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tion and particular exertion of those which we poffefs. But we must not go out of our way, for the work before us furnishes many subjects of remark.

The nature of the emotions of fublimity and beauty are connected, in our author's opinion, with the imagination, that power of the mind, which, from an idea excited, will wander through others, connected more or lefs intimately with it; which will involve and recombine ideas formerly entertained; or when morbid, will pursue trains little connected with the vifible object, and, by an incongruous mixture, form a new world of monsters of its own creation. But by mixing ima gination with our emotions of pleasure from beautiful objects, we fufpect that Mr. Alison has confused the subject. We may certainly receive pleasure from a beautiful fcene, a well executed painting, or a charming object, without pursuing the emotions excited. If he would change the pofition, and enquire into the fource of our pleasures from thefe objects, we would allow that it was a very proper subject of confideration. But we may certainly be pleased with an object in itself either as beautiful, or feel an awful terror from a scene, as it is sublime, without pursuing the collateral ideas fuggested by the imagination. Yet if we allow our author's pofition, we must own that he has illustrated it with fingular skill and great beauty. We shall first select one of his cooler representations, in which we perceive the exertions of the principle which we would ftrictly call taste.

When we fit down to appreciate the value of a poem, or of a painting, and attend minutely to the language or compofition of the one, or to the colouring or defign of the other, we feel no longer the delight which they at firft produce. Our imagination in this employment is restrained, and instead of yielding to its fuggeftions, we ftudioufly endeavoured to refift them by fixing our attention upon minute and partial circumstances of the compofition. How much this operation of mind tends to diminish our fenfe of its beauty, every one will feel, who atends to his own thoughts on fuch an occafion, or who will recollect how different was his ftate of mind, when he first felt the beauty either of the painting or the poem. It is this chiefly, which makes it fo difficult for young people, poffeffed of imagination, to judge of the merits of any poem or fable, and which induces them fo often to give their approbation to compofitions of little value. It is not, that they are incapable of learning in what the merits of fuch compofitions confift, for thefe principles of judgment are neither numerous nor abftrufe. It is not, that greater experience produces greater fenfibility, for this every thing contradicts; but it is, becaufe every thing, in that period of life, is able to excite their imaginations, and to move their hearts, because they judge of the compofition, not by its merits, when

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compared with other works, or by its approach to any abstract or ideal standard, but by its effect in agitating their imaginations, and leading them into that fairy land, in which the fancy of youth has fo much delight to wander. It is their own imagination, which has the charm, which they attribute to the work, that excites it; and the fimpleft tale, or the pooreft novel, is, at that time, as capable of Awakening it, as afterwards the cloquence of Virgil or Rouleau.'


The mentioning Virgil is a little unfortunate, fince he is an author whofe beauties are probably difcovered better in this cool compaffionate criticifm, than thofe of any other. But the critic who, like Johnfon, would examine in this way the odes of Gray or of Akenfide, we fhould fufpect capable of attempting to meafure infinity with his rule, or to calculate eternity with his pen. When Mr. Alifon purfues his fyftem, he lofes fight of tafte, and wanders into the region of imagination; and when they produce fuch remarks as the following, we forgive the wandering and even rejoice in the offence.

The effect which is thus produced, by affociations, in increafing the emotions of fublimity or beauty, is produced alfo, either in nature, or in defeription, by what are generally termed picturefque objects. Inftances of fuch objects are familiar to every one's obfervation. An old tower in the middle of a deep wood, a bridge flung across a chafm between rocks, a cottage on a precipice are common examples. If I am not mistaken, the effect which fuch objects have on every one's mind, is to fuggest an additional train of conceptions, befide what the scene or defcription itself would have fuggefted; for it is very obvious, that no objects are remarked as picturefque, which do not firike the imagination by themfelves. They are, in general, fuch circumstances as coincide, but are not neceffarily connected with the character of the fcene or defcription, and which at first affecting the mind with an emotion of furprife, produce afterwards an increafed or additional train of imagery. The effect of fuch objects, in increafing the emotions either of beauty or fublimity, will probably be obvious from the following inftances.

