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merely a feeling in the perfon that
this, we fhall fee that it is as eafy to account for the variety of tastes, though there be in nature a ftandard of true beauty, and confequently of good tafle; as it is to account for the variety and contrariety of opinions, though there be in nature a ftandard of truth, and confequently of right judgment.
6. Nay, if we fpeak accurately and ftrictly, we fhall find, that, in every operation of tafte, there is judgment implied.
"When a man pronounces a poem or a palace to be beautiful, he affirms fomething of that poem or that palace; and every affirmation or denial expreffes judgment. For we cannot better define judgment, than by faying that it is an affirmation or denial of one thing concern ing another. I had occafion to fhow, when treating of judgment, that it is implied in every perception of our external fentes. There is an immediate conviction and belief of the existence of the quality perceived, whether it be colour, or found, or figure; and the fame thing holds in the perception of beauty or deformity.
"No reafon can be given why. all mankind fhould exprefs themfelves thus, but that they believe what they fay. It is therefore contrary to the univerfal fenfe of mankind, expreffed by their language, that beauty is not really in the object, but is merely a feeling in the perfon who is faid to perceive it. Philofophers fhould be very cautious in oppofing the common fenfeTM of mankind; for, when they do, they rarely mifs going wrong.
"Our judgment of beauty is not indeed a dry and unaffecting judg ment, like that of a mathematical or metaphyfical truth. By the conftitution of our nature, it is accompanied with an agreeable feeling or emotion, for which we have no other name but the fenfe of beauty. This fenfe of beauty, like the perceptions of our other fenfes, implies not only a feeling, but an opinion of fome quality in the object which occafions that feeling.
"In objects that pleafe the taste, we always judge that there is fome real excellence, fome fuperiority to thofe that do not pleafe. In fome cafes, that fuperior excellence is diftinctly perceived, and can be pointed out; in other cafes, we have only a general notion of fome excellence which we cannot defcribe. Beauties of the former kind may be compared to the primary qualities perceived by the external fenfes ; thofe of the latter kind, to the fecondary.
"if it be faid that the perception of beauty is merely a feeling in the mind that perceives, without any belief of excellence in the object, the neceffary confequence of this opinion is, that when I fay Virgil's Georgics is a beautiful poem, I mean not to fay any thing of the poem, but only fomething concerning myfelf and my feelings. Why fhould I ufe a language that expreffes the contrary of what I
"My language, according to the neceffary rules of conftruction, can bear no other meaning but this, that there is fomething in the poem, and not in me, which I call beauty. Even those who hold beauty to be
"7. Beauty or deformity in an object, refults from its nature or ftructure. To perceive the beauty, therefore, we must perceive the na
ture or structure from which it refults, In this the internal fenfe differs from the external. Our external fenfes may difcover qualities which do not depend upon any antecedent perception. Thus I can hear the found of a bell, though I never perceived any thing elfe belonging to it. But it is impoffible to perceive the beauty of an object without perceiving the object, or at least conceiving it. On this account, Dr. Hutchefon called the fenfes of beauty and harmony reflex or fecondary fenfes; becaufe
the beauty cannot be perceived un lefs the object be perceived by fome other power of the mind. Thus the fenfe of harmony and melody in founds fuppofes the external fenfe of hearing, and is a kind of fecondary to it. A man born deaf may be a good judge of beauties of another kind, but can have no norion of melody or harmony. The like may be faid of beauties in colouring and in figure, which can never be perceived without the fenfes by which colour and figure are perceived."
EXTRACT from. Dr. BARNES's ESSAY on the NATURE and
[From the Memoirs of the Literary and Philofophical Society of Mancheiter.]
7 HEREIN confifls the effence of poetry," is a queftion, which it will not be fo cafy to anfwer, as may at first be imagined. Different authors have given very different definitions. Some have denominated it," The art of exprefling our thoughts by fiction." Others have imagined its effence to lie, in "The power of imitation" and others again, in "The art of giving pleasure." But it is evident, that fiction, imitatiou, and pleasure, are not the properties of poetry alone. Profaic compofition may contain the moft ingenious fables. It may prefent the moft ftriking refemblances. It may in fpire the moit fenfible delight."
