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the opposite sides be equal; the rhomb being subjected to no rule as to its angles, other than that the opposite angles be equal: for the same reason, the circumference of an ellipse, the form of which is susceptible of much variety, is less regular than that of a circle.
24. Regularity, properly speaking, belongs, like beauty, to objects of sight; and, like beauty, it is also applied figuratively to other objects thus we say, a regular government, a regular composition of music, and, regular discipline.
25. When two figures are composed of similar parts, they are said to be uniform. Perfect uniformity is where the constituent parts of two figures are equal: thus two cubes of the same dimensions are perfectly uniform in all their parts. Uniformity less perfect is, where the parts mutually correspond, but without being equal the uniformity is imperfect between two squares or cubes of unequal dimensions; and still more so between a square and a parallelogram.
26. Uniformity is also applicable to the constituent parts of the same figure. The constituent parts of a square are perfectly uniform; its sides are equal and its angles are equal. Wherein then differs regularity from uniformity? for a figure composed of uniform parts must undoubtedly be regular. Regularity is predicated of a figure considered as a whole composed of uniform parts: uniformity is predicated of these parts as related to each other by resemblance: we say, a square is a regular, not a uniform figure; but with respect to the constituent parts of a square, we say not, that they are regular, but that they are uniform.
27. In things destined for the same use, as legs, arms, eyes, windows, spoons, we expect uniformity. Proportion ought to govern parts intended for different uses: we require a certain proportion between a leg and an arm; in the base, the shaft, the capital of a pillar; and in the length, the breadth, the height of a room: some proportion is also required in different things intimately connected, as between a dwelling-house, the garden, and the stables; but we require no proportion among things slightly connected, as between the table a man writes on and the dog that follows him. Proportion and uniformity never coincide; things equal are uniform; but proportion is never applied to them: the four sides and angles of a square are equal and perfectly uniform; but we say not that they are proportional. Thus, proportion always implies inequality or difference; but then it implies it to a certain degree only: the most agreeable proportion resembles a maximum in mathematics; a greater or less inequality or difference is less agreeable.
28. Order regards various particulars. First, in tracing or surveying objects, we are directed by a sense of order: we perceive it to be more orderly, that we should pass from a principle to its accessories, and from a whole to its parts, than in the contrary direction. Next, with respect to the position of things, a sense of
order directs us to place together things intimately connected. Thirdly, in placing things that have no natural connection, that order appears the most perfect, where the particulars are made to bear the strongest relation to each other that position can give them. Thus parallelism is the strongest relation that position can bestow upon straight lines: if they be so placed as by production to intersect, the relation is less perfect. A large body in the middle, and two equal bodies of less size, one on each side, is an order that produces the strongest relation the bodies are susceptible of by position the relation between the two equal bodies would be stronger by juxtaposition; but they would not both have the same relation to the third.
29. The beauty or agreeableness of a visible object, is perceived as one of its qualities; which holds, not only in the primary perception, but also in the secondary perception or idea: and hence the pleasure that arises from the idea of a beautiful object. An idea of imagination is also pleasant, though in a lower degree than an idea of memory, where the objects are of the same kind; for an evident reason, that the former is more distinct and lively than the latter. But this inferiority in ideas of imagination, is more than compensated by their greatness and variety, which are boundless; for by the imagination, exerted without control, we can fabricate ideas of finer visible objects, of more noble and heroic actions, of greater wickedness, of more surprising events, than ever in fact existed and in communicating such ideas by words, painting, sculpture, &c., the influence of the imagination is no less extensive than great.
30. In the nature of every man, there is somewhat original, which distinguishes him from others, which tends to form his character, and to make him meek or fiery, candid or deceitful, resolute or timorous, cheerful or morose. This original bent, termed disposition, must be distinguished from a principle: the latter signifying a law of human nature, makes part of the common nature of man; the former makes part of the nature of this or that man. Propensity is a name common to both; for it signifies a principle as well as a disposition.
31. Affection, signifying a settled bent of mind towards a particular being or thing, occupies a middle place between disposition on the one hand, and passion on the other. It is clearly distinguishable from disposition, which, being a branch of one's nature originally, must exist before there can be an opportunity to exert it upon any particular object; whereas affection can never be original, because, having a special relation to a particular object, it cannot exist till the object have once at least been presented. It is no less clearly distinguishable from passion, which, depending on the real or ideal presence of its object, vanishes with its object: whereas affection is a lasting connection; and like other connections, subsists even when
we do not think of the person. A familiar example will clear the whole. I have from nature a disposition to gratitude, which, through want of an object, happens never to be exerted; and which therefore is unknown even to myself. Another who has the same disposition, meets with a kindly office which makes him grateful to his benefactor; an intimate connection is formed between them, termed affection; which, like other connections, has a permanent existence, though not always in view. The affection, for the most part, lies dormant, till an opportunity offer for exerting it: in that circumstance, it is converted into the passion of gratitude; and the opportunity is greedily seized of testifying gratitude in the warmest manner.
32. Aversion, I think, is opposed to affection; not to desire, as it commonly is. We have an affection to one person: we have an aversion to another: the former disposes us to do good to its object, the latter to do ill.
