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novelty, or beauty; but still there will be double entertainment. Groves, fields, and such a mixture of delight in the very meadows, are at any season of the year disgust it gives us, as any of these three pleasant to look upon, but never so much qualifications are most conspicuous and as in the opening of the spring, when they prevailing
are all new and fresh, with their first gloss By greatness, I do not only mean the bulk upon them, and not yet too much accusof any single object, but the largeness of a tomed and familiar to the eye. For this whole view, considered as che entire piece. reason there is nothing more enlivens a Such are the prospects of an open cham- prospect than rivers, jetteaus, or falls of paign country, a vast uncultivated desert, water, where the scene is perpetually shiftof huge heaps of mountains, high rocks and ing, and entertaining the sight every moprecipices, or a wide expanse of water, ment with something that is new. We are where we are not struck with the novelty quickly tired with looking upon hills and or beauty of the sight, but with that rude valleys, where every thing continues fixed kind of magnificence which appears in and settled in the same place and posture, many of these stupendous works of Nature. but find our thoughts a little agitated and Our imagination loves to be filled with an relieved at the sight of such objects as are object, or to grasp at any thing that is too ever in motion, and sliding away from bebig for its capacity. We are fiung into a neath the eye of the beholder. pleasing astonishment at such unbounded But there is nothing that makes its way views, and feel a delightful stillness and more directly to the soul than beauty, amazement in the soul at the apprehensions which immediately diffuses a secret satisof them. The mind of man naturally hates faction and complacency through the imaevery thing that looks like a restraint upon gination, and gives a finishing to any thing it, and is apt to fancy itself under a sort of that is great or uncommon. The very first confinement, when the sight is pent up in discovery of it strikes the mind with an ina narrow compass, and shortened on every ward joy, and spreads a cheerfulness and side by the neighbourhood of walls or delight through all its faculties. There is mountains. On the contrary, a spacious not perhaps any real beauty or deformity horizon is an image of liberty, where the more in one piece of matter than another, eye has room to range abroad, to expatiate because we might have been so made, that at large on the immensity of its views, and whatsoever now appears loathsome to us to lose itself amidst the variety of objects might have shown itself agreeable; but we that offer themselves to its observation. find by experience that there are several Such wide and undetermined prospects are modifications of matter, which the mind, as pleasing to the fancy as the speculations without any previous consideration, proof eternity or infinitude are to the under- nounces at first sight beautiful or deformed. standing. But if there be a beauty of un- Thus we see that every different species of commonness joined with this grandeur, as sensible creatures has its different notions in a troubled ocean, a heaven adorned with of beauty, and that each of them is most stars and meteors, or a spacious landscape affected with the beauties of its own kind. cut out into rivers, · woods, rocks and This is no where more remarkable than in meadows, the pleasure still grows upon birds of the same shape and proportion, us, as it arises from more than a single where we often see tlie mate determined principle.
in his courtship by the single grain or Every thing that is new or uncommon, tincture of a feather, and never discovering raises a pleasure in theimagination because any charms but in the colour of its species. it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise,
"Scit thalamo servare fidem, sanctasque veretur gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea
Connubii leges; non illum in pectore candor of which it was not before possessed. We Solicitat niveus ; neque pravum accendit amorem are indeed so often conversant with one set Splendida lanugo, vel honesta in vertice crista, of objects, and tired out with so many re
Purpureusve nitor pennarum; ast agmina late
Freminea explorat cautus, maculasque requirit peated shows of the same things, that Cognatas, paribusque interlita corpora guttis : whatever is new or uncommon contributes Ni faceret, pictis sylvam circum undiqne monstris
Confusam aspiceres vuigo partusque biformes, a little to vary human life, and to divert
Et genus ambiguum, et veneris monumenta nefandæ. our minds, for a while, with the strange Hinc Merula in nigro se oblectat nigra marito, ness of its appearance. It serves us for a Hinc socium lasciva petit Philomela canorum, kind of refreshment, and takes off from Agnoscitque pares sonitus, hinc Noctua tetram
Canitiem alarum, et glaucos miratur ocellos. that satiety we are apt to complain of, in
Nempe sibi semper constat, crescitque quotannis our usual and ordinary entertainments. It Lucida progenies, castos confessa parentes;
Dum virides inter saltus lucosque sonoros is this that bestows charms on a monster,
Vere novo exultat, plumasque decora juventus and makes even the imperfections of nature
Explicat ad solem patriisque coloribus ardet.'* please us. It is this that recommends va
• The feather'd husband, to his partner true, riety, where the mind is every instant call
Preserves connubial rites inviolate, ed off to something new, and the attention With cold indifference every charm he sees, not suffered to dwell too long, and waste it The milky whiteness of the stately neck, self on any particular object. It is this, likewise, that improves what is great or
* It would seem from his manner of introducing
them, that Mr. Addison was himself the author of these beautiful and makes it afford the mind al fine verses.
