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approaches to a state of pain, the less capable it is of a long duration. Immoderate pleasure, as it were, oppreffes, fatigues, and exhausts the mind.

Nothing can be more evident than the truth of these principles, when applied to our external or corporeal senfes. Warmth, for instance, is a sensation increasing in pleasure in all its gradations, from the torpid and benumbed state of the body, till it become actually hot and painful. Likewise a moderate and barely sensible degree of warmth is agreeable through the whole course of our lives; but we soon grow impatient of greater degrees of warmth, though for a time they may produce a more grateful sensation. In like manner, the limits of the pleasures of taste are, the insipid on the one hand, and the acrid and pungent on the other. Also the moderate pleasure which we receive from our common aliments, is always grateful; whereas viands of a high flavour, abounding with falts, which act forcibly upon the nerves appropriated to the sense of taste, though they yield a more exquisite relish for the time, foon cloy and disgust the palate. The same things may be observed

. concerning the remaining senses of smelling, seeing, and hearing

To these affections of the external and corporeal senses, those of the internal and intellectual are strictly analogous. Indeed, it is impossible they should not be so, if the former be the only sources of the latter; that is, if, as was hinted before, all

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our intellectual pleasures and pains consist of nothing but the simple pleasures and pains of sense, commixed and combined together in infinitelyvarious degrees and proportions, so as to be separately indistinguishable, and transferred upon foreign objects, by the principle of association.

It is observable, likewise, that a moderate exertion of our active powers is attended with a continued perception of moderate pleasure, both as it quickens the perceptive powers, and exposes us to the influence of objects that are adapted to affect our senses; but that a violent exertion is, for similar reasons, attended with pain and uneasiness. That this is equally true with respect both to the of our bodies and the faculties of our minds, is too obvious to require illustration. Indeed, it is wisely provided by Divine Providence, that both our minds and bodies are equally impatient of a state of rest and inactivity. Hence we are constantly impelled to exert ourselves with vigour in the station in which we are placed; and we can never be happy, and enjoy our being, unless we fulfil the great ends of it.

All persons, indeed, have not an equal relish for the same exercises, but in all minds there is an appetite for some or other species of it; and when once, by addicting ourselves to any kind of exercise, we have acquired a habit of it, from that time it becomes, in a manner, necessary to our happiness.


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That the preceding account of the general affections of the mind with respect to pleasure, and the various degrees and gradations of it, are applicable to those which we receive from the polite arts, cannot but be obvious to all persons of reading, study, and reflection. · No mind can long bear a very rapid succession of those scenes which, singly, give it the most exquisite pleasure. A judicious composer, therefore, is sensible that the most exquisite beauties in composition may be thrown away and lost, as it were, when they are placed too near together.

Besides, in a very quick succession of objects, the mind hath not leisure to perceive and attend to all their powers and relations. They lose therefore, of course, a great part of their full effect. Perhaps the finest circumstances belonging to some of the thoughts and expressions in a work of genius, may not be those which present themselves to view at the first hearing or reading. lf, therefore, the mind be immediately, and without any respite, hurried to other objects equally striking, it can only be affected with the grosser sensations they convey. There could have been no leisure or opportunity for its perceiving those more delicate beauties, which constitute the chief merit of works of taste and imagination. In like manner, the grand and exquisite strokes of expression in music are always preceded by such ítrains as only prepare the mind for them, and are also followed

by by such ‘as do not wholly take off the attention from them.

Moreover, all compositions which are intended to, engage, our attention a considerable time, should correspond pretty nearly to the general and natural course of our own ideas and sensations. A writer may be as witty, or as sublime, as he can, and he may crowd these graces of composition as close as he pleases; his readers cannot follow him but at a certain pace. There is a degree beyond which no person can accelerate the succellion of his ideas. If, therefore, a writer wish to take his reader along with him, he must, of neceffity, as we may say, flacken his

pace. · On these accounts, the more exquisite strokes of genius should either be confined to short compositions, be sparingly introduced into works of length, or be crowded in places where the mind may take an attentive survey of them, without drawing off its attention from objects of more importance. An epigram may contain as much wit as the writer can crowd into it, and the ode may be as full of the sublime as his imagination is capable of making it, and without any inconvenience; because the whole composition having very moderate bounds, and the attention not being solicited farther, we may attend to any part of it as long as we pleafe, and enjoy it at our leisure: but a great number of what are called the graces and masterly strokes of composition are loft





in a history, in a heroic poem, or an interesting scene in a tragedy.

If these works be composed in a good taste, the attention of the reader is fixed upon the incidents ; he is haftening to the catastrophe, and will not stop to examine all the beauties of the composition : that were an object quite foreign to the views of a person whose mind was properly engrossed by the subject of the work. It is absolutely impoflible to be properly impressed with, and to keep in view, the

greater sentiments with which the mind is inspired by such works as the Iliad, the Odyssee, and the Æneid, and at the same time give any attention to such minute criticisms as some commentators have descended to, and taken the pains to make upon them. It is a fundamental rule in all kinds of composition, that they ought to be more or less. elaborate, according as they are longer or shorter ; or, rather, according to the opportunity they give the mind to attend to all the beauties of them.

In these cases, however, regard must be had, if possible, to the persons for whose use any kind of composition is made, and even to the temper of mind in which it is most likely to be perused. For it is certain that the succession of ideas, to which the tenor of a composition should correspond, is very different in different persons, and in different situations of mind. A style adapted to the vulgar, whose minds are wholly uncultivated,


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