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plainly is, that authors and architects, who cannot reach the higher beauties, endeavor to supply want of geni is by multiplying those that are inferior.

183. These things premised, I proceed to examine the beauty of figure as arising from the above-mentioned particulars, namely, regularity, uniformity, proportion, order, and simplicity. To inquire why an object, by means of the particulars mentioned, appears beautiful, would, I am afraid, be a vain attempt: it seems the most probable opinion, that the nature of man was originally framed with a relish for them, in order to answer wise and good purposes. To explain these purposes or final causes, though a subject of great importance, has scarce been attempted by any writer. One thing is evident, that our relish for the particulars mentioned, adds much beauty to the objects that surround us, which of course tends to our happiness; and the Author of our nature has given many signal proofs that this final cause is not below his care. We may be confirmed in this thought upon reflecting, that our taste for these particulars is not accidental, but uniform and universal, making a branch of our nature. At the same time, it ought not to be overlooked, that regularity, uniformity, order, and simplicity, contribute each of them to readiness of apprehension; enabling us to form more distinct images of objects than can be done with the utmost attention where these particulars are not found. With respect to proportion, it is in some instances connected with a useful end, as in animals, where the best proportioned are the strongest and most active; but instances are still more numerous, where the proportions we relish have no connection with utility. Writers on architecture insist much on the proportions of a column, and assign different proportions to the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian; but no architect will maintain, that the most accurate proportions contribute more to use, than several that are less accurate and less agreeable; neither will it be maintained, that the length, breadth, and height of rooms, assigned as the most beautiful proportions, tend also to make them the more commodious. With respect then to the final cause of proportion, I see not more to be made of it but to rest upon the final cause first mentioned, namely, its contributing to our happiness, by increasing the beauty of visible objects.*

*[Some remarks of Cousin throw considerable light on this subject:

"Symmetry and order are beautiful things, and at the same time are useful things, because they economize space, because objects symmetrically disposed are casier to find when one wants them; but that is not what makes for us the beauty of symmetry, for we immediately seize this kind of beauty, and it is often late enough before we recognize the utility that is found in it. It even sometimes happens, that after having admired the beauty of an object, we are

182. Reasons for simplicity in works of art.-Additional reason for it in works of dignity and elevation.-Why profuse decoration prevails in works of art

183. Why an object appears beautiful, on account of its regularity, uniformity, &c. What beneficial purposes are answered by the relish we naturally have for these particulars.-Cousin's remarks

184. And now with respect to the beauty of figure, as far as it depends on the other circumstances mentioned; as to which, having room only for a slight specimen, I confine myself to the simplest figures. A circle and a square are each of them perfectly regular, being equally confined to a precise form, which admits not the slightest variation; a square, however, less beautiful than a circle. And the reason seems to be, that the attention is divided among the sides and angles of a square; whereas the circumference of a circle, being a single object, makes one entire impression. And this simplicity contributes to beauty, which may be illustrated by another example: a square, though not more regular than a hexagon or octagon, is more beautiful than either; for what other reason, but that a square is more simple, and the attention less divided? This reasoning will appear still more conclusive, when we consider any regular polygon of very many sides; for of this figure the mind can never have any distinct perception.

A square is more regular than a parallelogram, and its parts more uniform; and for these reasons it is more beautiful. But that holds with respect to intrinsic beauty only; for in many instances utility turns the scale on the side of the parallelogram: this figure, for the doors and windows of a dwelling-house, is preferred, because of utility; and here we find the beauty of utility prevailing over that of regularity and uniformity.

A parallelogram again depends, for its beauty, on the proportion of its sides a great inequality of sides annihilates its beauty; approximation towards equality hath the same effect, for proportion there degenerates into imperfect uniformity, and the figure appears an unsuccessful attempt towards a square; and thus proportion contributes to beauty.

185. An equilateral triangle yields not to a square in regularity nor in uniformity of parts, and it is more simple. But an equilateral

not able to divine its use, although it may have one. The useful is, then, entirely different from the beautiful, far from being its foundation.