The shining down, proud crest, and purple wings: great. The final cause of our being plensed with what But cautious with a searching eye explores
is new. The final cause of our being pleased with The female tribes his proper mate to find,
what is beautiful in our own species. The finai With kindred colours mark'd; did he not so,
cause of our being pleased with what is beautiful in The grove with painted monsters would abound, general. Th' ambiguous product of unnatural love. The blackbird hence selects her sooty spouse ;
-Causa Jatet, vis est notissimaThe nightingale, her musical compeer,
Ovid. Met. ix. 207. Lurd by the well-known voice: the bird of night, Smit with his dusky wings and greenish eyes,
'The cause is secret, but th' effect is known.--Addison. Woos his dun paramour. The beauteous race
Though in yesterday's paper we conSpeak the chaste loves of their progenitors When, by the spring invited, they exult
sidered how every thing that is great, new, In woods and fields, and to the sun unfold
or beautiful, is apt to affect the imaginaTheir plumes, that with paternal colours glow.'
tion with pleasure, we must own that it is There is a second kind of beauty that we impossible for us to assign the necessary find in the several products of art and na- cause of this pleasure, because we know ture, which does not work in the imagina- neither the nature of an idea, nor the subtion with that warmth and violence as the stance of a human soul, which might help beauty that appears in our proper species, us to discover the conformity or disagreebut is apt however to raise in us a secret ableness of the one to the other; and theredelight, and a kind of fondness for the fore, for want of such a light, all that we places or objects in which we discover it. can do in speculations of this kind, is to This consists either in the gaiety or variety reflect on those operations of the soul that of colours, in the symmetry and proportion are most agreeable, and to range, under of parts, in the arrangement and disposi- their proper heads, what is pleasing or distion of bodies, or in a just mixture and con- pleasing to the mind, without being able to currence of all together. Among these trace out the several necessary and efficient several kinds of beauty the eye takes most causes from whence the pleasure or disdelight in colours. We no where meet with pleasure arises. a more glorious or pleasing show in nature Final causes lie more bare and open to than what appears in the heavens at the our observation, as there are often a greater rising and setting of the sun, which is variety that belong to the same effect; and wholly made up of those different stains of these, though they are not altogether so salight that show themselves in clouds of a tisfactory, are generally more useful than different situation. For this reason we find the other, as they give us greater occasion the poets, who are always addressing them- of admiring the goodness and wisdom of the selves to the imagination, borrowing more first Contriver. of their epithets from colours than from One of the final causes of our delight in any other topic.
any thing that is great may be this. The As the fancy delights in every thing that Supreme Author of our being has so formed is great, strange, or beautiful, and is still the soul of man, that nothing but himself more pleased the more it finds of these can be its last, adequate, and proper happerfections in the same object, so it is piness. Because, therefore, a great part capable of receiving a new satisfaction by of our happiness must arise from the conthe assistance of another sense. Thus, any templation of his being, that he might give continued sound, as the music of birds, or our souls a just relish of such a contemplaa fall of water, awakens every moment the tion, he has made them naturally delight mind of the beholder, and makes him more in the apprehension of what is great or unattentive to the several beauties of the limited. Our admiration, which is a very place that lie before him. Thus, if there pleasing motion of the mind, immediately arises a fragrancy of smells or perfumes, rises at the consideration of any object that they heighten the pleasures of the imagi- takes up a great deal of room in the fancy, nation, and make even the colours and and, by consequence, will improve into the verdure of the landscape appear more highest pitch of astonishment and devotion agreeable; for the ideas of both senses re- when we contemplate his nature, that is commend each other, and are pleasanter neither circumscribed by time nor place, together than when they enter the mind nor to be comprehended by the largest separately; as the different colours of a capacity of a created being. picture, when they are well disposed, set He has annexed a secret pleasure to the off one another and receive an additional idea of any thing that is new or uncommon, beauty from the advantages of their situa- that he might encourage us in the pursuit tion.
O. after knowledge, and engage us to search
into the wonders of his creation; for every
new idea brings such a pleasure along with No. 413.] Tuesday, June 24, 1712. it as rewards any pains we have taken in PAPER III.
its acquisition, and consequently serves as
a motive to put us upon fresh discoveries. ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION.
