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the countenance, or by words, or by actions, always raise in us a feeling similar to that of Beauty. There are two great classes of moral qualities ; one is of the high and the great virtues, which require extraordinary efforts, and turn upon dangers and sufferings ; as heroism, magnanimity, contempt of pleasures, and contempt of death. These, as I have observed in a former Lecture, excite in the spectator an emotion of Sublimity and Grandeur. The other class is generally of the social virtues, and such as are of a softer and gentler kind; as compassion, mildness, friendship, and generosity. These raise in the beholder a sensation of pleasure, so much akin to that produced by beautiful external objects, that, though of a more dignified nature, it may, without impropriety, be classed under the same head.
A species of Beauty, distinct from any I have yet mentioned, arises from design or art; or, in other words, from the perception of means being adapted to an end; or the parts of any thing being well fitted to answer the design of the whole. When in considering the structure of a tree, or a plant, we observe how all the parts, the roots, the stem, the bark, and the leaves, are suited to the growth and nutriment of the whole ; much more when we survey all the parts and members of a living animal ; or when we examine any. of the curious works of art; such as a clock, a ship, or any nice machine; the pleasure which we have in the survey, is wholly founded on this sense of Beauty. It is altogether different from the perception of Beauty produced by colour, figure, variety, or any of the causes formerly mentioned. When I look at a watch, for instance, the case of it, if finely engraved, and of curious workmanship, strikes me as Beautiful
in the former -sense; bright colour, exquisite polish, figures finely raised and turned. But when I examine the spring and the wheels, and praise the beauty of the internal machinery; my pleasure then arises wholly from the view of that admirable art with which so many various and complicated parts are made to unite for one purpose.
This sense of Beauty, in fitness and design, 'has an extensive influence over many of our ideas. It is the foundation of the Beauty which we discover in the proportion of doors, windows, arches, pillars, and all the orders of architecture. Let the ornaments of a building be ever so fine and elegant in themselves, yet if they interfere with this sense of fitness and design, they lose their Beauty, and hurt the eye like disagreeable objects. Twisted columns, for instance, are undoubtedly ornamental ; but as they have an appearance of weakness, they always displease when they are made use of to support any part of a building that is massy, and that seems to require a more substantial prop. We cannot look upon any work whatever, without being led, by a natural association of ideas, to think of its end and design, and of course to examine the propriety of its parts, in relation to this design and end. When their propriety is clearly discerned, the work seems always to have some Beauty; but when there is a total want of propriety, it never fails of appearing deformed. Our sense of fitness and design, therefore, is so powerful, and holds so high a rank among our perceptions, as to regulate, in a great measure, our other ideas of Beauty : an obseryation which I the rather make, as it is of the utmost importance, that all who study composition should carefully attend to it. For in an
epic poem, a history, an oration, or any work of genius, we always require, as we do in other works, a fitness, or adjustment of means, to the end which the author is supposed to have in view. Let his descriptions be ever so rich, or his figures ever so elegant, yet if they are out of place, if they are not proper parts of that whole, if they suit not the main design, they lose all their Beauty; nay, from Beauties they are converted into Deformities. Such power has our sense of fitness and congruity, to produce a total transformation of an object whose appearance otherwise would have been Beautiful.
After having mentioned so many various species of Beauty, it now only remains to take notice of Beauty as it is applied to writing or discourse ; a term commonly used in a sense altogether loose and undetermined. For it is applied to all that pleases, either in style or in sentiment, from whatever principle that pleasure flows; and a Beautiful poem or oration means, in common language, no other than a good one, or one well composed. In this sense, it is plain, the word is altogether indefinite, and points at no particular species or kind of Beauty. There is, however, another sense, somewhat more definite, in which Beauty of writing characterises a particular manner; when it is used to signify a certain grace and amænity, in the turn either of style or sentiment, for which some authors have been peculiarly distinguished. In this sense, it denotes a manner neither remarkably sublime, nor vehemently passionate, nor uncommonly sparkling ; but such as raises in the reader an emotion of the gentle placid kind, similar to what is raised by the contemplation of beautiful objects in nature; which neither lifts the mind very
high, nor agitates it very much, but diffuses over the imagination an agreeable and pleasing serenity. Mr. Addison is a writer altogether of this character; and is one of the most proper and precise examples that can be given of it. Fenelon, the author of the Adventures of Telemachus, may be given as another example. Virgil too, though very capable of rising on occasions into the Sublime, yet, in his general manner, is distinguished by the character of Beauty and Grace, rather than of Sublimity. Among orators, Cicero has more of the Beautiful than Demosthenes, whose genius led him wholly towards vehemence and strength.
This much it is sufficient to have said upon the subject of Beauty. We have traced it through a variety of forms; as next to Sublimity, it is the most copious source of the pleasures of Taste ; and as the consider. ation of the different appearances, and principles of Beauty, tends to the improvement of Taste in many subjects.
But it is not only by appearing under the forms of Sublime or Beautiful, that objects delight the imagination. From several other principles, also, they derive their power of giving it pleasure.
Novelty, for instance, has been mentioned by Mr. Addison, and by every writer on this subject. An object which has no merit to recommend it, except its being uncommon or new, by means of this quality alone, produces in the mind a vivid and an agreeable emotion. Hence that passion of curiosity, which prevails so generally among mankind. Objects and ideas which have been long familiar, make too faint ap impression to give an agreeable exercise to our faculties. New and strange objects rouse the mind
from its dormant state, by giving it a quick and pleasing impulse. Hence in a great measure, the entertainment afforded us by fiction and romance. The emotion raised by Novelty is of a more lively and pungent nature than that produced by Beauty ; but much shorter in its continuance. For if the object have in itself no charms to hold our attention, the sliining gloss thrown upon it by Novelty soon wears off.
Besides Novelty, Imitation is another source of Pleasure to Taste. This gives rise to what Mr. Addison terms, the Secondary Pleasures of Imagination; which form, doubtless, a very extensive class. For all Imitation affords some pleasure; not only the Imitation of beautiful or great objects, by recalling the original ideas of Beauty or Grandeur which such objects themselves exhibited; but even objects which have neither Beauty nor Grandeur, nay, some which are terrible or deformed, please us in a secondary or represented view.
The Pleasures of Melody and Harmony belong also to Taste. There is no agreeable sensation wereceive either from Beauty or Sublimity, but what is capable of being heightened by the power of musical sound. Hence the delight of poetical numbers; and even of the more concealed and looser measures of prose. Wit, Humour, and Ridicule, likewise open a variety of Pleasures to Taste, quite distinct from any that we have yet considered. At present it is not necessary to pursue any
further the subject of the Pleasures of Taste. I have opened some of the general principles; it is time now to make the application to our chief subject. If the question be put, To what class of those Pleasures of