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views, which in themselves are disagreeable, but in succession heighten the feeling of the agreeable objects; and we have nature for our guide, which in her most beautiful landscapes often intermixes rugged rocks, dirty marshes, and barren stony heaths. The greatest masters of music have the same view in their compositions: the second part of an Italian song seldom conveys any sentiment; and, by its harshness, seems purposely contrived to give a greater relish for the interesting parts of the composition.
A small garden comprehended under a single view, affords little opportunity for that embellishment. Dissimilar emotions require different tones of mind; and therefore in conjunction can never be pleasant:* gaiety and sweetness may be combined, or wildness and gloominess; but a composition of gaiety and gloominess is distasteful. The rude uncultivated copartment of furze and broom in Richmond garden hath a good effect in the succession of objects; but a spot of that nature would be insufferable in the midst of a polished parterre or flower-plot. A garden, therefore, if not of great extent, admits not dissimilar emotions; and in ornamenting a small garden, the safest course is to confine it to a single expression. For the same reason, a landscape ought also to be confined to a single expression; and accordingly it is a rule in painting, That if the subject be gay, every figure ought to contribute to that emotion.
It follows from the foregoing train of reasoning, that a garden near a great city ought to have an air of solitude. The solitariness again of a waste country ought to be contrasted in forming a garden; no temples, no obscure walks; but jets d'eau, cas
* See Chapter II. Part iv.
cades, objects active, gay and splendid. Nay, such a garden should in some measure avoid imitating nature, by taking on an extraordinary appearance of regularity and art, to show the busy hand of man, which in a waste country has a fine effect by contrast.
It may be gathered from what is said above,* that wit and ridicule make not an agreeable mixture with grandeur. Dissimilar emotions have a fine effect in a slow succession; but in a rapid succession, which approaches to co-existence, they will not be relished in the midst of a laboured and elevated description of a battle, Virgil introduces a ludicrous image, which is certainly out of its place :
Obvius ambustum torrem Chorinæus ab ara
Eneid, xii. 298.
The following image is no less ludicrous, nor less improperly placed:
Mentre fan questi i bellici stromenti
Gerusal. cant. iv. st. 1.
It would, however, be too austere to banish altogther ludicrous images from an epic poem. This
Chapter II. Part iv.
poem doth not always soar above the clouds: it admits great variety; and upon occasion can descend even to the ground without sinking. In its more familiar tones, a ludicrous scene may be introduced without impropriety. This is done by Virgil* in a foot-race; the circumstances of which, not excepting the ludicrous part, are copied from Homer. After a fit of merriment, we are, it is true, the less disposed to the serious and sublime: but then, a ludicrous scene, by unbending the mind from severe application to more interesting sub. jects, may prevent fatigue, and preserve our relish entire.
* En. lib. v.
† Iliad, book xxiii. 1. 879.
Uniformity and Variety.
IN attempting to explain uniformity and variety, in order to show how we are affected by these circumstances, a doubt occurs, what method ought to be followed. In adhering close to the subject, I foresee difficulties; and yet by indulging such a circuit as may be necessary for a satisfactory view, I probably shall incur the censure of wandering. Yet the dread of censure ought not to prevail over what is proper: beside that the intended circuit will lead to some collateral matters, that are not only curious, but of considerable importance in the science of human nature.
The necessary succession of perceptions may be examined in two different views; one with respect to order and connexion, and one with respect to uniformity and variety. In the first view it is handied above:* and I now proceed to the second. The world we inhabit is replete with things no less remarkable for their variety than for their number: these, unfolded by the wonderful mechanism of external sense, furnish the mind with many perceptions; which, joined with ideas of memory, of imagination, and of reflection, form a complete train that has not a gap or interval. This train of perceptions and ideas depends very little on will. The mind, as has been observed,* is so constituted, "That it can by no effort break off the "succession of its ideas, nor keep its attention "long fixed upon the same object:" we can arrest a perception in its course; we can shorten its natural duration, to make room for another; we can vary the succession, by change of place or of amusement; and we can in some measure prevent variety, by frequently recalling the same object after short intervals: but still there must be a succession, and a change from one perception to another. By artificial means, the succession may be retarded or accelerated, may be rendered more various or more uniform, but in one shape or another is unavoidable.
The train, even when left to its ordinary course, is not always uniform in its motion; there are natural causes that accelerate or retard it considerably. The first I shall mention, is a peculiar constitution of mind. One man is distinguished from another, by no circumstance more remarkably, than his train of perceptions: to a cold languid temper
† Locke, book ii. chap 14.
* Chapter I.
belongs a slow course of perceptions, which occasions a dulness of apprehension and sluggishness in action to a warm temper, on the contrary, belongs a quick course of perceptions, which occasions quickness of apprehension and activity in business. The Asiatic nations, the Chinese especially, are observed to be more cool and deliberate than the Europeans: may not the reason be, that heat enervates by exhausting the spirits? and that a certain degree of cold, as in the middle regions of Europe, bracing the fibres, rouseth the mind, and produceth a brisk circulation of thought, accompanied with vigour in action? In youth is observable a quicker succession of perceptions than in old age and hence, in youth, a remarkable avidity for variety of amusements, which in riper years give place to more uniform and more sedate occupation. This qualifies men of middle age for business, where activity is required, but with a greater proportion of uniformity than variety. In old age, a slow and languid succession makes variety unnecessary; and for that reason, the aged, in all their motions, are generally governed by an habitual uniformity. Whatever be the cause, we may venture to pronounce, that heat in the imagi nation and temper, is always connected with a brisk flow of perceptions.
The natural rate of succession, depends also, in some degree, upon the particular perceptions that compose the train. An agreeable object, taking a strong hold of the mind, occasions a slower succession than when the objects are indifferent: grandeur and novelty fix the attention for a considerable time, excluding all other ideas: and the mind thus occupied is sensible of no vacuity. Some emotions, by hurrying the mind from object to object, accelerate the succession. Where the train is com