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tence, The animal Functions might, indeed, be carried ori; but scarce with any Joy beyond what the Brute* themselves experience. The elegant Pleasures of Imagination, the enlivening Satisfactions of liberal Knowledge, and all the sweet Effects of the amiable Paslions would be entirely set aside* and. the rational Part of the Creation abandoned to the low Employment of gratifying the, coarsest Appetites in- the coarsest Manner. Slender and sordid would be the Intercourses of the Friend and Companion; if Friend and Companion could there be found: Social Pleasure would degenerate irrtc* Savage Mtrriment-j. and decent Faistiliatity into detestabls Freedoms; were they. BOt under: the Gontroul and. Guidance o£ this restraining Quality.
But the Pleasure arising from the Cultivation of this- Accomplishments is not the only Circum-. fiance, which recommends it to our Regard: For. whilst it improves our Jays, it refines our Morah,, by cherishing: those fine Emotions. \a the Soul* which create an, Abhorrence of, every thing» that is base arid; irregular, and prepare tha Way for the easier Impreflions of Virtue and Honour. The Taste of Beauty in-the lower, kind; leads na«tonallyto the higher:: Andthe Love of Harmo-. ny ia exterior. Things, is-a good Step towards the Relish of what is graceful and amVible.in.the ia? -ward,Principles of the, Hearh
Whoeyeiy therefore, undertakes the Can-re of Delicacy, is engaged, at the fame Time, in the Support of Virtue, andixonsuJts the. Happiness of
eyerys every individual. Member of Society. For the Manners of the Great are so constantly copied by their Inferiors, that when a right Sense of Order and Decency prevails among the former, it will not be altogether wanting in the latter. The Spirit of Refinement stops not where it was first raised, but is caught- from- Breast' to Breast: And though it operate with the greatest Efficacy where it finds the best Materials ;yet, in some Degree, it is communicated to the whole Body of the People. . It is the Design of the Author to sot these Points in a clear Light; and to demonstrate, that Elegance of Taste, and Refinement of Manners,. are the proper Objects of a rational Pursuit, illustrious Ornaments to Human Nature, and leading Characters to a virtuous and moral Conduct. And if his Endeavours should fall far beneath the Dignity of the Subject; he hopes, however, they may be considered as a Testimony of his warnv Regard, and of the Deference and Honour he thinks due to those elevated Characters, under' whose Influence we behold Arts- and Ingenuity encouraged, Life understood, and Britain aspiring, to the Reputation of Attic Elegance and Roman Urbanity. And though her Advances-may not, perhaps, keep Pace with the Eagerness of our Wishes; yet this should rather animate than discourage her Progress:. Since it is observable^ that the. extraordinary Aflidarty and Skill . necesfarily employed to raifc^and perfect the Poliflt of theiAfobler Gems, is amply compenfated by that Admirar tion and Pleasure, which Jesuit from the Superior , Lustre. ^
The PLAN of the whole WORK.
THE General Design os this Undertaking ist to explain the Nature, trace out tie Stan~ dard, and recommend the Cultivation os that Quality, which, in our Language, is marked aut by the Denomination O/"delicacy. , .- . t • ..
The Work Is carried on by way os Dialogue, and opens wiib the Characters os two Gentlemen, wba keep up the sull Ensoyment os those Satissactions^ which arise srom the Harmony os Friendship; though, in some Respects, the Turn os their Minds is extremely different.
"The one is a warm Admirer os Elegance in Arts and Manners, and is perpetually contending sor the Necessity os cultivating a refined Tajle. The other thinks, that good Sense and Virtue are sufficient Recommendations, and Jland in need os no- adventitious Ornaments. -' ■'
The Conversation begins with a Dispute concerning the Origin os Society, which, the Author apprehends, will not be ejleemed an improper Introduction to a Work os this kind; since all the Embellishment's os Lise are undeniably derived srom our Associations'.
In--fir Second Dialogue, the Meaning os the Word Delicacy /'/ explained, agreeably to what seems the genuine Acceptation os it amongfl our mop
approved Writers The Nature os the Quality,
the Criterion by which it is ascertained, the Obsections made to the Cultivation os refined Tafle and Passion, and she Use and Pleasure arising srorft it, art distinctly examined. ,••'*"
The The next treats os the Rise os elegant Arts and Manners, enquires srom what Source, it is most probabie, they derived their Original; and though the former may have firjl risen in a Free State, whether' the Monarchical Form be not a more'proper Nursery for" the latter. This Enquiry Is sollowed by a Cimparifon between the Ancients and Moderns with respect to the Delicacy of Good-breeding.'
The Fourth examines what it is, which conjli"frisej-'Delicaty7« Writing.- And enquires into the Char afters os several Greek and Roman Authors, so sar as relates to the Subjefif os thisEflay; in which Respect*, Virgil is allowed' to haw greatly surpassed Homer. This opens the Way to some Observations upon the Court os Augustas, and the Advances, which were made in Elegance and Politeness, under the Injluence os that accomplished Prince.
The Fifth is a Dissertation 'upon the Rifr-AarCd Progress ss Refinement iti the Language, Compositions, and Manners os the English Nation. ^ The Sixth considers those Qualities, which constitute Delicacy in a Public Speaker; and to what Degree it seems to have risen in this Country— whether the Flowers os antient Rhetoric and Elocution, ire preserable to plain good Sense and Argument; beyond-which Point, the English Eloquence // said scarce to aspire. This Conversation ir closed with some Rejlexions upon the Power os fine Language; which is compared to that os Music, and shewn to be, in some Respects, similar, in the Efsects it produces.
The Seventh treats os that Faculty in the Art os Fainting, which is called Grace, and points out . 1 A .::''.-H:Vv 1 , .i'J't:' tbofi those Masters, who have been most dijtinguiped by
The Four succeeding Dialogues exhibit the Character as an accomplished Gentleman, and display his Condutl in the various Scenes os Lise and Conversation ; shewing, at the same Time, that. the trues} and highest Rejinement consists in the Purity of Morals; and that Virtue. is the most illustrious Ornament os Human Nature.
In Contrast to.this.Representation os Elegante andSanctity os Manners, is exhibited the View os an imfiure and uncultivated Demeatior; that the Beauty: e/ the one, and the Desormity os the other may. ap* pear in a stronger Point os Light, by the Neighbourhood os itscontrary Character..
"The Next- Dialogue touches upon the peculiar Charms c/"Fema!e Elegance, and shews with what a. superior LuflreDz.L\c Acy manifests itsels in that Sex, which< is• tempered with a purer Flame, and sormed withi.a quicker-Sensibility, and higher Relisbos every-.Ornamentand Grace.
The Last Conversation recommends the sarther Cultivation os this Accomplishment, and enquires whether the Advances,. we have made in it,,are equal to. those os a. neighbouring Nation; and, is not, te what Causes tile Difference may be ascribed..
The Essay ends with a Dissertation on those Deities, which- were said, by the Ancients, to be the Source os all that it amiable and pleasing*, to dispense Justness os Taste, Love os Beauty, and that Happiness os Manner, which adorns and[ enlivens Merit, and is a proper Attendant upon <SenseÆ/Mf Learning.: Eor whid Reason tbeyjusualfy represcnttd tht Graces tetbt. Train.of the God of Wisdom. A N