Imatges de pÓgina
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being natural, and without effort, tends rather to quiet the mind than to roufe it: upward motion, on the contrary, overcoming the refiftance. of gravity, makes an impreffion of a great effort, and thereby roufes and enlivens the mind.

The public games of the Greeks and Romans, which gave fo much entertainment to the fpectators, confifted chiefly in exerting force, wreftling, leaping, throwing great ftones, and fuchlike trials of strength. When great force is exerted, the effort felt internally is animating. The effort may be fuch, as in fome measure to overpower the mind: thus the explosion of gunpowder, the violence of a torrent, the weight of a mountain, and the crush of an earthquake, create aftonishment rather than pleasure.

No quality nor circumstance contributes more to grandeur than force, efpecially as exerted by fenfible beings. I cannot make this more evident than by the following quotations,

Him the almighty power

Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky;
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomlefs perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durft defy th' Omnipotent to arms.

Paradife Loft, book 1.

Now ftorming fury rofe,

And clamour fuch as heard in heaven till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd



Horrible difcord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head the difmal hifs
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
And flying vaulted either hoft with fire.
So under fiery cope together rufh'd
Both battles main, with ruinous affault
And inextinguishable rage; all heav'n
Refounded; and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre fhook.

Ibid. book 6.

They ended parle, and both address'd for fight
Unfpeakable; for who, though with the tongue
Of angels, can relate, or to what things
Liken on earth confpicuous, that may lift
Human imagination to fuch height

Of godlike pow'r? for likeft gods they feem'd,
Stood they or mov'd, in ftature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great Heav'n.
Now wav'd their fiery fwords, and in the air
Made horrid circles: two broad funs their fhields
Blaz'd oppofite, while Expectation ftood
In horror: from each hand with speed retir'd,
Where erft was thickest fight, th' angelic throng,
And left large field, unfafe within the wind
Of fuch commotion; fuch as, to fet forth
Great things by fmall, if Nature's concord broke,
Among the conftellations war were sprung,
Two planets, rufhing from afpect malign
Of fierceft oppofition, in mid fky

Should combat, and their jarring fpheres confound,


Ibid. book 6,

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We fhall next confider the effect of motion and force in conjunction. In contemplating the planetary system, what strikes us the most, is the spherical figures of the planets, and their regular motions; the conception we have of their activity and enormous bulk being more obfcure: the beauty accordingly of this fyftem, raises a more lively emotion than its grandeur. But if we could comprehend the whole system at one view, the activity and irresistible force of thefe immenfe bodies would fill us with amazement : nature cannot furnish another scene fo grand.

Motion and force, agreeable in themselves, are alfo agreeable by their utility when employ'd as means to accomplish fome beneficial end. Hence the fuperior beauty of fome machines, where force and motion concur to perform the work of numberlefs hands. Hence the beautiful motions, firm and regular, of a horfe trained for war every single step is the fittest that can be, for obtaining the end propofed. But the grace of motion is visible chiefly in man, not only for the reasons mentioned, but also because every gefture is fignificant. The power however of agreeable motion is not a common talent: every limb of the human body has an agreeable and disagreeable action; fome motions being extremely graceful, others plain and vulgar; fome expreffing dignity, others meannefs. But the pleasure here, arifing not fingly from the beauty

of motion, but from indicating character and fentiment, belongs to different chapters *.

I fhould conclude with the final caufe of the relish we have for motion and force, were it not fo evident as to require no explanation. We are placed here in fuch circumstances as to make industry effential to our well-being; for without industry the plaineft neceffaries of life are not obtained. When our fituation therefore in this world requires activity, and a conftant exertion of motion and force, Providence indulgently provides for our welfare by making these agreeable to us: it would be a blunder in our nature, to make any thing difagreeable that we depend on for exiftence; and even to make them indifferent, would tend to make us relax greatly from that degree of activity which is indifpen fable.

Chap. 11. and 15.

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F all the particulars that raife emotions, not excepting beauty, nor even greatnefs, novelty hath the most powerful influence. A new object produceth inftantaneously an emotion termed wonder, which totally accupies the mind, and for a time excludes all other objects. Converfation among the vulgar never is more interefting, than when it runs upon ftrange objects and extraordinary events. Men tear themselves from their native country in fearch of things rare and new; and novelty converts into a pleasure, the fatigues, and even perils, of travelling. To what caufe fhall we afcribe thefe fingular appearances? Curiofity is the cause, which is a principle implanted in human nature, for a purpose extremely beneficial, that of acquiring knowledge; and the emotion of wonder raised by new and ftrange objects, inflames our curiofity with refpect to fuch objects. This emotion is different from admiration: novelty where-ever found, whether in a quality or action, is the caufe of wonder; admiration is directed upon the operator who performs any thing wonderful.

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