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the regularity of its form, and the somewhat too ness to the taste, and a relaxing quality to the sudden deviation of its parts from a right line, is skin. The next thing children covet is fruit, nothing near so pleasant to the touch as several and of fruits those principally which are sweet ; globes, where the hand gently rises to one and falls and every one knows that the sweetness of fruit is to another; and this pleasure is greatly increased caused by a subtile oil, and such a salt as that if the globes are in motion, and sliding over one mentioned in the last section. Afterwards custom, another; for this soft variety prevents that weari- habit, the desire of novelty, and a thousand other ness, which the uniform disposition of the several causes, confound, adulterate, and change our globes would otherwise produce. Thus in sweet palates, so that we can no longer reason with any liquors, the parts of the Auid vehicle, though most satisfaction about them. Before we quit this probably round, are yet so minute, as to conceal article, we must observe, that as smooth things the figure of their component parts from the nicest are, as such, agreeable to the taste, and are found inquisition of the microscope; and consequently, of a relaxing quality; so on the other hand, being so excessively minute, they have a sort of flat things which are found by experience to be of a simplicity to the taste, resembling the effects of plain strengthening quality, and fit to brace the fibres, smooth bodies to the touch ; for if a body be com- are almost universally rough and pungent to the posed of round parts excessively small, and packed taste, and in many cases rough even to the touch. pretty closely together, the surface will be both to We often apply the quality of sweetness, metathe sight and touch as if it were nearly plain and phorically, to visual objects. For the better smooth. It is clear from their unveiling their carrying on this remarkable analogy of the senses, figure to the microscope, that the particles of sugar we may here call sweetness the beautiful of the are considerably larger than those of water or oil, taste. and consequently, that their effects from their roundness will be more distinct and palpable to the SECT. XXIII. - VARIATION, WHY BEAUTIFUL. nervous papillæ of that nice organ the tongue : they will induce that sense called sweetness, which ANOTHER principal property of beautiful obin a weak manner we discover in oil, and in a yetjects is, that the line of their parts is continually weaker in water; for, insipid as they are, water varying its direction ; but it varies it by a very and oil are in some degree sweet; and it may be insensible deviation ; it never varies it so quickly observed, that insipid things of all kinds approach as to surprise, or by the sharpness of its angle to more nearly to the nature of sweetness than to cause any twitching or convulsion of the optick that of any other taste.
Nothing long continued in the same manner, nothing very suddenly varied, can be beautiful; because both are opposite to that agreeable
relaxation which is the characteristick effect of In the other senses we have remarked, that beauty. It is thus in all the senses. A motion in smooth things are relaxing. Now it ought to ap
a right line
that manner of moving, next to a pear that sweet things, which are the smooth of very gentle descent, in which we meet the least taste, are relaxing too. It is remarkable, that in resistance; yet it is not that manner of moving, some languages soft and sweet have but one name. which, next to a descent, wearies us the least. Rest Doux in French signifies soft as well as sweet. The certainly tends to relax: yet there is a species of Latin Dulcis, and the Italian Dolce, have in many motion which relaxes more than rest; a gentle cases the same double signification. That sweet oscillatory motion, a rising and falling. Rocking things are generally relaxing, is evident; because sets children to sleep better than absolute rest; all such, especially those which are most oily, taken there is indeed scarcely any thing at that age, frequently, or in a large quantity, very much which gives more pleasure than to be gently lifted enfeeble the tone of the stomach. Sweet smells, up and down; the manner of playing which their which bear a great affinity to sweet tastes, relax nurses use with children, and the weighing and very remarkably. The smell of flowers disposes swinging used afterwards by themselves as a fapeople to drowsiness; and this relaxing effect is vourite amusement, evince this very sufficiently. further apparent from the prejudice which people Most people must have observed the sort of sense of weak nerves receive from their use. It were they have had on being swiftly drawn in an easy worth while to examine, whether tastes of this coach on a smooth turf, with gradual ascents and kind, sweet ones, tastes that are caused by smooth declivities. This will give a better idea of the beauoils and a relaxing salt, are not the original plea- tiful, and point out its probable cause better than sant tastes. For many, which use has rendered almost any thing else. On the contrary, when one such, were not at all agreeable at first. The way to is hurried over a rough, rocky, broken road, the examine this, is to try what nature has naturally pain felt by these sudden inequalities shews why. provided for us, which she has undoubtedly made similar sights, feelings, and sounds, are so contrary originally pleasant; and to analyse this pro- to beauty: and with regard to the feeling, it is exvision. Milk is the first support of our childhood. actly the same in its effect, or very nearly the same, The component parts of this are water, oil, and whether, for instance, I move my hand along the a sort of a very sweet salt, called the sugar of surface of a body of a certain shape, or whether milk. All these when blended have a great smooth such a body is moved along my hand. But to
SECT. XXII.-SWEETNESS RELAXING,
bring this analogy of the senses home to the eye: to none of the winged species, of which it is the if a body presented to that sense has such a waving least ; and perhaps his beauty is enhanced by his surface, that the rays of light reflected from it are in smallness. But there are animals, which, when a continual insensible deviation from the strongest they are extremely small, are rarely (if ever) to the weakest, (which is always the case in a sur- beautiful. There is a dwarfish size of men and face gradually unequal,) it must be exactly similar women, which is almost constantly so gross and in its effects on the eye and touch; upon the one of massive in comparison of their height, that they which it operates directly, on the other indirectly present us with a very disagreeable image. But And this body will be beautiful if the lines which should a man be found not above two or three feet compose its surface are not continued, even so high, supposing such a person to have all the parts varied, in a manner that may weary or dissipate of his body of a delicacy suitable to such a size, the attention. The variation itself must be con- and otherwise endued with the common qualities tinually varied.
