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We need not lose time to describe the co-operation of the foregoing propensity with surprise, in producing the effect that follows any unusual resemblance or dissiinilitude. Surprise first operates, and carries our opinion of the resemblance or dissimilitude beyond truth. The propensity we have been describing carries us still farther; for it forces upon the mind a conviction that the resemblance or dissimilitude is complete. We need no better illustration, than the resemblance that is fancied in some pebbles to a tree or an insect; which resemblance, however faint in reality, is conceived to be wonderfully perfect. The tendency to complete a resemblance acting jointly with surprise, carries the mind sometimes so far, as eren to presume upon future events. In the Greek tragedy entitled Phineides, those unhappy women, seeing the place where it was intunded they should be slain, cried out with anguish, “ They now saw their cruel destiny had condemned them to die in that place, being the same where they had been exposed in their infancy." (Aristotle, Poet. cap. 17.)
The propensity to advance every thing to its perfection, not only co-operates with surprise to deceive the mind, but of itself is able to produce that effect. Of this we see many instances where there is no place for surprise ; and the first I shall give is of resemblance. Unumquodque eodem modo dissolvitur quo colligatum est, is a maxim in the Roman law that has no foundation in truth ; for tying and loosing, building and demolishing, are acts opposite to each other, and are performed by opposite means : but when these acts are connected by their relation to the same subject, their connection leads us to imagine a sort of resemblance between them, which by the foregoing propensity is conceived to be as complete as possible. The next instance shall be of contrast. Addison observes, “ That the palest features look ihe most agreeable in white; that a face which is overflushed appears to advantage in the deepest scarlet; and that a dark complexion is not a little alleviated by a black hood." (Spectator, No. 265.) The foregoing propensity serves to account for these appearances; to make which evident one of the cases shall suffice. A complexion, however daik, never approaches to black : when these colors appear together, their opposition strikes us: and the propensity we have to complete the opposition makes the darkness of complexion vanish out of sight.
958. The operation of this propensity, even where there is no ground for surprise, is not confined to opinion or conviction : so powerful it is, as to make us sometimes proceed to action, in order to complete a resemblance or dissimilitude. If this appear obscure, it will be made clear by the following instances. Upon what principle is the lex talionis foundled, other than to make the punishinent
257. Final cause of this tendency of mind.--Its co-operation with surprise to deceive the mind.--The same effect without the aid of surprise. -Maxiın of Roman law. - Iustance of contrast viveu by Addison.
resemble the mischief? Reason dictates, that there ought to be a conformity or resemblance between a crime and its punishment; and the foregoing propensity impels us to make the resemblance as complete as possible. Titus Livius, under the influence of that propensity, accounts for a certain punishment by a resemblance between it and the crime, too subtile for common apprehension. Treating of Mettus Fuffetius, the Alban general, who, for treachery to the Romans bis allies, was sentenced to be torn in pieces by horses, he puts the following speech in the mouth of Tullus Hostilius, who decreed the punishment. "Mette Fuffeti, inquit, si ipse discere posses fidem ac fædera servare, vivo tibi ea disciplina a me adbibita esset. Nunc, quoniain tuum insanabile ingenium est, at tu tuo supplicio doce humanum genus, ea sancta credere, quæ a te violata sunt. Ut igitur paulo ante animum inter Fidenatem Romanamque rem ancipitem gessisti, ita jam corpus passim distrahendum dabis." (Lib. i. sect. 28.)* By the same influence, the sentence is often executed upon the very spot where the crime was committed. In the Electra of Sophocles, Egistheus is dragged from the theatre into an inner room of the supposed palace, to suffer death where he murdered Agamemnon. Shakspeare, whose knowledge of nature is no less profound than extensive, has not overlooked this propensity:
Othello. Get me some poison, lago, this night; I'll not expostulate with her, lest her body and her beauty unprovide my inind again; this night, Iago.
Iago. Do it not with poison ; strangle her in bed, even in the bed she hath contaminated. Othello. Good, good: The justice of it pleascs : very good.
