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surdities are noted instances, the two emotions
of contempt and of laughter unite intimately in
the mind, and produce externally what is tern-
ed a laugh of derision or of foorn. Hence objects
that cause laughter may be distinguished into two
kinds : they are either risible or ridiculous. A
risible object is mirthful only: a ridiculous ob-
ject is both mirthful and contemptible. The .
first raises an emotion of laughter that is altoge-
ther pleasant : the emotion of laughter raised by
the other, is qualified with that of contempt ;
and the mixed emotion, partly pleasant partly
painful, is termed the emotion of ridicule. The
pain a ridiculous object gives me, is resented by
a laugh of derision. . A risible object, on the o-
ther hand, gives me no pain : it is altogether
pleafant by a certain sort of titillation, which is
expressed externally by mirthful laughter. Ridi-
cule will be more fully explained afterward : the
present chapter is appropriated to the other e-
.: Risible objects are so common, and so well un-
derstood, that it is unnecessary to consume pa-,
per or time upon them. Take the few follow-
ing examples.


Falstaff. I do remember him'at Clement's inn, like a man made after supper of a cheese-paring. When he was naked, he was for all the world like a forked radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. Second part, Henry IV. act 3. fc. 5.


R 3

The foregoing is of disproportion. The following examples are of flight or imaginary misfortunes.

Falstaff. Go fetch me a quart of fack, put a toast in't. Have I liv'd to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown into the Thames ! Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out and butter'd, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues flighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drown'd a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i' th’ litter ; and you may know by my fize, that I have a kind of alacrity in finking: if the bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drown'd, but that the shore was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abbor; for the water swells a man : and what a thing should I have been when I had been swelld? I should have been a mountain of mummy.

Merry Wives of Windfor, act 3. fc. 15.

Falstaff, Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have suffer'd to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus cramm'd in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were callid forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul cloaths to Datchet-lane. They took me on their shoulders, met the jealous knave their master in the door, who ask'd them once or twice what they had in their basket. I quak'd for fear, left the lunatic knave would have search'd it ; but Fate, or. daining he should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well, on went he for a search, and away went I for foul cloaths. But mark the sequel, Master Brook. I suffer'd the pangs of three egregious deaths: first, an into. lerable fright, to be detected by a jealous rotten bell-wea.


ther; next, to be compass'd like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then to be stopt in, like a strong distillation, with (tinking cloaths that fretted in their own grease. Think of that, a man of my kidney; think of that, that am as fubject to heat as butter; a man of continual diffolution and thaw; it was a miracle to 'scape suffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stew'd in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cool'd glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse shoc; think of that; hifting hot; think of that, Master Brook.

Merry Wives of Windfor, act 3. fc. 17


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Aving discussed those qualities and cir

cumstances of single objects that seem

peculiarly connected with criticism, we . proceed, according to the method proposed in the chapter of beauty, to the relations of objects, beginning with the relations of resemblance and disfimilitude.

The connection that man hath with the beings around him, requires some acquaintance with their nature, their powers, and their qualities, for regulating his conduct. To acquire a branch of knowledge so essential to our well-being, motives alone of reason and interest are not fufficient: nature hath providently superadded curiosity, a vigorous propensity which never is at rest. It is this propensity which attaches us to every new object *; and in particular, incites us to compare objects, in order to discover their differences and resemblances.

Resemblance among objects of the same kind, and diffimilitude among objects of different kinds, are too obvious and familiar to gratify our curio

* See chap. 6.

fity in any degree: its gratification lies in difcovering differences, among things where resemblance prevails, and in discovering resemblances where difference prevails. Thus a difference in individuals of the fame kind of plants or animals, is deemed a discovery; while the many particulars in which they agree, are neglected : and in different kinds, any resemblance is greedily remarked, without attending to the many particulars in which they differ.

A comparison however may be too far stretched. When differences or resemblances are carried beyond certain bounds, they appear flight and trivial; and for that reason, will not be relished by a man of taste: yet such propensity is there to gratify passion, curiosity in, particular, that even among good writers, we find many comparisons too light to afford satisfaction. Hence the frequent instances among logicians, of distinctions without any folid difference : and hence the frequent instances among poets and orators, of similes without any just resemblance. With regard to the latter, I shall confine myself to one instance, which will probably amuse the reader, being a citation, not from a poet nor orator, but from a grave author writing an institute of law. 66 Our ítudent shall observe, that the “ knowledge of the law is like a deep well, out l of which each man draweth according to the

strength of his understanding. He that reach“eth deepest, seeth the aniiable and admirable


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