of other beautiful bodies, I am pretty well convinced that a person of such a stature might be
considered as beautiful; might be the object of SECT. XXIV.-CONCERNING SMALLNESS.
love ; might give us very pleasing ideas on viewing To avoid a sameness which may arise from the him. The only thing which could possibly intertoo frequent repetition of the same reasonings, pose to check our pleasure is, that such creatures, and of illustrations of the same nature, I will not however formed, are unusual, and are often thereenter very minutely into every particular that re- fore considered as something monstrous.
The gards beauty, as it is founded on the disposition large and gigantic, though very compatible with of its quantity, or its quantity itself. In speaking the sublime, is contrary to the beautiful. It is imof the magnitude of bodies there is great uncer possible to suppose a giant the object of love. tainty, because the ideas of great and small are When we let our imagination loose in romance, the terms almost entirely relative to the species of the ideas we naturally annex to that size are those of objects, which are infinite. It is true, that having tyranny, cruelty, injustice, and every thing horrid once fixed the species of any object, and the and abominable. We paint the giant ravaging the dimensions common in the individuals of that country, plundering the innocent traveller, and species, we may observe some that exceed, and afterwards gorged with his half-living flesh: such some that fall short of, the ordinary standard : are Polyphemus, Cacus, and others, who make so
, those which greatly exceed are, by that excess, pro- great a figure in romances and heroick poems. vided the species itself be not very small, rather The event we attend to with the greatest satisfacgreat and terrible than beautiful: but as in the tion is their defeat and death. I do not remember, animal world, and in a good measure in the vege- in all that multitude of deaths with which the Iliad table world likewise, the qualities that constitute is filled, that the fall of any man, remarkable for beauty may possibly be united to things of greater his great stature and strength, touches us with dimensions; when they are so united, they consti- pity; nor does it appear that the author, so well tute a species something different both from the read in human nature, ever intended it should. sublime and beautiful, which I have before called It is Simoisius, in the soft bloom of youth, torn Fine: but this kind, I imagine, has not such a power from his parents, who tremble for a courage so ill on the passions, either as vast bodies have which suited to his strength ; it is another hurried by war are endued with the correspondent qualities of the from the new embraces of his bride, young and sublime, or as the qualities of beauty have when fair, and a novice to the field, who melts us by his united in a small object. The affection produced untimely fate. Achilles, in spite of the many by large bodies adorned with the spoils of beauty, qualities of beauty which Homer has bestowed on is a tension continually relieved; which approaches his outward form, and the many great virtues with to the nathre of mediocrity. But if I were to say which he has adorned his mind, can never make how I find myself affected upon
such occasions, Í us love him. It may be observed, that Homer should say, that the sublime suffers less by being has given the Trojans, whose fate he has designed united to some of the qualities of beauty, than to excite our compassion, infinitely more of the beauty does by being joined to greatness of quan- amiable, social virtues than he has distributed tity, or any other properties of the sublime. There among his Greeks. With regard to the Trojans, is something so over-ruling in whatever inspires the passion he chooses to raise is pity; pity is a us with awe, in all things which belong ever so passion founded on love; and these lesser, and if remotely to terrour, that nothing else can stand I may say domestick virtues, are certainly the most in their presence. There lie the qualities of beauty amiable. But he has made the Greeks far their either dead or unoperative; or at most exerted superiours in the politick and military virtues. to mollify the rigour and sternness of the terrour, The councils of Priam are weak ; the arms of which is the natural concomitant of greatness. Hector comparatively feeble ; his courage far Besides the extraordinary great in every species, below that of Achilles. Yet we love Priam more the opposite to this, the dwarfish and diminutive, than Agamemnon, and Hector more than his conought to be considered. Littleness, merely as such, queror Achilles. Admiration is the passion which has nothing contrary to the idea of beauty. The Homer would excite in favour of the Greeks, and humming-bird, both in shape and colouring, yields he has done it by bestowing on them the virtues
SECT. XXV.OF COLOUR.
