Imágenes de páginas
PDF

our own country. It might indeed be of ill! A French author's observations on this subject. Why

concave and convex figures give a greatness of mander consequence to the public, as well as unpro

to works of architecture. Every thing that pleases the fitable to private persons, to alienate so much

imagination in architecture, is either great, beautiful, ground from pasturage and the plough, in or new. many parts of a country that is so well peopled.

Adde tot egregias urbos, operumque laborem. and cultivated to a far greater advantage.

Virg. Georg. ii. 155. But why may not a whole estate be thrown

Witness our cities of illustrious name, into a kind of garden by frequent plantations, I

Their costly labour, and stupendous frame. that may turn as much to the profit as the

Dryden. pleasure of the owner? A marsh overgrown

Having already shown how the fancy is afwith willows, or a mountain shaded with oaks, I are not only more beautiful but more bene- lected by the works of nature, and afterwards ficial, than when they lie bare and unadorned considered in general both the works of nature

and of art, how they mutually assist and comFields of corn make a pleasant prospect ; and if the walks were a little taken care of that

I plete each other informing such scenes and lie between them, if the natural embroidery of Prospects as are most apt to delight the mind

of the beholder, I shall in this paper throw tothe meadows were helped and improved by some small additions of art, and the several

gether some reflections on that particular art,

which has a more immediate tendency, than rows of hedges set off by trees and flowers that the soil was capable of receiving, a man

any other, to produce those primary pleasures might make a pretty landscape of his own

of the imagination which have hitherto been

the subject of this discourse. The art I mean possessions. Writers, who have given us an account of

is that of architecture, which I shall consider China, tell us the inhabitants of that country

only with regard to the light in which the forelaugh at the plantations of our Europeans. gomg speculations have placed it, without enwhich are laid out by the rule and line ; be

tering into those rules and maxims which the cause they say, any one may place trees in great masters of architecture have laid down.

and explained at large in numberless treatises equal rows and uniform figures. They choose a rather to show a genius in works of this nature,

Greatness, in the works of architecture. and therefore always conceal the art by which they direct themselves. They have a word, it may be considered as relating to the bulk seems, in their language, by which they ex

and body of the structure, or to the manner

in which it is built. press the particular beauty of a plantation that

As for the first, we find thus strikes the imagination at first sight,

the ancients, especially among the eastern pawithout discovering what it is that has so a

tions of the world, infinitely superior to the greeable an effect. Our British gardeners, on

inoderns. the contrary, instead of humouring nature,

Not to mention the tower of Babel, of which love to deviate from it as much as possible.

an old author says, there were the foundations

to be seen in his time, wluch looked like a spaOur trees rise in cones, globes, and pyramids. We see the marks of the scissars upon every

cious mountain ; what could be more noble

than the walls of Babylon, its hanging gardens, plant and bush. I do not know whether I am

and its temple to Jupiter Belus, that rose a singular in may opinion, but, for my own part,

| mile high by eight several stories, each story I would rather look upon a tree in all its luxuriancy and diffusion of boughs and branches, a fur

a furlong in height, and on the top of which than when it is thus cut and trimmed into a was the Babylonian observatory ? I might mathematical figure; and cannot but fancy

here, likewise, take notice of the huge rock that an orchard in flower looks infinitely more that was cut into the figure of Semiramis. with delightful than all the little labyrinths of the the smaller rocks that lay by it in the shape of most finished parterre. But, as our great tri

tributary kings: the prodigious basin, or artifimodellers of gardens have their magazines

cial lake, which took in the whole Euphrates, of plants to dispose of, it is very natural ull such time as a new canal was formed for for them to tear up all the beautiful planta- its reception, with the several trenches through tions of fruit-trees, and contrive a plan that

which that river was conveyed. I know there may most turn to their own profit, in taking are persons who look upon some of these won. off their ever-greens, and the like moveable ders of art as fabuious; but I cannot find any plants, with which their shops are plentifully ground for such a suspicion; unless it be that stocked.

we have no such works among us at present. There were indeed many greater advantages

for building in those times, and in that part No. 416.) Thursday, June 26, 1712.

