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utility requires uniformity: but a scrupulous uniformity of parts in a large garden or field, is far from being agreeable. Uniformity among connected objects belongs not to the present subject : it is handled in the chapter of uniformity and variety.

In all the works of nature, simplicity makes an illustrious figure. It also makes a figure in works of art: profuse ornament in painting, gardening, or architecture, as well as in dress or in language, shows a mean or corrupted taste :

Poets, like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
The naked nature and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.

Pope's Essay on Criticism.

No single property recommends a machine more than its simplicity; not solely for better answering its purpose, but by appearing in itself more beautiful. (Simplicity in behaviour and manners has an enchanting effect, and never fails to gain our affection : very different are the artificial manners of modern times. General theorems, abstracting from their importance, are delightful by their simplicity, and by the easiness of their application to variety of cases. We take equal delight in the laws of motion, which, with the greatest simplicity, are boundless in their operations.

A gradual progress from simplicity to complex forms and profuse ornament, seems to be the fate of all the fine arts : in that progress these arts resemble behaviour, which, from original candour and simplicity, has degenerated into artificial refinements. At present, literary productions are crowded with words, epithets, figures : in music, sentiment is neglected for the luxury of harmony, and for difficult movement: in taste, properly. so VOL. I.

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called, poignant sauces, with complicated mixtures of different savours, prevail ainong people of condition : the French, accustomed to artificial red on a female cheek, think the modest colouring of nature altogether insipid.

The same tendency is discovered in the progress of the fine arts among the ancients. Some vestiges of the old Grecian buildings prove them to be of the Doric order: the Ionic succeeded, and seems to have been the favourite order, while architecture was in the height of glory: the Corinthian came next in vogue; and in Greece the buildings of that order appear mostly to have been erected after the Romans got footing there. At last came the Composite, with all its extravagances, where simplicity is sacrificed to finery and crowded ornament.

But what taste is to prevail next? for fashion is a continual flax, and taste must vary with it. Af. ter rich and profuse ornaments become familiar, simplicity appears lifeless and insipid ; which would be an insurmountable obstruction, should any person of genius and taste endeavour to restore ancient simplicity.

The distinction between primary and secondary qualities in matter, seems now fully established. Heat and cold, smell and taste, though seeming to exist in bodies, are discovered to be effects caused by these bodies in a sensitive being : colour, wbich appears to the eye as spread upon a substance, has no existence but in the mind of the spectator. Qualities of that kind, which owe their existence to the percipient as much as to the object, are termed secondary qualities, and are distinguished from figure,

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* A sprightly writer observes, “ that the noble simplicity of the “ Augustan age was driven out by false taste; that the gigantic, the “puerile, the quaint, and at last the barbarous and the monkish, had « each their successive admirers : that music has become a science “ of tricks and slight of hand,” &c.

extension, solidity, which, in contradistinction to the former, are termed primary qualities, because they inhere in subjects whether perceived or not. This distinction suggests a curious inquiry, Whether beauty be a primary or only a secondary quality of objects? The question is easily determined with respect to the beauty of colour; for, if colour be a secondary quality, existing no where but in the mind of the spectator, its beauty must exist there also. This conclusion equally holds with respect to the beauty of utility, which is plainly a conception of the mind, arising not from sight, but from reflecting that the thing is fitted for some good end or purpose. The question is more intricate with respect to the beauty of regularity; for, if regularity be a primary quality, why not also its beauty ? That this is not a good inference, will appear from considering that beauty, in its very conception, refers to a percipient; for an object is said to be beautiful, for no other reason but that it appears so to a spectator: the same piece of matter that to a man appears beautiful, may possibly appear ugly to a being of a different species. Beauty, therefore, which for its existence depends on the percipient as much as on 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 person beloved, but in the lover's eye. This reasoning is solid; and the only cause of doubt or hesitation is, that we are taught a different lesson by sense: a singular determination of nature makes us perceive both beauty and colour as belonging to the object, and, like figure or extension, as inherent properties. This mechanism is uncommon; and, when nature, to fulfil her intention, prefers any singular method of operation, we may be certain of some final cause that cannot be reached by

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ordinary means. For the beauty of some objects we are indebted entirely to nature; but, with re. spect to the endless variety of objects that owe their beauty to art and culture, the perception of beauty greatly promotes industry ; being to us a strong additional incitement to enrich our fields, and improve our manufactures. These, bowever, are but slight effects, compared with the connexions that are formed among individuals in society by means of this singular mechanism : the qualifications of the head and heart form undoubtedly the most solid and most permanent connexions ; but external beauty, which lies more in view, has a more extensive influence in forming these connexions : at any rate, it concurs in an eminent degree with mental qualifications to produce social intercoure, mutual good. will, and consequently mutual aid and support, which are the life of society.

It must not, however, be overlooked, that the perception of beauty doth not, when immoderate, tend to advance the interests of society. Love, in particular, arising from a perception of beauty, loses, when excessive, its sociable 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 tbat state, is no longer a sweet agreeable passion : it becomes painful, like hunger or thirst; and produceth no happiness but in the instant of fruition. This discovery suggests a most important lesson, That moderation in our desires and appetites, which fits us for doing our duty, contributes at the same time the most to bappiness : even social passions, when moderate, are more pleasant than when they swell beyond proper bounds.

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ÖHAPTER IV.

Grandeur and Sublimity.

NATURE hath not more remarkably distinguished us from other animals by an erect posture, than by a capacious and aspiring mind, attaching us to things great and elevated. The ocean, the sky, scize the attention, and make a deep impression :* robes of state are made large and full, to draw respect: we admire an elephant for its magnitude, notwithstanding its unwieldiness.

The elevation of an object affects us no less 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 magistrate ; and a chair with a high seat for the president of a court. Among all nations, heaven is placed far above us, hell far below us.

In some objects, greatness and elevation concur to make a complicated impression : the Alps and the Peak of Teneriffe 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 in.

* Longinus observes, that nature inclines us to admire, not a small rivulet, however clear and transparent, but the Nile, the Ister, the Rhine, or still more the ocean. The sight of a small fire produceth no emotion; but we are struck with the boiling furnaces of Ætna, pouring out whole rivers of liquid flame. Treatise of the Sublime, chap. xxix.

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