He has made every thing that is beautiContents. Why the necessary cause of our being pleas- ful in our own species pleasant, that all ed with what is great, new, or beautiful, unknown. Why the final cause more known and more useful creatures might be tempted to multiply The final cause of our being pleased with what is their kind, and fill the world with inhabit
ants; for it is very remarkable, that where- | truth which has been proved incontestibly ever nature is crossed in the production of by many modern philosophers, and is ina monster (the result of any unnatural mix- deed one of the finest speculations in that ture) the breed is incapable of propagating science, if the English reader would see its likeness, and of founding a new order of the notion explained at large, he may find creatures: so that, unless all animals were it in the eighth chapter of the second book allured by the beauty of their own species, of Mr. Locke's Essay on Human Undergeneration would be at an end, and the standing. earth unpeopled. In the last place, he has made every
The following letter of Steele to Addison is, thing that is beautiful in all other objects
reprinted here from the original edition pleasant, or rather has made so many
of the Spectator in folio. objects appear beautiful, that he might
• June 24, 1712. render the whole creation more gay and
MR. SPECTATOR, I would not divert delightful. He has given almost every the course of your discourses, when you seem thing about us the power of raising an bent upon obliging the world with a train of agreeable idea in the imagination: so that thinking, which, rightly attended to, may it is impossible for us to behold his works render the life of every man who reads with coldness or indifference, and to survey it more easy and happy for the future. The so many beauties without a secret satisfac- pleasures of the imagination are what betion and complacency. Things would make wilder life, when reason and judgment do but a poor appearance to the eye, if we not interpose; it is therefore a worthy action saw them only in their proper figures and in you to look carefully into the powers of motions: and what reason can we assign fancy, that other men, from the knowledge for their exciting in us many of those ideas of them, may improve their joys, and allay which are different from any thing that their griefs, by a just use of that faculty. I
exists in the objects themselves (for such say, sir, I would not interrupt you in the I are light and colours,) were it not to add progress of this discourse; but if you will
supernumerary ornaments to the universe, do me the favour of inserting this letter in and make it more agreeable to the imagi- your next paper, you will do some service nation? we are every where entertained to the public, though not in so noble a way
with pleasing shows and apparitions; we of obliging, as that of improving their I discover imaginary glories in the heavens, minds. Allow me, sir, to acquaint you
and in the earth, and see some of this vi- with a design (of which I am partly ausjonary beauty poured out upon the whole thor,) though it tends to no greater good creation: but what a rough unsightly sketch than that of getting money. I should not of nature should we be entertained with, hope for the favour of a philosopher in this did all her colouring disappear, and the matter, if it were not attempted under all several distinctions of light and shade the restrictions which you sages put upon vanish? In short, our souls are at present private acquisitions. The first purpose delightfully lost and bewildered in a pleas- which every good man is to propose to him
ing delusion, and we walk about like the self, is the service of his prince and coun: enchanted hero in a romance, who sees try; after that is done, he cannot add to
beautiful castles, woods, and meadows; and, himself, but he must also be beneficial to at the same time, hears the warbling of them. This scheme of gain is not only conbirds, and the purling of streams; but, sistent with that end, but has its very being upon the finishing of some secret spell, the in subordination to it; for no man can be a fantastic scene breaks up, and the discon- gainer here but at the same time he himsolate knight finds himself on a barren self, or some other, must succeed in their heath, or in a solitary descrt. It is not im- dealings with the government. It is called probable that something like this may be The Multiplication Table,' and is so far the state of the soul after its first separa- | calculated for the immediate service of her tion, in respect of the images it will receive majesty, that the same person who is forfrom matter; though indeed the ideas of tunate in the lottery of the state may recolours are so pleasing and beautiful in the ceive yet further advantage in this table. imagination, that it is possible the soul will | And I am sure nothing can be more pleasnot be deprived of them, but perhaps find ing to her gracious temper than to find out them excited by some other occasional additional methods of increasing their good cause, as they are at present by the differ- fortune who adventure any thing in her ent impressions of the subtle matter on the service, or laying occasions for others to beorgan of sight.
come capable of serving their country who I have here supposed that my reader is are at present in too low circumstances to acquainted with that great modern disco- exert themselves. The manner of exevery, which is at present universally ac- cuting the design is by giving out receipts knowledged by all the inquirers into natural for half guineas received, which shall entitle philosophy: namely, that light and colours, the fortunate bearer to certain sums in the as apprehended by the imagination, are only table, as it is set forth at large in the proideas in the mind, and not qualities that posals printed the twenty-third instant. have any existence in matter. As this is a | There is another circumstance in this de
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 414.
sign which gives me hopes of your favour Speluncæ, vivique lacus; hic frigida Tempe, to it, and that is what Tully advises, to
Mugitusque boum, mollesque sub abore somni.
