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The materials of all imitation being thus laid open, nothing now remained but to illustrate some particular pleasures, which arise either from the relations of different objects one to another, or from the nature of imitation itself. Of the first kind is that various and complicated resemblance existing between several parts of the material and immaterial worlds, which is the foundation of metaphor and wit. As it seems in a great measure to depend on the early association of our ideas, and as this habit of affociating is the source of many pleasures and pains in life, and on that account bears a great share in the influence of poetry and the other arts, it is therefore mentioned here and its effects described. Then follows a general account of the production of these elegant arts, and of the fecondary pleasure, as it is called, arising from the resemblance of their imitations to the original appearances of nature. After which, the work concludes with fome reflections on the general conduct of the powers of imagination, and on their natural and moral ufefulness in life.
Concerning the manner or turn of composition which prevails in this piece, little can be said with propriety by the author. He had two models; that ancient and simple one of the first Grecian poets, as it is refined by Virgil in the Georgics, and the familiar epistolary way of Horace. This latter has several advantages. It admits of a greater variety of stile ; it more readily engages the generality of readers, as partaking more of the air of conversation ; and, especially with the
assistance of rhyme, leads to a closer and more concise expression. Add to this the example of the most perfect of modern poets, who has so happily applied this manner to the noblest parts of philosophy, that the public taste is in a great measure formed to it alone. Yet, after all, the subject before us, tending almost constantly to admiration and enthusiasın, seemed rather to demand a more open, pathetic, and figured itile. This too appeared more natural, as the author's aim was not so much to give formal precepts, or enter into the way of direct argumentation, as, by exhia biting the most engaging prospects of nature, to enlarge and harmonize the imagination, and by that means insensibly difpofe the minds of men to a similar taste and habit of thinking in religion, morals, and civil life. It is on this account that he is so careful to point out the benevolent intention of the Author of nature in every principle of the human constitution here insisted on; and also to unite the moral excellencies of life in the same point of view with the meer external objects. of good taste; thus recommending them in common to our natural propensity for admiring what is beautiful and lovely. The same views have also led him to introduce some sentiments which may perhaps be looked upon as not quite direct to the subject; but, fince they bear an obvious relation to it, the authority of Virgil, the faultless model of didactic poetry, will best support him in this particular. For the sentiments themselves, he makes no apology.
THE subject proposed. Difficulty of treating it poeti
cally. The ideas of the divine mind, the origin of every quality pleasing to the imagination. The natural variety of conftitution in the minds of men ; with its final cause. The idea of a fine imagination, and the state of the mind in the enjoyment of those pleasures which it affords. All the primary pleasures of the imagination result from he perception of greatness, or wonderfulness, or beauty in objects. The pleasure from greatness, with its final.cause. Pleasure from novelty or wonderfulness, with its final cause. Pleasure from beauty, with its final cause. The connexion of beauty with truth and good, applied to the conduct of life. Invitation to the study of moral philosophy. The differenť degrees of beauty in different species of objects : colour; shape; natural concretes ; vegetables; animals; the mind. The sublime, the fair, the won -derful of the mind. The connection of the imagination and the moral faculty. Conclufion.
ITH what attractive charms this goodly frame
Of nature touches the consenting hearts
strain. Thou, smiling queen
The bloom of nature, and before him turn
35 Obscure to conquer
the severe afcent