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to accompany our more fenfual delights, but, like a gentle exercife to the faculties, awaken them from floth and idlenefs, without putting them upon any labour or difficulty.
There are few words in the English language which are employed in a more loose and uncircumfcribed fenfe than thofe of the Fancy and the Imagination. I therefore thought it neceffary to fix and determine the notion of thefe two words, as I intend to make use of them in the thread of my following fpeculations, that the reader may conceive rightly what is the subject which I proceed upon. I must therefore defire him to remember that, by the pleafures of the imagination, I mean only fuch pleasures as arife originally from fight, and that I divide thefe pleafures into two kinds; my defign being first of all to difcourfe of thofe primary pleafures of the imagination, which entirely proceed from fuch objects as are before our eyes; and in the the next place to speak of thofe fecondary pleafures of the imagination which flow from the ideas of visible objects, when the objects are not actually before the eye, but are called up into our memories, or formed into agreeable vifions of things that are either abfent or fictitious,
We might here add, that the pleasures of the fancy are more conducive to health, than thofe of the understanding, which are worked out by dint of thinking, and attended with too violent a labour of the brain. Delightful scenes, whether in nature, painting, or poetry, have a kindly influence on the body, as well as the mind, and not only ferve to clear and brighten the imagination, but are able to difperfe grief and melancholy, and to fet the animal fpirits in pleafing and agreeable motions. For this reafon Sir Francis Bacon, in his Effay upon Health, has not thought it improper to prefcribe to his reader a poem or a profpect, where he particularly dif fuades him from knotty and fubtle difquifitions, and advifes him to pursue ftudies that fill the mind with fplendid and illuftrious objects, as hiftories, fables, and contemplations of nature.
I have in this paper, by way of introduction, fettled the notion of thofe pleasures of the imagination which are the subject of my prefent undertaking, and endeavoured, by feveral confiderations, to recommend to my reader the purfuit of thofe pleasures. I fhall, in my next paper, examine the feveral fources from whence thefe pleasures are derived.
The pleasures of the imagination, taken in the full extent, are not fo grofs as those of sense, nor fo refined as thofe of the understanding. The laft are, indeed, more preferable, because they are founded on fome new knowledge or improvement in the mind of man; yet it must be confessed that those of the imagination are as great and tranfporting as the other. A beautiful profpect delights the foul, as much as a demonftration; and a defcription in Homer has charmed more readers than a chapter in Ariftotle. Be- N° 412. MONDAY, JUNE 23. fides, the pleasures of the imagination have this advantage, above those of the understanding, that they are more obvious, and more eafy to be acquired. It is but opening the eye and the scene enters. The colours paint themselves on the fancy, with very little attention of thought or application of mind in the beholder. We are ftruck, we know not how, with the fymmetry of any thing we fee, and immediately affent to the beauty of an object, without enquiring into the particular caufes and occafions of it.
A man of a polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures that the vulgar are not capable of receiving. He can converfe with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue, He meets with a fecret refreshment in a defcription, and often feels a greater fatisfaction in the profpect of fields and meadows, than another dces in the poffeffion. It gives him indeed, a kind of property in every thing he fees, and makes the most rude uncultivated parts of nature administer to his pleasures: fo that he looks upon the world, as it were in another light, and difcovers in it a multitude of charms, that conceal themselves from the generality of mankind.
There are indeed, but very few who know how to be idle and innocent, or have a relish of any pleasures that are not criminal; every diverfion they take is at the expence of fome one virtue or another, and their very first step out of bufinefs is into vice or folly. A man fhould endeavour, therefore, to make the fphere of his innocent pleafures as wide as poffible, that he may retire into them with fafety, and find in them fuch a fatisfaction as a wife man would not blush to take. Of this nature are thofe of the imagination, which do not require fuch a bent of thought as is neceffary to our more ferious employments, nor, at the fame time, fuffer the mind to fink into that negligence and remiffness, which are apt
-Divifum fic breve fiet opus.
MART. Ep. 83. lib. 4. The work, divided aptly, fhorter grows.