"A celebrated and very ancient theory makes the beautiful consist in the perfect suitableness of means to their end. Here the beautiful is no longer the useful; it is the suitable. These two ideas must be distinguished. A machine produces excellent effects, economy of time, work, &c.; it is therefore useful. If, morcover, examining its construction, I find that each piece is in its place, and that all are skilfully disposed for the result which they should produce; ven without regarding the utility of this result, as the means are well adapted to their end, I judge that there is suitableness in it. We are already approaching the idea of the beautiful; for we are no longer considering what is useful, but what is proper. Now we have not yet attained the true character of beauty; there are, in fact, objects very well adapted to their end, which we do not call beautiful: There is here always this difference between suitableness and utility, that an object to be beautiful has no need of being useful, but that it is not beautiful if it does not possess suitableness, if there is in it a disagreement between the end and the means."-Lect. VII. p. 141. Appleton's Ed.]

184. Beauty of a circle and square compared.-Con parison of a square with a hexa

gou,

&c.

triangle is less beautiful than a square, which must be owing to inferiority of order in the position of its parts: the sides of an equilateral triangle incline to each other in the same angle, being the most perfect order they are susceptible of; but this order is obscure, and far from being so perfect as the parallelism of the sides of a square. Thus order contributes to the beauty of visible objects, no less than simplicity, regularity, or proportion.

A parallelogram exceeds an equilateral triangle in the orderly disposition of its parts; but being inferior in uniformity and simplicity, it is less beautiful.

186. Uniformity is singular in one capital circumstance, that it is apt to disgust by excess: a number of things destined for the same use, such as windows, chairs, spoons, buttons, cannot be too uniform; for supposing their figure to be good, utility requires uniformity: but a scrupulous uniformity of parts in a large garden or field, is far from being agreeable. Uniformity among connected objects belongs not to the present subject; it is handled in the chapter of uniformity and variety.

In all the works of nature, simplicity makes an illustrious figure. It also makes a figure in works of art: profuse ornament in painting, gardening, or architecture, as well as in dress or in language, shows a mean or corrupted taste:

Poets, like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
The naked nature and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
Pope's Essay on Criticism.

187. No single property recommends a machine more than its simplicity; not solely for better answering its purpose, but by appearing in itself more beautiful. Simplicity in behavior and manners has an enchanting effect, and never fails to gain our affection: very different are the artificial manners of modern times. General theorems, abstracting from their importance, are delightful by their simplicity, and by the easiness of their application to variety of cases. We take equal delight in the laws of motion, which, with the greatest simplicity, are boundless in their operations.

188. A gradual progress from simplicity to complex forms and profuse ornament, seems to be the fate of all the fine arts: in that progress these arts resemble behavior, which, from original candor and simplicity, has degenerated into artificial refinements. At present, literary productions are crowded with words, epithets, figures: in music, sentiment is neglected for the luxury of harmony, and for difficult movement: in taste, properly so called, poignant sauces,

185. An equilateral triangle compared with a square, and with a parallelogram. 186. When uniformity disgusts, and when it pleases.-Simplicity it. the works of na ture, and of art.

187. Simplicity in manners; in general theorems; in laws of motion.

with complicated mixtures of different savors, prevail among people of condition: the French, accustomed to artificial red on a female cheek, think the modest coloring of nature altogether insipid.

The same tendency is discovered in the progress of the fine arts among the ancients. Some vestiges of the old Grecian buildings prove them to be of the Doric order: the Ionic succeeded, and seems to have been the favorite order, while architecture was in the height of glory the Corinthian came next in vogue; and in Greece the buildings of that order appear mostly to have been erected after the Romans got footing there. At last came the Composite, with all its extravagances, where simplicity is sacrificed to finery and crowded

:

ornament.

But what taste is to prevail next? for fashion is a continual flux, and taste must vary with it. After rich and profuse ornaments become familiar, simplicity appears lifeless and insipid; which would be an insurmountable obstruction, should any person of genius and taste endeavor to restore ancient simplicity.

