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] Emotions and Passions. 167 modest, and prudent, he will infallibly gain the esteem and love of all who know him.

Communication of passion to related objects, is an illustrious instance of the care of Providence to extend social connexions as far as the limited nature of man can admit. That communication is so far hurtful, as to spread the malevolent passions beyond their natural bounds : but let it be remarked, that this unhappy effect regards savages only, who give way to malevolent passions; for under the discipline of society, these passions being subdued, are in a good measure eradicated; and in their place succeed the kindly affections, which, meeting with all encouragement, take possession of the mind, and govern all our actions. In that condition, the progress of passion along related ob. jects, by spreading the kindly affections through a multitude of individuals, hath a glorious effect.

Nothing can be more entertaining to a rational mind, than the economy of the human passions, of which I have attempted to give some faint notion. It must however be acknowledged, that our passions, when they happen to swell beyond proper limits, take on a less regular appearance : reason may proclaim our duty, but the will, influenced by passion, makes gratification always welcome. Hence the power of passion, which, when in excess, cannot be resisted but by the utmost fortitude of mind : it is bent upon gratification ; and where proper objects are wanting, it clings to any object at hand without distinction. Thus joy inspired by a fortunate event, is diffused upon every person around by acts of benevolence; and resentment for an atrocious injury done by one out of reach, seizes the first object that occurs to vent itself upon. Those who believe in prophecies, even wish the accomplishment; and a weak mind is disposed voluntarily to fulfil a prophecy, in order to gratify its wish. Shakspeare, whom no particle of buman pature hath escaped, however remote from common observation, describes that weakness :

K. Henry. Doth any name particular belong Unto that lodging where I first did swoon?

Warwick. 'Tis callid Jerusalem, my noble Lord.

K. Henry. Laud be to God! ev'n there my life must end, It hath been prophesy'd to me many years, I should not die but in Jerusalem, Which vainly I suppos’d the Holy Land. But bear me to that chamber, there I'll lic : In that Jerusalem shall Henry die.

Second part, Henry IV. Act IV. Sc. last

I could not deny myself the amusement of the foregoing observation, though it doth pot properly come under my plan. The irregularities of passion proceeding from peculiar weaknesses and biasses, I do not undertake to justify; and of these we have had many examples.* It is sufficient that passions common to all, are made subservient to beneficent purposes. I shall only observe, that, in a polished society, instances of irregular passions are rare, and that their mischief doth not extend far.

Part V. of the present chapter.




HAVING discoursed in general of emotions and passions, I proceed to a more narrow inspection of such of them as serve to unfold the principles of the fine arts. It is the province of a writer upon ethics, to give a full enumeration of all the passions; and of each separately to assign the nature, the cause, the gratification, and the effects. But a treatise of ethics is not my province : I carry my view no farther than to the elements of criticism, in order to show, that the fine arts are a subject of reasoning as well as of taste. An extensive work would ill suit a design so limited : and to confine this work within moderate bounds, the fol. lowing plan may contribute. The observation made above, that things are the causes of emotions, by means of their properties and attributes,* furnisheth a hint for distribution. Instead of a pain. ful and tedious examination of the several passions and emotions, I purpose to confine my inquiries to such attributes, relations, and circumstances, as in the fine arts are chiefly employed to raise agreeable emotions. Attributes of single objects, as the most simple, shall take the lead; to be followed with

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particulars, which, depending on relations, are not found in single objects. Despatching next some coincident matters, I proceed to my chief aim; which is, to establish practical rules for the fine arts, derived from principles previously established. This is a general view of the intended method; reserving however a privilege to vary it in particular instances, where a deviation may be more commodious. I begin with Beauty, the most noted of all the qualities that belong to single objects.

The term beauty, in its native signification, is appropriated to objects of sight: objects of the other senses may be agreeable, such as the sounds of musical instruments, the smoothness and softness of some surfaces; but the agreeableness de. nominated beauty belongs to objects of sight.

Of all the objects of external sense, an object of sight is the most complex : in the very simplest, colour is perceived, figure, and length, breadth, and thickness. A tree is composed of a trunk, branches, and leaves ; it has colour, figure, size, and sometimes motion : by means of each of these particulars, separately considered, it appears beautiful; how much more so, when they are all united together? The beauty of the human figure is extraordinary, being a composition of numberless beauties arising from the parts and qualities of the object, various colours, various motions, figures, size, &c. all united in one complex object, and striking the eye with combined force. Hence it is, that beauty, a quality so remarkable in visible ob. jects, lends its name to express every thing that is eminently agreeable : thus, by a figure of speech, we say a beautiful sound, a beautiful thonght or expression, a beautiful theorem, a beautiful event, a beautiful discovery in art or science. But, as

figurative expression is the subject of a following chapter, this chapter is confined to beauty in its proper signification.

It is natural to suppose, that a perception so various as that of beauty, comprehending sometimes many particulars, sometimes few, should occasion emotions equally various : and yet all the various emotions of beauty maintain one common character, that of sweetness and gaiety.

Considering attentively the beauty of visible objects, we discover two kinds. The first

The first may be termed intrinsic beauty, because it is discovered in a single object viewed apart without relation to any other : the examples above given are of that kind. The other may be termed (relative beauty, being founded on the relation of objects. The purposed distribution would lead me to bandle these beauties separately; but they are frequently so intimately connected, that, for the sake of connexion, I am forced, in this instance, to vary from the plan, and to bring them both into the same chapter. (Intrinsic beauty is an object of sense merely : to perceive the beauty of a spreading oak, or of a flowing river, no more is required but singly an act of vision. The perception of (relative beauty is accompanied with an act of understanding and reflection ; for of a fine instrument or engine, we perceive not the relative beauty, until we be made acquainted with its use and destination. In a word, intriosic beauty is ultimate : relative beauty is that of means relating to some good end or purpose. These different beauties agree in one capital circumstance, that both are equally perceived as belonging to the object. This is evident with respect to intrinsic beauty; but will not be so readily admitted with respect to the other : the utility of the plough, for example, may make it an object of

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