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tion when applied to the beauty of them but the names of the differ: objects, or to any of those qualities ent objects to which they belong. that are perceived by a good taste. “ As there is such diverfity in
“ But though some of the qua- the kinds of beauty as well as in lities that please a good taste refem- the degrees, we need not think it ble the secondary qualities of body, strange that philosophers have gone and therefore may be called occult into different systems in analysing it, qualities, as we only feel their ef- and enumerating its fimple ingrefect, and have no more knowledge dients. They have made many just of the cause, but that it is some- observations on the subject; but, thing which is adapted by nature to from the love of fimplicity, have produce that effect; this is not al. reduced it to fewer principles than ways the case.
the nature of the thing will permit, « Our judgment of beauty is in having had in their eye fome parti. many cases more enlightened. A cular kinds of beauty, while they work of art may appear beautiful overlooked others. to the most ignorant, even to a “ There are moral beauties as child. It pleases, but he knows well as natural; beauties in the obnot why. To one who understands jects of sensc, and in intellectual it perfectly, and perceives how e. objects ; in the works of men, and very part is fitted with exact judge' in the works of God; in things inment to its end, the beauty is not animate, in brute animals, and in mysterious ; it is perfectly compre- rational beings ; in the constitution hended; and he knows wherein ir of the body of man, and in the conconfifts, as well as how it affects ftitution of his mind. There is no him.
real excellence which has not its “ 2. We may observe, that, beauty to a discerning eye, when though all the tattes we perceive by placed in a proper point of view ; the palate are either agreeable, or and it is as difficult to enumerate disagreeable, or indifferent ; yet, a• the ingredients of beauty as the inmong those that are agreeable, there gredients of real excellence. is great diversity, net in degree “ 3. The taste of the palate may only, but in kind. And as we have be accounted most just and perfect, not generical names for all the dif- when we relish the things that are ferent kinds of taite, we distinguish fit for the nourishment of the body, them by the bodies in which they and are disgusted with things of a are found,
contrary nature. The manifest in“ In like manner, all the objects tention of nature in giving us this of our internal tatte are either beau- sense, is, that we may discern what tiful, or disagreeable, or indifferent; it is fit for us to eat and to drink, vet of beauty there is a great diver- and what it is not. Brute animals fity, not only of degree, but of kind: are directed in the choice of their the beauty of a demontiration, the food merely by their taste. Led by beauty of a poem, the beauty of a this guide, they chuse the food that palace, the beauty of a piece of mu- nature intended for them, and sellic, the beauty of a fine woman, dom make mistakes, unless they be and many more that might be nam- pinched by hunger, or deceived by ed, are different kinds of beauty; artificial compositions. In infants and we have no names to distinguish likewise the taite is commonly found
and uncorrupted, and of the fim- of whale-oil, and a Canadian can ple productions of nature they re- feast upon a dog. A Kamsharka. lith the things that are molt whole- dale lives upon putrid fish, and is fome.
sometimes reduced to eat the bark “ In like manner, our internal of trees. The taste of rum, or of taste ought to be accounted most green tea, is at first as nauseous as just and perfect, when we are pleased that of ipecacuan, to fome persons, with things that are most e.cellent who may be brought by uie to re. in their kind, and displeased with lifh what they once found fo diia. the contrary. The intention of na- greeable. ture is no less evident in this inter- " When we fee such variéties in nal taste than in the external. Every the tale of the palate produced by excellence has a real beauty and custom and affociations, and some charm that makes it an agreeable perhaps by contitution, we may be object to those who have the faculty the leis surprised that the fame of discerning its beauty; and this causes hould produce like varieties faculty is what we call a good taste. in the talie of beauty; that the
“ A man, who, by any disorder African should eleem thick lips and in his mental powers, or by bad a flat noie; that other nations ilould habits, has contracted a relish for draw out their ears, till the hang what has no real excellence, or over their woulders ; that in one what is deformed and defective, has nation ladies fould paint their faces, a depraved taste, like one who finds and in another thould make them a more agreeable relish in ashes or line with grease. cinders than in the most wholesome 5: Those who conceive that food. As we must acknowledge the there is no liandard in nature by taste of the palate to be depraved in which talle may be regulated, and this case, there is the same reason to that the common proverb, that think the taste of the mind depraved there ought to be no difpute about in the other,
tatte, is to be taken in the utmot “ There is therefore a just and latitude, go upon fender and iniuf. rational taste, and there is a de- ficient ground. The fame argu, praved and corrupted talle. For itments inight be used with equal is too evident, tliat, by bad educa. force again it any liandard of truth, tion, bad habits, and wrong affoci- " Whole nations by the force of ations, men may acquire a relish for prejudice are brought to believe the naltiness, for rudenels, and ill breed grufieft absurdities; and why should ing, and for many other deformi- it be thought that the taite is iets ties. To say that such a tale is capable of being perverted than the not vitiated, is no less absurd than judgment? It must indeed be acto say, that the fickly girl who de- know'edged, that men differ more lights in eating charcoal and to- in the faculty of ta 'e than in what bacco-pipes, has as jutt and natural we commonly call judgment; and a taste as when she is in perfect therefore it may be expected that health.