Othello, Act IV. Sc. 5.
Third Part of Henry VI. Act II. Sc. 9. Persons in their last moments are generally seized with an anxiety to be buried with their relations. In the Amynta of Tasso, the lover, hearing that his mistress was torn to pieces by a wolf
, expresses a desire to die the same death. (Act iv. Sc. 2.)
259. Upon the subject in general I have two remarks to add. The first concerns resemblance, which, when too entire, hath no effect, however different in kind the things compared may be. The
* ["Mettus Fuffetius, if you were capable of learning to preserve faith, and a regard to treaties, I should suffer you to live and supply you with instructions; but your disposition is incurable. Let your punishinent, then, teach mankind to consider those things as sacred which you have dared to violate. As, therefore, you lately kept your mind divided between the interests of the Fidenntinns and of the Romans, so shall you now have your body divided and torn in pieces.”—— Baker's Liry, B. i. sec. 28.]
259. This propensity often prompts to action; to complete a resemblarce or dissimili. tude. -Punishment of Mettus Fucetius.- Case of Egistheus; words of Othello; of Warwick.
remark is applicable to works of art only; for natural objects of different kinds have scarce ever an entire resemblance. To give an example in a work of art, marble is a sort of matter
different from what composes an animal; and marble cut into a human figure produces great pleasure by the resemblance; but, if a marble statue be colored like a picture, the resemblance is so entire, as at a distance to make the statue appear a person : we discover the mistake when we approach ; and no other emotion is raised, but surprise occasioned by the deception. The figure still appears a real person, rather than an imitation; and we must use reflection to correct the mistake. This cannot happen in a picture ; for the resemblance can never be so entire as to disguise the imitation.
The other remark relates to contrast. Emotions make the greatest figure when contrasted in succession ; but the succession ought Deither to be rapid, nor immoderately slow: if too slow, the effect of contrast becomes faint by the distance of the emotions; and if rapid, no single emotion has room to expand itself to its full size, but is stifled, as it were, in the birth, by a succeeding emotion. The funeral oration of the Bishop of Meaux, upon the Duchess of Orleans, is a perfect hodge-podge of cheerful and melancholy répresentations, following each other in the quickest succession. Opposite emotions are best felt in succession ; but each emotion separately should be raised to its due pitch, before another be introduced.
260. What is above laid down will enable us to determine a very important question concerning emotions raised by the fine arts namely, Whether ought similar emotions to succeed each other, or dissimilar? The emotions raised by the fine arts are for the most part too nearly related to make a figure by resemblance; and for that reason their succession ought to be regulated as much as possible by contrast. This holds confessedly in epic and dramatic compositions; and the best writers, led perhaps by taste more than by reasoning, have generally aimed at that beauty. It holds equally in music: in the same cantata, all the variety of emotions that are within the power of music may not only be indulged, but, to make the greatest figure, ought to be contrasted. In gardening, there is an additional reason for the rule: the emotions raised by that art are at best so faint that every artifice should be employed to give them their utmost vigor. A field may be laid out in grand, sweet, gay, neat, wild, melancholy scenes; and when these are viewed in succession, grandeur ought to be contrasted with neatness, regularity with wildness, and gayety with melancholy, so as that each emotion may succeed its opposite : nay, it is an improvement to intermix in the succession rude uncultivated spots as well as unbounded views, which in themselves are disagreeable, but in succession heighten the
259. Remark concerning resemblance. Example.-Remark concerning contrast.--Rale for the succession of emotions in contrast.
feeling of the agreeable objects; and we have nature for our guide, which, in her most beautiful landscapes, often intermixes rugged rocks, dirty marshes, and barren stony heaths. The greatest masters of music have the same view in their compositions: the second part of an Italian song seldom conveys any sentiment; and, by its harshDess, seems purposely contrived to give a greater relish for the interesting parts of the composition.
