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upper Hand, he then betrays the Liberty of his own • Soul.

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AS Nature has framed the feveral Species of Beings as it were in a Chain, fo Man feems to be placed as the middle Link between Angels and Brutes: Hence he participates both of Flesh and Spirit by an admirable Tie, which in him occafions perpetual War of Paffions and as a Man inclines to the angelick or brute Part of his Conftitution, he is then denominated good or bad, virtuous, or wicked; if Love, Mercy, and Goodnature prevail, they speak him of the Angel; if Hatred, Cruelty, and Envy predominate, they declare his Kindred to the Brute. Hence it was that fome of the Ancients imagined, that as Men in this Life inclined more to the Angel or the Brute, fo after their • Death they should tranfmigrate into the one or the ⚫ other; and it would be no unpleasant Notion to confider the feveral Species of Brutes, into which we may imagine that Tyrants, Mifers, the Proud, Malicious, and Ill-natured might be changed.

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AS a Confequence of this Original, all Paffions are in all Men, but appear not in all; Conftitution, Education, Cuftom of the Country, Reason, and the like Caufes may improve or abate the Strength of them, but ftill the Seeds remain, which are ever ready to fprout forth upon the leaft Encouragement. I have heard a Story of a good religious Man, who, having • been bred with the Milk of a Goat, was very modest in Publick by a careful Reflection he made on his Actions, but he frequently had an Hour in Secret, wherein he had his Frisks and Capers; and if we had an Opportunity of examining the Retirement of the ftri&teft Philofophers, no doubt but we fhould find perpetual Returns of thofe Paffions they fo artfully conceal from the Publick. I remember Machiavel observes, that every State fhould entertain a perpetual Jealoufy of its Neighbours, that fo it should never be unprovided when an Emergency happens; in like manner fhould the Reafon be perpetually on its Guard again ft the Paffions, and never fuffer them to carry on any Defign that may be deftructive of its Security; yet at the fame time it must be careful, that it don't fo far break ⚫ their

⚫ their Strength as to render them contemptible, and confequently it felf unguarded.

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THE Understanding being of its felf too flow ⚫ and lazy to exert it felf into Action, it's neceffary it 'fhould be put in Motion by the gentle Gales of the • Paffions, which may preferve it from ftagnating and Corruption; for they are neceffary to the Health of the Mind, as the Circulation of the animal Spirits is ⚫ to the Health of the Body; they keep it in Life, and 'Strength, and Vigour; nor is it poffible for the Mind to perform its Offices without their Affiftance: Thefe Motions are given us with our Being; they are little Spirits that are born and die with us; to fome they are • mild, eafy and gentle, to others wayward and unruly, yet never too ftrong for the Reins of Reafon and the Guidance of Judgment.

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WE may generally observe a pretty nice Proportion ⚫ between the Strength of Reason and Paffion; the greatest 'Genius's have commonly the strongest Affections, as, on 'the other hand, the weaker Understandings have generally the weaker Paffions; and 'tis fit the Fury of the 'Courfers fhould not be too great for the Strength of the Charioteer. Young Men whofe Paffions are not a little unruly, give fmall Hopes of their ever being confiderable; the Fire of Youth will of courfe abate, and is a Fault, if it be a Fault, that mends every Day; but fure'ly, unless a Man has Fire in Youth, he can hardly have 'Warmth in Old Age. We muft therefore be very cautious, left while we think to regulate the Paffions, we fhould quite extinguish them, which is putting out the Light of the Soul; for to be without Paffion or, to be ' hurried away with it, makes a Man equally blind. The extraordinary Severity used in most of our Schools has this fatal Effect, it breaks the Spring of the Mind, and ' most certainly destroys more good Genius's than it can poffibly improve. And furely 'tis a mighty Mistake that 'the Paffions fhould be fo intirely fubdued; for little Irregularities are fometimes not only to be bore with but to be cultivated too, fince they are frequently attended 'with the greateft Perfections. All great Genius's have Faults mixed with their Virtues, and resemble the flam"ing Bush which has Thorns amongst Lights.

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SINCE therefore the Paffions are the Principles of ⚫ human 'Actions, we must endeavour to manage them fo as to retain their Vigour, yet keep them under ⚫ftrict Command; we muit govern them rather like free Subjects than Slaves, left, while we intend to make the obedient, they become abject, and unfit for those great Purposes to which they were defigned. For my " part I must confefs I could never have any Regard to that Sect of Philofophers, who so much infifted upon an ⚫ abfolute Indifference and Vacancy from all Paffion; for it seems to me a Thing very inconfiftent, for a Man to diveft himself of Humanity, in order to acquire Tranquillity of Mind, and to eradicate the very Principles of Action, because it's poffible they may produce

ill Effects.

