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tributes 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 that satiety 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, likewise, that improves what is great or beautiful, and makes it afford the mind a double entertainment. Groves, fields, and meadows, are at any season of the year pleasant to look upon, but never so much as in the opening of the spring, when they are all new and fresh, with their first gloss upon them, and not yet too much accustomed and familiar to the eye. For this reason there is nothing that more enlivens a prospect than rivers, jetteaus, or falls of water, where the scene is perpetually shifting and entertaining the sight every moment with something that is new. We are quickly tired with looking upon hills and valleys, where every thing continues fixed and settled in the same place and posture, but find our thoughts a little agitated and relieved at the sight of such objects as are ever in motion, and sliding away from beneath the eye of the beholder.

But there is nothing that makes its way more directly to the soul than beauty, which immediately diffuses a secret satisfaction and complacency through the imagination, and gives a finishing to any thing that is great or uncommon. The very first discovery of it strikes the mind with an inward joy, and spreads a cheerfulness and delight through all its faculties.

There is not perhaps any real beauty or deformity more in one piece of matter than another, because we might have been so made, that whatsoever now appears loathsome to us, might have shewn itself agreeable; but we find by experience that there are several modifications of matter which the mind, without any previous consideration, pronounces at first sight beautiful or deformed. Thus we see that every different species of sensible creatures has its different notions of beauty, and that each of them is most affected with the beauties of its own kind. This is no where more remarkable than in birds of the same shape and proportion, where we often see the mate determined in his courtship by the single grain or tincture of a feather, and never discovering any charms but in the colour of its species.

Scit thalamo servare fidem, sanctasque veretur
Connubii leges; non illum in pectore candor
Sollicitat niveus ; neque pravum accendit amorem
Splendida lanugo, vel honesta in vertice crista,
Purpureusve nitor pennarum; ast agmina latè
Fæminea explorat cautus, maculasque requirit
Cognatas, paribusque interlita corpora guttis :
Ni faceret, pictis sylvam circum undique monstris
Confusam aspiceres vulgò, partusque biformes,
Et genus ambiguum, et veneris monumenta nefanda,

Hinc merula in nigro se oblectat nigra marito,
Hinc socium lasciva petit philomela canorum,
Agnoscitque pares sonitus, hinc noctua tetram
Canitiem alarum, et glaucos miratur ocellos.
Nempe sibi semper constat, crescitque quotannis
Lucida progenies, castos confessa parentes ;
Dum virides inter saltus lucosque sonoros
Vere novo exultat, plumasque (lecora juventus
Explicat ad solem patriisque coloribus ardet.

The feather'd husband, to his partner true,
Preserves connubial rites inviolate.
With cold indifference every charm he sees,
The milky whiteness of the stately neck,
The shining down, proud crest, and purple wings:
But cautious with a searching eye explores
The female tribes, his proper mate to find,
With kindred colours mark'd: did he not so,
The grove with painted monsters would abound,
Th' ambiguous product of unnatural love.
The blackbird hence selects her sooty spouse;
The nightingale, her musical compeer,
Lurd by the well-known voice: the bird of night,
Smit with her dusky wings and greenish eyes,
Wooes his dun paramour. The beauteous race
Speak the chaste loves of their progenitors;
When, by the spring invited, they exult
In woods and fields, and to the sun unfold
Their plumes, that with paternal colours glow.'

There is a second kind of beauty that we find in the several products of art and nature, which does not work in the imagination with that warmth and violence as the beauty that appears in our proper species, but is apt however to raise in us a secret delight, and a kind of fondness for the places or objects in which we discover it. This consists either in the gaiety or variety of colours, in the symmetry and proportion of parts, in the arrangement and disposition of bodies, or in a just mixture and concurrence of all together. Among these several kinds of beauty the eye takes most delight in colours. We no where meet with 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 shew them

selves 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 advantage of their situation.

ADDISON.

0.

No 413. TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 1712.

PAPER III. ON THE PLEASURES OF THE IMAGINATION.

CONTENTS,
Why the necessary cause of our being pleased with what

is great, new, or beautiful, unknown. Why the final
cause more known and more useful. The final cause
of our being pleased with what is 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. 1. iv. ver. 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 impossible for us to assign the necessary cause
of this pleasure, because we know neither the nature
of an idea, nor the substance of a human soul, which
might help us to discover the conformity or disagree-
ableness of the one to the other; and therefore, for
want of such a light, all that we can do in specu-
lations of this kind, is to reflect on those operations
of the soul that are most agreeable, and to range,
under their proper heads, what is pleasing or dis-
pleasing to the mind, without being able to trace
out the several necessary and efficient causes from
whence the pleasure or displeasure arises.

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