The beauty of funfet, in a fine autumnal evening, feems almoft incapable of addition from any circumftance. The various and radiant colouring of the clouds, the foft light of the fun, that gives fo rich a glow to every object on which it fails, the dark fhades with which it is contrafled, and the calm and deep repofe that feems to steal over univerfal nature, form altogether a fcene, which ferves perhaps better than any other in the world, to fatiate the imagination with delight yet there is no man who does not know how great an addition this fine fcene is capable of receiving from the circumftance of the evening bell. In what, however, does the effect of this moft picturefque circumflance confifl? Is it not in the additional images which are thus


fuggefted to the imagination? images indeed of melancholy and fadness, but which fill are pleasing, and which ferve moít wonderfully to accord with that folemn and pensive fate of mind, which is almost irrefiftibly produced by this charming scene.

The fublime is increafed in the fame manner, by the addition of picturefque objects. The ftriking image with which Virgil concludes the defcription of the prodigies which attended the death of Cæfar, is well known:

• Scilicet et tempus veniet cum finibus illis
Agricola, iucurvo terram molitus aratro,
Exefa inveniet fcabrà rubigine pila :

Aut gravibus raftris, g leas pulfabit inanes,
Grandiaque effofis mirabitur ofla fepulchris.

There are few paffages more fublime in the Pharfalia of Lucan, than the description in the third book, of one of Pompey's armies, blocked up by Cæfar in a part of the country where there was no water, ant where the foldiers were perishing with thirft. After defcribing very minutely, the fruitless attempts of the army to obtain relief, and the miferable expedients with which they endeavoured to fupply their wants, he proceeds in the following nervous and beautiful lines, of which, I am perfuaded, the last circumstance is too ftriking to require any com


O fortunati, fugiens quos barbarus hoftis,
Fontibus immittos itravit per rura veneno.
Hos licet in fluvios faniem, tabemque ferarum
Pallida, Dictæis, Cæfar, nafcentia faxis
Infundas aconita palam, Romana juventus
Non decepta bibet.-torrentur vifcera flamma
Oraque ficca rigent fquamolis afpera linguis;
Jam marcent venæ, nulloque humore rigatus
Aëris a ternos anguftat Pulmo meatus,
Refciffoqus.ocent fufpiria dura palato.
Pandant ofa fiti, nocturnumque aëra captant.
Expectant imbres, quorum modo cuncta natabant
Impulfu, et ficcis vultus in nubibus hærent.
Quoque magis miferos undæ jejunia folvant
Non; fuper arentem Meroen, Cancrique fub axe
Qua nudi Garamantes arant, federe, fed inter
Stagnantem Sicorim et rapidum, deprenfus Iberum
Spectat vicinos, fitiens exercitus, amnes.'

We are forry that we have not room for any more.

In defcribing the emotions of the mind in confequence of affociation, the author shows that those adventitious circumftances fhould be feparated from, instead of being connected with tafte. He involuntarily acknowledges, p. 16. that the fcenes themselves may be little beautiful, but they borrow their influence from affociation, from an affociation with objects where tafte is not concerned.

In pursuance, therefore, of the author's plan, which is to confider the effects produced by objects of beauty and fublimity, he proceeds to investigate the nature of those trains of thought which are produced by fuch objects and attended either with pleasure or with awe: and the difference, he thinks, in their being ideas of emotion, and the law by which their fucceffion is regulated, appears to be that of a natural uniform connexion. He concludes, that the effect produced on the mind by objects of taste may be confidered as confifting in the production of a regular confiftent train of ideas of emotion.' In thefe difcuffions again, we conftantly feel the difference of our opinions refpecting tafte, which may originally be referred to the word enjoy' in the definition. Mr. Alison thinks it abfurd to fay, that an object indifferent or uninteresting can be beautiful or fublime; or, in other words, excite emotions of tafte. A well-proportioned column or building, the ftatue of the Apollo Belvidere, the Farnefe Hercules, may be objects of tafte, and may be pronounced beautiful; but, independent of the excellence of their proportions, we do not fee how the affections are engaged so as to make them interefting, or how they excite emotions beyond those which arise from the eye not being offended by a disproportioned part or an unpleafing attitude. The man of tafte may examine every part coolly without forfeiting, we think, his pretenfions to this quality. But let us fee how the author efcapes from this difficulty.

