Imatges de pÓgina
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are distinguished from figure, extenfion, folidity, which in contradiftinction to the former are termed primary qualities, because they inhere in fubjects whether perceived or not. This dif tinction suggests a curious inquiry, Whether beauty be a primary or only a fecondary quality of objects? The question is eafily determined with respect to the beauty of colour; for if colour be a fecondary quality, exifting no where but in the mind of the fpectator, its beauty must be of the fame kind. This conclufion must also hold with refpect to the beauty of utility, which is plainly a conception of the mind, arifing not merely from fight, but from reflecting that the thing is fitted for fome good end or purpose. The queftion is more intricate with respect to the beauty of regularity; for if regularity be a primary quality, why not alfo its beauty? That this is not a good inference, will appear from confidering, that beauty, in its very conception, refers to a percipient; for an object is faid to be beautiful, for no other reafon but that it appears fo to a fpectator the fame piece of matter that to a man appears beautiful, may poffibly appear ugly to a being of a different fpecies. Beauty therefore, which for its exiftence depends upon the percipient as much as upon the object perceived, cannot be an inherent property in either. And hence it is wittily observed by the poet, that beauty is not in the perfon beloved, but in the lover's eye. This reasoning is undoubtedly folid; and the only


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caufe of doubt or hefitation is, that we are
taught a different leffon by fenfe by a fingular
determination of nature, we perceive both beau-
ty and colour as belonging to the object, and,
like figure or extenfion, as inherent properties.
This mechanifm is uncommon; and when na-
ture, to fulfil her intention, prefers any fingular
method of operation, we may be certain of fome fi-
nal caufe that cannot be reached by ordinary means.
For the beauty of fome objects we are indebted
entirely to nature; but with respect to the endless
variety of objects that owe their beauty to art and
culture, the perception of beauty greatly pro-
motes industry: and as beauty is frequently con-
nected with utility, this perception of beauty is
to us a strong additional incitement to enrich our
fields and improve our manufactures. Thefe
however are but flight effects, compared with the
connections that are formed among individuals in
fociety by means of this fingular mechanifm: the
qualifications of the head and heart, are undoubt-
edly the most folid and most permanent founda-
tions of fuch connections; but as external beauty
lies more in view, and is more obvious to the bulk
of mankind, than the qualities now mentioned,
the fenfe of beauty has a more extenfive in-
fluence in forming these
these connections at a-
ny rate, it concurs in an eminent degree with
mental qualifications, to produce focial inter-
course, mutual good-will, and confequently mu-
tual aid and fupport, which are the life of fociety.


It must not however be overlooked, that this fenfe doth not tend to advance the interests of fociety, but when in a due mean with respect to ftrength. Love in particular arifing from a sense of beauty, loses, when exceffive, its fociable character *; the appetite for gratification, prevailing over affection for the beloved object, is ungovernable; and tends violently to its end, regardless of the misery that must follow. Love in this ftate is no longer a fweet agreeable paffion: it becomes painful, like hunger or thirst; and produceth no happiness but in the instant of fruition. This difcovery fuggefts a most important leffon, That moderation in our desires and appetites, which fits us for doing our duty, contributes, at the fame time, the most to happiness; even focial paffions, when moderate, are more pleafant than when they fwell beyond proper bounds,

See chap. 2. part 1. fect. I..

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ATURE hath not more remarkably dif tinguished us from the other animals by an erect posture, than by a capacious and afpiring mind, attaching us to things great and elévated. The ocean, the fky, feize the attention, and make a deep impreffion*: robes of state are made large and full to draw refpect: we admire an elephant for its magnitude, notwithstanding its unwieldiness.

The elevation of an object affects us not lefs than its magnitude: a high place is chosen for the statue of a deity or hero: a tree growing on the brink of a precipice, looks charming when viewed from the plain below: a throne is erected for the chief magiftrate; and a chair with a high feat for the prefident of a court.

In fome objects, greatness and elevation concur to make a complicated impreffion: the Alps

Longinus obferves, that nature inclines us to admire, not a fmall rivulet, however clear and tranfparent, but the Nile, the Ifter, the Rhine, or ftill more the ocean. The fight of a small fire produceth no emotion; but we are ftruck with the boiling furnaces of Eina, pouring out whole rivers of liquid flame. Treatife of the Sublime, chap. 29.

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and the pike of Teneriff are proper examples; with the following difference, that in the former greatness seems to prevail, elevation in the latter.

The emotions raised by great and by elevated objects, are clearly distinguishable, not only in the internal feeling, but even in their external expreffions. A great object makes the spectator endeavour to enlarge his bulk; which is remarkable in plain people who give way to nature without referve; in defcribing a great object, they haturally expand themselves by drawing in air with all their force. An elevated object produces a different expreffion: it makes the fpectafor stretch upward, and stand a tiptoe.

Great and elevated objects confidered with relation to the emotions produced by them, are termed grand and fublime. Grandeur and fubli mity have a double fignification: they generally fignify the quality or circumftance in objects by. which the emotions of grandeur and fublimity. are produced; fometimes the emotions themfelves.

In handling the prefent fubject, it is effential to afcertain, with all poffible accuracy, the impreffion that is made upon the mind by the magnitude of an object, abstracting from its other qualities. And because abftraction is a mental operation of fome difficulty, the fafeft method for judging is, to chufe a plain object that is neither beautiful nor deformed, if fuch a one can be found. The plaineft that occurs, is a huge mafs of

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