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theory cannot be true in the extent in which it is ftated.
By way of contraft to the defcription of the Da. nube, I fhall quote a ftanza from Gray, which affords a very beautiful example of the two different effects of poetical expreffion. The pleasure conveyed by the two laft lines refolves almoft entirely into Mr. Burke's principles; but, great as this pleasure is, how inconfiderable is it in comparison of that arifing from the continued and varied exercise which the preceding lines give to the imagination?
"In climes beyond the folar road,
"Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam
"To cheer the fhiv'ring native's dull abode.
"She deigns to hear the favage youth repeat,
"Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dufky loves.
"Her track where'er the goddefs roves,
"Glory purfue, and generous fhame,
"Th' unconquerable mind, and freedom's holy flame."
I cannot help remarking further, the effect of the folemn and uniform flow of the verse in this exquifite ftanza, in retarding the pronunciation of the reader; fo as to arrest his attention to every fucceffive picture, till it has time to produce its proper impreffion. More of the charm of poetical rythm arifes from this circumftance, than is commonly imagined.
To thole who wish to study the theory of poetical expreflion, no author in our language affords a richer variety of illuftrations than the poet laft quoted. His merits,
merits, in many other respects, are great; but his skill in this particular is more peculiarly confpicuous. How much he had made the principles of this branch of his art an object of study, appears from his letters published by Mr. Mason.
I have fometimes thought, that, in the last line of the following paffage, he had in view the two different effects of words already described; the effect of fome, in awakening the powers of Conception and Imagination; and that of others, in exciting af fociated emotions:
"Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
"Thoughts, that breathe, and words, that burn."
Continuation of the fame Subjec.-Relation of Imagination and of Tafle to Genius.
FROM the remarks made in the foregoing Sections, it is obvious, in what manner a perfon accustomed to analife and combine his conceptions, may acquire an idea of beauties fuperior to any which he has seen realised. It may alfo be eafily inferred, that a habit of forming fuch intellectual combinations, and of remarking their effects on our own minds, muft contribute to refine and to exalt the Tafte, to a degree which it never can attain in thofe men, who ftudy to
improve it by the obfervation and comparison of external objects only.
A cultivated Tafte, combined with a creative Imagination, conftitutes Genius in the Fine Arts. Without taste, imagination could produce only a random analysis and combination of our conceptions; and without imagination, tafte would be deftitute of the faculty of invention. These two ingredients of genius may be mixed together in all poffible proportions; and where either is poffeffed in a degree remarkably exceeding what falls to the ordinary fhare of mankind, it may compenfate in fome measure for a deficiency in the other. An uncommonly correct taste, with little imagination, if it does not produce works which excite admiration, produces at least nothing which can offend. An uncommon fertility of imagination, even when it offends, excites our wonder by its creative power; and fhews what it could have performed, had its exertions been guided by a more perfect model.
In the infancy of the Arts, an union of these two powers in the fame mind is neceffary for the production of every work of genius. Tafte, without imagination, is, in fuch a fituation, impoffible; for, as there are no monuments of antient genius on which it can be formed, it must be the refult of experiments, which nothing but the imagination of every individual can enable him to make. Such a taste must neceffarily be imperfect, in confequence of the limited experience of which it is the refult; but, without imagination, it could not have been acquired even in this imperfect degree.
In the progress of the Arts the case comes to be altered. The productions of genius accumulate to fuch an extent, that tafte may be formed by a careful study of the works of others; and, as formerly imagination had ferved as a neceffary foundation for taste, fo taste begins now to invade the province of imagination. The combinations which the latter faculty has been employed in making, during a long fucceffion of ages, approach to infinity; and present fuch ample materials to a judicious selection, that with a high standard of excellence, continually present to the thoughts, industry, affifted by the most moderate degree of imagination, will, in time, produce performances, not only more free from faults, but incomparably more powerful in their effects, than the most original efforts of untutored genius, which, guided by an uncultivated taste, copies after an inferior model of perfection. What Reynolds obferves of Painting, may be applied to all the other Fine Arts: that, “as "the Painter, by bringing together in one piece, those "beauties, which are difperfed amongst a great va"riety of individuals, produces a figure more beau. "tiful than can be found in nature; fo that artist who "can unite in himself the excellencies of the various painters, will approach nearer to perfection than any "of his masters *."
* P. 226.
Of the Influence of Imagination on Human Character and Happiness.
HITHERTO we have confidered the power of Imagination chiefly as it is connected with the Fine Arts. But it deserves our attention still more, on account of its extenfive influence on human character and happiness.
The lower animals, as far as we are able to judge, are entirely occupied with the objects of their prefent perceptions and the cafe is nearly the fame with the inferior orders of our own species. One of the principal effects which a liberal education produces on the mind, is to accuftom us to withdraw our attention from the objects of sense, and to direct it, at pleasure, to those intellectual combinations which delight the imagination. Even, however, among men of cultivated understandings, this faculty is poffeffed in very unequal degrees by different individuals; and thefe differences (whether refulting from original conftitution or from early education) lay the foundation of some striking varieties in human character.
What we commonly call fenfibility, depends, in a great measure, on the power of imagination. Point out to two men, any object of compaffion;-a man, for example, reduced by misfortune from eafy cir. cumstances to indigence. The one feels merely in proportion to what he perceives by his fenfes. The