variety of the affections of the soul most remote imaginable from each other united will suggest to a good head, and skilful ear, a in the same object. We must expect also to find • L'Allegro.
+ I ne'er am merry, when I hear sweet musick.-SHAKSPBARE.
combinations of the same kind in the works of If the qualities of the sublime and beautiful are art. But when we consider the power of an object sometimes found united, does this prove that they upon our passions, we must know that when any are the same; does it prove that they are any way thing is intended to affect the mind by the force allied ; does it prove even that they are not opof some predominant property, the affection pro- posite and contradictory? Black and white may duced is like to be the more uniform and perfect, soften, may blend; but they are not therefore the if all the other properties or qualities of the object same. Nor, when they are so softened and be of the same nature, and tending to the same blended with each other, or with different colours, design as the principal.
is the power of black as black, or of white as If black and white blend, soften, and unite
white, so strong as when each stands uniform and A thousund ways, are there no black and white ? distinguished.
SECTION 1.—OF THE EFFICIENT CAUSE OF THE
SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL.
which does not belong to us. So that when I speak of cause, and efficient cause, I only mean certain affections of the mind, that cause certain
changes in the body; or certain powers and proWhen I say, I intend to enquire into the efficient perties in bodies, that work a change in the mind. cause of Sublimity and Beauty, I would not be As if I were to explain the motion of a body fallunderstood to say, that I can come to the ultimate ing to the ground, I would say it was caused by
I do not pretend that I shall ever be able gravity ; and I would endeavour to shew after to explain, why certain affections of the body what manner this power operated, without atproduce such a distinct emotion of mind, and no tempting to shew why it operated in this manner : other; or why the body is at all affected by the or if I were to explain the effects of bodies strikmind, or the mind by the body. A little thought ing one another by the common laws of percuswill shew this to be impossible. But I conceive, sion, I should not endeavour to explain how if we can discover what affections of the mind motion itself is communicated. produce certain emotions of the body; and what distinct feelings and qualities of body shall pro
SECT. II.- ASSOCIATION. duce certain determinate passions in the mind, and no others, I fancy a great deal will be done; It is no small bar in the way of our enquiry something not unuseful towards a distinct know- into the cause of our passions, that the occasions ledge of our passions, so far at least as we have of many of them are given, and that their governthem at present under our consideration. This is ing motions are communicated at a time when we all, I believe, we can do. If we could advance have not capacity to reflect on them; at a time a step farther, difficulties would still remain, as of which all sort of memory is worn out of our we should be still equally distant from the first minds. For besides such things as affect us cause, When Newton first discovered the pro- in various manners, according to their natural perty of attraction, and settled its laws, he found powers, there are associations made at that early it served very well to explain several of the most season, which we find it very hard afterwards to remarkable phænomena in nature; but yet with distinguish from natural effects. Not to mention reference to the general system of things, he could the unaccountable antipathies which we find in consider attraction but as an effect, whose cause at many persons, we all find it impossible to rethat time he did not attempt to trace. But when member when a steep became more terrible than he afterwards began to account for it by a subtle a plain; or fire or water more terrible than a elastic æther, this great man (if in so great a man clod of earth ; though all these are very probably it be not impious to discover any thing like a either conclusions from experience, or arising blemish) seemed to have quitted his usual cautious from the premonitions of others; and some of manner of philosophizing: since, perhaps, allow them impressed, in all likelihood, pretty late. ing all that has been advanced on this subject to But as it must be allowed that many things affect be sufficiently proved, I think it leaves us with as us after a certain manner, not by any natural many difficulties as it found us. That great chain powers they have for that purpose, but by assoof causes, which linking one to another even to the ciation ; so it would be absurd, on the other hand, throne of God himself, can never be unravelled by to say that all things affect us by association any industry of ours. When we go but one step only; since some things must have been origibeyond the immediate sensible qualities of things, nally and naturally agreeable or disagreeable, we go out of our depth. All we do after is but a from which the others derive their associated faint struggle, that shews we are in an element powers; and it would be, I fancy, to little pur