Shall firft confider thofe pleasures of the imagination, which arife from the actual view and furvey of outward objects; and thefe, I think, all proceed from the fight of what is great, uncommon, or beautiful. There may, indeed, be fomething fo terrible or offenfive, that the horror or loathfomnefs of any object may overbear the pleasure which results from its greatnefs, novelty, or beauty; but ftill there will be fuch a mixture of delight in the very difguft it gives us, as any of these three qualifications are moft confpicuous and prevailing.
By greatnefs, I do not only mean the bulk of any fingle object, but the largeness of a whole view, confidered as one entire picce. Such are the profpects of an open champaign country, a vaft uncultivated defart, of huge heaps of mountains, high rocks and precipices, or a wide expanfe of waters, where we are not ftruck with the novelty or beauty of the fight, but with that rude kind of magnificence which appears in many of thefe ftupendous works of nature. Our imagination loves to be filled with an object, or to grafp at any thing that is too big for its capacity, We are flung into a pleafing aftonishment at fuch unbounded views, and feel a delightful ftillness and amazement in the foul at the apprehenfions of them, The mind of man naturally hates every thing that looks like a restraint upon it, and is apt to fancy itself under a fort of confinement, when the fight is pent up in a narrow compafs, and hortened on every fide by the neighbourhood of walls or mountains. On the contrary, a spacious horizon is an image of liPa berty,
berty, where the eye has room to range abroad, to expatiate at large on the immenfity of its views, and to lose itself amidst the variety of objects that offer themselves to its obfervation. Such wide and undetermined profpects are as pleafing to the fancy, as the fpeculations of eternity or infinitude are to the understanding. But if there be a beauty or uncommonnefs joined with this grandeur, as in the troubled ocean, a heaven adorned with stars and meteors, or a fpacious landskip cut out into rivers, woods, rocks, and meadows, the pleasure ftill grows upon us, as it arifes from more than a single principle.
Every thing that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the foul with an agreeable furprize, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before poffeffed. We are indeed fo often converfant with one fet of objects, and tired out with so many repeated shows of the fame things, that whatever is new or uncommon contributes a little to vary human life, and to divert our minds, for a while, with the ftrangeness of its appearance: it ferves us for a kind of refreshment, and takes off from that fatiety we are apt to complain of in our ufual and ordinary entertainments. It is this that beftows charms on a
monster, and makes even the imperfections of nature please us. It is this that recommends variety, where the mind is every instant called off to fomething new, and the attention not fuffered to dwell too long, and wafte itself on any particular object. It is this, likewife, that improves what is great or beautiful, and makes it afford the
mind a double entertainment. Groves, fields, and
meadows, are at any feafon of the year pleafant to look upon, but never fo much as in the opening of the fpring, when they are all new and fresh, with their firft glofs upon them, and not yet too much accustomed and familiar to the eye. For this reafon there is nothing that more enlivens a profpect than rivers, jetteaus, or falls of water, where the scene is perpetually shifting, and entertaining the fight every moment with fomething that is new. We are quickly tired with looking upon hills and valleys, where every thing continues fixt and fettled in the fame place and posture, but find our thoughts a little agitated and relieved at the fight of fuch objects as are ever in motion, and sliding away from beneath the eye of the beholder.
his courtship by the single grain or tincture of a feather, and never difcovering any charms but in the colour of its species.