33. What is a sentiment? It is not a perception; for a perception signifies the act by which we become conscious of external objects. It is not consciousness of an internal action, such as thinking, suspending thought, inclining, resolving, willing, &c. Neither is it the conception of a relation among objects; a conception of that kind being termed opinion. The term sentiment is appropriated to such thoughts as are prompted by passion.
34. Attention is that state of mind which prepares one to receive impressions. According to the degree of attention, objects make a strong or weak impression. Attention is requisite even to the simple act of seeing; the eye can take in a considerable field at one look; but no object in the field is seen distinctly, but that singly which fixes the attention: in a profound reverie that totally occupies the attention, we scarce see what is directly before us. In a train of perceptions, the attention being divided among various objects, no particular object makes such a figure as it would do single and apart. Hence, the stillness of night contributes to terror, there being nothing to divert the attention:
Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent.-Æneid, 11.
Zara. Silence and solitude are everywhere
To grate the sense, which enter'd here from groans
And hence it is, that an object seen at the termination of a confined view, is more agreeable than when seen in a group with the surrounding objects:
The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
35. In matters of slight importance, attention is mostly directed by will; and for that reason, it is our own fault if trifling objects make any deep impression. Had we power equally to withhold our attention from matters of importance, we might be proof against any deep impression. But our power fails us here: an interesting object seizes and fixes the attention beyond the possibility of control; and while our attention is thus forcibly attached to one object, others may solicit for admittance: but in vain, for, they will not be regarded. Thus a small misfortune is scarce felt in presence of a greater:
Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this contentious storm
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'dst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the roaring sea,
King Lear, Act III. Sc. 5.
36. Genus, species, modification, are terms invented to distinguish beings from each other. Individuals are distinguished by their qualities: a number of individuals considered with respect to qualities that distinguish them from others, is termed a species: a plurality of species considered with respect to their distinguishing qualities, is termed a genus. That quality which distinguisheth one genus, one species, or even one individual, from another, is termed a modification: thus the same particular that is termed a property or quality, when considered as belonging to an individual, or a class of individuals, is termed a modification when considered as distinguishing the individual or the class from another: a black skin and soft curled hair, are properties of a Negro: the same circumstances considered as marks that distinguish a Negro from a man of a different species, are denominated modifications.
37. Objects of sight, being complex, are distinguishable into the several particulars that enter into the composition: these objects are all of them colored; and they all have length, breadth, and thickness. When I behold a spreading oak, I distinguish in that object, size, figure, color, and sometimes motion: in a flowing river, I distinguish color, figure, and constant motion; a dye has color, black spots, six plain surfaces, all equal and uniform. Objects of touch have all of them extension: some of them are felt rough, some smooth some of them are hard, some soft. With respect to the other senses, some of their objects are simple, some complex: a sound, a taste, a smell, mav be so simple as not to be distinguish
able into parts: others are perceived to be compounded of different sounds, different tastes, and different smells.
38. The eye at one look can grasp a number of objects, as of trees in a field, or men in a crowd: these objects having each a separate and independent existence, are distinguishable in the mind, as well as in reality; and there is nothing more easy than to abstract from some and to confine our contemplation to others. A large oak with its spreading branches fixes our attention upon itself, and abstracts us from the shrubs that surround it. In the same manner, with respect to compound sounds, tastes, or smells, we can fix our thoughts upon any of the component parts, abstracting our attention from the rest. The power of abstraction is not confined to objects that are separable in reality as well as mentally; but also takes place where there can be no real separation: the size, the figure, the color of a tree, are inseparably connected, and have no independent existence; the same of length, breadth, and thickness: and yet we can mentally confine our observations to one of these, abstracting from the rest. Here abstraction takes place where there cannot be a real separation.
39. Space and time have occasioned much metaphysical jargon; but after the power of abstraction is explained as above, there remains no difficulty about them. It is mentioned above, that space as well as place enter into the perception of every visible object: a tree is perceived as existing in a certain place, and as occupying a certain space. Now, by the power of abstraction, space may be considered abstractedly from the body that occupies it; and hence the abstract term space. In the same manner, existence may be considered abstractedly from any particular thing that exists; and place may be considered abstractedly from any particular thing that may be in it. Every series or succession of things suggests the idea of time; and time may be considered abstractedly from any series of succession. In the same manner, we acquire the abstract term motion, rest, number, and a thousand other abstract terms; an excellent contrivance for improving speech, as without it speech would be wofully imperfect. Brute animals may have some obscure notion of these circumstances, as connected with particular objects: an ox probably perceives that he takes longer time to go round a long ridge in the plough, than a short one; and he proba
perceives when he is one of four in the yoke, or only one of two. But the power of abstraction is not bestowed on brute animals; because to them it would be altogether useless, as they are incapable of speech.
40. This power of abstraction is of great utility. A carpenter considers a log of wood with regard to hardness, firmness, color, and texture: a philosopher, neglecting these properties, makes the log undergo a chemical analysis; and examines its taste, its smell, and its component principles: the geometrician confines his reason