Virg. Gcorg. ii. 470. wit, that the benefit is made as diffusive as possible. Every one that has half a guinea Here easy quiet, a secure retreat,
A harmless life that knows not how to cheat, is put into the possibility, from that small
With home-bred plenty the rich owner bless, sum to raise himself an easy fortune: when And rural pleasures crown his happiness. these little parcels of wealth are, as it Unvex'd with quarrels, undisturb'd with noise,
The country king his peaceful realm enjoys: were, thus thrown back again into the re
Cool grots, and living lakes, the flow'ry pride donation of providence, we are to expect Of meads and streams that through the valley glide; that some who live under hardships or ob And shady groves that easy sleep invite,
And, after toilsome days, a sweet repose at night. scurity may be produced to the world in
Dryden. the figure they deserve by this means.
I doubt not but this last argument will have But though there are several of those force with you; and I cannot add another wild scenes, that are more delightful than to it, but what your severity will, I fear, any artificial shows, yet we find the works very little regard; which is, that I am, sir, of nature still more pleasant, the more they your greatest admirer,
resemble those of art: for in this case our • RICHARD STEELE.' pleasure rises from a double principle; from
the agreeableness of the objects to the eye,
and from their similitude to other objects. No. 414.] Wednesday, June 25, 1712.
We are pleased as well with comparing
their beauties, as with surveying them, and PAPER IV.
can represent them to our minds, either as ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION. copies or originals. Hence it is that we
take delight in a prospect which is well laid Contents. The works of nature more pleasant to the imagination than those of art. The works of nature out, and diversified with fields and meastill more pleasant, the more they resemble those of dows, woods and rivers; in those accidental art. The works of art more p'easant, the more they landscapes of trees, clouds, and cities, that resemble those of nature. Our English plantations and gardens considered in the foregoing light.
are sometimes found in the veins of marble;
in the curious fret-work of rocksand grottos; Alterius sic
and, in a word, in any thing that hath such a Altera poscit opem res, et conjurat amice.
variety or regularity as may seem the effect But mutually they need each other's help.
of design in what we call the works of Roscommon.
If the products of nature rise in value acIf we consider the works of nature and cording as they more or less resemble those art as they are qualified to entertain the of art, we may be sure that artificial works imagination, we shall find the last very de- receive a greater advantage from their refective in comparison of the former; for semblance of such as are natural; because though they may sometimes appear as here the similitude is not only pleasant, but beautiful or strange, they can have nothing the pattern more perfect. The prettiest in them of that vastness and immensity, landscape I ever saw, was one drawn on the which afford so great an entertainment to walls of a dark room, which stood opposite the mind of the beholder. The one may be on one side to a navigable river, and on the as polite and delicate as the other, but can other to a park. The experiment is very never show herself so august and magnifi- common in optics. Here you might discocent in the design. There is something ver the waves and fluctuations of the water more bold and masterly in the rough care-in strong and proper colours, with a picture less strokes of nature, than in the nice of a ship entering at one end, and sailing by touches and embellishments of art. The degrees through the whole piece. On anobeauties of the most stately garden or pa-ther there appeared the green shadows of lace lie in a narrow compass, the imagina- trees, waving to and fro with the wind, and tion immediately runs them over, and re- herds of deer among them in miniature, quires something else to gratify her; but in leaping about upon the wall. I must conthe wide fields of nature, the sight wanders fess the novelty of such a sight may be one up and down without confinement, and is occasion of its pleasantness to the imaginafed with an infinite variety of images, with- tion; but certainly its chief reason is its out any certain stint or number. For this nearest resemblance to nature, as it does not reason we always find the poet in love with only, like other pictures, give the colour and the country life, where nature appears in figure, but the motions of the things it rethe greatest perfection, and furnishes out presents. all those scenes that are most apt to delight We have before observed, that there is the imagination.
generally in nature something more grand Scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus, et fugit urbes.
