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planation in the understanding. In order to supply this defect, I shall give examples of the various resemblances betwixt found and fignification ; and at the same time shall endeavour to explain why such resemblances are beautiful. I begin with examples where the resemblance betwixt the sound and signification is the most entire ; proceeding to others, where the resemblance is less and less fo.
There being frequently a strong resemblance betwixt different sounds, it will not be surprising to find a natural sound imitated by one that is articulate. Thus the sound of a bow-string is imitated by the words that express it.
The string let fly, Twang'd fort and soarp, like the shrill swallow's cry.
Odyssey xxi. 449.
The found of felling trees in a wood :
Headlong Deep-echoing groan the thickets
brown, Then rufling, crackling, crashing, thunder down.
Iliad, xxiii. 144.
But when loud surges lash the founding shore
Pope's Ejay on Criticism, 369.
No person can be at a lofs about the caufe of this beauty. It is obviously that of imitation.
That. there is any other natural resemblance betwixt sound and fignification, must not be taken for granted. There is evidently no resemblance betwixt found and motion, nor betwixt found and sentiment. In this matter, we are apt to be deceived by artful reading or pronouncing. The fame passage may be pronounced in many
different tones, elevated or humble, sweet or harsh, brisk or melancholy, so as to accord with the thought or sentiment. Such concord, depending on artful pronunciation, must be distinguished from that concord betwixt sound and sense, which is perceived in some expressions independent of artful pronun
ciation. The latter is the poet's work: the former must be attributed to the reader. Another thing contributes still more to the deceit. In language, sound and sense are fo intimately connected, as that the
properties of the one are readily communicated to the other. An emotion of grandeur, of sweetness, of melancholy, or of compaffion, though occasioned by the thought solely, is transferred upon the words, which by that means resemble in appearance the thought that is expressed by them *. I have
great reason to recommend these obfervations to my reader, considering how inaccurately the present subject is handled by critics Not one of them distinguishes the natural resemblance of sound and fignification, from the artificial resemblance now described. Witness Vida in particular, who in a very long paffage has given very few examples, but what are of the latter kind fo...
That there may be a refemblance betwixt natural and artificial founds, is self-evident;
• Sec chap. 2. part 1. sect. 4.
and that in fact there exist such resemblances successfully employ'd by writers of genius, is clear from the foregoing examples, and many others that might be given. But we may safely pronounce, that this natural resemblance can be carried no farther. The objects of the several senses, differ so widely from each other as to exclude any resemblance. Sound in particular, whether articulate or inarticulate, resembles not in any degree taste, smell, or motion; and as little can it resemble any internal sentiment, feeling, or emotion. But must we then agree, that nothing but natural sound can be imi. tated by that which is articulate ? Taking imitation in its proper sense, as involving a resemblance betwixt two objects, the proposition must be admitted. And yet in many passages that are not descriptive of natural found, every one must be sensible of a peculiar concord betwixt the sound of the words and their meaning. As there can be no doubt of the fact, what remains is, to inquire into its cause.
Resembling causes may produce effects that have no resemblance; and causes that · Vol. II. U u
have 'no resemblance may produce resembling effects. A magnificent building, for example, resembles not in any degree an heroic action; and yet the emotions they produce, being concordant, bear a resemblance to each other. We are still more sensible of this resemblance, in a long where the music is properly adjusted to the sentiment, There is no resemblance betwixt thought and found; but there is the strongest resemblance betwixt the emotion raised by music tender and pathetic, and that raised by the complaint of an unsuccessful lover. To apply these examples to the present subject, I observe, that the found even of a single word makes, in some instances, an impreffion resembling that which is made by the thing it signifies; witness the word running, composed of two short fyllables ; and more remarkably the words rapidity, impetuohty, precipitation. Brutal manners produce in the spectator, an emotion not unlike what is produced by a harsh and rough found. Hence the figurative, expression, rugged manners; an expression peculiarly agreeable by the relation of the found to the sense,