261. A small garden comprehended under a single view, affords little opportunity for that embellishment. Dissimilar emotious require different tones of mind, and therefore in conjunction can never be pleasant (see chapter ii
. part iv.): gayety and sweetness may be combined, or wildness and gloominess, but a composition of gayety and gloominess is distasteful. The rude uncultivated compartment of furze and broom in Richmond garden hath a good effect in the succession of objects; but a spot of that nature would be insufferable in the midst of a polished parterre or flower-pot. A garden, therefore, if not of great extent, admits not dissimilar emotions; and in ornamenting a small garden, the safest course is to confine it to a single expression. For the same reason a landscape ought also to be confined to a single expression; and accordingly it is a rule in painting that, if the subject be gay, every figure ought to contribute to that emotion.
It follows from the foregoing train of reasoning that a garden near a great city ought to have an air of solitude. The solitariness again of a waste country ought to be contrasted in forming a garden; no temples, no obscure walks; but jets d'eau, cascades, objects active, gay, and splendid. Nay, such a garden should in some measure avoid imitating nature by taking on an extraordinary appearance of regularity and art, to show the busy hand of man, which, in a waste country, has a fine effect by contrast.
262. It may be gathered from what is said above (chapter ii. part iv.), that wit and ridicule make not an agreeable mixture with grandeur. Dissimilar emotions have a fine effect in a slow succession; but in a rapid succession, which approaches to coexistence, they will not be relished: in the midst of a labored and elevated description of a battle, Virgil introduces a ludicrous image, which is curtainly out of its place. (Eneid, vii. 298.)
It would, however, be too austere to banish altogether ludicrous images from an epic poem. In its more familiar tones a ludicrous scene many be introduced without impropriety. This is done by Virgil in a foot-race (Æn. lib. v.); the circumstances of which, not excepting the ludicrous part, ale copied from Homer. (Iliad, Book xxiii. 1. 789.) After a fit of merriment we are, it is true, the
260. Onght similar or dissinilar emotions (raised by the fine arts) to succeed cach other! -Succession by contrast suught by epic and ruinatie writers; by composers of music: by vardeners.-I alian songs
201. Emotions proper to be excited in embellishing a large compared with a smalı gar deu.- A garden in a city; in a solitary regiuil
less disposed to the serious and sublime; but then a ludicrous scene, by unbending the mind from serere application to more interesting subjects, may prevent fatigue and preserve our relish entire.
UNIFORMITY AND VARIETY.
263. The necessary succession of perceptions may be exainined in two different views; one with respet to order and connection, and one with respect to uniformity and variety. In the first view it is handled above (chapter i.), and I now proceed to the second. The world we inhabit is replete with things no less remarkable for their variety than for their number; these, unfolded by the wonderful mechanism of external sense, furnish the wind with many perceptions, which, joined with ideas of memory, of imagination, and of reflection, form a complete train that has not a gap or interval. This train of perceptions and ideas depends very little on will. The mind, as has been observed (Locke, Book ii. chap. 14), is so constituted “ that it can by no effort break off the succession of its ideas, nor keep its attention long fixed upon the same object:" we can arrest a perception in its course; we can shorten its natural duration to make room for another; we can vary the succession by change of place or of amusement; and we can in some measure prevent variety by frequently recalling the same object after short intervals; but still there must be a succession and a change from one perception to another. By artificial means the succession may be retarded or accelerated, may be rendered more various or more uniform, but in one shape or another is unavoidable.
264. The train, even when left to its ordinary course, is not always uniform in its motion; there are natural causes that accelerate or retard it considerably. The first I shall mention is a peculiar constitution of mind. One man is distinguished from another by no circumstance more remarkably than his train of perceptions: to a cold languid temper belongs a slow course of perceptions, which occasions a dullness of apprehension and sluggishness in action; to a warm temper, on the contrary, belongs a quick course of perceptious, which occasions quickness of apprehension and activity in business. The Asiatic nations, the Chinese especially, are observed
262. Wit and ridicule with respect to granilenir.-- Remarks on Virgil.
263. How the necessary succession of perceptions may be eximined.-How our train of perceptions and ideas is acquired. Whether it depends on the will; and how far.-80 cossion and change of ideas unavoidable.