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sees to the compositions of his favourite masters. The most trifling accident of scenery, it is evident (at least the most trifling to an unskilled eye), may thus possess, in his estimation, a value superior to that which he ascribes to beauties of a far higher order; his imagination, in some cases, filling up the picture where nature has but faintly sketched the outline; in other cases, the reality borrowing a charm from some associated painting,<-as, in the judgment of the multitude, paintings borrow their principal charm from associated realities. While the studies of the painter contribute, in this manner, to create a relish for the beautiful picturesque, is there no danger that they may produce, in a limited mind, habits of inattention or of indifference to those natural beauties which defy the imitation of the pencil; and that his taste may, in time, become circumscribed, like the canvas upon which he works? I think I have perceived, in some artists and connoisseurs, examples of this, within the narrow circle of my own observation. In such cases, we might almost be tempted to reverse the question in Mr Price's motto ;-“quam multa widemus mos “qua pictores non vident!” As to the application of the knowledge thus acquired from the study of paintings, to the improvement of natural landscape, I have no doubt that, to a superior understanding and taste, like those of Mr Price, it may often suggest very useful hints ; but if recognised as the standard to which the ultimate appeal is to be made, it would infallibly cover the face of the country with a new and systematical species of affectation, not less remote than that of Brown, from the style of gardening which he wishes to recommend. To this it may be added, that, as an object which is offensive in the reality may please in painting; so many things which would offend in painting, may yet please in the reality. If, in some respects, therefore, the study of painting be a useful auxiliary in the art of creating landscape; in others there is, at least, a possibility that it may lead the judgment astray, or impose unnecessary fetters on an inventive imagination. - I have only to remark farther, that, in laying out grounds, still more, perhaps, than in any other of the fine arts, the primary object of a good taste is, not to please the connoisseur, but to please the enlightened admirer and lover of nature. The perfection of all these arts is undoubtedly to give pleasure to both ; as they always will, and must do, when the taste of the connoisseur is guided by good sense and philosophy. Pliny justly considered it as the highest praise he could bestow on the exquisite beauties of a Corinthian antique, when he sums up his description of them by observing, “Talia deni“que omnia, ut possint artificum oculos tenere, de“lectare imperitorum.” Objects, of whatever kind, which please the connoisseur alone, prove only that there is something fundamentally wrong in the principles upon which he judges; and most of all do they authorize this conclusion, when Nature herself is the subject upon which the artist is to operate, and where the chief glory of Art is to work unseen. Upon the whole, let Painting be allowed its due praise in quickening our attention to the beauties of Nature; in multiplying our resources for their further embellishment; and in holding up a standard, from age to age, to correct the caprices of fashionable innovations; but let our Taste for these beauties be chiefly formed on the study of Nature herself;-nor let us ever forget so far what is due to her indisputable and salutary prerogative, as to attempt an encroachment upon it by laws, which derive the whole of their validity from her own sanction. *
* “I shall add no more to what I have here offered, than that “music, architecture, and painting, as well as poetry and ora“tory, are to deduce their laws and rules from the general sense “and taste of mankind, and not from the principles of these arts “themselves; or, in other words, the Taste is not to conform to “the Art, but the Art to the Taste."—Spectator, No. 29.
OF THE APPLICATION OF THE THEORY OF ASSOCIATION TO BEAUTY.—FARTHER GENERALIZATIONS of This word, IN consequENCE OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE ASSOCIATING PRINCIPLEw
In the foregoing remarks on Beauty, although I have occasionally alluded to the Association of Ideas, I have avoided all discussion with respect to the extent of its influence. It is necessary for me, however, now to consider, at some length, the effects of a principle which, in the opinion of many philosophers, furnishes a complete explanation of all the phenomena which have been under our consideration; and which must be acknowledged, even by those who do not go so far, to be deeply concerned in the production of most of them. I had occasion to observe, in a former publication, that the theory which resolves the whole effect of beautiful objects into Association, must necessarily involve that species of paralogism, to which logicians give the name of reasoning in a circle. It is the province of Association to impart to one thing the agreeable or the disagreeable effect of another; but Association can never account for the origin of a class of pleasures different in kind from all the others we know. If there was nothing originally and intrinsically pleasing or beautiful, the associating principle would have no materials on which it could operate. Among the writers who have attempted to illustrate the influence of Association on our judgments concerning the Beautiful, I do not know of any who seem to have been completely aware of the force of this objection but Mr Alison; and, accordingly, the fundamental idea which runs through his book, and which, in my opinion, is equally refined and just, is entirely his own. He does not deny, that, independently of custom and habit, there are numberless sources of enjoyment in the human frame, arising from its adaptation to the various objects around it. He only asserts, that a large proportion of the qualities which produce these pleasures, although they cannot be called Beautiful, while they affect the bodily organs immediately, may yet enter largely, by means of the Association of Ideas, into the beauty of the visible creation. Thus, the qualities which excite the agreeable sensations exclusively appropriated to the nostrils, cannot be said to be Beautiful, without departing altogether from the common use of language; but who will deny, that the pleasing effect produced by the form and colour of a rose, even when viewed at a distance, is heightened by the sweet fragrance which we know that it possesses 2 The effect of the appearance here presented to the eye, and that of the associated pleasure, are so intimately and so necessarily blended together in the