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HARMONIES, AND SUBLIMITIES
N A T U RE:
LAWS, CUSTOMS, MANNERS, AND OPINIONS
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
BEAUTIES, HARMONIES, AND SUBLIMITIES
- As Nature has appropriated different vegetables to the various appetites of animals, so has she given to the mind of every one a relative and distinguishing bias. Some are attuned to the soft vibrations of music; others melt before a painting or a statue; to some she gives the powers of oratory; to others the inspiration of poetry. Some, with a bolder impulse, touch, as it were, the stars with their fingers; while others, at an humbler distance, investigate the instinct of a worm, or calculate the course of an emmet. Some, captivated with the lust of power, standing on the summit of Caucasus, in sight of a hundred nations, become alternately, the idol of the vulgar, and an object of pity to the philosopher and enthusiast.
And while you, my friend, are animated with an ardent ambition of shining on a splendid theatre, in Colonna has Nature implanted the power of deriving happiness from investigating her laws; in listening to her melodies; in tasting her perfumes; and, above all, in relishing those enjoyments which, with unsparing hand, she lavishes on all those, who admire and love the noblest, and most beautiful of her various works. Thus we all come to the same point of happiness at last. Thus the Ganges and Burrampooter, rising in the neighbourhood of each other among the mountains of Thibet, separate to the distance of more than twelve hundred miles; and, after traversing a long length of country, watering nations unknown to each other, and differing in language, in customs, and in religion, meet, as it were, in friendship, by mingling their waters in the same bay.
II. As the Grecian youth are said to have been intoxicated at the sight of the Venus of Praxiteles, so are some equally captivated with their own deformities; and, played upon by a skilful artist, like the marble of Pietra Sancta, which resounds, as it is wrought, they ring with their own follies, and celebrate their own absurdities. Some, neglecting the utilities of life, adorn themselves with an endless succession of trivial decorations; and, taking example from the peacock and the glutton, resolve beauty into finery, and happiness into sensuality. Others, sufficiently informed to know, that it is one of the principles of architecture, that the most delicate should be placed upon the most solid, are never content, but when