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kind,) its train of thought is merely a series of conceptions; or, in common language, of imaginations *. In the cafe, too, of poetical imagination, it is the affociation of ideas that supplies the materials out of which its combinations are formed; and when fuch an imaginary combination is become familiar to the mind, it is the affociation of ideas that connects its different parts together, and unites them into one whole. The affociation of ideas, therefore, although perfectly distinct from the power of imagination, is immediately and effentially fubfervient to all its exertions.

The last obfervation feems to me to point out, alfo, the circumstance which has led the greater part of English writers, to use the words Imagination and Fancy as fynonymous. It is obvious that a creative imagination, when a perfon poffeffes it fo habitually that it may be regarded as forming one of the characteristics of his genius, implies a power of fummoning up, at pleasure, a particular clafs of ideas; and of ideas related to each other in a particular manner; which power can be the refult only, of certain habits. of affociation, which the individual has acquired. It is to this power of the mind, which is evidently a particular turn of thought, and not one of the common principles of our nature, that our beft writers (fo far as I am able to judge) refer, in general, when they make use of the word fancy: I fay, in general; for in difquifitions of this fort, in which the beft writers are

*Accordingly, Hobbes calls the train of thought in the mind, "Confequentia five feries imaginationum." "Per feriem imagi"nationum intelligo fucceffionem unius cogitationis ad aliam."— LEVIATHAN, cap. iii.


feldom precife and steady in the employment of words, it is only to their prevailing practice that we can appeal as an authority. What the particular relations are, by which those ideas are connected that are subfervient to poetical imagination, I fhall not inquire at prefent. I think they are chiefly those of resemblance and analogy. But whatever they may be, the power of fummoning up at pleasure the ideas fo related, as it is the ground-work of poetical genius, is of fufficient importance in the human conftitution to deserve an appropriated name; and, for this purpose, the word fancy would appear to be the most convenient that our language affords.

Dr. REID has fomewhere observed, that " the part "of our conftitution on which the affociation of ideas "depends, was called, by the older English writers, "the fantafy or fancy;" an ufe of the word, we may remark, which coincides, in many instances, with that which I propose to make of it. It differs from it only in this, that these writers applied it to the affociation of ideas in general, whereas I reftrict its application to that habit of affociation, which is fubfervient to poetical imagination.


According to the explanation which has now been given of the word Fancy, the office of this power is to collect materials for the Imagination; and therefore the latter power prefuppofes the former, while the former does not neceffarily fuppofe the latter. man whofe habits of affociation prefent to him, for illuftrating or embellishing a subject, a number of refembling or of analogous ideas, we call a man of fancy; but for an effort of imagination, various other


other powers are neceffary, particularly the powers of tafte and of judgment; without which, we can hope to produce nothing that will be a fource of pleasure to others. It is the power of fancy which supplies the poet with metaphorical language, and with all the analogies which are the foundation of his allufions; but it is the power of imagination that creates the complex scenes he defcribes, and the fictitious characters he delineates. To fancy, we apply the epi. thets of rich or luxuriant; to imagination, those of beautiful or fublime.


Of the Principles of Affociation among our Ideas. 4

HE facts which I stated in the former Section, to illustrate the tendency of a perception, or of an idea, to suggest ideas related to it, are fo obvious as to be matter of common remark. But the relations which connect all our thoughts together, and the laws which regulate their fucceffion, were but little attended to before the publication of Mr. Hume's writings.

It is well known to thofe who are in the leaft converfant with the prefent ftate of metaphyfical fcience, that this eminent writer has attempted to reduce all the principles of affociation among our ideas to three: Refemblance, Contiguity in time and place, and Cause and Effect. The attempt was great, and worthy of his genius; but it has been fhewn by feveral


writers fince his time, that his enumeration is not only incomplete, but that it is even indistinct, so far as it goes.

It is not neceffary for my present purpose, that I should enter into a critical examination of this part of Mr. Hume's system; or that I should attempt to fpecify thofe principles of affociation which he has omitted. Indeed, it does not seem to me, that the problem admits of a fatisfactory folution; for there is no poffible relation among the objects of our knowledge, which may not ferve to connect them together in the mind; and, therefore, although one enumeration may be more comprehenfive than another, a perfectly complete enumeration is fcarcely to be expected.

Nor is it merely in confequence of the relations among things, that our notions of them are affociated:

* See, in particular Lord Kaimes's Elements of Criticism, and Dr. Gerard's Effay on Genius. See also Dr. Campbell's Philofophy of Rhetoric, vol. i. p. 197.

It is obferved by Dr. Beattie, that fomething like an attempt. to enumerate the laws of affociation is to be found in Aristotle ; who, in fpeaking of Recollection, infinuates, with his ufual brevity, that "the relations, by which we are led from one thought "to another, in tracing out, or hunting after," (as he calls it,) any particular thought which does not immediately occur, are "chiefly three; Refemblance, Contrariety, and Contiguity.


See Differtations, Moral and Critical, p. 9. Alfo p. 145. The paffage to which Dr. Beattie refers is as follows:

Όταν ἓν αναμιμνησκώμεθα, κινόμεθα των προτερων τινα κινητών, ἕως αν κινηθώμεν, μεθ ̓ ἣν εκείνη ειωθε. Διο και το εξιξης θηρεύομεν νοησαντες απο τις νυν, η αλλε τινος, και αφ' όμοιες, η εναντία, η τα συνεγγυς Δια τέτο γίνεται ή αναμνησις.

ARISTOT. de Memor. et Reminifc. vol. i. p. 681. Edit. Du VAL.



they are frequently coupled together by means of relations among the words which denote them; fuch as a fimilarity of found, or other circumstances still more trifling. The alliteration which is fo common in poetry, and in proverbial sayings, seems to arise, partly at least, from affociations of ideas founded on the accidental circumstance, of the two words which express them beginning with the fame letter.

"But thousands die, without or this or that, "Die; and endow a College, or a Cat."

POPE'S Ep. to Lord BATHURST. "Ward tried, on Puppies, and the Poor, his drop." Id. Imitat. of HORACE.

"Puffs, powders, patches; Bibles, billets-doux." RAPE of the Lock.

This indeed pleases only on flight occafions, when it may be supposed that the mind is in fome degree playful, and under the influence of thofe principles of affociation which commonly take place when we are careless and difengaged. Every perfon must be offended with the fecond line of the following couplet, which forms part of a very fublime defcription of the Divine power:

"Breathes in our foul, informs our mortal part, "As fall, as perfect, in a Hair as Heart."


To these observations, it may be added, that things which have no known relation to each other are often affociated, in confequence of their producing fimilar effects on the mind. Some of the finest poetical allufions


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