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The most elevated and most refined pleasure of human nature, is enjoy'd by a vir, tuous prince governing a virtuous people ; and that, by perfecting the great system of education, your Majesty may very long enjoy this pleasure, is the ardent with of
C Ο Ν Τ Ε Ν Τ S.
25 Ch. 3. Beauty,
114 Ch. 4. Grandeur and fublimity,
157 Ch. 5. Motion and force,
185 Ch. 6. Novelty, and the unexpected appearance of objects,
191 Ch. 7. Risible objects,
201 Ch. 8. Resemblance and contrast,
I 205 Ch. 9. Uniformity and variety,
I 226 Ch. 10. Congruity and propriety,
I 248 Ch. 11. Dignity and meanness,
I 262 Ch. 12. Ridicule,
I 269 Ch. 13. Wit,
I 281 Ch. 14. Custom and babit,
I 296 Ch. 15. External signs of emotions and pasions,
317 Ch. 16. Sentiments,
I 336 Ch. 17. Language of paffion,
I 371 Ch. 18. Beauty of language,
2 3 Ch. 19. Comparisons,
19 Ch. 20. Figures,
2 174 Ch. 21. Narration and description, 2 246 Ch. 22. Epic and dramatic compositions,
2 277 Ch. 23. The three unities,
2 301 Ch. 24. Gardening and architecture,
2 321 Ch. 25. Standard of taste,
2 354 Appendix,
In describing the scale of sounds made in pronouncing the five vowels, Yol. 2. P. 6, it ought to have been mentioned, that the letter i must be pronounced as in the word interest, and other words beginning with the syllable in; the letter e as in persuafion; and the letter u as in number.
E RR AT U M..
Vol. II. P. 114. to 18. for. 101, 102. read 105, 106,
HE five senses agree in the following par
ticular, that nothing external is perceived
till it first make an impression upon the organ of sense; the impression, for example, made upon the hand by a stone, upon the palate by sugar, and upon the nostrils by
But there is a difference as to our consciousness of that impression. In touching, tafting, and smelling, we are conscious of the impression. Not so in seeing and hearing. When I behold a tree, I am not sensible of the impression made upon my eye, nor of the impression made upon my ear, when I listen to a fong * This difference in the manner of perception distinguishes remarkably hearing and seeing from the other senses; and distinguishes still more remarkably the feelings of the former from those of the latter. A feeling pleasant or painful cannot exist but in the mind; and
because in tafting, touching, and smelling, we are conscious of the impression made upon the organ, we naturally place there also, the pleasant or painful feeling caused by that impression. And because such feelings seem to be placed externally at the organ of sense, we, for that reason, conceive them to be mfierely corporeal. We have a different apprehension of the pleasant and painful feelings derived from seeing and hearing. Being insensible here of the organic impression, we are not misled to aflign a wrong place to these feelings ; and therefore we naturally place them in the mind, where they really exist. Upon that account, they are conceived to be more refined and spiritual, than what are derived from tafting, touching, and smelling.
The pleasures of the eye and ear being thus elevated above those of the other external senses, VOL. I.
acquire * See the Appendix, § 13.
acquire so much dignity as to make them a laudadable entertainment. They are not, however, set upon a level with those that are purely intellectual; being not less inferior in dignity to intellectual pleasures, than superior to the organic or corporeal. They indeed resemble the latter, being like them produced by external objects; but they also resemble the former, being like them produced without any sensible organic impression. Their mixt nature and middle place betwixt organic and intellectual pleasures, qualify them to associate with either. Beauty heightens all the organic feelings, as well as those that are intellectual. Harmony, though it aspires to inflame devotion, disdains not to improve the relish of a banquet.
The pleasures of the eye and ear have other valuable properties beside those of dignity and elevation. Being sweet and moderately exhilerating, they are in their tone equally distant from the turbulence of passion, and languor of inaction ; and by that tone are perfectly well qualified, not only to revive the spirits when sunk by sensual gratification, but also to relax them when overstrained in any violent pursuit
. Here is a remedy provided for many distresses. And to be convinced of its falutary effects, it will be sufficient to run over the following particulars. Organic pleasures have naturally a short duration : when continued too long, or indulged to excess, they lose their relish, and beget satiety and disgust. To relieve us from that uneasiness, nothing can be more happily contrived than the exhilerating pleasures of the eye and ear, which take place imperceptibly, without much varying the tone of mind. On the other hand, any intense exercise of the intellectual powers, becomes painful by overstraining the mind. Ceffation from such exerciie gives not instant relief : it is necessary that the void be filled with some amusement, gently