But there is nothing that makes its way more directly to the foul than beauty, which immediately diffufes a fecret fatisfaction and complacency through the imagination, and gives a finishing to any thing that is great or uncommon. The very first discovery of it strikes the mind with an inward joy, and (preads a chearfulness and delight through all its faculties. There is not perhaps any real beauty or deformity more in one piece of matter than another, because we might have been fo made, that whatfoever now appears loathfome to us, might have fhewn itself agreeable; but we find by experience, that there are feveral modifications of matter, which the mind, without any previous confideration, pronounces at first fight beautiful or deformed. Thus we fee, that every different fpecies of fenfible creatures has its different notions of beauty, and that each of them is moft affected with the beauties of its own kind. This is no where more remarkable than in birds of the fame shape and proportion, where we often fee the male determined in
Scit thalamo fervare fidem, sanctasque veretur Connubii leges; non illum in pectore candor Sollicitat niveus; neque pravum accendit amorem Splendida lanugo, vel honefta in vertice crifta, Purpureufve nitor pennarum; eft agmina latè Faminea explorat cautus, maculafque requirit Cognatas, paribufque interlita corpora guttis: Ni faceret, pictis fylvam circum undique monftris Confufam afpiceres Vulgò, partufque biformes, Et genus ambiguum, & veneris monumenta nefandæ. Hinc Merula in nigro fe oblectat nigra marito, Hinc focium lafciva petit philomela canorum, Agnofcitque pares fonitus, bine noctua tetram Canitiem alarum, & glaucos miratur ocellos. Nempe fibi semper conftat, crefcitque quotannis 'Lucida progenies, caftos confessa parentes; Dum virides inter faltus lucofque fonoros Sere novo exultat, plumafque decora juventus Explicat ad folem, patrifque coloribus ardet. The feather'd husband, to his partner true, Preferves connubial rites inviolate. The milky whiteness of the stately neck, With cold indifference every charm he fees, The fhining down, proud creft and purple wings: But cautious with a fearching eye explores The female tribes, his proper mate to find, With kindred colours mark'd: did he not fo, The grove with painted monsters would abound, Th' ambiguous product of unnatural love. The black-bird hence felects her footy spouse : Lur'd by the well-known voice: the bird of night, The nightingale her mufical compeer, Smit with the dusky wings and greenish eyes, Wooes his dun paramour. The beauteous race Speak the chafte loves of their progenitors; When, by the spring invited, they exult In woods and fields, and to the fun unfold Their plumes, that with paternal colours glow.
There is a fecond kind of beauty that we find in the feveral products of art and nature, which does not work in the imagination with that warmth and violence as the beauty that appears in our proper fpecies, but is apt however to raise in us a fecret delight, and a kind of fondness for the places or objects in which we discover it. This confifts either in the gaiety or variety of colours, in the fymmetry and proportion of parts, in the arrangement and difpofition of bodies, or in a juft mixture and concurrence of all together. Among these several kinds of beauty the eye takes moft delight in colours. We no where meet with a more glorious or pleafing fhow in nature, than what appears in the heavens at the rifing and setting of the fun, which is wholly made up of thofe different ftains of light that show themselves in clouds of a different situation. For this reason we find the poets, who are always addreffing themfelves to the imagination, borrowing more of their epithets from colours than from any other topic.
As the fancy delights in every thing that is great, ftrange or beautiful, and is ftill more pleafed the more it finds of these perfections in the fame object, fo it is capable of receiving a new fatisfaction by the affiftance of another sense. Thus any continued found, as the music of birds, or a fall of water, awakens every moment the mind of the beholder, and makes him more attentive to the feveral beauties of the place that lie before
before him. Thus if there arifes a fragrancy of fmells or perfumes, they heighten the pleasures of the imagination, and make even the colours and verdure of the landskip appear more agreeable; for the ideas of both fenfes recommend each other, and are pleafanter together, than when they enter the mind feparately: as the different colours of a picture, when they are well difpofed, fet off one another, and receive an additional beauty from the advantage of their fituation.
N° 413. TUESDAY, JUNE 24.
Final caufes lie more bare and open to our ob..
fervation, as there are often a greater variety that belong to the fame effect; and thefe, though they are not altogether fo fatisfactory, are generally more ufeful than the other, as they give us greater occafion of admiring the goodness and wisdom
of the first contriver.
One of the final caufes of our delight in any thing that is great, may be this. The Supreme Author of our Being has fo formed the foul of man, that nothing but himself can be its laft, adequate and proper happiness. Because, therefore, a great part of our happiness muft arife from the contemplation of his Being, that he might give our fouls a juft relish of fuch a contemplation, he has made them naturally delight in the apprehenfion of what is great or unlimited. Our admiration, which is a very pleasing motion of the mind, immediately rifes at the confideration of any object that takes up a great deal of room in the fancy, and, by confequence, will improve into the highest pitch of aftonish ment and devotion when we contemplate his nature, that is neither circumfcribed by time nor
place, nor to be comprehended by the largest capacity of a created Being.