of the world, than have been met with ever

since. The earth was extremely fruitful ; men PAPER V

lived generally on pasturage, which requires a ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION. much smaller number of hands than agricul.

ture. There were few trades to employ the Contents of architecture, as it affects the imagination.

gination. busy part of mankind, and fewer arts and sciGreatness in architecture relates either to the bulk or to the manner. Greatness of bulk in the ancient oriental ences to give work to men of speculative tembuildings. The ancient accounts of these buildingscon- pers; and what is more than all the rest, the firmed. 1. From the advantages for raising such works, prince was absolute; so that when we went to in the first ages of the world, and in eastern climates. 2 From several of them which are still extant. Iustan. war, he put himself at the head of the whole ce how greatnes of manner affects the imagination. i people; so we find Semiramis leading her three

millions to the field, and yet overpowered by! I have seen an observation upon this subject the number of her enemies. It is no wonder, in a Frendh author, which very much pleased therefore, when she was at peace, and turning me. It is in Monsieur Freart's Parallel of the her thoughts on building. that she could ac- ancient and modern Architecture. I shall complisb such great works, with such a pro- give it the reader with the same terms of art digious multitude of labourers : besides that, which he has made use of. I am observing.' in her climate there was sinall interruption of says he, 'a thing which, in my opinion, is very frosts and winters, which make the northern curious, whence it proceeds, that in the same work men lie half the year idle. I might men- quantity of superficies, the one manner seems tion too, among the benefits of the climate, great and magnificent, and the other poor and what historians say of the earth, that it sweat-trifling; the reason is fine and uncommon. ed out a bitumen, or natural kind of mortar I say then, that to introduce into architecture which is doubtless the same with that men- this grandeur of manner, we ought so to protioned in holy writ, as contributing to the ceed, that the division ɔf the principal memstructure of Babel : Slime they used instead bers of the order may consist but of few parts, of mortar.'

that they be all great, and of a bold and ample In Egypt we still see their pyramids, which relievo, and swelling ; and that the eye beanswer to the descriptions that have been made holding nothing little and mean, the imagiof them; and I question not but a traveller nation may be more vigorously touched and might find out some remains of the labyrinth affected with the work that stands before it. that covered a whole province, and had a hun. For example; in a cornice, if the gola or cydred temples disposed among its several quar- matium of the corona, the coping, the modilters and divisions.

lions of dentelli, make a noble show by their The wall of China is one of those east-graceful productions, if we see none of that ern pieces of magnificence, which makes a ordinary confusion which is the result of those figure even in the map of the world, al- little cavities, quarter rounds of the astragal, though an account of it would have been and I know not how many other intermingled thought fabulous, were not the wall itself particulars, which produce no effect in great still extant.

and massy works, and which very unprofitably We are obliged to devotion for the noblest take up place to the prejudice of the principal buildings that have adorned the several coun- member, it is most certain that this manner tries of the world. It is this which has set men will appear solemn and great; as, on the conat work on temples and public places of wor- trary, that it will have but a poor and mean ship, not only that they might, by the magnifi-effect, where there is a redundancy of those cence of the building, invite the Deity to re- smaller ornaments, which divide and scatter side within it, but that such stupendous works the angles of the sight into such a multitude might, at the same time, open the mind to of rays, so pressed together that the whole will vast conceptions, and fit it to converse with appear but a confusion. the divinity of the place. For everything Among all the figures of architecture, there that is majestic imprints an awfulness and are none that have a greater air than the conreverence on the mind of the beholder, and cave and the convex; and we find in all the anstrikes in with the natural greatness of the cient and modern architecture, as well as in the soul,

