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deed dictates this lesson : but reason alone is not fufficient in a matter of such importance; and the appetite mentioned is a motive more powerful than reason, to be active in gaining esteem and affection. This appetite, at the same time, is finely adjusted to the moral branch of our constitution, by promoting all the moral virtues : for what means are there to attract love and esteem, so effectual as a virtuous course of life? if a man be just and beneficent, if he be temperate, modest, and prudent, he will infallibly gain the esteem and love of all who know himn.
The communication of passion to related objects, is an illustrious instance of the care of Providence, to extend social connections as far as the limited nature of man can admit. This communication is so far hurtful, as to spread the malevolent passions beyond their natural bounds : but let it be remarked, that this unhappy effect regards savages only, who give way to malevolent passions; for under the discipline of society, these passions being subdued, are in a good measure eradicated ; and in their place succeed the kindly affections, which, meeting with all encouragement, take possession of the mind, and govern our whole actions.
In this condition, the progress of passion along related objects, by spreading the kindly affections through a multitude of individuals, hath a glorious effect.
Nothing can be more entertaining to a rational mind, than the economy of the human passions,
of which I have attempted to give some faint notion. It must however be acknowledged, that our passions, when they happen to swell beyond proper limits, take on a less regular appearance : reason may proclaim our duty, but the Will, influenced by passion, makes gratification always welcome. Hence the power of passion, which, when in excefs, cannot be resisted but by the utmost fortitude of mind : it is bent upon gratification; and where proper objects are wanting, it clings to any object at hand without distinction. Thus joy inspired by a fortunate event, is diffused upon every person around by acts of benevolence; and resentment for an atrocious injury done by one out of reach, seizes the first object that occurs to vent itself upon. Those who believe in prophecies, even with the accomplishment; and a weak mind is disposed voluntarily to fulfil a prophecy, in order to gratify its wish. Shakespear, whom no particle of human nature hath escaped, however remote from common obfervation, describes this weakness:
K. Henry. Doth any name particular belong
Warwick. Tis calld Jerusalem, my Noble Lord.
But bear me to that chamber, there I'll lie :
Second part, Henry IV. act 4. fc. lajt.
I could not deny myself the amusement of the foregoing observation, though it doth not properly come under my plan. The irregularities of passion proceeding from peculiar weakneiles and biasses, I do not undertake to justify; and of these we have had many examples *. It is fufficient that passions common to all, and as generally exerted, are made fubfcrvient to beneficial purposes. I shall only observe, that in a polished society, instances of irregular passions are rare, and that their mischief doth not extend far.
* Part 5. of the present chapter,
Aving discoursed in general of emotions and passions, I proceed to a more nare
row infpection of some particulars, that serve to unfold the principles of the fine arts. It is the province of a writer upon ethics, to give a full enumeration of all the passions; and of each separately to assign the nature, the cause, the gratification, and the effects. But a treatise
a of ethics is not my province : I carry my view no farther than to the elements of criticism, in order to show, that the fine arts are a subject of reasoning as well as of taste. An extensive work would ill suit a design fo limited; and to confine this
; work within moderate bounds, the following plan may contribute. The observation made above, that things are the causes of emotions, by means of their properties and attributes*, furnisheth a hint for distribution. Instead of a painful and tedious examination of the several passions and emotions, I propose to confine my inquiries to such attributes, relations, and circumstances, as in the fine arts are chiefly employ'd to raise agreeable emotions. Attributes of single objects,
* Chap. 2. part 1. sect. 1. first note.
as the most simple, shall take the lead; to be followed with particulars, which, depending on relations, are not found in single objects. Difpatching next some coincident matters, I proceed to my chief aim; which is, to establish practical rules for the fine arts, derived from principles previously established. This is a general view of the intended method; reserving however a privilege to vary it in particular instances, where a different method may be more commodious. I begin with beauty, the most noted of all the qualities that belong to single objects.
The term beauty, in its native signification, is appropriated to objects of sight : objects of the other senses may be agreeable, such as the sounds of musical instruments, the smoothness and softness of some surfaces; but the agreeableness denominated beauty belongs to objects of fight.
Of all the objects of external sense, an object of fight is the most complex: in the very simplest, colour is perceived, figure, and length, breadth, and thickness. A tree is composed of a trunk, branches, and leaves; it has colour, figure, size, and sometimes motion : by means of each of these particulars, separately considered, it appears beautiful; how much more so, when they enter all into one complex perception? The beauty of the human figure is extraordinary, being a composition of numberless beauties arising from the parts and qualities of the object, various colours, yarious motions, figure, size,