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lity, as thus defined, must aid in the formation of a good taste. It must be supposed, that so far as the emotions of beauty result from original tendencies of the mind to be pleased in view of certain objects, they are in some degree common to all men in their earliest years.

But it is a well known fact respecting all our emotions, that if neglected, they lose their strength, and if entirely disregarded, they will soon cease to be felt. On the contrary, they are strengthened by being regarded and cherished. Hence it is, that while some men are susceptible of emotions of beauty in the view of objects and scenes around them, others, the circumstances of whose life have been different, look upon the same objects and scenes without any emotion of this nature. So far, too, as these emotions result from associated thoughts and feelings, there is an equal cause of diversity among

different individuals. One, from the scenes and events that have fallen under his observation, may have many associations connected with a particular object, which another may have never formed.

These remarks admit of illustration. Addison, when he went forth in the evening, and gazed upon the starry heavens and the moon walking in her majesty, felt emotions of sublimity. In accounting for the rise of these emotions, we might say, that he was a man of sensibi. lity-- from the original constitution of his mind he was susceptible of emotions of taste to a high degree. His intellectual habits also, and circumstances of his life, were such as to cherish and strengthen these original tendencies of his mind. Astronomy had taught him something of the size and number and uses of these heavenly bodies; and in this way, or in other ways, many associations were connected with them. On the same evening, perhaps, and in the same neighbourhood, the labourer returning from his daily toil, looked upon the same starry and moon lit firmament, but felt no

emotion of beauty or sublimity. Still this individual might have been originally constituted with as much sensibility as Addison ; but such has been his lot in life, that this sensibility has been lost, and he thinks of the moon and stars only as lighting him homeward from his toil.

Standard of Taste. It may here be asked, whether a susceptibility to emotions of beauty and sublimity may not exist, and still the individual thus susceptible be destitute of good taste ? And if this inquiry be answered in the affirmative, as it must be in accordance with facts, it may be further asked, how this destitution of taste in such individuals is consistent with the statement, that taste is founded on past experience of emotions of beauty and sublimity. The resolution of this apparent difficulty brings to view what is called the staNDARD OF TASTE. It has been stated, that the original susceptibilities to emotions of taste, from the circumstances in which individuals are placed, are in some cases, perverted and blunted; in others, they are cherished and strengthened. Different associations are also connected with the same objects and scenes in different minds. From these and other causes, the emotions, excited in the minds of different individuals in view of the same objects and scenes, will differ, and, consequently, their experience as to past emotions, will vary. It is thus that we account for the diversities of taste, and here is the ground of the received maxim de gustibus non disputandum. But amidst all these diversities, there are some objects and scenes, which do uniformly excite emotions of taste in the great majority of those, who are to any degree susceptible. And where there are cases of exception, some satisfactory explanation may generally be given. In the assertion, then, that taste is founded on the past experience of emotions, reference is made to this common experience, rather than to the experience of individuals. Hence, the standard of taste is the agreeing voice of such as are susceptible of emotions of beauty and sublimity, both of those who lived in past ages and of those now existing.

To illustrate these remarks, I may refer the student to the statue of Charles James Fox, which has been placed in the metropolis, and which represents him in the drapery of a Roman Senator. Should it be asked, why he is thus represented, rather than in the dress which he was accustomed to wear? it might be answered, that though such attire might have been approved at the period when it was worn, and thus have been in agreement with the taste of the age, yet, it is probable, at a future period, it would appear unbecoming to the human form. But such is not the case with the Roman toga. This is a drapery, which at all times, and to all men, appears graceful and excites emotions of beauty. This fact, then, both proves, that there is a standard of taste, and illustrates what is meant by it.

Hence we learn one object and use of models of excellence in the fine arts. It is principally by means of these, that we obtain a knowledge of the standard of taste, or rather they are the standard, since in them the decisions of men in different periods and portions of the world are found embodied. To illustrate this by an example, I will refer to West's painting of Christ in the exercise of the charities, We know, that this painting has been universally admired. All those who are susceptible of emotions of taste, have felt these emotions when looking upon this production of art. Here, then, is found the united voice of men of the present age, and the artist knows, that so far as his production exhibits what excites emotions of beauty in this painting, it is in agreement with the general opinion of men now living, or the standard of the taste of the age. Had this picture existed through successive ages, and been uniformly admired, this would give it higher authority,

and the artist, in conforming his work to it, would know, that what he produces, is in agreement with the opinions of men of different ages of the world. He might then hope, that his work, being conformed to this general standard of taste, would please all men, every where, and of every age, who are susceptible of emotions of beauty, and whose minds are not under the influence of some particular bias. In models of excellence then, in the fine arts, is expressed the experience of mankind respecting the emotions of beauty; and in studying these models, the man of sensibility learns to correct any pecu. liar influence which circumstances may have had on his own emotions, and thus acquires a taste which is in conformity with the general standard of taste.

Taste as affected by the intellectual habits. Taste as it exists in different individuals, is affected by the intellectual character and habits. We might expect this to be the case from the fact that it implies discrimination, and that the same intellectual habits will be brought into exercise in judging of what is fitted to excite emotions of taste, as in those instances where judgments are formed on other subjects. It is in this way, that we may in part account for the diversities of taste in different individuals. He whose mind is enriched with various knowledge, and whose intellectual powers have been strengthened and improved, and who is wont to take large and comprehensive views of subjects, will manifest the greatness of his mind and the liberality of his views, in his judgment of what is fitted to excite an emoţion of taste. He whose attention has been restricted to philosophical speculations, and who has been accustomed to reason with the precision of mathematical accuracy, will in like manner bring his habits of reasoning to subjects of taste, and will be less bold and more severe in his judgment of what is fitted to excite emotions of this kind. Locke and Burke are striking examples of the justness of these remarks. Locke was an accurate thinker, and a close reasoner. His judgment, where he forms an opi. nion, is based on careful and minute examination. Hence his taste was severe.

He used but little ornament, and that simple and illustrative. Fearful also that it might betray him, he condemed the use of it in the writings of others. Burke, on the contrary, was a man of much refinement. He possessed extensive classical attainments, had large and liberal views of subjects, was susceptible to a high degree of emotions of taste, and ever prone to indulge in the excitement of these emotions. But then he approved only of what is truly beautiful and sublime; and his judgment of what is fitted to excite these emotions, evidently felt the influence of his enlarged and liberal views on other subjects, or, in other words, of his intellectual habits.

Objects on which taste is exercised. Taste, as thus explained, employs itself in judging both of the objects and scenes in Nature, and of works in the Fine Arts, and in both cases it determines as to the fitness of what is presented before it to produce emotions of beauty. Suppose several individuals who are susceptible of emotions of beauty, to be travelling through some region of our country, which presents a rich variety of natural scenery. One of them, in advance of the others, upon gaining an eminence, is struck with the view

opening before him, and is led to exclaim as to the beauty of the prospect. The others, upon coming up, are impressed in the same manner. They declare the scene before them beautiful, and they unite in pronouncing him who first pointed it out, a man of taste. All that is meant by this expression is, that the individual to whom it is applied, is able, from his experience of past emotions, to form a judgment respecting the fitness of objects

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