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thought it necessary to fix and determine, to make the sphere of his immocent pleathe notion of these two words, as I intend sures as wide as possible, that he may re to make use of them in the thread of my tire into them with safety, and find in them following speculations, that the reader may such a satisfaction as a wise man would not conceive rightly what is the subject which blush to take. Of this nature are those of I proceed upon. I must therefore desire the imagination, which do not require such him to remember, that by the pleasures a bent of thought as is necessary to our of the imagination,' I mean only such plea- more serious employments, nor at the same sures as arise originally from sight, and time, suffer the mind to sink into that neg that I divide these pleasures into two kinds: ligence and remissness, which are apt to my design being first of all to discourse of accompany our more sensual delights, but, those primary pleasures of the imagination, like a gentle exercise to the faculties, which entirely proceed from such objects awaken them from sloth and idleness, as are before our eyes; and in the next without putting them upon any labour or place to speak of those secondary pleasures difficulty.
of the imagination which flow from the We might here add, that the pleasures ideas of visible objects, when the objects are of the fancy are more conducive to health not actually before the eye, but are called than those of the understanding, which are up into our memories or formed into agree-worked out by dint of thinking, and attendable visions of things that are either absent ed with too violent a labour of the brain. or fictitious. Delightful scenes, whether in nature paintThe pleasures of the imagination, taken ing, or poetry, have a kindly influence on in the full extent, are not so gross as those the body, as well as the mind; and not only of sense, nor so refined as those of the un- serve to clear and brighten the imaginaderstanding. The last are indeed more tion, but are able to disperse grief and mepreferable, because they are founded on lancholy, and to set the animal spirits in some new knowledge or improvement in pleasing and agreeable motions. For this the mind of man; yet it must be confessed, reason Sir Francis Bacon, in his Essay upon that those of the imagination are as great Health, has not thought it improper to and as transporting as the other. A beau- prescribe to his reader a poem or a pros tiful prospect delights the soul as much as pect, where he particularly dissuades him a demonstration; and a description in Ho- from knotty and subtle disquisitions, and mer has charmed moye readers than a advises him to pursue studies that fill the chapter in Aristotle. Besides, the plea- mind with splendid and illustrious objects, sures of the imagination have this advan-as histories, fables, and contemplations of tage above those of the understanding, that nature. they are more obvious, and more easy to be I have in this paper, by way of introducacquired, It is but opening the eye, and tion, settled the notion of those pleasures the scene enters. The colours paint them- of the imagination which are the subject of selves on the fancy, with very little atten- my prosent undertaking, and endeavoured, tion of thought or application of the mind by several considerations, to recommend to in the beholder. We are struck, we know my reader the pursuit of those pleasures. not how, with the symmetry of any thing I shall in my next paper examine the seve we see, and immediately assent to the ral sources from whence these pleasures beauty of an object, without inquiring into are derived. the particular causes and occasions of it.
ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION. Contents.-Three sources of all the pleasures of the ima gination, in our survey of outward objects. How what is great pleases the imagination. How what im new pleases the imagination. How what is beautiful in our own species pleases the imagination. How what is beautiful in general pleases the imagination What other accidental causes may contribute to the heightening of those pleasures.
A man of a polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures that the vulgar are No. 412.] Monday, June 23, 1712. not capable of receiving. He can converse with a picture and find an agreeable companion in a statue. He meets with a secret refreshment in a description, and often feels a greater satisfaction in the prospect of fields and meadows, than another does in the possession. It gives him, indeed, a kind of property in every thing he sees, and makes the most rude uncultivated parts of nature administer to his pleasures: so that he looks upon the world as it were in another light, and discovers in it a multitude of charms, that conceal themselves from the generality of mankind.
There are indeed but very few who know how to be idle and innocent, or have a relish of any pleasures that are not criminal; every diversion they take is at the expense of some one virtue or another, and their very first step out of business is into vice or folly. A man should endeavour, therefore,
-Divisum, sic breve fiet opus.-Mart. Ep. ir. 8 The work, divided aptly, shorter grows.
