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fociation of ideas that supplies the materials out of which its combinations are formed ; and when such an imaginary combination is become familiar to the mind, it is the association of ideas that connects its different parts together, and unites them into one whole. The association of ideas, therefore, althoughi perfectly distinct from the power of imagination, is immediately and effentially subservient to all its exertions.
The last obfervation seems 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 synonymous. It is obvious that a creative imagination, when a person possesses it so habitually that it may be regarded as forming one of the characteristics of his genius, implies a power of summoning up, at pleasure, a particular class of ideas; and of ideas related to each other in a particular manner ; which power can be the result only, of certain habits of association, which the indi. vidual 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 best writers (so for as I am able to judge) refer, in general, when they make use of the word fancy : I say, in general; for in disquisitions of this fort, in which the best writers are feldom precise 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 fubfervi. ent to poetical imagination, I shall not enquire at present. I think they are chiefly those of resemblance and analogy. But whatever they may be, the power of summoning up at pleasure the ideas fó related, as it is the ground work of poetical genius, is of sufficient importance in the human conftitu. tion to deserve an appropriated name ; and, for this
purpose, the word fancy would appear to be the molt convenient that our language affords. Dr. Reid has somewhere observed, that "the
part 46 of our constitution on which the aflociation of “s ideas depends, was called, by the older English 4 writers, fantasy or fancy;" an use of the word, we may remark, which coincides, in many instances, with that which I propose to make of it. It differs fromit only in this, that these writers applied it to the association of ideas in general, whereas I restrict its application to that habit of afsociation, which is sub. fervient 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 presupposes the former, while the former does not necessarily suppose the latter. A man whose habits of association present to him, for illustrating or embellishing a subject, a number of resembling or of analogous ideas, we call a man of fancy; but for an effort of imagination, various other powers are necessary, particularly the powers of tafle and of judgment; without which, we can hope to produce nothing that will be a source 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 allusions ; but it is the power of imagination that creates the complex scenes he describes, and the fictitious characters he delineates. To fancy, we apply the epithets of rich or luxuriant; to imagination, those of beautiful or sublime.
Of the principles of association among our ideas.
THE 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 succession, were but little attended to before the publication of Mr. Hume's writings.
It is well known to those who are in the least con. vessant with the present state of metaphysical sci. ence, that this eminent writer has attempted to reduce all the principles of association among our ideas to three : Resemblance, Contiguity in time and place, and Cause and Effect. The attempt was great, and worthy of his genius ; but it has been shewn by feveral writers since his time,* that his enumeration is not only incomplete, but that it is even indiftinct, fo far as it goes.
* See in particular, Lord Kaimes's Elements of Criticism, and Dr. Gerard's Essay on Genius. See also Dr. Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric, vol. i. p. 197.
It is observed by Dr. Beattie, that something like an attempt to enumerate the laws of association is to be found in Aristotle ; who, in speaking of Recollection, insinuates, with his usual brevity, that“ the relations, by which we are led from one thought to an “other, in tracing out, or hunting after," (as he calls it,)“ any par6 ticular thought which does not immediately occur, are chiefly " three; Resemblance, Contrariety, and Contiguity."
See Dissertations, Moral and Critical, p. 9. Also p. 145. The passage to which Dr. Beattie refers, is as follows:
'Οταν εν αναμιμνησκωμεθα, κινέμεθα των προτερων τινα καθησεων, έως αν κινηθωμεν, μεθ' ην εκεινη είωθε. Διο και το εφεξης θηρευομεν νοησαντες απο τα νυν, η αλλα τινος, και αφ' όμοια, η εναντια, η τε συνεγγυς. φυτο γινεται η αναμνησις.
ARISTOT. de Menor. et Reminisc. vol. i. p. 681. Edit. Du Vam
It is not necessary for my present purpose, that I fhould enter into a critical examination of this part of Mr. Hume's system ; or that I should attempt to specify those principles of affociation which he has omitted. Indeed it does not seem to me, that the problem admits of a satisfactory solution ; for there is no possible relation among the objects of our knowledge, which may not serve to connect them together in the inind ; and, therefore, although one enumeration may be more comprehensive than another, a perfectiy complete enumeration is scarcely to be expected.
Nor is it merely in consequence of the relations among things, that our notions of them are affo , ciated: they are frequently coupled together by means of relations among the words which de note them ; such as a similarity of found, or other cir. cumstances still more trifling. The alliteration which - is so common in poetry, and in proverbial sayings, seems to arise, partly at least, from associations of ideas founded on the accidental circumstance, of the two words which express them beginning with the same letter.
66 But thousands die, without or this or that,
Pope's Ep. to Lord BATIIURST,
“ 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 occasions, when it. may be supposed that the mind is in some degree playful, and under the influence of those principles of association which commonly take place when we are. careless and disengaged. Every person must be offended with the second line of the following couplet,
which forms part of a very sublime description of the Divine power :
* Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, '" As full, as perfect, in a Hair as Heart."
Essay on MAN, Ep. i.
To these observations, it may be added that things which have no known relation to each other are of. ten associated, in consequence of their producing finilar effects on the mind. Some of the finest
pos etical allusions are founded on this principle ; and occordingly,if the reader is not poflefled of sensibility congenial to that of the poet, he will be ajit to overlook their meaning, or to censure them as abfurd. To such a critic it would not be easy to vindicate the beauty of the following stanza, in an Ode addressed to a Lady by the Author of the Seafons.
Oh thou, whose tender, serious eye
Expressive speaks the soul I love ;
The pensive shadows of the grove. I have already said, that the view of the subject which I propose to take, does not require a complete enumeration of our principles of affociation. There is, however, an important distinction among them, to which I shall have occafion frequently to refer ; and which, as far as I know, has not hitherto attracted the notice of philosophers. The relations upon which some of them are founded, are perfectly obvious to the mind; those which are the foundation of others, are discovered only in consequence of particular efforts of attention. Of the former kind, are the relations of Resemblance and Analogy, of Contrariety, of Vicinity in time and place, and those which arise from accidental coincidences in the found of different words. These, in general, connect our thoughts together, when they are luffered to take