which have but little to do with love. This short transparent, the light is sometimes softened in the digression is perhaps not wholly beside our pur- passage, which makes it more agreeable even as pose, where our business is to shew, that objects light; and the liquor reflecting all the rays of its of great dimensions are incompatible with beauty, proper colour evenly, it has such an effect on the the more incompatible as they are greater; whereas eye, as smooth opaque bodies have on the eye and the small, if ever they fail of beauty, this failure touch. So that the pleasure here is compounded is not to be attributed their size.
of the softness of the transmitted, and the evenness of the reflected light. This pleasure may be heightened by the common principles in other
things, if the shape of the glass which holds the With regard to colour, the disquisition is transparent liquor be so judiciously varied, as to almost infinite: but I conceive the principles laid present the colour gradually and interchangeably, down in the beginning of this part are sufficient to weakened and strengthened with all the variety account for the effects of them all, as well as for which judgment in affairs of this nature shall sugthe agreeable effects of transparent bodies, whe- gest. On a review of all that has been said of the ther fluid or solid. Suppose I look at a bottle of effects as well as the causes of both, it will appear, muddy liquor, of a blue or red colour; the blue that the sublime and beautiful are built on prin or red rays cannot pass clearly to the eye, but are ciples very different, and that their affections are suddenly and unequally stopped by the interven- as different: the great has terrour for its basis ; tion of little opaque bodies, which without prepa- which, when it is modified, causes that emotion ration change the idea, and change it too into one in the mind, which I have called astonishment; disagreeable in its own nature, conformably to the the beautiful is founded on mere positive pleasure, principles laid down in sect. 24. But when the and excites in the soul that feeling which is called ray passes without such opposition through the love. Their causes have made the subject of this glass or liquor, when the glass or liquor is quite fourth part.
SECTION 1.-OF WORDS.
tom has appointed them to stand. To examine the truth of this notion, it may be requisite to observe,
that words may be divided into three sorts. The NATURAL objects affectus, by the laws of first are such as represent many simple ideas united that connexion which Providence has established by nature to form some one determinate compobetween certain motions and configurations sition, as man, horse, tree, castle, &c. These I bodies, and certain consequent feelings in our call aggregate words. The second are they that mind. Painting affects in the same manner, but stand for one simple idea of such compositions, with the superadded pleasure of imitation. Archi- and no more; as red, blue, round, square, and tecture affects by the laws of nature, and the the like. These I call simple abstract words. The law of reason; from which latter result the rules third, are those which are formed by an union, an of proportion, which make a work to be praised arbitrary union of both the others, and of the or censured, in the whole or in some part, when various relations between them in greater or lesser the end for which it was designed is or is not degrees of complexity; as virtue, honour, persuaproperly answered. But as to words; they seem to sion, magistrate, and the like. These I call comme to affect us in a manner very different from that pound abstract words. Words, I am sensible, are in which we are affected by natural objects, or by capable of being classed into more ourious distincpainting or architecture; yet words have as con- tions; but these seem to be natural, and enough siderable a share in exciting ideas of beauty and for our purpose; and they are disposed in that of the sublime as many of those, and sometimes a order in which they are commonly taught, and in much greater than any of them : therefore an en- which the mind gets the ideas they are substituted quiry into the manner by which they excite such for. I shall begin with the third sort of words ; emotions is far from being unnecessary in a dis- compound abstracts, such as virtue, honour, percourse of this kind.
suasion, docility. Of these I am convinced, that
whatever power they may have on the passions, II. --THE COMMON EFFECTS OF POETRY,
they do not derive it from any representation NOT BY RAISING IDEAS OF THINGS.
raised in the mind of the things for which they
stand. As compositions, they are not real essences, The common notion of the power of poetry and hardly cause, I think,
real ideas. Noand eloquence, as well as that of words in ordi- body, I believe, immediately on hearing the nary conversation, is, that they affect the mind sounds, virtue, liberty, or honour, conceives any by raising in it ideas of those things for which cus- precise notions of the particular modes of action
SECT. IV.THE EFFECT OF WORDS.