189. The distinction between primary and secondary qualities in matter, seems now fully established. Heat and cold, smell and taste, though seeming to exist in bodies, are discovered to be effects caused by these bodies in a sensitive being: color, which appears to the eye as spread upon a substance, has no existence but in the mind of the spectator.* Qualities of that kind, which owe their existence to the percipient as much as to the object, are termed secondary qualities, and are distinguished from figure, extension, solidity, which, in contradistinction to the former, are termed primary qualities, because they inhere in subjects, whether perceived or not. This distinction suggests a curious inquiry, whether beauty be a primary or only a secondary quality of objects? The question is easily determined with respect to the beauty of color; for, if color be a secondary quality, existing nowhere but in the mind of the spectator, its beauty must exist there also. This conclusion equally holds with respect to the beauty of utility, which is plainly a conception of the mind, arising not from sight, but from reflecting that the thing is fitted for some good end or purpose. The question is more intricate with re

[Dr. James Beattie takes a more just and enlarged view of this topic, in saying: "Colors inhere not in the colored body, but in the light that falls upon it; and a body presents to our eye that color which predominates in the rays of light reflected by it; and different bodies reflect different sorts of rays, according to the texture and consistency of their minute parts. Now the component parts of bodies, and the rays of light, are not in the mind; and therefore colors, as well as bodies, are things external; and the word color denotes always an external thing, and never a sensation in the mind."

Again, he justly remarks: "We perceive colors and figures by the eye; we also perceive that some colors and figures are beautiful, and others not. This power of perceiving beauty, which the brutes have not, though they see as well as we, I call a secondary sense."]

188. Progrs from simplicity to complex forms and profuse ornament, illustrated in arts, cond et, literary style, &c. Also, among the ancients, in architecture.

spect to the beauty of regularity; for, if regularity be a primary quality, why not also its beauty? That this is not a good inference, will appear from considering, that beauty, in its very conception, refers to a percipient; for an object is said to be beautiful, for no other reason but that it appears so to a spectator: the same piece of matter that to a man appears beautiful, may possibly appear ugly to a being of a different species. Beauty, therefore, which for its existence depends on the percipient as much as on the object perceived, cannot be an inherent property in either. And hence it is wittily observed by the poet, that beauty is not in the person beloved, but in the lover's eye.

190. This reasoning is solid; and the only cause of doubt or hesitation is, that we are taught a different lesson by sense: a singular determination of nature makes us perceive both beauty and color as belonging to the object, and, like figure or extension, as inherent properties. This mechanism is uncommon; and when nature, to fulfil her intention, prefers any singular method of operation, we may be certain of some final cause that cannot be reached by ordinary means. For the beauty of some objects we are indebted entirely to nature; but, with respect to the endless variety of objects that owe their beauty to art and culture, the perception of beauty greatly promotes industry; being to us a strong additional incitement to enrich our fields, and improve our manufactures. These however are but slight effects, compared with the connections that are formed among individuals in society by means of this singular mechanism: the qualifications of the head and heart form undoubtedly the most solid and most permanent connections; but external beauty, which lies more in view, has a more extensive influence in forming these connections; at any rate, it concurs in an eminent degree with mental qualifications to produce social intercourse, mutual good-will, and consequently mutual aid and support, which are the life of society.

[That which in the smallest compass exhibits the greatest variety of beauty, is a fine human face. The features are of various sizes and forms; the corresponding ones exactly uniform; and each has that shape, size, position, and proportion, which is most convenient. Here too is the greatest beauty of colors, which are blended, varied, and disposed with marvellous delicacy. But the chief beauty of the countenance arises from its expression, of sagacity, good-nature, cheerfulness, modesty, and other moral and intellectual virtues. Without such expression, no face can be truly beautiful, and with it, none can be really ugly. Human beauty, therefore, at least that of the face, is not merely a corporeal quality; but derives its origin

189. Do heat and cold, smell, taste, and color, exist in material bodies?-Dr. Beattie's remarks on color.-Secondary qualities and primary distinguished. Whether beauty is a primary or secondary quality of bodies.-What is said of beauty of color; of beauty of utility; of beauty of regularity.-What beauty, in its very conception, refers to.

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