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next to be confidered. As this is the foundation of the comic manner in all the arts, and has been but very imperfectly treated by moral writers, it was thought proper to give it a particular illuftration, and to distinguish the general fources from which the ridicule of characters is derived. Here too a change of ftyle became neceffary; fuch a one as might yet be confiftent, if poffible, with the general taste of compofition in the ferious parts of the fubject: nor is it an easy talk to give any tolerable force to images of this kind, without running either into the gigantic expreffions of the mock heroic, or the familiar and poetical raillery of profeffed fatire; neither of which would have been proper here.

The materials of all imitation being thus laid open, nothing now remained but to illuftrate fome particular pleafures which arife either from the relations of different objects one to another, or from the nature of imitation itself. Of the first kind is that various

and complicated refemblance existing between feveral parts of the material and immaterial worlds, which is the foundation of metaphor and wit. As it feems, in a great measure to depend on the early affociation of our ideas, and as this habit of affociating is the fource of many pleafures and pains in life, and, on that account bears a great fhare in the influence of poetry and the other arts, it is therefore mentioned here, and its effects described. follows a general account of the production of thefe elegant arts, and of the fecondary pleafure, as it is called, arifing from the refemblance of their imitations to the original appearances of nature. After which, the work concludes with fome reflections on the general conduct of the powers of imagination, and on their natural and moral ufefulness in life.


Concerning the manner or turn of compofition which prevails in this piece, little can be faid with propriety by the Author. He had two models; that ancient and fimple one of the first Grecian poets, as it is refined by Vir


gil in the Georgics, and the familiar epiftolary way of Horace. This latter has feveral advantages. It admits of a greater variety of ftyle; it more readily engages the generality of readers, as partaking more of the air of conversation; and, especially with the affistance of rhime, leads to a closer and more concise expreffion. Add to this the example of the moft perfect of modern poets, who has fo happily applied this manner to the noblest parts philofophy, that the public taste is in a great measure formed to it alone. Yet, after all, the subject before us, tending almost constantly to admiration and enthufiafm, feemed rather to demand a more open, pathetic, and figured style. This too appeared more natural, as the Author's aim was not fo much to give formal precepts, or enter into the way of direct argumentation, as by exhibiting the most engaging profpects of nature, to enlarge and harmonize the imagination; and, by that means, infenfibly difpofe the minds of men to a fimilar taste and habit of thinking in religion, morals,

and civil life. It is on this account that he is

fo careful to point out the benevolent intention of the Author of nature in every principle of the human conftitution here infifted on; and alfo to unite the moral excellences of life in the fame point of view with the mere external objects of good tafte; thus recommending them in common to our natural propenfity for admiring what is beautiful and lovely. The fame views have alfo led him to introduce fome fentiments which may perhaps be looked upon as not quite direct to the fubject; but fince they bear an obvious relation to it, the authority of Virgil, the faultlefs model of didactic poetry, will beft fupport him in this particular. For the fentiments themfelves he makes no apology.






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