He has annexed a fecret pleasure to the idea of any thing that is new or uncommon, that he might encourage us in the purfuit after knowledge, and engage us to fearch into the wonders of his creation; for every new idea brings fuch a pleasure along with it as rewards any pains we have taken in its acquifition, and confequently ferves as a motive to put us upon fresh difcoveries.
He has made every thing that is beautiful in our own fpecies' pleafant, that all creatures
may be tempted to multiply their kind, and fill the world with inhabitants; for it is very remarkable that wherever nature is croft in the productions of a monfter (the refult of any unnatural mixture) the breed is incapable of propagating its likencfs, and of founding a new order of creatures; fo that unless all animals were allured by the beauty of their own fpecies, generation would be at an end, and the earth unpeopled.
In the last place, he has made every thing that is beautiful in all other objects pleafant, or rather has made fo many objects appear beautiful, that he might render the whole creation more gay and delightful. He has given almoft every thing about us the power of raifing an agreeable idea in the imagination: fo that it is impoffible for us to behold his works with coldness or indifference, and to furvey fo many beauties without a fecret fatisfaction and complacency. Things would make but a poor appearance to the eye, if we faw them only in their proper figures and motions; and what reafon can we affign for their exciting in us many of those ideas which are different from any thing that exifts in the objects themfelves, (for fuch are fight and colours), were it not to add fupernumerary ornaments to the univerfe, and make it more agreeable to the imagination? We are every where enterta ned with pleafing flows and apparitions, we discover imaginary glory in the heavens, and in the earth, and fee fome of this vifionary beauty poured out upon the whole creation; but what a rough unfightly sketch of nature fhould we be entertained with, did all her colouring disappear, and the several diftinctions of light and fhade vanish? In hort, our fouls are at prefent delightfully loft and bewildered in a pleafing delufion, and we walk about like the enchanted heroe in a ro
mance, who fees beautiful caftles, woods and meadows; and at the fame time hears the warbling of birds, and the purling of streams; but upon the finishing of fome fecret fpell, the fantaftic scene breaks up, and the difconfolate knight finds himself on a barren heath, or in a folitary defart. It is not improbable that fomething like this may be the ftate of the foul after its first separation, in respect of the images it will receive from matter, though indeed the ideas of colours are so pleasing and beautiful in the imagination, that it is poffible the foul will not be deprived of them, but perhaps find them excited by fo.ne other occafional caufe, as they are at prefent by the different impreffions of the fubtle matter on the organ of fight.
I have here fuppofed that my reader is acquainted with that great modern difcovery, which is at prefent univerfally acknowledged by all the enquirers into natural philosophy: namely, that light and colours, as apprehended by the imagination, are only ideas in the mind, and not qualities that have any exiftence in matter. As this is a truth wh ch has been proved in contestibly by many modern philofophers, and is indeed one of the fineft fpeculations in that science, if the English reader would see the notion explained at large, he may find it in the eighth chapter of the fecond book of Mr. Locke's Effay on Human Understanding.
N° 414. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25. -Alterius fic Altera pofcit opem res, & conjurat amicé. HOR. Ars. Poet. v. 411. But mutually they need each other's help. ROSCOMMON. F we confider the works of nature and art, as they are qualified to entertain the imagination, we shall find the last very defective, in comparison of the former; for though they may fometimes appear as beautiful or ftrange, they can have nothing in them of that vaftnefs and immenfity, which afford fo great an entertainment to the mind of the beholder. The one may be as polite and delicate as the other, but can never fhew herfelf fo auguft and magnificent in the defign. There is fomething more bold and masterly in the rough careless strokes of nature,
than in the nice touches and embellishments of art. The beauties of the moft ftately garden or palace lie in a narrow compafs, the imagination immediately runs them over, and requires fomething elfe to gratify her; but in the wild fields of nature, the fight wanders up and down witheut confinement, and is fed with an infinite variety of images, without any certain ftint or number. For this reafon we always find the poet in love with the country life, where nature appears in the greatest perfection, and furnishes out all thofe fcenes that are most apt to delight the imagination. Scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus, & fugit urbes HOR. Ep. 2, 1. 2. V. 77. -To grottos and to groves we run, To eafe and filence ev'ry Muse's fon. Hic fecura quies, & nefcia fallere vita, Dives opum var arum; hic latis otia fundis, Spelunca, viv que lacus; hic frigida Tempe, Mugitufque bom, mellefque fub arbore fomni. VIRG. Georg. 2. v. 467.
