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LEASURE in observing the tempers and manners of men, even where vicious or absurd. The origin of vice, from false representations of the fancy, producing false opinions concerning good and evil. Inquiry into ridicule. The general sources of ridicule, in the minds and characters of men, enumerated. Final cause of the sense of ridicule. The resemblance of inanimate things to the sensations and properties of the mind. The operations of the mind in the productions of the works of imagination, described. The secondary pleasure from imitation. The benevolent order of the world illustrated in the arbitrary connection of these pleasures with the objects which excite them. The nature and conduct of taste. Concluding with an account of the natural and moral advantages resulting from a sensible and well ino formed imagination.






HAT wonder therefore, since the endearing ties
Of passion link the universal kind
Of man so close, what wonder if to search
This common nature through the various change
Of sex, and age, and fortune and the frame
Of each peculiar draw the busy mind
With unresisted charnis ? The spacious west,
And all the teeming regions of the south
Hold not a quarry, to the curious flight
Of knowledge half so tempting or so fair,
As man to man. Nor only where the smiles
Of love invite ; nor only where the applause
Of cordial honour turns the attentive eye
On virtue's graceful deeds. For since the course
Of things external acts in different ways
On human apprehensions, as the hand
Of nature temper'd to a different frame
Peculiar minds ; so haply where the powers
Of fancy neither lessen nor enlarge
The images of things, but paint in all
Their genuine hues, the features which they wore
In nature; their opinion will be true,









And action right. For action treads the path
In which opinion says he follows good,
Or flies from evil; and opinion gives
Report of good or evil, as the scene
Was drawn by fancy, lovely or deformed.
Thus her report can never there be true,
Where fancy cheats the intellectual eye,
With glaring colours and distorted lines.
Is there a man, who at the sound of death,
Sees ghastly shapes of terror conjured up,
And black before him ; nought but death-bed groans,
And fearful prayers, and plunging from the brink
Of light and being, down the gioomy air,
And unknown depth ? Alas ! in such a mind,
If no bright forms of excellence attend
The image of his country ; nor pomp
Of sacred senates, nor the guardian voice
Of justice on her throne, nor ought that wakes
The conscious bosom with a patriot's flame;
Will not opinion tell him, that to die,
ür stand the nazard, is a greater i!!
Than to betray his country? And in act
Will not he chuse to be a wretch and live ?
Here vice begins then. From the enchanting cup
Which fancy holds to all, the unwary thirst
Of youth oft swallows a Circæan draught,
That sheds a baleful tincture o'er the eye
Of reason, till no longer he discerns,
And only guides to err. Then rével forth
A furious band that spure him from the throne ;
And all is uproar. Thus ambition grasps
The empire of the soul ; thus pale revenge
Unsheath's her murd'rous dagger; and the hands
Of lust and rapine, with unholy arts,
Watch to o'erturn the barrier of the laws
That keeps them from their prey ; thus all the plagues
The wicked bear, or o'er the trembling scene
The tragic muse discloses, under shapes
Of honour, safety, pleasure, ease or pomp,
Stole first into the mind. Yet not by all
Those lying forms which fancy in the brain
Engenders, are the kindling passions driven
To guilty deeds ; nor reason bound in chains,
That vice alone may lord it ; oft adorn'd
With solemn pageants, folly mounts his throne,
And plays her ideot antics, like a queen.

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A thousand garbs she wares ; a thousand ways
She wheels her giddy impire. Lo! thus far
With bold adventure, to the Mantuan lyre
I sing of nature's charms, and touch well pleas'd
A stricter note ; now haply trust my song
Unbend her serious measure, and reveal
In lighter strains, how folly's awkard arts
Excite impetuous laughter's gay rebuke ;
The sportive province of the comic muse.

See in what crowds the uncouth forms advance ;
Each would outstrip the other, each prevent
Our careful search, and offer to your gaze,
Unask'd, his motely features. Wait awhile,
My curious friends! and let us first arrange
In proper orders your promiscuous throng.

Behold the foremost band ; of slender thought,
And easy faith! whom flattering fancy sooths
With lying spectres, in themselves to view
Illustrious forms of excellence and good,
That scorn the mansion. With exulting hearts
They spread their spurious treasure to the sun ;
And bid the world admire! but chief the glance
Of wishful envy draws their joy bright eyes,
And lifts with self applause each lordly brow.
In number boundless as the bloom of spring,
Behold their glaring idols, empty shapes
By fancy gilded o'er, and then set up
For adoration. Some in learning's garb,
With formal band and sable cinctur'd gown
And rags of mouldy volumes. Some elate
With martial splendour, steely pikes and swords
Of costly frame, and gay Phoenician robes
Inwrought with flow'ry gold, assunie the port
Of stately valour ; list’ning by his side
There stands a female form ; to her, with looks
Of earnest import, pregnant with amaze,
He talks of deadly deeds, of breaches, storms,
And sulph'rous mines, and ambush ; then at once
Breaks off, and smiles to see her look so pale,
And asks 'some wondering question of her fears,
Others of graver mein ; behold, adorn'd
With holy ensigns, how sublime they move,
And bending oft their sanctimonious eyes,
Take homage of the simple minded throng ;

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