they thould be more liable to have 4.
The force of cusom, of their taste corrupted in matters of fancy, and of casual associations, is beauty and deformity, than their very great both upon the external judgment in matters of truth and and internal taste, An Etkimaux, error. can regalę himself with a draught " If we make due allowance for this, we shall see that it is as easy merely a feeling in the person that to account for the variety of tastes, perceives it, find themselves under though there be in nature a stand- a neceffity of expressing themselves, ard of true beauty, and consequent. as if beauty were solely a quality of ly of good taste; as it is to account the object, and not of the percifor the variety and contrariety of pient. opinions, though there be in nature - No reason can be given why. a standard of truth, and confequent- all mankind should express theinly of right judgment.
felves thus, but that they believe " 6. Nay, if we speak accurate- what they say. It is therefore conly and strictly, we shall find, that, trary to the univerfil sense of manin every operation of tafle, there is kind, expreffed by their language, judgment implied.
that beauty is not really in the ob“ When a man pronounces a ject, but is merely a feeling in the poem or a palace to be beautiful, he person who is said to perceive it. affirms fomething of that poem or Philofophers showid be very cauthaf palace; and every attirination tious in opposing the common sense or denial expresses judgment. For of mankind; for, when they do, we cannot better define judgment, they rarely miss going wrong. than by saying that it is an affirma- * Our judgment of beauty is not tion or denial of one thing concern. indeed a dry and unaffecting judge ing another. I had occasion to show, ment, like that of a mathematical when treating of judgment, that it or metaphysical truth. By the conis implied in every perception of ftitution of our nature, it is accoinour external sentes. There is an panied with an agreeable feeling or immediate conviction and belief of emotion, for which we have no the existence of the quality per- other name but the sense of beauty. ceived, whether it be colour, or This sense of beauty, like the persound, or figure; and the same ceptions of our other sentes, im. thing holds in the perception of plies not only a feeling, but an opibeauty or deformity:
nion of fomne quality in the object “ if it be faid that the percep- which occasions that feeling, tion of beauty is merely a feeling “ In objects that please the taste, in the mind that perceives, with we always judge that there is some ou: any belief of excellence in the real excellence, some superiority to object, the neceffary confequence those that do not please. In some of this opinion is, that when I say cases, that superior excellence is diVirgil's Georgics is a beautiful stinctly perceived, and can be pointpoem, I mean not to say any thing ed out; in other cases, we have of the poem, but only something only a general notion of some exconcerning myself and my feelings. cellence which we cannot describe. Why should I use a language that Beauties of the former kind may be expresses the contrary of what I compared to the primary qualities mean?
perceived by the external senses ; “ My language, according to the those of the latter kind, to the reneceffary rules of construction, can condary. bear no orher meaning but this, " 7. Beauty or deformity in an that there is something in the poem, object, results from its nature or and not in me, which I call beauty. structure. To perceive the beauty, Even those who hold beauty to be therefore, we must perceive the na
ture or structure from which it re- the beauty cannot be perceived una sults. In this the internal fenfe less the object be perceived by some differs from the external. Our ex. other power of the mind. Thus ternal fenfes may discover qualities the sense of harmony and melody which do not depend upon any an. in sounds supposes the external tecedent perception. Thus I can fense of hearing, and is a kind of hear the found of a bell, though I fecondary to it. A man born deaf never perceived any thing else be. may be a good judge of beauties of longing to it. But it is impoflible another kind, but can have no noto perceive the beauty of an objeet rion of melody or harmony. The without perceiving the object, or like may be laid of beauties in coat least conceiving it. On this ac. louring and in figure, which can count, Dr. Hutcheson called the never be perceived without the senses of beauty and harmony re- fenses by which colour and figure fix or secondary senses; because are perceived.”
