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| The principle of order is conspicuous with respect to natural operations; for it always directs our ideas in the order of nature : thinking upon a body in motion, we follow its natural course; the mind falls with a heavy body, descends with a river, and ascends with flame and smoke: in tracing out a family, we incline to begin at the founder, and to descend gradually to his latest posterity; on the contrary, musing on a lofty oak, we begin at the trunk, and inount from it to the branches : as to historical facts, we love to proceed in the order of time; or, which comes to the same, to proceed along the chain of causes and effects.

But though, in following out an historical chain, our bent is to proceed orderly from causes to their effects, we find not the same bent in matters of science : there we seem rather disposed to proceed from effects to their causes, and from particular propositions to those which are more general. Why this difference in matters that appear so nearly related ? I answer, The cases are similar in appearance only, not in reality. In an historical chain, every event is particular, the effect of some former event, and the cause of others that follow : in such a chain, there is nothing to bias the mind from the order of nature. Widely different is science, when we endeavour to trace out causes and their effects : many experiments are commonly reduced under one cause; and again, many of these causes under one still more general and comprehensive : in our progress from particular effects to general causes, and from particular propositions to the more comprehensive, we feel a gradual dilatation or expansion of mind, like what is felt in an ascending series, which is extremely pleasing : the pleasure here exceeds what arises from following the course of nature; and it is that pleasure which regulates

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our train of thought in the case now mentioned, and in others that are similar. These observations, by the way, furnish materials for instituting a.comparison between the synthetic and analytic methods of reasoning: the synthetic method, descending regularly from principles to their consequences, is more agreeable to the strictness of order; but in following the opposite course in the analytic me. thod, we have a sensible pleasure, like mounting upward, which is not felt in the other : the analytic method is more agreeable to the imagination ; the other method will be preferred by those only who with rigidity adhere to order, and give no indulgence to natural emotions. *

It now appears that we are framed by nature to relish order and connexion. When an object is introduced by a proper connexion, we are conscious of a certain pleasure arising from that circumstance. Among objects of equal rank, the pleasure is proportioned to the degree of connexion : but among unequal objects, where we require a certain order, the pleasure arises chiefly from an orderly arrangement; of which one is sensible, in tracing objects contrary to the course of nature, or contrary to our sense of order: the mind proceeds with alacrity dowo a flowing river, and with the same alacrity from a whole to its parts, or from a principal to its accessories; but in the contrary direction, it is sensible of a sort of retrograde motion, which is unpleasant. And here may be remarked the great influence of order upon the mind of man: grandeur, which makes a deep impression, inclines us, in running over any series, to proceed from small to great, rather than from great to small; but order

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A train of perceptions or ideas, with respect to its uniformity and variety, is handled afterwards, chap. 9.

prevails over that tendency, and affords pleasure as well as facility in passing from a whole to its parts, and from a subject to its ornaments, which are not felt in the opposite course. Elevation touches the mind no less than grandeur doth ; and in raising the mind to elevated objects, there is a sensible pleasure : the course of nature, however, hath still a greater influence than elevation; and therefore, the pleasure of falling with rain, aud descending gradually with a river, prevails over that of mounting upward. But where the course of nature is joined with elevation, the effect must be delightful : and hence the singular beauty of smoke ascending in a calm morning.

I am extremely sensible of the disgust men geperally have to abstract speculation ; and I would avoid it altogether, if it could be done in a work that professes to draw the rules of criticism from human nature, their true source. We have but a single choice, which is, to continue a little longer in the same train, or to abandon the undertaking altogether. Candour obliges me to notify this to my readers, that such of them as have an invincible aversion to abstract speculation, may stop short bere ; for till principles be unfolded, I can promise no entertainment to those who shun thinking. But I flatter myself with a differeot bent in the generality of readers : some few, I imagine, will relish the abstract part for its own sake; and many for the useful purposes to which it may be applied. For encouraging the latter to proceed with alacrity, I assure them beforehand, that the foregoing speculation leads to many important rules of criticism, which shall be unfolded in the course of this work. In the mean time, for instant satisfaction in part, they will be pleased to accept the following specimen.

Every work of art that is conformable to the natural course of our ideas, is so far agreeable; and every work of art that reverses that course, is so far disagreeable. Hence it is required in every such work, that, like an organic system, its parts be orderly arranged and mutually connected, bearing each of them a relation to the whole, some more intimate, some less, according to their desti. nation : when due regard is had to these particulars, we have a sense of just composition, and so far are pleased with the performance. Homer is defective in order and connexion ; and Pindar more remarkably. Regularity, order, and connexion, are painful restraints on a bold and fertile imagi. nation; and are not patiently submitted to, but after much culture and discipline, lo Horace there is no fault more eminent than want of connexion : instances are without number. In the first four. teen lines of ode 7. lib. 1. he mentions several towns and districts, more to the taste of some than of others: in the remainder of the ode, Plancus is exhorted to drown his cares in wine. Having narrowly escaped death by the fall of a tree, this poet* takes occasion to observe justly, that while we guard against some dangers, we are exposed to others we cannot foresee: he ends with displaying the power of music. The parts of ode 16. lib. 2. are so loosely connected as to disfigure a poem otherwise extremely beautiful. The 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 11th, 24th, 27th odes of the 3d book, lie open all of them to the same censure. The first satire, book 1. is so deformed by want of connexion, as upon the whole to be scarce agreeable : it commences with an important question, How it hap. pens that people, though much satisfied with them. prevails over that tendency, and affords pleasure as well as facility in passing from a whole to its parts, and from a subject to its ornaments, which are not felt in the opposite course. Elevation touches the mind no less than grandeur doth; and in raising the mind to elevated objects, there is a sensible pleasure: the course of nature, however, hath still a greater influence than elevation; and therefore, the pleasure of falling with rain, aud descending gradually with a river, prevails over that of mounting upward. But where the course of nature is joined with elevation, the effect must be

* Lib. ij. ode 13.

lelightful: and hence the singular beauty of smoke ascending in a calm morning.

I am extremely sensible of the disgust men geperally have to abstract speculation; and I would avoid it altogether, if it could be done in a work that professes to draw the rules of criticism from human nature, their true source. We have but a single choice, which is, to continue a little longer in the same train, or to abandon the undertaking altogether. Candour obliges nie to notify this to my readers, that such of them as have an invinci. ble aversion to abstract speculation, may stop short bere ; for till principles be unfolded, I can promise no entertainment to those who shun thinking, But I flatter myself with a different bent in the generality of readers : some few, I imagine, will relish the abstract part for its own sake; and many for the useful purposes to which it may be applied. For encouraging the latter to proceed with alacri. ty, I assure them beforehand, that the foregoing speculation leads to many important rules of criticism, which shall be unfolded in the course of this work. In the mean time, for instant satisfaction in part, they will be pleased to accept the fo! specimen.

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