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an uneasy feeling, which is prevented by putting the colors at a greater distance from each other, either of place or of time. A number of voices in a crowded assembly, a number of animals collected in a market, produce an unpleasant feeling;, though a few of them together, or all of them in a moderate succession, would be pleasant. And because of the same excess in variety, a number of pains felt in different parts of the body, at the same instant or in a rapid succession, are an exquisite torture.

272. It is occasionally observed above, that persons of a phleg. matic temperament, having a sluggish gram of perceptions, are indisposed to action; and that activity et astantly wccompanies a brisk flow of perceptions. To ascertain thar fact, a man need not go abroad for experiments : reflecting on things passing in his own mind, he will find that a brisk circulation of thought constantly prompts him to action; and that he is averse to action when his perceptions languish in their course. But as a man by nature is formed for action, and must be active in order to be happy, nature hath kindly provided against indolence, by annexing pleasure to a moderate course of perceptions, and by making any remarkable retardation painful. A slow course of perceptions is attended with another bad effect: man, in a few capital cases, is governed by propensity or instinct; but in matters that admit deliberation and choice, reason is assigned him for a guide: now, as reasoning requires ofien a great compass of ideas, their succession ought to be so quick as readily to furnish every motive that may be necessary for mature deliberation; in a languid succession, motives will often occur atier action is commenced, when it is too late to retreat.

273. Nature hath guarded man, her favorite, against a succession too rapid, no less carefully than against one too slow: both are equally painful, though the pain is not the same in both. Many are the good effects of that contrivance. In the first place, as the exertion of bodily faculties is by certain painful sensations confined within proper limits

, Nature is equally provident with respect to the nobler faculties of the mind: the pain of an accelerated course of percep:ions is Nature's admonition to relax our pace, and to admit a more gentle exertion of thought. Another valuable purpose is discovered upon reflecting in what manner objects are imprinted on the mind : to give the memory fi m hold of an external object, time is required, even where attention is the g e:itest; and a moderate degree of attention, which is the common case, must be continued still longer to produce the same effect: a rapid succession, accordingly, must p:event objects from making an imp.ession so deep as to be of real service in life; and Nature, for the sake of memory,

27i. Involuntary causes disturbing that decree of cariery which nature reqnires.--Slight bot un arving pain: shiftin: pain - Any sing'e coor vr round often returning-Color and fund varies within courtun limiis

272 A slug-ish train indisposes to action - What provision is made against indolence. Bad effect of a slow course of perceptions, in matters that require deliberation and choice

has, by a painful feeling, guarded against a rapid succession. But a still more valuable purpose is answered by the contrivance: as, on the one hand, a sluggish course of perceptions indisposeth to action; so, on the other, a course too rapid impels to rash and precipitant action: prudent conduct is the child of deliberation and clear conception, for which there is no place in a rapid course of thought. Nature therefore, taking measures for prudent conduct, has guarded us effectually from precipitancy of thought by making it painful.

274. Nature not only provides against a succession too slow or too quick, but make thoniddle course extremely pleasant. Nor is that course confined within

Strow bounds: every man can naturally, without pain, accelerate or retard in some degree the rate of his perceptions. And he can do it in a still greater degree by the force of habit: a habit of contemplation annihilates the pain of a retarded course of perceptions; and a busy life, after long practice, makes acceleration pleasant.

Concerning the final cause of our taste for variety, it will be considered, that human affairs, complex by variety as well as number, require the distributing our attention and activity in measure and proportion. Nature therefore, to secure a just distribution corresponding to the variety of human affairs, has made too great uniformity or too great variety in the course of perceptions, equally unpleasant : and, indeed, were we addicted to either extreme, our internal constitution would be ill suited to our external circumstances. At the same time, where great uniformity of operation is required, as in several manufactures, or great variety, as in law or physic, Nature, attentive to all our wants, hath also provided for these cases, by implanting in the breast of every person an efficacious principle that leads to habit : an obstinate perseverance in the same occupation, relieves from the pain of excessive uniformity; and the like perseverance in a quick circulation of different occupations, relieves from the pain of excessive variety. And thus we come to take delight in several occupations, that by nature, without habit, are not a little disgustful.