and august than what we meet with in the
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. ii. 77. curiosities of art. When, therefore, we see -To grottos and to groves we run,
this imitated in any measure, it gives us a To ease and silence, ev'ry muse's son. Pope. . nobler and more exalted kind of pleasure Hic secura quies, et nescia fallere vita,
than what we receive from the nicer and Dives opum variarum; hic latis otia fundis, more accurate productions of art. On this
Greatness in architecture relates either to the bulk or to the manner. Greatness of bulk in the ancient oriental buildings,
account our English gardens are not so en-| No. 415.] Thursday, June 26, 1712. tertaining to the fancy as those in France
PAPER V. and Italy, where we see a large extent of
ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION. ground covered over with an agreeable mixture of garden and forest, which repre- Contents.--of architecture, as it affects the imagination. sent every where an artificial rudeness, much more charming than that neatness
The ancient accounts of these
buildings confirmed. 1. From the advantages for rais. and elegancy which we meet with in these
ing such works, in the first ages of the world, and in of our own country. It might indeed be of
eastern climates. 2. From several of them which are ill consequence to the public, as well as still extant. Instances how greatness of manner af: unprofitable to private persons, to alienate
fects the imagination. A French author's observa.
tions on this subject. Why convex and concava so much ground from pasturage and the
figures give a greatness of manner to works of archiplough, in many parts of a country that is tecture. Every thing that pleases the imagination in so well peopled, and cultivated to a far architecture, is either great, beautiful, or new. greater advantage. But why may not a Adde tot egregias urbes, operumque la borem. whole estate be thrown into a kind of gar
Virg. Georg. ii. 155. den by frequent plantations, that may turn Witness our cities of illustrious name, as much to the profit as the pleasure of the Their costly labour and stupendous frame. owner? A marsh overgrown with willows,
Dryden. or a mountain shaded with oaks, are not Having already shown how the fancy is only more beautiful but more beneficial, | affected by the works of nature, and afterthan when they lie bare and unadorned. wards considered in general both the works Fields of corn make a pleasant prospect; of nature and of art, how they mutually asand if the walks were a little taken care of sist and complete each other in forming such that lie between them, if the natural em scenes and prospects as are most apt to debroidery of the meadows were helped and light the mind of the beholder, I shall in improved by sme small additions of art, this paper throw together some reflections and the several rows of hedges set off by on that particular art, which has a more trees and fiowers that the soil was capable immediate tendency, than any other, to of receiving, a man might make a pretty produce those primary pleasures of the landscape of his own possessions.
imagination which have hitherto been the Writers, who have given us an account subject of this discourse. The art I mean of China, tell us the inhabitants of that coun- is that of architecture, which I shall consitry laugh at the plantations of our Euro- der only with regard to the light in which peans, which are laid out by the rule and the foregoing speculations have placed it, line; because they say, any one may place without entering into those rules and maxtrees in equal rows and uniform figures. ims which the great masters of architecture They chose rather to show a genius in have laid down, and explained at large in works of this nature, and therefore always numberless treatises upon that subject. conceal the art by which they direct them Greatness, in the works of architecture, selves. They have a word, it seems, in their may be considered as relating to the bulk language, by which they express the parti- and body of the structure, or to the manner cular beauty of a plantation that thus strikes in which it is built. As for the first, we find the imagination at first sight, without dis- the ancients, especially among the eastern covering what it is that has so agreeable an nations of the world, infinitely superior to effect. Our British gardeners, on the con- the moderns. trary, instead of humouring nature, love to Not to mention the tower of Babel, of deviate from it as much as possible. Our which an old author says, there were the trees rise in cones, globes, and pyramids. foundations to be seen in his time, which We see the marks of the scissars upon every looked like a spacious mountain ; what plant and bush. I do not know whether I could be more noble than the walls of Babyam singular in my opinion, but, for my own lon, its hanging gardens, and its temple to part, I would rather look upon a tree in all Jupiter Belus, that rose a mile high by eight its luxuriancy and diffusion of boughs and several stories, each story a furlong in branches, than when it is thus cut and trim-height, and on the top of which was the Bamed into a mathematical figure; and cannot bylonian observatory? I might here, likebut fancy that an orchard in flower looks in- wise, take notice of the huge rock that was finitely more delightful than all the little cut into the figure of Semiramis, with the labyrinths of the most finished parterre. smaller rocks that lay by it in the shape of But, as our great modellers of gardens have tributary kings; the prodigious basin, or artheir magazines of plants to dispose of, it is tificial lake, which took in the whole Euvery natural for them to tear up all the phrates, till such time as a new canal was beautiful plantations of fruit-trees, and con- formed for its reception, with the several trive a plan that may most turn to their own trenches through which that river was conprofit, in taking off their ever-greens, and veyed. I know there are persons who look the like moveable plants, with which their upon some of these wonders of art as fabushops are plentifully stocked.
lous: but I cannot find any ground for such 0. a suspicion; unless it be that we have no