I SHALL first consider those pleasures of the imagination which arise from the actual view and survey of outward objects; and these, I think, all proceed from the sigh of what is great, uncommon, or beautiful There may, indeed, be something so terri ble or offensive, that the horror or loath someness of an object may overbear the pleasure which results from its greatness
novelty, or beauty; but still there will be such a mixture of delight in the very disgust it gives us, as any of these three qualifications are most conspicuous and prevailing.
double entertainment. Groves, fields, and
By greatness, I do not only mean the bulk
Every thing that is new or uncommon, raises a pleasure in the imagination because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed. We are indeed so often conversant with one set of objects, and tired out with so many repeated shows of the same things, that whatever is new or uncommon contributes a little to vary human life, and to divert our minds, for a while, with the strangeness of its appearance. It serves us for a kind of refreshment, and takes off from we are apt to complain of, in our usual and ordinary entertainments. It is this that bestows charms on a monster, and makes even the imperfections of nature please us. It is this that recommends variety, where the mind is every instant called off to something new, and the attention not suffered to dwell too long, and waste itself on any particular object. It is this,
'Scit thalamo servare fidem, sanctasque veretur
Agnoscitque pares sonitus, hinc Noctua tetram
The feather'd husband, to his partner true
*It would seem from his manner of introducing
likewise, that improves what is great or them, that Mr. Addison was himself the author of these beautiful and makes it afford the mind a fine verses.
The shining down, proud crest, and purple wings:
great. The final cause of our being pleased with what is new. The final cause of our being pleased with what is beautiful in our own species. The final cause of our being pleased with what is beautiful in general.
-Causa latet, vis est notissima
Ovid. Met. ix. 207. 'The cause is secret, but th' effect is known.-Addison. THOUGH in yesterday's paper we considered how every thing that is great, new, or beautiful, is apt to affect the imagination 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 disagree but is apt however to raise in us a secret ableness of the one to the other; and there delight, 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 than what appears in the heavens at the rising and setting of the sun, which is wholly made up of those different stains of light that show themselves in clouds of a different situation. For this reason we find the poets, who are always addressing themselves to the imagination, borrowing more of their epithets from colours than from any other topic.
As the fancy delights in every thing that is great, strange, or beautiful, and is still more pleased the more it finds of these perfections in the same object, so it is capable of receiving a new satisfaction by the assistance of another sense. Thus, any continued sound, as the music of birds, or a fall of water, awakens every moment the mind of the beholder, and makes him more attentive to the several beauties of the place that lie before him. Thus, if there arises a fragrancy of smells or perfumes, they heighten the pleasures of the imagination, and make even the colours and verdure of the landscape appear more agreeable; for the ideas of both senses recommend each other, and are pleasanter together than when they enter the mind separately; as the different colours of a picture, when they are well disposed, set off one another and receive an additional beauty from the advantages of their situa
No. 413.] Tuesday, June 24, 1712.
ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION.
Contents.Why the necessary cause of our being pleas.
ed with what is great, new, or beautiful, unknown.
Why the final cause more known and more useful
Final causes lie more bare and open our observation, as there are often a greater variety that belong to the same effect; and these, though they are not altogether so satisfactory, are generally more useful than the other, as they give us greater occasion of admiring the goodness and wisdom of the first Contriver.
One of the final causes of our delight in any thing that is great may be this. The Supreme Author of our being has so formed the soul of man, that nothing but himself can be its last, adequate, and proper hap piness. Because, therefore, a great part of our happiness must arise from the con templation of his being, that he might give our souls a just relish of such a contempla tion, he has made them naturally delight in the apprehension of what is great or unlimited. Our admiration, which is a very pleasing motion of the mind, immediately rises at the consideration of any object that takes up a great deal of room in the fancy, and, by consequence, will improve into the highest pitch of astonishment and devotion when we contemplate his nature, that is neither circumscribed by time nor place, nor to be comprehended by the largest capacity of a created being.