and thinking, together with the mixt and simple certain words heated originally by the breath of ideas, and the several relations of them for which others; and for this reason, it is hard to repeat these words are substituted; neither has he any certain sets of words, though owned by themselves general idea, compounded of them; for if he had, unoperative, without being in some degree affected; then some of those particular ones, though indis- especially if a warm and affecting tone of voice tinct perhaps, and confused, might come soon to accompanies them, as suppose, be perceived. But this, I take it, is hardly ever the case. For, put yourself upon analyzing one Wise, valiant, generous, good, and great. of these words, and you must reduce it from one set of general words to another, and then into the These words, by having no application, ought to simple abstracts and aggregates, in a much longer be unoperative; but when words commonly sacred series than may be at first imagined, before any to great occasions are used, we are affected by them real idea emerges to light, before you come to even without the occasions. When words which discover any thing like the first principles of such have been generally so applied are put together compositions; and when you have made such a without any rational view, or in such a manner discovery of the original ideas, the effect of the that they do not rightly agree with each other, composition is utterly lost. Á train of thinking the style is called bombast. And it requires in of this sort is much too long to be pursued in the several cases much good sense and experience to ordinary ways of conversation ; nor is it at all be guarded against the force of such language; for necessary that it should. Such words are in re- when propriety is neglected, a greater number of ality but mere sounds; but they are sounds which these affecting words may be taken into the serbeing used on particular occasions, wherein we vice, and a greater variety may be indulged in receive some good, or suffer some evil; or see combining them. others affected with good or evil; or which we hear applied to other interesting things or events ; X and being applied in such a variety of cases,
that we know readily by habit to what things they be- If words have all their possible extent of power, long, they produce in the mind, whenever they are three effects arise in the mind of the hearer. The afterwards mentioned, effects similar to those of first is, the sound ; the second, the picture, or their occasions. The sounds being often used representation of the thing signified by the sound; without reference to any particular occasion, and the third is, the affection of the soul produced by carrying still their first impressions, they at last one or by both of the foregoing., Compounded utterly lose their connexion with the particular abstract words, of which we have been speaking, occasions that gave rise to them ; yet the sound, (honour, justice, liberty, and the like,) produce without any annexed notion, continues to operate
the first and the last of these effects, but not the as before.
second. Simple abstracts, are used to signify some one simple idea without much adverting to others which
chance to attend it, as blue, green,
hot, cold, and the like; these are capable of affectMr. Locke has somewhere observed, with his ing all three of the purposes of words; as the usual sagacity, that most general words, those aggregate words, man, castle, horse, &c. are in a
, c belonging to virtue and vice, good and evil, espe- yet higher degree. But I am of opinion, that the cially, are taught before the particular modes of most general effect, even of these words, does not action to which they belong are presented to the arise from their forming pictures of the several mind; and with them, the love of the one, and things they would represent in the imagination ; the abhorrence of the other; for the minds of because, on a very diligent examination of my own children are so ductile, that a nurse, or any person mind, and getting others to consider theirs, I do about a child, by seeming pleased or displeased not find that once in twenty times any such picwith any thing, or even any word, may give the ture is formed, and, when it is, there is most comdisposition of the child a similar turn. When, monly a particular effort of the imagination for afterwards, the several occurrences in life come to that purpose. But the aggregate words operate, be applied to these words, and that which is plea- as I said of the compound-abstracts, not by presant often appears under the name of evil; and senting any image to the mind, but by having from what is disagreeable to nature is called good and use the same effect on being mentioned, that their virtuous; a strange confusion of ideas and affec- original has when it is seen. Suppose we were tions arises in the minds of many; and an appear- to read a passage to this effect : “ The river ance of no small contradiction between their Danube rises in a moist and mountainous soil in notions and their actions. There are many who the heart of Germany, where winding to and fro, love virtue and who detest vice, and this not from it waters several principalities, until, turning into hypocrisy or affectation, who notwithstanding very Austria, and leaving the walls of Vienna, it passes frequently act ill and wickedly in particulars into Hungary; there with a vast flood, augmented without the least remorse ; because these particular by the Saave and the Drave, it quits Christendom, occasions never came into view, when the passions and rolling through the barbarous countries which on the side of virtue were so warmly affected by border on Tartary, it enters by many mouths in
SECT. III.-GENERAL WORDS BEFORE IDEAS.
SECT. V.-EXAMPLES THAT WORDS MAY AFFECT
WITHOUT RAISING IMAGES.
the Black sea.” In this description many things affected in the same manner that he was; with as are mentioned, as mountains, rivers, cities, the little of any real ideas of the things described ?