remote parts of China, as in countries nearer In the second place we are to consider great home, that round pillars and vaulted roofs make ness of manner in architecture, which has a great part of those buildings which are desuch force upon the imagination, that a small signed for pomp and magnificence. The reabuilding, where it appears, shall give the son I take to be, because in these figures we mind nobler ideas than one of twenty times generally see more of the body than in those the bulk, where the manner is ordinary or lit- of other kinds. There are, indeed, figures of tle. Thus, perhaps, a man would have been bodies, where the eye may take in two-thirds more astonished with the majestic air that ap- of the surface ; but, as in such bodies the sight peared in one of Lysippus's statues of Alex- must split upon several angles, it does not take ander, though no bigger than the life, than in one uniform idea, but several ideas of the he might have been with mount Athos, had same kind. Look upon the outside of a dome, it been cut into the figure of the hero, ac- your eye half surrounds it; look upon the incording to the Proposal of Phidias, * with a side, and at one glance you have all the prosriver in one hand, and a city in the other. Tpect of it; the entire concavity falls into your

Let any one reflect on the disposition of eye at once, the sight being as the centre that mind he finds in himself at his first entrance collects and gathers into it the lines of the into the Pantheon at Rome, and how the ima- whole ctrcumferance; in a square pillar, the gination is filled with something great and sight often takes in but a fourth part of the amazing and, at the same time, consider surface; and in a square concave. must move how little, in proportion, he is affected with up and down to the different sides, before it is the inside of a gothic cathedral, though it be master of all the inward surface. For this five times larger than the other ; which can reason, the fancy is infinitely more struck with arise from nothing else but the greatness of the view of the open air and skies, that passes the manner in the one, and the meanness in through an arch, than what comes through a the other.

square, or any other figure. The figure of the rainbow does not contribute less to its magni

ficence than the colours to its beauty, as it is • Dinocrates,

very poetically described by the son of Si- able to imagine how the several prominences rach : Look upon the rainbow, and praise and depressions of a human body could be him that made it ; very beautiful it is in its shown on a plain piece of canvass, that has brightuess; it encompasses the heavens with in it no unevenness or irregularity. Descripa glorious circle ; and the hands of the Most tion runs yet farther from the things it reprè. Higl have bended it.'

seriis ihan painting; for a picture bears a real Having thus spoken of that greatness which resimblance to its original, winicb letters and affects the mind in architecture, I might next syllabies are wholly void of. Colours speak show the pleasure that rises in the imagina- ali languages, but words are understood only tion from what appears new and beautitul in by such a people or nation. For this reason, this art! but as every beholder bas naturally though men's necessities quickly put them on greater taste of these two perfections in every finding out speech, writing is probably of a building which offers itself, to his view, than later invention than painting; particularly we of that which I have hitherto considesed, I are told that in America, when the Spaniards shall not trouble my readers with any reflec- first arrived there, expresses were sent to the tious upon it. It is sufficient for my present emperor of Mexico in paint, and the news of purpose to observe, that there is nothing in his country delineated by the strokes of a this whole art which pleases the imagina- pencil, which was a more natural way than tion, but as it is great, uncommon, or beauti: that of writing, though at the same time much ful,

0. more imperfect, because it is impossible to

draw the little connexions of speech, or to No. 416.] Friday, June 27, 1712.

give the picture of a conjunction or an ad

verb. It would be yet more strange to rePAPER VI.

present visible objects by sounds that have ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION. no ideas avuexed to them, and to make someContents. The secondary pleasures of the imagination. thing like description in music. Yet it is cer

The seyrral sources of these pleasures (statuary, paint- tain, there may be confused imperfect notions ing, description, and music) compared together. The of this nature raised in the imagination by an final cause of our receiving pleasure from these several

artificial composition of notes; and we find sources. Of descriptions in particular. The power of words over the imagination Why one reader is more that great masters in the art are able, somepicased with descriptions than another.

times to set their hearers in the heat and hur. Quatenus hoc simile est oculis, quod mente videmus. ry of a battle, to overcast their ininds with

Lucr. ix. 754. melancholy scenes and apprehensions of deaths So far as what we see with our minds bears similitude and funcrals, or to lull them into pleasing to what we see with our eyes.