There is no production of tafte whatever, which has not many qualities of a very indifferent kind; and there can be no doubt, both that we have it in our power to make any of these qualities the object of our attention, and that we very often do fo, without regarding any of thofe qualities of emotion upon which its beauty or its fublimity is founded: in fuch cafes, I believe every one has felt, that the effect upon his mind correfponds to the quality he confiders.

It is difficult, for instance, to enumerate the various qualities which may produce the emotion of beauty, in the statues of the Venus de Medicis, or the Apollo Belvidere; yet it is undoubtedly poffible for any man to fee these mafter-pieces of statuary, and yet feel no emotion of beauty. The delicacy, the modefty, the timidity of the one, the grace, the dignity, the majefty of the other, and in both, the inimitable art with which thefe characters are expreffed, are, in general, the qualities which firft exprefs themfelves upon the imagination of the fpectator; yet the man of the best taste may afterwards fee them, without thinking of any fuch expreffions. He may obferve their dimenfions, he may ftudy their proportions, he may attend to the particular ftate of their prefervation, the hiftory of their discovery, or even the nature of the marble of which

they are made. All these are as truly qualities of these ftatues, as their majefty or their grace, and may certainly, at par ticular times, happen to engage their attention of the man of the most refined taste. That in fuch cafes, no emotion of beauty would be felt, and that before it could be felt, it would be neceffary for the fpectator to withdraw his mind from the confider.. ation of fuch unaffecting qualities, is too obvious to require any illustration.'

Mr. Alison appears ftill conftant to his pofition, though we think his fubject is a much more general and extenfive one than tafte. But as we have fufficiently elucidated his fyftem and our own, we may now be permitted to ftep on a little fafter. Perhaps it would be unjust to conclude our account of this Effay without noticing that excellent fection where Mr. Alifon treats of the neceffity of our emotions being uniform, not diftracted by uninterefting fubjects, languid, adventitious, or difgufting circumftances, infipid, profaic, or vulgar language. It contains much good, and if not occafionally too faftidious, elegant and judicious criticifm.

If our emotions of beauty and fublimity arife from a regular confiftent train of ideas of emotion, and the emotions of taste arife only from a fimple emotion, or from objects capable of exciting fuch a fimple emotion, a difficulty occurs whofe folution is the object of the second effay, viz. what is the fource of the fublimity and beauty of the material world? The author endeavours to show, that not matter, but the qualities of matter are the objects of our emotions; and that with each quality we have fome pleafing and affecting affociation, which is the fole cause of the emotions of fublimity and beauty. The qualities of matter, Mr. Alison obferves, are not to be confidered as fublime and beautiful in themselves; but as either fublime or beautiful, from their being the figns or expreffions of qualities capable of producing emotion.' It was a doctrine of the Peripatetics, revived by fome later authors, that matter is not beautiful in itself, but derives its beauty from the expreffion of mind. Perhaps if the words expreffion of' were omitted, the pofition would be ftri&tly true; and, in other words, it might be faid that beauty of matter was a fecondary quality without exiftence, except relatively to the mind, which perceives and appreciates it. Our author, in his refinement, comes very near to this idea, when he concludes that the beauty and fublimity of the qualities of matter arise from their being the figns or expreffions of fuch qualities as are filled by the conftitution of our nature to produce emotion.'-But we must defer the farther confideration of this fubject for the prefent; it would render our article to extenfive.

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