Here eafy quiet, a fecure retreat,
And fhady groves that eafy fleep invite,
If the products of nature rife in value according as they more or less resemble those of art, we may be fure that artificial works receive a greater advantage from their resemblance of fuch as are natural; because here the fimilitude is not only pleasant, but the pattern more perfect. The prettiest landskip I ever saw, was one drawn fite on one fide to a navigable river, and on the on the walls of a dark room, which stood oppoother to a park. The experiment is very common in optics. Here you might difcover the waves and fluctuations of the water in ftrong and proper colours, with the picture of a hip entering at one end, and failing by degrees through the whole piece. On another there appeared the green fhadows of trees, waving to and fro with the wind, and herds of deer among them muft confefs, the novelty of fuch a fight may be in miniature, leaping about upon the wall. I one occafion of its pleafantnefs to the imagination; but certainly the chief reafon is its near refemblance to nature, as it does not only, like other pictures, give the colour and figure, but the motion of the thing it represents.
rally in nature fomething more grand and auguft, We have before obferved, that there is genethan what we meet with in the curiofities of art. When, therefore, we fee this imitated in any meafure, it gives us a nobler and more exalted nicer and more accurate productions of art. On kind of pleasure, than what we receive from the this account our English gardens are not fo entertaining to the fancy as thofe in France and Italy, where we fee a large extent of ground covered over with an agreeable mixture of garden and foreft, which reprefent every where an artificial rudeness, much more charming than that neatnefs and elegancy which we meet with in thofe of our own country. It might, indeed, be of ill confequence to the public, as well as unprofitable to private perfons, to alienate fo much ground from pafturage, and the plough, in many parts of a country that is fo well peopled, and cultivated to a far greater advantage. But why may not a whole eftate be thrown into a kind of a garden by frequent plantations, that may turn as much to the profit, as the pleasure of the owner? A marth overgrown with willows, or a mountain fhaded with oaks, are not only more beautiful, but more beneficial, than when they lie bare and unadorned. Fields of corn make a pleasant profpe&t, and if the walks were a little taken care of that lie between them, if the natural embroidery of the meadows were helped and improved by fome fmall additions of art, and the feveral rows of hedges fet off by trees and flowers, that the foil was capable of receiving, a man might make a pretty landskip of his own poffeffions.
But though there are feveral of thefe wild fcenes, that are more delightful than any artificial fhows; yet we find the works of nature still more pleafant the more they refemble thofe of art for in this cafe our pleasure rifes from a double principle; from the agreeablenefs of the objects to the eye, and from their fimilitude to other objects: we are pleafed as well with comparing their beauties, as with furveying them, and can reprefent them to our minds, either as copies or originals. Hence it is that we take delight in a profpect which is well laid out, and diverfified with fields and meadows, woods and rivers; in thofe accidental landskips of trees, clouds and cities, that are fometimes found in the veins of marble; in the curious fret-work of rocks and grottos; and in a word, in any thing that hath fuch a variety or regularity as may feem the effect of defign in what we call the works of chance.
Writers, who have given us an account of China, tell us the inhabitants of that country laugh at the plantations of our Europeans, which are laid out by the rule and line; because they fay, any one may place trees in equal rows and uniform figures. They choofe rather to fhew a genius in works of this nature, and therefore always conceal the art by which they direct themfelves. They have a word, it feems, in their language, by which they exprefs the particular beauty of a plantation that thus ftrikes the imagination at first fight, without difcovering what it is that has fo agreeable an effect. Our British gardeners, on the contrary, instead of humour
ing nature, love to deviate from it as much as poffible. Our trees rife in cones, globes, and pyramids. We fee the marks of the fciffars upon every plant and bufh. I do not know whether I am fingular in my opinion, but, for my own part, I would rather look upon a tree in all its luxuriancy and diffusion of boughs and branches, than when it is thus cut and trimmed into a mathematical figure; and cannot but fancy that an orchard in flower looks infinitely more delightful, than all the little labyrinths of the most finished parterre. But, as our great modellers of gardens have their magazines of plants to difpofe of, it is very natural for them to tear up all the beautiful plantations of fruit-trees, and contrive a plan that may moft turn to their own profit, in taking off their evergreens, and the like moveable plants, with which their shops are plentifully stocked. O
N° 415. THURSDAY, JUNE 26.