He has annexed a secret pleasure to the dea of any thing that is new or uncommon, that he might encourage us in the pursuit after knowledge, and engage us to search into the wonders of his creation; for every new idea brings such a pleasure along with it as rewards any pains we have taken in its acquisition, and consequently a motive to put us upon fresh discoveries ful in our own species pleasant, that all He has made every thing that is beauti creatures might be tempted to multiply their kind, and fill the world with inhabit
nts; for it is very remarkable, that wherever nature is crossed in the production of monster (the result of any unnatural mixre) the breed is incapable of propagating s likeness, and of founding a new order of reatures: so that, unless all animals were llured by the beauty of their own species, eneration would be at an end, and the arth unpeopled.
In the last pláce, he has made every hing that is beautiful in all other objects leasant, or rather has made so many bjects appear beautiful, that he might ender the whole creation more gay and elightful. He has given almost every hing about us the power of raising an greeable idea in the imagination: so that tis impossible for us to behold his works with coldness or indifference, and to survey o many beauties without a secret satisfacion and complacency. Things would make ut a poor appearance to the eye, if we aw them only in their proper figures and motions: and what reason can we assign or their exciting in us many of those ideas which are different from any thing that xists in the objects themselves (for such are light and colours,) were it not to add upernumerary ornaments to the universe, and make it more agreeable to the imagiation? we are every where entertained with pleasing shows and apparitions; we iscover imaginary glories in the heavens, nd in the earth, and see some of this visionary beauty poured out upon the whole Creation: but what a rough unsightly sketch of nature should we be entertained with, did all her colouring disappear, and the several distinctions of light and shade anish? In short, our souls are at present delightfully lost and bewildered in a pleasng delusion, and we walk about like the enchanted hero in a romance, who sees beautiful castles, woods, and meadows; and, at the same time, hears the warbling of irds, and the purling of streams; but, pon the finishing of some secret spell, the antastic scene breaks up, and the disconsolate knight finds himself on a barren heath, or in a solitary desert. It is not improbable that something like this may be he state of the soul after its first separaion, in respect of the images it will receive rom matter; though indeed the ideas of colours are so pleasing and beautiful in the magination, that it is possible the soul will ot be deprived of them, but perhaps find chem excited by some other occasional cause, as they are at present by the different impressions of the subtle matter on the
organ of sight. I have here supposed that my reader is cquainted with that great modern discovery, which is at present universally acnowledged by all the inquirers into natural philosophy: namely, that light and colours, apprehended by the imagination, are only deas in the mind, and not qualities that ave any existence in matter. As this is a
truth which has been proved incontestibly
The following letter of Steele to Addison is
'June 24, 1712.
There is another circumstance in this de
sign which gives me hopes of your favour
No. 414.] Wednesday, June 25, 1712.
ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION.
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 414.
Spelunce, vivique lacus; hic frigida Tempe,
Here easy quiet, a secure retreat,
But though there are several of those wild scenes, that are more delightful than any artificial shows, yet we find the works of nature still more pleasant, the more they resemble those of art: for in this case our pleasure rises from a double principle; from the agreeableness of the objects to the eye, and from their similitude to other objects. We are pleased as well with comparing their beauties, as with surveying them, and can represent them to our minds, either as copies or originals. Hence it is that we take delight in a prospect which is well laid out, and diversified with fields and mea dows, woods and rivers; in those accidental landscapes of trees, clouds, and cities, that are sometimes found in the veins of marble; in the curious fret-work of rocks and grottos; and, in a word, in any thing that hath such a variety or regularity as may seem the effect of design in what we call the works of
If we consider the works of nature and cording as they more or less resemble those If the products of nature rise in value ac 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 re fective 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 disco cent 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 sailingby touches and embellishments of art. The degrees through the whole piece. On and beauties 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 con the wide fields of nature, the sight wanders fess the novelty of such a sight may be up and down without confinement, and is occasion of its pleasantness to the imagina fed with an infinite variety of images, with- tion; but certainly its chief reason is it 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 re the greatest perfection, and furnishes out all those scenes that are most apt to delight the imagination.
Scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus, et fugit urbes.
To grottos and to groves we run,
Hic secura quies, et nescia fallere vita,
We have before observed, that there is generally in nature something more grand and august than what we meet with in the curiosities of art. When, therefore,
this imitated in any measure, it gives us &
nobler and more exalted kind of pleasure than what we receive from the nicer and more accurate productions of art. On thi