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That this attribute is agreeable, no person doubts. As

grace is display'd externally, it must be an object of one or other of our five senses. That it is an object of sight, every man of taste can bear witness; and that it is confined to that sense, appears from induction ; for it is not an object of smell, nor of tafte, nor of touch. Is it an object of hearing? Some music inleed is termed

graceful; but this expression is metaphorical, as when we say of other music that it is beautiful: the latter metaphor, at the same time, is more sweet and easy; which shews how little applicable to music or to found the former is, when taken in its proper sense.

That it is an attribute of man, is beyond difpute. But of what other beings is it also an attribute? We perceive at first sight, that nothing inanimate is intitled to that epithet. What other animal then, beside man, is intitled ? Surely, not an elephant, and not even a lion. A horse may have a delicate shape with a lofty mien, and all his motions may be exquisite; but he is never said to be graceful. Beauty and grandeur are common to man with some other beings : but dignity is not apply'd to any being inferior to man; and upon the, strictest examination, the fame appears to hold in grace.

Confining then grace to man, the next inquiry is, whether like beauty it make a constant appearance, or in some circumstances only. Does

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No man appears

a perfon display this attribute at rest as well as in motion, asleep as when awake? It is undoubtedly connected with motion; for when the most graceful person is at rest, neither moving nor fpeaking, we lofe fight of that quality as much as of colour in the dark. Grace then is an agreeable attribute, inseparable from motion as opposed to rest, and as comprehending speech, looks, geftures, and loco-motion.

As some motions are homely, the opposite to graceful, the next inquiry is, with what motions is this attribute connected. graceful in a mask; and therefore, laying aside the expressions of the countenance, the other motions may be genteel, but of themselves never are graceful. A motion adjusted in the most perfect manner to answer its end, is elegant; but still somewhat more is required to complete our idea of grace or gracefulness.

What this unknown more may be, is the nice point. One thing is clear from what is said, that this more must arise from the expressions of the countenance : and from what expressions so naturally as from those which indicate mental qualities, such as sweetness, benevolence, elevation, dignity? This promises to be a fair analysis; because of all objects mental qualities affect us the most; and the impression made by graceful appearance upon every spectator of taste, is too deep for any cause purely corporeal. . The next step is, to examine what are the men

tal

tal qualities, that in conjunction with elegance of motion, produce a graceful appearance. Sweetness, chearfulness; affability, sense, are not separately sufficient, nor even in conjunction. As it appears to me, dignity alone with elegant motion may produce a graceful appearance; but still more graceful, with the aid of other qualities, those especially that are the most exalted.

But this is not all. The most exalted virtues may be the lot of a person whose countenance has little expression : such a person cannot be graceful. Therefore to produce this appearance, we muit add another circumstance, viz. an expreffive countenance, displaying to every spectator of taste, with life and energy, every thing that passes in the mind.

Collecting these circumstances together, grace may be defined, that agreeable appearance which arises from elegance of motion and from a countenance expreffive of dignity. The expression of any other mental quality, is not essential to this appearance, but they heighten it greatly.

Of all external objects, a graceful person is the most agreeable.

Dancing affords great opportunity for displaying grace, and haranguing still more.

I conclude with the following reflection, that in vain will a person attempt to be graceful, who is deficient in amiable qualities. A man, it is true, may form an idea of qualities he is

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destitute of; and, by means of that idea, may endeavour to express these qualities by looks and gestures: but such studied expression, will be too faint and obscure to be graceful,

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350

C H A P.

XII

RIDICUL E.

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His subject has puzzled and vexed all the

critics. Aristotle's definition of ridi

cule, is obscure and imperfect *. Cicero handles it at great length †; but without giving any fatisfaction: he wanders in the dark, and misses the distinction between risible and ridiculous. Quintilian is sensible of this distinction ; ; but has not attempted to explain it. Luckily this subject lies no longer in obfcurity : a risible object produceth an emotion of laughter merely il : a ridiculous object is improper as well as risible; and produceth a mixt emotion, which is vented by a laugh of derision or fcorn **.

Having therefore happily unravelled the knotty part, I proceed to what may be thought further necessary upon this subject.

Burlesque, though a great engine of ridicule, is not confined to that subject; for it is clearly distinguishable into burlesque that excites laughter merely, and burlesque that provokes derision

* Poet. cap. 5.

+ L. 2. De oratore. | Ideoque anceps ejus rei ratio est, quod a derifu non procul abcft risus. Lib. 6. cap. 3. $ 1. See chap. 7.

** See chap. 10.

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