EXTRACT from. Dr. BARNES's ESSAY on the NATURE and
ESSENTIAL CHARACTERS of POETRY, as diftinguished from PROSE.
[From the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Man,
7 HEREIN confills the ef- turally lead to the same idea ; for
sence of poetry,” is a it seems to imply, that labour and question, which it will not be 10 ingenuity, the necessary compa caly to answer, as may at firit be nions of art, must be employed in imagined. Different authors have poetic composition. But certainly, given very different definitions, it has the nearest affinity to science Some have denominated it, “ The of any other art ; for all its excelart of expreling our thoughts by lence confiits, in its presenting scifiction.” 'Others have imagined its ence in a peculiar and engaging eflence to lie, in " The power of dress. An art, by which science is initation :" and others again, in aslifted, and sentiment exalted; by « The art of giving pleasure." But which the imagination is elevated, it is evident, that fiction, imitation, the heart delighted, and the nobleit and pleasure, are not the properties paffions of the human soul expreffof poetry alone. “Profaic compo. ed, improved, and heightened, will fition may contain the most ingeni: appear important enough, to have ous fables. It may present the most its boundaries exactly drawn, and striking resemblances. It may in the liinits ascertained, which divide pire the invit sensible delight. it from its humble neighbour. Or,
• Poetry has been generally'de if this be not possible, to have its nominated an art. Horace, if he general and larger characteristics himself gave the title to his own clearly represented. celebrated and admirable poem, has " What is it, then, which con: characterized it under that name. stitutes the poetic effence, and dif. Fne term itself (Mongos) would na, tinguishes it from profe? Is it mc
tre?--Or is it something entirely Lowth, the metre or rhythm has different ; sublimity of sentiment, not been exactly ascertained; and boldness of figure, grandeur of de- probably will not, because it does scription, or embellishment of ima- not exist
. The harmony of numgination ? Let us attend to the ar- bers, of which every ear must be guments, which may be offered on sensible, arifes purely from the nabehalf of both thcfe hypotheses. tive impulse of a soul, inspired with
" The characteristic nature of sentiments which it could not por. poetry, it may be faid, consists, in fibly express in any language but elevation of thought, in imagery, what was fervid and poetical. in ornament."
“ By this theory, it may be said, • For, have there not been real we account for the common remark, poems formed, without the shackle that the original language of manof regular verse? Poems, which kind was poetical : because, in the none, but a faftidious critic, would infancy of the world, every thing fcruple a moment to honour with would naturally excite admiration, that name? Is not Telemachus a and vehement paffion. Their rude noble epic poem? For who would and imperfect speech would bear dare to degrade it to a lower cha- inscribed upon it, the stamp of racter? Who would refuse the af- strong and animated feeling. It pellation to the Death of Abel, would resemble the harangues of which those, who understand the Indian orators, at this day, whose German language, speak of with so speeches are accompanied with tones much rapture? Or to the Incas and gestures, which, to a cultivated of Marmontel, which the French European, appear extravagantly celebrate, with equal enthusiasm of pompous. Their lives were full of praise !
danger and variety. New scenes “ Does not elevation of senti. were continually opening upon ment "produce modulation of lan- them. Growing arts and Sciences guage? The soul, inspired with were presenting new objects of cugreat ideas, naturally treads with a riolity. Hence, their feelings were lofty step. There is a dignity in amazingly intense.
And hence, all her movements. She declaims, their language was bold, and poctiwith a measured, folemn, majestic cally sublime. Longinus, in the utterance. Her style is fonorous, fragment of a treatise, which is un. and swelling. These attributes in- happily lost, has this sentiment. dicate; these constitute the poet." Measure belongs properly to . They give strength and feeling to poetry, as it perfonates the passions, his compofitions. Where these are and their language ; it uses fiction found, who would look for any and fable, which naturally produce higher claims, before he would con numbers and harmony." fer the palm of poetic honours? " It may be added, in support Where these are wanting, what o. of this definition, " That our own ther prope, ties could give even the inimitable poet, than whom none fhadow of a title? 'Who would seems more to have enjoyed the inrefuse the title of bard, to the great spiration of the Muse, describes the master of Hebrew song? For what poet, as chiefly distinguished by the can be more truly sublime, or po. fervour of imagination. He does etical, than many of the Psalms of not, indeed, assign him the mof hoDavid? And yet, after the inge. nourable company'; but he makes nious labours of the learned Dr. ample amends, by a description of