Poetry has been generally denominated an art. Horace, if he himself gave the title to his own celebrated and admirable poem, has characterized it under that name. The term itself (Hons) would na
turally lead to the fame idea; for it feems to imply, that labour and ingenuity, the neceffary companions of art, must be employed in poetic compofition. But certainly, it has the nearest affinity to science of any other art; for all its excel lence confiits, in its presenting science in a peculiar and engagingdrefs. An art, by which fcience is affifted, and fentiment exalted; by which the imagination is elevated, the heart delighted, and the noblest paffions of the human foul expreffed, improved, and heightened, will appear important enough, to have its boundaries exactly drawn, and the limits afcertained, which divide it from its humble neighbour. Or2 if this be not poffible, to have its general and larger characteristics clearly reprefented.
What is it, then, which conftitutes the poetic effence, and diftinguishes it from profe? Is it metre?
tre? Or is it fomething entirely
The characteristic nature of
"For, have there not been real
"Does not elevation of fenti-
Lowth, the metre or rhythm has not been exactly afcertained; and probably will not, becaufe it does not exist. The harmony of numbers, of which every ear must be fenfible, arifes purely from the native impulfe of a foul, infpired with fentiments which it could not poffibly exprefs in any language but what was fervid and poetical.
"By this theory, it may be said, we account for the common remark, that the original language of mankind was poetical: becaufe, in the infancy of the world, every thing would naturally excite admiration, and vehement paffion. Their rude and imperfect fpeech would bear infcribed upon it, the ftamp of ftrong and animated feeling. It would refemble the harangues of Indian orators, at this day, whofe fpeeches are accompanied with tones and geftures, which, to a cultivated European, appear extravagantly. pompous. Their lives were full of danger and variety. New fcenes were continually opening upon them. Growing arts and fciences were prefenting new objects of curiofity. Hence, their feelings were amazingly intenfe. And hence, their language was bold, and poetically fublime. Longinus, in the fragment of a treatife, which is unhappily loft, has this fentiment. "Measure belongs properly to poetry, as it perfonates the paffions, and their language; it ufes fiction and fable, which naturally produce numbers and harmony."
"That our own
"It may be added, in fupport of this definition, inimitable poet, than whom none feems more to have enjoyed the infpiration of the Mufe, defcribes the poet, as chiefly diftinguifhed by the fervour of imagination. He does not, indeed, affign him the most honourable company; but he makes ample amends, by a defcription of poetic
language has entirely loft the ufe of the neuter, probably from this circumftance.
"The inflexions of verbs originated from the practice of compounding the radical word with particles and auxiliaries: the pertons were probably distinguished by the addition of a pronoun; and I think this might be demonftrated by a nice examination into the etymology of the pronouns, and due confideration in what manner they might be corrupted, when compounded with verbs.
"The perfonal inflexions might be difpenfed with (as in fome barbarous languages) provided the nominative cafe always ftood immedi ately before the verb; but as this was found to be frequently inconfiftent with convenience, as well as with elegance, the inflexion of the verb became neceffary, to avoid ambiguity, The Greek and Latin languages poffefs greater accuracy in this refpect than any I know, which enabled their authors to ufe greater liberty of tranfpofition, and even on fome occafions wholly to omit the perfonal pronouns.
"The perfonal inflexions ferve to mark distinctly the agent: but there is a more material circumftance to be defined by the inflexion of the verb, and that is, time; as a thing may exist at one moment in a ftate different from that which it will exist in the next. But fince it would be neither neceffary nor convenient always to fpecify the direct point of time, a few general divifions took place, and thefe are more or lefs in number, in proportion as the language was more or lefs formed when it became ftationary in writing.