275. A middle rate also in the train of perceptions between uniformity and variety, is no less pleasant than between quickness and slowness. The mind of man, so framed, is wonderfully adapted to the course of human affairs, which are continually changing, but not without connection : it is equally adapted to the acquisition of knowledge, which results chiefly from discovering resemblances among differing oljects, and differences among resembling objects : such occupation, even abstracting from the knowledge we acquire,

273. We are guarded against a succession too rapid.--Good effects of this to body and mind.

274. A moderate rate of succession agreeable; yet the rate may without pain be varied by force of li bit--Final carise of our taste for variery.--Where creat uniformity or great variety of action is required, what provision is inado for our comfort

is in itself delightful, by preserving a middle rate between too great uniformity and too great variety.

We are now arrived at the chief purpose of the present chapter; which is to consider uniformity and variety with relation to the fine arts, in order to discover, if we can, when it is that the one ought to prevail, and when the

her. And the knowledge we have obtained will even at first view suggest a general observation, That in every work of art it must be agreeable to find that degree of variety which corresponds to the natural course of our perceptions; and that an excess in variety or in uniformity must be disagreeable, by varying that natural course. For that reason, works of art admit more or less variety according to the nature of the subject : in a picture of an interesting event that strongly attaches the spectator to a single object, the mind relisheth not a multiplicity of figures nor of ornaments: a picture representing a gay subject, admits great variety of figures and ornaments; because these are agreeable to the mind in a cheerful tone. The same observation is applicable to poetry and to music.

276. It must at the same time be remarked, that one can bear a greater variety of natural objects, than of objects in a picture; and a greater variety in a picture, than in a description. A real object presented to view, makes an impression more readily than when represented in colors, and much more readily than when represented in words. Hence it is that the profuse variety of objects in some natural landscapes neither breeds confusion nor fatigue ; and for the same reason, there is place for greater variety of ornament in a picture than in a poem. A picture, however, like a building, ought to be so simple as to be comprehended in one view.

From these general observations, I proceed to particulars. In works exposed continually to public view, variety ought to be studied. It is a rule accordingly in sculpture, to contrast the different limbs of a statue, in order to give it all the variety possible. In a landscape representing animals, those especially of the saine kind, contrast ought to prevail : to draw one sleeping, another awake; one sitting, another in motion; one moving towards the spectatur, another from him, is the life of such a performance.

277. In every sort of writing intended for amusement, variety is necessary in proportion to the length of the work. Want of variety is sensibly felt in Davila's history of the civil wars of France: the events are indeed important and various ; but the reader languishes by a tiresome monotony of character, every person engaged being figured a consummate politician, governed by interest only. It is

275. A train between uniformity and variety, agreeable; adapted to the course of human affairs, and acquisition of knowledge. What degree of variety is agreeable in every work of art.

276. We can bear a greater variety of natural objects than in a picture, or description. In works exposed always to public view, variety should be studied.-Rule in sculpture; In paintiog animals on a landscape.

hard to say, whether Ovid disgusts more by too great variety, or too great uniformity: his stories are all of the same kind, concluding invariably with the transformation of one being into another; and so far he is tiresome by excess in uniformity: he is not less fatiguing by excess in variety, hurrying his reader incessantly from story to story. Ariosto is still more fatiguing than Ovid, by exceeding the just bounds of variety: not satisfied, like Ovid, with a succession in his stories, he distracts the reader, by jumbling together a multitude of them without any connection. Nor is the Orlando Furioso less tiresome by its uniformity than the Metamorphoses, though in a different manner : after a story is brought to a crisis, the reader, intent on the catastrophe, is suddenly snatched away to a new story, which makes no impression so long as the mind is occupied with the former.