dreams of groves and elysiums. I at first divided the pleasures of the ima.! In all these instances, this secondary pleagination into such as arise from objects that sure of the imagination proceeds from that are actually before our eyes, or that once en-'action of the mind which compares the ideas tered in at our eyes, and are afterwards called arising from the original objects with the ideas up into the mind either barely by its own ope- we receive from the statue, picture, descripratione, or on occasion of something without tion, or sound, that represents them. It is imus, as statues, or descriptions. We have al- possible for us to give the necessary reason ready considered the first division, and shall why this operation of the mind is attended therefore enter on the other, which, for dis- with so much pleasure, as I have before obtinction sake, I have called · The Secondary served on the same occasion; but we find a Pleasures of the Imagination. When I say great variety of entertainments derived from the ideas we receive from statues. descrip- this single principle ; for it is this that not tions, or such-like occasions, are the same only gives us a relish of statuary, paintthat were once actually in our view, it must ing, and description, but makes us delight not be understood that we had once seen the in all the actions and arts of mimickry. It is very place, action, or person, that are carved this that makes the several kinds of wit pleaor described. It is sufficient that we have sant, which consists, as I have formerly seen, places, persons, or actions in general, shown, in the affinity of ideas : and we may which bear a resemblance, or at least some add, it is this also that raises the little satisremote analogy, with what we find represent- faction we sometimes find in the different sorts ed; since it is in the power of the imagination, of false wit; whether.it consists in the affinity when it is once stocked with particular ideas, of letters, as an anagram, acrostic; or of to enlarge, compound, and vary them at her syllables, as in doggerel rhymes, echoes ; or own pleasure.

of words, as in puns, quibbles; or of a whole Among the different kinds of representa-sentence or poem, as wings and altars. The tion, statuary is the most natural, and shows final cause, probably of annesing pleasnse to us something likest the object that is represent- this operation of the mind, was to quicken ed. To make use of a coinmon instance : let and encourage us in our searches after truth, one who is born blind take an image in his since the distinguishing one thing from anhands, and trace out with his fingers the dif-/other, and the right discerning betwixt our ferent furrows and impressions of the chisel, ideas, depend wholly upon our comparing and he will easily conceive how the shape of a them together, and observing the congruity man, or beast, may be represented by it; but or disagreement that appears among the seshould he draw his hand over a picture, where veral works of nature. all is smooth and uniform, he would never be But I shall here confine myself to those

pleasures of the imagination which proceed No. 417.] Salurduy, June 28, 1712. from ideas raised by words, because most of

PAPER VII. the observations that agree with descriptions are equally applicable to painting and statuary. ION

JON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION Words, when well chosen, bave so great a contents.--How a whole set of ideas hang together, &c. force in them, that a description often gives! A natural cause assigned for it. How to perfect the us more lively ideas than the sight of things imagination of a writer. Who among the ancient poets themselves. The reader finds a scene drawn

had this faculty in its greatest perfection. Homer ex

celled in inagining what is great; Virgil in imagining in stronger colours, and painted more to the

what is beautiful; Ovid in imagining what is new. life in his imagination, by the help of words, Our own countryman, Milton, very perfect in all these than by an actual survey of the scene which three respects. they describe. In this case, the poet seems Quem tu, Melpomene, semel to get the better of nature: he takes, indeed, Nascentem placido lumine videris, the landscape after her, but gives it more

Ilum non labor Isthmius vigorous touches, heightens its beauty, and so

Clarabit pugilem, uon equus impiger, &c, enlivens the whole piece, that the images Sed quae Tibur aquæ fertile perfluunt, which flow from the object themselves ap

Et spissa nemorum come pear weak and faint, in comparison of those

Fingent Æolio carmine nobilein.

lor. Od. iii. Lib. 4.4. that come from the expressions. The reason, probably, may be, because, in the survey of

He on whose birth the lyric querg any object, we have only so much of it paint

Of numbers smil'd, shall never grace ed on the imagination as comes in at the eye; |

The Isthmian gauntlet, or be seer

First in the fam'd Olympic race. but in its description, the poet gives us as free a view of it as he pleases, and discovers to us

But him the streams that warbling flow

Rich Tiber's fertile meads along, several parts, that either we did not attend to,