But let any body examine himself, and The second instance is of Mr. Saunderson, prosee whether he has had impressed on his imagina- fessor of mathematicks in the university of Camtion any pictures of a river, mountain, watery bridge. This learned man had acquired great soil, Germany, &c. Indeed it is impossible, in knowledge in natural philosophy, in astronomy, the rapidity and quick succession of words in con- and whatever sciences depend upon mathematical versation, to have ideas both of the sound of the skill. What was the most extraordinary and the word, and of the thing represented : besides, some most to my purpose, he gave excellent lectures upon words, expressing real essences, are so mixed with light and colours; and this man taught others the others of a general and nominal import, that it is theory of those ideas which they had, and which impracticable to jump from sense to thought, from he himself undoubtedly had not. But it is probable particulars to generals, from things to words, in that the words red, blue, green, answered to him such a manner as to answer the purposes of life; as well as the ideas of the colours themselves; for nor is it necessary that we should.
the ideas of greater or lesser degrees of refrangibility being applied to these words, and the blind man being instructed in what other respects they were found to agree or to disagree, it was as easy
for him to reason upon the words, as if he had been I find it very hard to persuade several that fully master of the ideas. Indeed it must be owned their passions are affected by words from whence he could make no new discoveries in the way of they have no ideas; and yet harder to convince experiment. He did nothing but what we do them, that in the ordinary course of conversation every day in common discourse. When I wrote we are sufficiently understood without raising any this last sentence, and used the words every day images of the things concerning which we speak. and common discourse, I had no images in my It seems to be an odd subject of dispute with any mind of any succession of time; nor of men in conman, whether he has ideas in his mind or not. ference with each other; nor do I imagine that the Of this, at first view, every man, in his own forum, reader will have any such ideas on reading it. Neiought to judge without appeal. But, strange as ther when I spoke of red, or blue, and green, as
, it may appear, we are often at a loss to know what well as refrangibility, had I these several colours, ideas we have of things, or whether we have any or the rays of light passing into a different meideas at all upon some subjects. It even requires dium, and there diverted from their course, painted a good deal of attention to be thoroughly satisfied before me in the way of images. I know very well on this head. Since I wrote these papers, I found that the mind possesses a faculty of raising such two very striking instances of the possibility there images at pleasure ; but then an act of the will is, that a man may hear words without having any is necessary to this; and in ordinary conversation idea of the things which they represent, and yet or reading it is very rarely that any image at all afterwards be capable of returning them to others, is excited in the mind. if I say, “ I shall go to combined in a new way, and with great propriety, Italy next summer," I am well understood.
Yet energy, and instruction. The first instance is that I believe nobody has by this painted in his imagiof Mr. Blacklock, a poet blind from his birth. nation the exact figure of the speaker passing by Few men blessed with the most perfect sight can land or by water, or both ; sometimes on horseback, describe visual objects with more spirit and just sometimes in a carriage; with all the particulars of ness than this blind man; which cannot possibly the journey. Still less has he any idea of Italy, the be attributed to his having a clearer conception of country to which I proposed to go; or of the the things he describes than is common to other greenness of the fields, the ripening of the fruits, persons. Mr. Spence, in an elegant preface which and the warmth of the air, with the change to he has written to the works of this poet, reasons this from a different season, which are the ideas for very ingeniously, and, I imagine, for the most part, which the word summer is substituted : but least very rightly, upon the cause of this extraordinary of all has he any image from the word next; for phenomenon; but I cannot altogether agree with this word stands for the idea of many summers, him, that some improprieties in language and with the exclusion of all but one: and surely the thought, which occur in these poems, have arisen man who says next summer, has no images of such from the blind poet's imperfect conception of visual a succession and such an exclusion. In short, it is objects, since such improprieties, and much great- not only of those ideas which are commonly called er, may be found in writers even of a higher class abstract, and of which no image at all can be than Mr. Blacklock, and who notwithstanding pos- formed, but even of particular, real beings, that sessed the faculty of seeing in its full perfection. we converse without having any idea of them exHere is a poet doubtless as much affected by his cited in the imagination ; as will certainly appear own descriptions, as any that reads them can be ; on a diligent examination of our own minds.
Inand yet he is affected with this strong enthusiasm deed, so little does poetry depend for its effect on by things of which he neither has nor can possibly the power of raising sensible images, that I am have any idea further than that of a bare sound convinced it would lose a very considerable part of and why may not those who read his works be its energy, if this were the necessary result of all