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there is a kind of fhame annexed to the gratifica-
tion of the groffer fenfes. Perfons of a refined
tafte affect an indifference to their pleasures, and
diffemble the fatisfaction they receive from them;
as in eating, drinking, and the like: whereas we
are very differently affected towards the pleafures
of harmony, which we perceive by the ear, and
the beauty of colours and proportion, which we
perceive by the
eye.

Another obfervation which may throw confiderable light upon various affections of the mind, in the perception of thofe pleasures which we refer to the imagination, is, that fince the mind perceives, and is confcious of nothing, but the ideas that are prefent to it, it must, as it were, conform itself to them; and even the idea it hath of its own extent, (if we may use that expreffion) must enlarge or contract with its field of view. By this means alfo, a perfon, for the time, enters into, adopts, and is actuated by, the fentiments that are prefented to his mind.

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This takes place fo inftantaneously and mechanically, that no perfon whatever hath reflection, and presence of mind enough, to be upon his guard againft fome of the moft ufelefs and ridiculous effects of it. What perfon, if he faw another upon a precipice and in danger of falling, could help ftarting back, and throwing himfelf into the fame pofture as he would do if he himself were going to fall? At least he would have a ftrong propenfity to do

do it. And what is more common than to fee perfons in playing at bowls, lean their own bodies, and writhe them into every poffible attitude, according to the course they would have their bowl to take? It is true,, that all men are not equally affected by this remarkable propensity. The more vivid are a man's ideas, and the greater is his general fenfibility, the more intirely, and with the greater facility, doth he adapt himself to the fituations he is viewing.

From this principle, converfing with mean and low objects gives the mind an idea of the meanness and narrowness of its own powers; and ideas of our own greatness, dignity, and importance, are the refult of our contemplating large and grand objects. This will be confpicuous when we confider the fublime in compofition.

Hence the paffions, fentiments, and views of those persons whofe hiftory is written fo as to engage our attention, become for a time (if they be not extremely oppofite to our own general state of mind) our own paffions, fentiments, and views; and particularly, the accounts of the magnanimity, generofity, courage, clemency, &c. in our heroes, are read with a fecret complacency and felfapplaufe, arifing from our indulging the fame temper and difpofition.

Hence, in part, arifes the difficulty of reading the history of any two rival ftates, or perfonages, with

abfolute

absolute indifference and impartiality. Before we were aware, we find we have entered into the fentiments, paffions, and interefts of the one or the other of them; and afterwards find it difficult to change fides, as it were; notwithstanding, in the progress of the hiftory, we may fee reafon enough to be disgusted with the party we at first adopted. We abfurdly continue to wish fuccefs to those we first attached ourselves to, though the reasons which attached us to them no longer exist. The failings on one fide are regarded with tenderness and compaffion, as the failings of a friend; and the excellencies which discover themfelves on the oppofite fide, are apt to be looked upon with envy and diflike, as an advantage in the poffeffion of an enemy.

What reader, who has once been interefted in the fortune of Athens, by reading the first book of the Peloponnefian war, written by Thucydides, is not diftreffed to the last degree with the miscarriage of the flagrantly ambitious and unjuft invasion of Sicily, and the fiege of Syracufe? If any striking instance of generofity, or mere courage, once intereft us in favour of a buccaneer, a highwayman, or even a dextrous cheat, how apt are we to read with pleasure of the defperate adventures of the former, and of the ingenious but bafe artifices of the latter? It is poffible that persons of age, experience, and reflection, may, in a great measure,

have corrected this mechanical propensity; but it will ever retain a sensible influence over the generality of mankind ; and these are almost the only people we have to do with in the business of the passions and imagination.

This observation shows us how cautious all writers should be not to engage the attention of their readers too much to vicious characters; since, when once they have, by this means, engaged our interest in their favour, we are very backward to withdraw our good wishes; and the interest we take in the character and schemes of a bad man, cannot but leave upon the mind an impression unfavourable to virtue. A natural love for virtue is a very insufficient security against this influence, especially in young minds. No writer, who hath at heart the interest of virtue, and the happiness of his fellow-creatures, ought to trust to it. Even the prudent and virtuous Mr. Richardson hath interested his reader so much in the character of Lovelace, in Clariffa, that, I believe, there are few of his readers who would be displeased with the fuccess of his base designs upon any other woman than Clarissa herself, in whose favour we have been beforehand more strongly interested.

In the third place, let it be noted, that when each of the pleasures of the imagination are referred to some one source, I only mean, that ideas and sensations of that kind are the principal ones that

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enter into its compofition. For, in fact, none of our intellectual pleasures are so simple as to be defived from one fingle fource only. They are all of so complex a nature, and are fo connected with one another, that, it is probable, there is not onè fentiment of pleasure or pain that can be called intellectual (not being a direct impreffion upon fome of the external fenfes) but what is more or less compounded of almost all the other intellectual pleasures and pains too. The principle of affociation is predominant in every thing relating to our intellectual faculties: and, in a fituation fo exposed as ours is to joint impreffions, from a variety of independent objects, our fenfations cannot fail to be fo commixed and combined together, that it must be extremely difficult, if not impoffible, completely to refolve any one of them into all their feparate, component parts. All that can be done, is, to place each pleafing object, that occurs in works of tafte and genius, under that fpecies of pleasure which originally, or moft eminently, entered into the compofition of it; and at the fame time, not wholly to omit taking notice of other fources from which it borrows any thing confiderable.

Montefquieu, in his Effay on Tafte, very ingenioufly enumerates a variety of caufes which contribute to excite the fingle feeling or fenfation which the mind perceives upon the view of a regular garden. And Dr. Gerard, in his treatise upon the fame

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