And shady groves, his haunts, shall know or that lay out of our sight when we first be The master of th' Æolan song. Atterbury. beld it As we look on any object, our idea of it is, perhaps, made up of two or three simple! We may observe, that any single circumnideas; but when the poet represents it, he may stance of what we have formerly seen ofteu either give us a more complex idea of it, or raises up a whole scene of imagery, and only raise in such ideas as are most apt to awakens numberless ideas that before slept in affect the imagination.

the imagination; such a particular smell or It may here be worth our while to examine colour is able to fill the mind, on a sudden, how it comes to pass that several readers, with the picture of the fields or gardens where who are all acquainted with the same lan- we first met with it, and to bring up into view guage, and know the meaning of the words all the variety of images that once attended it. they read, should nevertheless have a different Our imagination takes the hint, and leads us relish of the same descriptions. We find one unexpectedly into cities or theatres, plains or transported with a passage, which another meadows. We may further observe, when the runs over with coldness and indifference; or fancy thus reflects on the scenes that have pasfinding the representation extremely natural, sed in it formerly, those which were at first where another can perceive nothing of like pleasant to behold appear more so upon reness and conformity. This different taste flection, and that the memory heightens the demust proceed either from the perfection of lightfulness of the original. A Cartesian would imagination in one more than in another, or account for both these instances in the followfrom the different ideas that several readers ing manner : affix to the same words. For, to have a true The set of ideas which we received from relish, and form a right judgment of a descrip- such a prospect or garden, having entered the tion, a man should be born with a good ima- inind at the same time, have a set of traces begination, and must have well weighed the longing to them in the brain, bordering very force and energy that lie in the several words near upon one another : when, therefore, any of a lauguage, so as to be able to distinguish one of these ideas arises in the imagination, which are most significant and expressive of and consequently despatches a flow of animal their proper ideas, and what additional spirits to its proper trace, these spirits, in the strength and beauty they are capable of re-violence of their motion, run not only into the ceiving from conjunction with others. The trace to which they were more particularly difancy must be warm, to retain the print of rected, but into several of those that lie about those images it hath received from outward it. By this means they awaken other ideas of objects, and the judgment discerning, to know the same set, which immediately determine a what expressions are most proper to clothe new despatch of spirits, that in the same manand adorn them to the best advantage. A ner open other neigbbouring traces, till at last man who is deficient in either of these re- the whole set of them is blown up, and the spects, though he may receive the general whole prospect or garden flourishes in the notion of a description, can never see dis-imagination But because the pleasure we tinctly all its particular beauties; as a per- receive from these places far surmounted, and son with a weak sight may have the confused overcame the little disagreeableness we found prospect of a place that lies before him within them, for this reason there was at first a out entering into its several parts, or discern- wider passage worn in the pleasure traces, and, ing the variety of its colours in their full on the contrary, so narrow a one in those glory and perfection.

0. which belonged to the disagreeable ideas, that Voz. II.

18

He spoke, and aw ful bends his sable brows;

Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod, capable of receiving any animal spirits, and

The stamp of fate, and sunction of the god : consequently of exciting any unpleasant ideas

High heav'n with trembling the dread signal took, in the memory.

And all Olympus to the centre shook.

Pope. It would be in vain to inquire whether the

Dixit: et avertens roseâ cervice refulsit, power of imagining things strongly proceeds

Ambrosiæque comæ divinum vertice odorem from any greater perfection in the soul, or Spiravere: pedes ventis deduxit ad imos, from any nicer texture in the brain of one man Et vera incessu patuit dea.-- - Virg. Æn. 1. 406. than another. But this is certain, that a noble | Thus having said, she turn'd and made appear writer should be born with tbis faculty in its Her neck refulgent, aud dishevell'd hair; full strength and vigour, so as to be able to re- Which, flowing from her shoulders, reach'd the ground,

Aud widely spread ambrosial scents around: ceive lively ideas from outward objects, to re-li

in length of train descends her sweeping gown, fain them long, and to range them together, And by her graceful walk the queen of love is known. upon occasion, in such figures and representa

Drydtr. fions, as are most likely to hit the fancy of the Homer's persons are most of them godlike and reader. A poet should take as much pains in terrible: Virgil has scarce admitted any into on, as a phi

m his poem who are not beautiful, and has taken cultivating his understanding. He must gain apa

a particular care to make his hero so. due relish of the works of nature, and be tho

- Lumenque juvente roughly conversant in the various scenery of a

Purpureum, et lætos oculis afilarat honores. country life.