éver fince. The earth was extremely fruitful,
DRYDEN. ́AVING already fhewn how the fancy is affected by the works of nature, and afterwards confidered in general both the works of nature and of art, how they mutually affift and complete each other in forming fuch fcenes and profpects as are most apt to delight the mind of the beholder, I shall in this paper throw together fome reflexions on that particular art, which has a more immediate tendency, than any other, to produce thofe primary pleasures of the imagi"nation, which have hitherto been the fubject of this difcourfe. The art I mean is that of architecture, which I fhall confider only with regard to the light in which the foregoing speculations have placed it, without entering into thofe rules and maxims which the great mafters of architecture have laid down, and explained at large in -numberless treatises upon that subject.
Greatness, in the works of architecture, may be confidered as relating to the bulk and body of the structure, or to the manner in which it is built. As for the first, we find the ancients, efpecially among the eastern nations of the world, infinitely fuperior to the moderns.
Not to mention the tower of Babel, of which an old author fays, there were the foundations -to be feen in his time, which looked like a spacious mountain; what could be more noble than -the walls of Babylon, its hanging gardens, and its temple to Jupiter Belus, that rofe a mile high by eight feveral ftories, each story a furlong in height, and on the top of which was the Babylonian obfervatory. I might here, likewife, take notice of the huge rock that was cut into the figure of Semiramis, with the smaller rocks that lay by it in the fhape of tributary kings; the prodigious bafon, or artificial lake, which took in the whole Euphrates, till fuch time as a new canal was formed for its reception, with the feveral trenches through which that river was conveyed. I know there are perfons who look upon fome of thefe wonders of art as fabulous, but I cannot find any ground for such a fufpicion, unlefs it be that we have no fuch works among us at prefent. There were indeed many greater advantages for building in those times, and in that part of the world, than have been met with
In Egypt we still fee their pyramids, which answer to the descriptions that have been made of them; and I queftion not but a traveller might find out fome remains of the labyrinth that covered a whole province, and had a hundred temples difpofed among its feveral quarters and divifions.
The wall of China is one of these eastern pieces of magnificence, which makes a figure even in the map of the world, although an account of it would have been thought fabulous, were not the wall itself still extant.
We are obliged to devotion for the noblet buildings that have adorned the feveral countries of the world. It is this which has fet men at work on temples and public places of worship, not only that they might, by the magnificence of the building, invite the deity to refide within it, but that fuch ftupendous works might, at the fame time, open the mind to vaft conceptions, and fit it to converfe with the divinity of the place. For every thing that is majestic imprints an awfulness and reverence on the mind of the beholder, and ftrikes it with the natural greatness of the foul.
In the fecond place, we are to confider greatnefs of manner in architecture, which has fuch force upon the imagination, that a small build. ing, where it appears, fhall give the mind nolber ideas than one of twenty times the bulk, where the manner is ordinary or little. Thus, perhaps, a man would have been more astonished with the majestic air that appeared in one of Lyfippus's ftatues of Alexander, though no bigger than the life, than he might have been with mount Athos, had it been cut into the figure of the hero, according to the propofal of Phidias, with a river in one hand, and a city in the other.
Let any one reflect on the difpofition of mind he finds in himself, at his firft entrance into the Pantheon at Rome, and how the imagination is filled with fomething great and amazing; and, at the fame time, confider how little, in proportion, he is affected with the infide of a Gothic cathedral, though it be five times larger than the other; which can arife from nothing elfe but the greatnefs of the manner in the one, and the meanness in the other.