I am, SIR,

Your Affectionate Admirer,"

No. 409.

Thursday, June 19.

T. B.

Mufæo contingere cuncta lepore.

Lucr. lib. 1. v. 933.

To gracefach Subject with enliv'ning Wit.

RATIAN very often recommends the fine Tafte, as


the utmost Perfection of an accomplished Man. As this Word arises very often in Converfation, I fhall endeavour to give fome Acount of it, and to lay down Rules how we may know whether we are poffeffed of it, and how we may acquire that fine Tafte of Writing, which is so much talked of among the Polite World.

MOST Languages make ufe of this Metaphor, to exprefs that Faculty of the Mind, which distinguishes all the moft concealed Faults and niceft Perfections in Writing. We may be fure this Metaphor would not have been fo general in all Tongues, had there not been a very


55 great Conformity between that Mental Tafte, which is the Subject of this Paper, and that Senfitive Tafte, which gives us a Relish of every different Flavour that affects the Palate. Accordingly we find, there are as many Degrees of Refinement in the intellectual Faculty, as in the Senfe, which is marked out by this common Denomination.

I knew a Person who poffeffed the one in fo great a Perfection, that after having tasted ten different Kinds of Tea, he would diftinguish, without feeing the Colour of it, the particular Sort which was offered him; and not only fo, but any two Sorts of them that were mixt together in an equal Proportion; nay, he has carried the Experiment fo far, as upon tafting the Compofition of three different Sorts, to name the Parcels from whence the three several Ingredients were taken. A Man of a fine Tafte in Writing will difcern, after the fame manner, not only the general Beauties and Imperfections of an Author, but difcover the feveral Ways of thinking and expreffing himself, which diverfify him from all other Authors, with the feveral Foreign Infufions of Thought and Language, and the particular Authors from whom they were borrowed.

AFTER having thus far explained what is generally meant by a fine Tafte in Writing, and fhewn the Propriety of the Metaphor which is ufed on this Occafion, I think I may define it to be that Faculty of the Soul, which difcerns the Beauties of an Author with Pleasure, and the Imperfections with Diflike. If a Man would know whether he is poffeffed of this Faculty, I would have him read over the celebrated Works of Antiquity, which have stood the Teft of so many different Ages and Countries, or those Works among the Moderns which have the Sanction of the Politer Part of our Contemporaries. If upon the Perufal of such Writings he does not find himself delighted in an extraordinary Manner, or if, upon reading the admired Paffages in fuch Authors, he finds a Coldness and Indifference in his Thoughts, he ought to conclude, not (as is too ufual among tastelefs Readers) that the Author wants thofe Perfections which have been admired in him, but that he himself wants the Faculty of discovering them. C 4


HE fhould, in the fecond Place, be very careful to observe, whether he tastes the diftinguishing Perfections, or, if I may be allowed to call them fo, the Specifick Qualities of the Author whom he peruses; whether he is particularly pleafed with Livy for his Manner of telling a Story, with Salluft for his entering into thofe internal. Principles of Action which arife from the Characters and Manners of the Perfons he defcribes, or with Tacitus for his displaying thofe outward Motives of Safety and Intereft, which give Birth to the whole Series of Tranfactions which he relates.

HE may likewife confider, how differently he is affected by the fame Thought, which presents it felf in a great Writer, from what he is when he finds it delivered by a Person of an ordinary Genius. For there is as much Difference in apprehending a Thought clothed in Cicero's Language, and that of a common Author, as in feeing an Object by the Light of a Taper, or by the Light of the Sun.

IT is very difficult to lay down Rules for the Acquirement of fuch a Taste as that I am here fpeaking of. The Faculty muft in fome degree be born with us, and it very often happens, that thofe who have other Qualities in Perfection are wholly void of this. One of the most eminent Mathematicians of the Age has affured me, that the greatest Pleasure he took in reading Virgil, was in examining Eneas his Voyage by the Map; as I queftion not but many a modern Compiler of Hiftory would be delighted with little more in that Divine Author, than the bare Matters of Fact.

BUT notwithstanding this Faculty must in fome meafure be born with us, there are feveral Methods for Cultivating and Improving it, and without which it will be very uncertain, and of little use to the Perfon that poffeffes it. The most natural Method for this Purpose is to be converfant among the Writings of the moft Polite Authors. A Man who has any Relish for fine Writing, either discovers new Beauties, or receives ftronger Impreffions from the Mafterly Strokes of a great Author every time he perufes him; Befides that he naturally wears himself into the fame manner of Speaking and Thinking..


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