Virg. Æn. j. 594. When he is stored with country images, if

And gave his rolling eyes a sparkling grace, he would go beyond pastoral, and the lower

And breath'd a youthful vigour on his face-Dryder. kinds of poetry, he ought to acquaint himself with the pomp and magnificence of courts. In a word, Homer fills his readers with sublime He should be very well versed in every thing ideas, and, I believe, has raised the imagination that is noble and stately in the productions of of all the good poets that have come after him. art, whether it appear in painting or statuary, I shall only instance Horace, who immediately in the great works of architecture, which are takes fire at the first hint of any passage in the in their present glory; or in the ruins of those Iliad or Odyssey, and always rises above him. which flourished in former ages.

self when he has Homer in his view. Virgil Such advantages as these help to open a bas drawn together, into his Æneid, all the man's thoughts, and to enlarge his imagination, pleasing scenes his subject is capable of admit. and will therefore have their influence on all ting, and in his Georgics has given us a colleckinds of writing, if the author knows how to tion of the most delightful landscapes that can make right use of them. And among those of be made out of fields and woods, herds of catthe learned languages who excel in this talent, tle, and swarms of bees. the most perfect in their several kind are Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, has shown us perhaps Homer, Virgil, and Ovid. The first how the imagination may be atlected by what strikes the imagination wonderfully with what is strange. He describes a miracle in every is great, the second with what is beautiful, and story, and always gives us the sight of some the last with what is strange. Reading the new creature at the end of it, His art consists Iliad, is like travelling through a country un-chiefly in well-timing his description, before inhabited, where the fancy is entertained with the first shape is quite worn off, and the new a thousand savage prospects of vast deserts, one perfectly finished ; so that he every where wide uucultivated marshes, huge forests, mis- entertains us with something we never saw beshapen rocks and pcecipices. On the contra- fore, and shews us monster after monster to ry, the Æneid is like a well-ordered garden, the end of the Metamorphoses, where it is impossible to find out any part una- If I were to name a poet that is a perfect clorned, or to cast our eyes upon a single spot inaster in all these arts of working on the ima. that does not produce some beautiful plant or gination, I think Milton may pass for one : flower. But when we are in the Metamor- and if his Paradise Lost falls short of the Enephoses, we are walking on enchanted ground, id or Iliad in this respect, it proceeds rather and gee nothing but scenes of magic lying round from the fault of the language in which it is us.

written, than from any defect of genius in the Homer is in his province, when he is de- author. So divine a poem in English, is like a scribing a battle or a multitude, a hero or a stately palace built of brick, where one may god. Virgil is never better pleased than when see architecture in as great a perfection as one he is in his elysium, or copying out an enter- of marble, though the materials are of a coar. taining picture, Homer's epithets generally ser nature. But to consider it only as regards mark out what is great ; Virgil's what is agree-four present subject; What can be conceived able. Nothing can be more magnificent than greater than the battle of angels, the mathe figure Jupiter makes in the first Iliad, nor jesty of Mesiah, the statue and behaviour of mo charming than that of Venus in the first Satan and his peers ? What more beautiful oeid.

than Pandæmonium. Paradise, Heaven, An

gels, Adam and Eve? What more strange *Η και ευαγέησιν επ' Φρύσ’ γείσε Κρυγίων,

than the creation of the world, the several "Λαβρόσιοι δ' άρα χαϊταν επερρώσανιο άνακτος

metamorphoses of the fallen angels, and the KRTOS 7''arrator: vagy anémy "On uuttuy surprising adventures their leader meets with

Jind. 1.528. in his search after Paradise? No other subject

« AnteriorContinuar »