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and every appearance of nature ; because his atten, tion dwells more habitually on human life and conduct, than on the material objects around him. This is the case with the banished Duke, in Shakespeare's As you like it, who, in the language of that Poet,
Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks, 6 Sermons in stones, and good in every thing."
But this is plainly a distempered state of the mind; and the allusions please, not so much by the analogies they present, as by the picture they give of the character of the person to whom they have oco curred.
2. An allufion pleases, by presenting a new and beautiful image to the mind. The analogy or the resemblance between this image and the principal subject, is agreeable of itself, and is indeed necessary to furnish an apology for the transition which the writer makes; but the pleasure is wonderfully heightened, when the new image thus presented is a beau. tiful one. The following allusion, in one of Mr. Home's tragedies, appears to me to unite almost every
-" Hope and fear, alternate, sway'd his breast;
Here the analogy is remarkably perfect ; not on. ly between light and hope, and between darkness and fear ; but between the rapid succession of light and fhade, and the momentary influences of these opposite emotions : and, at the same time, the new image which is presented to us, is one of the most beautiful and striking in nature,
The foregoing oblervations suggest a reason why the principal Atores of Fancy are coinmonly supposed
to be borrowed from the material world. Wit has a more extensive province, and delights to make new combinations, whatever be the nature of the compared ideas : but the favorite excursions of Fancy, are from intellectual and moral fubjects to the appearances with which our senses are conversant. The truth is, that such allusions please more than any others in poetry. According to this limited idea of Fancy, it presupposes, where it is pofseffed in an emi. nent degree, an extensive observation of natural objects, and a mind susceptible of strong impressions from them. It is thus only that a stock of images can be acquired ; and that these images will be ready to present themselves, whenever any analogous subject occurs. And hence probably it is, that poetical genius is almost always united with an exquisite fensibility to the beauties of nature.
Before leaving the subject of fancy, it may not be improper to remark, that its two qualities are, liveliness and luxuriancy. The word lively refers to the quickness of the association. The word rich or luxuriant to the variety of affociated ideas.
IV. Of Invention in the Arts and Sciences.
To Thefe powers of Wit and Fancy, that of Invention in the Arts and Sciences has a striking resem. blance. Like them it implies a command over certain claffes.of ideas, which, in ordinary men are not equally subject to the will : and like them, too, it is the result of acquired habits, and not the original gift of nature.
Of the process of the mind in fcientific invention, I propose afterwards to treat fully, under the article of Reasoning ; and I shall therefore confine myself at prefent to a few detached remarks upon fome views of the subject which are suggested by the fore. going inquiries.
Before we proceed, it may be proper to take no. tice of the distinction between Invention and Disco. very. The object of the former, as has been frequently remarked, is to produce something which had no existence before ; that of the latter, to bring to light something which did exift, but which was concealed from common observation. Thus we say, Otto Guerricke invented the air-pump; Sanctorius invented the thermometer ; Newton and Gregory invented the reflecting telescope : Galileo discover. ed the folar spots; and Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood. It appears, therefore, that improvements in the Arts are properly called inventions ; and that facts brought to light by means of observation, are properly called discoveries.
Agreeable to this analogy, is the use which we make of these words, when we apply them to subjects purely intellectual. As truth is eternal and immutable, and has no dependence on our belief or disbelief of it, a person who brings to light a truth formerly unknown, is said to make a discovery. A person, on the other hand, who contrives a new method of discovering truth, is called an inventor, Phythagoras, we say, discovered the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid's first book ; Newton discovered the binomial theorem: but he invented the method of prime and ultimate ratios ; and he invena ted the method of fluxions.
In general, every advancement in knowledge is considered as a discovery ; every contrivance by which we produce an effect, or accomplish an end, is considered as an invention. Discoveries in science, therefore, unless they are made by accident, imply the exercise of invention ; and, accordingly, the word invention is commonly used to express originality of genius in the Sciences, as well as in the Arts. It is in this general sense that I employ it in the following observations.
It was before remarked, that in every instance of invention, there is some new idea, or some new combination of ideas, which is brought to light by the inventor ;. and that, although this may sometimes happen, in a way which he is unable to explain, yet when a man possesses an habitual fertility of inven. tion in any particular Art or Science, and can rely, with confidence, on his inventive powers, whenever he is called upon to exert them; he must have acquired, by previous habits of study, a command over those classes of his ideas, which are fubfervient to the particular effort that he wilhes to make. In what manner this command is acquired, it is not possible, perhaps, to explain completely; but it appears to me to be chiefly in the two following ways. In the firft place, by his habits of speculation, he may have arranged his knowledge in such a manner as may render it easy for him to combine, at pleasure, all the various ideas in his mind, which have any relation to the subject about which he is occupied : or, fe. condly, he may have learned by experience, certain general rules, by means of which, he can direct the train of his thoughts into those channels in which the ideas he is in quest of may be most likely to occur to him,
1. The former of these observations, I shall not stop to illustrate particularly, at present; as the same subject will occur afterwards, under the article of Memory. It is sufficient for my purpose, in this chapter, to remark, that as habits of speculation have a tendency to classify our ideas, by leading us to refer particular facts and particular truths to general principles; and as it is from an approximation and comparison of related ideas, that new discoveries in most instances result; the knowledge of the philosopher, even supposing that it is not mure extensive, is arranged in a manner much more favorable to invention, than in a unind unaccustomed to system.
How much invention depends on a proper combination of the materials of our knowledge, appears from the resources which occur to men of the lowest degree of ingenuity, when they are pressed by any alarming difficulty and danger; and from the unex. pected exertions made by very ordinary characters, when called to situations which rouse their latent powers. In such cases, I take for granted, that necefsity operates in producing invention, chiefly by concentrating the attention of the mind to one set of ideas ; by leading us to view these in every light, and to combine them variously with each other. As the fame idea may be connected with an infinite variety of others by different relations ; it may, according to circumstances, at one time, suggest one of these ideas, and, at another time, a different one. When we dwell long on the fame idea, we obtain all the others to which it is any way related, and thus are furnished with materials on which our powers of judgment and reasoning may be employed. The ef. fect of the division of labor, in multiplying mechanical contrivances, is to be explained partly on the fame principle. It limits the attention to a particu. lar subject, and familiarises to the mind all the possible combinations of ideas which have any relation
These observations suggest a remarkable difference between Invention and Wit. The former depends, in most instances, on a combination of those ideas, which are connected by the less obvious principles of association ; and it may be called forth in almost any mind by the pressure of external circumstances. The ideas which inust be combined, in order to produce the latter, are chiefly such as are associated by those flighter connexions which take place when the mind is careless and difengaged. “ If
“ If you have real “ wit,” says Lord Chesterfield, “it will flow sponta“neously, and you need not aim at it ; for in that