"The general divifions of time, that we know to be capable of being distinctly marked by inflexions
of the verb, are, 1. The prefent, I am reading. 2. The perfect paft, I have read, or have done reading. 3. The future, I am about to read. 4. The aorist (or indefinite) of the prefent, of ufe in general affertions, as, I read frequently. 5. The aorist of the pait, I read, or did read. 6. The aorist of the future, I shall read. 7. The imperfect, I evas reading. 8. The plufquam-perfect (or the more than perfectly paft) i. e. was pat at a definite point of time, as, I had read Homer, before I faw Mr. Pope's tranflation. 9. The future-perfect (or the afterfuture) which is to the future what the plufquam-perfect is to the past, as, I fhail have read the book, before you will want it.
"I know no language that diftinguishes all thefe divifions of time by the inflexions of the verb. The Greek approaches nearest to perfection in this point; but it has no prefent aorift, and is very incorrect in the ufe of the fecond aorist and fecond future, which, notwithstanding the apologies of fome ingenious writers, I am still inclined to think redundant: moft probably they may be the antiquated tenfes. The Latin wants an aorift of the prefent, a definite future, and a paulo-poft-futurum, or future-perfect. The reader will fee by the above statement of the tenfes, that we have only two inflexions to denote the times, viz. those of the prefent and the past; the reft is performed by auxiliaries; and af ter all, it is with difficulty that we avoid confounding the prefent with the aorift of the prefent; e. g. A merry heart maketh a chearful counte❤ nance.
"To trace the formation of the Greek tenfes would be very diffi cult: the Latin is a lefs complex language, and in it we can trace
them with more certainty. In the auxiliary verb fum, it appears that the three principal tenfes have been originally different verbs; fum, fui, ero (whence I fuppofe eram). The tenfes of the regular verbs are evidently formed by compounding thefe with the radical verb; as, amabam, in all probability it was formerly ama-ram; ama-vi, at first it was probably ama-fui, which would eafily foften into amavi; amaveram, or amavi-eram; amabo, or ama-ro, corrupted like the imperfect. This fpecies of compofition is ftill more plainly exemplified in what we call the irregular verb poffum. Poffum, that is, potens-fum; pot-ui, or potens fui; potero, or potens-ero: the formation of the other tenfes is evident. The two tenfes of our auxiliary, an and vas, appear alfo to have been originally different verbs. Perhaps the Greek augment is derived from the past tense of a,, or; the only difference is, that it is prefixed, instead of being poftfixed as
with the Latins.
of the contingent mood, than fuppofing it formed by the addition of fome particle, and a confequent contraction. The fubjunctive of the Latins was probably made by adding to the indicative em, from the Greek particle av, (fi, or if), as amo-em, amem, &c. Where there are two forms of conjugation, perhaps the antiquated form is adopted to fignify contingencies only. This is evidently the cafe in our own language; as, Indic. I am; Subj. I be, or if I be. I am inclined to think the Greek fubjunctive came into ufe in the fame manner.
"I have little doubt that what is called the imperative mood is no other than a coruption of the indicative or fubjunctive, by an iteration of the pronoun, as amas-te, which by ufe came to amate or a mato, and afterwards by ellipfis to ama.
"Befides the circumftance of time, there are two other circumftances of which verbs ought to inform us, and those are, actuality and contingency: whether a thing really exists, or there is only a poffibility of its existence; whether an action be really done, or is only commanded or wifhed to be done. Hence thofe inflexions, which are called moods (mode or manner of existence), of which all that we have feen are, the indicative, the fubjunctive (or contingent), the imperative, and the optative.
"The indicative denotes the thing or action as it really is; and is the verb in its primitive ftate, only fubject to the temporal inflexions.
"I can give no better account
know but one language that has an optative mood. In Greek the verb oua (oimai) anciently fignified to wish, and it is compounded with all the tenfes of the optative mood, as rulo (tuptoimi), &c.
"The infinitive mood is to verbs what the abstract noun is to adjectives. It conveys a particular idea of the action, which may he generally applied. Thus the idea which the word avbiteness conveys is, that of fome particular avhite body; the idea which the word to eat conveys is, that of fome ani mal in the action of eating.
"The Greeks formed their infinitive directly into a noun, by prefixing the neuter article 7o. The Latins conformed theirs to the manner of a noun; and their grunds and fupines appear to have been formed by imitating the cafes of nouns, and endeavouring to adapt