Concerning the Works of Nature, chiefly with respect to Uniformity

and Variety.

278. In things of Nature's workmanship, whether we regard their internal or external structure, beauty and design are equally conspicuous. We shall begin with the outside of nature, as what first presents itself.

The figure of an organic body is generally regular. The trunk of a tree, its branches, and their ramifications, are nearly round, and form a series regularly decreasing from the trunk to the smallest fibre : uniformity is nowhere more remarkable than in the leaves, which, in the same species, have all the same color, size, and shape; the seeds and fruits are all regular figures, approaching, for the most part, to the globular form. Hence a plant, especially of the larger kind, with its trunk, branches, foliage, and fruit, is a charming object.

In an animal, the trunk, which is much larger than the other parts, occupies a chief place; its shape, like that of the stem of plants, is nearly round, a figure which of all is the most agreeable : its two sides are precisely similar; several of the under parts go off in pairs, and the two individuals of each pair are accurately unform; the single parts are placed in the middle; the limbs

, bearing a certain proportion to the trunk, serve to support it, and to give it a proper elevation: upon one extremity are disposed the neck and head, in the direction of the trunk: the head being the chief part, 277. In writing a work, how far variety is necessary. Remarks on Davila, Ovid, the

Orlando Furioso.

possesses, with great propriety, the chief place. Hence, the beauty of the whole figure is the result of many equal and proportional parts orderly disposed ; and the smallest variation in number, equality, proportion, or order, never fails to produce a perception of deformity.

279. Nature in no particular seems inore profuse of ornament than in the beautiful coloring of her works. The flowers of plants, the furs of beasts, and the feathers of birds, vie with each other in the beauty of their colors, which in lustre as well as in harmony are beyond the power of imitation. Of all natural appearances, the coloring of the human face is the most exquisite; it is the strongest instance of the ineffable art of nature, in adapting and proportioning its colors to the magnitude, figure, and position of the parts. In a word, color seems to live in nature only, and to languish under the finest touches of art.

When we examine the internal structure of a plant or animal, a wonderful subtilty of mechanism is displayed. Man, in his mechanical operations, is confined to the surface of bodies; but the operations of nature are exerted through the whole substance, so as to reach even the elementary parts. Thus the body of an animal, and of a plant, are composed of certain great vessels; these of smaller; and these again of still smaller, without end, as far as we can discover. This power of diffusing mechanism through the most intimate parts, is peculiar to nature, and distinguishes her operations most remarkably from every work of art. Such texture continued from the grosser parts to the most minute, preserves all along the strictest regularity: the fibres of plants are a bundle of cylindric canals, lying in the same direction, and parallel, or nearly parallel to each other: in some instances, a most accurate arrangement of parts is discovered, as in onions, formed of concentric coats one within another, to the very centre. An animal body is still more admirable in the disposition of its internal parts, and in their order and symmetry ; there is not a bone, a muscle, a blood-vessel, a nerve, that hath not one corresponding to it on the opposite side ; and the same order is carried through the most minute parts : the lungs are composed of two parts, which are disposed upon the sides of the thorax; and the kidneys, in a lower situation, have a position no less orderly: as to the parts that are single, the heart is advantageously situated near the middle; the liver, stomach, and spleen, are disposed in the upper region of the abdomen, about the same height: the bladder is placed in the middle of the body, as well as the intestinal canal, which fills the whole cavity with its convolutions.

280. The mechanical power of nature, not confined to small bodies, reacheth equally those of the greatest size; witness the bodies

278. The figure of organic bodies. The trunk of a tree, its branches, &c. In an animal, the trunk, &c. In what the beauty of the whole figure consists.

279. Coloring of nature; of plants, &c.-Subtile or minute mechanism of plants and ani. mals in their interior structure. --- Fibres of plants.-In animals, correspondence and happy arrangement of parts.

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